Justice Department again presses to halt Texas abortion law
AUSTIN, Texas — The Biden administration is again urging the courts to step in and suspend a new Texas law that has banned most abortions since early September, as clinics hundreds of miles away remain busy with Texas patients making long journeys to get care.
The latest attempt Monday came three days after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the nation’s most restrictive abortion law after a brief 48-hour window last week in which Texas abortion providers — following a blistering ruling by a lower court — had rushed to bring in patients again.
The days ahead could now be key in determining the immediate future of the law known as Senate Bill 8, including whether there is another attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court weigh in. The law bans abortions in Texas once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually at six weeks and before some women even know they are pregnant.
“If Texas’s scheme is permissible, no constitutional right is safe from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind,” the Justice Department told the appeals court.
It is not clear when the 5th Circuit court will decide whether to extend what is currently a temporary order allowing the Texas law to stand. The court gave the Texas attorney’s general office until Thursday to respond to the Justice Department’s latest arguments.
Biden, Kenyan president:
President Joe Biden is set to hold his first one-on-one, in-person talks as president
Thursday with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as war and a humanitarian crisis roil neighboring Ethiopia, according to the White House.
The Oval Office talks come just weeks after Biden signed an executive order threatening to levy sanctions against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other leaders involved in a conflict gripping the Tigray region if steps aren’t taken soon to wind down the 11-month-old war.
But the situation appears to have only worsened on the ground, with Tigray forces saying Ethiopia’s government has launched a long-threatened major military offensive against them in an attempt to end the war. Kenya has long had a strong relationship with the U.S., partnering with Washington in efforts to thwart Islamic terrorism.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday at the U.N., Kenyatta said the two sides need to come to “a political resolution because we do not believe that there is any military solution.”
Hamilton letter: A letter written by founding father Alexander Hamilton during the Revolutionary War and believed stolen decades ago from the Massachusetts state archives has been returned following a federal appeals court decision, top state officials said Tuesday.
Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin hailed the homecoming, after last week’s decision by the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling by a district court judge.
The letter was reputedly stolen between 1938 and 1945 by a “kleptomaniacal cataloguer” who worked at the archives, according to
the court decision.
Hamilton wrote the letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who served as a general in the Continental Army. Dated July 21, 1780, the letter resulted in Massachusetts sending troops to Rhode Island, the appeals court wrote.
Galvin said he was pleased the court ruled “that this historical treasure belongs to the people.” The letter is expected to be put on display at the museum for special events, including the annual Independence Day celebration, Galvin said.
Mexico Columbus statue:
A replica of a mysterious pre-Hispanic sculpture of an Indigenous woman was chosen Tuesday to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus on Mexico City’s most prominent boulevard.
The statue was unearthed in January in the Huasteca region, near Mexico’s Gulf coast. It’s known as “The
Young Woman of Amajac,” after the village where she was found buried in a field. But nobody really knows who the stone sculpture was supposed to depict.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History said at the time the statue was similar to depictions of a fertility goddess of the Huastec culture. But institute archaeologists also said she may have been a member of the elite, or part of the governing class.
The replica will be as much as three times the size of the six-foot original, which is being displayed in Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology. City authorities decided the Columbus statue should be moved to a less prominent site and replaced by an Indigenous woman because they had been under-represented.
Hurricane nears Mexico:
Hurricane Pamela continued to strengthen Tuesday as it moved along Mexico’s
Pacific coast and could become a near-major hurricane before hitting somewhere near the port of Mazatlan on Wednesday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Pamela’s center was about 265 miles southwest of Mazatlan on Tuesday and was moving north at about 8 mph. The storm had maximum winds of about 80 mph.
Pamela was forecast to take a turn toward the north and northeast, passing south of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula overnight at hurricane strength.
The storm was forecast to make landfall Wednesday near Mazatlan, potentially as a Category 3 hurricane.
Pamela was then expected to weaken while crossing over northern Mexico and could approach the Texas border as a tropical depression by Thursday.
Capitol insurrection: Like many Donald Trump
supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Dona Sue Bissey has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory on social media. But the judge sentencing her Tuesday to 14 days in jail said it was for her actions, not her beliefs.
Bissey, 53, pleaded guilty in July to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six months’ imprisonment.
Prosecutors have argued that a rioter’s statements, in person or on social media, should be considered when fashioning an appropriate sentence. And the federal prosecutor Tuesday cited Bissey’s online support for QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
But they also have said Bissey’s was a “rare case” in which they agreed to recommend probation instead of home detention or prison, based on her early acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with law