Supreme Court maintains access to abortion pill in unanimous decision

Reproductive rights groups across the US are responding to the Supreme Court’s decision to throw out a challenge to how mifepristone is accessed.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights said she feltboth relief and anger about this decision.” She said she was glad the decision had been rejected, but did not believe it should have made it to the Supreme Court in the first place.

Jennifer Dalven, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project warned that while today seemed like a victory for reproductive rights, “we know that this is far from the end of the line.” Dalven said other politicians were prepared to pose challenges to abortion rights in the US.

Destiny Lopez, acting Co-CEO of the Guttmacher Institute said the case was “rooted in bad faith and lacking any basis in facts or science.” Lopez said it should not have ever reached the top. court, echoing Northup’s sentiment. She also warned that further challenges to anti-abortion rights would arise despite the outcome.

President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Stella Dantas said the decision from the Supreme Court “provides us with long-awaited relief.” Dantas said the findings meant “patients and clinicians across the country will continue to have access to mifepristone for medication abortion and miscarriage management.”

The President of the American Medical Association (AMA) Bobby Mukkamala released a statement applauding the Supreme Court’s decision. “Efforts to second guess the FDA’s scientific judgment and roll back access to mifepristone were based on a sham case that not only lacked standing, but relied on speculative allegations and ideological assertions,” the statement said.

Phyllis Arthur, executive vice president and head of Healthcare Policy and Programs at BIO said they were pleased that the authority would remain with the FDA to approve new medicines. “Today’s decision ensures patients and drug developers can rely on the rigorous FDA approval process as the scientific and trusted standard for drug approvals.”

Meanwhile, Danco, the manufacturer of mifepristone, said it was pleased with the outcome of today’s ruling, which “safeguards access to a drug that has decades of safe and effective use.” The manufacturer said it remained committed to providing safe access to abortion across the US.

This post will continue to be updated as more reactions are released.

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Day 4 of Hunter Biden's federal gun trial

Judge Maryellen Noreika, right, speaks with lawyers involved with Hunter Biden's trial on Tuesday, June 4, in Wilmington, Delaware.

Federal district Judge Maryellen Noreika is overseeing Hunter Biden’s gun case in Delaware. 

Noreika, a Donald Trump appointee, was confirmed by the US Senate in August 2018 by voice vote. She had the support of both Democratic senators from Delaware. Under the Senate’s blue slip tradition, nominees for district court seats require the support of home state senators to move forward.

Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat, praised Noreika in a statement after her nomination was announced. He described her and another appointee as “seasoned attorneys,” with “impressive trial skills, deep experience in federal practice, and profound respect for the law.”

Before becoming a federal judge, Noreika was a former patent lawyer in Wilmington, Delaware. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1993

Noreika’s political spending has gone to both parties. On the presidential level, federal records indicate that she gave $1,000 to then-New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign for the Democratic nomination. She later donated $2,300 to the eventual 2008 Republican nominee, then-Arizona Sen. John McCain. She donated to the subsequent GOP nominee as well, giving $2,500 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012.

Noreika also financially supported Sen. Tom Cotton, a conservative Republican from Arkansas, during his 2014 senate race. She also donated $1,000 in 2009 to the DSCC, the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm.

CNN’s Tierney Sneed, Marshall Cohen and Jack Forrest contributed to this report. 

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June 13, 2024 Israel-Hamas war

In a new statement, Hamas said it “has shown the necessary positivity in all stages of negotiations” in order to reach a “comprehensive and acceptable agreement based on the just demands of our people.”

Hamas said those demands include a permanent ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza, the “return of the displaced, reconstruction, and the conclusion of a serious deal for the exchange of prisoners.”

Hamas said while it has “expressed its positive position” to what was included in US President Joe Biden’s speech on May 31, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has “continued to confirm their commitment to the genocide war, attacking the proposal put forth by President Biden” that is in contradiction to the claim that Israel has agreed to what was in the Biden speech.

Hamas said while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “continues to talk about Israel’s agreement to the latest proposal, we have not heard any Israeli official speak about this agreement.”

