May 9, 2019

Georgia's new abortion bill could have some stunning prison-time consequences for women who terminate a pregnancy.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a "heartbeat bill" into law on Tuesday, effectively outlawing most abortions after a doctor is able to detect a fetal heartbeat, which typically occurs around six weeks. While it does include some exceptions for rape, incest, or a mother's health, it also makes women liable for murder charges if they have an abortion — and could land them in prison for life, explains Slate's Mark Joseph Stern

Under the new law, different murder charges apply to women who terminate their pregnancies in different ways. A woman who self-terminates — something that wasn't punishable under a previous Georgia law — will have technically committed murder and could be imprisoned for life or face the death penalty. Those who get an abortion via a health care provider could be found guilty of being a party to murder, punishable by life in prison.

Meanwhile, women who get legal abortions in other states, or any people who help a woman coordinate an abortion, could see a charge of conspiracy to commit murder and be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Even "a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct — say, using drugs while pregnant," could be charged with second-degree murder and face 10 to 30 years in prison, Stern explains.

As several pro-choice lawmakers and advocates pointed out, the law also neglects the fact that women might not even know they're pregnant at six weeks. That's essentially a two-week-late period, and as anyone who gets a period knows, irregularity doesn't necessarily mean pregnancy. Kathryn Krawczyk

April 28, 2019

Avengers: Endgame had the biggest opening weekend in history, earning an estimated $350 million in North American ticket sales and $1.2 billion globally, with $329 million coming from China.

Avengers: Endgame far surpassed the previous domestic record of $257.7 million set in 2018 by Avengers: Infinity War. The film also had the biggest single day for any movie, bringing in $156.7 million on Friday. On Thursday, the movie made $60 million off of preview screenings, more money than all but 11 films released this year have made while in theaters, NPR reports.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with Iron Man, and Avengers: Endgame is the 22nd movie in the series. Catherine Garcia

April 17, 2019

Former Peruvian President Alan García died Wednesday after shooting himself as police tried to arrest him on corruption charges.

García had been accused of taking bribes from a Brazilian construction company during his presidency, and police had orders to arrest him Wednesday. But when they arrived at García's home, the ex-president went into his bedroom and shot himself in the head, The New York Times reports via a Peruvian radio station. He was taken to the hospital, where García's personal secretary and the current president of Peru later confirmed he had died.

When police arrived at García's house Wednesday morning, he reportedly told them he was going to call his lawyer and shut himself in his room. Police then heard a shot and found García inside the room with a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, The Guardian reports via local journalists. He was taken to a hospital around 6:45 a.m., where Peru's health minister said García was in "very serious" condition. He died after being resuscitated multiple times.

García led Peru from 2006 to 2011, and, along with three other past presidents, has been tied to a bribery scandal involving Brazilian construction magnate Odebrecht. The company admitted it paid $800 million to several Latin American leaders to secure building contracts in a 2016 plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department. García had maintained his innocence even as fellow former President Pedro Pablo Kucyznski was detained last week over the Odebrecht scandal, per The Associated Press. Kathryn Krawczyk

April 12, 2019

International Criminal Court judges have sided with President Trump and rejected their own prosecutor's request.

In a Friday decision nearly 18 months in the making, three ICC judges unanimously rejected ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's request to probe U.S. troops for possible war crimes committed in Afghanistan. The judges agreed there was "reasonable basis" to investigate American troops for the crimes, but ultimately said "current circumstances" in Afghanistan would make "prospects for a successful investigation and prosecution extremely limited."

The White House released a statement praising the decision as a "major international victory" because the U.S. already "holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards."

The Trump administration has repeatedly criticized the ICC, with National Security Adviser John Bolton saying last year America would sanction the court if it investigated U.S. actions in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said he'd begin denying visas to anyone considering investigating U.S. citizens for war crimes, as apparently happened to Bensouda. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 28, 2019

Nothing ruins a trip quite like a canceled flight, but how about a canceled airline? Wow Air, the iconic purple-pink Icelandic carrier known for eye-poppingly cheap flights to and around Europe, folded on Thursday, leaving ticket-holding customers stranded at their gates without refunds or, well, flights.

