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Posted by Ukrap on

Зеленський: РНБО ухвалила рішення щодо виїзду чиновників за кордон

«За кордон їздити на відпочинок чи з якоюсь іншою недержавною метою посадовцям більше не вдасться»

Posted by Worldkrap on

In Ukraine’s Near-Deserted War Zones, Taking a Stroll Can Be Deadly

As bombs rain down across Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, some residents remain in its near-deserted cities and towns, patching up bombed-out buildings and holding on to hope that the war will come to an end. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Bakhmut and Chasiv Yar in the Donbas. Camera: Yan Boechat.

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Man Photographed in Pelosi’s Office Convicted in Jan. 6 Riot Case

A U.S. man who posed for photographs with his feet on the desk of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot has been convicted of all eight charges.  


A jury in Washington Monday convicted Richard Barnett on charges including civil disorder, interfering with police officers and obstructing an official government proceeding.


Photographs of Barnett, who is from the southern state of Arkansas, were among some of the memorable images of the day when Congress convened to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3, 2020, presidential election.  


While in Pelosi’s office, Barnett took an envelope the speaker had addressed to another member of Congress and left a note for the congresswoman that included a profanity.


Barnett was convicted of theft for taking the envelope, as well as concealing a dangerous weapon — a stun gun he carried in a collapsible walking stick.  


The defendant took the stand in his own defense during his two-week trial in U.S. District Court in Washington.  


After the verdict, Barnett told reporters outside the courtroom that his conviction was an “injustice” and said he would appeal. He cited the judge’s decision to reject his request to move the trial from Washington to Arkansas.  


“This is not a jury of my peers,” he said.  


Lawyers for Barnett argued that their client did not know that Congress was certifying Biden’s victory on the day of the riot and said Barnett was pushed into the Capitol by the mass of people.  


Prosecutors accused Barnett of repeatedly lying on the witness stand and said he had a history of attending political demonstrations with weapons.


Barnett will be sentenced in May and remain on home detention in Arkansas until then.  


Some information in this report came from the Associated Press.

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Death Toll Climbs as Authorities Search for Motive in California Dance Hall Massacre

The search for the motive behind the shooting massacre at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance hall led police to a mobile home community as they probed the past of the 72-year-old suspect Monday and his relationship to the club.

Meanwhile, the death toll rose to 11 after health officials announced that one of the 10 people who were wounded had died.

The suspect, Huu Can Tran, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday, had visited police in his town of Hemet twice this month to allege he was the victim of fraud, theft and poisoning by family members between 10 and 20 years ago in the LA area, spokesman Alan Reyes told The Associated Press. Tran said he would return to the station with documentation but never did.

Tran was found dead in the van that he used to flee after attempting to attack a second dance hall, authorities said. The mayor of Monterey Park said Tran may have frequented the first dance hall that he targeted, and his ex-wife told CNN she had met him there and he offered her free lessons.

All but one of the victims were 60 or older, according to information released Monday by the Los Angeles coroner’s office providing the first identifications.

My Nhan, 65, and Lilian Li, 63, were the first two women named. Two other women were in their 60s, and one was in her 50s. Three men were in their 70s, and two in their 60s were also killed.

Officials did not disclose an age for the 11th fatality, which was announced by the L.A. County Department of Health Services.

Authorities have shared little about Tran.

Los Angeles Superior Court records show Tran was married in 2001 and divorced five years later, citing irreconcilable difference. The couple did not have children, said they had no community property and neither side had to pay alimony.

In the uncontested case, Tran noted in a filing that he could not get away from work to attend any court hearings, though he did not disclose where he worked or what he did.

His ex-wife told CNN that they married soon after they met. While she is named in court papers, she asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the case.

She said he would become upset if she missed a step dancing, but was never violent with her.

Tran eventually moved from the San Gabriel Valley, a melting pot for Asian immigrants, and settled in a mobile home community for those 55 and up in Hemet, 75 miles east of Los Angeles in Riverside County. Police searched his home there Sunday night.

Hemet police had no records of any incidents involving Tran in the community or calls for service at his home, Reyes said.

The shootings during Lunar New Year celebrations sent a wave of fear through Asian American communities and cast a shadow over festivities nationwide.

