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Pharma company settles SEC foreign bribe case for $519 million

Teva pharmaceuticalsA multinational pharmaceutical company will pay $519 million to settle foreign corruption charges, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Thursday.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited allegedly made $214 million in illicit profits by bribing government officials in Russia, Mexico and Ukraine, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Those bribes gave Teva a greater market share, regulatory and formula approvals, and “favorable drug purchase and prescription decisions,” the SEC said.


John Kasich Quietly Signs Measure Blocking Local Governments From Raising Minimum Wage

KasichOhio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a bill earlier this week blocking local governments from raising the minimum wage above the level set by the state.

Legislators pushed the law through earlier this month, as part of a package of measures introduced at the very end of their session. Rep. Denise Driehaus, the ranking Democrat on the state House Finance Committee, where the language was introduced, was stunned by the move.


Obama dumps registry for some immigrant men, mostly Muslims

Obama dumps registry for male immigrantsThe Obama administration said Thursday it is officially scrapping a post-9/11 requirement for immigrant men from predominantly Muslim countries to register with the federal government. The U.S. hasn't used the program since 2011, but a top immigration adviser to President-elect Donald Trump has spoken of renewing it.

The decision to end the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or NSEERs, comes amid growing international terror fears and Trump's suggestions that he could ban Muslim immigrants from the United States. After a truck attack killed 12 in a Christmas market in Berlin this week, Trump told reporters, "You know my plans."

The program's elimination could make it more complicated for Trump's administration to launch its own registration system for Muslims.


North Carolina: Vote to repeal 'bathroom bill' stalled by constant recesses

NC 'bathroom' lawNorth Carolina lawmakers gathered Wednesday to vote on repealing the state's controversial "bathroom bill."

House Bill 2, signed into law in March, bans people from using public bathrooms that don't correspond to their biological sex as listed on their birth certificates. Backlash against the law caused huge economic losses for the state.

After a series of recesses, legislators discussed a bill that may anger Democrats and leaders in the city of Charlotte, which just repealed an anti-discrimination city ordinance as part of a deal with the legislature.



Death penalty slowly disappearing from the US, end-of-year report suggests

Death penalty, executions disappearing in USJudging by all the indicators, capital punishment in America is gasping for its last breath, according to the end-of-year report from the Death Penalty Information Center, a non-partisan authority on the subject.

This year, 20 prisoners have been judicially killed. That’s down from 28 in 2015, and vastly below the peak of 98 executions in 1999 at the height of the panic over urban crime and the crack epidemic.


‘Scientology’ accuses church leader David Miscavige of physical abuse

Lee ReminiScientology adversaries, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder headed to Seattle, Wash. and Los Angeles, Calif. in Tuesday’s episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which focused on founder L. Ron Hubbard’s successor, David Miscavige.

Former parishioners Remini and Rinder met with ex-Scientologists Jeff Hawkins, Tom DeVocht and Ron Miscavige, father of the current leader, in part four of the A&E docu-series.

Hawkins and DeVocht discussed weighty allegations of physical abuse in Seattle, while Ron described his experiences at the Church’s international headquarters, dubbed “Gold Base” near Hemet, Calif.


Former Flint officials criminally charged in water crisis

Flint officials chargedMichigan prosecutors on Tuesday charged four former government officials with criminal conspiracy to violate safety rules in connection with the Flint water crisis, which exposed residents to dangerous levels of lead, the state's attorney general said.

Former state-appointed emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose and former city employees Howard Croft, a public works superintendent, and Daugherty Johnson, a utilities manager, were the latest to be charged in the case, Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

He told a news conference in Flint that the defendants conspired to operate the city's water treatment plant when it was not safe to do so.


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