Tourism pressures: Five places tackling too many visitors

Tourism pressures: Five places tackling too many visitors

The Philippines government says it will provide aid to the tourism companies affected by Boracay’s closure In recent weeks, authorities in Thailand and the Philippines have called time on tourism in two of their most popular tourist destinations.

First, Thai officials said Maya Bay needed an enforced break from the daytrippers who have flocked there since it was featured in 2000 film The Beach.

Then Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Boracay Island will also be closing for a few months, having, in his words, become an overcrowded "cesspool". Thai beach from DiCaprio film to close

Philippines to shut popular tourist island

Is Skye reaching the limit for tourists?

And these are not the only ones. Various European cities, including Venice and Dubrovnik , have also complained of being swamped by visitors, as has the Isle of Skye in Scotland.In 2017, Barcelona launched a crackdown on unlicensed accommodation rented via the AirBnB network, saying it was pushing up rental costs for locals.Other places have hiked up fees for visitors to protect their assets. Rwanda now charges $1,500 (£1,000) a day for a gorilla-watching permit.Here we take a look at five destinations around the world figuring out ways […]

Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst forced to come out as HIV+

Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst forced to come out as HIV+

Conchita Wurst. | Photo: Twitter/@ConchitaWurst Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst has been forced reveal her HIV status after being allegedly blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend.

Wurst revealed she had ‘been HIV positive for many years’ in a moving Instagram post.

The 2014 Eurovision winner decided to let the world know her status because an ex-boyfriend had tried to blackmail her.

‘I have been hiv-positive for many years. this is actually irrelevant to the public, but an ex-boyfriend is threatening to go public with this private information, and I will not give anyone the right to frighten me or affect my life,’ Wurst wrote.

Most known for performing in drag with a full beard, Wurst won Eurovision with her song ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’.

She has received treatment for HIV for many years and said she was doing well.‘Since I received the diagnosis, I have been in medical treatment, and for many years without interruption I have been below the detection limit, which means I am unable to transmit the virus,’ she wrote. Why Wurst went public now Wurst told her fans that there were a number of reasons she had not gone public with her status earlier.They were to spare her family the attention of […]

Bisexual rapper Azealia Banks says she was ‘roofied and raped’

Bisexual rapper Azealia Banks says she was 'roofied and raped'

Azealia Banks. | Photo: Facebook/Azealia Banks Bisexual New York rapper Azealia Banks took to Instagram to tell her followers she had been ‘roofied and raped’ in a series of now deleted posts.

Banks cried through a series of voice messages she posted to her Instagram story where she claimed she a man pressured her into sex. Banks has since deleted the posts but one fan managed to record them and loaded them onto YouTube.

‘Lowkey just got raped. I feel like dirt,’ she said tearfully.

The alleged sexual assault came just days after Banks said a man had slapped her in the face at a bar.

‘I just feel so dirty and stupid right now, you know? We were just hanging out and one thing led to another,’ she said.

‘I just feel really dumb, because it was partially my fault… I’m just like sitting here like feeling fucking low and shit… I just want to fucking disappear right now.’‘You don’t really realise it like this rape shit. ‘Men can just prey on you and fucking like badger you, force you to say yes… to the point where you feel like you gave consent but you didn’t give shit.‘You never wanted to do shit… […]

‘I Am Gay’ Goes Viral After Chinese Site Weibo Censors LGBT Content

'I Am Gay' Goes Viral After Chinese Site Weibo Censors LGBT Content

'I Am Gay' Goes Viral After Chinese Site Weibo Censors LGBT Content Users of China’s Sina Weibo, a microblogging site in the vein of Twitter are fighting back against the site’s announcement that it will begin a three-month “cleanup” to remove/censor LGBT and violent content. Upon the site’s announcement of the crackdown on its official administrator’s account on Friday, users began commenting on and forwarding the news accompanied by the hashtag “I am gay,” according to Reuters.

A few of the early resisters were shut down immediately with the message that their posts contained “illegal content” but Weibo’s announcement that it would censor users pulled in 24,000 comments and was forwarded 110,000 times. More than 170,000 people used the “I am gay” hashtag before they were shut down mid-day on Saturday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. “I am gay and I’m proud, even if I get taken down there are tens of millions like me!” wrote one user who went by the handle “rou wan xiong xiong xiong xiong.”

The decision on Weibo’s part is seen as part of a larger move under President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party to stifle ideas despite China’s having legalized homosexuality in 1997, according […]

Outfest Helps Acquire 60-Plus LGBT Movies New to Amazon Prime

Outfest Helps Acquire 60-Plus LGBT Movies New to Amazon Prime

LGBT-themed films have had some relative success at the box office this past year with the Oscar-nominated Call Me By Your Name and the teen hit Love, Simon but the majority of queer-themed films often still make their biggest splashes at film festivals and on streaming. Now Amazon Prime Video has worked with Los Angeles’s world-class LGBT film festival Outfest to acquire 58 official-selection feature films and make them available to Prime members, Variety reported.

Over the past year, Amazon Prime has worked with film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and the Toronto International Film Festival to acquire bundles of films directly from the filmmakers. Outfest is the latest to come on board. Of the 58 titles to air on Amazon Prime Video, some may be more familiar to viewers than others like the Eating Out series and the teen romp G.B.F. , while others like Loving Annabelle (2006) and The Gymnast (2006) have amassed diehard fanbases over the years.

