lawsuit

A man walks past the logo of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries at their plant in Jerusalem
A man walks past the logo of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries at their plant in Jerusalem December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

May 26, 2019

(Reuters) – Oklahoma has reached a $85 million settlement agreement with Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd ahead of the start of a trial in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit over the opioid epidemic, the state’s attorney general said on Sunday.

While the terms of the agreement may take up to two weeks to finalize, the money will go to the state and be used to abate the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, Attorney General Mike Hunter said in a statement.

An announcement of the specific terms of the agreement will be made at a later date, Hunter’s statement said.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Attorneys for President Trump have reached an agreement with the House Intelligence & Financial Services Committees to halt the enforcement of subpoenas for Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, according to CNN‘s Cristina Alesci.

In exchange, Trump’s team has agreed to an expedited court schedule in front of a panel of appeals court judges.

On Wednesday, Judge Edgardo Ramos in New York refused to block the subpoenas, giving the Trump team one week to find a way to prevent the financial information from disclosure. The two congressional committees issued subpoenas last month to Deutsche Bank – the president’s primary lender over the last 20 years, and Capital One, where he keeps some of his money.

The subpoenas sought decades of personal and corporate financial records, including any documents related to possible suspicious activities detected in Mr. Trump’s personal and business accounts.

Mr. Trump, his company and his three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka — filed a lawsuit on April 29 to block Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with the subpoenas. –New York Times

On Wednesday, House Intel Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that congressional investigators want to interview a former Deutsche Bank employee, Tammy McFadden, who told the Times that she had witnessed the family of Trump’s son-in-law, the Kushners, transfer money to Russian individuals in the summer of 2016.

Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) issued a subpoena to accounting firm Mazars USA for eight years of Trump’s financial records, which a federal judge upheld on Monday after Trump’s legal team sought to have that stayed as well.

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent the subpoena to Mazars last month as part of the panel‘s investigation into whether Trump committed financial crimes before he became president.

The panel’s focus has been on trying to corroborate claims made by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who earlier this year gave the committee documents purporting to show Trump artificially inflated and deflated the value of his assets for his personal financial benefit. –Politico

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said of the ruling “We will be filing a timely notice of appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

The rulings and the New York legislation are the most serious attempts to date to pierce the veil of Trump’s finances, and increase the odds that Congressional Democrats looking to launch impeachment proceedings would be armed with ample ammunition, according to the Times.

“Very excited,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in response to the Manhattan judge’s ruling. “Two in one week!”

Source: InfoWars

Attorneys for President Trump have reached an agreement with the House Intelligence & Financial Services Committees to halt the enforcement of subpoenas for Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, according to CNN‘s Cristina Alesci.

In exchange, Trump’s team has agreed to an expedited court schedule in front of a panel of appeals court judges.

On Wednesday, Judge Edgardo Ramos in New York refused to block the subpoenas, giving the Trump team one week to find a way to prevent the financial information from disclosure. The two congressional committees issued subpoenas last month to Deutsche Bank – the president’s primary lender over the last 20 years, and Capital One, where he keeps some of his money.

The subpoenas sought decades of personal and corporate financial records, including any documents related to possible suspicious activities detected in Mr. Trump’s personal and business accounts.

Mr. Trump, his company and his three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka — filed a lawsuit on April 29 to block Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with the subpoenas. –New York Times

On Wednesday, House Intel Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that congressional investigators want to interview a former Deutsche Bank employee, Tammy McFadden, who told the Times that she had witnessed the family of Trump’s son-in-law, the Kushners, transfer money to Russian individuals in the summer of 2016.

Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) issued a subpoena to accounting firm Mazars USA for eight years of Trump’s financial records, which a federal judge upheld on Monday after Trump’s legal team sought to have that stayed as well.

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent the subpoena to Mazars last month as part of the panel‘s investigation into whether Trump committed financial crimes before he became president.

The panel’s focus has been on trying to corroborate claims made by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who earlier this year gave the committee documents purporting to show Trump artificially inflated and deflated the value of his assets for his personal financial benefit. –Politico

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said of the ruling “We will be filing a timely notice of appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

The rulings and the New York legislation are the most serious attempts to date to pierce the veil of Trump’s finances, and increase the odds that Congressional Democrats looking to launch impeachment proceedings would be armed with ample ammunition, according to the Times.

