Good morning. How old is too old to trick or treat? If you’re a teen, check to make sure you don’t live in these U.S. towns, where trick-or-treating over a certain age could land you in jail.
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
– Truman Capote
Update on the Opioid Situation
Early Monday morning, four pharmaceutical companies reached a $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties to avoid what would have been the first federal trial on the issue. The deal was agreed upon hours before a jury was set to hear opening arguments.
How did we get here? In 2017, nearly 50,000 Americans died of opioid overdose – an almost sixfold increase since 1999. Drug companies who manufacture and sell opioid painkillers have come under fire for marketing tactics that critics say downplayed the addiction and overdose risks of the drugs.
What happens next? While Ohio has one of the highest rates of opioid abuse in the country, it’s not the only state suing drug manufacturers over the issue. In August, an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million in damages for its role in the opioid crisis in the state – though the judge said last week he mistakenly overcalculated the award by roughly $100 million. The pharmaceutical industry is currently facing around 2,600 other lawsuits for the role it has played in the opioid epidemic.
So… what are people saying?
Tougher regulation is needed to put people before profits
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Canadians voted yesterday in federal elections, and results at the time of our e-print indicated that Justin Trudeau was going to secure re-election and the Liberal Party was headed for a minority government. See the most updated results at the links below.
A state of emergency was declared Sunday night in Chile after weekend protests, looting, and arson left 11 dead. The demonstrations, in opposition to the cost of living in Chile, were sparked by an announcement that subway fares would be increased.
Benjamin Netanyahu, head of Israel’s right-wing Likud party, gave up efforts to establish a new government on Monday after failing to secure a majority coalition. The decision will allow his centrist rival, Benny Gantz, to try his hand at forming a coalition.
Facebook announced new security features ahead of the 2020 election, which include: prominent labeling of posts including false information, a U.S. presidential candidate spend tracker for ads, a tool to increase the security of elected officials’ accounts, and banning ads discouraging people from voting. The company also confirmed the removal of four networks of “coordinated inauthentic behavior” tied to Russia and Iran.
Netflix announced it will be raising $2 billion in debt for “general corporate purposes” as new competition emerges in the streaming space. Disney+ and Apple TV+ are set to launch next month – NBC’s Peacock and HBO Max are slated to launch next spring.
Dunkin’ will offer its plant-based Beyond Meat sausage sandwich nationwide beginning November 6. The fast-food chain had planned to make the sandwich available at its ~9,000 U.S. restaurants starting in January, but decided to accelerate the timetable following a wildly successful test at Manhattan locations.
WeWork’s board will meet today to discuss SoftBank and JPMorgan’s separate emergency financing offers. SoftBank’s offer, through a combination of equity and debt, would raise its ownership stake to more than 50% and pump an additional $6.5 billion into the company at a ~$8 billion valuation – JPMorgan’s offer brings together a group of investors to provide ~$5 billion in mainly debt financing (numerous reports indicate WeWork is leaning towards SoftBank’s offer).
When Kim Lowman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012, she didn’t waste any time wallowing in self pity. Her doctor told her that the best things she could do to manage the disease were to be consistent with her medication, keep her stress levels low, and take care of her personal health. So she got to work and started running – counting the utility poles as she jogged past them to mark her progress.
Despite the hurdles that MS throws her way, Kim completed her third half marathon last weekend. And now, she’s running for more than just herself – her son, Max, who will be four next month, was diagnosed with autism.
Kim said she hopes her dedication to running is a tangible example of the main lesson she wants to pass on to Max: disability shouldn’t hold you back. She wants him to know that the only thing that matters is trying your best – even if that just means making it to the next utility pole before taking a break.
In 2012, a young tiger named Sahebrao was caught in a poacher’s trap, seriously injuring his leg. Luckily, he was found by an animal rescue team before the poachers returned, and has been living a peaceful life at the Gorewada Rescue Centre in Nagpur, India.
But the injury from the trap continued to bother Sahebrao – a long-lasting infection eventually led to a medically necessary amputation. And even that procedure wasn’t enough to keep the poor tiger out of pain. That’s when Sushrut Babhulkar – an orthopedic surgeon – entered the picture, adopting Sahebrao in the hopes of giving the tiger a better life.
Sahebrao underwent a surgical procedure earlier this month to relieve his leg pain. And even better: Sushrut is working with a team of surgeons and clinicians from the United Kingdom, India, and Germany to create the world’s first tiger prosthetic for Sahebrao. “I wish to see him walk normally,” said Sushrut, “Like a human being getting a prosthetic leg, for the rest of his life.”
His Dark Materials… a coalition of German and Swedish physicists have proposed a novel design for a radio-like device that uses cold plasma to detect, or ‘listen’ to waves of dark matter called axions.
Chomping at the bit… Japanese researchers have successfully developed and tested a network node capable of handling 1 Petabit per second optical signals, equivalent to sending 8K video to 10 million people simultaneously.
Salt of the Earth… scientists at the Siberian Federal University have developed a method of water desalination that reduces the cost of obtaining one cubic meter of fresh water tenfold.
Don’t copy that floppy… an antiquated Air Force computer system is finally updating the 8-inch floppy disks, made famous by 60 Minutes, that controlled the launch of the country’s nuclear missiles in a crisis.
In 2007, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation declaring Pluto a planet whenever it passes over the state. Their unique enthusiasm over this issue can be traced to Pluto’s discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh, a proud resident and professor at New Mexico State University for nearly 20 years.