Villeurbanne stabbing: Manhunt underway after 1 killed and several others injured in knife attack

French police are hunting for at least one suspect after a knife attack near Lyon that left one dead and several others injured. An official with the Lyon regional administration told The Associated Press that one suspected assailant was detained and at least one other suspect in the attack on Saturday was on the run. 

The official wouldn’t give details and says the motive for the violence in the suburb of Villeurbanne is unknown. He says national security forces aren’t involved in the search, which is being conducted by a few dozen local police officers and a helicopter. 

Local police unions said it’s too soon to know of any reason to suspect terror.

French police secure the area after one person was found dead and six others wounded in a suspected knife attack in Villeurbanne, near Lyon
French police secure the area after one person was found dead and six others wounded in a suspected knife attack in Villeurbanne, near Lyon, central France, August 31, 2019.

EMMANUEL FOUDROT / REUTERS


France remains on high alert after Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016. 

The regional official couldn’t be named because of French government policy.

Justice Ginsburg reports shes very well following cancer treatment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s on her way to being “very well” following radiation treatment for cancer.

The 86-year-old justice was speaking Saturday at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington. The event came a little over a week after Ginsburg disclosed that she had completed three weeks of outpatient radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas.

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WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 30: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, celebrating her 20th anniversary on the bench, is photographed in the East conference room at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday, August 30, 2013. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 30: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, celebrating her 20th anniversary on the bench, is photographed in the West conference room at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday, August 30, 2013. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 19: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gives a toast at the New Republic Centennial Gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on November 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, stands in her chambers following an interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. Ginsburg, 80, the oldest member of the Supreme Court and appointed to the court in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, has said on several occasions that she wants to match the longevity of Justice Louis Brandeis, who was 82 when he stepped down in 1939. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 17: Honorable Samuel Alito, Jr. (L) Associate Justice of Supreme Court of the United States and Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg Associate Justice of Supreme Court of the United States attend Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s 38th annual gala at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on November 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 17: Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of Supreme Court of the United States, attends Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s 38th annual gala at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on November 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

USA – 2013 300 dpi Chris Ware color caricature of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. MCT via Getty Images 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 28: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (L) shakes hands with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (R) as Associate Justice Stephen Breyer look son before President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. In his fifth State of the Union address, Obama is expected to emphasize on healthcare, economic fairness and new initiatives designed to stimulate the U.S. economy with bipartisan cooperation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

US Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (L), and Stephen Breyer (R) listen as US President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on January 28, 2014 at the US Capitol in Washington. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 17: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg waits for the beginning of the taping of ‘The Kalb Report’ April 17, 2014 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The Kalb Report is a discussion of media ethics and responsibility at the National Press Club held each month. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 17: Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia (L) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (R) wait for the beginning of the taping of ‘The Kalb Report’ April 17, 2014 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The Kalb Report is a discussion of media ethics and responsibility at the National Press Club held each month. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 30: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, celebrating her 20th anniversary on the bench, is photographed in the West conference room at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday, August 30, 2013. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 30: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, celebrating her 20th anniversary on the bench, is photographed in the East conference room at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday, August 30, 2013. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, looks out the window of her chambers following an interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. Ginsburg, 80, the oldest member of the Supreme Court and appointed to the court in 1993 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, has said on several occasions that she wants to match the longevity of Justice Louis Brandeis, who was 82 when he stepped down in 1939. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 12: Members of the Supreme Court, (L-R) Chief Justice John Roberts and associate justices Anthony Kennendy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, applaud as U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to deliver his State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol February 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Facing a divided Congress, Obama focused his speech on new initiatives designed to stimulate the U.S. economy and said, ‘ItÕs not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth’. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 12: Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attends President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol February 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Facing a divided Congress, Obama focused his speech on new initiatives designed to stimulate the U.S. economy and said, ‘ItÕs not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth’. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, left, and Elena Kagan attend the opening night gala of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. The gala followed a performance of ‘Anna Bolena.’ Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 12: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses backstage at the 22nd annual Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Glamour Magazine)

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 12: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks onstage at the 22nd annual Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage for Glamour Magazine)

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 21: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives for the luncheon in Statuary Hall during President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CAMBRIDGE – MAY 26: While standing to receive her honorary degree, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is surprised with a serenade from Spanish tenor Placido Domingo (right) after he received his honorary degree. Sitting between them are commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, and Harvard president Drew Faust (right rear). Harvard University holds its commencement exercises in Tercentenary Theatre, on Thursday, May 26, 2011. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – APRIL 10: CEO Niche Media Jason Binn and the honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg pose for a photo at Capitol File Magazine’s After Party for Robert Redford’s The Conspirator at The Newseum on April 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage for Niche Media)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 25: U.S President Barack Obama (C) greets (L-R) Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer before the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill on January 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. During his speech Obama was expected to focus on the U.S. economy and increasing education and infrastructure funding while proposing a three-year partial freeze of domestic programs and $78 billion in military spending cuts. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, speaks during The Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010. Originally established in 1985, the event has grown into the largest one-day conference for women in the U.S., and has a mission to empower women to be ‘Architects of Change.’ Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONG BEACH, CA – OCTOBER 26: Diane Swayer (L), and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speak during the Maria Shriver Women’s Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center on October 26, 2010 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

