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Germany

Wrong Side Of The Wall - My Dad Was A Stasi Spy

Out of the Cold War archives, a chilling family tale from a divided Germany.

The Hohenschönhausen Prison Complex
The Hohenschönhausen Prison Complex
Tonia Mastrobuoni

It was icy cold on Jan. 22 1979, but for five long years Thomas Raufeisen looked back on that day with a warm nostalgia. He was 16 and had just returned from school to discover that his father hadn’t gone to work. “Your grandfather is ill,” his mother explained to him, “We have to go and visit him.”

That afternoon the Raufeisen family left Hannover and headed toward the Baltic Sea, on the other side of Germany. In order to get the permits to go to Usedom – the island in the Baltic Sea where his grandfather lived as a recluse – like millions of other Germans on the wrong side of the wall, they would have to go to Berlin first. But for Thomas, his brother Michael and their parents, the stopover in Berlin would turn out to be the beginning of a tragic nightmare.

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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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