The Sunday Subject – May 22, 2022

Oklahoma has passed the nation’s most severe abortion ban.

The law bans abortion except in cases of incest, rape or medical necessity. It also allows private citizens to sue anyone who has aided a woman in getting an abortion.

In a historic decision, Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO.

Both countries had long kept neutrality between the West and Russia — Finland for security reasons, and Sweden for centuries-long ideological reasons. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced the two countries to reconsider their security interests, with both deciding to join the alliance to deter future Russian aggression.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a $40bn military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine, making it the largest foreign-aid package in decades.

The package comes as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, describes conditions in the Donbas as “hell” as Russia intensifies its bombardment.

President Biden landed in Seoul this week to meet Yoon Seok-yeol, South Korea’s newly elected president, on the first stop of his Asia tour.

Biden promised to expand joint military drills with South Korea to deter North Korean aggression. Next he will visit Japan for a summit of the Quad, a security grouping composed of America, Australia, India and Japan. There President Biden will unveil the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a potential successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which America left under the Trump Administration. The visit aims to reassure America’s allies in Asia that it remains committed to countering an increasingly aggressive China, despite the distraction of the Ukraine crisis.

Cases of monkeypox have been detected in Britain, Portugal, Spain and America.

Over 100 cases have been reported, mostly in Europe. The viral disease causes fever symptoms and rashes.