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Current Affairs

  • 27th February 2008

    Obama endorsed by former Presidential rival

    Both the Obama campaign and the Hillary Clinton campaign courted Dodd for his endorsement.

    10:30 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama received the endorsement of former Presidential candidate Chris Dodd yesterday.The Connecticut Senator said at a press conference in Cleveland that he is "deeply proud to be the first 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate to endorse Barack Obama."In endorsing Obama, Dodd urged Democrats to "come together, to get behind this candidacy."

  • 26th February 2008

    War of words over photos of Obama in traditional dress

    The picture has been released, allegedly by staffers for his rival for the Democratic nomination for President, Senator Hillary Clinton.

    4:15 PM — When visiting his father's homeland of Kenya two years ago, Presidential candidate Barack Obama wore a traditional white turban and a wraparound white robe presented to him by elders.In the febrile atmosphere of the 2008 primaries, that picture has been released, allegedly by staffers for his rival for the Democratic nomination for President, Senator Hillary Clinton.The public scrapping between the only female and the only black candidate in the race for the White House has reached a new low.

  • Petition calls for repeal of repressive gay sex law 2

    The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Morocco has ratified, bars interference with the right to privacy.

    2:40 PM — A human rights movement has called on the Moroccan government to repeal a law that demands prison terms for consensual homosexual acts.The petition, launched by Human Rights Watch and the Moroccan Human Rights Association, also asks for the release of six men currently imprisoned under this article of the penal code, and demands that the government protect the rights to privacy and a fair trial.Police arrested the six men in November 2007, after a video was circulated on the internet.

  • Pride petrol bomber jailed for attempted attack

    He is the first person convicted of a hate crime in the country since they became an offence under the country's Penal Code in 2006.

    2:15 PM — A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to 14 months in jail after being found guilty of a hate crime by a court in Croatia.Yesterday Josip Situm was convicted of endangering lives and property and ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment while behind bars.Police spotted him at the Pride event in the Croatian capital Zagreb on 7th July 2007 with petrol bombs, but he fled the scene. He was later arrested.

  • Gay Iranian due for deportation today 6

    London Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford has written to the Home Secretary to request her to urgently review the case of 19-year-old Medhi Kazemi.

    1:25 PM — A gay teenager from Iran who fled the UK for the Netherlands last year after his appeal for asylum was refused is expected to be returned to the UK today by Dutch authorities.London Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford has written to the Home Secretary to request her to urgently review the case of Medhi Kazemi, who faces possible execution by stoning if he returns to Iran.At the end of last year a court in the Netherlands ruled Medhi must be returned back to the UK.

  • Spanish Prime Minister vows to defend gay rights 2

    Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th.

    12:50 PM — In an interview with a gay magazine, the leader of Spain's Socialist party has promised to fight any attempt to remove or weaken gay rights laws he has introduced as Prime Minister.Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for March 9th. During his four years in office he has legalised gay marriage and given same-sex couples the right to adopt.The lead up to the election has been marked by bad-tempered exchanges between the government and the Roman Catholic church.

  • Mayoral candidates to speak at anti-homophobia day launch 57

    A message of support for the IDAHO campaign will be read on behalf of incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone.

    12:50 PM — Mayoral candidates, government ministers, students and academics and national and international LGBT campaigners are all gearing up for the launch of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO-UK 2008), which take place at the London College of Fashion on March 13th.A message of support for the IDAHO campaign will be read on behalf of incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone. Mayor of London. Richard Barnes the Conservative Leader on the London Assembly, Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor, and Sian Berry, the Green candidate will also be speaking.

  • Man stabbed to death in gay village 1

    Officers have now launched a murder inquiry to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident.

    12:30 PM — Police are investigating the murder of a 25-year-old man who was stabbed to death in Manchester's gay village.At about 7.30pm on Monday 25 February 2008 the victim was on Canal Street when he was approached by two other men.One of these men approached the victim and stabbed him in the neck. He suffered a serious stab wound in the incident and was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary.

  • International gay rights convention not feasible says minister 2

    Ms Munn referred to a joint statement she made last year as Minister for Women and Equality.

    12:30 PM — A Labour MP has asked a series of questions in the House of Commons about what steps the government is taking to bring about the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.Ashok Kumar, who represents Middlesbrough South East Cleveland, also asked junior Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister Meg Munn to support the introduction of an international convention which explicitly recognises gay rights as essential human rights.Ms Munn referred to a joint statement she made last year as Minister for Women and Equality.

  • Jamaican gay cop fears for his life 2

    International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

    12:01 PM — A 24-year-old police officer is in hiding in Jamaica after being abused and attacked by fellow officers because of his sexuality.Michael Hayden told the Toronto Star that he wants to seek asylum in Canada.A leading gay rights activist from Jamaica, Gareth Henry, did so last week, claiming that thirteen of his gay and lesbian friends had died in the last four years.

  • Gay rights group makes progress with government

    Malta, a British colony until 1964, has around 400,000 inhabitants and is the smallest EU state in terms of both size and population.

