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World news: Trump's UK choice, Ukrainian Parliament, gay-dating app
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-11-29

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Donald Trump wants Nigel Farage to be a UK ambassador to the United States, according to PinkNews. The president elect took to Twitter late at night to claim the former UKIP leader "would do a great job" in the top diplomatic post. But Downing Street quickly rebutted Trump's Twitter suggestion, saying, "There is no vacancy. We already have an excellent ambassador to the US." Both men have been heavily criticized for their views on LGBT issues, with Trump already putting forward anti-gay politicians for top cabinet positions.

The Ukrainian Parliament has refused to back a European hate-crime law because its inclusion of protections for the LGBT community goes against the country's Christian ethics, NewNowNext reported. Government officials gathered to strike down the Istanbul Convention, a law drafted by the Council of Europe to combat and prevent domestic violence. While the nation's government agreed with the parts of the legislation focused on protecting women, it resoundingly rejected a clause characterizing discrimination against LGBT folks as a violation of human rights. The Istanbul Convention was first adopted in 2011 by the Council of Europe and has since been ratified by 20 European states.

The gay dating app Hornet took a big step forward: The company has secured an $8-million investment from Ventech China, a Shanghai-based venture capitalist firm, according to NewNowNext. "We are excited to work with our new investors to further our mission and engage our community," says Hornet CEO Christof Wittig. The five-year-old app, which recently snatched up the gay city guide Vespa, is the second-largest gay social network in the world, with 15 million members and 3 million monthly active users.

In India, a transgender woman died under suspicious circumstances at the Kilpauk Medical College hospital in Chennai, The News Minute noted. Tara—a 28-year-old transgender woman who was working as an Outreach worker with many NGOs including Sahodaran and Sinegathi—was found severely burned outside the Pondy Bazaar police station. Tara's friends have raised the question of where Tara got gasoline to immolate herself when her vehicle keys had been confiscated by authorities; in addition, police had allegedly assaulted her prior to the burning.

Ugandan authorities have reportedly arrested an 8-year-old girl on suspicion of being lesbian, News24.com stated. According to Evening Standard, police were allegedly holding the girl in custody after she was found kissing her female friends. Child-protection authorities in the town of Jinja said the girl was arrested after a neighbor reported her for having "romantic relationships" with other girls of her age. Amnesty International had since called for the girl's immediate release.

South Africa opposed members of the African Group in the United Nations General Assembly to uphold the appointment of an Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on the UN Human Rights Council, Times Live reported. Earlier in November, the African Groupš of which South Africa is a memberš delivered a statement to the UN General Assembly opposing the appointment. Then gay rights groups in South Africa penned an open letter to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, asking South African representatives to the UN to vote against a resolution proposed by the African Group that would have suspended the appointment of the independent expert.

Two gay men were attacked at a McDonald's in Sydney, Australia, last week by a man who claimed to be a supporter of Donald Trump, NewNowNext reported. Sam and Andrew ( not their real names ) were in line at the fast-food eatery when a young man started drunkenly ranting about Trump. Sam then said to him, "I'm gay. Do you have a problem with that?"—and the young man reportedly shouted, "Trump's won. Straight white men rule." The Trump supporter then attacked the couple outside the restaurant before friends dragged him away; however, police apprehended them.

A London man who murdered four gay men he met online was sentenced Nov. 25 to life in prison without parole in a case that has seen substantial criticism of police response, The Advocate reported. Stephen Port, 41, was convicted Nov. 23 of the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor, who all were given lethal overdoses of the drug GHB, London newspaper The Guardian noted. Port was also found guilty of several other charges, including drugging and raping other men, who survived. The dead men ranged in age from 21 to 25.

A British teenager has been found guilty of murdering a man after the two met via Grindr, Towleroad reported. Ben Bamford, 18, inflicted more than 40 injuries on Paul Jefferies in Mayfield, Sussex on Feb. 23. Bamford met Jefferies via Grindr two years before the murder, when he was aged 15. The pair resumed contact in December 2015 following a break.

Going into the race, former prime minister Francois Fillon was third behind ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppe for the French presidential position. But Fillon snagged a surprise victory in the primary, taking more than 44 percent of the vote in the first round, NewNowNext noted. He then faced Juppe in a runoff vote—and will will go up against Marine Le Pen, leader of the ultra-right-wing National Front, in next year's election. Unlike Juppe, Fillon opposed civil unions and voted against same-sex marriage, which came to France anyway in 2013.

An Ivory Coast court found two men guilty of public indecency after they were accused of engaging in same-sex sexual acts, News24.com noted. It was the first case of its kind in a country known for its relative tolerance of LGBT people, said Franklyn Koffi, advocacy director for Espace Confiance, a group that provides health services to sexual minorities. The two men, aged 31 and 19, received three-month prison sentences, he said.

Gorka Marquez, a professional dancer from the show Strictly Come Dancing, lost two of his teeth in an attack as he headed to a club in Blackpool, PinkNews noted. The 26-year-old was headed to the Flamingo club, the biggest gay nightclub in Blackpool, with fellow dancers Aljaz Skorjanec and Neil Jones. Marquez made his Strictly debut in this year's series and had been partnering EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, who plays Kim Fox in the BBC soap, BBC.com reported.

Rev. Brent Leroy Hawkes took the stand in his own defense, denying all of the allegations of sexual assault made against him so far in his trial, DailyXtra.com reported. Hawkes—a longtime leader of Toronto's gay community and recipient of the Order of Canada—is facing one charge of indecent assault and one of an act of gross indecency for incidents that allegedly took place in 1974 or 1975 in Kings County, Nova Scotia, where he taught high school before moving to Toronto. Hawkes said that he didn't remember teaching the alleged victim, but knew him through extra-curricular activities.

English fashion consultant, author and television presenter Gok Wan is starting his own LGBT club night in response to a diminishing gay scene, PinkNews noted. The London club night is called Magazine and will be a place for music, people and dancing, as Gok Wan told DivaMag. He said, "The London club and gay scene is diminishing so we need to do all we can to ensure there are places the LGBTQ community can go where we can hold hands, kiss, relax and confidently be ourselves."

British superstar Adele is in more demand than ever, The International Business Times UK reported. Tickets for the "Hello" singer's Australian tour sold out in minutes on Nov. 21 and tickets were immediately selling them for up to $5,000 on the secondary marketplace. The 28-year-old singer will launch the Australian leg of her mammoth world tour in Perth on Feb. 28, 2017, with one date scheduled for New Zealand in March.

Mexican fans of the Oakland Raiders chanted the gay slur "ˇPuto!" during the game between the Raiders and Houston Texans in Mexico City on Nov. 21, Outsports noted. The slur could be heard on the ESPN broadcast, growing louder as more of the stadium got in on the act as the game progressed. The slur is a regular occurrence at Mexican international soccer matches, and has gotten so bad that the national team asked fans not to chant it.


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