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J&J CEO Gorsky to step down, firm veteran to steer in 2022

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Johnson & Johnson will exchange Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky with one other veteran firm govt beginning subsequent yr

Johnson & Johnson will exchange Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky with one other veteran firm govt beginning subsequent yr.

The world’s largest maker of well being care merchandise stated late Thursday that Joaquin Duato will turn into CEO and a member of the corporate’s board of administrators on January 3.

Duato presently serves as vice chairman of J & J’s govt committee, which includes working with the corporate’s pharmaceutical and well being sectors and overseeing its world provide chain.

Duato, a twin citizen of Spain and the USA, has been with Johnson & Johnson for greater than 30 years, the corporate stated.

Gorsky has served as chairman and CEO since 2012 and can turn into govt chairman of the board.

J&J reported a 73% soar in second-quarter revenue final month, pushed by robust gross sales progress as hospitals and different components of the well being care business rebounded from COVID-19 pandemic slowdowns the earlier yr.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey, firm made greater than $6 billion within the second quarter however acquired little assist from its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, which introduced in simply $164 million in gross sales. The vaccine — one among three accredited to be used in the USA — has been affected by considerations about some very uncommon unwanted side effects and the short-term shutdown of a contract producer’s manufacturing facility as a consequence of contamination issues.

Gorsky, who joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988, oversaw the corporate’s biggest-ever acquisition, a $30-billion deal for Swiss biopharmaceutical firm Actelion that was accomplished in 2018.

The corporate additionally famous that funding in analysis and improvement has jumped greater than 60% throughout Gorsky’s tenure to $12 billion final yr, with oncology being a spotlight.

Shares of J & J slipped 76 cents to $177.81 Friday earlier than markets opened. However the inventory worth has climbed greater than 12% to date this yr.

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Recreation in danger as Lake Powell dips to historic low

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PAGE, Ariz. — A thick, white band of newly uncovered rock face stretches excessive above boaters’ heads at Lake Powell, creating a pointy distinction in opposition to the well-known crimson desert terrain as their vessels weave via tight canyons that have been as soon as underwater.

It is a stark reminder of how far the water degree has fallen on the large reservoir on the Utah-Arizona border. Simply final 12 months, it was greater than 50 toes (15 meters) greater. Now, the extent on the well-liked vacation spot for houseboat holidays is at a historic low amid a local weather change-fueled megadrought engulfing the U.S. West.

At Lake Powell, tents are tucked alongside shorelines that haven’t seen water for years. Shiny-colored jet-skis fly throughout the water, passing kayakers, water-skiers and fishermen below a blistering desert solar. Closed boat ramps have pressured some houseboats off the lake, leaving vacationers and companies scrambling. One ramp is up to now above the water, folks have to hold kayaks and stand-up paddleboards down a steep cliff face to succeed in the floor.

Houseboat-rental corporations have needed to cancel their bookings via August — considered one of their hottest months — after the Nationwide Park Service, which manages the lake, barred folks from launching the vessels in mid-July.

On the well-liked most important launch level on Wahweap Bay, the underside of the concrete ramp has been prolonged with metal pipes so boats can nonetheless get on the lake, however that resolution will solely final one other week or two, the park service mentioned.

“It’s actually unhappy that they are permitting such a stupendous, stunning place to crumble,” mentioned Bob Reed, who runs touring firm Up Lake Adventures.

Lake Powell is the second-largest reservoir in the US, proper behind Nevada’s Lake Mead, which additionally shops water from the Colorado River. Each are shrinking sooner than anticipated, a dire concern for a seven-state area that depends on the river to provide water to 40 million folks and a $5 billion-a-year agricultural trade.

They’re amongst a number of giant our bodies of water within the U.S. West which have hit report lows this summer season, together with the Nice Salt Lake in Utah. Lake Oroville in California is anticipated to succeed in a historic low by late August, with the state’s greater than 1,500 reservoirs 50% decrease than they need to be this time of 12 months.

