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Happening Today: Stormy Daniels, ‘Sanctuary' Laws, Opioids Test, Weinstein Co.

What to Know

  • President Trump never signed the nondisclosure agreement his lawyer arranged with adult film star Stormy Daniels, according to a lawsuit
  • A yearlong study offers rigorous new evidence against using prescription opioids for chronic pain
  • Investors group pulls out of a deal to buy the beleaguered Weinstein Co. after discovering tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed debt

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Adult Film Star Sues Trump, Says “Hush Agreement” Invalid

President Trump never signed the nondisclosure agreement that his lawyer arranged with adult film star Stormy Daniels, according to a lawsuit filed by Daniels and obtained by NBC News. The suit alleges that her agreement not to disclose her "intimate" relationship with Trump is not valid because while both Daniels and Trump's attorney Michael Cohen signed it, Trump never did. Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, signed both the agreement and a side letter agreement using her professional name on October 28, 2016, just days before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen signed the document the same day. Both agreements are appended to the lawsuit as Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump's outside attorney, John Dowd, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Trump Administration Sues Calif. Over “Sanctuary” Laws

The Trump administration is suing to block California laws that extend protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally. The lawsuit says three state laws intentionally undermine federal immigration law. Among other things, the legislation bars police from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities. Another law offers protection against workplace raids. The Justice Department says those laws hinder immigration authorities and are unconstitutional. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the lawsuit at an annual gathering of law enforcement organizations in Sacramento. The move is the latest volley in an escalating feud between the Trump administration and California. The state has defiantly refused to help federal agents detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Sessions says that makes cities more dangerous.

Gary Cohn Out as Trump's Top Economic Adviser After Tariff Decision

Gary Cohn, President Trump's top economic adviser, resigned after a dispute with the president over tariffs, NBC News reported. The departure — following reports that Cohn, the National Economic Council director, had opposed Trump's plan for large tariffs on imported steel and aluminum — was the latest in a string of exits by top officials in the administration. Cohn, a wealthy former Goldman Sachs banker, played a key role on the president's tax cut bill. Trump praised Cohn in a statement as a "rare talent" who had done a "superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms, and unleashing the American economy once again." Later, he tweeted he would be "making a decision soon on the appointment of new Chief Economic Advisor. Many people wanting the job - will choose wisely!"

Prescription Opioids Fail Rigorous New Test for Chronic Pain

A yearlong study offers rigorous new evidence against using prescription opioids for chronic pain. In patients with stubborn back aches or hip or knee arthritis, opioids worked no better than over-the-counter drugs or other nonopioids at reducing problems with walking or sleeping. And they provided slightly less pain relief. Opioids tested included generic Vicodin, oxycodone or fentanyl patches although few patients needed the most potent opioids. Nonopioids included generic Tylenol, ibuprofen and prescription pills for nerve or muscle pain. The study randomly assigned patients to take opioids or other painkillers. That's the gold standard design for research. If they don't work better than less risky drugs, there's no reason to use opioids given "their really nasty side effects — death and addiction," said lead author Dr. Erin Krebs, a physician and researcher with the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System. The results echo less rigorous studies and bolster guidelines against routine use of opioids for chronic pain.

Investor Group Cancels Deal to Buy Weinstein Co.

A group of investors pulled out of a deal to buy the beleaguered Weinstein Co. after discovering tens of millions of dollars in undisclosed debt, according to people familiar with the negotiations. Businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet, who has been leading the group of buyers along with billionaire investor Ron Burkle, said in a statement that "disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction" had led her to call off the sale. She didn't offer further details. But two people familiar with the proceedings said the buyers came across documents showing liabilities beyond the $225 million the buyers had been prepared to take on. One of the people said the documents showed $64 million in additional debt. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss private negotiations publicly. The Weinstein Co., which has produced and distributed Oscar winners such as "The King's Speech" and "Silver Linings Playbook," has been trying to stave off bankruptcy since sexual assault and harassment allegations emerged last fall against its co-founder, the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

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