Reminding the world that the sooner action is taken to tackle climate change, the greater the benefits for all, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday said that for the nearly nine years, he has been at the head of the Organization, he has travelled the world to the front-lines of climate change, and spoken repeatedly with world leaders, business people and citizens about the need for an urgent global response.“Why do I care so much about this issue?” Mr. Ban asked in an opinion piece published in some 70 countries’ media outlets ahead of the UN climate change conference, known as COP21.“First, like any grandfather, I want my grandchildren to enjoy the beauty and bounty of a healthy planet. And like any human being, it grieves me to see that floods, droughts and fires are getting worse, that island nations will disappear and uncounted species will become extinct,” he explained.The UN chief recalled that Pope Francis and other faith leaders have reminded the global community that “we have a moral responsibility to act in solidarity with the poor and most vulnerable who have done least to cause climate change and will suffer first and worst from its effects.”Second, as the head of the United Nations, Mr. Ban said he has prioritized climate change because no country can meet this challenge alone. “Climate change carries no passport; emissions released anywhere contribute to the problem everywhere. It is a threat to lives and livelihoods everywhere. Economic stability and the security of nations are under threat. Only through the United Nations can we respond collectively to this quintessentially global issue,” he insisted.While admitting that the negotiation process has been slow and cumbersome, the Secretary-General underlined that the world is seeing results. In response to the UN’s call, more than 166 countries, which collectively account for more than 90 per cent of emissions, have now submitted national climate plans with targets.If successfully implemented, these national plans could bend the emissions curve down to a projected global temperature rise of approximately 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.“This is significant progress. But it is still not enough,” warned Mr. Ban. “The challenge now is to move much further and faster to reduce global emissions so we can keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius. At the same time, we must support countries to adapt to the inevitable consequences that are already upon us.”He said acting soon can lead to greater benefits for all: increased stability and security; stronger, more sustainable economic growth; enhanced resilience to shocks; cleaner air and water; improved health.“We will not get there overnight,” the UN chief stated. “The climate change conference in Paris is not the end point. It must mark the floor, not the ceiling of our ambition. It must be the turning point towards a low-emission, climate-resilient future.”Meanwhile, around the world, momentum is building, he said, pointing out that cities, businesses and investors, faith leaders and citizens are acting to reduce emissions and build resilience.“The responsibility now rests with Governments to conclude a meaningful, binding agreement in Paris that provides clear rules of the road for strengthening global ambition. For this, negotiators need clear guidance from the top,” he stressed, noting that the leaders of G20 nations, who met earlier this month in Antalya, Turkey, showed strong commitment to climate action.More than 120 have confirmed their participation in Paris, despite heightened security concerns in the wake of the terrorist attacks.“I see four essential elements for Paris to be a success: durability, flexibility, solidarity and credibility,” the Secretary-General continued, giving an explanation for each point, before reiterating that the UN stands fully ready to support countries in implementing such an agreement. An agreement, which he said will also accelerate progress towards all of the Sustainable Development Goals.“That is why I care so deeply about climate change,” he concluded. “My message to world leaders is clear: success in Paris depends on you. Now is the time for common sense, compromise and consensus. It is time to look beyond national horizons and to put the common interest first. The people of the world – and generations to come – count on you to have the vision and courage to seize this historic moment.”
