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How Big Government Destroys Communities

On the Friday edition of the Daily Daily Caller Podcast, we take a look at President Donald Trump’s executive order about free speech on college campuses, but that was not the most important part of what he did Thursday.

Democrats cave to their radical anti-Semitic wing yet again, and a large percentage of Americans have no idea what the First Amendment is. Plus, in our video interview, we talk with Tim Carney from the American Enterprise Institute on his new book, “Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse.” The audio of the interview is included in the audio version of the whole show, too.

Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring colleges and universities to protect the First Amendment rights of students and invited speakers if those institutions want to continue to receive federal research grant money. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake, but that’s not the most important aspect of the president’s order.

He’s also requiring the publication of data on the average income of different majors from colleges so students thinking about majoring in various, less-employable fields of study can see exactly what they’re getting into. This could also undercut much of the Democrats’ push for “free college.”

If students know what they’re getting themselves into and willingly take out massive loans for degrees with low-wage jobs awaiting them — if they can find jobs at all — there’s no justification for student loan forgiveness, let alone cost-free tuition.

Democrats have caved, yet again, to their extreme wing of anti-Semitic “progressives.” Every Democrat running for president has announced they will not attend the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C., next week.

MoveOn, the left-wing activist group, called on all candidates to boycott the annual meeting of the Jewish group and everyone stepped up to heed the call. Things have changed significantly since the party balked at condemning the anti-Semitism of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar just a few weeks ago.

A new survey showed a sadly small percentage of Americans have any idea what the First Amendment is. An even larger percentage have no idea what the Bill of Rights is. It’s a damning testament to the state of public education and why Democrats still win election.

Then we talk to Tim Carney about the role big government played in destroying communities across the country, even in times to economic boom. The answers in his new book will surprise you.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to derek@dailycaller.com or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

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EU leaders debate more assertive response to China’s rise

FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic Dialogue in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

March 22, 2019

By Philip Blenkinsop and Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU leaders said on Friday the bloc must recognize that China is as much a competitor as a partner, after calls for a more assertive policy toward Beijing over the openness of Chinese markets and the role of state-led firms.

The bloc has sought to avoid taking sides in a multi-billion dollar trade war between Washington and Beijing.

But it has become increasingly frustrated by subsidies, state involvement in the Chinese economy, and what it sees as a slow pace of change there.

Brussels will host an EU-China summit on April 9.

EU leaders had been intending to discuss China on Thursday at their summit, but their schedule was blown off course by a long day of talks over how to deal with Britain and its looming departure from the bloc.

The goal of presenting a united front on China was complicated by a simultaneous visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Italy, whose eurosceptic government was due to sign an accord drawing the country into China’s giant “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan.

Other largely eastern EU countries have also signed up to the plan.

The EU debate on China will be combined with a discussion on improving the competitiveness of Europe’s industry. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the debate was long overdue.

“China is a partner, but it is at the same time a competitor,” he said. “It’s crucial that there be fair trade conditions.”

He also questioned why China could be regarded under World Trade Organization rules as a developing country given special treatment, while being on course to become the largest economy in the world – a view shared by Washington.

“We need fair rules and naturally also protection for intellectual property and know-how from Europe and proper treatment of our investors in China,” Kurz continued.

In signs the European Union wants to end unfettered access to Chinese business, it is about to introduce a system to screen foreign investments, particularly those affecting vital infrastructure or technology.

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 member nations, has also urged leaders to back its plan to limit access to EU public tenders worth 2.4 trillion euros ($2.7 trillion) to companies from countries whose procurement markets were not open.

Pro-free trade countries such as the Nordics and the Netherlands say the plan could unfairly restrict commerce and amount to a surcharge for taxpayers by shutting out cheaper providers.

The EU leaders were also due to discuss Huawei Technologies Co and whether it should be allowed to provide equipment for future high-speed 5G networks. The U.S. government has said the equipment could be used to spy on the West.

“We need a relationship of trust. I know that there are questions now about 5G and Huawei in Europe. I think we need a base of rules to be respected by anyone who wants to do 5G in Europe,” Bettel said.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Robin Emmott; Additional reporting by Robin Emmott, Francesco Guarascio, Andreas Rinke and Thomas Escritt; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: OANN

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Catalan government backs down over pro-independence banners

Catalonia's regional government has removed eye-catching pro-independence banners from its headquarters in Barcelona, hours before police were due to take them down on orders from the country's electoral board.

