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US judge rejects Bayer’s $2B deal to resolve future Roundup suits | Business and Economy News

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The judge called the proposal ‘unreasonable’ and said it serves Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018, while shortchanging Roundup users.

A United States judge rejected Bayer’s $2bn class action proposal to resolve future lawsuits alleging its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, saying in a Wednesday order that parts of the plan were “clearly unreasonable”.

US District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said the proposal “would accomplish a lot for Monsanto”, which Bayer acquired for $63bn in 2018, and “would accomplish far less for the Roundup users” who are currently healthy.

The agreement would have paused litigation linking Roundup to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) for four years and would have barred Roundup users from seeking punitive damages once the pause on litigation expired.

In return, users could be eligible for free medical exams and compensation if they were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The proposed class action settlement was aimed at claims by people who have been exposed to the weedkiller and who become sick in the future.

Separately, Bayer has committed up to $9.6bn to resolve ongoing claims of people who blame glyphosate – the main active ingredient in Roundup – for an existing illness. The company’s chief executive told analysts this month that 90,000 existing claims have been resolved and 30,000 are still being negotiated.

The company has said that decades of studies have shown that Roundup and glyphosate are safe for human use. Bayer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the judge’s decision.

‘No closure’

Bayer has been criticised by consumer advocates for fighting efforts to add a warning label to Roundup or pull it from the herbicide market, which it dominates along with other glyphosate products.

Chhabria had suggested a warning label might provide a way to prevent future lawsuits, which are based on the theory that Bayer failed to warn consumers of Roundup’s link to cancer.

Bayer has called the class action settlement proposal one of the “building blocks” to “provide closure” on the Roundup litigation.

Leslie Brueckner, an attorney with Public Justice, which objected to the proposal, called the ruling important for public health and said the risk of substantial punitive damages might force Bayer to change.

Chhabria’s ruling meant the company faced continued lawsuits, she said.

“So as long as Roundup stays on the market, Bayer will continue to be sued by Roundup victims who get NHL,” said Brueckner. “That means no closure.”

The four-year plan would have grouped potentially millions of residential users and farm labourers in a class and provided them the medical exams and up to $200,000 if they were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Chhabria’s six-page order cast doubt on the value of the medical exam offer, given the 10-year to 15-year lag time between exposure and potential onset of cancer symptoms.

He also said most claimants could expect $60,000 or less in compensation and that compensation might not be available after the plan expired.

Attorneys for the class said at last week’s hearing that Bayer could extend the agreement and provide additional compensation.

The judge also questioned how healthy users of Roundup could be adequately notified of a settlement that bound them in the future if they develop NHL.

“Mere tweaks cannot salvage the agreement,” Chhabria said.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Covid-19: Gov’t to Take Final Decision Remitting Relief Cash On Wednesday

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Government is on Wednesday expected to come out with modalities on how it will transmit cash to vulnerable Ugandans who have been greatly affect by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Information Dr. Chris Baryomunsi told reporters today, “The Committee has been working out details. At eleven which is one hour ago, the National Task Force should have started meeting and receiving reports and one of the reports it will receive is a report from this sub-committee (Finance),” Baryomunsi revealed.

“And the discussions must be going on; actually from here I will just match to that meeting. So those details on how it will be worked out have been discussed to the committee and now the committee is reporting to the main task force so that the final decision is taken and then we shall communicate to Ugandans on how much, how we shall do it and when does it start,” he added.

Unlike the March – June 2020 lock down where food rations were disbursed, Baryomunsi explained that their sudden change of mind was informed by encumbrances they faced last year.

Joyce Sebugwawo reacting during the interaction on Wednesday

“The whole of it, we found it a little bit complex and problematic. And if we took that direction for 42 days it may not easily succeed to reach out to these vulnerable people when we go out to give physical food. The procurement processes, checking the quality of food and all those bottlenecks,” he pointed out.

While addressing members of the fourth estate on Monday, Mpuuga who also doubles as Nyendo-Mukungwe Member of Parliament (MP) pointed an accusatory finger at unnamed officials for embezzling Covid funds close to Ushs 11 trillion during the first wave.

He also opposed direct remittance of money saying this might further spur corruption.

When asked why the Government had delayed to purchase radio sets as promised, Baryomunsi admitted that they had dropped the idea hoping that school going children would resume normal studies.

However, with the disease showing no signs of subsiding, he said that they will treat the matter with the urgency it deserves.

The post Covid-19: Gov’t to Take Final Decision Remitting Relief Cash On Wednesday first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Agreement in principle reached over Suez Canal ship | Business and Economy News

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Ever Given container ship has been anchored since it was dislodged on March 29 after blocking the crucial waterway.

A representative for the owners and insurers of a giant cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March said on Wednesday an agreement in principle was reached in a compensation dispute with the canal authority.

Work was under way to finalise a signed settlement agreement as soon as possible and arrangements for the release of the Ever Given vessel would be made after formalities had been dealt with, Faz Peermohamed of Stann Marine said in a statement.

The Ever Given container ship has been anchored in a lake between two stretches of the canal since it was dislodged on March 29. It had been grounded across the canal for six days, blocking hundreds of ships and disrupting global trade.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) demanded $916m in compensation to cover salvage efforts, reputational damage and lost revenue before publicly lowering the request to $550m.

The Ever Given’s Japanese owners, Shoei Kisen, and its insurers have disputed the claim and the ship’s detention under an Egyptian court order.

SCA lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr on Sunday told a court hearing over the ship’s detention that the vessel’s owners had presented a new compensation offer and negotiations were continuing.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Bahrain says it invited Qatar twice for bilateral talks | GCC News

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Bahrain foreign ministry says invitations sent ‘in an attempt to move forward in strengthening the process of joint Gulf cooperation’.

Bahrain’s foreign ministry said it has sent two invitations to Qatar asking for its neighbouring Gulf state to send a delegation for bilateral talks in order to “settle outstanding issues”.

Quoting the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, the foreign ministry on Tuesday “affirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain hopes that the State of Qatar will take into account in its foreign policy the unity of the Gulf”.

According to the press release, Bahrain sent the invitations “in an attempt to move forward in strengthening the process of joint Gulf cooperation”.

“The Minister further highlighted that unity among the member states of the GCC is a popular demand for all its people, which was stipulated in the Al-Ula summit statement.”

In February, Bahrain said it had sent an initial invitation to Qatar the previous month but there had been no response.

According to a report by Doha News, Qatar delayed its response because the invite was carried through a “media announcement”, GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf had told Bahraini foreign minister al-Zayani.

 

Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, broke off diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017 over claims it was too close to Iran and backed hardline groups, allegations Qatar has always firmly denied.

But earlier this year, the blockading countries agreed to restore ties in a summit hosted by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the desert city of al-Ula, following a flurry of diplomatic activity by the administration of former US President Donald Trump.

Qatar, which is hosting the football World Cup next year, emerged from the regional spat largely unscathed and resolute in the face of the assault.

It rejected the quartet’s demands, which included that it shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network and expel a small contingency of Turkish troops from its territory.

Since then, Riyadh and Cairo have acted to rebuild ties with Doha and all but Bahrain have restored trade and travel links with Doha.

A month prior to the signing of the al-Ula declaration, Qatar reported airspace violations by four Bahraini fighter jets to the United Nations Security Council and the secretary-general of the United Nations.

The letter expressed Qatar’s strong condemnation of actions which it perceived as a violation of its sovereignty and regional security, adding that these violations were blatantly inconsistent with Bahrain’s obligations under international law.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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