Newly all-male South Carolina Supreme Court scrutinizes abortion ban months after tossing one out
A potential swing vote on the newly all-male South Carolina Supreme Court grilled lawyers over whether patients have enough time to get an abortion after learning of their pregnancy as the justices weighed whether a new ban is similarly unconstitutional to one that got shot down earlier this year.
Trump opens 2024 run, says he's 'more committed' than ever
Former President Donald Trump has kicked off his 2024 White House bid with stops Saturday in New Hampshire and South Carolina, The appearances in the early-voting states mark the first campaign events since Trump announced his latest run more than two months ago.
The Latest: WHO director calls for more vaccine donations
The head of the World Health Organization lamented the lack of COVID-19 vaccines being immediately donated by rich countries to the developing world, saying that the global community is failing and that the mistakes of the AIDS pandemic are being repeated.
Eying 2024, Pence makes 1st speech since leaving office
In his first public address since the end of the Trump administration, former Vice President Mike Pence put down a marker for a potential return to elected office, telling an audience in early-voting South Carolina that he plans to use the coming months “pushing back on the liberal agenda” he says is wrong for the country.
The Latest: Navajo Nation extends "safer at home" order
That increased the state’s totals to 839,334 confirmed cases and 16,912 confirmed deaths. Ad___RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil accounts for a quarter of the daily coronavirus global deaths, more than any other nation. AdThere have been 12.4 million confirmed cases and more than 307,000 confirmed deaths in Brazil, second only to the United States. AdPakistan has reported 649,824 total confirmed cases and 14,158 confirmed deaths. The nation of 10.7 million had 1.5 million confirmed cases with 25,639 deaths.
Medicaid incentive so far not enough to sway holdout states
Henry McMaster remains firmly opposed to the Medicaid expansion. The bump in federal funding would last two years for the states that join the Medicaid expansion. Laura Kelley this year called for legalizing medical use of marijuana and using the tax revenue to pay for expanding Medicaid. "It’s a nonstarter, and we will continue to oppose the liberal wish list item of Medicaid expansion,” he said. Kay Ivey left open the possibility of expanding Medicaid at some point in the future, but there are no plans to do so.
Pence to give speech in SC, his 1st since leaving office
Next month, Pence will keynote a dinner hosted by the Palmetto Family Council, a Pence aide told The Associated Press on Sunday. AdAs vice president, Pence made numerous trips to South Carolina, meeting several times with Gov. The speech to Palmetto Family is advantageous for Pence in a state that Republican candidates use as a proving ground to test their “pro-life” mettle. AdAccording to Dave Wilson, president of Palmetto Family, Pence will speak to between 450 and 600 guests at a ticketed, sponsored dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on April 29. Wilson told AP that he considered Pence a “prime person” to address the organization due to the “level of faith” the former vice president embodied while in office.
The Latest: Ireland reaches half million vaccinations
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)LONDON — Ireland has given out half a million coronavirus vaccinations about two months after the first inoculation. Evidence suggests this variant can spread more easily than most currently circulating strains of the coronavirus, health officials say. State health officials urge people to maintain precautions, particularly during spring break and Easter gatherings, as the state tries to ramp up vaccinations. Sri Lanka has so far received 1 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in neighboring India, which donated half of the doses. The Missoulian reported Friday that in Missoula County, Granite Pharmacy has enough vaccine doses to vaccinate all 2,000 county teachers.
Trump offers early endorsement for loyal SC governor
FILE - In this Monday, June 25, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Airport High School in West Columbia, S.C. for Republican Gov. Former President Donald Trump on Friday, March 5, 2021 endorsed South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's bid for a second full term in 2022, continuing their yearslong alliance in a move to strengthen ties with the early-voting state that Trump won twice. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)COLUMBIA, S.C. – Former President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed South Carolina Gov. That summer, McMaster was one of two speakers to formally nominate Trump at the Republican National Convention.
New SC abortion law remains on hold under judge's order
South Carolina Gov. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)COLUMBIA, S.C. – A new South Carolina law banning abortions will stay on hold following a judge's order on Friday to extend a temporary restraining order. Lewis initially suspended the “ South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act ” on its second day in effect, following a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood. Federal law supersedes state law. Planned Parenthood has indicated they plan to oppose McMaster's request to take part in the case, according to the governor's attorneys.
GOP takes aim at Biden's health care pick on abortion rights
President Joe Bidens pick for health secretary is taking heat for his defense of abortion rights from a tag team of Republicans looking to define him and the new administration as out of the mainstream. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s pick for health secretary is taking heat from Republicans for his actions in support of abortion rights. By a show of force, they're trying to deny a president who supports abortion rights his choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services with the coronavirus pandemic still untamed. Becerra, 63, was a reliable Democratic vote for abortion rights during more than 20 years representing a Los Angeles-area district in the U.S. House. She disagrees with his support for abortion rights but finds common ground elsewhere.
