(AP) - The shock quickly turned to sadness for Victoria Lowe. The 37-year-old lawyer, working outside a cafe in suburban Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said she couldn't believe the Supreme Court stripped away the constitutional right to abortion that women have had her entire life.
She started to cry. "I don´t understand how they could reach this conclusion," she said. In the immediate aftermath of one of the Supreme Court's most consequential rulings, it was too soon to know how deeply the political landscape had shifted. But in this politically competitive corner of one of the most important swing states in the U.S., embattled Democrats hope to harness the emotion from women like Lowe to reset what has been an otherwise brutal election year environment. For much of the year, the threat to abortion rights has seemed somewhat theoretical, overshadowed by more tangible economic challenges, particularly inflation and rising gas prices.
But the Supreme Court's decision ensures that abortion will be a central issue in U.S. politics for the foreseeable future. ___ Guns and abortion: Contradictory decisions, or consistent? They are the most fiercely polarizing issues in American life: abortion and guns.
And two momentous decisions by the Supreme Court in two days have done anything but resolve them, firing up debate about whether the court´s conservative justices are being faithful and consistent to history and the Constitution - or citing them to justify political preferences. To some critics, the rulings represent an obvious, deeply damaging contradiction. How can the court justify restricting the ability of states to regulate guns while expanding the right of states to regulate abortion? "The hypocrisy is raging, but the harm is endless," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday after the court released its decision on abortion. To supporters, the court´s conservatives are staying true to the country´s founding principles and undoing errors of the past. The court corrected a historic wrong when it voided a right to abortion that has stood for nearly 50 years, former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday.
On Twitter, he said the decision returned to Americans the power to "govern themselves at the state level in a manner consistent with their values and aspirations." ___ Army Guard troops risk dismissal as vaccine deadline looms WASHINGTON (AP) - Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country - or about 13% of the force - have not yet gotten the mandated COVID-19 vaccine, and as the deadline for shots looms, at least 14,000 of them have flatly refused and could be forced out of the service. Guard soldiers have until Thursday to get the vaccine.
And according to data obtained by The Associated Press, between 20% to 30% of the Guard soldiers in six states are not vaccinated, and more than 10% in 43 other states still need shots. Guard leaders say states are doing all they can to encourage soldiers to get vaccinated by the time limit.
And they said they will work with the roughly 7,000 who have sought exemptions, which are almost all for religious reasons. "We´re going to give every soldier every opportunity to get vaccinated and continue their military career. Every soldier that is pending an exemption, we will continue to support them through their process," said Lt.
Gen. Jon Jensen, director of the Army National Guard, in an Associated Press interview. "We´re not giving up on anybody until the separation paperwork is signed and completed. There´s still time." Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last year ordered all service members - active-duty, National Guard and Reserves - to get the vaccine, saying it is critical to maintaining the health and readiness of the force.
The military services had varying deadlines for their forces, and the Army National Guard was given the longest amount of time to get the shots, mainly because it's a large force of about 330,000 soldiers who are widely scattered around the country, many in remote locations. ___ Inflation sparks global wave of protests for higher pay, aid Rising food costs.
Soaring fuel bills. Wages that are not keeping pace. Inflation is plundering people's wallets, sparking a wave of protests and workers´ strikes around the world. This week alone saw protests by the political opposition in Pakistan, nurses in Zimbabwe, unionized workers in Belgium, railway workers in Britain, Indigenous people in Ecuador, Amazon Kindle hundreds of U.S.
pilots and some European airline workers. Sri Lanka´s prime minister declared an economic collapse Wednesday after weeks of political turmoil. Economists say Russia´s war in Ukraine amplified inflation by further pushing up the cost of energy and prices of fertilizer, grains and cooking oils as farmers struggle to grow and export crops in one of the world's key agricultural regions. As prices rise, inflation threatens to exacerbate inequalities and widen the gap between billions of people struggling to cover their costs and those who are able to keep spending. "We are not all in this together," said Matt Grainger, head of inequality policy at antipoverty organization Oxfam.
"How many of the richest even know what a loaf of bread costs? They don't really, they just absorb the prices." ___ With war, Kyiv pride parade becomes a peace march in Warsaw WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride, is going ahead on Saturday.
But not on its native streets and not as a celebration. It will instead join Warsaw's yearly Equality Parade, the largest gay pride event in central Europe, using it as a platform to keep international attention focused on the Ukrainian struggle for freedom. "We are marching for political support for Ukraine, and we´re marching for basic human rights for Ukrainian people," KyivPride director Lenny Emson said.
