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Being Gay in Russia Just Got Tougher 2013 Ban Strengthened

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Being Gay in Russia Just Got Tougher

Being gay in Russia just got tougher as Russian lawmakers gave final approval on Thursday to a bill that significantly expands restrictions on activities promoting gay rights in the country.

The bill marks another step in the country’s embattled LGBTQ community’s years-long crackdown.

The new bill broadens a prohibition on what authorities call “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, established by legislation known as the “gay propaganda” law. The Kremlin adopted it in 2013 to promote “traditional values” in Russia.

This year, lawmakers introduced legislation prohibiting the dissemination of such information to people aged 18 and up.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, approved the bill in its third and final reading on Thursday. It will then be sent to the Federation Council and finally to President Vladimir Putin, whose signature will give it legal force.

The new bill outlaws all advertising, media, and online resources, as well as books, films, and theatre productions deemed to contain such “propaganda,” a term defined loosely in the bill.

The 2013 ban on depictions of same-sex unions was frequently enacted and used to crack down on LGBTQ rights groups and activists.

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Offenders Expelled from Russia

Fines are imposed for violations. Non-residents who commit these offences may be expelled from Russia. The fines range between 100,000 and 2 million rubles (US$1,660 and US$33,000).

Foreigners may be detained for 15 days before being expelled for certain violations.

Violations are not made a crime under the bill. According to Russian law, the criminal code can only be amended through an independent bill. Some lawmakers have expressed support for such legislation.

Russia explicitly prohibited same-sex marriages in 2020 by amending the country’s Constitution, which stated, among other things, that the “institution of marriage is a union between a man and a woman.”

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Putin slams ‘cancel culture and trans rights

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has lashed out at Western liberalism, condemning “cancel culture” and advances in gay and transgender rights.

Putin said at the annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi that his country should adhere to its own “spiritual values and historical traditions” while avoiding “sociocultural disturbances” in the West.

Some Westerners believe “aggressive deletion of entire pages of their history, reverse discrimination against the majority in the interests of minorities… constitute movement toward public renewal,” according to Putin. “It’s their right, but we’d like them to stay away from our house.” We have a different point of view.”

Putin, who told the Financial Times of London in 2019 that liberalism had become “obsolete,” has been a vocal supporter of traditional family values. In his remarks on Thursday, he called it “monstrous” and “on the verge of a crime against humanity” to teach children that “a boy can become a girl and vice versa.”

He also implied that supporters of transgender rights were calling for an end to “basic things like mother, father, family, or gender differences.”

While ramping up a state-led pressure campaign against sexual minorities in Russia, the authoritarian leader has sought to portray himself as a symbol of virile masculinity, for example, by being photographed shirtless on horseback.

Putin rules a country where there have been numerous credible reports of gay men being tortured and imprisoned. In 2013, he signed an anti-“gay propaganda” law, which Human Rights Watch said increased hostility toward LGBTQ communities and made it more difficult for children to learn about nontraditional relationships.

The impact has been especially strong in schools, where some Russian teachers describe LGBTQ people as “a symptom of perversion imported from Western Europe or North America.”

Putin is attempting to demonstrate that he “stands for values that will not divide society and throw it into chaos,” according to Matthew Sussex, an Australian National University Russia expert. “On the one hand, it’s a message of unity. However, it does affect the transgender and gay communities, which the Russian government has continued to target.”

Despite the attack on liberal values, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the speech should not impact Russia’s relations with Western countries.

“Russia has been, is, and will continue to be an integral part of Europe,” he declared.

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Israel Finds The Body Of A Teen Whose Disappearance Sparked A Deadly Settler Attack In The West Bank

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Al-Muhayyir, West Bank – Israel’s army announced Saturday that the body of a missing Israeli adolescent was discovered in the West Bank after he was slain in a “terrorist attack,” as violence erupted across the Israeli-occupied area, where tensions have been building for months.

