Here’s another installment of stories that earned our admiration this week:
The number of contractors killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the first half of 2010 is higher than the number of military fatalities, reported ProPublica.org, which compared U.S. Labor Department figures to information from the Pentagon. This marks the first time in U.S. history that corporate casualties in war zones — which are often under-reported — have outpaced military losses, the article notes. “A recent Congressional Research Service report found that the heavy use of contractors had exposed troops to supply shortfalls, wasted taxpayer money, and stirred anger among locals,” the article states.
An appeals court in Miami overturned a 33-year-old ban on gay adoption in Florida, finding it unconstitutional, the Miami Herald reported. The three-judge panel concluded that there is no “rational basis” for banning gay people from becoming adoptive parents. The article quotes the court’s opinion, which is likely to be appealed to the state Supreme Court: “Given a total ban on adoption by homosexual persons, one might expect that this reflected a legislative judgment that homosexual persons are, as a group, unfit to be parents. No one in this case has made, or even hinted at, any such argument. To the contrary, the parties agree ‘that gay people and heterosexuals make equally good parents.'”
A high-quality recording of the broadcast of Game Seven of the 1960 World Series, which ended with a walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski, was found in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar, of all places, the New York Times reported. Crosby, a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, couldn’t bear to watch the games as they happened, and hired a company to make a recording of the NBC broadcast that he could watch later. During that era, television stations didn’t normally keep copies of games for their archives, so the newly discovered recording is a monumental find, not just for fans of the victorious Pirates and the losing New York Yankees, but for baseball fans everywhere.