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Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Northern Ireland is set to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage at midnight on Tuesday, marking a massive shift for the last country in the U.K. where both are outlawed, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Northern Ireland has been home to some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws since the Victorian era, prohibiting the procedure in almost all instances, except when the mother's life was in danger. Women could be legally punished for receiving an abortion, or even seeking one.

  • The rest of the United Kingdom has allowed abortions up until the 24th week of pregnancy since 1967.
  • For generations, many women in Northern Ireland have been forced to illegally purchase pills or travel elsewhere in the U.K. to obtain abortions, per the Post.

Between the lines: Northern Ireland has a long history of sectarian tensions between unionists, who want to remain in the U.K., and nationalists, who want to rejoin the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland's legislative assembly has not convened in almost three years amid these bitter divisions.

  • As a result, the U.K. Parliament in London has passed a bill to ensure public services continue to function. Lawmakers tacked on amendments to legalize same-sex marriage and abortion, much to the anger of conservative Northern Irish politicians.

Go deeper: New poll finds "dramatic shift" on abortion attitudes

Go deeper

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.

3 hours ago - World

Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

Nicolas Sarkozy, 2011. Photo: XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A court in Paris on Monday sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate, AP reports.

Driving the news: Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first president in France’s modern history to have gone on trial for corruption, per AP. He was charged with corruption and influence-peddling.