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Tuesday, Nov 21st

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Mattis: Transgender troops can keep serving pending study

Transgender ban halted pending studyDefense Secretary James Mattis announced Tuesday that transgender troops in the military would be allowed to continue serving pending the results of a study.

The announcement comes days after President Trump signed a memo barring transgender people from enlisting in the military while instructing Mattis to explore how to handle those currently serving in the armed forces.

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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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Chelsea Manning tweets 1st post-prison photo

Chelsea ManningChelsea Manning, the transgender soldier released from military prison this week after serving seven years for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, posted her first post-prison photo on social media Thursday.

"Okay, so here I am everyone!!" she tweeted beneath a photo showing her wearing red lipstick and sporting a black top cut deeply in a V in the front.

Documentary filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins shot the portrait photo, the ACLU told NBC News. Hawkins is shooting a documentary called "XY Chelsea" about Manning's adjustment to life after prison.

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