New Abortion Guidance for Women in the U.K. Amid COVID-19 – Time

The U.K. government has changed its regulations on abortion to allow for women to take abortion pills at home without having to travel to a clinic, after an initial change to the regulations was announced in error last week. The new guidance means that women can access abortion care while also following the U.K. government advice relating to the coronavirus outbreak, which advises residents to only leave their homes for very limited purposes.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson confirmed to TIME Monday that current guidance will be updated so women who need an abortion up to ten weeks and can’t access a clinic can use abortion pills at home. The change will be on a temporary basis only, limited for two years, or until the coronavirus crisis is over, in line with the same timetable as the emergency legislation introduced by the U.K. government last week.

“Public safety and continued access to key services is our priority during this difficult period,” the spokesperson said. This measure will be on a temporary basis and must follow a telephone or e-consultation with a doctor.

The move comes after an earlier announcement that the current laws would be amended was first made last week, when new guidance was published on the government’s website for four hours. The post was later deleted, with an accompanying explanation stating: This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.

Under the existing legislation, women in England must take the first of the two pills required for a medical abortion in an abortion clinic, but may take the second pill at home, which should be taken 48-72 hours later. In Scotland and Wales, women can collect both pills to take home.

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In 2018, there were more than 200,000 abortions in England and Wales, and medical abortions accounted for 71% of total abortions. Several organisations, including the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), The Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week urging him to change the current law.

BPAS, which has campaigned for the new guidelines to allow women access to safe and effective abortion treatment while at home, welcomed the new measures. The charity had to close a quarter of its abortion clinics last week due to staff sickness and isolation.

“This service will not only support the thousands of women that would usually attend one of our clinics, it will also protect our staff and the many other people these women could come into contact with,” BPAS tweeted Monday. The charity has also said it hopes to be able to offer women a service where the pills are delivered straight to them.

In other parts of the U.K., abortion rights campaigners are advocating for the same measures. In Northern Ireland, where abortion became lawful relatively recently in October 2019, groups are petitioning the devolved government there to allow remote abortion provision and enable telemedical services and home use of both sets of pills as in the rest of the U.K.

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Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS, warned in a statement that women in Northern Ireland “are being forced to travel hundreds of miles via ferry and public transport to clinics in England at a time when they are also being told to stay at home to save lives.”

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Niger Soldiers Kill 38 Boko Haram Extremists in Operation – Time

(NIAMEY, Niger) — Niger’s defense ministry says soldiers have killed 38 Boko Haram Islamic extremists during an operation in the country’s southeast Diffa region.

Col. Moustapha Michel Ledru said on national television late Friday that two Nigerien soldiers were wounded in the operation that had support from Chad’s army.

Ledru on Tuesday said five soldiers and 30 Nigeria-based Boko Haram militants had been killed after an ambush by the extremists led to fighting Monday.

Boko Haram has killed some 20,000 and displaced millions in its seven-year insurgency. The Nigeria-based extremists have been launching attacks across the country’s borders into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, which contribute to a multinational force that seeks to counter it.

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Armchair Analyst- Blue Sky daydreaming about Canada at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

It seems written somewhere, by someone with cosmic power, that it must always be done the hard way for the Canadian mens national team. Whether its been Concacaf Gold Cups or World Cup qualifying or just getting some damn friendlies scheduled, nothings ever been easy.

And so it goes in this year, 2020, a year in which nothings ever going to be easy for anybody. Canada, in 2019, looked good and promising. They got a breakout performance from Jonathan David at the Gold Cup, a breakout performance from Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich, and a breakout performance from Richie Laryeafor Toronto FCin the playoffs. They have more striker depth than the US mens national team, more than adequate central midfield depthand a rising goalkeeping star in Maxime Crepeau.

They also had a massive win over the Yanks in September of last year at BMO Field, destroying their southern neighbors 2-0 – a scoreline that flattered the visitors. That win put Canada on the verge of qualifying for the Hexagonal.

But, alas, this is Canada, and things arent easy. The US returned the favor in the second leg of that Nations League home-and-home, crushing the Canucks by a 4-1 scoreline in Orlando. Just like that, the Hexagonal was just out of reach.

Except maybe not for long! There were three friendlies scheduled in January, and Canada won two of them. And then there were two more friendlies scheduled in late March, both against Trinidad & Tobago.If Canada could win those withsome help elsewhere, then by the time World Cup qualifying started, they really could be in the top six. They really could make the Hexagonal!

We all know, of course, what happened to games scheduled in late March:Canadas friendlies were cancelled along with just about everything else around the world. It seems as though they wont be going to the Hex, but will instead embark upon a long voyage (heh) through multiple layers of qualifiers fora possible home-and-home with the fourth-place Hexagonal finisher. And then the winner of that series will be drawn into the inter-confederation playoffs.

With Canadas luck, even if they make it that far, theyll probably be drawn against the fifth-place Conmebol team. In 2018 that wouldve been Peru, just ahead of two-time defending Copa America champions Chile. In 2014 that wouldve been Uruguay. In 2010 that wouldve been… Uruguay again.

What Im saying is that absolutely nothing is going to be easy for Canada. Nothing has been easy for Canada. But in this version of the future that Im writing, Canadas surmounted every obstacle and have made it to the 2022 World Cup. For the first time in 36 years, and for just the second time ever, the Canadian mens soccer team will find themselves on the biggest stage.

