Labour’s Response To Salisbury Has Been Unsurprising

Labour's Response To Salisbury Has Been Unsurprising

Slow stirrings but we are finally there. Russian imperialism that has often been nothing more than a nostalgic yearning for a return to the days of Soviet Union is now being realised by Britain.

The probability of Putin being behind the chemical weapons attack in Salisbury is high but that margin for doubt for some is yet definitive proof that this is simply more scaremongering towards Russia. It’s worth noting that scepticism towards false intelligence is not baseless but pretty reasonable, given what happened with the Iraq War.

But right now the evidence seems decisively pointed against Russia. The chemical agent that killed double agent Sergei Skripal is called novichok and according to the chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon , was developed and produced in Shikhany, within a military research lab in central Russia.

The response of Britain has been a varying mix of the wild and the reasonable in reactions. So far, Russian diplomats have been expelled while there is a clamour to eject tycoons with links to Putin’s state apparatus from London, increasingly a tax haven for the super-rich.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has taken a position of waiting for investigations to unfold before making judgements. Many have – with […]

Why LGBT Teens Deserve More Romantic Comedies

Why LGBT Teens Deserve More Romantic Comedies

Everyone deserves a cheesy romantic comedy that reflects who they are. But until recently, one group never saw themselves represented.

The movie “ Love, Simon ” opened this week. It marks the first time a major Hollywood studio has invested in a romantic comedy with an LGBTQ teen lead. While LGBTQ teens have access to plenty of stories about their struggles – just watch “ Pariah ” or the beginning of “ Moonlight ” — they also need films to laugh at.

Smaller operations have offered LGBTQ teen comedies before. “ Boy Meets Girl” , “ D.E.B.S. ” and “ But I’m a Cheerleader ” are a few entertaining choices. However, it’s groundbreaking for a large film studio to finally catch on.

Let’s hope “Love, Simon” kicks off a string of box office hits that center LGBT teens. After all, even as society becomes more accepting, these kids still suffer.

In most states, the government refuses to protect LGBT teens from bullying . School districts repeatedly block Gay-Straight Alliance clubs from forming, even though they cut down on suicidal thoughts and discrimination.

Many families struggle to accept their children for who they are — and as a result, a whopping 40 percent of homeless […]

‘It’s Bigger Than Telford’: Living At The Centre Of The UK’s Child Sexual Exploitation Scandal

'It's Bigger Than Telford': Living At The Centre Of The UK's Child Sexual Exploitation Scandal

Many people in Telford knew something about the stories of child sexual exploitation in their community. For years, they’d read local news reports about it, they’d seen arrests – some even thought they might have witnessed grooming happening in front of them.

But the revelations this week that the Shropshire town could be at the heart of the UK’s largest ever child sexual exploitation scandal, with up to 1,000 children estimated to have fallen victim to abuse since the 1980s, has caused devastation on a new scale, and has revealed simmering anger about how the authorities have dealt with the problem.

Grooming gangs have long-dominated local headlines, especially since Operation Chalice, a 2009 police inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Telford in which seven men were jailed for multiple crimes, including sexually abusing teenagers as young as 13.

Looking back, Josh Baker, 27, a property manager, thinks he may have even seen grooming going on outside a college in Wellington, an area of Telford near where two brothers, Ahdel Ali and Mubarek Ali, used to live. Both were convicted of rape and child sex offences in 2012 .

“Maybe it was less obvious to me then,” Josh said. “I had my suspicions, however […]

6 Important Stories You Might Have Missed Because Of The Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack

6 Important Stories You Might Have Missed Because Of The Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack

Prime Minister Theresa May greets DUP leader Arlene Foster Tory and DUP MPs voted on Tuesday in favour of controversial cuts to free school meals in England – despite protecting Northern Ireland from similar curbs.

Labour tried to block the changes to the Universal Credit benefit system, but the government won the vote 312 votes to 254.

Charities and other campaigners claim that the welfare reforms mean that up to a million children will be denied eligibility for free lunches.

Its figure was based on what would happen if current transitional arrangements, which give every family on universal credit the right to free school meals, were rolled out nationwide.

But Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and Education Secretary Damian Hinds rejected the accusation.

They accused Labour of scaremongering and insisted that 50,000 more youngsters would actually benefit than at present.Labour pointed out that the cuts planned for England stand in sharp contrast to the situation in Northern Ireland, where children of the “working poor” will get stronger protection. 2. The NHS refused to rule out giving patient data to benefit fraud investigations Tory MP Sarah Wollaston NHS Digital bosses refused to rule out sharing confidential patient data with the government in future benefit […]

Speaking up about rape in conservative Kazakhstan

Speaking up about rape in conservative Kazakhstan

Saina Raisova jumped out of a window to escape her rapists – breaking her pelvis and a heel In the conservative Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, many women are afraid to speak up about rape and sexual harassment. But a local campaign – one which predates the MeToo and Time’s Up movements – has been urging women not to stay silent.

Saina Raisova almost breaks down when she recalls the day she was raped by two men last year.

The 26-year-old jumped out of a third floor window in order to escape from her attackers, breaking her pelvis and a heel.

She survived her fall, but says that following her rape, "the first thing I thought of was to commit suicide. I thought I wouldn’t be able to live with this."

Saina lives in constant pain now due to her injuries. But it’s been no less harrowing for her to achieve justice.

