Abortion workaround. Two Texas abortion centers have started offering abortions again after a new set of restrictions forced them to stop at the beginning of the month. The regulations require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Abortion providers at Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth and Planned Parenthood in Austin were able to get the required hospital privileges, according to mySA.com. The two centers are among an estimated 14 in the state that had to stop performing abortions because of the law. A federal judge ruled on Oct. 28 that the regulation placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions, but the U.S. Supreme Court decided the law could remain in effect while legal appeals are in progress.
Tightening the reins. The Obama administration has proposed rules to curb political campaigning by nonprofit groups. The rules would prohibit certain nonprofit groups from campaign activities such as running ads, registering voters, or distributing campaign literature. The Department of the Treasury says the rules are designed to create “clear-cut definitions” for nonprofit organizations that engage in political activity. Conservatives say the change would give the Internal Revenue Service broader leeway to target the White House’s political opponents. The changes would affect groups with a 501(c)4 “social welfare” designation. Religious and charitable organizations classified as 501(c)3s are already limited from participating in many political activities.
Proving a point. China acknowledged Wednesday it let two American B-52 bombers fly unhindered through its newly declared air-defense zone in the East China Sea despite its earlier threat to take defensive measures against unidentified foreign aircraft. The United States claims the flights were part of a training exercise, but the incident served to test the seriousness of China’s threats to defend the zone by force. The threats now look more like posturing in an attempt to get Japan to back down from its claims to islands in the disputed area.
Little book, big price. A tiny book of Psalms from 1640, believed to be the first book printed in America, sold for just under $14.2 million on Tuesday, setting a world auction record for a printed book. The Bay Psalm Book sold at Sotheby’s was one of two owned by Boston’s Old South Church, a United Church of Christ congregation. “This is enormous for us,” said the Rev. Nancy Taylor, senior minister of the church. “It is life-changing for the ministries we can do.” Samuel Adams was a member of Old South Church, and Benjamin Franklin was baptized at the church, which was established in 1669. American businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein bought the book over the phone. He plans to lend the book to libraries across the country.