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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgam Ignore Transgender Pronouns Act



North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum has signed legislation that allows public school teachers and government employees to ignore pronouns used by their transgender students and colleagues, the governor’s office said Monday.

The new law also requires teachers to tell parents or legal guardians if a student identifies as transgender. It also prohibits transgender students from using the toilet of their choice without the prior permission of their parents or guardians.

He acts immediately.

Burgum said in a statement that the new law “largely codifies existing practices, reaffirming the First Amendment’s right to free speech … balancing the rights and interests of students, parents and teachers.”

Opponents countered that the state’s Republican leaders were violating the constitutional rights of students and teachers by forcing adults to speak and potentially exposing children to dangerous consequences if the abusive parent disapproved.

“The mandatory disclosure of a student’s trans identity violates their privacy rights at school, especially for trans youth who cannot be safe at home. And creating a supportive work and learning environment also requires treating people with dignity and respect, including, at a minimum, addressing them by their first name and the pronouns they choose to use. It’s both illegal and discriminatory,” said Cody Schuler, advocacy manager for the American Civil Liberties Union in North Dakota.

Supporters said the measure strengthens parental rights and gives teachers peace of mind. Others said the governor should have done more to limit the rights of transgender people.

This is just the latest transgender rights measure Burgum signed into law after it was passed by the North Dakota House and Senate with a veto-proof majority, part of a larger drive by Republican officials across the country to repeal the rights of their LGBTQ+ voters. .

Other new laws in North Dakota ban transgender girls and women from joining women’s sports teams, from K-12 to college. They criminalize health care providers who provide gender-confirming care to minors. And they restrict transgender children and adults from accessing the toilets, changing rooms and showers of their choice, from schools to public colleges and correctional facilities.

At least 21 states have restricted or banned the participation of transgender women in women’s sports, and at least 14 states have restricted or banned gender-validated childcare. In addition, at least eight states have passed laws prohibiting transgender people from using toilets associated with their gender identity.


Trisha Ahmed is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on hidden issues.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

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Ax Files with David Axelrod



Ch. 532 – Rep. Kathy Porter The Ax Files with David Axelrod

California Rep. Kathy Porter is best known for holding a whiteboard during congressional hearings, baffling CEOs and government officials about how their actions affect ordinary Americans. As a single mother who grew up on a farm in Iowa, Rep. Porter said she came to Congress with a different perspective than many of her colleagues on what the average American is, which inspired her to jump into politics. She joined David on a live taping to talk about her journey from law professor to member of Congress, her roots in Iowa politics, her passion for consumerism, how she made the board famous, and her new book, I Swear : Messier’s politics than my minivan.”

May 4, 2023

Episode 531 – Brandon Johnson The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson began his campaign trailing in the polls, and his name was little known to Chicago voters. But with the help of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, the former CTU teacher and organizer created a progressive movement, eventually winning the mayor’s race. Mayor-elect Johnson joined David to talk about growing up as one of 10 kids, his introduction to politics, his transition from teaching to organizing, his public safety and policing philosophy, and what he sees for the future of Chicago.

27 Apr. 2023

Episode 530 – Asa Hutchinson The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently announced that he is running for president in 2024. With less publicity than the other mainstream Republican candidates — most notably Donald Trump — Hutchinson hopes to draw a contrast between himself and the other candidates by refraining from outrage and instead focusing on returning civility and traditional conservative values ​​to the GOP. After serving in Congress and leading positions in the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department ofshow more Homeland Security Governor Hutchinson hopes his track record will speak for itself. Hutchinson joins David to talk about growing up in rural Arkansas, his position on abortion, why he thinks better mental health is the best way to fight gun violence, why he criticizes the court decision Alvin Bragg and why he thinks Trump can’t do it. victory in 2024.

20 Apr. 2023

Episode 529 – Neil King Jr. The Ax Files with David Axelrod

From trying to become a monk in a monastery in Sri Lanka to reporting from Prague after the collapse of the Soviet Union, former reporter Neil King has traveled the world. In March 2021, he embarked on a different journey, going from his home in Washington, DC to New York. Along the way, he hoped to explore the “core piece” of the country and feel the pulse of modern America. Neal joined David to talk about his decades as a reporter, his battle with esophageal cancer, the people he met and the lessons he learned on his 26-day walk, as well as his new book, American Walk: The Walk memory and renewal.

