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South Korea in 'Crisis Status' After North Korean Shelling

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Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula following shelling of areas of South Korea earlier today by North Korea:

"Two South Korean soldiers were killed, 15 were wounded and three civilians were injured, said Kiyheon Kwon, an official at the Defense Ministry. The South Korean military went to 'crisis status,' and fighter planes were put on alert but did not take off. South Korean artillery units returned fire after the North’s shells struck South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island at 2:34 p.m., said Mr. Kwon, adding that the North also fired numerous rounds into the Yellow Sea. Television footage showed large plumes of black smoke spiraling from the island, and news reports said dozens of houses were on fire."

White House statement from Robert Gibbs

"Earlier today North Korea conducted an artillery attack against the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. We are in close and continuing contact with our Korean allies. The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement. The United States is firmly committed to the defense of our ally, the Republic of Korea, and to the maintenance of regional peace and stability."

Watch some raw footage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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South Korea Commission Says Military Punishment of Homosexuality Violates Soldiers' Rights

South Korea's Human Rights Commission says punishing gays in the military violates soldiers' rights, AFP reports:

Southkorea Under the current code, homosexuality among servicemen is punishable by up to one year in jail. The constitutional court is reviewing the issue following a request from a military court. The rights commission met this week to agree a position to deliver to the court next month. It said its majority opinion is that the law infringes gay soldiers' rights to equality, privacy and to choose a sexual preference. 'Homosexuality does not directly weaken combat capability, morale or unity,' the rights panel said in a report. 'Punishment by the military criminal law is against the current of the times because it infringes upon (soldiers) rights to equality.' There were 176 homosexuality cases in the military from 2004-2007 and three male soldiers were convicted, it said."

The commission also cited Canada, Australia and Israel as nations where gays can serve openly.


News: Elton John, South Korea, Desmond Tutu, Call Bear

 roadNut arrested for death threats against Elton John. Threat video.

 roadAIDS clinic, gay leader targeted in Kenya: "The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) clinic had been threatened with attack on Christian radio station Baraka FM with a closure deadline of today, 12 March. Their broadcasts said: 'homosexuals are not human beings and should be treated as such'."

Tutu  roadArchbishop Desmond Tutu in the Washington Post: "Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity -- or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds."

 roadWay better than the Twilight: Eclipse trailer.

 roadRoverta Boen, opened first gay bar in northeast Florida, dies.

 roadFormer Marilyn Musgrave staffer now a gay rights supporter.

 roadConfessions of a Las Vegas Call Bear: "So, yes: I'm a Las Vegas call bear. But don't be fooled into assuming that all my clients come from the world of the bears. Far from it. The men who hire me run the gamut from 18-year-olds who want their first male-male experience to be with a man who knows what he's doing to men in their 80s who just want to be held by a lumberjack type for an hour. They might be fat, they might be average, or they might have bodies so perfectly sculpted they should be underwear models."

Satc2  road New promo photos for Sex and the City 2.

 roadHeeeeere's Johnny: Best cuckoo clock ever.

 roadDisney refuses to add "ex-gays" to its anti-discrimination policies: "Greg Quinlan, director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), presented the resolution at the recent annual shareholders meeting in San Antonio. But he explains that Disney board chairman John E. Pepper 'responded in saying that the current policies were very inclusive and were very broad and that they could not lift every possible nuance to come.'"

 roadThe Absolut Hunk is now the Charisma Bath Towels Hunk.

 road'Shades of Yellow': The first Hmong LGBT support group in the world.

 roadTracy Young coy about relationship with Kim Zolciak: "I’m not at liberty to say all the personal details, but we have a lot of similarities and a very strong connection. She’s a great friend and I adore her, but it’s kind of complicated."

Msross  roadShe's coming out: Diana Ross announces North American concert tour dates.

 roadGay servicemembers have a hang-out in South Korea: "This cluster of trendy bars, with names like 'Queen' and 'Always Homme,' is a 10-minute walk from Yongsan Garrison, the U.S. military’s flagship base in South Korea. The Hill is one of the few places gay and lesbian U.S. servicemembers can be somewhat open about their sexuality while stationed in the country."

 roadAdam Lambert to release make-up line?

 roadGLAAD President Jarrett Barrios speaks out against cancellation of gay storyline on One Life to Live: “Last summer, One Life to Live brought a ground-breaking relationship into the homes of millions with Kyle and Fish’s story, one that built acceptance and understanding of gay people,. While we understand that the close of storylines is a frequent occurrence on daytime dramas, canceling this story just as it gains momentum is a step backward in ABC Daytime’s representation of the lives of gay Americans.”


