The pharmaceutical company will pay $1.5 billion for marketing the drug for non-approved uses.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Federal Court In Va. Approved $1.5B Abbott Laboratories Settlement Over DepakoteA federal court in Virginia on Tuesday approved a settlement in which Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay $1.5 billion over allegations that it promoted the anti-seizure drug Depakote for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration … Depakote is an anti-seizure and mood-stabilizing drug prescribed for bipolar disorder (10/2). The Wall Street Journal: Court Sentences Abbott For Off-Label Promotion Of Antiseizure DrugAbbott was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $500 million, forfeit another $198.5 million, and pay $1.5 million to the Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for marketing the drug for patients with dementia and schizophrenia. The drug manufacturer will also be subject to a five-year term of probation (Jones, 10/2). Court Approves Abbott Settlement For Wrongly Marketing Depakote This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
California enrollees said they had trouble getting through to call centers, calculating their income and gathering the required documentation, among other difficulties, according to a survey by the California HealthCare Foundation. Meanwhile, media outlets note that Tuesday is the last chance to sign up in California, while April 22 is the deadline in Minnesota.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Survey: Health Insurance Enrollment In California More Complex Than AnticipatedNewly insured Californians felt relieved after signing up for health coverage but encountered numerous obstacles with technology and communication during the enrollment process, according to a report released Monday by the California HealthCare Foundation. Surveyed in interviews and focus groups, consumers said they had trouble getting through to the call center, choosing a health plan and calculating their income. They also had problems with the online chat program, and many were surprised by the amount of documentation required to enroll, according to the report (Gorman, 4/15).Los Angeles Times: Last Chance For Obamacare Ends Tuesday For Most CaliforniansAfter many deadline extensions and grace periods, Tuesday will mark the end of the first open enrollment for Obamacare in California. California’s health insurance exchange is encouraging thousands of people who have started an application to finish before midnight Tuesday (Terhune, 4/14).The San Jose Mercury News: Obamacare: Tuesday Midnight Deadline Looms For Last-Minute Health Care ApplicantsThat ticking sound you’re hearing isn’t just the clock counting down to Tuesday’s deadline to file your taxes. Californians who started but were unable to finish their applications for a health care plan by the original March 31 open enrollment deadline have until midnight Tuesday to complete the process. “People have had since October to enroll. These are the final hours,” said Larry Hicks, a spokesman for Covered California, the state’s health care exchange (Seipel, 4/14). The Star Tribune: MNsure Sets April 22 Deadline To Complete EnrollmentMNsure officials have set an April 22 deadline for Minnesotans who indicated that technical problems prevented them from buying health insurance by the end of March. The deadline applies only to those who filled out an online form alerting MNsure of their troubles, but hadn’t previously created an account on the new online health insurance exchange. At least 8,200 people are known to be affected by the decision, according to a MNsure spokeswoman, but the number is expected to grow (Crosby, 4/15). Pioneer Press: MNsure Extension Deadline For Private Insurance Buyers April 22MNsure has told about 8,200 people who couldn’t get health insurance by the end of last month that some of them might now face a sign-up deadline of April 22. In late March, the state’s health insurance exchange created an online form for people to signify that they were trying to obtain coverage before the federal health law’s March 31 deadline, but couldn’t do so for technical reasons (Snowbeck, 4/14).The Denver Post: Colorado’s Private Health Insurance Enrollment Stands At 124,000Final figures for Colorado’s open-enrollment in private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act stand at about 124,000, according to state officials.That number kept climbing after the March 31 deadline, when it topped 118,000, as those who started enrollment but were unable to complete it by month’s end were allowed to finish (Draper, 4/14). Kaiser Health News: Focus On Marketplace Enrollment Overlooks Millions Who Bought Private InsuranceWant to know how many people have signed up for private insurance under Obamacare? Like the health care law itself, the answer is complicated. … Often overlooked is that enrollment in private health plans outside the marketplaces is also booming. The federal government hasn’t been counting the number of people who buy new plans directly from insurance carriers — and that number could be substantial (Feidt, 4/15).And on the Medicaid expansion front – The Associated Press: Anti-Tax Group Praises Va. House SpeakerAn anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform is applauding House Speaker William J. Howell for his opposition to Medicaid expansion, praise that comes a year after the group advocated for new leadership in the House of Delegates (4/14). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Survey: Signing Up For Obamacare No Walk In The Park
China says it will ‘never surrender’ as trade row with America heats up ‘Wait and see,’ says Beijing in vow to respond to the latest U.S. tariffs More Sponsored By: How Vancouver became the world’s ‘laundromat for foreign organized crime’ Shipping containers sit at the Yangshan Deepwater Port, operated by Shanghai International Port Group Co. (SIPG), in Shanghai, China. The U.S. hiked tariffs on more than $200 billion in goods from China on Friday in the most dramatic step yet of President Donald Trump’s push to extract trade concessions, deepening a conflict that has roiled financial markets and cast a shadow over the global economy.Qilai Shen/Bloomberg Comment What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Terence Corcoran: Trump’s team is helping China undermine the free-trade international order Facebook Email Reuters May 13, 20197:12 AM EDT Filed under News Economy BEIJING — China will never surrender to external pressure, the government said on Monday, though stopped short of announcing how Beijing will hit back after Washington renewed its threat to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports in an escalating trade dispute.The trade war between the world’s top two economies jumped up a gear on Friday, with the United States hiking tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods after President Donald Trump said Beijing “broke the deal” by reneging on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations.Trump also ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China, a move that would affect about an additional US$300 billion worth of goods.I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019Beijing has vowed to respond to the latest U.S. tariffs, but has announced no details yet.