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Male, female or X? Oregon adds third option to driver’s licenses

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Oregon became on Thursday the first U.S. state to allow residents to identify as other than male or female on state driver’s licenses, a decision that transgender advocates called a victory.

Under a policy unanimously adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission, residents can choose to have an “X,” for non-specified, displayed on their drivers’ license or identification cards rather than an “M” for male or “F” for female. The move was cheered by supporters as a civil rights victory.

The state’s Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division expects to start offering the option in July.

“I very much plan to head to the nearest DMV and ask for that ID to be corrected on July 3rd,” said Jamie Shupe, an Army veteran who successfully petitioned for the non-binary gender option. “And then I’ll no doubt stand out front of the building, or sit in the car, and cry.”

Transgender rights have become a flashpoint across the United States after some states, including North Carolina, have tried to restrict transgender people’s use of public bathrooms.

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At the end of May, a federal court ruled that a transgender boy must be allowed to use the boys’ bathrooms at his high school in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The decision in Oregon comes a year after a Portland circuit court judge granted a request by Shupe to change gender from female to a third, nongender option.

That 2016 ruling prompted state officials to examine how to allow a third option in the state’s computer systems and how such a change would interact with the state’s gender laws.

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During public hearings on the change, most comments were in favor, according to a summary by DMV officials.

A handful of people questioned the need for the third option and expressed concern that the change would complicate police officers’ efforts to identify people.

A DMV spokesman added the agency has no estimate of how many people might apply for the new IDs.

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(Reporting by Terray Sylvester in Hood River, Oregon; Writing by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


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Pence abruptly canceled trip because person he was meeting was about to be busted by the feds

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The White House abruptly canceled a planned trip to New Hampshire to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from being seen with somebody about to be busted for interstate drug trafficking of fentanyl, Politico reported Monday.

"Among the problems was a federal law enforcement probe involving individuals Pence would likely encounter, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the incident. If Pence stepped off the vice presidential aircraft, one of the people he would have seen on the ground was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for moving more than $100,000 of fentanyl from Massachusetts to New Hampshire," Politico reported.

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‘Do you love Puerto Rico?’: Fox News’ Shep Smith rips governor to shreds

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Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was outed for cold and heartless comments he exchanged about his own island in wake of the horrific hurricanes that destroyed the island in 2017. He's also being forced to ask questions about the corruption involving the funding for hurricane relief. Nearly 1 million people have taken to the streets demanding accountability and action.

In his first interview, Rosselló may have assumed he'd meet a friendly audience on Fox News, but Shep Smith let him have it.

"The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico," Smith said. "Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt and a 13-year recession. In the leaked 900 pages of profanity-laced messages, dubbed RickyGate, after you, sir, you made light of the casualties of the Hurricane Maria, you tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, You were calling the former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverit a whore. Of the oversight board that rules Puerto Rico's finances, you said, 'Go F-yourself. And when your representative to that board said he is salivating to shoot the woman who is the mayor of San Juan, you said, 'You’d be doing me a grand favor.' So, attacks on woman, gays, dead relatives on your own island and after that who is left to support you? Is it even safe for you to govern?"

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Puerto Ricans launch biggest protest yet against governor

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Angry protesters blocked the main road in Puerto Rico's capital on Monday as they launched what was expected to be the largest yet of a wave of demonstrations seeking the resignation of the US territory's embattled governor.

Marching under sunny skies in San Juan, the demonstrators sang, chanted, danced and carried the territory's red, white and blue flag with a lone star.

Altogether, hundreds of thousands were expected to turn out.

Puerto Ricans are up in arms over alleged corruption involving money meant to be for victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left nearly 3,000 dead.

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