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New Mexico Governor Signs Bill Protecting Access to Reproductive and Gender Care




New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Luján Grisham on Thursday signed into law a law barring local municipalities and other state agencies from interfering with a person’s ability to access reproductive or gender-affirming healthcare services.

HB7The Reproductive and Gender Affirming Health Freedom Act also prohibits any government agency from imposing laws, ordinances, policies, or rules that prevent patients from receiving reproductive or gender-affirming care.

The move comes after federal abortion rights were abolished last year, and as several states passed measures to prevent minors from accessing gender confirmation services.

Gender-affirming care is medically necessary, evidence-based care that uses a multidisciplinary approach to help a person move from their assigned sex—the one they were assigned at birth—to their confirmed sex—the sex they which a person wants to be known. .

“New Mexicans in every corner of our state deserve to have their bodily autonomy and their right to health protected,” said Lujan Grisham. news release. “I am grateful for the hard work of the Legislature and community partners in bringing this important legislation to the finish line.”

Each violation of the law could result in a $5,000 fine or damages, if the amount is greater, as per the bill.

The law follows rulings previously issued by several municipalities in the state regarding access to abortion services after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. UK. Wade last summer.

Although abortion is legal in New Mexico, several GOP-led states have introduced or adopted measures restricting abortion, including Texas and Oklahoma, which have banned the procedure at all stages of pregnancy with a few exceptions. In response, New Mexico, a neighbor of both states, provided $10 million to build a new abortion clinic near the Texas border.

Several other Democratic-controlled states have moved to confirm reproductive health in response to the landmark Supreme Court ruling.

Earlier this year, the Democratic governor of Minnesota signed into law a bill that would establish a “fundamental right” to have abortions available in the state. California passed several bills last year to expand access to abortion, including protecting abortion providers and patients seeking abortions in the state from out-of-state civil lawsuits.

As states move to take action, new legal challenges could further complicate access to abortion in post-Row America.

This week, a federal court in Texas heard arguments to block the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs used for medical abortion, which accounted for more than half of US abortions in 2020. according to the Guttmacher Institute. While the Trump-appointed judge has yet to rule, he suggested during the controversy that he was seriously considering revoking the FDA approval.

Also at risk is access to gender-affirming care for trans youth, which LGBTQ advocates have long emphasized as life-saving health care.

This year, lawmakers in Tennessee, Mississippi, Utah, and South Dakota passed laws restricting minors’ access to such assistance.

In addition, according to data collected American Civil Liberties Union and shared with CNN.

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Trump says he will be arrested Tuesday as indictment looms



As the Manhattan grand jury indictment is likely to be filed but the timing is unclear, Donald Trump tried to rally supporters by saying he would be arrested Tuesday and calling for protests.


Two hours later, a spokesman issued a statement saying that Mr. Trump did not write his post with direct knowledge of the timing of any arrest, adding, “President Trump rightly emphasizes his innocence and the weaponization of our system of injustice.”

But Mr. Trump’s message on social media had an immediate effect: Hours later, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, one of the most powerful men in the federal government who owes his position in part to Mr. Trump, tweeted that he was calling for an investigation into whether federal funds were being used for “politically motivated prosecutions” that posed a thinly veiled threat to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg.

The representative of the regional prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

Prosecutors working for Mr. Bragg have made it clear that indictment of Mr. Trump may be imminent. But they have not told Mr. Trump’s lawyers when charges will be filed – expected to involve a 2016 silence payment against a porn star – or an arrest will be made, people with knowledge of the matter say. At least one more witness is expected to testify before a grand jury, people said, which could delay an indictment.

One person said that even if a grand jury votes to indict the former president on Monday, extradition on Tuesday is unlikely, given the need to agree on timing, travel and other logistics.

Mr. Trump’s spokesman’s statement did not explain how he ended up on Tuesday as the date of the arrest. One person with knowledge of the matter said that Trump’s advisers guessed around then that this could happen, and that someone could have informed the former president about it.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Susan R. Necheles, said his post was based on news reports and accused the Manhattan District Attorney’s office of conducting “political persecution.”

Mr. Trump, who announced his third presidential campaign in November and outperformed his Republican opponents in most polls, first faced criminal investigation in the late 1970s. He was deeply concerned about the prospect of an arrest, which is expected to include fingerprinting, one of the people said.

When former Trump Organization CFO Allen H. Weisselberg was arrested in 2021, Trump watched in horror as television news showed Mr. Weisselberg surrounded by officers in a courthouse, and the former president said he couldn’t believe it. , what? What happened.

