Category: capitalism crimes

1/14/17 Full Episode – Trans Woman Attacked And Sandy Hook/Alex Jones Update

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/winecellarmedia/2019/01/15/11417-full-episode–trans-woman-attacked-and-sandy-hookalex-jones-update

^^^^^^FULL EPISODE LINK^^^^^^

Food inspections by the FDA have been sharply reduced, alarming criticsImage result for capitalism meme

The furloughing of hundreds of Food and Drug Administration inspectors has sharply reduced inspections of the nation’s food supply — one of the many repercussions of the partial government shutdown that are making Americans potentially less safe.

The agency, which oversees 80 percent of the food supply, has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview. He is working on a plan to bring inspectors back as early as next week to inspect facilities considered high-risk because they handle sensitive items such as seafood, soft cheese and vegetables, or have a history of problems.

Teen charged with murder of transgender woman

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) – A 17-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting a transgender woman last year in a secluded area on the South Side was ordered held without bail Sunday.

Tremon T. Hill was charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 13 slaying of Dejanay Stanton, a 24-year-old trans woman he was in a sexual relationship with, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Britt Steinberg said at a bail hearing in the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Stanton received a text from Hill the morning of her killing asking her to meet him in a lot in the 4000 block of South Calumet Avenue in Bronzeville, Steinberg said.

Passenger carries firearm through TSA screening at Atlanta onto Delta flight

(CNN)A traveler carrying a firearm boarded a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and flew to Tokyo Narita International Airport on January 3, according to a statement from the Transportation Security Administration.

“TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on the morning of January 3,” the release states.
The passenger had forgotten the firearm was in their carry-on luggage, the TSA said. The incident was not part of a test.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is going to Canada for surgeryImage result for Sex Workers

Developer Jim Skaggs ‘couldn’t believe’ when he heard that a neighbor allegedly assaulted U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home in Bowling Green. Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one of the fiercest political critics of socialized medicine, will travel to Canada later this month to get hernia surgery.

Paul, an ophthalmologist, said the operation is related to an injury in 2017 when his neighbor, Rene Boucher, attacked him while Paul was mowing his lawn. The incident left Kentucky’s junior senator with six broken ribs and a bruised lung.

He is scheduled to have the outpatient operation at the privately adminstered Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario during the week of Jan. 21, according to documents from Paul’s civil lawsuit against Boucher filed in Warren Circuit Court.

Fortnite Creator is Buying Entire Forests to Prevent Them From Being Chopped DownImage result for alex jones meme

Fortnite is one of the biggest games of this decade, and it rose to prominence in a very seemingly organic way. Tim Sweeney, the game’s creator has been at work for decades in fact, developing different, intricate and interactive realms in the digital world for players.

 

 

 

Former Pharmaceutical Exec Pleads Guilty To Bribing Doctors

The former head of sales for an Arizona drug company pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in a conspiracy to defraud insurance companies by bribing doctors to prescribe a highly addictive fentanyl-based pain drug when it wasn’t needed, according to court documents.

The man, Alec Burlakoff, 44, of West Palm Beach, Florida, is former vice president of sales for Insys Therapeutics Inc. of Chandler, Arizona. Court documents show that Burlakoff agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against Insys at a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Prosecutors said Burlakoff is the highest-level executive to admit wrongdoing in their investigation of the company’s billionaire founder, John Kapoor, and five other co-defendants, all of whom have pleaded not guilty.
Insys agreed to pay $150 million to settle related claims in August.

Burlakoff pleaded guilty to a single count of racketeering conspiracy in exchange for a likely reduction in the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced next May. He will remain free until then, according to court documents.

An updated indictment filed in September accuses Kapoor and the others of having conspired to bribe doctors to prescribe the drug Subsys to boost sales and defraud insurers from 2012 to 2015.
Subsys, an under-the-tongue spray that manages pain in cancer patients, contains fentanyl, an opioid that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says is 25 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. It is the drug that killed Prince.
ccording to the superseding indictment, Burlakoff and the others ran a sophisticated scheme that used pharmacy data to identify doctors who prescribed a lot of opioids. They then bribed the doctors with offers of cushy speaking engagements to increase their Subsys prescriptions even further and to write a minimum number of prescriptions at a minimum dose to generate as many insured refill orders as possible “without regard to the medical needs of … Subsys patients,” according tot he indictment.