LONG BEACH, CA – OCTOBER 26: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attends California first lady Maria Shriver’s annual Women’s Conference 2010 on October 26, 2010 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. Attendees to the conference include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and candidates for California Governor Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LONG BEACH, CA – OCTOBER 26: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (C) looks at former justice Sandra Day O’Connor (R) speak during a discussion with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer (L) during California first lady Maria Shriver’s annual Women’s Conference 2010 on October 26, 2010 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. Attendees to the conference include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and candidates for California Governor Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The newest member of the US Supreme Court, Associate Justice Elena Kagan (C), participates in the courts official photo session with Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (L) and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (R) on October 8, 2010 at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. From left: Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/MCT via Getty Images)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/MCT via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 08: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses for photographs in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court building October 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. This is the first time in history that three women are simultaneously serving on the court. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Justices of the US Supreme Court sit for their official photograph on October 8, 2010 at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Front row (L-R): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Back Row (L-R): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr. and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. AFP PHOTO / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 09: U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen on a video screen as she speaks to delegates at the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates meeting August 9, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Justice Ginsburg was honored with the prestigous ABA Medal, the Bar Association’s highest honor. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO – AUGUST 09: U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks to delegates at the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates meeting August 9, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Justice Ginsburg was honored with the prestigous ABA Medal, the Bar Association’s highest honor. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (R) arrives for a reception in honor of Designated Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan August 6, 2010, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Kagan has become only the fourth woman to win confirmation as Supreme Court justice. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama is greeted by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prior to delivering his first State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 27, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses during a group photo September 29, 2009 in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 29: Members of the US Supreme Court pose for a group photograph at the Supreme Court building on September 29, 2009 in Washington, DC. Front row (L-R): Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. Back Row (L-R), Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – FEBRUARY 24: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg walks through Statuary Hall before President Barack Obama’s address to the joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (L) greets US President Barack Obama before he addresses a Joint Session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on February 24, 2009. AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives before US President Barack Obama addresses a Joint Session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on February 24, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives for President Barack Obama address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the Capitol in Washington on February 24, 2009. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (Photo credit should read PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – FEBRUARY 24: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives for President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on February 24, 2009 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama will address a joint session of the Congress at 9:01pm tonight where he plans to address the topics of the struggling U.S. economy, the budget deficit, and health care. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – JUNE 8: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg waits to enter a dinner to honor Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s first female president, May 8, 2006 in Washington, DC. Over 350 women leaders including Sen. Susan Collins (R-MI), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-Il), Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), US Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, Actress Geena Davis and Editor-at-Large of Fortune Magazine Pattie Sellers are expected to attend. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

SLUG: ME-READING19 PHOTOGRAPHER: NIKKI KAHN/THE WASHINGTON POST DATE: 9/18/2006 The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the reading of the Constitution at Georgetown University’s Gonda Theater in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 18, 2006. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

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It was the fourth time since 1999 that Ginsburg has been treated for cancer. In announcing the news, the Supreme Court said in a statement that after the treatment there was “no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.”

Ginsburg was treated for colorectal cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009 and had lung cancer surgery in December.

Unpredictable Dorian Will Likely Miss Florida, Still Threatens Southeastern US

Experts say the track has shifted yet again for Hurricane Dorian.

According to a Saturday morning report from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), a “notable change” to the storm’s path had occurred overnight. Forecasters said a high-pressure system building over the Atlantic Ocean could push Dorian a little more to the north, bypassing Florida altogether, contrary to earlier predictions.

But by Saturday afternoon, experts said Dorian’s track had shifted yet again, this time slightly east, and was forecast to sail northward near Florida’s Eastern coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The track can still shift, either closer to Florida or farther away and small fluctuations can be significant,” Sarah Gorman, a representative from The Weather Company, told Newsweek in an email Saturday afternoon.

As of 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, The Weather Company’s spaghetti model forecast placed Dorian’s track shifting north and east, staying parallel to the Florida coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Image courtesy of The Weather Company

Additionally, the latest NHC report, time-stamped 2:00 EDT, said “interests in Southern and Central Florida should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian.”

The report noted that watches may be required for portions of Eastern Florida later on Saturday.

Dorian was centered 280 miles (450 kilometers) east of the Northwestern Bahamas and about 545 miles (880 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida, early on Saturday.

On the track predicted by the NHC, Dorian will move over the Atlantic to the north of the Southeastern and Central Bahamas on Saturday get near or over the Northwestern Bahamas on Sunday and approach the coast of Florida late Monday night or early Tuesday.

It detailed that hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area across the northwestern Bahamas by Sunday, with tropical storm winds beginning Saturday night. These conditions may include a life-threatening storm surge in Great Abaco and Grand Bahama.

Dorian is also expected to produce heavy rainfall in the Bahamas this weekend and into the middle of next week, according to the NHC. The northwestern Bahamas may experience 10 to 15 inches, with isolated areas receiving as much as 25 inches of water, and the Central Bahamas may see 2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.

The rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods, the NHC warned.

The NHC‘s 11 a.m. advisory noted that the risk of strong winds and storm surge would increase along the coast of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina during the middle of next week.

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 4 storm, tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:40 on August 31, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo by NOAA via Getty Images

How Brazil’s nationalist leader built a bond with Trump and won his support in the Amazon fires dispute



Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President Trump exchange soccer jerseys at their first meeting in March at the White House. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

President Trump was preparing for the Group of Seven summit in France when he learned that one of his most ardent suitors was trying to reach him. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro needed a favor, and Trump told aides to patch the call through.

Bolsonaro got right to the point: The powerful G-7 countries, including France and Canada, were unfairly ganging up on Brazil over their criticism of his government’s response to massive fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest. Since Brazil is not a G-7 member, he told Trump, it was in danger of being “left without a voice,” according to a senior Trump administration official familiar with their call.

Trump did not hesitate. “Absolutely, we will be a voice for Brazil,” the president responded, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation.

