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Oklahoma scores $85 million in opioid settlement from Israeli drugmaker Teva

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Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva agreed on Sunday to pay the US state of Oklahoma $85 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of fueling the state’s opioid epidemic, Oklahoma’s attorney general said.

The announcement comes after Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin — a key driver of the crisis responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States — reached a $270 million settlement with the state in March.

Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement the Teva settlement shows Oklahoma’s “resolve to hold the defendants in this case accountable for the ongoing opioid overdose and addiction epidemic that continues to claim thousands of lives each year.”

The money will be used by the midwestern state to fight the opioid crisis, Hunter said, with an announcement of how exactly it will be spent made in the future.

Meanwhile, another pharmaceutical titan, Johnson & Johnson, is set to go on trial in Oklahoma on Tuesday, with the company facing similar accusations that it aggressively promoted opioid painkillers despite knowing the risks of addiction.

Overdoses from prescription painkillers and heroin — a last-resort illicit drug for opioid addicts — exploded over the last 20 years, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Almost 400,000 people have died from an overdose involving prescription or illicit opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pop icon Prince and rocker Tom Petty were among the high-profile victims of the epidemic.

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Trump goes on ‘TOTALLY LOSERS’ tirade with manic tweet attacking ‘out of control’ media

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Trump’s hamfisted attempt to wag the dog with Iran unraveled fast

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

We can’t say with any certainty that Iran wasn’t behind the attacks on two ships in the Gulf of Oman this week, but it is clear that the Trump regime’s account of what happened unraveled very quickly. Shortly after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a video of a small vessel removing something Pompeo said was a mine from the damaged port side of one of the ships, the vessel's owner said that it had actually been struck on its starboard side, above the waterline, by a flying object. If this were in fact an effort to pull a Gulf of Tonkin, then the fact that this was the best dog-wagging they could conjure up would be downright pathetic.    

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Dem lawmaker serves notice to Hope Hicks that Trump won’t be able to save her when he grills her during Wednesday’s hearing

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On Saturday, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) gave MSNBC's Alex Witt a brief rundown of what he wants to learn from former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks at her closed-door testimony next week — and warned that if Hicks tries to use executive privilege as a shield, Democrats will not stand for it.

"Let's talk about Hope Hicks," said Witt. "What do you expect to hear from her that she has not already offered in testimony?"

"Here's what's important about Hope Hicks," said Deutch. "She was a key part of the Trump campaign, which is a large part of the report is focused on. She was a key part of the Trump Administration in the early days, and that's the reason that she's a prominent figure in the Mueller report."

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