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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Abortion rights, suddenly a potent political force in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to leave such matters to the states, have found an unlikely champion in swing state Pennsylvania.

Sen. Bob Casey, who will appear on the November ballot beneath President Joe Biden as the Democrats both seek reelection, has begun doing something he’s never done before: attacking an opponent over abortion rights.

The senator, who once called himself a “pro-life Democrat,” accuses Republican challenger David McCormick in a new TV ad of wanting to “make abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest” — a characterization McCormick says is wrong.

Speaking to an online gathering of the progressive women’s advocacy group Red Wine & Blue earlier this month, Casey warned that electing a Republican president and a new Republican Senate majority could result in bans on the abortion pill and contraception, even in Democratic-controlled states — or purple states like Pennsylvania — where abortion remains legal.

“You could have blue-state impact whether it’s a blue-state ban that affects contraception or whether it’s a blue-state ban when it comes to abortion because of mifepristone,” Casey said.

That’s quite a reframing for Casey, who like his father and Biden comes from an Irish Catholic family in Scranton. His father, who was a two-term governor of Pennsylvania, opposed abortion rights and signed legislation restricting abortion that spawned the landmark 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Sen. Casey, whose race is seen as crucial to Democrats’ effort to defend their razor-thin Senate majority, says the Supreme Court’s decision to strip women’s constitutional protections for abortion changed everything in the abortion debate and prompted a “pro-life Democrat” to support access to abortion.

Casey has suggested that “pro-life” never meant a complete ban on abortion without exception, at least to him. After the court’s forthcoming decision had been leaked, Casey supported Democrats’ legislation to keep abortion legal to the Roe v. Wade standard of barring abortion only after viability, around 24 weeks.

“Everyone in the Senate had a choice to make,” Casey told The Associated Press. “You had to decide, basically, whether you’d support banning abortion or not. And that was a choice you had to make. And the choice was also a choice about legislation. … And I decided that I would support advancing that bill and thereby not being in the ban-abortion column.”

He had broken with Democrats in the past in supporting bills to ban abortions after 20 weeks and to block federal funding for abortion.

But he also had emphasized reducing abortions through services that prevent unwanted pregnancies and help pregnant women and young mothers, a reason he has given for backing federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

When the court overturned Roe v. Wade, Casey slammed it as ripping away a constitutional right and a dangerous decision that wouldn’t stop abortions but would put women’s lives at risk.

Democrats have been happy to embrace Casey’s recalibrated position.

“I don’t believe he ever wanted those (pro-life) beliefs to ever stand in the way of access to abortion, and now his position matters more than it did just two years ago,” said Brittany Crampsie, a Democratic strategist.

Mary Ziegler, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the history and politics of the abortion debate, said she thinks Casey had begun drifting from the anti-abortion movement well before the court overturned Roe v. Wade.

He was probably both pulled by a Democratic Party becoming more supportive of abortion rights and pushed by an anti-abortion movement becoming more aligned with Republicans and Christian conservatives, Ziegler said.

“If you take politics out of it, it’s possible that Casey has one of those purple positions on abortion that doesn’t tend to track with what either movement is doing,” Ziegler said.

Many Americans hold middle-of-the-road beliefs on abortion, Ziegler said, and Casey’s stance isn’t out of step with many lay Catholics. According to Pew Research Center surveys, 56% of U.S. Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Politically speaking, abortion rights has been a winner on the ballot since the court decision, even in red states such as Ohio, Kansas and Kentucky, where the outcomes favored keeping abortion access legal.

McCormick attacks Casey from the right. He accuses Casey of wanting to allow abortion “up until the moment of birth,” a refrain Republicans are using to attack Democrats’ legislation, which allows an exception for abortions after fetal viability in extremely rare situations when a doctor determines the life or health of the mother is at risk.

Democrats say doctors — and not the government — should be making such decisions.

