Candidates Discuss Differences On Abortion Rights In Michigan

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

After the repeal of Roe v. Wade, a previously unenforceable 1931 law criminalizing abortion in the state has divided Michigan lawmakers. The law can be used to punish women who seek abortions, as well as doctors who perform them, with jail sentences of up to four years.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer sued to block the law from going into effect and the court recently issued a permanent injunction.

This contrasts with the position of Tudor Dixon, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Michigan, who recently spoke out about her opposition to abortion.

During a stop on her campaign tour, Dixon, who supports enforcement of the 90-year-old law even in cases of rape and incest, suggested that granting Michiganders the right to an abortion would create “a safe haven” for sexual predators. “If you’re a predator, there’s nothing you like more than abortion,” Dixon said.

Doctors and OBGYNs Weigh In On Abortion Debate In MichiganThe doctors’ comments come as the issue of abortion is being debated throughout the state of Michigan.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Michigan doctors are weighing in on the ongoing abortion debate in Michigan.

Their comments come as a Michigan judge struck down a 1931 law that criminalized abortion as unconstitutional. Governor Gretchen Whitmer had sued to block the law from going into effect and the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that a constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights will be on the ballot this November.

Gov. Whitmer holds a contrasting opinion to gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, who recently stood behind the 91 year old law that makes abortion illegal even in the cases of rape and incest.

That position drew sharp criticism from a group of Michigan doctors, including Dr. Audrey Stryker, an OBGYN, who said Dixon’s position goes “against medical science, evidence and healthcare.”

Elaborating, Dr. Lawrence Ullmer, a family practice physician, added, “the idea of forcing victims of rape and incest to carry pregnancies to term, is inhumane and goes against all medical ethics…Immediate physical and mental trauma of rape is horrific, but a young girl forced to carry and deliver her rapist’s child frequently have a lifetime of mental health struggles.”

Water Emergency Declared in Mississippi as Floods Exacerbate Existing Problems at Water PlantResidents of Jackson are without running or clean water as severe flooding from Pearl River further damages water plant, exacerbating systemic issues. State and city officials move to distribute water to city residents as shortage expected to last several days.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

This Monday, August 29th, city officials in Jackson, Mississippi declared a water system emergency as severe flooding in the Pearl River caused damage to the O.B. Curtis Water Plant. Residents find themselves with low or no water pressure and have been advised not to use the water even when brushing their teeth.

State and city officials are working to set up water distribution sites for residents of Jackson.

While communication around the water shortage has stressed the recent flooding, the Environmental Protection Agency flagged major concerns with systemic problems at the O.B. Curtis Water Plant, going so far as to issue a Safe Drinking Water Act Emergency Administrative Order in 2020.

Residents are still under the ‘boil water notice’ of late July after the main pumps at the water plant were severely damaged, and the water system systematically failed in February 2021 with frozen pipes and low water pressure causing some residents to go without water for several weeks.

CDC Eases Covid Guidance, Acknowledging the Virus to Be a Fact of LifeShifting focus onto avoiding severe illness rather than preventing transmission, new Covid guidelines eliminate need for quarantines for unvaccinated after exposure and will help minimize disruption on schools and businesses.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

On August 11th, in a move that was welcomed by many health and education professionals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened many Covid-19 guidelines, removing the requirement that unvaccinated people exposed to the virus quarantine at home and broadly shifting responsibility for containment onto individuals rather than public institutions.

In a briefing explaining the changes, Greta Massetti, a C.D.C epidemiologist said, “we know that Covid-19 is here to stay. High levels of population immunity due to vaccination and previous infection, and the many tools that we have available to protect people from severe illness and death, have put us in a different place.”

According to the new guidance, those exposed to the virus no longer need to quarantine at home. However, they should still wear a mask for 10 days and should get a test on Day 5. Those that test positive for the virus should still isolate themselves at home for at least five days, 10 for those who are immunocompromised or who had a moderate or severe illness.

