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Drug Companies Reach $215 Million Settlement in US Opioid Case

By VOA News A major pharmaceutical company and three of the biggest drug distributors in the have reached a $260 million settlement with two counties in Ohio to avoid a trial over their role in the deadly opioid addiction crisis gripping America. The deal, struck Monday, came just hours before the opening arguments in a court in Cleveland, Ohio. The case has been viewed as a harbinger for similar lawsuits filed by more than  2,700 local and state governments across the country in hopes of recouping damages from the crisis. Drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen will pay $215…
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Trump Defends Now-Abandoned Decision to Hold G-7 at His Resort

VOA News By Steve Herman WHITE HOUSE - President Donald Trump is lashing out at Democrats and the media after criticism prompted him to cancel his plan to hold a meeting for leaders of major industrialized countries at one of his properties in Florida. "You people with this phony emoluments clause," Trump said to reporters during a Cabinet meeting ;  The Nobility Clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 9) is intended to prevent federal officeholders from receiving any type of compensation from foreign governments to avoid a corrupting influence. "It doesn't matter if you're rich," said Trump, brushing aside such constitutional concerns.…
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Censure: When Congress Punishes One of Its Own

VOA News By Katherine Gypson CAPITOL HILL - When the Congress seeks to condemn the actions of a president, a cabinet member, a lawmaker or a judge, lawmakers can vote on a motion to "censure" the individual. Censure is a formal reprimand less severe than removing an official from their job. It requires a simple majority vote in either chamber of Congress, instead of the two-thirds majority required to remove a lawmaker from office. What is the censure process? The Constitution gives each house of Congress the ability to punish its members for disorderly behavior or criminal misconduct through a reprimand,…
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Tensions Running High in Washington Over Impeachment, Syria

VOA News By Jim Malone WASHINGTON - After a thousand days of President Donald Trump in the White House, official Washington found itself consumed by the twin crises of impeachment and Syria this week. Even as the president is trying to fend off congressional Democrats moving toward impeachment, he also faces a fierce backlash from Democrats and many Republicans over his decision to pull forces out of Syria. Trump is used to weathering political storms, but this one is particularly intense and comes at a time when he is looking ahead to a re-election campaign next year. Syria flap   From the…
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White House Admits Quid Pro Quo Between Trump and Ukraine

VOA NEWS By Ken Bredemeier WASHINGTON - The White House admitted Thursday that President Donald Trump froze $400 million in badly needed military aid to Ukraine to pressure it into investigating Democrats and the 2016 presidential election. The stunning revelation by acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney came after Trump spent weeks denying there was any quid pro quo with Ukraine. Mulvaney told reporters at the White House the money for Ukraine was being held up because of Trump’s concerns over corruption in Ukraine and suspicions it was involved in the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee e-mails in 2016.…
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Trump Rallies Supporters in Texas

VOA News By Patsy Widakuswara DALLAS, TEXAS - President Donald Trump was in Texas Thursday, where he held a campaign rally in the city of Dallas to drum up support in a state that until recently could be counted on to vote Republican. In front of an enthusiastic crowd, Trump boasted about the brokered cease-fire deal reached with Turkey, whereby Ankara agreed to temporarily suspend its military operation in Syria to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from a designated safe zone. “Turkey is going to be happy, the Kurds are going to be happy, ISIS is going to be unhappy,” Trump said,…
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Zuckerberg Defends Facebook’s Approach to Free Speech, Draws Line on China

VOA News By Reuters WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday defended the social media company's light regulation of speech and lack of fact checking on political advertising, while citing China's censorship as a roadblock to operating in the country. Facebook has been under fire in recent years for its lax approach to fake news reports, state-backed disinformation campaigns and violent content spread on its services, prompting calls for new regulations around the world. In a speech at Georgetown University filled with references to the First Amendment and the fight for democracy, Zuckerberg stood his ground, saying…
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US Farmers Harvest Amid Trade, Impeachment Uncertainty

VOA News By Kane Farabaugh CAMERON, ILL. - A sunny and warm October day outside Coleman, Illinois, is a welcome sight for farmer Jared Kunkle, who is eager to begin harvesting corn and soybean crops. Inclement weather has been a problem this growing season, as he explained to a group of farmers from Brazil who recently visited the area. “When I tell them we’ve had a half a day to work in May, they are just blown away,” Kunkle said. “We had a half of day ... in the entire month of May to plant.” That’s because many parts of the…
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Unrelated Quakes Rattle California

By VOA News Two unrelated earthquakes have rattled California in a little more than a 12-hour period. A   earthquake hit a remote mountainous region in central California, 25 kilometers southeast of Hollister, just after noon on Tuesday. It followed a magnitude temblor near Pleasant Hill, northeast of San Francisco, late Monday. Despite having occurred within a short time of each other, the quakes were centered too far apart to have been related, seismologist Lucy Jones said on Twitter.  The quakes come just three days before the 30th anniversary of one of the deadliest in San Francisco Bay Area history.  In…
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Entertainment

Actor Huffman Starts Serving Prison Time in College Scam

VOA News By AP SAN FRANCISCO - “Desperate Housewives'' star Felicity Huffman — aka prisoner No. 77806-112 — reported Tuesday to a federal prison in California to serve a two-week sentence in a college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy mothers and fathers trying to get their children into elite schools. Huffman's husband, actor William H. Macy, dropped her off at the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin, a low-security prison for women in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to TASC Group, which represents Huffman. The prison has been described by media as “Club Fed,'' making its way onto a Forbes list…
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