In June 2017, Patty Nixon, an Insys sales representative-turned-whistleblower, told NBC News how the company lured doctors into prescribing the drug for patients who didn’t need it.

“My job responsibilities were to contact insurance companies on behalf of the patients and the doctors to get the medication approved and paid for by their insurance company,” said Nixon, who said she was fired after she stopped showing up for work because she felt guilty about lying on the job.

A 30-day supply of Subsys can cost as much as $30,000, generating sales of $240 million in 2016.

BP Argues Oil Spills Are Good For The Economy

Energy giant BP has claimed coastal towns would benefit from an oil spill in the pristine Great Australian Bight because the clean up would boost their economies, as part of its controversial bid to drill in the sensitive marine zone.

BP, which has since withdrawn the drilling plan, also told a federal government agency that a diesel spill would be considered “socially acceptable”.
BP made the statements in an environment plan submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority in March 2016.

The company had been seeking to drill two wells off the South Australian coast, raising fears of an environmental disaster akin to BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws, first published by Climate Home News, showed the government authority had identified serious shortcomings with BPs environment plan.
n a letter to BP, the authority said a number of statements should be removed or supported by analysis. They included BP’s claim that “in most instances, the increased activity associated with cleanup operations will be a welcome boost to local economies”.

BP also claimed it had not identified any social impacts arising from the event of a diesel spill and “since there are no unresolved stakeholder concerns … BP interprets this event to be socially acceptable”.

BP explained the statements by saying “Given the plan was never finalized, this material doesn’t represent the final views of BP or the regulator,” a spokesperson from BP said, adding that BP had no plans to reactivate its interest in the Bight. Chevron has also since dropped its own plans for the area.

Portland Police Shoot Homeless Man

A Portland police officer fatally shot a man Sunday at a Southeast Portland home after the landlord reported a stranger who appeared to be homeless and suffering from a mental illness lying on a tenant’s door stoop.

An East Precinct Officer responded about 2 p.m. to a report of an “unwanted person” at the home in the 9600 block of Southeast Market Street, said police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley. The man allegedly wouldn’t leave the property.

Lidiya Omelchenko Omelchenko told OPB she called police after her neighbor told her there was a man who appeared to be sleeping directly outside his home.

“[My neighbor] came and talked to me, somebody sleeping on his porch, steps,” Omelchenko said in an interview. “I told him, ‘call the police.’ After this, I went to see this man and I called [the police] too.” She then waited for an officer to arrive, pointed to the man, then went into her nearby house.

“I thought I should call the police, they could help him, find him an apartment, a place to sleep,” she said. She also said the man appeared to be African American.

About 10 minutes later, she heard a single “pop,” Omelchenko said.

When she came out, the man was being carried out of the house with a sheet over him, she said.

The man was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was declared dead, Burley said.

Burley didn’t identify the man or the officer involved. The officer has been placed on administrative leave under standard police policy and will be identified within 24 hours, Burley said. Police will identify the dead man after an autopsy is completed and relatives are notified, he said.

Omlechenko expressed dismay at the man’s death.

Portland police have faced criticism in the last two years for officer shootings of black men, including Patrick Kimmons, 27, last year in downtown Portland and Quanice Hayes, 17, in Northeast Portland in 2017. Grand juries ruled both police shootings justified. The Police Bureau also is under a federal settlement reached after an U.S. Justice Department investigation found officers often used excessive force against people with mental illness.

Amazon To Sell Facial Recognition Technology to Help Police Harass Pedestrians

According to the ACLU, a patent application from Amazon that became public that would pair face surveillance — like Rekognition, the product that the company is aggressively marketing to police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — with Ring, a doorbell camera company that Amazon bought earlier this year.

