National Politics

Senate confirmed justices to end Roe. How will voters react?

The end of Roe v. Wade started in the Senate. The Senate Republican partnership with President Donald Trump to confirm conservative justices paved the way for the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on abortion rights. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell set the strategy in motion years ago, changing the Senate’s rules to achieve its goal. Trump and McConnell also had the backing of almost all Republican senators. Lawmakers head into the midterm elections in November with control of Congress at stake and elections serving as a referendum on the future of abortion access. Democrats vow legislation to protect abortion access and Republicans want to impose further limits.

Biden, G-7 leaders huddle on energy, inflation, Ukraine war

President Joe Biden and his Group of Seven allies will huddle in the Bavarian Alps on Sunday to confer on strategies to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation. They're aiming to keep the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from splintering the global coalition working to punish Moscow. Biden arrived in Germany early Sunday morning for the annual meeting of the leading democratic economies. The reverberations from the brutal war in Ukraine will be front and center in the discussion. Biden will open his visit with a bilateral meeting with the summit’s host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Rep. Mary Miller calls Roe decision 'victory for white life'

Illinois congresswoman Mary Miller is raising eyebrows with her comment at a rally with former President Donald Trump. The Republican called the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade a “victory for white life.” The comment drew cheers from the crowd Saturday night in Mendon, Illinois. Miller spokesman Isaiah Wartman tells The Associated Press that the congresswoman misspoke and had intended to say the decision was a victory for the “right to life." Miller is running in the state’s newly redrawn 15th Congressional District with Trump's support. The GOP primary is next Tuesday.

Alaska Supreme Court ruling keeps Sweeney off House ballot

The Alaska Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that will keep Republican Tara Sweeney off the ballot for the August special election in Alaska’s U.S. House race. In a brief written order Saturday, the high court said it affirmed the decision of the Alaska Superior Court, which upheld the Alaska Division of Elections director's decision to not advance Sweeney. She was the fifth place finisher in the June 11 special primary, and was not advanced to the final four after the third place finisher suddenly dropped out. The high court did not elaborate on its decision but said a full opinion will follow at a later date.

Wisconsin's Evers looks for boost from anger over abortion

Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers hopes to translate anger over the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade into votes this fall as he vows to fight a 173-year-old state abortion ban in any way he can. Evers won election in the battleground state four years ago by just over 1 percentage point. He told The Associated Press ahead of his appearance Saturday at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention that abortion will energize key independent voters to support him and other Democrats. Wisconsin’s governor’s race is expected to be one of the hardest fought in the country this year.

Russia fires missiles across Ukraine, cements gains in east

Russian forces are seeking to swallow up the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the eastern Luhansk region while pressing their momentum following the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the charred ruins of Sievierodonetsk. The military said Moscow-backed separatists were now in full control of the chemical plant that was the last Ukrainian holdout in the city. Russia also launched dozens of missiles Saturday on several areas across the country far from the heart of the eastern battles. Ukraine's air command says some of the missiles were fired from Russian long-range Tu-22 bombers deployed to Belarus for the first time. Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that Moscow plans to supply Belarus with the Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile system.

Abortion foes, supporters map next moves after Roe reversal

A day after the Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling overturning Roe v. Wade ended the constitutional right to abortion, emotional protests and prayer vigils are turning to resolve as several states enact bans and both supporters and foes of abortion rights map out their next moves. A Texas group that helps women pay for abortions has halted its efforts while evaluating its legal risk under a ban it says will disproportionately hurt poor and minority women. Mississippi’s only abortion clinic is continuing to see patients while awaiting a 10-day notice that will trigger a ban. Some elected officials are vowing to protect women’s access to abortion, while opponents of the procedure say their fight is far from over.

Dueling narratives of Arizona protests ended with tear gas

Protests outside the Arizona Capitol over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade that ended with a volley of tear gas are being described as either peaceful or driven by anarchists intent on destruction. Republican Senate President Karen Fann issued a news release describing it as a thwarted insurrection, while protesters called it a violent overreaction by police who they said acted without warning or justification. As many as 8,000 people gathered Friday night, most peacefully protesting the court decision. But some began banging on the windows and glass doors of the state Senate. State police say they believed they were trying to break in so they used tear gas. No arrests or injuries were reported.

Groups seek to halt Arizona "personhood" law after Roe falls

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and an abortion rights group want a federal judge to block a 2021 Arizona “personhood” law that they worry can be used to halt all abortions in the state. The emergency motion filed Saturday comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the nearly 50 year old Roe v. Wade decision that held that women have a constitutional right to an abortion. The decision means a series of Arizona laws that had been unenforceable would now go into effect. Providers across the state stopped doing abortions after Friday's high court ruling because of concerns existing laws put them at risk of prosecution. Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod states can now regulate abortion and she thinks the law will be upheld.

Deaths rise to 23 from mass attempt to enter Spanish enclave

Moroccan state media are reporting that the number of people who were killed after they tried to scale a border fence between Morocco and a Spanish enclave in North Africa has risen to 23. Human rights organizations in Spain and Morocco called on both countries to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths. Moroccan authorities said the individuals died as a result of a “stampede” of people who attempted Friday to climb the iron fence that separates the city of Melilla and Morocco. The ministry initially reported five deaths. Local authorities cited by Morocco’s official Television 2M updated the number to 18 and then 23 on Saturday. The Moroccan Human Rights Association reported 27 dead.

