NYT: Trump Administration Pushes for New Legal Definition of Gender

The Trump administration has reportedly moved to establish a legal definition of gender as a biological condition determined by genitalia at birth, a move that would essentially undo the protection and recognition of transgender people granted by federal civil rights law. Citing a memo reportedly sent out by the Department of Health and Human Services, The New York Times reports that the agency is pushing for key government agencies to adopt a definition of gender as something determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The definition suggested by the agency would rigidly define sex as unchangeable, either male or female, and determined by genitalia at the time of birth, according to the Times. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence,” the memo reportedly reads. Trump administration officials say the proposed definition is expected to be presented to the Justice Department by the end of the year. If deemed legal, an estimated 1.4 million Americans identifying as a gender other than the one with which they were born may lose federal recognition.


Mnuchin to Visit Saudi Arabia to Strengthen Iran Policy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is heading to Saudi Arabia on Monday to build support for a pressure campaign against Iran despite growing calls for sanctions against Saudi leaders over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mnuchin confirmed the trip Sunday in comments to reporters in Jerusalem, saying that he will attend an anti-terrorism finance meeting in Riyadh alongside Saudi government officials. “I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin was quoted as saying by Reuters. “It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” he said, echoing earlier comments by President Trump.


Trump: Saudi Crown Prince ‘Truly Loves His Country’

President Trump has acknowledged that “there’s been deception and there’s been lies” in Saudi Arabia’s changing story on journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, but he’s still full of praise for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In an interview with The Washington Post published Saturday night, the president praised the crown prince as a “strong person” who “has very good control” and who “truly loves his country.” The president went on to push back against widespread claims that Salman was directly involved in Khashoggi’s killing—a conclusion drawn even by some of Trump’s allies in Congress. “Nobody has told me he’s responsible. Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point. I haven’t heard either way,” he said. “There is a possibility he found out about it afterward. It could be something in the building went badly awry. It could be when that’s he found about it. He could have known they were bringing him back to Saudi Arabia,” he said. “I would love if he wasn’t responsible,” Trump said, describing Saudi Arabia as a “very important ally for us.”

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More Than a Dozen People Killed in Taiwan Train Derailment

At least 17 people were killed and another 101 injured Sunday when a train derailed in Taiwan, authorities said. The Pyuma express train, which was carrying more than 300 passengers, was heading toward the southeastern city of Taitung. Taiwan’s railway administration said the 17 victims died of cardiac arrest. The injured have been taken to four different hospitals for treatment. No further details were immediately available.


Invest In a Better Hair Towel

There was a time in which I would scoff at spending $30 on a hair towel. But that time was before I tried out the AQUIS towel. Normally, I opt for the bulk packages of the As Seen On TV Turbie Twist you can find on Amazon, and they worked fine. But as someone that has a lot of hair, it would still take a while for my hair to air dry. The AQUIS towel has easily cut 15 minutes off my drying time. In the morning, I'm usually out the door with wet hair, but now, I can put some texturizing spray and let it do it's thing and it's 99% dry by the time I leave. The towel is much softer and smoother than a normal towel, with a button closure to keep all your hair wrapped in a tight swirl and elastic to keep it tight to your head while drying. If you plan on towel drying your hair for the foreseeable future, this is the towel you want to invest in.

Scouted is internet shopping with a pulse. Follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations and exclusive content. Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts, The Daily Beast may collect a share of sales.


Brawl Erupts During LeBron James’ Home Debut in LA

A multiplayer fight erupted during LeBron James’ home debut with the Los Angeles Lakers late Saturday, causing chaos on the court late in the fourth quarter. With just 4:13 left to go in the Lakers’ game against the Houston Rockets, a foul called on Lakers star Brandon Ingram triggered a fistfight. Rockets All-Star Chris Paul first came to blows with Lakers guard Rajon Rondo and the two traded punches before Ingram jumped in, apparently to back Rondo. Throughout the melee, James could be seen trying to defuse the situation, pulling Rondo away from the fight. Ingraham, Rondo, and Paul were all subsequently ejected from the game, and the Rockets went on to beat the Lakers 124-115. James, who scored 24 points in the game, seemed unfazed by the drama. “The atmosphere was great,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “The fans were extremely excited. We gave them everything that we could. Wish we could have gave them more with this win, but it was very electric,” he said.

7. WTF

Dozens Injured After Floor Collapses at South Carolina Party

About 30 people were injured late Saturday when a floor collapsed during a crowded dance party in South Carolina, sending dozens of revelers plunging into a basement. The accident reportedly happened at an apartment building near Clemson University. The Clemson City Police Department said that none of the injuries were considered life-threatening, but numerous people were taken to hospitals. Video of the incident shows the heart-stopping moment the floor gives way, with some students seen unsuccessfully trying to jump to safety before falling on top of the mass of people who’d already hit the ground below. In one video, onlookers are seen watching in disbelief and horror as some of the injured scream out from below.

8. HMM

China Says Its Top Macau Official Dead After Plunge From Building

China’s top representative to Macau has died after falling from his residential building, the central government said. In a statement released Sunday, Beijing appeared to suggest Zheng Xiaosong had taken his own life, saying he had been suffering from depression. Zheng, 59, had served as a liaison between the Chinese government and Macau, a major casino hub with a separate legal system from mainland China and a reputation as a gambling powerhouse. Zheng was a member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, and he reportedly met with the head of a think tank just a day before he died.


Hurricane Michael Swept Up 19th Century Shipwrecks

Hurricane Michael did more than just leave a trail of destruction throughout coastal Florida when it made landfall last week—the storm also unearthed 19th century shipwrecks. Ships that were wrecked on Dog Island by the Carrabelle Hurricane in 1899 have resurfaced in Franklin County as a result of the Category 4 storm, according to the Florida Department of State. With resources still urgently needed for ongoing recovery efforts from the hurricane, the state says it currently has no plans to send archaeologists to the site. A total of 15 ships were washed up on the barrier island during the storm 119 years ago, though it’s unclear how many of those ships are the ones that are now currently in plain view.


Actress Selma Blair Reveals She Has Multiple Sclerosis

Actress Selma Blair revealed she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in August in an Instagram post Saturday afternoon. “I have multiple sclerosis. I am in an exacerbation… I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS,” the 46-year-old wrote. Blair said she received her diagnosis on Aug. 16, but may have had the disease “for 15 years at least.” “I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others,” she wrote. “And I am relieved to at least know.” Blair is currently filming Netflix sci-fi series, Another Life. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the disease affects the “central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.”