Tag Archives: bans

California Bans State-Sponsored Travel to Iowa over Refusal to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Reassignment Surgeries

California Bans State-Sponsored Travel to Iowa over Refusal to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Reassignment SurgeriesCalifornia added an eleventh state to its travel blacklist on Friday, banning state-sponsored travel to Iowa over that state's refusal to cover gender-transition surgeries under its Medicaid program.California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced the decision to add Iowa to the travel-ban list, which takes effect October 4 and means public employees and college students will not be able to travel to Iowa on the taxpayer's dime.In May, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a law blocking Medicaid from paying for gender-reassignment surgeries despite the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in favor of charging taxpayers for the procedures. Gender identity is a protected characteristic under Iowa's Civil Rights Act."The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming healthcare," Becerra said in a statement. "California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it."California's travel blacklist stems from a 2016 law allowing the Golden State to ban state travel to other U.S. states that roll back protections for LGBT citizens. Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Kentucky are also on the list.



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New York bans the sale of flavored e-cigarettes by emergency order from Governor Cuomo

New York bans the sale of flavored e-cigarettes by emergency order from Governor CuomoGovernor Andrew Cuomo is taking action against electronic cigarettes.On Saturday, the New York governor announced an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in-state.Gov. Cuomo tweeted the news and noted that State police and the New York Department of Health will "ramp up enforcement against retailers who sell to underage youth" and he will continue to "advance legislation to eliminate deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes" to young people.> BREAKING: Today I am announcing emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. > > -State Police and DOH to ramp up enforcement against retailers who sell to underage youth > > -We will advance legislation to eliminate deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to youth> > — Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 15, 2019SEE ALSO: Donald Trump wants to ban flavored vapesGov. Cuomo's emergency action comes after a "series of actions to combat the increasing number of youth using vape products." E-cigarette companies have faced a great deal of backlash for marketing flavored products, apparently to young people in hopes of enticing them to try vapes, which could ultimately lead to an increase in teen vaping and youth nicotine addiction."New York is confronting this crisis head-on and today we are taking another nation-leading step to combat a public health emergency," Gov. Cuomo said at today's event."Manufacturers of fruit and candy-flavored e-cigarettes are intentionally and recklessly targeting young people, and today we're taking action to put an end to it. At the same time, unscrupulous stores are knowingly selling vaping products to underage youth — those retailers are now on notice that we are ramping up enforcement and they will be caught and prosecuted."Earlier this week, after reports of possible vape-related illnesses sparked concern in the medical world, President Trump also shared his thoughts on flavored vape products along with a desire to regulate them."It's not a wonderful thing," Trump said about vaping. "It's got big problems we've got to find out the extent of the problem."First Lady Melania Trump also chimed in on the topic and expressed her concern in a tweet about "the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children."> I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children. We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth. @HHSGov> > — Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 9, 2019As Mashable noted in an earlier piece, Alex Azar, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, said the specifics of the ban would take several weeks to put together. After the specifics are released the ban would then take 30 days to go into effect, and would remove all flavors, except tobacco, from the market.The plan would reportedly let manufacturers of flavored vapes apply for FDA approval in 2020.



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Italy bans German-flagged rescue ship to enter its waters-sources

Italy bans German-flagged rescue ship to enter its waters-sourcesROME/BERLIN, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has signed a decree to ban a migrant rescue ship operated by the German charity Mission Lifeline from accessing Italian waters, sources at the ministry said on Tuesday. The ship dubbed Eleonore is currently carrying 101 refugees rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, said Axel Steier, head of Mission Lifeline, adding that both Italian and Maltese authorities had declined to let the migrants land. “If the ship gets into distress at sea, it will travel to a port”, Steier said, adding that only Italy and Malta were possible destinations due to the ship’s location.



