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Fri, 07 May 2021
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Colorado transgender girl can't use school bathroom

© The Associated Press
Coy Mathis sits with a book at her home in Fountain, Colo., Monday Feb. 25, 2013.
Fountain, Colorado - At first, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis didn't think much of their son's behavior. Coy took his sister's pink blanket, and shunned the car they gave him for Christmas.

Then, Coy told them he only wanted to wear girls' clothes. At school, he became upset when his teacher insisted he line up with the boys. All the while, he was becoming depressed and withdrawn, telling his parents at one point he wanted to get "fixed" by doctors.

When the Mathises learned he had gender identity disorder - a condition in which someone identifies as the opposite gender - they decided to help Coy live as a girl. And suddenly, she came out of her shell.

"We could force her to be somebody she wasn't, but it would end up being more damaging to her emotionally and to us because we would lose the relationship with her," Kathryn Mathis said. "She was discussing things like surgery and things like that before and she's not now, so obviously we've done something positive."

Now, her family is locked in a legal battle with the school district in Fountain, a town 82 miles south of Denver, over where Coy, 6, should go to use the bathroom - the girls' or, as school officials suggest, one in the teachers' lounge or another in the nurse's office. Her parents say using anything other than the girls' bathroom could stigmatize her, and open her up to bullying.

Arrow Up

30 Victoria homeless deaths in 4 months draw inquest calls

homeless, poverty
© CBC News
Canada, British Columbia - An anti-poverty group in Victoria wants the regional coroner to hold an inquest into 30 deaths among the city's street population over the past four months.

While the causes of death range from pneumonia to overdose to suicide, the Poverty Law Club at the University of Victoria says the number of deaths has tripled since the same time last year.

Yanni Pappas-Acreman says an inquest could help find ways to prevent poverty-related deaths in the future.

"It is within their power to conduct any inquest that's been reported to them on a class of deaths such as this that are related if it is in the public interest, and we think it is in the public interest," she said.

"What we would hope to get out of it would be more information about the causes of death, but more importantly, recommendations leading from those facts."


Westerners are not culturally representative of the world

© Mark Mcginnis
In the summer of 1995, a young graduate student in anthropology at UCLA named Joe Henrich traveled to Peru to carry out some fieldwork among the Machiguenga, an indigenous people who live north of Machu Picchu in the Amazon basin. The Machiguenga had traditionally been horticulturalists who lived in single-family, thatch-roofed houses in small hamlets composed of clusters of extended families. For sustenance, they relied on local game and produce from small-scale farming. They shared with their kin but rarely traded with outside groups.

While the setting was fairly typical for an anthropologist, Henrich's research was not. Rather than practice traditional ethnography, he decided to run a behavioral experiment that had been developed by economists. Henrich used a "game" - along the lines of the famous prisoner's dilemma - to see whether isolated cultures shared with the West the same basic instinct for fairness. In doing so, Henrich expected to confirm one of the foundational assumptions underlying such experiments, and indeed underpinning the entire fields of economics and psychology: that humans all share the same cognitive machinery - the same evolved rational and psychological hardwiring.

The test that Henrich introduced to the Machiguenga was called the ultimatum game. The rules are simple: in each game there are two players who remain anonymous to each other. The first player is given an amount of money, say $100, and told that he has to offer some of the cash, in an amount of his choosing, to the other subject. The second player can accept or refuse the split. But there's a hitch: players know that if the recipient refuses the offer, both leave empty-handed. North Americans, who are the most common subjects for such experiments, usually offer a 50-50 split when on the giving end. When on the receiving end, they show an eagerness to punish the other player for uneven splits at their own expense. In short, Americans show the tendency to be equitable with strangers - and to punish those who are not.

Heart - Black

'Disabled children cost too much and should be put down': Calls for councillor to stand down after outrageous rant

 Councillor Collin Brewer's remarks were described as 'depraved' but he is refusing to quit
© DailyMail

Councillor Collin Brewer's remarks were described as 'depraved' but he is refusing to quit
A councillor who told charity workers that disabled children should be put down is defying calls for him to quit.

Collin Brewer, 68, declared that such youngsters were a drain on society.

Though he has apologised and now admits his comments were 'ill-judged and insensitive', Mr Brewer refused to stand down last night.

