M, F or X: New York City birth certificates now have a gender-neutral option

Aneese/iStock(NEW YORK) — New York City has joined a growing number of cities and states that allow people to choose a gender-neutral marker on their birth certificates.

Beginning on Jan. 1, anyone who was born in New York City has the ability to have the gender marker on their birth certificate changed to X, rather than simply male (M) or female (F), and are able to do so without a doctor’s note or medical assessment.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the measure into law on Tuesday, marking a milestone in a years-long battle for advocates.

“To all trans and non-binary New Yorkers: We see you, hear you and respect you. Starting in 2019, all New Yorkers will be able to change their gender on their birth certificate to M, F or X — without a doctor’s note,” the mayor’s office tweeted.

“It felt really monumental to me,” said Ethan Rice, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal, a civil rights group that advocates for LGBTQ individuals, and a co-chair of the advisory board that worked with city officials to create the law. “It’s great to have something like this come to fruition.”

Rice said that the fact that no doctor’s note is required is important and represents more than just eliminating an extra step in the process.

He said that self-attestation essentially shows “that the government is recognizing that transgender people, as citizens, are the ones who know what their identity is and are able to tell the government that really, rather than the other way around.”

The New York City law doesn’t allow parents to select X at birth, but they will have the ability to change the gender marker on the certificate any time before the child is 18 years old, Rice explained. People over the age of 18 have the ability to make the change themselves.

While Rice said he believes New York City “is at the forefront” of the issue, gender-neutral identifiers are not available state-wide yet, meaning that while someone may be able to change their gender marker on their birth certificate, the same is not yet true of their New York state driver’s license.

ABC News, National Center for Transgender Equality

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s ID Documents Center, there are currently seven states and jurisdictions that have gender-neutral drivers’ licenses available: Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington D.C., and as of Tuesday, California.

New York City is now the fourth place – after California, Oregon and Washington state – to have a gender-neutral option on birth certificates, and New Jersey is set to join the list on Feb. 1.

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Gay community divided over their future under Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro

WORLD NEWS Gay community divided over their future under Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro  https://linewsradio.com/gay-community-divided-over-their-future-under-brazils-president-jair-bolsonaro/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Bruna Prado/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — His supporters call him “The Myth.” But on Tuesday, Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency became a reality as he took office in Brazil, Latin America’s largest democracy.

Bolsonaro’s supporters see him as the one who’s going to put Brazil on the right track by putting an end to corruption. But others see him as deeply divisive, having made many racist, misogynistic and homophobic remarks. For this last group of people, their future is unclear, they say.

“I am scared,” Carlos B., 37, an architect living in Rio de Janeiro, told ABC News. He watched Bolsonaro’s inauguration ceremony on TV with his husband, he said. “We don’t know what is going happen. My husband is pushing to move out but I don’t want to leave my country.”

The former Army captain who is now the 38th president of Brazil, has said in the past that he would prefer a son who died in an accident than one who was homosexual. He also declared once that he was a proud homophobe.

According to Grupo Gay da Bahia, an LGBT human rights organization, 445 LGBT people died in 2017 from violence or suicide due to what it calls “LGBTphobia.” That equates to one death about every 20 hours, a 30 percent spike from the previous year, the organization said.

Carlos B. told ABC News that a month ago he was with his husband in one of Rio’s wealthier neighborhoods, Barra da Tijuca, when they were assaulted.

“We kissed on the beach and one man followed us and robbed us, saying that we deserved to be robbed,” he said. “I didn’t go to the police, I knew it was useless.”

Yet, despite fears over how they will be treated, some LGBT people believe there are more pressing matters to address across the country, such as corruption and the economy. Brazil is still reeling from ongoing criminal investigations that implicate oil and construction executives, politicians, congressmen and four former presidents, including the Workers’ Party Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is serving 12 years for accepting favors.

“Major concerns in Brazil now are not LGBT rights, but to get out of the economic recession. Brazil needs a better economy. This is the priority,” Tiago Pavonetto, 34, a lawyer in Sao Paulo who voted for Bolsonaro, told ABC News.

“After 14 years of [having the] Workers’ Party in power, it did not take me more than a second. I picked Jair Bolsonaro. There was no doubt. I voted for him,” he added.

Pavonetto also seemed to brush off the idea that you could change Bolsonaro’s mind about LGBT people, saying Bolsonaro’s beliefs are in line with other men his age. Bolsonaro is 63 years old.

“Jair Bolsonaro flirted with homophobia before his campaign,” Pavonetto said. “He is a rude man and represents the average opinion of any Brazilian man of his age. He is like my father.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jan 2019

Netflix warns people not to do the “‘Bird Box’ Challenge”

Entertainment News  Netflix warns people not to do the "'Bird Box' Challenge" https://linewsradio.com/netflix-warns-people-not-to-do-the-bird-box-challenge/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/


Saeed Adyani/Netflix(NEW YORK) — It seems that Sandra Bullock’s hit Netflix thriller Bird Box has become the latest piece of popular entertainment to inspire a potentially dangerous Internet “challenge.”

