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U.K. backflips on gay conversion therapy changes

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A ban on gay conversion therapy in the United Kingdom is set to go ahead, after the government faced backlash for saying it would drop the legislation entirely.

Conversion practices refer to ‘attempts to change or suppress a person’s sexuality or gender identity’.

In 2020, PM Boris Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May had both promised to make the therapy illegal, with Johnson saying it has ‘no place in modern society’.

But on Thursday a government spokesperson confirmed lawmakers were looking at ‘non-legislative’ ways to prevent conversion practices, including using existing law.

This followed a Downing Street briefing also noting “the PM has agreed not to move forward with the original legislation”.

But just a few hours later, reports surfaced of a senior government official saying the government had backflipped yet again and the legislation will be brought to the floor for a vote.

It’s expected the legislation will cover gay conversion therapy practices, but will not protect trans individuals.

ITV editor Paul Brand says: “the U-Turn on the U-Turn… the Prime Minister has changed his mind off the back of the reaction… and he will now ban conversion therapy after all”.

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Prince Charles accepted suitcase with 1 million euros

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Prince Charles is in hot water for accepting a suitcase with one million euros in cash from a former Qatari leader

The Sunday Times is reporting this was one of three cash donations from former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

Clarence House says the donations were passed onto one of the Prince’s charities, and that all correct processes were followed.

Reports suggest the money was handed over in a duffle bag at Clarence House. While, carrier bags were also used on other occasions.

It’s understood the donations took place between 2011 and 2015.

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Ghislaine Maxwell placed on suicide watch

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Former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been placed on suicide watch, even though her lawyers say she isn’t suicidal

The 60-year-old’s legal team is are seeking to postpone her sentencing for sex trafficking if she remains in isolation.

Maxwell has been denied access to important legal documents and any time to meet with her lawyers.

The former lover of Jeffrey Epstein was convicted for helping her late husband sexually abuse girls.

It’s understood she is on suicide watch without a psychological evaluation.

Prosecutors are asking for a sentence between 30 and 55 years in jail.

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Outcry at the Supreme Court after Roe ruling

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Protesters have gathered at the U.S. Supreme Court to voice their opposition to the controversial Roe Versus Wade ruling

President Joe Biden says his administration will fight any attempts by states who ban a pill used for medication abortion.

Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday to denounce the justices’ decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion.

The crowd featured both abortion rights supporters…

ABORTION RIGHTS SUPPORTERS:

“My body my choice.”

…and anti-abortion activists.

ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVIST:

“We are the post-Roe generation.”

Meanwhile, tensions were high at Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, nicknamed the “Pink House” because of its bubble gum-colored paint, was named in the Supreme Court case.

The clinic was still operating Saturday morning but is set to close in nine days.

Both supporters of abortion rights and those that want to see them curtailed were looking ahead to what comes next.

COLEMAN BOYD, ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVIST, SAYING:

“We need to work in states like New York, in Colorado, New Mexico, those places that have really liberal abortion laws in California. Now, we do need to be working there.”

LAUREN SPIGNER, ABORTION RIGHTS ACTIVIST, SAYING:

“I think Clarence Thomas made it pretty clear his opinion that this is just the beginning of the rights they want to take away.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said Saturday his administration would look to police how states enforce bans and signaled that the White House will fight attempts by states to ban a pill used for medication abortion.

“A decision is implemented by states. My administration is going to focus on how they administer and whether or not they violate other laws, like deciding not to allow people across state lines to get public health services.”

And when asked if he thought the Supreme Court was broken after the Roe decision and a recent one on gun rights, he had this to say:

“The Supreme Court has made some terrible decisions.”

The court’s ruling is at odds with broader public opinion – a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that about 71% of Americans said the decisions about terminating a pregnancy should be left to a woman and her doctor and not regulated by the government.

Twenty-six percent of respondents polled said abortion should be legal in all cases while 10% said it should be illegal in all cases, with the majority supporting some limits.

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