Experts hailed what they see as a pragmatic move by the C.D.C, bringing guidance in line with the reality of the way that many Americans have adapted to living with the virus. Moreover, the new guidelines do away with some of the more polarizing policies of distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated people, especially for businesses and schools.

Guidance around schools is now much easier to understand and follow. No longer will unvaccinated students need to ‘test to stay’ and the C.D.C has eliminated complicated guidance on ‘cohorts’, instead leaving it up to schools themselves to implement stricter measures should they become necessary depending on the situation or activity.

Overall, experts noted that the new guidelines shift the focus from clamping down on Covid-19 transmission to preventing severe illness and similarly move from sweeping population controls to more individualized advice for vulnerable or high-risk settings. Nevertheless, the C.D.C still recommends masking in crowded areas as, aside from vaccination, perhaps the most effective way of avoiding catching or transmitting the virus.

Moreover, experts also noted that this change does not mean the pandemic is over. Indeed, after two years and over a million deaths in the United States alone, the new, highly-contagious, Omicron subvariant continues to infect over 100,000 people per day. Experts warned that should new variants emerge, more stringent measures may, once again, become necessary in the future.

Study: Climate Change Likely to Accelerate Spread of Highly Infectious Diseases Like Covid-19A new study shows how rising temperatures and associated droughts, floods, and fires displacing animals and humans alike, increase the chance for pathogens to jump from animals to humans. Effect could lead to spread of diseases like Covid-19 regularly

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Climate change is usually associated with major catastrophic upheavals like floods, droughts, fires, and hurricanes. However, a new study published in the scientific journal Nature examines how rising temperatures, which directly contribute to these major disasters, will almost certainly cause the spread of diseases, including Covid-19.

Camilo Mora, one of the lead researchers on the project and a climate scientist at the University of Hawaii, discussed with NPR that just as major climate shifts and disasters affect humans, so too do they displace and impact other species, often with the effect of putting them in close contact with humans.

For example, a bat – with its hundreds of unique pathogens – is normally isolated in a jungle and not a concern for humans. However, droughts or fires caused by increasing temperatures force animals to search for new resources and habitats ultimately encountering humans, Mora elaborated. “And that single moment when the animal with that pathogen gets in contact with us is called a spillover…it unleashes an incredible amount of human suffering. For instance, what happened with COVID-19.”

There is some data to suggest that climate change can reduce or limit some diseases by shrinking habitats of disease carrying mosquitoes, for example. Indeed, “60% of diseases at times can stop being a problem,” Mora said. But these same conditions can end up making the eventual spread and effect of these diseases worse by further confining humans and pathogen spreading animals into increasingly limited spaces.

Ultimately, Mora stressed that mitigation of climate change is the most crucial task as Covid-19 already demonstrated the limits of our ability to adapt to new diseases. Only by reducing the impact and severity of climate change can we hope to head off the spillover of even worse pathogens, he stressed.

Tudor Dixon Confirms Support for Criminalizing Abortion in Cases of Rape, IncestIn an interview, Dixon says she agrees with a 1931 Michigan law that means a 14-year-old who had been raped by her uncle would not be allowed access to an abortion.

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Tudor Dixon stood behind her previous remarks about abortion and confirmed that she supports a 1931 Michigan law that does not provide exceptions to an abortion ban in cases of rape and incest.

In an interview, Dixon was asked about whether a 14-year-old who had been raped by her uncle should be permitted access to an abortion and she said that this was a “perfect example.” She continued: “I know people who are the product… a life is a life for me. That’s how it is.”

Dixon’s position stands in contrast to that of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has sued to block the 1931 Michigan law, which would make abortion illegal even in the case of rape and incest, from going into effect. She says that one of her priorities is to restore the protections that existed under Roe v. Wade, making the point that no matter where a person lives, what they look like or what they do, every person’s life has its own unique circumstances.

