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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.


A judge will consider motions filed by lawyers for Kevin Spacey, who’s charged with groping an 18-year-old man on Nantucket in 2016.

The Oscar-winning former “House of Cards” actor won’t be present for Thursday’s hearing at Nantucket District Court.

Spacey’s attorneys have been seeking to preserve phone and electronic records between the man — who says Spacey unzipped his pants and fondled him — and the man’s girlfriend at the time. The assault allegedly occurred at a restaurant on the island off Cape Cod where the young man worked as a busboy.

Spacey pleaded not guilty in January to felony indecent assault and battery. His lawyers have called the accusations “patently false.”

It’s the first criminal case brought against Spacey after several sexual misconduct allegations crippled his career in 2017.


Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman faced court appearances Wednesday on charges they took part in the college bribery scandal that has ensnared dozens of wealthy parents.

The actresses along with Loughlin’s fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and dozens of others were charged last month in a scheme in which authorities say parents paid an admissions consultant to bribe college coaches and rig test scores to get their children into elite universities.

Huffman, Loughlin and Giannulli, whose Mossimo clothing had long been a Target brand, have not publicly commented on the allegations. They were set to make their first appearances in Boston’s federal court along with other parents charged in the scheme.

Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House” in the 1980s and ’90s, and Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the University of Southern California crew team, even though neither participated in the sport.

The Hallmark Channel — where Loughlin starred in popular holiday movies and the series “When Calls the Heart” — cut ties with Loughlin a day after her arrest.

Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughter, social media star Olivia Jade Giannulli, was dropped from advertising deals with cosmetics retailer Sephora and hair products company TRESemme.

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