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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan today as tensions between Washington and Beijing worsened as warnings of Chinese retaliation intensified.
Pelosi took a group photo with a team of Taiwanese officials on the tarmac as she got off the plane at about 10:50 p.m. local time.
Minutes after Pelosi’s landing, China’s foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the visit as a “serious violation” of the one-China principle that insists Taiwan is part of China, not its own, and accused the United States of being a “separatist army.”
In her own statement, Pelosi called the visit a fulfillment of the United States’ “unwavering commitment to support Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”
“Today, the unity of the United States and Taiwan’s 23 million people is more important than ever as the world faces a choice between authoritarianism and democracy,” she said in a statement.
it is Ella Today’s headlines come from Washington.
Justice Department challenges Idaho abortion law
The Justice Department sued Idaho on Tuesday, hoping to repeal their restrictive abortion law. It was the first such challenge from the Biden administration since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
“We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that pregnant women receive the emergency medical care that federal law entitles them to,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “We will closely review state abortion laws to ensure they comply with federal law.”
An Idaho law will go into effect on August 25, criminalizing all abortions. Anyone who had an abortion could face two to five years in prison. According to the Justice Department, Idaho’s near-total abortion ban violates federal law that allows the procedure to take place in cases where urgent care is needed to stabilize a patient. For now, State law only allows an abortion if the mother’s life is in danger, or in the case of rape or incest, if the assault was previously reported to law enforcement and records are provided to the abortion provider.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said the federal law is “clear.”
“Patients have the right to stabilize hospital emergency room care, no matter where they live,” Becerra said. “Women should not have access to care in near-death situations.”
Idaho officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the judicial action.
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Texas militia member gets worst punishment for congressional thugs
In a case related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, the harshest penalty was awarded to a Texas militia member on Monday.
Guy Wesley Reffitt was sentenced to just over seven years in prison after a federal court jury in March found him guilty of five criminal counts. It was the first jury trial to emerge following an extensive government investigation into the attack.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich’s sentence increased by two years from the previous longest term.
Just before the sentencing, Reffitt apologized at the last minute, telling Friedrich “I really hate what I did.” Friedrich described the former oilfield worker’s last-minute expression of remorse as ” very late”.
Refitt’s son Jackson told CNN he was not happy with the verdict, and neither was his family.
“He’s his own person, he made his own choices, but he was also almost manipulated into making those choices. It pains me that he remains accountable for his actions,” Reffitt said Tuesday.
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