The massacre was the nation’s fifth mass killing this month, and it struck one of California’s largest celebrations of a holiday observed in many Asian cultures, dealing another blow to a community that has been the target of high-profile violence in recent years.

It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Law enforcement officials said the rampage could have been even deadlier. A man whose family runs the second dance hall confronted the assailant in the lobby and wrested the gun from him, The New York Times reported.

“We do understand that he may have had a history of visiting this dance hall and perhaps the motivation has to do with some personal relationships. But that’s something that I think investigators are still uncovering and investigating,” said Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo. Public records show Tran once had addresses in the city and neighboring ones.

The mayor and L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna stressed that the motive remained unclear for the attack, which also wounded 10 people. No other suspects were at large, according to the sheriff.

The suspect was carrying what Luna described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second handgun was discovered in the van where Tran died.

Tran is the second-oldest mass killer in the U.S. over the last nearly 20 years according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. The only older mass killer was a 73-year-old who murdered five people in Yuma County Arizona in 2011 before killing himself. The database tracks every mass killing — defined as four dead not including the offender — committed in the U.S. since 2006.

Within three minutes of receiving the call, officers arrived at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, according to Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese.

There, they found carnage inside and people trying to flee through all the doors.

“When they came into the parking lot, it was chaos,” Wiese said.

About 20 minutes after the first attack, the gunman entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in the nearby city of Alhambra.

Brandon Tsay was in the lobby at the time, and he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he thought he was going to die.

“Something came over me. I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him, I needed to take this weapon, disarm him or else everybody would have died,” Tsay said. “When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle.”

Once Tsay seized the gun, he pointed it at the man and shouted: “Get the hell out of here, I’ll shoot, get away, go!”

The assailant paused, but then headed back to his van, and Tsay called the police, the gun still in his hand.

While Luna told reporters on Sunday that two people wrested the weapon away from the attacker, Tsay, who works a few days a week at the dance hall his grandparents started, told The New York Times that he acted alone. Stills from security footage shown on “Good Morning America” showed only the two men struggling for the gun.

The suspect’s white van was found in Torrance, another community home to many Asian Americans.

After surrounding the vehicle for hours, law enforcement officials swarmed and entered it. A person’s body appeared to be slumped over the wheel and was later removed. Members of a SWAT team looked through the van’s contents before walking away.

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles and is composed mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. The shooting happened in the heart of its downtown where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year festivities. A police car was parked near a large banner that proclaimed “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

The celebration in Monterey Park is one of California’s largest. Two days of festivities, which have been attended by as many as 100,000 people in past years, were planned. But officials canceled Sunday’s events following the shooting.

Posted by Ukrap on

Президент Туреччини заявив про відмову підтримати вступ Швеції до НАТО

«Якщо Швеція така прихильна до членів терористичної організації та ворогів ісламу, ми радимо їй довірити їм захист своєї країни», – заявив Реджеп Таїп Ердоган

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Burkina Faso Ends French Military Accord, Says It Will Defend Itself

Burkina Faso has decided to end a military accord that allowed French troops to fight insurgents on its territory because the government wants the country to defend itself, the government said Monday.  

The West African country is facing an Islamist insurgency by groups linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State which have taken over large swathes of land and displaced millions of people in the wider Sahel region, just south of the Sahara.  

The national television station reported on Saturday that the government had suspended a 2018 military accord with Paris on January 18, giving France one month to pull its troops out.  

French president Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said he was awaiting clarifications from Burkina Faso’s transitional president Ibrahim Traore about the decision. 

“At the current stage, we don’t see how to be more clear than this,” said government spokesman Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo, speaking on national television.

He said the decision was not linked to any particular event, but that it was the “normal order of things” for France to hand over responsibility to Burkina Faso for its own defense. The one-month deadline is part of the military agreement, he added.

“This is not the end of diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and France,” said Ouedraogo, adding that his country still wanted support in the form of military equipment.

French authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

French troops pulled out of neighboring Mali last year, ending a decade-long fight against insurgents, after relations deteriorated between the two countries.

Both Burkina Faso and Mali are ruled by military juntas that seized power by force in the last two years, promising to improve security and burning bridges with their traditional allies.

Macron has accused Russia of a “predatory” influence in troubled African countries as France has seen its own influence on its former colonies diminish.

