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January 2008

  • 24th January 2008

    Downing St announces Cabinet reshuffle

    Yvette Cooper, currently Housing Minister, is tipped to take the number two role at the Treasury.

    6:05 PM — Culture Secretary James Purnell has been appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.He replaces Peter Hain, who resigned earlier today after the Electoral Commission asked the police to investigate his failure to declare more than £100,000 in donations to his campaign for Deputy Leader of the Labour party.Mr Purnell's Culture job will be taken by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Andy Burnham.

  • Interview: How to achieve workplace equality

    At a glittering ceremony hosted by Transport for London, three employers were singled our for special recognition.

    4:15 PM — Earlier this month gay equality organisation Stonewall published its 2008 Workplace Equality Index, showcasing Britain's top 100 employers for gay people.The top 100 were ranked according to criteria ranging from implementation of effective equality policies to practical demonstration of good practice in recruitment, how they engage with lesbian and gay staff, customers and service users.240 employers entered the 2008 Index.

  • Gay minister criticises Canada’s organ donation ban

    Smitherman, Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister, is regarded as one of the most powerful politicians in the Canadian province.

    2:50 PM — The Health Minister in the Canadian province of Ontario has said that new federal rules excluding sexually active gay men from being considered as organ donors if offensive.Men who have sex with men in the last five years of their life will no longer be accepted as organ donors under new rules from Health Canada.Families will also be interviewed about potential donors' exposure in increased risk.

  • Ledger’s death delays Presidential drug abuse statement

    White House press secretary Dana Perino confirmed that the decision was taken in light of the death of actor Heath Ledger.

    2:30 PM — US President George Bush has postponed a scheduled statement promoting a federal advertising campaign on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.White House press secretary Dana Perino confirmed that the decision was taken in light of the death of actor Heath Ledger.It is still unclear what caused the death of the 28-year-old Brokeback Mountain star, but prescription drugs are suspected to have played a role.

  • PM accepted Hain’s resignation by phone

    The Prime Minister had previously described the lack of proper declarations by the Hain campaign as “incompetence.“

    1:55 PM — Downing St and the Metropolitan police have issued statements relating to the resignation of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Peter Hain."Peter Hain has made his statement," said Downing St.It is understood the Cabinet minister phoned Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 11.30am, told him about the decision of the Electoral Commission to refer his failure to disclose donations worth more than £103,000 to the police, and offered to resign.

  • Cabinet minister Peter Hain resigns

    Mr Hain came fifth out of six candidates for his party's deputy leader last June.

    12:29 PM — Peter Hain has resigned from the government after the Electoral Commission asked the police to investigate his failure to declare more than £100,000 in donations to his campaign for Deputy Leader of the Labour party.In a short statement he said he was leaving to "clear his name."As Work and Pensions Secretary he was in charge of the biggest spending department in the government. He was also Secretary of State for Wales.

  • Ken denies accusations of abuse of power

    Mr Livingstone said that when his post was established in 2000 it was meant to be a directly elected executive.

    11:50 AM — The Mayor of London has denied that he abused his powers to launch a campaign against the head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning Ken Livingstone also defended grants from the London Development Agency to organisations that subsequently ceased operating without leaving proper accounts.He admitted that City Hall staff had undertaken a campaign to stop Trevor Phillips being appointed to the EHRC.

  • Gay holocaust victims to be remembered in Westminster 2

    Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an “anti-social group.“

    11:30 AM — Homosexuals murdered by the Nazis will be among those remembered at a solemn ceremony on Monday in Westminster to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.150 teenagers and young people from across the London borough will present a powerful and poignant mix of drama, video and singing through a series of digital media presentations as they take part in a solemn ceremony.Westminster choir will perform several pieces including one in Hebrew.

  • Former US Vice President backs gay marriage 3

    Same-sex marriage is legal in only one US state, Massachusetts.

    10:50 AM — Al Gore has spoken in favour of marriage for gay and lesbian couples.The former Vice President of the United States, who was narrowly and controversially defeated by George W Bush in the 2000 Presidential election, came out in favour of equal rights in a video clip posted on current TV, a cable and online station he co-founded."I think it's wrong for the government to discriminate against people because of a person's sexual orientation," he said.

  • Gay Radio 1 DJ defends Chris Moyles 1

    BBC governors backed the DJ saying he, “met the required editorial standards and did not demonstrate homophobia.“

    10:10 AM — Scott Mills has denied that his fellow Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles is homophobic and said he was not offended by his inappropriate use of the word 'gay.'In an interview with The Guardian Mills, who came out in 2001, said he was not offended by the incident.In June 2006, Moyles came under fire for describing a mobile phone ringtone as 'gay.'

  • 23rd January 2008

    Charges considered over teen water polo photos 11

    Parents, coaches and politicians in southern California have condemned sexually explicit gay websites that feature photos of teenage boys playing water polo.

