First Thing: Arizona supreme court to hear case on state’s 1864 abortion ban | US news #Arizona #supreme #court #hear #case #states #abortion #ban #news

Good morning.

The Arizona state supreme court will today hear arguments in a case over whether to reinstate an abortion ban that originated in 1864, before Arizona even became a state. The ban blocks people from helping to “procure the miscarriage” of a pregnant woman and allows abortions only to save her life. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Other states, such as Texas and Wisconsin, have tried to revive pre-Roe abortion bans, often referred to as “zombie bans”. But Arizona’s ban has been mired in more legal uncertainty than those in most other states. In addition to a host of other abortion regulations, Arizona had on the books the 1864 ban – which was initiated under Arizona’s pre-state territorial government, then updated and codified in 1901 – as well as a ban on the procedure past 15 weeks, which was signed into law in 2022.

Barbara Atwood, the director of the Family and Juvenile Law Certificate Program at the University of Arizona James E Rogers College of Law, said Arizona’s revival of a law that has gone unenforced for half a century would be “unprecedented”.

“There’s a huge regulatory structure that’s been enacted in the last 50 years post-Roe v Wade, where the Arizona legislature has very deliberately created lots of restrictions on the availability of abortion,” Atwood said. “If the old ban is brought back into effect, how it meshes with this other regulatory structure is very, very confusing.”

  • What’s happening in Texas? The Texas supreme court yesterday overturned a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed a pregnant woman to get an emergency abortion under the medical exception for the state’s near-total abortion ban, granting a petition by the Republican attorney general, Ken Paxton. The ruling came hours after lawyers for the woman, Kate Cox, said in a court filing that she had left the state to obtain the abortion, but nonetheless wanted to pursue the case.

Israel says operation against Hamas could last months as heavy fighting reported across Gaza

An Israel Defense Forces artillery unit, using a self-propelled artillery howitzer, fires towards Gaza near the border yesterday.
An Israel Defense Forces artillery unit, using a self-propelled artillery howitzer, fires towards Gaza near the border yesterday. Photograph: Alexi J Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Heavy fighting was reported across Gaza late into the evening last night, as Israel’s defence minister pushed back against international calls to wrap up the country’s military offensive in the territory, saying the current phase of the operation against Hamas would “take time”.

Yoav Gallant told the Associated Press the current phase of the conflict, characterised by heavy ground fighting backed up by air power, could stretch on for weeks and that further military activity could continue for months.

Gallant said the next phase would be lower-intensity fighting against “pockets of resistance” and would require Israeli troops to maintain their freedom of operation.

Gallant spoke as Israeli forces battled militants in and around the southern city of Khan Younis, where the military opened a new line of attack last week.

Talks extend beyond official end of climate summit after draft text proves ‘grossly insufficient’

This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage shows an activist protesting on stage against fossil fuels during an event at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai on December 11, 2023.
A grab from AFPTV video footage shows an activist protesting on stage yesterday at Cop28. Photograph: AFPTV/AFP/Getty Images

A draft deal to cut global fossil fuel production is “grossly insufficient” and “incoherent” and will not stop the world from facing dangerous climate breakdown, according to delegates at the UN’s Cop28 summit.

The heads of delegation met until the early hours, mostly expressing their deep unhappiness with the draft text produced by the summit presidency late yesterday afternoon. The scheduled end of the two-week conference has come and gone and as yet there is no new text to replace the document.

Many countries speaking at a session overnight argued the section lacked the urgency and ambition needed to deliver on what the Cop president, Sultan Al Jaber, called his “north star” – keeping 1.5C of heating within reach. For example, the mention of the consumption and production of fossil fuels says they could be reduced “in a just, orderly and equitable manner so as to achieve net zero by, before, or around 2050 in keeping with the science”. This suggests that fossil fuels could still be used after 2050, justified by an unlimited amount of problematic offsets – which definitely isn’t what the science demands.

With little sign of agreement on the final scheduled day of Cop28, the pressure is intense on Al Jaber to bring the 198 countries to an ambitious final deal.

