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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.

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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.

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

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


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WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview

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A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.

But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.

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US farmers are starting to worry as crop prices dip during COVID-19 crisis: ‘It’s kind of glum’

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Dave Burrier steered his tractor through a field, following a GPS map as he tried to plant as much corn as possible amid the yellow and green rye covering the ground.

Striving to get a massive yield out of his crops in rural Maryland is how Burrier hopes to make it through yet another uncertain year, beset by market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.

"We've had so much price erosion that we're basically at below the cost of production. We've got to figure out how to manage and turn a profit," Burrier told AFP.

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‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic

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President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."

Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.

"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.

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