Saturday, March 30, 2013

UPS pays $40 million in Drug Delivery Probe

Sandy Springs-based UPS will pay $40 million to resolve a federal investigation into its role in shipping drugs for illegal online pharmacies.

The company cooperated with the investigation and will not be prosecuted, according to the agreement with the the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. UPS will also put in place a compliance program aimed at ensuring illegal online pharmacies do not use its services to distribute drugs.
UPS said it already has taken steps toward that aim.

Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, in a written statement said she hopes the UPS compliance program “will set the standard for the parcel delivery industry and will materially assist the federal government in its battle against illegal Internet pharmacies.”
FedEx is also being investigated, and said in a March 21 regulatory filing that it continues to “respond and cooperate.”

The growth of Internet pharmacies came as UPS has targeted the healthcare industry for growth, including pharmaceuticals.

Starting in 2003, UPS “was on notice” through some of its employees that Internet pharmacies were distributing controlled substances and prescription drugs that were not supported by valid prescriptions, according to the Justice Department.

UPS did not screen accounts to determine if online pharmacies were operating legally and have procedures to close accounts if warranted, according to the agency.

By 2005 one law enforcement task force in Virginia told UPS that its drivers were allowing suspect packages to be picked up in parking lots and beside highways. In some cases one customer was receiving drugs under several names, according documents issued with Friday’s agreement.
UPS began receiving grand jury subpoenas in the federal investigation starting in 2007.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, which handled the investigation, has targeted those who facilitate the illegal distribution of controlled substances. The Food and Drug Administration, which helped with the investigation, said the outcome will transform illegal Internet pharmacy shipping, “limiting the chances of potentially unapproved, counterfeit, or otherwise unsafe prescription medications from reading U.S.”
“We believe we have an obligation and responsibility to help curb the sale and shipment of drugs sold through illegal Internet pharmacies,” UPS said in a written statement.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ever hear of the multi-Billion Dollar case on Drugs, Money, Supreme Court?

On Monday, the court took up a really important health policy case, one with billions of dollars riding on the verdict.

The lawsuit centers on a practice known as “pay for delay,” where pharmaceutical companies essentially pay a settlement to a competitor to hold off on bringing a generic version of their drug onto the market. It’s a form of settlement in patent litigation that can actually be pretty advantageous for both parties—and one that both generic and brand-name drug makers don’t want the Supreme Court to abolish.

The big pharmaceutical with a blockbuster drug gets to have the only product on the market for a little longer. It also doesn’t have to deal with price competition. The FDA estimates generics usually cost 80 to 85 percent less than brand-name drugs—not great news for the maker of the brand-name medication.

As for the generic drug maker,it has to hold off on coming into a given market—but it also gets a settlement from a pharmaceutical, often in the millions. Not a shabby deal either.

The Federal Trade Commission, which brought the suit, has a completely different take. It argues that this is horrible for consumers, who end up with higher drug prices as generics stay off the market longer than they otherwise would. With more than a dozen pay-for-delay deals struck annually, the FTC estimates that these settlements will cost consumers $35 billion.

The case before the Supreme Court was one involving a prescription testosterone product called AndroGel, manufactured by a company called Solvay. Nina Tottenberg has helpful background:

                 Generic competitors challenged Solvay’s patent, contending that the patent on the synthesized testosterone used in AndroGel had expired decades ago and that whatever innovative changes were made in the formula were not enough to justify a new patent that would bar generics from making similar products.

That would have put AndroGel’s $400 million annual sales into the tank.

So, they settled: Solvay paid the generic challengers as much as $42 million annually, on the condition they would not market their product for another nine years.

Drugmakers, meanwhile, think this is how the system should work. These challenges typically come up at some point in the 20-year lifespan of an FDA patent, just as the AndroGel challenge did. If the two parties want to meet in the middle on how much longer the patent lasts, what right do courts have to step in the way?

