World leaders meet at G7, pharmacuetical company fined

Publishing every Friday,

Catherine Jackson and Renee Watters

Publishing every Friday, "The Top 2" recaps the two most notable and important stories from the week (Saturday-Thursday). Assistant Editor Ryan Stanley covers topics ranging from issues in the U.S. to problems worldwide. For more information on stories, refer to the embedded links within the article.

Ryan Stanley, Assistant Editor

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1. Johnson & Johnson was fined $572 million in a landmark trial on Monday for what attorneys for the state of Oklahoma called false marketing of their opioid products. While it wasn’t a large blow to the company’s finances, considering they racked in $81.6 billion in profits last year, the decision was symbolic. For the first time, a drug manufacturer was brought to trial for it’s role with distributing painkillers.

Why this matters

More than 130 people die from opioid-related drug overdoses every day. In Oklahoma, where the trial occurred, approximately 6,000 people have died from opioids since 2000.  With 2,000 current lawsuits against drug companies, the decision casts a dark shadow over pharmaceutical companies, but provides a ray of light for those fighting against them.

2. The 45th G7 summit, which saw 17 countries meet in Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France, concluded on Aug. 26 after three days of talks. The summit focused on fighting inequality, specifically in terms of opportunity, environmental, social, peace and digital technology. However, few of the goals were reached. Nothing other than talks and whispers of action occurred besides $20 million pledged in aid to help Brazil fight raging fires in the Amazon.

Why this matters

French President Emmanuel Macron provided positive news with an announcement of a potential meeting between Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and President Trump. This potential interaction comes at a time of increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran, following a downed U.S. drone and alleged Iranian attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman. Approximately 2,000 troops have already deployed to the region, and if tensions continue to rise, then so will the troop numbers.