“These are challenging times for many and reports of violence against LGBTQ citizens are on the rise,” Executive Director of Outfest Christopher Racster told Variety. “I still believe, though, in the power of our stories to change that narrative… It is a […]

Online petition aims to stop LGBT event at Catholic university in Wisconsin

Online petition aims to stop LGBT event at Catholic university in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE — An organization claims Catholic values are being threatened over a "Pride Prom" at Marquette University.

An online petition has thousands of signatures to stop an LGBT event slated to take place Saturday at the university.

University leaders say despite the opposition, the event will go on as planned.

Marquette graduate Cameron Sanchez says at first, he didn’t take the petition seriously.

"But then I went online and saw it had 18,000 signatures," he said.

The petition is hosted on a website called "The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property," also known as TFP.John Ritchie, TFP Student Action Director did not consent to an on-camera interview, but sent a statement though email. Ritchie said that promoting Pride Prom, "…is like promoting drugs for those who suffer from a drug addiction.""They’re hurtful, but they’re not Marquette. I mean Marquette’s motto is ‘Be The Difference,’" Sanchez said."(In) none of my theology classes did they teach anything that wasn’t accepting and love. and so I think it was disappointing to see," said Paige Gardner, a Marquette University Alumnus.Sanchez and Gardner recently set up a fundraiser called "Black out Hate" at bars near Cathedral Square."We treated this organization as an inspiration and not […]

After Phoenix Pride, LGBT political representation is a yearlong issue

After Phoenix Pride, LGBT political representation is a yearlong issue

Photo by Tina Giuliano | The State Press Panelists on the LGBTQIA+ Civic Engagement Summit Brianna Westbrook (left), Mark Robert Gordon (middle) and Tony Navarrete (right), pose with ASU political science and global studies junior Juan Hinojos Zapien (second from left) and biological and political sciences sophomore David Huff (second from right) in the Memorial Union on ASU’s Tempe campus on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. By Tina Giuliano | 4 hours ago After 13,000 people gathered to celebrate Phoenix Pride April 8, the ASU Young Democrats and The Rainbow Coalition continued the festivities by exploring the importance of LGBT+ representation in politics, Pride Week or not.

The Arizona legislature has four open LGBT+ members, but that’s "… not enough in terms of where we need to be," said secretary of state candidate Mark Robert Gordon, who is gay. "Representation does mean something."

Gordon was one of several speakers at a LGBTQIA+ Civic Engagement Panel that Young Democrats and The Rainbow Coalition hosted last week, featuring panel discussions about the struggles LGBT+ politicians have overcome and achievements they have reached.

David Huff, the community liaison for Young Democrats and a biological sciences and political science sophomore, said having LGBT+ politicians at […]

‘LGBT issues crucial for CHOGM agenda’

‘LGBT issues crucial for CHOGM agenda’

‘Rule of law prevailed’: Social activist Jason Jones outside the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, last week. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY Trinidad-born gay rights activist Jason Jones believes it is imperative for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues to be on the agenda in London, England, this week, where Commonwealth leaders will congregate for the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his delegation left T&T yesterday to attending the meeting, which starts today. Jones is hoping the gay community’s victory in the High Court last week “offers pause to the 36 of 53 Commonwealth countries that still criminalise homosexuality”.

Can Fitbit get itself back into shape?

Can Fitbit get itself back into shape?

James Park co-founded Fitbit in 2007 When James Park bought a Nintendo Wii back in 2006, little did he know that the purchase would plant the seed for the birth of his own global technology brand.

Trying out the games console for the first time at his home in San Francisco, the then 29-year-old was greatly impressed by the motion-sensor technology that allowed users to control their on-screen avatar with body movements.

"Wii made exercising a fun and positive activity that the whole family could do together, that was very striking for me," says Mr Park, now 41.

"I thought, how can I capture this magic and make it portable?"

His idea was to create a wearable fitness tracker, and in April 2007 he and friend Eric Friedman founded a company called Fitbit.

Today the San Francisco-based business sells more than 15 million devices a year – wristbands and watches that record a user’s heart rate, the number of steps they have walked, and other exercise statistics.Yet the firm has faced tough times lately. Demand for fitness trackers has cooled, at the same time as Fitbit has faced increased competition from the likes of the mobile phone giants Apple and Samsung, which have brought […]

The BBC reporters who strip off to host The Naked Podcast

The BBC reporters who strip off to host The Naked Podcast

Best buddies in the buff: Jenny Eells and Kat Harbourne "It’s awkward, it’s embarrassing, but everyone is on the same level," laugh Jenny Eels and Kat Harbourne, the women behind The Naked Podcast.

The pair strip off with an interviewee just before the podcast conversation begins.

The question, of course, is why?

"When Kat came up with the idea, I forced her to do it. I thought it was brilliant and bold being naked," says Jenny. They promise "frank, funny and fearless conversations" "I guess we wanted to see if, without clothing, do people literally reveal all? Do people speak more openly?

"From the ladies we’ve spoken to, they absolutely, most definitely do."

Jenny chips in: "People have been so open and totally honest – that is what flabbergasted me. It’s caught my breath, it’s been actually quite emotional in that respect."The daring duo were keen to explore issues surrounding body image and nudity for their podcast , which is released by BBC Radio Sheffield, where they are both reporters.There will be 10 episodes in the series, and Radio Sheffield is running a number of stories about body image and identity this week to tie in.Kat says the podcast was personal for her. "For […]