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #512

SOUTH KOREAN PARLIAMENT: A day in the life.

BIG GAY MUSICAL: The first official trailer for this film, due out in October.

JASON MRAZ: on his assistant.

OUT-OF-TOUCH MICHAEL STEELE: Has no idea what kind of health insurance he has.

For previous Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


North Korea Behind Cyber Attacks?

C5f29db9 North Korea, until now content to threaten to blow up the United States and recklessly test missiles, might be moving into a more aggressive phase. According to South Korean intelligence, "North Korea or pro-Pyongyang forces" are behind cyber attacks that knocked out American and South Korean government sites. China is also a suspect.

Affected sites include those at the Treasury Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commision and Transportation Department, and all the issues occurred over the long holiday weekend. A good time to test one's abilities, when one's opponent is watching fireworks and eating barbecue.

The attack's effects lasted for days, indicating remarkably sophisticated hacking.

South Korea is "one of the world's most wired countries." Nearly every home (95%) has high-speed Internet access.


News: Malcolm Smith, Star Trek, Lieberman, Asbury Park, Beatles

road.jpg Stop a marriage referendum in New York: "On November 4th, New Yorkers gave the Democrats a two-seat majority in the New York State Senate. Finally, it seemed, Democrats would be able to put marriage equality to a vote and Governor Paterson would be able to sign it into law. However, three Democrats refuse to endorse Malcolm Smith as the new Majority Leader because Malcolm Smith has promised to pass marriage equality in New York. Senator Rubén Díaz, Sr. and Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., both from the Bronx, and Senators Carl Kruger of Brooklyn, are all threatening to caucus with the Republicans to stop gay marriage in New York."

Jackmanroad.jpg Hugh Jackman busts a few faces, but thankfully no one's looking there.

road.jpg Trailer for new Star Trek film beams in.

road.jpg A secret ballot vote by Democrats on Tuesday will determine Joe Lieberman's fate in the Senate: "Senate Democrats will decide by secret ballot Tuesday whether to take away Sen. Joe Lieberman's chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — a post from which he oversees U.S. security issues, as well as the operations of a wide segment of the federal government. The anger over Lieberman's campaigning for the Republican presidential candidate is still boiling — fueled by memories of his undercutting Barack Obama, including in a nationally televised speech at the Republican National Convention."

road.jpg More on Rosie O'Donnell's upcoming variety show.

road.jpg Gregory Craig to be White House counsel: "Craig is intimately familiar with the president-elect’s record because he played the role of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in debate preparations. The officials said Obama has settled on Craig but were not sure when the appointment would be announced. The choice gives the president-elect both experience and loyalty. During the primaries, Craig was an early Clinton alumni defector to Obama."

Madhatterroad.jpg It's the Mad Hatter!

road.jpg Bill Ayers talks back.

road.jpg It's not easy for gay youth in rural British Columbia: "Gay or bisexual teenage boys living in rural B.C. are nearly twice as likely to have attempted suicide and been physically sexually harassed in the past year than their peers in urban centres."

road.jpg Paul McCartney talks of 14-minute unreleased 1967 Beatle epic "Carnival of Light".

road.jpg South Korea reviewing ban on gays in the military: "The ban has been under review since a local military court asked the upper tribunal in August to determine whether the existing military criminal code banning homosexuality among soldiers is constitutional. The code stipulates that soldiers be jailed for up to one year for engaging in homosexual acts or sexual harassment while in service."

Lohanroad.jpg PETA protestor targets Lindsay Lohan with flour bomb outside Paris hotel.

road.jpg Queens couple first gays to wed in Greenwich, Connecticut.

road.jpg Researchers identify possible fossilized velociraptor egg nest.

road.jpg Recession stops neo-gay enclave of Asbury Park, New Jersey in its tracks: "Various big residential plans came and went, but, partly because of an influx of gay men and lesbians looking for cheaper alternatives to places like Fire Island, it began coming back around 2000. The residential revival helped bring back downtown, now quite alive with shops and restaurants. Then came the beachfront development, beginning around 2005. From 2007 to 2008, the number of daily beach-access badges sold during the summer increased to 52,000 from 38,000. Live Nation, the concert promoter, signed an agreement to promote music at various locations. After all those years of going nowhere, Asbury Park was clearly going somewhere. And then, boom — the bottom fell out of the economy."

road.jpg Karl Rove will never repudiate George W. Bush.


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