Montana’s new law banning drag reading events at public libraries has led to the cancellation of a Native American transgender speaker in a southwestern Montana city on Friday.The Butte-Silver Bow Public Library canceled its “First Friday” speaker, Adria Jawort, at the recommendation of county attorneys, library director Stef Johnson said in a statement on the library’s website.On Monday, Jawort posted online that she was going to do an LGBTQ and two-spirit history lecture at a library on Friday. “Two-spirit” is a Native American term for people with both male and female spirits.The speech might be illegal in Montana “as a flamboyantly dressed trans woman,” she posted. On Thursday she said her Tweet was meant to mock the law that bans drag reading events at public schools and libraries. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed it on May 22 and it took effect immediately.Under the law, “drag queen” is defined as a performer who adopts a “flamboyant … feminine persona with glamorous or exaggerated costumes and makeup.” A “drag story hour” is defined as when a drag king or drag queen reads children’s books and engages in learning activities.Jawort’s social media post said that she would definitely have a book, that sexuality would be discussed and minors might be present.Someone submitted a complaint via Facebook, County Attorney Eileen Joyce said. Joyce told NBC Montana the county was “erring on the side of caution” in canceling the event.Under the law, a library would risk its public funding if it held such an event.“Our commitment to promoting inclusivity and intellectual exploration remains, but not in violation of law,” Johnson said in a statement. Jawort described herself as somewhat of a fashionista who dresses professionally for events, but certainly not in drag.When the bill was debated in the Montana Legislature in February, transgender Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a Democrat, said the legislation would target transgender people.House Majority Leader Sue Vinton, a Republican, stood up and said, “Mr. Chair, this bill has nothing to do with the transgender community.”Jawort also spoke against the legislation.“The irony is I testified against this bill saying it would target trans people that would include, of course, me,” Jawort posted on social media Thursday. “They denied it. Now here I am, targeted.”Jawort likened her library speech being canceled to the silencing of Zephyr after her testimony against a bill to ban transgender medical care for minors and Zephyr’s later removal from the House floor for her participation in a protest over her silencing.“One of my best defenses against bigotry … is just educating the public and doing these speeches about the history of two-spirit people,” who have long been recognized by Native American tribes, Jawort said. Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher issued a proclamation Thursday marking the beginning of Pride month and encouraged residents to support the visibility, dignity and equality of all people, including LGBTQ+ residents.
The United States has signed a trade agreement with Taiwan over opposition from China, which claims the self-ruled island democracy as part of its territoryByThe Associated PressJune 2, 2023, 12:38 AMWASHINGTON — The United States signed a trade agreement Thursday with Taiwan over opposition from China, which claims the self-ruled island democracy as part of its territory.The two governments say the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade will strengthen commercial relations by improving customs, investment and other regulation.The measure was signed by employees of the unofficial entities that maintain relations between the United States and Taiwan, a center for high-tech industry. They have no formal diplomatic ties but maintain unofficial relations and have billions of dollars in annual trade.The agreement is intended to “strengthen and deepen the economic and trade relationship,” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement. The deputy USTR, Sarah Bianchi, attended the signing.The Chinese government accused Washington of violating agreements on Taiwan’s status and demanded the U.S. government stop official contact with the island’s elected government.Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war. The island never has been part of the People’s Republic of China, but the mainland’s ruling Communist Party says it is obligated to unite with China, by force if necessary.Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government has stepped up efforts to intimidate Taiwan by flying fighter jets and bombers near the island. American and European politicians have visited Taiwan in a show of support for its elected government.“The United States should stop any form of official exchanges with Taiwan” and “refrain from sending wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces,” said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning.___Office of the U.S. Trade Representative: https://ustr.gov/Related Topics
The incident occurred in Palm Bay, Florida. June 1, 2023, 8:36 PMAn 11-month-old baby girl has died after being left in a car for three hours while her parents attended a Florida church service, police said.Police in Palm Bay responded Sunday around 1 p.m. to a report of an unresponsive infant in a vehicle.”When they arrived, they learned the infant had been left in a car for approximately three hours while the parents went to the church service,” the Palm Bay Police Department said in a statement.The infant was transported to a local hospital where she was later pronounced deceased, police said Tuesday. A police department spokesperson did not have the time of death available.The girl’s mother was arrested Thursday and is being charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child, police said.”This is an unfortunate incident, and our condolences and prayers go out to the family,” Palm Bay Police Chief Mario Augello said in a statement.Palm Bay is located about 75 miles southeast of Orlando. The temperature in the city around midday Sunday was in the high 70s.The temperature inside a car can exceed 115 degrees when the outside temperature is just 70 degrees, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.In 2022, 33 children died of heatstroke in vehicles, according to the NHTSA.Related Topics
It is unclear how many people were aboard the plane. June 1, 2023, 6:02 PMAuthorities are responding after a private plane traveling from the Bahamas to Florida crashed Thursday, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.The plane was reportedly en route to West Palm Beach when it crashed into the water about 10 miles north of Andros, an island in the Bahamas, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said during a press conference Thursday.Police could not say how many people were aboard the plane.The Royal Bahamas Police Force is investigating the incident.The Royal Bahamas Defense Force is en route to the location of the crash, police said.ABC News’ Jared Higgs contributed to this report.This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
