National News

Cancer Patient Receives First Penis Transplant
Thomas Manning received the first penis transplant in the United States Monday after a 15-hour surgery performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The surgical team said they hope to eventually extend the surgery to veterans with severe pelvic combat injuries, but said the surgery was experimental and they did not want to use veterans as “guinea pigs” because they have risked their lives in battle. Manning lost his penis to cancer and should be able to urinate normally in a few weeks and have normal sexual function in weeks to months. As many as three men worldwide have received such a transplant, including one man who fathered a child with his transplant.

Obama Administration Issues Guidance for Public Schools over Transgender Rights
The Obama administration issued a directive Friday telling U.S. public schools to allow students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity. The directive came in the form of a joint letter from the federal Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice, and President Obama defended the directive publically in a speech Monday. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory condemned the action and called on Congress to address the issue. North Carolina is currently in a legal battle with the Department of Justice over an anti-transgender law that was passed earlier this month. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick also condemned the act, calling the guidance “blackmail” and “social engineering” while LGBT groups praised the “groundbreaking” directive.

Mark Zuckerberg Meets with Conservatives over Censorship Controversy
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with representatives from the conservative community Wednesday in an effort to address accusations that the social networking site censored conservative voices. Specifically, the accusers claim that Facebook purposely altered its algorithms so conservative topics wouldn’t appear on its “trending” section. The Federalist called it a “textbook con job.” Mark Zuckerberg has denounced the claims, saying Facebook stands for giving everyone a voice. Among the meeting attendees was media personality Glenn Beck, former press secretary for former President George W. Bush, Dana Perino and Barry Bennett, advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

International Spotlight

First Chibok Girl Rescued
The first of the girls who were kidnapped two years ago by Boko Haram was rescued Tuesday in Nigeria while she was with a baby and a suspected member of the terrorist group. The Islamist group captured Amina Ali Nkeki with 218 other girls. The man who was accompanying her claimed to be her husband, but has been arrested and taken to Maiduguri, the regional capital. Nkeki’s mother recognized her immediately when they were reunited. Nkeki has said that all the kidnapped girls are still with Boko Haram, except for six who died.

Stolen Columbus Letter Returned to Italy
Investigators in the U.S. have returned an original letter to Italy Wednesday after discovering it had been stolen and later sold at an auction. Authorities on both sides have commended the action. The letter, found in the Library of Congress, detailed explorer Christopher Columbus’s first impressions of the New World and was to be sent to the king and queen of Spain in 1943s. The original letter was stolen from Florence’s Biblioteca Riccardiana and replaced with a forgery that went unnoticed until U.S. authorities received a tip in 2012. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security are currently investigating how the letter ended up in the Library of Congress.

Department of Justice Opens Investigation into Russian Doping Scandal
The U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation Tuesday into Russia’s state-sponsored athlete doping scandal that was uncovered last week. The doping scandal involved Russian officials switching out tainted urine samples of athletes with samples from months earlier during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, according to a doctor who was involved. Russian officials have responded to the claims with defiance in an attempt to quell the discontent towards Russia before going into the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. The Russian Sports Ministry has acknowledged that there were problems with doping during the Sochi Olympics, but has not specified what those problems were.

A version of this story appeared on p.7 of the Thursday, May 19, 2016 print edition of the Daily Nexus.