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Midday Roundup: Kids gender ID law under fire

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Operation potty privacy. Opponents of the California law that would blur the gender boundaries in school restrooms said Sunday they had collected enough signatures for a ballot initiative to repeal the law. The group Privacy for All Students collected more than half a million signatures in 90 days. The law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September, and it and set to take effect Jan. 1, allows children who believe they are transgender the choice of playing on either boys’ or girls’ sports teams and using the boys’ or girls’ restroom. Groups opposed to the law say it violates the privacy of other students and have submitted 620,000 signatures asking for a referendum in November 2014.

Unreliable sources. CBS’s 60 Minutes apologized on Sunday’s broadcast for using an unreliable source in its reporting on the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. The story, which aired Oct. 27, included information from a security contractor who claimed to have witnessed part of the attack. The contractor actually stayed home most of the night and couldn’t get into the mission when he tried, according to The New York Times, which questioned the source’s credibility last week. The Times said 60 Minutes knew the source was sketchy because he had submitted a conflicting report to his employer. The news program went with the story anyway, but now says it was wrong to trust the source. The contractor, Dylan Davies, had a book deal with Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS Corp. The publisher announced Friday it was canceling the book.

Climate concerns. A major international conference about global climate change starts today in Warsaw, Poland. The meeting is expected to lay the groundwork for a new global pact on emissions and pollution that the United Nations hopes to finalize in 2015. The conference attendees appear concerned with how to assign responsibility to individual countries for reducing greenhouse gases. While many countries say the United States should do more, eyes are turning to the world's top carbon polluter, China. The conference is drawing momentum from a September report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which says humans are “extremely likely” to blame for increasing global temperatures. Some scientists disagree; an alternative report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change stated that the future of the planet’s climate is unpredictable, and humans probably play an insignificant role in climate change.

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Auditing the IRS. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., continues to probe the Treasury Department for evidence the Internal Revenue Service unfairly targeted conservative groups. Last week the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Issa chairs, subpoenaed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew for internal department communications regarding reviews of tax-exempt status for organizations. In a statement, Issa said efforts by the committee over five months have not garnered sufficient cooperation from the Treasury Department. “The committee is aware of responsive documents in Treasury’s possession that have not been produced to the committee,” Issa said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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