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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weak Results at Retailers Drag U.S. Stocks Lower

Weak Results at Retailers Drag U.S. Stocks Lower


Weak Results at Retailers Drag U.S. Stocks Lower

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:53 AM PDT

U.S. stocks fell in afternoon trading Tuesday as investors sold Staples, Dick’s Sporting Goods and other major retailers. The disappointing earnings news from the companies came amid a slow week for economic news.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,871 as of 1:26 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 141 points, or 0.9 percent, to 16,370. The Nasdaq composite slid 32 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,093. Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market as investors ditched higher-risk investments. The Russell 2000 index sank 20 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,094.

RETAIL SWOON: Staples’ profit plunged 43 percent; Dick’s Sporting Goods fell short and pared its outlook; Discount retailer TJX had weak sales and Urban Outfitters reported lower-than-expected earnings as sales at its namesake chain declined.

“Normally these sort of earnings reports wouldn’t have that much of a significant impact on the market, but with volumes pretty low and not much other news, that’s what’s pushing us down,” said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

FIRE SALE: Staples plunged $1.76, or 13.1 percent, to $11.63. Dick’s Sporting Goods fell $9.13, or 17.2 percent, to $44.03. Urban Outfitters slid $2.86, or 7.9 percent, to $33.31. TJX shed $4.11, or 7 percent, to $54.29.

HOUSING BET: Home Depot’s adjusted earnings and revenue came in short of Wall Street’s expectations. However a key sales metric improved, despite a slow start to the spring home-selling season caused by bad weather. The home improvement retailer also raised its full-year earnings forecast. Home Depot’s stock rose $1.69, or 2.2 percent, to $78.21.

MORE RETAIL TURMOIL: Target fired the president of its troubled Canadian operations and replaced him with company insider Mark Schindele, who has been senior vice president of merchandising operations in the U.S. Target fell $1.43, or 2.5 percent, to $56.86.

HEFTY CHARGE: Medtronic agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle long-standing patent litigation with fellow medical device maker Edwards Lifesciences over replacement heart valves. A one-time charge stemming from the settlement contributed to a 54 percent plunge in Medtronic’s earnings in its fourth fiscal quarter. Medtronic’s stock fell $1.25, or 2.1 percent, to $59.08.

SECTORS: All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index fell, led by telecom stocks.

TAKING ‘EM BACK: General Motors is recalling 2.4 million vehicles in the U.S. as part of a broader effort to resolve outstanding safety issues more quickly. The latest action brings to 13.6 million the number of vehicles GM has recalled this year, a record for the automaker. Shares in GM lost 90 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $33.34.

TENTATIVE MARKET: A week after the S&P touched an all-time high, the market has mostly alternated between small gains and losses. The three major indexes finished higher for the second trading day in a row Monday. A light schedule of economic reports for much of this week heading into Memorial Day weekend is likely to thin trading as the weekend nears, said Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward Jones.

“I would expect a relatively quiet market over the next few days as the absence of news leads to less trading and less price movement,” Warne said.

OTHER MARKETS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 2.51 percent from 2.54 percent late Monday. Gold rose 40 cents to $1,293.70 an ounce. Crude oil was little changed at $102.61 a barrel.

REVIEW: Ryan Gosling’s Lost River: Crazy Like a Rat

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:45 AM PDT

First came the boos, like an owl symphony, or a cattle crescendo. Then, a smattering of defiant applause. Then, the boos again. The antiphonal response could have gone on all afternoon, with catcalls winning in a landslide, but the critics had other movies to see. Suffice to say that Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River is the most enthusiastically derided entry so far at this year’s Cannes Film Festival — just edging out Atom Egoyan’s The Captive. Among the Lost River notes jotted by my colleague and better half Mary Corliss, usually a temperate soul, was the phrase “pretentious horseshit.”

Well, yes, but. Give some credit to Gosling, the Method-hunk star of such indie faves as Half Nelson, Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, plus Hollywoodier fare like The Notebook, The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love, for his mad mashup of horror and social statement, crackpot fantasy and Sundance-style meandering. That means it wavers between the stupefying and the obscure, between LOL and WTF.