While the details are sketchy, the application describes a system that the police can use to match the faces of people walking by a doorbell camera with a photo database of persons they deem “suspicious.” Likewise, homeowners can also add photos of “suspicious” people into the system and then the doorbell’s facial recognition program will scan anyone passing their home. In either case, if a match occurs, the person’s face can be automatically sent to law enforcement, and the police could arrive in minutes.

The ACLU and other civil rights groups have repeatedly warned that face surveillance poses an unprecedented threat to civil liberties and civil rights that must be stopped before it becomes widespread. The history of discriminatory government surveillance makes clear that face surveillance will disproportionately harm people already targeted by the government and subjected to racial profiling and abuse — immigrants, people of color, and the formerly incarcerated.

Despite the risks to civil liberties and racial justice, Amazon has chosen to ignore questions from members of Congress and calls from consumers, civil rights groups, and its own employees and shareholders to take responsibility for the consequences of its technology on communities where it is deployed.

This patent application also suggests that Amazon has no plans to stop at identifying people based on their faces. The company anticipates targeting an arsenal of other biometrics, including fingerprints, skin-texture analysis, DNA, palm-vein analysis, hand geometry, iris recognition, odor/scent recognition, and even behavioral characteristics, like typing rhythm, gait, and voice recognition.

Don’t expect Amazon to limit tracking technologies to doorbells or homes. The patent application makes clear that any audio/visual device — such as Amazon’s popular line of Echo products — can be outfitted with the appropriate biometric surveillance features. It confirms that Amazon wants to enable the tracking of everyone, everywhere, all the time. And it’s apparently happy to deliver that data to the government.

Rat Poison Found in 90% of California Bobcats

SACRAMENTO, CA— A new state analysis has documented super-toxic rat poisons in more than 90 percent of tested mountain lions, 88 percent of tested bobcats and 85 percent of protected Pacific fishers tested, prompting state regulators to open a new evaluation of whether to further restrict or ban the powerful toxins.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s analysis studies indicates non-target animals continue to be poisoned in large numbers despite state restrictions on the sale and use of the deadliest rodenticides since 2014. The long-lasting super toxins often poison non-target animals that eat poisoned rodents.

“This alarming new evidence should spur the state to ban these dangerous poisons,” said Jonathan Evans, legal director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program. “There are safer, cheaper alternatives that greatly reduce risks to wildlife, pets and children. Pesticide regulators have no excuse for continuing to allow California’s wildlife to die slow, excruciating deaths.”

Four years ago the state limited the sale and use of the so-called super-toxic rat poisons — known as second-generation anti-coagulant rodenticides — to licensed applicators. But they are still allowed throughout the state for agricultural users and licensed pest-control operators.

Along with the high percentage of poisoning among tested mountain lions, fishers and bobcats, the re-evaluation analysis documented the potent rat toxins in seven out of ten endangered northern spotted owls tested and 40 percent of tested barred owls.

More than 4,400 children under age 6 were poisoned with the long-acting anticoagulant rodenticides in the United States in 2016, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that children in low-income families are disproportionately exposed to the poisons. Thousands of incidents of pets being poisoned by rodenticides have also been reported, many resulting in serious injury or death.

Read more here.

Johnson and Johnson Knew About Asbestos in Baby Powder For Years

Executives at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) knew for decades that the talcum in its baby powder contained asbestos and failed to tell federal regulators, according to a Reuters report.

Reuters examined documents, trial depositions and trial testimony that reportedly shows that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, J&J executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers knew that the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos.

The people involved discussed the problem and how to address it, while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public, Reuters found.

The reporting also shows how J&J sought to influence regulators’ plans to limit asbestos in cosmetic products with talc, as well as research on the health effects of talc.

J&J is facing a wave of lawsuits brought by thousands of plaintiffs who allege the talc in the company’s baby powder products contained asbestos and caused mesothelioma, ovarian cancer and other diseases.

