TIME cities

This Is the ‘Queerest’ City in America

Per an annual list just released by 'The Advocate'

The Advocate‘s annual list of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the United States, just released this week, has a new No. 1: Dayton, Ohio.

For this year’s list of the “Queerest Cities in America,” the outlet gave cities points for things like how trans-inclusive they are, the existence of LGBT-friendly Jewish and Muslim houses of worship and whether they hosted tours of Broadway hits like Kinky Boots, The Book of Mormon and Wicked. The Advocate divided the total points by the population to get a “per capita LGBT quotient.” (LGBT-friendly hubs like New York City and San Francisco are excluded.)

The top five “Queerest Cities” of 2015 are:

  1. Dayton, Ohio
  2. Atlanta, Ga.
  3. West Palm Beach, Fla.
  4. Lansing, Mich.
  5. Madison, Wisc.

Read more at The Advocate.

TIME celebrities

Watch Ellen DeGeneres Give the Most Ellen Speech Ever on Hollywood’s Alleged ‘Gay Agenda’

"I don't have an agenda," the comedian and talk-show host says

Ellen Degeneres took a moment during her daily talk show to respond to a recent op-ed written for The Christian Post that outlined a “gay agenda” promoted by Hollywood. In the post, Christian author Larry Tomczak cites DeGeneres as an example of Hollywood “promoting homosexuality.”

“Ellen DeGeneres celebrates her lesbianism and ‘marriage’ in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls,” he wrote.

Her retort was a response only the comedian could pull off. After jokingly dismissing the claims made in the post, DeGeneres made it clear that her only goal is to promote compassion and self-acceptance.

“The only way I’m trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another,” she said. “That is the message I’m sending out. I don’t have an agenda.”

 

TIME Cameroon

Cameroon Says It Has Killed 143 Boko Haram Militants

Screengrab taken on Oct. 2, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, shows group's leader Abubakar Shekau.
AFP/Getty Images Screengrab taken on Oct. 2, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, shows group's leader Abubakar Shekau.

Islamist extremists currently on the rampage in northeast Nigeria

The government of Cameroon says its military killed 143 Boko Haram extremists in a standoff near the country’s border with Nigeria. The Islamic extremist group has been terrorizing Nigeria for the past five years and has gained new momentum leading up to the country’s scheduled presidential election.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Cameroonian government said military engaged in a five-hour fight with extremists that left at least one corporal dead and four soldiers wounded, along with the dozens of Boko Haram militants who were killed, according to the Associated Press.

Boko Haram, the group responsible for kidnapping hundreds of school girls last year, has carried out a slew of violent attacks in recent weeks. Last week, the group massacred the town of Baga in Nigeria—officials estimate the death toll is 150, but it has been reported to be as high as 2,000.

Read next: Boko Haram Militants Are Back on the Attack in Nigeria as a Presidential Election Looms

[AP]

TIME Insects

‘Super Mosquito’ Resistant to Malaria Insecticide Found in Mali

Bed nets can't hold back new breed of mosquito

Interbreeding between two mosquito species has created a new “super” species that is resistant to bed nets treated with malaria insecticide, a new study has found.

The species has been found in the West African country of Mali and, according to research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a result of an evolutionary change caused by the introduction of the treated nets to the environment.

The treated nets have been credited with helping reduce the number of malaria deaths over the past decade. The World Health Organization reports deaths have decreased by 47 percent since 2000. According to a press release from the University of California at Davis, specialists were not surprised by the emergence of an insecticide resistant species.

“Growing resistance has been observed for some time,” said lead researcher and medical entomologist Gregory Lanzaro in the release. “Recently it has reached a level at some localities in Africa where it is resulting in the failure of the nets to provide meaningful control, and it is my opinion that this will increase.”

The scientists are urging the development of “new and effective malaria vector control strategies.”

Read next: How To Stop Chikungunya

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Crime

Mistrial Declared in Case of South Carolina Cop Who Killed Unarmed Black Man

Former Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs sits with lawyers on the second day of testimony in his trial for the murder of Bernard Bailey in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Jan. 8, 2015.
Reuters Former Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs sits with lawyers on the second day of testimony in his trial for the murder of Bernard Bailey in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Jan. 8, 2015.

Richard Combs, the former police chief of Eutawville, S.C., charged with murder of Bernard Bailey in May 2011

A judge in South Carolina declared a mistrial in the case of a white ex-police chief charged with murder in the killing of an unarmed black man in 2011.

The jury deliberated for 12 hours before failing to reach a consensus over the verdict, according to the Associated Press. Richard Combs, the former police chief of Eutawville, S.C., shot Bernard Bailey three times outside of the town hall in May 2011.

Combs, the small town’s only officer on patrol, said he fired in self defense and that Bailey was attempting to run him over with a truck when he tried to arrest him. Throughout the trial, according to the New York Times, state prosecutors attempted to paint Combs as spiteful and was arresting Bailey on a trumped-up charge.

