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October 27, 2013

Slow start to winter 2013/2014 flu season in USA

Slow start to winter 2013/2014 flu season in USA

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

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With the United States flu season having started this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Weather Channel and Google‘s FluTrends websites report today low flu levels.

All three sources say there are no, or minimal, reports of the flu in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. All three indicate Alabama has moderate flu levels. Google FluTrends indicates that at the same time last year, the flu level nationally was at moderate.

During the early part of the month, there were some concerns about the quality of flu reporting as the CDC and other government supported flu tracking organizations were impacted by the US government shutdown. Some non-profits and private organizations provided their own data during this period to fill the information void.

The CDC advises people to get a flu vaccine as the best means of avoiding getting the flu. Dr. Harry Leider, Chief Medical Officer for Walgreens, also is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine now before the flu becomes more widespread. For the 2013/2014 flu season in the US, there are two types of vaccines available. One provides immunization for two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus — specifically, an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus; an A(H3N2) virus, similar for antigenic purposes to cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011; and a virus similar to B/Massachusetts/2/2012. A second type of vaccine provides immunization for two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

Flu prevelance by state
State Google FluTrend CDC The Weather Channel
Alabama Moderate Local Localized
Alaska Low Sporadic
Arizona Low Sporadic Sporadic
Arkansas Low No activity
California Low Sporadic Sporadic
Colorado Low No activity
Connecticut Low Sporadic Sporadic
Delaware Low No activity
Florida Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Georgia Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Hawaii Low Sporadic
Idaho Low No activity
Illinois Moderate Sporadic
Indiana Low Sporadic Sporadic
Iowa Low Sporadic Sporadic
Kansas Moderate No activity
Kentucky Moderate No activity
Louisiana Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Maine Low No activity
Maryland Low No activity Sporadic
Massachusetts Low Sporadic Sporadic
Michigan Moderate Sporadic
Minnesota Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
Mississippi Moderate Local Sporadic
Missouri Moderate No activity
Montana Low No activity
Nebraska Low Sporadic
Nevada Moderate Sporadic
New Hampshire Low No activity
New Jersey Low Sporadic Sporadic
New Mexico Moderate Sporadic Sporadic
New York Low Sporadic Sporadic
North Carolina Low No activity
North Dakota Low Sporadic Sporadic
Ohio Low Sporadic Sporadic
Oklahoma Moderate No activity
Oregon Low Sporadic
Pennsylvania Low Sporadic
Rhode Island Low No activity
South Carolina Low Local Localized
South Dakota Low No activity Sporadic
Tennessee Moderate No activity
Texas Moderate Sporadic Localized
Utah Low Sporadic Sporadic
Vermont Low No activity
Virginia Low No activity
Washington Low Sporadic Sporadic
West Virginia Low No activity
Wisconsin Low Sporadic Sporadic
Wyoming Low Sporadic Sporadic
District of Columbia Low Sporadic



Sources

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March 26, 2013

United States Supreme Court contemplates gay marriage issue

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Supreme Court on Capitol Hill
Image: Ken Hammond.

This week, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to address two cases before them on the issue of same-sex marriage. The federal Defense of Marriage Act case is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday. The other case involves California’s Proposition 8. A ruling is unlikely to be made until June.

The federal case involves the denial of privileges afforded to heterosexual married couples on the federal level, and the legality of states to opt out of recognizing legal marriages performed in other states in the union and to deny state benefits for those couples.

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, potential swing vote on the Supreme Court
Image: Steve Petteway.

John Eastman, law professor at Chapman University and chairman of National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, believes the eventual ruling will be a close one, with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy likely to be the key swing vote. Eastman is quoted by U.S. News and World Report as saying of Kennedy, “All eyes are on Justice Kennedy and he’s obviously written the two major gay rights decisions in the past decade and a half and that means that people rightly think that he’s kind of open to taking this step, but he has studiously avoided taking that step in prior cases.” Other court watchers agree with this sentiment.

