U.S. military must accept transgender recruits by Jan. 1, judge rules

U.S. military must accept transgender recruits by Jan. 1, judge rulesTransgender recruits will be able to join the U.S. military as of Jan. 1, a federal judge ruled on Monday, denying a request by President Donald Trump's administration to enforce his ban on transgender troops while the government appeals an order blocking it. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington refused to lift part of her Oct. 30 order stopping the ban from taking effect until the case is resolved, because it likely violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law. The administration had argued that the Jan. 1 deadline was problematic because tens of thousands of personnel would have to be trained on the medical standards needed to process transgender applicants, and the military was not ready for that.



California wildfire rages toward scenic coastal communities

California wildfire rages toward scenic coastal communities((In paragraph 10 of Dec. 10 story, corrects name of evacuee to Molly-Ann Leiken from Emmy Leiken. The error first occurred in Update 4)) By Phoenix Tso SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Reuters) - A massive California wildfire that has already destroyed nearly 800 structures scorched another 56,000 acres on Sunday, making it the fifth largest such blaze in recorded state history, as it ran toward picturesque coastal cities.But fire officials said as darkness fell that with the hot, dry Santa Ana winds not as fierce as expected, crews had been successful in building some fire lines between the flames and the towns of Montecito and Carpinteria. "This is a menacing fire, certainly, but we have a lot of people working very diligently to bring it under control," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told an evening press conference.



Chef Batali exits company, TV show after sex harassment accusations

Chef Batali exits company, TV show after sex harassment accusationsEater New York reported that four women, who were not identified, accused Batali of touching them inappropriately in a pattern of behavior that spanned at least two decades. Three worked for the chef during their careers, according to Eater New York.



Explosion rocks New York commuter hub, suspect in custody

Explosion rocks New York commuter hub, suspect in custodyBy Nick Zieminski and Daniel Trotta NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man with a homemade bomb strapped to his body set off an explosion at a New York commuter hub during rush hour on Monday, wounding himself and three others in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect in the incident at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, a block from Times Square, was identified as Akayed Ullah, the New York Police Department commissioner said.



Monsanto offers cash to U.S. farmers who use controversial chemical

Monsanto offers cash to U.S. farmers who use controversial chemicalBy Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Monsanto Co will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread crop damage, offering an incentive to apply its product even as regulators in several U.S. states weigh restrictions on its use. The incentive to use XtendiMax with VaporGrip, a herbicide based on a chemical known as dicamba, could refund farmers over half the sticker price of the product in 2018 if they spray it on soybeans Monsanto engineered to resist the weed killer, according to company data. The United States faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new formulations of dicamba-based herbicides, which farmers and weed experts say harmed crops because they evaporated and drifted away from where they were sprayed.





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