People, not politicians, should be able to make their own decisions, including when it comes to abortion, Whitmer concluded.

California Mulls Extending ‘Last-Call’ to 4 AM, Boosting Night-time Economy Pilot law taking effect in 2025 would allow 7 cities to extend the cut-off point for selling alcohol from 2 to 4 a.m., providing a much-needed boost to small-businesses and nightlife venues struggling to recover from the pandemic.

California Mulls Extending ‘Last-Call’ to 4 AM, Boosting Night-time Economy

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

A proposed law in California heralds good news for nightlife venues struggling to recover from the pandemic and for transplants from the “city that never sleeps” who long for a taste of home.

Should it pass into law, Senate Bill 930 launches a pilot program, starting in 2025, allowing venues in seven cities to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., potentially extending ‘last call’ by two hours in San Francisco, Fresno, Oakland, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Coachella, and West Hollywood.

State Senator Scott Wiener, who authored the law, told the New York Times that “for some of these small-businesses, this could be the difference between being viable and not being viable.” And, in either case, he explained, the law simply gives cities the “flexibility to decide what closing time works for them,” allowing them to manage its implementation as they see fit.

The proposed law is not without its critics, however. Paul Gruenewald, a senior research scientist at the Prevention Research Center of Berkeley, stated that “more alcohol” equaled “more problems.” Analysis from the C.D.C. seemed to support this statement, though its findings have not been updated in over 10 years and are based on studies conducted outside the United States.

While similar laws to update regulations in force since 1913 have been proposed and vetoed in the past, most recently by former Governor Jerry Brown, the tide seems to be turning as Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to support the measure.

For some like David Cooley, owner of the Abbey in West Hollywood, this is good news as many nightlife venues are running out of options for “ways to continue paying…employees and keep doors open.”

Now, if only California could pass laws to keep public transit open till 4 a.m., its cities might finally give New York a run for its money.

President Biden to Congress: If You Support Police, Ban Assault Weapons President Biden questioned those who claim to support law enforcement while also opposing an assault weapons ban.

President Biden to Congress: If You Support Police, Ban Assault Weapons

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

President Biden has thrown his support behind a bill to ban assault weapons, which he says endanger law enforcement officers.

“To me, it’s simple. If you can’t support banning weapons of war on American streets, you’re not on the side of police, he said.

In the aftermath of several recent mass shootings, including the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which resulted in the deaths of nineteen children and two adults, the House Judiciary Committee has put forward a bill that would ban assault weapons, including the AR-style semi-automatic weapons used in these shootings. However, the legislation is still facing opposition in the Senate.

President Biden said the ban would be a boon to the police officers working to prevent these shootings.

“Being a cop today is a hell of a lot harder than it’s ever been…we send you out to do your job on the streets flooded with weapons of war,” President Biden said.

A previous ban on assault weapons, which was passed when President Biden was a member of Congress, expired in 2004.

President Biden Vows to Protect Abortion Access, Signs Order Defending Reproductive Rights President Biden has signed an executive order protecting reproductive rights, including expanded access to abortion medication and safeguards for out-of-state abortion seekers.

President Biden Vows to Protect Abortion Access, Signs Order Defending Reproductive Rights

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe v. Wade, President Biden has vowed to secure abortions rights for all Americans.

President Biden said he is “committed to doing everything in his power to…protect access to safe and legal abortion.” And a new executive order signed by the President builds on previous actions taken by the Biden administration to protect reproductive rights.

Biden’s Secretary of Health and Human Services has been tasked with ensuring that abortion medication declared “safe and effective” by the FDA “is as widely accessible as possible.”

The executive order will also protect the safety of abortion “patients and providers,” including women and doctors at mobile clinics located at state borders to address the needs of out-of-state abortion seekers.

Other measures taken by President Biden to combat the rollback of reproductive rights include protecting access to contraception, safeguarding the privacy of sensitive patient data, and ensuring that pregnant women have access to emergency medical care.