“Very excited,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in response to the Manhattan judge’s ruling. “Two in one week!”

Source: InfoWars

President Donald Trump pledged to make an expedited appeal of a ruling by a federal judge in California that blocks him from building sections of his long-sought border wall with money secured under his declaration of a national emergency.

Trump, who is visiting Japan, tweeted Saturday: “Another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us on a section of the Southern Wall that is already under construction. This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking. We are asking for an expedited appeal!”

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. on Friday immediately halted the administration’s efforts to redirect military-designated funds to build sections of wall on the Mexican border. His order applies to two planned projects to add 51 miles of fence in two areas.

Gilliam issued the ruling after hearing arguments last week in two cases. California and 19 other states brought one lawsuit; the Sierra Club and a coalition of communities along the border brought the other.

At stake is billions of dollars that would allow Trump to make progress on a signature campaign promise heading into his campaign for a second term.

Source: NewsMax Politics

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Planned Parenthood Southeast along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of abortion providers challenging Alabama’s law that bans nearly all abortions.

The ban, deemed the most restrictive in the nation, includes pregnancies as a result of rape or incest and punishes doctors who perform abortions with up to 99 years in prison. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law less than 24 hours after the bill passed in the State Senate last week. The law would go into affect in November.

“Alabama’s state motto is audemus jura nostra defendere, which means ‘we dare defend our rights.’ That’s exactly what we’re doing here today,” Staci Fox, President and CEO at Planned Parenthood Southeast, stated in a press release. “Abortion has been safe and legal in this country for more than 45 years and we aim to keep it that way. We are protecting the rights of our patients. We are defending the work of the brave folks who came before us. And we are fighting to take this country forward, not backwards.”

The plaintiffs include Alabama’s three abortion clinics, Alabama Women’s Center, Reproductive Health Services, and the West Alabama Women’s Center.

Read More: https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/aclu-of-alabama-and-planned-parenthood-challenge-abortion-ban-file-lawsuit.html

Image Credit: Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS at an office building in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS at an office building in Zurich July 27, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH (Reuters) – A New York appeals court has dismissed a U.S. whistleblower’s $20 million libel suit against Swiss bank UBS, his former employer, concluding that statements the Zurich-based bank made about him were at least “substantially true”.

Court documents dated May 21 showed that the appeals court upheld an earlier ruling dismissing claims that Bradley Birkenfeld brought against the bank in 2017, in which he accused UBS of acting with malice in making statements about him to the media.

Birkenfeld spent 2-1/2 years in prison for helping a billionaire client evade taxes, but got a $104 million award from U.S. tax authorities for his role as a whistleblower. He had provided tips that led to UBS being fined $780 million in 2010 by U.S. authorities for helping wealthy Americans hide up to $20 billion.

In his libel lawsuit in the New York state court in Manhattan, Birkenfeld contended that UBS sought to block his efforts to expose the bank’s “decades-long wrongdoing” and to undercut credibility and sales of a book he had written.

In statements to U.S. media, UBS had called Birkenfeld’s book an “often unsubstantiated recollection” and said he had been convicted of “having lied to U.S. authorities.”

The appeals panel, in its decision this week, concluded that UBS’s statements were not inaccurate.

Birkenfeld “admitted to illegal conduct, including, inter alia, that he ‘prepared false and misleading IRS Forms’ and assisted ‘wealthy U.S. clients in concealing their ownership of the assets held offshore,’” the judges wrote.

“These admitted facts support the conclusion that (UBS’s) quoted statements… were, at a minimum, substantially true, if not absolutely true.”

A spokeswoman for UBS declined to comment.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by John Miller and Susan Fenton)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS at an office building in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS at an office building in Zurich July 27, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH (Reuters) – A New York appeals court has dismissed a U.S. whistleblower’s $20 million libel suit against Swiss bank UBS, his former employer, concluding that statements the Zurich-based bank made about him were at least “substantially true”.

