Jan 18, 2018

New HHS division protects health workers who oppose abortion

Image: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the formation of a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, which will serve to protect health professionals who choose not to provide medical care to patients for religious or moral reasons.

Why it matters: The new office, established one day before the annual March for Life in Washington, will investigate complaints against health workers who object to abortions, sex-change operations, fertility treatments for same-sex couples or other medical services at odds with their beliefs.

Critics say the Trump administration is giving medical professionals a "license to discriminate," reports the NY Times, opening the doors to women and LGBT individuals potentially being denied life-saving emergency care.

Supporters, meanwhile, claim that Trump is enforcing the "religious liberty" executive order he signed last year, which stated his administration "will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore."

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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