By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Arizona's appeal of a lower-court ruling that declared unconstitutional a state law banning abortions beginning at 20 weeks of fetal gestation, meaning the restrictive measure is struck down. The Arizona law, signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in 2012, had been considered one of the toughest in the United States in imposing limits on abortion. A May 2013 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco invalidated the law, saying it violated "unalterably clear" legal precedents. The high court justices' decision not to review the state's appeal means the lower-court ruling remains intact. Brewer's spokesman, Andrew Wilder, said the Supreme Court was wrong not to hear the state's appeal, saying the action was "a clear infringement on the authority of states to implement critical life-affirming laws." Abortion rights activists praised the Supreme Court's action, but expressed alarm at efforts at the state level in the to impose limits on abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, but lawmakers in more conservative states in recent years have enacted laws that seek to place restrictions on the procedure, especially on late-term abortions. These lawmakers have cited hotly debated medical research suggesting a fetus feels pain starting at 20 weeks of gestation. Lawyers for Arizona offered those arguments before the Supreme Court. The Arizona law prohibited physicians from performing abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in medical emergencies, and could send doctors who perform them to jail. Abortion rights groups said the Arizona law was more restrictive than similar ones in other states because the way it measures gestation means it would bar abortions two weeks earlier than in other states that set the limit at 20 weeks. Three abortion providers challenged the Arizona law in court. The appeals court had earlier blocked the law from taking effect, pending the legal challenge. Wilder said Brewer was seeking to make Arizona "one of the most pro-life states," adding: "Governor Brewer will continue to fight to protect Arizona women, families and our most vulnerable population: unborn children." 'BLATANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL' The president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, said in a statement: "A dangerous and blatantly unconstitutional law like Arizona's abortion ban should have never passed in the first place. "Today, the court did the right thing, but women's health is still on the docket - not only at the Supreme Court, but in active cases all across the country," Richards added. Nancy Northup, head of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said women's rights must not be "legislated away by politicians who are hell-bent on restricting access to the full range of reproductive health care." The Supreme Court justices, as is their custom, did not explain why they refused the Arizona appeal. The last time the high court took up an abortion case was 2007, when it ruled 5-4 to uphold a federal law banning a late-term abortion procedure. The high court on Wednesday tackles a related matter when it hears arguments in a challenge by anti-abortion protesters to a Massachusetts law that seeks to ensure access for patients at clinics that offer abortions. The law imposed a 35-foot (11-meter) zone at clinics that only patients, staff, passersby and emergency services are allowed to enter. The protesters said this violated their constitutional rights, including freedom of speech, by preventing them from standing on the sidewalk and speaking to people entering clinics. In the landmark Roe v. Wade case in 1973, the court said that women have a right to have an abortion up until the time when the fetus becomes viable. In a 1992 ruling, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court clarified that an abortion regulation can be legal as long as it does not impose an "undue burden" on women seeking the procedure. Arizona's law bans abortions up to a month before the point of viability, which medical experts say is around the 23-to-24-week mark. The state has a separate law banning abortions after a fetus is viable except when the mother's life is in danger. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who argued on behalf of the law before the lower courts, called the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the state's appeal disappointing. "Nevertheless, safeguarding the health and welfare of mothers and defending the dignity of life at all stages is a just cause and a duty of government. Today's decision does not relieve government of that duty," Montgomery said. Several states, including Texas, have recently enacted laws restricting abortions. One of the provisions of the Texas law, which has also been challenged, requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where the abortion is performed in case there are complications. The Arizona case is Horne v. Isaacson, U.S. Supreme Court, 13-402. (Additional reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Editing by Will Dunham, Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler)
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- The Telegraph
Hollywood legend Robert De Niro is unable to turn down acting roles because he must pay for his estranged wife's expensive tastes, the actor's lawyer has claimed. Caroline Krauss told a Manhattan court that he is struggling financially because of the pandemic, a massive tax bill and the demands of Grace Hightower, who filed for divorce in 2018 after 21 years of marriage. The court has been asked to settle how much De Niro should pay Ms Hightower, 66, until the terms of the prenuptial agreement the couple negotiated in 2004 takes effect. “Mr De Niro is 77 years old, and while he loves his craft, he should not be forced to work at this prodigious pace because he has to,” Ms Krauss told the court. “When does that stop? When does he get the opportunity to not take every project that comes along and not work six-day weeks, 12-hour days so he can keep pace with Ms Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney?”
