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  WINDY CITY TIMES

WORLD Canada and COVID-19, Indonesia incident, Panama policy
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2020-04-14

This article shared 2420 times since Tue Apr 14, 2020
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The organization Egale, partnering with INNOVATIVE Research Group, presented a timeline that shows the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Canada's LGBTQI2S ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and two-spirit ) community, Air.org reported. The COVID-19 crisis has affected the employment security for a majority ( 53 percent ) of Canada's LGBTQI2S households; and the LGBTQI2S community reported greater current and expected impacts of COVID-19 on their physical and mental health, and overall quality of life. The full report is at https://egale.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Impact-of-COVID-19-Canada%E2%80%99s-LGBTQI2S-Community-in-Focus-2020-04-06.pdf.

On a related note, Canada's national lockdown will continue "for many more weeks" as the nation studies how best to resume some economic activity, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, according to CNN.com . Trudeau said his government is looking at different scenarios, but it's still too early to think about relaxing any social-distancing measures.

Indonesian police said they would not bring murder charges against suspects accused of killing a transgender woman by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire, Reuters reported. Police said they believed the suspects who set the fire had not burned her intentionally; they identified six suspects, three of whom had been arrested. However, Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harson said the incident was indicative of a rise in hostility and vilification of the LGBTQ community.

Panama is allowing men and women to leave their homes on separate days in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus—a policy that is making some transgender people afraid to leave their homes at all, LGBTQ Nation noted. Also, at least one transgender woman was arrested for leaving her home on the day women are allowed to go out. "If you're a trans woman who goes out on a day for men, you're in danger of being arrested because you don't look like the gender on your ID," said Pau Gonzalez, of Trans Men Panama.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a law amending the country's Criminal Code that involves COVID-19—and HIV, according to HIVJustice.net . Its content, coupled with other measures to combat COVID-19, was originally intended to create better conditions for overcoming the crisis. However, despite this, it ( without any justification or prior approval ) also included a number of provisions regarding the intensification of the criminalization of HIV exposure. For example, subsection one of Section 161 reads, "Any person who knows that he is infected with HIV and exposes another person to the risk of infection shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of 6 months to 8 years."

The top human-rights court in the Americas has found Peru responsible for the arbitrary detention and rape of an LGBT person, BBC.com reported. Azul Rojas Marin was stripped, hit and raped with a truncheon by three officers while in custody in 2008, her legal team said; the Inter-American Court of Human Rights said the acts were torture. In Peru, same-sex couples are not allowed to marry or enter into civil unions, but trans people can change their gender legally.

A new clinical trial is underway in Spain that will assess whether Truvada—a drug commonly used as PrEP for HIV prevention—can stave off COVID-19 infection among medical practitioners seeking to treat patients amid the pandemic, The Washington Blade reported. If successful, the trial may have broader implications for the general public and not just health workers. The study, which began April 1 and is expected to run through the summer, is being conducted at Madrid's Ramon y Cajal University Hospital and sponsored by the Spanish National AIDS Plan, a branch of the Spanish government.

UNAIDS ( the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS ) issued a public statement saying it "is deeply concerned by reports that the COVID-19 epidemic is being used as an excuse to target marginalized and vulnerable populations, restrict civil society space and increase police powers"—especially "people [who live] with or [are] vulnerable to HIV," 76Crimes.com noted. UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said, "In times of crisis, emergency powers and agility are crucial; however, they cannot come at the cost of the rights of the most vulnerable. Checks and balances that are the cornerstone of the rule of law must be exercised in order to prevent misuse of such powers. If not, we may see a reversal of much of the progress made in human rights, the right to health and the AIDS response."

In Africa, the LGBTI-advocacy group Alternatives-Cameroon has expanded its work into Yaounde, from its Douala base, RightsAfrica.com noted. Alternatives-Cameroon has earned a strong reputation in the 15 years since it was created as the country's first LGBTI advocacy anti-AIDS organization. The work in Yaounde began in January 2018 with the hiring of a staffer to work on advocacy in coordination with governmental, technical and diplomatic partners; it now has 14 employees, including doctors, peer educators and psychosocial counselors.