In the lead up to the hearings, a number of high profile politicians have expressed their support for same-sex marriage including Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. Earlier this month, 40 United States senators signed a legal brief arguing against the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that was submitted to the Supreme Court.

High visibility companies have also indicated support for legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, including Starbucks where CEO Howard Schultz gave company support at a share-holder meeting last week. After share-holder Tom Strobhar implied at the meeting that Starbuck’s historical position of supporting same-sex marriage, which included open support of the same-sex marriage legalization efforts in the state of Washington last year, hurt the company’s bottom line, Schultz responded by saying, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company.” The company’s position is predicated on respecting diversity, even if it potentially did impact Starbucks earnings.

Goldman Sachs has also supported the push for same-sex marriage arguing that the lack of equality hurts businesses. Goldman Sachs, Marriott International and Thomson Reuters have all signed a legal brief condemning the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Protesters gathered inside the state capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota, to protest against the upcoming vote by the Minnesota House of Representatives to put an anti-same-sex marriage amendment on the 2012 election ballot.
Image: Fibonacci Blue.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll published last week showed support for same-sex marriage in the United States was at an all time high at 58%, an increase of 21% since 2003. A recent Gallup poll showed similar results, with 54% of Americans supporting federal benefits for gay and lesbian couples, an increase of 27% since 1996 when the federal Defense of Marriage Act became law. Last week, a poll published by Reuters/Ipso found 63% of Americans supported same-sex marriage or civil unions. Despite this, social conservatives argue that this support may be over-stated by as much as 7% when voters are asked to voice their opinion on the issue at the ballot box. They cite a 2010 study by New York University political science professor Patrick J. Egan. Social conservatives also argue that people lie to pollsters as they do not want to appear intolerant. 2000 Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer said on Fox News Sunday, “I’m not worried about [same-sex marriage], because the polls are skewed. Just this past November, four states, very liberal states, voted on this issue and my side lost all four of those votes. But my side had 45, 46 percent of the vote in all four of those liberal states.” Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, also argues that misleading polling questions over-count support for same-sex marriage in the United States.

Despite the potential for skewed polling, the four most recent ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage in the United States on a state level resulted in citizens voting to support same-sex marriage in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington and Maine. It also comes at a time when the most recent election cycle in the United States saw opponents of same-sex marriage outspent 3 to 1.



Related news

  • Voters in Maine and Maryland vote for marriage equality” — Wikinews, November 7, 2012
  • “California’s same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional; appeal expected” — Wikinews, August 4, 2010
  • “California Supreme Court defers ruling on same-sex marriage ban” — Wikinews, March 5, 2009
  • “California Supreme Court strikes down ban on gay marriage” — Wikinews, May 16, 2008

Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Supreme Court of the United States contemplates same-sex marriage

Supreme Court of the United States contemplates same-sex marriage

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Supreme Court on Capitol Hill
Image: Ken Hammond.

This week, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to address two cases before them on the issue of same-sex marriage. The federal Defense of Marriage Act case is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday. The other case involves California’s Proposition 8. A ruling is unlikely to be made until June.

The federal case involves the denial of privileges afforded to heterosexual married couples on the federal level, and the legality of states to opt out of recognizing legal marriages performed in other states in the union and to deny state benefits for those couples.

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, potential swing vote on the Supreme Court
Image: Steve Petteway.

John Eastman, law professor at Chapman University and chairman of National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, believes the eventual ruling will be a close one, with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy likely to be the key swing vote. Eastman is quoted by U.S. News and World Report as saying of Kennedy, “All eyes are on Justice Kennedy and he’s obviously written the two major gay rights decisions in the past decade and a half and that means that people rightly think that he’s kind of open to taking this step, but he has studiously avoided taking that step in prior cases.” Other court watchers agree with this sentiment.

