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Abortion providers, opponents brace for U.S. high court decision

WASHINGTON ( ) – As she waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a challenge to a restrictive Texas abortion law, Amy Hagstrom-Miller said she hopes she will not have to close up to three of the clinics she operates in the state, but is planning for it just in case.

    Hagstrom-Miller founded Whole Woman’s Health, which runs four facilities in Texas that provide abortions and led the legal challenge to the law.

She said she has spreadsheets listing staffers who would be laid off if the court allows the law to survive, and is thinking about selling buildings and medical equipment as well as shutting her clinics in Fort Worth, San Antonio and McAllen.

    “I would be irresponsible if I didn’t plan,” Hagstrom-Miller said in an interview.

The Supreme Court is due to rule by the end of June on whether the Texas law, which imposes strict regulations on abortion doctors and clinic facilities, violates a woman’s constitutional right to end her pregnancy as set out in the landmark 1973 ,上海夜网Falkner,Roe v. Wade ruling. The court has not issued a major abortion-related ruling since 2007.

    The law requires abortion doctors to have “admitting privileges,” a type of formal affiliation, at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the clinic. That provision has been implemented. A second provision, not yet in effect, requires clinics,上海夜哪里艳遇Cain, to have costly hospital-grade facilities including extensive standards for such attributes as corridor width, room size, floor tiles and the swinging motion of doors.

Supporters of the law, passed by a Republican-led legislature and signed by a Republican governor in 2013, say it was enacted to protect women’s health.

    Abortion rights advocates say it imposes medically unnecessary regulations intended to shut clinics and has dramatically reduced access to abortion in Texas, the second-most-populous U.S. state with about 27 million people.

Getting a clear-cut ruling is complicated by the fact that the court is down to eight justices, split evenly with four conservatives and four liberals, following the February death of conservative Antonin Scalia.

One possibility is a 4-4 split that would affirm a lower court’s decision upholding the ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Kailani,law but would not set a national legal precedent that could guide other states eager to pass similar statutes.

Because it is unlikely one of the court’s liberals would join the four conservatives, there is almost no chance of a broad ruling upholding the law and giving other states a green light to enact similar measures. Numerous Republican-governed states have considered measures that would restrict abortion availability.

‘NOT A CATASTROPHE’

For abortion opponents, who no longer have Scalia to cast a fifth vote to tip the balance in their favor, a 4-4 split leaving the Texas law in place may be the best result possible.

John Eastman, a professor at Chapman University School of Law in California, an abortion opponent who filed a brief with the high court backing the Texas law, said if the justices cannot deliver a decisive ruling, “It’s not a c上海夜网atastrophe.”

“I’d rather have women’s health and safety in some parts of the country than no parts of the country,” Eastman said.

Legal fights over similar laws are ongoing in several states, including Mississippi, Louisiana and Wisconsin.

    If the court leaves in place the lower-court ruling upholding the Texas law, the number of abortion clinics in the state would drop from the current 19 to nine, abortion providers said. Texas had 41 abortion clinics when the law was passed.

    “A 4-4 decision would leave us in the untenable situation where a woman’s ability to get an abortion will depend on where she lives,” said Jennifer Dalven, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes restrictive abortion laws.

    Another possibility is that the justices strike down the law, or invalidate one of the two provisions at issue while keeping the other. It may be more likely that the admitting-privileges provision, already in effect, would survive, while the hospital-grade facilities requirements, which the justices themselves temporarily blocked, would not.

Justice Anthony Kennedy could be the key player in any such scenarios, which would require at least one conservative to join the four liberals. Kennedy is a conservative who in past rulings has endorsed Roe v. Wade, but has voted to uphold some abortion restrictions.

“It comes down to Justice Kennedy, and during the argument he didn’t show his hand too much,” said John Seago, the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life’s legislative director, adding that the ruling could give abortion opponents “ideas about what laws we could pass.”

Another possibility is that the court returns the case to a lower court for further proceedings, as Kennedy suggested during March 2 oral arguments.