Along the way – and I know this is going to tick some folks off, but here goes – theyll have decided to play in a 3-5-2. Its simply the best way to get Davies into open space and use his endline-to-endline dynamism without suffering because of his periodic lack of defensive awareness.

As with my US version of this column, Im predicting some new clubs for some folks. Heres what their rosters going to look like:

Goalkeeper

Maxime Crepeau, Vancouver Whitecaps; Milan Borjan, Red Star Belgrade; Dayne St. Clair, Montreal Impact

Theres a very clear No. 1 at the moment in Borjan, but “very clear” is still less clean than it was a year ago, because the 25-year-old Crepeau was outstanding (and outstandingly busy) for the Whitecaps. With Borjan entering his mid-30s and Crepeau entering his prime, I dont think its far-fetched to imagine that the current No. 2 becomes the full-time No. 1 within the next 24 months. I actually think its more likely than not.

St. Clair, when picked by Minnesota in the 2019 SuperDraft, was seen as a future No. 1 for that club, but its much more difficult to see a path to that spot now that Tyler Millers on the roster. St. Clair now feels like trade bait, and the Impact are in an obvious bit of flux at the goalkeeper spot. So there he lands.

Other considerations: None, really. Crepeau and Borjan are the only first-division starters in the pool, and St. Clairs the youngster with the highest, most obvious upside.

Center Back

Liam Fraser, Toronto FC;Derek Cornelius, Vancouver Whitecaps; Kamal Miller, Orlando City SC; Doneil Henry, Suwon Bluewings; Callum Montgomery, FC Dallas

Usually when Im drawing out tournament rosters,I try to keep it to four center backs and one other guy who *can* play center back. But because John Herdmans gone to a back three in this alt-reality (which is sometimes going to operate as a low-block back five, because we want the opponents to push numbers forward and leave space in behind for the counter), were carrying an extra center back.

Yes, one of those center backs is Fraser, who to this point in his young career has primarily been Michael Bradleys back-up at defensive midfield in Toronto. And for Canada, he actually outplayed Bradley during that massive 2-0 win last September.

But, man, when hes played as a CB for the Reds…

Frasersin the middle of that backline in 2022. Hes the distributing hub.

Like Fraser, Cornelius and Miller are each just 22 years old. Both had up-and-down debut MLS seasons last year, but both are integrated into the full picture for Canada and have obvious spots on the depth chart.

The same can be said of Henry, the veteran of this bunch at age 27. If healthy, hes a natural for the first defensive name on the team sheet, but hes had a brutal run of injuries over the past five years. For the sake of this column, hes healthy.

Since its my column, its my call on the roster. And my call is that Montgomery earns the final spot after locking down the job for FC Dallas midway through the 2021 season.

Other considerations: Julian Dunn (TFC), Manjrekar James (FC Midtjylland), Frank Sturing (NEC), Adam Straith (Hansa Rostock), Joel Waterman (Montreal Impact), Amer Didic (FC Edmonton)

Left Wingback

Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich; Raheem Edwards, Toronto FC

For Bayern Munich, Davies has been one of the best left backs in the entire world. Bayern hold a ton of the ball – theyre up around 65 percent possession on the year – and tend to hold it high upfield, overloading in the attacking third against overwhelmed opposition. In that situation, Davies is free to push as high as he wants, and has been a devastating weapon when theyve switched play and found him in isolation with space to exploit. No defender in the world wants to face Davies there.

For Canada, when hes played as a left back, hes been a liability. This was Canadas biggest game in years:

On the first US goal he just ball-watches, leaving Jordan Morris open. On the second US goal hes playing catch-up because Paul Arriolas gotten behind him. On the fourth US goal he doesnt lay out to catch DeAndre Yedlin or make any attempt to block Yedlins cross.

All of this is to say that there are a lot of Canada fans who never again want to see Davies play at left back. Given how good he was the previous game against the Americans, in which he was a hybrid forward/winger, I cant blame them.

Wingback will be our happy medium. You get all the good stuff from Davies on the break, both with and without the ball, but you get that extra layer of defensive solidity behind him in the form of a left center back.

Edwards is another Canadian whos toggled between left back, left winger and left wingback. Like Davies, I think hes at his best as a left wingback. And so here he is, havingmade a triumphant homecoming to Toronto.

Other considerations: Sam Adekugbe (Valerenga), Zorhan Bassong (Cercle Brugge), Ashtone Morgan (RSL)

Right Wingback

Zachary Brault-Guillard, Montreal Impact; Richie Laryea, Toronto FC

Brault-Guillard was a terror to foes both foreign and domestic in the early part of 2020:

Im not quite ready to list him as a “revelation,” but he came damn close. Brault-Guillards going to be very high on this years 22 Under 22, and is a natural as a two-way wingback in Thierry Henrys low-block 5-4-1. It easy to see that translatingto the international level.

The same goes for Laryea, whos a few years older and already has a major international feather in his cap after outplaying Christian Pulisic head-to-head last September. Laryea was also a match-winner for Toronto down the stretch last year when playing as a right back, a winger and sometimes as a wingback. read more