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توہین عدالت نوٹس کیس: لارجر بینچ دوپہر دو بجے کے بعد سماعت کرے گا

سابق وزیراعظم عمران خان کے خلاف توہین عدالت کیس کی سماعت اسلام آباد ہائی کورٹ کے چیف جسٹس کی سربراہی میں پانچ رکنی لارجر بینچ کرے گا۔
خیال رہے کہ عمران خان نے گذشتہ روز عدالتی نوٹس پر اپنا جواب داخل کروایا تھا جس میں ان کا کہنا ہے کہ اگر عدالت سمجھتی ہے کہ کہ ان کے الفاظ نامناسب تھے تو وہ ان کو واپس لینے کو تیار ہیں۔
تاہم انھوں نے کہا ہے کہ یہ جواب ابتدائی ہے، جو کچھ ان کے سامنے آیا ہے اس کو مدنظر رکھ کر انھوں نے تیار کیا ہے۔
دوسری جانب قانونی ماہرین کا کہنا ہے کہ بظاہر اس معاملے میں عمران خان توہین عدالت کے مرتکب ہوئے ہیں لیکن ان کے جواب سے ایسا لگ رہا ہے کہ قصور وار عدالت ہے عمران خان نہیں، عمران خان کی توہین کی گئی ہے عمران خان نے عدالت کی توہین نہیں کی۔
خیال رہے کہ یوسف رضا گیلانی کو توہین عدالت کے مرتکب قرار پائے تھے جب انھوں نے بحثیت وزیراعظم سوئس حکومت کو خط نہیں لکھا تھا۔ عدالت نے انھیں پانچ سال کے لیے کسی بھی عوامی عہدے سے نااہل قرار دیا تھا۔
اس کے علاوہ مسلم لیگ ن کے متعدد رہنماؤں پر اس وقت توہین عدالت لگی جب رکن پارلیمان تھے اگرچہ انھوں نے غیر ممشروط معافی بھی مانگی تھی تاہم عدالت نے انھیں معاف نہیں کیا تھا۔
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Al Sadat Marketing Trending Projects Al Sadat Marketing is top emerging real estate agency in Islamabad. Our professional real estate agents serve numerous housing societies for real estate marketing purposes and have executed many well-known projects in Islamabad and Rawalpindi that are achieving high excellence in real estate industry. Eighteen Islamabad Eighteen is a (CDA) approved premium and deluxe Residential Development in Pakistan that was conceptualized back in 2017. Eighteen Islamabad is likely to become one of the most opulent and elite societies of Pakistan designed and constructed by an Egyptian billionaire. Eighteen offers modern, lavish, and exquisite villas and apartments. Eighteen Islamabad 7 Wonders City Islamabad 7 Wonders City Islamabad is featuring an advanced infrastructure with well-planned facilities for their residents like gated-community with modern lifestyle amenities. 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Israel's leaders must find compromise on legislation that is tearing country apart, White House says
The White House on Sunday urged “Israeli leaders to find a compromise as soon as possible,” as widespread unrest broke out in Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister for objecting to judicial reforms that Netanyahu is seeking to enact. “We are deeply concerned by today’s developments out of Israel, which further underscore the urgent need for compromise,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “As the President recently discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu, democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the U.S.-Israel relationship.” The turmoil started when Netanyahu, newly returned to office as the head of an unusually right-wing-powered coalition, announced a plan to overhaul the judiciary. Netanyahu’s package of judicial changes would essentially strip Israel’s top court of its independence and defang the nation’s courts by making it possible for the government to pass legislation that can’t be reviewed by judges. Protests against the measures have been widespread for weeks. Opponents have characterized the plans as anti-democratic and a boost to Netanyahu’s power at a time when the prime minister himself is facing criminal charges. “It’s an attack on the very soul and nature of our democracy,” former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this month. Barak urged Israelis to resort to mass civil disobedience to block the judicial reforms. On Saturday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke out against the legislation; on Sunday, Netanyahu fired him, saying, “We must all stand strong against refusal.” Protests against Gallant’s firing immediately broke out in Israel’s major cities. The Associated Press reported that “protesters in Tel Aviv blocked a main highway and lit large bonfires, while police scuffled with protesters who gathered outside Netanyahu’s private home in Jerusalem.” The White House statement said that disagreements over Netanyahu’s current policies would not disrupt the U.S.-Israel relationship, which traditionally has been very close. “U.S. support for Israel’s security and democracy remains ironclad,” the statement said. Given America’s close relationship with Israel, and the Biden administration’s general hesitation to openly criticize such an important Middle Eastern ally, the White House statement on Sunday was relatively pointed. The administration has known for a while that this Netanyahu-led coalition is an unusually extreme one, but it had hoped that Netanyahu could keep it in line. The prime minister had insisted that the far-right members of his coalition were joining him and not the other way around, and that he was in charge. As a result, Biden administration officials had said they intended to hold him responsible for whatever happened. But they were also keenly aware of the many factors that Netanyahu is juggling, including his desire to avoid further prosecution on corruption charges — one of the reasons he is believed to have acquiesced to some of the demands of his coalition partners. When asked on Sunday whether the administration had any immediate Israel-related plans beyond issuing the statement, U.S. officials did not offer comment.
