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Thursday, Feb 27th

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Rhode Island priest claims 'pedophilia doesn't kill anyone' in abortion row

Rhode Island priest claims "pedophelia doesn't kill anybody."

A Rhode Island priest who sought to ban pro-choice lawmakers from receiving communion has suggested abortion is worse than child abuse.

“We are not talking about any other moral issue, where some may make it a comparison between pedophilia and abortion,” the Rev Richard Bucci told local TV station WJAR. “Pedophilia doesn’t kill anyone and this does.”

The priest made headlines last week after posting a list of 44 state lawmakers who would be barred from communion because of their support for reproductive rights.

The note in the Sacred Heart church community bulletin included lawmakers who voted for the state’s Reproductive Privacy Act, which formally adopts into state law the 1973 US supreme court ruling legalizing abortion, also known as Roe v Wade.

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Utah cuts healthcare costs by flying employees to Mexico for prescriptions

Ann Lovell waits to board flight to Mexico for prescriptionsA  health insurer in Utah is seeking to reduce prescription drug costs by flying state employees to Mexico, where they can collect medications at a fraction of the US cost.

The year-old programme involves around 10 state employees. The cost savings are so large that the insurance program can pay for each patient’s flight, give them a $500-per-trip bonus and still save tens of thousands of dollars.

One participant, 62-year-old teacher Ann Lovell, said she saved as much as $2,400 by travelling from Salt Lake City to San Diego and then crossing the border, in order to refill a prescription for arthritis medication.

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Prosecutors seek 7 to 9 years in prison for Roger Stone

Prosecutors seek 7 to 9 years in prison for Roger Stone

Federal prosecutors are urging that longtime Donald Trump adviser and Republican political provocateur Roger Stone be sent to prison for about seven to nine years for his conviction on charges of lying and witness tampering during investigations of ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The stern recommendation is starkly at odds with a suggestion from Stone's defense team that he should be sentenced to probation — and no jail time — in the case.

Following a weeklong trial last November, a Washington jury found Stone guilty on all seven felony counts he faced: five of making false statements to Congress, one of obstruction of Congress, and one of witness tampering with both the House Intelligence Committee inquiry and special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

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Trump looks to kill student loan forgiveness program

Trump to kill student debt forgiveness program

As student debt continues to climb, President Donald Trump on Monday released a budget for 2021 that would slash many of the programs aimed at helping borrowers.

Student loan spending would be cut by $170 billion in Trump’s plan, titled “A Budget for America’s Future.” The reductions include “sensible annual and lifetime loan limits” for graduate students and parents and the end to subsidized loans, in which the government covers the interest for borrowers who are still in school or experiencing economic hardship.

It would also reduce the number of repayment options for borrowers and nix the popular, if challenged, public service loan forgiveness program.

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UK scientist working on a coronavirus vaccine says fast-tracking still means at least one year

Vaccine for coronavirus may take a yearBritish scientist Dr. Robin Shattock told CNBC on Tuesday the public shouldn’t expect a coronavirus vaccine to hit the market until early next year, despite recent advances.

“The closest we’ll get to making this available will be early next year, or later,” Shattock, head of mucosal infection and immunity at the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London, said on “Squawk Box.”

“It still requires a lot of testing to see if these vaccines are safe and then see if they work,” he added.

 

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Here come the brides in Northern Ireland's first same-sex marriage

First same sex marriage in Northern IslandNorthern Ireland’s first same-sex wedding took place on Tuesday after the government lifted a ban on gay marriage in the province, marking legalization of the practice throughout the United Kingdom.

Robyn Peoples, 26, a healthcare worker from the city, and Sharni Edwards, 27, a waitress originally from Brighton, became the province’s first gay couple to wed, according to the Love Equality campaign group.

The women exchanged their vows in Carrickfergus, County Antrim on their sixth anniversary as a couple.

“This means everything to us. Just to be married. This is my wife. I can finally say this is my wife,” Peoples told reporters after the ceremony attended by around 50 friends and family.

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Anti-Trans Bill Killed in South Dakota Senate Committee Vote

Anti-trans bill killed in South Dakota

The controversial South Dakota HB 1057 appears to be all but dead, nearly one month after its introduction.

The bill drew the ire of civil rights and medical groups for proposing criminal punishments for doctors who prescribe puberty blockers and hormone treatments for transgender youth in the state under the age of 16. HB 1057 was the first bill of its kind proposing such criminal penalties for doctors following standards of care proposed by international medical bodies.

Representative Fred Deutsch authored the bill with the help of many conservative groups such as the Minnesota Family Council, the Kelsey Coalition, and the Family Policy Alliance. Similar bills appeared in several other states as part of a broader wave of anti-transgender legislature during the 2020 session.

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China reports the most coronavirus deaths in one day as total surpasses 1,000; US confirms 13th case

China coronavirus death toll tops 1000China  reported its highest daily coronavirus death toll Tuesday, the 103 additional fatalities pushing the total past 1,000 and providing a somber warning that the epidemic was accelerating.

All but two of the 1,018 deaths attributed to the outbreak that emerged in December have taken place in mainland China. The virus is continuing to spread into other countries, with almost 500 of the 43,138 now confirmed cases elsewhere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week reported the 13th case in the U.S.

The 103 deaths broke the daily record set one day earlier, when 97 deaths were reported. A team from the World Health Organization arrived in China this week to "lay the groundwork for a larger international team" that will aid the Chinese effort while learning traits of the outbreak that could aid global efforts, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

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More than 100 US troops suffered traumatic brain injury in Iran strike, military says

More than 100 US troops injured in Iran attack

The number of US service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) stemming from Iran’s missile attack on a base in Iraq last month has shot up to more than 100, the Pentagon said Monday.

The department said 109 military members had been treated for mild TBI, a significant increase over the 64 reported a little over a week ago.

The number of injuries has been steadily increasing since the Pentagon began releasing data on the injuries about a week after the 8 January attack at al-Asad airbase in Iraq.

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