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5 reasons to close Guantanamo Bay and a 4-step plan to get there.

President Obama addressed the nation about closing Guantanamo Bay.

5 reasons to close Guantanamo Bay and a 4-step plan to get there.

It's been seven years, one month, and one day since President Barack Obama ordered the closing of Guantanamo Bay.

The executive order was one of the very first things he did upon arrival in office, signing it on Jan. 22, 2009. All these years later, though, and the detention center in Cuba remains very much open. Why? Congress has repeatedly voted to keep the facility open, not transfer its inmates elsewhere, and other moves designed to stall.

For years, the facility has remained home to suspected terrorists, though many were never so much as charged with a crime. It's an end-around in our judicial system — which, as the president has noted on multiple occasions, has a pretty solid track record when it comes to convicting terrorists — and a recruiting tool for our country's enemies.


Still, it remains open.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Nearing the end of his second term, the president isn't ready to give up on his goal of closing the facility. And so today, he addressed the American people, outlining a clear plan to shut it down.

The four-part plan involves everything from working with other countries to working with Congress. The whole thing — in all its details — can be found on the Department of Defense website.

GIFs from The White House/YouTube.

There's simply no reason to keep it open, and closing it should be a bipartisan goal.

And the president outlined five reasons we need to close it now.

1. It's not effective.

2. Its existence has been used as a terrorist recruiting tool.

3. It's expensive.

4. In the past, Republicans have supported its closure.

5. We pride ourselves on being a free and just society. This doesn't reflect that.

"This is about closing a chapter in our history. It reflects the lessons we've learned since 9/11," Obama said.

Keeping people held without charges at Guantanamo Bay does not keep us any safer than trying them in federal court. What it does, however, is stain our country's legacy.

It's time to move past that.

You can watch the president's complete remarks below.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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