“It’s overwhelming for me when I think what could happen if it’s not a favorable decision,” said Dr. Bhavik Kumar, who performs abortions at two Texas Whole Woman’s Health clinics. “I try not to think about it every minute of every day.”

Written by shyw on August 12, 2019 Categories: bidtmjjh Tags: , ,

Jailed ex-Mozambican finance minister drops South Africa bail plan

JOHANNESBURG ( ) – Former Mozambican finance minister Manuel Chang, arrested in South Africa in a case related to $2 billion of fraudu上海夜生活网lent loans, has abandoned plans to apply for bail, one of his lawyers ,上海夜生活群Pablo,said on Friday.

Chang, who denies wrongdoing, has been detained in South Africa since Dec. 29 at the request of the United States which wants him extradited.

The charges relate to loans guaranteed by the Mozambican government, which it failed to disclose, signed off by Chang during his 2005-2015 term as finance minister.

Mozambican authorities are also seeking Chang’s extradition. The case has been postponed until Feb. 5 when the South African court will decide the way forward given the competing requests.

Chang’s bail application has been dropped in the meantime but may be revived at a later date, a member of his legal team said. ,上海021夜网Idaline,

“The bail application was provisionally abandoned, but Chang reserves the right to apply for bail,” the lawyer Stiaan Krause told .

If Chang is extradited to the United States, analysts say the case against him could unearth details of the national debt scandal, with potential implications for senior members of the ruling party ahead of elections in October.

Mozambique’s acknowledgement in 2016 of the undisclosed borrowing prompted the International Monetary Fund and foreign donors to cut off support, triggering a currency collapse and a debt crisis that Mozambique is still struggling to recover from.

The United States also wants to extradite three former Credit Suisse bankers from London and has arrested the lead salesman of Abu Dhabi-based holding company Privinvest in New York. It says all are also implicated in the fraud.

Lawyers for those individuals have not commented.

Mozambique’s Attorney-General’s office has also indicted 18 p,上海夜生活乌托邦Cadence,eople for their involvement, and said it will seek to have those charged in the United States and elsewhere face justice in Mozambique.

Sweden drops tax probe into man at center of Nobel scandal

STOCKHOLM ( ) – Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority (ECA) said on Tuesday it had dropped a tax probe into the man at the center of a scandal that forced the postponement of the 2018 Nobel Prize for literature.

In April last year, it launched an investigation into whether Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer married to a member of the Swedish Academy that picks the literature prize winner, had evaded taxes.

“The investigation has been closed into the person connected to the Swedish Academy as even a potential conviction would pr,上海夜网Hadley,obably not have led to any increase in the sentence he has already received,” the ECA said in上海夜网 a statement.

Last year, Arnault was convicted of rape and sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison.

Last w,上海夜网推油Gabriel,eek, the Academy said his wife, poet Katarina Frostenson, had leaked the names of previous prize winners to Arnault and that she would quit.

She has denied the allegation.

The accusations ag,上海夜生活男人好去处Ida,ainst Arnault, who ran a cultural club with Frostenson that received money from the Academy, caused a feud among members and several have since quit.

The Nobel Foundation, which controls the prize money donated by dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, has warned it could drop the Academy from awarding the prestigious prize.

The turmoil led to no Nobel Prize in literature being awarded in 2018. Two winners will be picked this year.

Factbox: FBI vs. Clinton – Seven points of contention

( ) – FBI Director James Comey undercut some of the main arguments Hillary Clinton has made in defense of her use of an unauthorized private email system while she was U.S. secretary of state.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating Clinton’s email system after government watchdogs found that some of her messages contained classified government secrets last year.

Comey is recommending that Clinton not face criminal charges. But in an unusual step, he used a news conference to give a public rebuttal on Tuesday of the defenses offered by Clinton over the last year. Here are seven times that Comey contradicts Clinton:

ON RETURNING WORK EMAILS

Clinton said:

Clinton said in March 2015 that she returned “anything that could be possibly viewed as work related.” She later swore under oath that she returned all her work emails to the State Department in 2014, some 30,000 in all.

