Novartis agrees to $642mn US settlement over kickbacksNovartis' headquarters in Basel, SwitzerlandWASHINGTON - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has agreed to pay more than $642 million to settle a lawsuit which accused it of paying kickbacks to doctors, among other allegations, the US Department of Justice said Wednesday. Novartis is accused of having hosted tens of thousands of speaker programs and events which the Department of Justice said were used to bribe physicians. Representatives often dropped doctors from the speaker program if they failed to increase prescriptions, the Department of Justice said. The Department of Justice said the activity was the result of decisions made by top management at Novartis’ North American headquarters in New Jersey. Under the settlement, Novartis will participate in a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to address company conduct.
July 02, 2020 03:00 UTC
Hollywood star Geoffrey Rush will receive US$2 million after a court ruled a Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper had defamed the actor. SYDNEY: Hollywood star Geoffrey Rush won a record multimillion-dollar payout Thursday after an appeal by a Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper against a defamation ruling was thrown out by an Australian court. The Oscar-winner will receive US$2 million for lost earnings and compensation after a court rejected an appeal seeking reduced costs and a retrial of the case. Local media said the sum awarded to Rush was the largest ever paid to an individual in Australia, which has notoriously strict defamation laws. Rush won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1997 for his role in "Shine" and is one of the few stars to have also won a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Tony Award.
July 02, 2020 01:52 UTC
Formula One in brave new world as Verstappen seeks repeat Austria triumphVictory path: Max Verstappen take the win in Austria in 2019. SPIELBERG: Max Verstappen will seek a hat-trick of home wins for Red Bull and an early lead in the drivers championship at this weekend's delayed and somewhat surreal season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. "The most important thing for me is to have a competitive car and to perform at my best. "So I don't expect an easy win – I think Mercedes will be very strong again and they are the ones to beat." Hamilton this year bids for a record-equalling seventh drivers title as he campaigns passionately for greater diversity, and against racism, in the sport.
July 02, 2020 01:30 UTC
(Reuters photo)GENEVA: Global tourism revenues are expected to fall by up to US$3.3 trillion due to Covid-19 restrictions, with Thailand standing to lose $47 billion, according to a UN study published on Wednesday. The 'Covid-19 and Tourism' report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) is based on three scenarios for the industry, with lockdown measures lasting 4 months, 8 months and 12 months. In those scenarios, revenues would fall $1.17 trillion, $2.22 trillion and $3.3 trillion respectively or between 1.5-4.2% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). "International tourism has been almost totally suspended, and domestic tourism curtailed by lockdown conditions imposed in many countries," the report said. The Unctad report covers 65 individual countries and regions.
July 02, 2020 01:18 UTC
The Rolling Stones have joined some 1,500 performers including Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton to urge the British government to save the country's live music industry from collapsing because of the coronavirus. LONDON: Some 1,500 acts including Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones urged the British government Thursday to save the country's live music industry from collapsing because of the coronavirus. They cited new research showing that live music added 4.5 billion pound to the British economy and supported 210,000 jobs across the country last year. "UK live music has been one of the UK's biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade," they wrote in the letter to culture minister Oliver Dowden. The government has been easing stay-at-home orders imposed in late March but while pubs, restaurants and museums will reopen this weekend, live music venues remain closed.
July 02, 2020 00:33 UTC
JSCCIB: Politics could hurt rehabilitationGen Prawit Wongsuwon, who did not attend the PPRP meeting at Impact Muang Thong Thani, thanks his supporters onscreen after they elected him as leader on Saturday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) is worried political infighting could hinder the roll-out of economic rehabilitation plans, especially if there are major reshuffles in ministries overseeing the economy. JSCCIB wants a person who excels in economic affairs to lead the economic team, said Kalin Sarasin, a JSCCIB member and chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. Many businesses do not want to see the government reimpose quick lockdown measures again if local transmissions of the disease erupts. "A new virus lockdown will further affect an already strained economy."
July 02, 2020 00:11 UTC
Canadian Open axed over travel issuesNew york: US-Canada border travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have forced the LPGA Tour to cancel the Canadian Pacific Women's Open, organisers announced on Tuesday. World No.1 Ko Jin-Young of South Korea was to have defended her Canadian crown in Vancouver after winning last year in suburban Toronto. "The CP Women's Open is truly a world-class event and a favourite stop for all of us at the LPGA," tour commissioner Mike Whan said. The 2020 LPGA Tour campaign was halted after only four tournaments, two in January in the United States and two in Australia in February. The Ladies Scottish Open and Women's British Open remain scheduled for August.
