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A federal judge on Saturday blocked two portions of North Carolina’s new abortion law from taking effect while a lawsuit continues. But nearly all of the restrictions approved by the legislature this year, including a near-ban after 12 weeks of pregnancy, aren’t being specifically challenged and remain intact.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles issued an order halting enforcement of a provision to require surgical abortions that occur after 12 weeks — those for cases of rape and incest, for example — be performed only in hospitals, not abortion clinics. That limitation would have otherwise taken effect on Sunday.

And in the same preliminary injunction, Eagles extended beyond her temporary decision in June an order preventing enforcement of a rule that doctors must document the existence of a pregnancy within the uterus before prescribing a medication abortion.

Short of successful appeals by Republican legislative leaders defending the laws, the order will remain in effect until a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and a physician who performs abortions challenging the sections are resolved. The lawsuit also seeks to have clarified whether medications can be used during the second trimester to induce labor of a fetus that can’t survive outside the uterus.

The litigation doesn’t directly seek to topple the crux of the abortion law enacted in May after GOP legislators overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. North Carolina had a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks before July 1, when the law scaled it back to 12 weeks.

The law, a response to the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade, also added new exceptions for abortions through 20 weeks for cases of rape and incest and through 24 weeks for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies. A medical emergency exception also stayed in place.

On medication abortions, which bill sponsors say also are permitted through 12 weeks of pregnancy, the new law says a physician prescribing an abortion-inducing drug must first “document in the woman’s medical chart the ... intrauterine location of the pregnancy.”

Eagles wrote the plaintiffs were likely to be successful on their claim that the law is so vague as to subject abortion providers to claims that they broke the law if they can’t locate an embryo through an ultrasound because the pregnancy is so new.



The union representing screenwriters reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios to end a historic strike after nearly five months, raising hopes that a crippling shutdown of movie and television filming could be near an end.

Actors remain on strike, but the deal with writers might help them find a resolution soon as well.

The Writers Guild of America announced the deal Sunday in a joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations. The agreement must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike officially ends. That could happen this week.

The pact “was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days,” the guild said in an email to members.

In a longer message from the guild shared by members on social media, the writers were told the strike is not over and no one was to return to work until hearing otherwise, but picketing was to be suspended immediately.

The three-year contract agreement emerged after five marathon days of renewed talks by WGA and AMPTP negotiators, who were joined at times by studio executives. The terms were not immediately announced. The deal to end the last writers strike, in 2008, was approved by more than 90% of union members.

Media and entertainment companies got a small boost from the news. Shares in Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount, Disney and Netflix all rose about 2% or less on Monday.



Freddie O’Connell, a progressive member of Nashville’s metro council, has resoundingly won the race to become the next mayor of the Democratic-leaning city, according to unofficial results.

Results from the Davidson County Election Commission show O’Connell defeated conservative candidate Alice Rolli in Thursday’s runoff election by a wide margin, with all precincts reporting. Candidates in the race do not run with party affiliations.

Since 2015, O’Connell has served on the combined city-county government’s council, representing a district that covers downtown Nashville. He succeeds Mayor John Cooper, who decided not to seek reelection.

O’Connell, whose campaign touted him as the “only truly progressive candidate running for mayor,” said he wants to make the city “more ’ville and less Vegas,” a reference to the “Nashvegas” moniker sometimes used to liken the huge boom in tourism in the city to Las Vegas.

“Every part of this city deserves the public resources that bind neighborhoods and neighbors together — schools, parks and libraries,” O’Connell said in a victory speech. “And when we do that, our interactions with our local government should leave us feeling satisfied that a real person worked to solve our issue.”

Down the ballot, Olivia Hill won an at-large metro council seat to make history as the first transgender candidate to be elected to office in Tennessee, according to the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund. Hill’s victory stands in contrast to Tennessee’s Republican leadership in state government, where lawmakers have passed a series of restrictions on the rights of transgender people.



Hunter Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service on Monday, claiming that two agents publicly alleging tax-probe interference wrongly shared his personal information, a case that comes amid escalating legal and political struggles as the 2024 election looms.

The agents “targeted and sought to embarrass Mr. Biden” with the sharing of confidential tax information in press interviews and testimony before Congress, the suit said. His lawyers argue that whistleblower protections don’t apply, but a lawyer for one agent said any confidential information released came under whistleblower authorization and called the suit a “frivolous smear.”

The lawsuit marks the latest legal pushback from Biden as a long-running federal investigation into him unfolds against a sharply political backdrop. That includes an impeachment inquiry aimed at his father, President Joe Biden, seeking to tie him to his son’s business dealings.

“Mr. Biden is the son of the President of the United States. He has all the same responsibilities as any other American citizen, and the IRS can and should make certain that he abides by those responsibilities,” the suit states. “Similarly, Mr. Biden has no fewer or lesser rights than any other American citizen, and no government agency or government agent” has free rein to violate his rights simply because of who he is.

The suit says the IRS hasn’t done enough to halt the airing of his personal information. It seeks to “force compliance with federal tax and privacy laws” and damages of $1,000 for every unauthorized disclosure.

IRS supervisory special agent Greg Shapley, and a second agent, Joe Ziegler, have claimed there was a pattern of “slow-walking investigative steps” into Hunter Biden in testimony before Congress. They alleged that the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, didn’t have full authority to bring charges in other jurisdictions. Weiss and the Justice Department have denied that.

Shapley’s lawyer called the lawsuit a “frivolous smear” that sought to “intimidate any current and future whistleblowers.” He didn’t release confidential tax information except through legal whistleblower disclosures, his attorney said. “Once Congress released that testimony, like every American citizen, he has a right to discuss that public information.”



Film director Agnieszka Holland demanded an apology from Poland’s justice minister after he compared her latest film, which explores the migration crisis at the Poland-Belarus border, to Nazi propaganda.

Holland said Wednesday that she planned to bring defamation charges against Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro unless she receives an apology within seven days. She also demanded that he make a charitable donation of 50,000 Polish zlotys ($11,600) to an association that helps Holocaust survivors.

Holland’s feature film, “Green Border,” explores a migration crisis that has played out along Poland’s border with Belarus over the past two years. It takes a sympathetic approach toward the migrants from the Middle East and Africa who got caught up as pawns in a geopolitical standoff.

It also looks critically at the way Poland’s security services pushed back migrants who were lured to the border by Belarus, an ally of Russia.

Ziobro slammed the film earlier this week, saying: “In the Third Reich, the Germans produced propaganda films showing Poles as bandits and murderers. Today, they have Agnieszka Holland for that.”

He made his comment on the social platform X, formerly Twitter, on Monday, a day before the film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Holland noted in a statement that Ziobro, who serves as prosecutor general as well as justice minster, commented on her film without having seen it and that she believed his words amounted to defamation, calling them “despicable.”

“I cannot remain indifferent to such an open and brutal attack by a person who holds the very important constitutional position of minister of justice and prosecutor general in Poland,” she wrote in a statement from Venice dated Wednesday but published in Poland on Thursday.



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