Within days, Trump delivered as promised. French President Emmanuel Macron announced at the end of last weekend’s G-7 meetings that member nations had approved a $22 million emergency aid package to help combat the fires, but the Trump administration did not support the measure, insisting that any solution should be done in consultation with Brazil, senior White House aides said this week.

In a tweet after the summit — as Bolsonaro threatened to reject the aid money in a feud with Macron that included personal insults — Trump praised Bolsonaro for “working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil.”

The episode illustrated the success Bolsonaro has had in forging a bond with Trump since sweeping to a surprise election in October behind promises to “make Brazil great again.” A far-right nationalist initially viewed as a long shot, Bolsonaro unabashedly modeled himself after Trump, weaponizing social media, bullying rivals and courting the Trump administration by promising strong support for Israel, pressure on socialist regimes in Venezuela and Cuba and newfound potential for bilateral trade.

For that, he earned a special moniker: “Trump of the tropics.”

The charm offensive has paid off with a U.S. president eager for acclamation and validation. Trump was the first foreign leader to personally congratulate Bolsonaro after his election, placing a call within an hour of the victory — after national security adviser John Bolton made clear to White House aides that Trump wanted to be the first.

Trump “likes to see himself as the leader of a movement, a global movement, and part of that is to see that the movement is spreading,” said Fernando Cutz, who served as director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council during Trump’s first year and a half in office. Cutz said Trump grew intrigued by Bolsonaro given the comparisons between the two during Bolsonaro’s campaign.

“It helped that Bolsonaro embraced that title and did not run away from it,” Cutz said of comparisons. To Trump, “that’s a huge plus.”

Yet to congressional Democrats, the personal chemistry between the leaders represents another example of the president cozying up to a world leader with anti-democratic, strongman tendencies, sometimes at the expense of U.S. allies.

A former national legislator, Bolsonaro earned infamy with a series of bigoted, sexist and homophobic comments, as well as attacks on immigrants. He responded to a female lawmaker who accused him of encouraging rape by saying: “I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it.”

Bolsonaro, who promised during his campaign to withdraw Brazil from the 2015 Paris climate accord, has drawn international criticism for his stewardship of the Amazon. He has fought back aggressively, denouncing foreign leaders for threatening Brazilian sovereignty and accusing his critics of starting some of the fires to make him look bad.

On Friday, Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s youngest son, and Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo visited the White House to discuss the situation with national security staff, and they gained a briefing audience with Trump.

Araújo told reporters in the West Wing driveway that Trump reiterated his belief that “it was absurd that some countries think Brazil should not have sovereignty over the Amazon in some way. We’re grateful for that stance.”

Democrats in Congress have been critical of Trump’s embrace of Bolsonaro.

“The one thing that has really drawn our attention is just how far Trump himself has been willing to bend over backward for Bolsonaro,” said one Democratic aide on Capitol Hill, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter frankly.

At a bipartisan Senate meeting with Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão in April, according to people who were present, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) pressed Mourão on human rights.

Democrats have also raised objections over the fact that Bolsonaro publicly endorsed Trump’s reelection during a Rose Garden news conference after their first bilateral meeting at the White House in March.

In addition to Trump, President Bolsonaro and his top aides have courted prominent U.S. conservatives, including Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House adviser who attended a small, private dinner with Bolsonaro in Washington.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, a national legislator in Brazil, also has met with White House adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and with Donald Trump Jr.

One U.S. official said Eduardo Bolsonaro started meeting with administration aides before his father was elected, showing up with carefully crafted talking points, including support for Trump’s North Korea policy and echoing Trump by citing the need to overcome a “deep state” bureaucracy in Brazil.



Eduardo Bolsonaro, left, the Brazilian president’s son, and Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo exit a meeting Friday at the White House. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

A member of Brazil’s National Congress, Eduardo Bolsonaro is in line to be nominated by his father as the next ambassador to Washington, a move Trump has publicly endorsed despite charges of nepotism from some Brazilian politicians.

The Bolsonaros are “completely fascinated with Trump,” said Paulo Sotero, a Latin America expert at the Wilson Center who visited Brazil this past week.

The family has indicated that they intend to “satisfy President Trump, which is what President Trump likes to hear,” Sotero said, adding that “there will be serious pushback in Brazil.”

White House aides expressed satisfaction that the two countries are drawing closer. Since Bolsonaro took office in January, he and Trump have met twice — first at the White House and again in June on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

The Trump administration has rewarded Bolsonaro by publicly supporting Brazil’s bid to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and elevating Brazil to the status of a major non-NATO ally — over the objections of some Democrats.

During the Rose Garden news conference in March, Trump raised the possibility of installing Brazil as a full-fledged NATO member — even though it is not eligible given that the country is not located in the North Atlantic.

Aides said Trump first broached the subject during his working lunch with Bolsonaro. Patrick Shanahan, then the acting defense secretary, had just finished briefing on security matters when Trump surprised the room by asking Bolton whether it was possible for Brazil to gain full NATO membership.

“Why not?” Trump demanded, according to multiple people who were present.

“Bolton said something like, ‘That would really turn heads,’ ” said one person who was in the room and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation.

“I was taken by surprise,” said Sergio Amaral, who as Brazil’s ambassador to Washington was also in the room. Amaral, who stepped down from his post in May, added in an interview: “After the lunch, there was a follow-up with some important advisers to President Trump. They assessed about how that could work because there are some restrictions.”

White House aides confirmed that they have explored the legal possibilities and floated the idea to European allies.

Republicans on Capitol Hill praised the growing partnership. An aide to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that “previous administrations were not as aligned with our democratic values as Bolsonaro is. It’s a breath of fresh air from our point of view.”

