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FILE - A bathroom sign welcomes both genders at the Cacao Cinnamon coffee shop in Durham, N.C., May 3, 2016. VOA

President Donald Trump’s administration is stepping back from a request made by the Obama administration in an ongoing lawsuit over bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools.

The Department of Justice on Friday withdrew a motion asking that a temporary injunction blocking Obama administration guidance on the issue only apply to the states suing the federal government.


Texas and 12 other states are challenging the guidance, which directs public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. A federal judge temporarily blocked the directive nationwide last year.

The Obama administration asked that the directive only be put on hold in the 13 states while it appealed. A hearing on that request was set for Tuesday, but Friday’s filing asked that the hearing be canceled, saying the parties are “currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal.”

Meanwhile, a massive crowd energized in opposition to Trump and to a state law limiting LGBT rights streamed into North Carolina’s capital in Raleigh for an annual civil rights march on Saturday.

The “Moral March on Raleigh” was led by the North Carolina NAACP for an 11th year. Participants carried signs promoting issues from gerrymandering and immigration to public education.

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Raleigh police don’t provide crowd estimates. Event organizers predicted 20,000 people. The surface area that the crowd covered neared the march’s previous peak from 2014.

Saturday’s protesters also want to see a repeal of House Bill 2, which limits LGBT rights and which bathrooms transgender people can use. (VOA)


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The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.

NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.

The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.

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The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).

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Pakistan has failed miserably to protect Hindus, their interests.

A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.

According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.

Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.

Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.

The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".

But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.

A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.

Also Read: Hindu Woman Axed To Death In Pakistan

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