In 1983, Lake Powell’s water exceeded its most degree of three,700 toes (1,127 meters) and almost overran Glen Canyon Dam. The lake is dealing with a brand new set of challenges having reached a report low of three,553 toes (1,082 meters) final week.

Authorities officers needed to start releasing water from sources upstream final month to maintain the lake’s degree from dropping so low it could have threatened hydropower equipped by the dam.

It comes as much less snowpack flows into the Colorado River and its tributaries, and sizzling temperatures parch soil and trigger extra river water to evaporate because it streams via the drought-plagued American West. Research have linked the area’s greater than 20-year megadrought to human-caused local weather change.

Fluctuating water ranges have lengthy been a staple of Lake Powell, however Nationwide Park Service officers say the same old forecasts weren’t capable of predict simply how dangerous 2021 could be.

Finger-pointing has began as boaters, native officers and the park service debate what to do now.

“The park service has didn’t plan,” space home-owner Invoice Schneider mentioned. “If it will get to the purpose the place we’re so low you can’t put boats within the water and you’ll’t give you an answer to place boats within the water, why would you come to Lake Powell?”

The 53-year-old purchased a retirement dwelling in close by Web page, Arizona, after finishing 25 years of army service in February. He wished to return to Wahweap Bay the place he spent most of his childhood and teenage years fishing, waterskiing and dealing odd jobs across the lake. However after watching how the lake has been managed, Schneider says he’s beginning to remorse it.

Officers say they’ve options for households and boaters who typically plan years forward to discover the glassy waters that stretch into slender crimson rock canyons and the tourism trade that depends upon them.

As soon as the severity of the drought grew to become clear, federal officers started searching for choices to permit boat entry at low water ranges, mentioned William Shott, superintendent of the Glen Canyon Nationwide Recreation Space, the place Lake Powell is positioned. The park service found an previous ramp on Wahweap Bay that shall be constructed out to assist houseboats and smaller motorboats.

Shott says he hopes the $three million ramp will be accomplished by Labor Day weekend. The undertaking is funded by the park service and lake concessionaire Aramark.

The company and officers from the city of Web page, which depends on lake tourism, plan to open one other previous asphalt ramp to supply entry for smaller boats whereas the bigger one is up to date.

Tom Materna, who has been visiting Lake Powell for 20 years, launched his household’s 65-foot (20-meter) timeshare houseboat simply hours earlier than the principle ramp closed however needed to lower their trip brief as water ranges dropped in mid-July.

“They mentioned no extra launching out of the Wahweap ramp, so we have been glad we made it out,” the Los Angeles resident mentioned. “Then the subsequent day I feel or two days later, they known as us up and instructed us that every one launch and retrieve houseboats needed to be off the lake.”

Web page Mayor Invoice Diak mentioned dropping boat entry to the lake might have devastating monetary penalties for the town of seven,500.

He mentioned native leaders have been “sluggish” to handle dropping water ranges and restricted boat entry however that he is been working nearer with park officers and concessionaires on options.

“We might have been just a little bit extra proactive on planning … however we’re shifting in the appropriate route now working collectively,” Diak mentioned.

He careworn that the impression of local weather change must be addressed, noting that the U.S. West may very well be dealing with way more urgent points than lake entry if the drought continues for an additional 20 years.

One silver lining, Shott says, is the park service can construct boat ramps which are usable even throughout report drought years. Over $eight million in different low-water initiatives are also underway.

“Even when we did have a crystal ball and we noticed that these lake ranges have been going to get this low, we couldn’t have prevented it anyhow,” Shott mentioned. “With that mentioned, we’re profiting from the low water now.”

Troy Sherman, co-owner of a enterprise renting environmentally pleasant anchors to houseboats, mentioned the marina housing Seashore Baggage Anchors shut down shortly after his firm launched in spring 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It relaunched this 12 months however needed to cancel 95% of its bookings in July when ramps closed to houseboats.

