Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues

TOKYO – Candidates to become Japan’s next prime minister all said they would have better policies to fight the pandemic and reduce the income gap during television debates on Friday, but they were split on diversity issues from same-sex marriage to married couples having separate surnames. Whoever wins the Liberal Democratic Party presidency on Sept. 29 will become prime minister because of the LDP’s majority in the lower house of parliament, and campaigning began in…

"Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues"

Some U.S. hospitals forced to ration care amid staffing shortages, COVID-19 surge

– Surges in coronavirus cases in several U.S. states this week, along with staffing and equipment shortages, are exacting a mounting toll on hospitals and their workers even as the number of new admissions nationwide ebbs, leading to warnings at some facilities that care would be rationed. Montana, Alaska, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Kentucky experienced the biggest rises in new COVID-19 hospitalizations during the week ending Sept. 10 compared with the previous week, with Montana’s new…

"Some U.S. hospitals forced to ration care amid staffing shortages, COVID-19 surge"

R. Kelly witness says she saw singer’s sexual activity, was pressed to write apology letter

NEW YORK – A former assistant to R. Kelly testified on Friday she once saw him engage in sexual activity with one of the women he is charged with abusing, as prosecutors neared the end of presenting their sex trafficking case against the R&B singer. On the 18th day of testimony at Kelly’s trial in federal court in Brooklyn, Cheryl Mack, the mother of music producer London on da Track, said she saw Kelly begin…

"R. Kelly witness says she saw singer’s sexual activity, was pressed to write apology letter"

Lula retains solid lead over Bolsonaro for 2022 Brazil race, poll shows

BRASILIA – Brazil’s leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains ahead of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro by a significant margin in voter preferences for the 2022 elections, a survey by pollster Datafolha showed on Friday. Voter support for Lula slipped to 44% from 46% in July, and Bolsonaro gained a percentage point to 26%, according to the poll, which asked voters to chose as if the election were now. In a simulated runoff…

"Lula retains solid lead over Bolsonaro for 2022 Brazil race, poll shows"

Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says

BRUSSELS – Countries’ latest pledges to cut emissions would fail to avert catastrophic climate change, the United Nations said on Friday, as pressure grows on polluters including China and India to set more ambitious targets before the COP26 summit in November. The U.N. COP26 conference aims to secure more ambitious climate action from the nearly 200 countries who signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and agreed to try to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5 degrees…

"Countries’ emissions pledges still fall short of global climate goals, UN says"

Somalia’s president berates Djibouti for detaining his security adviser

MOGADISHU -Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Friday accused neighbouring Djibouti of illegally detaining his national security adviser, a criticism which appeared linked to a destabilising row between the president and his prime minister. Djiboutian authorities held the adviser, Fahad Yasin, preventing him from travelling to Mogadishu by air, the director of communications in the presidency Abdirashid Hashi said, without providing more details. “Such acts will not help to strengthen our ties between our governments,”…

"Somalia’s president berates Djibouti for detaining his security adviser"

Regional powers at summit demand U.S. fund Afghan aid

MOSCOW – Russia, China, Pakistan and other regional states called on the United States on Friday to engage with the Taliban and fund aid to Afghanistan, though they also urged the former insurgents to yield power to a more inclusive government. The fate of Afghanistan dominated a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, formed 20 years ago as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet central Asian states, but which has lately expanded into…

"Regional powers at summit demand U.S. fund Afghan aid"

HBO Max slashes prices in limited offer as streaming wars heat up

– AT&T Inc’s HBO Max streaming service has halved its subscription fees in a limited-period offer to lure back millions of subscribers it lost after dropping out of Amazon.com Inc’s Prime video channels. The limited-time promotion offer of $7.49 per month – for up to six months – is available through Sept. 26 for users who accessed HBO via Prime video channels as well as all new and returning HBO Max subscribers, the company said…

"HBO Max slashes prices in limited offer as streaming wars heat up"

Gay war veteran speaks out for equal rights in Ukraine’s military

KYIV – Viktor Pylypenko has become a role model for dozens of LGBT+ Ukrainian war veterans and their supporters since he organised their participation two years ago in Kyiv’s largest ever gay pride march. Pylypenko, 34, spent almost two years from 2014 to 2016 on the frontline fighting with Kyiv’s forces against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has claimed at least 14,000 lives. He came out as gay in 2018. “(LGBT…

"Gay war veteran speaks out for equal rights in Ukraine’s military"

Mining firms in Mexico must face ‘strict’ scrutiny, says senior official

MEXICO CITY – Mining companies in Mexico should expect tough environmental reviews given their projects’ major impacts, a senior official told , insisting that a backlog of evaluations is easing despite industry claims that the opposite is true. A top-10 global producer of over a dozen minerals, Mexico’s multi-billion-dollar mining sector makes up around 8% of Latin America’s second-biggest economy, but miners are concerned they are facing increased hostility from Mexico’s leftist government. Tonatiuh Herrera,…

"Mining firms in Mexico must face ‘strict’ scrutiny, says senior official"