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Author photoBen Leung

  • 5th December 2007

    Comment: A bad election year for Howard and the Belgians

    I think it just boiled down to a simple fact that voters became sick of Howard, after over a decade in office.

    10:20 AM — As 2007 has only weeks left, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been a truly outstanding year for those of us who follow general elections around the world.And as we gear up for an equally busy 2008 with high-profile elections in Iran, Pakistan (increasingly unlikely), Russia (unless Putin changes the constitution) and New Zealand, there is the added bonus that the biggest prize of all is now less than a year away: the race for the White House.

  • 30th October 2007

    Comment: American TV is obsessed with gays 1

    You can't help but switch over to another channel in order to avoid DeGeneres's emotionally incoherent plea to get her dog back for the fiftieth time.

    10:03 AM — I have a confession to make - I am seriously addicted to American daytime TV.Having just spent a few of weeks in rainy Costa Rica, where each day comprised of business meetings and dodging the never-ending bursts of torrential downpour, sitting in front of the box in my hotel room always seemed like the most sensible option.I certainly felt guilty wasting valuable times indoors when I could be out and about exploring the tropical rainforests or trying to find an iguana amid the lush jungles.

  • 26th July 2007

    Comment: Diana, AIDS and the fight for Africa 1

    With an extraordinary ability to connect with people, and an equally impressive record in supporting the disadvantaged, she would easily have lived up to the title, 'People's Princess.'

    5:00 PM — I have been away from the UK these past few months, and I feel a sense of relief that I have been well away from all the action.As I dispatch this piece on board a hydrofoil somewhere near Turkey, all I can see online is severe flooding in England.Politicians who might otherwise have more important things ensuring our safety and wellbeing are dragged out of bed at dawn to go on breakfast television to explain their cannabis misdemeanours from over two decades ago.

  • 15th February 2007

    Gay basketball star exposes the game’s homophobia 3

    He emphasised his new mission is to send the message to gay athletes in all sports that coming out is the right thing to do.

    3:11 PM — John Amaechi, the former NBA basketball player who disclosed his homosexuality last week, has been receiving threatening e-mails since making the announcement.Currently promoting his autobiography <>IMan in the Middle in the United States, Amaechi said the kind of e-mails he was sent would "make you sick."The British-born 36-year-old has been asked by American gay activists Human Rights Campaign be to their spokesman for their "Coming Out project."

  • Gays and alcoholics the same, says Moscow

    Russian men have a low mortality rate and alcohol remains a major factor. photo: jimmyOK@flickr

    12:45 PM — A high-ranking official in Moscow has joined in the growing debate over the city's refusal to allow a gay rights parade this year.Georgy Muradov, head of the city's international relations department, yesterday likened homosexuality to alcoholism and argued that both are "bad for one's health."His remarks came as he tried to fend off criticisms from the Swedish ambassador of the city's decision to ban a Pride march.

  • Channel 4 uses gays to court yet more controversy 4

    The channel is expecting controversy over their explicit Clapham Common piece, and the PR offensive has already begun.

    12:09 PM — Channel 4 will mark the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality this summer with a series of films and documentaries.Clapham Junction, a film by Kevin Elyot, is expected to generate more headlines for the channel.It charts the lives of seven gay men over a 36-hour period as they visit Clapham Common in search of sex.

  • 8th February 2007

    University already banning gay partnership ceremonies

    Those who lacked the courage to oppose the governors or university policies ought to resign. photo: jay galvin@flickr

    5:09 PM — PinkNews.co.uk exclusive The controversy surrounding Canterbury Christ Church University's ban on same-sex unions on its premises has taken a new turn.Documents obtained by PinkNews.co.uk show that a decision was taken as recently as last December, contradicting the recent press release from the institution's Vice-Chancellor.The university is a teacher training college for the Church of England, and its Chancellor is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

  • Pakistan’s tolerance for a funny drag act

    Begum Ali also flirts outrageously with his male guests.

    1:29 PM — Has Pakistan, one of the world's most conservative countries, found the unlikeliest TV star in the form of a drag queen?The idea might seem far-fetched, except it's a very real possibility.Indeed, such is the power of curiosity and critical acclaim that millions have been tuning in to the The Late Night Show With Begum Nawazish Ali to witness the drag performer's latest shenanigans.

  • Italy gay marriage vote too close to call 4

    Opinion polls show 69% of the country's Catholics are in favour of the new laws, which would grant cohabiting couples similar rights to married ones.

    12:06 PM — The fragile unity of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government will be severely tested when proposals to offer legal recognition for same-sex unions are to be unveiled in the next few days.Some are already seeing this as a referendum on Mr Prodi's vulnerable nine-party centre-left coalition.The situation has been made worse by intense lobbying from opposition MPs and the Catholic Church, with Pope Benedict XVI chastising the proposals as "anti-church and anti-family."

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