Aug 26, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 440 words, a 2 minute read.

Situational awareness: A judge in Oklahoma ruled today that Johnson & Johnson was responsible for fueling the state's opioid epidemic and will have to pay $572 million in damages — far less than the $17 billion the state had demanded, Axios' Bob Herman reports.

  • Why it matters: This is a groundbreaking ruling and a potentially ominous harbinger for the opioid companies and distributors at the heart of the enormous national lawsuit pending before an Ohio judge.
1 big thing: #MeToo vs. statutes of limitations

Harvey Weinstein (C). Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

There's a grand jury indictment against Harvey Weinstein, pushing his trial back to 2020 but allowing one of his alleged victims to testify against him.

Why it matters: The new indictment gets around statute of limitations issues pertaining to Annabella Sciorra's testimony, the NY Times reports.

  • The indictment will "let Ms. Sciorra tell her story on the witness stand under the legal theory that her testimony will support charges of predatory sexual assault, even though her alleged encounter with the producer happened so long ago to be charged separately as rape."
  • In "order to prove predatory sexual assault, prosecutors must present evidence that Weinstein committed felony sexual assault against at least two individuals," BuzzFeed News reported.
  • Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains his innocence.

The big picture: Some of the most prominent #MeToo cases involve allegations that are past individual statutes of limitations, even though activists are working to change that status quo.

  • Some history: "When laws around domestic violence and sexual harassment emerged in the 1970s and ’80s, they were meant to encompass an understanding of the broader dynamics of control and entitlement that informed insidious behaviors," the Times reported last year.
  • "But too often these laws were rendered in a way that limited their ability to impose consequences for the wide range of damages inflicted by patterns of manipulation and abuse."
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron and President Trump shake hands during a joint press conference at the G7 today.

Headlines from the summit:

2. What you missed
  1. The Israeli government is deeply concerned about the possibility of new U.S.-Iran nuclear talks. Go deeper.
  2. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) says acquiring Greenland "would secure vital strategic interests for the United States," particularly vs. China. Go deeper.
  3. 19 states are suing the Trump administration over a new rule allowing migrant families to be kept in detention long-term. Go deeper.
  4. The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former Trump administration aide Rob Porter to testify in its probe regarding possible obstruction of justice by Trump. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing: How cows cross the road
Video here

Just a fun video of cows jumping over the white road markers.

Mike Allen