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Author: TheGuardian

The luxury of opposition: Why Republicans beat a “culture war” drum instead of offering solutions

The interruption was unplanned but Joe Biden immediately knew this was no ordinary heckler. “I agree!” he told a babbling baby as the audience laughed. “I agree completely. By the way, kids are allowed to do anything they want when I speak so don’t worry about it.” It was a welcome note of light relief during a speech that could not be described as blockbuster television. Beside a blue sign that said “Building a Better America,” perched on a white boat at the New Hampshire Port Authority in Portsmouth, the US president was last week trying to gin up...

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Lost Integrity: An inquiry into leak of draft abortion ruling will not restore Supreme Court’s credibility

John Roberts, the U.S. chief justice, has announced an investigation into a leak showing that the supreme court provisionally voted to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. Publication of the draft opinion by the Politico website on May 2 night sparked demonstrations outside America’s highest court, condemnation from Joe Biden and fears that the judiciary has suffered profound damage to its reputation for independence. In a statement on May 3, Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the document written in February and said: “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the court was...

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An Era of Unrest: Risk of public violence over abortion is growing regardless of what Supreme Court decides

Civil wars do not always begin with gunfire. Sometimes civil wars begin with learned arguments. In April 1861, Confederate forces shot on Fort Sumter, but at the time even Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, had doubts about whether the event mattered all that much. It was, he claimed, “either the beginning of a fearful war, or the end of a political contest.” He could not say which. During the decades that preceded the assault on Fort Sumter, complex legal and political fissures had been working their way through the United States, slowly rendering the country ungovernable and opening the...

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New report reveals an alarming number of products at discount stores contain harmful chemicals

An alarming number of products purchased at dollar stores, including many children’s toys, contain harmful chemicals, according to a report released on April 12. Researchers tested 226 products purchased at five popular retailers for chemicals, including phthalates and lead, and found that 120, or more than half, had at least one chemical of concern. Among the products that tested positive were colorful baby toys and Disney-themed headphones. “As a parent, I should be able to buy a product without expecting to poison my child,” said Jose Bravo, national coordinator at the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, a coalition that calls...

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When brute power prevails: Peaceful disobedience only works against regimes with an ability to feel shame

History is teetering on an edge. No one knows which way it will go. Maybe the Russian empire, the last and most terrible of the European empires, will fall. Or maybe it will absorb the hit and survive as it has and expanded since the 17th century. The graveyards of Eurasia are full of those who foolishly bet against it. And yet the breathtaking heroism of the Ukrainian resistance and the insane self-delusion of the Putinist regime are allowing Russia’s opponents from Syria to Central Asia, and from Georgia to Moldova, to ask that most revolutionary of questions: “What...

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Officials warn that Putin may use support for Ukraine as pretext to further interfere in American politics

Vladimir Putin may use the Biden administration’s support for Ukraine as a pretext to order a new campaign to interfere in American politics, US intelligence officials have assessed. Intelligence agencies have not found any evidence Putin has authorized measures like the ones Russia is believed to have undertaken in the 2016 and 2020 elections in support of Donald Trump, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. But given Putin’s antipathy toward the west and his repeated denunciations of Ukraine, officials believe he may see the U.S. backing of Ukraine’s resistance as a...

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