Supreme Court blocks Oklahoma abortion law

The Supreme Court left in place Monday a decision by Oklahoma’s highest court that a major provision of that state’s new abortion law is unconstitutional because it effectively bans all medication abortions.

The high court last summer had tentatively agreed to consider the issue but asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court for clarification on exactly what the law proscribes. The Oklahoma court issued an opinion last week that the law would effectively end the early-term practice of medication-induced abortions, and was thus unconstitutional.

Upon receiving the Oklahoma opinion, the Supreme Court then announced Monday that it will not schedule the case for briefing and consideration.


Crist running for return to the governor’s mansion

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Monday that he is running for his old job by casting the 2014 election as between someone who can represent all Floridians and someone he contends represents the “ideological fringe.”

Crist’s announcement on the St. Petersburg waterfront Monday morning sets in motion what could become one of America’s biggest campaign battles of 2014: incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott vs. Crist, his predecessor and a former Republican who lost the confidence and trust of the GOP in 2010 and has re-emerged as a Democrat.


Investigation uncovers $1.3 billion in stolen art

An investigation into suspected tax fraud has uncovered a vast trove of artwork seized by the Nazis before World War II and kept behind pallets of canned goods in the Munich apartment of a 79-year-old man.

The collection is believed to include works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Marc Chagall, among many others. Estimates of its value top $1.3 billion.

Officials kept the collection’s discovery quiet for two years, uncertain who were the rightful owners of the works and whether a crime had been committed.


Government announces plan to combat polio

Syria said Monday that it will work with international organizations to ensure that all children in the country, even those in rebel-held areas, will be vaccinated against polio following an outbreak of the crippling and highly communicable disease.

The World Health Organization last week confirmed 10 cases of polio among babies and toddlers in northeastern Syria. The U.N. health agency warned that the outbreak risks spreading among an estimated half-million Syrian children who haven’t been immunized because of the civil war.

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