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Anti-abortion activists cry foul as Google pulls all referendum ads

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Google announced plans on Wednesday to suspend advertisements related to Ireland’s May 25 abortion referendum, sparking an angry response from anti-abortion activists who said the move would hurt them most.

The policy change comes a day after Facebook said it would no longer accept ads from outside the country that seek to influence the referendum.

 Google went one step further and said it would not accept any ads related to the referendum, not just those from groups or individuals seeking to sway the vote.
 “Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have decided to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment,” a Google spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Ireland’s referendum on whether to liberalize its abortion laws will give voters the first opportunity in 35 years to repeal a constitutional ban that has long divided the once deeply Catholic nation.
Google’s policy change will be effective from May 10 and includes YouTube ads. It will remain in place until after the referendum.

 Anti-abortion campaigners reacted with fury to the move, arguing it will deprive them of a key platform for their message and represents a bid to help those favoring a more liberal abortion regime.
“Its scandalous, and it is an attempt to rig the referendum,” umbrella group Save the 8th said in a statement.

“Online was the only platform available to the No campaign to speak to voters directly. That platform is now being undermined in order to prevent the public from hearing the message from one side.”

Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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Trump betting he can win re-election by spinning new conspiracy theories to explain investigations: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into President Donald Trump's association with Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election may be over. But that does not mean the president is free from oversight.

According to Politico, Trump is still facing 15 civil and criminal probes by at least nine federal, state, and municipal agencies on everything from obstruction of justice to campaign finance violations to using his office to enrich his family and businesses. But president is not bothered by these investigations — or at least, he believes that he can use them to his political advantage.

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Meet the mysterious conservative lawyer who keeps turning up in the Russia probes

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A prominent conservative lawyer keeps showing up in dramas central to the Trump administration and its battles with Congress—and it turns out he has intimate knowledge of Felix Sater’s intelligence work for the U.S. government while he was working with Trump.

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House Democrats have a new list of ‘star witnesses’ who are beyond Trump’s reach: report

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According to a report from Politico, House leaders have developed a new plan to get what are called "star witnesses" to appear in public hearings who are outside of Donald Trump's ability to block them from speaking by asserting executive privilege.

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