Court documents dated May 21 showed that the appeals court upheld an earlier ruling dismissing claims that Bradley Birkenfeld brought against the bank in 2017, in which he accused UBS of acting with malice in making statements about him to the media.

Birkenfeld spent 2-1/2 years in prison for helping a billionaire client evade taxes, but got a $104 million award from U.S. tax authorities for his role as a whistleblower. He had provided tips that led to UBS being fined $780 million in 2010 by U.S. authorities for helping wealthy Americans hide up to $20 billion.

In his libel lawsuit in the New York state court in Manhattan, Birkenfeld contended that UBS sought to block his efforts to expose the bank’s “decades-long wrongdoing” and to undercut credibility and sales of a book he had written.

In statements to U.S. media, UBS had called Birkenfeld’s book an “often unsubstantiated recollection” and said he had been convicted of “having lied to U.S. authorities.”

The appeals panel, in its decision this week, concluded that UBS’s statements were not inaccurate.

Birkenfeld “admitted to illegal conduct, including, inter alia, that he ‘prepared false and misleading IRS Forms’ and assisted ‘wealthy U.S. clients in concealing their ownership of the assets held offshore,’” the judges wrote.

“These admitted facts support the conclusion that (UBS’s) quoted statements… were, at a minimum, substantially true, if not absolutely true.”

A spokeswoman for UBS declined to comment.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by John Miller and Susan Fenton)

Source: OANN

The U.S. Flag and Alabama State Flag fly over the Alabama Governor's Mansion as the state Senate votes on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States at the Alabama Legislature in Montgomery
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Flag and Alabama State Flag fly over the Alabama Governor’s Mansion as the state Senate votes on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States at the Alabama Legislature in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

May 24, 2019

By Gabriella Borter

(Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging a law enacted by Alabama last week that bans nearly all abortions and makes performing the procedure a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

The lawsuit is one of several the groups have filed or are preparing to file against states that recently passed strict anti-abortion measures in an effort to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that guarantees a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

“This dangerous, immoral, and unconstitutional ban threatens people’s lives and well-being and we are suing to protect our patients’ rights,” Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.

The ACLU’s Alabama chapter and Planned Parenthood of America filed their complaint in federal court in Alabama on behalf of the Southern state’s three abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood Southeast.

Anti-abortion advocates expected legal challenges to Alabama’s new law, which will be the most restrictive in the nation when it takes effect in November, and say they welcome the chance to have a court test their conviction that a fetus’ right to life is paramount.

Also on Friday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a bill into law that bans abortion beginning in the eighth week of pregnancy.

Earlier this year, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio outlawed abortion after a doctor can detect an embryonic heartbeat, which can occur at six weeks, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

The wave of anti-abortion legislation reflects a boost of confidence among anti-abortion advocates after Republican President Donald Trump nominated two conservative judges, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, to the U.S. Supreme Court, tilting the court’s political balance to the right.

Alabama state Senator Clyde Chambliss, a Republican, supports his state’s new law and said the whole point of the ban was “so that we can go directly to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe versus Wade.”

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood obtained an injunction from a judge in Kentucky in March, blocking that state’s abortion ban. The organizations have filed lawsuits in Ohio and are preparing to do so in Georgia, they said in a statement on Friday.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN

Elections in Indonesia
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto speaks to the media after polls closed in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

May 24, 2019

By Gayatri Suroyo and Jessica Damiana

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Defeated Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is set to lodge a challenge to the result of the April 17 election in the Constitutional Court on Friday after complaining that the vote was rigged.

President Joko Widodo won 55.5% of votes in the poll to lead the world’s third biggest democracy, beating retired general Prabowo, who got 44.5%, the General Election Commission (KPU) said on Tuesday.

After the announcement, Prabowo repeated earlier claims that there had been widespread cheating in favor of the incumbent and thousands of his supporters demonstrated in the capital this week to protest against the result.

Eight people were killed, including three teenagers, while 737 were hurt in two nights of rioting, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said.

The election agency has said there was no evidence of systematic cheating and independent observers have said the poll was free and fair.

