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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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Bangladesh closes Universities and Colleges indefinitely Following Deadly Protests.

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Bangladesh
Reuters

(VOR News) – Bangladesh has declared that it will shut down all public and private colleges indefinitely commencing on Wednesday, following the fatalities of student demonstrations against a quota system for government jobs this week.

At least six individuals have died as a consequence of the demonstrations, and numerous others have sustained injuries.

Demonstrations regarding public sector employment quotas have caused significant disruptions throughout South Asia over the past few weeks. A thirty percent reservation is included in these quotas for the family members of freedom fighters who participated in the 1971 War of Independence from Pakistan.

Students who are confronted with high rates of adolescent unemployment have become enraged.

There are nearly 32 million youthful Bangladeshis who are neither employed nor enrolled in another educational institution, out of a total population of 170 million.

Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, rejected the demonstrators’ demands.

Who cited ongoing court proceedings. She also referred to those who opposed the quota as “razakar,” a term that is reserved for individuals who are suspected of collaborating with the Pakistani army during the 1971 conflict. This prompted a heightened level of demonstrations.

This week, the demonstrations escalated into violence when thousands of individuals who were protesting quotas encountered members of the student branch of the Awami League party, the governing party in Bangladesh.

The police employed rubber pellets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Authorities have reported that the confrontations that occurred on Tuesday resulted in the deaths of six individuals, including at least three students.

In a post on X, Amnesty International issued an urgent call to the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all peaceful protesters and the appropriate treatment of all injured individuals. “We seek to ensure that all those injured receive the appropriate medical care.”

The authorities have dispatched riot police and the paramilitary force known as the Border Guard Bangladesh to university campuses to guarantee the preservation of law and order throughout the nation.

Towards the conclusion of Tuesday, the University Grants Commission issued an order directing all universities to promptly close their doors and requesting that students vacate the premises for the sake of both safety and security. Additional educational institutions, such as colleges and high schools, were also shuttered.

Students will participate in processions on Wednesday, carrying coffins as a symbol of their condolences for the deceased, as per Nahid Islam, the individual responsible for organizing the anti-quota demonstrations.

A female student at Dhaka University, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, stated, “Many have fled the dormitories due to attacks by cadres of the student league (the student wing of the ruling party).”

” Bangladeshis have said this out of fear of being punished.”

“Certainly, there are still a significant number of students, particularly in the male dormitories.” Leaving the dormitories will be a challenging experience for those of us who are currently residing there.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the most prominent opposition party, was raided by the police in Dhaka at approximately midnight on Tuesday. Seven activists, including a former commander of the BNP’s student section, were apprehended during the operation.

Harun Or Rashid, the director of the detective branch of the police, reported that they were able to recover a total of one hundred rudimentary explosives and numerous bottles of gasoline during the raid that was conducted in the vicinity of the BNP office, following the setting of a bus on fire.

Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, the senior joint secretary of the BNP, expressed his disapproval of the search and claimed that the government had positioned the items that were discovered to discredit the anti-quota demonstrations.

The protests are the first significant challenge to the administration that Hasina has been leading, as she was elected to a fourth consecutive term in January in an election that was boycotted by the BNP.

The sluggish growth of jobs in the private sector, which has made jobs in the government increasingly desirable, may be the cause of the unrest, according to the experts. These jobs offer regular wage increases and other benefits.

One percent of the positions in the Bangladeshi government are reserved for individuals with disabilities, ten percent are designated for women, ten percent are reserved for individuals from underdeveloped regions, five percent are reserved for indigenous groups, and fifty-six percent are reserved for women.

SOURCE: USN

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UK Heatwave: 30C Temperatures Expected This Week

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UK Heatwave: 30C Temperatures Expected This Week

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UK Heatwave 30C Temperatures Expected This Week

Following an abnormally damp start to July, parts of the UK could experience a burst of 30 degrees Celsius by the end of this week.

The warm blast is predicted to hit the South-East of England on Friday. Temperatures could set a new record for the warmest day of the year, with 30.5C recorded in Wisley, Surrey, on June 26th.

Areas that have already suffered a July downpour are expected to become significantly drier and warmer, albeit only momentarily.