(READ: Corliss on Ryan Gosling in George Clooney’s The Ides of March)

To judge from the writer-director’s remarks, this collision of tones was premeditated. “I wanted to make this film because it’s a movie that I would want to see,” he wrote on his blog. “Like many children who grew up in the 1980s, I first approached the cinema through mainstream films. I was excited to shoot this kind of story, but with the language of filmmaker that I’ve acquired through the years.” His original title for the film was the very drive-in, midnight-movie How to Catch a Monster. Though he changed that to the more indie-sounding Lost River, the movie still goes for the feverish and lurid. It will appeal to people who would rather be outraged than bored.

In the fictional urban wasteland of Lost River — actually today’s Detroit, where the movie was shot — single mom Billy (Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks) is a part-time waitress raising her two sons, teenage Bones (Iain De Caestecker, the Scottish actor on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and a toddler. Bones likes the girl next door, Rat (Saoirse Ronan), so-called because her other closest friend is a large, amiable rat named Nick. This part of Lost River is ruled by a bully named Bully (ex-Dr. Who Matt Smith); he patrols the neighborhood in a convertible with an upholstered chair mounted on the back seat and shouts through a bullhorn, “Welcome to Bully Town.”

(SEE: A teaser for Ryan Gosling’s Lost River)

In Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, shown at Cannes last year, the coolest inhabitants were a pair of married, millennia-old vampires. Lost River could be called Only Losers Left Alive. Virtually all of the old residents have skipped town, leaving a cratered sump hole and a few stragglers with no option but to stay. One elderly black man advises Bones to “Head South and don’t stop till you see the palm trees.” (Fun fact: If you head due south from Detroit, the first place you hit is Canada.) This part isn’t fantasy. As Gosling has said of Detroit, which he first visited when shooting The Ides of March, he saw “forty miles of abandoned neighborhoods and, within pockets of those neighborhoods, there were parents trying to raise their children on streets where houses were being burned and torn down around them.” It’s a nightscape of decay and crime that every big city cradles and nobody outside wants to think about.

(READ: Corliss’s review of Only Lovers Left Alive)

Billy, who’s pretty naïve for a woman who’s lived for ages in this garbage can near the back door of Hell’s kitchen, is behind on her mortgage, and sleazy banker Dave (Animal Kingdom’s Ben Mendelsohn) tells her she’ll be evicted unless she goes to work at a night club he also owns — an upmarket sado-Dada joint that could have been dreamed up by David Lynch in collaboration with Dario Argento. The star dancer, Cat (Eva Mendes), doesn’t strip; she sexily mimes bloody disfiguration. Billy’s act involves painting her face red until it looks as though the skin had been flayed off.

Now for the weird part. Bones has discovered a flooded, subterranean amusement park, whose logo is a giant dinosaur head. “That’s why the whole [town] feels like it’s under water,” he says. Bones’s adventures merge with his fever dreams, until… well, until everything burns down or blows up. Which is what might happen to Detroit/Lost River, just by atrophy or entropy.

The cast is game to accommodate Gosling’s strange scenario — from De Caestecker, clearly a young Gosling surrogate but without the pinup looks and torso, to Mendes and Mendelsohn, whom the director appeared with in The Place Beyond the Pines. (He must have said, “I’m making a movie in Detroit, wanna be in it?” and they said yes.) Gosling gives them all plenty of breathing space, but this indie effort is not really an actors’ exercise. It’s an oneiric hymn to destruction, an Armageddon anthem — a movie to see, if at all, under the influence.

(READ: Mary Pols on Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines)

Every once in a while, prominent actors of the crazy stripe entice producers to back a weirdo project. In 1971 Dennis Hopper, fresh off Easy Rider, made a nutsy-greatsy modern Western called The Last Movie. Johnny Depp, in 1977, came to Cannes with The Brave, a good-looking anti-masterpiece about an American Indian who agrees to die in a snuff film for the pleasure of Marlon Brando. The movies were insane but never boring. If they failed, it was because their makers tried something bold on a broad canvas. Gosling’s movie is in that funhouse ballpark. Sometimes it’s tonic for an actor to get a crazy movie idea out of his system, and maybe into ours.

