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Donald Trump Picks Fossil Fuel-Friendly Oklahoma Attorney General To Head EPA

Scott PruittPresident-elect Donald Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Pruitt has been a vocal critic of EPA regulations and defender of fossil fuel interests. Lawyers for Devon Energy, one of his state’s biggest oil and gas companies, authored a letter Pruitt sent to the EPA criticizing estimates on emissions from natural gas drilling sites, The New York Times reported in 2014.

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Ohio 'heartbeat bill' abortion ban moves to governor

Ohio 'heartbeat' abortion billOhio would have the country's most restrictive abortion laws under a bill sent to Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday, as leading Republicans were emboldened by the anticipation of Donald Trump's upcoming federal and Supreme court appointments.

If signed by Kasich, the so-called "heartbeat bill" would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks' gestation. The proposal would not exempt pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, but does include an exception for an abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman.

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Ikea Is Giving Its Employees Up To Four Months Of Paid Parental Leave

Ikea to give four months paid parental leaveThe furniture giant Ikea is rolling out a paid parental leave plan that’s likely to be the envy of workers in the American retail space. According to Lars Petersson, the president of Ikea U.S., the guiding principle behind it is pretty simple.

“The home is our arena,” Petersson told The Huffington Post. “We think that it’s really important that people working for us get a chance to experience their home, especially when you’re welcoming a new family member.”

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VA may have infected 600 veterans with HIV and Hepatitis

Vets infected at VANearly 600 veterans could have been infected with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C at a Veterans Affairs facility in Tomah, Wis. because a dentist didn’t properly clean his instruments.

The Tomah VA is investigating the dentist, who has not been fired but was removed from patient care. According to acting Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm, the dentist was using his own equipment for routine dental exams, then cleaning it and using it again. This violates VA rules, which require use of disposable equipment to ensure sterility.

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Abortion Rights Groups Sue 3 More States As Trump Inauguration Nears

Planned ParentohoodAs they prepare for a potentially massive threat to abortion access under the Donald Trump administration, Planned Parenthood and two of its allies on Wednesday announced a slew of new legal battles against abortion restrictions in Missouri, Alaska and North Carolina.

The three lawsuits, filed jointly by Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union, aim to overturn state laws that make it difficult for women to exercise their constitutional right to abortion. The groups are challenging an Alaska law that prohibits outpatient centers from providing abortions in the first trimester; a North Carolina law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in dire medical emergencies and a pair of Missouri laws that require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and all abortions to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, which are essentially mini-hospitals.

In addition to being unconstitutional, the laws are “medically unnecessary, deceptive, and they take away women’s basic dignity and autonomy,” Julie Rikelman, a lead attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told reporters.

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Texas to implement rules requiring burial or cremation of fetal remains

Texas law demands burial of fetus remainsThe rules will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, allowing only cremation or burial.

Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will take effect Dec. 19, according to state health officials.

Despite intense outcry from the medical community and reproductive rights advocates, the state will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, instead allowing only cremation or burial of all remains — regardless of the period of gestation.

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Death toll from Australia's thunderstorm asthma reaches 6

Australia thunderstorm asthma deaothsSix people have died and five remained on life support after a rare condition known as thunderstorm asthma struck Australia's second-largest city, officials said on Sunday.

The sixth victim died in a hospital on Saturday night from medical complications stemming from a wild thunderstorm that struck Melbourne on Monday night, a Health Department statement said.

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