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Johnson & Johnson talk settlement as trial begins

  • A big legal battle over the opioid crisis is reportedly inching closer to a settlement in which the biggest American drug manufacturers and distributors might pay $50 billion to try to end more than 2,000 individual lawsuits. [NYT / Jan Hoffman]
  • But the proposed settlement, which would include $29 billion for addiction treatment and $22 billion in cash, is far from final, and the case could still end up going to trial next week. [NBC / Laura Strickler]
  • The litigation was meant to hold companies all along the chain of opioid production — from drug manufacturers to Walgreens — responsible for their role in the epidemic, which has killed more than 400,000 people. [Washington Post / Lenny Bernstein, Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz, and Aaron C. Davis]
  • The two main legal arguments behind the cases: opioid manufacturers misleadingly marketed their pills, and opioid distributors allowed them to be doled out, even when it should have been clear that people were abusing the drugs. [Vox / German Lopez]
  • While settlement talks continue, the jury has been selected for the first case to go to trial, and an Ohio judge is set to hear opening arguments on Monday. [AP News / Mark Gillispie and Geoff Mulvihill]
  • Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson settled other opioid cases in Ohio and Oklahoma, paying out millions to join a list of drug companies attempting to avoid federal trials. [NYT / Jan Hoffman]
  • Vox’s German Lopez argues that the settlements aren’t enough: The executives responsible should be charged with crimes. [Vox / German Lopez]

Barcelona engulfed in demonstrations

  • On the third day of protests by Catalan separatists, things escalated, with protesters setting cars on fire and throwing acid at police. [The Guardian / Stephen Burgen and Sam Jones]
  • Demonstrations broke out after nine Catalan separatist leaders were indicted on charges of sedition and misappropriation of funds. They will serve prison sentences of up to 13 years. [Wall Street Journal]
  • Over 90 people were injured on both sides over the course of the protests, but Catalan leaders promised to continue to fight for independence. [Washington Post / Pamela Rolfe and James McAuley]
  • The protests have significantly disrupted Barcelona, with 108 flights canceled on the first day of protests alone. [AP News]
  • The resurgent 2017 Catalonia independence movement that the leaders were arrested during was not the first of its kind in Spain. [Vox / Sarah Wildman]


  • Alibaba and Universal are teaming up to open a theme park in Beijing. [CNN Business / Sherisse Pham]
  • When shopping, women’s clothing sizes vary greatly. Here’s how to navigate that. [Vox / Tracy E. Robey]
  • Trading on Trump’s erraticism: Some Wall Street dealers are cashing in on the president’s actions. [Vanity Fair / William D. Cohan]
  • A firm that dealt with the “Panama Papers” is suing Netflix for defamation in the streaming service’s newest flick portraying the incident. [Reuters / Elida Moreno]


“A life without pugs is possible, but meaningless.”

[German comedian Vicco von Bülow jokes about the popularity of the breed in his country, and on their racetracks]

Watch this: The man who rigged America’s election maps

The life of Thomas Hofeller, the gerrymanderer-in-chief. [YouTube / Alvin Chang]

Read more

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Capitalism is turning us into addicts

House Republicans joined Democrats in condemning Trump’s actions in Syria

AOC and Ilhan Omar endorse Bernie Sanders for president

Michael Cohen’s testimony about Trump’s shady business practices just got strong corroboration

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