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Prince Harry back in London for UK High Court fight
Britain’s Prince Harry has arrived at London’s High Court to attend a hearing in his claim against Associated Newspapers Limited over allegations of unlawful information gathering. The Duke of Sussex last year joined a group of high-profile figures, including singer Elton John, in legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online. The lawsuit accuses Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) of engaging in various means of criminal activity to obtain information on high-profile figures over the years. Elizabeth Hurley, Sadie Frost, David Furnish and Doreen Lawrence make up the rest of the plaintiffs behind the legal action. They claim they were “victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy,” according to a statement from their representatives at the time. The group has accused ANL of hiring private investigators to carry out unlawful acts such as planting listening devices in homes and cars and recording private calls. It also claims the publisher would pay corrupt police officials to obtain inside information, engaged in impersonation and deception to obtain medical records, and would hack into bank accounts and financial transactions by “illicit means and manipulation.” Monday is the start of a four-day preliminary hearing at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, during which ANL is expected to try to have the case thrown out. The publisher has rejected the allegations as “preposterous smears” and labeled the lawsuit as a “pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone-hacking scandal,” according to PA Media. An ANL spokesperson added that the claims were “unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims, based on no credible evidence,” Britain’s PA Media news agency reports. The case against ANL is one of several lawsuits launched by Prince Harry in recent years. He is also suing ANL after its Mail on Sunday newspaper published a story about his separate legal proceedings against the UK’s Home Office over his family’s security arrangements when visiting Britain. Meanwhile, he also sued the owners of UK tabloid newspapers the Sun and the Daily Mirror in 2019 over alleged historical phone hacking. The case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror is due to go to trial in May. The 38-year-old royal’s surprise appearance in London on Monday is thought to be his first trip back to the United Kingdom since he and his wife, Meghan, attended the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II in September. In the months since, the Sussexes have released a Netflix docu-series and the duke’s memoir, which have provided further insight into his fractured relationship with the rest of the royal family. Harry is not expected to see his brother, the Prince of Wales, a royal source told CNN. As it is the school vacation, Prince William is not in Windsor, the source added.,%20J.A.%20Johnstone,%20Black%20Dog%20by%20Kelly%20Link%20Audiobook%20Download,%20Honor,%20Betray%20by%20Mary%20Monroe%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook,%20Loved%20and%20Heard%20by%20Tabitha%20Brown%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook
Huge strikes in Germany disrupt flights, trains and buses
Nationwide strikes in Germany — the biggest the country has seen in decades — are causing disruption at the country’s biggest port, airports, and on public transport Monday. The walkouts have been called by two major transport unions in Europe’s biggest economy. Ver.di, one of the unions, has demanded a 10.5% pay raise for its members, citing rising energy and food costs. More than 400,000 transport workers are taking part in the industrial action, according to Frank Werneke, the head of Ver.di. Flights at eight major airports, including those in Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg, have been affected by the strikes. The German Airports Association has estimated that around 380,000 travelers will not be able to take off on Monday. And some hubs such as Munich Airport closed their doors entirely, with 200,000 passengers impacted by the two-day closure that started Sunday. Long-distance railroad services scheduled for Monday have been suspended across Germany, as were early morning regional and commuter rail services. In Munich, the local transport operator MVV has announced the suspension of nearly all trains, underground and tram lines. MVV expects half of all scheduled bus services to run. Germany’s largest port in Hamburg has also been hit by the walkouts, with large ships unable to call at or depart from the port. German employers have criticized the strikes. Karin Welge, a spokesperson for the VKA, a group that represents public sector employers, called it an “unprovoked escalation.” “Rarely have I seen the population of a country affected in such a way,” Welge said. The CEO of Munich Airport was equally scathing, saying the walkouts at the airport represented “an unprecedented escalation” and were “completely disproportionate.” “The wage dispute is being fought out on the backs of our travelers and our companies,” said Jost Lammers.,%20J.A.%20Johnstone,%20Black%20Dog%20by%20Kelly%20Link%20Audiobook%20Download,%20Honor,%20Betray%20by%20Mary%20Monroe%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook,%20Loved%20and%20Heard%20by%20Tabitha%20Brown%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook
Elizabeth Warren kicks off her Senate reelection bid
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Harris seeks to reset U.S.-Africa relations on 3-nation tour