Hamas called on Blinken and the Biden administration to put pressure on the Israeli government that Hamas said “is determined to complete its mission,” and which Hamas says is “in flagrant violation of all international laws and treaties.”

In the statement, Hamas also said it rejects statements by Blinken that attempt to absolve Israel “of its crimes against innocent children, women, and elderly.”

Hamas said this is in line with American policy that is complicit in the brutal war “against our Palestinian people, allowing the occupation to continue its crimes under full American political and military cover.”

Earlier Wednesday, Blinken questioned whether Hamas is “proceeding in good faith” amid the ceasefire negotiations, saying Hamas had proposed a number of changes in their response to the latest deal, which “go beyond positions they had previously taken.”

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Biden and Zelensky lay out new US support for Ukraine

Group of Seven leaders have reached an agreement to loan money to Ukraine backed by the profits from frozen Russian investments, a senior US administration official confirmed Thursday, as the G7 met in Puglia, Italy.

The official added that it’s “only fair that we close the gap by making Russia pay, not our taxpayers, and we found a way to do so that respects the rule of law in every jurisdiction.”

The agreement is the product of years of negotiation complicated by a patchwork of jurisdictional laws that required the direct involvement of President Joe Biden and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, among other top US officials. 

What happens next: The leaders will soon issue a joint communiqué on the decision.

It will take some time before Ukraine begins to receive this money, but the US official said the effort would “move with urgency” and the commitment remains “to be ready to disperse $50 billion this calendar year.”

If the loan is dispersed by the end of 2024, it would ensure the money would get to Ukraine before a potential change in US presidents. Biden is facing off against former President Donald Trump in November’s US presidential election, and Trump has refused to commit to sending additional funding to Ukraine.

“The next steps are to enshrine the communiqué commitments with the EU 27, the full membership, then we need to write contracts between the lenders … the recipient, which is Ukraine, and the intermediaries,” the official said.

From there, there will be an agreement on a dispersal schedule.

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Day 5 of Hunter Biden's federal gun trial

It was clear speaking about her father was a very painful subject for Naomi Biden, and even though she is a graduate of Columbia Law School, she appeared very uncomfortable on the stand after the defense called her to testify in the trial against Hunter Biden. 

Naomi Biden entered the court with her husband, and first lady Jill Biden immediately motioned for him to come sit next to her among the Biden family and friends who make up at least the first two rows of the courtroom.  

Naomi Biden’s testimony focused on two instances in 2018 when she saw her father.  

The first was in August or September, when she went to visit her dad in Los Angeles. Hunter Biden had reached out to her to come visit him amid his stint in rehab. Hunter Biden offered to arrange the trip and Naomi Biden said she agreed to go, even though she had not seen him in quite some time.  

On the stand, Naomi Biden came across as genuine and compelling as the child of an addict.  

She then testified about a trip to New York City, where he came to pick up a car. She described seeing him at the end of October, and said she seemed “hopeful.” Naomi Biden said her father seemed the same as when she had seen him in Los Angeles. 

On cross examination by prosecutor Leo Wise, she again testified about how she had not seen her father recently because “after my uncle died, things got bad,” around 2015.  

Prosecutors got her to concede that she really did not know what he was like when he was using drugs because she had not seen him for quite some time.  

Naomi Biden seemed a little confused and reticent when confronted with texts appearing to show her father to be somewhat erratic and non-communicative when trying to arrange the hand off of his car.  

She did not remember the exchange and started to appear increasingly uncomfortable when talking about texts her father sent her in the wee hours of the morning about exchanging his car.  

As she left the stand, Naomi Biden gave her dad a cool embrace, a kiss on the cheek, and was seen trembling and wiping away tears as she exited the courtroom. 

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June 8, 2024 – Israel-Gaza news

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza, on May 30.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has added Israel’s military to a global list of offenders who have committed violations against children, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said Friday. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were also added.

The list will appear in an upcoming annual report on children in armed conflict, which will be sent to the UN Security Council next Friday, Dujarric said at a media briefing.