In the lead up to the hearings, a number of high profile politicians have expressed their support for same-sex marriage including Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. Earlier this month, 40 United States senators signed a legal brief arguing against the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that was submitted to the Supreme Court.

High visibility companies have also indicated support for legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, including Starbucks where CEO Howard Schultz gave company support at a share-holder meeting last week. After share-holder Tom Strobhar implied at the meeting that Starbuck’s historical position of supporting same-sex marriage, which included open support of the same-sex marriage legalization efforts in the state of Washington last year, hurt the company’s bottom line, Schultz responded by saying, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company.” The company’s position is predicated on respecting diversity, even if it potentially impacts Starbucks earnings.

Goldman Sachs has also supported the push for same-sex marriage arguing that the lack of equality hurts businesses. Goldman Sachs, Marriott International and Thomson Reuters have all signed a legal brief condemning the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Protesters gathered inside the state capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota, to protest against the upcoming vote by the Minnesota House of Representatives to put an anti-same-sex marriage amendment on the 2012 election ballot.
Image: Fibonacci Blue.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll published last week showed support for same-sex marriage in the United States was at an all time high at 58%, an increase of 21% since 2003. A recent Gallup poll showed similar results, with 54% of Americans supporting federal benefits for gay and lesbian couples, an increase of 27% since 1996 when the federal Defense of Marriage Act became law. Last week, a poll published by Reuters/Ipso found 63% of Americans supported same-sex marriage or civil unions. Despite this, social conservatives argue that this support may be over-stated by as much as 7% when voters are asked to voice their opinion on the issue at the ballot box. They cite a 2010 study by New York University political science professor Patrick J. Egan. Social conservatives also argue that people lie to pollsters to avoid appearing intolerant. 2000 Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer said on Fox News Sunday, “I’m not worried about [same-sex marriage], because the polls are skewed. Just this past November, four states, very liberal states, voted on this issue and my side lost all four of those votes. But my side had 45, 46 percent of the vote in all four of those liberal states.” Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, also argues that misleading polling questions over-count support for same-sex marriage in the United States.

Despite the potential for skewed polling, the four most recent ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage in the United States on a state level resulted in citizens voting to support same-sex marriage in Minnesota, Maryland, Washington and Maine. It also comes at a time when the most recent election cycle in the United States saw opponents of same-sex marriage outspent 3 to 1.



Related news

Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 3, 2013

Reports of at least fourteen dead this week due to gun-related suicides in the United States

Reports of at least fourteen dead this week due to gun-related suicides in the United States

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Correction — February 6, 2013
 
This article does not conform to our neutrality policy, due to its manner of presentation of an out-of-context selection of facts. The lapse appears to have been unintentional by all parties involved. We apologize for the error.
 
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

A number of suicides as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds took place around the United States this week with reports of deaths in Arizona, California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

Last Saturday in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alston Badger died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 51 years old.

On Monday in Clark County, Nevada, Jody Sherman, the Ecomom founder and CEO, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Another suicide occurred Monday in New Jersey. Chester and Rosaria Andraka died after Chester allegedly shot Rosaria before killing himself. Chester was a former police officer and there were few signs of trouble in the relationship prior to their deaths.

Another murder-suicide shooting took place on Monday. This one occurred in Elmont, New York, where 58-year-old Audley Dennis is believed to have shot his 46-year-old wife, Karen Rodgers-Dennis, before he shot himself. The couple allegedly had a history of fighting, with a family friend telling the New York Post, “They had their altercations. They would argue and yell, have outbursts.”

Greensburg, Indiana, where one of this week’s gun-related suicides took place
Image: Dopey9928.

In Greensburg, Indiana on Tuesday, local police Lieutenant Larry G. Dance committed suicide, dying from a self-inflicted gunshot. He had joined the police force on January 1, 1995. He left behind by a wife and two daughters.

On Tuesday in Waldorf, Maryland, local police reported an attempted murder-suicide with sixty-four year old Linda Lindsey believed to have shot her husband before fatally shooting herself. Her husband was reported to have survived and be in critical condition.

