CEI Daily Update
Issues in the News
Government officials in Nigeria attempt to sue drug maker Pfizer for $2 billion.
[Nigeria’s] Kano State claims to be suing out of concern for children’s health. As I have previously noted, this is a deeply ironic posture for Kano to take, since it is responsible for reviving the terrible disease of polio by thwarting polio vaccinations of children. As a result, polio, which was once on the verge of being wiped out throughout the world, spread from Kano State into neighboring countries in Africa, reaching as far as the Middle East.
San Francisco residents prepare to vote on whether to establish a city-wide municipal Wi-Fi network.
The incentives for…companies [to safeguard customers’ privacy] seem fairly obvious. If people are going to be Wi-Fi users they need to feel safe and encryption technology is a way to do this. Customers stay safe and continue to use the service, making AT&T, T-Mobile and other providers money. Do municipal setups have the same incentives? Depending on the financial structure of such a system I can see how there would be little incentive to provide security software or other safeguards to users. Yet these Muni-Fi services would still distort the market, making it less likely for companies - that might be affected by privacy concerns - to invest in those areas.
A new study suggests that women with breast implants are three times as likely to commit suicide as other women.
The most egregious example of damage wrongfully inflicted on a manufacturer is silicone breast implant cases. Since the first case went to trial in the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of women have filed claims in state courts or through a federal class-action settlement. The vast majority of the verdicts have favored the defendants, based primarily on medical evidence that shows silicone breast implants are not dangerous. But what has befallen Dow Corning and other manufacturers of breast implants is corporate America's worst nightmare: virtual annihilation through civil lawsuits, in the absence of evidence of wrongdoing or product defects, or any association between the product and severe illness. After more than 20,000 breast implant-related lawsuits, Dow Corning had to file for bankruptcy protection.
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