Judge blocks Texas investigation of one transgender teen’s parents : NPR


Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, middle, and Adri Perez, ACLU of Texas coverage and advocacy strategist, take heed to Emmett Schelling, govt director for the Transgender Training Community of Texas, communicate at a rally in help of transgender youngsters and their households exterior a listening to on the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday.

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/through AP


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Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/through AP


Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, middle, and Adri Perez, ACLU of Texas coverage and advocacy strategist, take heed to Emmett Schelling, govt director for the Transgender Training Community of Texas, communicate at a rally in help of transgender youngsters and their households exterior a listening to on the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday.

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/through AP

A Texas choose on Wednesday blocked the state from investigating the mother and father of a transgender teenager over gender-confirmation therapies, however stopped wanting stopping the state from wanting into different stories about youngsters receiving comparable care.

District Choose Amy Clark Meachum issued a short lived order halting the investigation by the Division of Household and Protecting Companies into the mother and father of the 16-year-old woman. The mother and father sued over the investigation and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s order final week that officers look into stories of such therapies as abuse.

Meachum wrote that the mother and father and the teenager “face the upcoming and ongoing deprivation of their constitutional rights, the potential lack of essential medical care, and the stigma connected to being the topic of an unfounded baby abuse investigation.”

Clark set a March 11 listening to on whether or not to concern a broader momentary order blocking enforcement of Abbott’s directive.

The lawsuit marked the primary report of fogeys being investigated following Abbott’s directive and an earlier nonbinding authorized opinion by Republican Legal professional Normal Ken Paxton labeling sure gender-confirmation therapies as “baby abuse.” The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Authorized sued the state Tuesday on behalf of the teenager.

“We admire the aid granted to our shoppers, however this could by no means have occurred and is unfathomably merciless,” mentioned Brian Klosterboer, ACLU of Texas legal professional, mentioned in an announcement. “Households mustn’t must concern being separated as a result of they’re offering the very best well being care for his or her youngsters.”

Spokespersons for Abbott and Paxton’s places of work didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark Wednesday evening.

Meachum issued the order hours after attorneys for the state and for the mother and father appeared her through Zoom in a quick listening to.

Paul Castillo, Lambda Authorized’s senior counsel, informed Meachum that permitting the order to be enforced would trigger “irreparable” hurt to the teenager’s mother and father and different households.

“It’s unconscionable for DFPS to nonetheless pursue any investigation or inflict extra trauma and hurt,” Castillo mentioned in an announcement after the choose’s ruling.

The teams additionally characterize a scientific psychologist who has mentioned the order will drive her to decide on between reporting her shoppers to the state or dealing with the lack of her license and different penalties.

Ryan Kercher, an legal professional with Paxton’s workplace, informed Meachum that the governor’s order and the sooner opinion do not require the state to research each transgender baby receiving gender-confirmation care.

Abbott’s directive and the legal professional common’s opinion go towards the nation’s largest medical teams, together with the American Medical Affiliation, which have opposed Republican-backed restrictions filed in statehouses nationwide.

Arkansas final yr turned the primary state to go a regulation prohibiting gender confirming therapies for minors, and Tennessee accredited an analogous measure. A choose blocked Arkansas’ regulation, and the state is interesting.

The Texas lawsuit doesn’t determine the household by title. The swimsuit mentioned the mom works for DFPS on the overview of stories of abuse and neglect. The day of Abbott’s order, she requested her supervisor how it will have an effect on the company’s coverage, in response to the lawsuit.

The mom was positioned on go away as a result of she has a transgender daughter and the next day was knowledgeable her household could be investigated in accordance with the governor’s directive, the swimsuit mentioned. The teenager has obtained puberty-delaying medicine and hormone remedy.

DFPS mentioned Tuesday that it had obtained three stories since Abbott’s order and Paxton’s opinion, however wouldn’t say whether or not any resulted in investigations.

At Wednesday’s listening to, Castillo mentioned he was conscious of not less than two different households being investigated. He additionally mentioned some medical suppliers have stopped offering prescriptions for gender confirming care due to the governor’s order.

Russia Blocks Its Last Independent Television Channel


At any time when TV Rain, Russia’s final impartial tv channel, was broadcasting stay, the lights in its huge loft had been dimmed and conversations had been hushed, as a result of its studio was cordoned off from the remainder of the house solely by partial-height glass partitions. After I obtained to the loft simply earlier than ten on Tuesday night time, the lights had been low, as typical, however the noise stage was veering into dangerous territory.

