U.K. Report Calls into Question Youth Gender-Transition Treatments

Happy Wednesday! As soon as we saw this headline yesterday—“Circus Elephant Gets Loose, Goes for Stroll Through Butte”—we knew we had to let you know about it.

But we’ll let you guess the elementary school-level punchline we came up with.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced new sanctions against Iran on Tuesday in response to Tehran’s multi-wave aerial attack on Israel over the weekend. The sanctions specifically target Iran’s missile and drone program, and are aimed at holding “the Iranian government accountable for its malicious and destabilizing actions,” Sullivan said, adding that the U.S. will also enact sanctions against entities supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s Defense Ministry. Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Israel’s military chief, vowed on Monday the Israel Defense Forces will respond to Iran’s attack, but officials have not yet given an indication of how or when such retaliation will occur. Israel’s war cabinet will reportedly meet today for the third time this week to discuss next steps.
  • The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) released a report Tuesday that suggested China is leveraging the U.S. fentanyl crisis for strategic and economic gain, including by subsidizing the production and export of illegal fentanyl and permitting its open sale online.* The bipartisan committee—led by Republican Chairman Mike Gallagher and Democratic Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi—recommended the creation of a task force to combat the global illicit fentanyl trade, providing enhanced resources for law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and aggressively sanctioning entities involved with the trade, among other measures. Gallagher, however, is resigning from Congress at the end of the week after deciding not to run for reelection. 
  • Record rainfall in the Gulf states of the Arabian Peninsula this week caused flash flooding that killed at least 17 people in Oman and wreaked havoc throughout the region. The intense rainfall—which forced the closure of the Dubai airport—equaled what the United Arab Emirates typically sees in the entire year.
  • The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday in a case concerning the constitutionality of the felony charges against a participant in the January 6 riot. The defendant—a former Pennsylvania police officer who entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021—faces charges under a federal law that punishes anyone who “obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so.” The justices seemed divided Tuesday over whether the law should cover the behavior exhibited by those who participated in the January 6 riot. The Supreme Court’s ruling in the case—expected later this summer—could affect the prosecutions of more than 300 people charged for their actions that day.
  • GOP Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky on Tuesday joined Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia as a co-sponsor on her motion to vacate the speaker, which could force a vote on House Speaker Mike Johnson’s ouster. Massie—who sits on the powerful House Rules Committee—said the speaker was going for the “Triple Crown” in pushing Ukraine aid, last month’s omnibus spending bill, and the recent reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Massie urged Johnson to resign preemptively, but the speaker said Tuesday he will not step down and seemed to have the support of many of his House Republican colleagues.
  • Republican impeachment managers from the House of Representatives formally delivered two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate on Tuesday, related to Mayorkas’ handling of the southern border. The House approved the articles in a narrow 214-213 vote in February, and senators are expected to be sworn in as jurors in the impeachment trial later today. It’s unlikely, however, that the proceedings will last long in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed for a conviction and Democratic senators are angling for an expedited vote to dismiss the charges
  • Seven of 12 jurors—plus six alternates—were seated on Tuesday in the second day of jury selection in former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial related to alleged hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. The judge overseeing the trial issued a stern warning to Trump against making intimidating remarks to any of the jurors after observing the former president “gesture” and make “audible” remarks toward a member of the panel. “I won’t tolerate that,” Judge Juan Merchan said. “I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom. I want to make that crystal clear.” 
  • One American News Network (OAN) on Tuesday reached a confidential settlement in a defamation case filed against them by Smartmatic, a company that specializes in electronic voting systems. The case, filed in 2021, stemmed from OAN’s broadcast of false election fraud claims involving Smartmatic that the company argued damaged its reputation. In the lawsuit, Smartmatic notes that it only provided election services to Los Angeles County in the 2020 election. Smartmatic also has pending litigation against Fox News and Newsmax for their related coverage. 
  • Former Florida Gov. Bob Graham died at the age of 87, his family announced Tuesday. The Democrat, who also served as a U.S. senator, was a vocal critic of former President George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq. He suffered a debilitating stroke in 2020. 

A Reckoning Over Gender Treatment 

A photograph taken on April 10, 2024, in London, shows the entrance of the NHS Tavistock center, where the Tavistock Clinic hosted the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) for children until March 28, 2024. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
A photograph taken on April 10, 2024, in London, shows the entrance of the NHS Tavistock center, where the Tavistock Clinic hosted the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) for children until March 28, 2024. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Perceptive Morning Dispatch readers have probably noticed at some point in the last four-and-a-half years that this newsletter is not interested in fanning the flames of the culture wars and getting readers riled up as they start their days. We made a promise at the outset that we’d do our best to separate the signal from the noise and distill the goings-on in the world into something worth your time every morning. There have been a handful of exceptions—times where we thought we could add clarity—but for many years, the battle over the appropriate treatment of minors seeking to change their gender has been filled with more heat than light. It’s possible that may be beginning to change. 

More than three-and-a-half years ago, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) commissioned the “Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People.” That study—which has come to be known as the Cass Review, named Dr. Hilary Cass, the chair of the project and the former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health—was published last week, and the review provided a welcome and evidence-based respite from an otherwise toxic conversation with its wide-ranging examination of studies and research undergirding gender-transition treatment and the clinical practices for delivering that treatment. 

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