- The Telegraph
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- LA Times
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- The Telegraph
The Duke of Edinburgh's cap, gloves and whip were placed on the carriage driven to the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle to witness his funeral procession. The Duke's personal effects were placed on the seat alongside the carriage driver in a poignant tribute to his love of carriage driving. The carriage, made of aluminium and steel, was designed by the Duke eight years ago. A brass clock mounted in the front was given to him by the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars in 1978 to mark his 25 years as Colonel-in-Chief.
- The Telegraph
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge will hold a summit to decide the future of the monarchy over the next two generations following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. In consultation with the Queen, Britain’s next two kings will decide how many full-time working members the Royal family should have, who they should be, and what they should do. The death of Prince Philip has left the Royal family with the immediate question of how and whether to redistribute the hundreds of patronages he retained. Meanwhile the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step back from royal duties, confirmed only last month after a one-year “review period”, has necessitated a rethink of who should support the sovereign in the most high-profile roles. Royal insiders say that the two matters cannot be decided in isolation, as the issues of patronage and personnel are inextricably linked. Because any decisions made now will have repercussions for decades to come, the Prince of Wales will take a leading role in the talks. He has made it clear that the Duke of Cambridge, his own heir, should be involved at every stage because any major decisions taken by 72-year-old Prince Charles will last into Prince William’s reign. The Earl and Countess of Wessex, who were more prominent than almost any other member of the Royal family in the days leading up to the Duke’s funeral, are expected to plug the gap left by the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by taking on more high-profile engagements. However, they already carry out a significant number of royal duties – 544 between them in the last full year before Covid struck – meaning they will not be able to absorb the full workload left by the absences of the Sussexes and the Duke of York, who remains in effective retirement as a result of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. In 2019 the Sussexes and the Duke completed 558 engagements between them. It leaves the Royal family needing to carry out a full-scale review of how their public duties are fulfilled. Not only do they have three fewer people to call on, they must also decide what to do with several hundred patronages and military titles held by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Sussexes and possibly the Duke of York, if his retirement is permanent. Royal sources said the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge would discuss over the coming weeks and months how the monarchy should evolve. The issue has been at the top of the Queen and the Prince of Wales’s respective in-trays since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s one-year review period of their royal future came to an end last month, but the ill health and subsequent death of Prince Philip forced them to put the matter on hold.
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Photos of the Queen at Prince Harry's wedding and Prince Philip's funeral - held at the same venue - highlight the impact of her loss
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- Associated Press
French President Emmanuel Macron says he foresees at least some tourists returning to Paris this summer if they have gotten vaccinated or have proof of testing negative for the coronavirus as France moves to progressively lift infection-control restrictions. “We are building a certificate to facilitate travel after these restrictions between the different European countries with testing and vaccination,” Macron said in an interview that aired Sunday on the CBS News show “Face the Nation." Macron spoke as the French government is preparing to impose tough, new entry restrictions on travelers from four countries — Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Brazil — in hopes of keeping out especially contagious virus variants.
- Business Insider
I flew on Southwest and Alaska, the two airlines competing to be the best of the West Coast and the winner is abundantly clear
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- The Independent
Police identified Stephen Nicholas Broderick, 41, as the suspect, and said that he is armed and dangerous
- The State
Alex Bowman led the final 10 laps of the race following a late caution and strong restart to put him out front for the flag.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A teacher who authorities alleged had years-long sexual contact with a student in Parker County was arrested on Friday.
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