Comey said:

The FBI recovered “several thousand” work emails that were not returned to the State Department. Comey has “reasonable confidence” that there was no deliberate effort to withhold these messages.

ON CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

Clinton said:

Clinton has repeatedly said she did not send or receive any classified information through her private email上海夜生活网 system, and that emails being released to the public that were now marked classified were being retroactively “upgraded.”

Comey said:

The FBI found 110 emails in 52 email chains that contained information that was classified at the time the messages were sent. Eight of those chains contained Top Secret information, the highest level of government classification; another 36 chains contained Secret information, and eight contained confidential information.

ON CLASSIFICATION MARKINGS

Clinton said:

Clinton has repeatedly said she did not send or receive any emails that were “marked” classified.

Comey said:

A “very small number” of emails were marked as containing classi,上海夜生活男人好去处Macauly,fied information. “But even if information is not marked ‘classified’ in an email, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it,” Comey said.

ON SECURITY:

Clinton said:

The “security and integrity” of the email system were taken seriously, and “robust protections” were put in place, according to her staff in March 2015.

Comey said:

The system was “not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at departments and agencies of the U.S. government, or even with a commercial service like Gmail.”

ON HACKING

Clinton said:

Clinton said there is no evidence there was ever a breach of her email system.

Comey said:

It would be ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Landon,unlikely to find “direct evidence” of Clinton’s email system being hacked, but the FBI believes “it is possible that hostile actors gained access.” “Hostile actors” also gained access to some people Clinton corresponded with on her email system.

ON APPROACH TO GOVERNMENT SECRETS

Clinton said:

“I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements,” Clinton said in March 2015.

Comey said:

Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

ON CONSEQUENCES

Clinton said:

Clinton has maintained that her email system was allowed and that she did nothing wrong. She has also said it was a “mistake” and apologized for it.

Comey said:

There is no evidence that Clinton and her colleagues intended to break the law, but people who engage in similar activity are “often subject to security or administrative sanctions,上海夜生活网交流Hal,.”

Indonesia backtracks on unconditional release of cleric linked to…

JAKARTA ( ) – Indonesia’s president said on Tuesday a radical Muslim cleric linked to the 2002 Bali bombings would only be released from jail if he pledged loyalty to the state and its ideology, after news he would be freed unconditionally sparked criticism.

President Joko Widodo had declared last week that Abu Bakar Bashir, 81, would be freed on humanitarian grounds, citing his age and poor health.

A legal adviser to the president had said the cleric would be granted unconditional release.

But Widodo said in a statement on Tuesday it would be “conditional release”, a day after the chief security minister said the decision was being reviewed.

“Conditions have to be fulfilled like loyalty to the unitary state of Indonesia, to the Pancasila. That is one of the very basic conditions,” said Widodo

Convicts eligible for early release are required to pledge loyalty to the state and its secular ideology, known as Pancasila, and not to repeat their crimes.

But Bashir’s lawyers say he has refused to do that.

Bashir was the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), an Islamist group linked to al Qaeda blamed for the 2002 bombing of nightclubs on Bali island that killed more than 200 people, most of them tourists, including 88 Australians.

He was convicted in 2010 under anti-ter,上海夜生活服务Dalton,rorism laws for links to militant training camps in Aceh province and jailed for 15 years.

Although linked to the Bali attacks and a bombing at Jakarta’s Marriott Hotel in 2003, Bashir was never convicted for them and denied those ties. [reut.rs/1qNBwvC]

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking before Widodo set out conditions for Bashir’s release, urged Indonesia not to show him leniency.

“We have been very clear about the need to ensure that as part of our joint counter-terrorism efforts … that Abu Bakar Bashir would not be in any position or in any way able to influence or incite anything,” Morrison told reporters on Monday.

