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Opioids

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia fire chief who starred in an Oscar-nominated documentary about battling drug abuse in ground zero of the nation’s opioid epidemic took the stand in a landmark trial Friday against three large drug distributors.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s former health commissioner described a culture of doctors for years writing more opioid prescriptions for their patients than necessary in a landmark trial in which local governments accuse three large drug distributors of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia was the “canary in the coal mine” of the ongoing U.S. opioid epidemic, a former state health official said Wednesday as witness testimony continued in a landmark trial between local West Virginia governments and three large drug distributors accused of fueling the crisis.

It’s 100 days into Joe Biden’s presidency and a surprisingly large number of health policies have been announced. But health is notably absent from the administration’s $1.8 trillion spending plan for American families, making it unclear how much more will get done this year. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosens its mask-wearing recommendations for those who have been vaccinated, but the new rules are confusing. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Instead of putting opioid-users in jail, a proposal moving through the California Legislature would give them a place to inject drugs while trained staff watch them to make sure they don't die from accidental overdoses.

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CHANHASSEN, Minn. (AP) — Paisley Park, where Prince lived and worked, welcomed back select fans Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of his death from inside his creative sanctuary. Some wore custom Prince clothes and shoes and left flowers and other mementos as tributes to the late superstar.

The three weeks of testimony at a former Minneapolis police officer's trial in the death of George Floyd were filled with indelible moments, ranging from witnesses breaking down as they relived what they saw to a clinical account by one expert pinpointing on video the instant he believes Floyd died.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Officer Derek Chauvin chose not to take the stand as testimony at his murder trial ended Thursday, passing up the chance to explain to the jury and the public for the first time what he was thinking when he pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has been slow-walking its work on the extension of a legislative order that would keep in place a sweeping tool that's helped federal agents crack down on drugs chemically similar to fentanyl, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors trying a white former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death put one of Floyd’s brothers on the witness stand Monday in a further effort to humanize him for the jury and counter the defense narrative that Floyd was at least partially responsible for his own death due to his use of illegal drugs.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derek Chauvin's defense attorney was questioning George Floyd's girlfriend about the couple buying drugs when he abruptly shifted gears for what seemed an innocuous question: He presumed the couple had pet names for each other. Under what name, he asked, did she appear in Floyd's phone?

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The chief medical examiner who ruled George Floyd’s death a homicide testified Friday that the way police held him down and compressed his neck “was just more than Mr. Floyd could take,” given the condition of his heart.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Doctors charged with determining the cause of an individual's death try to learn all they can about the person's life, medical experts testified Friday at former Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial.

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