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US withholds cash from UN Population Fund over China abortions

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The United States said Tuesday it will again withhold contributions to the UN Population Fund due to its work with China, which controls family size, as the agency accused Washington of jeopardizing women’s health.

It marked the third straight year that the United States has refused to fund the UN body as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to combat abortion, a pivotal issue for his evangelical Christian base.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined that “China’s family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization practices,” conditions that under US law require an end to funding, a State Department spokeswoman said.

She said that the UN Population Fund’s public documents state that “it partners on family planning with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies.”

The agency, known as UNFPA, disputed the finding, saying that it opposes coercive policies and that the United States never visited its country office in China to see for itself.

“This unfortunate decision will impede UNFPA’s crucial work to protect the health and lives of hundreds of millions of women and girls around the globe, including in humanitarian settings,” it said in a statement, asking the United States to reconsider.

China, seeking to control a burgeoning population, in 1979 imposed a one-child policy on most citizens, leading to forced abortions and sterilizations.

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The communist government raised the limit to two children in 2016 and there are signs the policy could be ended entirely, with a draft of the sweeping Civil Code due to be introduced in 2020 not mentioning “family planning.”

In 2016, when Barack Obama was president, the United States gave more than $63 million to UNFPA, making it the third largest donor after Britain and Sweden.

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2020 Election

We should look closely at Britain’s decision to elect a man so renowned for his untrustworthiness

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In previous British elections, to say that trust was the main issue would have meant simply that trust is the trump card – whichever leader or party could secure most trust would win. Now, the emerging question about trust is whether it even matters anymore.

This is at least partly because Brexit has deepened the crisis of trust. The 2019 election was always going to be about Brexit – and not only because some people would vote according to where they stood on the matter. It was also because the emotional turbulence initiated by the 2016 referendum continues to dominate national politics in a more general way.

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Here are 9 things people say about exercise that are utter hogwash

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It can be hard to include exercise in our busy lives, despite the best of intentions. There are a lot of reasons people don’t exercise, and a lot of misconceptions about exercise. Here are nine common misconceptions about exercise and what research actually tells us.

1. I was fit once, so I don’t need to exerciseUnfortunately, the health benefits of exercise won’t last if you don’t sustain your exercise regime. A significant reduction or drop out can cause a marked loss of initial benefits, such as cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Consistency is the key. Mix it up and keep it interesting as maintaining high levels of physical activity throughout your life is associated with the best health outcomes.

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How Boris Johnson’s Conservatives swept to election victory in Labour heartlands

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Welcome to a whole new political world. The UK general election of 2019 has delivered a seismic shift in the balance of the country’s politics, the consequences of which are very hard, if not impossible to predict. But what’s clear is that Boris Johnson has broken the legislative deadlock with regard to Europe and will now wield power in a manner that his recent predecessors could only have dreamed of.

To this extent the political system appears to have worked – the people have spoken. Clearly they want to “get Brexit done”, but the result also suggests the existence of a major disconnect between the UK’s main opposition Labour party and a big chunk of its base.

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