But others have viewed the relationship more skeptically. Analysts said Bolsonaro is trying to hedge against the growing influence of China — Brazil’s top trading partner — and they cautioned that achieving a trade deal with Brazil will be challenging given the country’s entrenched agricultural lobbies.

Bolsonaro has struggled to follow through on other promises that aimed to please Trump. He has backed off pledges to move Brazil’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

Even the increased cooperation with the United States on security and defense is a risk, said Guilherme Casarões, an international relations professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a university in Sao Paulo.

“If the United States wants to embark on a military venture in Venezuela or Iran, it is very possible that they will call for Brazilian help,” he said. “Brazil’s help would not be military or strategy focused; Brazil doesn’t have many resources to contribute. But it would legitimize an American military action.”

Yet despite the policy obstacles, Bolsonaro views Trump’s success in upending the conservative movement in the United States as useful in his political goals, analysts said.

Chris Buskirk, publisher of the journal American Greatness, was among the dozen or so conservatives who, along with Bannon and Amaral, dined with Bolsonaro at the Brazilian ambassador’s residence in March. Buskirk said he marveled at the Bolsonaro team’s intimate familiarity with the debate over conservatism in the United States.

“They were looking to American conservative intellectual history as a way to figure out their next best steps,” he said.

Bannon was so impressed that he named Eduardo Bolsonaro as the chief representative in South America for his global populist organization, known as the Movement.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, who also was present at the dinner, said he and Eduardo Bolsonaro have arranged to hold a National Conservative Political Action Committee event in Brazil in October.

“I consider him a friend,” Schlapp said. “We’ve shared ideas on the ways that the movement in each country can collaborate.” Last week, Schlapp, whose wife, Mercedes, served as the strategic communications director at the White House until departing in July, used a tweet to take Brazil’s side in the dispute with Macron over the management of the Amazon.

Some in Brazil have raised concerns that Bolsonaro is establishing a back-channel to bypass formal diplomatic avenues to influence Trump.

But a senior Trump administration official insisted that the White House has not been lobbied by conservative outsiders and pointed out that Bolsonaro has an open line to the president.

“If they want to talk to the White House, they can do what Bolsonaro did last week — pick up the phone and call,” the official said. “We’re only a phone call away.”

Marina Lopes in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.

Afghan asylum seeker kills one in bus stop knife rampage in France

An Afghan asylum seeker is accused of killing a 19-year-old man and wounding at least nine people in a frenzied knife rampage in France.

Witnesses said a man armed with a kitchen knife and barbecue fork randomly attacked people at a bus stop during the bloodbath in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon.

He allegedly said during the attack: “They do not read the Koran.”

Footage shows hero witnesses confronting and detaining the knifeman, who tosses the knife and fork to the floor and surrenders at Laurent-Bonnevay station.

Another video shows an injured victim clutching his knife wound as he lay on the floor.

Did you witness the incident? Email webnews@mirror.co.uk.

Witnesses confront the knife-wielding suspect (left) and urge him to surrender

 

Bus drivers and witnesses chased the knife-wielding suspect as he ran into the metro station and then cornered him at an outdoor lift after the attack unfolded just before 4.30pm local time on Saturday, local media reported.

The suspect is a 33-year-old Afghan asylum seeker who was not known to the police or intelligence services, BFM TV reported.

The knifeman claimed to be from Afghanistan as he was confronted by witnesses, including four bus drivers, after the attack, Le Progres reported.

A witness told the newspaper that the knifeman said “They do not read the Koran” during his rampage.

The suspect was cornered by witnesses and held until police arrived

 

There was no indication from the authorities that it was a terror attack. The suspect gave three different identities following his arrest, Le Parisien reported.

He did not state a possible motive and he was not carrying any identification, the report added.

He has reportedly offered three conflicting reasons for what happened, but none are related to terrorist groups.

Witnesses described a terrifying scene as the knifeman began stabbing victims at random and people ran for their lives.

A witness is comforted after the attack was brought to an end
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)


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A woman, whose tank top was stained with blood, told LCI that one person had been stabbed in the stomach, a man was stabbed in the head and an older woman was knifed in the ear.

The woman said she stepped in front of the older victim to protect her, adding: “There was blood everywhere on the ground.”

A witness named Nina added: “I was in the subway at the end of a mundane day and then [the police] evacuated the metro.

“We saw large bloodstains on the ground.

A 19-year-old man was stabbed to death during the rampage
(Image: REUTERS)

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“I saw a gentleman with his three young children, with blood on his face and his white t-shirt. Several people were traumatised, crying.”

A bus driver opened the door to his vehicle to offer refuge to those who were running from the scene.

The 19-year-old man who died was originally from Isere and was travelling by bus to the Woodstower music festival at Grand Parc Miribel Jonage near Lyon, Le Progres reported.

A source said: “[The suspect] launched the attack in broad daylight while people were waiting for a bus.

Police at the scene of the attack in Villeurbanne on the ouskirts of Lyon
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)

“A nineteen-year-old man was stabbed to death first, and then others were wounded in the head and stomach.

“Nine people were wounded in all, with others treated for less serious injuries.

“Four bus workers managed to disarm and calm the man down before police arrived.”

More than 30 emergency services personnel – including the elite RAID tactical unit of the French National Police – and soldiers responded to the incident east of Lyon.

French soldiers stand near a car in Villeurbanne
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)

The wounded were found inside the station and on its forecourt.

A possible motive for the attack was not known.

Lyon Mayor Gerard Collomb, the former French interior minister, told reporters: “For now, we do not know anything about the motive.

“What is certain is that it was not a fight since it was someone who attacked passengers waiting for a bus.”

In the chaos of the attack there were claims that a second suspect was involved, but investigators later ruled that out and said there was only one attacker, Le Parisien reported.