South Carolina abortion law suspended 1 day after passage
South Carolina Gov. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s new law banning most abortions was suspended by a federal judge Friday on its second day in effect. AdThe “ South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act " is similar to abortion restriction laws that a dozen states have previously passed. Federal law, which takes precedence over state law, currently allows abortion. AdPlanned Parenthood lawyers noted that South Carolina legislators this year did not change part of state law that said fetuses are considered viable in the 24th week of pregnancy.
SC governor signs abortion ban; Planned Parenthood sues
South Carolina Gov. Planned Parenthood immediately sued, effectively preventing the new law from taking effect. The “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act, is similar to abortion restriction laws that a dozen states have previously passed. Moments after the Thursday vote, Planned Parenthood announced that it was filing a lawsuit. The South Carolina law, like those of other states that are currently being challenged, is “blatantly unconstitutional,” said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.
South Carolina House passes bill banning most abortions
Black members of the South Carolina House walk out as an abortion bill is debated on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 in Columbia, S.C. The House is expected to pass the bill that would ban nearly all abortions and send it to the governor's desk. Republicans gained three seats in the 2020 elections and the newly energized 30-16 Republican majority made the proposal Senate Bill No. “This is the greatest pro-life bill this state has ever passed,” said Republican Rep. David Hiott of Pickens. AdNumerous Republican lawmakers spoke in favor of the bill and many cheered after the vote.
South Carolina considers breaking up public health agency
As in most states, South Carolina's public health agency was underfunded and overworked long before it had to sustain an exhausting defense against a virus humans had never seen before. Unlike most public health agencies, South Carolina's portfolio has included environmental regulation since the 1970s. AdSenate President Harvey Peeler is ready to split DHEC apart, bundling public health duties with the state's mental health department and funneling environmental permitting operations to other state agencies. Public health resources were slashed by lawmakers during the Great Recession, and board members' terms lapsed under Gov. Simmer told lawmakers who confirmed him this month that he believes the agency’s environmental and public health halves complement each other.
The Latest: LA County says medical center broke virus rules
The Supreme Court is telling California it cant enforce a ban on indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic. The celebration is on hold until next year as Rio struggles with a rise in coronavirus cases. ___OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of reported coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has surpassed 400,000. Health officials are urging football fans to forego Super Bowl gatherings with members outside of their own households. France has registered 3.5 million confirmed cases and more than 78,700 confirmed deaths.
The Latest: Sri Lankan officials say vaccinations advancing
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2021, file photo, Sri Lankan nursing staff administer COVID-19 vaccines to front-line health workers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Reynolds issued the earlier restrictions in November when hospitals were struggling to care for a surge of coronavirus patients. Officials say it could help up to four COVID-19 patients. ___LISBON, Portugal — Portugal has set a new daily record for COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care with 904 patients on Friday. AdThe Austrian government offered to take in five COVID-19 patients and five non-COVID patients to relieve Portuguese hospitals.
South Carolina mayor leaving office, but maybe not forever
“I feel like we've significantly made our city better; now, it's time to pass the baton.”Benjamin was elected in 2010 as Columbia's first Black mayor. As for higher office, Benjamin — South Carolina’s 2002 Democratic attorney general nominee, beaten in that contest by now-Gov. AdAs was witnessed in Jaime Harrison's unsuccessful 2020 challenge of Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Democratic challenger winning a statewide office in South Carolina — where all such offices are in GOP hands — remains an uphill climb. When asked if that had factored into his decision-making, Benjamin said the outcome had no effect on his ultimate decision. Even out of elected office, Benjamin will likely continue to play an outsized role in the Democratic politics of South Carolina, particularly in the state's first-in-the-South presidential primary.
South Carolina Senate passes bill outlawing most abortions
“If this gets upheld by the courts, we will have saved thousands of lives in South Carolina every year. In the Bible Belt, South Carolina led the fight for stricter rules on abortions during the 1980s and 1990s. The path for the bill cleared in South Carolina thanks in part to Trump. “The people of South Carolina every year have sent us more and more pro-life senators. Democrats said that was shameful because South Carolina has many more pressing problems, including more than 6,000 people dead from COVID-19.
State lawmakers are pushing to curb governors' virus powers
He is supporting a bill that would limit local emergency health orders to 14 days unless authorized for longer by the Legislature. Though legislative resistance to executive coronavirus orders has fallen largely along partisan lines in some states, lawmakers elsewhere are pushing back against governors of their own parties. Rob McColley introduced a bill this week that could rescind emergency health orders issued by Gov. Democrats who control the Maryland General Assembly are pressing for more transparency from Republican Gov. He is supporting a bill that would limit local emergency health orders to 14 days unless authorized for longer by the Legislature.