“As for the details, please continue to pay attention. Copying a U.S. expression – wait and see,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing.“We have said many times that adding tariffs won’t resolve any problem. China will never surrender to external pressure. We have the confidence and the ability to protect our lawful and legitimate rights,” Geng added, responding to a question on Trump’s threat of putting duties on all Chinese imports.https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1127886309316599808State media also kept up a steady drum beat of strongly-worded commentary on Monday, reiterating that China’s door to talks was always open, but vowing to defend the country’s interests and dignity.“At no time will China forfeit the country’s respect, and no one should expect China to swallow bitter fruit that harms its core interests,” China’s top newspaper, the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said in a commentary. Escalating U.S.-China trade spat to hit Canadian business confidence, wallop global economy The agriculture sector will survive this trade war, but it won’t be without casualties Trump shatters trade truce in big gamble for the global economy State television said in a separate commentary that the effect on the Chinese economy from the U.S. tariffs was “totally controllable.”“It’s no big deal. China is bound to turn crisis to opportunity and use this to test its abilities, to make the country even stronger.”Ahead of talks last week, China wanted to delete commitments from a draft agreement that Chinese laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers. That move dealt negotiations to resolve the trade dispute a major setback.Trump has since defended the tariff hike and said he was in “absolutely no rush” to finalize a deal.White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Sunday that there was a “strong possibility” Trump will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in Japan in late June. © Thomson Reuters 2019 Related Stories ← Previous Next → Reddit Ben Blanchard 72 Comments The 102 words that erased about $1.36 trillion from global stocks this week Join the conversation → Share this storyChina says it will ‘never surrender’ as trade row with America heats up Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Featured Stories Twitter advertisement
Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 22, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Audi Says No To Stocking e-tron At Dealerships: Special Order Only Source: Electric Vehicle News Boulder Nissan, located in Boulder, Colorado is demonstrating that when you take the right approach, a traditional dealer can actually have a lot of success sending customers home in a sweet battery-powered ride. Almost half of its total 837 new-vehicle sales in 2017 were of the Nissan LEAF. This year could bring a similar result with 224 electric examples moved so far.This success did not come overnight. The store began preparing for this future back in 2011, before the LEAF was even available in The Centennial State. According to Automotive News, the store has taken an “EV-centric” approach and includes a number of measures.First off, while many dealers have an “EV expert” to handle plug-in sales, all salespeople at Boulder Nissan are LEAF specialists and can tell you about the features of the car, what incentives are available to buyers, and whether or not it will be a good match for a customer.The store itself is EV-friendly. It boasts five charging stations and derives at least some of the energy for the store from a solar array on its roof, along with other environmentally-friendly touches. The dealership has also partnered with local agencies, such as Boulder County’s sustainability office. In that case, they got extra advertising from the office and, offering extra incentives for county employees, had to bring in extra vehicles from outside the state to meet the increased demand. Win win!These are all relatively easy things any dealership could do. All it takes is for management to realize the future is electric and start properly preparing for that eventuality. The effort at Boulder Nissan is creating happy customers who are now returning to the store to buy their next LEAF.Source: Automotive News Study Says Traditional Dealerships Not Prepared For Onslaught Of EVs It involves a bit of preperationTraditional car dealerships appear to have some shortcomings when it comes to selling electric vehicles. It’s almost like they are trying to kill electric cars. Bring up the topic on an EV Forum and you’re likely to be deluged in bad-experience anecdotes: the dealer didn’t have any EVs in stock; the battery was too low to take for a test drive; the salesperson wouldn’t stop pushing the customer towards a gas-powered car. The list of sins is endless. But, as one particular dealership demonstrates, it doesn’t have to be that way.More about dealerships and their EV efforts Are Dealerships Killing Electric Cars?
After almost a decade of operating in a certain level of stealth, Rivian Automotive is coming out in a big way today by unveiling its all-electric pickup truck: the Rivian R1T.They are promising some unbelievable specs that would compete with any gas-powered pickup truck on the market. more…The post Rivian unveils all-electric pickup truck with unbelievable specs appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Today is my anniversary. No, not my marriage anniversary, but my 7 year EV anniversary. I was going to post a picture of our marriage certificate (purchase contract), but since I’ve traded in my Starter EV for a Trophy EV (same wife, different EV), the new car insisted we get rid of the reminders of the first relationship and I don’t have that. In honor of that 7 year journey, though, this article is a summary of EV life back then, EV life today, and a few competitive EVsSource: CleanTechnica Car Reviews RSS Feed
