- El Salvador woman has Caesarean to avoid abortion, baby dies
- Ecuador says to talk with Britain on Assange on June 17
- Kerry says time running out to revive Mideast peace
Posted: 03 Jun 2013 08:45 PM PDT
SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - The pregnant woman at the centre of an abortion controversy in El Salvador had her malformed foetus delivered on Monday by Caesarean section to save her life and avoid breaking the law, although the baby did not survive.
El Salvador's Health Ministry said doctors attending the woman, who uses the name "Beatriz" to protect her identity, performed a Caesarean to remove the foetus, thereby avoiding an abortion, which is illegal in the country.
The Central American country banned all types of abortion in 1999, but Beatriz's foetus had a serious condition known as anencephaly, which results in only partial brain development. Such a foetus has little or no chance of surviving after birth.
Health Minister Maria Isabel Rodriguez said the operation took place about 2 p.m. (2000 GMT) and that Beatriz, who had been 27 weeks pregnant, was in stable condition.
"She's in good hands, being looked after well," she told Reuters. "I expect things to go well over the next few hours."
Shortly afterward, Rodriguez said that Beatriz's baby daughter died about five hours after the operation.
Beatriz, 22, suffers from lupus and kidney problems, which posed a serious threat to her own health.
The operation followed a non-binding resolution on Thursday by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that called on El Salvador to take action to save Beatriz's life after the country's courts had denied her an abortion.
El Salvador's Supreme Court rejected Beatriz's request for an abortion on the grounds it breached the constitution, which it said protects life from the moment of conception.
The Caesarean delivery provided El Salvador with a way out of the legal wrangle.
Morena Herrera, a spokeswoman for the abortion rights group Colectivo Feminista, said that although Beatriz could have been spared unnecessary suffering, her life had been saved.
Claudia Handal, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Red Familia, said the rights of all had been respected.
"We're very happy because as we said from the beginning, it wasn't necessary to perform an abortion, the point was to respect the baby's life and to give Beatriz the care and the right to health that she deserved," Handal told Reuters.
The case has drawn attention to abortion in El Salvador and attitudes toward the procedure in predominantly Roman Catholic Latin America. Some countries such as Colombia are relaxing their rules in order to permit abortions in cases of rape.
(Editing by Dave Graham and Peter Cooney)
Copyright © 2013 Reuters
Posted: 03 Jun 2013 07:24 PM PDT
QUITO/LONDON (Reuters) - Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said on Monday he would meet Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague this month to discuss a possible solution to the year-long diplomatic standoff over WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange.
Assange, 41, took refuge in Ecuador's tiny embassy in London last June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sex assault and rape allegations. He denies the allegations.
"On June 17, one year after Assange entered the Ecuadorean embassy in London, I will meet again with secretary William Hague in that city," Patino said on his Twitter account.
"We expect the meeting with the secretary ... will lead to a solution in the case of Assange's asylum."
A spokeswoman for Britain's Foreign Office said earlier it was considering a request made by Patino to meet Hague in London.
"We hope the visit will contribute to our joint commitment to finding a diplomatic solution to this issue," she said.
News of the possible meeting comes as Bradley Manning, the American soldier charged with "aiding the enemy" by providing WikiLeaks with more than 700,000 classified documents, went on trial in the United States on Monday.
Assange said last year he expected to wait six months to a year for a deal that would allow him to leave the embassy, after Ecuador's socialist president, Rafael Correa, angered Britain by granting him asylum.
Patino accused the British government last week of trampling on Assange's human rights by refusing to allow him to travel to Ecuador. Late last year, Correa's government said the Australian citizen was suffering from lung problems.
Ecuador argues that the attempt to deport Assange to Sweden is part of a scheme by the U.S. government to have the former computer hacker extradited to American soil so he too can face charges over WikiLeaks' release of the U.S. documents.
U.S. and European government sources say the United States has issued no criminal charges against Assange, nor launched any attempts to extradite him.
(Reporting by Sarah Young in London and Alexandra Valencia in Quito; Writing by Eduardo Garcia; Editing by Stephen Addison and David Brunnstrom)
Copyright © 2013 Reuters
Posted: 03 Jun 2013 05:20 PM PDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israel and the Palestinians on Monday to revive stalled peace talks, warning that the alternative was a "negative spiral of responses."
"We're running out of time. If we do not succeed now, we may not get another chance," Kerry said in a speech to the American Jewish Committee in which he urged American Jews to support peace efforts to revive stalled peace talks. "The status quo is simply not sustainable."
Kerry said the best way to ensure Israel's security was by ending "once and for all conflict with the Palestinians by summoning the courage to achieve peace and by reaching a negotiated resolution."
"The absence of peace is perpetual conflict. ... We will find ourselves in a negative spiral of responses and counter-responses that could literally slam the door on a two-state solution," he said.
Kerry, who has visited Israel four times in his four months in office to try to restart peace talks, acknowledged scepticism that the two sides could resolve their differences.
U.S.-brokered peace efforts broke down in 2010 in a dispute over Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians want a settlement construction freeze, while Israel insists talks should be held without preconditions.
"I fully recognize the challenges and predicament in which Israel finds itself, but I also firmly believe this is a hopeful time if we choose to make it so. This can actually be a time for possibility, a time for promise," Kerry said.
"I still believe peace is achievable," he added.
Kerry said a stable Palestinian state and a flourishing economy would strengthen Israel's security. During a visit to Jordan last month, he announced a plan to spur Palestinian growth with up to $4 billion in private investment.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is leading a group working to identify opportunities in tourism, construction, energy, agriculture and high-tech industries in the Palestinian territories.
Earlier on Monday, Kerry said he would decide at some point whether to return to Israel and the Palestinian territories to push for decisions by the two sides on reviving talks.
"I will make a judgment at some point whether I need to go and push a little bit, or help that process, and I am certainly willing to. I am open to that possibility but we are not raising any expectations about an American plan," Kerry told reporters at a news conference with the Polish foreign minister.
Kerry said he looked forward to working with new Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who was appointed on Sunday to replace Western-favoured economist Salam Fayyad, who quit in April.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Copyright © 2013 Reuters
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