The Journal Gazette
Saturday, November 17, 2018 1:00 am


Veterans with PTSD can sue for benefits

Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. – Thousands of Navy and Marine Corps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who developed post-traumatic stress disorder but were denied Veterans Affairs health benefits have been given a green light to sue the military, under a ruling by a federal judge in Connecticut.

Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. in New Haven on Thursday certified a class-action lawsuit against Navy Secretary Richard Spencer by veterans who say they were unfairly given less-than-honorable discharges for minor infractions linked to their untreated mental health problems. The discharge designation prevents them from getting VA benefits including mental health treatment.

House opposes gray wolf protection

The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Friday to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species.

Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century. Since securing protection in the 1970s, they have bounced back, although the estimated 5,000 wolves now living in the lower 48 states is less than 10 percent of their historic range.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the wolf's status and is expected to declare they've recovered sufficiently to be removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The House bill would enshrine that policy in law. The measure now goes to the Senate, where prospects are murkier.

Reagan gunman allowed to live alone

The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan can move out of his mother's house in Virginia and live on his own, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman granted John Hinckley Jr. the largest measure of freedom he's had since shooting and wounding Reagan and three others in 1981.

Hinckley, 63, was confined for decades to St. Elizabeths Hospital in the nation's capital. Starting in 2006, he began to visit his mother, who is now in her 90s and lives in a gated community in Williamsburg. He moved in with her in 2016.

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