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Palestinian Authority Bans LGBTQ Organizing in West Bank

Palestinian Authority Bans LGBTQ Organizing in West BankThe Palestinian Authority has banned all LGBTQ political organizing in the West Bank in response to the news that a pro-LGBTQ advocacy group was planning to hold a gathering for its members at the end of the month.The ban, which was first reported Sunday by the Jerusalem Post, was issued in response to the organizing efforts of Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, a pro-LGBTQ political group that held an event last month and was planning to hold another in the coming weeks.Palestinian Authority police spokesperson Luay Zreikat said that LGBTQ events were “harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society” in justifying the ban. Zreikat also accused unspecified “dubious parties” of attempting to “create discord and harm civic peace in Palestinian society” through the group's events.In response, Al-Qaws, which means "the bow" in Arabic, argued that it is an organization that is firmly embedded in Palestinian society and does not seek to disrupt it.“The Palestinian police announcement about our activities is very unfortunate,” the group said in a statement. “It’s very strange that they are accusing us of being a suspicious entity working to take apart Palestinian society. Al-Qaws is a Palestinian organization that has been operating since 2001, and is carrying out educational and professional programs on sexual and gender diversity. We totally reject the attempt to create an atmosphere of prosecution and intimidation, as well as threats of arrest.”An unnamed member of Al-Qaws also told the Post that he and his friends have received hundreds of death threats, most of which were sent through Facebook.“The attack on us is unprecedented,” the man said. “They are calling us traitors and corrupt people and many are calling for our execution. We are afraid for our lives.”



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Democratic Dishonesty on Assault-Weapon Bans

Democratic Dishonesty on Assault-Weapon Bans‘The 1994 assault weapons and high-capacity magazines bans worked. And if I am elected president, we’re going to pass them again — and this time, we’ll make them even stronger,” Joe Biden promised this week.The only thing stopping the assault-weapon ban from getting through the Republican-controlled Senate, Biden wrote in a New York Times op-ed on Monday, is “weak-willed leaders who care more about their campaign coffers than children in coffins.”Accusing anyone of caring more about getting campaign contributions than stopping the murder of children is incredibly vicious. It’s the type of ad hominem attack you would not expect from a candidate who portrays himself as a bipartisan dealmaker who can restore civility and unite a divided country.It’s also an incredibly hypocritical attack coming from Biden. Do you know how many votes Democrats held on gun control during the first two years of the Obama-Biden administration, when there were huge Democratic congressional majorities? Zero. If “weak-willed leaders who care more about their campaign coffers than children in coffins” are the only thing stopping the assault-weapon ban, isn’t that a searing indictment of President Obama, Vice President Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader Harry Reid?Unlike most elected Republicans, who believe that an assault-weapon ban would be unconstitutional and ineffective at stopping mass shootings, those Democratic leaders all believe the assault-weapon ban is constitutional and actually works. So why didn’t Pelosi and Reid hold any votes when Democrats had a once-in-a-generation supermajority in Congress?Reid, for his part, is blaming the Senate’s 60-vote requirement to end debate for the failure to pass gun control. “People ask why the federal government hasn’t lifted a finger to stop the growing epidemic of gun violence, despite Americans’ demands for action and overwhelming support for common-sense reforms like universal background checks and bans on high-capacity magazines,” Reid wrote in a separate New York Times op-ed on Tuesday calling for the abolition of the 60-vote requirement. “They ask how we can stand by as the country suffers tragedy after tragedy and averages more than one mass shooting every single day. The answer once again: the filibuster.”But it’s misleading for Reid to blame the filibuster alone for the failure to pass a ban on “high-capacity magazines.” Democrats held 59 or 60 seats from 2009 to 2011 — when Reid was majority leader — and there were a handful of Republicans in the Senate who in 2004 had voted to extend the 1994 assault-weapon ban, which prohibited the sale of a number of semiautomatic rifles, based largely on their cosmetic features, as well as magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. Yet Reid never brought an assault-weapon bill to the floor, much less engage in the kind of arm-twisting he used to pass Obamacare.It wasn’t until 2013, when Republicans controlled the House, that Reid allowed a vote on an assault-weapon ban after the Sandy Hook massacre. At the time, Democrats controlled the upper chamber 55–45, but the ban received just 40 votes. Sixteen Democrats joined 44 Republicans to vote it down. Democratic senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, who voted against the ban, told me at the time: “I didn’t think that bill was carefully drawn.” Just one Republican who is no longer in the Senate (Mark Kirk of Illinois) voted for the ban.The Senate also voted on a standalone measure co-sponsored by Bennet that would ban magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition, but that too failed to get the support of a majority (only 46 senators backed it). Again, the filibuster was not to blame.The reason why neither the assault-weapon ban nor a narrower ban on "high-capacity magazines" passed the Democratic Senate is simple: From 2004 to 2012, Democrats intentionally retreated on gun control because they believed this was necessary win elections. And a critical number of Democrats voted with Republicans to oppose most gun-control bills.A charitable interpretation of this history is that pro-gun Democrats genuinely believed in the position they took on the issue and that Democratic leaders’ recruitment of pro-gun Democrats was simply a prudential judgment. But if Democrats like Joe Biden want to attack motives and blame “weak-willed leaders who care more about their campaign coffers than children in coffins” for the failure of gun control, they ought to look in the mirror first and do a little soul-searching.



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Pakistan halts train service to India, bans films over Kashmir change

Pakistan halts train service to India, bans films over Kashmir changeISLAMABAD/SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Pakistan halted its main train service to India on Thursday and banned Indian films as it exerted diplomatic pressure on New Delhi for revoking the special status of Kashmir, the region at the heart of 70 years of hostility between them. Seeking to tighten its grip over the contested region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government this week withdrew Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir’s right to frame its own laws and allowed people from outside the state to buy property there. Kashmir remained under a communications blackout on Thursday with mobile networks and internet services suspended and at least 300 politicians and separatists in detention to prevent protests, according to police, media and political leaders.



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New York Extends Gun Background Checks, Bans Bump Stocks

New York Extends Gun Background Checks, Bans Bump StocksNew York gun buyers may wait up to 30 days for background checks under a new law signed Monday by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Cuomo signed legislation to extend the background check waiting period from three days to as much as 30 for gun buyers who are not immediately approved, as well as a ban on bump stocks, the governor’s office announced.“By signing these measures into law we are strengthening our nation-leading gun laws — banning devices whose sole purpose is to create the most bloodshed in the shortest timeframe and providing law enforcement the tools they need to stop firearms from falling into dangerous hands.” Cuomo said in a statement.The legislation passed both houses in January, according to the New York Post.New York gun dealers are required to perform National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks on potential gun buyers, resulting in notifications to “proceed,” “denied,” or “delayed.”The review typically took three days before the dealer could move forward or refuse the sale, a judgment they could make even if the background check came back “delayed.”



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China Bans Fentanyl, Bowing to U.S. Pressure

China Bans Fentanyl, Bowing to U.S. PressureChinese officials on Monday announced an immediate ban on the production and distribution of all “fentanyl-related substances,” fulfilling a promise that President Xi Jingping made to President Trump last year following a years-long Department of Justice pressure campaign.Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, officials representing three government agencies announced that they would expand the existing ban on some 25 fentanyl variants to all forms of the drug.Following the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires in December, Trump drew attention to China's role in profiting from the sale of fentanyl, which claims tens of thousands of American lives every year. U.S. officials announced after the summit that Xi had promised Trump China would crack down on fentanyl production as part of negotiations that led to a halt in the escalating trade war between the two countries.> It is outrageous that Poisonous Synthetic Heroin Fentanyl comes pouring into the U.S. Postal System from China. We can, and must, END THIS NOW! The Senate should pass the STOP ACT – and firmly STOP this poison from killing our children and destroying our country. No more delay!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2018U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who leads the ongoing trade negotiations with Beijing, told the Senate last month that he would like China's commitment to curtailing opioid production codified in any final agreement.“It may very well be something that we end up writing into this agreement,” Lighthizer told lawmakers in February. “But it clearly is something the president views himself as having a commitment on. And that we are monitoring to see in fact if there are changes.”While Chinese officials on Monday acknowledged the importance of curtailing fentanyl production, they maintained that China should not be blamed for the devastation wrought by the opioid crisis in the U.S.“We believe that the United States is the main cause of the problem of the abuse of fentanyl in the United States,” Liu Yuejin, vice commissioner of China's National Narcotics Control Commission, said at the press conference.While the ban officially went into effect Monday, it remains unclear whether the government will prioritize its enforcement across the thousands of far-flung Chinese chemical factories capable of producing the valuable narcotic.



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New Zealand Bans Assault Rifles in Wake of Deadly Attacks

New Zealand Bans Assault Rifles in Wake of Deadly AttacksThe ban takes immediate effect to prevent stockpiling of firearms while the legislation is being drafted, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters on Thursday. Further changes in gun laws to tighten licensing and increase controls over ammunition will be made in coming months. “I strongly believe that the vast majority of legitimate gun owners in New Zealand will understand that these moves are in the national interest, and will take these changes in their stride,” she said.



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New Zealand bans all assault weapons after mosque shootings, prime minister says

New Zealand bans all assault weapons after mosque shootings, prime minister saysPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and "military style semi-automatic rifles" like the weapons used in last Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques.



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