Ohio

Clinics close and abortions decline

The number of abortion providers in Ohio has shrunk by half amid a flurry of restrictive new laws over the past four years, and the number of the procedures also is declining, according to a review of records by the Associated Press. Both sides agree the added limits and hurdles placed on Ohio abortions have played a role in clinic closures across the state. What is less clear is whether the downward trajectory in procedures is a cause or an effect of some of the most significantly reduced abortion access in the nation. Seven of 16 Ohio abortion providers have either closed since 2011 or curtailed access.

Afghanistan

Taliban exacts heavy losses on Afghan forces

Afghan security forces are suffering record casualties in their first battles against the Taliban since the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan ended in December after more than 13 years. The number of killed and wounded so far this year is about 70 percent higher than during the same period last year, NATO said. Last year's casualty rates, which marked a fifth consecutive annual increase, were labeled in November as "not sustainable" by a top U.S. general.

Israel

Ethiopian Israelis' protest turns violent

Violence erupted on the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday as a demonstration by Ethiopian Israelis protesting what they said was police brutality against their community spiraled out of control. Firing stun grenades and tear gas, police in riot gear or mounted on horses battled enraged demonstrators, who threw glass bottles and started fires in the heart of the city while threatening to break into City Hall. Sunday's demonstration began tensely but peacefully as hundreds, then thousands of protesters, mostly Ethiopian Israelis, marched waving national flags and placards against racism and police brutality and calling for equality. A similar protest in Jerusalem on Thursday turned violent.

news services