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Current Affairs

  • 4th January 2008

    Analysis: Romney vows to fight on after losing Iowa caucus 1

    Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

    1:56 PM — Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus battle among Republicans with Mitt Romney running second. Former Baptist minister Huckabee is known as a solid conservative candidate popular among evangelical Christian voters.On the Democratic side, Barack Obama was the winner with John Edwards second and Hillary Clinton in a very close third.Turnout for the caucuses was higher than predicted, nearly double the participants in the 2004 caucuses according to some reports.

  • As Iowa chooses, Bush snoozes

    His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season.

    1:45 PM — Don't expect to hear President George W. Bush's reaction to the Iowa caucus results until sometime today.His press secretary suggested in a news conference yesterday that nap time likely will outweigh whatever desire the President has to see who will gain the early lead in the US 2008 election season."What time do all the results start coming in?" asked White House press secretary Dana Perino.

  • New ‘divorce’ rights for Australian gay couples

    The Family Court, which has jurisdiction over gay and de facto custody disputes, will adjudicate the division of assets.

    1:30 PM — Gay and de facto couples in Australia who break up are set to win the same property rights as married couples.Unmarried couples will be able to settle their differences in Family Court thanks to Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, who won Commonwealth and state backing for the federal law to be changed.Previously these couples were obliged to split their assets in state courts, which were more costly, more complicated and took longer than the Family Court.

  • Obama and Huckabee win in Iowa 4

    There was a high turnout despite the freezing weather, and the support of young people was vital in Obama's victory.

    3:08 AM — In an excting night in American politics, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have won the first votes in the race to choose the country's Presidential candidates.Obama, the first African-American to stand a serious chance of winning nomination by a major party, romped home in a rural state that is 95% white.His stunning victory over former First Lady Hillary Clinton and former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards has transformed the race for the White House.

  • 3rd January 2008

    Muslim leaders back Ken for third term as Mayor 3

    Mayor Livingstone faced protests from gay activists in 2004 when he invited the Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi to London.

    4:35 PM — The re-election of Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London is in the best interests of Muslims, according to 63 leading Islamic figures.Imams and community leaders have signed a statement pledging support for his campaign for a third term in office, citing his support for the Palestinian people and opposition to UK policy in Iraq as key reasons to support him.Ihtisham Hibatullah from the British Muslim Initiative, told The Guardian: "He supports religious freedom."

  • Gay group questions Huckabee’s extreme views 7

    TruthWinsOut has said it is “alarmed“ that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.

    3:01 PM — An American organisation that works to expose the tactics of "ex-gay" groups has raised concerns that a leading Republican candidate for President of the United States has links with known extremist groups.TruthWinsOut has said it is "alarmed" that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a serious contender for the White House.The first state caucus for the Republican nomination for the Presidency is being held in Iowa today and many polls put Huckabee in the lead.

  • Lesbian senator committed to fight for gay equality

    The Labour Senator-Elect from Western Australia will take her seat in the Canberra parliament in July.

    2:30 PM — As the youngest woman ever elected to Western Australia's Legislative Council she was instrumental in pushing forward some of the most progressive gay equality laws in Australia, including equalising the age of consent, allowing same-sex adoption and banning sexual orientation discrimination.Now 35-year-old Louise Pratt has pledged to work just as hard as an advocate for LGBT rights in her new role as a federal Senator.She has spoken of her excitement at the recent elections that brought her party to power after 11 years of opposition.

  • Christian MP defends opposition to gay hate law 24

    Mr Breed, the MP for South East Cornwall, has been a consistent opponent of gay rights.

    2:02 PM — A Liberal Democrat MP has defended an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Colin Breed, who is a lay Methodist preacher, claims that the move, which is also supported by Ann Widdecombe, is about "freedom of speech."The amendment to the Criminal Justice bill seeks to block a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  • Sperm donor child support case under review

    Andy Bathie, a 37-year-old fireman from London, provided sperm to civil partners Sharon and Terri Arnold.

    12:10 PM — A man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple and was subsequently made to pay child support has revealed that his case is being reviewed by the Child Support Agency.Andy Bathie, a 37-year-old fireman from London, provided sperm to civil partners Sharon and Terri Arnold.As this was a private arrangement not organised through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), he is legally the father.

  • Straight bouncer wins damages from gay club 1

    Ms Legg was awarded £3,222 for unfair dismissal and a further £3,000 for injured feelings.

    11:20 AM — A heterosexual woman has been awarded more than £6,000 in damages from Bournemouth's largest gay nightclub.Sharon Legg, a 33-year-old mum of four, took her case to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal after being sacked without warning."I made this complaint for gay people, straight people, anyone who has ever been harassed. I'm like a bulldog, I don't let go," Ms Legg told the Dorset Echo .

  • Interview: David Heath on incitement to homophobic hatred 5

    David Heath retained his post as Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice in the frontbench team appointed by new leader Nick Clegg.

