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Tuesday, Oct 04th

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Judge blocks Indiana's near-total abortion ban

Indiana Judge blocks abortion banA state judge on Thursday blocked an Indiana law banning abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions from being enforced, a week after it went into effect.

The court order allows for abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother's last menstrual period) to resume in Indiana.
Indiana abortion providers and a nonprofit that operates a pregnancy resource center in the state filed their lawsuit last month, seeking to block the law from taking effect.
Indiana abortion providers and a nonprofit that operates a pregnancy resource center in the state filed their lawsuit last month, seeking to block the law from taking effect.

U.S. charges 47 people with ‘brazen’ theft of $250 million from pandemic food program

US charges 47 people with 'brazen' theftFederal authorities charged 47 people in Minnesota with conspiracy and other counts in what they said Tuesday was the largest fraud scheme yet to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by stealing $250 million from a federal program that provides meals to low-income children.

Prosecutors say the defendants created companies that claimed to be offering food to tens of thousands of children across Minnesota, then sought reimbursement for those meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food nutrition programs. Prosecutors say few meals were actually served, and the defendants used the money to buy luxury cars, property and jewelry.

“This $250 million is the floor,” Andy Luger, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, said at a news conference. “Our investigation continues.”

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Trump, family members sued by New York AG Letitia James, accused of massive fraud

NY AG Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday accused former President Donald Trump of massive fraud in a civil lawsuit following a three year inquiry into the finances of the family business.

James said Trump "falsely inflated his wealth by billions of dollars" to enrich himself and his family and the lawsuit seeks to effectively shutter the former president's namesake business, the Trump Organization.

"Mr. Trump thought he could get away with the art of the steal, but today, that conduct ends," James said. "There aren't two sets of laws for people in this nation: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans."

James said she has referred some of the allegations to federal authorities, including the Manhattan U.S Attorney's Office and the IRS for possible criminal investigation.

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Writer E Jean Carroll to file new lawsuit after accusing Trump of rape

E.Jean Carroll

E Jean Carroll, the writer who accused Donald Trump of raping her more than two decades ago, plans to file a new lawsuit against the former US president.

In a letter made public on Tuesday, a lawyer for former Elle magazine columnist said she planned to sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress under New York state’s Adult Survivors Act.

That law, recently signed by the governor, Kathy Hochul, gives adult accusers a one-year window to bring civil claims over alleged sexual misconduct regardless of how long ago it occurred.

Trump has denied raping Carroll and accused her of concocting the rape claim to sell her book.

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West Virginia reaches $147M opioid settlement with CVS, Walmart

W Va settles with CVS over opioids

CVS and Walmart have agreed to pay more than $147 million to settle lawsuits related to their alleged roles in West Virginia’s opioid crisis, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) announced Tuesday.

The state alleged the pharmacies failed to maintain effective controls as a distributor and dispenser against diversion that contributed to oversupply of opioids in the state.

“These settlements won’t bring back the lives lost from the opioid epidemic, but these and other settlements will hopefully provide significant help to those affected the most by this crisis in our state,” Morrisey said in a statement. “This development also avoided a costly and lengthy trial and at the end of the day, West Virginia will have the highest per capita settlement results in the nation fighting for our people.”

Morrisey said Walmart agreed to a settlement of $65,070,000, and CVS agreed to a one of $82.5 million. The two were part of a larger trial involving other pharmacies that have yet to settle.

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New York to install security cameras on every subway car

NYC to install cameras in subway carsThe Metropolitan Transportation Authority is installing security cameras in all of New York City's subway cars, officials announced on Tuesday.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said the cameras would make riders more confident in the safety of the transit system.

The plan is to install two cameras in each of 6,355 subway cars, building on a pilot program that saw cameras installed in 100 cars. The work should be completed by 2025, the MTA said.

The MTA is spending $3.5 million on the installation, and the remaining $2 million needed is through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative.

There are already security cameras in the subway system's more than 470 stations, though they do not always work.

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Utah polygamist sect accused of indoctrination, rape and child marriage

Utah polygamist sect

Ten former members of a Utah-based polygamist sect known as the Kingston Group are pursuing punitive damages against the organization after they say it subjected them to years of unpaid labor, sexual violence and human trafficking.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, the sect’s ex-members allege: “It is largely through … illegal marriage practices that the [Kingston Group] is able to unlawfully make girls and their children religious martyrs and traffic them for sexual and labor purposes.”

The lawsuit contains explicit details of how Kingston Group leaders – who also own and operate several businesses and schools in the suburbs of Utah’s capital, Salt Lake City – allegedly arrange incestuous and sometimes underage marriages between teenage girls and adult men with exalted status to produce hundreds of children.

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