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National & World News – Overview – Thursday, May 18, 2023


Appeals court appears skeptical of FDA move to simplify access to abortion pills

A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court appeared skeptical of the administration on Wednesday, as lawyers for the Food and Drug Administration argued that a commonly used abortion pill should remain widely available. The question is whether to uphold an initial ruling by a federal judge in Texas who in April invalidated the FDA-approved pill mifepristone 23 years ago. Questions and comments from the three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which began the two-hour hearing in New Orleans, reflected criticism of the FDA and unfamiliarity with medical abortion.

Florida school district sued over book restrictions

A Florida county violated the First Amendment by removing or restricting certain kinds of books from its school libraries, a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court said. The lawsuit was filed by free speech group PEN America and Penguin Random House, the country’s largest book publisher, as well as a group of authors and parents. The Escambia County School District and school board also violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause by targeting books disproportionately written by nonwhite and LGBTQ authors and addressing issues of race, racism, gender, and sexual orientation, the complaint said. theme.

US drug overdoses to approach 110,000 in 2022

Nearly 110,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. last year, according to preliminary federal figures released Wednesday, a staggering number that is plateauing after two years of dramatic increases. The preliminary death toll of 109,680 was only slightly higher than the figure for 2021, when an estimated 109,179 died, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from overdoses climbed sharply that year and the year before, rising by about 17% in 2021 and 30% in 2020. Newly released data provide the latest sign of the disastrous effects of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid often mixed with stimulants and other drugs.

Texas legislature bans transgender medical care on children

The Texas legislature voted Wednesday to pass a bill banning hormone and puberty-blocking treatments, as well as surgery on transgender children, amid opposition from Democrats and loud protests at the Capitol this month. The bill would prohibit doctors from performing mastectomies or surgeries on children, or removing other healthy tissue or body parts, or prescribing drugs that would cause temporary or permanent infertility. The legislation, known as Senate Bill 14, is one of the most volatile measures in the state’s biennial legislative session. The bill has now been brought to the governor’s desk. It will take effect on September 1.

Distraught in Florida, Democrats win Jacksonville mayoral race

Democrat Donna Deegan’s election as mayor of Jacksonville on Tuesday shook up politics in Florida’s largest city, where a Republican mayor has barely four years in office in the past 30 years. Former TV news anchor Deegan defeated Republican Daniel Davis, backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Deegan’s victory was a rare bright spot for Florida Democrats. While Florida has become noticeably more Republican — despite what many see as likely 2024 presidential candidate DeSantis as omnipotent in state politics — Jacksonville has become a swing corner of the state.

Latest disagreement among Ukraine allies over whether to send F-16s

A renewed push by Britain and the Netherlands to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets to use against Russia has exposed the latest fault line between Western allies that have repeatedly sparred over sending a powerful weapon of war, again pitting a reluctant U.S. against Some countries turned against each other. Its closest European partner. Several European allies are preparing to supply Ukraine with F-16s. But the Biden administration, which must approve any transfer of U.S.-made aircraft, remains unconvinced that Ukraine needs the expensive jets that are a staple of many modern military arsenals.

Ecuador’s president dissolves Congress amid impeachment trial

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the country’s opposition-led National Assembly on Wednesday, a radical move as the right-leaning leader faces impeachment proceedings over accusations of embezzlement. The never-before-used constitutional measure allows the president to rule by decree until new elections are called. Opposition lawmakers accused Lasso of turning a blind eye to irregularities and embezzlement in an unfulfilled contract between a state-run shipping company and a tanker company. This is the second time the opposition has tried to oust Russo from the presidency since taking office in 2021.

‘Catastrophic’ floods in Italy kill eight and leave thousands homeless

At least eight people were killed and 5,000 others were forced to abandon their homes in widespread flooding in northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, officials said on Wednesday, as rescue efforts continued to help people trapped on upper floors of buildings. Some of the hardest-hit areas received nearly 20 inches of rain in 36 hours, about half the annual average, according to Italian Civil Defense Minister Nello Musumeci. At least 23 rivers in Emilia-Romagna – including the Savio, Montone, Santeno and Ramon – have burst their banks, affecting about 36 towns. The district’s website said local officials were working to evacuate those who were at risk.

Japan lags allies on gay rights, hidden influence of religious rights

Japan is the only G7 country that has not yet legalized same-sex unions, and foreign ambassadors have urged the country to stand up for equality more forcefully ahead of a summit in Hiroshima that begins later this week. Opinion polls show overwhelming support for same-sex marriage in Japan; one of the country’s most influential business leaders recently called it “embarrassing” that Japan doesn’t sanction unions. Lawmakers, under pressure from Shinto beliefs and other traditionalist forces, have been left behind by public opinion, struggling to agree on a limited expression of gay and transgender rights.

Prince Harry and Meghan say they were chased by paparazzi in New York

The statement was shocking and undoubtedly reminiscent of the car chase that killed Princess Diana 26 years ago: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan “were involved in a very aggressive group of paparazzi”. A near-disastrous car chase,” said an unnamed spokesman for the couple. The story of the chaotic and dangerous pursuit in midtown Manhattan, New York, on Tuesday night spread around the world Wednesday morning, grabbing headlines on both sides of the Atlantic. But the situation became more complicated as more details emerged Wednesday from statements by police and a taxi driver briefly involved.

via wired source


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