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White House says true cost of opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504bn

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  • New study puts cost at more than six times previous estimate
  • Report factors in illicit opiods like heroin as well as prescription drugs

The White House says the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504bn, or roughly half a trillion dollars.

In an analysis to be released on Monday, the Council of Economic Advisers says the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate. The council said a 2016 private study estimated that prescription opioid overdoes, abuse and dependence in the US in 2013 cost $78.5bn. Most of that was attributed to healthcare and criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/20/true-cost-opioid-drug-epidemic-504bn-white-house

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Republicans Are Throwing Away Their Shot at Tax Reform

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Senate candidate Roy Moore’s accuser: I was a 14-year-old child

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Moore accuser: ‘I wonder how many more me’s he doesn’t know’

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Leigh Corfman, the Alabama woman who accused Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of initiating a sexual encounter with her when she was 14, said Monday that her interaction with Moore robbed her of her senses of trust and self-confidence, placing a weight on her that she said took “decades” to shed.

“Well, it took away a lot of the specialness of, you know, interactions with men. It took some trust away. It allowed me to delve into some things I, you know, wouldn’t have otherwise,” Corfman told NBC’s “Today” show in her first televised interview. “It took years for me to regain a sense of confidence in myself. And I felt guilty. You know, I felt like I was the one that was to blame and it was decades before I was able to let that go.”

Corfman’s allegation was first published earlier this month by The Washington Post in a story that also included the accounts of other women who said Moore had dated them when they were high school-aged and he was in his 30s. In the wake of that report, another woman has come forward with an allegation that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 and he was in his 30s.

In her interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, Corfman recalled details from her interaction with Moore, including the color of his underwear, detailing how the former Alabama Supreme Court chief judge had “proceeded to seduce me, I guess you would say” on blankets laid out on the floor of his living room. Corfman said she “pulled back” when Moore tried to get her to touch him over his underwear, at which point she got dressed and he took her home.

Moore has denied allegations of wrongdoing — although he conceded in an interview that it is possible he dated teenage women when he was much older than them — and has characterized the accusations against him as political attacks. He has said he does not know Corfman.

“I wonder how many more me’s he doesn’t know,” Corfman said when asked by Guthrie about Moore’s denial that he knew her.

Some of Moore’s defenders have suggested that the women accusing the GOP candidate of sexual misconduct have been paid by Democrats to attack the GOP candidate in hopes of wresting the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions from Republican control.

Corfman disputed that attack, telling Guthrie that she had “absolutely not” been paid to level the accusation against Moore and that “If anything, this has cost me. I’ve had to take leave from my job. I have no tickets to Tahiti. And my bank account has not flourished.”

“My politics — well, I’ve voted as a Republican for years and years and years,” Corfman said, a response to allegations that her accusations were politically motivated. “But this isn’t political for me. This is personal. It’s very close to my heart and I’ve lived with this for a long time.”

Source: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/20/leigh-corfman-roy-moore-accuser-interview-249611

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San Juan mayor outperforming Trump in Time's Person of the Year poll

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Carmen Yulin Cruz, who had a public spat with the US president in the wake of Hurricane Maria, has garnered 31 per cent of the vote so far while Mr Trump has just 29 per cent

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-san-juan-mayor-carmen-yulin-cruz-times-person-of-the-year-poll-outperforming-reader-a8064711.html

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Anti-LGBTQ politician 'looked for gay meet-ups on Craigslist'

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Mueller may be close to wrapping up a significant part of the Russia investigation

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China is quietly pressing ahead with its agenda in the South China Sea