“The process of submitting the dispute lawsuit and other legal efforts are steps to ensure that we can carry election results that are free and fair,” Prabowo’s running mate, Sandiaga Uno, told reporters.

The last ranks of protesters dispersed early on Thursday, but opposition supporters are expected to gather again on Friday near the court, which is close to the presidential palace in the heart of the capital.

Police have arrested hundreds of people accused of taking part in the riots or provoking violence, two of whom were members of a militant group that had pledged support for Islamic State, national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said.

Police had also found envelopes containing money, suggesting instigators had paid some of the rioters, Iqbal said, adding that tests showed some of the suspects had taken the stimulant methamphetamine.

The Constitutional Court must make a ruling on the challenge 14 days after it considers the plaintiff has provided sufficient documentation. The Election Commission should resolve the dispute by June 15.

Widodo has warned of tough action against those instigating riots, while Prabowo has called for peaceful protests and restraint.

Prabowo also lost the 2014 presidential election to Widodo by a slimmer margin and had objected to that result, lodging a complaint with the Constitutional Court that was rejected.

The government has deployed 58,000 police and soldiers across Jakarta to maintain security and put temporary blocks on some social media to prevent unrest sparked by fake news.

(Editing by Ed Davies, Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

People walk past buildings under construction at the GIFT City at Gandhinagar
People walk past buildings under construction at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) at Gandhinagar, in the western state of Gujarat, India, March 18, 2019. Picture taken March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave

May 24, 2019

By Abhirup Roy and Rupam Jain

GANDHINAGAR, India (Reuters) – When he was chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat in 2011, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off an ambitious project to develop a financial hub in the style of Singapore or Dubai.

The developers were tasked with transforming an expanse larger than New York’s Central Park into a city with more than 100 skyscrapers supporting more than 1 million jobs – all within a decade.

Nearly eight years later, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, or GIFT City, supports only 9,000 jobs and only about 3 million of its 62 million square feet of planned development have been built, according to documents from the company’s current presentations to investors reviewed by Reuters, and interviews with GIFT officials. Three million square feet are under construction.

Despite efforts by the Modi government over the past five years to offer tax and regulatory concessions, and a big push to get banks and brokerages into GIFT, the project remains far short of expectations. GIFT’s future is uncertain, with its main partner in financial trouble over soured bets in other projects.

The lack of development and job creation at GIFT, critics say, reflects one of Modi’s challenges as a whole as he begins a second term in office.

Critics contend GIFT is a high-profile example of some of Modi’s ill-conceived and over-ambitious initiatives. They note demonetization – Modi’s move in 2016 to ban all high-value currency notes then circulating – is another big example of overstretching, as was his government’s hurried and botched rollout of a nationwide goods and services tax. Those moves stung small businesses and dented India’s economy.

“The real issue is Mr. Modi’s quixotic approach to macro-economic management,” said Sebastian Morris, a senior faculty member of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, one of the country’s top business schools.

He said GIFT was impracticable, ignoring issues such as location and skills availability. Some bankers also complained that the Gujarat state’s decades-long alcohol prohibition policy hasn’t helped either.

Modi’s office and the Gujarat chief minister’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for GIFT said that the project’s timeline had been roiled by subdued demand after the global financial crisis and the lack of a clear regulatory framework until 2014, when Modi took power.

GIFT is now at an “inflection point,” as the Modi government only set up a favorable tax regime in 2016, the spokesman said, adding that dozens of finance and technology firms, including Tata Consultancy Services and Axis Bank, have now set up shop in GIFT.

He said two foreign banks, which he declined to name, are expected to begin operating there.

India’s two top bourses have begun international operations in GIFT and trading volumes have grown, but are still a fraction of that at India’s main exchanges, making firms tentative about trading via GIFT.

“Location has been a huge problem,” said a retired state-government bureaucrat involved in the project for four years, who asked not to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media. “Most companies are willing to pay higher rents and operate out of Mumbai because the talent pool exists.”

IMAGE MAKEOVER

GIFT was conceptualized in 2007, soon after Modi returned from a trip to Singapore. He was eager to be seen as a business-friendly leader and rebrand himself in the wake of the 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat that tainted his image, four people who closely worked with Modi since 2003 told Reuters.