French police secure the area after a young man was killed
(Image: REUTERS)

A man at the scene was carrying what appeared to be a kitchen spit, but French authorities said he did not participate in the attack.

The attack happened as football fans were travelling on the metro system to watch Lyon host Bordeaux in a Ligue 1 match.

The local prosecutor’s office is handling the case, which is being treated as murder and attempted murder.

Terror-related incidents are probed by the national anti-terror prosecution office, which said it was monitoring the incident.

In the aftermath of the attack, right-wing politician Marine Le Pen blamed France’s immigration system, tweeting: “The naivety and the laxity of our migration policy seriously threatens the safety of the French!”

Straight Pride Parade in Boston draws counterprotesters

A so-called “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston on Saturday drew as many counterprotesters as marches in addition to a heavy police presence.

The parade, which drew several dozen participants, kicked off at around noon to the sound of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” with some floats displaying messages of support for President Donald Trump, with signs such as “build the wall,” “Trump nation” and “Blue Lives Matter.”

It was organized by a group called Super Happy Fun America who say they are “committed to creating spaces for people of all identities to embrace the vibrancy of the straight community.

Since plans for the event were announced in early June, to has come under criticism. Some critics said the parade organizers are white supremacists whose intent was to bait members of the LGBT community in one of America’s most liberal cities.

The planned parade route through downtown Boston alarmed Emerson College President Lee Pelton, who earlier this week sent a campuswide message to students calling the event “a perversion” and a “desecration of beauty, truth and generosity.”

Counterprotesters on Saturday were seen holding signs along the parade route, separated by barriers.

Boston Police said they were heightening security in the downtown area.

Trump at golf club after going to Camp David to track storm

STERLING, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump is at his private Virginia golf club as Hurricane Dorian is on track to threaten the Southeast coastline.

Trump took a helicopter Saturday from the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland to his property in Virginia.

The president gave the impression as he left the White House on Friday that he would spend Saturday at Camp David with experts monitoring what has developed into a powerful Category 4 storm.

He said he would return to Washington on Sunday to attend a briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

9 PHOTOS

Hurricane Dorian

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This Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 image provided by NASA shows a view of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station as it churned over the Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico. Leaving mercifully little damage in its wake in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Dorian swirled toward the U.S., with forecasters warning it will draw energy from the warm, open waters as it closes in. (NASA via AP)

Store shelves are empty of bottled water as residents buy supplies in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, in Doral, Fla., Thursday, July 29, 2019. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian could hit the Florida coast over the weekend as a major hurricane. (AP Photo/Marcus Lim)

Shoppers prepare ahead of Hurricane Dorian at The Home Depot on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Empty shelves are seen with a sign at Costco stating that the retailer is currently sold out of water ahead of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, left, looks on as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about Tropical Storm Dorian outside of the the National Hurricane Center, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

This GOES-16 satellite image taken Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at 14:20 UTC and provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Dorian, right, moving over open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Dorian was expected to grow into a potentially devastating Category 3 hurricane before hitting the U.S. mainland late Sunday or early Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia. (NOAA via AP)

Shoppers wait in long lines at Costco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Davie, Fla., as they stock up on supplies ahead of Hurricane Dorian. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 30: People walk to their boat through a flooded parking lot at the Haulover Marine Center before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian on August 30, 2019 in Miami Beach, Florida. The high water was due to King tide which may cause additional problems as Hurricane Dorian arrives in the area as a possible Category 4 storm along the Florida coast. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 30: Weston Rice drives through a flooded parking lot as he prepares to drop his jet ski into the water at the Haulover Marine Center before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian on August 30, 2019 in Miami Beach, Florida. The high water was due to King tide which may cause additional problems as Hurricane Dorian arrives in the area as a possible Category 4 storm along the Florida coast. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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The White House offered no immediate comment on how the president would be spending his time at the golf club.

Trump is scheduled to return to Camp David later Saturday for a hurricane briefing.

 

Opioid makers facing US lawsuits eye new market in India

This is a Kaiser Health News story.

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In the crowded waiting room of Dr. Sunil Sagar’s clinic, in the working-class neighborhood of Bhagwanpur Khera, a toddler breathes from a nebulizer. Fever is widespread, and the air quality in Delhi has reached “severe-plus emergency.” The patients sit, motionless, but there is somehow tremendous noise. The clinic is a squat cement building draped in wires, a red cross on the door. Sagar sits behind a desk in a small, open room, as a squad of assistants escort patients to him. He seems utterly unflappable.

A father with a troubled look sits down next to the doctor, holding a baby. Sagar listens to the baby’s chest with a stethoscope, pulls out scrap paper and writes a prescription. The father hands over a few rupees, and Sagar places the bills into a money drawer under his desk. The entire exchange takes perhaps two minutes.

Medicine in India is transactional. A well-liked doctor hands over a prescription at the end of every visit. Why else have I paid cash to see the doctor, if not for relief? The precariousness of daily life leaves little room for downtime.

As the Indian government reluctantly loosens its prescription opioid laws after decades of lobbying by palliative care advocates desperate to ease their patients’ acute pain, the nation’s sprawling, cash-fed health care system is ripe for misuse. The sheer size of India’s system — tens of millions of doctors and pharmacies spread across the subcontinent — makes oversight difficult but presents a tantalizing opportunity for India’s burgeoning pain industry and multinational pharmaceutical companies seeking new markets.