The Department of Justice declined to file charges after a yearlong investigation into Bailey’s death, according to Bloomberg. State prosecutors say they will attempt to try Combs again.

[AP]

TIME Infectious Disease

California Confirms 9 Cases of Measles in Recent Disneyland Visitors

Euro Disney Paris
Paul Hubble—FilmMagic/Getty Images A general view of Disneyland Paris on Jan. 16, 2014.

Seven cases found in California and two in Utah

Nine cases of measles have been confirmed among recent visitors of theme parks in California, the state’s department of health said Wednesday.

Each of the cases were found to occur in visitors to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in Orange County between Dec. 15 to Dec. 20, the department announced in a statement. Seven of the confirmed cases are in locations across California (six of them had not been vaccinated) and two are in Utah; three other California residents are suspected of having infections and are being monitored.

The department is urging people who are exhibiting symptoms of the airborne disease, which it calls “highly infectious,” to contact their health care providers immediately. Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose and eventually the appearance of a red rash — first on the face, then on the rest of the body. And patients can be infectious for nine days.

Measles has been eliminated since 2000, the health department added, largely thanks to the highly-effective vaccine. But because Disneyland attracts many international travelers and there have been outbreaks in recent years, it’s possible that someone could have brought it to the U.S. and, in turn, to “the happiest place on earth.”

TIME Crime

3 More Women Accuse Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault

Bill Cosby
LAWRENCE JACKSON—AP Bill Cosby speaks to an audience on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia in 2006, in Washington D.C.

The list of accusers now includes more than two dozen women

Three more women accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault on Wednesday.

Each of the women who appeared at a news conference said they had been drugged by Cosby in the 1980s and 90s, the Los Angeles Times reports. They appeared alongside attorney Gloria Allred, who represents many of the two dozen-plus women who have come forward with similar claims.

Lawyers for embattled comedian have repeatedly denied the allegations that have been publicized in recent months.

The news conference came after Cosby’s former co-star Phylicia Rashad said the claims were part of a conspiracy to tarnish Cosby’s legacy. “Forget these women,” she was quoted as saying, in reference to those who accused him of rape.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME Crime

San Francisco Police Make Arrest in Mrs. Doubtfire House Suspected Arson

This was far more than a run-by fruiting

Doubt fire? Police didn’t. Not after two blazes hit the San Francisco house where the 1993 Robin Williams comedy Mrs. Doubtfire was filmed.

According to NBC Bay Area, police have made an arrest in a suspected arson that left the home’s front and garage doors charred, though the suspect has not yet been booked. Because there were no injuries, it is unlikely there were any white shirts with burn holes at the bosom anywhere near the scene, waiting to be discovered.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas K. Ousterhout, who put out the fire at his front door (though we cannot confirm that the fire was extinguished using two pot tops), told police he believes a former patient is to blame for the incident.

Read more at NBC Bay Area.

TIME Marriage

Oil Magnate’s Wife Rejects $975 Million Divorce Check

Key Speakers At The Bloomberg Year Ahead 2015 Conference
Bloomberg/Getty Images Harold Hamm, chairman CEO and founder of Continental Resources Inc., speaks during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg Year Ahead: 2015 conference in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 14, 2014.

He's worth $18 billion

Oil executive Harold Hamm offered his ex-wife a handwritten check for $974.8 million in order to settle their bitter divorce, but Sue Ann Arnall rejected it.

Hamm’s lawyer told CNBC on Tuesday that Arnall did not “want to risk the dismissal of her appeal” by accepting the full amount of what the oil magnate owed her according to a November divorce settlement.

Arnall, who has taken her maiden name after the divorce, appealed a judge’s ruling to offer her nearly $1 billion in their divorce because it pales in comparison to the $18 billion fortune Hamm has amassed through oil drilling company Continental Resources . Hamm’s also appealed the settlement, saying $1 billion was far too high.

[CNBC]

TIME Congress

Congress Now Has More Black Lawmakers than Ever Before

Overall, however, it's still largely white and male

With the swearing in of the 114th Congress on Tuesday, there will be more African Americans in the legislature than in any other period in history.

The Congressional Black Caucus is set to have its largest caucus in history with 46 total members including Rep. Mia Love of Utah, the first African American female Republican elected to Congress, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Though the first black Congressional members were elected in the late 1800s, there were fewer than ten in every session until the 1970s. In the 91st Congress (1969-71), the number of African Americans serving finally topped 20. Over the past two decades, the number of black members has remained between 39 and 44, according to the Congressional Research Service.

In 2015, however, Congress will be home to 44 black representatives, plus two Senators and two non-voting delegates to the House, bringing the total number of black legislators to 48.

Congress remains unrepresentative of the nation as a whole, however, where only 63% of the population is white and a little more than half of all citizens are women. Now, some 18% of the nation’s federal lawmakers now are racial minorities and 20% are women. Congress is also majority Christian, with only one member serving who is religiously unaffiliated–in the U.S., about 1 in 5 adults identifies as such.

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