But we shouldn’t put away our umbrellas just yet; the dry weather will be even shorter-lived in the northwest, and the entire UK might be unsettled as early as Saturday evening.

Most of us have had a damp and chilly start to the month, with temperatures falling below or near the seasonal normal. Some areas of the country, like Loftus in North Yorkshire and Northolt in London, have already received more than double the usual July rainfall.

On Monday, the Met Office issued a yellow rain warning, with some places receiving 15-20mm in less than an hour and 30-40mm over many hours.

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The warning was issued on St. Swithin’s Day, which may indicate rain for the next 40 days.

The cold and damp July was caused by the jet stream – a fast-moving wind high in the atmosphere – passing primarily over or to the south of the United Kingdom.

However, it has not been a washout everywhere. Some northern and western places, such as Castlederg in Northern Ireland and Machrihanish in western Scotland, have been relatively dry, receiving only 20 to 25% of their usual July rainfall.

Northern Ireland is far drier than last July, the wettest on record.

The jet stream, a fast-moving band of air high in the atmosphere that propels low-pressure storms in from the Atlantic, has angled towards the south of the UK, allowing frigid arctic air to flow in from the north.

It will now move farther north, deflecting rain to the north and west while enabling warmer air to slip in from the south.

High pressure will begin to develop from the Azores, indicating that the entire United Kingdom will be relatively dry on Wednesday.

Temperatures will be close to the seasonal norm, with 17-21C in Scotland and Northern Ireland, 18-23C in Wales, and low-to-mid-twenties in England. Of course, it will feel warmer in the bright July sunshine, something we have been lacking of late.

Rain will fall on Thursday and Friday throughout Northern Ireland and western Scotland, ushering in a return to dreary, damp conditions.

However, the dry weather may persist across much of England and Wales, with temperatures rising somewhat, particularly in south-east England.

By Friday, temperatures in London might reach 30 degrees Celsius before dropping again over the weekend.

Probably not; according to the Met Office, a heatwave is three or more consecutive days of temperatures above a certain threshold, which varies depending on where you are in the UK.

In the London area, the threshold is 28 degrees Celsius. The temperature in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and most of northern and western England is 25 degrees Celsius.

If temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celsius in July, it will be the first time this has happened in the UK.

The heat is not expected to stay long; a thunderstorm in the east on Saturday night will bring temperatures back to normal.

Next week, we can expect westerly winds with dry spells and occasional sunshine, as well as showers and prolonged spells of rain, particularly in the north and west.

Source: BBC

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Biden Set to Announce Support for Major Supreme Court changes

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Biden Set to Announce Support for Major Supreme Court changes

(CTN News) – According to two persons briefed on the preparations, US President Joe Biden is preparing to support dramatic reforms to the Supreme Court, including term limits and an enforced ethics code.

According to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose private conversations, he is also considering proposing a constitutional amendment to eliminate extensive immunity for presidents and other constitutional officeholders.

This declaration is a significant shift from Joe Biden, who, as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has long opposed progressive judicial reform efforts.

The potential revisions are in response to growing outrage over recent ethical issues involving Supreme Court Justice Thomas Clearance and judgments made by an interim majority that overturned traditional law on issues such as abortion and the federal government’s capacity to regulate.

Joe Biden mentioned this move briefly in his Zoom meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Saturday. In an off-camera remark cited in a transcript obtained by the Washington Post, Biden stated, “I am going to need your help in the Supreme Court because shortly, very shortly, I will be coming out with a major initiative, reducing the Supreme Court.” He did not want to advance this news.

Getting term limits and an ethics code through Congress would be practically impossible for two reasons: the Republican-controlled House and the Senate’s razor-thin Democratic majority. Adopting such a bill would require a 60-vote majority in the Senate.

To repeal an amendment, two-thirds of both chambers must approve it, or a convention must be called by two-thirds of the states, followed by three-fourths of the state legislature.

Following the Washington Post’s publication, former President Donald Trump criticized the action on Truth Social.

“They seek to annul the Presidential Election, and hence the Justice System, by threatening their political rival, me, and the Honorable Supreme Court. We must safeguard OUR Fair and Independent Courts and our Country by granting Abbygail the God-given right to sue.”

Source: Washington Post

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