A popular spot to purchase these bulk drugs is the Bhagirath Palace in the Chandni Chowk market, one of India’s largest wholesale markets that dates to the 17th century. It is a dense maze where men — and it is almost entirely men — press their bodies into a current of commercial ecstasy, frequently thrown off course by honking auto rickshaw drivers. One after the next, stalls of drug distributors advertise on brightly painted signs “all types of medicines,” “life-saving anti-cancer drugs,” “deal in Glaxo … Johnson & Johnson.” Inside the stalls, boxes of medicine are stacked from floor to ceiling.

PHOTO: Delhis Chandni Chowk market, which dates to the 17th century, is a popular spot to purchase bulk drugs. Inside the stalls, boxes of medicine are stacked floor to ceiling.Sarah Varney/KHN

Delhi’s Chandni Chowk market, which dates to the 17th century, is a popular spot to purchase bulk drugs. Inside the stalls, boxes of medicine are stacked floor to ceiling.

One drug wholesaler in the market said the government has been cracking down lately on certain medicines. Recently, he had received a list of 328 drugs that he was not supposed to stock, including Sulpitac, an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia. The wholesaler said people had been taking it like “dal and rice” for headaches.

Like its rigid caste system, India’s pain industry is stratified. The well-to-do visit well-appointed pain clinics, the working class turn to their neighborhood doctors, and the lower castes, especially those living in India’s vast slums, scramble for relief at roadside pharmacies, called chemists.

In the Mankhurd slum in Mumbai, where the average life expectancy is 39, toddlers wander bare-bottomed, defecating in the street. Children scratch at infections on their legs. Without any municipal water, hawkers sell plastic sandwich bags filled with dirty water for 2 rupees. In this place, pain remedies are readily available.

At Shiv Medical & General Stores, an older boy tending the stall wrote out a receipt for Ultracet, branded tramadol tablets — an opioid analgesic — made by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. “Doctor’s name?” he asked. Our guide, Mayur Helia, a community organizer, made one up. “Shagmu,” Helia said, giggling, and the shopkeeper wrote it down.

Helia and his colleagues are activists agitating for drinking water and sanitation in the Mumbai-area slums. “Painkillers are part of the daily routine,” said social worker Alfiya Mulla. “They have become more normalized.”

“You go to the chemist,” Helia added, “and you say, ‘I have this pain,’ and he will give you painkillers without any prescription.”

Daily life here is a pageant of hustle. For women in the slums, Mulla said, that means lugging 35-liter buckets of water. “You have to take that from half a kilometer away, and that’s why women have to take that” — she motioned to the box of Ultracet — “because they are hurting their backs.”

She turned the box over in her hands. “Women are more affected and are more addicted to this tablet.”

Beautiful Laws, Lax Enforcement

As India flirts with liberalizing access to painkillers, government surveys show addiction to prescription opioids is on the rise. The northern state of Punjab, where heroin addiction is endemic, recently opened more than 160 outpatient opioid-assisted treatment clinics where addicts can receive substitute opioids like buprenorphine while they fight withdrawal.

But buprenorphine is also widely prescribed to treat chronic pain and has become a problem in its own right. Dr. Debasish Basu, a psychiatrist and professor at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, one of India’s top medical institutes, said “the main prescription medicine that we’re seeing [people becoming addicted to] is buprenorphine.”

“The source for buprenorphine is a licit source; they are made in drug-manufacturing factories,” he said, but then “the diversion takes place.”

Basu echoed health experts across the country in saying the central government tightly regulates the production of narcotic painkillers, but there is little faith in its ability to control distribution. “The legal system is so lax, the monitoring system is so lax,” Basu lamented. “The laws are all there. Oh, there are beautiful laws. But the implementation is so lax that once something comes over here, it’s very difficult. It’s like a bonfire.”

PHOTO: Storefront for-profit pain clinics like Delhi Pain Management Centre are opening by the score across Mumbai and other cities in India. After decades of restrictive narcotics laws, India is a country ready to salve its pain.Sarah Varney/KHN

Storefront for-profit pain clinics like Delhi Pain Management Centre are opening by the score across Mumbai and other cities in India. After decades of restrictive narcotics laws, India is a country ready to salve its pain.

If there is a precursor to an American-style opioid epidemic in India, it is tramadol, a painkiller that became available here in the early 1990s. Drugmakers — often citing studies they had funded — touted tramadol as less addictive than other painkillers.

“Tramadol information would come to every single clinician,” said Dr. Bobby John, a Delhi-based health expert. “Why? Because there is some drug salesperson sitting outside your door saying, ‘Hey, there’s a new drug. It’s non-addictive.’ Standard playbook.”

Tramadol flourished in India. Unlike morphine, fentanyl and other painkillers, the government initially placed few restrictions on its sale. But in 2018, after reports of abuse in the state of Punjab and reports of illicit Indian tramadol being sold to Boko Haram militants in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, Indian regulators enacted stricter controls.

If you cannot see the direct influence of American pharmaceutical companies in India, you can detect their shadow. In October 2018, just months after the Indian government clamped down on tramadol, a group of pain specialists from seven Southeast Asian countries, including three from influential hospitals in India, published a paper in the Journal of Pain Research.

“Tramadol: A Valuable Treatment for Pain in Southeast Asian Countries” made the case that “the weak opioid tramadol has become the analgesic most frequently used in the region to treat moderate to severe pain.” The paper concluded: “If it were to become a controlled substance, the standard of pain management in the region would decline.”

The paper was funded by Grünenthal GmbH of Germany, a company that signed a deal in May 2018 to allow Mundipharma to market and distribute its tramadol product, Tramal, in China. Authors included pain specialists who have received consulting and lecturing fees from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Mundipharma, a network of companies controlled by the Sackler family, owners of Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma.

Dr. Pooja Garg runs an opioid-assisted addiction recovery clinic on the outskirts of Chandigarh, one of five in the area. Addicts in the area favor heroin, she said, but when they cannot find or afford heroin, “they take whatever they can get over the counter from chemists.” That tends to be tramadol, which, despite the new restrictions, remains widely available.

