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Current Affairs

  • 17th March 2008

    Elton to play fundraiser for Hillary

    Mrs Clinton, 60, has used her time as First Lady to burnish her credentials as a foreign affairs expert.

    6:00 PM — British pop legend Sir Elton John has stepped into the political limelight for the second time this year by agreeing to raise funds for Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign for President of the United States.The multi-millionaire singer-songwriter said in a statement: "I'm not a politician but I believe in the work that Hillary Clinton does."Last month Sir Elton and his civil partner David Furnish held a dinner at their London home to introduce potential donors to Brian Paddick, a friend of the couple and the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of the city.

  • Spencer Livermore to leave Downing St

    Spencer Livermore was named the most important gay person in British politics in the PinkNews.co.uk in December.

    6:00 PM — The Prime Minister's Director of Political Strategy is reportedly leaving to take a job in advertising.Spencer Livermore was named the most important gay person in British politics in the PinkNews.co.uk Top 50 list in December.His departure is seen as a blow to Gordon Brown: Mr Livermore has been one of his closest and most loyal aides for more than a decade.

  • Poll shows Boris ahead in race for Mayor of London

    The online poll of 1,005 Londoners was conducted by YouGov. 49% said they would vote for Boris Johnson.

    5:30 PM — The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London is well ahead of his two main rivals, according to polling carried out for the Evening Standard newspaper.The online poll of 1,005 Londoners was conducted by YouGov. 49% said they would vote for Boris Johnson, 37% for incumbent Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone and 12% for Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick.17% said they had not yet decided who to vote for. The Mayor of London is elected by the Supplementary Vote (SV) system, where voters may choose a first and second choice candidate.

  • Swiss may deport gay teen to Cameroon 1

    Organisers of the campaign to stop Mr Zali's deportation have suggested a number of actions that could help him to stay in Switzerland.

    4:20 PM — Switzerland is due to return a Cameroonian teenager to his home country, where he could face imprisonment and physical punishment.Anatole Zali arrived in Switzerland from Cameroon on 3rd February 2008 and claimed asylum on the grounds that he had been threatened because he is gay.In Cameroon, Zali, who is 18, claims to have received threats from the police, where he stayed with his cousin for protection.

  • Gay votes may have been pivotal in Malta election 3

    Malta's gay community accounts for about 5% of the voting population and many have been won over by the pro-gay AD.

    11:50 AM — A political party in Malta that campaigns for LGBT rights may have set back their cause by taking votes away from the country's Labour Party.Labour are generally considered to be more liberal than the winning Nationalist Party (PN), who now remain in power.For a decade the Green Party in Malta, Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) and their leader Harry Vasallo have challenged the two-party system in Malta and pushed for gay civil rights, attracting the votes of thousands of LGBT on the island.

  • Norway moves to legalise gay marriage 1

    The new legislation, while not full equal marriage, amends the definition of civil marriage in Norway to make it gender neutral.

    10:50 AM — The Norwegian government has introduced legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry and have joint custody over children.The Scandinavian country already allows gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil partnerships, but LGBT rights groups have long complained the law does not go far enough.The Norwegian National Association for Lesbian and Gay Liberation (LLH) said the current arrangements created two classes of citizenship.

  • Petition for men convicted over “gay party” in Morocco 1

    The Moroccan government is being urged to protect the human rights to privacy and to a fair trial.

    10:21 AM — The Moroccan Association for Human Rights, along with Human Rights Watch, is launching a petition following the imprisonment of six men for same sex sexual conduct.Police in Morocco arrested the men in November 2007 after a video circulated on the Internet showing a private party in Ksar-el-Kbir.A Tangiers appeals court upheld the conviction under Article 489 of Morocco's penal code.

  • 14th March 2008

    CPS want Royal blackmail trial in private 25

    Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, pleaded not guilty to making demands with menaces, contrary to the Theft Act 1968, at the Old Bailey in December.

    5:20 PM — The Crown Prosecution Service has requested that the trial of two men charged with attempting to blackmail a member of the Royal Family be held without the public being allowed into court.Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, pleaded not guilty to making demands with menaces, contrary to the Theft Act 1968, at the Old Bailey in December.They were arrested in October after police mounted a sting operation.

  • Gay group shocked at ignorance among Euro politicians 1

    A panel of four experts addressed the committee, including an ILGA-Europe representative.

    5:00 PM — Last week's meeting of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe exposed some members' ignorance about gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA).The committee was holding its first hearing on a report on LGBT rights in the member states.The 47-member Council of Europe promotes and protects democracy, educational and sporting co-operation and created the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Homophobic bishop branded un-Christian by MSP 53

    Mr Foulkes said that the bishop had caused hurt to gay people and enlightened Catholics reject all forms of prejudice including racism, sectarianism and homophobia.

    4:25 PM — A Labour member of the Scottish Parliament has echoed comments from gay equality organisation Stonewall and branded the Bishop of Motherwell as un-Christian.George Foulkes MSP tabled a motion condemning Bishop Joseph Devine's comments that gay people attend Holocaust memorial events in order to "create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution" as "unfortunate, outdated and un-Christian."Gay equality organisation Stonewall also criticised the Roman Catholic leader.