“The patent gave the patentholder the legal right to exclude,” Jeffrey Weinberger argued for defendants. “So unless there’s a reason, there’s some reason to believe that it couldn’t reasonably assert that patent, it’s entitled to monopoly profits for the whole duration of the patent.”

That is, in a nutshell, the case at stake. If the government wins, it will be a lot harder for courts to sign off on these pay-for-delay settlements. If it loses, business will continue as usual. Between the two options, there’s $35 billion at stake.


DC Segway tours lawsuit Dismissed

The operators of a Washington Segway tour business have lost a lawsuit against the city over regulations that require tour guides to be knowledgeable about city history and architecture.

Bill Main and Tonia Edwards, who operate Segs in the City, sued in 2010. They said regulations that require guides like them to take a test and obtain a license violate their free speech rights. The city countered that its regulations don’t restrict what a tour guide can say on a tour.

On Thursday Judge Paul L. Friedman issued a one-page order granting the city’s request to dismiss the case. Friedman did not immediately issue an opinion explaining his reasoning.


Outstanding Warrants - What To Do

                                          Beverly Hills, California Outstanding Warrants Lawyer

A warrant for your arrest can be issued if you are suspected of committing a crime or if you fail to comply with a court order. In the state of California, most warrants involve the latter and can lead to significant legal complications if not removed, including jail time and the suspension of your driver’s license. If you fail to appear in court or comply with a court order, you may not realize a warrant has been issued for your arrest. In a number of cases, people don’t find out about a warrant until they are pulled over for a traffic ticket or are arrested on another charge. At the Law Office of Jonathan Franklin, we can often help people clear outstanding warrants by approaching the court and explaining our client’s situation and why he or she failed to appear in court or comply with a court order. In many instances, we can help people avoid jail time and the suspension of their driver’s license.

If you have outstanding warrants or have been arrested on an outstanding warrant, contact Beverly Hills, California, criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Franklin today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Removing Outstanding Warrants
The Law Office of Jonathan Franklin helps people remove the outstanding warrants related to the following;

Parole violations
Probation violations
Failure to appear in court
Failure to pay child support
Failure to pay parking tickets or other fines
Failure to obey a court order
Failure to attend a court hearing as part of a citation
Allegations of violating a Restraining Order

Telling Your Story to the Court
While forgetting to appear in court or deciding not to comply with a court order is not a defense, the court may take into consideration extenuating circumstances it feels justifies a lighter sentence. For instance, if you violated the terms of your parole, did you do so knowingly and intentionally? If you failed to appear in court, do you have a reason such as illness, a car breakdown, or some other reason? Did you make an effort to notify the court? Depending on the specifics of your case, we may be able to clear your warrant and minimize the consequences of failing to appear in court or comply with a court order.

Contact a Beverly Hills, California Outstanding Warrant Attorney
Regardless of whether you have outstanding warrants or have been arrested for failing to appear in court, we can help you evaluate your options and begin the process of clearing your warrants. To schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case, contact Beverly Hills, California, criminal defense attorney Jonathan Franklin today.

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Alcohol is more harmful than Heroin or Crack when Scoring Drugs

MOST people would agree that some drugs are worse than others: heroin is probably considered to be more dangerous than marijuana, for instance.

Because governments formulate criminal and social policies based upon classifications of harm, a new study published by the Lancet on November 1st makes interesting reading.

Researchers led by Professor David Nutt, a former chief drugs adviser to the British government, asked drug-harm experts to rank 20 drugs (legal and illegal) on 16 measures of harm to the user and to wider society, such as damage to health, drug dependency, economic costs and crime.

Alcohol is the most harmful drug, scoring 72 out of a possible 100, far more damaging than heroin (55) or crack cocaine (54). It is the most harmful to others by a wide margin, and is ranked fourth behind heroin, crack, and methamphetamine (crystal meth) for harm to the individual. The authors point out that the model's weightings, though based on judgment, were analysed and found to be stable as large changes would be needed to change the overall rankings.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2 Kidnapping Attempts in North Hollywood plus charged with 8 felony's, $4 Million Bond

Following his alleged crime spree, Jason Kies, 37, was booked on eight felony counts, including suspicion of trying to force at least two women into his car for sexual assault in separate incidents, but they managed to fight back and escape, police said.