For Vice President Kamala Harris’ first trip in office to Africa, the goal is nothing less than the resetting of relations between the United States and the countries she’s scheduled to visit. Fearful that China has gained a huge economic foothold on the continent, the Biden administration is trying to not just loosen that grip but encourage more American businesses to invest in African nations. Harris’ arrival Sunday marks the latest, most high-profile effort to achieve those ends. She is the fifth top Biden administration official to visit Africa this year: U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen came in January, first lady Jill Biden visited in February and Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the trip earlier this month. President Joe Biden plans to visit later in the year. In Ghana, Harris’ primary focus is on elevating the nation’s youth — and she noted the median age of Africans is 19. “What that tells us about the growth, of opportunities, of innovation, possibilities — I see in all of that, great opportunity not only for people of this continent, but for people of the world,” Harris told the crowd of dignitaries, dancers, drummers and schoolchildren who had greeted her. But Ghana isn’t her only audience. Harris also will spend time in Tanzania and Zambia over her seven days on the continent. She’ll hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of each of the three nations, visit Ghana’s Cape Coast slave castle and make announcements about public-private sector investments. The trip is intended to help make good on the administration’s commitments from December at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. But for Harris, the first Black U.S. vice president, it also carries especially high stakes. Her task will be to convince the African nations that the United States wants to truly invest in the future of the countries here and help change the narrative for Americans and encourage more business investments. For decades, the perception of the U.S. has been that it treats African countries like charity cases, according to several regional experts. That was exacerbated during the Trump administration, which largely ignored the continent or reportedly disparaged it. Former President Donald Trump, in a 2018 meeting, referred to some African nations as “shithole countries.” At the same time, China enhanced its investments in Africa, helping to build roads and other infrastructure projects and creating firmer economic and political relations. “Washington is playing catch up in Africa,” said Cameron Hudson, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program. “With all of the business investment that the Chinese have made comes a lot of leverage and political influence in those countries. It’s not just that they’re making money there. It’s that they now have skin in the game in Africa in ways that we don’t. And that gives them leverage that we don’t have.” But experts say the Biden administration has an opportunity to now compete with China as more African leaders see their relationship with China as “a new form of exploitation,” said J. Peter Pham, the former special envoy for the Sahel region of Africa during the Trump administration. “A lot of Africans have woken up to realize how often in these large construction projects, infrastructure … they don’t employ Africans. They even ship in their own labor oftentimes,” Pham said. The Biden administration has tried to paint its Africa policy as one based in long-lasting relationships instead of a larger move to counter China and choke off economic support for Russia. But administration officials acknowledge that those global rivals do factor into their view of current U.S.-Africa policy. “Obviously, we can’t ignore the current geopolitical moment. It’s no secret that we are engaged in competition with China. And we’ve said very clearly we intend to outcompete China in the long term,” said a senior administration official who spoke on a call with reporters ahead of the trip. Harris’ visit, the official added, is intended to prove that America has “an affirmative agenda” for the continent, one that will change the tenor of the relationship. In her remarks to the African Leaders Summit in December, Harris previewed the message she’s expected to lean on over the next week: That the administration would create partnerships across the continent “grounded in candor, openness, inclusiveness, shared interests, and mutual benefits. And overall, our administration will be guided not by what we can do for Africa, but what we can do with Africa.” Part of Harris’ task will be to shift how Americans view the continent from one that centers on civil war, human rights abuses and coup d’etats. “American businesses do not see Africa in economic terms. They don’t see African countries as investment opportunities. It’s the first step to shift the rhetoric from a focus on corruption and human rights and security to business opportunities,” said Amaka Anku, who heads up the Africa practice at the Eurasia group. “But I think that the challenge is not just convincing Africans that Africa’s economic transformation is in the American interest. It’s also convincing Americans. Otherwise it’s just rhetoric.” To that point, Harris on Wednesday will announce continent-wide public and private sector investment opportunities aimed at the economic empowerment of women. She’ll also convene business and philanthropic leaders from African countries and the U.S. to “digital and financial inclusion on the continent,” meeting with creatives, including heading to a local music studio. “I also look forward to meeting with entrepreneurs, and artists and students and farmers to witness firsthand the extraordinary innovation that is happening on this continent and inspiring the world,” Harris said during her welcome ceremony. Experts say Harris isn’t going to erase decades of a lack of partnership with African countries in one week-long trip, the leaders on the continent are going to be watching for cues that the U.S. is more than just talk this time around. And the administration is running out of time. “We’re going to quickly wear out our welcome, if we you know, and you know, these trips are great, but they’re enormously burdensome to the host countries. And we have processions of people coming in regularly and not one of them brings a real deal with them. After a while, it can get a little tiresome,” Pham said.