    12:01 PM — A gay rights group in Malta on Monday presented a petition to the country's ruling party asking for formal recognition of the rights of same sex couples.The petition presented to Malta's 'Partit Nazzjonalista' (Nationalist Party) by the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) was backed by 1,084 signatures.It also requested the inclusion of an article in the Criminal Code regarding homophobic and transphobic violence, and a clear strategy addressing homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

  • Comedian backs “bitch” Hillary for President 1

    Even Hillary Clinton herself seems to be a fan of the SNL episode.

    10:40 AM — 30 Rock star Tina Fey set the bloggersphere on fire this week with a pro-Hillary Clinton rant on the first episode of Saturday Night Live since the Writer's Guild of America strike ended.Saying "bitch is the new black," Fey gave a passionate, thinly veiled endorsement of Clinton on SNL, urging voters on Texas and Ohio to "get on board" and vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate.As a special guest on the show, Tina Fey was quick to step right back into her old place on the show.

  • Anti-gay harassment project attacked by pro-family group 1

    The 24-page pamphlet has been sent to all public school superintendents in a coalition led by the National Education Association (NEA) and American Psychological Association (APA).

    10:40 AM — A pamphlet has been sent out to 16,000 schools across the United States in an effort to protect the well-being of students "at higher risk" because of their sexual orientation.The 24-page pamphlet has been sent to all public school superintendents in a coalition led by the National Education Association (NEA) and American Psychological Association (APA).The initiative has drawn criticism from national pro-family group the Family Research Council, who have said it is a "promotion of homosexuality" in schools.

  • 25th February 2008

    Canadian gay groups oppose rise in age of consent

    Under Canada's Criminal Code, anal sex is only legal if both individuals are 18 years old.

    4:10 PM — Gay and straight youth groups in Canada have come out against a change in age of consent from 14 to 16.Richard Hudler of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario claims that it will unfairly prejudice gay teenagers."My first lover was 17 years older than me. And this is common [among gay people]," he said. "It is dangerous, considering the attitude toward sexual orientation in schools, for a young person to attempt to make sexual contact with a peer."

  • Burrell reported to be in crisis talks after gay revelations 4

    It was claimed yesterday that Burrell, 49, trawls gay saunas hunting for young men to bed behind his wife's back.

    3:15 PM — Allegations that former Royal employee Paul Burrell is secretly gay have led to crisis meetings between the former butler and his advisers.He has amassed a sizable fortune in the United States, reported to be in the region of $25 million (£12.7m). His projects there include books, a home furnishings line and etiquette classes as well as presenting a number of popular television programmes such as American Princess.

  • Interview: Gays and the United States military 3

    The United States continues to operate under the “Don't Ask Don't Tell“ law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.

    2:45 PM — It is almost eight years since the British government moved to allow openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people to serve in our Army, Navy and Air Force.We were by no means the first. The Dutch lifted their ban in 1974, Australia followed in 1992, Canada soon after.In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans, with one glaring exception. The United States continues to operate under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law, a messy compromise reached in 1994.

  • Gay blood ban row moves to Scottish parliament

    The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) bars men who have had sex with other men from donating blood, even if they used a condom.

    12:10 PM — A petition is being prepared for submission to the Scottish Parliament calling for a repeal to the ban the prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood in the UK.Rob McDowall, the creator of the petition, told PinkNews.co.uk: "Being gay doesn't prevent me from paying tax, using public transport or working in a responsible position, so why should it prevent me from giving the gift of life?"The UK Blood Transfusion Service bars men who have had sex with other men from donating blood.

  • Hillary leads Obama in Texas polls 1

    Clinton previously held a much larger lead over Obama in Texas and Ohio.

    11:50 AM — New York Senator Hillary Clinton is still leading over Illinois Senator Barack Obama in the most recent polls from Ohio and Texas.However, with a little over a week to go until the March 4th Democratic primaries in both states Clinton's lead appears to be shrinking.John McCain, meanwhile, appears to be the preferred candidate over either Democrat in Texas.A poll conducted by the Associated Press between February 16th to 20th gave Clinton a 50 percent to 43 percent lead over Barack Obama in Ohio.

  • Catholics unhappy at rights for gay Kosovans 2

    Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.

    10:40 AM — The draft constitution of Europe's newest nation is under attack from a Roman Catholic political organisation because it seeks to protect gay people from discrimination.Kosovo declared independence from Serbia earlier this month, backed by the US, the UK and other leading nations.Its draft constitution contains specific provisions to protect Kosovans from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and enshrines the right to marry but does not limit that right to a man and a woman.

  • Raul Castro confirmed as Cuban President

    The 76-year-old had been Cuba's acting president since Fidel fell ill in July 2006.

    10:15 AM — The younger brother of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been approved as the country's President by the National Assembly.Fidel, 81, stepped down last week, but will remain as head of the Communist party and is expected to continue to have a strong influence on his brother.At a two-day discussion on homosexuality in Cuba held earlier this year in Madrid poet Leon de la Hoz said that many people on the island refer to Raul as "the little Chinese man with the sad eyes," a reference to his supposed repressed homosexuality.

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