The White House says the Trump administration will revoke federal guidelines telling public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration will revoke federal guidelines that tell public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity, the White House said Wednesday. The decision would be a reversal of an Obama-era directive advising public schools to grant bathroom access to students in line with their expressed gender identity and not necessarily the gender on their birth certificate. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the previous administration's guidelines were confusing and hard to implement and that new directives would be issued later in the day. A government official with direct knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press that the Obama-era guidance would be rescinded, though anti-bullying safeguards would not be affected.
President Donald Trump's move to crack down on immigrants living illegally in the U.S. has spread fear and anxiety In Orange County, California, dozens of immigrants have signed powers of attorney authorizing relatives and friends to pick up their children from school and access their bank accounts to pay their bills in the event they are arrested by immigration agents. In Philadelphia, immigrants are carrying around wallet-size "Know Your Rights" guides in Spanish and English that explain what to do if they're rounded up. And in New York, 23-year-old Zuleima Dominguez and other members of her Mexican family are careful about answering the door, and get worried and start making phone calls when someone doesn't come home on time. Around the country, President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S.
For the first time, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a single nearby star _ and these new worlds could hold life CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - For the first time, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a single nearby star - and these new worlds could hold life. This cluster of planets is less than 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, according to NASA and the Belgian-led research team who announced the discovery Wednesday. The planets circle tightly around a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, barely the size of Jupiter. Three are in the so-called habitable zone, the area around a star where water and, possibly life, might exist. The others are right on the doorstep. Scientists said they need to study the atmospheres before determining whether these rocky, terrestrial planets could support some sort of life.
More and more people want to join France's unpredictable presidential race, hopefuls who might never win _ but could garner enough votes to tilt the outcome PARIS (AP) - More and more people want to join France's unpredictable presidential race - hopefuls who might never win but could garner enough votes to tilt the outcome. Starting Saturday, would-be candidates have until March 17 to gather the signatures of 500 mayors (from the more than 35,000 mayors across France) to qualify for France's two-round presidential election April 23 and May 7. With two months before voting begins, here's a look at who wants to run and why: FRANCE'S RISING RIGHT With Europe's migrant influx and fears of Islamic extremism on many voters' minds, polls show high support for the tough-on-security platform of conservative former Prime Minister Francois Fillon and the nationalist campaign of far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
A massacre at a prison complex in Manaus, at the center of the Amazonian jungle, exposes a failed prison system in Brazil and a fight between gangs for control far beyond the walls of jails MANAUS, Brazil (AP) - Shortly after midnight on New Year's Eve, hundreds of inmates watched from a Manaus prison yard as the sky lit up with fireworks, paid for by the gangs that dominate the jail system. The revelry continued well into the next day, and inmates celebrated with their wives and girlfriends. But then the guards noticed something strange: The prisoners were asking their guests to go. "That is all for today, leave now," guards heard prisoners say. The last family member left at 4:09 p.m. on New Year's Day. What happened next would go beyond any worst-case scenario imagined by guards or authorities, unleashing a brutality that would lay bare a failed prison system and a gruesome battle between gangs for influence in Latin America's largest nation.
The firm that oversees registrations for the SAT college entrance exam is boosting security worldwide following test-stealing and other cheating in recent years PITTSBURGH (AP) - The firm that owns the SAT college entrance exam is boosting security worldwide following test-stealing and other cheating in recent years. The College Board said it's reducing the number of international testing dates from six per year to four for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. It says the move will reduce opportunities for test content to be stolen. The New York-based college entrance exam provider announced Wednesday that it is taking steps to prevent past cheaters from retaking tests. In addition, it says it will alert law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad of companies and people it suspects of illegally obtaining test content.
Sunday's Oscars are lacking a blockbuster nominee to boost ratings, but there's hope front-runner 'La La Land' and host Jimmy Kimmel can get the job done LOS ANGELES (AP) - If the Oscars had doubled down on nominating films with actors named Ryan, the ceremony's chances for a ratings bounce might be as likely as host Jimmy Kimmel's Trump jokes. Saluting a blockbuster like Ryan Reynolds' "Deadpool" is the surest way to lure viewers. But there's optimism afoot that the Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone charmer "La La Land," combined with pop-star performances and Kimmel's agile wit, will make Sunday's ceremony on ABC (8 p.m. EST) a winner. "The fact that 'La La Land' is a musical, it's a feel-good movie, it's a romantic movie, it does bode well for the ratings this year," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst with media research firm comScore.