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Thursday, September 28, 2023

National & World News – Overview – Friday, June 2, 2023


Arizona limits construction around Phoenix as water supply dwindles

The state of Arizona has determined that all the housing construction already approved in the Phoenix area does not have enough groundwater and will prevent developers from building some new subdivisions, a sign of impending trouble in the West and other overused, arid places where climate change is Stress the water supply. The decision by state officials will likely spell the end of the explosive development that made the Phoenix area the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country. The decision means cities and developers must find alternative water sources to support future development.

Nobody Knows How Many LGBTQ Americans Die By Suicide

Studies of LGBTQ people have shown that they have high levels of suicidal thoughts and attempts, factors that greatly increase the risk of suicide. But because most death investigators don’t collect data on sexuality or gender identity, no one knows how many gay and transgender people in the U.S. die by suicide each year. The information vacuum makes it difficult to tailor suicide prevention efforts to meet the needs of high-risk populations, the researchers said. LGBTQ advocates say access to data has become more urgent as states across the country impose restrictions on many aspects of gay and transgender lives.

Pentagon bans drag event at base after GOP criticism

The Defense Department said on Thursday it would not hold drag shows at U.S. military installations after Republican politicians complained about the base’s Pride month celebrations. Sabrina Singh, the department’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement that the “cross-dressing incident” was not an “appropriate use” of the department’s resources. The statement did not address how the Pentagon defines drag events, nor did the Defense Department specify what makes drag events inappropriate compared with other military pride events, including speeches, panel discussions and road races.

Biden reportedly to name ex-North Carolina health secretary to lead CDC

President Joe Biden plans to name former North Carolina health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, who steered North Carolina through the coronavirus pandemic, as the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to two people familiar with the matter. The turbulent first two years of the pandemic and the selection process. Cohen’s selection is not final; the White House is still putting together the necessary paperwork to make the appointment official, according to another person familiar with the selection process. If Biden chooses Cohn, physician Cohn would succeed Dr. Rochelle Walensky, an infectious disease specialist who announced last month that she would step down at the end of June.

Cosby accused in lawsuit of sexually assaulting a woman in 1969

Bill Cosby, still accused of being a sexual predator out of prison, was sued Thursday by a former Playboy model who says he drugged and sexually assaulted her more than 50 years ago. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles by Victoria Valentino, 80, accuses Cosby of assault and says the incident happened in 1969 when she and a friend met him for dinner at a restaurant . Cosby, 85, was convicted in Pennsylvania in 2018 of three counts of gross indecency with a woman he had mentored. But he was released after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2021.

High temperatures cause schools to close in several U.S. cities

High temperatures closed schools in Michigan and Pittsburgh on Thursday, forcing students and teachers to stay home in the face of rising temperatures and inadequate air conditioning. In Detroit, the situation led administrators to close the city’s schools three hours earlier than usual on Thursday, following a similar plan Friday for the city’s 53,000 students. In Pittsburgh, 40 schools in a district of more than 18,000 students switched to remote learning, citing health concerns about stuffy classrooms. In Grand Rapids in western Michigan, home to 17,000 students, administrators canceled school for the remainder of the week as temperatures climbed into the 90s on Thursday.

Clash with far-right shroud: Pride parade in Jerusalem

The Pride and Tolerance Parade in Jerusalem is usually a relatively sedate annual tradition. But Thursday’s events came at a worrisome time for Israel, five months after the most hawkish and religiously conservative government in the country’s history took power. Organizers reported an initial crowd of 30,000, two to three times the usual number, they said. LGBTQ activists have reported a sharp increase in anti-gay abuse and violence in Israel in recent months and have been anticipating large numbers for this year’s marches. They braced for possible violence, but the march proceeded peacefully under heavy security, with some 2,000 police officers deployed along the short distance.

US imposes sanctions on warring Sudanese factions

The United States on Thursday announced new sanctions against two military factions in Sudan and companies linked to them that have been fueling a war that has killed hundreds in Africa’s third-largest country. Sudanese troops led by General Abdul Fattah Burhan have been battling the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces led by Lieutenant General Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo since April 15 in a clash that has devastated the capital Khartoum, and displaced at least 1 million people. The sanctions came a day after the Sudanese military pulled out of peace talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah led by U.S. and Saudi diplomats.

UK government refuses to give Boris Johnson’s text to COVID inquiry

The British government’s refusal on Thursday to hand over former prime minister Boris Johnson’s COVID-era text messages to a committee looking into its handling of the pandemic has sparked a legal battle that could lead to the death of current prime minister Rishi Suna Rishi Sunak’s political conundrum. The government’s Cabinet Office faced a 4pm deadline to hand over unredacted text messages, diaries and notebooks belonging to Johnson. But it insisted, arguing that doing so would damage private communications between senior officials and set a worrying precedent. Instead, the Cabinet Office asked the court to rule on whether it should be compelled to hand over the documents.

China Invests in U.S. Open Source Intelligence Collection

Chinese intelligence agencies are investing heavily in open-source intelligence to learn more about U.S. military capabilities in the Pacific and beyond, a new report says. An analysis by threat intelligence firm Recorded Future has detailed efforts by the Chinese government and companies to gather publicly available data from the Pentagon, think tanks and private companies — information that Beijing’s military could use to help plan a potential conflict with the United States. As relations between the United States and China have grown more hostile, both countries are investing more in intelligence-gathering capabilities.

U.S. follows Russia’s move on nuclear treaty

The United States announced on Thursday that it would stop providing Russia with critical information about its nuclear weapons in retaliation for Moscow’s decision to withdraw from the New START treaty. The move has the potential to heighten nuclear tensions, especially if Russia continues to make nuclear threats against Ukraine or the West. Biden administration officials said they did not believe the suspension of the information exchange would increase the risk of Ukraine using nuclear weapons, but they said the treaty had helped the United States and Russia better understand how their respective countries operate in the past. In February, Russia announced the suspension of participation in New START.

Australia’s ‘trial of the century’ tarnished its most decorated soldier

The case has been dubbed Australia’s trial of the century. While it centers on defamation allegations, it also grapples with a larger question: Is this country’s most decorated living soldier a war criminal? On Thursday, the judge effectively found the answer was yes. Four years after the soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, sued three newspapers alleging he killed unarmed Afghan prisoners in cold blood, a judge ruled against him in his defamation case, ruling that the papers proved they had The behavior described is substantially true.

via wired source


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