  • PM says Mandelson will only serve one term

    Hated by many in his own party and dubbed the “Prince of Darkness,“ Mandelson was appointed to the Cabinet twice, but had to resign both times.

    3:15 PM — The Prime Minister has quashed speculation that he may re-appoint former Labour Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson as a European Commissioner.Arriving at a European summit last night, Gordon Brown told reporters that Mr Mandelson would only serve one term."Peter Mandelson said he doesn't want to become the next commissioner," he said. "I think it is important to say that Peter Mandelson has done a great job as commissioner and, of course, it is his wish to do something else."

  • Iranian gays still facing deportation from UK 7

    Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of “new circumstances“ gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered.

    2:25 PM — Gay activists have told PinkNews.co.uk that the government need to reconsider the cases of other gay asylum seekers following the reprieve of Iranian teenager Mehdi Kazemi's.Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced yesterday that in the light of "new circumstances" gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi should have his case reconsidered upon his return from the Netherlands, where he fled when his first application was denied.The 19-year old, who has lived in Britain since 2005, was facing deportation and possible execution in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal.

  • Galloway claims Iran executes sex offenders, not gays 16

    The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.

    2:00 PM — Outspoken London MP George Galloway has said that the boyfriend of Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes.The Respect politician made his claims on Channel Five show The Wright Stuff yesterday morning.Mr Kazemi is claiming asylum in the UK. He claims his boyfriend was arrested by police in Iran for being homosexual, forced to reveal the names of men he had relationships with, and executed.

  • New rules on HIV prosecutions released 4

    The CPS is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

    1:10 PM — New guidelines on how prosecutors should deal with cases involving the intentional or reckless transmission of STIs have been published by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today.The CPS has devised a public policy and guidance statement that covers the Code for Crown Prosecutors and how it should be implemented in all cases.The guide also outlines offences the CPS will consider in relation to cases of the intentional or reckless sexual transmission of infection.

  • US Senate will debate ban on HIV+ travellers 6

    The legislation includes measures to lift the current US policy which bars people who are HIV+ from entering the country.

    12:45 PM — A bill authorising billions of dollars of spending on AIDS prevention in developing nations has been approved by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.The legislation includes measures to lift the current US policy which bars people who are HIV+ from entering the country.The bill, which also aims to relax rules that required that one-third of all prevention money be spent on abstinence programmes, will now be debated on the floor of the Senate.

  • Gay community “right” to recall Nazi persecution 53

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

    12:30 PM — The chair of the Holocaust Educational Trust has defended the right of gay people to commemorate the Holocaust.Lord Janner's comments follow the remarks of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, who said earlier this week that the "homosexual lobby" attend Holocaust memorial events to create for themselves the image of a group of people under persecution."Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an "anti-social group."

  • Victoria MP fears register will lead to gay marriage

    Under the commonwealth's proposal, a relationship will cost $180 (£73) to register and $59 to revoke.

    12:10 PM — A leading Australian MP has claimed a relationships register for gay couples would erode the sanctity of marriage as debate over the controversial bill continues.Victorian Nationals leader Peter Ryan was one of the first MPs to express his views on the new register, telling parliament it would inevitably lead to legislating gay marriage.Under the proposed new law, gay couples in the state of Victoria would be able to register their relationship for easier access to entitlements.

  • 13th March 2008

    Comment: Hillary and the Eliot Spitzer effect

    If Silda Spitzer want to banish Eliot to the guest bedroom for the foreseeable future, that's her call to make.

    4:30 PM — On the heels of Samantha Power "resigning" from Barack Obama's campaign for calling Hillary Clinton a "monster" comes news that LGBT Council member Maxim Thorne has been bumped from his post for a similarly tactless use of words.In an email blasting Clinton's "who do you want answering the phone at 3am" rhetoric, Thorne wrote:"At 3am, Hillary said she and Bill were in bed and she knows of all the calls a President gets at different times of the day and night.Really?"

  • Greek gays find loophole in marriage law 1

    Greece fails to provide many rights that LGBT people in other member states enjoy.

    3:40 PM — A gay and lesbian rights organisation is threatening to sue local authorities in Greece who refuse to marry same-sex couples after discovering that a 1982 law on civil wedding ceremonies refers only to "persons."The group, OLKE, has announced its intention to test their interpretation of the law.The Greek government is planning to grant new legal rights to unmarried couples later this year.

  • Gay Iranian teen’s case will be reviewed says Home Office 21

    The review announced by the Home Office means the deportation order against Mehdi is suspended.

    3:02 PM — An Iranian teenager who was facing deportation and possible execution will have his case reviewed.The decision was announced moments ago. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:"Following representations made on behalf of Mehdi Kazemi, and in the light of new circumstances since the original decision was made, I have decided that Mr Kazemi's case should be reconsidered on his return to the UK from the Netherlands."

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