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Wildfire managers have turned to the U. S. Department of Defense for immediate access to two military C-130 aircraft retrofitted to carry retardant, boosting their forces to face the largest blaze in Washington state history.
The U. S. Forest Service has its own fleet of more than 20 air tankers, but has in the past called on the military to provide aircraft to help suppress wildfires.
Blazes that have raged across hundreds of thousands of acres (ha) of forests and grasslands in Washington state and Oregon triggered the call for the two aircraft, Steve Gage, a senior official with the U.
A state judge struck down Florida’s gay marriage ban on Friday in the latest in a string of legal gay-rights victories that have nonetheless been put on hold for resolution by higher courts.
Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel in Miami-Dade County said Florida’s ban violated the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, as well as offended “basic human decency.” Florida’s attorney general quickly appealed the ruling.
But Zabel said the slew of recent verdicts showed it is “increasingly obvious” it is not permissible to deny couples the right to marry solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, and that doing so served no governmental purpose.
“It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society,” she wrote.
Since the Supreme Court ordered the federal government last year to extend benefits to legally married gay couples, every federal and state court that has taken up the issue of same-sex marriage – about 20 courts – has ruled against state bans.
Most of these rulings are on hold.
Don Price Johnston, a 44-year-old plaintiff in the Miami lawsuit, said he was thrilled with the ruling and that he did not mind that it had been stayed for now.
“It’s not like we’re going to lose.
Same-sex couples in Alaska should be eligible to receive death benefits when a partner dies despite a state ban on gay marriage, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled on Friday in its second decision in four months to favor granting benefits to gay couples.
In ruling that a 1998 amendment to the state constitution forbidding same-sex marriage did not extend to barring death benefits for same-sex couples, the court overturned a decision by the Alaska Workers Compensation Board.
The board had earlier denied a death benefits claim by an Anchorage woman, Deborah Harris, whose same-sex partner was fatally shot at work three years ago by a disgruntled employee at an Anchorage hotel where both were employed.
The board, in denying the claim, had cited the state’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as “only between one man and one woman.” But the state Supreme Court ruled that utilizing a narrow definition of a widow to exclude same-sex partners “violates the surviving partner’s right to equal protection under the law.”
“Debbie had a tragedy happen in her life – her longtime life partner was killed – then another tragedy was not being recognized for who she was – a life partner – by the legal system,” Harris’s attorney Eric Croft said, praising the ruling.
“Financially this is important, but it’s important to recognize that same-sex couples deserve equal treatment,” he added.
The ruling comes as a series of federal judges have knocked down state bans on gay marriage across the United States in rulings that, if upheld, could substantially expand gay marriage in the United States.
Cotswold Archaeology and local divers hope to solve mystery of how the warship London sank off the Southend coast
A major underwater rescue excavation is being mounted this summer by English Heritage to solve a 349-year-old mystery: how warship the London managed to blow itself up without firing a shot at the enemy, in broad daylight, within sight of the Southend seafront.
Cotswold Archaeology and local divers hope to recover as much information as possible before the ship’s splinted timbers finally disintegrate.
The actor has hinted at the possibility of a final outing as Ellen Ripley after reiterating her view that the Alien story is unresolved
Although the second half of the Alien ”quadrilogy” is remembered with mixed feelings by fans of the Ridley Scott and James Cameron movies, it seems the story may not quite be over. Speaking this week while promoting the forthcoming Alien: Isolation video game, Sigourney Weaver admitted for the second time in two months that she thinks there is life in the old xenomorph yet.
“I definitely feel the story is unresolved, we never really finished it,” she said.
Presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador say combination of US policies is seriously harming their countries
Three Central American leaders met President Obama on Friday to tell him that billions of dollars poured into attempting to prevent migrant children crossing the US border would be better spent addressing the root causes of the crisis in their countries.
The presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador urged the US administration to do more to combat the armed gangs and drug cartels responsible for the violence driving emigration that has seen more than 57,000 unaccompanied children from their countries arrive at the Texas border in recent months.