See Overhead View Of New Electric Polestar 2 Polestar 2 Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Polestar 2 Electric Car: First Image / Specs Released Polestar 2 – if you want to buy one, they will honor/take cash salesThe first all-electric Polestar – the Polestar 2 – is soon to be unveiled. The world online premiere is scheduled for Wednesday 27 February. One week later, it will be presented live at the Geneva Motor Show.The latest teaser (above) presents the back of the four-door “fastback” body type. It could be an interesting long-range EV for customers looking for premium and performance brands.According to Polestar, the Polestar 2 will be sold in the Tesla Model 3 price range:“Available on subscription, which will be a slightly more premium version of our sister brand’s Care by Volvo package, although we will honor/take cash sales”This seems to apply that no financing will be offered, right? And as for that Model 3 price range, we’d guess Polestar is targeting the more top end versions of the Model 3.Polestar 2 news Volvo’s Polestar Divulges New Details On Its “Disruptive” Electric Cars Polestar 2 specs:~300 miles (483 km) of range (all final specs to be announced shortly)~400 HP (all final specs to be announced shortly)
We guess that Tesla intends to simplify production and focus on Long Range battery versions for the U.S., Europe and China, as well as the long-awaited Standard battery versions for North America. The lack of the Mid Range version also differentiates the two remaining types.If the Standard battery versions are profitable and attract more consumers to EVs, then there be no regrets for the Mid Range, especially since it could come back later (you know that change is the only constant thing with Tesla).Tesla Model 3 offer in U.S.* Prices after savings anticipated by Tesla New Tesla Electric Pickup Render Is Bold, Reminds Us Of Ram Truck Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 18, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Mid Range version is out, but it’s not necessarily bad newsTesla recently once again adjusted its Model 3 offer to a new setup and discontinued the Mid Range battery option, introduced about five months ago in October 2018.The change follows the introduction of the $35,000 Model 3 Standard battery option and Standard Plus version. On the higher part of the spectrum are three Long Range versions (Long Range RWD, Long Range AWD and Performance).Tesla News Musk Says Right-Hand-Drive Tesla Model 3 Could Arrive In UK By June Tesla Fart Mode Thwarts Off Would-Be Supercharger Blocker: Video Source: Electric Vehicle News
The Green New Deal is expected to come to a vote on the Senate floor this week, but the GOP is working on its own “legislative response” to addressing climate change, according to a new report. more…The post GOP working on ‘market-based’ response to climate change, report says appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Porsche Taycan Is Completing Its Final Test Drives: Videos We all know that Tesla tried a 2-speed in the early Roadsters, but had problems with making it last and abandoned it in favor of a single gear. The transmission Tesla used in these early Roadsters was subcontracted to Borg Warner.But, just because Tesla and Borg Warner could not do it doesn’t mean Porsche can’t. If Porsche can make it happen, then super. Let it be.In order to quantify the benefits of the 2-speed, we ran our Taycan performance model with a single gear set up and also a 2-speed in order to compare results. The 2-speed gives you the best of both worlds. More low-end torque and a higher vehicle speed at the motor redline.In fact, our study shows that using a 2-speed results in higher torque at the rear axle across the board, both low vehicle speeds and high vehicle speeds. You can see that in the figure below where we overplot the 2-speed torque speed curve on top of the single speed. As you can see, better torque across the entire vehicle speed range.Porsche Taycan 2-speed transmission improves torque across the whole vehicle speed range.That’s nice, but how many seconds in acceleration times is the 2-speed worth?Notice that 0-60 times are improved by around 0.3 seconds. Passing times from 45 to 80 MPH improved by 0.5 seconds. The biggest improvement is between 100 and 150 MPH, where we picked up 1.4 seconds.How much range do we pick up? That’s hard for us to estimate since we don’t have Tesla’s whole motor map with efficiency islands. It all depends on where the peak efficiency island (sweet spot) is on the map compared to the operating point you are comparing. Here’s an example of a motor map with the sweet spot right where you want it at part load, and probably close to where the operating point would be at highway cruise speed. The map shown is the big motor in the Gen 2 Chevy Volt.Example of a motor with the sweet spot at a good location for highway cruise.So, If Taycan’s rear motor is like the one shown in the figure, we would expect a fairly negligible benefit to range at highway cruise speeds.What do you think?Is the added complexity and cost of the 2 speed worth it?Let us know in the comment section.*This article was a co-production of Keith Ritter and George Bower. Porsche Taycan EV Enters Final Testing Before Big Reveal More Details On Porsche Taycan Spill After Initial Media Test Rides We quantify the performance benefits of Porsche Taycan 2-speed transaxlePorsche just reaffirmed that the Taycan will have a 2-speed rear transaxle when it comes to final production. What improvement in acceleration times and range should we expect with this more complex and expensive addition?The benefits of a 2-speed to both acceleration and top speed are intuitively obvious. With the 2-speed, you can get to a higher speed in second gear before you hit the motor redline and you have more torque at the rear wheels in first gear, which gives you better acceleration.More Porsche Taycan Content: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News
Mitch Evans passed polesitter Andre Lotterer to win the Rome E-Prix and score Jaguar Racing’s first ABB FIA Formula E victory. Mercedes Formula E Race Car Makes Its Track Debut Nissan: Don’t Count Out Buemi Due To Formula E Drought The race was red-flagged due to an early crash that blocked the track, as Jose Maria Lopez slid into the wall at the Turn 17/18 chicane – causing Gary Paffett and Jean-Eric Vergne to pile up behind him and several other drivers to become stuck.Lotterer had held the lead from pole ahead of Evans and a fast-starting Stoffel Vandoorne, and when racing finally resumed after a 45-minute delay, the DS Techeetah driver held the lead.More Formula E News Evans shadowed Lotterer closely until muscling his way into the lead the Turn 11/12 chicane by with the help of attack mode with 16 minutes left on the clock. Evans was given a warning by the race director for his robust move, but no penalty was issued.The Kiwi driver almost undid his hard work by failing to activate attack mode for the second time, allowing Lotterer to close back in, using both of his uses of the power boost. But Evans was just able to keep ahead when he went wide for his second attack mode use.Lotterer remained close in the final minutes, but was unable to find a way back ahead – with Evans crossing the line with just 0.979 in hand for his and Jaguar’s first FE win. The British marque becomes the seventh different team to win a race this season.Vandoorne completed the podium for HWA, while Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) passed Nissan e.dams driver Sebastien Buemi for fourth late in the race.Oliver Rowland made it two Nissans in the top six, while Jean-Eric Vergne came seventh on the road but was demoted out of the points after picking up a penalty for overtaking under Full Course Yellow.Mahindra’s Jerome d’Ambrosio, who finished ninth after Vergne’s penalty, has taken a one-point lead in the championship ahead of pre-race points leader Antonio Felix da Costa, who was eighth.Sam Bird (Virgin) narrowly missed out on a point in 11th, recovering from being forced into the wall by Jose Maria Lopez on the very opening lap of the race – with the red flag giving his team the chance to repair his car. Why Demolition Derbies Threaten Formula E Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 13, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News