13 Apr. 2023

The Best of The Ax Files: Christiane Amanpour The Ax Files with David Axelrod

This week we revisit a 2017 conversation with CNN’s top international anchor Christiana Amanpour. She joined David in London to discuss growing up in Iran during the revolution, her experience covering the first Gulf War, her relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr., the refugee crisis and more.

6 Apr. 2023

Episode 528 – Theo Epstein The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Theo Epstein made a name for himself in baseball helping teams facing major championship droughts like the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs win the World Series using data and analytics. He now works for Major League Baseball, where he helped develop new rules to move away from the data-driven game and improve the game’s fluidity and entertainment value. On Opening Day, Theo spoke to David about the new rules for this baseball season, the impact they will have on players and fans, and why he believes they will help the game “get closer to the best version of baseball.”

March 30, 2023

Episode 527 – Jen Easterly The Ax Files with David Axelrod

CISA director Jen Easterly got an early taste of government as a sixth grader when her class was featured in an advert for then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan. The announcement never got on the air, but Principal Easterly continued to work in the civil service. Having spent decades in the military and in the private sector, Director Easterly now leads the U.S. Cyber ​​and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA. As head of the CISA, she works to protect against cyberattacks on everything from US electionsshow moreThe structure of systems that Americans use every day, such as water, schools, and hospitals. Principal Easterly joined David to talk about what she thinks makes a good leader, the cyber threats from Russia and China, the potential downsides of AI and TikTok, and why cybersecurity should be a collaborative effort.

March 23, 2023

Episode 526 – John Hendrickson The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Journalist John Hendrickson has been living with stuttering since childhood: he struggles with it, looks for ways to get rid of it and tries to accept it. John, who rose to national prominence after interviewing then-presidential candidate Joe Biden about his own stuttering in 2019, recently wrote a book about his experiences and the scientific research behind stuttering. John joined David to talk about living with stuttering, his journalism work, interview Biden, and re-examine his relationship with stuttering in his book, Delayed Life: Coming to terms with stuttering.

March 16, 2023

Ch. 525 – Ambassador Michael McFaul The Ax Files with David Axelrod

In high school, Michael McFaul developed an interest in the Soviet Union, which eventually led to him serving as U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, McFaul has become a vocal supporter of Ukraine. McFaul joined David to talk about his job advising on sanctions against Russia, why he thinks the US should go all in on military aid to Ukraine, how Russian President Vladimir Putin can claim victory, how much time Ukraine has, to turn the tide. the war and his skepticism that Putin would resort to using nuclear weapons.

March 9, 2023

Episode 524 – Peter Meyer The Ax Files with David Axelrod

Just days after he was sworn into Congress, former GOP member Peter Meyer of Michigan watched in horror as protesters stormed the Capitol. Deeply disturbed by the experience, he voted to impeach President Trump, paving the way for the Trump-backed primary opponent to defeat Meyer in 2022. defense of Ukraine, his decision to vote to impeach Trump, the importance of long-term thinking in politics, and potential participation in the Senate.

March 2, 2023

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Republicans Call for Investigation of Biden’s ‘Mismanagement’ of Emergency Oil Supplies



Republican leaders on the Senate and House committees responsible for federal energy policy are demanding a supervisory investigation into the Biden administration’s depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

The legislators are House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Kathy McMorris Rogers, R-Washington, and senior Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee member John Barrasso, Wyoming. asked in a letter on Monday that the Government Accountability Office conduct an investigation with the Department of Energy (DOE). They argue that the agency’s heavy reliance on SPR has undermined US energy security.

“The Department of Energy’s mismanagement of SPR has undermined America’s energy security, making the country more vulnerable to energy supply disruptions and increasing the ability of OPEC and Russia to use energy as a geopolitical weapon,” McMorris Rogers and Barrasso wrote in a letter to Gene Dodaro. , GAO controller.

