World this week
Amid the longest, and probably most infantile government shutdown in US history, the country's Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump to enforce his policy of banning certain transgender people from the military. The court voted 5-4 to grant a Trump administration request to lift injunctions blocking the policy while challenges continue in lower courts. The four liberal judges on the court opposed the ruling.
The policy prohibits "transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition" from serving. The Trump administration had also appealed for an expedited ruling on the case, which the Supreme Court declined to take up. There are currently some 8,980 active duty transgender troops, according to Department of Defence data.
The Chinese government announced that He Jiankui, the Chinese researcher who claimed to have edited the genomes of twin baby girls in a heritable way-and earned widespread condemnation for conducting a risky procedure with little potential benefit-deliberately sidestepped regulations, dodged oversight, and used fake ethical review documents in hopes of gaining "personal fame" for a worldwide first.
Accordingly the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, announced it was rescinding He's contract as an associate professor and terminating his teaching and research activities, effective immediately. In November 2018, He claimed to have engineered the genomes of early embryos to give the girls and their descendants resistance to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The Indian state of Rajasthan is plunged in the grip of a swine flu outbreak that has taken 48 lives in the first 19 days of 2019. Yet if you were to look only slightly deeper, you'd find that in the last thirteen months, more than 200 people died of swine flu in Rajasthan, India's largest state by size. According to the state's Health Department, 1173 cases out of a total sample of 5061 have tested positive so far this year in Rajasthan.
The central government in Delhi is said to be aware of the gravity of the situation. Several high-level meetings have taken place, many with the chief minister and health minister both present. However, as the data shows, none of it has worked and the situation continues to remain grim.
Over one hundred members of Afghan security staff were killed by Taliban militants who overran a military intelligence base near Kabul in a fearless raid with no shortage of chutzpah, officials have confirmed. According to the earlier reports 43 people were killed and 54 injured in Monday's attack, the NDS intelligence service told the merInsurgents blew their way into the base using a car bomb before opening fire. Some reports put the toll at over 100.
It is one of the deadliest attacks on the secret service and follows a string of battlefield setbacks for the army. The attack on the National Directorate for Security (NDS) base in central Wardak province came hours before the Taliban held another round of peace talks with US diplomats in Qatar. Reports say the base in Maidan Shahr, about 30km (19 miles) south-west of Kabul, is a training centre for pro-government militia members.
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