Manning wants to live as woman behind bars
FORT MEADE, Md. — Three years after rocking the Pentagon by leaking a mountain of secrets, Bradley Manning created a whole new set of potential complications for the military Thursday by asking to be known as a woman named Chelsea and to undergo hormone treatment.
Manning’s gender-identity struggle — a sense of being a woman trapped in a man’s body — was brought up by the defense at the court-martial, and a photo of the soldier in a blond wig and lipstick was submitted as evidence.
But the latest twist, announced the morning after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., surprised many and confronted the Pentagon with questions about where and how the Army private is to be imprisoned.
The former Army intelligence analyst disclosed the decision in a statement provided to NBC’s “Today” show.
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” the statement read.
Justice Dept sues Texas over voter ID law
AUSTIN, Texas — The Justice Department sued Texas on Thursday over the state’s voter ID law and will seek to intervene in a lawsuit over its redistricting laws that minority groups complain are discriminatory, but Texas Republicans insist are designed to protect the state’s elections from fraud.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the action marks another step in the effort to protect voting rights of all eligible Americans. He said the government will not allow a recent Supreme Court decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights.
“This represents the department’s latest action to protect voting rights, but it will not be our last,” the attorney general said.
Holder is concentrating on Texas because of years of litigation over the state’s Voter ID law and redistricting maps that federal judges in Washington have determined would either indirectly disenfranchise minorities and the poor, or intentionally discriminate minorities.
Texas is the only state found to have intentionally discriminated against minorities in this decade’s round of redistricting, and the state was banned from enforcing either law. But the U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring revisions to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 took away the judges’ authority to intervene.
NY lawmakers OK police watchdog
NEW YORK — The nation’s biggest police department will get a new watchdog and face easier standards for people to file profiling lawsuits against it after the City Council on Thursday overrode mayoral vetoes amid applause from supporters and angry warnings from opponents.
The measures mark the most aggressive legislative effort in years to put new checks on the New York Police Department, and the vote came less than two weeks after a federal judge imposed new oversight of her own.
“Today marks a monumental civil rights victory for New Yorkers,” Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander, the legislation’s sponsors, said in a statement.
The legislation drew national attention from civil rights groups and a vehement response from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who slapped it down earlier this summer.
He said Thursday it will make it “harder for our police officers to protect New Yorkers and continue to drive down crime.”
“Make no mistake: The communities that will feel the most negative impacts of these bills will be minority communities across our city, which have been the greatest beneficiaries of New York City’s historic crime reductions,” he said in a statement.
By wire sources