Mar 13, 2019

Defense Department's new transgender policy outlines harsh limits for troops

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The Defense Department approved a new policy on Tuesday after a prolonged legal conflict that dramatically limits transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, ordering members of the military to serve as the gender they were born, the AP reports.

Details: Though the new policy — required to go into effect in 30 days — does not go as far as President Trump's proposed transgender ban, it is anticipated the military will discharge transgender people in need of hormone treatment or surgery. Per a memo outlining the new ruling, by April 12, "a service member can be discharged based on a diagnosis of gender dysphoria if he or she is 'unable or unwilling to adhere to all applicable standards, including the standards associated with his or her biological sex, or seek[ing] transition to another gender.'" The memo also provides guidelines for discharging service members based on the new policy.

Why now: The AP reports that the Pentagon was able to pursue the policy now, following the reversal of the final legal injunction blocking the transgender rule last week. However, the restrictions are expected to face continued backlash.

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Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health