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Current Affairs

  • 12th February 2008

    Huckabee challenges result in Washington

    Huckabee defeated McCain by a narrow margin in the Louisiana Republican primary and beat him by a large tally in the Kansas caucuses.

    12:05 PM — Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is refusing to concede a loss to Arizona Senator John McCain in the Washington Republican caucuses.The Huckabee campaign is asking for a full recount of the caucus votes in order to determine the true winner of the contest.McCain believes he won the race, but has conceded to Huckabee's right to ask for a recount.

  • 11th February 2008

    Romania moves to exclude same-sex marriage

    Romania only joined the EU at the beginning of 2007, at which time it was required to recognise same-sex couples registered in other member states.

    7:30 PM — A leading human rights group has condemned an attempt by Senators in the Romanian parliament to change the country's Family Code on marriage.The far-right Greater Romania Party's amendment, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, was passed unanimously by the Senate Judicial Committee.It will need full Senate approval before it moves to the Chamber of Deputies.

  • Swedish lesbians have a legal right to puppies

    During a phone call to the kennel owner enquiring about a puppy advertised for sale, the lesbian woman mentioned her partner.  photo: frazzledjen@flickr.com

    5:06 PM — An unusual case of discrimination in Sweden has led to a court ruling in favour of a women turned away from buying a puppy because she is a lesbian.The Local reports that the court of appeal in Stockholm confirmed that a kennel owner must pay 20,000 kronor (£1,580) for discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.During a phone call to the kennel owner enquiring about a puppy advertised for sale, the lesbian woman mentioned her partner. The owner then refused to sell the puppy to her.

  • Archbishop unerpentant over Sharia comments 5

    The Synod, the Church of England's parliament, was addressed by Dr Rowan Williams this afternoon.

    4:15 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the General Synod of the Church of England that he accepts responsibility for confusion about his comments on Islamic law in the UK.But he added that is was right of him to raise the concerns of faith communities and some of his remarks had been misinterpreted."Some of what has been heard is a very long way indeed from what was actually said," he told Synod members gathered in London for a pre-planned meeting.

  • Huckabee victories point to problems for McCain

    It is almost certain that Senator McCain will end up with the nomination.

    4:02 PM — He may be the Republican nominee for President in all but name, but results from two primaries over the weekend indicate that it could be a tough battle for Senator John McCain to win over sections of his own party.In the Kansas caucus former Governor of Arkansas and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee took 60% of the vote to 24% for McCain and 11% for maverick candidate Ron Paul.Huckabee also took Louisiana and the results from Washington state are still too close to call.

  • Politburo member backs gay marriage in Cuba 1

    Besides legal recognition, gays, lesbians and transsexuals in Cuba want respect.

    2:20 PM — A leading Cuban politician has welcomed proposals to allow gay men and lesbian marriage rights, as the country continues to discuss its future direction.The poor health of Fidel Castro, who has led the country as a one-party state since 1959, has sparked a renewed national debate in the only Communist country in the Caribbean.The revered leader's brother Raul Castro invited Cubans to speak out without fear, and among complains about taxes and restrictions on foreign travel and internet access the issue of gay rights has come to the fore.

  • Hillary sacks campaign manager, Obama wins Grammy

    At last night's Grammy awards Senator Obama won the spoken word award for his reading of his best-selling book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.

    12:43 PM — As the battle for the Democratic nomination continues to be the most closely-fought in decades, Senator Hillary Clinton has reordered her core team.Her rival Senator Barack Obama won yesterday's Maine caucus by a wide margin, his fourth victory over the weekend.The Former First Lady had been hoping to secure the state. Last week she had to lend her campaign $5m (£2.56m) of her own money after it suffered "cash flow problems."

  • Interview: The former cop who wants to run London

    “Faced with a ballot paper with Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson staring up at them, I think people will hesitate.“

    11:45 AM — Brian Paddick is enjoying running for Mayor of London. The Liberal Democrat candidate may be a distant third in opinion polls, but he has one distinct advantage in this race - lots of people know who he is.The 2008 Mayoral election is already the most exciting contest since the post was established at the turn of the century.Incumbent Ken Livingstone is facing a concerted (some would say co-ordinated) barrage of negative press on everything from cronyism to his alcohol intake.

  • Court backs children’s books encouraging gay tolerance

    A court rejected the claims of parents who said exposing their children to such books violated their ability to direct the religious training of their children.

    11:20 AM — A Massachusetts federal appeals court ruled last week that an elementary school can continue to use children's books that encourage tolerance for gay people.The ACLU welcomed the decision, which rejected the claims of parents who said exposing their children to such books violated their ability to direct the religious training of their children.There has never been a federal case finding a constitutional right of parents to exempt their children from exposure to books used in public schools.

  • Israeli attorney general rules gay couples can jointly adopt

    Israel has followed other countries in allowing gay couples to jointly adopt

    12:10 AM — The attorney general of Israel ruled on Sunday that gay couples will be allowed to jointly adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner. Menachem Mazuz ruled that there was no legal basis for differing treatment of gay couples to straight couples.His ruling means that gay couples will be entitled to the same rights as adopted parents as straight couples.But former deputy welfare minitster Avraham Ravitz told Haretz that the government's decision is "hallucinatory."

