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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Asylum case, Kofi Annan, LGBT crimes
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-08-21

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A gay Iranian man seeking asylum in Austria was initially denied because he couldn't identify the meaning of all the Pride flag's colored stripes, NewNowNext.com noted. Navid escaped persecution in Iran, where he feared for his life because of his sexuality, and settled in Vienna. However, in June, his application was denied by the Federal Office for Aliens and Asylum—because he was unable to identify what each color in the rainbow flag, designed by Gilbert Baker, represented. After a public outcry, Navid was granted asylum in August.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80; he served as the seventh secretary-general, for two terms between 1997 and 2006, NPR noted. Annan, the first Black African to lead the United Nations, had also chaired The Elders—a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature Nelson Mandela formed—since 2013, CNN added. In 2006, while he was secretary-general, Annan called for gay men to be recognized in the fight to end HIV/AIDS, PinkNews reported. "We need to be realistic," he said at the time. "We will not succeed by putting our heads in the sand and pretending these people do not exist or do not need help."

A transgender person was fatally shot in the city of Peshawar in Pakistan, PinkNews reported. The victim, identified as Nasir Naso, was killed near Bara Gate after being tortured, authorities said. Officials said the victim was discovered in a sack in the area. Two suspects have been arrested, one of whom is the owner of the victim's house.

A man in India has confessed to chopping his same-sex lover into pieces after they had sex, PinkNews reported. The 29-year-old murderer, who lives in Tamil Nadu in the south of the country, invited a 68-year-old French tourist to his home in the village of Avikottai, where the pair had sex before the victim was killed. According to The Hindu, the murderer was named Thirumurugan and the victim was named Pierre Bernard Robert Rene.

A 27-year-old man was sentenced to two years in prison ( six months conditionally suspended ) for attempted manslaughter and aggravated assault by the court in Amsterdam, NLTimes.nl noted. He was part of a group of four who attacked two gay men on the Damrak in Amsterdam in June 2017. The three other perpetrators in this attack were tried and sentenced in March; two of the other suspects were sentenced to three years and four months, and two years and four months in jail.

After facing intense scrutiny regarding hundreds of alleged child sex-abuse cases involving priests in Pennsylvania, Washington Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl has pulled out of a scheduled appearance in Ireland, Fox5DC.com reported. Wuerl was supposed to deliver a keynote address at the Vatican-organized gathering at the World Meeting of Families, a Vatican-organized gathering in Dublin. Wuerl has now withdrawn his appearance after a report from a Pennsylvania grand-jury report that detailed more than 300 priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children.

The Rainbow Laces campaign recently returned to English cricket to celebrate LGBT players and fans at every level of cricket, ICC-Cricket.com noted. Run by the English Cricket Board ( ECB ), professional and amateur clubs nationwide sported rainbow laces for the second consecutive year.

Malaysian police have raided a gay bar in the country's capital of Kuala Lumpur—an act that authorities have said was carried out to "mitigate the LGBT culture from spreading into our society," PinkNews noted. National newspaper Berita Harian reported that authorities raided The Blue Boy club. It is reportedly the first time the club has been raided in its 30-year history.

Singer-songwriter Ariana Grande broke down in a recent interview when she opened up about the impact of the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017, PinkNews noted. In an emotional interview, the star discussed the background to her new song "Get Well Soon," which she said is partly about the terrorist attack, to Ebro Darden on Beats 1 Radio. Grande, 25, has previously said that she has suffered from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder since the terrorist attack.

In Canada, Trinity Western University will stop making students promise not to have sex outside of an opposite-sex marriage, DailyXtra.com noted. Trinity Western's proposed law school ran into difficulty after several law societies said they would refuse to accredit the university's students because of the community covenant. The covenant will still apply to university staff, however.

Stormy Daniels—the adult film actress and nemesis of U.S. President Donald Trump—pulled out of a British reality-TV show at the last minute after a dispute with producers, a USA Today item noted. Daniels was due to take part in Celebrity Big Brother, which locks contestants in a house under constant surveillance. But she failed to join housemates such as actress Kirstie Alley and psychic Sally Morgan for the first episode.

Speaking of Celebrity Big Brother, LGBT plastic-surgery devotee Rodrigo Alves ( known as "The Human Ken Doll" ) is under fire for twice using a racial slur. At one point, Alves is shown saying of another contestant, "I like, like, a [n-word] boy. Do you know what I mean? He's too white for my sake." The following morning, Big Brother called Alves into the diary room to give him a warning for his use of language. Many are calling on the show's producers to go further and remove Rodrigo Alves from the house altogether.

E! Entertainment in the United Kingdom is moving into original commissions with a bisexual dating series fronted by Celebrity Big Brother winner Shane Jenek, also known as Courtney Act, Deadline noted. The NBC Universal-backed broadcaster has ordered ten-part series The Bi Life from Monkey, the David Granger and Will Macdonald-run production company that is part of NBC Universal International Studios. The show will see a group of bisexual, pansexual and fluid or questioning British single individuals sent on an adventure to find love abroad.


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