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Israel Finds The Body Of A Teen Whose Disappearance Sparked A Deadly Settler Attack In The West Bank

The disappearance of 14-year-old Binyamin Achimair prompted Israeli settlers to launch raids on Palestinian towns on Friday and Saturday. The attack on al-Mughayyir hamlet on Friday killed one Palestinian and injured 25 others, according to Palestinian health officials. According to witnesses, Israeli troops held up the ambulance transporting the 26-year-old man’s body for burial for several hours on Saturday.

On Saturday, dozens of Israeli settlers returned to the village’s outskirts, burning down 12 homes and many cars. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that three persons from the community were hurt, one gravely. Border police sprayed tear gas at the gathered locals, attempting to disperse them.

Israeli settlers set fire to many homes in the nearby village of Douma, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported six persons hurt by gunshots but did not specify who fired.

Since the Israel-Hamas conflict in nearby Gaza broke out on October 7 as a result of a Hamas assault on southern Israel that claimed the lives of about 1,200 people and kidnapped 250 more, tensions in the West Bank have been particularly high. According to Gaza health officials, the Israeli offensive has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians.

Since then, Hamas has attempted to spark new fronts, especially in the West Bank, to increase pressure on Israel. Even though Israeli fire has killed more than 460 Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7, the majority of them in clashes sparked by army operations, but some by vigilante settlers, such efforts have largely failed.

There was no immediate claim of blame for the death of the Israeli teenager.

israel

Israel Finds The Body Of A Teen Whose Disappearance Sparked A Deadly Settler Attack In The West Bank

According to Israeli media, the teenager was last seen leaving Malachi Shalom, a settlement outpost, early Friday to care for cattle nearby. According to reports, the sheep returned to the outpost many hours later without him.

According to Israel’s Channel 13 TV, a drone spotted Achimair’s body. The broadcaster stated that he was not shot but did not clarify.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the incident. “We will get to the murderers and their accomplices as we do to anyone who harms the citizens of Israel,” he said in a statement released by his office.

The kidnapping and execution of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in 2014 fueled tensions, resulting in a 50-day Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, the deadliest phase of conflict between the two sides to date.

Consecutive Israeli governments have increased settlement construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, places where Palestinians hope for a future state alongside Gaza. Some are well-developed and resemble Israeli city suburbs, but other outposts may have a few caravans.

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Israel Finds The Body Of A Teen Whose Disappearance Sparked A Deadly Settler Attack In The West Bank

While Israel has constructed numerous settlements throughout the occupied West Bank, the outposts are not allowed, despite the government’s tacit support. The international world regards all West Bank settlements as unlawful and impediments to peace.

Over 700,000 Israelis now live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, regions acquired by Israel in 1967.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Posthumous Memoir By Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny To Be Published Oct. 22

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NEW YORK — Alexei Navalny’s memoir, which he began working on in 2020, will be released this fall. “Patriot,” which publisher Alfred A. Knopf describes as the late Russian opposition leader’s “final letter to the world,” will be released on October 22.

Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, said in a statement released Thursday by the publisher, “This book is a tribute not just to Alexei’s life, but to his unshakeable devotion to the battle against dictatorship—a war for which he devoted everything, even his life. Through its pages, readers will learn about the guy I adored—a man of tremendous integrity and unwavering courage. Sharing his tale will not only respect his legacy, but will also motivate others to fight for what is right and never lose sight of the most important ideals.”

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Posthumous Memoir By Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny To Be Published Oct. 22

Navalny, 47, died in February while serving a 19-year prison sentence on extremism charges, which he saw as politically motivated. He was imprisoned after returning from Germany in January 2021, where he was recovering from the 2020 nerve agent attack, which he blamed on the Kremlin, and has since received three prison sentences.

He perished in a distant correctional colony located above the Arctic Circle. Russian officials have categorically denied participation in both the poisoning and his death.

