In the News This Week

by Debra Brown


Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


New York City Adds A GenderNeutral Option To Birth Certificates.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blazio signed a measure into law allowing anyone who was born in New York City 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 a medical assessment.

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. People over the age of 18 have the ability to make the change themselves.


Brazil’s Bolsonaro Gives Farm Ministry Power To Decide On Indigenous Land.

Brazil’s newly inaugurated far-right president issued an executive order making the ministry of agriculture responsible  for deciding on lands claimed by indigenous peoples.

Critics say Bolsonaro’s plan to open indigenous reservations to commercial activity will destroy native cultures and languages by integrating the tribes into Brazilian society.

Environmentalists say the native peoples are the last custodians of the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest that is vital for climate stability.


Two Suspects Will Face Murder Capital Murder Charge in Connection With Jazmine Barnes’ Killing.

Two men have been arrested for the death of Jazmine Barnes, a 7 year old girl who was murdered while riding in a car with her family.

Eric Black Jr. and Larry Woodruffe will face a charge of capital murder. The prime suspect was believed to be a white man, new details reveal that man was an innocent bystander and the shooting was a case of ‘mistaken identity’.


Cyntoia Brown Is Granted Clemency By Tennessee Governor. 

Tennesse Governor Bill Haslam has granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, a victim of human trafficking, who has been serving a life sentence for a murder she committed in self-defense when she was 16 years old.

Brown has already served 15 years in prison; she wouldn’t have been eligible for parole until she had served at least 36 more years.

Advocates have called for cases such as Brown’s to be reconsidered under “safe harbors” laws that provide more protections for minors who were the victims of trafficking.

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