“Till there’s actually entry to a ramp once more to place houseboats in, my enterprise is sort of in a holding sample,” Sherman mentioned. “However we’ll completely persevere; it’s what you must do.”

———

Eppolito is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points.

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Will Blockchain Grow to be the Subsequent ‘Recreation-Changer’ for the

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LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep 18, 2020–

Blockchain know-how might help effectively and safely share knowledge, course of claims, and forestall fraud within the insurance coverage business. Nevertheless, the implementation and inception of blockchain in insurance coverage are nonetheless within the early phases. Moreover, corporations within the insurance coverage business nonetheless have a protracted strategy to go by way of actively working with business gamers to determine the very best methods to navigate the potential challenges of blockchain know-how.

This press launch options multimedia. View the total launch right here: https://www.businesswire.com/information/house/20200918005217/en/

Key Advantages of Blockchain Know-how within the Insurance coverage Business (Graphic: Enterprise Wire)

To achieve complete insights and knowledgeable steering on effectively navigating the challenges of blockchain within the insurance coverage business, request a free proposal.

“Not solely does blockchain supply the promise of value discount and effectivity, nevertheless it might additionally allow income development, as insurers entice new enterprise by higher-quality service,” says an insurance coverage business knowledgeable at Infiniti Analysis.

Some of the notable tech tendencies, blockchain know-how, is a distributed, peer-to-peer ledger of data known as blocks that’s just about incorruptible. Within the insurance coverage business, this know-how presents the promise of value discount and effectivity. Greater-quality service and the side of self-management assist insurers entice new companies. The purposes of blockchain in insurance coverage are anticipated to revamp the way in which the insurance coverage business features. Though it’s within the early phases of inception and implementation, there are numerous advantages to efficiently implementing blockchain know-how within the insurance coverage business. Of their latest weblog, Infiniti’s consultants talk about 4 key advantages of using blockchain within the insurance coverage business.

Uncertain about implementing blockchain know-how in your group? To be taught the main advantages of blockchain know-how within the insurance coverage business, and why insurance coverage corporations ought to implement it, request extra info.

Infiniti’s consultants recognized the next 4 advantages of blockchain within the insurance coverage business:

  • Implementing blockchain in insurance coverage offers transparency in transactions and helps construct shopper belief.
  • This know-how helps corporations to confirm clients, insurance policies, and transactions simply, and forestall fraud.
  • Good contracts and blockchain know-how assist insurers and the insured handle claims responsively and transparently.
  • Blockchain drives safety and effectivity and permits people to manage their private knowledge whereas the verification is registered on the blockchain.
  • Acquire in-depth insights into the advantages of blockchain within the insurance coverage business by studying the whole article right here.

About Infiniti Analysis

Established in 2003, Infiniti Analysis is a number one market intelligence firm offering sensible options to deal with what you are promoting challenges. Infiniti Analysis research markets in additional than 100 nations to assist analyze aggressive exercise, see past market disruptions, and develop clever enterprise methods. To know extra, go to: https://www.infinitiresearch.com/about-us

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INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DATA MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY INSURANCE SOFTWARE INTERNET

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Apple to launch first on-line retailer in India subsequent week

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Apple says it’s going to launch its first on-line retailer in India subsequent week, because it seeks to extend gross sales in one of many world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets

NEW DELHI — Apple introduced Friday that it’s going to launch its first on-line retailer in India subsequent week, because it seeks to extend gross sales in one of many world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets.

The corporate at current makes use of third-party on-line and offline retailers to promote its merchandise within the nation.

Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner stated in a tweet that the corporate “can’t wait to attach with our prospects and increase assist in India.”

The Sept. 23 launch comes forward of India’s main Hindu pageant season starting subsequent month.

With an almost 1.four billion folks, together with hundreds of thousands of latest Web customers each month, India has turn out to be a key focus of tech giants over the previous couple of years.