Workers removed Friday a large banner from a balcony on the front of the centuries-old palace, which said in Catalan and English "Free political prisoners and exiles."

That referred to the prosecution and self-imposed exile of Catalan separatist leaders for their role in a failed attempt to declare independence in 2017.

On Thursday, the regional government removed a different banner which displayed a yellow ribbon symbol used to express support for the prisoners.

Elected officials and public institutions are prohibited from expressing support for one particular party or ideological position during a campaign period.

Spain's general election is on April 28.

Source: Fox News World

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Democrats push financial inclusion as 2020 election race heats up

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Sanders speaks in Concord
FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a campaign rally in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

March 22, 2019

By Pete Schroeder and Anna Irrera

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boosting access to the U.S. banking system is emerging as a prominent theme as Democrats tap discontent over income inequality ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, many banks pulled back from their poorest customers. The shift has had lasting costs for millions of Americans now struggling to access mainstream financial services such as checking accounts and credit cards.

Ten years later, Democrats, driven by progressive firebrands like Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, see financial inclusion as a draw for voters.

The three Democrats, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have advocated for the U.S. Postal Service to provide banking services. Senator Cory Booker has said he wants to ban overdraft fees and Senator Kamala Harris has called for a crackdown on payday lenders.

Gillibrand, Booker, Harris, Sanders and Warren are all running for president.

Humu Issifu, an African-American school worker from Chicago, said overdraft debt led her to close her checking account. Issifu, who now has a savings account, said she felt lawmakers do not care about struggles like hers but they should.

“I think more young students, more people would vote,” Issifu, 26, said.

Unlike other liberal issues such as affordable housing, gun-control and taxing the rich, financial inclusion resonates among two key demographic groups: minorities and the rural Americans who powered Donald Trump into the White House, experts say.

“Candidates … are looking for ways to raise issues that are inherently about racial justice. They want to make sure they are mobilizing black and Latino voters,” said Maurice BP-Weeks, co-executive director of Action Center on Race & the Economy.

“But they are also looking for things that are common themes for people living in rural communities. Financial inclusion is one of those things that ties together those people.”

Nearly 85 million Americans, predominantly from low-income, rural and minority backgrounds, do not have a bank account or only have access to basic banking services, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data compiled in 2017.

[See graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ogvxwj]

Both “unbanked” and “underbanked” households spend on average 10 percent of their annual income – as much as the average household spends on food – to access basic services like check cashing or credit, according to a 2014 government study.

“It’s expensive to be poor,” Warren told Reuters in a statement. “We need a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that cracks down on payday lenders … And we need postal banking so people in every community in America have easy and convenient access to basic banking products,” she added.

Beyond overdraft charges, many Americans cannot afford minimum balances, annual fees and ATM fees associated with many bank accounts. The cost of accessing financial services exacerbates the gap between the rich and the poor, a source of rising anger among voters which Democrats have seized upon.

DISCONNECT

“The paradox is that the economy is doing great but there is a disconnect between households and the economy,” said Ida Rademacher, executive director of nonprofit the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program. “A country’s financial system is a key determinant of whether an economy is fair or just.”

A 2018 Pew Research Center poll found 63 percent of U.S. adults believe the economy is unfairly tilted toward the rich and powerful.

“Closing the wealth gap and helping underbanked Americans achieve financial security are top priorities for Senator Gillibrand,” her campaign spokesman said.

Josh Orton, an adviser to Sanders’ campaign, said Sanders had long fought to curb payday lenders and introduce postal banking.

Representatives for Ocasio-Cortez, Booker and Harris did not respond to requests for comment.

Progressives like Warren and Sanders have pushed financial inclusion for years but the issue is getting more traction as progressives gain sway in the Democratic Party, said Mehrsa Baradaran, professor at the University of Georgia who has advised several campaigns.

Nationally, the unbanked and underbanked population has declined since the crisis, driven mainly by wage gains spurred by economic growth, the FDIC found. That improvement has been uneven, with the percentage of unbanked in a dozen states growing between 2013 and 2017, and could reverse if the economy slumps.

While rural households are more likely to encounter barriers accessing financial services, many cities have higher rates of unbanked than the national average, the data shows.

