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Pentagon delays transgender recruitment by six months

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday approved a six-month delay in allowing transgender recruits to join the U.S. armed forces, a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement that Mattis accepted a recommendation to defer transgender applicants until Jan. 1.

The Pentagon ended its ban on openly transgender people serving in the U.S. military in 2016 under the Barack Obama administration. It was expected to start allowing transgender people to begin enlisting this year, provided they had been “stable” in their preferred gender for 18 months.

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A delay under President Donald Trump’s administration alarmed transgender advocates.

“We are disappointed in this needless delay because the thousands of highly trained and qualified transgender service members openly and proudly serving our nation today have proven that what matters is the ability to accomplish the mission, not their gender identity,” Stephen Peters of the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement.

Last year, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter cited a study by the RAND Corporation saying there were about 2,500 transgender active-duty service members and 1,500 reserve transgender service members.

Rand’s figures were within a range, which at the upper end reached 7,000 active duty forces and 4,000 reserves.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Bill Trott)

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2020 Election

Trump supporters have little trust in society’s institutions — and here’s why that’s disturbing

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by Miriam Boon, University of Amsterdam; Andreu Casas Salleras, University of Amsterdam; Ericka Menchen-Trevino, American University School of Communication, and Magdalena Wojcieszak, University of California, Davis [This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.]

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Donald Trump’s cruelty and vulgarity have done enormous damage — but let’s stop pretending he’s ‘un-American’

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Here is a good, truth-in-advertising political slogan: "How much money will it bring in?" That is also the question that Alexis de Tocqueville argued Americans use to ascertain the "value of everything in this world."

The almighty profit motive reins so steadfastly supreme in the world's wealthiest nation that children suffer brain damage from drinking water contaminated with high levels of lead, prison has become the leading institution for the mentally ill, and hundreds of thousands of Americans declare bankruptcy every year because they can't afford to pay their medical bills. Caring for the sick and nurturing children cannot compete with the twin gods of enrichment and consumption in what historian Walter McDougall called "a nation of hustlers." In the words of President Calvin Coolidge, "The business of America is business."

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‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ co-host says Democrats and the media are ‘the agents of Russia’ — not Trump

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"Fox & Friends Weekend" co-host Pete Hegseth falsely claimed Friday that the media and Democrats are agents of Russia, because they are allegedly attempting to delegitimize President Donald Trump.

"Every single media member in that clip, every single Democrat that parrots what they are saying — they're working together. They are the agents of Russia," Hegseth told "Fox & Friends."

His comments came after the president's favorite morning show aired a montage of media outlets and Democrats discussing a recent report that Russia was trying to help Trump get re-elected.

"This is what Russia wants," Hegseth said. "They want to sow discord, and misinformation and delegitimize our republic — destabilize it — because they are not our friends. And they know that when we're strong, they are in a worse position."

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