Sunday, March 03, 2024 |
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Lawmakers urge action after report of other high court leak
The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman is among those urging action in response to a report that a former anti-abortion leader knew in advance the outcome of a 2014 Supreme Court case involving health care coverage of contraception. The report Saturday in The New York Times follows the stunning leak earlier this year of a draft opinion in the case in which the high court ended constitutional protections for abortion. That decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito, who is also the author of the majority opinion in the 2014 case at the center of the new report. In a statement, Alito denies that he disclosed the outcome of the contraception case.
Despite dangerous pregnancy complications, abortions denied
Increasing numbers of physicians and families nationwide say a post-Roe fear has come to pass: Pregnant women with dangerous medical conditions are showing up in hospitals and doctors’ offices and being denied the abortions that could help treat them. Some get sicker as they face potentially-deadly delays and seek abortions in states with less restrictive laws. Some are denied care in multiple places. Doctors say they must balance medical judgment with possible punishments, including prison time. Even strict laws allow abortion to save a mother’s life, but a weighty question lingers: How close to death does she have to be? Specific data is hard to pinpoint; many employers discourage discussion of the topic. But many doctors and researchers agree it’s a widespread problem.
Biden is now 1st octogenarian in Oval Office
If he was watching from the White House, President Joe Biden might have winced last week when Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared in her speech on the House floor that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead.” Fortunately for him, she then added “the Democratic Caucus,” a caveat he likely appreciated. Although Biden turned 80 Sunday, he had made no plans to call attention to the milestone, much less to step down, celebrating with a private family brunch. Biden, America’s oldest president and the first octogenarian in the Oval Office, has said he will announce his plans early next year.
Mom hears late daughter’s transplanted heart
An Indiana woman heard the heartbeat of her late daughter inside the chest of a 68-year-old Illinois man who received it in a transplant operation. The Indiana Donor Network arranged the rare meeting Saturday at a Chicago hotel. It was the first meeting between Amber Morgan and Tom Johnson. Four years ago, Johnson received a heart transplanted from the body of Morgan’s daughter, Andreona Williams. She was 20 when she died from asthma complications. Morgan listened through a stethoscope that was pressed to Johnson’s chest. She says it was “amazing.” Morgan felt like she almost “got to hug” her daughter again. Johnson says the heart transplant has opened a new world for him.
Shells hit near nuclear plant; Blackouts roll across Ukraine
Powerful explosions from shelling have hit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency said more than a dozen blasts shook the Russian-occupied facility on Sunday, damaging buildings and equipment. Ukraine blamed Russia, saying it was trying to prevent the plant from partially restarting to deliver electricity to millions of Ukrainians who are without heat, power or water in the freezing cold. The Russians blamed Ukrainian forces. Elsewhere, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said over 400 Russian strikes hit Ukraine’s eastern regions on Sunday alone. He also said blackouts were scheduled Sunday night in 15 regions of Ukraine and the city of Kyiv. More blackouts were scheduled for Monday.
Turkey bombs Kurdish foes in Iraq and Syria, likely killing dozens
Turkish fighter jets carried out dozens of airstrikes in northern Syria and Iraq Sunday, in what Turkish officials called an anti-terrorism campaign to root out militants they accused of orchestrating a deadly bomb attack last week in Istanbul. The strikes targeted shelters, tunnels, ammunition dumps and training camps, the ministry said. More than two dozen people were reported to have been killed, but different groups gave different numbers. The Kurdish-led militia that administers northeastern Syria said that 14 civilians and one fighter had been killed. The group, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, vowed to strike back against Turkey.
China announces 1st COVID-19 death in almost 6 months
China has announced its first new death from COVID-19 in nearly half a year. Strict new measures are being imposed in Beijing and across the country. The death of the 87-year-old Beijing man was the first reported by the National Health Commission since May 26, bringing the total death toll to 5,227. China has faced hurdles vaccinating its elderly population although the commission did not give details on the man’s status in its report Sunday. That vulnerability is considered one reason why China has mostly kept its borders closed and is sticking with its rigid “zero-COVID” policy despite the impact on daily life and the economy. The policy seeks to wipe out infections through lockdowns, quarantines, case tracing and mass testing.
2 volcanoes rumble into action in Russia’s far east
Towering clouds of ash and glowing lava are spewing from two volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and scientists say major eruptions could be on the way. The peninsula, which extends into the Pacific Ocean about 4,000 miles east of Moscow, is one of the world’s most concentrated areas of geothermal activity, with about 30 active volcanoes. The sudden new activity followed a strong earthquake on Saturday, news reports said. The Russian Academy of Sciences’ vulcanology institute said that at Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia’s tallest active volcano, as many as 10 explosions an hour are being recorded. Lava flows and ash emissions also are coming from the Shiveluch volcano, the institute said.
By wire sources
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