Record-Breaking, Life-Threatening Heat Stifles Europe With parts of Britain breaking all-time temperature records, Germany and Belgium issuing heat warnings, and wildfires raging across France and Spain, much of the continent is experiencing the dangerous and destructive results of an unprecedented heat wave.

Record-Breaking, Life-Threatening Heat Stifles Europe

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

History was made in the U.K. this week when thermometers at London’s Heathrow Airport recorded temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius, or over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. In a country unaccustomed to such extraordinary temperatures, workers were told to stay home, school was canceled, and train service was suspended.

The unprecedented heat wave that descended on Europe this week had ramifications far beyond the British Isles. Hot, dry conditions fed wildfires throughout Spain and France. Belgium and Germany issued heat warnings for large portions of their countries. And in the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s extensive series of mechanical bridges were sprayed with water to keep them cool and prevent jams associated with expanding metal.

The exceptional heat is expected to subside after two days, but global climate change has many convinced that such extremes are likely to become the new normal.

Whitmer Vows To Keep Fighting State Law That Could Criminalize All AbortionsExperts say that a 91-year-old law could send women and doctors to prison for 4 or 10 years for seeking or providing abortions.

Whitmer Vows To Keep Fighting State Law That Could Criminalize All Abortions

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

The Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade allows every state to criminalize abortion and ban it without providing any exceptions.

In Michigan, the Republican-controlled state legislature has gone to court to do just that, defending a 1931 state law still on the books that would criminalize abortion throughout the state, even in the cases of rape and incest. If they win, legal experts say it could lead to four year prison sentences for women and their doctors if they seek or perform abortions.

Whitmer Vows To Keep Fighting State Law That Could Criminalize All Abortions

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has sued to block that law from going into effect, saying that one of her priorities will be to restore the protections that existed under Roe v. Wade. She made the point that no matter where a person lives, what they look like or what they do, every person’s life has its own unique circumstances. She says that people, not politicians, should be able to make their own decisions, including when it comes to abortion.

She continued that she’ll “fight like hell to protect every Michiganders’ right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust.”

Some Republican lawmakers in Lansing have pledged to pass even stronger restrictions on abortion access and stiffer punishments for women and their doctors, including sending medical professionals to jail for up to ten years.

Whitmer Fighting GOP-Backed Law Criminalizing Abortion After Rape or Incest in CourtLegal experts say that if Republicans get their way, a 13-year-old girl could be forced to carry a pregnancy to term after being raped by her father.

Whitmer Fighting GOP-Backed Law Criminalizing Abortion After Rape or Incest in Court

By Main Street Sentinel Staff

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has gone to court to fight a Michigan law banning all abortion in Michigan.

The Supreme Court ruling against Roe v. Wade in June allows every state to criminalize or ban abortion without any exceptions. In Michigan, Republican lawmakers are in court to defend a 1931 law that would ban abortion, even after rape or incest.

The law was unenforceable under Roe v. Wade. But now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, the Michigan Republican lawmakers are seeking to enforce it. According to legal experts, if they get their way, a 13-year-old girl could be forced to carry a pregnancy resulting from being raped by her father — and she could face up to four years in prison for seeking an abortion.

Republican lawmakers have said that if they keep the majority in the Michigan legislature this November, they will pass even stricter abortion restrictions, including stiffer punishments for doctors who perform the procedure. They have already introduced a bill that would jail a doctor for up to ten years for providing an abortion, including when the woman is a victim of rape or incest.

Whitmer Fighting GOP-Backed Law Criminalizing Abortion After Rape or Incest in Court

Whitmer has filed a lawsuit to block the 1931 law and has announced that she will strongly oppose efforts to pass an additional abortion ban. Whitmer is calling for restoring Roe v. Wade protections to Michigan, and has said that abortion is a private medical decision that should be up to a woman and her doctor — not politicans.