Sex, Breastfeeding and Cheesecake: What The World Searches For While Pregnant

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:45 AM PDT

Expectant couples all over the world are concerned about how pregnancy will affect their sex lives, but Indian couples seem especially worried. India’s top five Google searches for “How to ___ while pregnant” include “have sex,” “do sex,” and just plain “sex.”

And to confuse matters further, India’s top search (by far) for “my husband wants me to ___” is “my husband wants me to breastfeed him.” Which means that expectant couples in India are both really into sex and really into adult breastfeeding.

Men and women in the US, Britain, Australia, and South Africa also asked the internet how to have sex while pregnant, but people in Nigeria also asked how to “make love,” according to a Google Search analysis by the New York Times.

Other results showed a widespread preoccupation with avoiding stretch marks, sleeping, and losing weight.

The top search results for “Can pregnant women ___?” also varied by country. Most of the results were about eating certain foods and drinking coffee, but sex only broke the top five search terms in India, Mexico, and Nigeria.

Pregnant Brazilian women took a whole different tack. Popular searches for what pregnant women can do in Brazil include: “dye their hair,” “ride a bike,” and “fly.” Meanwhile, Google searches for Britain and Australia are dominated entirely by food queries (Can pregnant women eat mayonnaise? Cheesecake? Prawns?) while Nigeria, Singapore, Mexico and the US seem concerned with drinking coffee.

Only people in Mexico were searching for whether pregnant women can wear heels.

 

House GOP Won’t Allow Immigration Vote on Legal Status for Military Service

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:39 AM PDT

House Republicans are prepared to spike a proposal that would allow children brought into the country illegally to gain legal status through military service, in the latest sign that immigration reform is a no-go ahead of the midterm elections.

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) introduced the ENLIST Act as an amendment to the annual defense bill on Monday , along with with Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran. But he earned a swift rebuke from his party leaders. House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who have previously voiced support for the measure, will not allow the amendment to be considered with others on Tuesday.

Boehner said Tuesday that while "we have supported it in the past," it would be "inappropriate" to attach it to the National Defense Authorization Act. When asked if the ENLIST Act would receive stand-alone vote, Boehner said there have been discussions but no decision.

Denham said the measure is appropriate to include in the larger defense bill.

“It’s a change to military code, not immigration law," Denham said in an open statement Monday. "The ENLIST Act would allow otherwise qualified undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents through no fault of their own to earn legal status through military service.”

Democrats, who broadly support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, have blasted GOP leaders for not allowing a vote on the amendment.

"It is clear that Rep. Eric Cantor is the one standing in the way of immigration reform," Pili Tobar, a Democratic National Committee spokesperson, said in a statement Tuesday. "The ENLIST Act would provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers who are willing serve, fight and put their lives on the line for this country, but that’s still not enough for Republican leadership. Republicans keep paying lip service to the issue but they're all talk and no action. This legislation should be a no brainer."

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said Tuesday on the House floor that if Republicans don't help pass immigration reform in 2014, George W. Bush will be "the last Republican president in American history.”

Republican leaders across the country fear what’s been called a demographic death spiral with Hispanic voters, as a growing bloc of Americans increasingly backs Democratic candidates.

But individual Republican lawmakers face pressure from voters in their conservative base, making it almost certain the House won’t move on the issue before this year’s midterm elections. The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill last year that has since withered in the House, and Boehner reiterated his conference’s resistance to comprehensive reform on Tuesday.

"Now listen, we've talked about this literally every week for the last 18 months, and I've made it clear over the last several months that until the President gives us some reason, some confidence that we can trust him to implement an immigration reform bill, we have nothing to talk about," Boehner said. "The ball is in the President's court."

These Are The 5 Most Lethal States for Pedestrians

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:37 AM PDT

A new study warns of a nationwide “epidemic” of pedestrian fatalities concentrated in states that aren’t exactly known for their bustling crosswalks.

Researchers at the National Complete Streets Coalition crunched the numbers on 47,025 pedestrian deaths over the last 10 years — a number that exceeds deaths from natural disasters sixteen times over, the study notes.