Apple assembles some smartphones at Foxconn and Wistron’s vegetation in two southern Indian states.

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Girl responsible in scheme to ship army boats to China

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A Florida lady has been convicted in a scheme to purchase and ship inflatable army boats from the U.S. to China

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida lady has been convicted in a scheme to purchase and ship inflatable army boats from america to China.

Yang Yang, 34, pleaded responsible Tuesday in Jacksonville federal courtroom to conspiring to submit false export data to fraudulently export to China maritime raiding craft and engines and to trying to fraudulently export that tools, in keeping with courtroom data.

She faces as much as 15 years in jail. No sentencing date was instantly introduced.

Yang was employed by a Chinese language firm referred to as Shanghai Breeze Know-how Co. Ltd. when she tried to order seven fight rubber raiding craft geared up with engines that may function utilizing gasoline, diesel gasoline or jet gasoline, in keeping with the plea settlement. These vessels and multi-fuel engines are utilized by the U.S. army and may be launched from a submarine or dropped by an plane. No comparable engine is manufactured in China.

When the U.S. producer instructed that Yang buy cheaper gasoline-fueled engines, she insisted on the military-model multi-fuel engines, prosecutors stated. Yang falsely advised the producer that her buyer was primarily based in Hong Kong moderately than Shanghai, fearing the U.S. firm could be much less prone to promote to an organization in mainland China, officers stated.

One among Yang’s co-conspirators, Zheng Yan, pleaded responsible final month to conspiring to submit false export data. A trial for 2 remaining co-defendants, Fan Yang and Ge Songtao, is scheduled for subsequent yr.

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Razer Kishi Common Gaming Controller for iPhone Brings

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IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep 15, 2020–

Razer™, the main international way of life model for players, at the moment introduced the instant availability of the Razer Kishi Common Gaming Controller for iPhone, an iOS model of the cellular accent that gained two Better of CES awards in January. That includes clickable analog thumbsticks, an array of face and multi-function buttons, and an 8-way D-pad, the Kishi for iPhone makes out there Razer’s award-winning controller {hardware} to Apple customers for the very first time.

This press launch options multimedia. View the complete launch right here: https://www.businesswire.com/information/dwelling/20200915006323/en/

Razer Kishi for iPhone gives precision controls and tactile suggestions for gaming on an iPhone. (Picture: Enterprise Wire)

“As crossplay turns into additional entrenched within the gaming world, the Razer Kishi gives a stage enjoying area for cellular players,” stated Head of Advertising and marketing and Gross sales, Progress Peripherals for Razer, John Moore. “The Razer Kishi for iPhone extends that fairness to Apple Arcade’s extraordinary assortment of titles, guaranteeing that irrespective of the place you recreation, victory is all the time inside your grasp.”

Razer Involves Apple Gadgets

The Razer Kishi for iPhone brings console-level management to iOS units via its state-of-the-art Lightning port connection. The Kishi for iPhone has MFi (Made for iPhone) certification and is absolutely suitable with Apple Arcade, Apple’s groundbreaking recreation subscription service on the App Retailer that serves up greater than 120 extremely enjoyable titles. With a single subscription, a household of six can bounce from iPhone to iPad, Mac and Apple TV, and luxuriate in each recreation with none adverts or in-app purchases. With the launch of this newest model of the Razer Kishi, the Kishi household of gaming controllers now brings a brand new gaming expertise to iPhone 6 Plus and newer units.

The Razer Kishi for iPhone is accessible now within the Apple On-line Retailer, the primary time a Razer product has been featured on the location. Will probably be out there at choose Apple shops worldwide on September 22, additional enhancing the assortment of gaming equipment.

Designed to Win

The Razer Kishi gives iPhone players the performance and management of their console counterparts. Its comfy ergonomic design is meant for lengthy gaming periods, with a handheld grip and optimized button placements for intuitive gameplay. The sensible configuration and ergonomics are simply as comfy and pure in the beginning of a gaming session as they’re on the finish.

