WASHINGTON — The Senate turned back legislation Monday to ban abortion after 20-weeks of pregnancy, halting a Republican-led effort to restrict access to the late-term procedure with a bill that President Donald Trump said he would sign into law.

The House had passed the measure last fall and Trump’s endorsement this month gave it new momentum. But on a 51-46 Senate vote, it failed to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a Democratic-led filibuster to advance.

Voting in Congress largely fell along party lines. In the Senate, two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, opposed the bill. Three Democrats, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted in favor.

Polling shows the procedure is unpopular, and supporters argued that the U.S. should follow other countries that have banned it. Opponents, however, say it is used in rare occasions, and often in complex situations when the woman’s life is endangered.

—Tribune Washington Bureau


Ex-LAPD officer pleads not guilty to allegations he had sex with teen cadet

LOS ANGELES — A former Los Angeles police officer pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he had sex with a 15-year-old girl who was enrolled in the department’s signature youth mentoring program.

Robert Cain, 31, was charged with two counts of oral copulation of a person under the age of 16, lewd acts on a child and unlawful sexual intercourse last year, as part of an investigation into the theft of LAPD cruisers by teenage members of the cadet program.

He entered his plea in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom and will remain in custody in lieu of $240,000 bail. Cain is scheduled to return to court in early March.

The accusations against Cain first surfaced in June, after a wild car chase through South L.A. revealed that cadets had been stealing department cruisers, radios and other equipment.

Late last year, the Los Angeles Times obtained court records that showed the cadets had been driving the stolen cruisers around Los Angeles County for months undetected.

Seven cadets were arrested in connection with the thefts, and a search of one of the teen’s phones revealed Cain had sex with a 15-year-old girl in the program on several occasions, police have said.

He was personally arrested by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck as the investigation unfolded. Cain, who was last assigned to the equipment room at 77th Street Division, has since resigned from the department.

Police found more than 100 firearms during a subsequent search of his Rancho Cucamonga home, and Cain pleaded no contest earlier this month to manufacturing an assault weapon and possession of a “bump stock,” a device that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire as if they are automatic weapons.

Cain was sentenced to two years in prison in the weapons case. He faces a maximum sentence of seven years and eight months in state prison if he is convicted on the sex crime charges, and could also be required to register as a sex offender.

—Los Angeles Times


36 killed in east India as bus plunges into river

NEW DELHI — At least 36 people were killed on Monday after a bus fell into a river in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, where locals later attacked police officers for allegedly arriving late to the scene of the accident.

The bus crashed through a bridge in the district of Murshidabad and fell into the Bhairab River. Crowds gathered at the scene shortly afterward and pelted police with stones. The police dispersed the crowd by firing tear gas.

“The bodies were recovered from the bus … by Monday evening. Nine women and three children are among the victims,” local police chief Supriya Ranjan Manjhi told dpa.

Media reports citing official sources said it took eight hours to lift the bus using hydraulic cranes.

There were more than 50 people on the bus and 12 people were rescued or swam to safety. Several people are missing and rescue work is ongoing, Manjhi said.

Local media said two fire service personnel and a police officer were injured in the clashes, but there was no confirmation from police. The reports said protesters set fire to two police vans.



Liberia president pledges to extend citizenship to all races

MONROVIA, Liberia — President George Weah pledged to abolish a law prohibiting people who are not of black skin color from becoming citizens and owning property in Liberia.

Since the founding of the West African nation by former African-American slaves in 1847, Liberia’s constitution only allowed citizenship and property ownership for people of black skin color.

“This contradicts the founding name of Liberia, which means ‘Liberty,’” Weah said Monday during his first address to the nation since his inauguration as president a week ago.

“We should have nothing to fear for other races becoming citizens of Liberia. I recommend and propose that consideration be given removing this clause in the Constitution,” Weah said.

The president added the law was also limiting economic development, as it discouraged foreign investors as long as they were unable to own land and property.

“This is inconsistent with my pronouncement that Liberia is open for business,” Weah said.

The 51-year-old former international football star won a December run-off election against his opponent, outgoing Vice President Joseph Boakai, taking 61.5 percent of the vote.



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