The bustling waiting room led into a peaceful inner courtyard where, on a weekday morning last November, dozens of young men, in their late teens and 20s, had come for inpatient treatment. In one bedroom, several men sat cross-legged on a pair of metal cots. The young men said they took tramadol or buprenorphine, whatever they could get. “It depends on the availability at that particular moment,” one said. They all agreed tramadol was easy to buy from local chemists.

India sits between the two largest illicit opium-growing regions, the Golden Crescent of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, and the Golden Triangle of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand; and India itself is one of the largest producers of legal opium. Much of the heroin passes through Punjab, a state of 28 million in northwestern India that has struggled with opioid addiction.

That history of heroin addiction makes those in Punjab and other nearby states especially vulnerable to synthetic opioids, said Dr. Anshu Garg, an addiction counselor in Mohali. Heroin “is freely available in the villages,” he said. “People try it without knowing the consequences. They try it once or twice, they get addicted to it.”

Sharing The Spoils

Vijay Bhatia can attest to how the business acumen propelling India toward economic prosperity has been brazenly co-opted by eager pharmaceutical companies.

Bhatia worked in pharmaceutical sales for two decades for a handful of companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Ranbaxy Laboratories, an Indian generics maker owned by Sun Pharma. He now works in Chandigarh, where he oversees sales for Atulaya Healthcare, a chain of diagnostic imaging centers. Bhatia was among several current or former pharma representatives interviewed who described how multinational drugmakers deploy sophisticated methods in India for getting their products prescribed.

Drugmakers routinely give sales representatives extra money to offer doctors cash or gifts — iPads, cars, trips to conferences — to prescribe the drug they’re selling, Bhatia said. He described how sales reps give influential doctors free products to test with patients and how some doctors, in turn, deliver lectures at all-expenses-paid symposia, often presenting research papers sponsored by the drug companies.

PHOTO: Storefront for-profit pain clinics like Delhi Pain Management Centre are opening by the score across Mumbai and other cities in India. After decades of restrictive narcotics laws, India is a country ready to salve its pain.Sarah Varney/KHN

Storefront for-profit pain clinics like Delhi Pain Management Centre are opening by the score across Mumbai and other cities in India. After decades of restrictive narcotics laws, India is a country ready to salve its pain.

The multinational companies “have access to all these top opinion leaders,” Bhatia said. They will sponsor doctors to live “abroad for studies being done there. It is circumventing the entire marketing process. It’s another way of taking the doctor into the loop.”

“Suppose a product costs $100. To the company, it is costing $20. Now they have $80 to play with,” Bhatia explained. “So they’ll keep a safe margin, say, ‘OK, fine, this much money you can keep for ongoing practices or for sponsoring the doctor or, right or wrong, bribing the doctor.’”

Engendering loyalty with chemists is a top priority. To make his sales targets, Bhatia said, he would offer financial incentives to chemists who would “substitute [a product] with my product. In India, the chemist becomes king.”

Multinational pharmaceutical companies maintain they are ethical purveyors of their products. “Opioid pain medications play an essential role in the management of severe pain and it’s important they be recognized by health authorities as important therapeutic options, especially in cancer pain,” Manmohan Singh, a vice president at Modi-Mundipharma in New Delhi, said in a written statement. But, he said, “they need to be appropriately prescribed, monitored and reviewed to minimize the risks of misuse and abuse.”

In all sales promotions, Singh said, his company stresses that patients should be carefully selected, prescribed the lowest effective dosage, and made aware of both the treatment goals and potential side effects. “The exact prevalence of addiction with opioids is difficult to determine,” he said. “Signs of addictive behavior should be monitored and addressed.”

In Thiruvananthapuram, in the southern state of Kerala, Dr. M.R. Rajagopal knows all too well that a powerful drug company, a greedy pharmaceutical salesman, an unscrupulous pain doctor, a reckless morphine addict or any whiff of scandal somewhere on the subcontinent could sink his life’s work. Widely viewed as the father of palliative care here, he is frankly tired of “opiophobia,” the “prejudice and misinformation” that the medical use of opioids will lead to addiction and crime. He is tired of reassuring Indian bureaucrats they are not ushering in a U.S.-style opioid epidemic. He has no time for doomsday scenarios; there are too many Indians in agony.

“This is a rather horrible country to die in,” Rajagopal told a roomful of doctors and medical students last fall at Sree Gokulam Medical College, on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. He stood unassumingly at the front of a hospital conference room darkened by thick red drapes. Even with a microphone, his voice was gentle. “If a patient cries in pain for two weeks” at the end of his life, Rajagopal said, “it is hard to remember any good times.” When they are dying, he urged the crowd, “Give morphine.”

Despite the blossoming pain industry, Rajagopal estimates no more than 2% of Indians have access to palliative care. In his testimony for a three-year study of untreated pain published by the Lancet medical journal in 2018, he recounted the story of “Mr. S,” who came to a palliative care clinic in Calicut, Kerala, with crippling pain from lung cancer. He put the man on morphine, and a few hours later, Mr. S “surveyed himself with disbelief. He had neither hoped nor conceived of the possibility that this kind of relief was possible.”

When Mr. S returned the following month, the clinic had run out of morphine. The patient “told us with outward calm, ‘I shall come again next Wednesday. I will bring a piece of rope with me. If the tablets are still not here, I am going to hang myself from that tree.’

“He pointed to the window. I believed he meant what he said.”