While Drake’s In My Feelings challenge saw a number of people doing some particularly dangerous things set to his hit song — like accidentally getting hit by a car — the #BirdBoxChallenge has already led Netflix to tell people to literally take their blindfolds off.

The film has Bullock and company masking their eyes to avoid being killed, which means they spend much of the movie running, boating, and doing just about everything else blind. The Bird Box Challenge invites people to try the same thing — which, as you can imagine, is pretty dangerous.

“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” Netflix tweeted. “We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”

So far, some entries have included scaling escalators and moving walkways, which apparently haven’t led to any injuries — but it’s early yet: the movie only came out on the streaming service on December 23.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jan 2019

US ambassador to Russia visits, expresses support for American detained on spying charges

WORLD NEWS US ambassador to Russia visits, expresses support for American detained on spying charges  https://linewsradio.com/us-ambassador-to-russia-visits-expresses-support-for-american-detained-on-spying-charges/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

SERGIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman visited a U.S. citizen detained in Russia, expressed his support for him, and offered the embassy’s assistance, a State Department official told ABC News.

It was a strong show of support for Paul Whelan, who was arrested on Friday by Russian authorities and accused of spying by Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB.

Whelan’s twin brother, David Whelan, also confirmed that State Department officials visited Paul and said he was told that his brother is doing relatively well, given the circumstances. Huntsman called Whelan’s family, according to the State Department official, but it was unclear who he spoke with in the family.

“He is doing well and able to give them a list of things he needed,” David Whelan told MSNBC on Wednesday. “The email I saw said he was fine. I take that as a good sign. No one is going to be in great condition after being in detention, but no worse for wear.”

Whelan is being held at the notorious Lefortovo Detention Facility, named after the Moscow district where it is located, with many spies and political prisoners as inmates. It was once run by the FSB, the successor to the KGB.

“We have expressed our concern about the delay in consular access through diplomatic channels,” the State Department official said in a statement to ABC News.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced similar urgency earlier Wednesday, saying the U.S. was requesting consular access to Whelan and requested more information from Russia on “what it is he is accused of.”

“We’ve made clear to the Russians our expectation that we will learn more about charges and come to understand what it is he is accused of. And if the detention is not appropriate, we will demand his immediate return,” Pompeo said on a visit to Brazil.

International treaties mandate that detained Americans be given access to U.S. consular officers for legal guidance.

Whelan, a former staff sergeant in the U.S. Marines, was in Russia to attend a wedding, his family said. His friends later became concerned after he failed to show up at the wedding.

Whelan’s family has denied he is a spy and said they’re concerned for his safety.

“He’s got a military background, he’s been in corporate security for years. He was former law enforcement. He was going to be very well aware of the risks of traveling in Russia,” David Whelan told ABC News on Tuesday. “I just don’t see him putting himself in a position where he would be considered to break the law by a government like Russia’s.”

Paul Whelan was given a bad conduct discharge from the Marines for larceny, which his brother said he did not know about.

“That was a surprise to me,” David Whelan told MSNBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jan 2019

Report: Kim and Kanye’s surrogate is pregnant with their baby boy

Entertainment News  Report: Kim and Kanye's surrogate is pregnant with their baby boy https://linewsradio.com/report-kim-and-kanyes-surrogate-is-pregnant-with-their-baby-boy/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/


ABC/Byron Cohen(LOS ANGELES) — US Weekly reports that the surrogate who gave birth to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s third child Chicago is pregnant again with what will be the celebrity couple’s fourth child — and it’s a boy.

Citing an “insider,” the magazine reports the baby is due “in very early May.” 

The Wests’ growing family also includes 5-year-old North and 3-year-old Saint.  Little Chicago turns 1 on January 15.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jan 2019

‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund, an iconic voice of pro wrestling, dies at 76

Sports News 'Mean' Gene Okerlund, an iconic voice of pro wrestling, dies at 76 https://linewsradio.com/mean-gene-okerlund-an-iconic-voice-of-pro-wrestling-dies-at-76/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Bobby Bank/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — “Mean” Gene Okerlund, the iconic WWE backstage interviewer who played a role in some of the biggest moments in pro wrestling history, has died, the WWE announced Wednesday. He was 76.

Okerlund stood next to the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Andre the Giant, the Ultimate Warrior and many others from the mid- to late-1980s and teed up the stars of that era to deliver some of their most memorable promos. In the mid-1990s, Okerlund moved to rival WCW and stood in the ring as garbage rained down upon Hogan as he formed the nWo.