Meanwhile, McCormick says he opposes abortion, with three exceptions — rape, incest and to save the life of the mother — and not just one exception, as Casey contends. McCormick also says he wouldn’t vote for a federal abortion ban.

Casey, now in his eighth statewide campaign, has never previously wielded abortion rights as a weapon. He has been on defense, however.

In the 2002 Democratic primary for governor, Casey told a radio interviewer that he favored one exception, to save the life of the mother. But, he said, if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade then he, if elected governor, would sign legislation with all three exceptions, including rape and incest, “and it would have the effect of reducing the number of abortions in the state.”

Casey ultimately lost to Ed Rendell, who received support from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, which ran ads against Casey because of his opposition to abortion rights.

In Senate races, Casey’s Republican opponents have tried to poke holes in his “pro-life” bona fides by pointing out that he opposed proposals to halt federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

Casey in 2006 was first recruited by national Democrats to run when he still wore the label of “pro-life Democrat.” He hasn’t faced a serious primary challenger in his four campaigns for the Senate.

Republicans frame his evolution on the issue as pure politics. They say he changed his position to survive the party’s leftward drift and never truly opposed abortion, like his father did.

“I don’t know how you go from defending life to the ad he’s running against Dave McCormick,” said Matt Beynon, a Republican strategist who worked on Lou Barletta’s losing campaign against Casey in 2018.

Democratic strategists insist that Casey’s evolution is natural and reflects a generational shift in which abortion is discussed alongside health care and contraception.

Christine Jacobs, who founded an organization to help elect Democratic women to Pennsylvania’s Legislature, said Casey has spent years of thinking about it and talking about it with his staff.

Still, Democratic strategists are stumped by the question of whether Casey could have been the party’s unquestioned nominee in 2024 had he supported a ban when the party’s activists were mobilizing over abortion rights.

It’s an academic question now. But Jacobs — who, like Casey, grew up Catholic — thinks there would have been sufficient outrage.

“I think he would have had to pull out,” Jacobs said. “At least, I’d like to think that.”

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Associated Press reporter Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Follow Marc Levy at twitter.com/timelywriter.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

Marc Levy, The Associated Press



OTTAWA — The federal government is expected to announce the way forward for fish farms along British Columbia’s coast.

The ocean-pen aquaculture operations have been a flashpoint between First Nations, the industry, wild salmon advocates and environmentalists for several years.

Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier will make the announcement in Ottawa this afternoon, while Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is expected to make the same announcement in Vancouver.

Lebouthillier has been consulting with Indigenous leaders, industry stakeholders and coastal communities about the government’s transition plan involving 79 salmon farms after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged during the 2019 election that his government would phase out ocean-pen farms.

The B.C. Salmon Farmers Association has said an economic analysis concluded the province could lose about 4,700 jobs and more than $1 billion in annual economic activity if the fish farm licences are not renewed.

Former fisheries minister Joyce Murray announced in 2023 that the government wasn’t renewing the licences for 15 Atlantic salmon farms off the Discovery Islands of northwestern Vancouver Island, a major migration route for wild salmon.

Murray said then that wild salmon face multiple threats, including climate change, habitat degradation and overfishing, and the decision was meant to reduce the challenges for wild salmon that swim past the farms.

Opponents worry that open-net salmon farms can spread disease or lice to wild fish, while supporters say the risks are low.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press


OTTAWA — The head of the NATO alliance is set to meet with the prime minister in Ottawa today.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is also slated to give a speech at an event hosted by the NATO Association of Canada this evening.

His last visit to Canada was in August 2022, when he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent time in the Arctic.

That region is the highlight of Canada’s new defence strategy, released earlier this spring, and it’s seen as being of increasing importance to NATO since Sweden and Finland joined the alliance.

NATO leaders are set to meet in Washington, D.C., next month for an annual summit and mark the alliance’s 75th anniversary.

Last year’s summit was heavily focused on Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, a topic that is also expected to dominate talks this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press


TORONTO — Pro-Palestinian protesters have been pushing the University of Toronto to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – which the Canadian school has long had partnerships with – but U of T says the demand is a non-starter.

