The opioid trial in Oklahoma everyone is watching
The daily duo two is big ideas. Sponsored by the American beverage association. Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi are offering more choices smaller portions less sugar. Learn more at balance US dot org. Good morning. I'm James Holman from the Washington Post. And this is the daily to two for Tuesday. In today's news green parties when kingmaker status in European elections. President Trump says he's not seeking regime change in Iran and Texas secretary of state steps down over his voter purge gone wrong. But first, the big idea, the first state trial of the opioid epidemic begins today in Oklahoma and families that have lost loved ones to overdoses see a chance to finally hold the big drug companies to account Gail box will be following the trial closely, but she can't bring herself to come to the courthouse. In Norman the city where she last spent time with her son Austin in may twenty eleven when he graduated from the university of Oklahoma five days after that he was unconscious in a hospital after an overdose with five different prescription painkillers and anti anxiety drug in his bloodstream he died. That day he was twenty two years old boxes convinced that a stiff financial penalty against drug companies will provide accountability for her son's death as well as providing the treatment and other services that substance users need much has changed since Oklahoma attorney general. Mike hunter sued three drug companies and their subsidiaries twenty three months ago alleging that they're responsible for the score JR. The central character in the democ Purdue pharma has settled with the state for two hundred seventy million dollars and will not be on trial in judge Thad Balkans, men's courtroom on Sunday. A second defendant TV pharmaceuticals settled out of court for eighty five million dollars. The state has dropped all, but one accusation against the remaining company Johnson and Johnson and is pinning its strategy on very novel use of Oklahoma law, the single charges that the drug company created a public nuisance of violation, historically alleged, when one party's activities negatively affect others, like a neighborhood crack house, or a factory that pollutes a waterway in this case, Oklahoma is seeking a penalty to abate the crisis alleging in court that it will take as much as seventeen and a half billion dollars over the next twenty to thirty years to compensate for the damage. That's been done. The companies say they responsibly marketed legitimate. Non. Catis that were approved by the FDA to quell pain. They say they can't be linked to deaths from illegal abusive those drugs, John sparks a lawyer for Johnson. And Johnson said he's confident that the company acted responsibly and he points to efforts made to prevent the products from being misused with judge Bachmann refusing to delay today's court date, even after TV pulled out Oklahoma's case will be the first of more than forty state lawsuits to actually come to trial. It's being closely watched elsewhere, during two years of pre-trial battles the number of people who have lost loved ones to opioid overdoses or seen lives ruined by addiction has steadily grown larger in Oklahoma and elsewhere. They are among those most interested in the outcome as Bill guy, an Oklahoma, teacher's union organizer, who's thirty four year old son. Chris died of a heroin overdose in two thousand sixteen put it to my colleague Lenny Bernstein. It's a club. No. Nobody wants to join. And that's the big idea here are three other headlines that should be on your radar number one. Green parties are cheering e you election results that vaulted them into king-making position of power as voters abandoned traditional political parties in favor of climate focused activists in a green wave that swept across several countries. The results propelled, the greens into second place in Germany and third place in France and elsewhere, amid a surgeon excitement from young voters who faulted old school parties for Norring their concerns about the environment and offering few alternatives for generation beset by economic pain. Following the global financial crisis in an election for the European parliament in which far-right anti-immigration buccaneers also gained modestly to post their best ever result. The good showing for the greens might have the biggest impact on policy, the center, left in center, right parties that have long jointly ruled the parliament have lost their majority. Meaning they will need to depend on greens and other centrists to advance their agenda, the far right? Meanwhile, captured about a quarter of the seats that's up from fifth just enough to entrench. They're angry voices of protest, and cause, trouble in the legislature, but not enough to actually enact their agenda in Britain voters embraced the parties, who took the clearest stances on Brexit in the EU elections. Nigel Raja's single issue. Brexit party was the clear winner of the elections with the potential to impact the race over who becomes the next British Prime minister, the pro e u Liberal Democrats and the greens made significant gains as well. They have a simple message on Brexit. Stop it. And this is key overall support for all the parties that are unabashedly pro-european was slightly higher than those that are pushing for a hard Brexit. Bottom line Britain is as divided as ever number two. To defying his own advisers during a news conference before he left Tokyo to return to Washington Trump on Monday denied that North Korea has fired any ballistic missiles, he again sided with Kim Jong UN is well over former vice president, Joe Biden, after his democratic rival was branded a quote, fool of low IQ by North Korean state media for calling the North Korean leader, a dictator at a joint appearance with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo ABI Trump gave cover to Kim as he directly contradicted his own national security adviser, John Bolton as well as Ave by insisting that Pyongyang had not launched ballistic missiles, this month or violated, UN Security Council resolutions, which the Japanese in the American government have repeatedly said when pressed on this point, the president added that he was not personally bothered by North Korea's short-range missile tests, this month. Trump also insisted that the United States is quote, not looking for regime change in Iran. You know, the deployment of fifteen hundred additional troops to the Middle East over the. Weekend. Number three, Texas has acting secretary of state. David Whitley was forced out last night after leading a botched voter purge that wrongly identified tens of thousands of naturalized citizens as potential non-citizens who were illegally registered. The Texas State Senate failed to confirm him to the position by two-thirds majority on the last day of legislative session. Whitley a former top aide, do Texas governor Greg, Abbott or Republican spent less than six months on the job. He revealed the results of his voter investigation in January, pushing unsupported fears of rampant fraud while emboldening Trump who touted his findings it turned out. They had made basic programming errors, which pulled about twenty five thousand totally legitimate voters into their dragnet numerous voting rights groups sued on behalf of threatened eligible voters in three separate federal lawsuits in one of them a federal judge in February blocked, Texas from carrying out what he called a ham handed and. And threatening voter purge effort. He said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Texas. And that's the daily to two for Tuesday may twenty eighth. Thanks for listening. I'm James Hillman, I'll talk to you tomorrow.