    8:30 PM — Prosecutors in Orange County, California are investigating whether they can bring any charges against a university employee who took pictures of teenage water polo players and then posted them on gay porn sites.The man, reported to be a police dispatcher at the University of California Irvine, is not under formal investigation.As the photos were taken at public sporting events, he may be protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

  • Heath Ledger autopsy inconclusive

    Ledger was so troubled about his role as the Joker in the upcoming film The Dark Knight that he was sleeping only two hours a night.

    8:30 PM — The New York City Medical Examiner's office is reporting that preliminary autopsy results have been inconclusive on actor Heath Ledger, who was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday surrounded by sleeping pills.According to FOX News, a spokeswoman for the office, Ellen Borakove, said yesterday that it will take about ten days to complete the investigation.The 28-year-old Australia-born actor's ex-fiancĂ©e, Academy Award-nominated actress Michelle Williams, has travelled to New York.

  • Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick answers your questions

    Until his retirement from the force in May 2007, Mr Paddick was the most senior out gay officer in the UK.

    8:30 PM — Next week PinkNews.co.uk will be interviewing the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, Brian Paddick.We are inviting readers to contact us by email with questions you would like us to ask the former Metropolitan police Deputy Assistant Commissioner.Until his retirement from the force in May 2007, Mr Paddick was the most senior out gay officer in the UK.

  • Huckabee campaign in financial trouble

    Last week Huckabee said that if elected he wants to change the US Constitution to ban abortion.

    8:15 PM — US Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has admitted that his campaign is running out of money, with some staff members leaving and others working without pay.Despite his strong showing in some of the initial primary races for the Republican nomination, the former Baptist minister has spoken frankly about his rapidly diminishing funds.Ahead of the key Florida primary next week, the candidate told an audience yesterday that he is running a "frugal" campaign.

  • Gay police protest pay proposal

    An estimated 22,500 officers are taking part, a higher number than had been expected. 150 Met officers are policing the event.

    4:30 PM — Members of the Gay Police Association are among tens of thousands of police officers who are taking part in a protest march through central London today.An estimated 22,500 officers are taking part, a higher number than had been expected. 150 Met officers are policing the event.The government has said that a 2.5% pay rise for police will be backdated to only 1st December.

  • God Hates Fags fanatics may picket Ledger funeral 59

    The Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, has generated publicity by protesting at the funerals of US service personnel killed in action.

    3:50 PM — The Westboro Baptist Church has declared its intention to protest at the funeral of actor Heath Ledger, who died yesterday.The 28-year-old was best-known for his Oscar-nominated performance in gay-themed cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain. Although the cause of death is unknown, a drugs overdose is suspected. The Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, has generated publicity by protesting at the funerals of US service personnel.

  • Prosecutors to review hate crimes procedures 5

    It will review how CPS Direct advises the police on domestic violence, disability, homophobic, racist and religiously aggravated crime.

    2:40 PM — The Crown Prosecution Service is to examine the way in which hate crimes are dealt with.CPS Direct, the department responsible for charging suspects out of hours, has initiated a Hate Crime Scrutiny.It will review how CPS Direct advises the police on domestic violence, disability, homophobic, racist and religiously aggravated crime.

  • Poland defiant over gay adoptions 6

    93% of Poles are against adoption by homosexuals according to a recent opinion poll.

    2:40 PM — Following yesterday's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that gay people are entitled to adopt, a leading member of the governing political party in Poland has said they will defy the ruling.The deputy speaker of the Parliament, Stefan Niesiolowski, is a member of the Citizen's Platform (PO)."The Court can go on and make a ruling, it still won't be enforced in Poland," he said.

  • Italian government faces confidence vote

    Church-state relations remain frosty following Pope Benedict XVI's repeated attacks on the proposed legislation to recognise gay couples.

    1:01 PM — The fate of Romano Prodi's administration rests on the votes of Senators after one of the nine parties that form the coalition government withdrew.Yesterday he called on Parliament to back him after the Christian Democrats pulled out on Monday, leaving him two votes short of a Senate majority. He has been in government less than two years.The House of Deputies, where he retains a majority, will vote on a motion of no confidence today.

  • Lawyers win compensation for bereaved gay man

    The case was eventually settled in November 2007, more than four years later, with Mr Burke receiving in excess of £30,000.

    12:40 PM — A law firm that specialises in cases involving motorcycles has won a £30,000 settlement for the same-sex partner of a man killed in an accident.White Dalton Motorcycle solicitors successfully argued in court that the Civil Partnership Act meant that David Burke was entitled to a dependency claim and the statutory bereavement claim after the death of his partner.Nick Routh, a partner at White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors, said: "The general elements of the claim were not large."

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