The French army’s departure from Mali coincided with the junta’s decision to hire Russian mercenaries to help it fight insurgents, a move Western countries strongly condemned.

Burkina Faso has neither confirmed nor denied recent reports that it has also decided to hire Russia’s Wagner group. 


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South Africa Hosts Russian Foreign Minister Despite Criticism 

South Africa has defended its warm relations and joint military drills with Russia as it hosts Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on his first visit since the invasion of Ukraine.

Lavrov said he appreciated South Africa’s neutral stance since the war started one year ago and placed the blame for the continuing conflict squarely on the Ukraine and the West.

“It is well known that we supported the proposal of the Ukrainian side to negotiate early in the special military operation… it is well known that our American and British and some of our European colleagues told Ukraine that it is too early to deal,” he said.

Russia has repeatedly rejected Ukrainian and Western demands that it withdraw completely from Ukraine as a condition for any negotiations.

Lavrov also denied Moscow is targeting civilians, despite numerous attacks on residential buildings in Ukraine that experts say likely add up to war crimes.

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, reiterated Pretoria would like to see a diplomatic solution through dialogue.

“As South Africa, our sincere wish that the conflict in Ukraine will soon be brought to a peaceful end through diplomacy and negotiation,” she said.

However, she defended South Africa’s right to maintain bilateral relations with whichever countries it wants and not be dictated to by the West.

South Africa is hosting the Russian and Chinese navies for February exercises off Durban.

Pandor noted all countries conduct military exercises “with friends.”

Defense Ministry spokesman Cornelius Monama said Monday that the drills would “strengthen the strong bonds between the countries.”

“Contrary to the assertions by our critics, South Africa is not abandoning its neutral position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” he said.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance has called for the drills to be called off and Ukraine’s ambassador to South Africa, Liubov Abravitova, told VOA recently that she didn’t understand why South Africa was conducting exercises with, quote, “the army of rapists and murders.”

Steven Gruzd, a Russia expert at the South African Institute for International Affairs, said Lavrov had “clearly found some sympathy” from Pandor and he expects to see greater cooperation between the two BRICS allies going forward.

“I think it’s interesting to read the body language between minsters Lavrov and Pandor, the Russian and South Africa foreign ministers, I think it was quite warm from the press conference and there is a genuine meeting of minds between the countries,” he said.

But Gruzd said South Africa’s hosting naval exercises with Russia could affect its standing on the international stage.

He added that it will be interesting to see the chemistry between Pandor and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who arrives in South Africa late Tuesday for a visit.

Despite pressure from the U.S., Pretoria has refused join Washington in condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

South Africa also invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit later this year for the summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies, though it’s not yet clear if he will attend.

The BRICS group is Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Posted by Ukrap on

Війна РФ проти України. У комісії ООН розповіли про попередні результати розслідування порушень

За словами Ясмінки Джумхур, зафіксовані порушення можна згрупувати у дві категорії – ті, що посягають на недоторканість особи, та ті, що стосуються інфраструктури.

Posted by Ukrap on

СБУ: у Києві затримали двох чоловіків, які «продавали» українські паспорти іноземцям

За даними відомства, чоловіки представлялись співробітниками СБУ і пропонували іноземцям своє «сприяння» в отриманні українського паспорта

Posted by Ukrap on

Закупівлі продуктів для військових. НАБУ досліджує оприлюднені ЗМІ дані

У НАБУ зауважують, що ця інформація досліджується в рамках кримінального провадження, розпочатого до оприлюднення в медіа

Posted by Ukrap on

У 5 областях діють аварійні вимкнення світла, які можуть поширитись на інші регіони – «Укренерго»

Початок робочого тижня і поступове зниження температури по всій Україні призвели до збільшення споживання і дефіциту потужності

Posted by Worldkrap on

Gunman Suspected of California Lunar New Year Shooting is Dead

On the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, a gunman opened fire at a dance hall in a predominantly Asian community of Monterey Park, California. At least 10 people died during and 10 were injured. Officials said a 72-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting was found dead the next day with self-inflicted gun wound. The motive for the attack is unclear. Genia Dulot reports.

