ABC News 11 May 2017Family First Comment: A great decision.Decriminalisation removes safeguards. Even pro-abortion politicians admitted that…“The bill in its current form places no limit on the gestation at which an abortion can be performed, it does not mandate if it can be performed by a clinician, it does not provide a framework, it just takes [it] away.”www.chooselife.org.nzA bill to decriminalise abortion has been voted down in New South Wales Parliament.Members of the public gallery yelled “shame” as it was announced the bill had been defeated 25 to 14.Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s bill sought to have offences relating to abortion removed from the Crimes Act and common law.It also required doctors who objected to abortion to refer patients on to a doctor who would help them and to install 150-metre safe access zones around abortion clinics to prevent the harassment of staff and patients.Both pro-choice and pro-life protesters lined up in front of Parliament ahead of the debate and the public gallery was packed with supporters and opponents of the bill.MPs from both sides of the chamber were granted a conscience vote on the issue — but a number of pro-choice MPs expressed concerns about details of the bill.Dr Faruqi said that the fight to decriminalise abortion would continue despite the voting down of her bill.Barriers greater for disadvantagedLabor MP Penny Sharpe, who has also written a bill to install safe access zones around abortion clinics, spoke in support of Dr Faruqi’s bill.“These laws are now 116 years old, after 116 years these laws are no longer in line with community expectation or modern medical practice,” she said.“Abortion should be regulated in the same way as all other surgical and medical practices. Our current law is archaic and unclear.”Ms Sharpe expressed concern socially disadvantaged people had more obstacles to abortion access.“[The law] creates barriers for patients and for doctors. These barriers are greater for those who are already disadvantaged.”Opposition concerns over bill’s legal frameworkLabor’s health spokesperson Walt Secord voted for the bill as he is pro-choice — but expressed concern that it left no legal framework to allow medically approved abortions to occur.“As the shadow health minister for the last three years I have not received a single representation on abortion or the need for legal clarification — until [Dr Faruqi] began her campaign,” he said.“Dr Faruqi’s legislation has not provided a legal framework to allow medically approved abortions to occur. She’s removed that — with nothing in its place.“The bill in its current form places no limit on the gestation at which an abortion can be performed, it does not mandate if it can be performed by a clinician, it does not provide a framework, it just takes [it] away.”READ MORE: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-11/nsw-parliament-votes-no-on-abortion-bill/8517566
Veteran NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski has been suspended from ESPN without pay, according to the New York Post. ESPN has not publicly confirmed the suspension and declined to comment to the Post. Wojnarowski’s suspension stems from replying “F— you” in an email in response to Missouri senator Josh Hawley. Hawley had sent an email criticizing the NBA for the messages allowed on the back of players’ jerseys during the NBA restart. Hawley argued there should be additional messages such as “Stand with Hong Kong” or messages supporting law enforcemant. The letter was addressed to NBA commissioner Adam Silver.Wojnarowski apologized for his actions saying they were “disrespectful” and he made a “regrettable mistake.” In its own statement, ESPN called Wojnarowski’s email “completely unacceptable behavior.”https://t.co/cHyqaxBLQC pic.twitter.com/b2gPBcNzS3— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) July 10, 2020MORE: LeBron won’t wear social justice message on jersey When news came down of Wojnarowski’s reported suspension, several people came to his defense. The hashtag #FreeWoj began trending on Twitter as several NBA enthusiasts shared their praise and offered support for the veteran reporter. Many of those people sharing the #FreeWoj hashtag were NBA players. Players like LeBron James, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Jamal Murray and more shared their opinion.#FreeWOJ!! 🤜🏻🤛🏾— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 12, 2020Aye #Freewoj man 😂😂— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 12, 2020Till it’s backwards 🙏🏾🙏🏾 https://t.co/AwP0IqUHW6— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) July 12, 2020#freeWoj— Anthony Tolliver (@ATolliver44) July 12, 2020💯 https://t.co/4Erg4PubDj— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) July 12, 2020#FreeWoj— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) July 12, 2020#FreeWoj ✊🏾 but in the #Verzuz battle I’m taking @ShamsCharania— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) July 12, 2020#NBATwitter finding out @espn suspended Woj #FreeWojpic.twitter.com/xCgeEZj5fW— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) July 12, 2020Until It’s Backwards!! https://t.co/BzKDZtjQAd— 13am Adebayo💥 (@Bam1of1) July 12, 2020😭😭😭 #freewoj tho https://t.co/TpARz2cLIa— Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) July 12, 2020🗣 #FreeWoj ‼️— Harrison Barnes (@hbarnes) July 13, 2020NBA players weren’t the only ones sharing messages of support. On Change.org, a created petition named “Get Adrian Wojnarowski (Woj) His Job back. FREE WOJ” has over 6,000 signatures as of this writing.