"There's a lot of things that happened that went right for the victims," said Capt. Justin Eisenberg of the North Hollywood Community Police Station during a Tuesday press conference. "Each one of his victims refused to surrender."

The spree began in North Hollywood on Friday around 8 a.m., when Kies allegedly tried to strong-arm the first victim into his GMC SUV on Ben Avenue between Hesby Street and Addison Street, Eisenberg said.

She managed to fight him off for her escape, he said.

Kies reportedly headed to a Marshall's Department Store in Studio City at noon and allegedly got into a scuffle with a store security guard while trying to steal women's lingerie, Eisenberg said.

Witnesses were able to take down the suspect's license plate number as he fled the scene, the captain said.

Around 1 p.m., Kies proceeded to Tujunga Avenue and Sarah Street in Valley Village where he allegedly assaulted a female jogger and tried to force her into his car, Eisenberg said. She also succeeded in fending him off.

Throughout the afternoon, North Hollywood detectives were able to identify the suspect, though Lt. Alan Hamilton would not comment on how at this time.

Robbery homicide division detectives spotted Kies in La Crescenta and placed him on surveillance, but moved in for the arrest around 6 p.m., when he was spotted following a lone female jogger on a side street near the 210 Freeway, Hamilton said.

Kies was taken into custody without incident. He reportedly had a knife on him, but did not use it over the course of Friday's events, Hamilton said.

Hamilton said there may be at least one more potential kidnapping victim that escaped safely and urges her to come forward.

He said following Kies' arrest that detectives have learned the suspect may have a history of attempted kidnappings, including one of an elementary school-aged girl in the San Fernando Valley.

Kies is being held on $4 million bail.


Lawsuit Against Copyright Infringement Designers from Designer Tory Burch

Nearly three months after settling her legal dispute with ex-husband Chris Burch, whose C.Wonder chain she had accused of mimicking her eponymous fashion label,Tory Burch has filed a new copyright infringement lawsuit against the designers behind a company called Bluebell Accessories Inc.

The preppy clothing designer filed suit Friday in New York after having sent Bluebell co-owners Jessica Min and Sung Ki Min a cease-and-desist letter, reports Women's Wear Daily (via The Huffington Post).

Burch seeks a permanent injunction to stall the sales of accessories similar in design to her trademark "T" logo; according to court documents, Bluebell responded but did not offer any hard information on "purchases and sales to date, as well as the supplier of the counterfeit goods being sold."


National Enquirer sued over Whitney Houston affair with Bobby Brown

The singer's biographer told the publication that he was ready to re-marry his ex before her death in February 2012.

Bobby Brown and his wife Alicia Etheredge-Brown have filed a million dollar defamation lawsuit against American Media and author Derrick Handspike.

An article in The National Enquirer last March stated, "Whitney Houston was set to stun the world by walking down the aisle once again with her badboy ex-hubby Bobby Brown."

 Browns are taking National Enquirer's parent company and Handspike to court over the suggestion of an inappropriate affair. The lawsuit was filed on Monday in New York federal court by attorney Christopher Brown.

 article quoted Handspike as saying, "Bobby told me, ‘Whitney and me are getting married again.' ... They were planning a small wedding, prob­ably in Las Vegas with just the two of them and their daughter Krissi. ... Bobby told me, ‘The world may have thought we were histo­ry, but the reality is we were never really apart. We’ve never stopped loving each other.'"


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quick Thinking and Smart Teenager crashes into a police car, while being kidnapped.

The kidnapping appears to be the result of an argument over the adoption of a newborn baby. NBC Philadelphia reports that Nava allegedly forced the teen into a car with a handgun and was planning to make her drive to Philadelphia, where the baby's adoptive parents were located.

