US judge blocks Florida ban on trans minor care in narrow ruling
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Saying gender identity is real, a federal judge temporarily blocked portions of a new Florida law that bans transgender minors from receiving puberty blockers, ruling Tuesday that the state has no rational basis for denying patients treatment. Judge Robert Hinkle issued a preliminary injunction, saying three transgender children can continue receiving treatment. The lawsuit challenges the law Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed shortly before he announced a run for president.
Man accused of supporting foiled plot to kidnap Mich. governor set to change plea
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of supporting a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor plans to change his not-guilty plea, records show. Shawn Michael Fix, 40, of Belleville, is one of five men charged with providing material support for an act of terrorism in the scheme to abduct the Democratic governor in 2020 at her northern Michigan vacation home. Police broke up the plan and Whitmer was not physically harmed. Fix is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in Antrim County Circuit Court in Bellaire.
Merck sues federal government, calling plan to negotiate drug prices extortion
(AP) — Merck is suing the federal government over a plan to negotiate Medicare drug prices, calling the program a sham equivalent to extortion. The drugmaker is seeking to halt the program, which was laid out in the Inflation Reduction Act and is expected to save taxpayers billions of dollars in the coming years. Merck said in a complaint filed Tuesday that the program does not involve genuine negotiation. Instead, it said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services selects drugs to be included and then dictates the price, threatening drugmakers with “a ruinous daily excise tax” if they decline to agree.
US sanctions group of people and firms tied to Iran ballistic program
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. said Tuesday it is sanctioning a group of people and firms from Iran, China and Hong Kong associated with the alleged development of Iran’s ballistic missile program. The network of seven people and six firms “facilitated procurement of sensitive and critical parts and technology for key actors in Iran’s ballistic missile development,” including Iran’s defense ministry and its affiliated firms, according to the Treasury Department. Among the sanctions targets are the China-based firm Zhejiang Qingji, which has allegedly sold centrifuges and other materials to an Iran-based firm affiliated with the nation’s defense ministry.
NJ Oath Keeper who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 pleads guilty to felony charge
(AP) –A member of the Oath Keepers extremist group from New Jersey who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and bragged about it in text messages pleaded guilty on Tuesday to obstructing Congress. James Breheny, who is also known as Seamus Evers, of Little Ferry, pleaded guilty in Washington’s federal court to a felony charge of obstructing Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory over former President Donald Trump. Breheny’s attorney said his client, a Navy veteran, entered the guilty plea to “make amends for a lack of good judgement on Jan. 6, 2021.”