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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.

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.

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

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Man barricaded himself in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office in Queens

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The New York Police Department responded to a Saturday break-in at the Queens office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by a 27-year-old man.

"The alleged trespasser barricaded himself in the 3rd floor office, hiding in a utility closet until police convinced him to come out," WPIX-TV reports.

"The man was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation. Charges against him are pending," ABC 7 reported.

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Trump wants Americans to watch interview where he broke federal law by soliciting foreign election help: ‘Enjoy the show!’

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Despite widespread criticism, President Donald Trump on Saturday stood by his comments to George Stephanopoulos -- and hyped an upcoming broadcast of the interview.

"I enjoyed my interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News," Trump claimed.

"So funny to watch the Fake News Media try to dissect and distort every word in as negative a way as possible. It will be aired on Sunday night at 8:00 P.M., and is called, “President Trump: 30 Hours” (which is somewhat misleading in that I personally spent only a small fraction of that time doing interviews. I do have a few other things to do, you know!)," he continued.

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2020 Election

Utah Republican is in deep trouble after trying to defend Trump’s breaking of the law

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President Donald Trump's poor standing in Utah could cause big electoral problems for one of his loudest defenders in the state.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said Trump would be "foolish" if he did not illegally accept election help from foreign adversaries.

On Saturday, Stewart was blasted by former CIA officer Evan McMullin.

McMullin was born in Provo, attended Brigham Young University, is Mormon and a also prominent conservative critic of Trump.

In 2016, McMullin ran against Trump as an Independent and received 21.3 percent of the vote in Utah during the general election. Trump also had problems in Utah during the Republican primary, receiving only 14 percent of the vote.

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