By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - The Boy Scouts of America lifted its outright ban on openly gay adult leaders and employees on Monday, rolling back a policy that has deeply divided the membership of the 105-year-old Texas-based organization. The new policy, which takes effect immediately, comes three years after the organization removed its prohibition on gay youth, but local Boy Scout units chartered by religious organizations will still be permitted to exclude gay adults from volunteering as den leaders, scoutmasters or camp counselors. The latest move was widely seen as being aimed at quelling a backlash against the Boy Scouts amid declining membership and the threat of litigation, while addressing concerns of religious institutions that account for about 70 percent of the 100,000-plus Boy Scout units nationwide.
Australian public broadcaster SBS Tuesday defended a reality show where participants were shot at by Islamic State militants in Syria as part of a trip retracing refugees' journeys, saying they had extensive security preparations. SBS is to air the first episode of the three-part series "Go Back to Where You Came From" on Tuesday evening, with the programme taking "ordinary Australians" to Syria, Baghdad and Myanmar to expose them to asylum-seekers and refugees' experiences. In footage released by the broadcaster, three of the six participants are seen running and sheltering behind buildings amid the sound of mortar rounds in Syria.
A major study of rugby union players points to a potential link between frequent concussion and brain function, the project's lead researcher said Tuesday. Releasing preliminary findings from the long-term study in New Zealand -- the largest of its type to ever focus on rugby union -- researcher Patria Hume said players needed to be aware of the risks. "If you have a concussion you need to report it and get it medically assessed," Professor Hume told AFP.
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - The younger sister of Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes testified at his trial for the first time on Monday, telling jurors who will decide his fate that the murders were completely out of character, and she still loves him. Chris Holmes, 22, was called by the defense during the punishment phase of the trial.
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