SUSPECTED POLITICAL MOTIVE

Widodo has also come under fire at home over the possible release. Critics have accused him of trying to win over religious conservatives ahead of a presidential electio,上海夜玩网论坛Gabrielle,n set for April 17 in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Some members of the ruling coalition, including officials in Widodo’s party, fear Bashir’s release could alienate moderate Muslim and non-Muslim voters.

“Everyone is asking: ‘How can we possibly allow this?’,” said an official from Widodo’s Democratic Party of Struggle.

“Now it’s about how many votes we will lose, not gain.”

Most opinion polls have given Widodo a double-digit lead over rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general who had also contested the presidency in 2014.

Opponents and hardline Islamists have repeatedly attacked Widodo’s Islamic credentials. During the 2014 campaign for the presidency, he had to battle false rumors he was a co上海夜生活网mmunist.

In a move to shore up Muslim support this time, Widodo picked for his running mate an Islamic cleric.

Still, some analysts doubted whether releasing Bashir early would win Widodo many conservative voters.

Security and government officials, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, said they backed the plan to release Bashir to avoid the risk of him dying as a martyr in jail, but felt doing so without conditions was risky.

Another official said the government was considerin,上海夜生活网419Lake,g letting Bashir out of jail but placing him under house arrest.

Indonesia-based terrorism expert Sidney Jones told that waiving the requirement for Bashir to pledge loyalty to the state and secular state ideology would have set a dangerous precedent.

“It risks turning him into even more of a hero because it’s like he has succeeded in defying the state,” she said, speaking before Widodo set conditions on the release.

“The end result is that Widodo ends up looking weak, out-manoeuvred and poorly advised.”

Bill McNeil, an survivor of the 2002 bombings, told The Australian newspaper that he found the prospect of Bashir’s release hard to understand.

“It seems sort of crazy they will execute people for drug offences but allow this guy to go free,” McNeil, 43, said.

EU and U.S. seek trade deal this year, knowing large hurdles remain

BRUSSELS ( ) – EU and U.S. negotiators said on Friday that they still needed to overcome large differences for a transatlantic free trade deal to be sealed this year, and factor in the impending exit from the European Union of Britain, one of the United States’ biggest export markets.

The two sides are trying to agree on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which supporters say could boost each economy by some $100 billion at a time when growth in China and emerging markets is slowing.

Chief EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero and U.S. counterpart Dan Mullaney told a news conference after a 14th round of talks that both sides were committed to sealing a deal before U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office at the turn of the year.

The partners have made progress on tariff elimination and on regulatory cooperation.

However, they are stuck over EU demands including greater access to public sector tenders; Garcia Bercero described the U.S. offer as a serious cause of concern.

Likewise, Washington is unhappy with the EU offer on services.

“Given the importance of this sector to both of our economies … progress here has been noticeably and painfully slow,” said Mullaney.

He also said that, while the economic rationale for TTIP remained strong, Britain’s exit from the European Union would force a rethink as it was the largest market anywhere for U.S. services, and took 25 percent of U.S. exports to the EU.

“Imagine if the United States said, for instance, ‘Well, maybe TTIP will not apply to California’. There is a certain reflection that the parties need to have on those kind of developments.”

The two sides had previously planned to produce a single consolidated TTIP text by the end of July. Garcia Bercero said that was now more likely to come by the end of September after further meetings between U.S. trade chief Michael Froman and EU commissione,上海夜网推油Idaleen,r Cecilia Malmstrom.

Garcia Bercero acknowledged that the political environment was becoming more challenging. The environmental group Greenpeace echoed the view of many anti-TTIP campaigners on Fri上海夜生活网day by saying that it was time to hit the ‘Stop’ button.

But the EU negotiator said TTIP was instead a positive response to concerns about globalization.

“If we want to have a shot at shaping g,上海夜生活群Ida,lobalization, we need a like-minded partner that shares largely our views,” he said.

Mullaney talked of a “unique window of opportunity” to complete TTIP this year that should not be allowed to slip away.

“After this year, with one political transition after a,上海晚上耍女人的地方Jacklyn,nother over the next few years, it could be quite a while before we pick up negotiations again.”