The Catch-up: Outrage at US state's near-total abortion ban

What happened?

Swathes of people have reacted with fury to the news Alabama has passed a near-total ban on abortion. The senate in the Republican-dominated state voted by 25-6 for a bill that makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a crime punishable by life in prison. The only exception would be if the woman’s health is seriously at risk. All those who voted to make abortion illegal were men. Senators also rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest, with 22 voting against.

‘Dangerous and exceptionally cruel’

Commentators and pro-choice activists shared their dismay at the decision, with particular attention drawn to the fact the decision was made by a group of men. Democratic Presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren called the move ‘dangerous and exceptionally cruel’ and fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders said what Alabama doing it ‘blatantly unconstitutional’.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Following the vote, the title of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale began trending on Twitter, with people drawing comparisons to the story where women are subjugated to systemic rape and forced to have children.

Read more
Alabama bans abortion with strictest legislation in US (Guardian)
‘The Alabama abortion ban is an outrage – but what about Northern Ireland?’ (The Independent) Abortion law ‘harsher in Northern Ireland than in Alabama’ (The Guardian)
Every vote for Alabama’s abortion ban was from a white man (HuffPost)

The Jeremy Kyle Show has been cancelled with immediate effect after the suspected suicide of a recent guest. Steven Dymond died from a suspected drugs overdose just 10 days after filming an appearance for the programme. Do you think ITV were right to cancel the show? Read the full story (Yahoo Celebrity UK) and have your say below:


Government rejects new definition of Islamophobia

Theresa May has turned down a proposal for a new definition of Islamophobia, citing grounds of free speech. The Government believes that adopting it could mean criticisim of aspects of Islam could be prosecuted under discrimination laws. Instead, ministers will appoint independent advisers to come up with their own definition of Islamophobia. Police had warned said the definition could hamper the fight against terrorism. Read the full story here (Press Association)

VIP paedophile accuser is alleged paedophile himself

A man who stands accused of lying about a Westminter VIP ring of child abusers and killers is himself a “committed and manipulative paedophile”, a court has heard. Carl Beech, known by the pseudonym Nick, hid his sexual interest in young boys behind a secret app on his iPad, tried to frame someone else, and only later admitted a series of charges, jurors were told. The father-of-one, from Gloucester, denies 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud. Read the full story here (Independent)

A camera set up to monitor the nest of an endangered oriental white stork in Russia inadvertently recorded a dramatic scene, capturing the moment a wildfire burned across ground underneath the nest. The camera is run by the World Wildlife Fund, and used by scientists to monitor the storks.

€2 million

That’s the estimated value of a vintage Ferrari that was stolen in Germany when a man posing as a would-be buyer drove off during a test drive.  The man sped off in the red Ferrari 288 GTO, first registered in 1985, when the seller got out of the car to swap places. The car was later found hidden in a garage, but police are still hunting the thief. Read the full story here (CNBC)