Virtual meetings of local government bodies in jeopardy after Supreme Court ruling

Local governments across Michigan are in limbo following a state Supreme Court ruling, uncertain whether they’ll be able to keep holding public meetings virtually.

The court last Friday, Oct. 2, struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s authority to continue Michigan’s state of emergency amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s the state of emergency that has empowered Whitmer to unilaterally issue orders like allowing public bodies to hold electronic meetings since March.

After several months of livestreaming meetings using platforms like Zoom, elected officials around the state are now wondering if they’re going to be forced to return to in-person meetings.

“Things got even more interesting in this incredibly strange year,” said Ann Arbor City Council Member Ali Ramlawi as the issue came up during a virtual council meeting Monday night.

While the governor said Friday her orders remain in effect for 21 more days and the Michigan Municipal League has advised

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South Korea proposes compromise abortion law after landmark court ruling

By Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea on Wednesday proposed allowing abortion up until the fourteenth week of pregnancy as part of a new law designed to comply with a landmark ruling by the constitutional court that struck down a decades-long ban.

South Korea criminalised abortion in 1953 when its leaders wanted to boost the population, but exceptions to the law were introduced in 1973, including when the pregnancy was caused by a sexual crime.

However, the Constitutional Court overturned the ban in April last year, saying it unconstitutionally curbed women’s rights and ordering the government to come up with a new law.

Under the new proposal, abortion would be banned after 14 weeks except in the case of a sex crime, or if the health of the mother is at risk, or if the fetus shows signs of severe birth defects, in which case abortion would be allowed

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Poland’s ruling party leader joins revamped government

Poland’s president has formally sworn in a reshuffled government in which the leader of the main ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, becomes deputy prime minister, after years of forging the nation’s politics from outside the government

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s president has formally sworn in a reshuffled government in which the leader of the main ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, becomes deputy prime minister, after years of forging the nation’s politics from outside the Cabinet.

Kaczynski, 71, will now be in charge of the justice, defense and interior sectors, supervising the work of these key ministers. Until now, he was formally only a regular lawmaker for his Law and Justice party although he was considered to wield considerable influence.

Observers say his main task will be to ease tensions between moderate Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and hard-line Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, which recently

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the Sydney professor under attack from Poland’s ruling party

Video: Activists fear abortion decision could be revisited by conservative Supreme Court (Sky News Australia)

Activists fear abortion decision could be revisited by conservative Supreme Court

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Wojciech Sadurski does not immediately seem like a danger to a foreign government. By day the internationally renowned legal scholar is Challis chair of jurisprudence at the University of Sydney. By night he posts videos on YouTube of his other passion – playing drums on jazz standards.

But the 70-year-old professor has had to pay attention to a more disturbing drumbeat since the ruling party and public broadcaster of his home country, Poland, sued him for defamation over tweets accusing them separately of indulging far-right nationalists and harassing the government’s political opponents.

On Friday Sadurski was due to be cross-examined remotely from a Warsaw courtroom, in the first hearing of one of three cases against him that have added

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U.S. government appeals judge’s ruling to block WeChat app store ban

By David Shepardson



FILE PHOTO: The messenger app WeChat is seen among U.S. flags in this illustration picture


© Reuters/Florence Lo
FILE PHOTO: The messenger app WeChat is seen among U.S. flags in this illustration picture


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Friday said it was appealing a judge’s decision to block the government from barring Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google from offering Chinese-owned messaging app WeChat for download in U.S. app stores.

The government said it was appealing the Sept. 19 preliminary junction issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The injunction blocked the U.S. Commerce Department order, which would also bar other U.S. transactions with Tencent Holding’s WeChat, potentially making the app unusable in the United States.

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A U.S. spokesman for Tencent did not immediately comment.

The Justice Department said earlier that Beeler’s order was in error and “permits the continued, unfettered use of WeChat, a mobile application that the

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