Mercedes-Benz says that it started production of the EQC, an all-electric SUV and the automaker’s first all-electric vehicle built to be electric from the ground up, and it also started taking orders for the vehicle. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09bIEmS_KdYThe post Mercedes-Benz starts production of EQC electric SUV appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Learn More Pardon me for being that guy, but in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space someone needs to put on the stripes every now and then and blow the whistle on certain commentary.Another statement (see here for a similar prior post) from Michael Volkov’s Corruption, Crime & Compliance has left me scratching my head and thinking to myself “you gotta be kidding me.” In the post, Volkov writes: “If you follow my blog, you know that I have often predicted that DOJ will eventually prosecute criminally an individual for circumventing internal controls. The implications of such a prosecution will be significant.”Newsflash.As highlighted in this post, the DOJ has already criminally prosecuted several individuals for circumventing internal controls.Individuals Associated With SiemensAs highlighted in this previous post, in 2011 the DOJ criminally charged 8 former employees or agents of Siemens with FCPA (and other) offenses. The first words of the DOJ’s indictment states in bold language as follows.COUNT ONE (Conspiracy to Commit Bribery, Falsify Corporate Books and Records, Circumvent Internal Controls, and Commit Fraud) In summary fashion, the indictment alleges:“It further was a part and an obj ect of the conspiracy that Uriel Sharef, Herbert Steffen, Andres Truppel, Ulrich Bock, Berhard Reichert, Stephan Singer, Carlos Sergi, Miguel Czysch, the defendants, and co-conspirators known and unknown, would and did knowingly and willfully circumvent a system of internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that transactions were recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and any other criteria applicable to such statements, and to maintain accountability for assets at Siemens AG, an issuer of securities registered pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, in violation of Title 15, United States Code, Sections 78m(b) (2) (B), 78m(b) (5) and 78ff (a).”Garth PetersonAs highlighted in this previous post, in 2012 the DOJ criminally charged Garth Peterson, a former managing director for Morgan Stanley’s real estate business in China, with “conspiring to evade internal accounting controls that Morgan Stanley was required to maintain under the FCPA.”The DOJ’s information contains the heading “Peterson’s Efforts to Evade Morgan Stanley’s Internal Controls,” and states in big bold letters:CONSPIRACY TO CIRCUMVENT INTERNAL CONTROLS(18 U.S.C. 371)In summary fashion, the information alleges:“In or about and between October 2004 and December 2007, within the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, the defendant Garth Peterson, together with others, did knowingly and willfully conspire to circumvent the system of internal accounting controls of Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley Real Estate, contrary to Title 15, United States Code, Sections 78m (b) (5) and 78ff (a).”The headline of the DOJ’s press release stated in bold letters: “Former Morgan Stanley Director Pleads Guilty for Role in Evading Internal Controls Required by FCPA” and the first sentence states: “a former managing director for Morgan Stanley’s real estate business in China pleaded guilty today for his role in a conspiracy to evade the company’s internal accounting controls.”In the DOJ’s release, then Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer stated:“Mr. Peterson admitted today that he actively sought to evade Morgan Stanley’s internal controls in an effort to enrich himself and a Chinese government official. As a managing director for Morgan Stanley, he had an obligation to adhere to the company’s internal controls; instead, he lied and cheated his way to personal profit. Because of his corrupt conduct, he now faces the prospect of prison time.”Then U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch stated:“This defendant used a web of deceit to thwart Morgan Stanley’s efforts to maintain adequate controls designed to prevent corruption. Despite years of training, he circumvented those controls for personal enrichment. We take seriously our role in detecting and prosecuting efforts to evade those controls.”Alan RiedoAs highlighted in this previous post, the DOJ criminally charged Alain Riedo (a Swiss citizen who was a Vice President and General Manager of Maxwell Technologies S.A. and a Senior Vice President and officer of Maxwell Technologies) with conspiracy and substantive violations of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions, books and records and internal controls provisions.Count 9 of the DOJ’s indictment is titled “Circumvention of Required Internal Accounting Controls” and alleges in pertinent part:“… Alain Reido, being an officer, employee, stockholder, and agent of Maxwell, which was an issuer organized under the laws of the U.S., knowingly and willfully, directly and indirectly, circumvented and caused to be circumvented a system of internal accounting controls …”In short, the FCPA space does not need predictions about whether “the DOJ will eventually prosecute criminally an individual for circumventing internal controls.”As summarized in this post and previously highlighted in prior FCPA Professor posts, the DOJ has already criminally prosecuted several individuals for circumventing internal controls.And the “implications” of such prosecutions really weren’t that “significant.”When writing a post about internal controls, you would hope that the least an FCPA commentator could do is have some internal controls (perhaps some basic research) before hitting the publish button. FCPAnalytics Is Data Driven As stated by the DOJ’s compliance counsel: “strong compliance must be data driven.” FCPAnalytics strives to do just by assisting professionals in making efficient and informed decisions guided by data driven statistics.