July 02, 2020 00:00 UTC
The goal is to increase the soft loan disbursement, said Predee Daochai, chairman of the TBA, as the tough loan conditions under the executive decree are a drag. Offering soft loans with specific objectives and easing some conditions should boost SME liquidity amid the pandemic, he said. Both the regulator and banks want SMEs to have better access to the soft loan scheme to help them overcome this difficult situation," said Mr Predee. The soft loan scheme has extended only 90.5 billion baht to 567,312 SMEs as of June 22. The maximum drawdown for the soft loans is set at 20% of each bank's outstanding loans at the end of December.
July 01, 2020 23:03 UTC
TOT designates new acting presidentThe TOT board yesterday appointed senior executive vice-president Morakot Thienmontree as the new acting president of the state telecom enterprise, with immediate effect. He replaced former acting president Pipat Kanthong, who resigned from the position last month. Morakot: Enhancing business capabilityMr Morakot said his key responsibility is to enhance the company's business capability. Mr Morakot said the use of the TOT conduits would also ensure faster operations. Previously Buddhipongse Punnakanta, digital economy and society minister, told the Bangkok Post TOT and CAT Telecom need more partners to ensure their service capacity.
July 01, 2020 23:03 UTC
Sanchez shines in Inter rout as Milan salvage draw at SPALAlexis Sanchez scored one goal and set up two more for Inter Milan against Brescia. MILAN: Alexis Sanchez scored a penalty and set up two goals as Inter Milan thrashed relegation candidates Brescia 6-0 in Serie A on Wednesday, while city rivals AC Milan snatched a last-gasp draw away to lowly SPAL. Sanchez teed up Ashley Young to volley Inter ahead at San Siro after just five minutes and the Chile forward dispatched a spot-kick to double the lead following a foul on Victor Moses. "We kept our foot on the gas and the fact that we didn't concede is a big positive," Inter coach Antonio Conte told broadcaster DAZN. "It was a step backwards in terms of result because we wanted to continue the winning run," Milan coach Stefano Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.
Teachers wearing face masks and shields arrived early at Yothinburana School in Bangkok, armed with infrared thermometer guns to check students' body temperatures before allowing them in. "That includes recording the health details of students, teachers and staff for at least 14 days prior to the start of the school reopening." "Large schools worry us more than small schools because they have a large number of students and their classrooms have air conditioning. "All school staff and students must use the Thai Chana app when checking in and out," he added. There was only slight traffic congestion on the grand reopening day of the country's schools, said the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB).
Chansin to lead Thai AirwaysChansin: Former PTT presidentThai Airways International (THAI) has appointed Chansin Treenuchagron, a former president of the state-owned oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc, as acting president. THAI on Wednesday informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand of Mr Chansin's appointment, which was approved by a special board meeting. The former president of PTT Plc joined the THAI board last month. He replaces Chakkrit Parapuntakul, who resigned as acting president but remains the company's second vice chairman. Mr Chansin's appointment as acting president effectively ended his position as THAI's independent executive.
Price controls on delivery services may shackle ridersA Grab Express delivery driver making his way around Bangkok. On Tuesday, the cabinet resolved to include online food and parcel delivery services in the list of 51 controlled goods and services, based on the Price of Goods and Services Act. Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the measure was adopted because of numerous complaints about online services and online food delivery prices. Paiboon Amonpinyokeat, managing partner at law firm P&P, regarded the price control for goods delivery for online business as "a good move". Governing delivery services is as crucial as other necessary goods and services, said Mr Korkij.
CPTPP discord delays entryGiven the contentious debate about whether the country should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Thailand is unlikely to be able to submit a formal request to join the controversial pact within this year. The cabinet agreed to set up a special committee to study the costs and benefits of CPTPP, she said. The country still has room to submit a formal request to join the pact in the future if we choose." Moreover, the CPTPP offers a significantly expanded range of markets, including those Thailand does not have FTAs with (Canada and Mexico). Non-governmental organisations spearheaded by FTA Watch and BioThai, another civic group advocating sustainable agriculture, have raised concerns about the overwhelming disadvantages that CPTPP would bring to Thailand.
Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha elaborates on the 2021 budget bill at the parliament in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is defending the decision to include the procurement of weapons for the armed forces in the budget bill for 2021, after opposition criticism during Wednesday's first reading in parliament. Opposition members took turns debating whether the Defence Ministry should have a 223.4-billion-baht budget next year. He said military technology constantly gets updated, and it is important for the kingdom's armed forces to have modern arms. "The state budget is a crucial mechanism to steer and spur the dying economy, but I found no parts in this budget bill that serve this purpose," he said.