Remains found in hunt for Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s fiancé – National & International News – THU 21Oct2021

Remains have been found in the search for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of murdered vlogger Gabby Petito.

 

Remains found in hunt for slain vlogger’s fiancé. Supreme Court could decide fate of Texas abortion law today. Polluter countries lobbied UN to downplay climate urgency.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Remains found in hunt for Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s fiancé

The FBI announced the discovery of human remains and some personal effects that appear to belong to Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of murdered van-life vlogger Gabby Petito. A body likely belonging to Laundrie was found in the Carlton Reserve in Florida, in an area that was underwater until recently.

To recap, Laundrie and Petito set out on a cross-country trip in Petito’s camper van in mid-July. All the while, Petito uploaded videos of their adventures on social media. On August 12, the pair had a now infamous run-in with police in Utah, during which Petito claimed Laundry had hit her. The last confirmed communication from Gabby came in late August.

On September 1, Laundrie showed up alone in Gabby’s van at his parents’ home in Florida. Petito’s parents reported her missing on September 10. Laundrie’s parents reported him missing from the home on the 17th, though he had left several days earlier. Just two days later, Petito’s body was found in Wyoming. She had been strangled to death.

The manhunt

Brian Laundrie was by now a “person of interest” in Petito’s murder. There followed several weeks of wide-ranging searches for Laundrie. Laundrie sightings were reported as far away as North Carolina. Even TV personality Dog the Bounty Hunter took part in the search before suffering an injury.

Law enforcement searches have largely focused on the Carlton Reserve, a swampy 25,000-acre parkland. This was where Laundrie’s parents said they believed him to be all along. Laundrie’s parents were apparently taking part in the search when the remains were found. They did not view the remains but were asked to identify a backpack found nearby.

The remains had apparently been there for some time. It will take time to officially identify the remains.

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Supreme Court could decide fate of Texas abortion law today

The Supreme Court could weigh in to decide the fate of Texas’ controversial abortion law as early as today. The Heartbeat Act, or S.B. 8, prohibits abortions in Texas after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, around 6 weeks. The law has proven difficult to challenge since the state deputizes private citizens to act as bounty hunters, rather than enforcing the law itself.

Earlier this week, the Justice Department filed a motion asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 5th Circuit’s decision to S.B. 8 in place. The DOJ argues that S.B. 8 directly defies the Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and is therefore unconstitutional. The DOJ claims standing to defend abortion rights in Texas since the law could interfere with abortion access for people in the federal government’s care.

Today, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a counter motion disputing the federal government’s standing in the case. The Texas filing also argues that if the Supreme Court upholds S.B. 8, it should overturn the precedents set by the Roe and Planned Parenthood cases. If the Supreme Court agrees with Texas’ arguments, it would mean that anti-abortion states could freely pass and enforce laws prohibiting abortion before the fetal viability point, about 22 to 24 weeks. The viability threshold has been key in deciding the constitutionality of abortion laws up to this point.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Documents reveal polluter countries lobbying to hamper climate action

Ahead of the COP26 climate conference, leaked documents are revealing the lobbying efforts of major polluter countries seeking to pressure the UN into downplaying the climate crisis. Major fossil fuel exporters like Saudi Arabia and Australia argued against the necessity of rapidly moving away from fossil fuels. Other economies that depend heavily on fossil fuels like India and Japan also contended that the climate report’s language was too drastic.

Supporters of the fossil fuel industry argue that the emphasis should be on carbon capture technologies rather than the elimination of fossil fuels. But these technologies are still prohibitively expensive compared to more sustainable energy options like wind and solar. The efficacy of carbon capture technologies is also debatable.

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