It's Friday, so that means it's panel time.
A federal judge today issued a preliminary injunction blocking Mississippi's fetal heartbeat anti-abortion law from going into effect, saying it infringes on women's health care rights. "Here we go again. Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability," Judge Carlton Reeves wrote in his order. "By banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, SB 226 prevents a woman's free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy." The Mississippi ban prohibited abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, or around six weeks into pregnancy. Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law in March. The lawsuit leading to the injunction was filed by the Jackson Women's Health Organization against Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer of Mississippi.
After defying political gravity for three years, Theresa May brought her tortured tenure as UK prime minister to a close Friday. "I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold," she said outside Downing Street, her voice quivering in the morning sunshine. And with that, she's off — or at least she will be later in the summer, once a new Conservative leader is elected. We knew it was imminent, but to me, it is still a surprise.
The US government is stressing that Julian Assange is no journalist after bringing an 18-count indictment against the co-founder of WikiLeaks. Federal prosecutors are accusing Assange of violating the Espionage Act in working with a former Army intelligence analyst to obtain and distribute classified information. That worries some professional journalists because it's close to what they do. Assange remains in jail in London after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy there.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified lawmakers Friday that US President Donald Trump is invoking his emergency authority to sidestep Congress and complete 22 arms deals that would benefit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, despite lawmakers' objections to the transactions. Both Republicans and Democrats urged the Trump administration this week not to take the rare step of exploiting a legal window to push through deals — worth about $8 billion, according to congressional aides — that lawmakers have blocked from being finalized. You know, it was Wall Street who was happy and well cared for during the Obama administration. Now it seems like the war machine, the military industrial complex and the arms manufacturers are being so well cared for.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Thursday acknowledged that the growing tensions with Iran "may involve sending additional troops" to the region. Shanahan's comments marked the first public confirmation that the Trump administration is considering sending additional US forces to curtail what it claims are "troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran. The Pentagon has already deployed a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East, and news reports emerged this week that Shanahan on Thursday was set to present the White House with a request to deploy 10,000 troops to the Middle East. An earlier report said that the US could send upwards of 120,000 additional troops.
Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."
Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.
Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.
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