“A voice and soundtrack to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of WWE’s most memorable segments,” WWE executive vice president Paul “Triple H” Levesque said on Twitter on Wednesday. “‘Mean Gene’ was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Wrestling stars, including Hogan, remembered Okerlund with posts on social media.

Okerlund returned to the WWE fold upon the closing of WCW in a variety of roles and appearances, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, by Hogan.

Okerlund’s last WWE appearance came on Jan. 22, 2018, when he appeared on the 25th anniversary of “Monday Night Raw” and interviewed then-WWE champion AJ Styles.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Posted On 02 Jan 2019

Ohio State beat Washington 28-23 in Meyer’s Rose Bowl finale

Sports News Ohio State beat Washington 28-23 in Meyer's Rose Bowl finale https://linewsradio.com/ohio-state-beat-washington-28-23-in-meyers-rose-bowl-finale/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Harry How/Getty Images(PASADENA, Calif.) — Urban Meyer is ending his tenure as Ohio State’s coach  a Rose Bowl champion.

The fifth- ranked Buckeyes held off No. 9 Washington 28-23 with a thrilling comeback in the 105th Rose Bowl on Tuesday.

After the confetti flew , the Buckeyes gathered around Meyer for one last celebration of their coach. He is walking away after going 83-9 at Ohio State with one national championship, three Big Ten titles and this Rose Bowl victory.

Last month, Meyer cited his health as his decision to step down. Meyer refused to reflect publicly on his career during the month since he announced his plans.

Sophomore Dwayne Haskins passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Haskins could be the first quarterback drafted if he leaves, and he’s just one key contributor who must be replaced.

Ohio State Offensive Coordinator Ryan Day will step to become the 25th head coach in the program history. In August of 2018 he was named acting head coach when Meyer was placed on administrative leave after alleged domestic violence incidents against then-fired assistant coach Zach Smith were made public. Day won all three games he coached in Meyers absence.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jan 2019

Number of deaths due to opioids tripled in kids, teens over the past 20 years: Study

LIgorko/iStock(NEW YORK) — Almost 9,000 children and young adults have died from opioid poisonings in the past 20 years, according to a study published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine examined data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between the years 1999 and 2016. They determined that the majority of reported deaths due to opioids — 6,561 — involved prescription drugs and 81 percent were unintentional.

“This study shows that the opioid epidemic has spread to all segments of society,” Dr. Julie Gaither, one of the study’s authors, told ABC News. “Even the very youngest in this country have been affected. And the crisis is likely to remain a persistent public health problem in the young unless parents, public health officials and clinicians — including physicians who prescribe opioids to adults — begin to consider the risks that opioids pose to children and teens.”

The death rates in the study were highest in non-Hispanic boys and among teens ages 15-19, followed by children ages 0 to 4 years old. For the teens, heroin was involved in 1,900 deaths and just over 3,000 involved an ingestion of a substance in addition to opioids.

“To put it in perspective, in 1999 the average age of a new heroin user was 27, now it’s 19,” Dr. Ellen Rome, head of adolescent medicine at Cleveland Clinic Children’s hospital, said in an interview with ABC News.

A total of 62 percent of the deaths occurred outside a medical facility, with 38 percent occurring in homes.

Every year millions of children and adolescents are routinely exposed to opioids in their homes, schools and communities, the study found. In addition, every year nearly 5,000 children younger than 6 are evaluated in emergency departments across the country following opioid exposures.

“These are completely preventable deaths. No child should be dying of an opioid overdose. Period,” said Rome.

She encourages people to ask both doctors and pharmacists to dispense smaller amounts if the number of opioid pills prescribed seems too big for the condition being treated. She also encourages families to clean out medicine cabinets and dispose of opioids in Ziploc bags with coffee grounds or kitty litter.

“If you are pregnant or have small children at home, avoid bringing opioids home altogether. That might mean asking your physician for alternative therapies,” said Rome.

In what has been a growing epidemic affecting many aspects of U.S. society, Rome said the survivors often make the best advocates and educators.

“Engaging them to share their stories promotes healing and can help prevent the next death,” she said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Report: Yankees reach deal with free agent SS Troy Tulowitzki

Sports News Report: Yankees reach deal with free agent SS Troy Tulowitzki https://linewsradio.com/report-yankees-reach-deal-with-free-agent-ss-troy-tulowitzki/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The New York Yankees have reportedly bulked up their infield in the wake of shortstop Didi Gregorius’ Tommy John surgery.

Citing league sources, ESPN reports the Yankees have reached a deal with free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. If the deal is finalized following a physical exam, New York will only have to pay $555,000 for Tulowitzki, while the Toronto Blue Jays, who released him last month, will foot most of the 34-year-old’s $20 million contract.

Gregorius, 28, underwent Tommy John surgery in October. He is expected to be back on the active roster before the All-Star break.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 02 Jan 2019