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California bans prisons from sterilizing inmates without their consent

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California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that bans prisons from sterilizing inmates without their consent, his office said on Thursday, after media reports and a later audit showed officials failed to obtain consent from dozens of incarcerated women.

The bill prohibits sterilizations of inmates as a means of birth control in correctional facilities except for when a patient’s life is in danger or when there is a medical need and no less drastic alternatives are available.

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The bill passed both the state’s assembly and senate chambers unanimously last month.

“Pressuring a vulnerable population into making permanent reproductive choices without informed consent is unacceptable, and violates our most basic human rights,” said the bill’s author, state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, in a statement.

The measure was introduced earlier this year in the wake of allegations, first highlighted by the non-profit Center for Investigative Reporting, that the state failed to obtain informed consent from some female inmates who had their fallopian tubes tied.

An audit released in June showed that errors were made in getting proper consent from 39 women inmates out of 144 who underwent the procedure while incarcerated between 2005 and 2011.

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Prison rules make the procedure, known as tubal ligation, available to inmates as part of regular obstetrical care. But until the issue was broached in 2010 by an inmates’ rights group, proper authorization was rarely obtained, the state auditor’s report said.

The audit was a blow to the state’s troubled prison system and came as California struggles to meet court-ordered demands to improve medical and mental healthcare in its overcrowded prisons.

Medical care in California’s prisons has been under the supervision of a federally appointed receiver since 2006.

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(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)


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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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