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The Continuing Crisis

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Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission announced plans in December to create a third official gender for government identification: "intersex," for transsexuals, whether or not they have had surgery. Immediately, activists from Sex and Gender Education Australia called the proposal inadequate, demanding a fourth gender, also, for people who feel that "gender" is either "undefinable" or subject to daily changes of attitude.

Maryland lobbyist and former state assemblyman Gilbert Genn was attacked by a deer outside his home in November, butted to the ground and repeatedly stabbed by the buck's antlers in the chest and groin. Genn told WTOP Radio that after finally realizing he was in a life-or-death struggle, he managed to subdue the animal by the antlers long enough to tire it and cause it to flee. Bleeding badly, Genn said he disregarded his wife's admonitions to get to the hospital and instead dressed the wound himself and headed off for a scheduled meeting in Annapolis with Speaker of the House Michael Busch. He told the reporter, "There was no way I could miss this meeting." Only afterward did he report to the emergency room.

In November, the Great American Insurance Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio) sought a declaration in federal court in Houston that it was not liable to pay death benefits from a 2007 office fire because the three victims did not die from "fire." The company pointed to an exclusion in the policy for death by "pollution" (thought by most people to cover only toxic industrial discharges) and argued that the three victims were actually asphyxiated by smoke, which is "air pollution."

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