Does Homeland dumb down the CIA?
Orlando Cruz, the first openly gay professional boxer, spoke with Germany's Der Spiegel about coming to terms with his homosexuality: "For a long time I didn't want to accept that I was gay. Better said: I couldn't accept it because I was too afraid. Homosexuals were discriminated against in Puerto Rico back then, sometimes even killed. I had a friend named José, but we called him Linoshka because he was a transvestite. He was stabbed to death in the street at the age of 19 by a homophobe because he had taken part in a gay-pride parade."
The website All Out is becoming an increasingly powerful voice in Africa's nascent gay rights movement: "The All Out website describes its objectives as 'building a truly global community able to respond to moments of crisis and opportunity, to advance the lives and freedoms of LGBT people everywhere' and credits 'the unprecedented possibilities for global people power that new social media technologies allow'."
Justin Welby, the former oil executive Queen Elizabeth named to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury, is more open-minded on gay and lesbian inclusion than his predecessor, the at-times obstructive Rowan Williams. Though he doesn't support marriage equality, Welby said, "I am always averse to the language of exclusion... Above all in the church we need to create safe spaces for these issues to be discussed honestly and in love."
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel lent a hand for the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
The royals came out for Britain's Remembrance Day.
Rent at the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Scenes from Hong Kong Pride 2012.
Counterfeits are so gauche: "A new type of thread woven into patterns invisible to the naked eye could put an end to fake designer clothes - and dull outfits... To extend the method to other valuables, Christian Müller at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, made a semi-transparent thread from polyethylene and a polymer used in clothes dye. This thread has unique optical properties that allow only certain polarizations to pass through."
Ezra Klein reflects at The Washington Post: "Step back and take an accounting of these last few years: The United States of America, a land where slaves were kept 150 years ago and bathrooms were segregated as recently as 50 years ago, elected and reelected our first black president. We passed and ratified a universal health-care system. We saw the first female Speaker of the House, the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, and the first openly gay member of the Senate."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tells the New York Times' Gail Collins that she looks forward to some well-earned R&R once she leaves the State Department. "I just want to sleep and exercise and travel for fun. And relax. It sounds so ordinary, but I haven’t done it for 20 years. I would like to see whether I can get untired. I work out and stuff, but I don’t do it enough and I don’t do it hard enough because I can’t expend that much energy on it," said the Democrat.
50 Ways to celebrate timeless Demi Moore's 50th birthday. Idea 29: "Indulge in late night pottery sessions."
The Kardashians are terrifyingly popular in the UK.
Finally, here's video of Anne Hathaway reprising her Katie Holmes impression.
It isn't enough for Ugandan lawmakers that they have a "kill the gays" bill under consideration. They want the ENTIRE CONTINENT of Africa to pass a resolution condemning homosexuality and imprison homosexuals for life.
Watch the lawmaker address the Pan African Parliament, AFTER THE JUMP...
Same sex relations are illegal in Uganda. Homosexuals are often subjected to violence and social rejection. Today Ugandan lawmakers tried to go a step further, hoping to get the continent's support for life imprisonment for homosexuals.
Ugandan parliamentary member Atim Ogwal Cecilia Barbara told the PAP seating: “Africa must stand up. We must pass a resolution condemning homosexuality because it is not an African culture. We are not allowed to practice polygamy in other countries, why should we be forced to do what is not natural?”
The proposal was rejected, with some members saying it's a blot on Uganda's remarkable emergence from civil war. South African parliamentary member Santosh Vanita Kalyan says the resolution that Uganda is calling for, is “bizarre.”
Kalian went further to say: “It will never pass in this parliament, especially from members like us who feel that the rights of all should be respected.”
Watch the Ugandan lawmaker rage, AFTER THE JUMP...
A report from the LGBT magazine Identity Kenya claims that police officers there are taking advantage of the African nation's ban on homosexuality by luring gay men out of hiding to blackmail them.
Anthony Oluoch, the former Legal and Human Rights Officer based at the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) said that blackmail and extortion is the leading form of violation reported at his desk by Kenyan gay men most of whom are married.
‘It accounts for over 30% of cases we see in a year,’ said Oluoch.
Oluoch said that most blackmailers are either gays or straight people acting gay in order to get targets.
One avenue they mostly use is social networks and sites. ‘One of the places they often visit is Facebook and dating sites like Gay Kenya, GayRomeo, GayDar and ManJam where people put their profiles for dates, sex or mutual friendship,’ Oluoch reported.
It's unclear how many men have been blackmailed, but this news is just the latest example of how rampant homophobia has become in Kenya, where a gay man was stoned to death in June.
Mitt ... helps? ... a woman who's lost her house to the storm.
The revenant Ralph Reed.
Augmented cell phones will soon be able to screen for HIV:
The gadget, called Smartscope, is a small 1-millimeter (0.04-inch) microscope and light which clips over a smartphone's camera.
A standard chip with a blood sample then slides into the gadget in front of the microscope. Next, a special phone programme photographs the sample and analyses the cells.
The team hopes that trials in clinics may start next year ...
The new technology is destined for AIDS treatment in remote communities in South Africa and Swaziland, where clinics often don't have the technology to do these tests effectively.
A lonely Greek gay boy's imaginary friend comes to life, looking rather like Maria Callas circa 1972.
Two dead, thousands at risk from hantavirus after a stay in Yosemite:
Yosemite officials earlier this week shut down all 91 of the insulated tent cabins after finding deer mice, which carry the disease and can burrow through holes the size of pencil erasers, nesting between the [cabins'] double walls.
Park authorities said on Friday that they had contacted approximately 3,000 parties of visitors who stayed in the tent cabins since mid-June, advising them to seek immediate medical attention if they have symptoms of hantavirus.
Coca-Cola reaches Pyongyang. Freedom can't be far behind.
California's John Perez, the first openly-gay speaker of a state legislature, to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
Frank Bruni on the RNC:
... you certainly didn’t see anyone openly gay on the stage in Tampa. More to the point, you didn’t hear mention of gays and lesbians. Scratch that: Mike Huckabee, who has completed a ratings-minded transformation from genial pol to dyspeptic pundit, made a derisive reference to President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage. We were thus allowed a fleeting moment inside the tent, only to be flogged and sent back out into the cold.
It was striking not because a convention or political party should make a list of minority groups and dutifully put a check mark beside each ... It was striking because the Republicans went so emphatically far, in terms of stagecraft and storytelling, to profess inclusivenes ...
Republicans to descend on DNC for counter-convention, because ... they're unhappy with the one they just had?
... as many as 50 “communicators” ... will be stationed right outside the gates of the Time Warner Cable Arena. And there will be plenty of gimmicks and props, including “You Build It” Legos, “You Build It” Monopoly and plenty of Kleenex “because breaking up is hard to do.”
You've heard folkie Roy Zimmerman's not-quite-hit "Defenders of Marriage"? Or his "Romney Mitt: The Demon Barber Of Wall Street"? Well -- do, if you haven't. And AFTER THE JUMP, find out what he learned at the RNC ...
Andy reported Tuesday on the police attack on and subsequent arrest of 44 gay activists in Harare, Zimbabwe, who were meeting peaceably to discuss past infringements of their rights by police. The activists were members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, or GALZ:
“Four police officers attempted to gain entry into the premises before calling for back up where about fifteen (anti) riot squad members descended on the office and effected arrest. Thirty one men and thirteen women members were detained overnight at Harare Central Police Station on 11 August 2012.”
Galz claimed that some of the police officers appeared drunk and assaulted most of the members using baton sticks.
“Police, some of them visibly drunk, assaulted most of the members using baton sticks, open hands and clenched fists before detaining them without charge. Such use of force is in direct contradiction to the Global Political Agreement,” Galz said.
Now, Zimeye reports that both the American embassy and the diplomatic delegation from the European Union have condemned the assault:
“The targeting and abusive treatment of non-governmental groups by members of the police is deeply disturbing part of life in Zimbabwe,” the US Embassy in Harare said.
“Too often, the Zimbabwe Republic Police becomes an instrument of political violence for use against citizens exercising their democratic rights, rather than maintaining its proper role of the people’s protector and guardian of law and order.”
The EU welcomes President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s recent public calls for peace and for people to avoid resorting to violence. We encourage all Zimbabweans to join these unambiguous calls against violence and violations of human rights.
Zimbabwean president-for-life Robert Mugabe has famously declared that gays and lesbians are "worse than dogs and pigs." He's also insisted that homosexuality violates womens' rights and leads to the eventual extinction of the species, and he once jailed a fellow politician for suggesting he, Mugabe, might be gay.