Devin Peterson, a twenty-two year old, allegedly committed suicide with a state trooper’s shotgun following his alleged theft of a police cruiser, another car and a police chase on Interstate 80 in Nevada on Wednesday.

A seventy-year-old man from Renton, Washington died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on Wednesday shortly after he called 911 to tell the dispatcher he was planning to take his own life.

On Wednesday, three people died in a murder-suicide in Oxnard, California that involved at least one gun. The deceased included two women and the suspected male shooter.

On Thursday, Lee Vining Fire Chief Tom Strazdims reported an Oregon man likely commited suicide by shooting himself in the parking lot of the town’s visitor center.

Also on Thursday, the body of a suspected gunman accused of killing a call center CEO and injuring a lawyer was found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound in Mesa, Arizona. Police had been searching for the man since Wednesday following the shooting at a mediation session over a lawsuit.

In another reported suicide on Thursday, this one in the Baltimore area, a man was found dead in the parking lot of the Timonium gun range of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

In Radcliff, Kentucky on Thursday, alleged burglar Michael Strand exchanged gunfire with police after they attempted to bring him in for questioning. Following a lull of approximately an hour, police entered the apartment and found the man dead from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In Medina, Ohio on Thursday, United States Marine Andrew Baumgartner, who served in Afghanistan and had been discharged several months ago, got into an altercation with Sgt. Scott Schmoll after Schmoll felt a gun on Baumgartner’s person. Following this, Baumgartner hid in nearby woodlands, emerged to knock on the door of a local home to tell the resident he had been hit by a car, only to disappear into the woods again. He subsequently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police discovered his body alongside items they believed he had stolen.

The problem of suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound is recognized by some gun groups. The Royal Oak shooting range in Michigan stopped renting guns this week following after twelve people having attempted to kill themselves with guns rented from the range since 2001 (five of them were successful). Three of the incidents occurred in the past four months, with two of them fatal.

These suicides take place against a backdrop of gun control discussion in the United States Congress, where former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an NRA spokesperson appeared before the body this week to discuss the possible need for stricter gun control laws.

According to the Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention, guns are used in 85% of male suicides in the state. Debate has continued this week in the state about gun control as it relates to suicide. Iran’s PressTV published an opinion piece claiming that for every gun owner who uses their weapon in their home for self-defense, there are eleven suicide attempts involving a weapon. In the United States, veterans are more likely to use guns in acts of suicide than acts of homicide. The number of daily suicides by veterans is currently 22.

Guns are often used in suicide attempts, with PolitiFact reporting on Wednesday that there were 4,643 non-fatal gun involved suicide attempts in 2010. This number contradicts testimony by Wayne LaPierre of NRA to the United States Congress regarding unintentional deaths cause by firearms as LaPierre cited 600 deaths. Australia instituted tougher gun control regulations in 1996, including gun buy back programs. According to a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University, these programs correlate to an 80% drop in suicides involving guns at a time when other methods of suicide remained consistent.

Similar research done in the United States has similar results. A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found stricter gun control in the District of Columbia was a likely cause of a reduction in the number of suicides by gun shot in D.C. compared to surrounding areas.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 1, 2013

Reports of at least 14 dead this week due to gun-related suicides in the United States

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Friday, February 1, 2013

A number of suicides as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds took place around the country this week with reports of deaths in California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

Last Saturday in Wingo Way, South Carolina, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alston Badger died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 51 years old.

On Monday in Clark County, Nevada, Jody Sherman, the Ecomom founder and CEO, died from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

Another suicide occurred Monday in New Jersey. Chester and Rosaria Andraka died after Chester allegedly shot Rosaria before killing himself. Chester was a former police officer and there were few signs of trouble in the relationship prior to their deaths.