From Rudy Kos Comes A Call: “Let’s Talk After All”© 2017 The Texas Lawbook.By Bruce Tomaso(July 20) – When the phone rang, the caller was just about the last person Brooks Egerton expected.“Let’s talk after all,” said Rudy Kos.It was late on a Friday in May of 1997. Egerton, a reporter for The Dallas Morning News, had just returned from San Diego, where he’d spent several fruitless days trying to track Kos down.A civil lawsuit against Kos and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas had just gone to trial, but without its title character. Kos, a suspended priest and suspected child molester, never responded to the suit, never showed up at the Dallas County courthouse. As a result, Judge Anne Ashby had entered a default judgment against Kos, holding him liable for the repeated sexual abuse of the plaintiffs, most of them former altar boys.Brooks EgertonEgerton, aware of Kos’s no-show, had persuaded Walt Stallings, then the metro editor of The News, to send him to California in hopes of landing an exclusive interview with the fallen cleric.The bishop of Dallas had stripped Kos of all priestly duties in the fall of 1992. A lifetime of deviant behavior with boys, many of them teenagers, but some as young as 9 or 10, had, at last, caught up with him. He chose San Diego as the place where he’d build a new life — or maybe just hide from his old one.When the civil trial began back in Dallas, Kos was 52, living with a man 14 years his junior in a small one-bedroom apartment near San Diego’s downtown. His tiny circle of California friends knew him as “Rudy Edward,” the alias he’d adopted. He worked as a freelance paralegal, but there were gaps between jobs. Unable to afford a car, he mostly got around on foot. He moved from one rental property to the next, hoping to throw off the private detectives who occasionally arrived from Dallas.For days, he managed to avoid Egerton. The reporter located Kos’s apartment and knocked on lots of doors, but never caught up with his subject. Egerton left his business card at several stops, not expecting that it would do any good.On Friday, he flew back to Dallas empty-handed.By that afternoon, Egerton was at his desk at The News, trying to piece together some sort of Kos story from the bits he’d collected in San Diego. He wanted to wrap it up quickly. His vacation, a backpacking trip to New Mexico, was starting the next day.His phone rang.• • •“Kos wanted me to get on a plane and go back out there,” Egerton recalled in an interview last month.“I said I didn’t think my bosses would go for that. I’d just wasted three or four days in San Diego. Besides, I told him, I’m going on vacation in a few hours. So if you want to talk, do it now.”And talk Kos did — for the next two hours.“It was one of the strangest things ever,” said Egerton. “And one of the strangest interviews I’d ever done.”To this day, Egerton doesn’t know what led Kos to dial his number. Or why the priest, facing a certain civil judgment and, in all likelihood, criminal prosecution, would open up to a reporter. (Within a year, Kos would be convicted of aggravated sexual assault and imprisoned for life. He is serving that sentence in the Estelle Unit, a state penitentiary in Huntsville.)Throughout the interview, Kos alternated — careened, really — between professing his innocence and admitting his guilt, between expressing remorse to his victims and painting himself as the victim.Much of what he said was contradicted by the evidence. Sometimes, he contradicted himself.• He denied that he was “a fixated pedophile” or “a hardened criminal.” But he refused to discuss “which ones I had sex with.”• He said he’d undergone therapy and overcome his attraction to boys. Still, on his walks, he made sure he crossed to the other side of the street if he saw children approaching.• He said, “I accept responsibility for anything I may have done. I’m sorry for that.” But he denied even knowing two of his 11 accusers, claiming they were just “along for the ride,” angling for a cut of any monetary damages.• He dismissed as “absolute nonsense” the sworn statements of victims who said he supplied them with drugs and alcohol before advancing on them physically.• He described his San Diego roommate as his lover, while claiming to be celibate.• He said he tried “not to blame anybody else” for his downfall. But he faulted the diocese for suspending him, thus cutting off his financial support. “They have an obligation to me to take care of me for life,” he said.“Once baptized, always baptized. Once a priest, always a priest. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.”Once Kos hung up, Egerton had to scramble. It was late. He had two hours’ worth of material to sort through — the first public statements from Rudy Kos in the four years since he’d been sued.Egerton stayed up writing all night. The result was a lengthy, exclusive story that ran on the front page of The News on Sunday, May 25, 1997.After turning in his story, he left to go hiking in New Mexico.• • •Brad Lollar, Kos’s criminal defense lawyer, was surprised, and not in good way, when he picked up the Sunday paper and saw what his client had done.“I was mad that he’d talked to Brooks,” Lollar told the Texas Lawbook. “Defense lawyers get mad whenever our clients talk about the case, because whatever they say ties our hands going forward.“I tell my clients, Don’t talk to the press, don’t talk to the police, don’t talk to your mother.”In October of 1997, less than three months after the verdict in the civil trial, Kos was arrested in San Diego on eight warrants charging him with aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child. He waived extradition and was returned to Dallas. He pleaded guilty to three of the charges before trial and, on March 28, 1998, was found guilty of the rest, save one of the indecency counts.Though Egerton’s story was never admitted as evidence in either the civil or the criminal case, and appears to have played no formal role in either, Lollar said that in general, publicity about his client — a Catholic priest accused of molesting children — made his job a tough one.“Rudy’s criminal case was difficult to start with, because it came after the civil trial,” he said.“By then, everyone had heard of Rudy Kos. I believe that affected his ability to get a fair trial in Dallas. We thought about filing for a change of venue, but, to be honest, I don’ t think it would have made any difference if we’d held the trial anywhere else.”• • •“What Rudy Kos did was unconscionable. But in a weird way, I kind of feel sorry for him,” Egerton told the Texas Lawbook.“Not because he’s innocent. He isn’t. But there were many, many guilty people who didn’t end up with long prison sentences.“Kos was no worse than many of his fellow clerics who abused kids. He certainly wasn’t the worst of the worst. And the church hierarchy looked the other way for decades while the abuses continued. None of them went to prison.“Somehow, Rudy Kos was the guy who became the symbol of it all.”Egerton — now retired from the newspaper business and living in Sewanee, Tenn., where he works as a writer — said that after 20 years, “the great unanswered question” remains: Has the Catholic Church yet dealt with the horror of priests’ raping children?The Kos case, together with others across the country and around the world, created a global crisis for the church. