Category Archives: News

Bikers Boycott Harley, But Buy Haitian T-shirts

Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

In a bit of an ironic twist smothered in hypocrisy, it turns out Bikers for Trump leader Chris Cox chose to have pro-Trump T-shirts made in Haiti and not in the United States, to save money, despite Cox’s announcement that he will be boycotting Harley-Davidson for sending production overseas.

Bikers for Trump is a vocal group extending support for President Trump and has met the president on many occasions. The last time they met was this past Sunday, the same day that Trump tweeted his agreement with a boycott of Harley-Davidson, a US-based manufacturer of motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson announced that it was moving some of its production of motorcycles abroad for its European market, to avoid tariffs that would force the company to charge an additional $2,200 for each bike it sold to its European customers. The EU tariffs which the company seeks to avoid are a result of the trade war started by President Trump.

Yes, despite the declaration of a boycott against Harley-Davidson, Cox decided to purchase pro-Trump T-shirts in Haiti to save some money.

“If I get a T-shirt made in the USA, it’s going to cost about $8 more,” Cox told the New York Times.

“I looked far and wide to try to get a shirt made in America, it’s just they get you, they gouge you,” he said while selling the T-shirts from his RV for $20 each.

One Bikers for Trump member, Gary Rathbun, told the Times, “I’m riding my last Harley. It was American made, and that’s why we stood behind them.”

It was unclear whether Rathbun bought a pro-Trump T-shirt made in Haiti. Or if he would even notice a problem with such a purchase.

Lupin Expecting Approval to Enter US Generic Market

Mumbai-based Lupin Pharmaceuticals is expecting approval from US health regulators to launch about 30 generic drugs into the US market, the world’s largest for pharmaceuticals. At the moment the company has 162 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) which are waiting for approval from the USFDA, (United States Food and Drug Administration.)

The company has its sights set on bringing complex generic drugs and biosimilars to the US market, in addition to continuing to focus on several exclusive and semi-exclusive products in the injectable and oral niche to keep its place as the fourth largest generics company in the market by prescriptions sold.

“We launched 23 products in the US last fiscal (2017-18), with 10 in the last quarter (January-March) alone. We expect to launch 25-30 products in US this year,” Lupin Managing Director Nilesh Gupta.

“Our efforts to maintain leadership position include bringing complex generics and biosimilars to market while continuing our focus on exclusive and semi-exclusive products in the oral and injectable space,” Gupta said.

During the fiscal year 2018 the company is hoping to launch about 30 specific products in to the US market.

American Released from Venezuelan Jail After Two Years

Nicolás Maduro Moros, interim President of The Boliviarian Republic of Venezuela following the death of Hugo Chávez. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joshua Holt, an American citizen who had been held in a Venezuelan jail for the past two years, was freed last week as a result of high-level diplomatic talks. His wife Thamara Caleno, was also released.

“Overwhelmed with gratitude,” Holt was welcomed in Washington, DC by his parents, Laurie and Jason Holt, and a few hours later by President Donald Trump.

“Those two years, they were a very, very, very difficult two years,” said an emotional Holt, sitting beside Trump in the Oval Office. “Not really the great vacation that I was looking for. … I’m just so grateful for what you guys have done.”

Holt, a Utah citizen, went to Venezuela in 2016 to marry Caleno, a woman he had met online but never in person. Soon after arriving in Venezuela and marrying Caleno he was arrested and labeled by the Venezuelan government as the “CIA’s top spy in Latin America.
Holt’s release was orchestrated by Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, who met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in what was a surprise meeting.

The couple was arrested on June 30, 2016 in a raid on Caleno’s family’s apartment. They were accused of stockpiling an assault rifle and grenades and being linked to other unspecified attempts by the US to weaken Maduro’s rule.

Upon his release the Holt family released the following statement:

“We thank you for your collaboration during this time of anguish. We ask that you allow us to meet with our son and his wife before giving any interviews and statements. We are grateful to all who participated in this miracle.”

Defunct Cambridge Analytica Under Investigation by Justice and CIA

The New York Times is reporting that the FBI and the US Justice Department are investigating the out-of-business political data company Cambridge Analytica. The company was recently implicated in a scandal over how it used the information it mined from Facebook users, bringing into question any ties it may have had with Russian agents engaged in meddling in the US elections.

Prosecutors from the US government have been questioning former employees and banks associated with Cambridge Analytica, said the Times, citing an American official and others familiar with the investigation.

The company already announced its intention to close by the end of this month since it lost many clients and faced growing legal fees as a result of reports that the company had taken personal data about millions of Facebook users without their knowledge, as far back as 2014.

The company is being accused of using the data of about 87 million Facebook users improperly. Cambridge Analytica was hired by the now President Trump’s 2016 election campaign. As a result several investigation were launched in the US and also in Europe.

Shire Selling Oncology Division to French Company Servier for $2.4 billion

Dublin-based Shire pharmaceutical company has come to an agreement with French firm Servier Laboratories to purchase its oncology business for $2.4 billion ((£1.68 billion). The deal comes before a potential takeover bid by Takeda of Japan could be realized.

Shire’s board gave the OK for the agreement, which is expected to be finalized by the second or third quarter this year. The deal does not need approval by shareholders.
The drug-making giant began its search for a buyer for its oncology wing last December, considering potential companies in Europe, the United States and in Japan. The company is considering an option to return the profits from the sale back to investors via a share buyback program when the current offer period expires. During this time Japanese firm Takeda could still launch a bid.

CEO of Shire, Flemming Ornskov said:

“This transaction is a key milestone for Shire, demonstrating the clear value embedded in our portfolio.

“While the oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, we have concluded that it is not core to Shire’s longer-term strategy.

“We will continue to evaluate our portfolio for opportunities to unlock further value and sharpen our focus on rare disease leadership with selective disposals of non-strategic assets.

“We are confident that Servier will continue to invest in this business and our colleagues who are expected to transfer as part of the transaction in order to meet the needs of cancer patients globally.”