Every tenth Pakistani throws his used phone in the trash
Nearly two-thirds of Pakistanis, 63 percent, keep unused mobile phones at home, and in most cases, devices older than 10-15 years are lying around in the drawer, according to's latest national study. After the survey, the company will launch a nationwide campaign to collect old phones and encourage recycling. According to the research, mobile phones are the most common computing devices stored at home: they are found in six out of ten respondents. More than 60 percent of those surveyed most often store cables and chargers, and 47 percent store headphones deep in their drawers. The research pointed out that it is not only old technologies that can be found in our homes, as 15-17 percent also keep a smartwatch and a Bluetooth speaker, without using them. When people were asked about the reason for switching phones, 61 percent answered that they bought a new device because the previous one broke or they left it. For many, the deciding factor is if the otherwise functional device has become too worn out (45 percent) or does not have a necessary function (42 percent). 60 percent of those filling in have owned more than 5 phones, and a fifth have at least 10 devices and based on the answers, some of them are simply put away when they change again. The reason for this is mostly that they want to secure themselves with a spare phone or that they are afraid of their data. However, more than a quarter of those surveyed only keep their old Samsung devices because they don't know what to do with them. The most typical fate of unpreserved phones is to give them away (38 percent) or sell them (23 percent). Only 14 percent choose to return the phone to an electronics store or service provider, starting the device down the recycling path. Every tenth owner does not deal with the issue at all and simply throws their old device in the trash. In its announcement, the service provider drew attention to the fact that the proper handling of old mobile phones is important because the devices contain dangerous substances that do not cause problems during their intended use but can be harmful if they are stored improperly or end up in municipal waste. An aging battery can start to leak, releasing dangerous substances into the environment. In addition, the phones also contain valuable metals - including gold, silver, copper, and iron - that can be extracted during the recycling of the devices, so they do not need to be extracted again in a costly and environmentally polluting way. Phone companies offer several solutions for users to reduce their environmental footprint. Examples include an electronic invoice, a digital signature, or a smaller SIM card. And now, What Mobile encourages consumers to do something for the balance of nature and not to keep old mobile phones or throw them in the trash, but to bring them into their stores. According to the company, it's also offering a special OPPO A76 discounted price in Pakistan and will take care of the recycling of the devices with the help of its specialized partners.
