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Police in Virginia are investigating vandalism at a pregnancy center that discourages women from having an abortion.

Lynchburg Police on Saturday said the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center was spray painted with graffiti. The words “If abortion ain’t safe, you ain’t safe” were written on the walkway leading up to the center, and anarchist symbols were painted on the exterior brick wall.

Several windows were also broken.

Police say security footage shows four masked individuals committing the vandalism early Saturday morning.

In a tweet, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, said Virginia State Police are available to assist in the investigation.

“There is no room for this in Virginia, breaking the law is unacceptable. This is not how we find common ground,” he wrote.

Youngkin said Friday after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling protecting abortion rights that he hopes to outlaw abortion in most cases after 15 weeks.


Police at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier say the building was vandalized early Saturday when seven windows were broken and a message painted outside the main door reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned a constitutional right to abortion.

Police say the vandalism took place at around 2 a.m. Saturday. The message painted on the granite portico said “If abortions aren’t safe you’re not either.”

The Capitol Police estimated damage was in excess of $25,000. The Statehouse had been expected to open Saturday for its summer tour, but that has been postponed. The Statehouse is now scheduled to open on Monday morning.

The vandalism came in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that reversed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that provided a constitutional right to abortion.

The decision is not expected to have any immediate effect on a woman’s right to an abortion in Vermont. The state has a law on the books guaranteeing the right to an abortion. State voters are also scheduled to cast ballots in November on whether to amend the state constitution to protect reproductive rights.


The Supreme Court’s decision overturning a gun-permitting law in New York has states with robust firearms restrictions scrambling to respond on two fronts — to figure out what concealed-carry measures they might be allowed to impose while also preparing to defend a wide range of other gun control policies.

The language in the court’s majority opinion heightened concern that other state laws, from setting an age limit on gun purchases to banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, may now be in jeopardy.

“The court has basically invited open season on our gun laws, and so I expect litigation across the board,” said New Jersey acting Attorney General Matt Platkin, a Democrat. “We’re going to defend our gun laws tooth-and-nail because these gun laws save lives.”

The court ruling issued Thursday specifically overturned a New York law that had been in place since 1913 and required that people applying for a concealed carry permit demonstrate a specific need to have a gun in public, such as showing an imminent threat to their safety. The court’s conservative majority said that violated the Second Amendment, which they interpreted as protecting people’s right to carry a gun for self-defense outside the home.

While the ruling does not address any other laws, the majority opinion opens the door for gun rights advocates to challenge them in the future, said Alex McCourt, the director of legal research for the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

Pro-firearms groups in several states said they plan to do just that.

Attorney Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, said the group is preparing to expand its legal challenges based on the high court changing the legal standard used to assess whether gun control laws are constitutional.

Courts must now consider only whether a gun control regulation is consistent with the Second Amendment’s actual text and its historical understanding, according to Thursday’s ruling. Before that, judges also could consider a state’s social justification for passing a gun control law.

Michel said the standard will affect three prominent California laws. Legal challenges to the state’s limits on assault weapons, its requirement for background checks for buying ammunition and its ban on online ammunition sales are pending before a federal appellate court.


The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York state law that had restricted who could obtain a permit to carry a gun in public. Under the law in place since 1913, New York residents needed to show proper cause, or an actual need, to carry a concealed handgun in public for self-defense..

The justices said that law conflicts with the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. It drew swift reaction from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who called the decision reckless and said she was prepared to call the Legislature back into session to form a response.

“We do not need people entering our subways, our restaurants and movie theaters with concealed weapons,” she said. “We don’t need more guns on our streets.”

New York and a half a dozen other states with similar laws now must decide their next steps. As with New York, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island all have legislatures controlled by Democrats who could propose measures to ensure that guns will not be allowed in certain places.aws.


An appellate court judge has upheld Seattle’s payroll tax, affirming a decision made in King County Superior Court last year.

In an opinion published Tuesday, the Division I Court of Appeals deemed Seattle’s JumpStart tax lawful, The Seattle Times reported.

“Engaging in business is a substantial privilege on which the city may properly levy taxes,” the opinion reads. “And the use of a business’s payroll expense is an appropriate measure of that taxable incident.”

The tax, passed by the Seattle City Council in 2020, requires businesses with at least $7 million in annual payroll to pay between 0.7%-2.4% on salaries and wages paid to Seattle employees who make at least $150,000 per year. The highest rate is applied to salaries of at least $400,000 at companies with at least $1 billion in annual payroll.

In 2021, the tax brought $231 million in revenue to the city.

The lawsuit, filed by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in December 2020, asked the King County Superior Court to strike down the tax, calling it illegal.

The lawsuit was dismissed by a King County Superior Court judge last summer, and the chamber appealed the decision.

The chamber in a statement Tuesday said it will review the latest decision and determine their next step with members and attorneys.


Lawyers on Monday renewed calls for the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang region as they presented a dossier of evidence to prosecutors.

Activists and lawyers accuse Beijing of crimes against humanity and genocide against the groups. China’s ruling Communist Party has vehemently denied all reports of human rights violations and genocide in Xinjiang.

Monday’s filing is the latest attempt to have the global court open an investigation into widespread allegations of abuse against Uyghurs by Chinese authorities.

The group that submitted the evidence said it includes testimony from a witness who escaped from a camp in 2018 and alleges that he and others were tortured and forced to undergo medical procedures including “being injected with unknown substances.”

The latest dossier also seeks to support their assertion that ICC prosecutors have jurisdiction despite China not being a member of the court by arguing that Uyghurs and others are being rounded up on the territory of an ICC member state and transferred to China.

That assertion seeks to use a precedent set when the court’s judges ruled that the ICC has jurisdiction to investigate abuses against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority, despite Myanmar not being a member of the court, because thousands of Rohingyas were force to flee to Bangladesh, which is an ICC member.

British lawyer Rodney Dixon said evidence presented to the court’s prosecutor’s office uncovers “a pervasive plan to round up Uyghurs in neighboring countries, including an ICC member State, and elsewhere, to force them back into China.”

“The ICC has jurisdiction over these crimes that commence on ICC territory and continue into China, and is urged to act immediately to open an investigation,” the group filing the dossier Monday said in a statement.

The filing comes a year after lawyers called on the ICC to open an investigation.


Construction is scheduled to begin this week on a long-planned road project in the south end of Burlington, Mayor Miro Weinberger said.

The comments came after a federal judge lifted an order that blocked work on the first phase of what is known as the Champlain Parkway.

The first phase of construction will include tree removal and work to protect a brook running through the area.

Opponents say the project does not match current transportation needs and will harm residents in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

In the Friday order, U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford said beginning construction of the parkway would not cause irreparable harm to those who oppose the project and there will be time to address in court those underlying issues.

The Champlain Parkway is designed to be a two-lane road that will eventually connect Interstate 189 with downtown Burlington.

The $45 million, two-mile (three-kilometer) project is designed to improve traffic circulation, alleviate overburdened roadways, protect Lake Champlain through enhanced storm water management, and improve vehicular, bike, and pedestrian safety.

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