What to Know
- Alabama's Senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, sending what would be the nation's most stringent abortion law to the state's governor
- As zombie cells build in bodies, studies suggest, they promote aging and the conditions that come with it like osteoporosis and Alzheimer's
- Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger says "Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are working on the new "Star Wars" film
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Alabama Senate Passes Ban on Abortion, With Few Exceptions
Alabama's Senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, sending what would be the nation's most stringent abortion law to the state's Republican governor. The GOP-dominated Senate voted 25-6 to make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception would be when the woman's health is at serious risk. Senators rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest. The amendment was voted down 21-11, with four Republicans joining Democrats. Bill sponsor Rep. Terri Collins said she expects Gov. Kay Ivey to sign the ban into law. Ivey has not publicly commented on what she'll do. The lopsided vote suggests a veto could be easily overcome. Ivey spokeswoman Lori Jhons said in a statement after the vote that "the governor intends to withhold comment until she has had a chance to thoroughly review the final version of the bill that passed."
US Evacuating Iraq Embassy Amid Escalating Iran Tensions
Iran's supreme leader issued a veiled threat in the same speech in which he stated that "no one is seeking war," saying it wouldn't be difficult for the Islamic Republic to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels amid rising tensions with the U.S., state media reports. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, meanwhile, ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff on Wednesday to leave Iraq immediately amid escalating tensions with Iran. Washington did not publicly provide any evidence to back up claims of an increased threat from Tehran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments late Tuesday came after Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a coordinated drone attack on a critical oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. A satellite image obtained by The Associated Press shows one of the two pumping stations attacked by the drones apparently intact. The drone assault is just the latest incident in the Mideast to shake global energy markets, as authorities allege oil tankers anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates were targeted by sabotage. Benchmark Brent crude prices remained around $71 a barrel in early trading.
These 'Zombie Cells' May Help Explain Why Your Body Ages
Call them zombie cells — they refuse to die. As they build up in your body, studies suggest, they promote aging and the conditions that come with it like osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are studying drugs that can kill zombie cells and possibly treat the problems they bring. Basically the goal is to fight aging itself, which hopefully will in turn delay the appearance of age-related disease and disabilities as a group, says geriatrics specialist Dr. James Kirkland of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. That's in contrast to playing a "whack-a-mole game" of treating one disease only to see another spring up, he said. The research has been done chiefly in mice. Earlier this year, the first test in people was published and provided some tantalizing results. Zombie cells are actually called senescent cells.
'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Behind Next 'Star Wars' Film
A piece of the "Star Wars" puzzle has just fallen into place. Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger says "Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are working on the new "Star Wars" film expected in theaters in December 2022. Iger revealed the information at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York. He also said he would not be commenting further. The company had previously announced that "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson, separately, and Benioff and Weiss were working on new "Star Wars" films but it wasn't clear whose would come first. Both, however, are expected to be separate from the Skywalker saga which will wrap up this December with J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."
Avenger: Endgame' Seeks Top Honors at MTV Movie & TV Awards
"Avengers: Endgame," ''Game of Thrones" and "RBG" are the top nominees heading into next month's MTV Movie & TV Awards. The network announced the three titles each garnered four nominations for the awards show, which will air June 17. The show will also introduce new categories including reality royalty, most meme-able moment and best real-life hero. "Endgame" will compete for best movie against "BlacKkKlansman," ''Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," ''Us" and "To All the Boys I've Loved Before." The Marvel superhero film also earned nods for stars Robert Downey Jr. and Josh Brolin. The Oscar-nominated "RBG," which focused on the life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is nominated for best documentary, most meme-able moment and inaugural real-life hero. The film will also face "Endgame" and HBO's "Game of Thrones" for best fight. "Game of Thrones" is up for best show along with nominations for Maisie Williams and Emilia Clarke.