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World news: AIDS milestone, Muslim activist, ISIS fighters
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-08-01

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The United Nations revealed in a report called "Ending AIDS" that, for the first time, more than half of people living with HIV are currently on antiretrovirals, Plus Magazine noted. As a result of the growing access to care, AIDS-related deaths are now half of what they were in 2015. However, some experts are wondering why we haven't reached this milestone sooner, seeing how the world has spent billions of dollars in HIV research, education and prevention measures. The milestone will be tested, since U.S. President Donald Trump administration proposed a 31-percent cut in U.N. contributions that will undermine its "90-90-90" strategy, which hopes to have 90 percent of the population know their status, 90 percent of HIV-positive people on meds and 90 percent of HIV-positive people with undetectable viral loads.

Muslim radio host/activist/author Maajid Nawaz has called on the Muslim community to understand why people in the LGBT+ community are angry at Islam, PinkNews reported. In a heated segment of his show, he listed the 10 countries ( including Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan ) that still punish homosexuality with death, pointing out that they "are all, without exception, Muslim majority countries." Nawaz's rant was prompted by East London Mosque's demand for an apology from Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain ( CEMB ) and the organizers of London Pride; they'd taken offense at CEMB's "Allah is gay" placards, calling them anti-Islam.

For the first time, an LGBTQ fighting unit has been formed to battle back against ISIS, LGBTQ Nation noted. The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA ( pronounced "tequila" ), as they are called, are a subgroup of The International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces ( IRPGF ). In a statement, TQILA is said to be ready to "smash the gender binary and advance the women's revolution as well as the broader gender and sexual revolution."

Toronto police say they are setting up a task force to investigate the disappearances of two men in the city's Church and Wellesley neighborhood ( which is considered predominantly gay ), GlobalNews.ca reported. Police consider the missing persons cases of 44-year-old Selim Esen and 49-year-old Andrew Kinsman as suspicious. Investigators said there have been some suggestions within the Church and Wellesley community that the disappearances of Esen and Kisnman are linked with other men reported missing from the same area from 2010 to 2012.

Newsweek noted that President Donald Trump is removing the United States from a relatively short list of nations that do not legally discriminate against people who may enter the armed forces based on gender identity. Trump's move—which reverses a 2016 repeal of a prior ban on transgender individuals entering the military—means there are now only 18 nations that are believed to have fully legalized LGBT military service; the other 175 U.N. member states do not. Some of those 18 countries/areas include Israel, Germany, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Spain; some other countries, such as Cuba and Thailand, reportedly allow transgender service in a limited capacity.

The Indonesian government says it will likely reject 75 recommendations by United Nations member countries to improve human-rights abuses in Indonesia, according to Human Rights Watch. Those recommendations targeted issues such as threats to the LGBT people, the blasphemy law and the death penalty. An Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs official described the recommendations as "hard to accept" for reasons such as the notion of "Indonesian conditions."

Thousands of marchers flooded the streets of Berlin for the annual Christopher Street Day parade in support of LGBT rights, CNN reported. The event happened just weeks after German lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. Dressed in vibrant, multi-colored outfits, some participants worn "Stop transphobia" stickers as well.

Two years after the Vancouver Police Department was found to have discriminated against trans people, the police board has passed policy to regulate the intake, holding and body searching of trans people in custody, DailyXtra.com reported. The new policies were ordered by the BC Human Rights Tribunal, which in 2015 found that the Vancouver Police Department systematically discriminated against trans people. The new policy says a transgender person should be able to identify themselves as such and not be subject to questioning to prove their trans identity, as the previous policy required.

A young British gay man given less than a 20-percent chance to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer has revealed that out singer Troye Sivan secretly donated thousands to help cover his treatment costs, Attitude reported. Dean Eastmond, 21, was first diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma—a type of bone-tissue cancer that generally affects children and young people —just more than a year ago. Eastmond has thanked Sivan—who rose to fame on YouTube in 2012 before releasing his debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, in 2015—for his generosity.

Dr. James Barry ( late 1700s-1865 )—who concealed the fact that he was a woman throughout successful medical career—has been recognized by Historic England, The Guardian reported. His gravestone reads, "Dr James Barry, Inspector General of Hospitals." However, he was one of the most renowned of all Victorian surgeons, and because he was born Margaret Ann Bulkley, he holds an important place in the United Kingdom's transgender history. The site is being marked by Historic England, which announced a list of heritage listings and relistings of places that are part of the nation's LGBTQ story.

After booking an Airbnb in southern Italy, a same-sex couple received a message from the homeowner warning that "no gays or animals" were allowed on his property, NewNowNext.com reported. Massimo Arcangeli received the message after booking a private guesthouse in Santa Maria in Calabria for him and his partner, Gennaro. "It immediately made me think of the famous message Nazis would post on their shop windows: 'No dogs or Jews,'" Arcangeli told The Local. "Seventy years have passed since then and this story cannot be ignored."

The rugby union's first openly gay referee, Nigel Owens, has revealed he is battling against an ongoing struggle with bulimia nervosa, LGBT Bulletin reported. The Welsh international rugby union referee, 46, spoke about his own experiences of the condition, as research by the BBC's Panorama program revealed that there has been an increase in the number of men and boys suffering from eating disorders in the United Kingdom. Owens—who came out publicly as gay in 2007—said that struggles with his weight and sexuality as a teenager led to the onset of bulimia, which is characterized by a period of overeating followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging.

Arthur Chatto—an 18-year-old second cousin of England's Princes William and Harry—is currently burning up Instagram with a shirtless photo he posted, Vanity Fair noted. Chatto, the grandson of Princess Margaret, is 23rd in line for the throne and, as a boy, served as a pageboy for Queen Elizabeth, carrying her train at official ceremonies. Chatto recently graduated from Eton College, the same boarding school William and Harry attended, where he was a member of the Combined Cadet Force. Next, the teenager is reportedly headed to Edinburgh University.

Originally bidding for a third summer games to come to the City of Angels in 2024, Los Angeles will now see the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028, Deadline noted. In an agreement struck with the International Olympic Committee, the 2024 Games will be held in Paris, L.A.'s lone remaining rival.


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