Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid drug OxyContin, has reached a tentative deal worth billions of dollars that would resolve thousands of lawsuits brought by municipal and state governments who sued the company for allegedly helping to fuel the opioid crisis. The pending settlement likely means Purdue will avoid going to trial in the sprawling and complicated case involving some 2,300 local governments across 23 states.
A US pastor known for his mental health advocacy has killed himself, church officials say. Jarrid Wilson, 30, worked at the 15,000 member Harvest Christian Fellowship Church for 18 months before his death. Mr Wilson and his wife founded Anthem of Hope, a program created to help people dealing with depression. “Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles,” Senior Pastor Greg Laurie wrote on the church’s website.
Tonga’s Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has died at the age of 78. He spent years campaigning against royal involvement in the island kingdom’s politics, and in 2014 became the first commoner to be elected Prime Minister by Tonga’s Parliament. Once described as the Nelson Mandela of the Pacific, Mr Pohiva was jailed in 1996 for contempt of Parliament.
A faraway planet in the constellation of Leo has been named the most habitable known world beyond the solar system after astronomers detected water vapor in its atmosphere. Roughly twice as big as Earth and eight times as massive, it orbits a cool red dwarf less than half the size of the sun, 110 light years away.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday granted a request by President Donald Trump’s administration to fully enforce a new rule that would curtail asylum applications by immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, a key element of his hardline immigration policies. The rule would block nearly all families and individuals from countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala from entering the United States as asylum seekers after crossing through Mexico.