  • 10th February 2008

    Williams under continued pressure over Sharia law speech 50

    Rowan Williams says he didn't call for Sharia law

    10:30 PM — Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to defend himself following his comments on Sharia law during his address to the Church of England General Synod in London tomorrow.Since saying that the adoption of elements of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable", he has been under attack from all sides. The previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey wrote in the News of the World: "He has in my opinion overstated the case for accommodating Islamic legal codes."

  • Democrat passions run high at Washinton caucuses

    At the 46th District Democratic caucus, attended by this reporter, Obama supporters overwhelmingly outnumbered Clinton supporters.

    3:05 PM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama took the victory in the Washington caucus results on Saturday, beating out rival New York Senator Hillary Clinton by a strong margin.In the Republican primary, Arizona Senator John McCain pulled off a narrow win against former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.In the Washington Republican caucuses, John McCain led over Mike Huckabee 26 percent to 24 percent with 87 percent of precincts reporting in.

  • Obama wins Washington state and Nebraska

    Obama took the victory by a landslide, showing once again his campaign's enormous strength in caucus states.

    3:20 AM — Illinois Senator Barack Obama claimed yet another state for his war chest on Saturday, defeating rival New York Senator Hillary Clinton in the Nebraska caucus results.Obama took the victory by a landslide, showing once again his campaign's enormous strength in caucus states. Obama also won in the Washington caucus results on Saturday.With 85 percent of precincts reporting in the Nebraska Democratic caucuses, Barack Obama led over Hillary Clinton 68 percent to 32 percent of the vote.

  • 9th February 2008

    Homophobia within police force soars 13

    Complaints within the force have risen year on year

    3:18 PM — Complaints about homophobia within the police force have risen by almost a quarter in the past year according to the Gay Police Association.The association received 350 calls in 2007, 90 more than in 2006. However, it is estimated that 7,000 homophobic incidents each year are not reported. Chairman of the Gay Police Association Paul Cahill said: "We've had some officers refusing to work with gay officers but also slightly more sinister expressions of homophobia.

  • Archbishop denies he called for Sharia law 50

    Rowan Williams says he didn't call for Sharia law

    12:19 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has denied that he called for the introduction ofSharia Law.In a statement he said that he "certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law".He said that he was "exploring ways in which reasonable accommodation might be made within existing arrangements for religious conscience".

  • Pizza Hut runs out of pizza if you’re gay or transexual, group claims 3

    Pizza Hut say that they did not discriminate

    12:18 PM — A group of gay men out with their transsexual friends were told that Pizza Hut had run out of Pizza, in order to avoid serving them it has been claimed.The group, some of them wearing high heels asked for a table in a branch of the chain in Church Street, Blackpool. Michael Kemp, 48, who was wearing a miniskirt claimed: "When we arrived at the Pizza Hut, we noticed people were staring at us and laughing.

  • 8th February 2008

    Radio 4 presenter cleared of rape 8

    Nigel Wrench was cleared of all charges.

    4:20 PM — BBC Radio 4 presenter Nigel Wrench was today cleared by a court of raping a man that he met at a New Years Eve party.He was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting the 26-year-old after inviting him back to his flat in north London after meeting him at a New Years party. The presenter of Radio 4's PM programme admitted snorting cocaine with the man at a Kennigton party before taking him home to view his art collection.

  • Turks reject gays or atheists as neighbours 7

    Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership, but concerns about human rights are one factor frustrating negotiations.

    3:25 PM — A survey of Turkish attitudes has found that the vast majority would not want to live next to a gay person.1,579 persons in 41 cities were polled by Bahcesehir University's Economic and Social Research Centre.The results show that Turks are generally happy, think their country will join the EU if it meets all the criteria, but do not want to live next door to people with different identities.

  • ‘Gay’ executions imminent in Iran, claims Amnesty 18

    All death sentences in Iran must be approved by the Head of the Judiciary.

    3:05 PM — Human rights pressure group Amnesty International has warned that two men may soon be executed by being thrown off a cliff, an Islamic punishment for homosexual sex.Six men were sentenced by a court in May 2007 of having abducted two young men in the city of Arsanjan, to the east of Shiraz, stealing their property and raping them.Tayyeb Karimi and Yazdan (surname unknown) were sentenced to death by the judge, who stipulated they be thrown from a height.

  • Huckabee endorsed by evangelical Christians 3

    Arizona Senator McCain has than 707 nominating delegates to Governor Huckabee's 195.

    2:35 PM — A former Baptist minister who wants the Republican party nomination for US President has been backed by one of the most influential evangelicals in America.James Dobson from Focus on the Family is notorious for his homophobic views. His endorsement of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was announced yesterday.Focus on the Family claims to be a non-partisan organisation that "nurtures and develops families."

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