Monday, July 18, 2011

Heat wave burns central United States

CHICAGO - A heat wave caused the closing of government buildings that lacked air-conditioning and prompting warnings to residents to keep as cool as possible intensified last Monday in the nation’s midsection.
18 states were put in a heat warning, watch or advisory stretching from North Dakota to Texas and East to Ohio. It is also said that as many as 13 deaths in the past week in the Midwest could be blamed on the effects of the heat.
Computer systems in Oklahoma's state agencies were turned off and 1,000 employees were sent home, according to spokeswoman Sara Cowden of the Department of Central Services.  "We're shutting everything down that generates heat," she added.


Military Benefits not applicable to Gay Couples

Gay service members from Army soldiers to Air Force officers who want to marry their fellow service members will not be enjoying the benefits of heterosexual couples in the military.

1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act - which defines marriage for federal program purposes as a legal union between a man and woman - prohibits the Defense Department from extending those benefits to gay couples, even if they are married legally in certain states according to the Pentagon.

The military's policy denying benefits to same-sex couples could change if legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act prove successful. The Obama administration has said it will not defend DOMA in court.


Australian Stock

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the region can overcome its debt crisis, boosting confidence in a global recovery that would benefit Asian exporters making Australian stocks future rise.

Copper prices gained in New York and London giving BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), the world’s biggest mining company and Australia’s No. 1 oil producer the possibility to advance. The world’s largest surfwear maker that gets more than a fifth of its revenue in Europe, Billabong International Ltd. (BBG) may also rise. Esprit Holdings Ltd., with 83 percent of its sales in Europe, may climb in Hong Kong.