BILL FLETCHER JR.(NNPA)—The recent news about NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett was more than unsettling. Having been diagnosed with the early stages of chronic encephalopathy, an illness directly related to head traumas, he feels his life slipping away from him. At the age of 59 he faces an uncertain future, yet it is a future that has confronted many football players, past and present.Dorsett was part of the group of former football players who settled with the NFL recently for $765 million in connection with conditions such as CTE that have resulted from their football years. The settlement itself was highly controversial since it underestimates the extent of damage done to football players and, in effect, let’s the NFL off the hook. Nevertheless, many former players were desperate for a settlement in order to address their on-going medical problems.Dorsett was a star among stars, someone who seemed nearly invincible in his greatness. Nevertheless, careers end and the physical damage inflicted on the players over the years takes its toll, resulting in conditions such as CTE and a shortened life-span for these modern-day gladiators.When we hear the news about former players, such as Dorsett, most of us shake our heads in both sadness and frustration…and then we turn on the next football game. We create a peculiar sort of disconnect between the reality of the injuries faced by these players, and the activity that so many of us watch on any given Sunday. We do not stop and think about the sorts of demands that we, the fans of professional football, need to place on the football industry in its entirety.The issue of safety is not one exclusive to the NFL. It really is a matter that must be addressed when high schoolers start playing and then when they work their way to college. The injuries start early and there is no scientific certainty as to how many injuries ultimately result in conditions such as CTE, not to mention countless other challenges, such as injuries to bones and joints.There comes a time when shaking our heads, as those watching the gladiators competing on Sundays, makes us complicit in the misery that many of these players face upon the end of their careers. Perhaps it is time to join with the NFL Players Association in demanding greater steps to address safety, but also appropriate medical care and long-term assistance for the players when they have moved on. To do otherwise feels no different than the equivalent of watching the gladiators do battle in the ancient Roman coliseums. The only difference seems to be that death was quicker in the coliseum. Today, we allow our modern day gladiators to end their lives slowly in misery and absent dignity.(Bill Fletcher Jr. is a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum, and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us”—And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Follow him on Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.)Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courier
In this April 15, 2013, file photo, Shalane Flanagan approaches the finish line to finish fourth in the women’s division of the Boston Marathon in Boston. Flanagan is more determined than ever to win the race for her battered hometown. The Marblehead, Mass., native would be the first American winner since 1985. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)BOSTON (AP) — Shalane Flanagan grew up in nearby Marblehead with a reverence for the Boston Marathon and dreamed, like many locals and foreign runners alike, that she would win the race someday.Her goal has changed now.But only a little.“If I could have one wish, it would be to win this specific race on this specific day,” she said this week. “It basically would be the highlight of my career, for sure. If I could win this specific Boston: It has the most power, the most meaning behind it, of all the Boston Marathons that would be run.”A year after two bombs at the finish line killed three and wounded 264 others, the 118th edition of the Boston Marathon has become a symbol of resilience for the running community, the city and a nation shocked by an attack on one of its beloved traditions. And Flanagan, a three-time Olympian who finished fourth in her Boston debut last year, is hoping an American victory in her hometown race will help heal the wounds caused by last year’s bombings.“I think something magical can happen for us,” she said. “It means so much to me, so much to my community and my family. I almost have to pretend that it’s just another race, when deep down I know it isn’t.”No American runner has won the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach took the women’s title in 1985, two years after Greg Meyer’s victory that is the last American win in the men’s division. Since then, the top U.S. contender has trekked to Hopkinton each year hoping that an end to the slump will trigger a resurgence in American distance running.But a year after the bombing on Boylston Street provoked a national outpouring of sympathy for Boston and its signature sporting event, Americans are staking even more on a victory in 2014.“There are so many more eyes on the race this year,” said Desiree Linden, who finished second by 2 seconds in 2011 and was the last American runner to reach the Boston podium. “I think it would be really special to the people of Boston.”Linden, of Chula Vista, Calif., finished second when Flanagan won the 2012 Olympic trials on a different course here, but she dropped out of the race at the London Games with a stress fracture in her right leg that also prevented her from running Boston in 2013.Now she is back as part of one of the best U.S. women’s fields in decades. The men’s contenders include Ryan Hall, who finished fourth in 2011 in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 58 seconds — the fastest time ever run by an American marathoner — along with three-time Olympian and 2009 New York winner Meb Keflezighi.Although a victory would be great, of course, Hall thinks the added attention itself will give the sport a boost.“I’m happy to be a part of all the runners coming together — however that looks,” he said. “I don’t want to say it has to mean winning Boston or having a super-fast time. I want to be a part of such a historic race. I’m going to milk the excitement, the atmosphere. It’s going to come out of me on the race course. I know I’m going to get to the finish line faster than I otherwise would have.”East Africans have won the men’s race at the Boston Marathon every year since 1991, with Kenyans taking 14 straight titles and 20 of the last 23. On the women’s side, a pair of Russian wins is the only thing that interrupts a 17-year streak of Kenyan and Ethiopian dominance.But after a string of years in which no Americans even cracked the top 10, the hometown runners have had a resurgence. Last year, Flanagan and Colorado’s Jason Hartmann each finished fourth, Kara Goucher took sixth in the women’s race and there were as many U.S. men in the top 10 as Kenyans or Ethiopians.To break through to the top step on the podium this year, the U.S. runners will have to keep their emotions under control. Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to line the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston, a course that is littered with stories of runners who outran their pace and faltered.“If the emotion gets me too soon, it could absolutely ruin the race for me,” Flanagan said. “I sure we can use it to our advantage.”But Meyer, a Michigan native who moved to Massachusetts to get more familiar with the course, thinks having a passion for the race will give Flanagan an edge.“I don’t think it’s the energy of the crowd. I think it’s the energy in their own soul,” he said. “You have to believe that this is the most important thing you’re going to do in your racing career. I’ve seen that from Shalane.”And, if it’s Linden or Hall who gets the laurel wreath while listening to the “Star-Spangled Banner” play over Boylston Street, Flanagan will be OK with that, too.“It gives me chills just thinking about that,” she said. “If it’s not me, I pray that it is one of us: Meb, Desi, Ryan, Jason. I truly believe that we can pull it off. It would be so inspiring for all of us. I would just be so happy to a part of it.”___Follow Jimmy Golen on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/jgolen .