"Just found out about this news," tweeted one such passenger-to-be, who was stuck at Newark Liberty Airport. "They didn't even notify any of us directly, had to find out from Twitter and Reddit."

At the top of the Wow Air website on Thursday, users could find a banner announcing "WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been canceled." Stranded passengers were advised to look for flights on other airlines: "Some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate, so-called rescue fares, in light of the circumstances," Wow went on.

But at the gates, passengers described scenes of chaos and confusion. One traveler looking to hop from Toronto to Reykjavik on Wow Air told CNN Business, "This really scared everyone, at that point we were finally given back our bags and no money as of now has been issued back to me." Accommodations and refunds were not offered.

Wow first took off in 2012, and hosted some 3.5 million passengers in 2018. Some 1,100 people were directly employed by the company, which struggled in recent months with financial woes and unsuccessful attempts at a sale. Jeva Lange

March 25, 2019

Mali's government is upending its military after 134 were killed in attacks on three ethnic Fulani villages.

On Saturday, gunmen opened fire in central Mali, killing at least 134 people and injuring 55 others, the United Nations said after a peacekeeping mission to the area. Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta quickly declared that "we are at war" — and removed his top military leaders in the process, the Africa Times reports.

The ethnic Dogan group is believed to be responsible for the massacre in the herding villages, France24 says. Mali Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga soon told a state broadcaster that the government had "ordered" a Dogan militia to "dissolve." He also said 11 top army leaders had been replaced. The same Dogan group has been suspected of killing 37 other Fulani people in a January attack, and the U.N. says conflicts between the two groups cost more than 500 lives last year. The two groups fight over grazing land and water, but jihadists have also spurred attacks in the region as they recruit Fulani followers.

Saturday's attack also came a week after 26 Malian soldiers were killed in an attack on a base near the middle of the country. The JNIM, which translates to Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims, and which the U.S. has designated a terrorist group, claimed responsibility for that attack. The whole country of Mali has long struggled against extremist influences, though its people also claim hostility from Mali's own security forces. Read more at the Africa Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 19, 2019

One day before Lion Air Flight 610 crashed last October shortly after taking off from Jakarta, a different crew struggled to gain control of the plane as it entered a dive, people familiar with the incident told Bloomberg for a Tuesday report.

An off-duty pilot was sitting in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet on Oct. 28 when he realized the anti-stalling flight-control system was malfunctioning. He directed the crew to cut the power to the motor that was forcing the nose downward, Bloomberg reports, and the plane stabilized. Investigators said the same malfunction happened the next day, Oct. 29, causing the plane to crash into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.

This previously undisclosed detail was not mentioned in the report released by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee. It's believed that a similar issue with the anti-stalling system led to an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 plane crashing on March 10 after taking off from Addis Ababa. Following the Lion Air crash, two U.S. pilots' associations shared their concerns that the possible risks associated with the anti-stalling system were not clearly stated during training and in manuals. Catherine Garcia

March 18, 2019

Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue and the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand are all "part of a club that nobody wants to be a part of."

That's how Tree of Life President Sam Schachner described his congregation's relationship to the two mosques that lost 50 worshippers to a mass shooting on Friday. And that's why the congregation has launched a GoFundMe fundraiser hoping to raise $100,000 for Christchurch's Muslim community, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette details.

In October, a gunman killed 11 members at the Pittsburgh synagogue, prompting "overwhelming support ... from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh," the GoFundMe details. Tree of Life is still continuing to recover, the GoFundMe says, but it still wants to recognize that the New Zealand worshippers are "going through the most difficult moments in your lives." So the synagogue is asking its supporters to show victims in Christchurch that "the entire world is with them," it wrote on the GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe started Saturday and had raised $2,736 a bit less than 24 hours later, the Post-Gazette notes. As of 5 p.m. EST on Monday, it had skyrocketed to $17,305 with donations coming in constantly. Read more about the campaign at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, or find the GoFundMe here. Kathryn Krawczyk

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