He had just emerged from a council meeting when he walked up to a stall set up in county hall run by the Disability Cornwall charity.

Charity member Theresa Court explained to him how the group helps parents of children with special educational needs.

But he responded by saying: 'Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.'

Mrs Court said the 'depraved' comment left her feeling horrified and the charity complained to the council's standards committee.

Mr Brewer said he made his comments because he was 'hot under the collar' following a long meeting and was trying to 'provoke a reaction'.

The standards committee told Mr Brewer, an independent councillor for 25 years, to apologise and he has written to the charity.

He said at his home yesterday: 'We had had a difficult morning deciding on budget and job cuts. I listened to one of the ladies on the Disability Cornwall stall and came out with the comment. If only I had not said that.

Black Cat 2

Blaming the victim! University of North Carolina may expel rape victim for "intimidating" her rapist

Landen Gambill, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, is being sent to the school's "Honor Court" for speaking publicly about her rape. Officials at the school are saying that Gambill is being "disruptive" and might be "intimidating" her rapist by exposing the details of when she was sexually assaulted. Gambill has not publicly indentified her rapist.

It is possible that the court could expel her.

Gambill was one of three students to support a former UNC dean's accusations that the university intentionally under-reported sexual assaults. According to Think Progress, UNC has probably sent Gambill to Honor Court as revenge.

When talking about UNC's system for addressing sexual assault accusations, Gambill said: "[They] were not only offensive and inappropriate, but they were so victim-blaming... They made it seem like my assault was completely my fault."

Bizarro Earth

Miss Delaware Teen USA resigns after sex video surfaces

© Photo: Gannett
Melissa King is shown in a photo from the Miss Delaware Teen USA website.
Melissa King, Miss Delaware Teen USA, resigned her crown on Tuesday after facing questions about an online sex video that claims to star her.

"I would like to confirm to you that the Miss Delaware Teen USA pageant has received a resignation letter from Miss King's attorney," pageant spokeswoman Dara Busch wrote in an e-mail this morning.

A porn website posted a sex video Monday featuring a woman who looks and sounds like King. The site claims it is the teen pageant winner. King, contacted Monday, said she was aware of it but denied it was her.

"Absolutely not," she said. "It is not."

Eye 1

Sacramento police arrest father for killing nine-year-old son

The boy allegedly killed in a horrific hatchet attack in Natomas on Tuesday night has been identified as 9-year-old Matthew Hernandez.

Sacramento police allege that the boy's father, Phillip Raymond Hernandez, 36, is responsible. He was arrested on suspicion of murder after the boy was found with fatal blunt force trauma in the Natomas home they shared with Matthew's 12-year-old brother and an elderly woman, according to police.

Sacramento police said it is unclear what led Hernandez to harm his child.

Bizarro Earth

Connecticut grandmother kills self after shooting 6-month-old and 2-year-old kids

A Connecticut woman with a history of mental illness reportedly killed her two grandchildren and then herself with a .38-caliber handgun on Tuesday.

Connecticut State Police said that an Amber Alert had been issued on Tuesday after 47-year-old Debra Denison, who reportedly was "bipolar and has medical conditions," picked up 6-month-old Ashton Perry and 2-year-old Alton Perry from a day care in North Stonington at around 2:30 p.m.


Three dead after shooting at a factory in Switzerland

© AFP Photo
A gunman killed two people and wounded seven others when he opened fire in a Swiss factory on Wednesday, police said, adding the shooter also died.

"There are three dead and seven wounded, a number of them seriously," a police spokesman in the central canton of Lucerne told AFP.

The gunman was among the dead, the spokesman added, without saying whether he had committed suicide or been shot by police.

Three helicopters from the Swiss emergency service REGA evacuated four seriously wounded people from the scene of the shooting at the Kronospan wood panel plant in Menznau, near Lucerne, a spokesman told AFP.

Some Swiss media claimed the gunman was a disgruntled Kronospan employee, but police declined to elaborate.

Bizarro Earth

'Marijuana cannon' used to fire drugs over U.S. border seized in Mexico

© AP
The 'marijuana cannon' seized in Mexicali on Tuesday, which uses an old car engine to generate compressed air.
Compressed-air gun mounted on truck could throw 13-kilo packets over fence into California

Police in the border city of Mexicali say they have recovered a powerful improvised cannon used to hurl packets of marijuana across a border fence into California.