Trial ahead, Trump turns to ethics lawyer for his defense
Trump turned to Bowers, a familiar figure in Republican legal circles, after other legal allies passed on the case. The first impeachment trial turned on charges that Trump improperly solicited Ukraine’s help for his reelection campaign. Pat McCrory and the South Carolina Election Commission in litigation over voter ID laws, as well as a former South Carolina sheriff who pleaded guilty to embezzlement and misconduct in office. In 2018, he was attorney for University of South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley in her successful defamation suit against Missouri’s athletics director. With degrees from the University of South Carolina and College of Charleston, Bowers graduated from Tulane University School of Law in 1998.
Effort in Arkansas to enact hate crimes law in jeopardy
Hutchinson is advocating for a hate crimes bill in the upcoming legislative session, but the measure faces some obstacles. Georgia in June became the latest to enact a bill, leaving Arkansas, South Carolina and Wyoming as the remaining outliers. Asa Hutchinson, who as a U.S. attorney prosecuted racist militia members but without a hate crimes law's specific penalties. The potential for hate crimes laws getting approved is mixed in the other remaining states. Bentonville-based Walmart and Springdale-based Tyson Foods have also said they support enacting a hate crimes law.
Governors scramble to speed vaccine effort after slow start
His South Carolina counterpart warned health care workers they have until Jan. 15 to get a shot or move to the back of the line. If health workers aren’t lining up fast enough, he said, it is OK to expand eligibility to lower-priority groups. Across much of the nation, health care workers and nursing home residents are being given priority for the initial, limited supplies of the vaccine at this stage. Henry McMaster of South Carolina warned that health care workers will lose their place in line if they don't move quickly to get their shots. But Cuomo immediately shot down that idea, saying, “We need to get the health care population done first because they are the front line."
South Carolina governor tests positive for the coronavirus
Henry McMaster gives a news conference in Columbia, S.C. McMaster, 73, has tested positive for the coronavirus and is slated to receive outpatient antibody treatment for mild symptoms." Henry McMaster has tested positive for the coronavirus and was slated to receive outpatient antibody treatment for “mild symptoms,” his office said Tuesday. McMaster's wife, 73-year-old Peggy McMaster, tested positive last week but remains asymptomatic, officials said. Citing state public health officials, McMaster's office said Tuesday “there is no way to pinpoint precisely when or how Gov. On Tuesday, South Carolina public health officials announced there had been 2,055 new positive tests for the coronavirus, as well as 15 new deaths.
The Latest: Coronavirus cases keep rising in South Korea
(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has added 1,092 new coronavirus cases in a resurgence that is erasing hard-won epidemiological gains and eroding public confidence in the government’s ability to handle the outbreak. It would deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and resources to vaccinate a nation confronting a frightening surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Preliminary data on U.S. deaths show the coronavirus pandemic contributing to a 15% or more increase in deaths over last year. ___MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials have reported a new daily high in confirmed coronavirus cases as the country awaits its first shipment of vaccine. ___WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation is reporting 151 new coronavirus cases and seven more deaths related to COVID-19.
The Latest: Texas virus death toll rises above 25,000
State health officials reported 272 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing Texas’ death toll to 25,226. On Saturday, the state reported 9,796 people hospitalized with the virus, an increase of nearly 23% over the last month. ___THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:The United States reached a record of nearly a quarter million coronavirus cases reported in 24 hours. ___BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The United States added a record of nearly a quarter million coronavirus cases in the past day. Almost 17,000 people are hospitalized in California and health officials are scrambling to find enough beds for patients.
The Latest: S Koreans line up for virus tests as cases surge
The Pentagon has authorized nearly 50 top civilian and military leaders to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks to prove to the shots are safe and effective. Indoor restaurant dining will continue to be barred under the new state health department order that takes effect Monday. Laura Kelly is expressing little concern over a smaller-than-expected second shipment of a coronavirus vaccine for the state. The state also reported total 2,341 COVID-19 deaths, adding 88 to the tally since Wednesday. ___BERN — The Swiss government is ordering the closure of restaurants, bars, cultural venues and sports facilities next week because of increasing coronavirus cases.
The Latest: US gives go-ahead for Pfizer coronavirus vaccine
This October 2020 photo provided by Pfizer shows freezers set up in a warehouse in Kalamzoo, Mich., in preparation for distribution of the company's coronavirus vaccine. ___THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:The White House is pressuring the FDA chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day. Andrew Cuomo has reinstated indoor dining restrictions indefinitely in New York City in an effort to limit the increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Michigan’s health department argues the teaching restriction is necessary to control the spread of the coronavirus, especially after Thanksgiving gatherings. State Health Department officials on Friday confirmed 513 new cases of the coronavirus.