Speaking up about sexual assault is considered extremely shameful by many in Kazakhstan, and Saina tells the BBC she faced severe pressure to stay silent about her rape."I had to fight not only with law enforcement agencies, but also with myself and with my relatives. Because they were shocked. They didn’t understand."’Why […]

Police Investigating Death Threats Sent To Sacramento LGBT Center

Police Investigating Death Threats Sent To Sacramento LGBT Center

Police are investigating two letters containing death threats received this week by the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. Need resources? We’d love to see how we can help! Come and see us today. #resources #help #suppport #community #lgbt #equalrightsforall #setupforsuccess #understanding #acceptance #loveforall #helpeachother A post shared by Sacramento LGBT Center (@saclgbtcenter) on Jan 24, 2018 at 2:11pm PST Both letters had a “faith-based bent” to them, center director David Heitstuman told the Sacramento Bee .

“They talked about various ways they felt homosexuals have plagued society, then went on to talk about the various ways they would harm our community, including destroying and murdering every queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual [person] in Sacramento.”

The center, opened in 1986, has received hate mail and phone calls in the past. (Rainbow flags have also been stolen from outside the building, located in Sacramento’s Lavender Heights gayborhood.) But Heitstuman says these threats were more specific than past ones.

“It’s an unfortunate reality that this sort of hate exists in our community,” said Heitstuman, “and it’s a travesty that so much of it continues to be directed at the LGBT community and other marginalized populations.”

The Sacramento Police Department is investigating the letters as a possible hate crime.

There […]

Why Angolan singer Toty Sa’Med writes songs in Kimbundu

Why Angolan singer Toty Sa'Med writes songs in Kimbundu

Musician Toty Sa’Med can’t say more than a few words in the Angolan language of Kimbundu but he insists on writing his songs in the language. He explains why.

My great-grandmother was the last person I knew personally who spoke only Kimbundu.

She died 15 years ago.

It’s a local language in Angola, spoken in the area surrounding the capital Luanda. That’s where I was born and brought up but, even so, I can only speak a few words.

I hear street hawkers in Luanda speaking Kimbundu among themselves. They come from the countryside and they are very connected to their culture.

So when I buy something off a street hawker, sometimes I greet them in Kimbundu. Almost everyone can at least say hello. I even greet some of my friends in Kimbundu.But when I ask to buy something, I have to switch into Portuguese because I don’t know how to say much more in Kimbundu.The seller responds in Portuguese because almost everyone who speaks Kimbundu knows how to speak Portuguese too. You can hear Kimbundu in the markets in Luanda because the vendors are from the countryside around the capital I don’t know anyone who solely speaks Kimbundu.We still hear the language every […]

Love, Simon star Keiynan Lonsdale talks coming out on set

Love, Simon star Keiynan Lonsdale talks coming out on set

Taken in Nanakuli, Hawaii | Photo: keiynanlonsdale Instagram Actor Keiynan Lonsdale has spoken about coming out to his Love, Simon co-stars and crew.

Lonsdale stars in the romcom as school jock Abraham Greenfeld, otherwise known as Bram.

The 27-year-old came out as LGBTI in May 2017, a few weeks after filming for Love, Simon finished.

He explained to HuffPost : ‘Timing is a very funny thing. I never imagined, especially as I was going through my own issues, that I would get to play this character in a queer love story.’

He added that the film ‘gave me a kick to reflect and think about how I wanted to deal with my internalized shame.’

Lonsdale came out to his Love, Simon co-stars and crew at the wrap party.Starring in Love, Simon also helped actor Joey Pollari come out . He came out as gay on 15 March.Nick Robinson, star of Love Simon, also explained his brother came out to him as gay at the start of filming. ‘Couldn’t be in a better environment’ He spoke about his role with Teen Vogue .Lonsdale explained: ‘I wasn’t out during filming. I’ve been out to my friends for a couple years, but I was still […]

Ricky Gervais is so achingly desperate to offend trans people in new Netflix special that he didn’t bother with much comedy

Ricky Gervais is so achingly desperate to offend trans people in new Netflix special that he didn’t bother with much comedy

Ricky Gervais (Netflix) Thin-skinned comic Ricky Gervais has released a new comedy special… and if you think any reasonable person would be over the dumb thing they said two years ago by now, you definitely don’t know Ricky Gervais.

The former Office star made a “return” to stand-up for a Netflix special titled Humanity, with promos for the show bearing the tagline “prepare to be offended”. Across his hour-long special Gervais definitely did his best to try to live up to that promise, though on reflection “prepare to be amused by some funny jokes” might have been a better mission statement.

The comic dedicated more than 15 minutes of the special to reheating a controversy from January 2016 , when he came under fire at the Golden Globes for taking cheap potshots at Caitlyn Jenner.

While hosting the ceremony, Gervais told a joke about Jenner using her male former name, attracting criticism from the trans community.

The comedian does his level best to revive the row in his new special, deliberately referring to Jenner by her former name a total of 15 times in just a few minutes.

Gervais tells a ‘story’ about Jenner visiting a doctor prior to transitioning, saying: “[Former name] Jenner, […]

Former NFL player and convicted killer Aaron Hernandez ‘outed’ by new documentary

Former NFL player and convicted killer Aaron Hernandez ‘outed’ by new documentary

Aaron Hernandez A new documentary asserts that late former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, who was jailed for murder, tormented himself for years about his sexuality.

Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, took his own life in April 2017 after years of controversy.

The player was incarcerated at the time of his suicide, serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional player.

He was acquitted of a separate double homicide charge just days before he was found hanged in his cell. Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) A new documentary that is set to air on Oxygen claims that the former player, who had a child with his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, was tormented by his sexuality and had secret relationships with men.

According to TMZ , the documentary Aaron Hernandez Uncovered includes an interview with the player’s college girlfriend, Alyssa Anderson, who says she discovered Hernandez was having a relationship with a man when they were at university together.

Anderson says he denied it at the time but later acknowledged it was true. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) According to the outlet, the player’s out former lawyer George Leontire […]