Friday, 14 Aug 2020

Novartis Agrees To Pay $678 Mln To Settle U.S. Kickback Charges

Hamptons Quiet Shattered By Protest March Targeting Michael Bloomberg, Others

Wealthy celebrities in the Hamptons had a few unexpected visitors today, as protesters descended on the area to decry income inequality.

A group, some of them holding plastic pitchforks, was estimated at about 200 people, according to the New York Post.

Former presidential candidate and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a particular target. The billionaire had protestors outside his Southhampton mansion chanting, “Tax the rich, not the poor.”

The protest groups had disprarate demands, including raising taxes on billionaires, providing relief to taxi medallion owners, and recent proposed cuts to the New York state budget caused by a revenue shortfall tied to the pandemic.

“Enough is enough — it’s time for New York State to raise taxes on the rich instead of cutting services for working people,” said Alicé Nascimento, director of policy & research, New York Communities for Change, one of the organizers. Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance were part of the group protesting.

Also targeted by the protesteres were Blackstone CEO Steven Schwarzman, and real estate developer Stephen Ross.

 

Police investigate suspicious death in northeast Calgary

The Calgary Police Service’s forensic unit remains on scene at a home in a northeast Calgary community.

Sources confirm to Global News that the death of a Calgary man is being investigated as a homicide.

Sources also say an autopsy will be completed later this week.

Calgary police wouldn’t comment on the investigation but said more information would be released later this week.

More to come….

CAA Will Not Return To NY, LA, Nashville Offices Until At Least January 2021

As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the nation, CAA has decided to postpone plans for an Aug. 1 return to its offices in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville.

The agency has other offices in the US and worldwide, but it is unclear if those will also be on lockdown. CAA has outposts in Beijing, Shanghai, London, Munich, Geneva, and Stockholm. In the US, it also has Chicago, Jacksonville, Memphis and Atlanta.

The CAA decision to continue working remotely is mirrored by many entertainment and media companies, including PMC offices in New York and Los Angeles.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have scaled back reopening plans and delayed others. This July 4 weekend will see beaches, indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters shuttered, and public fireworks displays canceled.

 

PG&E emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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Utility PG&E Corp said on Wednesday it had emerged from bankruptcy, marking an end to a long-drawn restructuring process which began after its equipment sparked some of the deadliest wildfires in California.

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The completion of bankruptcy proceedings sets up the embattled company to tap a state-backed fund that would help power utilities cushion hits from wildfires.

PG&E said it deposited about $5 billion in the wildfire fund.

The company also said it will fund the wildfire victims trust with $5.4 billion in cash and common stock representing a 22.19% stake in the reorganized firm.

PG&E SAYS BANKRUPTCY COURT APPROVES ITS CHAPTER 11 REORGANIZATION PLAN

The utility had a tumultuous time since filing for bankruptcy protection in January last year, with California Governor Gavin Newsom raising concerns about the reorganization plan as well as a state regulator asking for governance and oversight changes to its plan.

The company, in June, also pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a devastating 2018 wildfire in Northern California touched off by the utility company's power lines..

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(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar and Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Novartis Agrees To Pay $678 Mln To Settle U.S. Kickback Charges

Novartis AG (NVS) agreed to pay $678 million to settle U.S. government charges it paid illegal kickbacks to doctors to induce them to prescribe its cardiovascular and diabetes drugs, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The $678 million settlement includes $591.44 million in damages to the U.S. government, a $38.41 million forfeiture for violating an anti-kickback statute and $48.15 million to various States.

In addition, the Swiss drugmaker agreed to pay $51.25 million to settle an investigation related to the company’s support of certain independent charitable co-pay foundations from 2010 to 2014. The company provisioned for the settlement.

As part of the settlements, Novartis has agreed to new corporate integrity obligations in the U.S. through 2025.

The U.S. alleged that between 2002 and 2011, the company hosted tens of thousands of speaker programs and related events under the guise of providing educational content, when in fact the events served as nothing more than a means to provide bribes to doctors.

The U.S. also alleged that some of the so-called speaker events never even took place and the speaker was simply paid a fee in order to induce the speaker to prescribe the company’s drugs.

The company also made extensive factual admissions in the settlement and agreed to strict limitations on any future speaker programs, including reductions to the amount it may spend on such programs.

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