The Daily Populous

Tuesday September 21st, 2021 morning edition

image for VA tells veterans discharged under 'don't ask, don't tell' they are eligible for all VA benefits

(CNN) The Veterans Affairs Department issued guidance stating military service members who were discharged because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy are eligible for all Veterans Affairs benefits.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough issued guidance to veterans benefits administrator adjudicators that military service members who have an "other than honorable discharge due solely to their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status should be considered veterans who may be eligible for VA benefits," Williams said during the virtual event.

This allows veterans who were discharged because of their gender identity, sexual orientation or HIV status to receive the full range of veterans' benefits including veteran readiness and employment benefits, home loan guaranty, compensation and pension benefits, health care, homeless programs and burial benefits, a blogpost from Williams about the change said.

The moves marks another step from the Biden administration to improve rights for LGBTQ+ service members and veterans.

The Veterans Affairs Department is also moving to make gender confirmation surgery for transgender veterans available through VA health care coverage, McDonough announced in June.

They have also established a task force to "examine how VA policies may hinder or prohibit access to care and services," for LGBTQ+ veterans, Williams added.

Williams said the administration plans to do more to help LGBTQ+ veterans and military members. »

A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it – possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom

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Flashing through the atmosphere, the rock exploded in a massive fireball about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) above the ground.

None of the 8,000 people or any animals within the city survived – their bodies were torn apart and their bones blasted into small fragments.

About a minute later, 14 miles (22 km) to the west of Tall el-Hammam, winds from the blast hit the biblical city of Jericho. »

Mississippi Governor Announces Bold Plan to Do Nothing to Stop COVID

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The U.S. on Monday reached 675,000 COVID deaths, the approximate number of Americans that died during the influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1921.

Reeves, the Mississippi governor, is presiding over one of the most devastating outbreaks not just in America, but the world.

“Governor, if Mississippi were a country, you would have the second worst per capita death toll in the world,” a weary-looking Tapper told Reeves. »