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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:00 am

Nation/world

School bathroom policy probes end

News services

WASHINGTON – The Education Department confirmed Monday that it will no longer investigate civil rights complaints from transgender students who are barred from school bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The Obama administration in 2016 directed public schools to allow students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, even when if that conflicted with the gender on their birth certificates. The Obama administration concluded that barring transgender students from public school bathrooms was a form of sex discrimination prohibited under federal law.

But shortly after President Donald Trump took office, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the guidance. DeVos said states and individual school districts should be able to determine how to accommodate transgender students.

Steinem tries to save abortion clinic

Gloria Steinem weighed in Monday to try to save the last abortion clinic in her Ohio hometown.

The 83-year-old feminist leader, who was born in and grew up in Toledo, issued a statement urging one of the city's private hospitals to sign the patient-transfer agreement with Capital Care of Toledo that the clinic needs to remain open.

“We must not allow a political regulatory scheme to close Toledo's remaining abortion clinic,” she said.

Famed crooner Vic Damone dies at 89

Vic Damone, whose mellow baritone once earned praise from Frank Sinatra as “the best pipes in the business,” has died in Florida at the age of 89, his daughter said.

Victoria Damone told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday that her father died Sunday at a Miami Beach hospital from complications of a respiratory illness.

Putin relays Trump message to Abbas

President Vladimir Putin on Monday passed greetings from President Donald Trump to the visiting Palestinian leader, who responded that he doesn't want to cooperate with Washington following its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Speaking at the start of their meeting in the Kremlin, Putin told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he was just off the phone with Trump.

“Naturally, we spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli settlement,” he said. “I would like to convey to you his best wishes.”

Graffiti artists awarded $6.7 million

A judge awarded $6.7 million Monday to graffiti artists who sued after dozens of spray paintings were destroyed on the walls of dilapidated buildings torn down to make room for high-rise luxury residences.

Twenty-one aerosol artists sued the owner of a Long Island City, Queens, site known as 5Pointz under the Visual Rights Act, a 1990 federal law that protects artists' rights even if someone else owns the physical artwork.