Same-Sex Marriage and Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland & More News

by Debra Brown

Northern Ireland Same Sex Marriage

ATPB News: Each Wednesday we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


U.K. Parliament Backs Same-Sex Marriage and Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage and extend abortion rights in Northern Ireland. As long as the region’s governing coalition remains paralyzed, this will set the stage for changes that would bring the region into line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The votes do not in and of themselves change the laws in Northern Ireland. The measures are designed to go into effect only if Northern Ireland does not restore a regional government by late October. However, should the regional government get back up and running after that, it would have the power to approve or repeal the changes.


Federal Judge Rejects DOJ Request To Replace Census Legal Team

A federal judge in New York rejected the Justice Department’s request to replace its legal team that had been leading an effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled that the government provided “no reasons, let alone satisfactory reasons” for the request.

Furman’s ruling effectively serves as a new rebuke to Donald Trump who has continued to push for the addition of a citizenship question, even though the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the effort last month.


Sudan Power-Sharing Deal Reached by Military and Civilian Leaders

Sudan’s military and civilian leaders announced that they had reached an agreement to share power until elections, promising an end to the standoff that has paralyzed the country since the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in April.

The two sides, which resumed talks this week after a monthlong hiatus that included a deadly crackdown by the military, have agreed to form a joint military-civilian authority to run Sudan during an interim period of just over three years, a senior protest leader said.

Power will rotate between military and civilian leaders during the transitional period, a mediator from the African Union, Mohamed Hassan Lebatt, told a news conference in Khartoum. Then, elections are to be held and the military is to return to its barracks, ushering in democratic rule.


U.S. Appeals Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Followers

A federal appeals court in Manhattan says Donald Trump cannot block critics from his Twitter account, calling it “unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.” A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision, which found that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked certain Twitter users, because he uses his Twitter account “to conduct official business and to interact with the public.” By preventing critics from accessing his feed, the president is barring them from participating in what the judges deemed a public forum.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University on behalf of seven people who were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account after posting replies criticizing the president and his policies. That meant the users could not view the president’s tweets, reply directly to them or use the account’s webpage to view the comment threads associated with Trump’s tweets.


Iran Passes New Nuclear Deal Limit

Iran has passed the uranium enrichment cap set in its 2015 nuclear deal, marking the second time in a week that the country has made good on a promise to reduce compliance with the international pact following the United States’ exit last year.

After Iran passed the uranium stockpile limit permitted by the deal, officials pledged to keep scaling back their commitments every 60 days unless Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia protect it from the punishing sanctions imposed by the US following its withdrawal.

Iran says its recent measures to increase enrichment beyond the 3.67 percent cap and stockpile uranium beyond the 300kg limit could be reversed within “hours” if the pact’s signatories shielded it from the US sanctions, particularly those on its oil and banking sectors.

Image credit: AP Photo/Peter Morrison

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