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China

In China, Where 'Attorney-At-Law' Is An Ever More Dangerous Occupation

China's modern legal system has thousands of laws governing every aspect of life. But instead of using this system to further democracy, Chinese officials increasingly use it to harass and intimidate the civil rights lawyers fighting for justice.

Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng (Channel 4)
Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng (Channel 4)
B. Pe

BEIJING - Xu Zhiyong is one of the most active civil rights lawyers in China. He established a nonprofit legal center called Gongmeng, which the government shut down, citing fallacious reasons. Xu confirmed our meeting using a friend's mobile phone, sign of the tense climate for attorneys in Beijing. He ended up cancelling a few minutes later, saying he had just been "stopped" by the political police.

In China, police harassment has always been unpredictable and irrational, but after Chen Guangcheng, a blind dissident and self-educated lawyer, was able to deceive his warders recently, it's blowing hot and cold. Even more so in the months preceding the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party, to be held next Autumn.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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