Group Files Petition to Overturn S.D. Abortion Law

Opponents of South Dakota's new law banning nearly all abortions say they've collected more than enough signatures to force the issue to the November ballot.

The ban, signed by Republican Gov. Michael Rounds in March, would bar all abortions in the state except those needed to save the life of the pregnant woman. Since that's at odds with current Supreme Court requirements, the law is intended as a direct challenge to the landmark ruling Roe v. Wade.

But under South Dakota law, any group that collects enough valid signatures can delay the law's scheduled implementation and put it directly to the voters in the fall. An organization called the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families says it has done just that, and has filed with 38,000 signatures. That's well over twice the minimum number required.

The secretary of state still has to certify the signatures. The process is expected to take two or three weeks. — Julie Rovner

New Bird Flu Cases Remain Isolated in Indonesia

May 29, 2006 — The World Health Organization says there have been six more cases of bird flu in Indonesia. None are related to the cluster of bird-flu deaths in one family that were reported last week.

The six new cases of bird flu in Indonesia are widely dispersed. Three of the people have died.

Two of the cases were in a brother and sister who were hospitalized last week with symptoms that developed shortly after they came in contact with chickens that had sickened and died.

A 39-year-old man became sick and died after cleaning pigeon feces out of the gutter of his home.

Another case involves a young man in East Java Province who was exposed to dead chickens in the home. He's recovering.

And in two other cases, a 43-year-old man in South Jakarta and a 15-year-old girl in West Sumatra were hospitalized. The sources of the infections are being investigated.

In none of the 6 cases is there an indication so far of human-to-human transmission. — Brenda Wilson

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