Daily Dispatches
California Gov. Jerry Brown
Associated Press/Photo by Rich Pedroncelli, File
California Gov. Jerry Brown

Midday Roundup: Throw open the bathroom stall doors

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Bathroom bill. California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill allowing transgendered students to use any bathroom they want. The bill also allows the students to choose to participate on sports teams based on their “adopted” gender, not their birth gender. The law covers 6.2 million elementary, middle, and high school students in the state’s public school system. Although other states have anti-discrimination laws that cover transgendered people, California is the first state to mandate such acceptance in K-12 schools. Conservative groups that opposed the legislation warned it would create anxiety and fear among students not expecting someone of the opposite sex to walk into a bathroom or locker room.

Stalled merger. The U.S. Justice Department sued this morning to stop the planned merger of US Airways and American Airlines. Attorneys general from six states joined the federal challenge, saying the proposed new airline would lessen competition and lead to higher ticket prices. The $11 billion merger, proposed in February, would create the world’s largest airline. American Airlines filed for bankruptcy in 2011 but planned to be solvent again in time to complete the merger.

Nigerian massacre. Islamic militants in Nigeria killed 44 Muslim worshipers praying outside a mosque in Borno state, in the northeastern part of the country Sunday. Another 12 civilians died in a simultaneous attack in a village nearby. Although no one has taken responsibility for the attack, officials suspect Boko Haram, a group that wants to impose Sharia law across the mainly Muslim northern part of the country. Boko Haram has targeted both Christians and moderate Muslims in attacks dating back to 2009.

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Morally objectionable. Georgia’s Department of Community Health voted last week to remove elective abortion coverage from the health insurance coverage offered to state employees. If they want the coverage, the state’s roughly 672,000 workers and dependents will have to pay for it out of their own pockets. After the vote, Gov. Nathan Deal said the decision ensures “state taxpayers aren’t paying for a procedure that many find morally objectionable.” Georgia is one of seven states that does not cover abortions for state employees.

Balance check. More Americans are making their credit card payments on time and carrying lower balances, leading to the lowest rate of late payments in 20 years, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. The trend follows financial responsibility patterns set during the Great Recession, when more people tried to save money and pay off debt. The average borrower has $4,965 in credit card debt. Overall, Americans are carrying $2.7 billion in credit card debt, 16.5 percent less than its peak in July 2008.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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