The Wider World

Sex bias rules to be changed?

RULES on sex bias may be changed to remove protections for gay and lesbian Americans (Shutterstock).

Sex discrimination rules will be re-interpreted to remove some protections now in place for gay, lesbian and transgender people, the Trump administration announced on Friday.

According to United Press International, a rule in the Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare – that had banned bias against people based on sexual orientation would be defined as only a person’s biological sex: male or female.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the change would save hospitals and insurance companies  $2.9 billion over a five-year period.

The timing of announcement is noteworthy because it’s the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub  mass shooting that took the lives of 49 people in an Orlando, Florida venue with a primarily gay and lesbian clientele.

The Human Rights Campaign organization announced it would go to court to block the change.

Coronavirus cases and deaths continue

Friday’s count of new confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths from COVID-19 showed the pandemic is not close to being over.

The total number of cases is at 7,628,838 worldwide. The U.S. remains the leader with 2,046, 646. Deaths across the world are now at 425,313. The U.S. is at 114,643 deaths.

In Texas, daily hospitalizations hit record highs on three of four days. The World Heath Organization announced that pregnant women are at a “heightened risk” of dying during childbirth because of the pandemic.

Friday rebound follows Thursday plunge

If you lost a lot of money – on paper, anyway – with Thursday’s steep drop of stock prices, you probably made a bunch of it back today. The Dow Jones index rose by 477.37 (1.9 percent), the S&P 500 by 39.21 points (1.31 percent) and the Nasdaq by 96.08 (1.01 percent).

Gold was down 2.50 (down 0.14 percent) but oil rose 0.22  (up 0.61 percent).

Our weather is still a bit misty

June is looking not exactly gloomy, but the morning fog is sticking with us. According to the National Weather Service, fog will be followed by clouds each day right through midweek next week. Highs will be in the 77 to  80 range daily through Tuesday.

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