Kristen

No opting out of enlistment for opponents of gays in military: Sec. of Defense Gates

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DWYER, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates bluntly told Marines on Sunday that they won’t be able to opt out of their enlistment just because they disagree with a government decision to end a ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Gates, who is on a tour of Afghanistan to bid farewell to the troops before stepping down at the end of the month, was quizzed by a Marine sergeant about the controversial policy during a question and answer session at a base in southwestern Helmand Province.

Congress voted in December to repeal the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which allows gays to serve in the military only so long as they keep their sexual orientation to themselves. The Marine Corps has been one of the services most resistant to the change.

The new policy will not go into force until 60 days after the president, defense secretary and nation’s top uniformed military officer certify that it can be implemented without affecting military readiness. The military is currently in the process of training service members about the new policy.

“Sir, we joined the Marine Corps because the Marine Corps has a set of standards and values that is better than that of the civilian sector. And we have gone and changed those values and repealed the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy,” the sergeant told Gates during the question and answer session.

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Forensic evidence emerges that European e.coli superbug was bioengineered to produce human fatalities

(NaturalNews) Even as the veggie blame game is now under way across the EU, where a super resistant strain of e.coli is sickening patients and filling hospitals in Germany, virtually no one is talking about how e.coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply.

This particular e.coli variation is a member of the O104 strain, and O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics. In order for them to acquire this resistance, they must be repeatedly exposed to antibiotics in order to provide the “mutation pressure” that nudges them toward complete drug immunity.

So if you’re curious about the origins of such a strain, you can essentially reverse engineer the genetic code of the e.coli and determine fairly accurately which antibiotics it was exposed to during its development. This step has now been done (see below), and when you look at the genetic decoding of this O104 strain now threatening food consumers across the EU, a fascinating picture emerges of how it must have come into existence.

American Express can no longer be used to buy medical marijuana

American Express is no longer allowing transactions to be processed at medical marijuana dispensaries nationwide, according to published reports.

A spokesperson told the LA Weekly that the company made the decision to not allow its credit cards to be accepted for medical marijuana because it is their “policy to adhere to the federal law in such matters.”

The American Independent reported that Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) plans to introduce legislation to clarify that banks can maintain normal business relationships with legal medical marijuana dispensaries, possibly as soon as this week.

“I haven’t seen it with other credit cards,” Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said. “I don’t understand why they would turn their back on a $2 billion industry. It’s perplexing.”

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Radio host says world’s end actually coming in Oct

OAKLAND, Calif. – As crestfallen followers of a California preacher who foresaw the world’s end strained to find meaning in their lives, Harold Camping revised his apocalyptic prophecy Monday, saying he was off by five months because the Earth actually will be obliterated on Oct. 21.

Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before global cataclysm struck the planet, said he felt so terrible when his doomsday message did not come true that he left home and took refuge in a motel with his wife. His independent ministry, Family Radio International, spent millions — some of it from donations made by followers — on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message.

Follower Jeff Hopkins also spent a good deal of his own retirement savings on gas money to power his car so people would see its ominous lighted sign showcasing Camping’s May 21 warning. As the appointed day drew nearer, Hopkins started making the 100-mile round trip from Long Island to New York City twice a day, spending at least $15 on gas each trip.

“I’ve been mocked and scoffed and cursed at and I’ve been through a lot with this lighted sign on top of my car,” said Hopkins, 52, a former television producer who lives in Great River, NY. “I was doing what I’ve been instructed to do through the Bible, but now I’ve been stymied. It’s like getting slapped in the face.”

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U.S., U.K. plan trans-governmental national security group

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and the United States are to create a new joint forum to assess long-term threats to their national security, a British government source said Monday.

The launch of the new national security strategy board is expected to be announced during U.S. President Barack Obama’s state visit to Britain, starting Tuesday.

“The U.S. and UK already work closely together on many national security issues. The new board will allow us to look ahead and develop a shared view of emerging challenges, how we should deal with them, and how our current policy can adapt to longer-term developments,” the government source said.

“Sharing the knowledge and insights of the experts in London and Washington will help both governments look ahead in an increasingly complex and fast-moving world,” the source said.

The new board will bring together senior foreign and defense policy officials from London and Washington. It will be headed by the U.S. and British national security advisers, respectively Tom Donilon and Peter Ricketts.

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