Another murder-suicide shooting took place on Monday. This one occurred in Elmont, New York, where 58-year-old Audley Dennis is believed to have shot his 46-year-old wife, Karen Rodgers-Dennis, before he shot himself. The couple allegedly had a history of fighting, with a family friend telling the New York Post, “They had their altercations. They would argue and yell, have outbursts.”

Greensburg, Indiana, where one of this week’s gun related suicides took place
Image: Dopey9928.

In Greensburg, Indiana on Tuesday, local police Lieutenant Larry G. Dance committed suicide, dying as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot. He had joined the police force on January 1, 1995. He left behind by a wife and two daughters.

On Tuesday in Waldorf, Maryland, local police reported an attempted murder-suicide with sixty-four year old Linda Lindsey believed to have shot her husband before fatally shooting herself. Her husband was reported to have survived and be in critical condition.

Devin Peterson, a twenty-two year old, allegedly committed suicide following his alleged theft of a police cruiser, another car and a police chase on Interstate 80 in Nevada on Wednesday.

A seventy-year-old man from Renton, Washington died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on Wednesday shortly after he called 911 to tell the dispatcher he was planning to take his own life.

On Wednesday, three people died in a murder-suicide in Oxnard, California that involved at least one gun. The deceased included two women and the suspected male shooter.

On Thursday, Lee Vining Fire Chief Tom Strazdims reported an Oregon man likely commited suicide by shooting himself in the parking lot of the town’s visitor center.

Also on Thursday, the body of a suspected gunman accused of killing a call-center CEO and injuring a lawyer was found dead of a suspected self inflicted gunshot wound in Mesa, Arizona. A manhunt had been ongoing since Wednesday following the shooting at mediation session over a lawsuit.

In another reported suicide on Thursday, this one in the Baltimore area, a man was found dead in the parking lot of the Timonium gun range of a self inflicted gun shot wound.

In Radcliff, Kentucky on Thursday, a Michael Strand exchanged gunfire with police after they attempted to bring the Strand in for questioning about a burgurlary. Following a lull of appropoximately an hour, police enterted the apartment and found the man dead from an alleged self inflicted gunshot wound.

In Medina, Ohio on Thursday, United States Marine Andrew Baumgartner, who served in Afghanistan and had been discharged several months ago, got into an altercation with Sgt. Scott Schmoll after Schmoll felt a gun on Baumgartner’s person. Following the situation, Baumgartner disappeared into the local woods, re-emerged to knock on the door of a local home to tell the resident he had been hit by a car, only to disappear into the woods again. While there for the second time, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, with his body discovered by police near items believed to have been stolen.

The problem of suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound is recognized by some gun groups. The Royal Oak shooting range in Michigan stopped their practice of gun rentals this week following twelve people having attempted, five of them successfully, of killing themselves using guns rented from the range. Three of the incidents occurred in the past four months, with two of them fatal. The story, covered by the Daily Tribune, makes zero references to employees having been trained to handle suicides or successfully using their own weapons to discourage those attempts.

These suicides take place against a backdrop of gun control discussion in the United States Congress, where former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an NRA spokesperson appeared before the body this week to discuss the possible need for stricter gun control laws.

According to the Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention, guns are used in 85% of male suicides in the state. Debate has continued this week in the state about gun control as it relates to suicide. PressTV reports that for every gun owner who uses their weapon in their home for self-defense, there are eleven suicide attempts involving a weapon. In the United States, veterans are more likely to use guns in acts of suicide than acts of homicide. The number of daily suicides by veterans is currently 22.

Guns are often used in suicide attempts, with PoliFact reporting on Wednesday that there were 4,643 non-fatal gun involved suicide attempts in 2010. This number fails to testimony by Wayne LaPierre of NRA to the United States Congress on the same date regarding unintentional deaths cause by firearms as LaPierre cited 600 deaths. Australia instituted tougher gun control regulations in 1996, including gun buy back programs. According to a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University, these programs correlate to an 80% drop in suicides involving guns at a time when other methods of suicide remained consistent.

