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Romance novelists pledge to confront abortion ‘taboo’ after Alabama ban

State senates near-total abortion ban prompts demand for genre to treat issue as a normal part of life, not a moral lesson Dip into the fast-moving world of romantic fiction and it quickly becomes clear that very few of the fictional couples Alabamas state senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, writers are asking themselves why none of these heroines ever considers termination. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organisation promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, its a common experience for women in the US, with an abortion by…

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Extreme abortion laws shine light on Trump’s courting of religious right

Evangelical backing for a thrice-married celebrity is not as odd as it seems: on abortion, the supreme court and more, the president has delivered win after win After bowing his head in prayer, King Cyrus, deeply flawed men who nevertheless carried out Gods will. David Barker, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, suggests Christian evangelicals start with an assumption of human depravity that sets expectations low, so Trumps lying and philandering and Twitter rage and can be overlooked. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute…

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Denver votes against initiative to decriminalize psilocybin

Late results showed nearly 55% of voters had rejected proposal on psychoactive substance in magic mushrooms Voters on Tuesday appeared to reject an attempt to make Denver the first US city to decriminalize psilocybin the psychoactive substance in magic mushrooms and add a new chapter to the citys role in shaping wider drug policy. The citizen initiative on the ballot followed the same tack taken by marijuana activists to decriminalize pot possession in 2005 in the city. That move was followed by statewide legalization in 2012. A number of other…

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Sandy Hook: Connecticut rules gunmaker can be sued over shooting

High court justices issued 4-3 ruling over how Remington marketed the Bushmaster military-style rifle used in the shooting The Connecticut supreme court has dealt a blow to gun manufacturers by ruling that victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting could go to trial against Remington Arms, on the grounds that the gun company irresponsibly marketed the gun used in the shooting to high-risk individuals. The families are grateful that our states supreme court has rejected the gun industrys bid for complete immunity, not only from the consequences of their…

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Trump campaign claims WikiLeaks not liable for releasing hacked emails

Campaign defends site in legal filing that departs from US policy, addressing questions central to Robert Muellers Russia inquiry The Trump campaign argued in a legal filing that WikiLeaks could not be held liable for publishing emails that were stolen by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 US election because the website was simply serving as a passive publishing platform on behalf of a third party, in the same way as Google or Facebook. Questions about WikiLeaks publication of thousands of hacked emails, which it allegedly obtained following a plot…

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Mitch McConnell moves Senate closer to vote on Kavanaugh nomination

Final vote could come Saturday as majority leader takes next step, while lawmakers await results of FBI investigation As Capitol Hill braced on Wednesday for the results of an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trumps supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, moved the Senate closer to a vote on his nomination. The move by the Republican leader sets up a critical Friday that could determine whether Kavanaugh is seated on the supreme court. Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the…

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The Black Panthers still in prison: after 46 years, will they ever be set free?

Over two years, Ed Pilkington has interviewed eight African American radicals imprisoned since the 1970s. Will they ever be freed? Antoinette Russell vividly recalls the first time she was led to believe she would finally meet her father as a free man. He called her up on a prison phone, his voice shaking with excitement, and told her: Im coming home! That was 17 years ago. Since then, every two years, shes been put through the same agonizing drill. Hed call saying the same thing: Im coming home, she said,…

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