The results of the lawsuits have been mixed. Some juries have sided with the plaintiffs, awarding large amounts of damages. Some have sided with the company, and others were unable to reach verdicts.

A St. Louis jury earlier this year ordered J&J to pay $4.9 billion in a case involving 22 women and their families. J&J told Reuters it will appeal.

“Plaintiffs’ attorneys out for personal financial gain are distorting historical documents and intentionally creating confusion in the courtroom and in the media,” Ernie Knewitz, J&J’s vice president of global media relations, told Reuters in an email.

“This is all a calculated attempt to distract from the fact that thousands of independent tests prove our talc does not contain asbestos or cause cancer. Any suggestion that Johnson & Johnson knew or hid information about the safety of talc is false,” Knewitz wrote.

As a result of these findings, Johnson & Johnson lost $39.8 billion in market value on Friday—its worst trading day in over 15 years.

VA Decides to Continue Lethal Canine Experiments

The US government has decided to continue controversial experiments on dogs, despite critics in congress and elsewhere attacking the experiments as cruel and unnecessary.
 
The department for veterans affairs (VA) has approved the continuation of the testing, which it says will help doctors find new ways to treat wounded soldiers, according to USA Today
 
Researchers running the experiments will remove sections of the dogs’ brains that control breathing, sever spinal cords to test cough reflexes and implant pacemakers before triggering abnormal heart rhythms. All the dogs involved will ultimately be euthanized. 
 
But controversy is brewing over how exactly the vivisections were approved. When the testing was first exposed by an anti-animal testing group last year – White Coat Waste Project – congress passed a law prohibiting the VA department from conducting them without its secretary’s direct approval.
 
VA spokesman Curt Cashour said that the former VA secretary David Shulkin signed off on continuing the experiments on the day he was fired by Donald Trump in March. 
 
But Shulkin, who lost his job amid allegations he had misspent taxpayer funds on a trip to Europe his wife took in 2017, told the newspaper he had never been asked to restart the dog tests. 
 
Documents are currently showing the VA is currently carrying out nine experiments on dogs at various facilities.  In Cleveland, tests involve using electrodes on dogs’ spinal cords to measure cough reflexes before and after severing the cords.
 
In Richmond, Virginia, experiments include implanting pacemakers in dogs, then inducing abnormal heart rhythms and running the animals on treadmills to test cardiac function before euthanizing them by injection or draining their blood.
 
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie is publicly backing the value of canine medical testing at his department, saying the practice could provide potential breakthroughs in treatments for spinal cord injuries and other challenges facing veterans.
 
“We have an opportunity to change the lives of men and women who have been terribly hurt,” Wilkie said in comments at the National Press Club last week. “And until somebody tells me that research does not help in that outcome, then I will continue it.”
 
One of the lawmakers who is trying to pass a bill which would ban the testing, Democrat Dina Titus, said: “It’s not economically sound, they could be looking at new technologies, and morally people just don’t support testing on puppies.”
 
But a review launched by Shulkin before he was fired – on the medical necessity for using canines – has found that dogs are “the only viable model” for the specific experiments, the VA spokesman said. 
 
Nevertheless, the department has also commissioned the National Academy of Sciences to spend $1.3 million to run another study investigating if dogs are really needed for this research.
 
Justin Goodman, the vice president of advocacy and public policy for the White Coat Waste Project, said it was disconcerting that “disconcerting that Secretary Wilkie was brought in to clean up the VA, and yet he is doubling down on a program that has continued to fail veterans, taxpayers and dogs”
 
Veterans’ groups are divided on whether the experiments should continue. The founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organisation said that as long as the research was done “ethically” it could lead to medical breakthroughs.
 
But Paralyzed Veterans of America, which was initially in favor of the VA dog testing, has now changed its mind and said it did not oppose efforts to stop the experiments.
 
The VA, which said that more than 99 per cent of its animal testing involved rats or mice, insisted that dogs remained a necessary part of its research.
 
But when asked what medical progress had come about because of dog testing, the agency’s spokesman could only point to breakthroughs which date back to the 1960s.

