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WORLD NEWS Pope's panel, gold-medal winner, pride hijab
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Pope Francis has announced the renewal of the Catholic Church's panel tasked with combating sexual abuse of children, in the wake of a fresh controversy, reported. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors consists of eight men and eight women. In recent weeks, Pope Francis has been under fire for his defense of a bishop accused of witnessing sexual abuse, saying of of Bishop Juan Barros, "There is not a single piece of proof against him. Everything is slander. Is this clear?"

Eric Radford has become the first ever openly gay man to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics, PinkNews reported. The Canadian athlete won gold in the team figure-skating event after he and skating partner Meagan Duhamel skated to Adele's "Hometown Glory." In the same event as Radford, gay skater Adam Rippon made history for Team USA by taking a bronze medal. Radford and Duhamel later announced their retirement, according to The Washington Blade.

A Muslim fashion house has launched a pride hijab for Sydney Mardi Gras, PinkNews noted. The Australian company, MOGA, originally released the rainbow headscarf in support of same-sex marriage during last year's national ballot on the issue. The company invited drag performer Mable Syrup, bisexual activist Kalida Edwards and Chris McCubbin to model the Mardi Gras fashion.

In Vienna, Austria, the Albertina is devoting a comprehensive retrospective on U.S. artist Keith Haring ( 1958-1990 ) to mark what would have been his 60th birthday, Show on Show noted. Beginning with his early subway drawings, the exhibition sheds new light on a an aspect of Haring's body of work: his unique symbolic language, which functions as a sort of artistic alphabet throughout his works. The exhibit will run March 16-June 24.

Hong Kong pop star Denise Ho has said she has been denied a performance permit in Malaysia over her views on gay rights, the BBC reported. Ho, who is openly gay and outspoken on LGBT issues, had been scheduled to perform in Kuala Lumpur on April 14. A Malaysian government minister did not confirm why her permit was declined, but told journalists that performances had to comply with "local values." Same-sex activity is illegal in Malaysia, under secular and religious laws.

A gay Mexican man was arrested by ICE during his hearing on his citizenship application, PinkNews reported. Jose "Ivan" Nunez, 37, was detained after a hearing at the Philadelphia office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS ) by ICE officials. Nunez was at the hearing with his husband, Paul Frame, but he was arrested after Frame was ushered out of the hearing, meaning that Nunez was taken into federal custody without his husband's immediate knowledge.

A gay Uzbek journalist working for one of Russia's last independent newspapers has left for Germany after a Moscow court allowed him to travel to any country outside his native Uzbekistan, The Moscow Times reported. The court's decision last weekend overruled previous orders forcing Novaya Gazeta journalist Ali Feruz's deportation to Uzbekistan, where his supporters say he risks persecution and torture. The journalist was detained outside the newspaper's offices last August for violating migration laws.

Mr. Gay Belgium was violently beaten and called abusive anti-gay slurs in the streets of his hometown, PinkNews reported. Jaimie Deblieck was pushed to the ground, stomped and kicked by an attacker who called him a "f*cking homo" and other offensive things in Roeselare. Deblieck has not been left with any permanent injuries but he has reported the attack to police, who are now investigating it.

British Olympic diver Tom Daley and his husband, U.S. Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, are having a baby, LGBTQ Nation noted. The couple shared the news on social media, each making posts to share the news. The couple married last May.

The 18-year-old daughter of Britain's first gay dads has decided to have twins through a surrogate just like her parents., the Metro reported. Saffron Drewitt-Barlow wants children with her boyfriend Scott Hutchison, 23, but is not keen on giving birth herself. She added after they conceived she would donate any leftover embryos to her millionaire parents, Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow.

An Austrian bishop has apologized for comparing blessings for same-sex couples to the blessing of a concentration camp, among other comparisons, New Ways Ministry related. Bishop Andreas Laun, a retired auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Salzburg, made the comparisons in a guest post for a right-wing Catholic website. Among other things, Laun originally wrote, "[If] you stick a label 'honey' on a jar of pickled cucumbers, the cucumbers will stay sour, and even blessing bishops will not be able to change that."

Two British drag queens are part of a groundbreaking new advertisement from Kellogg's, PinkNews noted. Vivienne Lynsey and Miss Blair, from Manchester, will be in two adverts talking about when to eat corn flakes—and how many clothes they wear while doing it. Vivienne, who was a finalist for RuPaul's Drag Race UK Ambassador in 2015, said he preferred to eat a bowl "at nighttime"; Miss Blair agreed, saying she likes having corn flakes "around 1 a.m."

The head of humanitarian group Oxfam says it will appoint an independent commission to investigate claims that its staff engaged in sexual exploitation while working in disaster zones, according to NPR. In an interview with the BBC, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said the commission would "do justice" and "atone for the past." The London Times accused the U.K.-based charity of covering up an internal inquiry finding that the country director for Chad, Roland van Hauwermeiren, and members of his staff had paid prostitutes for sex in the African country. Similar accusations followed van Hauwermeiren after a stint in Haiti.

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