Sacklers in talks to give up Purdue Pharma
The family that owns the manufacturer of OxyContin, the prescription painkiller at the heart of the opioid crisis, is discussing a potential settlement for thousands of lawsuits over the drug’s toll in which family members would pay $3 billion of their own money, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
The drug company, which introduced the painkiller in 1996, would pay out billions more by filing for bankruptcy protection and becoming a “public beneficiary trust” that would direct profit from drug sales to the plaintiffs. Participants in the talks put the plan’s total value at $10 billion to $12 billion.
The company would promise to provide, without cost, several addiction treatment drugs that it’s currently developing.
What’s next: The framework for the agreement and a decision on which plaintiffs would sign onto it are still in flux. If the deal is completed, Purdue would be the first company to settle all claims against it for its role in a public health crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the past two decades.
Related: Johnson & Johnson’s brand is faltering after a judge in Oklahoma fined the health care giant $572 million for its role as a leading supplier of opioid ingredients.
Denied justice, Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers share their fury
In a crowded New York courtroom on Tuesday, women recalled how Mr. Epstein had sexually abused them and used his power to keep them silent for years. For many, it was their first time speaking about it in public.
“The fact I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at my soul,” said Jennifer Araoz, who has accused Mr. Epstein of raping her when she was 15.
She was one of nearly two dozen accusers who shared their accounts at the hearing called to dismiss the sex trafficking charges against Mr. Epstein, who killed himself in his jail cell this month.
Deutsche Bank says it has Trump-related tax returns
The German bank told a federal appeals court on Tuesday that it was in possession of some tax returns sought by U.S. congressional subpoenas issued this year to President Trump, his family and his businesses.
Although the identities of the people or organizations were redacted in the publicly available document, current and former bank officials have said that Deutsche Bank has portions of Mr. Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns for multiple years as part of the reams of financial data it has collected over its two-decade relationship with him.
Background: Congressional investigators trying to determine whether Mr. Trump’s financial dealings made him subject to foreign influence believe the bank’s documents could be more helpful than the tax returns in understanding Mr. Trump’s web of businesses.
The Tea Party unleashed the politics of anger
In the summer of 2009, as the recession-ravaged economy bled half a million jobs a month in the U.S., organizers convened “tea parties” across the country. They were angry about spending, and had a specific set of demands.
The movement ignited a revival of the politics of outrage and mistrust in government. A decade later, the Tea Party’s ideals have been largely abandoned by Republicans, but its attitude lives on.
The 2020 race: Joe Walsh, a former Tea Party congressman who has called President Trump an “unfit con man” and announced a bid for the Republican nomination, has been forced to confront his own highly questionable behavior, including racist statements.
The Democrats: Joe Biden said he was the “most electable” candidate in the field, arguing that he retains the most racially diverse coalition of supporters.
If you have 12 minutes, this is worth it
LinkedIn as a Chinese spy-recruiting tool
Many LinkedIn users welcome connections to strangers. That makes them vulnerable to spy recruiters.
Western intelligence officials say Chinese agents have been using social media, particularly LinkedIn, to recruit foreign citizens, including former government officials like Jonas Parello-Plesner, above.
Here’s what else is happening
Rainforests on fire: After rejecting millions of dollars to help combat fires in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil accepted some aid from Britain. Blazes also threaten the second-largest tropical rainforest, the Congo Basin forest.
The Cherokee Nation: The tribe wants to send its first delegate to Congress, pointing to treaties signed in the 18th and 19th centuries that promised a seat at the table.
“Adversity score” rethought: The company that administers the SAT exam said it would no longer use a single number on test results to indicate obstacles that a student might have overcome, like crime and poverty.
Ride-share nightmare: An Uber driver kidnapped a 15-year-old girl on Long Island, the authorities said. She escaped by persuading him to pull over so she could use the bathroom.
Snapshot: Above, demonstrators in Hong Kong’s airport on Aug. 12. The antigovernment campaign in the city reached a milestone on Tuesday: 80 days of protests, passing the 2014 Umbrella Movement in length. A Times photographer has spent those 12 weeks documenting the developments. Here some of his most powerful images.
Late-night comedy: Most shows are in reruns, so our column is on hiatus.
U.S. Open: Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old American, rallied to defeat Anastasia Potapova on Tuesday. We’ll have live coverage of the tennis tournament when play begins at 11 a.m. Eastern. Here are today’s matchups for the women and the men.
What we’re reading: Michael Wines, a national correspondent, recommends this article from Medium. “Barely two years ago, potentially the worst aviation disaster in history was averted by maybe 10 feet and fewer seconds,” he writes. “Read this dry but riveting — and terrifying — account of what almost went disastrously wrong at San Francisco International Airport.”
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Baking fish and chips is less messy than frying.
Listen: For our writer, one world-traveling, chart-conquering rhythm — deployed by the likes of Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber and Drake — defines the sweatiest time of year.
Read: “The Code,” by Margaret O’Mara, is an ambitious history of the cozy relationship between tech start-ups and the federal government.
Eat: Da Long Yi Hot Pot, in New York’s Chinatown, offers a gateway to the Sichuan broth. Read our restaurant critic’s review.
Smarter Living: One of the worst things you can do with your passwords is to use the same one for multiple sites. If one account is compromised, hackers will be able to get into the others. To keep yourself safe, use two-factor authentication, keep your operating system and browser up-to-date, and use a password manager.
And a pediatrician looks at the debate about a Weight Watchers app aimed at children.
And now for the Back Story on …
How the Amazon came to be
You have to go way back to find the source of the Amazon.
By many geological accounts, about 180 million years ago an enormous land mass broke across the middle. After 40 million more years, the southern part — now South America and Africa — also split.
Many scientists believe that a river system stretching across the two also broke, eventually becoming the Congo River in Africa and the Amazon River in South America.
The collision of tectonic plates that raised the Andes roughly 15 million years ago may have helped block the Amazon’s flow, creating a vast inland sea — and an evolutionary challenge for former saltwater inhabitants.
The Amazon basin drained when the Ice Age reduced global water levels, leaving pockets of water and flora — and more opportunities for species to subdivide.
The flood-drain cycle appeared to occur again about 6,000 years ago.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Melina Delkic helped compile today’s briefing. Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. Andrea Kannapell, the briefings editor, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at [email protected].
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the fires in the Amazon.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Tea sweetener (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• A photographer spent two years at The Times’s printing plant in College Point, Queens, capturing the newspaper printing process.