Israel leaks phone call: Dujarric said the secretary-general’s chief of staff called the Israeli UN mission Friday to give it a “heads up” about the inclusion on the list — a courtesy afforded to newly listed countries.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, made a video recording of the call and leaked part of that on social media.

In the video, Erdan can be heard expressing his outrage at the UN decision, saying Israel has “the most moral army in the world,” and that the move “incentivizes terrorism and acts out of hatred for Israel.”

Some context: Israel’s inclusion on the list comes after eight months of devastating Israeli bombardment and fighting with Hamas in Gaza. In that time, more than 15,500 children have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health in the enclave.

The UN’s “blacklist” has previously included countries such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The official report will be published June 18, and discussed at a debate in the Security Council on June 26. Asked about ramifications for Israel, the UN spokesperson said it will be up to the council’s members to decide any action.

Dujarric encouraged everyone to read the entire report.

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Day 3 of Hunter Biden's federal gun trial

Judge Maryellen Noreika, right, speaks with lawyers involved with Hunter Biden's trial on Tuesday, June 4, in Wilmington, Delaware.

Federal district Judge Maryellen Noreika is overseeing Hunter Biden’s gun case in Delaware. 

Noreika, a Donald Trump appointee, was confirmed by the US Senate in August 2018 by voice vote. She had the support of both Democratic senators from Delaware. Under the Senate’s blue slip tradition, nominees for district court seats require the support of home state senators to move forward.

Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat, praised Noreika in a statement after her nomination was announced. He described her and another appointee as “seasoned attorneys,” with “impressive trial skills, deep experience in federal practice, and profound respect for the law.”

Before becoming a federal judge, Noreika was a former patent lawyer in Wilmington, Delaware. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1993

Noreika’s political spending has gone to both parties. On the presidential level, federal records indicate that she gave $1,000 to then-New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign for the Democratic nomination. She later donated $2,300 to the eventual 2008 Republican nominee, then-Arizona Sen. John McCain. She donated to the subsequent GOP nominee as well, giving $2,500 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012.

Noreika also financially supported Sen. Tom Cotton, a conservative Republican from Arkansas, during his 2014 senate race. She also donated $1,000 in 2009 to the DSCC, the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm.

CNN’s Tierney Sneed, Marshall Cohen and Jack Forrest contributed to this report. 

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News on the European election results 2024

Members of European Parliament attend a plenary session in Brussels on April 10.

The European Parliament is the legislative branch of the European Union and one of the bloc’s three main institutions, along with the European Commission, which is the executive branch, and the European Council, which is made up of ministers from the governments of the 27 member states.

The parliament sits primarily in Brussels, Belgium, but moves roughly once a month to Strasbourg, France.

It is the only EU institution where representatives are directly elected, and MEPs pass laws which are applied all over the bloc. In order for any legislation to be implemented, both the council and parliament have to agree.

One of the parliament’s most crucial roles is approving the makeup of the commission, which is ultimately responsible for the political direction of the world’s largest trading bloc, and it has the final say on who is appointed as president of the commission. Currently the top job is filled by Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen, who is seeking a second term at the helm.

The parliament also has ultimate approval over the billions of euros allocated in the EU budget. It often has the final word on major policy issues such as the budget, trade and sanctions on foreign nationals.

The parliament can also put major international objectives in the deep freeze. For example, A comprehensive mutual investment agreement between the EU and China is effectively on hold while some MEPs are under sanctions from China. The parliament as a whole has refused to advance the agreement until the sanctions are lifted.

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June 4, 2024 – Modi declares victory in India election as BJP party faces shock setbacks

Slums are seen near commercial high-rise buildings in Mumbai, India, on April 14.
Slums are seen near commercial high-rise buildings in Mumbai, India, on April 14. Noemi Cassanelli/CNN

More than 40% of India’s 1.4 billion people are under 25: a tech-savvy and mostly English-speaking labor force. Like millions of migrants, many of them are drawn to the country’s financial capital Mumbai, full of aspiration and ambition. And it’s stories like these that inspire them. 

