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FDA to lift lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men

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The US Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it will move to ease a lifetime ban on blood donations from homosexual men, allowing them to give after a year of abstaining from sexual activity.

The FDA said it made the decision after reviewing scientific evidence in recent years regarding its blood donor policy for homosexual males.

“The agency will take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact,” said a statement from FDA Director Margaret Hamburg.

The agency said it will recommend the policy change in 2015 and that it will be subject to public feedback before it is finalized.

A growing number of medical and legal experts have argued that the existing restrictions are outdated, and that sophisticated tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) exist that can make blood donation by gay men a much safer practice.

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Opponents of the ban say it stigmatizes homosexuals and dates to a time when the AIDS epidemic was spreading quickly in the gay community, sparking widespread fear about the deadly infection, which was then poorly understood.

Earlier this month, a panel of experts convened by US health regulators failed to recommend whether a lifetime ban should be lifted on gay men donating blood, following two days of heated deliberations.

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‘Absolutely disastrous’: Progressives furious as fellow Democrats push funding cut for health clinics that serve 30 million Americans

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"If Democrats were serious about protecting every American's right to healthcare, this plan wouldn't even be on the table."

Progressive members of Congress are raising alarm and publicly calling out Democratic colleagues who are pushing legislation that would significantly cut funding to community health centers, which currently provide essential care to around 30 million primarily poor and rural Americans.

As the Washington Post's Jeff Stein reported Wednesday, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) is advancing a bipartisan measure that "would provide flat levels of federal funding for hundreds of community health centers nationwide, at about $4 billion for the next four years."

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Trump falsely claims he stopped his supporters from chanting ‘Send her back!’

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On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where he singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), accusing her and the other Democratic congresswomen known as "the Squad" of not loving America.

In response, the crowd began to shout "Send her back!"

Trump allowed the crowd to continue the chant for a full 12 seconds before continuing his speech.

The next day, amidst criticism that he was riling up his fans to dangerous levels, Trump claimed that he had indeed shut down the chant, in direct contradiction to the video. New York Times journalist Peter Baker reported Trump's claim on Twitter.

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Hope Hicks may have lied under oath that she wasn’t present when Trump and Cohen discussed Stormy Daniels

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Newly unsealed documents in the campaign finance case where Michael Cohen pleaded guilty may provide evidence that Hope Hicks lied to Congress under oath.

According to the court documents, President Donald Trump, Hope Hicks and Cohen were all in communication about the hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Not only did Hicks discuss the payments with both men, she exchanged text messages and emails on the topic.

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