Sharia law forces gays into hiding in Indonesia's Aceh

Dec 29, 2014

Sharia law forces gays into hiding in Indonesia's Aceh

Overwhelmed by fear, members of the main gay rights group in the Indonesian town of Banda Aceh started burning piles of documents outside their headquarters in late October, worried that the Sharia police would raid them at any moment. Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh ...

Dec 29, 2014

NYC police boss says less rhetoric, more dialogue needed

A day after the funeral of one of two police officers gunned down in their patrol car, New York City’s police commissioner called for a “lot less rhetoric and a lot more dialogue” to defuse the tension between police officers and the minority communities ...

Dec 29, 2014

Egypt bans 'Exodus' over 'racism, untruths'

Egypt on Sunday said it banned Ridley Scott’s biblical epic “Exodus: Gods & Kings” because the Hollywood blockbuster distorts Egypt’s history and presents a “racist” image of Jews. The Culture Ministry explained its decision for the first time in a statement issued a few ...

Sweden can't avoid debate on immigration, analysts say

Dec 28, 2014

Sweden can't avoid debate on immigration, analysts say

Sweden may have narrowly avoided snap elections that would have been dominated by a debate on immigration, but with asylum seekers arriving in record numbers the issue is unlikely to stay off the agenda for long, analysts say. The Sweden Democrats, a far-right party ...

Once banned in Cuba, Christmas festivities resurgent

Dec 25, 2014

Once banned in Cuba, Christmas festivities resurgent

Cubans this year celebrated Christmas, a resurgent holiday banned for 38 years by the communist government, with an early gift from U.S. President Barack Obama: a historic rapprochement. Across the island, houses, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and state-run stores have put up Christmas decorations, embracing ...

Dec 24, 2014

U.N. bars visitor with 'Black Lives Matter' patch on coat

The United Nations barred a visitor from entering the world body’s headquarters last week because she was wearing a patch on her coat with the words “Black Lives Matter,” saying on Tuesday that the ban is in keeping with long-standing U.N. rules. The sentence ...

Dec 24, 2014

U.S. moves to end ban on blood donations by gay men

Federal health officials are recommending an end to the U.S.’s lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a 31-year-old policy that many medical groups and gay activists say is no longer justified. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it favors ...

Cold War fugitives spawn Cuba-U.S. tensions

Dec 24, 2014

Cold War fugitives spawn Cuba-U.S. tensions

For decades some of the most-wanted U.S. fugitives made new lives for themselves in Cuba, marrying, having children and becoming fixtures of their modest Havana neighborhoods as their cases went mostly forgotten at home. Granted political asylum by former President Fidel Castro, they became ...

Single mothers in Nepal blast planned citizenship bill

Dec 23, 2014

Single mothers in Nepal blast planned citizenship bill

Nepalese single mother Deepti Gurung has spent years trying and failing to register her two teenage daughters as citizens of their country. Although her children were both born in Nepal, the 40-year-old has struggled to secure their legal right to citizenship in the absence ...