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Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner shares support for transgender swimming ban: ‘What’s fair is fair!’

Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner voiced her support for the international swimming federation’s decision that transgender athletes cannot compete in women’s events if they didn’t transition before 12 years old.

Jenner, who is transgender, has been outspoken in her belief that it’s not fair for transgender women to take part in competitive women’s sports.

“It worked!” Jenner tweeted Sunday after the federation’s ruling came down. “I took a lot of heat — but what’s fair is fair! If you go through male puberty you should not be able to take medals away from females. Period.”

The swimming governing body, FINA, announced its new “gender inclusion policy” on Sunday following a 71.5% vote.

The decision comes about three months after Lia Thomas, a swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, became the first transgender woman to win a NCAA Division I in any sport.

Thomas, who was part of the university’s men’s team before transitioning, started swimming for Penn’s women’s team during the 2021-22 season. She underwent hormone therapy before joining the women’s team.

“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam.

Jenner, 72, won a gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games. She came out as a transgender woman in 2015.

FINA’s ruling also received support from former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sport @fina & @fina_president for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and standing up for fair sport for females,” the English athlete tweeted Sunday. “Swimming will always welcome everyone no matter how you identify but fairness is the cornerstone of sport.”

U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe, meanwhile, has voiced her support for trans inclusion, saying in a recent interview with Time that transgender women aren’t “taking everyone’s scholarships” or “winning every title.”

“I would also encourage everyone out there who is afraid someone’s going to have an unfair advantage over their kid to really take a step back and think what are we actually talking about here,” Rapinoe said in an interview published Sunday morning.

“We’re talking about people’s lives. I’m sorry, your kid’s high school volleyball team just isn’t that important. It’s not more important than any one kid’s life.”

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SEOUL, South Korea — The surprise announcement by BTS last week that they were taking a break to focus on members’ solo projects stunned their global fanbase, shaking their label's stock price and leaving many questions about the K-pop supergroup’s future.

HYBE, the company behind the band, denied the group was taking a hiatus In the days since, band members have remained active on social media, continuing the stream of posts, photos and assurances that the band wasn’t breaking up.

Several factors may still affect BTS’ future. One is looming military enlistment for older BTS members, as well as how engaged the group and their devoted fans, known as ARMY, will continue to be in social issues.

In 2020, at the height of BTS’ success, the South Korean government revised the country’s military law that requires able-bodied South Korean men to perform approximately two years of military service. The revised law allows top K-pop stars — including Jin, the oldest member of BTS — to defer their military service until they turn 30 if they've received government medals for heightening the country’s cultural reputation and apply for the postponement. All seven BTS members meet the criteria as recipients of government medals in 2018.

There have been calls — including from South Korea’s former culture minister — for an exemption for BTS because of their contribution to heightening South Korea’s international reputation. But critics say that such an exemption would be bending the conscription rules to favor the privileged.

Jin, 29, is expected to enlist this year unless he receives an exemption.

Military enlistment of members has always been a headache for HYBE; BTS once accounted for 90% of the label’s profit.

As the most successful K-pop band to date with hits like “Dynamite” and “Butter,” BTS has for years commanded tremendous attention on social media and with each new music release. They recently performed several sold-out shows in the United States and became the first K-pop act to get a Grammy Award nomination.

CedarBough Saeji, a professor of Korean and East Asian Studies, Tuesday’s announcement signaled the band’s intention to figure out “where they are going for themselves without interference from other people" and “being able to choose their own path forward as artists.”

Several BTS members said during last week’s announcement that they were struggling with the group's successes and having trouble writing new songs.

“For me, it was like the group BTS was within my grasp until ‘On’ and ‘Dynamite,’ but after ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore,” member RM said. “Whenever I write lyrics and songs, it’s really important what kind of story and message I want to give out but it was like that was gone now.”

While that clouds what BTS’ next steps might be, Saeji said their continued candor was necessary because of how much the group has impacted their fanbase.

“They’re meeting the fans with that same honesty and saying to them, ‘You had my help when I needed it. And now I need my help,'” she said. “'I need to be on my own. To think for myself, to know what I want to write a lyric about, to understand my own mind, to become inspired on my own.’"

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Britney Spears

There will be no Father’s Day reconciliation in the Spears family.

Jamie Spears has filed legal documents demanding his daughter Britney Spears sit for a deposition in the ongoing court battle surrounding her terminated conservatorship.

Jamie, 69, wants Britney questioned under oath about several things, TMZ reported. He was upset by her claims that she was forced to go to therapy, forced to give blood and denied medication she had requested.

Britney, 40, has detailed the cruel conditions of her conservatorship in several posts, both during the arrangement and after it was terminated in November 2021.

Mathew Rosengart, Britney’s lawyer, promised a “top-to-bottom” review of Jamie’s conduct during the conservatorship. Britney has said she wants her dad prosecuted for conservatorship abuse.

“The people who did this to me should not get away and be able to walk away so easily,” she said in June 2021. “They should be in jail.”

Rosengart described Jamie’s latest filing as “another tactic to bully, harass and intimidate his daughter — his own daughter,” according to TMZ. Rosengart also said Jamie refused to sit for a deposition himself.

From combined wire services.