Javed Khatri poses for a picture during an interview with CNN in Mumbai on April 16. 
Javed Khatri poses for a picture during an interview with CNN in Mumbai on April 16.  Noemi Cassanelli/CNN

The tech developer: Growing up in the slums of Mumbai, Javed Khatri never used a smartphone or computer.  

“In the region where I used to stay, one of the best things that one could think of was just to complete 10th grade, and then work at a call center or sell vegetables or work at a garage or do some kind of odd jobs,” says Khatri, now 30. “That was our topmost ambition.” 

But unlike many children in the slums, he completed 10th grade – the first person in four generations of his family to do so – then studied computer science at an engineering college.  

He is now building an online platform to connect tech firms with engineers. He moved his family out of the slum, and supports his parents. Both his siblings went to college and pursued their own careers. 

None of this would have been possible a generation ago, he says. 

Apoorva Mukhija poses for a picture at her apartment in Mumbai on April 13. 
Apoorva Mukhija poses for a picture at her apartment in Mumbai on April 13.  Noemi Cassanelli/CNN

The influencer: Apoorva Mukhija hadn’t planned to be a content creator, so after graduation she took a job with a tech firm in Bangalore, the southern city known as “India’s Silicon Valley.” 

“Then one day I just woke up, realized … (my job) just didn’t pay as well as content did, and I hated living in that city,” Mukhija, 22, tells CNN from a pastel-pink couch at her new apartment in Mumbai, which she says is her “dream city.” 

Her career has thrived, winning her recognition from local media and amassing 1.3 million Instagram followers. 

The internet holds a wealth of opportunities for young Indians. The country’s influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth more than $281 million in 2024, according to consultancy EY India. Smartphones and social media are fueling this growth.  

Jameel Shah poses for a photo in Mumbai on April 14. 
Jameel Shah poses for a photo in Mumbai on April 14.  Noemi Cassanelli/CNN

The shoemaker: At age 13, Jameel Shah ran away from his village in Bihar, India’s poorest state, where his father wasn’t earning enough from farming to send the kids to school.  

In Mumbai, he saw an opportunity in the expensive imported dance shoes required for dance classes. 

He took two samples back to the narrow alleys of Dharavi, a hub for leather and textile manufacturers. With their expertise, and his own experience working in bag and wallet factories, Shah began experimenting. 

The business grew, attracting stylists and choreographers who redistributed the shoes to dance studios. And they even made it onto the big screen. 

Almost two decades later, Shah Shoes has helped support his family. He’s bought a house for his parents and started an education center in his home village teaching literacy to those who can’t afford school. 

A key tool was the rise of social media, particularly Facebook, helping him find customers – which Shah credited to Prime Minister Modi’s push for a “digital India.” 

Read the full story. 

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Attorney General Garland testifies at House Judiciary Committee

Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies on Tuesday.
Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies on Tuesday. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Attorney General Merrick Garland said he has never spoken to Hunter Biden, as a Republican lawmaker grilled him over the Department of Justice’s handling of the criminal investigation into the president’s son.

When GOP Rep. Ben Cline asked Garland if he spoke with the president’s son when they were both in attendance at a state dinner at the White House in May, Garland said, “I have never spoken to Hunter Biden in my life as far as I know.”

Garland also denied various accusations that Cline brought forward about DOJ’s handling of the case into the president’s son and maintained that he cannot discuss ongoing legal cases.

When asked if he attempted to obstruct the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, Garland said, “absolutely not.”

Cline presented various claims brought forward by IRS whistleblowers who have alleged DOJ deviated from standard investigative procedure on the case, to which Garland said he did not know anything about those individuals and affirmed that special counsel David Weiss will be able to testify about the specifics.

On the accusation that his decision to appoint Weiss to be special counsel was connected to certain statue of limitations in the criminal case lapsing, Garland said, “there is no connection between whatever happened with the statute of limitations, which I don’t know about, and the appointment of Mr. Weiss.”

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