Tag Archives: restrictive

Norway adopts further restrictive measures against Belarus

“Today, Norway has aligned with the EU’s new sectoral sanctions against Belarus as a response to the major human rights violations being committed by the country’s authorities,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide stated on Monday.

The situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate, with the jailing of members of the opposition, the harassment of human rights defenders, and the silencing of independent media. 

According to human rights organizations, Belarus has over 500 political prisoners. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has repeatedly urged the Belarusian authorities to cease their human rights violations.

Norway has aligned with the fourth round of the EU’s restrictive measures against Belarusian officials and entities, as well as the EU’s recently adopted measures against key sectors of the Belarusian economy. 

Restrictions

These include, among others, restrictions on trade in items used for repression, certain dual-use items, petroleum products, and goods used in tobacco manufacturing. 

These sectors provide the Belarusian state, and thus President Lukashenko’s antidemocratic regime, with large revenues. The Norwegian regulations on specific measures against Belarus will be updated with the latest additions.

“These sectoral sanctions demonstrate the resolve of Norway and its close European partners to react strongly to major human rights violations in Belarus. Instead of pursuing its failed policies, the regime must free all political prisoners and initiate a dialogue with the democratic forces,” Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide warned.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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The lawmakers will leave the state to stop Republicans from passing a new restrictive voting law, sources say

The majority of the Democrats fleeing Texas are flying to Washington, DC, on two chartered jets. They have kept planning secret because they can be legally compelled to return to the Capitol and believed law enforcement could be sent to track them down, the sources said.
Their move places Texas at the heart of the national fight over voting rights, with GOP state lawmakers turning former President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread voting fraud into a push for new laws that limit mail-in voting, early voting and more.
Already this year, Republican-controlled states including Florida, Georgia and Iowa have enacted restrictive new voting laws. Democrats in Congress have pushed measures that would expand access to the ballot box nationwide — but GOP opposition in the Senate has kept them from clearing the 60-vote threshold necessary to break a filibuster.
In Texas, minority House Democrats walked out of the final hours of this year’s legislative session, blocking Republicans from approving Senate Bill 7 — the controversial measure that would have made casting mail-in ballots harder; banned drive-thru voting centers and 24-hour voting — tactics Harris County, the home of Houston, used in the 2020 election; empowered poll watchers, made it easier for courts to overturn election results; effectively outlawed Black churches’ “souls to the polls” get out the vote push and more.
Abbott, the Republican governor who is seeking a third term in 2022, called a 30-day special legislative session, saying that “election integrity” would be one of his priorities. Majority Republicans in the House and Senate in recent days unveiled bills that closely mirrored SB 7.
State House and Senate committees advanced those bills after hearing opposition in hours-long hearings over the weekend.
The Democrats’ move raises questions about their objectives — whether they are seeking to block any new voting laws altogether or push Republicans to strip their measures of what Democrats see as the most objectionable elements — and how Republicans will try to force Democrats back into the House.
This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.

Gov. Abbott signs into law one of nation's most restrictive abortion bills

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott, surrounded by members of the Texas Legislature, signed into law Wednesday morning one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

The signing of Senate Bill 8, or the Texas heartbeat bill, ensures Texas will be at the center of the new legal challenges to Roe v. Wade. It’s supposed to take effect in September.

The law prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and while the bill doesn’t specify a timeframe, fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. In many instances, women don’t even know they are pregnant at that time. It also allows anyone to sue a doctor who performs or assists in an abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The bill makes an exception in cases of medical emergencies, but not for rape or incest.

Abbott signed the law to loud cheers from the bill’s 91 sponsors. Abbott called the bill bipartisan, but 90 of those co-sponsors are Republicans with the lone Democrat being Sen. Eddie Lucio. Lucio and Rep. Ryan Guillen were the only two Democrats to vote for the bill.

“Millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” Abbott said. “In Texas, we work to save those lives.”

The bill passed through the Texas Senate 18-12 with one senator abstaining. It passed on third vote in the Texas House 83-64 with two Democrats abstaining. Every Republican lawmaker voted for the bill.

Abortion advocates call the bill one of the most extreme restrictions nationwide. Diana Gomez, the advocacy manager for Progress Texas, said it’s unconstitutional.

“Let me be clear: Abortion is health care and it is still legal in Texas,” Gomez said. “This six-week abortion ban is unconstitutional and others like it have been struck down by federal courts across the nation.

“Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land and regardless of whatever bill Gov. Abbott signs, no law will stop abortions from happening. It’s unfortunate that anti-abortion politicians were more focused on restricting access to essential medical care this session than providing COVID relief and tackling our failed power grid.”

Author: Billy Gates
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Here's how Texas elections would change, and become more restrictive, under the bill Texas Republicans are pushing

Author Alexa Ura
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed