Surgery unnecessary for legal gender change

The Hawaii Legislature passed a bill that could make it a lot easier for transgender people to change their gender on their birth certificates, joining a growing number of states to make the change.

Right now, people in Hawaii are required to undergo gender reassignment surgery if they want to make that change. But the state House and Senate approved a bill Tuesday that removes the surgical requirement, sending the bill to Gov. David Ige.

That was welcome news to those who feel that the gender they were assigned at birth doesn’t reflect the gender they identify with in daily life.

“This really is the beginning for trans equality,” said Kaleo Ramos, a transgender man who was born female and who pushed for the legislation


DEA disciplines agents for neglecting jailed suspect

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued reprimands and suspensions of up to seven days to agents involved in detaining a college student who was handcuffed and forgotten in a cell for five days – punishments that drew criticism from the Justice Department and others for being too light.

A Justice Department inspector general report last year found several DEA employees saw or heard Daniel Chong in his cell at the agency’s San Diego office in April 2012 but did nothing because they assumed someone else was responsible.

Chong, then a 23-year-old student at University of California, San Diego, survived without food or water, drinking his urine, defecating in his cell and carving a farewell message to his mother on his arm with broken glass.


Newly discovered galaxy is 13.1 billion light years away

Astronomers have discovered a baby blue galaxy that is the farthest from us in distance and time ever seen. It’s from 13.1 billion years ago.

Yale and University of California Santa Cruz scientists used three telescopes to spot and then calculate the age of the blurry infant galaxy. By measuring how the light has shifted, they determined the galaxy, called EGS-zs8-1, is from about 670 million years after the Big Bang.

Astronomer Garth Illingworth of the University of California Santa Cruz said the galaxy was itself only about 100 million years old and was giving birth to stars at a hectic pace.

The galaxy is 13.1 billion light-years away. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.

– From news service reports