Posted by Ukrap on

«Відірваний від реальності» – британська розвідка про те, яким вважають командувача військ РФ в Україні

11 січня командувачем Об’єднаного угруповання російських військ, які ведуть війну в Україні, став начальник Генштабу Збройних сил РФ Валерій Герасимов

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У Києві та області триває удосконалення рубежів оборони – Павлюк

Триває встановлення довготривалих фортифікаційних споруд на опорних пунктах, облаштовуються вогневі споруди на ймовірних шляхах просування противника

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Yellen in Zambia to Discuss Debt to China, Public Health

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in Zambia on the second leg of her African tour, a stop aimed at promoting American investment and ties while she’s in a capital city that is visibly dominated by Chinese dollars. 

Visitors to Lusaka arriving at the renovated Kenneth Kaunda International Airport see a facility expanded in 2015 with Chinese financing. A ride into the city passes billboards and newly built firms bearing Chinese signage, more evidence of Beijing’s influence and increasing competition with the U.S. 

But the growth that the country has experienced has come with a heavier debt burden. Zambia became Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign to default when it failed to make a $42.5 million bond payment in November 2020. Negotiations over how to deal with the debt load have been ongoing. 

How Zambia’s debt is renegotiated with the Chinese will provide a test case for how lenient China will be with other overextended nations that face debt distress.  

Debt will be a topic of conversation Monday when Yellen meets with Zambia’s president and finance minister to push for the Chinese to continue negotiations. She will also tour pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities benefiting from American investment to showcase what she sees as a model of success. 

“Many African countries are now plagued by piling, unsustainable debt. And that’s undeniably a problem. And much of it is related to Chinese investments in Africa,” Yellen said Saturday in an interview with The Associated Press in Senegal, the first leg of her African trip.   

Still, Yellen insists her trip is not about competition with China.   

“We want to deepen our engagement,” she said, “We see a rapidly growing young population that needs opportunities and economic growth.”   

“We have many government programs and international programs that are oriented to help efforts to build infrastructure,” she said. “And when we do that, we want to make sure that we don’t create the same problems that Chinese investment has sometimes created here.”   

Yellen said the U.S. wants to invest in companies with contracts that “have transparency, that we have projects that really bring broad-based benefits to the African people and don’t leave a legacy of unsustainable debt.” 

Experts say a prolonged debt crisis could permanently prevent countries like Zambia from recovering, lead to an entire nation sliding deep into poverty and joblessness, and exclude it from credit to rebuild in the future.   

To showcase the U.S. effort, the first stop of Yellen’s Zambia visit was to be a tour of Mylan Laboratories, a subsidiary of American pharmaceutical manufacturer Viatris. The lab opened in 2010 with a $10 million investment and manufactures drugs that treat malaria and HIV in the country and region.   

She also planned a stop at the Zambia National Public Health Institute, considered a model of its kind. 

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Erdogan: Turkey Elections to Be Held May 14

Turkey’s president has announced May 14 as the date for the country’s next parliamentary and presidential elections.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who plans to seek reelection, made the announcement during a Saturday youth conference in northwestern Bursa province. A video of the event was released Sunday.

“I thank God that we are destined to share our path with you, our valued youth, who will vote for the first time in the elections that will be held on May 14,” said Erdogan, who had hinted at the date last week.

He said in Bursa he would make the formal call on March 10, after which Turkey’s Supreme Election Council would prepare for the elections.

If no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote, a second round of voting would be held May 28.

Erdogan, who has been in office since 2003 — first as prime minister and as president since 2014 — faces his most difficult election yet as Turkey’s troubled economy struggles with soaring inflation.

A six-party opposition alliance has yet to put forth a presidential candidate. A pro-Kurdish party that is the third largest in parliament has so far been excluded from the alliance and said it might field its own candidate.

Erdogan, 68, introduced a system of governance in 2018 that abolished the office of the prime minister and concentrated most powers in the hands of the president. The office of the president was largely a ceremonial post before then. Under the new system, presidential and parliamentary elections are held on the same day.

The opposition has blamed Turkey’s economic downturn and an erosion of civil rights and freedoms on Erdogan, saying the revised government system amounts to “one-man rule.” The presidential system was narrowly approved in a 2017 referendum and took effect after the 2018 elections.

This year’s elections were supposed to take place in June, but ruling party members said that month would coincide with summer and religious holidays, prompting an earlier date.

