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Nine deaths confirmed in Guinea ‘third term’ protests

Nine deaths confirmed in Guinea ‘third term’ protests
Guinea’s government has confirmed that nine people have been killed during this week’s demonstrations against a possible change to the constitution.

Witnesses say police opened fire on the protesters as they blocked roads with burning tyres and ransacked military posts in the capital Conarky, according to news agency Reuters.

Opposition parties say at least 10 people have been killed, including a 14-year-old boy. They also say police raided victim’s families’ homes, Reuters says. The government has not responded to the allegations.

The demonstrators are protesting against the possibility of President Alpha Conde running for a third term. Mr Conde, 81, took office in 2010 and his final five-year term should end in 2020. He has, however, not ruled out a third term and has asked his government to look into drafting a new constitution which critics say aims at letting him run for a third term.

Batten disease girl given custom-made drug

A girl with a deadly brain disease has been given a unique drug that was invented from scratch just for her and in a fraction of the normal time.

Mila Makovec, now aged eight, was diagnosed with fatal and untreatable Batten disease.

In less than a year, doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital in the US created the tailor-made drug to correct specific errors in Mila’s DNA.

She is now having far fewer seizures, although she is not cured.

Batten disease

Batten disease is incredibly rare, gets progressively worse and is always fatal.

Mila was three when her right foot began to turn inwards. A year later she needed to hold books close to her face as her vision was fading and by the age of five she would occasionally fall and her walk became unusual.

At six, Mila was blind, could barely speak and was having seizures.

The disease can be caused by a range of genetic mutations that stop cells being able to break down and recycle waste.

Instead, junk builds up and it can lead to the death of brain cells.

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