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in concert with the Vatican, adopted numerous reforms: “zero-tolerance” policies, stricter reporting requirements, mandates to swiftly remove offending priests, prohibitions against secret settlements of abuse complaints, safe-environment training for clergy and lay workers, outreach efforts to comfort victims and their families, annual audits to measure compliance with all of it…But how effective have the changes been?Is the rectory, the church outing, the classroom or school playground truly safe for children?“I hope so,” Egerton said. “But I don’t have great confidence that it is.”A chronic, growing shortage of priests provides temptation for seminaries to, in Egerton’s words, “take whatever slides in under the door.” In 1990, there were more than 52,000 Catholic priests in the United States. Last year, the official count was 35,815.Meanwhile, the number of Catholics is swelling, thanks largely to booming Latino communities. Between 1990 and 2008, the church added 11 million worshippers to its rolls. (There are now roughly 70 million U.S. Catholics — more than a fifth of the nation’s population.)With more parishioners to serve and fewer pastors to serve them, the church has increasingly turned to foreign-born priests, many from developing nations. A fourth of all U.S. priests, and a third of all new priests, now come from other countries — from India and Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Philippines, Nigeria and Kenya, Mexico and Colombia, Poland and Spain.That worries Egerton. One of the reforms adopted by U.S. bishops was a requirement that priests, along with other church workers, submit to criminal background checks.The bishops boast of a 98.7 percent compliance rate among priests. “But I just don’t see how you do adequate background checks on people coming from halfway around the world,” Egerton said.• • •Once Kos was locked away, he was largely forgotten. The press moved on. New scandals displaced the old ones from the nightly newscasts and morning headlines. They always do.Egerton stuck with the story behind the story: Often working with Reese Dunklin, a fellow reporter at The News, he spent years chronicling the scope of the sex-abuse crisis in Dallas and beyond. Their reporting exposed grotesque schemes by church leaders to shield pedophile priests by hiding their crimes from police, the public, even their own parishioners.Their efforts paralleled those of a handful of investigative journalists around the country — at The Boston Globe (whose award-winning work was dramatized in the 2015 movie Spotlight), the Los Angeles Times, National Catholic Reporter, and other publications.At the very least, the press scrutiny made life harder for bishops who sought to keep the truth buried inside their chanceries. Cover-ups, by definition, fail the moment people learn of them. Public outrage over the church’s history of concealment no doubt helped drive more than a few mitred shepherds from office.Cautiously, Egerton concedes as much.“I do hope some good came out of the coverage,” he said, “even though I’m not an optimist by nature.”© 2017 The Texas Lawbook. Content of The Texas Lawbook is controlled and protected by specific licensing agreements with our subscribers and under federal copyright laws. Any distribution of this content without the consent of The Texas Lawbook is prohibited.If you see any inaccuracy in any article in The Texas Lawbook, please contact us. Our goal is content that is 100% true and accurate. Thank you.
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Source:https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/news/news-detail/2018/05/10/job-strain-linked-to-onset-of-common-mental-illness May 14 2018Workplaces that reduce job strain could prevent up to 14 percent of new cases of common mental illness from occurring, according to new research led by the Black Dog Institute.Published today in the Lancet Psychiatry, the results confirm that high job strain is associated with an increased risk of developing common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety amongst middle-aged workers.Job strain is a term used to describe the combination of high work pace, intensity, and conflicting demands, coupled with low control or decision-making capacity.”Mental illness is the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity in Australia, equating to $11 billion lost to Australian businesses each year,” said lead author Associate Professor Samuel Harvey from the Black Dog Institute.”Our modeling used detailed data collected over 50 years to examine the various ways in which particular work conditions may impact an employee’s mental health.”These findings serve as a wake-up call for the role workplace initiatives should play in our efforts to curb the rising costs of mental disorders.”It’s important to remember that for most people, being in work is a good thing for their mental health. But this research provides strong evidence that organizations can improve employee wellbeing by modifying their workplaces to make them more mentally healthy.”The international research team analyzed health data from the UK National Child Development Study, a large British cohort study.Examining 6870 participants, they investigated whether people experiencing job strain at age 45 were at an increased risk of developing mental illness by age 50.To determine levels of job strain, participants completed questionnaires at age 45 testing for factors including decision authority (the ability to make decisions about work), skill discretion (the opportunity to use skills during work) and questions about job pace, intensity and conflicting demands.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerEffective stop smoking treatments less likely to be prescribed to people with mental health conditionsPerinatal depression screenings may overlook women having suicidal ideationThe researchers also accounted for non-workplace factors including divorce, financial problems, housing instability, and other stressful life events like death or illness. The models developed in this study controlled for individual workers’ temperament and personality, their IQ, level of education, prior mental health problems and a range of other factors from across their early lives.At age 50, participants completed the Malaise Inventory questionnaire, a psychological scale used in health surveys to indicate symptoms of common mental illness.The final modeling suggests that those experiencing higher job demands, lower job control and higher job strain were at greater odds of developing mental illness by age 50, regardless of sex or occupational class.”Our research attempted to account for the possible reasons an individual’s work conditions could impact their mental health – and this modeling is the most complete ever published,” said Associate Professor Harvey.”The results indicate that if we were able to eliminate job strain situations in the workplace, up to 14 percent of cases of common mental illness could be avoided.”Workplaces can adopt a range of measures to reduce job strain, and finding ways to increase workers’ perceived control of their work is often a good practical first step. This can be achieved through initiatives that involve workers in as many decisions as possible.”
