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International news brief: US abortion ruling sparks global debate; 26/11 planner Sajid Mir in Pak custody

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Washington, Jun 25: The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday's outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. Following the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade, which protected women's abortion rights, many reacted with dismay on Friday.

International news brief: US abortion ruling sparks global debate; 26/11 planner Sajid Mir in Pak custody

US President Biden joins global dismay at overturning Roe v. Wade

US President Joe Biden condemned the ruling, calling it a "sad day" for America and labeling the court's conservatives "extreme." But he said the fight to retain the right to abortion was "not over." Biden, who is a Catholic, said his administration will protect access to contraceptives and will do everything he can to stop women from feeling the need to travel to other states to obtain abortions.

Ukrainian army leaving battered city for fortified positions

After weeks of ferocious fighting, Ukrainian forces have begun retreating from a besieged city in the country's east to move to stronger positions, a regional official said Friday, the four-month mark in Russia's invasion. The planned withdrawal from Sievierodonetsk, the administrative centre of the Luhansk region, comes after relentless Russian bombardment that has reduced most of the industrial city to rubble and cut its population from 100,0000 to 10,000. Ukrainian troops fought the Russians in house-to-house battles before retreating to the huge Azot chemical factory on the city's edge, where they remain holed up in its sprawling underground structures in which about 500 civilians also found refuge.

Morocco: 18 migrants dead in stampede to enter Melilla

Eighteen Africans seeking to cross into Spain were killed and scores of migrants and police were injured in what Moroccan authorities called a "stampede" of people surging across Morocco's border fence with the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla on Friday. A total of 133 migrants breached the border between the Moroccan city of Nador and Melilla on Friday, the first such mass crossing since Spain and Morocco mended diplomatic relations last month.

Mumbai terror attack handler jailed for 15 years in Pakistan

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has awarded over 15 years jail term in a terror financing case to a main handler of deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. "An anti-terrorism court in Lahore early this month had handed down over 15 years jail term to Sajid Majeed Mir, an activist of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), on a terror financing case," a senior lawyer associated with terror financing cases of LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawa leaders told PTI on Friday. Before the last meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan reportedly told the agency that it had arrested and prosecuted Sajid Mir in order to seek its removal from the FATF 'Grey list'. Sajid Mir, who has a bounty of USD 5 Million is in India's most wanted list for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.

UN body to hold urgent debate on Afghan women girls' rights

The UN's top human rights body is to hold an urgent debate next week to discuss the erosion of rights of women and girls in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover nearly a year ago. Human Rights Council spokesman Rolando Gomez said on Friday that the Geneva-based rights body was expected hold the debate on July 1 as part of its ongoing summer session, following a request for the discussion by the European Union and France.

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