Clever connectivity ensures that the Razer Kishi for iPhone might be a pure extension of its customers. The Kishi gives an ultra-low-latency Lightning connection that just about eliminates enter lag, giving customers prompt button response for clean, seamless management. Go-through charging makes sure that gaming periods are usually not minimize quick, because the iPhone might be charged by hooking up the charging cable on to the controller.

ABOUT THE RAZER KISHI FOR IPHONE

  • Supported iPhones embody: iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone Eight Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Professional and iPhone 11 Professional Max
  • MFi (Made for iPhone) Licensed
  • Lightning Go-through Charging Port
  • Clickable Thumbsticks

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

$99.99 USD / 109.99€ MSRP

Razer.com, Apple.com and Licensed Retailers – September 15, 2020

For extra data, please go to Razer.com/gaming-controllers/razer-kishi.

PRODUCT ASSETS

Please discover the press equipment right here.

ABOUT RAZER

Razer™ is the world’s main way of life model for players.

The triple-headed snake trademark of Razer is likely one of the most acknowledged logos within the international gaming and esports communities. With a fan base that spans each continent, the corporate has designed and constructed the world’s largest gamer-focused ecosystem of {hardware}, software program and companies.

Razer’s award-winning {hardware} consists of high-performance gaming peripherals and Blade gaming laptops.

Razer’s software program platform, with over 100 million customers, consists of Razer Synapse (an Web of Issues platform), Razer Chroma RGB (a proprietary RGB lighting know-how system), and Razer Cortex (a recreation optimizer and launcher).

In companies, Razer Gold is likely one of the world’s largest digital credit score companies for players, and Razer Fintech is likely one of the largest offline-to-online digital fee networks in SE Asia.

Based in 2005 and dual-headquartered in Irvine (California) and Singapore, Razer has 17 places of work worldwide and is acknowledged because the main model for players within the USA, Europe and China. Razer is listed on the Hong Kong Inventory Trade (Inventory Code: 1337).

Razer – For Players. By Players.™

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INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TECHNOLOGY ELECTRONIC GAMES TEENS ENTERTAINMENT ONLINE MEN MOBILE ENTERTAINMENT HARDWARE CONSUMER CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

SOURCE: Razer

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On the lookout for hand sanitizer? Good luck discovering it

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Worry of the coronavirus has led folks to fill up readily available sanitizer, leaving retailer cabinets empty and on-line retailers with sky-high costs set by these making an attempt to revenue on the frenzy

NEW YORK —
The hand sanitizers on Amazon have been overpriced. A Walmart this weekend was utterly offered out. Solely on his third attempt was Ken Smith capable of finding the clear gel — at a Walgreens, the place three bottles of Purell have been left. He purchased two.

“I didn’t wish to hoard,” says Smith, a retired biomedical technician in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Worry of the coronavirus has led folks to fill up on the germ-killing gel, leaving retailer cabinets empty and on-line retailers with sky-high costs set by these making an attempt to revenue on the frenzy. Extra is on the best way, though it isn’t clear how lengthy it’ll take retailers to restock.

Gross sales of hand sanitizers within the U.S. have been up 73% within the 4 weeks ending Feb. 22 in comparison with the identical interval a yr in the past, in response to market analysis agency Nielsen.

The alcohol-based gunk is handy, however hand sanitizer is not the easiest way to wash your fingers. For that, cleaning soap and water nonetheless reigns supreme, in accordance to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. The company recommends first washing fingers with heat or chilly water after which lathering cleaning soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of fingers, between fingers and below finger nails earlier than rinsing off.

