Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2023 |
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Texas investigating medical treatments for trans youth, lawsuit says
Texas officials have begun investigating parents of transgender adolescents for possible child abuse, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, after Gov. Greg Abbott directed them last week to handle certain medical treatments as possible crimes. The order followed a nonbinding opinion by the Texas attorney general that parents who provide their transgender teenagers with puberty-suppressing drugs or other medically accepted treatments could be investigated for child abuse. Among the first to be investigated was an employee of the state protective services agency who has a 16-year-old transgender child. A lawsuit has been filed to try to stop the inquiry.
New Orleans celebrates return of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras returned Tuesday in New Orleans, a city especially hard hit by the pandemic. Last year, all Carnival parades were canceled. But this year, New Orleans’ Carnival celebration returned in full swing, raising hopes about the city’s resurgence from devastating pandemic losses. To limit the spread of the virus this Carnival season, Mayor LaToya Cantrell in January reinstated strict mitigation efforts, including an indoor mask mandate and a requirement that anyone who eats, drinks or watches a performance indoors must show proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test.
Vaccine protection waned among adolescents, CDC data suggests
Five months after immunization, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine appeared to offer virtually no defense against moderate illness caused by the omicron variant — as measured by visits to emergency departments and urgent care clinics — among adolescents ages 12 to 17, according to data published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But booster shots dramatically increased the protection, lending support to the agency’s recommendation of booster shots for everyone 12 and older. The findings suggest that scientists must carefully monitor the vaccine’s performance over time in children and adolescents, bearing in mind that boosters may be needed.
New coronavirus lineage discovered in Ontario deer
Scientists have identified a new, highly mutated version of the coronavirus in white-tailed deer in southwestern Ontario, one that may have been evolving in animals since late 2020. The Canadian researchers also found a very similar viral sequence in one person in the area who had close contact with deer, the first evidence of possible deer-to-human transmission of the virus. The study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, and there is no evidence that the deer lineage is spreading among, or poses any elevated risk to, people.
London’s underground is hit by a worker strike
One of the world’s busiest subway systems came to a near standstill Tuesday, as the first of two 24-hour strikes planned for this week shut down the London Underground. Millions of commuters were encouraged to work remotely because of expected “severe disruptions” to service on the system, commonly called the Tube, on Tuesday and Thursday. Limited service on some of the system’s 11 lines had resumed by Tuesday afternoon. About 10,000 London Underground workers represented by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers walked out on Tuesday and are expected to do so again on Thursday, over concerns about job reductions and pensions.
After burning for days, a ship carrying thousands of luxury cars sinks
Two weeks after catching fire, a ship transporting thousands of luxury cars sank Tuesday about 253 miles off the Azores, according to the company that managed the vessel. The Felicity Ace went down about 9 a.m. local time after tilting starboard, plunging about 4,000 cars — including more than 1,000 Porsches and 200 Bentleys — into the sea, according to the company, MOL Ship Management. Environmental groups had been deeply concerned that the ship would sink and about the pollution it would cause. A massive vessel like the Felicity Ace can hold more than 3 million liters of heavy fuel, as well as oil, according to Oceana, an environmental group.
By wire sources
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