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This Wednesday, President Trump revoked landmark protections that allowed transgender students to use the bathrooms they identify with, reversing work of the previous Obama administration that many celebrated as a victory for LGBT civil rights.

As reported by Reuters, last May then-President Barack Obama ordered schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their preferred gender identity. Schools that did not comply risked having their funds withheld.

As GOP lawmakers push their draconian anti-LGBT legislation across the South, the transgender community is now assuming the role of religious conservatives’ new favorite target, namely through what the Internet is calling “bathroom laws,” a tactic used to keep trans people from using the bathroom they associate with their gender identities.

But as Dan Avery of NewNowNext pointed out in late March, in all the entire history of the earth, more Republican lawmakers have been arrested for lewd conduct in bathrooms than trans people. Republicans – 3, (that we know of off-hand) trans people – 0. deadstate.org
At an April 3 mayoral candidate forum, Mayor Ivy Taylor shared her surprising views on systemic poverty in San Antonio. To her, the "broken people" facing poverty just have a bad relationship with God. 

Now, weeks after the forum, a video of her answer has gone viral. The video shows Taylor and fellow candidate Councilman Ron Nirenberg answering a question from Megan Legacy, the director of SA Christian Resource Center. She asks: "What do you see as the deepest, systemic causes of generational poverty in San Antonio?"

In San Antonio, a city where nearly 15 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, this strategy may not go over too well (especially since many of those living in poverty are, in fact, religious). She made no mention of how the city's  job creation rate, minimum wage, or social service programs could play a role in the city's ongoing poverty issues.

This comes from a mayor who's already on thin ice for using her religious beliefs to discriminate against the city's LGBT community. In 2013, when Taylor was still a councilwoman, she voted against a nondiscrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT San Antonians from being discriminated against by public and private business owners. sacurrent.com
The head of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan said on Monday he was "not refuting" reports that Russia was providing support, including weapons, to the Taliban.

For some time, American officials have complained of what Nicholson once called "malign influence" by Russia in Afghanistan, but Monday's comments are among the strongest suggestions yet that Moscow is providing arms to the Taliban.

Asked about reports that Russia was providing a range of help, including weapons, to the Taliban, who control large areas of Afghanistan, Nicholson replied: "Oh no, I am not refuting that."

Moscow has been critical of the United States over its handling of the war in Afghanistan, where the Soviet Union fought a bloody and disastrous war of its own in the 1980s. Russia has previously denied providing any material or financial aid to the insurgent group, but has said it maintains ties with Taliban officials in order to push for peace negotiations.

A senior U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters that intelligence showed that Russia was providing monetary and weapons support to the Taliban, specifically weapons such as machine guns. reuters.com
When Carin Miller’s son was about 19 years old, he began to abuse heroin by snorting pills, eventually moving on to shooting up. This went on for six years before he got help.

Lucas Miller’s history of drug use started in high school with smoking marijuana. When he moved out of his parents’ house, one of his housemates had access to between 750 to 1,500 pills at any given time between five houses located in Frederick, Maryland.

“My son was addicted to heroin, he’s in recovery by the grace of God since Thanksgiving 2014, I think that’s where we are at,” Miller said.

Opioid overdoses now rank with cancer, strokes and heart attacks among the top killers in Maryland.

State and federal lawmakers have passed legislation aimed at addressing the crisis, although they and public health experts agree the battle will be long. cbslocal.com
BART police are beefing up patrols at Oakland stations after dozens of juveniles terrorized riders Saturday night when they invaded the Coliseum Station and commandeered at least one train car, forcing passengers to hand over bags and cell phones and leaving at least two with head injuries. The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses told police that 40 to 60 juveniles flooded the station, jumped the fare gates and rushed to the second-story train platform. Some of the robbers apparently held open the doors of a Dublin-bound train car while others streamed inside, confronting and robbing and in some cases beating riders.

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said Monday that seven people were robbed — with the victims losing a purse, a duffel bag and five phones. Six people were robbed inside the train car, with a seventh confronted on the platform, she said. Police received no reports of guns or other weapons being brandished.

A police summary prepared after the incident said that at least two victims suffered injuries to the face or head that required medical attention. The attack was so quick, police reported, that the teenagers were able to retreat from the station and vanish into the surrounding East Oakland neighborhood before BART officers could respond. The train was held for about 15 minutes as authorities interviewed victims and witnesses and tended to the injured. sfchronicle.com
The Trump administration is taking retaliatory action against Canada over a trade dispute, moving to impose a 20% tariff on softwood lumber that is typically used to build single-family homes.

In an interview Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariff will be applied retroactively and imposed on Canadian exports to the U.S. of about $5 billion a year. He said the dispute centers on Canadian provinces that have been allegedly allowing loggers to cut down trees at reduced rates and sell them at low prices.

The determination that Canada improperly subsidizes its exports is preliminary, and the Commerce Department will need to make a final decision. In addition, the U.S. International Trade Commission will need to find that the U.S. industry has suffered injury.

But even a preliminary decision has immediate real-world consequences, by discouraging importers from buying lumber from Canada.

“We tried to negotiate a settlement but we were unable,” Ross said, adding that previous administrations have also been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute. wsj.com
Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea.

All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday.

While administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy matters, it is unusual for the entire Senate to go to the White House, and for all four of those officials to be involved.

Wednesday's briefing was originally scheduled for a secure room at the Capitol, but President Donald Trump suggested a shift to the White House, congressional aides said.

Washington has expressed mounting concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies. reuters.com