Asia's first LGBT+ video-streaming platform, dubbed the continent's "gay Netflix," is going global—hoping to reach hundreds of millions of people isolated by the coronavirus, Reuters reported. The LGBT+ service plans a lineup that includes TV shows, films and documentaries. GagaOOLala—a combination of two phrases for gay people, in Taiwan—is available in 21 Asian countries since launching in 2017 and will expand to more than 190 from early May.

Yaakov Litzman—the health minister for Israel who said all LGBT+ people are sinners—tested positive for COVID-19, PinkNews reported. According to The Times of Israel, Litzman, 71, has been accused of violating his own ministry's guidelines on social distancing in order to continue to attend prayer services. He and wife Chava contracted COVID-19; as a result of recent contact with him, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several other top government officials had to self-isolate for 15 days.

Stephen Fry failed in a bid to save an abandoned prison where Oscar Wilde was once held, amid fears it could be turned into flats, The Telegraph reported. Reading Gaol closed in 2013, when the Ministry of Justice put it up for sale. Fry and a group of campaigners pressed for the prison to be converted into an arts center and LGBT museum to commemorate the time Oscar Wilde was held there after being convicted of having gay sex in the late 1800s.

LGBT-themed film Thua Me Con Di ( Goodbye Mother ) is the sole local production in Netflix Vietnam's ranking of 10 most watched dramas, VN Express noted. Data showed that Vietnamese overwhelmingly favor South Korean TV dramas over other content on Netflix Vietnam, accounting for six of the top 10 most watched shows April 3; topping the list was Money Heist, a Spanish television crime drama series on a bank robbery. Goodbye Mother, screened on Netflix since April 1 last year, depicts the drama of Van and his boyfriend Ian, who've just returned to Vietnam from the United States.

Queen Elizabeth's Royal Maundy Easter traditions were, like almost all events, halted—prompting the monarch to send her famous red-and-white money pouches via post for what is thought to be the first time, in a break in tradition dating back centuries, Forbes.com noted. The leather pouches carry a symbolic five-pound piece, and commemorative coins that the monarch hands out each year on Maundy Thursday to 188 pensioners from around the U.K.. This year, they were sent out by post. The number of recipients represents two for every year of the monarch's life—94 men and 94 women; the queen celebrates her 94th birthday April 21.

Mighty Hoopla—one of Britain's most beloved music festivals known for its camp and glittery line-ups—is cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, PinkNews noted. The festival, which attracts nearly 20,000 people each year, was due to take place on June 6 and headlined by singer Cheryl alongside queer-friendly acts such as Anastacia, Natasha Bedingfield, Sonique, Atomic Kitten and Gabrielle.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson left the London hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19, and returned home, NBC Nes reported. A spokesperson said he would continue his recovery at Chequers, the prime minister's country residence in the county of Buckinghamshire. Johnson, 55, was admitted to London's St. Thomas' Hospital on April 5 after "persistent" COVID-19 symptoms.

Anna Wintour announced Vogue Global Conversations, a four-day online event starting April 14, Vogue.com noted. People will grapple with questions about the future of creativity, runway shows, e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail. Registration is free, and the conversations will be moderated by a Vogue editor, including Edward Enninful of British Vogue, Eugenia de la Torriente of Vogue Espana, Angelica Cheung of Vogue China, and more. The guests include designers and retailers and executives like Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Ize, Stella McCartney, Virgil Abloh, Balenciaga's Cedric Charbit and Pete Nordstrom, to name a few.

A group of international vacationers who flew from London to the south of France in a private jet were turned away by French police after they landed, CNN.com noted. The passengers, seven men between the ages of 40 and 50 and three women who were "around 25," were heading to Cannes. France is under a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and foreigners entering French territory need to have an essential reason to do so under emergency rules.


This article shared 2420 times since Tue Apr 14, 2020
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