U of T’s president, Meric Gertler, said this month that the school has “steadfastly maintained” it will not boycott partnerships with other universities.

But protest leaders at an encampment that has remained at the university’s campus in downtown Toronto since May 2, as well as some faculty members, argue that U of T’s relationship with Hebrew U requires closer scrutiny, pointing to the site of its main campus, Mount Scopus in east Jerusalem.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. Israel views the entire city as its capital, but Palestinians view the eastern sector as their capital.

Canada “does not recognize Israel’s unilateral annexation of east Jerusalem,” the Global Affairs Canada website says, while the United Nations and much of the international community regards east Jerusalem as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

For Chandni Desai, an assistant professor at U of T who is a member of the national organization Faculty for Palestine, the discussion surrounding Hebrew U centres on “ethical partnerships.”

“The Hebrew University is deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of international human rights laws, specifically in Israel’s annexation of occupied east Jerusalem,” she said.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s presence in east Jerusalem predates Israel’s creation in 1948. The university officially opened in 1925, at the Mount Scopus site, in what was then British-mandate Palestine.

Hebrew U left east Jerusalem amid the 1948 war that surrounded Israel’s creation, when the new nation was attacked by neighbouring Arab states. On its website, Hebrew U says it “rebuilt and expanded” the Mount Scopus campus after Jerusalem was “reunited” in Israel’s victory in the 1967 war.

Hebrew U supporters insist this history negates any suggestion that the main campus amounts to an illegal settlement on occupied Palestinian territory.

“The Hebrew University has owned private land in east Jerusalem before 1948 and thus maintains continuous private property rights in east Jerusalem, regardless of the area’s sovereignty status,” the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University wrote in a June 6 blog post, addressing the protesters’ boycott calls.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem did not respond to requests for comment.

Pro-Palestinian protesters have also highlighted Hebrew University programs associated with the Israel Defense Forces. It hosts Talpiot, a defence and technology training program that the Israel Ministry of Defense calls “one of Israel’s elite military-academic technology units.” It also hosts Havatzalot, an IDF intelligence training program.

The Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, which did not respond to requests for comment, has described those partnerships as “purely academic.”

U of T’s collaboration with the Hebrew University began in 2007 and in March the two institutions announced another research and training alliance scheduled to run through 2028, with that cycle focused on life sciences, natural sciences, engineering and bio-medical sciences.

In 2021, the two institutions launched a $15-million fundraising campaign for a research alliance to supplement a $5.9-million endowment from U of T and the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University.

The schools also offer study abroad and exchange opportunities for students.

Hebrew U’s broader ties to Canada also span decades. Former prime minister Jean Chrétien received an honorary degree from the university when he visited the Mount Scopus campus in 2000.

But pro-Palestinian protesters have used the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, which began with a Hamas attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, to force fresh examination of Canadian-Israeli relations.

Sara Rasikh, a graduate student at U of T and a spokesperson for the pro-Palestinian encampment, said that Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus sits on “stolen land.”

“That’s what that means, including the exchange programs, students quite literally are living on stolen land … occupied illegal settlements,” she said in an interview.

When asked about the implications of its partnership with the Hebrew University, U of T pointed to its previous statements on the pro-Palestinian protesters’ encampment, including Gertler’s pledge that the institution would “review human rights issues which may be relevant to international partnerships.”

Gertler has further written that calls to boycott Israeli academic institutions “are antithetical to the university’s firm conviction that the best way to protect human rights is by staunchly defending and promoting academic freedom, freedom of expression, and the unfettered circulation of ideas within the global scholarly community.”

“We have consistently emphasized that it is both inappropriate and, ultimately, counterproductive to single out academics working or studying in a particular country, and to hold them accountable for the actions or policies of their country’s government,” he wrote.