On their way out of Wildwood, the teen saw a police car parked on the shoulder of the Ben Franklin Bridge, with the officer helping another driver. The teen crashed the car into the police cruiser of Officer Mark Pawloski of the Delaware River Port Authority. Nobody was injured in the collision. Police found an "airsoft" handgun, duct tape, trash bags, and latex gloves in the car.

After police conducted interviews, they placed 45 year old  immigrant, Nava is under arrest under a number of charges. She is being held on $400,000 bond.

Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor praised the teen's quick thinking. It certainly was a smart move by the victim to get the attention of the police officer by basically side-swiping his vehicle.

Source and Watch Video...

Stolen "Breaking Bad" Script from car of Bryan Cranston

Afraid that guarded secrets could come to light before the series "Breaking Bad" returns this summer.

Star Bryan Cranston reported a theft March 1, alleging that someone broke his car window and snatched a shoulder bag containing an iPad and his Breaking Bad script, according to Albuquerque’s ABC affiliate, KOAT-TV. Court documents obtained by reveal that one of Cranston’s employees, Taryn Feingold, was contacted by a confidential informant, who reportedly overheard a man at a local bar boasting about how he broke into a vehicle in the Sandia Mountain Range.

 He then reportedly showed his company “some type of laptop or iPad,” according to the complaint, while “describing how he also had a script from the Breaking Bad series.”

On Saturday, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office arrested suspect Xavier McAfee for burglary, the complaint states.


CBS "Glass House" at War with ABC "Big Brother"

Last year, CBS went to war against ABC over the latter's strangers-living-together reality TV series Glass House, alleged to be a copycat of Big Brother.

A judge won't stop the network from pursuing claims that ex-'Big Brother' producers violated trade secrets by creating an alleged copycat show on ABC.

After a federal judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order that would have barred ABC from airing Glass House, the lawsuit was dropped. The fact that the series hadn't performed particularly well in the ratings likely contributed to CBS' decision to retreat.

But that doesn't mean the legal battle is over.

Even as CBS announced it was dropping its claim against ABC, the network said it would continue to fight Glass House producers alleged to have stolen trade secrets. Now, thanks a decision from a federal judge last week, Glass House executive producer Kenny Rosen, ABC vp alternative programming Corie Henson and Glass House producer Michael O'Sullivan could be in danger of having to pay a lot of money to CBS.

Although much of the attention paid to last year's CBS-vs.-ABC skirmish focused on the issue of copyright -- and formed the basis for U.S. District Judge Gary Allen Feess' denial of a restraining order -- the trade secrets aspect of the case arguably was more provocative, a rare instance in Hollywood where the flight of producers from one network to another instigated a battle over duties of secrecy.
After CBS dropped its case against ABC, the network announced it would proceed in arbitration, which caused Rosen, Henson and O'Sullivan to file a lawsuit against CBS, alleging that CBS was "using the 'litigation equivalent of war' " and has brought arbitration against them "as part of its campaign to prevent or, at the very least, disrupt and harass the production of "Glass House."
The producers demanded that CBS be ordered to cease the harassment. The producers argued that the network had given up its right to arbitration by suing them.
But on March 18, Feess rejected the producers' attempt to stop CBS, allowing the network to go ahead with arbitration.

Read the full ruling here...

The judge analyzed the contract between the parties, in particular the provision that states “any effort by any party to enforce, interpret, construe, rescind, terminate or annul this Agreement, or any provision thereof” is to be resolved by binding arbitration.

Feess concludes that "challenges to its enforceability and its interpretation should be arbitrated," meaning it will be up to an arbitrator to decide whether the dispute is arbitrable (as funny as that might sound).

But Feess also provided the reason why the dispute likely will stick in arbitration, saying that even if this particular decision wasn't up to the arbitrator, "the result would not change."

"The dispute in the initial litigation was complex and involved not only Rosen but also ABC, which was not a party to the Arbitration Clause and could not have been forced into arbitration," the judge wrote. "Moreover, the suit included non-arbitrable claims, most notably the CBS claim that ABC’s Glass House infringed on CBS’ claimed copyright in its Big Brother reality series."

