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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

First Thing: Supreme court reportedly votes to overturn Roe v Wade | US news

Good morning.

The US supreme court has provisionally voted to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark ruling that legalised abortion nationwide in America, according to a draft opinion reported on by Politico.

In what appeared to be a stunning and unprecedented leak, Politico said on Monday evening it had obtained an initial majority opinion written by justice Samuel Alito and circulated in the court on 10 February.

The opinion strikes down Roe v Wade, the court’s 1973 ruling that enshrined the constitutional right to abortion, and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v Casey – that largely upheld that right.

Politico quoted Alito as saying: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

The justice adds: “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

US says Moscow plans to annex parts of east Ukraine as EU prepares new sanctions

Smoke rises above the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
Smoke rises above the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

The European Union was preparing sanctions on Russian oil sales over its invasion of Ukraine after a major shift by Germany, Russia’s biggest energy customer, that could deprive Moscow of a large revenue stream within days.

Attempts to increase economic pressure on Russia come amid hopes of more evacuations from the besieged city of Mariupol, while the US said Moscow was preparing to formally annex the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the country’s east.

“The reports state that Russia plans to engineer referenda upon joining sometime in mid-May,” said Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Monday. He said Russia was considering a similar plan in a third region, Kherson, where Moscow has recently solidified control and imposed use of its rouble currency.

The European Commission is expected to propose a sixth package of EU sanctions this week against Russia, including a possible embargo on buying Russian oil.

Met Gala 2022: Politics rises to the surface on fashion’s biggest night

Kim KardashianIn this combination photo, Kim Kardashian attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Kim Kardashian’s interpretation of the Met Gala theme came from ‘the most American thing you can think of’.
Photograph: Evan Agostini/AP

Politics – personal, contemporary and historic – were close to the surface on New York’s Upper East Side on Monday night as 600 guests, invited to celebrate America’s Gilded Age at the Met Gala, offered their own interpretation of style and the multitude of meanings dress carries, then as now.

The singer Alicia Keys wore a cape celebrating New York union history. New York’s mayor, Eric Adams, who had said he’d been “dying to go” to the fundraiser “for years”, arrived on the red carpet wearing a jacket with decorative forearms and lapels that paid homage to the city’s transit system. The back of his coat read “End Gun Violence” in red lettering.

The former secretary of state Hillary Clinton came in a dress inspired by friendship quilts inscribed with the names, she explained, of “gutsy women” of the 19th and 20th century liberation movements.

Politics at the event returned again when Kim Kardashian appeared on the red carpet in the iconic dress Marilyn Monroe wore to coo Happy Birthday to President Kennedy in 1962.

In other news …

Met Gala arrivals in New York CityElon Musk arrives at the In America: An Anthology of Fashion themed Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, U.S., May 2, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Elon Musk arrives at the Met Gala. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
  • A week after Elon Musk finalized a $44bn deal to purchase Twitter, the billionaire is working to secure outside funding for the acquisition that would tie up less of his personal fortune. Musk is in talks with large investment firms and high net-worth individuals to take on more financing.

  • A body inside a barrel was found over the weekend on the newly exposed bottom of Nevada’s Lake Mead as drought depletes one of the largest US reservoirs – and officials predicted the discovery could be just the first of more grim finds.

  • Six people are under investigation in Shanghai after an elderly nursing home resident was mistakenly declared dead, put in a body bag and taken by coroners to a waiting van before mortuary workers noticed they were still alive. The incident was filmed by onlookers and footage quickly spread online.

  • The ousted Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has gone on trial in a new corruption case against her, alleging she took $550,000 in bribes from a construction magnate. She is charged with two counts under the country’s the Anti-Corruption Act, with each count punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Stat of the day: The largest active wildfire in the US has consumed more than 121,000 acres

Residents of Las Vegas, New Mexico, have been forced to flee from the Cal Canyon fire.
Residents of Las Vegas, New Mexico, have been forced to flee from the Cal Canyon fire. Photograph: Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal/Zuma/Rex/Shutterstock

The largest active wildfire in the US has forced thousands from their homes in New Mexico, as unusually fast-spreading blazes dot the drought-stricken south-west. The blaze, dubbed the Calf Canyon fire, has consumed more than 121,000 acres (49,000 hectares), or more than half the area of New York City, tearing through centuries-old settlements and vacation homes in forested mountains 30 miles (48km) north-east of Santa Fe.

Don’t miss this: Graham Nash on groupies, feuds, divorce and ego

Graham NashIn this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 photo, Graham Nash poses for a portrait in New York. (Photo by Scott Gries/Invision/AP)
Graham Nash: ‘I’m trying to live the best life I can, and I want to do that until they close the coffin.’ Photograph: Scott Gries/Invision/AP

I feel good,” a ludicrously youthful Graham Nash tells Simon Hattenstone. “Eighty years old and still rocking.” And some. Nash has rocked his way twice into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – as a member of the pop group the Hollies and as part of the groundbreaking folk-rock super-group Crosby, Stills and Nash. Here the singer talks about the wild early years, Joni Mitchell, his former bandmates and why his children no longer speak to him.

Climate check: Pakistan and India suffer extreme spring heatwaves

A man walks across a dried bed of the Yamuna River in New Delhi, India.
A man walks across a dried bed of the Yamuna River in New Delhi, India. Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP

As a brutal heatwave has swept across India and Pakistan, Turbat, in Pakistan’s Balochistan region, has been suffering through weeks of temperatures that have repeatedly hit almost 50C (122F), unprecedented for this time of year. Locals have been driven into their homes, unable to work except during the cooler night hours, and are facing critical shortages of water and power. “We are living in hell,” Nazeer Ahmed told the Guardian.

Last Thing: WW2 veteran smashes centenarian 100m world record

100-Year-Old Lester Wright runs 26.34 in the Masters Men’s 100m dash 80 and older at 2022 Penn Relays 30 April 2022 Credit: FloTrack/YouTube
Lester Wright said he may return to compete in the 100m in 2023. Photograph: FloTrack/YouTube

Nearly a quarter of a century after breaking one sprinting world record aged 76-year-old, Lester Wright was back in form as he set the official 100m world record for centenarians. Competing at the Penn Relays, America’s oldest track and field meet, he surged over the line in a time of 26.34 seconds. “If you’re going to go out to run a race, you should really run the race to try to win,” Wright, who turned 100 on Friday, said before the race. “I don’t know how you can run to be second or third.”

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