Six In The Morning Friday 17 May 2019

Taiwan parliament becomes first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage

Supporters celebrate as legislation passed giving gay couples right to marry

Taiwan’s parliament has become the first in Asia to recognise same-sex marriage with the passage of legislation giving gay couples the right to marry.

Lawmakers on Friday comfortably passed part of a bill that would allow gay couples to enter into “exclusive permanent unions” and apply for marriage registration with government agencies.

Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who campaigned on a platform of marriage equality, tweeted after the vote: “We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country.”

Austria bans Muslim headscarf in primary schools

Austria has passed a law intended to ban Muslim girls from wearing a headscarf in primary schools. The Jewish yarmulke and Sikh patka are not included in the new measure.

Austria’s parliament has passed a law intended to ban Muslim girls from wearing the headscarf in primary schools, a measure that is likely to be challenged as discriminatory in the constitutional court.

The bill passed with the support of the governing center-right People’s Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). Almost all of the opposition voted against it.

With Sudan talks suspended, protesters vow to continue sit-in

Sudanese protesters voiced regret Thursday at an army decision to suspend crucial talks on installing civilian rule but vowed to press on with a sit-in despite being targeted in fresh violence.

Army generals and protest leaders had been expected to come to an agreement on Wednesday over the make-up of a new body to govern Sudanfor three years.

The issue is the thorniest to have come up in ongoing talks on reinstating civilian rule after the generals took over following the ouster of longtime autocratic president Omar al-Bashir last month.

414 million pieces of plastic found on remote Australian islands: Study

Updated 0303 GMT (1103 HKT) May 17, 2019

Almost one million shoes and over 370,000 toothbrushes — they’re among the 414 million pieces of plastic found washed ashore on the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, according to new research.

The study, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports Thursday, found that the Australian territory was littered with 238 tonnes of plastic, despite being home to around 500 people.
The group of mostly uninhabited 27 islands — which are 2,750 km (1,708 miles) from Perth — are marketed to tourists as “Australia’s last unspoilt paradise.”

America’s long, rich history of pretending systemic racism doesn’t exist

Even in the face of undeniable evidence.


White-on-black violence is everywhere recently, but also nowhere.

On the one hand, white nationalist groups have been marching publicly; seemingly every month brings a new report of a police shooting of an unarmed black man; and white terrorists like the Charleston church shooter are armed and emboldened. Just last week, cellphone footage was released of the 2015 traffic stop that led to the arrest of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died by apparent suicide in custody, triggering widespread Black Lives Matter protests. The release of the video, by the Dallas news station WFAA, raises questions about if police are withholding video evidence of Bland’s arrest.

Court asked to stop dolphin hunts in Wakayama town

By Yuri Kageyama

A court in Wakayama Prefecture began hearing arguments Friday over whether dolphin hunting violates animal cruelty laws. The plaintiffs are asking the district court to stop the permits from being issued.

Wakayama Gov Yoshinobu Nisaka issues the permits for the village of Taiji, where the hunts have drawn protests.

The 2009 Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” showed the village’s hunts, where dolphins were chased into a cove and bludgeoned to death, turning the waters blood red. In recent years, they changed their hunting method to suffocation.