The judge concluded that the "relative brief" lawsuit brought by CBS last year didn't prejudice Rosen nor waive CBS' right to arbitrate.


"The Lone Ranger" Fined by OSHA after Death of Crew Member

OSHA fines the production company behind the new "Lone Ranger" movie -- after a crew member drowned in a diving accident on set last year -- issuing fines exceeding $61,000.

According to official documents, Cal OSHA (aka California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration) issued the fines against Silver Bullet Productions, claiming the company was directly at fault in the death of Mike Bridger, a welder and water safety guy working on the film.
Mr. Bridger died last September while cleaning one of the movie's deep water tanks.

OSHA cited Silver Bullet for numerous violations, but the four big ones were -- 1) SB failed to obtain medical records for the diver, 2) SB did not have a standby diver available when Bridger was in the water, 3) SB let Bridger dive without a tether, 4) Bridger dove without a partner.

For these violations, OSHA fined SB $45,000. In addition, there were six less serious violations for which SB was fined $16,445 ... bringing the total fines to $61,445.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Teenagers spy on taxi drivers to avoid repeat of child Sex Ring Scandal

The young “mystery shoppers” are being asked by the local council to catch taxis in a bid to root out “inappropriate behavior” by potential sex abusers.

It is part of a crackdown by Rochdale council on cab drivers and takeaway workers in the town following the conviction of nine men last year for offenses including rape and sexual activity with a child.

Two of the nine men convicted of exploiting girls as young as 13, who were often plied with drink and drugs before being passed around for sex, were taxi drivers, while another two worked in a takeaway.

It is understood that licensing officials have been recruiting the teenagers, aged 15 and 16, from outside Rochdale in a bid to ensure there are no recriminations for their participation in the scheme.

The council stressed that the checks were not aimed at “entrapping” cabbies but were designed to ensure they were complying with their licenses.

But the youngsters are also being asked to listen out for any “inappropriate behavior or language” used by cabbies and takeaway workers who could have their licenses taken away and be reported to the police if they show predatory behavior.

The intelligence-gathering youngsters will pass on any concerns to the licensing authority who will work with the police on any further action.

Colin Lambert, Rochdale council leader, said: "All aspects of the safety of adults and children will be explored within the borough and that includes ensuring the safety of those who use private hire or licensed taxis, food outlets or other premises.”

The town hall said that many improvements had already been put in place and that they were offering advice to other councils about keeping children safe.

           Have you seen any “inappropriate behavior” by taxi or any other forms of public transportation?


Yoko Ono sued over fashion inspired by her husband John Lennon

a New York designer, who alleges that the 80-year-old artist copied her work for a new fashion range supposedly inspired by John Lennon.

Haleh Nematzadeh a 36-year-old Iranian-American claims that the "1969-2012" menswear series features motifs from her own designs, which she had submitted to a retailer now selling Ms Ono's clothes.

Ms Ono has said that the range – which features $335 trousers (£220) and $200 jock straps – was influenced by a set of drawings that she gave Lennon as a present when they married in 1969.

She alleges that Opening Ceremony and Ms Ono lifted her designs for their range without consulting her or giving her credit, and dismisses Ms Ono's "feeble attempt" to explain her influences.


Scammers on the Rise again pretending to be Family Members

The scam was popular about 10 years ago in the form of phone calls, emails and chats through social websites.

 The latest an elderly Swiss couple have been duped out of more than £355,000 by a woman pretending to be their granddaughter – one of the largest such scams on record in the country.

Police in Zurich said the couple, aged in their 70s, received a call in February from a woman posing as their granddaughter, claiming she was in financial difficulty.

Over the course of several weeks, she allegedly convinced the couple to hand over money to a friend of hers.

The couple only realised they had been scammed in mid-March, when they contacted their real granddaughter to ask why they had not heard back from her in a while, only to find out she had never asked them for money.

She said these types of scams – where someone posing as family pretends to be in desperate need of money to trick elderly people out of their savings – have long been a problem in the Swiss financial capital.