Mikhail Fishman, who hosts a Friday-night news-analysis program, was within the studio with TV Rain’s editor-in-chief, Tikhon Dzyadko. Fishman had determined to assist host the newscast as a result of his colleagues had been working lengthy shifts since final Thursday, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Fishman was providing some observations on the state of the battle. “Vladimir Putin didn’t imagine that the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian nation exist. . . . He began a battle in opposition to Ukraine to show his level, and he has proved the alternative.” Fishman then directed viewers to a quote from a Guardian column by the historian Yuval Noah Harari, who enumerated the tales of heroism and resolve that Ukrainians had racked up in just some days: “The president who refused to flee the capital, telling the US that he wants ammunition, not a experience; the troopers from Snake Island who instructed a Russian warship to ‘go fuck your self’; the civilians who tried to cease Russian tanks by sitting of their path. That is the stuff nations are constructed from. In the long term, these tales depend for greater than tanks.”

Whereas the quote was on the display, Fishman seemed on the information feed on a laptop computer in entrance of him. It mentioned that the Russian prosecutor basic’s workplace was demanding that the Websites of TV Rain and the radio station Echo of Moscow be blocked. Each media shops had been responsible of violating a ban on calling the battle a battle, the invasion an invasion, and the aggression aggression.

No sooner had Fishman and Dzyadko learn out the information merchandise than one other merchandise confirmed up: the editor-in-chief of Echo of Moscow, Alexei Venediktov, had introduced that the station had been taken off the air. For years, Venediktov had efficiently negotiated for the survival of the station by setting boundaries on oppositional content material and giving a platform to a bizarrely broad vary of views; that longtime understanding with the regime was, apparently, now moot. At TV Rain, Dzyadko retrieved the prosecutor’s letter from a colleague and browse it on air. The letter spelled out the premise for the order: “Intentional and systematic posting . . . of content material containing false details about the character of the particular navy operation in Ukraine, its kind, the navy strategies employed, the Russian navy’s losses, the concentrating on of and the fatalities among the many civilian inhabitants, in addition to requires public (mass) protests on the Russian Federation’s territory.” Round this time, Russian Web suppliers blocked entry to TV Rain’s Website online.

Fishman and Dzyadko continued the information broadcast, now accessible to viewers in Russia solely on TV Rain’s YouTube stream. Folks—present and former employees members and a few buddies of the channel—began gathering within the loft. Vassily Azarov, a muscular, bespectacled twenty-eight-year-old editor, had left work round eight, learn the information on the metro, and returned. “My spouse and I’ve been arguing about what’s going to occur right here,” he mentioned. “I feel it’s going to be extra like Iran, and she or he thinks it’s going to be extra like North Korea.” The distinction is that it’s doable to depart Iran. This can be a dialogue that many opponents of the Putin regime are having proper now; the substance of it’s, Ought to individuals rush to depart whereas it’s nonetheless doable, or can they wait? Azarov needs to attend, partly as a result of he has a brand new job lined up at a popular-science Website online. Friday, March 4th, was imagined to be his final day at TV Rain.

On the display, Fishman was talking with Vera Krichevskaya, a producer and co-founder of TV Rain, who has directed a documentary in regards to the channel and its proprietor, Natalia Sindeeva. Krichevskaya, who lives in London, had simply flown to Moscow for the long-awaited première of the movie, referred to as “F@ck This Job.” She had simply realized that almost each displaying of the film in Russia had been cancelled. Talking by Skype from the airport, she mentioned, “However in comparison with the truth that the Russian Web regulator has blocked TV Rain and, additionally, if one rewinds one other 4 hours, to the strikes that hit the Kyiv TV tower that stands proper above the Babyn Yar memorial—in comparison with that, none of that is as essential.”

“In order that they’ve blocked TV Rain and so they’ve blocked the film about TV Rain,” Fishman mentioned. “If there have been a film in regards to the film about TV Rain, they’d have blocked that, too.”

The management room laughed.

“This can be a movie about how, over these twelve years we survived,” Krichevskaya mentioned. “About how we managed, in these darkish occasions, to protect one thing of ourselves that was actual.”

“What did we learn about darkish occasions?” Fishman mentioned, to extra laughter.

“We had so many alternatives over these years—so many possibilities that we had, that the nation had—to forestall what is going on now, to forestall the bombing of Kharkiv,” Krichevskaya mentioned, choking up. “And we pissed away all our possibilities.”

Offscreen, banter equally careened from giddy laughter to tears. Vasily Polonsky, a correspondent carrying a “F@ck This Job” hoodie, was sitting on the sofa, scrolling via the information. “That is it!” he exclaimed. “Nike gained’t ship to Russia anymore.”

A cacophony of voices joined the joke. “That’s the final drop!” “I saved questioning, How would we all know that it was over?”

Masha Borzunova, a correspondent who had not too long ago returned from the Rostov area, which borders Ukraine, saved asking, “Wait, has one thing occurred?” to nice comedian impact.

