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Boy Scouts lift blanket ban on gay adult leaders, employees

Boy Scouts stand on stage with a U.S. flag during the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the inaugural Freedom Summit meeting for conservative speakers in ManchesterBy 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 reality TV stars 'shot at by IS' in Syria

A member of the Kurdish People's Protection Units in a damaged stadium on July 26, 2015 in the Al-Nashwa neighbourhood of the Syrian province of Hasakeh during clashes with Islamic State group jihadistsAustralian 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.


Pfizer's revenue, profit beat as vaccine sales rise

The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New YorkThe unit accounted for about 13 percent of Pfizer's total revenue. Pfizer's shares rose about 2 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday. Pfizer, which got nearly two-thirds of its 2014 revenue from markets outside the United States, had cut its full-year revenue and profit forecast in April, citing a strong dollar.


Colorado movie gunman's sister sobs, says she still loves him

James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in CentennialBy 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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