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Mar 28, 2014

U.S. wants at least $1 billion from drugmakers who delay generics

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade
Commission seeks a settlement of $1 billion or more from
pharmaceutical companies it has sued for delaying the sale of
cheaper medicines after patents on brand-name drugs may have
expired, an FTC official told a legal conference on Friday.

The antitrust agency alleges that the way drugmakers settle
patent-related lawsuits hurts consumers by making drugs more
expensive. In the settlements, makers of brand-name drugs pay
millions of dollars to generics companies while they delay
putting their products on the U.S. market.

Mar 26, 2014

Americans take dim view of Comcast, Time Warner Cable deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A majority of Americans are skeptical about the proposed merger of Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and they are not convinced the U.S. government is doing enough to prevent monopolies generally, according to a Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday.

The poll found that 52 percent of those surveyed believed that mergers such as the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal result in less competition and are bad for consumers, while 22 percent believe they allow cable and internet providers to be more efficient and provide better service to consumers.

Mar 25, 2014

Supreme Court sharply divided on Obamacare religious challenge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court showed no clear consensus on Tuesday about whether business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law requiring employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control.

During the first half of an oral argument, three justices from the court’s liberal wing vigorously defended the so-called contraception mandate by firing repeated questions at the lawyer, Paul Clement, who asked the court to strike it down.

Mar 21, 2014

Investigations clear FBI agent in Florida shooting-official

WASHINGTON/ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – Investigators have concluded that an FBI agent should be cleared of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a Chechen immigrant while he was being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, a federal law enforcement official said on Friday.

The agent shot and killed 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev in May 2013 after Todashev suddenly attacked and injured the agent during an interrogation at his Orlando apartment, according to the FBI.

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. to seek extradition of Ukrainian industrialist

WASHINGTON/VIENNA, March 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. government
will ask Austria to extradite Ukrainian industrialist Dmytro
Firtash to face charges filed in a Chicago court arising from an
investigation into international corruption, U.S. prosecutors
said on Friday.

One of Ukraine’s most influential oligarchs, Firtash, 48,
was arrested in Vienna on Wednesday. On Friday, a court there
ordered him held and set bail at $174 million (125 million

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. weighs crackdown on environmental damage from pot growers

By Mica Rosenberg and David Ingram

(Reuters) – Even as states legalize marijuana, some U.S. officials are demanding tougher sentences for illegal pot growers if they also invade public lands, kill native vegetation and wildlife, and spread toxic pesticides.

The officials’ environmental concerns took center stage at a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a government body that guides federal judges on penalties for convicted criminals.

Mar 13, 2014

Obama administration to endorse cut in drug sentences

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Thursday plans to throw its weight behind a proposal that it says could cut the average prison sentence for a federal drug defendant by 11 months, a change designed to help reduce the massive U.S. prison population.

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to endorse the idea in a speech to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a government body that guides federal judges on how long they should sentence people convicted of crimes.

Mar 12, 2014

Swiss banker in U.S. tax case says he was told, ‘Don’t get caught’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former Credit Suisse AG banker pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring to help U.S. customers evade taxes by using Swiss accounts, and said he did so with the encouragement of his superiors, according to documents filed in court.

Swiss citizen Andreas Bachmann, 56, entered the plea in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, the documents show. U.S. District Judge Gerald Lee accepted the plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for August.

Mar 5, 2014

Democrats in U.S. Senate block Obama civil rights lawyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Seven of President Barack Obama’s Democrats in the U.S. Senate broke ranks on Wednesday and joined Republicans to block Obama’s nominee to a top Justice Department job after complaints that the lawyer, Debo Adegbile, had helped represent a “cop killer.”

The seven voted with 44 Republicans to sustain a procedural roadblock against the nomination of Adegbile, a former director at the Legal Defense Fund of the civil rights group NAACP, to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

Mar 5, 2014

U.S. freezes $458 mln hidden by Nigerian ex-leader -prosecutors

WASHINGTON, March 5 (Reuters) – The United States has frozen
more than $458 million that former Nigerian leader Sani Abacha
and his conspirators obtained through corruption and hid in bank
accounts around the world, the U.S. Justice Department said on

About $313 million was restrained in bank accounts in the
Bailiwick of Jersey and $145 million was restrained in bank
accounts in France, the department said in a statement.