States with dense urban populations and heavy concentrations of walkers, including Washington D.C., New York and Massachusetts, skewed on the safe side of the study’s “Pedestrian Danger Index,” a measure of deaths relative to the number of people walking the streets.

The real danger zones are down south in the car-centric urban tracts of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. In short, these states weren’t made for walking.

Untitled
Source: National Complete Streets Coalition

Orlando, Florida topped the list of most hazardous cities with 583 pedestrian deaths and a danger index four times above the national average. Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami came in 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively among the most dangerous cities.

The study also found that elderly pedestrians accounted for one in five fatalities, suggesting that Florida’s urban planners should neither be singled out for blame nor let off the hook. And perhaps they should pay a visit to these 5 pedestrian-friendly states:

Florida and 5 States
Source: National Complete Streets Coalition

The study’s authors advocated for reductions in speed limits and clearer delimitations between car lanes, bike lanes and crosswalks to combat an “epidemic” of pedestrian deaths, averaging 5,000 a year.

“Not only is that number simply too high,” said Roger Millar, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, “but these deaths are easily prevented through policy, design, and practice.”

How a Female Political Candidate’s Looks Affect Her Ability to Win

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:33 AM PDT

We might have guessed this to be true, but now science proves it: overweight women are much less likely to hold political office than their overweight male counterparts or their skinny female counterparts.

New research published Monday in the journal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion found that skinny political candidates get more votes than overweight ones. The researchers looked at the sizes of candidates from 126 primary and general elections from 2008 and 2012 and compared it to the number of votes they received. “The greater size disparity between candidates, the greater the vote share of the more slender candidate,” Michigan State professor and co-author of the study said.

But while overweight men have a chance of winning an election, many overweight women don’t run at all:

Both obese men and women were less likely to get on the ballot in the first place. When it came to merely being overweight, women were underrepresented on the ballot, though men were not. This is consistent with previous research showing men who are slightly heavy tend not to experience discrimination like that of slightly overweight women.

The reason an overweight women are less likely to put their names on the ballot? Two studies published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science last week found that the more “feminine” a female candidate looked, the more likely she was to win an election. (This was especially true in conservative states.) The same was not true of men: more masculine-looking candidates did not have an advantage over less masculine ones.

The mounting evidence that women candidates are much more likely to be judged by their looks is certainly depressing, especially if it is deterring capable women from deciding to run.

 

 

Where to Get the Best Online Grocery Deals

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:22 AM PDT

I go out of my way to save a couple dollars when grocery shopping. I check weekly ads and download digital coupons onto my local supermarket's app. I even use Ibotta to try and get a little bit of cash back after the sale. If you have the time, you can get some amazing deals.

Thankfully, there's a way to get a great deal even if you don't have the time: online grocery delivery services. Buying your groceries online can save you a trip to the store and, of course, save you money. Wondering which gives your family the best bang for your buck? Techlicious took a look at the four national grocery delivery services that offer the best prices and selection to find out.

Sam’s Club

Sam's Club
Sam’s Club

When I say "Sam's Club," the chain's massive members-only stores likely come to mind. But like its competitor Costco, plenty of Sam's Club's wares are available online, too. Quantities are large and the savings are big, but what else would you expect? It's a warehouse store.

The biggest downside to shopping at Sam's Club is the $45 yearly membership fee you'll need to fork over before you can start shopping. You'll also need to pay shipping charges on many of your purchases, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

Sam's Club and other warehouse stores are not the most elegant solution for getting your grocery shopping done online, but they are a solid option if you already hold a membership.

Amazon.com

Amazon

There are two solid options for doing your household grocery shopping at Amazon: the company's long-running "Subscribe & Save" program and the new Amazon Prime Pantry grocery delivery service. Both offer terrific prices and low (or free) shipping costs.

Amazon Prime Pantry, launched just last month, allows you to ship up to 45 pounds of groceries (or up to four cubic feet) for a flat $5.99 shipping fee. You'll find a wider selection of your favorite brands than you would at a place like Sam's Club, and in more reasonable quantities, too. You'll need a $99 yearly Amazon Prime membership to take advantage of the service, however.