U of T philosophy professor Rebecca Comay, a member of both the Jewish Faculty Network and Faculty for Palestine, said citing academic freedom in this situation is “totally disingenuous and misleading.”

“How can the collaboration with such an institution be defended in the name of academic freedom?” she asked.

The Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University argued in its June blog post that boycotting Hebrew U is “morally wrong,” noting that the school fosters discourse and is “independent of direct government interference.”

“Weakening Israeli academia, as the boycott movement seeks to do, would only undermine this liberal and critical voice and weaken the democratic fabric of Israeli society,” it wrote.

In 2022, Hebrew U said that Arab students made up nearly 17 per cent of its student population.

Israeli academic institutions, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have also been the subject of debate at other Canadian universities.

On June 3, the University of British Columbia’s senate defeated a motion “to cut or suspend ties with Israeli government entities, including public universities” with a significant majority, according to a UBC spokesperson.

In May, protesters at the Université du Québec à Montréal dismantled their pro-Palestinian encampment following the university’s adoption of a resolution that included a commitment to not enter academic agreements with universities that do not respect humanitarian law.

Protesters at McGill University, Concordia University and McMaster University have also called on their administrations to suspend ties with Israeli schools.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2024.

Rianna Lim, The Canadian Press


HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had reason to rejoice when President Joe Biden unveiled a highly expansive plan to extend legal status to spouses of U.S. citizens but, inevitably, some were left out.

Claudia Zúniga, 35, married in 2017, or 10 years after her husband came to the United States. He moved to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, after they wed, knowing that, by law, he had to live outside the country for years to gain legal status. “Our lives took a 180-degree turn,” she said.

Biden announced Tuesday that his administration will, in coming months, allow U.S. citizens’ spouses without legal status to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship without having to first depart the country for up to 10 years. About 500,000 immigrants may benefit, according to senior administration officials.

To qualify, an immigrant must have lived in the United States for 10 years and be married to a U.S. citizen, both as of Monday. Zúniga’s husband is ineligible because he wasn’t in the United States.

“Imagine, it would be a dream come true,” said Zúniga, who works part-time in her father’s transportation business in Houston. “My husband could be with us. We could focus on the well-being of our children.”

Every immigration benefit — even those as sweeping as Biden’s election-year offer — have cutoff dates and other eligibility requirements. In September, the Democratic president expanded temporary status for nearly 500,000 Venezuelans who were living in the United States on July 31, 2023. Those who had arrived a day later were out of luck.

The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has shielded hundreds of thousands of people from deportation who came to the United States as young children and is popularly known as DACA, required applicants be in the United States on June 15, 2012 and have been in the country continuously for the previous five years.

About 1.1 million spouses in the country illegally are married to U.S. citizens, according to advocacy group FWD.us., meaning hundreds of thousands won’t qualify because they were in the United States less than 10 years.

Immigration advocates were generally thrilled with the scope of Tuesday’s announcement, just as Biden’s critics called it a horribly misguided giveaway.

Angelica Martinez, 36, wiped away tears as she sat next to her children, ages 14 and 6 — watched Biden’s announcement at the Houston office of FIEL, an immigrant advocacy group. A U.S. citizen since 2013, she described a flood of emotions, including regret for when her husband couldn’t travel to Mexico for his mother’s death five years ago.

“Sadness, joy all at the same time,” said Martinez, whose husband came to Houston 18 years ago.

Brenda Valle of Los Angeles, whose husband has been a U.S. citizen since 2001 and, like her, was born in Mexico, has renewed her DACA permit every two years. “We can start planning more long-term, for the future, instead of what we can do for the next two years,” she said.

Magdalena Gutiérrez of Chicago, who has been married 22 years to a U.S. citizen and has three daughters who are U.S. citizens, said she had “a little more hope” after Biden’s announcement. Gutiérrez, 43, is eager to travel more across the United States without fearing an encounter with law enforcement that could lead to her being deported.

