It's being called a landmark settlement. A child who as an infant underwent surgery aimed at assigning his gender as female but who now identifies as male will get a $270,000 pay out from the Medical University of South Carolina and the state's social services department. The money will buy an annuity policy that will eventually result in a $440,000 payout to the child - identified only as MC - who is now 12. Pam and Mark Crawford had waged a four-year legal battle against the hospital after MC, born with male and female genitalia, had his male parts removed when he was just a year old. The surgery, which took place when MC was in state custody, was not only unnecessary but meant MC's gender was decided for him. MUSC "denied all claims of negligence and any liability for the alleged claims" in the settlement. An estimated one in 2,000 babies born are intersex, with genitals not clearly male or female, and many undergo surgeries to give them exclusively male or female genitalia. But these surgeries are fraught with complications. In a report out this week, Human Rights Watch accuses doctors of performing irreversible sex assignment surgeries "based on guesswork." Last month, a report by three former US surgeons general concluded intersex surgeries "violate an individual's right to personal autonomy over their own future" and "should be deferred until children are old enough to voice their own view about whether to undergo the surgery." (BuzzFeed)
The Downside to Saving Snakes
Ohio firefighters rescued a 45-year-old woman in Sheffield Lake who called 911 after a boa constrictor wrapped around her neck and began biting her face. The giant reptile was one of two snakes she had rescued the day before, though police haven't said how or where. Audio of the 3-minute, 50-second 911 call features the woman crying, "I have a boa constrictor stuck to my face. ... There's blood everywhere. ... He's got my nose." Firefighters found the woman lying in the driveway of her home with the 5-foot-long snake wrapped around her neck and biting her nose. A firefighter used a pocketknife to cut off the snake's head. The woman was taken to a hospital for apparent non-life-threatening injuries. The woman had 11 snakes, including nine ball pythons and the boa constrictors. (WKYC)
McDonalds Dead Last in Customer Service Poll
When it comes to customer service in the fast-food industry, McDonald's is dead last. However, in a poll conducted by 24/7 Wall St., some fast-food restaurants fared better than full-service restaurants for the first time ever on this year's American Customer Service Satisfaction Index, which surveyed customers for their thoughts on such metrics as employee courtesy, speed, order accuracy, and even website quality. Here, the top five best and worst fast-food chains, according to hungry Americans:
Jack in the Box
(24/7 Wall Street)
Swim Coach Charged With Drowning Teen
A former school swim coach in Texas has been charged in the death of a 13-year-old girl who drowned during practice! Tracey Anne Boyd is scheduled to appear in court this week on a felony charge of abandoning or endangering a child by criminal negligence. Boyd, 49, was indicted June 29 in the death of Elise Cerami, who competed for a Carroll school district swim club near Fort Worth. A medical examiner has ruled the girl's death in June 2016 as an accidental drowning, but an indictment contends Boyd failed to watch Elise and ensure she was being properly supervised. The North Texas Nadadores swim club had finished warming up at the school district's aquatic center in Southlake when teammates noticed Elise was underwater. She was pulled from the water and taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. Boyd's defense attorney, Daniel Hagood, said his client is not guilty of the charge and she will answer the allegations in court. (Newser)
More iPods Becoming Obsolete
It's only been three years since fans said goodbye to the iPod Classic, but now more of the iPod family is going away. In a move Apple called "simplifying our iPod lineup," the company is discontinuing its iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle MP3 players. That means there's only one Apple device left that we can still call iPod: the Touch. What appears to have doomed the Nano and Shuffle was the shift to iPhones and streaming music, and as both the Shuffle and Nano had limited (if any) apps capability, they fell behind the curve - and Apple didn't bother bringing them up to speed. To celebrate the last player standing, Apple is boosting the iPod Touch's capacity, upping the 16GB version that sells for $199 to 32GB, and the $299 64GB model to 128GB; the 16GB and 64GB models will no longer be for sale. (TechCrunch)
Turtles Saved By Sex Toys!
Now here's something you don't here every day. Scientists in Australia are using sex toys to help arouse male turtles so they can save their species. No kidding. It seems it is incredibly hard to determine the sex of a turtle and the scientists need accurate data on how many males and females are left. The male's private parts are tucked inside his body when not aroused to researchers came up with a novel solution - to use vibrators on the turtles to find out if anything pokes out when they are stimulated. Donald McKnight, a PhD candidate at James Cook University in Australia said, "To really understand what is going on with a population and how to conserve it, you need to be able to distinguish males and females. We weren't doing this because we thought it would be fun. We did this because we were trying to find a less invasive method of sexing problematic turtles." Scientists say they have to "get the turtles in the mood" by gently rubbing the vibrators on the creature's chest area in small circles, before moving down to the tail. The method of sexing the spiny softshell turtle was successful 100 per cent of the time. Turtles are struggling to survive, with about half of all species threatened with extinction. (Metro)
Trump Divorce! No, Not Them - Because of Them!
It's kind of interesting to send out a press release about your divorce. But it's far more interesting when you call it a "Trump divorce." It seems ex-Miami Dolphins cheerleader Lynn Aronberg and Florida state attorney Dave Aronberg are calling it splits. A press release from the TransMedia Group PR firm stated reason for their divorce is totally political. Lynn, in her mid-30s, is a staunch Republican and Trump supporter who says she felt "increasingly isolated in the marriage," which lasted just over two years. Meanwhile, Dave is a 46-year-old Democrat. The statement also outlines the $100,000 or so settlement Lynn is getting, including a new BMW, $40,000 in cash, and half her rent paid at her Boca Raton condo through next year. Oddly, however, in addition to owning her own media firm, Lynn is also an executive VP for TransMedia - but she says she has no idea how all of the financial concessions snuck into the press release, nor other intimate info, such as Dave allegedly not wanting to have kids with the same eagerness as she did. She says she and her ex agreed to put out a three-sentence paragraph together that mainly just said they were "respectfully and amicably" parting ways as "close friends," followed by a request for privacy. No comment from Dave about whom his ex-wife says: "He makes for a great ex-husband. I don't wish him anything but goodwill." (Palm Beach Post)
What the What?
Over in Britain, a very bad driver with way too much money totaled his brand new Ferrari only an hour after he bought it. Police called it a "miracle escape," but the car was not so lucky. South Yorkshire Police posted photos of the smoking, wrecked car, saying it "went airborne (and) burst into flames" beside a highway in northern England. The Ferrari 430 Scuderia, worth about $260,000, ended up a burning heap in a field while the driver had only had minor cuts and bruises. However police say they also detected "a sense of damaged pride." The driver reportedly told officers: "I've only just got it, picked it up an hour ago." (Newser)