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Pfizer Defeats Race Bias Claim Over Minority Fellowship Program By Reuters

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© Reuters.

Written by Nate Raymond

(Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit by a group of medical professionals alleging a fellowship program he created Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) to improve diversity within its senior ranks discriminates against white applicants and Asian Americans.

Do No Harm, a group that opposes what it calls “radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideologies” in health care, alleged that the drugmaker’s Breakthrough Fellowship program was discriminatory because only blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans could apply.

But US District Judge Jennifer Rochon in Manhattan ruled that the Virginia-based nonprofit failed to show that it had legal standing to sue Pfizer and seek an injunction because it would not name any members of its group who could not apply to the program because of their race.

Instead, it said, it provided “routine” statements from two anonymous white and Asian-American students at unnamed Ivy League universities “with little or no detail about their professional and educational goals, employment histories, or interests.”

Even if the two members were identified, she said, Do No Harm failed to prove they were eligible to apply for the fellowship program, which aims to increase the pipeline of Black, Latino and Native American leaders at the drug company.

Do No Harm, no matter what, lacks the standing to follow through on federal claims it has asserted under several federal civil rights and anti-discrimination laws, said Rochon.

In a statement, Pfizer welcomed the ruling, saying it was “proud of its commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.” An attorney for Do No Harm did not respond to requests for comment.

Pfizer launched the fellowship in 2021. Fellows receive two years of full-time positions, fully funded master’s degrees, and a placement at New York-based Pfizer after completing the program. It aims to enroll 100 fellows by 2025.

The lawsuit was filed in September, a month before the US Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina that could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.

The Supreme Court, which has a conservative 6-3 majority, seemed receptive to challengers’ arguments for race-sensitive college admissions policies.

Do No Harm launched in April, saying it wanted to “stop this infiltration of politics into the health care system and especially into medical education before it affects quality and access to care.”

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Red Flags That Your Spouse Is Hiding Money (And What To Do About It)

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Marriage can be hard enough without one spouse hiding money from the other.

When financial infidelity occurs in the form of “hidden cash,” a marriage or a live-forever relationship can easily be ended.

The truth is About 30% of American couples suffer from financial infidelity. Other evidence shows that more than 75% of couples describe the hidden money situation as negative and common 10% of these scenarios end in divorce.



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US judge orders Norwegian Cruise Line to pay $110m for use of Cuba port By Reuters

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© Reuters. Norwegian American Airlines cruise ship Marina arrives in Havana Bay, Cuba on March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Meneghini/File/File Photo

Written by Brian Ellsworth

MIAMI (Reuters) – Norwegian Shipping Line (NYSE) has to pay $110 million in compensation for the use of a port confiscated by the Cuban government in 1960, a US judge said Friday, marking a significant milestone for Cuban Americans. Who are seeking reparations for the Cold War era. Assets confiscation.

The decision by US District Judge Beth Bloom in Miami follows her decision in March that use of the Havana Cruise Terminal constituted smuggling of forfeited property belonging to the plaintiff, Delaware-registered Havana Docks Corp.

The decision read: “The judgment is made in favor of Plaintiff Havana Docks Corporation and against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.”

“The plaintiff was awarded $109,848,747.87 in damages,” it says, adding that the Norwegian must also pay an additional $3 million in legal fees and costs.

Norwegian Cruise Line did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has sharply criticized the Helms-Burton Act, calling it an extraterritorial violation of international law.

Havana Docks also sued Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE: ), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:) and MSC under the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue over the use of property seized in Cuba after 1959.

The ruling could fuel more lawsuits by Cuban exiles pursuing claims, worth $2 billion, according to one estimate, over asset seizures under late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

It may also serve as a reminder to multinational companies of the complexities that can come with doing business in Cuba.

In 2016, US cruise ships began traveling to Cuba for the first time in decades after a détente negotiated by former President Barack Obama eased some provisions of a Cold War US embargo.

But the Trump administration in 2019 ordered a halt to all such cruises amid efforts to pressure Cuba over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Washington’s ideological foe.

The Trump administration has also allowed US citizens to sue third parties for using property seized by Cuban authorities, a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that every previous president has waived since the law was passed in 1996.

Havana Docs says Cuba, which has been under a US trade embargo for decades, has never compensated it for taking the drug.

The four cruise lines sued in 2019 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Bloom in March held the companies liable for damages under the Helms-Burton Act, also known as the Libertad Act.

According to the US-Cuban Economic and Trade Council, a nonprofit organization that provides information on relations between the two countries, 5,913 validated claims related to property seized in Cuba represent an estimated liability of nearly $2 billion.

Forty-four lawsuits have been filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the organization says.

“For the current plaintiffs of Cuban descent, (the decision) will give them a moment of relief,” said John Cavulich, the group’s president. “It will give them a moment to say ‘You can run but you can’t hide,'” Cavulich said.

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Is a Royal Caribbean or Carnival beverage package worth it?

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An all-inclusive beverage package that gives you access to beer, wine, liquor, bottled water, soda, specialty coffee, and even shakes/juices may cost more than your cruise fare.

This is especially true right now when many cruise cabins are being sold at discounted prices while the drinks package prices have gone up.

Deciding whether to purchase a drink package is a challenge because you have to estimate whether you will be drinking enough to cover the cost. Or, more importantly, whether you’d spend more if you decided not to purchase a drink package.



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