NYC's Met Museum duping on fees $25.00 a ticket, Not Really!

6 million visitors a year, and most pay $25.00 when they don't have to. At the heart of a class-action lawsuit this month accusing the Met of scheming to defraud the public into believing the fees are required.

Before visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art can stroll past the Picassos, Renoirs, Rembrandts and other priceless works, they must first deal with the ticket line, the posted $25 adult admission and the meaning of the word in
                                    smaller type just beneath it: "recommended."

Many people, especially foreign tourists, don't see it, don't understand it or don't question it. If they ask, they are told the fee is merely a suggested donation: You can pay what you wish, but you must pay something.

Confusion over what's required to enter one of the world's great museums, which draws more than 6 million visitors a year, is at the heart of a class-action lawsuit this month accusing the Met of scheming to defraud the public into believing the fees are required.

The suit seeks compensation for museum members and visitors who paid by credit card over the past few years, though some who choose to pay less than the full price pull out a $10 or $5 bill. Some fork over a buck or loose change. Those who balk at paying anything at all are told they won't be allowed in unless they pay something, even a penny.

"I just asked for one adult general admissions and he just said, '$25,'" says Richard Johns, a high school math teacher from Little Rock, Ark., who paid the full price at the museum this past week. "It should be made clear that it is a donation you are required to make. Especially for foreign tourists who don't understand. Most people don't know it."

Met spokesman Harold Holzer denied any deception and said a policy of requiring visitors to pay at least something has been in place for more than four decades. "We are confident that the courts will see through this insupportable nuisance lawsuit," he said.

"The museum was designed to be open to everyone, without regard to their financial circumstances," said Arnold Weiss, one of two attorneys who filed the lawsuit on behalf of three museum-goers, a New Yorker and two tourists from the Czech Republic. "But instead, the museum has been converted into an elite tourist attraction."

Among the allegations are that third-party websites do not mention the recommended fee, and that the museum sells memberships that carry the benefit of free admission, even though the public is already entitled to free admission.

Lined up to testify is a former museum supervisor who oversaw and trained the Met's admissions cashiers from 2007 to 2011, said Michael Hiller, the other attorney representing the plaintiffs.

The Met's Holzer said the basis for the lawsuit — that admission is intended to be free — is wrong because the state law the plaintiffs cited has been superseded many times and the city approved pay-what-you-wish admissions in 1970.

As to the wording change on the sign, he said the museum "actually thought at the time, and still thinks, that 'recommended' is softer than 'suggested,' so the former employee is quite wrong here."

New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs agreed to the museum's request in 1970 for a general admission as long as the amount was left up to individuals and that the signage reflected that. Similar arrangements are in place for other cultural institutions that operate on city-owned land and property and receive support from the city, such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Museum. It's also a model that's been replicated in other cities.

The Metropolitan Museum is one of the world's richest cultural institutions, with a $2.58 billion investment portfolio, and isn't reliant on admissions fees to pay the majority of its bills. Sixteen percent of its $239 million budget in fiscal 2012 came from admissions. That same year, the city paid 11 percent of its operating budget.

                          As a nonprofit organization, the museum pays no income taxes.

Holzer also noted that in the past fiscal year, 41 percent of visitors to the Met paid the full recommended admission price — $25 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for students.

A random sampling of visitors leaving the museum found that there was a general awareness that "recommended" implied you could pay less than the posted price.

But Dan Larson and his son Jake, visiting the museum last week from Duluth, Minn., were unaware there was any room to negotiate the admission price. They paid the full $25 each for adult tickets, with a credit card.

"My understanding was you pay the recommended price," said Larson, 50. "That's clearly not displayed."

Alexander Kulessa, a 23-year-old university student from Germany, said friends who had previously visited New York tipped him off about the admission fee.

"They said, 'Don't pay $25,'" said Kulessa. "They said it will be written everywhere to pay $25 but you don't have to pay that. You don't even have to pay the student price."


                                                            What did you pay?