The company's Subscribe & Save option, meanwhile, allows you to set a regular delivery schedule for grocery items your family uses the most, like your favorite laundry detergent, diapers or snacks. Subscribing to an item typically entitles you to a 5% discount on it, with free shipping offered as well. And if you receive five or more subscription items on the same delivery day, Amazon bumps the savings up to a healthy 15%. You can subscribe in intervals of one to six months.

The only trick: Sometimes you can save more money by using Amazon Prime Pantry, and sometimes you can save more money with Subscribe & Save. It's usually worth checking out both sides of Amazon to make sure you get the best deal.

MySupermarket.com

MySupermarket

MySupermarket.com is an incredibly powerful online grocery shopping price comparison site. It aggregates deals from Costco, Drugstore.com, Amazon, Soap.com, Walgreens, Diapers.com, Walmart and Target to tell you which stores offer the best prices on just the items you want to buy.

MySupermarket works like most other e-commerce sites – you simply fill your cart with items from your grocery list. When you're done, the site will compare prices across its eight member stores to determine the least expensive way to structure the order, including taking into account the free two-day shipping you get if you subscribe to Amazon Prime. The site will even advise if you can save money by swapping out a different size or a different product, and offers free shipping on orders of $75 or more.

You pay MySupermarket.com directly, so there's no need to complete separate checkout procedures for the different sites. It's a surprisingly elegant solution for comparison shoppers, but be warned – in our research, it didn't always find the absolute best price. And to take advantage of the Costco offers and Amazon Prime free shipping, you’ll need to enter your Costco and Amazon Prime membership information or subscribe.

The head-to-head comparison

To put these online grocery shopping sites to the test, we put together a brief shopping list of some common household items that a typical family might buy. We then compared unit prices across the above sites to see who is offering the best deals.

Online Grocery Services Compared — Prices as of May 14, 2014
Sam’s Club Amazon Pantry Amazon Subscribe & Save (5%) MySuperMarket.com
Charmin Ultra Soft
(price per roll)
$0.52 (36 rolls) $0.58 (12 rolls) $0.71 (40 rolls) $0.50 (36 rolls)
Dove Body Wash
(price per 24 ounce bottle)
$4.32 (pack of 3) $5.47 (single bottle) $4.97 (pack of 4) $5.49 (single bottle)
Nature Valley Sweet &
Salty granola bars
(price per bar)
$0.26 (box of 30) $0.49 (box of 6) $0.47 (6 boxes of 6) $0.83 (box of 16)

 

As you can see, there's no one clear winner when shopping by price alone. MySupermarket.com comes out on top when shopping for Charmin toilet paper (but just barely), while Sam's Club has the best price for Dove body wash and Nature Valley granola bars. Remember, though, you'll pay more for shipping with Sam's Club than the other options. And while Amazon Prime Pantry doesn't offer the cheapest price for any of the items we checked, it does offer items in smaller quantities. That may be a better deal for smaller families who don't need to buy 40 rolls of toilet paper at once.

Overall, my pick for favorite site goes to MySupermarket.com. There are no hefty membership fees, no subscriptions to manage, and shipping is free. You may pay more on certain individual items, but when you look at the grand total of a large order, you're likely to save the most.

This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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Handing Out Crack Pipes May Not Be Such a Crackpot Scheme

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:06 AM PDT

Crack started rocking America in the 1980s. The form of cocaine, which provides a brief, intense high, peaked in popularity by the end of that decade, but big cities are still struggling with the fallout—including how to curb the spread of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C among users. In San Francisco, a controversial new experiment by a group called Urban Survivors Union is hoping to reduce harm among users by giving away some 200 free crack pipes. Unsurprisingly, not everyone agrees that’s a good idea.

Though it has also been done in a few other cities, including Seattle, the idea of doling out crack pipes caused a media frenzy when it was first floated at a city health department meeting in January. In response, the city stated they do not support the practice. "We aren't doing it because there is no evidence that demonstrates that it's effective," Rachael Kagan, spokesperson for the Department of Public Health, tells TIME. "Our harm-reduction programs are evidence-based and part of a comprehensive program of care. 'Let's start handing out crack pipes' is way too reductionist and too narrow for the department to take on."

