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GOP lawmakers: New birth-control mandate like Pearl Harbor and 9/11

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Two Republican lawmakers compared Wednesday’s new rule allowing for easier access to birth control to both the 9/11 attacks and the Pearl Harbor bombing, NBC News reports.

“I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that’s Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that’s the day of the terrorist attack,” Mike Kelly (R-PA) said at a press conference he held alongside Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY). “I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”

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As part of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies are now obligated to cover the cost of women’s contraceptive services, a requirement that touched off opposition by Republicans accusing president Barack Obama’s administration of assaulting religious freedom.

“It’s appalling. It’s offensive. It’s out of touch,” Obama said at a campaign stop in April. “And when it comes to what’s going on out there, you’re not going to close your eyes. Women across America aren’t closing their eyes. As long as I’m president, I won’t either,”

Wednesday, Buerkle refused to back down from her party’s earlier charges, calling the new mandate an assault on First Amendment rights.

“This is a right that every American should be outraged, outraged about what this administration and Secretary Sibelius has set forth here on August the 1st,” she said.

[Image via user brains the head on Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]

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England pubs reopen on US Independence Day — after first nationwide closure since 1665’s Great Plague

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The streets of Soho filled with merry drinkers in London on Saturday and the pubs of Manchester were packed as England's hospitality sector returned from a three-month coronavirus hiatus.

"It feels amazing," said Leo Richard Bill, a soldier, after getting through the door of one of London's buzziest restaurants on the Thames River's popular south bank.

"It’s been what, like three months since... me and everyone else haven’t been able to get outside and have a good time. So yeah, it feels good to get amongst it," he said.

Parts of London and other cities, deserted during lockdown, sprang to life as people dressed up and came out for "Super Saturday" -- the day England's hospitality sector reopened for the first time since March.

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2020 Election

Trump’s angry words and Coronavirus surge darken Independence Day weekend in America

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The United States marked an unusually somber Independence Day on Saturday, with President Donald Trump bashing domestic opponents and China -- but praising the country's coronavirus response, despite a record surge in cases.

Across the country, virus fears dampened or nixed Main Street parades, backyard barbecues and family reunions on a day when Americans typically celebrate their 1776 declaration of independence from Britain.

Instead of adopting a unifying tone, Trump -- facing a tough re-election and eager to mobilize his political base -- railed against protesters demanding racial justice after unarmed African American George Floyd was killed by a white police officer.

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2020 Election

‘Spoiler’ Kanye West mocked for running for president against his pal Trump: ‘2020 never fails to disappoint’

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President Donald Trump appears to have lost the support of one of his most well-known Black supporters as Kanye West announced on Saturday that he is running for president.

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” West posted on Twitter, with the hashtag #2020VISION.

The musician was mocked for his presidential bid, here's some of what people were saying:

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