  • What does the text say about fossil fuels? The draft text calls for “reducing both consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, so as to achieve net zero by, before or around 2050, in keeping with the science”.

In other news …

 Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally
Donald Trump at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 US presidential election results by in Washington on 6 January 2021. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters
  • Special counsel prosecutors indicated yesterday they will call three expert witnesses at Donald Trump’s trial over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election who could show how January 6 rioters moved on the Capitol in response to the former president’s tweets.

  • Moscow will “very attentively” watch a meeting between Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskiy planned for today, the Kremlin said. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Alexei Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leader, inside the prison system remains unknown.

  • Myanmar became the world’s biggest producer of opium in 2023, overtaking Afghanistan after the Taliban government’s crackdown on the trade, according to a United Nations report. Myanmar produced an estimated 1,080 metric tonnes of opium – essential for producing heroin – this year.

  • The branded coffee chain craze may trace its roots to a single Starbucks in Seattle’s Pike Place market in 1971, but China has toppled the US as the country with the most branded coffee shops. The number of branded coffee shops in China increased by 58% over the past 12 months to a record 49,691 outlets.

Help us raise $1.5m to fund independent journalism in 2024

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Photograph: The Guardian

As we head into 2024, the Guardian’s journalists are already hard at work preparing for one of the most consequential news cycles of our lifetimes. We need your support to raise $1.5m to fund our reporting on areas such as the 2024 election and the potential for another Trump presidency; war in the Middle East; the sweeping implications of artificial intelligence; the climate crisis; and investigations into high-stakes abuses of power. If you value our reporting, please make a year-end gift today. We’re depending on you.

Stat of the day: More than 160 representatives with climate-denying track records got Cop28 access

Activists protest against polluting countries during Cop28 in Dubai.
Activists protest against polluting countries during Cop28 in Dubai. Photograph: Amr Alfiky/Reuters

Influential industry trade groups, thinktanks and public relations agencies with a track record in climate denialism and misleading the public have been given access to the UN climate talks in Dubai, the Guardian can reveal. Corporate Accountability, a transparency watchdog, has found that UN organizers gave these groups the same or greater access to the international negotiations as Indigenous communities, human rights groups and climate justice organizations. The new data, derived from official UN delegate lists, found at least 166 climate deniers and fossil fuel public relations professionals are at Cop28. The true number is probably significantly higher.

Don’t miss this: ‘I couldn’t believe this act of kindness’ – how Black women trying to get pregnant create their own healthcare networks

Illustration: white women in a clinic waiting room as Black women look in as they pass outside.
Mutual aid helps these women navigate the tolls of infertility, offering support many say they rarely receive in clinical settings. Illustration: Rachelle Baker/The Guardian

For many Black women in the US, infertility has a complicated duality. The inability to conceive is often invisible, pushed out of view by shame, the racist notion that Black women are hyper-fertile, or the idea that such struggles should remain private. Yet for people aspiring to parenthood amid fertility problems, getting the family they want often requires complete transparency about their condition.

Faced with so many barriers, Black women often turn to mutual aid to navigate the medical system and infertility’s emotional, financial and bodily tolls. The sharing of resources: information, medications, money and even donated biological material such as sperm, eggs and embryos is a key component of these groups.

Last Thing: seven ways to make your holidays a little greener

Illustration of a Christmas tree decorated with the recycle symbol and with one present under it.
How do you avoid plastic when shopping for toys? Composite: The Guardian/Getty Images

During the holidays, it can be challenging to reconcile indulgence and tradition with environmental responsibility. Seven eco-experts explain how they are planning to celebrate their holidays sustainably.

“Thinking about how much plastic packaging piles up around the holidays stresses me out – ditto how many toys are bought, only to go unused,” writes Jeff Wint, plastics reduction program manager at the Ocean Wise Conservation Institute. “Plastic toys aren’t recyclable, so buying them second hand also saves them from landfill and extends their life. There’s this idea that everything has to be brand new to be the best, but honestly, I find that if another kid already loved a toy, chances are good that mine will love it, too.”

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