In the event you’re not close to a sink, hand sanitizer will do. However understand that it does not kill all germs, the CDC says. Learn the label and ensure you’re utilizing one which has a minimum of 60% alcohol, the well being company says. After making use of it, rub it throughout your fingers till they’re dry. One other tip: do not contact your face, since well being officers say viruses may enter your physique out of your eyes, mouth or nostril.

Hospitals are extra involved a couple of scarcity of face masks, which individuals have additionally been snatching up regardless of pleas from well being officers. Affected person and remedy rooms in hospitals at all times have a sink and cleaning soap to clean fingers, says Nancy Foster, the American Hospital Affiliation’s head of high quality and affected person security. However there are not any good alternate options to masks for nurses and medical doctors.

Malls and sports activities arenas are including extra hand sanitizer stations. And a few workplaces have stated they’re stocking up, too.

Purell, the best-selling hand sanitizer, is pumping up manufacturing. Walmart and different shops say they’re speaking to suppliers to fill up naked cabinets, however did not say how lengthy that might take.

Purell says it has seen larger demand from well being care amenities along with shops. It’s including extra shifts and having staff work time beyond regulation on the two Ohio amenities the place most Purell is made, says Samantha Williams, a spokeswoman for its father or mother firm Gojo Industries.

Bathtub & Physique Works, which sells hand sanitizers with scents like “vanilla rose” and “pineapple colada,” says its been capable of hold bottles in inventory at its 1,700 shops. An govt for Bathtub & Physique Works proprietor L Manufacturers stated final week that hand sanitizers made up 5% of its whole enterprise and that it is rising “at a really excessive charge.”

Walmart has seen larger demand for cleansing provides and different objects, much like when consumers begin getting ready for a hurricane. The world’s largest retailer says it’s working with suppliers to fill up once more on these objects, together with hand sanitizer.

At a Costco in Los Angeles Tuesday, hand sanitizer was gone and consumers clogged the again of the cavernous retailer the place staff have been wheeling out pallet after pallet of bottled water. “Don’t consider the hype,” one employee shouted.

On Amazon, most hand sanitizers have been gone. People who have been left was severely overpriced, despite the fact that the corporate has stated it was policing its website for worth gougers. Two 8-ounce bottles of Purell, for instance, have been being provided for $119 by a third-party vendor; such distributors can listing their objects on the market on Amazon.com immediately.

Gaelen Gates says she trekked to 2 Walgreens, a Safeway and a CVS this week and could not discover any hand sanitizer.

The legal professional, who lives in San Francisco, just isn’t fearful concerning the new virus, she’s simply making an attempt to keep away from getting a chilly at a music and movie pageant she plans to attend later this month in Austin, Texas.

If she will’t discover any by the point of her journey, she has a plan: wash her fingers extra steadily and “attempt to not contact something.”

———

AP Writers Anne D’Innocenzio in New York; Linda A. Johnson in Trenton, New Jersey; and Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles additionally contributed to this story.

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Panasonic scraps solar panels partnership with Tesla

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Panasonic is pulling out of its partnership with Tesla to produce solar panels at a factory in New York state

TOKYO —
Panasonic is pulling out of its partnership with Tesla to produce solar panels at a factory in New York state, the Japanese electronics maker said Wednesday.

Panasonic’s production at the factory in Buffalo will end by May, with an exit by September, it said in a statement. The decision is to streamline the company’s global solar energy operations, it said.

Panasonic will continue making batteries for Tesla’s electric vehicles in another factory in Nevada, it said.

Panasonic also quoted Tesla as saying that the move won’t affect Tesla’s solar business plans.

Panasonic will also continue selling solar panels under its brand in the U.S. through its own distribution channels, it said.

The two companies’ agreement to work on solar energy was announced in 2016.

Panasonic will offer severance packages to employees at the Buffalo plant. Tesla will hire as many as possible of those who wish to keep working there, according to Panasonic.

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“The decision to transition away from U.S. solar manufacturing in Buffalo aligns with our global solar strategy,” said Panasonic executive Shinichiro Nakajima.

