Jun 1, 2019

Illinois moves to establish abortion access as a "fundamental right"

Protestors n Evanston, Illinois on May 21, 2019. Photo: Xinhua/Wang Ping/Getty Images

An Illinois bill that establishes the "fundamental right" for women to have abortion access passed in the state Senate on Friday evening, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Illinois joins a growing list of states that are rushing to protect abortion access as restrictions ramp up — in some instances without exceptions for rape or incest — in a number of other states.

Details: The Illinois bill, or Reproductive Health Act, states that a “fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent rights" and repeals Illinois's 1975 abortion law, thereby eliminating criminal penalties for physicians who perform abortions and other restrictions on facilities where abortions are performed and provisions for waiting periods or spousal consent.

The bottom line: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the bill, which outlines some of the strongest abortion protections in the country.

Go deeper: State-by-state chart of where things stand if Roe v. Wade falls

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Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health