According to Knopf, Navalny began working on the book in Germany and continued to write it in Russia, both inside and outside the prison.

navalny

Posthumous Memoir By Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny To Be Published Oct. 22

“In vivid, page-turning detail, including never-before-seen correspondence from prison, Navalny recounts, among other things, his political career, the many attempts on his life, and the lives of the people closest to him, and the relentless campaign he and his team waged against an increasingly dictatorial regime,” according to Knopf’s press release.

“Written with the passion, wit, candor, and bravery for which he was justly acclaimed, ‘Patriot’ is Navalny’s final letter to the world: a moving account of his last years spent in the most brutal prison on earth; a reminder of why the principles of individual freedom matter so deeply; and a rousing call to continue the work for which he sacrificed his life.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Navalnaya claimed Thursday that she had hoped her husband would write a memoir much later in life when they were both “around 80” and had grandchildren.

navalny

Posthumous Memoir By Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny To Be Published Oct. 22

She recalled that many people encouraged Navalny to begin writing after the poisoning, but he initially dismissed these suggestions: “What kind of memoir is it when you’re 44?” It’s just been slightly more than half (his) life. He wasn’t rushing because there was so much more to come. But things came out as they did. Horrible and extremely unjust. “It turned out there was no other half ahead.”

She stated that the memoir was translated into 11 languages and would “definitely” be released in Russian. It is unclear from her words whether the book will be published in Russia, where Navalny was convicted as a leader of an extremist group and his foundation and offices were prohibited.

SOURCE – (AP)

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The Masters Gets Underway With Nicklaus, Player And Watson Hitting Ceremonial First Shots

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AUGUSTA, Georgia—The Masters began Thursday after a 2 1/2-hour weather delay, with wind still whipping beneath an overcast sky. It marks the first time golf’s top players have competed on the same course since the British Open in July.

With his wife Barbara on the bag, six-time champion Jack Nicklaus joined three-time winner Gary Player and two-time champion Tom Watson as hundreds of spectators gathered around the first tee to witness them take the ceremonial first shots.

masters

The Masters Gets Underway With Nicklaus, Player And Watson Hitting Ceremonial First Shots

“It’s not so easy to put the ball on the tee now, is it?” The player inquired of the others before stripping one down the fairway.

“Watch out on the left and right,” Nicklaus said before driving it straight down the middle.

Erik van Rooyen and Jake Knapp were the first participants to tee off, with the PGA Tour and LIV Golf strong hitters spread out in highlighted groups throughout the day. Those with later tee dates, such as Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, and Dustin Johnson, would likely finish after dusk, forcing them to return on Friday to complete their first rounds.

This year’s tournament features 13 players from Saudi-funded LIV Golf, including defending Masters champion Jon Rahm, who quit the PGA Tour late last year for millions in guaranteed money. That’s down from 18 a year ago when people were still determining how the split between the breakaway league and the long-established PGA Tour would play out at Augusta National.

However, the ongoing schism is just one of many topics this year.

masters

The Masters Gets Underway With Nicklaus, Player And Watson Hitting Ceremonial First Shots

Scottie Scheffler, the 2022 champion and world’s number one player, has been the 4-1 betting favorite since Woods ruled nearly two decades ago, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut last year, is attempting to complete the career grand slam for the tenth time. Woods is only playing for the second time this season due to illness and injury.

Scheffler and Sam Burns both have wives who are expecting their first children. Both players have stated that they would retire if they heard their wives were in labor, which is difficult to believe given their advantage on Sunday’s back nine.

masters

The Masters Gets Underway With Nicklaus, Player And Watson Hitting Ceremonial First Shots

Last year, the rain stretched the third round to Sunday, and Rahm entered the long day four shots behind Brooks Koepka. He had halved it at the start of the final round, and Rahm became the fourth Spaniard to win a green jacket with a four-shot triumph against Koepka and Phil Mickelson, who finished with a 65 at the age of 52.

SOURCE – (AP)

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