Allyson Batista, a retired Philadelphia teacher and U.S. citizen, married her Mexican husband 20 years ago, recalled being told by lawyer that he could leave the country for 10 years or “remain in the shadows and wait for a change in the law.”

“Initially, when we got married, I was naive and thought, ‘OK, but I’m American. This isn’t going to be a problem. We’re going to fix this,’” Batista said. “I learned very early on that we were facing a pretty dire circumstance and that there would be no way for us to move forward in an immigration process successfully.”

The couple raised three children who are pursuing higher education. Batista is waiting for the details of how her husband can apply for a green card.

“I’m hopeful,” Batista said. “The next 60 days will really tell. But, obviously more than thrilled because every step forward is a step towards a final resolution for all kinds of immigrant families.”

About 50,000 noncitizen children with parents who are married to U.S. citizen could also potentially qualify, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity. Biden also announced new regulations that will allow some DACA beneficiaries and other young immigrants to more easily qualify for long-established work visas.

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Gonzalez reported from McAllen, Texas. Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Melissa Perez Winder in Chicago and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed.

Valerie Gonzalez And Juan A. Lozano, The Associated Press


CAMDEN, Maine (AP) — Suspicious deaths in an idyllic seaside community and detective work that points to poison sound like themes from a classic murder mystery. But the victims in this Maine whodunnit were trees that stood in the way of a wealthy family’s oceanfront view, allegedly felled by well-heeled killers who, while ostracized and publicly shamed, remain free.

Wealth and hubris fuel the tale of a politically connected Missouri couple who allegedly poisoned their neighbor’s trees to secure their million-dollar view of Camden Harbor. The incident that was unearthed by the victim herself — the philanthropic wife of L.L. Bean’s late president — has united local residents in outrage.

To make matters worse, the herbicide used to poison the trees leached into a neighboring park and the town’s only public seaside beach. The state attorney general is now investigating.

“Anybody dumb enough to poison trees right next to the ocean should be prosecuted, as far as I’m concerned,” said Paul Hodgson, echoing the view of many exasperated residents in Camden, a community of 5,000 nestled at the foot of mountains that sweep upward from the Atlantic Ocean and overlook a harbor filled with lobster boats, yachts and schooners.

If this were a made-for-TV drama, the story set against the backdrop of this quaint village would have it all: Wealthy out-of-state villains, a sleuthing member of the venerable L.L. Bean family, and the same powerful chemical used to avenge Alabama’s loss on the football field to archrival Auburn.

Amelia Bond, former CEO of the St. Louis Foundation, which oversees charitable funds with more than $500 million in assets, brought the herbicide from Missouri in 2021 and applied it near oak trees on the waterfront property of Lisa Gorman, wife of the late Leon Gorman, L.L. Bean’s president and grandson of L.L. himself, according to a pair of consent agreements with the town and the state pesticide board.

Bond’s husband, Arthur Bond III, is an architect and the nephew of former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond. Their summer home, owned by a trust, is situated directly behind Gorman’s home, farther up the hill.

When the trees and other vegetation began dying, Amelia Bond told Gorman in June 2022 that the tree didn’t look good and offered to share the cost of removing them, Gorman’s lawyer wrote in a document.

Instead, Gorman had the trees tested. Soon, lawyers were involved.

More than $1.7 million in fines and settlements later, the trees are now gone and the harbor view from the Bond’s home is improved. But the chemical has leached into a neighboring park and beach, leaving the Bonds potentially on the hook for further monitoring and remediation, and Maine’s attorney general has agreed to further investigate the incident.

The herbicide — Tebuthiuron — was the same one used in 2010 by an angry Alabama football fan to kill the Toomer’s Corner oak trees at Auburn University, following a Crimson Tide loss to their archrival. The incident earned jail time for Harvey Updyke, who acknowledged poisoning the trees.

Tebuthiuron contaminates soil and doesn’t break down, so it continues to kill plants. At Auburn University, it took the removal of about 1,780 tons (1,615 metric tons) of contaminated material to achieve negligible levels of the chemical in the soil.