A man has pleaded guilty to assaulting Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota in the elevator of her Washington apartment building in FebruaryByThe Associated PressJune 1, 2023, 3:26 PMWASHINGTON — A man pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota in the elevator of her Washington apartment building in February, according to court records. Kendrid Khalil Hamlin pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a member of Congress and assaulting law enforcement officers, according to the court docket. Hamlin was also accused of assaulting two officers as they attempted to arrest him on the same day of Craig’s attack. Hamlin’s attorneys said in an emailed statement that he “accepted responsibility for his actions today with the earnest hope of moving towards rehabilitation and the mental health treatment he very much wants and needs.” “Unfortunately, we know that treatment and rehabilitation will not occur in prison. We are hopeful that all parties can work together to finally provide Mr. Hamlin with the opportunity to get mental health support and treatment, as well as stable housing upon his release,” said his federal public defenders, Katie D’Adamo Guevara and Eugene Jeen-Young Kim Ohm. A Craig spokesperson said her office had no immediate comment. Craig was getting coffee in the lobby of her building when she noticed a man pacing, a U.S. Capitol Police special agent wrote in court papers. The man came into the elevator with her and said he needed to go to the bathroom and was coming into her apartment, the agent wrote. After she said he couldn’t, he punched her in the side of her face and grabbed near her neck before she escaped by throwing her cup of hot coffee over her shoulder at him, according to the court papers. Craig’s chief of staff said after the assault that there was no evidence it was politically motivated.Prosecutors said in court papers that Hamlin had numerous previous convictions, including for assaulting a police officer. Craig won a third term in November in the suburban-to-rural 2nd District south of Minneapolis and St. Paul in one of the most expensive House races in the country, frustrating the GOP’s best hope of flipping a Minnesota seat in an election that gave Republicans a narrow House majority.Related Topics
Prosecutors say an Indianapolis man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prisonByThe Associated PressJune 1, 2023, 12:49 PMINDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.Tony Cushingberry, 24, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in July 2022 to second-degree murder and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.Prosecutors said Cushingberry was sitting on his porch on April 27, 2020, when he watched postal carrier Angela Summers, 45, of Indianapolis, walk past his home and proceed to the next residence.According to court records, Cushingberry was upset because his postal deliveries had been suspended due to an aggressive dog at his home. After Summers walked past his home, prosecutors said Cushingberry “aggressively approached” her on his neighbor’s porch and demanded his mail several times. He continued pursuing Summers while displaying a handgun before he pulled the gun from his waistband and shot her in the chest from several feet away.Summers collapsed on the porch and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Cushingberry fled the scene and stashed the gun in a nearby residence’s detached garage, but he was later arrested.“Angela Summers was a beloved family member and public servant, and she should be alive today. She was taken from those who cared for her by the defendant’s evil decision to gun her down while she was simply doing her job,” U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers said Thursday in a news release.
Authorities in northern Mexican have found 45 bags containing human remans in a gorge on the outskirts of Guadalajara and were still trying to determine how many bodies were thereByThe Associated PressJune 1, 2023, 11:26 AMMEXICO CITY — Authorities in northern Mexican have found 45 bags containing human remains in a gorge on the outskirts of Guadalajara and are trying to determine how many bodies are there.The bags found at a forest overlook contained remains of men and women, the state prosecutor’s office in the western state of Jalisco said in a statement Wednesday night. Firefighters and civil defense worked with a helicopter to recover remains from the gorge and planned to continue during the coming days.Authorities had been looking for seven young people who had been reported missing last week when they found the site, but it was still unknown if they were among the remains found. The state prosecutor’s office said it investigated the site after receiving a report of possible body parts there.There are more than 110,000 missing people in Mexico, and Jalisco is the state with the highest number, at 15,000, according to federal government data. There are also thousands of unidentified remains in morgues and cemeteries.
Japan’s National Police Agency says flaws in basic security such as an absence of metal detectors and bag checks allowed an attacker to enter a campaign crowd unnoticed and throw a pipe bomb at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in AprilByMARI YAMAGUCHI Associated PressJune 1, 2023, 9:11 AMTOKYO — Japan’s National Police Agency said in a report Thursday that flaws in basic security such as an absence of metal detectors and bag checks allowed an attacker to enter a campaign crowd unnoticed and throw a pipe bomb at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in April.The bomb fell near Kishida and he was pushed away by special police before it exploded and he was unhurt.A suspect, Ryuji Kimura, 24, was arrested at the scene of the April 15 attack in the fishing port of Saikazaki in the western prefecture of Wakayama, where Kishida was about to make a campaign speech for a local candidate. Kimura remains in police custody and is undergoing a court-approved mental evaluation until Sept. 1.Some of the people attending the campaign rally, who were mostly from the fishing community, said they were surprised by the loose security arrangements, such as the lack of bag checks and the close distance between them and the prime minister. The attack occurred less than a year after the July 2022 assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a campaign speech in Nara city, which prompted the dismissal of top national and local police officials over lax security. The National Police Agency also compiled plans to improve protection of dignitaries.“We take it seriously that this case occurred less than a year after (Abe’s assassination), and that’s why we have compiled this report,” National Police Agency chief Yasuhiro Tsuyuki said. The report said no effective measures were in place to detect and prevent anyone possessing weapons from approaching the prime minister. The local fisheries cooperative had told police that the audience would be limited to its members and their families. Staff of the cooperative were assigned to verify attendees by looking at their faces, but failed to recognize Kimura as a stranger.The report urged organizers of campaign rallies to employ metal detectors and baggage checks, and hold speeches by political leaders and other dignitaries indoors. It said experienced police officers should be deployed to more effectively detect suspicious actions.While members of the audience were taking photos of Kishida with their smartphones, security staff failed to spot the attacker lighting his first pipe bomb and throwing it at Kishida, the report said. The attack was not noticed until a fisherman saw him attempt to throw a second bomb and stopped him from behind, it said.Related Topics