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President Trump on Wednesday touted his administration’s success in combating the opioid epidemic in the United States, while acknowledging that there is still more work to do.
Speaking at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, the president’s remarks noted the steps his administration has taken to battle the epidemic, but also veered into his frequent critique of drugs coming over the U.S.’s southern border into the country.
“We will not solve this epidemic overnight,” Trump said to an audience of elected leaders and health and law enforcement officials gathered in the Georgia capital. “But we will never stop until the job is done.”
Trump added: “We will succeed and we’re making tremendous progress.”
The president has declared opioids a national health emergency, while First Lady Melania Trump, who also spoke at the conference, focuses on the issue in her national "Be Best" child welfare campaign.
“I’m proud of this administration’s historic progress,” the first lady said before introducing her husband.
Opioid abuse claimed a record nearly 48,000 American lives in 2017. An estimated 2 million people are addicted to the drugs, which include both legal prescription pain medications and illegal drugs like heroin.
There have been signs of progress.The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell substantially in 2017. Still, it's unclear whether the opioid problem is on the decline.
Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump's top advisers, said at a White House gaggle Wednesday that Twitter and Google have helped the administration combat the opioid and drug crisis. So far, the administration has helped collect 3.7 million pounds of unused and expired medications — enough to fill seven Air Force One planes, she said.
The next "National Prescription Drug Take Back Day" is Saturday.
Conway said she met Tuesday with drug enforcement and officials from Google, which is helping the administration by displaying links to about 5,500 locations where people can drop off unused and expired pills.
Trump also hit Mexico for allowing heroin and other opioids to come into the country, and promised that his much-touted border wall will help stem the flow of drugs into the U.S.
“Heroin alone kills 300 Americans, 90 percent of which enter the Southern Border,” Trump said.
While it’s true that the vast majority of heroin in the U.S. comes from Mexico, virtually all of it makes its way into the country through legal ports of entry and not by traffickers sneaking it across the border unnoticed.
“A small percentage of all heroin seized by CBP along the land border was between Ports of Entry (POEs),” the Drug Enforcement Administration said in a 2018 report.
There is also contention over Trump’s claims of progress in combating the opioid epidemic.
Keith Humphreys, a drug policy adviser in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations who now is at Stanford University, said some states are making progress in combating opioids abuse, but not because of Trump's actions. Humphreys cited Rhode Island and Vermont as examples. He also said some states have regressed.
Humphreys said the president's declaration of opioids addiction as a public health emergency in 2017 failed to translate into significant concrete action. Members of Congress, he said, "figured out they were going to have to do it themselves and they did."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft sign is shown on top of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 19,2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
April 24, 2019
(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, fueled by its Azure cloud computing unit and the continued shift to the subscription version of its Office software.
Total revenue rose 14 percent to $30.57 billion in the third quarter ended March 31, beating analysts’ average estimate of $29.84 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Net income rose to $8.81 billion, or $1.15 per share, from $7.42 billion, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier.
(Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
FILE PHOPTO: Security staff stand next to a Visa logo at Murtala Muhammed International Airport before the arrival of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team, in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of preparations ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
April 24, 2019
(Reuters) – Visa Inc reported a 14.3 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as more people swiped cards using the extensive network of the world’s largest payment processor.
Net income rose to $2.98 billion, or $1.31 per Class A share, in the second quarter ended March 31, from $2.61 billion, or $1.11 per Class A share, a year earlier.
Analysts were expecting net income of $1.24 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv, although it was not immediately clear if the numbers were comparable.
(Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
FILE PHOTO: A man waits at a Public Power Corporation (PPC) branch to enter a repayment scheme for their debts in Athens, Greece, March 3, 2017. Picture taken March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
April 24, 2019
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek power utility Public Power Corp (PPC) said on Wednesday that it will repay a bond due next month and that its operations and spending plan will continue smoothly.
Shares in PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned, tumbled 18 percent on Wednesday after the utility posted a bigger than expected 2018 loss of 542 million euros ($608 million) on Tuesday.
Analysts cited weak results and an auditor’s report noting “material uncertainty” due to declining revenues, significant pre-tax losses and increased liabilities for Wednesday’s losses.
PPC last week signed a 200 million euro syndicated loan with Greek banks to help repay a 350 million euro bond due on May 1.
In a statement on Wednesday, it said that it has already made a deposit to repay the holders of the bond.
It added that it has taken all necessary measures “for the seamless continuation of the group’s operations and the full implementation of its investment plan of 792 million euros in 2019.”
Those measures included financing of 677 million euros this year that it has already secured and prepayment for electricity supplies from state entities worth 550 million euros, which was collected in March.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
FILE PHOTO: The Tereos logo is displayed at a sugar beet processing plant in Chevrieres, France, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
April 24, 2019
PARIS/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – French sugar processing group Tereos has appointed Alex Leite, its head of international business development and M&A, as executive director of its sugar trading division as part of a global reorganization to weather an industry-wide slump.
