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Planned Parenthood Refuses Title X Funding in Response to Trump Administration Restrictions

Planned Parenthood Refuses Title X Funding in Response to Trump Administration RestrictionsPlanned Parenthood will refuse all Title X funding rather than comply with the Trump administration's restrictions governing the discussion of abortion at clinics that participate in the program, the group announced Monday.Planned Parenthood decided to abandon Title X, which accounts for roughly 15 percent of its overall federal funding each year, in response to a Trump administration rule barring clinics that participate in the program from referring women to abortion providers.“When you have an unethical rule that will limit what providers can tell our patients, it becomes really important that we not agree to be in the program. But to be clear we’re doing that because we’re being forced out,” the group said in a Monday statement. “Trump’s administration is trying to force us to keep information from our patients. The gag rule is unethical, dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it.”Prior to its withdrawal, Planned Parenthood was receiving $ 60 million of the $ 286 million allocated annually through Title X. The organization will continue to receive roughly $ 500 million in annual Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government.A federal appeals court ruled in July that the Trump administration's rule change could take effect while a lawsuit, brought by Planned Parenthood and other groups in February, runs its course. The Department of Health and Human Services then gave Planned Parenthood until August 19 to submit a plan demonstrating that it would make “good faith efforts” to comply with the new rule. Planned Parenthood requested a stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have delayed the rule-implementation deadline its legal challenge was resolved, but the court rejected that request.The March for Life, a leading pro-life advocacy group, suggested that Planned Parenthood's decision confirmed the group prioritizes abortion over women's health care. Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood fired its president, Leana Wen, after less than a year, for being insufficiently zealous in her defense of abortion rights.“Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, today made a choice not to separate its abortion operation from Title X services, and in doing [so] declined Title X funding, which makes up approximately four percent of their annual budget,” said March for Life president Jeanne Mancini. “Abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning and taxpayer dollars should not support abortion. Leana Wen’s recent firing and Planned Parenthood’s decision today doubles down on their ultimate goal, which is political abortion advocacy, not healthcare.”



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Trump administration says transgender workers aren't protected by civil rights, Supreme Court filing reveals

Trump administration says transgender workers aren't protected by civil rights, Supreme Court filing revealsDonald Trump's administration has told the Supreme Court that transgender workers are not protected by federal civil rights law and can be fired because of their gender.The US government is arguing workers should only be protected from discrimination based on their “biological sex”, court filings have revealed.A Supreme Court ruling in favour of the administration’s position would set a legal precedent, marking a major setback for LGBTQ rights since the Obama administration.The court filing relates to an upcoming court case involving transgender funeral home worker Aimee Stephens, who was fired from her job after telling her employer about her transition.“In 1964, the ordinary public meaning of 'sex' was biological sex. It did not encompass transgender status,” the document filed on Friday reads.The 1964 Civil Rights Act states employers cannot discriminate based on sex, race, colour, religion, and national origin. “Title VII [of the act] does not prohibit discrimination against transgender persons based on their transgender status,” the filing argues. “It simply does not speak to discrimination because of an individual’s gender identity or a disconnect between an individual’s gender identity and the individual’s sex.”Under Barack Obama, the Justice Department decreed that Title VII did protect transgender workers. This meant Court of Appeals judges sided with Stephens in 2018.But former attorney general Jeff Sessions reversed the government's stance after Mr Trump took office in 2017.The Trump administration has since banned transgender people from joining the US military, reversing an Obama-era policy that allowed them to openly serve.The ban, which puts 14,700 jobs at risk, was formally upheld by the Supreme Court earlier this year.Mr Trump has previously claimed to be “perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party”.The Supreme Court will hear Stephens's case on 8 October. It is one of three cases concerning LGBTQ workers rights expected to come before the court in the autumn.



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Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Permit Employment Discrimination Against Transgender Workers

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Permit Employment Discrimination Against Transgender WorkersDOJ argued that Title VII does not protect transgender people



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Trump administration officials defend Mississippi immigration raids

Trump administration officials defend Mississippi immigration raids“Something like this has been planned for over a year,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said.



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Trump Administration Re-Authorizes Using 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Coyotes and Dogs. Here's What to Know

Trump Administration Re-Authorizes Using 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Coyotes and Dogs. Here's What to KnowEnvironmentalist groups have raised concerns about the traps' effectiveness and safety



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Here's the data on white supremacist terrorism the Trump administration has been 'unable or unwilling' to give to Congress

Here's the data on white supremacist terrorism the Trump administration has been 'unable or unwilling' to give to CongressA government document, which has not been previously reported on, becomes public as the Trump administration’s Justice Department has been unable or unwilling to provide data to Congress on white supremacist domestic terrorism.