    10:40 AM — As Lib Dem spokesperson on Justice, David Heath is a comforting contrast to the Cleggs and Huhnes of the party.Big, bearded, thoughtful yet jocular, the 53-year-old is a substantial politician in more ways than one, and in his present role he shadows one of the remaining big beasts of the Labour party, Jack Straw.Heath is very much of his constituency, Somerton and Frome. He was born in the Mendip Hills of Somerset and was leader of the county's council at the age of 31.

  • COMMENT: Iowa caucuses too close to call 1

    The respected Des Moines Register's final poll shows Illinois Senator Barack Obama leading Democratic opponents, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

    10:30 AM — Here's the only thing we know for certain about today's Iowa caucuses: no one can predict the winner.Here's the other thing that no one wants to talk about: Will Iowa really matter?For all the attention and millions of campaign dollars spent in the first Presidential contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses are really a straw poll; a beauty contest with an actual delegate section coming down the road.

  • 2nd January 2008

    Spain’s ruling party attack Catholic bishops 8

    The secretary of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español's federal executive is demanding that the Church retract accusations by the Archbishop of Valencia.

    5:30 PM — A leading member of the governing Socialist party in Spain has attacked the Roman Catholic Church for getting involved in politics.On Sunday a "family" rally was held in Madrid, and senior church figures lined up to criticise laws introduced since the Socialists took power in 2004 including same-sex marriage.Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, by a videolink from Rome.

  • Police chief’s drugs stance attacked by MP 1

    53-year-old Mr Brunstrom was in the national press regularly in 2007.

    4:40 PM — Labour MP Chris Bryant has attacked as "dangerous" views expressed by North Wales Police chief constable Richard Brunstrom that ecstasy is safer than tobacco, alcohol and aspirin.Mr Brunstrom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the scare mongering around ecstasy was not borne out by fact."If you look at the government's own research you will find that ecstasy by comparison to many other substances, legal and illegal, is a comparatively safe substance," he said.

  • US church leader: there are more gay bishops 2

    Bishop Jefferts Schori's appointment as head of the US Anglican communion in 2006 caused even more tension.

    2:30 PM — The leader of the Anglican church in the United States has stoked the controversy surrounding gay ordinations by claiming there are senior gay clergy and some of them are in relationships.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, speaking on BBC Radio 4, said that the Episcopalian church, as Anglicans are known in the US, has been unfairly targeted over the ordination of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire.Bishop Robinson is openly gay and lives with his partner.

  • Minister to attend Schools OUT conference 8

    Kevin Brennan, a junior minister at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Schools OUT conference.

    1:45 PM — Kevin Brennan, a junior minister at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be one of the keynote speakers at an LGBT education event next month.The Schools OUT annual conference will be held on February 2nd in the Drill Hall in central London.Founded in 1974, Schools OUT Works towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in education.

  • Iraq prisoner amnesty does not extend to gays 6

    The targeting of gay people is just another example of the chaos of daily life in Iraq.

    12:30 PM — A draft bill before the Iraqi parliament would grant an amnesty for as many as 5,000 prisoners, yet excludes those convicted of homosexual "crimes."Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the country's government, said the bill had been sent to the parliament's Speaker yesterday.Iraqis being held by the Americans are also excluded, alongside those charged with terrorist offences, rape and adultery.

  • PinkNews.co.uk list highlights lack of female representation 55

    Just one female, the Labour MP and minister Angela Eagle, made it into the top 10, with another four in the top 50.

    11:50 AM — A snapshot of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in British politics has revealed that women are seriously under-represented.Just one female, the Labour MP and minister Angela Eagle, made it into the top 10, with another four in the top 50.Margot James, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Stourbridge and party vice-chair, is at number 17, while Margaret Smith, the Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh West, is at number 32.

  • Joy in Concord as gay unions arrive in New Hampshire 1

    Yesterday New Hampshire became the fourth US state to legalise civil unions. Only Massachusetts has legal gay marriage.

    10:50 AM — A group of gay and lesbian couples took advantage of a new law that came into force in the US state of New Hampshire yesterday by entering into civil unions in a mass outdoor ceremony.There were no protestors at the Statehouse in the capital Concord as 37 couples braved sub-zero temperatures just minutes into 2008 and exchanged vows.Yesterday New Hampshire became the fourth US state to legalise civil unions. Only Massachusetts has legal gay marriage.

  • English Cardinal attacks gay people in New Year message 21

    Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's message marks the Feast of the Holy Family.

    10:20 AM — The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has linked gay people to drug and alcohol abuse and claimed that parents want their children to be taught that marriage is superior to all other "lifestyles."Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's message, which was read out at church services across the Diocese of Westminster, marks the Feast of the Holy Family.It has been interpreted as an attack on the government's stance on equality for gay people.

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