“I could see our life was getting harder and harder because I didn’t have an account,” said Dasan King, 19, a San Francisco movie-theater worker who spent up to 5 percent of his paychecks cashing them until he was able to open a bank account.

King said he was angry about the fees but was skeptical politicians would address the problem.

(Reporting Pete Schroeder in Washington and Anna Irrera in New York; writing and additional reporting by Michelle Price; editing by Neal Templin and Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

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For EU, Brexit has trashed May's 'strong and stable' image

Prime Minister Theresa May used to promise "strong and stable" government. Fellow EU leaders used to believe her.

But then came almost three years of Brexit missteps and mayhem. For the EU, Britain's 2016 vote to leave was a shock; what has happened since has left the reputation of Britain's prime minister, and the country's political institutions, badly tarnished.

May triggered the formal two-year countdown to Brexit while Britain was still divided over departure terms. Then she called a snap election to strengthen her bargaining hand — and lost her majority in Parliament.

Since then, Brexit has become gridlocked, with May too weak to push through her plans and lawmakers too divided to force an alternate course.

Leaders across Europe have watched with surprise, dismay and mounting frustration as Britain's widely respected institutions — a 1,000-year-old Parliament, an electoral system built to supply stable majority governments — failed repeatedly to make crucial decisions while the clock ticked down.

"The patience slowly, slowly is running out," one EU official said at this week's Brussels summit as the bloc's leaders — without May — debated whether to step in to prevent Britain crashing out of the bloc on its scheduled March 29 departure date.

In response to May's request for a three-month delay, the bloc offered a short two-step extension, with a deadline of April 12 for Britain to choose between May's deal, no deal, a long delay or no Brexit at all.

EU leaders said they had stepped in where Britain had failed, to avert the chaos of a messy Brexit next week.

"The European Union has, very clearly, been faced today with a British political crisis," French President Emmanuel Macron said as he left the talks early Friday. "British politicians are incapable of implementing what the people asked them.

"It's a real political and democratic crisis. But this crisis is British. In no way must we (the EU-27) become stuck in this situation."

Newspapers in Britain and the EU were united in seeing the EU's offer as proof Britain had lost control of its Brexit destiny.

"EU takes control of Brexit as May is sidelined," said the front page of the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph. Spain's El Pais said the EU had given May a "20-day ultimatum." France's Le Figaro said the bloc's "confidence in Theresa May has evaporated," while Liberation summarized the mood of EU participants at the summit as "irritation, tiredness and a clear sense of being fed-up."

Some European politicians lay blame for the crisis squarely on May, a politician whose strengths — tenacity, stamina, a remarkable ability to keep plowing on in the face of opposition — have become weaknesses.

When May addressed EU leaders at the summit on Thursday, many were frustrated that she would not reveal a "Plan B" if her twice-rejected divorce deal was thrown out by Parliament again. They were downright alarmed by the impression that she would opt for a "no-deal" Brexit rather than accept a long delay.

"When she was asked what happens if you can't get the deal through next week, the answer was basically, 'I don't know,'" Philippe Lamberts, a Belgian member of the European Parliament, told the BBC. "And that is of course scary."

Giving Britain's Parliament a few more weeks to decide on Brexit offers lawmakers the chance to take control out of May's hands — if they can agree on a course of action. Many pro-EU lawmakers favor a long delay followed by a soft Brexit or remaining in the EU.

Either of those options would likely lead to May's departure — either voluntarily or under pressure from an exasperated Conservative Party.

EU leaders know better than anyone the burden of leading a government. For some, frustration over Brexit is tempered by sympathy and respect.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently compared May to the Black Knight in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," who loses limb after limb in battle but fights on, insisting "it's only a flesh wound."

Rutte said he had not meant it as an insult.

"Her tenacity is enormous," Rutte said at the summit. "I can only with the highest admiration and astonishment look how she is doing this."

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Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

Source: Fox News World

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Exiled Thai leader is father of the bride ahead of election

Thailand's exiled former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, won't know until Sunday whether people in his homeland are still fans of his politics, but he was happy as he hosted a wedding reception in Hong Kong for his youngest daughter.

Though ostensibly a family affair with a raft of VIP guests, the ceremony's timing Friday seemed to carry an implicit message to Thaksin's countrymen: Don't forget me and my political allies at Sunday's general election.