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Asian Community Reeling After Lunar New Year Shooting

It was a joyful kickoff to the first Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park since before the pandemic, with large crowds filling the streets in the majority Chinese American city near Los Angeles for live entertainment, carnival rides and plenty of food.

But the celebrations were marred by tragedy Saturday night after a gunman entered a ballroom dance hall and opened fire, killing 10 people, wounding 10 more and sending panicked revelers into the streets.

The shooting that left five men and five women dead brought a jarring end to the planned two-day party to ring in the Year of the Rabbit, which featured dragon dancers parading through downtown streets decorated with red lanterns.

Sunday’s festivities were canceled, though some Lunar New Year celebrations went on in neighboring cities also home to large Asian American populations.

“We haven’t had a celebration like this in three years, so this was momentous. People came out in droves,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jose Sanchez, who was there with his 6-year-old daughter. He estimated 100,000 people attended Saturday, and the festival is typically one of the largest Lunar New Year celebrations in the state.

The massacre sent shock waves through Asian American communities around the nation, prompting police from San Francisco to New York to step up patrols at Lunar New Year celebrations in their own cities.

No motivation for the crime has been given and authorities said the suspect was a 72-year-old Asian man. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said Sunday the man killed himself as police officers closed in on the van he used to flee.

But Asian American advocacy groups said it was another blow after years of high-profile anti-Asian violence around the country.

“Regardless of what the intent was, the impact on our community has been really profound,” said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of the nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California. The nonprofit had a booth set up at the festival and she had planned to attend Sunday.

“Having this tragedy on one of our most important holidays … it feels very personal to our community,” she said. “There is still that feeling of being targeted, and being fearful, when we hear about a shooting like this.”

The San Gabriel Valley is home to a diverse array of Asian-American communities, including people of Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino descent.

Yingying Guan, 29, saw a mass of police cars Saturday night in Monterey Park and heard helicopters overhead. She didn’t learn it was in response to a shooting until she awoke to news of the shooting Sunday morning.

Guan doesn’t know anyone involved but said she is devastated for her community.

“It’s supposed to be families gathering together to enjoy and to just have some time to get together,” she said. “So many innocent victims.”

Investigators said the gunman shot up the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, killing 10 people, Luna said. Then 20 to 30 minutes later, he entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra, before people there wrestled the weapon away from him and he fled, Luna said.

“When something like this happens – and I never thought it would happen in our community – it’s very hard to process,” said Sanchez, who teaches in the city’s schools. “There’s so much grief.”

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles where nearly 70% of residents are Asian, mostly of Chinese descent. The area became a destination for Asian immigrants during the 1970s and ’80s after a real estate entrepreneur named Fredric Hsieh bought land and advertised its rolling hills and warm climate in Chinese-language newspapers.

The city’s Lunar New Year celebration has become one of California’s largest. Sanchez, who is Mexican American, said it’s a Chinese tradition that everyone enjoys and reflects the diversity of greater Los Angeles.

Its festivities were canceled, but several other events throughout the region, including a parade in the city of Westminster, went on as planned, but with extra security.

The dance studio where the shooting occurred is located a few blocks from city hall on Monterey Park’s main thoroughfare of Garvey Avenue, which is dotted with strip malls of small businesses whose signs are in both English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are both widely spoken, Chinese holidays are celebrated, and Chinese films are screened regularly in the city.

Lynette Ma, 28, woke up to text messages from worried friends asking if she was OK. She had planned to take her mother to the festival on Sunday, but instead they sat in a city park coming to terms with the tragedy.

“It was just the most terrible thing,” she said. “It’s just awful because you never expect it to happen somewhere so close to home.”

She said her family will go out to eat to mark the holiday, but it won’t be the same.

Sanchez said a public vigil for the victims will be held in the coming days.

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Greek Police Search Ryanair Passenger Plane Over Bomb Threat 

Police on Sunday were searching a Ryanair RYA.I passenger plane that landed at Athens International Airport for any suspicious items after receiving an alert for a bomb threat, police officials said.

The pilot of the Boeing 737 aircraft, with about 190 passengers and crew on board, had earlier alerted authorities over a possible explosive device on board, one of the officials said.

