Oakland Couple Wins $2 Billion against Monsanto

Monsanto, which has been purchased by Bayer has lost another lawsuit due to the presumed toxicity of its weed killer, Roundup.

Monsanto, which has been purchased by Bayer, lost another lawsuit due to the toxicity of product, Roundup.

By MCNS Staff

A jury handed an unparalleled $2.055 billion verdict in favor of a couple in California who proved that they developed cancer as a result of long-term exposure to Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup.

The verdict in Oakland includes more than $55 million in compensatory damages to the couple and $2 billion in punitive damages, according to a statement.

The verdict “is as clear of a statement as you can get that they need to change what they’re doing,” one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Brent Wisner, told reporters last Monday.

This follows the case of a black man, Dewayne Johnson, who won a $289 million award in a California lawsuit this past year. He also contracted the same type of cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, from the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killer, Roundup. Attorney Brent Wisner participated in Mr. Johnson’s legal team as well.

The plaintiffs, Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore, who are in their 70’s, used the weed killer on their property for more than three decades and were both diagnosed with the same type of cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, four years apart, according to their attorneys.

Cases against Monsanto, which has been purchased by Bayer, were given even more credibility after a 2015 report by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

There have also been concerns about Monsanto having undue influence over regulators, with internal company documents playing a key role in Monday’s verdict, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

In the statement, Michael Miller, another of the Pilliods’ lawyers, said their case is different from two previous Monsanto trials “where the judges severely limited the amount of plaintiffs’ evidence.” He said that in this case the jury was shown a “mountain of evidence showing Monsanto’s manipulation of science, the media and regulatory agencies to forward their own agenda.”

Wisner reported that this evidence included emails and text messages between Monsanto and EPA officials.

However, a Monsanto spokeswoman previously denied that the company had ever paid, given gifts to or done anything else to curry favor with anyone from the EPA.

“This is going to continue until Monsanto and now Bayer takes responsibility for its product attorney Wisner said.

“This is not the end of this litigation,” he said. “This is the beginning.”

Emanuel AME Survivors Push to Sue Federal Government

By Free Radical

The Emanuel AME Church was the site of a 2015 mass shooting which killed nine people.

The Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina is the site of a 2015 mass shooting which killed nine people in total.

The families of the victims of the horrific Emanuel AME church mass murder which occurred in 2015 have moved forward with their lawsuit against the federal government. They assert that had a routine background check been conducted properly, Dylan Roof, who committed the heinous act, would not have gotten the hand gun in the first place.

Even by the FBI’s own admission, if its guidelines were followed, Roof would not have been able to purchase the firearm.

Roof had previously been arrested for drug possession in Columbia, South Carolina, just weeks before the mass shooting in Charleston. However, the jail clerk incorrectly listed the Lexington County’s Sheriff’s office as the arresting agency. Therefore when a federal examiner contacted the Lexington County office when Roof attempted to purchase a gun, that office directed them to the nearby agency in Columbia. Yet the federal database did not list Columbia and therefore the examiner contacted the West Columbia office which also did not have Roof’s record.

In describing the next chain of events, Billy Wilkins, who represents the victims’ families, says, “So what does she do? Nothing. She quits,”

Roof, after waiting for the mandatory three day period, then purchased a gun at a West Columbia store. This gun was used in the massacre.

Despite clear evidence of errors, Thomas Ward, the deputy assistant attorney general, told judges that the standard operating procedures, which were not followed, are only guides but are not binding.

The judge has yet to make a ruling in the trial. In December 2016, Roof was convicted of 33 federal charges including hate crimes and firearms violations. He has also been sentenced to death.

MO Lawmakers Pass Abortion Ban

Missouri has joined other conservative states in passing a law that severely restricts abortions.

Missouri has joined other conservative states in passing a law that severely restricts women’s right to get abortions.

By MCNS Staff

Following a nationwide conservative swell, the Missouri Senate voted on Friday to ban abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The only exception would be cases of medical emergencies, which would not include rape or incest.

Democrats in the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday slammed the pending legislation, according to local reports. The legislation now goes to Governor Mike Parsons who is expected to sign it.

The Missouri bill comes as abortion opponents across the US pass similar legislation severely limiting abortion rights. Observers suggest the bills flow from a national push to influence the more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion.

Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy. Alabama lawmakers have passed a similar bill and sent it to state’s Republican governor for signature Tuesday.

Egypt Builds New Capital

An image of the proposed new Egyptian capital.

An image of the proposed new Egyptian capital.

By Chuma Kisu

According to international reports Egypt’s government wants to start running the nation from a new capital in the desert starting in mid-2020.

Reports related to this new capital say that the $58 billion project is struggling to raise funds and needs to overcome other challenges after investors pulled out.

Workers are rushing to build core areas of the new city to replace Cairo, the existing capital on the Nile that has become a traffic-clogged, urban sprawl of more than 20 million people.

The project, launched in 2015 by Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a year after he was first elected president, aims to offer a clean and efficient base for the government and finance industry, as well as homes for at least 6.5 million people.

But the project, which also seeks to lift an economy dented by political turmoil after 2011, lost a lead investor from the United Arab Emirates and is now being run by the Housing Ministry and the army’s Engineering Authority.

“There is very strong interest from the political leadership in the project,” said Ahmed Zaki Abdeen, a retired general who heads the company building the new city.

But he said “the large scale of the work leads to large scale problems”, such as finding enough skilled labor to wire up the “smart city” and raising about 1 trillion Egyptian pounds ($58 billion) in financing over coming years from land sales and other investment.