Drug Company Raised Price of Opioid Overdose Antidote by 600%

As the nation struggled with the rising number of opioid deaths, a private drug company increased the price of an overdose antidote more than 600 percent, a Senate subcommittee says in a new report.

The increase has cost the federal Medicare and Medicaid health programs more than $142 million since 2014, according the Homeland Security permanent subcommittee on investigations.

Richmond, Virginia-based Kaleo  increased the price of its auto-injectable overdose-reversal drug EVZIO from $575 to $4,100, the subcommittee reported.

The company also changed its sales strategy and encouraged doctors to complete paperwork identifying it as a medically necessary drug, allowing them to bypass potentially cheaper generic versions of naloxone, the subcommittee reported.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who chairs the subcommittee, blasted the price hike.

“The fact that one company dramatically raised the price of its naloxone drug and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in increased drug costs, all during a national opioid crisis, is simply outrageous,” Portman said in a statement.

Kaleo  defended its pricing Monday. The company said its donated kits have saved thousands of lives. It also said it has never turned a profit.

“We believe patients and physicians should have meaningful choices,” the company said in a statement. “There is no doubt, the complexity of our healthcare system has had unintended negative implications for everyone involved, but most importantly, for patients. To this end, we explored viable paths within the current healthcare system to make EVZIO available to patients in a responsible, meaningful and affordable way.”

Naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversal drug available since the early 1970s, has been in great demand to slow an epidemic that kills more Americans every year than motor vehicle crashes. The U.S. Surgeon General and states across the nation have encouraged policies to widely distribute the drug.

Private drug companies have responded to the crisis with newer, easier-to-use versions of the drug.

EVZIO was launched in 2014 at a wholesale price of $575 per kit.

Adapt Pharma gained approval the following year to sale a nasal version of naloxone called Narcan, and set the wholesale price at $125 per kit.

The subcommittee focused on the price of EVZIO because it increased so sharply and because the sales strategy that relied on reimbursement from private and government insurance plans.

The subcommittee said the company relied on a private consultant to implement the new sales strategy, which included dropping contracts with private Medicare plans and Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for low-income and disabled residents.

That decision freed the company from administrative costs and rebate payments.

The company collected an average payment of $609 per kit in 2015. After raising the price and adapting the new sales strategy, the company collected from Medicare an average of $3,854 per kit.

The company paid $10.2 million to the private consultant who suggested the new approach, the subcommittee said.

Amazon Accused of Asking Spanish Police to Force Workers Back to Warehouse Floor and Monitor Productivity

Amazon asked police in Spain to intervene in a mass strike at a warehouse on the outskirts of Madrid, according to local reports.

Close to 90 percent of the workers — almost 1,600 employees — participated in the walkout at Spain’s largest Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares near Madrid, and will continue to strike, Reuters reported.

Amazon is accused of requesting that local police forces stop the strike and force workers back on to the warehouse floor. According to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, supervisors at Amazon even asked police to stay on site during the day to ensure that worker productivity levels remained high.

A source at Spanish union CCOO, which helped coordinate the strikes, told Business Insider that Amazon “wanted to send the police inside the warehouse to push people to work.”

Amazon’s request “dumbfounded” police, according to El Confidencial. “The request was  rejected by the police, who maintained that controlling labor productivity doesn’t fall within its powers,” a police source said.

Amazon denied that it had asked police to intervene in the strike. A spokeswoman told Business Insider:

“Amazon is a responsible business that puts its customers and associates first. We always work with public authorities, including the police, to ensure the safety of our people and our operations.

“However any suggestion that we have used this relationship in an improper way is categorically wrong. Anyone who understands the way businesses and local authorities work will know that these ludicrous suggestions are the worst kind of misinformation.”

However, this is not the first time Amazon has asked police to intervene in Amazon warehouse protests in Spain, El Confidencial notes. When workers went on strike on Prime Day in July, Amazon asked police to guarantee workers access across the picket line and to trucks carrying merchandise. The strikes in July resulted in clashes with police, including some arrests.