The plane, which was flying from Katowice in Poland to Greece arrived in Athens escorted by two fighter jets at 5:35 p.m. (1535 GMT). Firefighting engines were on standby as it landed.

Police were later searching passengers as they were disembarking and their luggage was lined up outside the aircraft.

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Thousands in US March Marking 50 Years Since Abortion Rights Ruling

Women’s marches demanding abortion rights drew thousands of people across the country on Sunday, the 50th anniversary of the now-overturned Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established federal protections for the procedure.

Organizers focused on states after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe in June unleashed abortion restrictions and near-total bans in more than a dozen states.

“We are going to where the fight is, and that is at the state level,” reads the website for the Women’s March. The group has dubbed this year’s rallies “Bigger than Roe.”

The main march was held in Wisconsin, where upcoming state Supreme Court elections could determine the court’s power balance and future abortion rights. But rallies were held in dozens of cities, including Florida’s state capital of Tallahassee, where Vice President Kamala Harris gave a fiery speech before a boisterous crowd.

“Can we truly be free if families cannot make intimate decisions about the course of their own lives?” Harris said. “And can we truly be free if so-called leaders claim to be … ‘on the vanguard of freedom’ while they dare to restrict the rights of the American people and attack the very foundations of freedom?”

In Madison, thousands of abortion rights supporters donned coats and gloves to march in below-freezing temperatures through downtown to the state Capitol.

“It’s just basic human rights at this point,” said Alaina Gato, a Wisconsin resident who joined her mother, Meg Wheeler, on the Capitol steps to protest.

They said they plan to vote in the April Supreme Court election. Wheeler also said she hoped to volunteer as a poll worker and canvass for Democrats, despite identifying as an independent voter.

“This is my daughter. I want to make sure she has the right to choose whether she wants to have a child,” Wheeler said.

Madison Abortion and Reproductive Rights Coalition for Healthcare hosted the rally with the support of more than 30 other pro-abortion rights groups, including advocates from neighboring Illinois. Buses of protestors streamed into the state capitol from Chicago and Milwaukee, armed with banners and signs calling for the Legislature to repeal the state’s ban.

Abortions are unavailable in Wisconsin due to legal uncertainties faced by abortion clinics over whether an 1849 law banning the procedure is in effect. The law, which prohibits abortion except to save the patient’s life, is being challenged in court.

Some also carried weapons. Lilith K., who declined to provide their last name, stood on the sidewalk alongside protestors, holding an assault rifle and wearing a tactical vest with a holstered handgun.

“With everything going on with women and other people losing their rights, and with the recent shootings at Club Q and other LGBTQ night clubs, it’s just a message that we’re not going to take this sitting down,” Lilith said.

The march also drew counter-protestors. Most held signs raising religious objections to abortion rights. “I don’t really want to get involved with politics. I’m more interested in what the law of God says,” John Goeke, a Wisconsin resident, said.

Freshly galvanized anti-abortion activists are increasingly setting their sights on Congress with the aim of pushing for a potential national abortion restriction down the line. Tens of thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., on Friday for the annual March for Life — the first to be held since Roe was overturned.

In the absence of Roe v. Wade’s federal protections, abortion rights have become a state-by-state patchwork. In some states, officials have grappled with laws banning abortion that dated from the 1800s.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, with the support of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, filed the challenge to the 1849 ban in June in Dane County, where Madison is located, arguing that it is too old to enforce. Both sides have been trading briefs since and it’s unclear when a ruling may come, but the case looks destined for the state Supreme Court.

Wisconsin’s conservative-controlled Supreme Court, which for decades has issued consequential rulings in favor of Republicans, is likely to hear the case. Races for the court are officially nonpartisan, but candidates for years have aligned with either conservatives or liberals as the contests have become expensive partisan battles.

Women’s rallies were expected to be held in nearly every state on Sunday.

The eldest daughter of Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, was set to attend the rally in Long Beach, California. Melissa Mills said it was her first Women’s March.

“It’s just unbelievable that we’re here again, doing the same thing my mom did,” Mills told The Associated Press. “We’ve lost 50 years of hard work.”

The Women’s March has become a regular event — although interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic — since millions rallied in the United States and around the world the day after the January 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump.

Trump made the appointment of conservative judges a mission of his presidency. The three conservative justices he appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court — Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — all voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.