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US army to lift transgender ban: Media

Gorkha Post

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WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is set to lift its ban on transgender troops within the coming weeks, US media reported Friday.

USA Today said the transgender announcement is expected July 1 and the plan would require each branch of the military to phase in the new policy over a 12-month period.

The move would be another major milestone for America’s vast military, which up until five years ago still banned gay troops from openly discussing their sexuality under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook declined to confirm reports, but said a decision was due “soon.”

Currently, Pentagon rules allow transgender troops to be discharged from the military.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last year ordered all military roles — including combat positions — to be opened to women.

Maryland Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer welcomed the news.

“The reversal of the ban is a major step forward in the effort to secure the full rights and equality of LGBT people in our country, and it will strengthen our military by ensuring that talented, dedicated candidates are not turned away or discouraged from serving because of their gender identity,” he said in a statement.

AFP

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Health

Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer

Gorkha Post

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Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.

The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.

The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.

For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.

However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.

“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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