Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, September 16

Opioid crisis

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The drug company that makes OxyContin is facing thousands of lawsuits for its involvement in the opioid crisis. Now the company is filing for bankruptcy.

New York will become the first state in the nation to ban flavored e-cigarettes, citing a public health emergency.

And a woman accidentally swallowed her engagement ring after dreaming about doing it.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.


TOP STORY: Purdue Pharma Files For Bankruptcy, But Multiple States Plan to Fight It

Purdue Pharma

GettyPurdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

Purdue Pharma has filed for bankruptcy as part of its effort to settle more than 2,600 federal, state and local government lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. The company is accused of helping to fuel the national epidemic through its sale of painkillers such as OxyContin.

As part of the settlement, the Sacklers, the current owners of Purdue Pharma, would give up control of the company. Purdue Pharma would be turned into a “public benefit trust.” Future profits would be donated to benefit opioid addiction research and treatment efforts, the New York Times reports. The Sacklers would also pay $3 billion in cash over the next seven years to the plaintiffs. Part of the settlement funds would come from future sales of drugs including OxyContin.

But the proposed settlement and bankruptcy filing is far from a done deal. Twenty-six states have refused to settle with Purdue Pharma, in part because the proposed deal allows the company and the Sackler family to avoid admitting wrongdoing. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told CNN, “This apparent settlement is a slap in the face to everyone who has had to bury a loved one due to this family’s destruction and greed. It allows the Sackler family to walk away billionaires.”

The Sackler family said in a prepared statement that they have “deep compassion for the victims of the opioid crisis” and are pushing state leaders to accept the settlement. “We are hopeful that in time, those parties who are not yet supportive will ultimately shift their focus to the critical resources that the settlement provides to people and problems that need them.”


WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: New York’s Governor Bans Flavored E-Cigarettes

Governor Cuomo Announces Emergency Executive Action to Ban the Sale of Flavored E-CigarettesSeptember 15, 2019 – New York City – Governor Cuomo announces an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in New York State – the latest in a series of actions to combat the increasing number of youth using vape products, largely driven by e-cigarette companies marketing flavors that are intended…2019-09-15T15:52:21.000Z

New York will soon become the first state in the nation where the sale of flavored e-cigarettes will be prohibited. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that he would sign an emergency executive action declaring the vaping products a public health crisis.

A ban is expected to go into effect as soon as October 4. E-cigarettes with tobacco and menthol flavoring will still be allowed. During a news conference, Governor Cuomo described vaping as “dangerous,” in part because the long-term health effects are not yet known. He stated that the products are “addicting millions of young people to nicotine at a very early age.” Governor Cuomo also argued that it didn’t mean much that vaping may be less dangerous than smoking because smoking is a “high-risk potential death situation.”

The American Vaping Association argues that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit and plans to fight the action in New York. The group wrote on Twitter, “We look forward to supporting litigation to stop this illegal executive action.”

The organization’s president, Gregory Conley, said in a statement, “Contrary to Gov. Cuomo’s rhetoric, flavors are not marketed to children. Fruit and sweet flavors are the most popular flavors with adults and ex-smokers in the U.S. and U.K.”


OFF-BEAT: Woman Swallowed Her Engagement Ring While Dreaming

San Diego woman Jenna Evans woke up one morning and discovered that her dream had been a reality. Evans explained on Facebook that she had been dreaming that she and her fiance were “in a very sketchy situation involving a high-speed train and bad guys (I have very exciting and vivid dreams) and he told me I had to swallow my ring to protect it.”

Evans recalls drinking a glass of water and swallowing the ring. But in the sleepy moment, she assumed this had been part of the dream as well. It wasn’t until morning that she realized her ring was missing. Evans went to urgent care, where an X-ray confirmed the ring was in her stomach.

Evans ended up having surgery to remove the ring. She explained, “Everything went great, they found my ring just beyond my stomach in my intestines, retrieved it and gave it to Bobby, not me.” Evans said her finance did eventually give her the ring back. “I promised not to swallow it again, we’re still getting married and all is right in the world.” Read more about the incident here.


DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP

  • Hurricane Humberto is expected to bring high surf and dangerous rip currents to the southeastern United States as the storm moves toward the Bahamas.
  • As many as 50,000 General Motors auto workers went on strike today.
  • A new accusation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been made by former Yale classmate Max Stier.
  • Track wildfires burning in Arizona with live interactive maps here.

IN MEMORIAM

Ric Ocasek

Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesRic Ocasek

The rock and roll world has lost another icon. Ric Ocasek, the former lead singer of The Cars, was found dead Sunday afternoon at his home in Manhattan. He was 75 and it’s been reported that he died of natural causes.

Ocasek was born in Baltimore and his grandmother gifted him his first guitar at age 10. When he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, Ocasek included a special thank you to his “wheel-chaired grandmother” for the guitar and for encouraging him to sing.

Ocasek founded The Cars in 1976 with Benjamin Orr. The Hall of Fame described the band’s music as “the ultimate New Wave dream machine: a hook-savvy super-charged quintet that fused 60s pop, 70s glam, and Avant-rock minimalism into a decade of dashboard-radio nirvana.”

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