According to a statement sent to Reuters on Wednesday, Leite will provide overall leadership at trading division Tereos Commodities Sugar and will report directly to Philippe Huet, who was recently named head of trade, marketing activities and chief of trading branch Tereos Commodities.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and José Roberto Gomes in São Paulo; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Tom Brown)
U.S. President Donald Trump departs after delivering remarks at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
April 24, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee accused the Trump administration of a “massive, unprecedented, and growing pattern of obstruction” for ordering federal employees not to comply with congressional investigations.
“Both President Trump and Attorney General Barr are now openly ordering federal employees to ignore congressional subpoenas and simply not show up – without any assertion of a valid legal privilege,” U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings said in a statement.
The Justice Department on Wednesday rebuffed the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which had sought to interview an official involved in the Trump administration’s decision to put a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census.
The department said John Gore, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division, would not participate in a deposition scheduled for Thursday if he could not have a Justice Department lawyer at his side. The committee had offered to allow a lawyer to sit in a different room.
Cummings said the subpoena issued to Gore was adopted on a bipartisan basis and that there was no privilege asserted by the White House or Justice Department that would preclude him from appearing.
“This is a massive, unprecedented, and growing pattern of obstruction,” Cummings said, warning the federal employees to “think very carefully about their own legal interests” in refusing to comply with the panel’s requests.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Mark Hosenball; editing by Mohammad Zargham and Richard Chang)
Former House Speaker John Boehner has a message for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Don’t bother challenging President Donald Trump for the Republican ticket in 2020.
"There's this 38 percent of America that's very big supporters of President Trump. And you know, they're gonna show up and vote for him," Boehner said during an appearance on CNBC host Chuck Todd’s podcast, “Chuck Toddcast,” per The Hill.
Kasich, a CNN senior political contributor, has been a prominent critic of Trump’s on everything from tax cuts to the immigration policy of family separation.
Asked if Trump has done anything he agrees with, Kasich said border control, lower taxes, and higher financial contributions from European allies are all needed. But the president has set too negative a tone when he’s not wrong, with an overall “dismal” record, Kasich said.
“Tariffs are a bad idea. Debt is a bad idea. Family separation is a bad idea. Demonizing immigrants is a bad idea. And breaking down our alliances is bad too,” Kasich told The Associated Press in December.
He ran a failed presidential primary campaign in 2016 and is considering his options for 2020.
“If you’re not around the hoop, you can’t get a rebound,” Kasich said during an interview with the AP. “So we’re hanging around the hoop, and we’re very serious about this. How would we not be?”
“It’s not like I wouldn’t do it,” he said of a potential run. “You can’t be afraid to do it.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Source: NewsMax Politics
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FILE PHOTO: Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker celebrates his winning field goal during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs in their AFC NFL football game in Kansas City, Missouri October 7, 2012. REUTERS/Dave Kaup
April 24, 2019
The Baltimore Ravens signed Justin Tucker to a four-year extension Wednesday that makes him the highest-paid kicker in NFL history.
The contract keeps Tucker in Baltimore through the 2023 season and is worth $23.05 million, with $12.5 million guaranteed in the first two years and an $8 million signing bonus, ESPN reported.
The total value of the extension, the guaranteed money and the bonus are all records for a kicker.
Tucker, 29, is a three-time first-team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection who has spent his entire seven-year career with the Ravens.
He made 35 of 39 field-goal attempts and 36 of 37 extra points in 2018, with the missed PAT being the first of his career.
Tucker’s 90.1 percent success rate on field goals is the highest in NFL history entering the 2019 season.
–Field Level Media
Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a policy debate with his rival, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, at the National Sports Complex Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kiev, Ukraine April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
April 21, 2019
By Matthias Williams
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainians vote on Sunday in the second round of an election that could thrust a comedian with no prior political experience into the presidency of a country at war and wanting transformational change.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, has led opinion polls against the incumbent Petro Poroshenko, whose popularity has been dragged down by patchy efforts to tackle corruption and sliding living standards.
At stake is the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following the 2014 Maidan street protests and the annexation of Crimea. Both candidates have pledged to keep the country on a pro-Western course.
Investors are also seeking reassurances that whoever wins will accelerate reforms that are needed to keep foreign aid flowing and attract much-wanted foreign investment.
Zelenskiy’s promise to fight corruption has resonated with Ukrainians who are fed up with politics as usual in a country of 42 million people that remains one of Europe’s poorest nearly three decades after winning independence from the Soviet Union.
His rise comes at a time of political insurgency in many parts of the world, from Brexit to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and to the 5-Star Movement in Italy, which was also driven by a comedian.
“I think the top election issue is frustration with the status quo,” said Mary O’Hagan, Ukraine Resident Senior Director of the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Poroshenko was elected amid high hopes for change after the Maidan protests. O’Hagan says he inherited a difficult situation in 2014 and implemented many reforms but has not convinced voters that he is serious about tackling corruption.
“I think it is fair to say that public opinion has not regarded the current set-up as a sufficient step forward from what there was before, to justify the many sacrifices that people have made following the revolution, in terms of living standards, security, loss of life, displacement,” she said.
Zelenskiy’s unorthodox campaign relied heavily on quirky social media posts and comedy gigs instead of traditional rallies and leafletting.
