TDB Top 5 International Stories: Monday 3rd September 2018

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5: MEET THE MIDDLEMEN WHO PLAY A BIG ROLE IN HIGH DRUG PRICES
4: Khamenei: War unlikely but Iran should boost defence capability
3: THE FBI TRIED TO USE THE #METOO MOMENT TO PRESSURE AN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST INTO BECOMING AN INFORMANT
2: Obit Omit: What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain’s Record of Militarism and Misogyny
1: Anti-migrant feeling fuels Swedish far right as election looms

5: MEET THE MIDDLEMEN WHO PLAY A BIG ROLE IN HIGH DRUG PRICES

Shareholders voted in August to approve health insurer Cigna’s $67 billion acquisition of Express Scripts, the country’s largest pharmacy benefit manager. The deal still needs the go-ahead from government antitrust regulators.

But what does Express Scripts do, what even is a pharmacy benefits manager … and why should you care?

Pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, get paid to be the ultimate middlemen. They sit at the center of the pharmaceutical industry, playing a role in almost every transaction as pills travel to your pocket.

Vice News

4: Khamenei: War unlikely but Iran should boost defence capability

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on Iran’s armed forces to boost their defence capacities but ruled out chances of war breaking out.

On Saturday, Iran announced plans to increase its missile capacity and acquire modern fighter jets and submarines as part of efforts to expand its military.

The announcement came in the wake of a decision by the United States to withdraw from a multinational nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions against it.

Aljazeera

3: THE FBI TRIED TO USE THE #METOO MOMENT TO PRESSURE AN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST INTO BECOMING AN INFORMANT

JULIE HENRY WAS jogging when she got the call from the FBI. She didn’t recognize the number, which had a Washington state area code, but she answered anyway. The FBI agent identified herself as Kera O’Reilly, and said that Henry wasn’t in any trouble. O’Reilly was there to help.

The phone call, which Henry received on February 22, 2018, brought her back to an internal conflict that she thought she’d finished wrestling with two years earlier. O’Reilly wanted to talk to Henry about her online account of sexual assault, which was strange if you consider that the offense is a crime over which federal agents rarely have jurisdiction. But it made perfect sense considering the person she wanted to discuss: Rod Coronado.

To his supporters in the animal rights community, Coronado is a folk hero who has lived his convictions. People have even written songs celebrating him. To the FBI, Coronado is an eco-terrorist, an arsonist, and a criminal. Although the agency has already managed to put him in prison four separate times, including for setting fire to a mink research facility and dismantling a mountain lion trap, law enforcement apparently still isn’t finished with the 52-year-old activist, who publicly denounced sabotage as a tactic more than a decade ago.

Yet for all of his public accolades and detractors, Henry knew a different side of him.

The Intercept

2: Obit Omit: What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain’s Record of Militarism and Misogyny

We host a roundtable discussion on the life and legacy of John McCain, the Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, six-term senator and two-time presidential candidate, who died Saturday at the age of 81 of brain cancer. We speak with Mehdi Hasan, columnist for The Intercept and host of their “Deconstructed” podcast. He’s also host of “UpFront” at Al Jazeera English. He’s been tweeting in response to McCain’s death and wrote a piece last year headlined “Despite What the Press Says, ‘Maverick’ McCain Has a Long and Distinguished Record of Horribleness.” We are also joined by Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, which McCain once referred to as “low-life scum,” and by Norman Solomon, national coordinator of RootsAction, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

Democracy Now

1: Anti-migrant feeling fuels Swedish far right as election looms

Last month, yards from the Social Democrats’ booth in Rinkeby town square, where Kersten Aggefors is handing out leaflets for the party that has finished first in every Swedish election since 1917, masked young people set five cars ablaze.

A few days earlier, eight unidentified men had attacked the town’s half-built new police station, crashing through the gate and hurling rocks and firecrackers at security guards, apparently in retaliation for a drug bust. In January, two gunmen walked into a crowded pizzeria and shot a man dead, in what police said was a gang execution.

Rinkeby, a symbol of Scandinavian social democracy when it was built in the 1970s, had a bad reputation, but this was largely undeserved, said Aggefors, who has lived in the suburb, 20 minutes by metro from the capital, for 47 years.

 

 

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