Chelsea Manning has transfer request denied

The Bureau of Prisons has rejected the Army’s request to accept the transfer of national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.,to a civilian facility where she could get better treatment for her gender-identify condition. The military will instead begin the initial treatment for her.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the Army’s recommendation to keep Manning in military custody and start a rudimentary level of gender treatment, a defense official said Thursday. The initial gender treatments could include allowing Manning to wear some female undergarments and also possibly provide some hormone treatments.

Manning has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man’s body.

The former intelligence analyst was sentenced in August for six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses for giving WikiLeaks more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents. After the conviction, Manning announced the desire to live as a woman and legally changed her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning from Bradley Edward Manning.

— Associated Press

Judge issues same-sex marriage rights

A judge legalized gay marriage in Florida’s most gay-friendly county on Thursday, siding with same-sex couples in the Florida Keys who said the state’s 2008 ban is discriminatory and makes them second-class citizens.

The ruling applies only to Monroe County and was immediately appealed. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Luis M. Garcia, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2000 and reelected twice since then, said same-sex couples could get marriage licenses as early as next Tuesday.

But Attorney General Pam Bondi said Florida has sole authority to define marriage within the state, and that the voters’ will have to be respected. Bondi’s immediate notice of appeal creates an automatic stay that likely puts any same-sex marriage licenses on hold well past Tuesday, according to her office.

— Associated Press

Medical helicopter crashes, killing three: A medical helicopter flying to pick up a patient crashed into the side of a New Mexico hilltop early Thursday, bursting into flames and killing all three crew members onboard, authorities said. The helicopter was flying from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe to Tucumcari when it disappeared from radar at 2:48 a.m. It went down near Newkirk about 135 miles east of Albuquerque and about 30 miles from Tucumcari.

— Associated Press