The Sunday Subject – May 8, 2022

Welcome to Subject’s weekly news roundup. We present you the essential headlines, local and beyond.

According to a leaked draft opinion published by Politico, the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Half of US women now risk losing abortion access, a right that had been guaranteed by Roe for nearly half a century. In his leaked draft opinion, which has since been verified, Justice Alito called the 1973 case wrongly decided, writing, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” If the justices announce a final decision consistent with the draft, it would be a seismic shift in American law and politics.

For the first time since Northern Ireland was formed in 1921, pro-unity party Sinn Fein won the most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Sinn Fein will have 27 seats in the assembly, compared to the Democratic Unionist Party’s 25. Per the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Fein will now be able to nominate a first minister, though it cannot hold office unless the DUP agrees to nominate a deputy first minister. Fearing a threat to Northern Ireland’s fragile stability, the US State Department called for the parties “to take the necessary steps to re-establish a power-sharing executive.” Irish prime minister Micheal Martin voiced similar sentiments, stating that a new power-sharing executive was “vital for progress and prosperity for all in Northern Ireland.”

Ukraine has launched an offensive against Russia in the Northeast, making steady gains.

On Saturday Ukrainian forces pushed the Russians back toward the border and away from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. The Russian pullback contradicts the Kremlin’s narrative of the war and complicates its plans to hold victory celebrations on May 9, the anniversary of Soviet triumph over Nazi Germany.

Conservatives suffered significant losses in local elections across the UK this week.

For the first time in decades, several notable historically Conservative strongholds fell to the Labor Party. Boris Johnson, the Conservative leader of the UK, acknowledged it was a “tough night.” His party suffered heavily from its scandal over holding parties at Downing Street in violation of lockdown rules. Other issues on the ballot included the rising cost of living, inflation, and tax increases.

According to the Labor Department, the US added 428,000 jobs in April, reflecting the economy’s rebound from the pandemic.

The US economy has regained nearly 95 percent of the 22 million jobs lost at the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. Labor force participation has recovered more quickly than most analysts initially expected, nearing prepandemic levels