World Leaders Denounce Terrorism

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NEW ORLEANS: Liggett Group, the makers of Chesterfield and Eve cigarettes, has reached an unprecedented settlement in a class-action lawsuit against cigarette makers that claims they concealed research showing nicotine is addictive. Liggett has agreed, without admitting guilt, to pay five percent of its profits for the next 25 years -- up to $50 million a year -- for anti-smoking programs. If approved by a New Orleans federal court, the settlement would mark the first time a tobacco company paid to settle a smoking lawsuit. Liggett is also negotiating with Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi and West Virginia to pay medical costs incurred by the states in treating smoking-related illnesses. The settlement is the first evidence of a break in the united front that U.S. tobacco companies have used in fighting lawsuits. Under the deal, Liggett would no longer be a defendant in the major class action lawsuit brought by a consortium of lawfirms representing millions of smokers and ex-smokers.