Tonight in the U.S., Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Elton John and over 65 stars are coming together to have fun, raise money and change lives on “The Red Nose Day Special,” airing May 26th on NBC.The star-studded event will be hosted by Craig Ferguson and features comedy, music and more.Other stars include Jay Leno, Celine Dion, Mel B, Bill Gates, Tyler Perry, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Vince Vaughn, Bono and Jeff Goldblum who are all lining up to take part in the FUN-raising Special to keep kids safe, healthy and educated.The special will feature Julia Roberts’ recent trip to Phoenix to visit projects that take care of children who are facing serious health issues without the means to afford basic medical treatment. Jack Black, who went to Uganda last year to shed light on the issue of children living in poverty, returns to give a heartwarming update on Felix, a young boy he met there who had been living on the streets for three years. He will reveal what life is like for Felix today after being helped by a program that aims to change the lives of homeless kids.Music will also take centre stage, with both Elton John and Blake Shelton performing very special songs, while Paul Shaffer will bring his signature brand of great music and high energy as musical director with the Red Nose Orchestra.“The Red Nose Day Special” also delivers a great night of comedy, from Tracy Morgan putting his own unique spin on the classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” while reading to kids, to Paul Rudd committing more money for Red Nose Day than he ever imagined when he promises to donate $5,000 for every three-pointer basketball superstar Blake Griffin makes in three minutes. The fun continues with a comedy sketch featuring “The Walking Dead” cast as viewers have never seen them before.Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015 as a special day to come together, have fun and make a difference for kids who are most in need. In its inaugural year in America, more than $23 million was raised for the Red Nose Day Fund, with the money now at work in all 50 states across America and 15 countries internationally through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated.The money raised by Red Nose Day USA 2016 will help support projects in some of the neediest communities in the U.S. and some of the poorest communities in the world. People from all walks of life are encouraged to get involved, have fun and raise money by buying red noses sold exclusively at Walgreens stores nationwide, organising fundraising events and watching and donating during the television special.Red Nose Day in the USA is run by Comic Relief Inc. which is an independent sister organization of Comic Relief UK. Comic Relief Inc. and Comic Relief UK are independent organizations related through their shared vision of a just world free from poverty, and a same mission to effect positive change through the power of entertainment. To find out more visit rednoseday.org.
The always engaging McAdams offers her thoughts…On acting opposite Cumberbatch:“You always hope people you admire are just as great in person,” McAdams says. “And he’s really one of the good human beings and a great actor.“And he was so easy going that you didn’t think for a minute he had the weight of playing Doctor Strange on his shoulders.”On the interplay between their doctors:“Scott (Derrickson) came up with this idea where they already had been in a relationship and came out the other side,” McAdams says. “It was a better jumping off point for us.” Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitter Login/Register With: As part of the Doctor Strange world promotional tour, Rachel McAdams was at her Toronto base of operations recently to chat up the Marvel superhero flick. Despite visiting previous exotic locations, she confirms that there is no place like home. “I feel fulfilled when I’m here,” says the 37-year-old.In the Scott Derrickson-directed fantasy, McAdams plays Dr. Christine Palmer, an ex-girlfriend and colleague of Doctor Strange. She has to deal with him before and after his elaborate transition. That occurs when Strange severely damages his surgeon hands in a car wreck and then seeks an almost impossible cure. His search for a remedy eventually takes him to Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu where he meets the immortal Ancient One (Tilds Swinton) who trains Strange in the art of conjuring up magic and alternate dimensions. Unfortunately, the Strange transformation puts him on a collision course with an all-powerful former student of the Ancient one.Last year, McAdams earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as a reporter in the newspaper procedural Spotlight. She’s dabbled in other genres, too, including a co-starring role in two high-concept Sherlock Holmes pictures after breaking out in the teen flick Mean Girls and the romantic drama The Notebook. Doctor Strange marks her introduction into the superhero world. Advertisement Advertisement
READ MORE Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s artistic director is shown in this file photo. (PHOTO BY GLENN LOWSON/THE GLOBE AND MAIL) Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Three decades after British director Peter Brook’s version of the The Mahabharatatook the Western theatre world by storm, the Why Not Theatre in Toronto is teaming up with the Shaw Festival to create a major new stage adaptation of the ancient Sanskrit epic poem featuring a cast from the South Asian diaspora, The Globe and Mail has learned.Fuelled by a $375,000 New Chapter grant from the Canada Council, Why Not’s production will be the biggest ever mounted by the accomplished independent theatre company – and will premiere as part of the 2019 Shaw season in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., before embarking on what is expected to be an international tour.Why Not’s artistic director Ravi Jain and New York director Jenny Koons are co-directing the project – which will have an initial workshop this December with a cast of nine in London, organized with the support of Complicité, the British company run by acclaimed director Simon McBurney. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