Why crack pipes? Many users glass fashion pipes out of whatever they can get their hands on (including broken glass, lightbulbs, vials and other tube-shaped things), which can cause cuts and open sores in the mouth, which can then spread disease to anyone sharing that pipe.

There's no research on the effect of handing out free crack pipes in the United States, but north of the border, an intriguing pilot is underway. In British Columbia, Vancouver Coastal Health provides healthcare to about 1 million people in that city, including crack users. As part of a pilot study started in late 2011, officials have been handing out 7,500 “safer smoking kits” per month. Each kit comes with information about detox and places to seek help as well as heat-resistant glass stems and disinfecting alcohol swabs. The aim was threefold: use demand for the kits to gauge how widespread crack use is; find out if free, safe pipes do in fact lessen the spread of disease; and use the moment of contact with a user as an opportunity to discourage drug abuse.

Though their sample hasn't been big enough to provide concrete results about the spread of HIV, Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson Anne-Marie D'Angelo says, they have found the giving out the kits reduces the number of wounds people experience and the amount that people share pipes. Despite their lack of data on disease transmission, she adds, "if you reduce the number of wounds and you reduce the sharing, you can extrapolate."

Research on needle exchanges has found that free drug-paraphernalia programs do not lead to more drug use, according to the CDC. While the data bank for crack pipes is still being built, if the same holds true, there may be a cost-based argument for setting up pipe exchanges like needle exchanges. The advocates in San Francisco, led by the activist Isaac Jackson, say their kits cost less than $1 each, a fraction of the money taxpayers might pay to account for disease or injury that those kits might be avoiding.

Despite the city officially washing its hands of the effort, Jackson has said they expect to expand. "Our goal is to demonstrate that you can do this," Jackson told the San Francisco Examiner, "and all hell won't break loose."

It Only Took 257 Sandwiches for 300 Sandwiches Girl to Get Engaged

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:02 AM PDT

Last year’s foodie fairy tale finally has a happy ending. The woman who blogged about making 300 sandwiches so her boyfriend would propose got a ring on her finger with 43 sandwiches to spare.

On Tuesday, New York Post reporter Smith wrote that her boyfriend Eric Schulte proposed to her in Barbados after only 257 sandwiches. “Words cannot express how extraordinarily happy I am. Not because I have a engagement ring, but because I'm going to spend the rest of my life having ridiculously amazing adventures with my soul mate,” she wrote. “My mouth hurts from smiling.”

His mouth hurts from eating all those sandwiches.

Smith sparked Internet outrage last year after penning an article about how her blonde boy-toy woke her up with sweet declarations like “You've been up for 15 minutes and you haven't made me a sandwich?” She then decided to make him 300 sandwiches to prove to him that she is “wife material.” Guess he finally got the message.

What a catch.

 

 

Retired NFL Players Claim League Illegally Used Drugs to Cover Up Injuries

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:57 AM PDT

Former NFL players are suing the league for allegedly giving them risky narcotics to cover up pain from injuries sustained while playing football, leading to medical problems later in life.

According to a suit filed Tuesday, the NFL wanted to speed up the recovery time of injured players in order to get them back on the field, attract fans and therefore maximize profits, the Associated Press reports.

The eight players named in the complaint claim the NFL acquired and distributed the drugs illegally, without obtaining prescriptions or telling players about possible side effects. Some, like former Chicago Bears quarterback and Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon, even claim that NFL doctors did not tell them about injuries such as broken bones and rather just gave them pills to hide the pain. Others say they became addicted to painkillers after years of being fed pills by the league.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, seeks unspecified financial damages and a NFL-funded program to test and monitor players on medication to prevent addiction. Three of the eight players were members of the Super Bowl winning 1985 Chicago Bears team: Hall of Famer Richard Dent and Keith Van Horne, as well as McMahon. Lawyers are seeking class action status, and say 500 other former players have signed on to the suit.

Six of the complainants were also named in a recent lawsuit that accused the league of concealing known risks of concussions that was settled for $765 million, with no blame assessed.

[AP]

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