Similar research done in the United States has similar results. A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found stricter gun control in the District of Columbia was a likely cause of lower levels of suicide by gun in the United States’s Capital compared to surrounding areas.



Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Summary of several gun-related suicides in the United States this week

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  • Human rights portal
  • Law portal
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  • Society portal

Friday, February 1, 2013

A number of suicides as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds took place around the country this week with reports of deaths in California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

Last Saturday in Wingo Way, South Carolina, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alston Badger died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was fifty-one-years-old.

On Monday in Clark County, Nevada, Jody Sherman, the Ecomom founder and CEO, died from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

Another suicide occurred Monday in New Jersey. Chester and Rosaria Andraka died after Chester allegedly shot Rosaria before killing himself. Chester was a former police officer and there were few signs of trouble in the relationship prior to their deaths.

Another gun involved murder-suicide took place on Monday. This one occurred in Elmont, New York, where fifty-eight-year-old Audley Dennis is believed to have shot his forty-six-year-old wife, Karen Rodgers-Dennis, before he shot himself. The couple allegedly had a history of fighting, with a family friend telling the New York Post, “They had their altercations. They would argue and yell, have outbursts.”

Greensburg, Indiana, where one of this week’s gun related suicides took place
Image: Dopey9928.

In Greensburg, Indiana on Tuesday, local police Lieutenant Larry G. Dance committed suicide, dying as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot. He had joined the police force on January 1, 1995. He left behind by a wife and two daughters.

On Tuesday in Waldorf, Maryland, local police reported an attempted murder-suicide with sixty-four year old Linda Lindsey believed to have shot her husband before fatally shooting herself. Her husband was reported to have survived and be in critical condition.

Devin Peterson, a twenty-two year old, allegedly committed suicide following his alleged theft of a police cruiser, another car and a police chase on Interstate 80 in Nevada on Wednesday.

A seventy-year-old man from Renton, Washington died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on Wednesday shortly after he called 911 to tell the dispatcher he was planning to take his own life.

On Wednesday, three people died in a murder-suicide in Oxnard, California that involved at least one gun. The deceased included two women and the suspected male shooter.

On Thursday, Lee Vining Fire Chief Tom Strazdims reported an Oregon man likely commited suicide by shooting himself in the parking lot of the town’s visitor center.

Also on Thursday, the body of a suspected gunman accused of killing a call-center CEO and injuring a lawyer was found dead of a suspected self inflicted gunshot wound in Mesa, Arizona. A manhunt had been ongoing since Wednesday following the shooting at mediation session over a lawsuit.

In another reported suicide on Thursday, this one in the Baltimore area, a man was found dead in the parking lot of the Timonium gun range of a self inflicted gun shot wound.

In Radcliff, Kentucky on Thursday, a Michael Strand exchanged gunfire with police after they attempted to bring the Strand in for questioning about a burgurlary. Following a lull of appropoximately an hour, police enterted the apartment and found the man dead from an alleged self inflicted gunshot wound.

In Medina, Ohio on Thursday, United States Marine Andrew Baumgartner, who served in Afghanistan and had been discharged several months ago, got into an altercation with Sgt. Scott Schmoll after Schmoll felt a gun on Baumgartner’s person. Following the situation, Baumgartner disappeared into the local woods, re-emerged to knock on the door of a local home to tell the resident he had been hit by a car, only to disappear into the woods again. While there for the second time, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, with his body discovered by police near items believed to have been stolen.

The problem of suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound is recognized by some gun groups. The Royal Oak shooting range in Michigan stopped their practice of gun rentals this week following twelve people having attempted, five of them successfully, of killing themselves using guns rented from the range. Three of the incidents occurred in the past four months, with two of them fatal. The story, covered by the Daily Tribune, makes zero references to employees having been trained to handle suicides or successfully using their own weapons to discourage those attempts.

