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Company to pay billions for failure to warn about drug that led to male breast growth; Tioga residents still feel anxious two months after police standoff | Morning Newsletter

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A community block party was held on the 3700 block of North 15th Street in North Philadelphia last Saturday. It was the same block where a shooting standoff left six police officers wounded in August.
A community block party was held on the 3700 block of North 15th Street in North Philadelphia last Saturday. It was the same block where a shooting standoff left six police officers wounded in August.Read moreHEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer

In mid-August, a police standoff roiled the Tioga section of North Philly. In the time since, residents in the neighborhood say they still haven’t felt safe. And even with efforts such as a police-cosponsored block party, any sense of unity might just be a veneer. Also, a Philadelphia jury is making Johnson & Johnson pay billions in damages to a man who claimed he and other boys were not warned that a drug they took could lead them to grow breasts. And in national news, the White House said it will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

On Aug. 14, 2019, the Tioga section of North Philadelphia was the site of eight hours of chaos when a drug bust went wrong. A standoff left six cops wounded and the city reeling. But for some residents in the area, those feelings of fear and danger didn’t stop when the standoff did.

Two months later, some Tioga residents still remain skeptical of how police handled the incident, and believe their efforts to mend the relationship have felt artificial.

Working Families Party candidate Kendra Brooks has done a number of things in her bid to win a City Council at-large seat that has been held by Republicans for decades. Endorsements from high-profile elected officials and some unions? Yep. The backing of Philly’s progressive movement? Yes. Anger from the city’s Democratic establishment? Got that, too.

Another thing she’s done: raised a record amount of money for a third-party candidate. Fund-raising is especially important for candidates such as Brooks because she is attempting to take from the Republicans a seat that’s reserved for candidates outside the dominant (Democratic) party. Due in part to that, Brooks’ campaign remains a long shot, but her fund-raising at least makes it more feasible for her to compete with the Republicans.

Johnson & Johnson must pay $8 billion in punitive damages to a man who claimed the company failed to warn that boys using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could grow breasts, a Philadelphia jury said Tuesday.

The jury agreed that a subsidiary of the company engaged in a “pervasive nationwide effort to illegally market Risperdal and downplay its very serious risks on a systemic level.” Thousands of Risperdal cases remain pending in the Philadelphia court system, according to the law firm involved in the case.

What you need to know today

  1. The White House escalated its standoff with Congress yesterday by saying that it would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

  2. The Philadelphia school board president said yesterday that the board backs its superintendent but will take steps to make sure messes such as the one happening now, with asbestos issues temporarily closing a Philly school building, will not happen in the future.

  3. Even though the federal court ruling issued last week in favor of Philadelphia’s proposed supervised injection site doesn’t apply to other cities considering the idea, supporters of the sites from across the country are feeling galvanized.

  4. Start memorizing your license plate number. You’ll soon need to keep it handy in order to pay for parking on Philly streets.

  5. Enrollment at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-supported universities fell again. Overall enrollment is down about 20% from its peak in 2010.

  6. A Penn State football player shared a letter that an alum sent one of his teammates. He called it racist. And the team’s coach praised the player criticized in the letter.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Philly’s so pretty that it makes being stuck in traffic seem not too bad. Cool picture, @menuka_basnyat.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. Are your allergies acting up? If so, blame mold spores — and the weather.

  2. It’s now deer-hunting season at a Philly wildlife refuge. Birders and lovers of fall foliage are not happy about it.

  3. A West Philly actor who was in gym and science class with Will Smith and has acted opposite Viola Davis is now directing his own play in the 'burbs.

  4. Sexually transmitted diseases reached a record high for the United States in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, in Philadelphia, the rates are even higher for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

  5. Wine made in Pennsylvania is having a moment. And we tell you where you can try it. Cheers! 🍷

  6. Why are most pregnant women not getting the recommended flu and whooping cough vaccines?

  7. Sure, it’s preseason, but Sixers all-star Ben Simmons drained his first three as a pro last night. As the season gets underway, you can sign up for Off the Dribble, our newsletter that’ll push Sixers analysis and news straight to your inbox starting Oct. 21.


“People are so bold with their racism lately. It seems as if folks are expressing thoughts and feelings that might have been squelched once upon a time. The Age of Trump has emboldened them to say what’s on their minds, ignoring how their narrow-minded viewpoints will play out to diverse audiences.” — columnist Jenice Armstrong writes about a letter a Penn State alum wrote to a current football player

  1. In New Jersey, “subsidizing the rich, ostensibly for the future benefit (but often at the expense) of the poor, has become acceptable, even normal,” The Inquirer Editorial Board writes. That practice “must end.”

  2. Twelfth graders from the Philadelphia high schools that have been suspended due to asbestos issues write for The Inquirer about how the district has broken their trust.

What we’re reading

  1. NBC10 spills the goods on Wawa’s Halloween-themed secret menu.

  2. Vanity Fair looks at what it’s like to develop and maintain your status as a YouTube star.

Your Daily Dose of | Penny-Farthing

It all started, naturally, when Paul Salter was made the grand marshal of the 2018 Philly Seersucker Vintage Bike Ride. The lawyer, dance instructor, and musician likes to ride the old-school bike every other day, mostly along the Schuylkill.