Advertisement Pick up a copy of The Georgia Straight with the hilarious, Ronny Chieng on the cover, and read some great coverage of our festival acts! We can’t wait to make Vancouver laugh! Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement JFL NorthWest kicks off today, March 1 til March 10 starting with, Beth Stelling at The Biltmore Cabaret, Kyle Kinane Comedy at The Rio Theatre, Debra DiGiovanni at the Comedy MIX, B-Sides at Yuk Yuk’s Vancouver, Sidekicks at China Cloud, and @jokesplease! at Little Mountain GalleryAs well as the inaugural Vancouver Just for Laughs Film Festival with a screening of Lost in Paris at Vancity Theatre.Also new this year is the FREE JFL NorthWest block party on March 7, 8, and 9 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza (5-10pm). Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Advertisement It’s screenplay season — that special time of year when Hollywood’s PR armies unleash a volley of film scripts across the Internet in hopes that Academy voters (and other awards-season pundits) will page through them to get insight on how some of the most acclaimed films of the year were originally conceived by their screenwriters. More than mere transcriptions of dialogue and scene descriptions, screenplays are the blueprints that film crews work from when planning shots and sequences, and studying them can shed unexpected light on a project’s journey from script to screen. What’s more, they’re free, for a limited time only — so you may as well take advantage.22 July (Netflix)Written by Paul GreengrassBased on One of Us by Åsne SeierstadAll Is True (Sony Classics)Screenplay by Ben Elton The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)Written by Joel Coen & Ethan CoenTimothée Chalamet and Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy (Francois Duhamel/Amazon Studios)Beautiful Boy (Amazon Studios)Screenplay by Luke Davies & Felix van Groeningenbased on the books Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and Tweak by Nic SheffBlack Panther (Disney)By Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert ColeBLACKkKLANSMAN (Focus Features)Written by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Advertisement
Login/Register With: The award-winning event will take place May 22-24, 2019.About C2 MontréalC2 Montréal is the most forward-thinking business event in the world. It has been named “Most Innovative Conference” and “Best Conference” for multiple years running, and the 2018 edition took home awards for “Canadian Event,” “Sustainable Event” and “Kick A** Experience.” C2 is much more than just simply a conference — it combines progressive and inspiring content in a highly creative, festival-like setting aimed at taking participants out of their comfort zone. Held annually in Montreal, C2 Montréal exists to help leaders shape the future of business. Imagined by creative agency Sid Lee in collaboration with founding partner Cirque du Soleil, C2 looks at the creative intersections of commerce, science, technology, society and sustainability. The conference welcomes over 7,000 participants — hailing from 60-plus countries and 34 industries — in the belief that business success is coupled with societal progress. The eighth edition of C2 Montréal will take place May 22-24, 2019 in Montreal, Canada.About Stradigi AIStradigi AI helps companies rapidly transform their business using solutions powered by artificial intelligence, in a configurable, scalable and secure way. With one of the largest applied research laboratories in Canada, its team offers clients and partners a complete ecosystem focused on innovation in the field of artificial intelligence, giving them a competitive advantage. For more information, visit stradigi.ai.C2 Montréal 2019Media access to the event can be requested here. Tickets to the three-day conference are available here. Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Will.I.Am – credit: Eric Michael Roy Advertisement Advertisement MONTREAL – C2 Montreal announces future-focused tech entrepreneur will.i.am presented by Stradigi AI, as part of the world-class roster of dynamic speakers partaking in the 8th edition of the creativity and business conference. With experience extending far beyond the music industry, the Founder & CEO of i.am+ (also Black Eyed Peas co-founder and frontman) will discuss the future of artificial intelligence and its importance in today’s world. Presented by Stradigi AI, this is a unique opportunity to hear from the creative innovator in a city widely recognized as the second global artificial intelligence hub.will.i.am is a futurist with a passion for technology. As founder and CEO of i.am+, he is disrupting the industry by merging voice computing, artificial intelligence, and intelligent devices, with the goal of creating technology that assists and empowers across consumer and business applications. As an active member of two World Economic Forum (WEF) boards: the Global Artificial Intelligence Council and the Fourth Industrial Revolution Advisory Committee (4IR), will.i.am is the only entrepreneur and business sector leader on the 4IR committee who works outside of a Fortune 100 company.“We are excited to welcome tech entrepreneur, creative innovator, global music artist, producer and philanthropist will.i.am to our stage,” said Richard St-Pierre, President of C2 Montreal. “As Montreal continues to grow as a leader in artificial intelligence, we look forward to hearing from an accomplished innovator who has successfully and fluidly moved between the creative and tech worlds.” Twitter
APTN National NewsEvacuees from the flooded-out Little Saskatchewan First Nation in Manitoba say they have been left scrambling after being told, in a letter, their financial assistance would be drastically cut.On Wednesday they protested the cuts outside the Manitoba legislature.The province says they are moving into a long-term recovery phase and that means cuts to evacuees’ financial assistance.Adults will be reduced from $23 a day to $4. Children will also see a cut from $18 a day to $3.Evacuees say that’s just not enough.
APTN National NewsA northern Manitoba Cree First Nation put a stop to business at a mining company Monday.The action attracted the likes of Bill Travers and Pam Palmater.They say the company operates on “unceded” Cree land.APTN National News reporter Ntawnis Piapot has the story.
APTN National NewsThe federal government passed legislation last year affecting Aboriginal fisheries.Ottawa did so without properly consulting First Nations according to Assembly of First Nations regional chief Roger Augustine.Augustine was in New Brunswick Wednesday at an AFN meeting discussing Aboriginal fisheries.APTN’s Trina Roache has the story.
APTN National NewsThe world amateur boxing championships take place next month in Kansas.There’s a couple Aboriginal fighters from Winnipeg hoping to attend.But trip won’t be cheap and they need help.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has the story.
Shirley Mclean APTN National NewsA sudden death for any family is painful.Having to make the decision to donate their organs can be a trying experience.But the gift of life can be the solace needed in their time of mourning.That’s the case involving a Whitehorse man who died after falling down stairs on New Year’s Day.
Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,126.81, down 16.60 points):Eldorado Gold Corp. (TSX:ELD). Miner. Up 38 cents, or 15.77 per cent, to $2.79 on 9.1 million shares. The Canadian gold miner says it has received two key permits related to its operations in Greece — its Olympias operating permit and the modified electromechanical installation permit for the tailings management facility at Kokkinolakkas. However, approval of a technical study for the old Olympias Mine closure and the installation permits for the paste plants at Olympias remain outstanding as well as an amended electromechanical installation permit for the Skouries flotation plant.Calfrac Well Services Ltd. (TSX:CFW). Oil and gas. Up 24 cents, or 5.90 per cent, to $4.31 on 6.3 million shares.Trican Well Service Ltd. (TSX:TCW). Oil and gas. Up 25 cents, or 6.89 per cent, to $3.88 on 5.82 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Up 43 cents, or 4.08 per cent, to $10.98 on 5.81 million shares.Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD). Oil and gas. Up 12 cents, or 3.58 per cent, to $3.47 on 5.7 million shares.Hydro One Ltd. Instalment Receipts (TSX:H.IR). Utilities. Down 50 cents, or 1.32 per cent, to $37.50 on 5.6 million shares.
While Travel Alberta has been targeting jetsetters from all over the world, the province’s Indigenous businesses want to make sure they’re a stop for those with a ticket to Wildrose country.The 2017 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference is wrapping up at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Tsuut’ina Nation on Tuesday, and Alberta was identified as a major area for growth.“There is a tremendous visitor demand within Alberta itself and of course we’re seeing a lot of new international interest,” Keith Henry with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada said. “The fact is Alberta offers a key gateway for many destinations internationally.”The association estimates there are about 90 Indigenous businesses in the province’s tourism sector offering cultural activities, tours, accommodations and other services.Henry wants to make sure they’re capitalizing on international opportunities.“China is a growing market, a growing market that’s not just coming into Alberta generally, but that Chinese market is very much interested in Indigenous culture,” he said.Henry points to the provincial government and Travel Alberta’s goal of making tourism a $10 billion industry by 2020 and the association said it wants to ensure operators are part of the marketing growth.