These suicides take place against a backdrop of gun control discussion in the United States Congress, where former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an NRA spokesperson appeared before the body this week to discuss the possible need for stricter gun control laws.

According to the Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention, guns are used in 85% of male suicides in the state. Debate has continued this week in the state about gun control as it relates to suicide. PressTV reports that for every gun owner who uses their weapon in their home for self-defense, there are eleven suicide attempts involving a weapon. In the United States, veterans are more likely to use guns in acts of suicide than acts of homicide. The number of daily suicides by veterans is currently 22.

Guns are often used in suicide attempts, with PoliFact reporting on Wednesday that there were 4,643 non-fatal gun involved suicide attempts in 2010. This number fails to testimony by Wayne LaPierre of NRA to the United States Congress on the same date regarding unintentional deaths cause by firearms as LaPierre cited 600 deaths. Australia instituted tougher gun control regulations in 1996, including gun buy back programs. According to a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University, these programs correlate to an 80% drop in suicides involving guns at a time when other methods of suicide remained consistent.

Similar research done in the United States has similar results. A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found stricter gun control in the District of Columbia was a likely cause of lower levels of suicide by gun in the United States’s Capital compared to surrounding areas.



Sources

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

November 7, 2012

Voters in Maine and Maryland vote for marriage equality

Voters in Maine and Maryland vote for marriage equality

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Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gay rights supporters in Minnesota earlier in the year protesting against the vote by the Minnesota House to put marriage to the popular vote.
Image: Fibonacci Blue.

In Maine and Maryland, voters have approved ballot measures yesterday to allow marriage between same-sex partners. Votes for a similar measure in Washington are still being counted. Reports from Minnesota suggest a ballot measure that would amend the constitution to ban gay marriage has been rejected by voters.

In Maryland, voters supported the law passed earlier this year by Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley 52% to 48%. Josh Levin from Marylanders for Marriage Equality said that voters would “feel the ripples of this monumental victory across the country for years to come.”

Supporters of marriage equality in Maine stated they had 250,000 one-on-one conversations with voters. Matt McTighe from Mainers United for Marriage celebrated the passage of the Maine ballot initiative saying: “A lot of families in Maine just became more stable and secure.”

Chad Griffin from the gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign said: “When the history books are written, 2012 will be remembered as the year when LGBT Americans won decisively at the ballot box.”

Frank Schubert, an opponent of gay marriage, downplayed the results. “The fact that an uber-liberal state like Maine or Washington might go for same sex marriage, it doesn’t mean that the country has changed.”

Six other states — Vermont, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts — as well as the District of Columbia already recognise same-sex marriage. In May, Barack Obama announced that he supports legalisation of same-sex marriage.



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February 29, 2012

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe announces she won\’t seek reelection

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe announces she won’t seek reelection

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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Olympia Snowe, three-term moderate Republican United States Senator from Maine, announced yesterday that she will not seek election to a fourth term in the 2012 elections.

Official photo of Sen. Olympia Snowe, 2009.
Image: Office of Senator Olympia Snowe.

In her announcement, Snowe cited the “atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies” as a reason for not seeking reelection to another term in the U.S. Senate. The announcement, which was released by Snowe’s campaign office this afternoon, was later confirmed by Justin Brasell, the Senator’s campaign manager.

According to a campaign aide to Snowe, Sharon Miller, the senator had been considering the decision for several weeks; “She was really struggling with it. But her timing is the same as Sen. George Mitchell and Sen. Bill Cohen, who also made their decisions very close to the deadline”.

Snowe served in the United States Congress for 33 years. Fellow Maine Senator Susan Collins said the announcement was a “complete surprise”, and that it “devastated” her.

Snowe’s decision not to seek reelection to her Senate seat has energized Democrats, who have a chance at winning the seat this fall, helping to defend their 51 seat to 47 seat majority in the body.

The announcement also took Senate Republican leadership by surprise; minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman John Cornyn of Texas reportedly were informed of Snowe’s decision yesterday. According to one Republican, Snowe had sent a fundraiser invitation out on Monday.