“The Department of Energy has failed to develop long-term plans for the optimal size, configuration, maintenance and operational capabilities of the reserve,” they added. “We are concerned that the rapid depletion of the SPR could lead to structural damage to the pipelines and caverns of the SPR, jeopardizing its ability to carry out its mission of providing energy security in the event of a real power outage.”

Republican SPR bill makes Democrats fidget over oil leasing: ‘It’s a balancing process’

President Biden ordered three massive releases from the emergency reserve, bringing levels down from 638 million barrels to 362 million barrels, a 43% drop. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/File)

They noted that the SPR, which consists of four storage facilities in Texas and Louisiana, consists of a system of wells, pipelines and pumps that use water and brine to control oil flows. Legislators have raised concerns that repeated withdrawals of oil from the system could eventually undermine the physical integrity of the SPR.

Overall, in three separate releases, President Joe Biden ordered the Department of Energy to release a total of about 260 million barrels of oil held in SPR since taking office to fight record fuel prices hitting American consumers.


The SPR, which has a capacity of about 714 million barrels, has fallen from about 638 million barrels to 362 million barrels, the lowest since Biden took office in October 1983.

Rep. Kathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, R-Wash. (Somodevilla Chip/Getty Images/File)

“The Department of Energy also recently created new rules, without Congressional authorization, for fixed-price crude oil purchases rather than conventional purchase contracts,” McMorris Rogers and Barrasso continued in a letter Monday.

“The Department of Energy’s failure to secure oil purchase contracts under the new fixed-price bidding scheme raises serious questions about the Department of Energy’s resupply strategy and SPR’s ability to protect American consumers and the economy during emergencies,” the letter said. stated.


Last year, the White House unveiled a plan to replenish SPR reserves by buying back oil at prices ranging from $67 to $72 a barrel. However, in March, Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggested that it could take years to replenish the emergency reserve to previous levels.

The Government Accounts Chamber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Army shoots dead Texas mall shooter for mental health



Sam Morin, 17, right, and Bryson Foley, 15, hold protest signs before a prayer vigil following a mass shooting the day before Sunday, May 7, 2023, in Allen, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The man accused of murder of eight people and wounded several others in a mass shooting at a mall in suburban Dallas over the weekend, apparently worked as a security guard and was discharged from the US Army in 2008 due to mental health issues, according to neighbors and an army official.

Mauricio Garcia, 33, was killed by police, ending Saturday’s attack at a mall in Allen.

Garcia joined the army in 2008 but was fired three months later without having completed his initial training, said Army spokeswoman Heather J. Hagan, who said the army does not “provide references” for any soldier who retires.

However, according to an army official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters, Garcia was kicked out of the army due to mental health issues.

Federal officials are investigating whether Garcia has shown interest in white supremacy, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official warned that the investigation was at an early stage.

Federal agents are looking at social media accounts they believe Garcia was using, as well as messages expressing interest in white supremacist and neo-Nazi views, said the official, who was unable to publicly discuss the details of the investigation and spoke to the AP at condition of anonymity.

According to the official, Garcia also had a patch on his chest when he was killed by police that read “RWDS,” an acronym for the phrase “right-wing death squad” that is popular with right-wing extremists and white supremacist groups.

In addition to viewing social media posts, federal agents interviewed Garcia’s family members and associates to learn about his ideological beliefs, the official said. Investigators are also looking into financial statements, other online postings they believe Garcia made, and other electronic media, the official said.

Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey declined to answer questions from the AP Sunday night, saying of the investigation, “We don’t actually have much.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety identified Garcia as the man behind the mall attack.

A law enforcement official said investigators were searching a Dallas motel near the Interstate where Garcia was staying. The official said police also found several weapons at the scene after Garcia was killed, including an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun.

Amid protests Monday at the Texas Capitol for stricter gun control, two Republicans sided with the Democrats to push the bill this would raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, although the bill has little chance of becoming law.

Two law enforcement officials said investigators also searched a Dallas home linked to Garcia. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the details of the ongoing investigation.