Thai Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, who made an abortive attempt last month to be a prime ministerial candidate for a political party allied to Thaksin, was a special guest. Although Thaksin was ousted by a 2006 military coup, the Pheu Thai Party of his loyalists is expected to capture the most seats in Sunday's polls.

Source: Fox News World

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REPORT: Jimmer Fredette Signs With The Phoenix Suns On Two-Year Deal

David Hookstead | Reporter

Jimmer Fredette is headed back to the NBA.

According to Shams Charania, the former BYU star signed a two-year deal with the Phoenix Suns after playing in China. The second year of the deal is a team option.

This is awesome for Fredette. He was arguably the most exciting player to watch play college basketball in the past decade.

The man was just a scoring machine. He never saw a shot from the floor that he didn’t love and wasn’t eager to pull the trigger on. That’s my kind of guard. He would jack up shots from anywhere. (RELATED: Remember Basketball Star Jimmer Fredette? He Just Pulled Off An Incredible Accomplishment)

His initial run at the NBA didn’t go very well, but he’s done a nice job of dominating in China and puling up cash while doing it.

Don’t sleep on the talent of the CBA. There are a lot of former NBA guys over there, and the league is no joke.

Clearly, the Suns thought Fredette did enough to earn himself another shot in the NBA. I hope he does well. He seems like a really good dude, he’s fun to watch and those are the kinds of guys you always want to cheer for.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

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FILE PHOTO: Guatemalan Attorney General Aldana participates in a news conference in Guatemala City
FILE PHOTO: Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana participates in a news conference in Guatemala City, Guatemala, August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Nelson Renteria

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – A Guatemalan presidential candidate known for tackling high-profile corruption as attorney general said on Wednesday that she would return from neighboring El Salvador within days despite an arrest warrant.

A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of Thelma Aldana, a former attorney general who helped topple and imprison a former president on corruption charges and investigated current President Jimmy Morales, who has largely dismantled the country’s U.N.-backed anti-corruption investigative body known as CICIG.

The country’s electoral tribunal confirmed her candidacy in the June presidential election on Tuesday, shortly after news reports circulated of the order.

Aldana said if she wins, she would make government efficient and transparent as well as strengthen CICIG, adding that the accusations against her were politically motivated to undermine her bid for top office.

“No, I’m not scared. They’re the ones who are scared,” Aldana told Reuters in an interview in El Salvador’s capital, where she had previously scheduled activities. “When I go back to Guatemala… I’ll do it with complete calm, I’ll do it without a single problem.”

The arrest order includes charges of embezzlement, lying and tax fraud. Aldana said she plans to return to Guatemala on Thursday or Friday and had not been notified of the warrant. Under Guatemalan law, she holds immunity as a presidential candidate.

In January, Morales’ government said it was terminating CICIG, after already banning the group’s head from the country.

Aldana had worked with CICIG to investigate President Jimmy Morales for campaign financing violations. She and CICIG previously led the probe into former President Otto Perez Molina that triggered his impeachment and ousted him from office. He remains in custody on charges of involvement in a customs corruption ring.

If she wins, Aldana said she would ask the United Nations to formally expand the anti-corruption mandate of the CICIG, which was originally formed to investigate illegal security forces.

“Clandestine security bodies embedded in the state motivated the Guatemalan government 10 years ago to go to the United Nations … but they’re still there,” she said.

Aldana added that she is against a law proposed by Morales’ party that would free military officials convicted of human rights crimes during the Central American country’s 36-year civil war, which has sparked criticism from international rights groups.

“Without a doubt, it’s a proposal that could generate impunity and obviously I’m not in favor of approving it,” she said.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

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FILE PHOTO: A Thomas Cook sign outside one of its London stores
FILE PHOTO: A Thomas Cook sign outside one of the travel company’s shops in central London, November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

March 22, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British travel company Thomas Cook plans to axe 320 jobs and close 21 stores in its UK retail network to cut costs as consumers increasingly shop online, it said on Friday.

Thomas Cook endured a tough 2018 when a heatwave in northern Europe deterred holidaymakers from booking last-minute deals, leading to two profit warnings and talk of a need to raise funds.

The company has also said it would consider a sale of its airline business to raise cash.

“Today’s announcement reflects the wider challenges seen on the high street, with more and more customers choosing to book online,” said Will Waggott, who runs the company’s tour operator business.

