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US Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in all 50 states

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Washington: Giving gay rights activists their biggest victory yet, the US Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples can marry nationwide and states cannot ban such marriages – an issue that divides America and India too.

President Barack Obama, who come out in support of same sex marriage only three years ago in the face of fast-changing public opinion in the midst of his 2012 re-election campaign, hailed the apex court’s 5-4 ruling as “a victory for America”.

Social progress sometimes comes in small increments, he said from the White House Rose Garden, “and then there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”.

“America should be very proud,” said Obama whose administration supported the challengers to the gay marriage bans in the apex court.

Unlike India, where homosexuality is a criminal offence, same-sex couples can marry in 36 American states today, but federal appeals courts have been divided over whether states must allow same-sex couples to marry and recognize such marriages performed elsewhere.

The 14 same-sex couples and two widowers who challenged gay marriage bans in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio were just a few of the estimated 650,000 same-sex couples in the US, 125,000 of whom are raising children.

Lawyers for the four states argued their bans were justified by tradition and the distinctive characteristics of opposite-sex unions.

The issue, they said, should be resolved democratically, at the polls and in state legislatures, rather than by judges.

The challengers included same-sex couples who wanted to marry, those who sought to have their lawful out-of-state marriage recognized, as well as those who wanted to amend a birth or death certificate with their marriage status.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority with four liberal justices.

“In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were,” he added

In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia blasted the court’s “threat to American democracy.”

“The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me,” he wrote. “But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch.” (IANS)

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Are Roller Coasters plain Fun or Is there an Inherent Risk?

Children aged 10-14 yrs. are the ones who most often sustain injuries on roller coasters. As per US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Thousands of children get hurt each year and some of them even end up in the emergency room.

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roller-coasters
Fun can be dangerous, In 2016, US registered number of serious medical cases caused by roller coaster rides. (Illustration by Sagrika Saraf, New Delhi)

– By Dr Bharti Raizada

In the United States of America, millions of people, young children, youth, adult, are fond of Rollercoaster rides. They want to have fun and feel the thrill with family and friends by trying out some new and fast roller coaster rides.

Latest roller coasters can drop you from 500 feet height and can accelerate from zero to 120 miles/hr within four seconds.

Is Roller Coaster Ride Safe?

The roller coaster rides are usually fun and safe. When compared with driving on roads, people are safer on the roller coasters. They are usually maintained in good shape and checked frequently. There are computer systems to ensure smooth rides and eliminate the chances of accidents and operator errors, however, accidents do happen.

Children aged 10-14 yrs. are the ones who most often sustain injuries on roller coasters. As per US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Thousands of children get hurt each year and some of them even end up in the emergency room. Spinal cord injuries and fractures are the possibilities of cases.

Injury rate increased 60 percent from 1996 to 2000 in which 10,580 injuries needed emergency treatment.

In the year 2016, around 30,900 emergency room visits were documented for injuries. During the years 1990 and 2004 at least 52 deaths were reported and 22 deaths since 2010 to present.

roller coaster
People on roller coaster ride. (image source: flick, available for reuse)

The major effects caused on the body by the twisting, turning, dropping, rising, and catapulting of the roller coasters are:

  • Blood flow rapidly changes in different parts of body
  • Blood pressure and heart rate increase
  • Brain fluid moves rapidly and pressure changes occur
  • Dizziness, spinning sensation feeling
  • Subdural hematoma or bleeding in brain can occur
  • Barotrauma to ears can occur because of ear fluid movement and pressure changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stress disorder/PTSD

A person with pre-existing diseases and older aged people have higher risks, so they should avoid the roller coaster rides.

People who should avoid Roller coaster ride?

  • People with uncontrolled blood pressure
  • People with history of arrhythmia
  • People with spinal injuries
  • History of aneurysms
  • Stroke
  • Patients on anticoagulants/sedatives
  • Pregnant females
  • Every ride has Height and weight specifications.

People falling in the above categories should strictly avoid the roller coaster rides. A normal person can feel Dizziness, Excessive and abnormal sleepiness, confusion, headache, sinking feeling, lightheadedness and blackout soon after the roller coaster rides. These can occur even a few days after the ride.

So next time when you go for a roller coaster ride, keep these associated dangers in mind. If you do not feel comfortable do not go for this thrill. Do not get pressurized by your children. Roller coasters can have medical consequences. Be vigilant all the time and follow your instinct. Stay safe!

