Trump calls for a ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military, reversing Obama-era policy. Attorneys for the President want a federal appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit by protesters accusing Trump of inciting violence at a campaign rally in Louisville, KY. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passes Russia sanctions bill, contrary to White House stance. Sessions continues as attorney general despite public fallout with White House. –Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator



Donald Trump says US military Will Not Allow Transgender People to Serve
Trump tweeted: “After consultation with…military experts, please be advised that the U.S. Government will not accept or allow…transgender individuals to serve…in the Military.” Estimates place the number of transgender people currently serving in the military at 15,000 out of a total 1.4 million active duty servicemembers.

Trump Asks Federal Appeals Court to Dismiss Protester Lawsuit
U.S. District Court Judge David J. Hale said evidence suggests that the protesters’ treatment was a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s actions. Lawyers for the president say the judge’s ruling denies Trump’s free speech protections. The judge said the First Amendment doesn’t protect speech that incites violence.

House Overwhelmingly Passes Russia Sanctions Bill
The vote was 419-3. The legislation moves to the Senate, but it’s unclear when the Senate will vote on the measure, which includes new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The President has not indicated whether he would sign the bill.

Trump and Sessions Locked in Silent Battle
Trump’s public criticisms of his attorney general have led to an unusual spectacle where the two men aren’t talking — but sending messages through their aides and waiting for a resolution to the fate of the country’s top law enforcement official.

U.S. Treads Water on Cyber Policy As Destructive Attacks Mount
The Trump administration’s refusal to publicly accuse Russia and others in a wave of politically motivated hacking attacks is creating a policy vacuum that security experts fear will encourage more cyber warfare.

The Future of Fake News: Don’t Believe Everything You Read, See Or Hear
There’s a new breed of video and audio manipulation tools, made possible by advances in artificial intelligence and computer graphics, that will allow for the creation of realistic looking footage of public figures appearing to say, well, anything.

U.S. Sanctions 13 Senior Venezuelan Officials to pressure Maduro
The United States decided to target individuals for alleged human rights abuses and corruption while sparing the country for now from broader financial or “sectoral” sanctions against its vital oil industry, seeking to ratchet up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to scrap plans for a controversial new congress.


Vietnamese Activist Sentenced to 9 Years In Prison
Tran Thi Nga was convicted of spreading propaganda against the state. Nga campaigned against environmental pollution, police brutality and illegal land confiscation, and called for a tougher stance toward China’s assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Turkey’s Cumhuriyet Journalists In Terrorism Trial
Seventeen journalists and managers at Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet went on trial on Monday. If found guilty this week, they could face sentences of up to 43 years in jail. Ten have already been in pre-trial detention for almost nine months.

Anti-Chinese Posters at Melbourne Universities Are Tied to White Supremacists
The posters, found at the University of Melbourne and Monash University, were in awkwardly worded Chinese, and read: “Attention! This is a place that prohibits Chinese people to enter. Any offense is subject to prosecution or possible deportation.”

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