The woman, who lives three houses down from the low brick house, said she saw a large group of uniformed officers enter the house on Saturday between 6 and 7 pm.

“They went in very quickly and I saw them do it twice,” said Marsha Alexander, who said officers were still in the area when she went to bed around 9pm to 10pm. By Sunday morning they were gone.

On Sunday afternoon, a woman named Julie was sitting on the porch of her house, next door to the one who had been searched the day before. She declined to give her last name to an AP reporter, but said she woke up from a nap around 6:00 p.m. Saturday to see four police cars and a large group of police outside her neighbor’s house.

She said that they entered the house and about an hour later they were joined by FBI agents and other people in civilian clothes, whom she also mistook for law enforcement officers.

The woman said she didn’t know her neighbors well, but she knew they were “very polite, very nice people.” She said that the man she now realizes was the shooter was always friendly and waved or honked his horn as he came and went.

She and another neighbor, Patricia Crone, said that Garcia apparently worked as a security guard and that they sometimes saw him in work uniform.

Around 2:00 pm on Sunday, a man entered the house that had been ransacked, but when reporters knocked on the door and waited, no one answered.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that the attacker was wearing tactical gear and fired an AR-15 type weapon. He urged Congress to impose tougher restrictions on firearms and ammunition.

“An attack like this is too shocking to be so familiar. And yet, according to leading estimates, there have already been about 200 mass shootings in American communities this year,” said Biden, who ordered the flags to be half-mast.

Republicans in Congress, he said, “cannot continue to face this epidemic with a shrug.”

The shooting was the latest attack that contributed to unprecedented pace of massacres this year in the US just a week before, five people were fatally shot in Cleveland, Texasafter a neighbor asked the man to stop firing his weapon while the child was asleep, authorities said.

This year, on average, there is about one mass murder per week, according to database supported by AP and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.

Information about the shooter in Allen came as the population mourned the dead and waited for news of the seven wounded. The authorities did not publicly identify those who were killed.

The injured remained hospitalized Sunday, three in critical condition and four in fair condition, the Allen Police Department said in a statement.

John Mark Cato, Senior Pastor of Cottonwood Creek Church, about two miles from the mall, offered up prayers during the regular Sunday morning service for victims, rescuers, customers and employees who “passed by something they should never have seen” .

“Some of our people were there. Some may be in this room. Some of our students have worked in these stores and it will change them forever,” Cato said.

Cato voiced similar sentiments during a Sunday night vigil at a church visited by the Republican governor. Greg Abbott, who signed laws easing gun restrictions after past mass shootings in Texas, and other elected leaders. Earlier in the day, Abbott said on Fox News that Texas would no longer enforce gun control.

“People need a quick fix,” Abbott said. “The long-term solution here is to fix the mental health problem.”

The attack took place in a large shopping center Allen Premium Outlets. Eyewitnesses reported seeing children among the victims. Some said they also saw a police officer and a mall security guard lying unconscious on the ground.

Andria Gayter, assistant manager at Tommy Hilfiger clothing store, said she was at the back of the store on Saturday afternoon when she saw two young girls trying to hide in the fitting room on Sunday. At first she thought they were playing. Then she heard one say they were shooting.

Gaither looked around and saw customers and the store manager running towards the back of the store. Eventually Gaither and the others ran out the back door.

“As soon as I came out of the back of the store, you could hear the gunfire,” Gaither said Sunday. “It was so loud. I’ve never heard anything like it in my life. It was deafening.”

Allen, located about 25 miles (40 km) north of downtown Dallas and with a population of approximately 105,000 residents, is among the diverse suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. According to US Census data, the area had the highest growth rate for Asian Americans of any major metropolitan area in the United States. These statistics show that Allen’s population is about 19% Asian, 10% Black, and 11% Hispanic.

Allen is also involved in another recent mass shooting in Texas. Patrick Crusius lived there in 2019 before he posted a racist post who warned of a “Latin American invasion” and traveled to El Paso where he opened fire on a Walmart, killing 23 people. Crusius, 24, pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes and gun possession charges in February.

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