The Daily Populous

Tuesday October 18th, 2022 evening edition

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Same-sex spouses who were in long-term relationships with a veteran but were not legally able to marry before 2015 may now qualify for survivor benefits under a policy change announced by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

By law, couples have to be married at least a year for the surviving spouse to be eligible for benefits such as the VA survivors pension or the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

The policy change took effect immediately, so newly eligible spouses can apply now.

Anyone who applies within the next year will get benefits backdated to Oct. 11, 2022, but the benefits are not retroactive beyond that.

Last year, the VA said veterans given other-than-honorable discharges solely for their sexual orientation under the military's now-defunct "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy would be eligible to receive full benefits.

The change for survivor benefits comes after 41 Democratic senators sent a letter to McDonough earlier this year calling on him to ensure same-sex partners are eligible for benefits if they weren't able to marry prior to Obergefell.

The VA has also faced at least one court challenge over survivor benefits for LGBTQ spouses. »

The Thaw on Russia’s Periphery Has Already Started

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The Russian military’s failures and resort to widespread atrocities have exposed Moscow’s conventional military capabilities as a Potemkin force.

If Putin were to follow through on his threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, it would only compound his strategic defeat.

We don’t know how exactly this war will end, but we do know that Russia will not win. »

Trump Hotels Charged Secret Service Up to 5 Times the Standard Rate: Report

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According to The Washington Post, the expense reports reveal that the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service as much as $1,185 a night for agents to stay in properties such as the Trump International Hotel in D.C.

Since Trump left office in Jan. 2021, the Secret Service continues to protect him, as is customary for all former presidents.

Untraditionally, however, the agency continues to also pay the Trump Organization to stay at Trump-owned properties while protecting him. »