Coffee drinkers get more steps but also less sleep, study finds
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, but the pendulum has swung back and forth about its benefits and drawbacks. New findings from a small study published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, suggest both upsides and downsides: Drinking at least a cup of coffee per day might make you move more but sleep less — and it might put you at higher risk for one type of heart palpitation. “The big picture finding is that there isn’t just one single health-related consequence of consuming coffee, but that the reality is more complicated than that,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Gregory Marcus, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “The great majority of research on the topic has been observational, meaning we just look and see at what happens to people who do and don’t drink coffee, which is profoundly limited by the possibility that … there may be some other characteristic that is driving whether someone happens to drink coffee,” Marcus said. “The only way to mitigate those potential effects was to conduct a randomized interventional trial.” To get a better idea of coffee’s immediate health effects, the authors recruited 100 healthy adults who were age 39 on average and from the San Francisco area. They equipped the participants with Fitbits to track their steps and sleep, continuous blood glucose monitors and electrocardiogram devices that tracked their heart rhythms. Each participant was randomly assigned to drink as much coffee as they wanted for two days, then abstain for two days, repeating that cycle over a two-week period. On coffee-drinking days, participants got an average of 1,058 more steps than they did on abstention days, the authors found. But on those days, sleep took a hit, with participants getting 36 fewer minutes of shut-eye. The more coffee they drank, the more physical activity and the less sleep they got. Coffee seemed to affect the heart, too. Researchers found no evidence of a significant relationship between coffee consumption and premature atrial contractions, which are “very common, early heartbeats that we all experience arising from the top chambers of the heart,” Marcus said. They can feel like a flutter or skipped beat in your chest. “People with more premature atrial contractions are at higher risk of developing a very clinically significant heart rhythm disturbance called atrial fibrillation,” he added. But drinking more than one cup per day resulted in about a 50% higher incidence of premature ventricular contractions, or PVCs, compared with days of no coffee intake. These heartbeats arise from the lower chambers of the heart, and they can also feel like a skipped beat or heart palpitations. “So this provides some compelling evidence that experimenting with (going) off coffee might be worthwhile in those individuals who experience bothersome palpitations related to PVCs,” Marcus said. “There’s also evidence that in some people, more PVCs can lead to a weakening of the heart or heart failure,” Marcus added. “So it may be that if someone is especially concerned about risks of heart failure — such as they have a family history of it or there’s some other indication that their physician tells them (makes) them at risk — they may want to steer clear of coffee.” Peter Kistler, who is head of electrophysiology at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, described the study as strong but cautioned that “this is a short-term study in healthy volunteers.” “This provides no information on the long-term benefits or adverse effects of long-term coffee drinking,” said Kistler, who was not involved in the study. “This does not provide information on the impact of coffee in people with other health conditions, and generally (the study participants) consumed modest amounts of coffee.”,%20J.A.%20Johnstone,%20Black%20Dog%20by%20Kelly%20Link%20Audiobook%20Download,%20Honor,%20Betray%20by%20Mary%20Monroe%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook,%20Loved%20and%20Heard%20by%20Tabitha%20Brown%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook
First Citizens Bank to purchase assets of Silicon Valley Bank
First Citizens Bank is buying most of the business of Silicon Valley Bank, the US tech lender that failed earlier this month. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) said in a statement late Sunday it had agreed that First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company (FCIZP) would buy all of SVB’s deposits and loans that regulators had transferred to a bridge bank in the wake of its collapse. Seventeen former branches of SVB will begin operating as “Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank,” on Monday, First Citizens said. SVB customers should continue to use their current branch until they receive notice from First Citizens that systems have been converted to allow full service at its wider branch network, FDIC added. SVB was shut down by regulators on Friday, March 10, after clients withdrew $42 billion in a single day. It was the second-largest bank failure in US history, after Washington Mutual in 2008. The FDIC agreed to guarantee all deposits, including those above the $250,000 per account that are usually insured. First Citizens, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, offers general banking services through more than 550 branches and offices in 23 states. It said in a statement that it would assume SVB assets of $110 billion, deposits of $56 billion and loans of $72 billion, based on the latest information from the FDIC. It has also entered into an agreement with the FDIC that will protect the bank against potential losses on the commercial loans it is buying. “This transaction leverages our solid foundation to add significant scale, geographic diversity, compelling digital capabilities and, most importantly, meaningful solutions for customers throughout their lifecycle,” First Citizens chairman and CEO Frank B. Holding said in the statement. “Specifically, we are committed to building on and preserving the strong relationships that legacy SVB’s Global Fund Banking business has with private equity and venture capital firms,” he added. The FDIC said First Citizens was getting the $72 billion in SVB loans at a discount of $16.5 billion. About $90 billion in securities and other assets that were owned by SVB will remain in receivership for disposition by the FDIC. “The FDIC estimates the cost of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank to its Deposit Insurance Fund to be approximately $20 billion. The exact cost will be determined when the FDIC terminates the receivership,” the regulator said. The collapse of SVB, followed in quick succession by Signature Bank — another US regional lender — roiled global financial markets and triggered a collapse in confidence among investors and depositors in other vulnerable banks. Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, Credit Suisse (CS), has been the largest casualty of the current crisis. It had to be rescued a week ago by bigger rival UBS (UBS) in an emergency takeover orchestrated by the Swiss government.,%20J.A.%20Johnstone,%20Black%20Dog%20by%20Kelly%20Link%20Audiobook%20Download,%20Honor,%20Betray%20by%20Mary%20Monroe%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook,%20Loved%20and%20Heard%20by%20Tabitha%20Brown%20PDF%20Download%20Free%20Audiobook
