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The "Tdap" vaccine at the Nasson Health Care clinic in Springvale, Maine in 2018. Photo: Brianna Soukup/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Maine is close to adding a ballot question to ask voters "to overturn a state law eliminating nonmedical vaccine exemptions for school children," due to efforts from members of the anti-vaccination movement, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: "Maine is one of a handful of states that have passed laws to limit exemptions to vaccinations developed to stop the spread of infectious diseases like measles, which immunization can keep at bay," per the WSJ. Earlier this year, the Democrat-controlled state legislature passed the law for fear of low immunization rates among young people.

  • "New York eliminated religious exemptions from school-vaccination rules this year," the WSJ notes — and that "repeal came in the midst of the worst measles outbreak in the U.S. since 1992."
  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said this week that he "wants his state to eliminate most exemptions via new legislation," per the WSJ.
  • California passed a law in 2015 that "barred families from citing personal beliefs, including religion, as a reason for schoolchildren to receive exemptions" for vaccination, per the WSJ — and a newly proposed state law aims to curb medical exemptions for vaccines.

Go deeper: No new measles cases reported last week for first time since January

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.