Weekend headline roundup: Debate about SEPTA gender stickers, Mumia’s back in the news

>> SEPTA will be ending its policy of marking TransPasses with stickers denoting male and female, volunteer advocacy group Riders Against Gender Exclusion announced.

Still, there’s no consensus for the reason behind the action: RAGE claims civil rights victory and says that the stickers will be removed in advance of a new fare system, but SEPTA’s director of public affairs counters that their removal is a long-planned part of the new payment technology.

>> Police have released video surveillance footage of a man wanted for stealing donations at a Smokeaters benefit for fallen firefighters Lt. Robert Neary and Daniel Sweeney, who were killed in a five-alarm Kensington warehouse fire last week.

>> The state legislature will not pass a bill allowing experts to
testify in sex abuse cases about the behavior of witnesses and assailants
in time for the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, Philadelphia Weekly reports. Pennsylvania is the last state in the country that doesn’t allow this testimony.

>> A 79-year-old woman and her four-year-old great granddaughter were killed in a North Philadelphia house fire overnight, Action News reports.

>> Controversial Philadelphia convict Mumia Abu-Jamal gave his first interview since he was removed from death row in January to news channel Russian Television. In it, he calls Occupy Wall Street “a damn good beginning” and criticizes the U.S.’s two-party political system.


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