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A stark gender divide has emerged in debates unfolding in Republican-led states including West Virginia, Indiana and South Carolina following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to end constitutional protections for abortion. As male-dominated legislatures worked to advance bans, protesters were more likely to be women. That happened even as legislators often had support of the few Republican women holding office. In all three states, lawmakers fighting against abortion bans have pointed to the gender divide. They've insisted that male counterparts shouldn’t get to dictate medical decisions for women. Ban supporters maintain that abortion affects not only women, but also children, and all of society.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants to “reintroduce the Philippines” to the world. He has ambitious plans for his nation on the international stage and at home. That is, if the twin specters of pandemic and climate change can be overcome or at least managed. And if he can get past the legacies of two people: his predecessor, and his father. He also wants to strengthen ties with both the United States and China. That's a delicate balancing act for the Southeast Asian nation. Marcos spoke in an AP interview on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

The Biden administration is ramping up diplomatic efforts to press China to end provocative actions against Taiwan and keep it from active support for Russia's war against Ukraine. U.S. officials say Secretary of State Antony Blinken made both cases in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Friday in a meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN Assembly in New York on Friday. The officials declined to describe the Chinese response but said Foreign Minister Wang Yi was receptive to the messages and that the two men agreed on the need to keep lines of communication open. Friday's talks between Blinken and Wang came amid a period of heightened tensions on both issues and ahead of an expected meeting in November between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

An Arizona judge says the state can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years. Friday’s ruling by a judge in Tucson came after the state’s Republican attorney general sought an order lifting an injunction that was issued shortly after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Roe was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. Friday's ruling means clinics across Arizona will likely stop providing abortions. The law was first enacted decades before Arizona became a state in 1912. The only exception is if the mother’s life is in danger. Another law that bans abortions after 15 weeks takes effect Saturday.

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