Biden's mission in Europe: Shore up alliance against Russia

President Joe Biden is aiming to sustain the global alliance punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine as he embarks on a five-day trip to Europe. His trip comes as the 4-month-old war shows no sign of abating and its aftershocks to global food and energy supplies are only deepening. Biden first joins a meeting of the Group of Seven leading economic powers in the Bavarian Alps of Germany before traveling to Madrid for a NATO summit. The global coalition bolstering Ukraine and punishing Russia for its aggression has showed signs of fraying amid skyrocketing inflation in food and energy prices caused by the conflict.

Police at Arizona Capitol fire tear gas, disperse protesters

Police fired tear gas to disperse abortion rights backers demonstrating  from outside the Arizona Capitol Friday night, forcing lawmakers to huddle briefly in a basement inside the building as they rushed to complete their 2022 session. Thousands of protesters had gathered earlier on the Capitol grounds in Phoenix, divided into groups both supporting and condemning the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Tear gas forced senators to move their deliberations from the Senate chamber. Republican lawmakers approved a massive expansion of the private school voucher system and a major water proposal drew bipartisan support.

Is abortion illegal in the U.S. now? Depends where you live

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. Friday's ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access. The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted.

Inslee seeks abortion rights amendment to state constitution

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within his state's borders, as well as laws that will make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care. Inslee made the announcement during a news conference Saturday morning, saying the right to an abortion in Washington should not depend on which political party holds the majority of seats in the state Legislature. Inslee, who is a Democrat, also said he would ask legislators to strengthen privacy laws and enact new laws that will bar law enforcement agencies from assisting any other states that are investigating alleged violations of anti-abortion laws.

Spain unveils emergency actions to curb soaring living costs

The Spanish government has approved a package of emergency economic measures worth more than 9 billion euros ($9.5 billion) to try to temper the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that the war has produced “extraordinary uncertainty” in the Spanish economy and the measures lasting until the end of the year were designed to cushion the impact. They include a reduction in the tax on electricity, a reduction in the cost of monthly transit passes, and a one-time payment of 200 euros ($211) for people with low-incomes who aren't already receiving benefits.

'Mitt Romney Republican' is now a potent GOP primary attack

Mitt Romney isn’t up for reelection this year, but his name is surfacing in Republican primaries throughout the nation. Candidates are using the label “Mitt Romney Republican” to frame opponents as insufficiently conservative and enemies of the Trump-era GOP. Candidates have employed the concept in attack ads and talking points in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Romney's home state Utah, Republican challengers taking on incumbent congressmen are using the attack, even though Romney won overwhelmingly only four years ago. The fact that Romney remains potent attack fodder reflects his singular position in politics and ongoing divisions within the Republican Party.

Pope hails families, blasts 'culture of waste' after Roe

Pope Francis is urging families to shun “selfish” decisions that are indifferent to life as he closed out a big Vatican family rally a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion.Francis didn’t refer to the ruling or explicitly mention abortion in his homily Saturday. But he used the buzzwords he has throughout his papacy about the need to defend families and condemn the “culture of waste” that he believes is behind the societal acceptance of abortion.Francis has strongly upheld church teaching opposing abortion, equating it to “hiring a hitman to solve a problem.” At the same time, he has expressed sympathy for women who have had abortions and has made it easier for them to be absolved of the sin of abortion.

Danish queen opens new museum telling the story of refugees

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe has opened a new museum that tells the story of the generations of refugees who have shaped Danish society. The story of the museum, which was inaugurated Saturday, starts with the Germans who fled the Soviet advance during World War II. “Flugt — Refugee Museum of Denmark” was created on the site of a camp in southwestern Denmark that housed up to 100,000 refugees from Germany in the postwar years. Denmark was a haven for refugees in the past. But in recent years it has sought to place strict limits on the number of asylum-seekers that it will accept.

Gabon and Togo admitted into Commonwealth group of nations

The African nations of Gabon and Togo have been admitted into the Commonwealth group of nations. Gabon and Togo are Francophone countries that actively tried to join the bloc of 54 nations. The Commonwealth’s titular head is Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles represented his mother at the summit in Kigali, the Rwandan capital. The admission of the two new members on Saturday was a highlight of the summit held in Rwanda's capital. Some existing member nations are discussing whether to remove the queen as their head of state. Elizabeth is the head of state of 14 Commonwealth realms, but Barbados cut ties with the monarchy in November.  Rwandan capital.

Highlights of bipartisan gun violence bill signed by Biden

The bipartisan bill signed by President Joe Biden that aims to address gun violence will incrementally toughen requirements for young people to buy guns, deny firearms from more domestic abusers and help local authorities temporarily take weapons away from people judged to be dangerous. Most of the measure's $13 billion cost will go to bolster mental health programs and for schools, which have been targeted in high-profile mass shootings. The bill omits tougher restrictions that Democrats have long championed, such as a ban on assault-type weapons and background checks for all gun transactions. Still, the bill is the most impactful firearms violence measure that Congress has approved since enacting a now-expired assault weapons ban in 1993.

Milan to turn off fountain spigots as drought bakes Italy

The mayor of Milan has signed an ordinance turning off public decorative fountains and limiting water sprinklers as northern Italy endures one of the worst droughts in decades. In addition, the city's arcibishop made a tour of churches in farm areas outside Milan to pray for Rome. The developments follow the declaration Friday of a state of emergency in the surrounding Lombardy region, which has endured an unusually early heatwave and months without significant rainfall. Neighboring Emilia Romagna and Piedmont have undertaken similar crisis measures.