“We will be working to ensure that Thomas Cook is fit for the future, putting a rigorous focus on costs in a competitive environment.”

The store closures reduce Thomas Cook’s retail network to 566 shops, half the total it had in 2012.

In addition to 102 job losses at those 21 stores, a further 218 roles will be cut across its other shops, for which staff and union consultations have begun.

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel company, has long had a visible presence on Britain’s shopping streets but it said that 64 percent of its bookings in the UK last year were made online and that this was its fastest-growing sales channel.

Weak demand and rising costs have put intense pressure on prominent British brands for some time, with the likes of department store BHS and Toys R Us going bust in recent years and Marks & Spencer and Debenhams announcing store closures.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by David Goodman)

Source: OANN

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French anti-terror prosecutors are investigating a knife attack by a prison inmate that injured two guards in western France.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said the prisoner’s wife was visiting him Tuesday and he locked himself in a visiting room after stabbing the guards with a ceramic knife. She says the guards’ injuries are not life-threatening and no hostages were taken.

Belloubet says "there’s no doubt about the terrorist nature of the attack" at the Conde-sur-Sarthe prison.

The Justice Ministry said the inmate had convictions for kidnapping leading to death, armed robbery and glorifying terrorism.

Local media say the inmate was known as a radicalized Islamist. They say he was sentenced in 2015 to a 30-year prison term for the murder of an 89-year-old man who had survived Nazi concentration camps.

Source: Fox News World

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Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Environmental activist Michael Shellenberger explained to Fox News host Tucker Carlson that it’s not possible to shift the country’s grid completely to renewable energy.

“I was one of the founders of, sort of, the first Green New Deal back in 2003, 2007,” Shellenberger, the founder of Environmental Progress, began. “People don’t remember President Obama, we spent about $150 billion on renewables between 2009 and 2015, and we just kept encountering the same kind of problems.”

WATCH:

Shellenberger laid out the two main problems that plague wind turbines and solar panels: unreliability and low energy density.

“They just depend on when the sun is shining and when the wind is blowing, which is 10 to 40 percent of the year,” he said, demonstrating how the intermittent energy production of wind and solar makes them unreliable sources of power. “Something people are not as aware of: the low energy density of sunlight and wind. Basically what we’ve been finding is that the lower the energy density of the fuel … the bigger the environmental impact.”

Because solar and wind produce such small amounts of energy, according to Shellenberger, they require a much larger amount of land to generate electricity.

Instead, the Environmental Progress founder touted the benefits of nuclear energy, a source of power that can generate large amounts of reliable energy while emitting zero carbon emissions. However, Shellenberger said the public has yet to fully embrace nuclear energy because they associate it with nuclear bombs, past nuclear accidents and a desire to use energy that harmonizes with the natural world.”

“That turns out to be a bad idea because the more natural resource we use, the worse it is for the natural environment,” he said.

Nuclear Plant. Shutterstock

Nuclear power plant Ohu near Landshut, Bavaria, Germany. Shutterstock

As environmental activists become more alarmed about the threat of climate change, many are re-evaluating how they perceive nuclear power. The U.S. nuclear industry currently supplies about 20 percent of the country’s total electricity, but it provides roughly 60 percent of its zero-carbon electricity. A growing number of climate change-oriented lawmakers are now passing subsidies and support programs to keep nuclear plants in operation. (RELATED: Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Vote To Modernize US Nuclear Fleet)

Shellenberger went on to say it was “very disappointing” that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s widely publicized Green New Deal does not include provisions for nuclear energy.

Ocasio-Cortez’s original FAQ document on the Green New Deal, in fact, called for a phase out of nuclear power. However, following the botched roll out of the deal, her team took the anti-nuclear language off their website.

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Source: The Daily Caller

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An Alabama judge has approved a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a 21-year-old man on behalf of an aborted embryo.

Al.com reported Wednesday that Ryan Magers is calling the 6-week-old embryo "Baby Roe" in his suit seeking damages from the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives.

Magers was 19 and the girl was 16 when he said he "pleaded" with her not get an abortion. Her parents say it was her decision to take the abortion pill.

The case was made possible by Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger, who ruled that Magers could represent the estate of his ex-girlfriend’s aborted embryo.

Alabama voters approved an amendment last year declaring "the importance of unborn life."

___

Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

Source: Fox News National

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