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News Corp. ends suit for $500 million

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WASHINGTON (AFP) — News Corp. said Saturday it had reached a 500-million-dollar settlement over lawsuits filed by Valassis Communications Inc. against a division of Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment and media giant.

“It has become evident to our legal advisors from pre-trial proceedings over the past couple of weeks that significant risks were developing in presenting this case to a jury,” News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey said.

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“That, coupled with concerns over the venue, led us to believe it was in the best interests of the company and its stockholders to agree to a settlement,” Carey said in a statement.

A federal case filed by Valassis, a Michigan-based newspaper coupon and direct mail company, against News Corp.’s News America Marketing unit had been scheduled to open in Michigan on Tuesday.

Two other lawsuits were pending. A 300-million-dollar jury award in July by a Michigan circuit court in a related case was on appeal and another suit was pending in a state court in California.

In legal action begun in 2006, Valassis accused News America Marketing of unfair business practices and seeking to monopolize the market for in-store coupons known as free standing inserts, or FSIs.

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Valassis said that under the terms of the settlement News America Marketing will pay Valassis 500 million dollars, a sum which includes the jury award, and enter into a 10-year shared mail distribution agreement.

“I am pleased that we were able to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and avoid protracted future litigation,” Valassis chairman, president and chief executive Alan Schultz said in a statement.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Republican senator heckled and booed during raucous town hall for blaming mass shootings on mental illness

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Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who is up for reelection in 2020 and is among the Republican senators who is considered vulnerable, discussed the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio during a town hall event in her home state this week —and she was booed and heckled when she echoed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and blamed “mental illness” for the killings.

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Republicans likely to block ‘background checks’ after Trump’s abrupt reversal: report

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After two mass shootings over one weekend, President Donald Trump signaled that he would be open to strengthening background checks.

He promptly dropped his resolve to sign gun regulations one week later when he said that there were already strong background checks on the books.

With the president's apparent reversal, Republicans in Congress also appear to be abandoning legislation, reports Politico.

“I really don’t see the dynamic having really changed there much,” Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson told Politico. “I don’t anticipate we’re going to pass a federal red flag law."

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French model tycoon at heart of Epstein scandal accusations

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A formerly powerful French modeling tycoon has emerged as a key figure in the scandal surrounding US billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in jail while facing charges of sexually trafficking minors.

Jean-Luc Brunel, regarded as a close friend and ally of the disgraced US financier, has been accused in court documents of procuring young girls for Epstein, as well as of rape. He has in the past unequivocally denied the accusations.

The model scout, an influential figure in the industry, has always been a low-profile figure and like some other former Epstein allies vanished after the financier was charged in early July.

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