Supreme Court’s abortion ruling sets off new court fights

NEW ORLEANS — Judges temporarily blocked abortion bans Monday in Louisiana and Utah, while a federal court in South Carolina said a law sharply restricting the procedure would take effect there immediately as the battle over whether women may end pregnancies shifted from the nation’s highest court to courthouses around the country.

Oregon man accused of sex assault at Airbnb

An Oregon man is charged with two counts of sexual assault after allegedly committing a nonconsensual sex act on a woman who asked him to sleep with her in the nude on her bed, according to court documents filed by police.

Families brace for changes to pandemic-era free school meals

ESSEX, Vt. — Before the pandemic, there was no room in the budget for Kate Murphy’s children to buy lunch at school. She and her husband would buy in bulk and make bag lunches at home. So the free school meals that were made available to students nationwide amid the crisis have brought welcome relief, especially since her husband lost his job last year at a bakery company that closed.

Biden aims at China in new illegal fishing policy framework

LISBON, Portugal — The Biden administration is stepping up efforts to combat illegal fishing by China, ordering federal agencies to better coordinate among themselves as well as with foreign partners in a bid to promote sustainable exploitation of the world’s oceans.

3 killed, dozens hurt in Amtrak train crash in Missouri

MENDON, Mo. — An Amtrak passenger train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago struck a dump truck Monday in a remote area of Missouri, killing three people and injuring dozens more as rail cars tumbled off the tracks and landed on their sides, officials said.

Smoke and mirrors: On the FDA’s nicotine and vaping rulings

Count us fans of the Food and Drug Administration’s historic push to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes, which, in concert with a proposed ban on menthol-flavored cancer sticks, promises to liberate millions of Americans from deadly addiction. Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly a half-million deaths in America per year, a fact easily forgotten amid understandable attention to COVID-19’s carnage and the opioid epidemic. It’s the tar and carbon monoxide and other chemicals in burning tobacco that kill, but it’s the nicotine that keeps smokers smoking.

Obituaries for June 28

Christian Robert Georges Pearson, 75, of Keaau, formerly of California, died May 21 at Hilo Medical Center. Born in Belgium, he was a retired computer technology professional, U.S. Air Force Vietnam War veteran, former host of Calvary Chapel Hilo’s “Worship Cafe” on the church’s KIHL-FM and bible study host who loved gardening, music and writing in California for many decades, retired from his profession as a computer technology expert and moved to Hawaii in 2004. He fell in love with the land and kept busy at gardening, and music and writing. Interment service noon Friday, July 8 at Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2 pavilion in Hilo. Memorial celebration 11 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at Calvary Chapel Hilo. Memorial celebration in California at a later date for mainland family and friends. Survived by wife, Dr. Stephanie McCurdy-Pearson of Keaau; sister, Chantal (Larry) Hathman-Hearon of Texas; brother, Milton Pittman of Carson, Calif.; daughters, Monique (Greg) Butler of San Diego, Rashan Pearson of Humboldt, Calif., and Jeanine Pearson of Kent, Wash.; eight grandchildren and a great-granddaughter; nephews, nieces and cousins. Arrangements by Dodo Mortuary.

Biden’s gas tax holiday idea is sputtering at the starting line. It should

President Joe Biden’s call for a three-month suspension of the 18-cent federal gas tax in response to soaring gas prices has, thankfully, landed with a bipartisan thud in Congress. The idea, an old fallback for politicians when pump prices rise, is virtually always a bad one, providing meager relief to motorists while blowing major holes in highway budgets. The administration should let this notion sputter out.

Lawsuit: Texans ‘turned a blind eye’ to QB Watson’s actions

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans had been told that their former quarterback Deshaun Watson was sexually assaulting and harassing women during massage sessions, but instead of trying to stop him, the team provided him with resources to enable his actions and “turned a blind eye” to his behavior, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.