Opioid Settlement Talks Broaden Ahead of 1st Federal Trial

October 17, 2019 by · Comments Off on Opioid Settlement Talks Broaden Ahead of 1st Federal Trial 

VOA – CLEVELAND – Efforts to settle thousands of lawsuits related to the nation’s opioid epidemic intensified Wednesday ahead of the scheduled start of arguments in the first federal trial over the crisis. A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that three major drug distributors plus two manufacturers were working on the outlines of a settlement.

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Iran’s Guard Says it Detained Paris-based Exiled Journalist

October 14, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran’s Guard Says it Detained Paris-based Exiled Journalist 

VOA – TEHRAN, IRAN – Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard says it has arrested an exiled journalist who helped fan the flames of nationwide economic protests that struck the country at the end of 2017. The Guard and a later announcement on state television on Monday did not explain how authorities detained Ruhollah Zam. Zam had been living in exile in Paris, where he ran a news website that posted embarrassing videos and information about Iranian officials.

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Iran: Oil Tanker Struck by Rockets off Saudi Arabia

October 11, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran: Oil Tanker Struck by Rockets off Saudi Arabia 

VOA – TEHRAN, IRAN – Two rockets struck an Iranian tanker traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday, Iranian officials said, the latest incident in the region amid months of heightened tensions between Tehran and the U.S.  There was no word from Saudi Arabia on the reported attack, and Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Iranian state television said the explosion damaged two storerooms aboard the unnamed oil tanker and caused an oil leak into the Red Sea near the Saudi port city of Jiddah. The state-run IRNA news agency, quoting Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Co., identified the stricken vessel as the Sabity. That vessel last turned on its tracking devices in August near the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

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Federal Judge Upholds State’s Ban on Vaping Products

October 5, 2019 by · Comments Off on Federal Judge Upholds State’s Ban on Vaping Products 

VOA – BOSTON – A federal judge upheld Massachusetts’ four-month ban on the sale of vaping products Friday, at least for now. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani denied the vaping industry’s request for a temporary reprieve from the ban while their legal challenge plays out in Boston federal court, saying the plaintiffs did not show they would likely succeed on the merits of the case or that the “balance of hardships” weighs in their favor. Talwani had said in a hearing earlier in the day that the legal motion felt premature and that the public health concerns prompting the ban likely outweigh any short-term impacts to local businesses. Another court hearing is set for Oct. 15 where both sides are expected to deliver more extensive arguments in the case. Lawyers representing local vape shops argued that small, independent operators are being disproportionally hurt by the ban, with many forced to lay off staff or close their shops entirely.

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Top Iran General Says Destroying Israel ‘Achievable Goal’

October 1, 2019 by · Comments Off on Top Iran General Says Destroying Israel ‘Achievable Goal’ 

VOA – TEHRAN, IRAN – The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Monday that destroying arch-rival Israel has become an “achievable goal” thanks to his country’s technological advances. “This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer… a dream (but) it is an achievable goal,” Major General Hossein Salami said, quoted by the Guards’ Sepah news site. Four decades on from Iran’s Islamic revolution, “we have managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the imposter Zionist regime”, he said.

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‘OK’ Hand Symbol Added to Hate Database

September 30, 2019 by · Comments Off on ‘OK’ Hand Symbol Added to Hate Database 

VOA – The universal hand gesture that signifies everything is OK is now a hate symbol used by white supremacists and other far-right extremists. The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group, added the gesture made by touching the forefinger to the thumb with three other fingers extended to its online “Hate on Display” database. The OK symbol joins the bowl haircut sported by mass murderer Dylann Roof, the “Moon Man” meme, a burning cross, Ku Klux Klan robes and the Nazi swastika in the database that was launched in 2000. “Even as extremists continue to use symbols that may be years or decades old, they regularly create new symbols, memes and slogans to express their hateful sentiments,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.

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British Tanker Seized in July Leaves Iranian Port

September 27, 2019 by · Comments Off on British Tanker Seized in July Leaves Iranian Port 

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The British-flagged Stena Impero tanker sailed out of Iranian waters on Friday, the owner said, after it was detained in July during a row with Britain that has stoked tensions in the Gulf. The Stena Impero left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on Friday morning bound for Dubai, where the crew would be repatriated, Sweden’s Stena Bulk said, after being detained for 10 weeks. Ship seized mid-July The ship was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, for alleged marine violations two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. The Iranian ship was released in August.

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Iran’s Rouhani Vows No Talks with the US as Long as Sanctions Remain

September 25, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran’s Rouhani Vows No Talks with the US as Long as Sanctions Remain 

UNITED NATIONS – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told world leaders Wednesday that there would be no negotiations with the U.S. as long as economic sanctions remained in effect. “We once negotiated under sanctions. We will not do so again. Halt the sanctions and return to your commitments so the dialogue may reopen,” he said at the U.N. General Assembly.  The U.S. imposed measures targeting Iran’s key oil industry after withdrawing last year from the 2015 agreement that limited Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran has since surpassed some of the limitations, arguing that the other signatories are not living up to their part of the agreement, particularly ensuring that it gets sanctions relief.

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Trump Dismisses Impeachment Talk

September 24, 2019 by · Comments Off on Trump Dismisses Impeachment Talk 


VOA – Trump told reporters as he arrived at the United Nations that he is not taking such threats “at all seriously.”  He also again said he discussed what he called  “corruption” concerning Biden and his son with Ukrainian President President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “We had a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine. Everybody knows it. It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again. They failed with Russia, they failed with recession, they failed with everything,” Trump said Monday.   “It’s very important to talk about corruption. If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?…It’s very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption.”

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US Kid Population Shrinking Faster than Expected

September 21, 2019 by · Comments Off on US Kid Population Shrinking Faster than Expected 

Sixty years ago, children accounted for more than one-third — ۳۶% — of the U.S. population. Today, that number is 22% and shrinking faster than anticipated. The U.S. Census Bureau had not expected the kid population to drop that low until 2030, but the reality hit more than a decade ahead of projection. Last year, the U.S. birth rate dropped to its lowest number in 32 years.  The births of 3,788,235 babies in 2018 is a 2% drop from 2017. That’s the lowest number of babies born in the U.S. since 1986. The birth rates declined among all racial groups and all women under 35, while rising slightly for women in their late 30s and early 40s.  And it’s a nationwide trend. Since 1990, child population rates have fallen off in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center.

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