Want to catch up with the news quickly? Here are the top stories from Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
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1. Pentagon reviews LGBTQ+ military discharges under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
LGBTQ+ veterans who were discharged without honor from the military over their sexuality may have their honor returned under a program announced last week by the Department of Defense. On the 12th anniversary of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," the Defense Department announced it will reexamine the records of veterans who served under the controversial policy.
"Don't ask, don't tell," implemented by former president Bill Clinton, allowed queer service members to serve in the military if they remained closeted. However, they were kicked out if their sexual orientation was found out by officials and were categorized as having been discharged "under other than honorable conditions."
2. Water levels on the Mississippi River are plummeting
After this summer’s record-breaking heat waves and extreme drought across parts of the Central United States, water levels along the Mississippi River are plummeting for the second year in a row. The drought threatens the upcoming critical harvest season, creating concerns for farmers across the Midwest.
Every water level gauge along a nearly 400-mile stretch of the Mississippi from the Ohio River to Jackson, Mississippi, is at or below the low-water threshold, according data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and US Geological Survey.
3. Writers and studios reach deal to end strike, but it isn't over just yet
After 146 days, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have reached a tentative agreement on ending the writer’s strike.
The WGA went on strike on May 2, wanting a new contract that would guarantee a way for writers to make a living off of their work. Some of the biggest areas of contention included regulating the use of artificial intelligence in writing, earning a living wage, requiring studios to have writing staff, honoring strikes from other unions, and earning residuals from streaming services.
The negotiating committee will now vote to recommend the deal go to a board vote for WGA West and the council of WGA East. If those bodies approve the deal, the negotiated contract will then go out to the guild's 11,000 members for approval.
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