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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.

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A growing number of medical and legal experts have argued that the existing restrictions are outdated, and that sophisticated tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) exist that can make blood donation by gay men a much safer practice.

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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Trump exonerates himself in weird third-person tweet: ‘President Trump didn’t do anything wrong or illegal’

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President Donald Trump declared himself exonerated by former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in an early morning tweet.

The president tagged Lewandowski, who testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, and "Fox & Friends" in a Twitter post reacting to coverage of the congressional hearing.

"As Corey Lewandowski stated very clearly yesterday in front of the House Judiciary Committee, President Trump didn’t do anything wrong or illegal," Trump tweeted about himself. "But they all know that. The Democrats are hurting our Country, and getting nothing done. Shameful!"

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Giggling Fox & Friends hosts gloat over Lewandowski hearing: ‘He gave as good as he got!’

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" giggled and gloated over Corey Lewandowski's contentious appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager claimed executive privilege over testimony he gave before special counsel Robert Mueller, admitted he had lied in TV appearances and cracked jokes during five hours of testimony -- and the Fox News hosts were delighted.

"He gave as good as he got," said co-host Steve Doocy.

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt was laughing so hard she could barely speak.

"She said the truth shall set you free," Earhardt said, quoting Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) through guffaws. "'Answer the question,' there was no question."

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Netanyahu, Gantz deadlocked after Israeli polls

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger Benny Gantz were deadlocked Wednesday after an Israeli general election, reports said, raising the possibility of a unity government or even the end of the premier's long rule.

Various Israeli media reported that Netanyahu's right-wing Likud and Gantz's Blue and White had 32 seats each of parliament's 120 with more than 90 percent of the vote counted.

The reports were citing sources with the elections committee, as that level of results had not been officially posted yet and were not expected before Wednesday afternoon.

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