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Prosecutors seek at least 15 years prison for ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli

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U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday urged a federal judge to sentence former drug company executive Martin Shkreli to at least 15 years in prison for securities fraud, saying his lack of remorse and respect for the law justified a long time behind bars.

In a filing in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors called Shkreli “a man who stands before this court without any showing of genuine remorse, a man who has consistently chosen to put profit and the cultivation of a public image before all else, and a man who believes the ends always justify the means.”

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Shkreli, 34, is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, after having been found guilty last August of defrauding investors in two hedge funds and conspiring to manipulate the stock of a drug company he founded.

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Shkreli, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shkreli had asked for a 12-to-18-month sentence.

He has been in jail since September, when Matsumoto revoked his bail after he had offered a $5,000 bounty for a strand of former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair in a Facebook post.

Shkreli became notorious as the “Pharma Bro” when he raised the price of anti-parasitic drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent in 2015 while serving as chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, now called Vyera Pharmaceuticals.

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Prosecutors said in Tuesday’s filing that a 15-year prison term was shorter than the minimum 27 years recommended under federal guidelines, which judges need not follow.

But they said a “substantial term of incarceration” was warranted, citing Shkreli’s “demonstrated lack of remorse, lack of acceptance of responsibility, and lack of respect for the law.”

Jurors had found that Shkreli lied to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, and conspired to manipulate the stock price of the drug company Retrophin Inc (RTRX.O).

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On Monday, Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to forfeit $7.36 million, a ruling that could force him to give up assets such as a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album if he cannot come up with the money.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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Nagasaki marks 75 years since atomic bombing

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The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday commemorated the 75th anniversary of its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with its mayor and the head of the United Nations warning against a nuclear arms race.

Nagasaki was flattened in an atomic inferno three days after Hiroshima -- twin nuclear attacks that rang in the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by atomic weapons.

Survivors, their relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended a remembrance ceremony in Nagasaki where they called for world peace.

Participants offered a silent prayer at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the time the second and last nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped over the city.

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Lebanon information minister resigns over Beirut blast

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Lebanon’s information minister Manal Abdel Samad on Sunday quit in the first government resignation since a deadly port blast killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of Beirut.

?After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government,? she said in a statement carried by local media, apologising to the Lebanese public for failing them.

A number of MPs also submitted their resignations a day earlier due to the explosions.

On Saturday afternoon, thousands took to streets in downtown Beirut in anti-government protests that demand the overhaul of the political system, days after massive explosions.

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2020 Election

Trump admitted on live TV he will ‘terminate’ Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November

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President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon openly vowed to permanently "terminate" the funding mechanism for both Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November—an admission that was seized upon by defenders of the popular safety net programs who have been warning for months that the administration's threat to suspend the payroll tax in the name of economic relief during the Covid-19 pandemic was really a backdoor sabotage effort.

Announcing and then signing a series of legally dubious executive orders, including an effort to slash the emergency federal unemployment boost by $200 from the $600 previously implemented by Democrats, Trump touted his order for a payroll tax "holiday"—which experts noted would later have to be paid back—but said if he won in November that such a cut would become permanent.

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