DEMOCRATIC presidential candidates are condemning a US state’s approval of a ban on nearly all abortions, and warning that Republican-controlled legislatures around the country may follow suit.

Legal fights are likely ahead over the Alabama measure, if it becomes law, and abortion restrictions in other conservative states.

The Supreme Court, which affirmed women’s constitutional right to abortion in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, has added two conservative members under President Donald Trump.

On the Alabama measure, senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted: “This is wrong. This is unconstitutional.”

Former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke said: “We will fight these dangerous efforts with everything we’ve got in legislatures across the country.”

New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand said: “It’s certainly the intention of President Trump and the Republican Party to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Bernie Sanders tweeted to say that abortion was a constitutional right.

FRANCK Riester, the culture minister of France says that a month after a fire engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral, the edifice is still being made safe enough for the landmark’s restoration to begin.

Riester and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau wore hard hats for a visit inside the Gothic church yesterday.

Trudeau said he wanted to show Canadians’ solidarity “toward our French cousins”.

After the devastating April 15 fire, he said, one “can’t help but marvel at how so much was saved”.

The French culture minister said that operations to secure and conserve the cathedral must be completed before restoration works can start. He said robots, for instance, were removing gravel from inside the cathedral, to be examined both by ministry experts and police seeking clues about the fire’s origin.

THE oldest political party in Thailand has named Jurin Laksanawisit as its new leader following its abysmal performance in recent elections that led to the resignation of its previous chief.

The vote by members of the Democrat Party was to name a successor to Abhisit Vejjajiva, a former prime minister who resigned as leader when results were released from the March 24 general election. Jurin has served in the Cabinets of two Democrat-led governments.

The party, founded in 1946, finished fourth in the election as voters in its Bangkok and southern strongholds deserted it.

Its supporters apparently switched their allegiance to a military-backed party that supports the return to the prime minister’s office of former army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha, who came to power by staging a military coup in 2014.