Tag Archives: Gay Rights

Poor Nations Stage Walk-out of Climate Talks

Complaining that developed countries aren’t doing enough to cut their own emissions, delegates from poor nations walked out on talks at the climate change summit in Copenhagen today, AFP. At issue is whether the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which required wealthy nations to cut their emissions but was not signed by the United States, will be continued or ignored.

More than 100,000 people protested in the streets of Copenhagen over the weekend as the talks entered their second week, New York Times.

The 22nd anniversary of the political/militant group Hamas is being celebrated in Gaza City today with massive rallies, Al Jazeera. Who are Hamas?, BBC News.

Gunmen in the Philippines releases 47 hostages after securing promises from the government that they would not be arrested for the hostage-taking or for previous crimes, Al Jazeera.

Britain’s former director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, issued a scathing condemnation of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his role in convincing the British people to accept joining the United States to invade Iraq in 2003, CNN. Macdonald’s editorial, Times Online.

Democrat Annise Parker, a Houston city controller who is also openly gay, defeated Republican Gene Locke in a run-off election to be mayor of Houston, Houston Chronicle.  Analysis of the race, including how Parker’s sexual orientation was not much of an idea, 538.

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Commandos Rescue Hostages from Pakistan’s Military HQ

Commandos raided the Pakistani military headquarters where three dozen hostages had been held by two militants since yesterday. Three hostages died in the mission as well as two special forces soldiers, Al Jazeera.

Mullah Muhammad Omar is leading an increasingly successful Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, New York Times.

The CDC says the H1N1 virus, aka swine flu, is especially dangerous for young children. 76 children have died in the U.S. with 19 of those deaths occurring just last week. Parents are urged to be especially cautious if a fever and cough return after a sick child appears to get better as this can mean the child has suffered a second infection, NPR.

Gay rights advocates marched on Washington today to urge U.S. President Barack Obama to keep his promise to extend civil rights to homosexuals. In a speech last night at a dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, Obama said that he would push to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the U.S. military, Associated Press.

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Obama to Meet Netanyahu and Abbas on Tuesday

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmud Abbas, President of Palestine, at the White House on Tuesday in an effort to restart peace talks. It will be the first joint meeting between the three leaders, AFP.

Western governments are expressing outrage at comments made by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Qods (Jerusalem) Day. Ahmadinejad raised the question of whether the Holocaust occurred, saying “If the Holocaust, as you claim, is true, why don’t you allow a probe into the issue?” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called the remarks “baseless, ignorant and hateful,” PressTV.

57 confirmed cases of E.coli have caused a petting farm in Surrey, England to close down. 10 children have been hospitalized after visiting Godstone Farm and contracting E.coli, BBC News.

A gay pride parade in Serbia scheduled for Sunday has been canceled because police say they cannot guarantee participants’ safety. Anti-gay groups have plastered posters all over Belgrade threatening “We’re expecting you,” and the first gay pride parade in the city in 2001 turned chaotic as extreme violence broke out, BBC News.

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HRW Says Gay Iraqis Targeted by Militia

Human Rights Watch reports that gay Iraqis are being systematically killed by Iraqi militia, BBC News.

Red Shirt supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra are protesting in Bangkok today, Voice of America.

700 customs inspectors in Mexico have been replaced in an effort to stamp out corruption and stop drug smuggling, Associated Press.

The motive behind this weekend’s tent fire at a wedding in Kuwait has been discovered. The ex-wife of the groom confessed to setting the fire that killed 43 women and children and injured 90, Sky News.

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1st Day of Questioning: Sotomayor Survives

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor survived her first day of questioning by the Senate Judicial Committee. Republicans grilled Sotomayor on her positions on abortion, gun control, and race/gender discrimination, as well as questioning her remarks that “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Sotomayor clarified that she meant only that a person’s life experiences have the ability to give them better understanding of the world, not that Latino women necessarily make better decisions than white men. The hearings continue tomorrow with questions by the Senators who didn’t get a chance to go today, then a closed session to discuss Sotomayor’s FBI background check before a second round of questioning, New York Times.

CSPAN has full video of the hearing. You can watch the whole session or watch questioning by individual Senators. The questioning by Sen. Sessions and Sen. Graham were the most contentious, CSPAN.

The House of Representative, meanwhile, was also busy today, releasing the first draft of the health care overhaul legislation. The plan by House Democrats would create a public health insurance plan option and would require individuals to either sign up with the public plan or find private insurance that they like better. The plan would cost $1.5 trillion and would be paid for by raising taxes on those who make more than $280,000 a year, San Francisco Chronicle. Reuters Factbox.

The Episcopal Church voted to end the ban on gay clergy today. The vote may get the Church kicked out of the Anglican Communion, but members said they felt compelled to vote their conscience, Associated Press.

The UK will begin a massive swine flu vaccination initiative and plans to vaccinate everyone in the UK once enough vaccine is available. 17 people have died of swine flu in the UK and over 300 have been treated in hospital, Wall Street Journal.

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Cyclone Aila Kills More Than 150 in Asia

Read our earlier coverage of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.

The California Supreme Court voted today 6-1 to uphold the gay marriage ban in the state, titled Proposition 8. In November, 52% of voters elected to ban same-sex marriage, but gay rights activists had held out hope that the ban would be overturned today. The court did rule, however, to allow almost 18,000 same-sex marriages performed before Prop 8 to stand, MSNBC.

Mike Tyson’s four-year-old daughter has died from injuries sustained yesterday after she was accidentally strangled by a cord connected to a treadmill. Yesterday the young girl had been listed in extremely serious condition and had been on life support since the accident, USA Today.

Niger’s President, Mamadou Tandja, has dissolved the country’s parliament after a court denied his request to seek a third term in office. The act has been met with opposition, and some fear Tandja will become a dictator, BBC News.

At least 150 people were killed today when a cyclone hit Bangladesh and West Bengal in India. An estimated 500,000 people are now homeless as a result of Cyclone Aila, BBC News.

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Filly Wins Preakness for First Time in 85 Years

The horse Rachel Alexandra won the 134th Preakness Stakes today in Baltimore, dashing Mine That Bird’s hopes for the Triple Crown. The win was the first for a filly at the race in 85 years and the winning jockey, Calvin Borel, also won the Kentucky Derby this year riding Mine That Bird, ESPN.

President Obama has named Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as the U.S. ambassador to China. Huntsman, a Republican, was seen as a strong contender for the 2012 presidential election and considered a popular politician, MSNBC.

Arrests were made today before Moscow’s gay pride parade. Police detained dozens that were supposed to meet at a park before the rally, which was barricaded by police, and prominent gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev was among those arrested. The march was going to coincide with the Eurovision contest taking place in the city, which has a large gay following, CNN.

With an estimated 100+ million people watching, Norway took the trophy in the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. The competition, started in 1956, is held annually with each memeber of the European Broadcasting Union entering one song into the contest to be sung live. European citizens and a panel then decide the winner. This year, Norway won 387 votes, the most in the competition’s history, BBC News.

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Amazon Fail?

We noticed an interesting trending topic on Twitter today called #amazonfail. From what we can gather, Amazon has taken down the sales rankings and disabled some searches for certain gay and lesbian books as well as feminist literature because they were deemed as “adult.” However, Playboy literature and the likes have not been affected. This is developing, so we’ll update as we can, but here are some resources:

Twitter #amazonfail.

Mark Probst blog entry with Amazon response.

Meta Writer blog entry with a list of books that have been affected.

An open letter from Book Square, which serves as a great recap.

Link to a petition of Amazon’s policy.

Smart Bitches Trashy Books has a hilarious definition of “Amazon Rank.”

Jezebel article on Amazon Fail.

For everyone interested, Powell’s Books is planning a LGBT book sale in response. Watch their Twitter here.

This is interesting: Searching for “homosexuality” on Amazon.com, the top results are books on how to prevent homosexuality. Try it yourself.

Update: Amazon responds to Publishers Weekly, calls the deranking of certain books a “glitch.” The site is getting heavy traffic and may not load right away or at all, so here’s a screencap via Cleolinda.

Article from Lilith Saintcrow on why this is not a glitch.

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