Some big things happened across the country today, and we at the Breaking News Blog aim to keep you up to date. It’s like the local nightly news, but minus the big hair and flag pin chatter. Here’s a breakdown of today’s top stories:
Senator Ted Kennedy, the second-longest serving current U.S. senator, was diagnosed today with a malignant brain tumor. The news came after he was struck by a seizure last Saturday and went in for further medical examination. The 76-year-old lawmaker suffers from malignant glioma, which according to the National Cancer Institute is the most common primary brain tumor. Kennedy will remain in the hospital while doctors decide on the best course of treatment, which could include chemotherapy and radiation.
As expected, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary in Kentucky, adding fuel to her fire and leading her to vow to fight on. Clinton received 65 percent of the vote to Obama’s 30 percent, but Obama racked up enough delegates to give him over half of the pledged delegate count nationwide (1,627 out of a total of 3,253, according to CNN). At this point neither candidate is expected to reach the magic number of total delegates (2,025) by the time primary season ends June 3, which leaves the election in the hands of Democratic superdelegates. Oregon also held its primary today, although voting continues until 11 pm PST tonight. Obama is expected to win handily in the Beaver state.
In a 2-1 decision, a Richmond federal appeals court today struck down a Virginia law banning a type of late-term abortion. The law, which banned “partial birth infanticide,” was ruled unconstitutional despite the law’s similarity to a federal ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court last year in Gonzales v. Carhart. According to the majority opinion, the two laws differed in that the federal law imposes criminal charges only if the doctor intends to perform the prohibited procedure, while the Virginia law punished doctors for performing the procedure by mistake. For instance, if the doctor set out to perform a regular abortion procedure but “accidentally deliver the fetus to an anatomical landmark” and thus must cause “fetal demise” in order to complete removal. Twenty-seven states have passed late-term abortion bans, but according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, 16 of those have been overturned.