Panasonic is a major manufacturer of home appliances, such as washing machines and refrigerators, but its operations include services and products for businesses.

Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, leads the world in electric vehicle sales.

Competition from cheaper Chinese manufacturing of solar components has posed a problem for Panasonic as it strives to reposition itself for future growth.

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Generic drugmakers sold most opioids during overdose crisis

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Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals doled out lavish perks for top U.S. employees who hit or beat sales goals for prescription opioids and other drugs: six-figure bonuses and a chance to snag a coveted “President’s Club” award, which could mean vacations to Hawaii, the Caribbean or Mexico.

The company placed that same staff in charge of reporting any sales of its painkillers that appeared to be suspicious, including to distributors or pharmacies requesting extreme volumes of its most potent formulas. Asked during a federal court deposition last year whether she believed it was appropriate to put incentive-motivated sales staff in charge of calling out questionable sales, Karen Harper, who oversaw Mallinckrodt’s suspicious order monitoring system, said yes.

In fact, as the nation’s opioid overdose crisis began to explode, not a single order with the company between August 2008 and October 2010 rose from the level of “peculiar” to “suspicious,” the category that would have triggered a report to authorities, according to Harper’s deposition.

The court documents reveal a company culture that allowed Mallinckrodt to become one of the giants of the prescription opioid market at a time when overdoses were claiming tens of thousands of American lives. The company, based in England, announced a tentative $1.6 billion settlement Tuesday with state and local governments in the U.S. If finalized, the deal would end lawsuits nationwide over the company’s role in the epidemic.

Purdue Pharma has been the poster child for the U.S. opioid crisis, mostly because of aggressive marketing of its signature painkiller, OxyContin. Lesser known is the role of generic opioid manufacturers like Mallinckrodt that produced the vast majority of painkillers during the height of the overdose epidemic. While they may not have been sending sales representatives to encourage prescribing like Purdue, they were filling more and more orders for the drugs — so many that Mallinckrodt couldn’t always produce enough to fill them all.

Nationwide distribution data released in a sprawling federal court case and analyzed by The Associated Press shows that Mallinckrodt’s U.S. subsidiary, SpecGX, and another generic drugmaker, Actavis Pharma, produced the vast amount of prescription opioids distributed throughout the country.

From 2006 to 2014, Mallinckrodt’s subsidiary shipped more than 2.2 billion high-potency oxycodone pills, nearly one-third of its total in that time period, according to the data analysis. Actavis was even more prolific, shipping more than 2.4 billion pills.

The court records made public last year by the U.S. District Court in Cleveland showed some Mallinckrodt employees were more focused on sales than public safety. At least one joked about the rising use of the drugs with a customer.

In January 2009, Victor Borelli, a Mallinckrodt salesman, exchanged emails with Steve Cochrane, who worked at drug distributor KeySource.

“Keep them coming,” Cochrane wrote. “Flying out of here. It’s like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are.”

Borelli responded: “Just like Doritos. Keep eating, we’ll make more.” After the comment become public, the company disavowed it, calling it “callous.”

Borelli said that as a reward for sales, he got bonuses ranging from $101,000 to $119,000 from 2008 through 2010, and that he twice received the company’s President Club award. That scored him vacations to St. Thomas and other tropical getaways.

Borelli and other Mallinckrodt employees answered lawyers’ questions under oath ahead of what was expected to be the first federal trial over the toll of opioids. The company ended up settling with the plaintiffs — the Ohio counties of Cuyahoga and Summit. Other major defendants also reached deals.

Another opioid trial is scheduled to begin next month in Central Islip, New York, which has created a renewed push among drugmakers and distributors to settle thousands of opioid-related lawsuits.

Mallinckrodt agreed with lawyers suing on behalf of local governments nationwide to pay its settlement amount over eight years. Most of the money is to go into a fund intended for drug treatment and other programs to aid recovery from an epidemic that has been linked to more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000.