GIFT was set up as a joint venture between the government of Gujarat and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), which provides construction services and financing for infrastructure.

Lease terms required that Gujarat get 50 percent of the profit from the sale of development rights in the first phase, and 80 percent thereafter. Reuters could not determine how much has been spent on development so far.

To add to GIFT’s troubles, IL&FS, which is laden with 910 billion rupees ($12.95 billion) of debt, largely tied to road and other infrastructure projects unrelated to GIFT, defaulted on several debt obligations late in 2018.

One source involved in the project said IL&FS’s woes had little to with GIFT, and he estimates that less than 0.5 percent of IL&FS’s outstanding debt is tied to GIFT projects.

The defaults by IL&FS and its group entities relate to loans and bonds financing other infrastructure projects as well as unsecured lending to non-creditworthy entities, according to an interim report from audit firm Grant Thornton, which IL&FS’s new board hired to dig into the books.

India’s government took over the company in October, in a rare move that it said was needed to protect the country’s financial system and markets from potential collapse.

Law enforcement officials are also investigating IL&FS over potential fraud. Last month, India’s Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) arrested the former chairman of IL&FS and accused him of abusing his powers and granting loans to entities that were not creditworthy.

IL&FS has not publicly responded to the allegations and did not respond to multiple requests from Reuters for comment. The former chairman and his lawyer were also not immediately reachable for comment.

GIFT’s chief executive, Ajay Pandey, quit last month without citing any reasons. He did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment on his departure.

The GIFT spokesman said that Pandey stepped down as part of a larger exodus of top IL&FS officials, and that IL&FS’s troubles would not stall the project.

IL&FS did not respond to multiple requests for comment about its financial health, the ongoing fraud investigation and its current role in the project.

“Mr. Modi sold GIFT as the flagship program of Gujarat 12 years ago,” opposition Congress party spokesman Sam Pitroda told media this month. “Today … no one talks about it. There are failures after failures.”

The GIFT spokesman said that the project was in good financial health and that 11,000 people would be working there in the next year.

WRONG PARTNER

Although there are signs for a hospital, a mall and some residential projects at GIFT, much of the land is vacant. A sprawling clubhouse sits largely deserted and only one shop in the city’s market is open.

The GIFT spokesman said the club has hundreds of members, and the city boasts a cost-effective central cooling system and an underground automated waste disposal system, among other amenities.

Despite that infrastructure, at least one critic is convinced GIFT should have jettisoned IL&FS long ago.

D.C. Anjaria, who brought the idea of GIFT to Modi and was an independent director on the board, has since filed a public-interest lawsuit against GIFT, its board and IL&FS alleging lack of corporate governance and other misdeeds.

His lawsuit alleges that IL&FS was made a partner in GIFT without a fair tendering process and that IL&FS gave contracts to entities despite conflicts of interest.

Reuters was unable to verify these allegations or ascertain whether they had any effect on the project’s development. The case is being heard in the Gujarat High Court and it next comes up for hearing in June.

IL&FS did not respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit and the GIFT spokesman declined to comment. IL&FS has not publicly commented on the suit, and Reuters was unable to view court filings on the matter.

“It was a wrong partner,” said Anjaria, who no longer has any ties to GIFT. “They should have gotten rid of IL&FS long ago.”

Since his concept was pitched 12 years ago, Anjaria said, the world has changed significantly.

“Today you are at a time when London, the biggest financial center, is struggling to keep its status. So where is this poor GIFT going to be?” he said. “It’s only surviving because of the political support of Modi.”

Despite the delays and difficulties, some still hope GIFT will one day flourish, especially with Modi’s return to power.

Although he today often waits 40 minutes for a taxi, Dinesh Joshi, a 28-year-old restaurant manager in GIFT, hopes to buy an apartment there, certain the development will grow.

“We keep busy with video games,” said Joshi. “Thankfully we have streetlights. So we play cricket on the road at night after work. That is our mode of entertainment – and we have Netflix.”

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy; Editing by Martin Howell and Gerry Doyle)

Source: OANN


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