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WORLD Nigerian arrests, trans prostitute killed, Benjamin Netanyahu
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-08-28

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Police in the Nigeria's capital, Lagos, arrested 57 men for alleged homosexual activity, Gay Star News reported. The mass arrest happened at a hotel in Lagos; state police commissioner Imohimi Edgal confirmed the raid. Same-sex activity is illegal in Nigeria, with stoning until death the punishment in 14 of the country's northern states. Some of the arrested men spoke to Premimum Times, saying they had not committed any crimes.

Five people were charged Aug. 27 with murdering a transgender prostitute who was allegedly trying to stop them robbing her client in a Paris park, a case that has sparked fury amongst LGBT rights groups, Frande24.com reported. Vanesa Campos, a 36-year-old originally from Peru, was shot dead on the night of Aug. 16-17 in the Bois de Boulogne—a large park on the French capital's western edge which has been used for years by sex workers. Eight people were detained Aug. 28 in connection with her death and five have now been charged with murder as well as robbery, a legal source said, adding that they had been remanded in custody.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to respond to criticism over policy regarding the country's LGBTQ community, but avoided the subject of same-sex surrogacy rights in a recent letter to a Jewish organization, Haaretz.com reported. "I am proud to be the prime minister of one of the world's most open and free democracies," Netanyahu wrote in a letter to Barbara "Goldy" Goldberg, vice president of the World Congress of GLBT Jews. "Israel consistently upholds civil equality and civil rights of all its citizens regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation." However, a recently passed surrogacy law denies gay men equal rights in the country; its passing sparked outrage in the LGBT community, leading to a strike and massive protests in Israel.

The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation participated in GNETWORK 360, Latin America's largest summit on LGBT businesses and tourism that draws hundreds of the region's hospitality industry leaders, a press release noted. "The power of the LGBT market segment and community spending continues to increase annually in Argentina and around the globe, creating more opportunities for hundreds of businesses," said Pablo de Luca, founder of Argentina's LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Lesbian politician Christine Forster plans to seek the outgoing prime minister's seat in the Australian Parliament, PinkNews noted. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to resign from Parliament on Aug. 31, after he was deposed by his own colleagues as leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister. The self-described "small-t liberal and a big-L Lesbian" is best known for her strong advocacy in favor of same-sex marriage, which frequently brought her into conflict with her brother Tony Abbott, a prominent Liberal politician who is also a former prime minister.

Gay activists have criticized Canadian Blood Services ( CBS ) for excluding men who have sex with men ( MSM ), after it made an urgent call for blood donations, PinkNews reported. CBS put out an urgent call for blood donations Aug. 13, stating that it needs more than 22,000 donors across the country by Aug. 26. Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being an outspoken supporter of LGBT+ rights and marching in Montreal Pride in August, he has been unable to end the one-year ban on sexually active MSM.

In Canada, a 34-year-old man from Vancouver, has been charged by officials for ignoring a medical professional's HIV treatment, Gay Star News noted. Authorities charged him under the Public Health Act—a rare action. According to court documents, the man did not collect his prescribed medication or attend appointments.

A knife-wielding man, shot dead by Spanish police, had come out as gay and was contemplating suicide, BBC.com reported. Algerian Abdel Wahab Taib, 29, shouted in Arabic as he targeted a police station in a town south of Barcelona. Police are treating the incident as a "terrorist attack" but a source close to the investigation told AFP they do not suspect any links to jihadism.

Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal recently as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ( marching this year with wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau ) continued what has become a yearly tradition of walking in the city's colourful Pride parade, CTV News reported. Less than a week before the kickoff of Quebec's election campaign, politicians from all three levels of government ( including Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and other dignitaries ) were spotted among the amid the parade's sequins, rainbow flags and whirling dancers.

Several gay men have come forward claiming that the Peace Corps fired them for testing positive for HIV, LGBTQ Nation noted. Romany Tin, who was assigned to teach English in Cambodia, was terminated in March—even after his viral load was undetectable and applied to work in another country. ( Cambodia was not on the approved list of nations for people living with HIV. ) The Peace Corps' official policy is to decide how to handle volunteers who test positive on a case-by-case basis.

More Cuban internet users are using YouTube to document LGBTI life and issues on the island, The Washington Blade noted. Nelson Julio Alvarez Mairata, who lives in Sagua la Grande, launched his YouTube channel, Nexy J Show, in 2016. In addition, Jhans Oscar Alonso Gonzallez, who lives in Havana's Vedado neighborhood, in February launched his YouTube channel; in a video he uploaded May 14, he talked about his experience participating in the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia march that CENESEX organized in Havana.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams will no longer be allowed to wear her skin-tight black catsuit at the French Open, ESPN noted. The French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, says the tournament that Williams has won three times is introducing a dress code to regulate players' uniforms because "I think that sometimes we've gone too far." In citing the catsuit, he added, "It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place." Williams said her relationship with the tournament is fine, adding, "When it comes to fashion, you don't want to be a repeat offender."

British choreographer, mime and David Bowie mentor Lindsay Kemp died in Livorno, Italy, at age 80, Page Six noted. Kemp formed his own dance company in the 1960s, and found fame in 1974 when he brought his show "Flowers," based on Jean Genet's Notre Dame des Fleurs, to the Edinburgh festival. He met Bowie in 1966; they had a brief relationship, and Bowie continued to work with the innovative choreographer after the relationship ended, notably on the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars tour in 1972.

Turkey's boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest for including gay and transgender performers, such as bearded Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst, was criticized as an attempt to "erase the LGBT community" in the country, Reuters reported. Turkish Radio and Television ( TRT ) head Ibrahim Eren said Turkey ( which has not participated in the yearly competition since 2012 ) was unlikely to take part again next year because the spectacle features LGBT singers. Eren's comments provoked dismay among Turks living in Britain.

Karl Lagerfeld's security detail, personal assistant, friend and cultural attache Sebastien Jondeau, 43, is now also a designer, for Lagerfeld's eponymous label, Refinery29.com noted. The idea of Jondeau designing a collection for Lagerfeld first came up in conversation years ago. "It was just some words, a long time ago." Eventually, those words came to fruition, and Jondeau—who had become a poster boy for the Karl Lagerfeld brand already—was asked to create a capsule collection.


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