Those mentioned as possible contenders for Snowe’s Senate seat include 2002 Republican gubernatorial candidate Peter Cianchette, Snowe’s husband and Republican former Maine Governor Jock McKernan, and Democratic Representatives Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud.



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June 3, 2011

Gay couple elected prom king and queen in Maine\’s Sanford High School

Gay couple elected prom king and queen in Maine’s Sanford High School

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Friday, June 3, 2011

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Although prom may have taken place over two weeks ago at Maine’s Sanford High School, the fact that students elected a gay couple as prom king and queen remains the talk of the local community.

Sanford, Maine (2003)
Image: Kaelus Primus.

During the May 14 event, 17-year-old Christian Nelsen was named prom queen, running as a write-in candidate. One of Nelsen’s friends, Holly Smith, spoke of the help they provided in getting him elected: “The day of prom, we went downstairs, and he was yelling ‘Vote for Christian Nelsen!’ And I was helping people spell his name, or telling them how to write it on the ballot”.

Cquote1.svg Anyone can win, and on that same notion any type of person can win. Cquote2.svg

—Christian Nelsen

Nelsen’s boyfriend, Caleb Jett, was elected prom king. “I kinda got voted in because he got queen, and it was like ‘Who do we vote for king?’ and it was like ‘Oh, well, his boyfriend, obviously, because that makes sense,'” he said. The two young men wore suits, shirts, and ties to the prom. When the results of the election were announced, they danced the king-queen dance together, Jett wearing his crown and Nelsen his tiara.

Maine is one of only two states in New England that have not recognized same-sex marriages. Though they are aware that not everyone supports them, the couple ran to combat high school stereotypes and to encourage more tolerance. Nelsen commented, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a guy or a girl who wins prom king or prom queen from now on. Anyone can win, and on that same notion any type of person can win. And I’m talking about the tolerance level of all people when I talk about that, so anyone who is bullied or even just under the radar can win this type of thing.”

Minister of a parish of the United Church of Christ Reverend Diane Wendorf supported the couple, citing her church’s values of tolerance and diversity. “I’m glad, too, that they were crowned king and queen, because there are all different kinds of people in this world.” Some Sanford residents a local news agency interviewed did not approve of the gay couple’s crowning, though none agreed to go on camera — out of concerns that their comments might offend someone.

The matter is expected to be brought up by interested citizens at an upcoming school committee meeting. Committee Chair Mark Lucier stated that the school is gathering information on the election, and that the committee may decide if it needs to address the future selection of prom kings and queens.



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December 28, 2010

December blizzard slams Northeastern United States

December blizzard slams Northeastern United States

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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An infrared satellite image of the storm
Image: NOAA.

Snow covered Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Image: Rajkumarth.

The United States’ first major blizzard of the winter season has left much of the New England region covered in snow. Stretching from Virginia to Maine, the storm, packing winds of over 50 miles per hour (80.5 kilometres per hour), dropped more than two feet of snow in some areas.

Residents prepared for what would be one of the worst nor’easters in quite some time. The storm contained similar conditions to a category 2 hurricane. Wellfleet, Massachusetts saw an 80 miles per hour wind gust, the strongest recorded throughout the storm. Connecticut, New York and Maine all recorded wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour and gusts of over 70 miles per hour blasted Cape Cod.

A total of 32 inches (81.3 centimetres) fell in Rahway, part of the hardest-hit state in the storm’s path. Most New Jersey cities received over a foot of snow, while Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and Maryland all had snow totals topping out at around 1 foot (30.48 centimetres) with Massachusetts topping out at a foot and a half.

On Monday, travel proved difficult, with flights from Philadelphia, Newark, New York City, Hartford, Boston, Portland, and Washington, D.C. canceled. Drivers also ran into problems on major highways as accidents were unavoidable on the slick roads.


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