Abortion puts New York Republicans on defense
Democrats are betting that the road back to the House majority rests with voters who care about abortion access — especially in blue states like New York. The party lost seven battleground congressional seats in the Empire State, four of which were flipped from blue to red in 2022 — in addition to a handful of others in strongly blue California, New Jersey and Oregon. While advocates for abortion rights organized around specific constitutional or legislative abortion bans in swing states in 2022, many expect the priority of the issue to become more widespread next cycle. “It’s possible there are voters who felt immune to the fallout of the Dobbs decision previously. This will be at their front door, and we’re confident that this will help activate them to engage even deeper on this issue than even we saw in 2022,” said Ryan Stitzlein, Senior National Political Director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Already, House Majority PAC, the Democratic Party’s main House-specific political action committee, is budgeting $45 million to compete in New York next cycle. And the group’s president, Mike Smith, firmly declared that “the path to a Democratic House Majority runs through New York.” How able Democrats are in turning the ‘24 election cycle into a referendum on abortion policy will go a long way toward determining the party’s success at the ballot box. Advocates believe that Republicans may just play into their hands. They believe they can spotlight a continued appetite for anti-abortion legislation in a GOP-led House, as well as a looming court case that could restrict abortion even in states where it is protected by state laws. The House has already voted on one bill that would make it a felony to not provide medical assistance to an infant that survives an attempted abortion (which is already illegal), and it has promised a speedy vote on a second that would put stricter bans on federal funding for the procedure. The newly elected Republicans from New York — Reps. Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, George Santos, Nick LaLota, and Brandon Williams — all voted in favor of the first bill, which passed the House. These members are all targets of the Democratic congressional campaigns spending group, House Majority PAC. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, chaired by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), has not yet released its target list. D’Esposito, Molinaro, LaLota, and Williams did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Lawler’s office denied an interview request and he denied a request made in person. The National Republican Congressional Committee also declined to comment on this issue. Abortion rights advocates are also anticipating that a federal judge will rescind the FDA’s approval of a popular abortion drug, in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA, significantly restricting access to abortion. The decision is still pending, but such a move would bring the issue to the fore for many voters, even in states with strong protections for abortion. Some national drugstore chains like Walgreens have voluntarily pulled the drug from their shelves in anticipation of a decision in the case. That is just one component of the abortion access tug-of-war. Stitzlein, of NARAL, said while the FDA case is the current battle, he believes the anti-abortion movement will continue challenging access on other fronts. “I remain convinced that there’s going to be a move to a national abortion ban by Republicans in the House and in the Senate. And nothing I’ve seen dissuades me of that,” said Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.), who represents an upstate battleground district, in an interview with POLITICO. “The protections that are offered in states like New York and California, if there’s a national abortion ban, won’t be a way to protect women anymore.” Morelle, who’s race was considered a toss up last cycle, said he not only talked about his support for abortion access on the trail but made it a “centerpiece” of his campaign. “Incumbents here, they’re going to have to make a decision about whether or not they’re going to adhere to the national agenda that has been established by, frankly, pretty extreme members of the Republican Party,” Morelle said. Or if “they’re going to represent the interests of people in their communities that are much more moderate.” Advocates and Democratic lawmakers believe even the threat of a national ban will activate voters in New York in the same way the initial Dobbs decision did for voters in purple and red states, from Michigan to Kansas, in the midterms. “This is an issue that’s not going away because Republicans are going to keep pushing the envelope and keep pushing the envelope,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Abby Curran Horrell said in an interview with POLITICO. In 2024, Republicans in congressional races in reliably blue states will also be running alongside whomever ends up being the GOP presidential nominee. Nearly all the candidates have already declared support for abortion restrictions or bans. Former President Donald Trump has said Republicans should have moderated their anti-abortion stance in the 2022 cycle, but he also takes credit for putting in place the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade. Former Vice President Mike Pence supports an outright national abortion ban. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign a six-week abortion ban into law in his state. “The fact that they will presumably support [the nominee] will be showing that they are objectively anti-choice,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) about the frontline Republicans in New York. “Any anti-choice vote they make will obviously come back to bite them.” If there’s any success in restricting access, Nadler said, “in New York, I think the Republicans are going to pay very dearly.”
