Bob Herman Mar 9, 2017
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West Virginia county sues drug distributors over opioid crisis

Toby Talbot / AP

The Cabell County Commission in West Virginia is suing a handful of drug distributors, alleging they knowingly turned a blind eye to the opioid epidemic that is ravaging the state by delivering and selling mass quantities of pain medications.

The companies being sued: AmerisourceBergen, CVS, Cardinal Health, H.D. Smith, Kroger, McKesson, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

The federal lawsuit filed today said those companies collectively sold 40 million doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone to Cabell County pharmacies between 2007 and 2012. The county's population is less than 100,000. From the suit:

"The sheer volume of prescription opioids distributed to pharmacies in Cabell County is excessive for the medical need of the community and facially suspicious. Some red flags are so obvious that no one who engages in the legitimate distribution of controlled substances can reasonably claim ignorance of them."

Cabell County's lawsuit comes just a few months after the Charleston Gazette-Mail published an investigation that found drug distributors, including many of the defendants in the lawsuit, flooded the state with prescription opioids, equal to "433 pain pills for every man, woman and child in West Virginia," the newspaper wrote.

One of the drug distributors, Cardinal Health, responded by saying it would defend itself "vigorously" and that "these copycat lawsuits do not advance any of the hard work needed to solve the opioid abuse crisis."

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Where Trump's steel and aluminum trade war will hit first

Note: Includes only products under the "Iron & Steel & Ferroalloy" and "Alumina & Aluminum & Processing" NAICS commodity classifications. Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Chris Canipe and Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The Trump administration has begun imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, but several countries are exempted temporarily until May 1, as shown in the chart above. The administration may still apply quotas on exempted countries to prevent a flood of foreign steel and aluminum in the U.S. market, per the White House.

Why it matters: After railroading past a number of his advisors, Trump announced the tariffs on imports of steel (at 25%) and aluminum (at 10%) earlier this month, citing national security concerns. But with the exemption noted above, the tariffs won't carry major bite, at least to start.

Haley Britzky 2 hours ago
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Law enforcement raids Cambridge Analytica London HQ

A man is seen through blinds inside the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London.
A man is seen through blinds inside the offices of Cambridge Analytica. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP / Getty Images

Cambridge Analytica's London headquarters was searched by law enforcement on Friday, days after news broke about its relationship with Facebook, the Guardian reports.

“We are pleased with the decision of the judge and we plan to execute the warrant shortly. This is just one part of a larger investigation into the use of personal data and analytics for political purposes. As you will expect, we will now need to collect, assess and consider the evidence before coming to any conclusions.”
— Information Commissioner's Office spokesperson to the Guardian

The details: This comes after information commissioner Elizabeth Denham sought "access to records" from Cambridge Analytica. A judge issued a warrant on Friday, the Guardian reports.