Oklahoma's opioid ruling, Chinese defiance and Epstein's accusers day in court: The Morning Rundown

"The bigger loser in a trade war will be the Americans," one Chinese college student in Beijing said.
Image: The U.S. flag flies over Chinese shipping containers that were unloaded at the Port of Long Beach, in Los Angeles County.
The U.S. flag flies over Chinese shipping containers that were unloaded at the Port of Long Beach, in Los Angeles County.Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Here's what we're watching today.


Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572 million for its role in opioid crisis

A judge in Oklahoma ruled against the huge healthcare company on Monday, holding it responsible for fueling the state's devastating opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing painkillers.

The landmark decision is being seen as a litmus test for more than 2,000 cases that have been brought by state and local municipalities. They are seeking to hold drugmakers and distributors responsible for the destruction wrought by prescription painkillers.

The judge wrote that Johnson & Johnson's "false, deceptive and misleading" opioid marketing created a "nuisance" in the state.

Johnson & Johnson denied any wrongdoing and promised to appeal the case.


America will be the 'biggest loser' in a trade war, say Chinese

President Donald Trump may have struck a conciliatory tone in recent days, saying he was optimistic about doing a deal to end his trade war with China.

But on the streets of Beijing, the mood was mainly one of defiance at the escalating tit-for-tat.

"If you don’t need our 1.4-billion people market, fine," said Dong Jian, a taxi driver in the city. "We don't like the trade war, but if we are being bullied we will fight back."


'Well played': G-7 leaders have learned how to navigate Trump's choppy diplomatic waters

In contrast with last year's G-7 drama, Trump ended this year’s gathering Monday with a bear hug for French President Emmanuel Macron and a declaration of unity.

“If there’s any word for this particular meeting of seven important countries, it’s unity,” the president said Monday at a press conference, just before heading back to Washington. “We got along great.”

The summit may have ended with a similar policy gap as last year's, with little by way of concrete results — except for one that could pay long-term dividends for some of those present: World leaders seem to have figured out how to deal with a president like Trump, NBC News’ Shannon Pettypiece writes in an analysis.

France's Macron and Trump during a joint press conference at the annual G-7 summit. Bertrand Guay / AFP - Getty Images

Scores of Epstein accusers will get the chance to 'speak their truths in open court' today

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Up to 30 women are expected to take a judge up on his invitation to speak today at a hearing after financier Jeffrey Epstein killed himself while in federal custody before facing sex trafficking charges.

This morning's hearing was scheduled last week by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who presided over the case prosecutors brought against Epstein after the 66-year-old convicted felon was arrested on July 6.

The judge set the hearing after prosecutors asked that he scrap charges against Epstein since the defendant was dead. Berman said he would give prosecutors, Epstein lawyers and any victims a chance to speak.

Bradley Edwards, a lawyer for some of Epstein’s alleged victims, called the hearing "a historic day for crime victims in the United States."


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Plus


THINK about it

Andrew Luck's retirement is a message for NFL fans to stop treating players like gladiators, Corbin Smith writes in an opinion piece.


Science + Tech = MACH

A mysterious space plane just broke a record on its latest military mission.


Live BETTER

Can your diet save the planet? The best diet to preserve the planet may also be the best one for your health.


Quote of the day

"Remember you are only some 300 million, let’s see what happens to your soybeans."

Dong Jian, a taxi driver in Beijing, commenting on the U.S.-China trade war.


One fun thing

Check out the brand-new Gatlinburg SkyBridge.

It stretches 680 feet across Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

Just don't look down if you suffer from vertigo. At the center is an extra-special attraction: A glass floor that shows off the ground a whopping 140 feet below.


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra