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Pair of new lawsuits challenge Trump's transgender ban

2 gender ban in military lawsuits launchedA pair of advocacy groups said Monday they are going to court to overturn the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military, in the latest legal assault on the controversial directive.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of five transgender service members. The lawsuit, filed by the Maryland branch of the ACLU, argues the ban is unconstitutional and discriminatory and has hired powerful DC law firm Covington and Burling to represent it.Also, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, which includes currently serving LGBT military personnel, separately filed suit on behalf of two transgender people who want to join the military and one currently in uniform, also citing constitutional concerns.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Gender Justice League are included in the effort.

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Pentagon's concealment of total troops in war zones under fire

Troop numbers in battle zones concealed by PentagonCaps on troop levels in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria mandated by the Obama administration have led to an elaborate Pentagon accounting system that conceals thousands of troops from the public — one that is quickly unraveling as the Trump administration prepares to send more troops to the region.

With new plans to ramp up the war in Afghanistan, the military is finding it exceedingly difficult to maintain a practice that purposely doesn't count certain troops in the battle zone that military officials insist was not designed to be misleading but many critics now assert is at best an officially sanctioned charade.

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Black Hawk helicopter crashes near Yemen, 1 service member missing

Black Hawk helicopter crash in Yemen, one missingOne U.S. service member is missing after a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashed off Yemen's coast Friday.

U.S. forces in the area are searching for the missing service member, who was aboard the aircraft, according to U.S. Central Command. U.S. forces rescued the five other service members who were on board. Their condition is unclear.

The crash, which officials are describing as a training accident, happened about 20 miles off the southern coast of Yemen at about 7 p.m. local time.

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Military Will Have Authority to Remove Transgender Service Members in the Next 6 Months

Transgender troopsPresident Trump is expected to give the Defense Department the authority to remove transgender service members in the next six months, and will begin to bar any new members from enlisting, according to the New York Times.

The White House will soon release a memo that allows Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, the discretion to dismiss transgender service members. It will also end medical coverage for sexual reassignment surgery and hormone treatments for those currently serving.

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Navy finds some sailors' remains in flooded USS John S. McCain

USS John McCain sailors' remains found in shipU.S. Pacific Command on Tuesday said the remains of some of the American sailors missing from the USS John S. McCain have been found -- a day after the warship collided with a merchant vessel off Singapore's coast.

U.S. Navy Adm. Scott Swift said "some" sailors were found by military divers who searched flooded compartments of the ship at Singapore's Changi Naval Base early Tuesday.

Swift also said the Malaysian Navy has located "potential" remains.

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10 missing after US Navy destroyer collides with merchant ship off Singapore

USS John S McCainA Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, collided with a commercial vessel east of Singapore early Monday local time, the Navy said.

There were 10 sailors missing and five injured, the Navy said. "Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Republic of Singapore navy Puma helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life-threatening injuries," the U.S. Navy said in a statement. "The fifth injured sailor does not require further medical attention."

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U.S. soldier killed in Afghan blast, 20 U.S., Afghan troops wounded

bagram airfieldOne U.S. soldier was killed and around 20 U.S. and Afghan troops were wounded during a push against Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, officials said on Thursday, as Washington wrestled with a months-long debate about the 16-year-old war.

The incident late on Wednesday in Nangarhar province came as several Pentagon officials visited Afghanistan, including Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and the top generals of the Army and Air Force.

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