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Two Ohio counties are telling a court to deny their state attorney general’s request to delay a major trial over the toll of opioids.

Attorney General Dave Yost asked a federal appeals court in August not to let a district judge move ahead with a case scheduled to begin Oct. 21.

It would be the first federal trial of claims brought by a government seeking to hold the drug industry accountable for the opioid crisis.

The attorney general says the state’s similar claims should move ahead of those brought by Cuyahoga and Summit counties, home to Cleveland and Akron.

The counties say the state doesn’t have a say because it’s not part of this case. The judge in charge of the Oct. 21 trial has also denied the state’s request.



Aimee Stephens lost her job at a suburban Detroit funeral home and she could lose her Supreme Court case over discrimination against transgender people. Amid her legal fight, her health is failing.

But seven years after Stephens thought seriously of suicide and six years after she announced that she would henceforth be known as Aimee instead of Anthony, she has something no one can take away.

The Supreme Court will hear Stephens' case Oct. 8 over whether federal civil rights law that bars job discrimination on the basis of sex protects transgender people. Other arguments that day deal with whether the same law covers sexual orientation.

The cases are the first involving LGBT rights since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's gay-rights champion and decisive vote on those issues. They probably won't be decided before spring, during the 2020 presidential campaign.

The 58-year-old Stephens plans to attend the arguments despite dialysis treatments three times a week to deal with kidney failure and breathing problems that require further treatment. She used a walker the day she spoke to AP at an LGBT support center in the Ferndale suburb north of Detroit.

"I felt what they did to me wasn't right. In fact, it was downright wrong," Stephens said, her North Carolina roots evident in her speech. "But I also realized it wasn't just me, that there were others in the world facing the same tune."

On the other side of the case is the R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, whose owner worries that a ruling for Stephens also would prohibit sex-specific sleeping facilities in shelters, as well as showers, restrooms and locker rooms. Congress can change the law to make explicit protections for LGBT people if it wishes, owner Thomas Rost says in court papers.

More than half the states do not prohibit discrimination in employment because of gender identity or sexual orientation, despite the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the United States. In Michigan, the state's civil rights commission last year decided to interpret existing state law to protect LGBT people from workplace bias. But that wouldn't affect Stephens, who was fired in 2013.


They came bearing oversized images of the sons and daughters they lost to drug overdoses and signs demanding justice from the pharmaceutical company they hold most responsible.

The parents and their supporters rallied outside a Boston courthouse Friday as a judge heard arguments in Massachusetts' lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, over its role in the national opioid epidemic.

"Unless you've lost a child, you don't know what that pain is like," said Kathleen Scarpone, a New Hampshire resident whose 25-year-old son died of an overdose in 2015, just a few years after serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. "You wake up every day and your heart breaks a little. I don't want anyone to ever feel that."

Scarpone was among more than 100 people gathered in front of Suffolk County Superior Court through the daylong hearing. The group laid poster boards filled with photos of hundreds of Massachusetts overdose victims on the courthouse steps.

Some held signs saying, "Sack the Sacklers," referring to the wealthy family that owns Purdue Pharma and whose name is emblazoned across major institutions such as the Smithsonian, Guggenheim and Harvard from years of philanthropy.

Organizers also sent letters to state attorneys general calling on them to dedicate all money recovered from opioid makers into addiction prevention efforts, substance abuse treatment and recovery support programs.

"They need to see the families," Cheryl Juaire, a mother from Marlborough, Massachusetts, whose 23-year-old son died of an overdose in 2011, said of company officials and the Sackler family. "They need to be held accountable for the deaths of our children."

Members of the Sackler family weren't present Friday as lawyers representing the company, former executives and family members argued that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's lawsuit should be dismissed.

The suit is among more than 2,000 by state and local governments pending against Purdue Pharma and other opioid makers.


U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky was ordered held by a Swedish court Friday for two weeks in pre-trial detention while police investigate a fight in downtown Stockholm.

Prosecutor Fredrik Karlsson said Friday after the hearing at the Stockholm District Court that A$AP Rocky — the stage name of Rakim Mayers — was to be held on a lesser assault charge than he initially had demanded.

"They were attacked and he made use of self-defense," said defense lawyer Henrik Olsson Lilja, adding they would appeal the ruling.

The rapper was involved in the fight Sunday before appearing at a music festival in Sweden. It was not clear who else was involved in the incident. Videos published on social media show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by A$AP Rocky. He and others punched and kicked the person on the ground.

After the video was published online, the rapper posted his own videos to his Instagram account, which purport to show the man in question following and repeatedly harassing him and his entourage.



The Supreme Court is throwing out an Oregon court ruling against bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The justices' action Monday keeps the high-profile case off the court's election-year calendar and orders state judges to take a new look at the dispute between the lesbian couple and the owners of a now-closed bakery in the Portland area.

The case involves bakers Melissa and Aaron Klein, who paid a $135,000 judgment to the couple for declining to create a cake for them in 2013.

The justices already have agreed to decide whether federal civil rights law protects people from job discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The case involves bakers Melissa and Aaron Klein, who paid a $135,000 judgment to the couple for declining to create a cake for them in 2013.

The justices already have agreed to decide whether federal civil rights law protects people from job discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.



The Supreme Court will not take up a challenge to a Pennsylvania school district's policy allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their sexual identity.

The justices on Tuesday rejected an appeal from students who argued that allowing transgender students to use the same facilities violated their right to privacy.

The court's order leaves in a place a federal appeals court ruling that held the Boyertown School District, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia, could continue to allow transgender students the choice of what facilities to use.

The students are represented by the conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom.


The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Friday that her U.S. visa has been revoked, in what appears to a crackdown on the global tribunal by the Trump administration.

In a statement confirming the revocation, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s office stressed that she “has an independent and impartial mandate” under the court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute.

“The Prosecutor and her office will continue to undertake that statutory duty with utmost commitment and professionalism, without fear or favor,” the statement said.

Bensouda’s office said the revocation of her visa shouldn’t affect her travel to the U.S. for meetings, including regular briefings at the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. has never been a member of the ICC, a court of last resort that prosecutes grave crimes only when other nations are unwilling or unable to bring suspects to justice.

Bensouda is expected to brief the U.N. Security Council next month on her investigations in Libya.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: “We expect the United States to live up to the agreement to allow for the travel of ICC staff members to do their work here at the United Nations.”

The State Department confirmed the measure against Bensouda.

“In this case, where Prosecutor Bensouda has publicly stated that her visa has been revoked, we confirm that the Prosecutor’s visa to the United States has been revoked,” the department said.

It declined to discuss other cases but said “the United States will take the necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and to protect our people from unjust investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that Washington would revoke or deny visas to ICC staff seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and other abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere and may do the same with those who seek action against Israel.

The ICC prosecutor has a pending request to look into possible war crimes in Afghanistan that may involve Americans. The Palestinians have also asked the court to bring cases against Israel.

Pompeo said in March that his move was necessary to prevent the court from infringing on U.S. sovereignty by prosecuting American forces or allies for torture or other war crimes.

Bensouda asked last year to open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, as well as U.S. forces and intelligence officials in Afghanistan since May 2003.

The request says there’s information that members of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies “committed acts of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual violence against conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan and other locations, principally in the 2003-2004 period.”

The United States has never been a member of the Hague-based court, even though the Clinton administration in 2000 signed the Rome Statute that created it. However, he had reservations about the scope of the court’s jurisdiction and never submitted it for ratification to the Senate.

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