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Youth in front fo the Encircle LGBTQ youth center in Provo, Utah. Photo: Encircle

Encircle, a Provo, Utah nonprofit that offers services to LGBTQ youth in the state, will expand to three more Western states thanks to an influx of funding from Apple and Ryan Smith, executive chairman of Qualtrics and owner of the Utah Jazz.

Why it matters: LGBTQ youth remain at high risk for homelessness and suicide, despite broad shifts in societal attitudes.

Encircle has houses in Provo and Salt Lake City that offer a range of services, including drop-in activities, support groups and one-on-one mental health services. Smith told reporters that the agency had proven its model and it is time to take the effort nationwide."Our LGBTQ youth are struggling and they are struggling around the world," Smith told reporters. "The data is pretty gloomy when it comes to mental health and suicides."

Details: Smith and his wife are donating $2 million, while Apple is providing $1 million along with technology products.

  • Also providing funding for the expansion is Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds and his wife, musician Aja Volkman.
  • With the new funding, the organization plans to open eight new centers in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Arizona, including one at Reynolds' childhood home in Las Vegas.

Between the lines: The pandemic has both increased the need for Encircle's services and forced the agency to move its work online, though some in-person services have started to resume. School shutdowns have also cut off many LGBTQ youth from their peers.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Smith as CEO of Qualtrics. He is founder and executive chairman.

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18 mins ago - World

Biden: "Israel has a right to defend itself"

President Biden during a news conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden told reporters Wednesday it's his "expectation and hope" that there will soon be an end to fighting between Israel and Hamas, which has killed scores of Palestinians and several Israelis.

Details: Biden, after speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he hoped the conflict would be "closing down sooner than later," despite Israel's government announcing plans to scale up its military offensive.

The states ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits early

Protesters demand senators support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At least 13 Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.

Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.

Elon Musk suspends Tesla purchases with bitcoin

Elon Musk. Photo: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Consumers can no longer buy Tesla vehicles with bitcoin, CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter Wednesday.

What he's saying: Musk cited the environmental concerns associated with bitcoin — the cryptocurrency has a massive carbon footprint — as his reasoning behind Wednesday's decision.

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