This is an excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter dedicated to making sense of this chaotic world we live in. Join the club.
North Dakota's governor has signed two trans athlete bans into law
North Dakota has joined 19 other US states that have adopted bans on transgender student-athletes.
The state’s two new laws require schools to designate teams by the "biological state of being female or male based on an individual's nonambiguous sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous hormone profile at birth.” They also explicitly prohibit trans girls from playing on girls' teams, but they do not carry equivalent restrictions on participation in boys' sports. If not blocked by the courts, the laws will take effect on Aug. 1.
Bans on trans athletes defy research that demonstrates that trans women do not have an overwhelming advantage in athletic competitions over cisgender women — especially at the middle and high school level. Additionally, trans athletes make up a fraction of student-athletes; one 2021 estimate by ESPN suggests that about .44% of high school athletes are trans.
"These bills are not about leveling the playing field for student athletes," said Cody Schuler, advocacy manager for the ACLU of North Dakota. "They’re about erasing and excluding trans people from participation in all aspects of public life."
The other Tennessee House Democrat who was expelled for protesting gun violence has been reinstated
- Justin Pearson was reinstated to his seat in the Tennessee House on Wednesday. In a unanimous vote, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners sent Pearson back to the House in a decisive rebuke of the Tennessee GOP's extraordinary move to expel him, along with Rep. Justin Jones, last week.
- Pearson's and Jones's appointments this week are on an interim basis, and they will have to run for their seats again in a special election to carry out the term. Both men have said they will do so. Their expulsions — which effectively disenfranchised approximately 140,000 constituents, mostly Black and brown, in the two districts that elected them — were widely criticized by Tennesseans and lawmakers.
Federal prosecutors won’t pursue charges against anyone over the death of American tourist Shanquella Robinson in Mexico last year. Robinson’s family wrote to President Biden calling for justice after a video showed her being beaten prior to her death.
People are thanking Drew Barrymore for her nuanced interview with Brooke Shields about the #MeToo movement. "I felt like I experienced too many things that were so gray and so awkward and I didn't know were wrong at the time,” Barrymore said.
Harry Potter is being rebooted as a TV show. “In partnership with Warner Bros. Television and J.K. Rowling, this new Max Original series will dive deep into each of the iconic books that fans have continued to enjoy for all of these years,” the CEO of content for HBO and HBO Max said in a press release.
Ariana Grande's moving video is a reminder not to comment on people's bodies. “There is a way to show support and concern without commenting on one's body, weight, or shape,” psychologist Rachel Goldman said. Words matter and words can impact someone's mental health.”
ASKING FOR A FRIEND
Asking for a Friend is BuzzFeed News’ health advice column. Ask us anything about your body! If you're too afraid to google or too embarrassed to ask a friend or family member, let alone a doctor, submit your questions here.
Q: I can’t breathe through my nose very well when I’m sleeping. I have to prop up my head to get better airflow. Is this normal or a sign of something more serious?
A: The simplest reason for unexplained nighttime congestion is that when you lie in bed, blood flow increases to your head. When blood vessels in your nasal passages become engorged, they push fluid into surrounding tissues, causing swelling and congestion, despite the absence of excess mucus. Lying horizontally also makes it hard for your sinuses, which will always have small amounts of mucus in them, to drain naturally because you’re fighting gravity.
There are a number of other possible explanations for your breathing issues at night, including having an excess of allergens in your home or structural issues with your nose. Read our health team’s full response to learn more.
Q: Why does flying make me constipated?
A: The phenomenon mostly has to do with changes to daily routines, including meal times, sleeping patterns, hydration, and exercise schedules. Plus, sitting down for long periods of time on a plane doesn’t support regular bowel movements. And finally, “your gut and brain are very intimately connected,” said gastroenterologist and professor Dr. Kyle Staller. If travel tends to be a stressful experience for you, it's normal for that to be reflected in your colon activity.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
Beef skewers stereotypes about Asian parents
Beef is so good that it’s almost a disservice to write about it through the lens of Asian American tropes, Izzy Ampil writes. It is an excellent psychological thriller, full stop: brilliantly written, edited, and acted. But part of what makes Beef so impressive is how confidently it moves beyond even the most widely accepted stereotypes of Asian parenthood.
The story revolves around the escalating feud between successful business owner Amy Lau (Ali Wong) and struggling contractor Danny Cho (Steven Yeun). What starts as a parking lot spat turns into a road rage–fueled car chase, which turns into Danny pissing on Amy’s bathroom floor, which turns into Amy vandalizing Danny’s car, and so on. Over 10 40-minute episodes, their revenge plots become increasingly erratic, ensnaring both of their families in the chaos.
The series goes so much further than the trope (and illusion) that Asian American children are the beleaguered victims of their immigrant parents’ poor communication styles. Instead, it exposes how those children make their own bad choices, driven by their own pride, stubbornness, and repression. Beef offers its characters no easy outs; it makes them suffer the consequences of their chaotic actions.
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