“It’s possible you’ll be having enjoyable now,” Sonya Groysman mentioned. She is a twenty-seven-year-old TV Rain alumna, who left a few years in the past to work for an investigative outlet referred to as Proekt. Final yr, Proekt was declared an “undesirable group”—making it a criminal offense for Russian residents to work for it—and Groysman herself was branded a “overseas agent.” The founding father of Proekt, Roman Badanin, left the nation to keep away from arrest. Groysman ultimately made her method again to TV Rain. “It’s going to worsen,” she continued. “You might be nonetheless pondering that you just’ll be capable of protect all this not directly, however when they begin going after you, they go to the tip.”

The lights got here on at ten-fifty. Fishman, a boyish, match forty-nine-year-old with shaggy salt-and-pepper hair, went to his desk in the course of the loft, took off his white button-down shirt, and pulled on a black T-shirt. We sat down in a nook to speak. “It’s over,” he mentioned. “I’ve little question. TV Rain has ended.” Technically, the block didn’t imply that TV Rain needed to cease producing content material and posting it on YouTube or different social media. However Fishman was sure. “I’m not going to have a present on Friday.” He deliberate to depart the nation within the morning. “I had determined that I wouldn’t depart so long as they didn’t shut down TV Rain. That wouldn’t be proper. However now there’s nothing to carry me right here.”

Turkey blocks warships from straits amid Russia-Ukraine crisis | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Transfer comes after Ukraine requested Turkey to stop the transit of Russian warships from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. 

Turkey has barred warships from passing by way of the important thing straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles in a bid to de-escalate the disaster over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The transfer on Monday got here after Kyiv requested Ankara to activate a 90-year-old worldwide pact and forestall the transit of Russian warships from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

The Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits join the Aegean, Marmara, and the Black Sea, the latter from which Russia launched an incursion on Ukraine’s southern coast.

Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated on Monday that Ankara is activating the Montreux Conference and warning each Black Sea and non-Black Sea international locations to not cross warships by way of the Turkish waterways.

The 1936 pact provides Turkey the proper to bar warships from utilizing the Dardanelles and the Bosporus throughout wartime.

“We’ve alerted each international locations of the area and elsewhere to not cross warships by way of the Black Sea,” Cavusoglu stated. “We’re making use of the Montreux Conference.”

It’s not clear how a lot of an affect Turkey’s choice to shut down the straits would have on the battle. At the least six Russian warships and a submarine have transited the Turkish straits this month.

Cavusoglu’s announcement got here shortly after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated his authorities would use “authority given to our nation by the Montreux Conference concerning maritime site visitors within the straits in a approach that may forestall the disaster from escalating”.

He reiterated that Turkey is not going to hand over on its relations with both Russia or Ukraine.

“We is not going to compromise our nationwide pursuits,” he stated, “however we is not going to neglect regional and international balances. We are saying that we received’t hand over neither Ukraine nor Russia.”

A member of NATO, Turkey has sought to stability its Western commitments in addition to its shut ties to Moscow, and till Sunday, had not described the state of affairs in Ukraine as a conflict.

Erdogan on Monday stated he considers “Russia’s assault on Ukrainian territory as unacceptable” and referred to as for good religion negotiations from all sides.

Facebook blocks Russian state media ads : NPR


Meta, Fb’s dad or mum firm, says the choice to bar Russian state media from creating wealth on its platform is available in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Tony Avelar/AP


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Tony Avelar/AP


Meta, Fb’s dad or mum firm, says the choice to bar Russian state media from creating wealth on its platform is available in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Tony Avelar/AP

Fb is obstructing Russian state media from working advertisements on its platform wherever on this planet. The transfer comes after Russia mentioned it could restrict entry to the enormous social community within the nation.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of safety coverage at Fb, tweeted: “We at the moment are prohibiting Russian state media from working advertisements or monetizing on our platform wherever on this planet.”

It was not instantly clear whether or not the ban included different merchandise beneath Meta, like Instagram.

Twitter made the same transfer, saying it was “quickly pausing ads in Ukraine and Russia to make sure vital public security info is elevated and advertisements do not detract from it.”

Meta, Fb’s dad or mum firm, says the choice to bar Russian state media from creating wealth on its platform is available in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The social community says it is also persevering with to label state-owned media accounts.

Earlier, Meta mentioned Russian authorities had ordered it to cease labeling and fact-checking state media.

On Friday, Russia’s communications regulator accused Fb of censorship and mentioned it was partially limiting entry to the platform.

Tech firms are beneath stress to restrict the unfold of deceptive info and propaganda in regards to the battle, whereas additionally dealing with threats from the Kremlin, which has been tightening its grip on communications.

Editor’s observe: Fb’s dad or mum firm, Meta, pays NPR to license NPR content material.