Trump “strongly supports” IVF as Alabama legislature seeks fix for court ruling – National & International News – FRI 23Feb2024


Trump “strongly supports” IVF as Alabama legislature seeks fix for court ruling.

Biden announces 500 new sanctions against Russia over Navalny death.

Netanyahu lays out his plan for Gaza after the war.


Trump “strongly supports” IVF as Alabama legislature seeks fix for court ruling

A recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that embryos are children has led three major providers of fertility services in the state to pause their in-vitro fertilization services. These providers each issued statements saying that the ruling forced them to temporarily pause services out of fear that the clinics, their staff or even their patients might face civil or criminal penalties for engaging in standard procedures used to help couples conceive. 

Leading Democrats, including Pres. Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris, were quick to blame the ruling and its fallout on former Pres. Trump. Biden and Harris painted the ruling as an inevitable consequence of the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade and said that Trump, who appointed three conservative Justices to the court, bore ultimate responsibility. Meanwhile, some Republicans, including Trump’s Republican primary opponent Nikki Haley, came out in support of the ruling. Haley went so far as to agree that embryos were babies.

Today on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump sought to distance himself from what has proven to be a widely unpopular infringement on reproductive rights. Trump also took the opportunity to urge Alabama Republicans to pass a bill that would restore access to IVF treatment.

Some Alabama lawmakers were already working on the problem. State House Democrats filed a bill saying that a fertilized human egg or human embryo outside of a uterus “is not considered an unborn child or human being for any purpose under state law”. Republicans have filed a similar but competing bill, which according to GOP Rep. Tim Melson, says “a human egg that is fertilized in vitro shall be considered a potential life, but shall not be considered a human life, a human being, or a person or unborn child, until the egg is successfully implanted into the woman’s uterus”.



Biden announces 500 new sanctions against Russia over Navalny death

President Joe Biden has announced an additional 500 sanctions on Russia. The announcement of sanctions is a relation for the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a Siberian prison and comes ahead of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is tomorrow.

Biden says these new sanctions target “Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks and sanctions evaders across multiple continents”. These sanctions were already in the works to mark the two-year anniversary. However, the package now includes additional sanctions on individuals connected with Navalny’s imprisonment. The bulk of the sanctions are targeted to limit Russia’s revenues from Russia’s oil sales abroad and its ability to finance and prosecute its war in Ukraine.  

The sanctions initially imposed on Russia two years ago did have severe effects on his economy, and the daily life of Russians. However, they also encouraged Putin to broaden and strengthen economic and defense ties with China, Iran and North Korea. Two years on, Russia’s economy has largely reoriented itself and has largely recovered. The nation’s defense and industrial sector has also ramped up to produce more of its military equipment domestically.

Further reading: Uncomfortable truths about Navalny’s racist politics and the Biden administration’s “human rights” hypocrisy.


Netanyahu lays out his plan for Gaza after the war

With Israel’s military campaign against Gaza soon to enter its 5th month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has for the first time announced his vision for what Gaza will look like after the war. The plan calls for Gaza to be run by Palestinians with no links to groups hostile to Israel. But Palestinian “control” would only be notional as Netanyahu wants Gaza completely “demilitarized”. Israel’s military will have complete control in the Strip beyond simply maintaining public order. Gaza’s southern border with Egypt would be “sealed” to prevent any smuggling of people or items either over the ground or through the tunnels underneath.

The plan also calls for a program of “de-radicalization” of Gaza’s population, which would require forcible “re-education”. Netanyahu foresees Israel-friendly Arab countries with experience running such programs. However, he does not specify which country or countries he has in mind, nor is there yet any indication that any Arab country has actually agreed to participate.

This plan is diametrically opposed to what is called for both by international law and even by Israel’s partners like the United States. The US, officially, wants a path to a Palestinian state while Netanyahu’s plan represents an intensification of Israeli occupation.

This is by no means the first potential “day after” plan for Gaza by Israeli officials.  Like the others, its feasibility is in doubt and relies on numerous unknowns falling into place, including considerable buy-in and support from international partners.

Additionally, the plan is likely to provoke a reaction from Israel’s neighbors, including Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which are allied with Hamas. Hezbollah is believed to have a formidable arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles. Since Oct. 8, there have been numerous exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel over the latter’s northern border, but it so far has not escalated to all-out war. This may change if it appears that Hamas is about to suffer an outright military defeat in Gaza.

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