Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Digest

Article excerpt

Argentine lawmakers back abortion rights

The lower house of Argentina's congress approved on Thursday a bill that would legalize elective abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, sending the measure to the Senate. President Mauricio Macri has said he will sign the bill if it's approved.

The measure has roused fierce passions in the homeland of Pope Francis, and the vote was tight: 129 to 125.

Argentina now allows abortion only in cases of rape or risks to a woman's health.

Backers of the measure said legalizing abortion would save the lives of many women who now turn to dangerous illegal abortions. The Health Ministry estimated in 2016 that the country sees as many as half a million clandestine abortions each year, with dozens of women dying as a result.

EU says Kosovo mission is a success - The European Union's mission to ensure the rule of law in Kosovo said Thursday it considered its work in the troubled state a success, as it scales down its operations after a decade helping guide the country to independence.

Thousands of EU staff helped Kosovo's judicial and law enforcement officials build an independent, multi-ethnic government since it broke away from Serbia in 2008. Starting Friday, the mission will turn from an executive to a monitoring and advisory one.

Kosovo Justice Minister Abelard Tahiri acknowledged the mission, known as EULEX, "has helped in building the capacities of the rule of law institutions." But the country's courts and prosecution are among the most distrusted institutions in Kosovo, according to a poll conducted from the Pristina-based Group for Legal and Political Studies organization last year.

French retirees protest tax hike - Thousands of French retirees are protesting across the country over a higher tax on their pensions.

Nine unions called on retired workers to demonstrate Thursday against the centrist government's plans to freeze pensions and increase taxes. The tax hike has been in effect since January and has affected some eight million retirees.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said his fiscal policies are aimed at reducing France's deficit and lowering workers' income taxes, rather than increasing pensions. …

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