Mr. Trump’s post on Saturday, calling on his supporters to protest and rebuild the nation, bears unmistakable echoes of the inflammatory messages he posted online in the weeks before the attack on the US Capitol. In the most famous of these messages, published on December 10. On January 19, 2020, he announced on Twitter that he would hold a rally in Washington on January 6. “Be there,” he told his millions of followers. “It will be wild.”

At that rally on the ellipse outside the White House, Mr. Trump told supporters to march to the Capitol, where the 2020 presidential election was being confirmed. He is under investigation by federal prosecutors for his activities prior to the attack.

Investigators later determined that far-right extremist groups, as well as ordinary Trump supporters, took his tweet as a direct invitation. They jumped into action almost immediately, acquiring protective equipment, setting up encrypted communication channels and, in one case, preparing a heavily armed “rapid reaction force” to be deployed outside of Washington for the event.

Leaders of groups such as the Proud Boys and the Three Percent militia also began to incite their members with militant language, and their personal messaging channels increasingly filled with plans to rush to Mr. Trump’s aid.

On Friday night, Mr. Trump’s campaign announced what could be his first post-indictment rally: an event in Waco, Texas, where bloody clashes between federal officials and an extremist religious sect took place around this time 30 years ago.

How Times reporters cover politics. We expect our journalists to be independent observers. Thus, while Times employees may vote, they are not permitted to support or campaign for candidates or for political reasons. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement, or donating or raising money for any political candidate or election campaign.

Early Saturday night, Mr. Trump attended the NCAA Championship Wrestling in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was greeted with applause and chants of “USA! UNITED STATES!” Inside the arena, Mr Trump shook hands with supporters, took selfies with spectators and met with some of the wrestlers.

Despite Mr. Trump’s unpredictable nature, several members of his legal team have said they expect him to turn himself in.

New York City officials discussed security arrangements in Manhattan Criminal Court if indicted, according to people familiar with the planning. first reported by NBC News. Mr. Trump is expected to be charged with the silence payment of his former aide and attorney Michael D. Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 to bury her story about the affair.

The payment was made ahead of the 2016 presidential election, and Mr. Trump subsequently reimbursed Mr. Cohen. Prosecutors are expected to charge Mr. Trump with overseeing a false record of refunds in his company’s internal records. The records falsely indicated that the payments to Mr. Cohen were for “legal expenses.”

There were several signals that charges might be imminent: Prosecutors gave Mr. Trump the opportunity to testify, a right reserved for people who are indicted, and questioned nearly every major player in the money-hush saga before a grand jury.

Mr. Trump denies all wrongdoing and denies having an affair with Ms. Daniels.

Any arrest and trial of Mr. Trump is likely to combine the routine steps that every defendant goes through – being fingerprinted, photographed – with the pomposity of a former president whose every move is monitored by the US Secret Service.

It is not clear what accommodations Mr. Trump will receive. Defendants arrested on charges of serious crimes are usually handcuffed, but an exception may be made. While he is waiting to appear in court, it is possible that, for security reasons, he will be placed in an interrogation room or other enclosed space rather than in a holding cell. And once Mr. Trump is brought to trial, he will almost certainly be released without spending a minute behind bars, because the indictment will most likely contain only non-violent criminal charges.

Early Saturday morning, there was little evidence that extremist groups supported Mr. Trump’s new demand for protests.

But Ali Alexander, a well-known organizer of the “Stop theft” rallies after the 2020 election, posted on his Telegram channel on Saturday that he supported a massive pro-Trump demonstration.

“I said earlier that if Trump is arrested or threatened with a criminal walk, 100,000 patriots must block all routes to Mar-a-Lago,” Mr. Alexander wrote. “Now I am retired. But I will pray for him!”

Without a White House-provided platform or a major political campaign mechanism, it was unclear how many people Trump could reach, let alone mobilize, through Truth Social.

And it remained unclear whether he would repeat his call to action or raise the stakes with more aggressive language. But his political allies have made clear this week that they are preparing for a political war with Mr. Bragg.

New York Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican third in the House of Representatives and another close Trump ally, said Saturday morning that the investigation was “an attempt to silence and subdue the will of voters who support President Trump and America First.” movement.”

Yet two of Trump’s most pompous Republican allies, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia and Matt Goetz of Florida, refused to repeat his call for protests. Goetz disparaged the case on Twitter, with Ms Green adding, “We don’t need to protest the Communist Democrats’ plans to arrest” Trump.

