Today's Headline News


Arkansas Governor Refuses to Sign 'Religious Freedom' Bill Until Changed
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson called April 1 for changes to a religious-freedom bill passed by the state’s legislature, The Wall Street Journal reported. The bill sparked an outcry akin to the one that followed a similar law in Indiana from groups and companies who say it could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Hutchinson, a Republican, asked lawmakers to recall the bill at a news conference, saying that its language must make clear that it isn’t the intent of Arkansas to discriminate.
Hutchinson's call for change ensues the passing of a "Religious Freedom" law in Indiana and which allows businesses the right to claim religious grounds as a reason to deny services to customers. As a consequence, Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced this week that he will work to craft new legislation that outlaws businesses from discriminating against LGBT customers. Last week, Indiana passed, has been causing a stir. Gay rights activists have said that the law protects businesses that discriminate against members of the LGBT community.
Against this backdrop, reported March 31 that Texas brought a record-breaking 20 anti-LGBT bill proposals, some of which echo the new Indiana law.

L.A. Women Earn 84 Cents for Every Dollar Men Make
Many women living in the city of Los Angeles earn a wage that roughly equals 84 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn, according to a report released March 31 on the status of women in the city. The study prepared by Mount St. Mary’s University found that female residents age 16 and over earn a median annual salary of $25,557, compared to the $30,399 a year earned by men, My News reported. But for those with full-time, year-round jobs, the gender pay gap narrows to 97 cents earned by women to each dollar men earn. The wage disparity for Los Angeles is smaller than at the county, state and national levels, according to the report.

Keira Kneightley Denounces Lack of Female Directors, Writers in Hollywood
In a new interview, English actress, Keira Knightley speaks out over the lack of women working behind the camera in Hollywood, The Guardian reported March 31. Recently nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Imitation Game, Knightley criticises the one-sided nature of the industry and queries why the male journey is so consistently prioritised. “Where are the female stories?” she said to Violet magazine. “Where are the directors, where are the writers? It’s imbalanced, so given that we are half the cinema-going public, we are half the people [who] watch drama or watch anything else, where is that? … I think the pay [gap in the entertainment business] is a huge thing, but I’m actually more concerned over the lack of our voices being heard.”

Female Embryos More Likely to Die in Pregnancy than Males
Female embryos are more likely to die during pregnancy, scientists have claimed, overturning a long-held belief that males are more vulnerable in the first months of life, The Guardian reported March 30. Until now the “fragile male” hypothesis had been widely accepted and it was thought that female babies were more robust and less likely to suffer fatal health problems or genetic abnormalities in the womb.

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