"It is not a celebration. We will wait for victory to celebrate." Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are among civilians and soldiers killed by Russian forces. There has been a recent push for same-sex partnerships to be recognized, not least because of the need for partners to bury each other in war. If the country were to be defeated, it would be a tragedy for Ukrainian people as a whole, but LGBTQ people would risk being "erased completely," meaning killed, forced to flee or to hide their identities, said Emson, whose organization also runs a shelter for LGBTQ people who have fled Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russian forces.
One LGBTQ rights activist in occupied Kherson has disappeared. ___ Suspected terror-linked shooting in Oslo kills 2, wounds 10 OSLO, Norway (AP) - A gunman opened fire in Oslo's night-life district early Saturday, killing two people and leaving 10 seriously wounded in what police are investigating as a possible terrorist attack during the Norwegian capital's annual Pride festival. Investigators said the suspect, identified as a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was arrested after opening fire at three locations in downtown Oslo. While the motive was unclear, organizers of Oslo Pride canceled a parade that was set for Saturday as the highlight of a weeklong festival.
One of the shootings happened outside the London Pub, a bar popular with the city's LGBTQ community, just hours before the parade was set to begin. Police attorney Christian Hatlo said the suspect was being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and terrorism, based on the number of people targeted at multiple locations. "Our overall assessment is that there are grounds to believe that he wanted to cause grave fear in the population," Hatlo said. ___ Russia pushes to block 2nd city in eastern Ukraine KYIV, Ukraine (AP) - Russian forces are trying to block a city in eastern Ukraine, the region's governor said Saturday, after their relentless assault on a nearby city forced Ukrainian troops to begin withdrawal after weeks of intense fighting. Russia also launched missile attacks on areas far from the heart of the eastern battles. Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said on Facebook that Russian forces are attempting to blockade the city of Lysychansk from the south.
That city lies next to Sievierodonetsk, which has endured relentless assault and house-to-house fighting for weeks. After Haidai said Friday that Ukrainian forces had begun retreating from Sievierodonetsk, military analyst Oleg Zhdanov said some of the troops were heading for Lysychansk.
But Russian moves to cut off Lysychansk will give those retreating troops little respite. Russian bombardment has reduced most of Sievierodonetsk to rubble and cut its population from 100,0000 to 10,000. Some Ukrainian troops are holed up in the huge Azot chemical factory on the city´s edge, along with about 500 civilians. ___ Athletes react to the Supreme Court's abortion decision U.S.
national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe expressed her anger Friday over the Supreme Court's decision to strip the nation´s constitutional protections for abortion, decrying an erosion of rights that women have had for a generation. "I think the cruelty is the point because this is not pro life by any means," said Rapinoe, who was close to tears at times as she expressed her outrage. The always outspoken Rapinoe was joined by some of the country's leading sports figures in publicly sharing their dismay, anger and concern after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v.
Wade, which guaranteed a woman´s constitutional right to abortion. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted that the ruling was about " power and control," and he retweeted a couple posts about the effect of the decision on Black women. In a joint statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said the leagues "believe that women should be able to make their own decisions concerning their health and future, and we believe that freedom should be protected." ___ Last Nevada county approves primary results after hand count RENO, Nev.
(AP) - Counties across Nevada on Friday certified the last outstanding results of the state´s June 14 primary election after critics questioned the tallies by describing their own experiences at the polls and repeating conspiracy theories that nearly derailed certification in New Mexico last week. Esmeralda County, Nevada´s least populated, became the last to certify its countywide results Friday night less than two hours before a midnight deadline. But it wasn´t before two county commissioners and a few election workers spent more than seven hours hand-counting all 317 ballots in the courthouse in Goldfield - an old mining town halfway between Las Vegas and Reno. "Everything matches," Esmeralda County Commissioner Ralph Keyes said when he and Commissioner Timothy Hipp briefly reconvened to formally canvass the vote and approved it 2-0. Nevada´s other 16 counties already had certified the primary results and sent their formal canvass report to the secretary state. ___ Pakistan plane carrying aid joins Afghan quake relief effort ISLAMABAD (AP) - A Pakistani military cargo plane carrying relief goods for Afghanistan´s earthquake-affected people landed at the Khost airport on Saturday, officials said, as tents, food and medical supplies rolled into the mountainous region. Thousands were left homeless or injured by this week´s powerful earthquake in eastern Afghanistan, which state media said killed 1,150 people.
An aftershock Friday took five more lives. Among the dead from Wednesday´s magnitude 6 quake are 121 children and that figure is expected to climb, Office 365 said the U.N. children's agency representative in Afghanistan. He said close to 70 children were injured. Survivor Dawlat Khan in the district of Gayan in Paktika province said five members of his family were injured and his house destroyed by the earthquake. "We are facing many problems. We need all kind of support, and we request the international community and Afghans who can help to come forward and help us," he said.
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