Mr. Trump has been attacking Mr. Bragg, who is black, as a “racist” for months now. Mr. Bragg was convicted of tax fraud against the Trump Organization last year, although he did not personally indict Mr. Trump.

Some of Mr. Trump’s supporters voluntarily responded with violence after FBI agents, acting on a search warrant, raided Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Florida, in August and took boxes of documents to the course of the investigation. in the handling of the former president with classified materials.

A few days after the search, an armed Ohio man who posted online his outrage at Mar-a-Lago attempted to break into an FBI field office outside of Cincinnati. He was later killed in a skirmish with local security forces.

The former president’s surprise salvo on Saturday showed the chaos Mr. Bragg is likely to face if he files an indictment.

Mr. Bragg, a former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Attorney General of the State of New York, has some experience in prosecuting public officials. But he’s not used to dealing with a high-profile, volatile and fight-prone figure like the former president, and it’s unclear how his office will respond to Trump’s future outbursts.

Ben Fenwick made a report.

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China’s Global Civilization Initiative Welcomed



Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCP) and President of China, attends a high-level meeting of the CCP in dialogue with world political parties via video link and delivers a keynote speech in Beijing, China’s capital, on March 15. , 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Initiative: focus on cultural diversity

Leaders of political parties and organizations from around the world welcomed China’s proposed Global Civilization Initiative, saying that it, along with the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, is of great importance in building a consensus among countries to address growing global challenges in the context of peace, security, development and harmonious coexistence.

Their comments came when Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, presented the Global Civilization Initiative on Wednesday at the CCP High-Level Meeting in Dialogue with World Political Parties. Theme of the meeting: “The path to modernization: the responsibility of political parties.”

The initiative calls for respect for the diversity of civilizations, upholding the common values ​​of humanity in the pursuit of peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, as well as active international exchange and cooperation between people.

The political leaders attending the virtual meeting spoke positively of Xi’s initiative and expressed their willingness to work with the CPC to play a leadership role in promoting exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and to walk the path of modernization based on their national contexts.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also chairman of the African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, said he fully agreed with Xi’s initiative.

South Africa’s history of struggle for national independence makes its people value the importance of unity, harmony, inclusiveness and mutual respect, he said.

The initiative is particularly important given the devastating challenges the world is facing such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism and geopolitical confrontation, Ramaphosa added.

He also said that South Africa values ​​China’s foreign policy of non-interference in domestic affairs and mutually beneficial cooperation, which is reflected in China’s global initiatives and is critical to promoting the collective growth of developing countries.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, also chairman of the Serbian Progressive Party, said the world is looking to China for innovative solutions to solve problems in a complex changing international landscape.

Vučić said humanity must work together to protect the diversity of cultures and civilizations.

The Serbian President also said, echoing Xi’s remarks on Wednesday, that countries should adhere to the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusion and should, as Xi said, “allow cultural exchange to go beyond alienation, mutual learning to go beyond clashes, and inclusiveness – go beyond any sense of superiority.

In his speech, Xi, who is also the President of China and Chairman of the Central Military Council, stressed the need for all countries to refrain from imposing their values ​​or models on others and from fomenting ideological confrontation.

At a time when geopolitical competition has led to crises and challenges, Xi’s development, security and civilization initiatives are very important for international and regional peace and cooperation, said Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrein Oyun-Erdene, who is also the chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party. .

He added that Mongolia fully supports the initiatives, and mutual trust, dialogue and cooperation are the common aspirations of mankind and represent the future of the world.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, who is also chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, criticized the reluctance of a number of countries to build a fair and balanced system of global governance, seeking to provoke geopolitical competition, resulting in complex threats to global security. He said.

According to Kiir, given the current international landscape, leaders of political parties should promote the common values ​​of humanity, advocate respect for different paths of development and diverse cultures, and confront ideological confrontations in various forms.

Xi also elaborated on Chinese modernization in his speech. “We must uphold the principle of independence and explore a variety of ways to modernize,” he said.

Xi Jinping said that it is the people of the country who can best tell what kind of modernization suits them, adding that developing countries have the right and opportunity to independently explore the path of modernization with distinctive features based on their national realities.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, also chairman of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, said that there is no universal model of modernization applicable to all countries.

According to Maduro, some countries are trying to impose their models on others, ignoring the differences of countries in the political, cultural and historical context.

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