US Senate passes landmark gun violence bill to curb mass shootings

In a surprising move, 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the bill passed with a majority of 65 to 33. The bill will now go to the House for a vote before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

US Senate passes landmark gun violence bill to curb mass shootings
In the first major piece of federal gun reform in almost three decades, the US Senate passed a bipartisan bill on Thursday night to address gun violence in the country.
In a surprising move, 15 Republicans joined Democrats in support of the bill passed with a majority of 65 to 33. The bill will now go to the House for a vote before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
What is the provision in the law? 
The bill comes with a $ 13.2 billion price tag and it includes millions of dollars for school safety, mental health, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Every state in the US will have the opportunity for grants to help pay for crisis intervention programs, regardless of whether they set up “red flag” laws that allow judges to remove guns from potentially dangerous owners. 
It also provides for tougher background checks for the youngest gun buyers, especially those between 18 and 21 years, keeps firearms away from more domestic violence offenders and helps states put in place red flag laws. The bill includes billions of dollars in funding to help secure schools and bolster mental health resources.
The vote came the same day the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects gun rights outside the home. The court struck down a New York law that required people to show a special need to carry a handgun in public.
America's gun culture and mass shootings
As per the estimates, more than 390 million guns are owned by US citizens. In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died from firearms-related injuries. The recent attacks in the US have further fuelled the debate on the need for long-standing gun control measures.
The elementary school massacre in Uvalde on May 12 that killed 19 children and two teachers, was the bloodiest mass shooting in the United States this year. This occurred only 10 days after a shootout at a supermarket in Buffalo, killing 10 people.
Senators, who have long struggled to find common ground on gun safety, restarted stalled negotiations after those killings, producing a bill aimed at improving background checks, securing schools and giving states federal funds to combat gun violence.

These companies are offering benefits to US employees after abortion rights ruling

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By   IST (Published)

The US Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe vs Wade that made abortion a guaranteed right in the country.

These companies are offering benefits to US employees after abortion rights ruling
The US Supreme Court Friday ended the constitutional right to abortion in the country, and many states are expected to restrict or ban abortions. After the ruling, several US companies have come forward in support of women and restructured/announced abortion-related benefits. Companies have said they will cover employees' expenses if they need to travel to other states or locations to get abortion services and some companies are even covering all medical expenses.
Here is a look at companies that have extended a helping hand or are providing abortion related help to women
Microsoft has extended its travel expense assistance to employees seeking abortion and “gender-affirming care” and those with limited access to these services in their home state. As per a Microsoft spokesperson, the company is committed to doing everything it can under the law to protect its employees, as reported by Forbes.
Apple has said that its health plan covers abortion care and travel costs, if necessary, as per a Wall Street Journal report.
Amazon has told its US employees that it will cover up to $4,000 of travel expenses for medical procedures, including abortion, as per a message obtained by Reuters. This benefit is will apply to any medical procedure (not just abortion) that is not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home.
After Texas banned abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Bumble announced a relief fund for women and people across the gender spectrum affected by the legislation. Bumble at the time said as a women-founded and a women-led organisation, it will keep fighting against such regressive laws.
On June 24, 2022, the Walt Disney Company reassured its employees that the company remains committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all employees, cast members and their families.
This commitment includes family planning (including abortion) and reproductive healthcare regardless of where an employee lives. It said employees will have access to affordable coverage and travel benefit for the medical care they cannot access in their own state be it cancer treatment or pregnancy termination, as per a Forbes report.
Levi Strauss
Levi Strauss had previously said that under its benefits plan, all employees can be reimbursed for travel expenses for medical services not available in their home state, including abortion. The company also said that its part-time staff and others who aren't included in the company's benefits plan will also be eligible for reimbursement.
Further, The Levi Strauss Foundation provides grants to the Center for Reproductive Rights, Afiya Center and ARC-Southeast which provides direct assistance to women and communities in need of care.
JPMorgan Chase
According to a memo sent by the bank to its 170,000 US-based employees, JPMorgan Chase is expanding its health care travel benefits to include all covered health care services that can only be obtained far from the employee’s home (50 miles or farther). Abortion is also a covered service in the company’s health care plan, a spokesperson told Forbes.
Netflix added travel reimbursement coverage for US employees and their dependents who need to travel for medical services like cancer treatment, transplants, and abortion, through its US health plans. The benefit is limited to $10,000 of a lifetime allowance per medical service.
In a statement released on Friday, Nike said that it covers travel and lodging expenses in situations where healthcare services are not available close to home, including contraception, abortion coverage, and family-building support like fertility care, surrogacy, and adoption benefits.
Starbucks is providing its employees who enrolled in its healthcare plan with a medical travel benefit to access abortion. Starbucks’ acting executive vice president, Sara Kelly announced the benefit in a public letter to employees.
Goldman Sachs
On Friday, the company extended its healthcare travel reimbursement policies to include all medical procedures, treatments, and evaluations, including abortion services. This is for areas where a provider is not available near to where the employees live. This benefit will be effective July 1, 2022, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.
The company’s US insurance plans already cover reproductive health benefits, including abortion and travel expenses. Uber said it will also reimburse any drivers sued under state law for providing transportation to a clinic through the app, as per a CNN report.
Yelp’s health insurance policy for employees already includes abortion care. It will now also provide travel benefits for covered U.S. employees and dependents, who need to travel out of state for access to medical services including abortion. It is provided through the insurance provider of the company.
In a statement released on Friday, Zillow said that its health benefits cover a wide range of reproductive health services, including abortions related services. The company said that as of June 1, 2022, its health plan has been updated to include a reimbursement of up to $7,500 for each time an employee has to travel far from their home to get access to medical treatment.

Source: Us Senate Passes Landmark Gun Violence Bill To Curb Mass Shootings ( 


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