Insulin price fixing

Insulin is the major drug used by people to deal with diabetes and given the prevalence of the disease, it is very profitable for the drug companies that manufacture them. Many companies do and so one would think that competition among them for market share would lead to price benefits for consumers. And yet, the prices are so high in the US that people in need of the drugs organize trips to Canada where they can some of buy them for one-tenth the price.
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The Gulf of Oman oil tanker issue

The damage sustained by two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman has resulted in the Trump administration immediately claiming that it was a deliberate attack by Iran. As usual, it claims to have evidence supporting its charges but the US government has lied so blatantly and so often in support of war that any reasonable person would wait until that evidence is examined by credible neutral third parties before making any judgment.
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Sunday funnies

As usual, it takes the comics pages to remind me that today is Father’s Day, a marketing device to get people to buy pointless gifts that their fathers will probably hate but will feel obliged to feign delight at receiving and even, if it is an item of clothing, to wear. I long ago made it clear to my children that the best Father’s Day gift to me would be to never buy me a gift for it. They never do, showing to me that my contempt for its purpose has been effectively communicated. I don’t like the peculiar concept of ‘roasts’ either but found this cartoon funny.

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More Saudi Arabian atrocities

That country’s barbarism is well documented. But Mehdi Hasan writes that it continues to sink even lower, now threatening to execute someone for an offense that was committed when he was just ten years old.

IN 2011, as Arab Spring protests swept across the Middle East, demonstrations also kicked off in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. Members of the kingdom’s repressed Shiite minority took to the streets, calling for equal rights and a fairer distribution of oil revenues. The protesters included a group of around 30 kids on bicycles. As a video released last week by CNN shows, those children were led by a smiling 10-year-old in flip-flops named Murtaja Qureiris.
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No wonder Trump and Netanyahu get on so well

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has made a plea deal with prosecutors that resulted in her being convicted of misusing public funds, though she will only end up paying a fine and will not go to jail

A Jerusalem court on Sunday accepted a plea bargain in which Netanyahu agreed to admit to a lesser charge than the original fraud accusations. She will pay about $15,000 (£12,000) in fines and reimbursements to the state.

The sentencing ended one of the long-running cases against the family. However, Benjamin Netanyahu still faces the prospect of three corruption indictments later this year that may end his decade as leader and even result in a prison sentence. He denies all charges.

According to the original indictment against Sara Netanyahu, of fraud and breach of trust, she and a government employee were accused of spending roughly $100,000 (£79,000) on catering from expensive restaurants between 2010 and 2013, despite having a in-house cook provided by the state.
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Maybe it’s an alien-planted monolith!

A survey of the gravitational field on the surface of the moon to determine its makeup underneath has discovered the existence of a mass underneath one of the craters.

Publishing in Geophysical Research Letters, the Baylor scientists have two theories for the origin of the huge subterranean blob. It could be the leftovers of dense oxides created in the last years when the moon’s surface was an ocean of magma — a theory that relies on the giant-impact hypothesis, when an impactor the size of Mars may have collided into a magma-covered Earth, ejecting magma into orbit that became the surface of the moon. But speaking with National Geographic, the Baylor team appears to prefer the idea that the mass is the remainder of the iron-nickel core of an ancient impactor that created the South Pole-Aitken basin.

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It’s about time: New York state bans religious exemptions for vaccinations

In the wake of a resurgence of diseases once thought eliminated, the state of New York has passed legislation that bans religious exemptions for vaccinations, joining California, Mississippi, West Virginia and Maine in eliminating that loophole. Naturally those who have fallen for the anti-vaccination misinformation put out by some people and used the religious exemption to avoid getting their children vaccination are not happy.
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Lying to the bitter end

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her job and her statement as to how she wished to be remembered is completely consistent with what she has said and done before in that it is full of lies.

“I hope that it will be that I showed up every day and I did the very best job that I could to put forward the president’s message … to do the best job that I could to answer questions. To be transparent and honest throughout that process and do everything I could to make America a little better that day than it was the day before.”

Given that she has not held a press conference in three months, it is not clear what she has been doing after ‘showing up every day’.

I won’t even bother with her statement that she tried to be transparent and honest. And trying to “make America a little better that day than it was the day before”? Please. As with pretty much everything coming out of the White House, you can take the opposite of what they say as the truth.

The one thing that is true is that she “did the very best job that I could to put forward the president’s message”. That was easy for her since he is also a liar. Mission accomplished!

So many things wrong here

Layleen Polanco is a 27-year-old Afro-Latina transgender woman who was found dead last Friday in the notorious Rikers Island jail in New York. The cause of her death has not been identified and released but what is horrifying is that she was in prison because she could not pay the $500 bail for her misdemeanor charge. What is even worse is that she was in solitary confinement at the time, a form of punishment that creates such severe psychological trauma that it has been deemed to be torture.
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