The deal is still subject to some negotiations and must be approved by a bankruptcy court. It’s the first proposed opioid settlement that has overwhelming support from the key lawyers for the governments suing to try to hold the drug industry accountable for the crisis. Teva, which now owns Actavis, is negotiating a separate settlement.

In a deposition last year, Douglas Boothe, who was CEO of Actavis in the U.S. and the Americas from 2008 through 2012, was asked about the company’s responsibilities for flagging large and suspicious orders of prescription painkillers.

“I don’t think we had responsibility for, accountability for preventing diversion,” he said. “We had responsibility and accountability for making certain that the orders that we received were valid from licensed pharmacies and were within our suspicious order monitoring thresholds. … Once it goes outside of our chain of custody, we have no capability or responsibility or accountability.”

One of the main destinations for both companies’ opioids was Florida, where so-called pill mills drew people from Appalachia and beyond. One deposition from a Mallinckrodt sales representative says that 47 percent of the company’s high-potency opioids made in 2010 ended up in Florida.

Steve Becker, a former Mallinckrodt salesman who worked for the company from 2000 to 2014, said he wasn’t aware of a system for monitoring suspicious orders. When asked if employees had incentives to report such orders, he said no.

But there were incentives to sell more, Becker said in a 2018 deposition. Employees said they frequently had back orders for pain pills.

“We’re doing our due diligence in selling our product to the various accounts, and we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, according to the DEA,” Becker said. “When (distributors) then sell their product, it’s their due diligence to know where that product is going.”

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Mulvihill reported from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Fenn, a data journalist, reported from New York.

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Associated Press writers Mark Gillispie in Cleveland and Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this article.

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Opioid settlement still elusive as some lawyers criticize it

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Lawyers for some state and local governments say the deal being offered by companies in a sweeping national settlement over the toll of opioids isn’t enough

State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some lawyers for state and local governments are renewing public criticism of the proposed deal with a group of companies led by the nation’s largest drug distributors.

A group of top state lawyers in October announced the framework for a deal that they said would be worth about $48 billion in cash, treatment drugs and services over time.

Some state attorneys general and lawyers for local governments criticized it at the time. They’re speaking up anew as the push continues to reach a deal, with a trial over opioids scheduled to start next month in New York .

In a statement Friday, Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general in West Virginia, one of the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, said the $22 billion in cash being offered by distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plus drugmaker Johnson & Johnson “is way too low.”

Under terms previously announced, Teva Pharmaceuticals would also provide a free addiction treatment drug, and the other companies would distribute it.

Morrisey also said that the money would not be allocated fairly under the plan as it stood because states’ shares would be based too much on population and not enough on the impact of the crisis.

“When addressing a national public health crisis, a global settlement shouldn’t be about a pure money grab for the states,” he said. “Monies should be targeted to those who need it most and spent on abatement.”

His statement showed that at least some attorneys general remain resolute not to accept the offer a week after 21 of them signed a letter saying they opposed the deal as offered.

Lead lawyers for more than 2,500 local governments suing the drug industry said Friday that the companies have offered an additional $1.2 billion in cash over 18 years. The lawyers said that’s not enough: “Concerns remain that the total value being proposed is not adequate nor does it provide any degree of assurance that resources will reach communities.”

The attorneys general from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas who championed the settlement in October said it was better to have a national deal than see money go out piecemeal — while it lasts — through trial judgments.

Prescription and illicit painkillers have been linked to more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. in the past two decades, and they’ve created financial burdens for families who have lost incomes and governments who have seen public service expenses rise as they’ve tried to deal with the crisis.

The offices of several attorneys general who have supported the deal have declined comment or not returned messages.

The companies also did not respond to messages or did not comment on Friday night.

Earlier in the week, McKesson said in a statement that it was trying to finalize a settlement settlement “that would serve as the best path forward to provide billions of dollars in immediate funding and relief to states and local communities.”

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Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill



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