Jun 6 2018New research led by Holger Heyn at the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CNAG-CRG), presents a sophisticated computational framework to analyze single-cell gene expression levels, scalable to process millions of individual cells. The work, published in the current issue of the scientific journal Genome Research, shows for the first time a tool capable of analyzing such large single-cell RNAseq dataset. This dramatically extends the limits of single-cell genome research.All the cells in a human body share the same genome but each cell has the potential to become specific in a tissue or organ due to gene expression. Scientists worldwide are looking at what differentiates one cell from another. One of the current challenges of genome research is to analyze many individual cells in order to find and to identify those differences. The analysis of individual cell using single-cell RNA sequencing has been crucial to face this challenge and revolutionized our understanding of the complexity of tissues, organs and organisms. Looking at gene expression of one cell at a time, scientists are now able to describe a sample’s heterogeneity at unprecedented resolution and without prior knowledge of its composition.Accordingly, large-scale single-cell projects led to the identification of previously unknown cell types and to the drawing of comprehensive cellular maps of organisms. Within the framework of the Human Cell Atlas project, researchers aim at creating an atlas of all cell types that make up a human body. However, such studies create massive amounts of sequencing data and analyzing large datasets are a major challenge.A group of scientists of the CNAG-CRG, in collaboration with researchers from theUniversity Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and the Spanish Biomedical Research Consortium on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), has now developed an efficient computational framework that enabled processing, analysis and interpretation of such big-scale single-cell experiments. The group illustrated the power of their strategy by analyzing one of the largest single-cell studies with 1.3 million individual cells of the developing mouse brain.”BigSCale is extremely powerful in identifying cell type specific genes, which greatly helps in the downstream interpretation of experiments” says Holger Heyn, CNAG-CRG team leader and senior author of the study. The novelty of the analytic tool named “BigSCale” lies in a numerical model that sensitively determines differences between single cells. Having charted how individual cells differ from each other, they can be grouped together into populations of cells to describe the cellular complexity of a given tissue. As virtually all tissues are composed of different cell types and subtypes, such an analysis can guide an unbiased in-depth characterization without initial hypotheses. Differentially expressed marker genes between subpopulation help the researcher to link cells to prior knowledge about the tissue anatomy or to describe the functions of newly discovered cell types.Related StoriesResearchers develop a more precise version of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing systemWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairIn addition, the tool was designed to tackle future challenges of large datasets. “The costs to derive single-cell profiles are decreasing and we are seeing studies of increasing cell numbers” adds Dr. Heyn. In this regard, a module in the BigSCale workflow enables the analysis of millions of cells through a directed convolution strategy. Here, single-cell transcriptomes from similar cells are merged into index cells, which greatly reduces the amount of data to be processed.With the new tool in hand the group analyzed one of the largest single-cell gene expression dataset of 1.3 million cells, a resource publically available from 10x Genomics. “BigSCale allowed us to look deep into the developmental processes of the mouse brain and to characterize even rare neuronal cell types” commented Giovanni Iacono, the first author of the work. Specifically, the high number of cells enabled the group to zoom into a small transient cell population called Cajal-Retzius cells and to describe major substructures related to distinct differentiation stages, spatial organization and cellular function. “The BigSCale framework provides a powerful solution for virtually any species and is even applicable outside the RNA sequencing context” explains Dr. Heyn and adds “We expect it to contribute to the interpretation of large-scale studies, such as the Human Cell Atlas project”. Source:http://www.crg.eu/en/news/new-tool-enables-big-scale-analysis-single-cells
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Fred Schulte: email@example.com, @fredschulte Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 5 2018Six months after hiring former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm, Purdue Pharma settled a Florida state investigation that had threatened to expose early illegal marketing of its blockbuster drug OxyContin, company and state records show.The November 2002 deal was a coup for the drugmaker, which at the time faced growing criticism about overdose deaths and addiction linked to the painkiller. Purdue agreed to pay the state $2 million to help fund a computer database to track narcotics prescriptions and up to $150,000 to sponsor five one-day conferences to educate law enforcement about drug abuse.In exchange, Florida’s then-attorney general, Robert Butterworth, dropped his marketing investigation, which had uncovered initial evidence that Purdue misled doctors and the public about OxyContin’s safety, state records show.Today, as Giuliani makes frequent headlines as President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in the Russia investigation, the settlement his firm helped secure in Florida is drawing new scrutiny — and mixed opinions.”This was a missed opportunity,” David Moyé, a former director of economic crimes and health care fraud for the Florida Attorney General’s Office, said of the settlement. “They let them [Purdue] off the hook,” said Moyé, now a lawyer in Tallahassee.Butterworth agreed to drop any claims “arising out of the sale and marketing” of OxyContin up to Nov. 1, 2002. That happened even though Purdue never paid for the database because state lawmakers balked at supporting it.On Tuesday, Butterworth told KHN that he realized at the time that a “couple million dollars wasn’t going to solve the problem” caused by what he termed “horrific” marketing of OxyContin. But, he said, “when you are the first state to take this on, you have to start somewhere.”Now a lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Butterworth said he regretted that more wasn’t done early on to halt improper marketing of opioids.”I wish that law enforcement