President Barack Obama formally repealed the ban on gays serving openly in the military, reported The Associated Press. Obama signed a certification ending the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy on July 22, said administration officials.
Meanwhile a group of U.S. service members marched in a San Diego gay pride parade on July 16 in an unprecedented step for gay and lesbian military personnel, reported Reuters.
More News to Cheer This Week:
- RS Barcelona, a company based in Spain, has released the first female foosball figurine, reported The Huffington Post July 20. The doll, known as Ella, is described as being just as powerful as her male counterparts. View her debut in the commercial "Now It's Her Turn".
- The White House announced President Barack Obama's endorsement of a bill repealing the law limiting the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman, reported The New York Times July 20.
- The Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, recommended contraceptives be considered preventive medicine by the Department of Health and Human Services and would therefore be covered by insurance plans included in the Affordable Care Act, reported The New York Times July 19.
- The Foreign Office in Pakistan announced Hina Rabbani Khar would begin her post this week as not only Pakistan's first female foreign minister, but also its youngest, reported the Huffington Post July 19.
- Since the Sierra Leone government eliminated fees last year for pregnant women and children there have been improvements in women's and children's health indicators, reported The New York Times July 18. Sierra Leone has seen a 214 percent increase in the number of children under 5 getting care at health facilities, a 61 percent decrease in mortality rates in difficult pregnancy cases at health clinics and an 85 percent drop in the malaria fatality rate for children treated in hospitals.
- In a move to combat an increasing number of domestic violence cases across Turkey, men who are found to be violent towards women and have been ordered to stay away from their victim's home will be monitored through electronic wrist cuffs, the Turkish daily, Today's Zaman, reported July 19.