House Panel Approves Measure to Require Women to Register for Draft

Matthew Cox | | May 3, 2016

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved by a narrow margin an amendment to a defense bill to require women to register for the draft.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California, proposed the amendment to lift the restriction on women registering for the selective service at a committee-wide mark-up session of the proposed fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

“Here is why I think this is important; it doesn’t matter in this debate whether you think women should be in the infantry or be in special operations,” Hunter said during the session on Wednesday night. “I personally don’t. If we had that vote in committee today I would vote against women being in infantry and special operations.

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3 more workers injured as nuke plant continues leaking


RT America | May 3, 2016

Three more workers were sought medical attention after inhaling radioactive fumes at the Hanford Site in Washington State. This comes one week after 19 workers were sent for medical evaluations in the vicinity of the leaking nuclear waste tank, which was being transferred. RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky reports from the scene.

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Darby honored at AVER convention

Windy City Times | April 27, 2016

Jim Darby was made an honorary lifetime member of AVER ( American Veterans for Equal Rights ) at the organization’s national convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 21.

Darby is the founder of AVER’s Chicago chapter. He served four years in the U.S. Navy during the 1950s at the time of the Korean War during the outright ban on gays serving—and well before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The convention ran April 21-24. Among the events were training of benefit status for transgender service members; a social mixer and military banquet; and even sightseeing opportunities. Among those appearing was Staff Sgt. ( Retired ) Eric Alva and Lt. Julie Roth ( Retired ). Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer—the highest ranking active officer to challenge the U.S. military’s ban on LGBT service members—was presented with the 2016 Leonard Matlovich Medal for Distinguished Service.

See .

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Hawaii Bill Bans Discrimination Against Transgender Patients

Cathy Bussewitz | Associated Press | April 26, 2016

Insurance companies would not be allowed to discriminate against transgender patients under a bill passed by the Hawaii Legislature.

The bill passed Tuesday by the House of Representatives prohibits denying, canceling or limiting coverage based on a person’s gender identity.

“That’s something that’s really critical, especially now when you have states around the country moving the other direction, explicitly placing into law the ability to discriminate based on who people perceive themselves to be,” said Democratic Rep. Chris Lee, who introduced the bill. “Here in Hawaii where we treat everyone with respect and aloha. We think everyone is created equal and ought to be treated the same.”

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Eric Holder: No Apologies for Return to Big Law

Tony Mauro | The National Law Journal | April 29, 2016

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said Friday “I am not ashamed” to have returned to private practice after resigning last year, asserting he will continue to advance the justice reform issues he espoused in office as a private attorney.

“You can be a public interest lawyer wherever you are,” Holder told students at Georgetown University Law Center at a public discussion with National Public Radio’s Michel Martin. “I hope you will be a public interest lawyer wherever you are.”

After leaving the Justice Department in 2015, Holder returned to Covington & Burling, where he had worked for eight years before becoming the nation’s first African-American attorney general. Martin asked Holder, “What do you feel you owe to the struggle at this point in your life,” referring to civil rights advocacy and justice reform.

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Trans Girl’s Anti-North Carolina Photo Goes Viral For All The Wrong Reasons

Aaron Morrison | Mic | Yahoo News | April 28, 2016

Transgender activists have routinely pushed back on narratives that they say elevate individuals in their community who might “pass” for their preferred gender while marginalizing others whose self-presentation does not conform to the gender binary. If we want to challenge the rigid way society views and classifies people by gender presentation, the thinking goes, we should seek to elevate trans people whose appearance reads neither as stereotypically male nor female.

Here’s a case in point: On Tuesday, New Jersey-based Meg Bitton Photography agency posted a photo of Corey Maison, who is transgender and appears feminine — so much so that some commenters missed the point of the meme, thinking Maison was cisgender. The company posted the image to speak out North Carolina’s HB2, which, among other things, prohibits municipalities in the state from adopting protections for trans folks who wish to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

“If this was YOUR daughter, would you be comfortable sending her into a men’s bathroom?” the photo’s caption reads. “‘Neither would I. Be fair. Be kind. Be empathetic. Treat others how you would like to be treated.”

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Chicago Police Institute Reforms Following Damning Report on Treatment of Minorities

Eddie Johnson speaks to the media Monday after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he was appointing him interim superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. (photo: Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times)
Eddie Johnson speaks to the media Monday after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he was appointing him interim superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. (photo: Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times)


Josh Sanburn | TIME | Reader Supported News | April 22, 2016

Mayor agrees to a third of task-force recommendations


hicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will implement some reforms to the city’s police department in response to a damning report that found officer mistreatment of minorities, but he does not plan to make immediate wholesale changes to how the department operates.

Emanuel announced Thursday that he would implement almost a third of the recommendations from a task force that investigated the police department’s conduct toward African-American residents, including more meetings with black communities, increased training to address implicit bias, and expanded use of Tasers and body cameras.

“As a city, we cannot rest until we fully address the systemic issues facing the Chicago police department, and the steps announced today build on our road to reform,” Emanuel said in a statement on Thursday.

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Alabama’s top judge blames ‘atheists, homosexuals and transgender’ people for legal complaint

Niraj Chokshi | Washington Post | April 29, 2016

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, famous for his embrace of religion in the courtroom, says he’s under attack, again.

Moore this week accused the civil rights organization the Southern Poverty Law Center and “atheists, homosexuals and transgender individuals,” of filing politically motivated charges that he violated judicial ethics, reports.

“For months, I’ve sat back while complaint after complaint has been filed by persons and individuals and organizations which have mischaracterized and misstated my position,” Moore said at a Wednesday news conference recorded and uploaded by

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SoCal cops getting ready to use surveillance drones


RT America | April 28, 2016

Four police departments in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in California are gearing up to deploy drones in daily operations. Lawmakers worry that the public’s privacy could be at stake under current law, as police are required to obtain a warrant before conducting drone surveillance. RT America’s Brigida Santos reports from California. Then, legal and media analyst Lionel of LionelMedia joins RT America’s Anya Parampil to give his take.

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Florida company running nuclear power plant called to explain water contamination


RT America | April 28, 2016

Elevated levels of ammonia, phosphorous and radioactive compounds have been detected in cooling canals connected to the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant south of Miami, Florida, and a have seeped into the Biscayne Aquifer affecting much of south Florida’s drinking water. The company operating the plant is now under a 21-day deadline to provide any information on how it occurred, and negotiate solutions. RT America’s Marina Portnaya reports.

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