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World news: Mexican mass shooting, intersex model, Trump's action
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-01-24

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Several people were killed after a gunman opened fire at a gay-friendly club in Cancun, Mexico, GayNZ.com reported. The Blue Parrot Beach Club in Playa del Carmen was hosting the last night of one of the world's largest electronic music festivals, BPM, when shots were fired. The Telegraph reported that five people were killed and another 15 were injured, figures the outlet said had been confirmed by authorities.

Belgian model Hanne Gaby Odiele is one of the first high-profile names to come out as intersex, Page Six noted. "It is very important to me in my life right now to break the taboo," Odiele said to USA Today. "At this point, in this day and age, it should be perfectly all right to talk about this." Odiele is part of the 1.7 percent of the population born with intersex traits.

President Trump has ordered the "immediate" removal of all ambassadors appointed by President Obama, in a departure from usual protocol, PinkNews noted. When Obama took office in 2008, there were no openly gay ambassadors representing the United States—and the President sought to counter the lack of representation by appointing a string of out ambassadors to countries around the world. Among gay ambassadors who Obama appointed are Rufus Gifford ( Denmark ), John Berry ( Australia ), Daniel Baer ( Austria ), James Costos ( Spain ) and Wally Brewster ( Dominican Republic ).

Bangkok will hold its first gay-pride parade later this year—11 years after its last, Mashable reported. While Thailand has held a pride event each year in the island of Phuket, the pride parade coming back to the capital is a show of unity for the local LGBTQ community, one of the organizers said. "It was the lack of organisation and a lack of a definite plan back then that really affected Pride to go ahead," Paul Heymans, founder of OUT BKK, one of the LGBTQ organizations involved in Bangkok Pride, told Mashable.

Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh and his family have gone into political exile after the authoritarian leader finally gave into the election results, PinkNews reported. Jammeh left the country on a plane 24 hours after announcing on television that he would peacefully hand over power to Adama Barrow, the newly inaugurated president. Jammeh was notoriously anti-LGBT, having previously threatened to slit the throats of gay people in his country. The former president retracted a threat to decapitate gay people in Gambia, but said they would be driven out of their homes.

A young gay Jewish activist was attacked at a park in Santiago, Chile, by three men who carried neo-Nazi symbols, The Times of Israel noted. Jorge Arce was walking at the Bustamante park wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the flag of Israel that his mother had given him. The attackers yelled "murderer" before punching him in the chest and making several razor cuts on his arms and legs, the El Mostrador news site reported. Arce told the Movement for Integration and Homosexual Liberation, "I had 40 stitches on my arm. Some will be forever. Just for being Jewish. The pain overwhelms me."

In Australia, a man who drove his car through a crowded pedestrian area in Melbourne allegedly stabbed his brother for being gay before going on the rampage, LGBTQ Nation noted. Their mother said on 7 News that the killer, Dmitrious Gargasoulas, said "I'm going to kill all gays and poofters and lesbians," before stabbing his gay brother Angelo. The 26-year-old accused has been charged with five counts of murder after he drove a car through a crowded area to intentionally mow down victims; 15 other victims are still hospitalized from injuries.

In London, detectives in Lambeth Borough were asking for witnesses and information following the robbery of a woman in Denmark Hill, The Gay UK noted. The victim, a 37-year-old woman, was approached by a group outside the Nandos restaurant. One of the group, a woman, made homophobic remarks to the victim before grabbing her around the neck and forcing the victim to hand over her belongings.

A Portuguese court heard that a man stabbed his gay British expat lover to death with a spear before taking photos of his body, The Mirror reported. Eugenio Felipe Reicha, 21, reportedly showed the photos of victim Simon Carley-Pocock to a friend after fleeing the crime scene. Carley-Pocock, 58—originally from Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire—was found dead at his hilltop home near the village of Alcoutim in April 2016.

British Olympic diver Tom Daley, 22, has revealed to husband-to-be Dustin Lance Black, 42, that he had an "online sex session with a fan," Metro reported. Daley confessed after a video of him stripping for online sex reportedly emerged, but says he and Black are stronger than ever following the revelation. Daley admitted to sexting a fan and sending explicit Snapchat videos during a period of time when he and his fiance were on a seven-month break. The Sun also claimed Daley invited the 23-year-old fan to visit him in London.

A protest was slated to take place on Jan. 21, two years after the closure of the popular London gay pub the Joiners Arms, according to PinkNews. The demonstration was organized by the Friends of the Joiners Arms, a community group founded in 2014 to save and evolve the Joiners Arms pub. The group aspires to bring the pub into community ownership, so it becomes London's first cooperatively owned, LGBT+ community center, with the pub a central part of its operation.

A gay former professional rugby player who took up a leading role in a Breaking Bad-style "chem sex" drug operation has been sentenced to six years in jail, AOL.co.uk reported Lorenzo Bocchini, 36, was arrested last July after police raided an "Aladdin's cave" flat rented through AirBnB and discovered more than hundreds of thousand dollars' worth of cash and Class A drugs including cocaine, MDMA and crystal meth. His brother, Alessandro Bocchini, and Alessandro's wife, Justine Bocchini, are both already in prison for supplying drugs commonly used in gay-sex parties.


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