Daily News Roundup

May 22, 2019

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22

Abortion-rights campaigners have protested outside the US Supreme Court in Washington against new restrictions on abortion passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in eight states.

The new laws amount to the tightest restrictions on abortion in the US in decades.

Protesters across the country say they will fight to protect the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker urged the crowd in Washington to “wake up more men to join this fight”.

The rally is one of scores that were scheduled on Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other abortion rights groups.

Many of these laws are intended to draw legal challenges which religious conservatives hope will lead the nation’s top court to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Alabama passed an outright ban last week, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, unless the woman’s life was in danger.

Other states, including Ohio and Georgia, have banned abortions absent a medical emergency after six weeks of pregnancy or after the foetus’s heartbeat can be detected, which can occur before a woman even realises she is pregnant.

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British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain has gone into administration leaving around 1000 staff in 25 eateries across the UK out of work.

Oliver, 43, who became a well-known figure in Britain and beyond for his popular TV shows, founded his Jamie’s Italian brand of high street restaurants in 2008.

“I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.”

The insolvency has reignited concerns about local retail and food outlets in the United Kingdom, which are struggling to attract customers.

Financial firm KPMG, which will oversee the process, said all but three of the group’s 25 eateries would close.

The company had been in trouble for at least two years, despite Oliver’s global fame on the back of his cookbooks and television shows.

Last year, it closed 12 of its 37 sites in Britain, while five branches of the Australian arm of Jamie’s Italian were sold off and another put into administration.

The remaining overseas branches of Jamie’s Italian, Jamie’s Pizzeria and Jamie’s Deli, are not affected, nor is Fifteen Cornwall, a training restaurant

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Liberal Gladys Liu will become the first Chinese-Australian woman to sit in Federal Parliament’s Lower House after notching a surprise victory in the suburban Melbourne seat of Chisholm, securing Scott Morrison a majority Government.

It wasn’t meant to be this way. A few months ago Coalition strategists had almost written off Ms Liu’s chances.

The sitting MP Julia Banks had already damaged the Liberals and infuriated branch members when she spectacularly quit the party for the crossbench.

The ALP candidate, Taiwan-born Jennifer Yang, was a seasoned political campaigner.

And Labor’s confidence quickly grew as Ms Liu’s campaign was battered by seemingly endless controversies.

“The negative news always came out of thin air,” she told the ABC on election day.

“It must have been started by someone and incited by someone.

“No matter who it is or what the motive is, it is aimed at distracting me from my campaign.”

All the noise might have taken some paint off the Liberals, with voters delivering a swing of around 2.2 per cent to Labor.

But that wasn’t enough for Ms Yang, who is now trailing by more than 1,200 votes with more than 80 per cent of the vote counted.

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An American tourist who’s heart stopped beating  twice after being stabbed in the London Bridge terror attack has thanked police and doctors for saving his life.

Robert Piersant had been to dinner with his son and his wife, Joyce, after a day of sightseeing when he was knifed in the back, head and face.

He and his wife were among the 48 people injured when Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22, launched a van and knife attack on June 3 2017.

Eight people were killed by the attackers including Australians Kirsty Boden, 28, and Sara Zelenak, 21.

In an emotional tribute to those who came to his aid, Piersant singled out a Metropolitan Police officer and said: “I would like to say that I’m very grateful for the state of the police departments and their assistance, and especially Pc Sam Philpot, who never left my side.

“The doctors did great things putting me back together, but if it wasn’t for that Pc I would not have got to the hospital.”

He told the Old Bailey on Tuesday that he first thought he had been barged into by a drunk when he was approached by a terrorist, and pushed him away before seeing a knife.

“As I pushed him back, I’m looking at him. He started looking back towards me. He had an angry look,” he said.

“When he took a step towards me, I took a step back. That’s when I felt something at my left waist and that’s when I blacked out.”

Piersant, who had been visiting his daughter and her husband in the capital from Colorado Springs, said three off-duty doctors who had been eating dinner at a nearby restaurant and police officers came to his aid.

“I heard two bursts of gunshots and as the gunshots went off, the Pc jumped on me,” he said.

The inquest heard Piersant was eventually taken to hospital in an ambulance, but he did not have a pulse.

“I remember that very vividly, just like you hear on TV. I didn’t have a pulse, I didn’t have breaths. I recall flatlining twice,” he said.

In a witness statement, Piersant said: “I have no evil thoughts or bad feelings. The people who did this are crazy and I don’t know anything about their background.”

He told the inquest: “I’m upset at the state of the politics, but stupid people do stupid things and you have just got to take it in your stride.”

The attack was brought to an end in less than 10 minutes when the terrorists were shot dead by police.

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