The Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect on Tuesday, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational. In an unsigned 5-4 order, the justices took no stance on the legality of the ban, first proposed in a surprise tweet by Trump in 2017, but Tuesday’s action clears the way for it to take effect while lower courts hear additional arguments. The four liberal justices objected to allowing the administration’s policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military to go into effect.
Zimbabwe forces have engaged in “systematic torture” of protesters, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has found. The torture, mostly consisting of “indiscriminate and severe beatings,” follows several days of looting, fires and street barricades by protesters angry over high fuel prices. The country has been mired in violent protests after President Emmerson Mnangagwa more than doubled fuel prices earlier this month. At least 12 people have been reported killed, while hundreds have been arrested and jailed.
A former US Marine charged with espionage by Russia was unaware that a computer memory stick given to him in Moscow contained state secrets, his lawyer said today. Paul Whelan, 48, was arrested in a hotel near the Kremlin by FSB officers on December 28. Russian media, citing security service sources, said he was seized shortly after receiving a secret list of Russian agents from a contact. Mr Whelan, who also has British, Irish and Canadian citizenship, traveled to Russia frequently over the past decade. He faces up to 20 years in a penal colony if found guilty.
Greenland’s ice is melting faster than scientists previously thought, with the pace of ice loss increasing fourfold since 2003, new research has found. This suggests surface ice is simply melting as global temperatures rise, causing gushing rivers of meltwater to flow into the ocean and push up sea levels. South-west Greenland, not previously thought of as a source of woe for coastal cities, is set to “become a major future contributor to sea level rise”, the research states.
An attempt by British lawmakers to prevent a no-deal Brexit was gaining momentum on Wednesday after the opposition Labour Party said it was highly likely to throw its parliamentary weight behind the bid. The United Kingdom, in the deepest political crisis since World War Two, is due according to law to leave the European Union at 2300 GMT on March 29, yet it has no approved deal on how the divorce will take place. Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to break the deadlock after last week’s crushing defeat of her two-year attempt to forge an orderly divorce raised the prospect of an exit without a deal.