CALGARY – The Bank of Canada is considering the merits and risks of digital currencies as interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin reaches a fevered pitch.In a research paper released by the central bank Thursday, report authors Walter Engert and Ben Fung said there are merits to creating a central bank digital currency as society starts to move away from cash, and the bank’s potential to reap profits off issuing that cash could be threatened.The staff discussion paper, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of the bank, said a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could become a cheaper alternative to debit and credit cards and other forms of payment, making it easier for competition to emerge in the retail and large-value payment sectors.“With no transaction fees charged by the central bank, the benchmark CBDC would probably be less expensive for merchants than cash and credit cards.”The report, which discounted some of the other proposed benefits of a digital currency such as reduced criminal activity, said that given the complexity and uncertainty around the currency’s potential that central banks should proceed incrementally and cautiously.The findings echo a bank report in March that looked into the potential of using the decentralized blockchain technology that underpins the digital currencies in clearing financial transactions.The report said there are potential cost-savings and the system has already advanced from early days, but that the net benefits didn’t match those of the existing centralized system, and that the added complexity of the proposed system could lead to increased operational risk.But while financial institutions continue to strike a cautious note towards cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that underpins it, investors are piling in.The value of Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, has surged from about US$1,000 per coin at the start of the year to more than US$11,000 per coin this week, while Ether has gone from under US$10 to over US$400.This year’s frenzy is in part because of the launch of the Ethereum platform in 2015 that allows companies to build applications based on the blockchain, said Alan Wunsche, chair of industry group Blockchain Canada.The platform, which uses Ether for transactions, made it easier to create and try new uses of the decentralized system. The system has led to lots of experimentation, including by banks, with some of those showing real potential last year and helping boost valuations this year, Wunsche said.“There are big visions and big plans for this technology to disrupt our existing financial systems and anything that is really financially oriented.”“In 2017 we’re seeing the broader belief now that those experiments that were taking place in 2016 are really going to be fruitful,” said Wunsche.The jump in interest has forced financial institutions and regulators take it serious and try and catch up, said Wunsche, who is also CEO of blockchain start-up TokenFunder.He said he worked with the Ontario Securities Commission for a year to launch in early November what he said was the only regulatory-compliant token issue in Canada, which blockchain start-ups are using as an alternative to venture capital to raise money.“The regulators understand that this is disruptive, and they’re looking at it.”Some start-ups have already made stumbles in the rush to get in on the rising valuations, with Toronto-based blockchain investor NextBlock Global suspending its IPO in early November after allegations that it made misleading statements in its marketing materials.
TORONTO – Adopting technology too fast can create more risks amid a growing cybersecurity threat for the financial system as a whole, said the Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce’s chief executive.CEO Victor Dodig made the comments Wednesday during a presentation to investors when asked about potential risks as the bank targets between five to 10 per cent earnings growth over the next three years, fuelled by its U.S. business.“If any particular institution is affected, the entire system gets affected,” Dodig said.“We have to work as a unified voice, and a unified industry to make sure that we are investing for cybersecurity and resilience of the Canadian system… and the U.S. system and the global financial system overall. That’s something that we all need to be mindful of,” he told investors.“So as new technologies come in, adopting too fast can create more risks.”His comments come days after Canada’s privacy commissioner opened a formal investigation into a large data breach that ride-sharing company Uber publicly disclosed in November that may have impacted 815,000 Canadian riders and drivers. The privacy watchdog continues to probe a data breach earlier this year at credit company Equifax that impacted 145 million Americans and about 19,000 Canadians and, in some cases, included credit card information.Dodig’s concerns also come as Canada’s fifth-largest bank was bullish on its earnings growth ahead on the back of the acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp for roughly US$5 billion in June.Dodig estimated that its U.S. business would account for 17 per cent of its earnings by 2020. That’s up from six per cent in 2015 and nine per cent this year, Dodig added, and in line with CIBC’s previously stated target of generating roughly 25 per cent of its earnings south of the border in the long term.CIBC’s latest quarterly earnings got a 25 per cent bump to $1.16 billion, helped by the first full quarter since the acquisition.“One of the risks that we faced as an institution was we had a high reliance on one market for our business,” he told investors. “And we told you three years ago that we’re going to diversify away from that. We’re diversifying into a market that’s also deposit rich.”Dodig also said he expects that growth to be largely organic and the bank is not looking at any other major acquisitions.Meanwhile, CIBC (TSX:CM) also said it is considering a U.S. stock listing for its Caribbean bank subsidiary.Dodig told investors said no decision has been made, but a U.S. listing would provide FirstCaribbean International Bank access to a larger investor base, enhanced liquidity and greater access to capital to support long-term growth.“We look at various options for our bank in the Caribbean, including listing some of those shares in New York, as a way of tapping into the deepest capital pool. Because it is already a listed company,” he said.FirstCaribbean was formed in 2002 when CIBC West Indies Holdings and Barclays Bank PLC Caribbean operations merged. CIBC acquired Barclays’s stake in 2006 and became the majority shareholder.Based in Barbados, FirstCaribbean has over 2,700 staff and operates in 17 countries. It has stock market listings in Barbados and other small markets in the region.Dodig said FCIB is “performing very, very well even though it’s (going through) incredible natural hardships, particularly over the last little while.”He added that a U.S. listing for FCIB is one of the options under consideration to recognize its value, as CIBC aims to grow its dividends “sensibly” and remain near the midrange of its the dividend payout ratio.
VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Real Estate Association says tighter mortgage rules and lower demand are bringing the provincial housing market into balance.The association says 7,884 units were sold within the Multiple Listing Service across the province in June, a 32.5 per cent decrease from the same month last year.The average residential price was down 1.3 per cent from June of 2017 for a total sales value of $5.6 billion.Brendon Ogmundson, the association’s deputy chief economist, says the impact of the tightened standards for both borrowers and lenders is still being felt.He says the combination of the lower demand because of the more stringent mortgage qualification rules and higher interest rates is bringing most markets in the province back to balanced conditions.While the active listings in B.C. are on the rise, the association says inventory remains low in historical standards in markets like Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge has dismissed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and two dozen other drug companies brought by 37 cities and towns in the state, which blame them for the opioid crisis and seek to recoup millions of dollars spent on emergency response and other services.Judge Thomas Moukawsher in Hartford Superior Court ruled Tuesday that the lawsuits were not allowed because they were not government enforcement actions, such as those filed under consumer protection and public health laws. Instead, the judge said the lawsuits were filed as “ordinary civil cases” seeking money damages for the “indirect harm” from the opioid crisis.“Their lawsuits can’t survive without proof that the people they are suing directly caused them the financial losses they seek to recoup,” Moukawsher wrote. “This puts the cities in the same position in claiming money as the brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, and co-workers of addicts who say they have also indirectly suffered losses by the opioid crisis. That is to say — under long-established law — they have no claims at all.”Lawyers for several cities and towns said they were still reviewing the judge’s ruling Wednesday and appeals are being considered. Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury are among the plaintiffs.“I don’t think he reached the correct decision,” said New York lawyer Judith Scolnick, who is representing New Haven and New Britain. “It’s disappointing. We’re considering every option.”The ruling is believed to be the first to dismiss government lawsuits in recent rounds of litigation against opioid manufacturers. Last month, a federal judge in Ohio overseeing more than 1,400 lawsuits against drugmakers by local governments and other groups rejected requests by the companies to dismiss the claims.Purdue Pharma, the Stamford, Connecticut-based maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, said in a statement Wednesday that Moukawsher made the right decision.“We commend the judge for applying the law and concluding that opioid manufacturers cannot be legally responsible to cities for the indirect harms they claim they experienced as a result of the opioid crisis,” the statement said. “We share these communities’ concerns about the opioid crisis, and we remain committed to working collaboratively, bringing meaningful solutions forward to help address this public health challenge.”Like other drugmakers, Purdue Pharma has denied allegations in lawsuits that it used deceptive marketing to boost sales of its opioid painkiller, deceiving patients and doctors about the risks of opioids. Manufacturers are being blamed for helping fuel addiction and opioid overdose deaths.About 47,600 Americans died from drug overdoses involving opioids in 2017, a toll that has been rising for two decades, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Local, state and federal governments say they have been forced to pay for opioid addicts’ social and medical needs, including emergency response services, doses of overdose-reversal drugs and medical care for government employees.“As a result of Defendants’ false and misleading marketing,” one of the Connecticut lawsuits said, “the United States in general, and Connecticut municipalities in particular, are now experiencing an opioid-fueled public health epidemic of crisis proportions that is swamping the public health, safety, and administrative infrastructures of Connecticut municipalities.”Tuesday’s dismissal does not apply to a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma filed recently by the state of Connecticut in connection with the opioid crisis.Purdue Pharma has faced legal challenges before. The company, along with three of its executives, pleaded guilty in 2007 to federal charges and was ordered to pay more than $600 million in fines related to what was called intentional misrepresentations as to the addictiveness of OxyContin.The plea deal came only two days after the company agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and the District of Columbia to settle complaints that it encouraged doctors to overprescribe OxyContin. The company did not admit wrongdoing in that settlement.Dave Collins, The Associated Press