BATON ROUGE, LA.

State lawmakers pass

strict abortion ban

Louisiana lawmakers on Wednesday passed a strict new abortion ban that would prohibit the procedure before some women even know they are pregnant, joining a half-dozen conservative states with similar measures.

In a 79-23 vote, the Louisiana House gave final passage to a bill barring abortion once there's a detectable fetal heartbeat, as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Deep South's only Democratic governor, supports the ban and intends to sign it into law despite opposition from national party leaders who say such laws are attacks on women.

 

FORD, VA.

Church in mourning

after crash kills four

Members of a close-knit church community in central Virginia were in shock Wednesday after four people were killed and seven others were injured in a van crash on their way to a revival at another church.

Virginia state police said the van carrying 11 people from Shiloh Baptist Church in Blackstone was slowing down on U.S. Route 460 to make a right turn into the parking lot of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Ford on Tuesday night when it was rear-ended by a pickup truck hauling metal.

The van rolled over several times before coming to rest on its side off the right side of the road.

 

SAN DIEGO

Girl becomes tiniest

newborn to survive

A San Diego hospital on Wednesday revealed the birth of a girl believed to be the world's tiniest surviving baby, who weighed just 245 grams (about 8.6 ounces) before she was discharged as a healthy infant.

The baby named Saybie was born at 23 weeks and three days and was sent home this month weighing 5 pounds after nearly five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns said in a statement.

 

MOSCOW

Two Russians venture

outside space station

Two Russian crew members on the International Space Station ventured into open space Wednesday to conduct scientific research and help maintain the orbiting outpost.

Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin worked to retrieve several scientific experiments intended to study the impact of space flight that were mounted on the space station's exterior. They also cleaned some of the space station's windows, mounted handrails to facilitate future spacewalks and performed other maintenance.

 

PARIS

Louvre reopens after

overcrowding, walkout

The Louvre museum in Paris reopened to the public Wednesday after being shut down for a day when workers complained about overcrowding and walked out Monday.

Union representatives met Wednesday to discuss plans from the museum's management on how to ease the traffic flow at the world's most visited museum.

They say the current dispute is linked to renovation work around the "Mona Lisa," the museum's most famous painting, which has caused organizational problems, huge queues and the harassment of staff by frustrated tourists.

 

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA 

Anti-austerity strike

disrupts travel, business  

Much of Argentina came to a standstill Wednesday as a strike to protest government austerity measures grounded hundreds of flights, halted bus and train lines and forced the closing of banks, courts and many schools.

The country's main grain ports were also shut and hospitals offered only emergency services during the 24-hour strike organized by labor unions to protest the policies of President Mauricio Macri.

 

RALEIGH, N.C.

Council to consider

allowing huge flag

Maybe television's "The Profit" won't have to make business deals behind bars after all.

Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC's so-named reality television show, had said Wednesday that he would go to jail before he'd remove an enormous flag that flies at a recreational vehicle store in violation of the city of Statesville's size ordinance. But later in the day, the city said in a news release that its leaders will consider a change that would allow the flag displayed at Gander RV along Interstate 77 to continue flying.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires