Is America’s supreme court on course to outlaw abortion? Plus, Sweden’s ultra-violent gangs.
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Last week the US supreme court heard an abortion rights case considered the most important of its kind in nearly five decades. While the verdict will not be heard until June 2022, the conservative-dominated court’s justices seem willing to allow restrictions on abortion at 15 weeks and perhaps earlier in a pregnancy.
Many suspect that the court’s real agenda is ultimately to reverse the 48-year-old Roe v Wade ruling and effectively ban abortion in the US.
Guardian US health reporter Jessica Glenza sets out how the argument came to this and the societal shock waves such an outcome could cause. And chief US reporter Ed Pilkington considers how the politicisation of the supreme court is threatening to destroy its legitimacy.
Sweden is renowned for its liberal, tolerant values, but lately it has also gained a less-welcome reputation for ultra-violent gang crime. The Observer’s Mark Townsend went to Gothenburg to find out how police are tackling a series of brutal attacks that have shocked the nation.
Also from the Observer, there’s a great longer read from the West Bank, where Donald Macintyre and Quique Kierszenbaum reveal how attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians are fuelling tensions.
As fears grow over the spread of the Omicron Covid variant, we consider what it might mean for the pandemic generally. And, with travel restrictions tightening once again, Cal Flyn reflects on the consequences for the world of a year in which air travel pretty much ground to a halt.
On the Culture front, there’s an interview with Diane Morgan, the British comedy actor who is surely set for wider global recognition. And we ask if a roving art exhibition can succeed in its ambitious goal of reuniting Europe.