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Wisconsin’s 20-week abortion ban waiting for Scott Walker signature

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Bill passes assembly and goes to governor Scott Walker. Legislation includes medical emergency exemptions but opponents say requirements are onerous

The Wisconsin legislature on Thursday passed a controversial bill that would ban women from seeking abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Related: Scott Walker set to revive abortion hard line on eve of presidential bid

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The bill passed the state assembly after emotional testimony from lawmakers on both sides of the debate. The state senate approved the legislation in June.

The bill now goes to governor Scott Walker , who is due to announce his candidacy for the US presidency on Monday. He has said he will sign it .

Under the legislation, doctors and medical professionals who perform abortions could face criminal charges, punishable by $10,000 in fines or three-and-a-half years in prison. The legislation allows fathers to sue doctors for damages.

Though the bill carves out exemptions for medical emergencies, women and their doctors have to meet a series of requirements that opponents say are too onerous.

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Wisconsin is the 15th state to pass a bill prohibiting abortion at 20 weeks or earlier, though bans in Georgia, Idaho and Arizona have been struck down by courts. The bans are rooted in the belief that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks, a claim that has been disputed in medical research.

The laws challenge the fetal viability standard on abortions established by the 1973 US supreme court decision Roe v Wade, which legalized abortions. Fetal viability is generally believed to occur between 22 and 24 weeks.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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Trump whistleblower needs to go directly to FBI because Bill Barr can’t be trusted: Ex-FBI director

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Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi blew up Donald Trump's claim that he is the victim of a "Ukraine Witchhunt."

He then added that the whistleblower who went to the inspector general with a serious charge against the president should take what he has and go to the FBI within a week if nothing happens.

"We've got to get to the bottom of this, and we can't rely on leaks and certain reporters getting certain tidbits of information," the ex-FBI man explained. "This needs to be explored and it's likely this could end up in a criminal investigation."

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Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install a new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.

"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."

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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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