Short of removing the soil, the only other solution is dilution — waiting for nature to thin out the concentration of the herbicide to safe levels for plants. It could take six months to two years for it to be diluted enough to no longer endanger to plants, said Scott McElroy, an Auburn professor specializing in weed science and herbicide chemistry.

Back in Maine, Tom Hedstrom, chair of the Select Board, said his job typically requires finding consensus on how to proceed with delicate political matters. But this time there is no need because residents are united in their anger.

Hedstrom said he, too, is appalled by the behavior.

“Wealth and power don’t always go hand in hand with intelligence, education and morals,” he said. “This was atrocious and gross and any other word you want to use to describe abhorrent behavior.”

The Bonds have paid a price for their actions, which they acknowledged in the consent agreements.

They paid $4,500 to resolve Maine Board of Pesticides Control Board violations for unauthorized use of an herbicide that was applied inappropriately and not allowed for residential use, $180,000 to resolve violations with the town and another $30,000 for additional environmental testing, according to documents. They also paid more than $1.5 million to Gorman in a legal settlement, according to a memo from Jeremy Martin, the town’s planning and development director.

A lawyer for the Bonds said they have no comment, but they “continue to take the allegations against them seriously. They continue to cooperate with the town of Camden, state of Maine and the Gormans, as they have done over the last two years.”

A lawyer for Gorman declined comment.

Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, said she intends to address the $4,500 maximum fine that the Maine Board of Pesticide Control Board was allowed to assess. One of her ideas is a sliding scale that accounts for scope of damage and intent.

“It makes me so livid,” Doudera said. “This situation, the minute I heard about it, I thought, ’Wow! These people are going to get a slap on the wrist. That’s just not right.”

On a recent afternoon, no one was home at the Bond’s residence while people walked their dogs less than 500 feet (150 meters) away on Laite Memorial Beach, where the herbicide that’s lethal to aquatic plants has been detected.

Camden resident Dwight Johnson described as “underhanded” the way Amelia Bond feigned being a good neighbor by offering to share the costs of removing trees that she’d poisoned. Lynn Harrington, another town resident, questioned whether the Bonds could show their faces around town, where they are members of the Camden Yacht Club.

Some residents say the episode fits with the well-worn stereotype of wealthy summer residents “from away” — the Maine term for outsiders — running roughshod over full-time residents.

But some residents pushed back against casting summer residents as trouble makers.

Hodgson said Camden is not without its own rule-bending characters in a community where there are plenty of year-round residents who are both wealthy and entitled. He said some residents in the community where the median income is just under $93,000 — high for Maine, the poorest state in New England — have been known to cut down trees, knowing it’s illegal.

“They just pay the fine because they have plenty of money,” Hodgson said. “That’s the town we live in.”

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Follow David Sharp on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, @David_Sharp_AP

David Sharp, The Associated Press







WINNIPEG — The Tuxedo constituency in Winnipeg will be represented by the New Democrats for the first time since its creation following a byelection on Tuesday.

Carla Compton has secured the seat for the NDP – edging out Progressive Conservative candidate Lawrence Pinsky by 617 votes, Elections Manitoba has reported based off of unofficial numbers.

“After 40 years of (Progressive Conservatives), I’m honoured to have been elected as the first-ever NDP MLA for Tuxedo,” Compton said in a statement.

“Together with Wab Kinew, we will work to rebuild health care and make life better for Manitoban families.”

The seat has been vacant since former premier and Progressive Conservative party leader Heather Stefanson announced her resignation in April and served her last day in office in May.

The Tuxedo constituency, a well-to-do area in west Winnipeg, has been held by the Tories since its creation in 1981. It’s been won by only two people until now – Stefanson and another former premier, Gary Filmon – and was among the few Winnipeg seats to remain strongly Tory blue when the NDP racked up big majority governments in the early 2000s.

The NDP say it’s also the first time since 1971 that a governing party in the province has flipped a seat in a byelection.