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‘In Standing up for Herself, Edie Also Stood up for Millions of Americans’, Tweets Bill Clinton as the World Mourns the Death of Gay Rights Activist Edith Windsor

Paying his tribute to Edie, former US President Barack Obama rightly said, "Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor - and few made as big a difference to America."

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Edith Windsor
Edie dearly loved the LGBTQ community which loved her right back and held her in reverence for her fight for freedom, equality, and justice. Wikemedia

New York, September 13, 2017 Gay rights activist Edith Windsor, whose same-sex marriage fight led to a landmark US ruling, has died aged 88.

Her death was confirmed to the New York Times by her wife Judith Kasen-Windsor. She died in New York.

“The world lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality,” the BBC quoted Kasen-Windsor as saying.

“Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community, which she loved so much and which loved her right back,” she added.

Edith Windsor’s Supreme Court case struck down the Defence of Marriage Act in 2013, granting same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.

She had sued the US government after being ordered to pay $363,053 in federal estate tax after her previous wife, Thea Spyer, died. The couple had been partners for 44 years and had married in Canada in 2007.

Windsor, known as Edie, argued that the provision of the law which defined marriage as between a man and a woman prevented her from getting a tax deduction due to married couples – and was “unconstitutional”.

In the landmark 2013 ruling, the US Supreme Court agreed – and that decision became the basis for a wave of further court rulings increasing the rights of same-sex couples.

In 2015, another crucial Supreme Court ruling gave same-sex couples the right to marry.

Remembering the gay rights trailblazer Edith Windsor, former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also paid their tributes.

“Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America,” Obama said. While Clinton tweeted: “In standing up for herself, Edie also stood up for millions of Americans…” (IANS)

 

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June 2 is National Doughnut (Donut) Day: Here is why it is of Significance to Americans!

America loves its doughnuts. On National Doughnut Day, we bring you ten facts you might not know

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June 2 is National Doughnut (Donut) Day, at Donut Street. Pixabay

June 02, 2017: 

If you have a sweet tooth, then today is certainly your day! On this day, the first Friday of June which the Americans celebrate as the National Doughnut (or Donut) Day. It is to celebrate and honor the Salvation Army Lassies.

The origin of this occasion can be traced back to the year 1938 in Chicago when the Army celebrated doughnut day to honor the women who served doughnuts to tired and hungry American soldiers during the World War 1.

The doughnut has been popularized in America. Over 10 billion doughnuts are made in the US each year! The global audience sees it most of the times in pop culture. The police head in The Simpsons has a few doughnuts piled on his gun all the time. It is portrayed as police force’s favorite snack with a coffee.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

Here are ten things you may not know about doughnuts:

  • They were called ‘olykoeks’ when they first came to America. Olykoek is a Dutch word for ‘Oily Cakes’. Crazy right?
  • Did you notice the two different spellings in the title? Well, both are acceptable. Originally spelled doughnuts, the shorter and convenient form ‘donut’ was popularized by the opening of ‘Dunkin Donuts’ in the 20th Century.

American Doughnut. Pixabay

 

  • There are different stories to the starting of the relationship between a cop and a doughnut. The most common story is that doughnut shops were open till late at night and provided for an accessible snack for the cops on night shifts. Gradually, a reciprocal relationship emerged. Doughnut shops would welcome the police.
  • Doughnuts were declared ‘the hit food of the century of progress’ at a 1933 Chicago world fair.
  • It was Captain Hensen Gregory who claims to have invented the whole in the doughnuts. His mother Elizabeth Gregory made doughnuts that did not have a hole.
  • Red Cross during the World War 2 would provide doughnuts and coffee to American and British soldiers. While it was free for Americans, the British had to pay. This led to a conflict between the soldiers and Red Cross had to ultimately charge everyone.
  • The Vietnamese in 1966 had an argument with Marine Capt. Orson Swindlen regarding the absence of holidays in the US. The marine responded that US has a National Donut Day on November 10. The American soldiers held captive were served doughnuts on November 10. It was actually the Marine’s birth date.
  • The doughnut industry in the US is worth 3.6 billion dollars.

Doughnut and Coffee. Pixabay

  • The first doughnut machine was invented in 1920 by Adolph Levitt who was a Russian-born immigrant in the US.
  • The Guinness World Record for most doughnuts eaten in three minutes without licking lips was by an American Patrick Bertoletti who ate 3 doughnuts.

Money can’t buy happiness, or so it seems today- rush to the places in the US giving away free doughnuts and kick start your weekend with what happiness tastes like!

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