Poroshenko has sought to portray Zelenskiy as a buffoonish populist whose incompetence would leave Ukraine vulnerable to Russia. Ukrainian troops have battled Kremlin-backed separatist fighters since 2014 in a conflict in the eastern Donbass region that has killed 13,000 people despite a notional ceasefire.
A victory for Zelenskiy would be a drastic departure from previous presidential elections in independent Ukraine, which were won by experienced politicians including three former prime ministers.
But he remains something of an unknown quantity and faces scrutiny over his ties to a powerful oligarch who would like to see Poroshenko out of power.
Just 9 percent of Ukrainians have confidence in their national government, the lowest of any electorate in the world, according to a Gallup poll published in March.
(Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
Apr 14, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks for a call from an official in the third quarter of game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Detroit Pistons at Fiserv Forum. The Bucks won 121-86. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
April 15, 2019
Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 24 points, 17 rebounds and four assists in only 23 minutes as the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks overwhelmed the visiting Detroit Pistons 121-86 in their Eastern Conference playoff opener on Sunday.
George Hill had 16 points off the bench for the Bucks, who led by 27 at halftime. Eric Bledsoe scored 15 points, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton had 14 apiece, and Sterling Brown added 11 along with a team-high seven assists.
Pistons center Andre Drummond was ejected with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter for shoving Antetokounmpo to the floor. The two-handed push occurred after Antetokounmpo grabbed an offensive rebound. Drummond finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Luke Kennard’s 21 points off the bench topped Detroit, which played without All-Star forward Blake Griffin. He was sidelined by a sore left knee, which also kept him out of four of the last seven regular-season games. The Bucks were without guards Malcolm Brogdon (foot) and Tony Snell (ankle).
Trail Blazers 104, Thunder 99
Damian Lillard scored 30 points as Portland held off visiting Oklahoma City to win the opener of their first-round playoff series.
CJ McCollum added 24 points, and Enes Kanter contributed 20 points and 18 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who led by as many as 19 points in the first half. The lead shrunk to as few as three points in the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma City never had possession with a chance to tie.
Paul George collected 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook compiled 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Thunder, who made only 5 of 33 3-point attempts in the game.
Celtics 84, Pacers 74
Boston held visiting Indiana without a field goal for the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second half, rallying from a halftime deficit for a victory in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
After failing to make even one-third of their shots in the first half while falling behind 45-38, the fourth-seeded Celtics became a defensive force in the third quarter. The Pacers, seeded fifth in the East, missed their first seven shots of the second half and mixed in three turnovers as their seven-point lead turned into a 47-45 deficit.
Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris scored 20 points apiece for Boston, which won handily despite shooting just 36.4 percent. Cory Joseph led Indiana with 14 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic had 12, as the Pacers shot 33.3 percent for the game overall.
–Field Level Media
Apr 15, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
April 18, 2019
Some Brooklyn Nets players are unhappy with the laughing apology given by Philadelphia center Joel Embiid over the elbow he delivered in Game 2, calling it “disrespectful.”
Embiid was whistled for a Flagrant 1 foul after a vicious elbow that caught the jaw of Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen during the 76ers’ victory. Embiid apologized for the elbow during the postgame press conference but broke into laughter with teammate Ben Simmons doing it.
“We didn’t really like that,” Nets guard Caris LeVert said Wednesday. “We thought that was kind of disrespectful, especially after the elbow he threw. There’s no love lost. It’s a playoff series. We expect that.”
Embiid said Simmons laughed because “I’m not usually humble,” an explanation accepted by the Nets’ Jared Dudley as Embiid being a “silly guy.” However, Dudley didn’t full excuse it.
“I felt a certain type of way for it just because you’re laughing and someone could have really gotten hurt,” Dudley said. “That’s been Embiid’s personality, but just because it’s your personality doesn’t mean it’s right. So, for us, you can either get even however you want to do it, but the biggest thing for us to get even is winning Game 3.”
Game 3 is Thursday night in Brooklyn with the series tied 1-1.
–Field Level Media
President Donald Trump is “very likely” to donate money for the purpose of rebuilding the Notre Dame Cathedral after this week’s fire, Newsmax has learned.
Newsmax’s White House correspondent John Gizzi tweeted his sources revealed Trump is considering a donation.
The tweet came shortly before Trump said he had spoken with Pope Francis about Monday’s devastating fire, which burned through the roof of the 12th century church and collapsed its main spire.
“Just had a wonderful conversation with @Pontifex Francis offering condolences from the People of the United States for the horrible and destructive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. I offered the help of our great experts on renovation and construction as I did….”
In a follow-up tweet, he wrote:
“….in my conversation yesterday with President @EmmanuelMacron of France. I also wished both Pope Francis and President Macron a very Happy Easter!”
A French official said Notre Dame was “15 to 30 minutes” away from being totally destroyed. Hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze for hours and were able to save the two towers of the cathedral, which would have caused catastrophic damage had they collapsed.
Many relics were saved as well, including a crown of thorns that is said to have been worn by Jesus Christ when he was crucified.
Source: NewsMax Politics