A shift occurred in last year’s provincial election, when the NDP’s Larissa Ashdown finished just 268 votes behind Stefanson. The race was so close, Stefanson was not declared the winner until after election day.

The NDP also started off the current byelection campaign on a more prepared footing, having Compton, a registered nurse who ran for the seat in 2019 and finished in third place, in place as a candidate from the start. The Tories nominated Pinsky, a lawyer, a few days later, and he was overseas at the time.

Premier Wab Kinew congratulated Compton on her win.

“(Compton) will be a strong voice in our government as we rebuild health care and make life more affordable.”

Liberal candidate Jamie Pfau, a foster parent advocate, finished in third place, while Green Party Leader Janine Gibson came in last.

Pfau thanked Tuxedo residents and volunteers for supporting her candidacy.

“We hit every door in the riding, nearly twice. We had hundreds of valuable conversations and I’m grateful to the residents of Tuxedo for their time, and sharing their concerns with me,” Pfau said in a statement.

Before Tuesday’s byelection, the NDP had 34 legislature seats. The Tories had 21 and the Liberals have 1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act for not providing accessible machines for in-person voting, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday. The state was also faulted for selecting inaccessible polling places and operating a state elections website that can’t be accessed by everyone.

The department informed Carol Beecher, Alaska’s election chief, in a letter dated Monday that the state “must, at a minimum, implement remedial measures to bring its voting services, programs and activities into compliance.”

Beecher did not return emails or a phone call to The Associated Press seeking comment Tuesday.

The state has until July 1 to respond to the justice department about resolutions. Failure to reach a resolution could result in a lawsuit, the letter to Beecher said.

The federal investigation began after complaints about several voting locations during elections for regional education boards last October and for state and federal elections in August and November 2022.

For the education election, two voters complained that only paper ballots were used with no magnification device available. Another voter with disabilities that make it difficult to walk, move, write and talk struggled to complete the paperwork but received no offer of assistance, the letter said. No accessible voting machine was available.

In state and federal elections, not all early voting and Election Day sites had accessible voting machines. In some places, the machines were not working, and poll workers were not able to fix them. In one location, the voting machine was still unassembled in its shipping box.

The letter also claims that in at least one polling place, poll workers reported that they received training on the machines but still couldn’t operate them.

A voter who is blind said the audio on an accessible voting machine was not recognizable in the August 2022 primary and had to use a paper ballot. That machine, the letter alleges, still was not fixed three months later for the general election.

The investigation also found the state’s website was not usable for those with disabilities. Barriers found on the state’s online voter registration page included no headings, inoperable buttons, language assistance videos without captions and audio descriptions and graphics without associated alternative text, among other issues.

Many voting places of the 35 surveyed by Justice officials in the August 2022 primary were not accessible for several reasons, including a lack of van parking spaces, ramps without handrails and entrances that lacked level landings or were too narrow.

The state must, at a minimum, furnish an accessible voting system in all elections and at each site that conducts in-person voting, the letter says. It also must make its online election information more accessible and remedy any physical accessible deficiencies found at polling places.

Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A proposed amendment to New York’s constitution barring discrimination based on “gender identity” and “pregnancy outcomes” was restored to the November election ballot Tuesday by a state appeals court.

In a short decision, a panel of midlevel appellate judges overturned a May decision by an upstate judge to strike the proposed Equal Rights Amendment from the ballot.

That justice, Daniel Doyle, had ruled that state lawmakers had made a fatal procedural error in an earlier round of approvals for the proposed amendment.

In overturning that decision, the appellate division judges cited a different legal issue: They said the people who had sued to try and block the amendment had missed a deadline to bring their legal challenge, and are now barred from getting relief from the courts by a four-month statute of limitations.

“This is a huge victory in our efforts to protect access to abortion in New York and to protect many vulnerable communities from discrimination,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

The New York Constitution currently bans discrimination based on race, color, creed or religion. The proposed amendment would add ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and reproductive health care and autonomy to the list.