Read part one of this two-part series: “Beset By Lawsuits And Criticism In U.S., Opioid Makers Eye New Market In India

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Conviction overturned for undocumented immigrant charged in death of Kate Steinle

The lone conviction for an undocumented immigrant whose actions resulted in the shooting death of a 32-year-old woman in 2015 has been overturned by an appellate court in California.

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A jury acquitted Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, 46, in 2017 of first degree murder, second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a semiautomatic firearm for his role in the death of Kate Steinle.

Garcia-Zarate was convicted, however, on the charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

During jury deliberations, jury members asked the court for the definition of possession and if there was a time requirement for possession. The defense argued during the appeal that the trial court failed to instruct the jury that it could acquit Garcia-Zarate because he only possessed the gun for a moment.

On Friday, the First Appellate Court of Appeals in California, in a 3-0 decision, agreed with that defense.

PHOTO: Flowers and a portrait of Kate Steinle are displayed at a memorial site on Pier 14 on July 17, 2015, in San Francisco, Calif.Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle/AP

Flowers and a portrait of Kate Steinle are displayed at a memorial site on Pier 14 on July 17, 2015, in San Francisco, Calif.

“Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the defense, as we must, we conclude the trial court erred in failing to give the momentary possession instruction. Because the error was prejudicial, we are compelled as a matter of law to reverse,” the court’s opinion says.

“These questions go to the heart of the momentary possession defense,” Justice Sandra Margulies wrote. “The fact the jury asked whether there was a time requirement for possession suggests jurors were wrestling with how long defendant had the gun.”

Steinle was walking with her family on Pier 14 on July 1, 2015, when she was hit by a bullet that had ricocheted off a concrete wall, hitting her in the back. Police said Garcia-Zarate knowingly fired the gun, then threw it in the water.

The defense successfully argued during his trail that the gun was wrapped in rags, which he picked up when it fired accidentally. He then, the defense said, threw it in the water so it would stop firing, according to court documents.

PHOTO: Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is led into the courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, left, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garciaor, center, for his arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco on July 7, 2015.Michael macor/San Francisco Chronicle/AP

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is led into the courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, left, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garciaor, center, for his arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco on July 7, 2015.

The gun Garcia-Zarate shot belonged to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger who reported that the gun was stolen from his car in San Francisco.

Despite the overturned conviction, Garcia-Zarate will remain in jail on related federal charges.

“We pray that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is successful in prosecuting Garcia-Zarate and that this menace will no longer be able to terrorize our streets,” the police association said.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association blasted the court’s decision, saying this is “another episode” of San Francisco judges caring more about criminals than victims.

“This is yet another disgusting injustice perpetrated by a broken criminal justice system that is more intent on re-harming the victims of crime and their families than holding violent offenders accountable,” a statement from the police association read.

The San Francisco district attorney’s office is weighing its next steps, according to The Associated Press.

The Steinle family did not immediately respond when asked for comment by ABC News.

Israel is making the case for war, in public, against Lebanon

The Israeli prime minister was on the campaign trail ahead of elections scheduled for September 17. But the barrage of agitprop by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) represented a dramatic shift towards a warning of outright war.

The casus belli, Israel says, is Iran’s efforts to modernize Hezbollah’s Lebanon-based arsenal of what Israel says is more than 100,000 rockets into precision-guided missiles.

But Israel has now named three senior Iranian officers, two brigadier generals and a colonel, whom the IDF said were in charge of the missile program for Hezbollah in Lebanon. It also pointedly observed that the leader of the group, the Iranian Quds Force, was in the country “with his family.”

The names and faces of the three men appear in one IDF video that alleges the weapons facilities are being deliberately built in civilian areas using locals as human shields against potential Israeli attack.

Lebanese army and United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon vehicles patrolling on the outskirts of the Lebanese village of Aitaroun.Lebanese army and United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon vehicles patrolling on the outskirts of the Lebanese village of Aitaroun.

Another video says that Hezbollah could soon have the capability to fly a missile onto an Israeli address as simply as if it was using the popular Waze navigation app. The propaganda clip even uses an animation of the app itself to drive its point home. Ironically, the video doesn’t note that Waze was invented by an Israeli company.

These information operations come against a backdrop of real-world conflict. Israel has championed its operation last weekend against alleged Iranian-commanded Hezbollah drone operators in Syria when it flattened a compound with air strikes.

Israel has been coy about who has been responsible for at least four mysterious air strikes against Iranian-backed militia in Iraq. And silent about Lebanese and Hezbollah allegations that Israel attacked a Hezbollah site in southern Beirut with small drones, also at the weekend.

Hezbollah's tunnels an 'act of war,' says Israel's Benjamin NetanyahuHezbollah's tunnels an 'act of war,' says Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu

The one thing that ordinary people on all sides of the conflicts would agree on, rightly or wrongly, is the belief that the Israelis were behind the whole lot. Arguably, that’s the impression Israel wants to leave.

More widely, its strategy has been to bomb — whenever “necessary” — Iranian and Iranian-backed militia targets in Syria for the last few years in hundreds of sorties.

But it has steered clear of operations inside Lebanon where Hezbollah has its bases buried deep inside mountains, its political wing has several seats in the national legislature and three Cabinet posts, including the health ministry, and is by a wide margin the most potent fighting force in the country.

By naming Iranian officers allegedly operational in Lebanon, Israel is effectively painting targets on their backs for its air force. In insisting that the Lebanese government should dismantle Iranian efforts to build Hezbollah guided missiles, Israel is warning that it’s prepared to risk MAD to prevent what it sees as strategic weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists.

Israel also knows, and so does everyone in Lebanon, that there’s nothing that the Lebanese government could do to stop Hezbollah’s weapons programs. So, Israel is simply making the case for war, in public.