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Trump administration re-authorizes 'cyanide bombs' to kill wildlife

Trump administration re-authorizes 'cyanide bombs' to kill wildlifeUS President Donald Trump’s administration has re-authorized the use of controversial poison traps known as “cyanide bombs” to kill wild foxes, coyotes and feral dogs despite overwhelming opposition from conservation groups. The devices, known as M-44s, which are implanted in the ground and resemble lawn sprinklers, use a spring-loaded ejector to release sodium cyanide when an animal tugs on its baited capsule holder. The decision to re-instate their use was announced in the Federal Register earlier this week, and met with outrage by environmental groups that led a campaign to flood the Environmental Protection Agency with more than 20,000 letters.



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El Paso shooting: Trump administration cut programmes to fight far-right extremism and white supremacy in US

El Paso shooting: Trump administration cut programmes to fight far-right extremism and white supremacy in USDonald Trump’s administration had previously taken steps to cut programmes aimed at identifying and fighting far-right extremism or white nationalism, an apparent motive that inspired the shooter who opened fire in El Paso, Texas, over the weekend.In the aftermath of that shooting on Saturday that left 22 dead, a debate surrounding domestic extremism has bubbled to the top of American discourse, with many denouncing Mr Trump’s rhetoric as a racist dog whistle encouraging white nationalists and supremacistsAnd, even as the president on Monday denounced white supremacy and hatred, residents of El Paso and terrorism experts have questioned the administration’s 2017 decision to cut funding for the Obama-era Countering Violent Extremism Programme, which allocated $ 10 million to fight the kinds of domestic extremism seen this past weekend, and other measures.“I think, clearly, the events of this last weekend, and the events of the last several years have shown that writ-large not enough is being done to counter violent extremists and right-wing violent extremists,” Colin Clarke, a senior researcher and terrorism expert with the Soufan Centre, told The Independent.“Even if you step away from the data, anecdotally, this is a pretty steady drumbeat since Charlottesville,” he continued, referring to the demonstrations in Virginia in 2017 in which a white supremacist killed a young woman.In addition to ending that 2016 programme, the Trump administration halted more than $ 1.3 million in grants to organisations dedicated to fighting online extremism, and to helping neo-Nazis hoping to reform.Those actions came as America experienced a spike in the number of far-right extremist attacks, from two incidents in 2007, to 31 in 2017. And, just last month, FBI director Cristopher Wray testified that white supremacism made up the majority of domestic terrorism cases his agency faces.“I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motived by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence, but it does include other things as well,” Mr Wray said during testimony before the Senate judiciary committee.It’s an issue that has been on the minds of those in El Paso as the city begins to heal after the Saturday shooting, with residents of the Texas city urging Mr Trump to reinstate the Obama-era measures that could potentially combat the kinds of extremism that has landed the city in the middle of that latest American tragedy.That includes Evelyn Shelton, a student of forensic science at the University of Texas at El Paso, who was with a friend on Monday looking at the wall of flowers and crosses that have been placed overlooking the Walmart shopping centre where the shooing took place.“It’s really upsetting that he wanted to talk about immigration. Immigration is not the problem here,” Ms Shelton said of Mr Trump’s response to the shootingAsked about the anti-domestic terror schemes, she said: “If we have groups that have hatred towards certain groups they should be monitored.”Her friend, Yerian Antonetty, 19, who is studying psychology, said she had seen the president’s tweets. “People are grieving, and he should not be trying to benefit from it,” she said.Of the Obama-era schemes, she said: “It’s something that should be funded. A lot of these people are violent, and there are certain [people] they don’t want around.”Another mourner, Ursula Breckinbridge, 77, said she agreed with the president that mental health was an issue, but that fighting extremism appears to be a real issue facing America.“He had to be mentally ill,” she said of Saturday’s shooter. “You can’t be shooting at people like that if you were in a normal state.”Asked about whether the president should be targeting white extremists, she said: “I don’t want to speak badly of the president but, yes, it’s something he should do.”She added: “I am sure the president will do something. He has to do something.”



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500,000 kids could lose free school lunch under Trump administration proposal

500,000 kids could lose free school lunch under Trump administration proposalMore than 500,000 kids could lose automatic eligibility for free school meals thanks to a proposed restriction by the Trump administration on the food stamps program, according to Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott.



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Trump administration plan for Bears Ears slammed as 'recklessly' weakening protections

Trump administration plan for Bears Ears slammed as 'recklessly' weakening protectionsThe Bureau of Land Management posted to the federal register the management plan for the Utah monument, which was created by former Democratic President Barack Obama in 2016 to protect Native American cultural and archaeological sites but reduced in size by 85% by Republican President Donald Trump in 2017 to open up the land to resource extraction, grazing, logging and vehicle use. While U.S. national parks can be created only by an act of Congress, national monuments can be designated unilaterally by presidents and a century-old federal law meant to protect sacred sites, artifacts and historical objects.



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