The amendment wouldn’t explicitly preserve a woman’s right to have an abortion, but would effectively prevent someone from being discriminated against for having the procedure.

Voters in the 2024 election would need to approve the amendment for it to become final.

Democrats in New York have hoped putting an issue related to abortion on the ballot might spur voter turnout.

The lawsuit challenging it was brought by Republican state Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, whose office did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Doyle’s initial ruling was that lawmakers incorrectly approved the language in the amendment before getting a written opinion from the attorney general.

The Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A judge on Tuesday expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as the man’s state trial wrapped up.

Gypsy Taub, who has two children with David DePape, was also barred from the second floor of the San Francisco courthouse because the judge said she was trying to tamper with the jury.

On Monday and Tuesday, Taub, a well-known pro-nudity activist in the Bay Area, handed out pieces of paper outside the courtroom with the address of a website she runs that promotes conspiracy theories. On Tuesday, graffiti of the website’s address was discovered in a women’s bathroom near the courtroom.

“You have been trying to corruptly influence one or more jury members,” San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harry Dorfman said sternly before asking two bailiffs to escort Taub out of the courtroom.

The judge’s decision came before DePape’s attorney, San Francisco Public Defender Adam Lipson, presented his closing arguments to the jury, saying DePape had been living a solitary life and had gone “down the rabbit hole of propaganda and conspiracy theories” when he broke into the Pelosis’ home on Oct. 28, 2022.

DePape faces charges of attempting to sway a witness, false imprisonment, residential burglary, threatening a family member of a public official and aggravated kidnapping.

Lipson told the jury DePape was guilty of three of the charges but that prosecutors had not presented evidence to convict him on threatening a family member of a public official and aggravated kidnapping.

“There is not much of a dispute to the facts of the case,” Lipson said. “But there is a tremendous dispute as to what charges apply and what don’t.”

DePape, 44, was convicted last month in federal court of assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempting to kidnap a federal official. He was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. He will likely be deported back to Canada after he completes his punishment.

Lipson earlier in the trial argued the state trial represents double jeopardy following the federal conviction. Even though the criminal counts are not exactly the same, the two cases stem from the same act, he argued.

The judge agreed and dismissed the state charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. Another judge upheld the decision on appeal.

Lipson told the jury that prosecutors did not prove DePape kidnapped Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, with the intent “to exact from another person money or something valuable.” In this case, the valuable thing DePape wanted from the kidnapping was to create a video of Nancy Pelosi confessing to crimes he believed she had committed, prosecutors said.

Lipson argued the video didn’t exist and if it did, it would not have had any value.

“When he broke into the Pelosis’ home his intent was to confront and potentially hurt and assault Nancy Pelosi. That was his intent at that time, that has nothing to do with Mr. Pelosi,” he said.

In her rebuttal, Assistant District Attorney Phoebe Maffei pointed out DePape told a detective he planned to get a video of Nancy Pelosi confessing to crimes and post it on the internet.

“There is inherent value in a video of the Speaker of the House confessing to crimes in her own home,” Maffei said.

On Monday, Maffei told the jury DePape unleashed a “reign of terror” on Paul Pelosi before bludgeoning him with a hammer as part of a plan he put together over months.

“The plain facts of this case are terrifying by themselves without embellishment,” Maffei said. “David DePape broke into the home of an 82-year-old man while he slept, entered his bedroom, held him hostage with a hammer, threatened him, threatened his wife, and attempted to kill him.”

DePape admitted during his federal trial testimony that he planned to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage, interrogate her and “break her kneecaps” if she did not admit to the lies he said she told about “Russiagate,” a reference to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The attack on Paul Pelosi was captured on police body camera video just days before the 2022 midterm elections and shocked the political world. He suffered two head wounds including a skull fracture that was mended with plates and screws he will have for the rest of his life. His right arm and hand were also injured.

Olga R. Rodriguez, The Associated Press