US & Canada

News this week: The transgender military ban in the US

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Media captionBeing transgender in the US military

US President Donald Trump has surprised Americans with his administration's decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

The White House says it is still figuring out how to implement the ban following the president's Twitter announcement on Wednesday.

It remains unclear how this will affect current transgender service personnel, whose numbers range anywhere from around 4,000 to over 10,000.

For over a year, transgender service members had been allowed to serve openly following a policy change under former US president Barack Obama.

Transgender military personnel reacted with shock, with one telling the BBC: "It was heartbreaking, my stomach dropped".

Israel relents on holy site security measures

Israel has removed new security measures at a key holy site in East Jerusalem after they sparked outrage.

The last remnants were removed on Thursday at the Old City complex known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Israel closed the site after two Israeli police officers were killed. Palestinians fiercely objected to the measures and had refrained from entering the complex.

Israeli security forces and demonstrators had clashed regularly after the metal detectors were introduced to the site on 14 July.

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Media captionBuilding a road to the top of the world

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