would have taken them out 20 years ago. It is absolutely insane that so many people die each year [from opioids],” he said.The Florida AG’s marketing investigation remains noteworthy because some of the evidence it unearthed could play a role in an avalanche of lawsuits that now blame Purdue and other opioid makers for fueling the nation’s addiction epidemic.More than 1,500 of these suits, mostly filed by state and local governments against opioid manufacturers and distributors, seek compensation for the costs of treating addiction.”We allege the [opioid epidemic] is a consequence of this kind of [marketing] conduct,” said Paul Hanly, co-counsel for a group of lawsuits consolidated in federal court in Cleveland. Addiction treatment costs have “hemorrhaged” over the past 10 years and cost billions of dollars, he said. The drug companies and distributors have denied responsibility in court filings.Trump earlier this year declared the opioid epidemic a “national emergency,” and suggested last month that the federal government also sue drug companies.Giuliani launched his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners LLC, in early 2002. For years, detractors have argued that the ex-mayor traded on the respect and celebrity gained by his leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to help Purdue duck responsibility for misdeeds.On Aug. 24, two Democratic senators asked the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate Giuliani’s role in a 2007 criminal case against Purdue in Virginia, which accused the company of making false claims about OxyContin’s safety. The request follows a New York Times article that alleged Giuliani’s influence led prosecutors to ease off charges that could have crippled the company.The 2002 Florida investigation, by taking aim directly at Purdue’s aggressive sales tactics, had posed a significant threat to the company. Released late in 1995, OxyContin topped $1 billion in annual sales by 2002.The investigation picked up steam in July 2002, less than two months after Purdue announced hiring Giuliani Partners to help it “combat prescription drug abuse and diversion.” The firm’s duties included building support for electronic prescription monitoring plans and developing education programs for law enforcement — the two pillars of the settlement in Florida.As a sign of its willingness to cooperate with the state, Purdue agreed to turn over its confidential OxyContin marketing plans from 1996 through 2002. Kaiser Health News obtained these reports from the Florida AG and published them in June, with the remaining materials cited here.Giuliani Partners founding member Daniel Connolly spoke on Purdue’s behalf at a July 23, 2002, meeting with the Florida AG staff, notes of the meeting obtained from the Florida AG’s office show. Connolly had no comment.So did Miami attorney Jon Sale, a law school pal of Giuliani’s who remains a close friend. Sale said in a recent interview that Giuliani “most likely” had asked him to represent Purdue in the legal negotiations.Purdue’s support for the database was among the issues discussed, the meeting notes show. Sale said Purdue hoped the database would allow doctors to check if a patient in their waiting room was receiving opioid prescriptions elsewhere, an abusive practice known as “doctor shopping.”Related StoriesFamily members’ drugs may be risk factor for overdose in individuals without prescriptionsPDFNJ campaign emphasizes the hazards of prescription opioidsOpioids alone cannot be blamed for growing life expectancy inequality in the U.S.”Everybody thought it was a wonderful idea,” Sale said in a recent interview.Former Florida assistant attorney general Dave Aronberg, who worked on the investigation but left before its settlement, agreed.Aronberg blamed some Republican lawmakers, who saw the database as a threat to patient privacy, for torpedoing the deal. The settlement released Purdue from paying most of the $2 million if legislators did not approve additional funding for the database within two years.Aronberg said the legislation, which eventually passed more than two years later in 2009, could have saved many lives had the database been set up earlier. Most states now have the computerized systems, though some doubt their effectiveness in curbing opioid overdose deaths and other abuse.The 2002 settlement, and the political skirmishes over the databank, put the brakes on the AG’s investigation of potentially illegal sales promotions. For instance, an AG’s office investigator interviewed a former Purdue sales manager, who said company executives had directed its sales force to advise doctors that OxyContin was not addictive, according to notes of the interview. Though Purdue gave the state a list of the names and contact information for more than 100 of its sales agents, the same records indicate that the sales manager appears to be the only one interviewed.Records from the AG’s office show that Purdue also turned over marketing materials that downplayed the risks of addiction from the drug, including a brochure that advised patients, “Fear should not stand in the way of relief of your pain.” Other records included the names of all employees who had helped write product warnings for OxyContin and Purdue’s guidelines for paying commissions to its sales force.Former fraud director Moyé said that the revelations in these records and other evidence, such as Medicaid billing data that showed some doctors were recklessly prescribing of OxyContin should have prompted Florida officials to demand tougher enforcement, including a hefty fine, and an agreement to cease marketing violations in the future.”We could have cleaned this up,” Moyé said.But Hanly, the lawyer now suing opioid makers, noted that the marketing records were later used by the Justice Department in securing Purdue’s criminal convictions in 2007. “It’s not like they didn’t have any consequences,” he said.Giuliani Partners was not the only high-profile hire at Purdue. It also retained Eric Holder, a former assistant attorney general under President Bill Clinton who went on to serve as attorney general in the Obama administration. In 2004, Holder helped negotiate a $10 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by the West Virginia attorney general, who accused Purdue of deceptive marketing. Holder’s role also has drawn criticism.But Purdue appears to have placed special trust in Giuliani Partners. In the 2002 press release, Purdue Executive Vice President Michael Friedman said the “management experience, law enforcement background, leadership and integrity of Giuliani Partners and its CEO Rudolph W. Giuliani are tremendous assets to our company.”Friedman and two other Purdue executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges of “misbranding” OxyContin in the 2007 Virginia case.KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.