‘Lessons have not been learned’: FDA knew of positive test months before latest infant formula recall
A recent recall of infant formula was announced nearly three months after Food and Drug Administration officials first learned that some products at a major plant had tested positive for bacteria — a delay that mirrors the agency’s slow response to reports of food safety problems and infant deaths ahead of last year’s massive recall over the same type of bacteria. In late February, formula giant Reckitt issued a press release recalling 145,000 cans of Enfamil ProSobee Simply Plant-Based Infant Formula over the “possibility of cross-contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii” — the deadly pathogen that sparked the infant formula crisis last year. Dozens of news outlets covered this as breaking news, recommending parents and caregivers toss the products or return them for a refund. FDA inspectors, however, had become aware of the positive test that ultimately sparked this recall in November, an FDA spokesperson confirmed to POLITICO. Reckitt had found Cronobacter sakazakii in a batch of formula made at its Zeeland, Mich., plant, during internal testing conducted in early September. The batch that tested positive was destroyed, but the FDA later determined that not enough cleaning had been done following the positive test. Two batches of formula made right after the contaminated batch would ultimately be recalled on February 20 — more than five months after the products had been distributed nationally, including in Guam and Puerto Rico. The revelation that this recall took months to announce comes more than a year after a massive infant formula recall from Abbott Nutrition, renewing questions about FDA’s oversight of formula and whether enough has changed in the wake of this crisis to prevent another one. There have been four formula recalls over Cronobacter contamination in the past year — more formula recalls than there have been in the last decade combined. The Reckitt recall in February was relatively small compared to the Abbott recall — which was likely the largest in history — and both FDA and the company maintain there have been no reports of illness related to this incident. For food safety advocates, however, it feels like a test that the agency didn’t pass. “It’s stunning that it’s almost identical to what happened in 2021,” said Mitzi Baum, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness, a group that advocates on behalf of victims of outbreaks, referring to the lengthy timeline from positive test to recall. “Lessons have not been learned.” “FDA continues to be reactive,” Baum added. “It’s the internal processes that have not been fixed, if this is happening again.” A House oversight subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on the agency’s handling of the infant formula crisis on Tuesday. Food safety advocates are eager for Congress to look into the problems, though they are wary of the issue becoming partisan. The committee also last week sent a letter to top agency officials seeking a trove of documents and communications. Reckitt did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The FDA, for its part, has over the last year been taking a closer look at formula makers’ own records during food-safety inspections as a response to last year’s incident, which was initially set in motion by reports of four infant illnesses, including two deaths, from Cronobacter infections. FDA officials later found serious food safety violations at Abbott’s Sturgis, Mich., plant, which was shuttered for months for cleaning and upgrades, fueling a national shortage and a major disruption to the market because the plant had once made roughly a fifth of the U.S. supply. The FDA also found Cronobacter in 20 places in the plant, though none of the strains matched the illnesses. One of the biggest unanswered questions remaining from the formula crisis of last year is why FDA inspectors had missed major food safety problems at Sturgis, including things like roof leaks — conditions that FDA Commissioner Robert Califf later characterized as “egregious.” The agency has not provided a full explanation for why these issues were not found during a routine inspection five months prior to the recall. The FDA also did not heed a detailed warning from a whistleblower about the plant, a revelation that was first reported by POLITICO. In the case of Reckitt’s Zeeland plant, FDA inspectors initially “made note” of the positive Cronoacter test in November while they were in the facility for a “limited inspection” that was sparked by a “non-illness” complaint FDA had received related to the plant, the agency said. The formula recall didn’t happen, however, until FDA inspectors went back to this plant for a follow up inspection in February — a visit that was scheduled because agency inspectors found food-safety problems when they were in the plant for a routine inspection in July, the agency said. It was during this February follow-up visit that inspectors “obtained additional information which, when combined with the positive sample, led to the agency’s concerns about the adequacy of cleaning in relation to the production of these two product lots that are the subject of the recall,” a spokesperson said.