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From the perspective of the private prison industry it doesn’t matter who’s in their prison as long as they have bodies. The handing of prisons over to for-profit companies is a recipe for abuse, neglect and misconduct.

Monday, the Vancouver School Board (VSB) finally voted for a new transgender policy that allows students to choose a name that best represents their gender identity. They have also enacted a policy for single-stall, genderless washrooms. On top of that, the VSB has introduced gender-neutral pronouns: xe (third person), xem (plural), and xyr (possessive) for students who do not identify with traditional gender roles.

The Smog of War: China Battles Pollution

China’s environmental problems have become such an embarrassment to its leadership that the country suddenly finds itself on a war footing. On Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang, the second-ranked political leader and head of economic policy, formally declared a “war on pollution” in a speech before the annual gathering of the National People’s Congress. The reform is welcome news, but overdue — and the outlook of the strategy Li outlined is about as clear as the morning sky on your run-of-the-mill, suffocating Beijing day.

Li called for the closure of 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces, the removal of 6 million old, emissions-belching vehicles from the streets, and new guidelines for air quality improvement in seriously affected northern Chinese cities. He described the state of Beijing’s air as “nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development.”

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