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Federal judge orders Louisiana to fund Planned Parenthood clinics

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A federal judge has blocked Louisiana’s efforts to defund Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, finding that more than 5,000 low-income patients would have their healthcare disrupted by a move he ruled likely ran afoul of the law.

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles issued a temporary restraining order late on Sunday requiring Louisiana to continue providing Medicaid funding to the reproductive health organization’s clinics for the next two weeks as the legal fight over the payments continues.

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The judge said Planned Parenthood and its patients would likely suffer irreparable harm if funding for medical services such as cancer screenings and other preventative healthcare was suspended.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, moved to strip the group’s funding this summer after the release of secretly recorded videos about how Planned Parenthood handles the tissue of aborted fetuses.

Louisiana was the first of three Southern states to announce plans to end its contract with the organization to provide medical services to low-income residents.

Planned Parenthood does not provide abortions in Louisiana, court records show. The defunding effort there targets other health services that it provides to low-income patients at clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the organization said.

The group had asked the federal court to bar Louisiana’s defunding attempt.

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“This ruling is a victory for the more than 5,200 women and men in Louisiana who rely on Planned Parenthood for care through Medicaid,” said Melissa Flournoy, Louisiana state director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. “It is shameful that Governor Jindal is trying to score political points by blocking women’s access to critical health care.”

Jindal’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Monday.

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BUSTED: Trump’s new spy chief worked for foreign politician the US accused of corruption

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by Isaac Arnsdorf

President Donald Trump’s new acting intelligence director, Richard Grenell, used to do consulting work on behalf of an Eastern European oligarch who is now a fugitive and was recently barred from entering the U.S. under anti-corruption sanctions imposed last month by the State Department.

In 2016, Grenell wrote several articles defending the oligarch, a Moldovan politician named Vladimir Plahotniuc, but did not disclose that he was being paid, according to records and interviews. Grenell also did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which generally requires people to disclose work in the U.S. on behalf of foreign politicians.

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Air pollution kills thousands of Americans every year – here’s a low-cost strategy to reduce the toll

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About 1 of every 25 deaths in the U.S. occurs prematurely because of exposure to air pollution. Dirty air kills roughly 110,000 Americans yearly, which is more than all transportation accidents and shootings combined.

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency weighs decisions about air pollution regulations, it typically selects candidate actions from one or more sectors, such as electric power generation and industry. For each strategy considered, the agency carefully estimates the costs and benefits, then decides which actions to pursue.

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Rosie O’Donnell hilariously responds to attacks from ‘demented liar’ Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump lashed out at Rosie O'Donnell during a campaign rally in Las Vegas on Friday.

During his third rally in as many days, Trump alleged that O'Donnell had committed crimes.

O'Donnell, who had been friendly with Trump before he began publicly feuding with her, responded to the news on Twitter.

fuck off u demented liar #TrumpRussiaCollusion https://t.co/GJIGne4WI7

— ROSIE (@Rosie) February 21, 2020

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