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Current Affairs

  • 27th January 2008

    Health Secretary accused of receiving proxy loan

    Alan Johnson lost out to Harriet Harman

    12:01 AM — The Health Secretary, Alan Johnson has been accused in the Sunday Mirror of accepting cash through a proxy for his failed attempt to become Deptuty Leader of the Labour Party.The tabloid says that a Pakistani in Britain on a student visa for the past three years was used to direct £3,334 towards Mr Johnson's campaign.50-year-old Waseem Siddiqui said he wasn't aware who Mr Johnson was.

  • 25th January 2008

    Report demonstrates need for hate crime law in Scotland 1

    The Sentencing of Offences Aggravated by Prejudice (Scotland) Bill was proposed by Patrick Harvie, a Scottish Green MSP.

    1:55 PM — A report commissioned by Lothian and Borders Police has found that 15% of gay men in Edinburgh have been attacked in the last year.One in four of the 150 men questioned said they had been the victim of homophobic violence in the last five years.The report was carried out last April by health psychology professors from Queen Margaret University.7% of lesbians questioned said they had been assaulted physically or sexually in the previous 12 months.

  • Date set for Moscow Pride 2008

    Last year gay rights activists were attacked by police and homophobic demonstrators.

    1:35 PM — Moscow's LGBT community will once again attempt to celebrate Pride on May 31st, organiser Nicolas Alexeyev has announced.In May 2006 and 2007 Pride marches in the city were beset by violence and police intimidation after Mayor Luzhkov refused to grant a permit.He is on record as claiming he will never allow a gay parade to take place in Moscow, and called gay people 'Satanic.'Yesterday an organising committee for Pride was formed.

  • Democrat withdraws from Presidential race 4

    Kucinich stated he wanted to make sure “100 percent of the voters had 100 percent of their votes counted.“

    10:25 AM — Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich announced yesterday he is dropping out of the 2008 Presidential race.Kucinich will make an official statement regarding his decision today. He also stated he will not endorse any candidates in the Democratic race.A former Mayor of Cleveland, he was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996. Kucinich ran for the Presidential nomination in 2004.

  • Heath Ledger’s final hours revealed

    Ledger's body was found by a masseuse and a housekeeper at approximately 2:45pm on Tuesday.

    10:20 AM — The facts around Heath Ledger's final hours continue to emerge while friends and family wait for the official cause of his death to be determined.As the details of Ledger's funeral arrangements continue to be worked out, Hollywood and the world mourns for the loss of the talented actor.Media reports spun across the Net since Ledger was found dead on Tuesday have been strewn with inaccuracies and wild speculation.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 23rd January 2008

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • Trans truck driver begins legal action against employers 2

    Gaynor claims that the discrimination began after she told her bosses, who were ostensibly supportive, about her transition.

    12:15 PM — A transsexual who claims she was hounded out of her job as a trucker after she began her transition from her former male gender is seeking thousands of pounds in damages from her former employer.Vikki-Marie Gaynor, 37, from Wallasey in Wirral, is bringing a sexual discrimination claim against Exel Europe, part of delivery giant DHL, and recruitment agency Blue Arrow.An employment tribunal in Liverpool is hearing the case.

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