PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Aug 18

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Aug 18 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

- A federal judge on Wednesday ordered three of the nation's largest pharmacy chains — CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart — to pay $650.5 million to two Ohio counties, ruling that the companies must be held accountable for their part in fueling the opioid epidemic. https://nyti.ms/3wcos7r

- Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday delivered a sweeping rebuke of her agency's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it had failed to respond quickly enough and needed to be overhauled. https://nyti.ms/3PBKpU6

- The Biden administration said it would begin formal trade negotiations with Taiwan this fall and talks for the pact, called the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, will focus on 11 trade areas, including expanding trade in agriculture and digital industries. https://nyti.ms/3T2kU15

- When U.S. Federal Reserve officials met in July, they expected inflation to stay "uncomfortably high" for some time, and remained committed to future rate increases, minutes from their gathering show. https://nyti.ms/3CmxjHc (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)