Indian minister’s homosexuality remarks a setback for gay rights
Health minister Ghulum Nabi Azad says homosexuality is a "disease" © Demotix
The Indian authorities must ensure that the rights of gay men are protected, Amnesty International said today, after India’s health minister described homosexuality as a "disease".
Addressing a conference about HIV/AIDS on Monday, Ghulum Nabi Azad said sex between two men is "completely unnatural and shouldn’t happen".
UNHCR concerned about malnutrition levels among new Somali refugees
GENEVA, July 5 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency is concerned about the high incidence of malnutrition among Somali refugees flowing into Ethiopia and Kenya amid a devastating drought in their conflict-racked country.
The relentless violence, compounded by drought, has forced more than 135,000 Somalis to flee so far this year. In June alone, 54,000 people fled across the two borders, three times the number of people who fled in May.
"UNHCR is particularly disturbed by unprecedented levels of malnutrition among the new arrivals – especially among refugee children," UNHCR's chief spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, said in Geneva on Tuesday. "More than 50 per cent of Somali children arriving in Ethiopia are seriously malnourished, while among those arriving to Kenya that rate is somewhat lower, but equally worrying – between 30 to 40 per cent," she added.
Missy Elliott Reveals Past of Sexual Abuse
Just one week after revealing her diagnosis with the autoimmune disorder, Graves' Disease, rapper Missy Elliott has opened up about her troubled childhood, including that she was the victim of sexual abuse. [Via AOL]
In her episode of VH1's Behind the Music, which debuted earlier this week -- and can be streamed in full below -- Missy said that she was abused by her 16-year-old cousin when she was only eight years old. "Each day he wanted me to come to the house after school," she explained. "It became sexual, which, for me at eight years old, I had no clue what that was, but I knew something was wrong."
"Being molested ... it don't disappear," she added. "You remember it as if it was yesterday." She explained that the abuse took place over the course of a year, but that she had never told anyone before.
Missy, who turns 40 on July 1, also talked about witnessing her mother being abused by her father, including an incident when she was 14, in which she saw her father pull out a loaded pistol. Missy's mother, Patricia Elliott, also appeared on the TV special. "Missy saw that the fight was just beyond measures," Patricia said. "My husband said, 'This is it, I'm gonna kill you. It's over!' I was so tired of being beaten over and over I just said, 'Fine, just do it.'"...
My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant
By JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS
One August morning nearly two decades ago, my mother woke me and put me in a cab. She handed me a jacket. “Baka malamig doon” were among the few words she said. (“It might be cold there.”) When I arrived at the Philippines’ Ninoy Aquino International Airport with her, my aunt and a family friend, I was introduced to a man I’d never seen. They told me he was my uncle. He held my hand as I boarded an airplane for the first time. It was 1993, and I was 12.
My mother wanted to give me a better life, so she sent me thousands of miles away to live with her parents in America — my grandfather (Lolo in Tagalog) and grandmother (Lola). After I arrived in Mountain View, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, I entered sixth grade and quickly grew to love my new home, family and culture. I discovered a passion for language, though it was hard to learn the difference between formal English and American slang. One of my early memories is of a freckled kid in middle school asking me, “What’s up?” I replied, “The sky,” and he and a couple of other kids laughed. I won the eighth-grade spelling bee by memorizing words I couldn’t properly pronounce. (The winning word was “indefatigable.”)...
In Turkey, the ‘friendship train’ encourages children to visit museums
ANKARA, Turkey, 12 May 2011 – Thirty-three child members of Turkey’s provincial child rights committees undertook a train journey of almost 2,000 km in April, as part of a UN joint programme targeting the development of Eastern Anatolia through cultural tourism.
“I expected it to be very tiring and it was,” said Ismail Pelenkoglu, one of the children who made the journey, and a national coordinator for the child rights committees. “But we learned a lot about our culture. We also made a lot of new friends.”
China Allows Dissident Artist’s Wife to Visit Him
BEIJING — The dissident artist Ai Weiwei was allowed a visit from his wife on Sunday, the first time he has been seen or heard from since being detained by authorities 43 days ago and held incommunicado in a secret Beijing-area location, Mr. Ai’s attorney said on Monday.
The attorney and family friend, Liu Xiaoyuan, said he had met on Monday with Ms. Lu and that she said her husband appeared to be in good physical condition. Mr. Ai also asked about the health of his mother and family, he said, but the circumstance of the supervised visit offered no chance to discuss how his captors were treating him or other details of his confinement....