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"

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"

Tennis – Reviewing U.S. Open final win felt like watching someone else – Raducanu

LONDON – U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu on Friday said that re-watching her stunning victory in this month’s final felt like watching someone else, adding that her achievement had started to sink in but it was still difficult to fully comprehend. The 18-year-old Briton took the tennis world by storm when she beat Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, 19, in straight sets last weekend to become the first qualifier in the men’s and women’s game ever to…

"Tennis – Reviewing U.S. Open final win felt like watching someone else – Raducanu"

Trial over COVID-19 outbreak in Austria’s ‘Ibiza of the Alps’ begins

VIENNA – A trial opened in Vienna on Friday over an outbreak of the coronavirus at the ski resort of Ischgl in early 2020 in which Austrian authorities stand accused of responding too slowly, possibly due to pressure from the tourist sector. The outbreak at Ischgl was Austria’s biggest and helped spread the virus across Europe. Hundreds of Austrians were infected and thousands of foreign tourists say they were too as the virus found a…

"Trial over COVID-19 outbreak in Austria’s ‘Ibiza of the Alps’ begins"

Extreme heat ravages Greece’s mussel harvest

THERMAIC GULF, Greece – Fisherman Stefanos Sougioultzis cracks open the mussels he cultivated in Greece’s Aegean Sea only to find scores of empty shells. After a summer of scorching heat and warming waters, it was “as if they boiled in their own environment”, he says. “Twenty-five years in mussel farming, we did not expect – we could not imagine – this,” Sougioultzis said aboard his boat in the Thermaic Gulf near Thessaloniki in northern Greece,…

"Extreme heat ravages Greece’s mussel harvest"

Russian space movie crew set for blast-off

MOSCOW – A Russian crew of two cosmonauts and two cinema professionals is set to take off for the International Space Station (ISS) early next month to shoot the first movie in outer space, filmmakers said on Thursday. The four are scheduled to be launched on a Soyuz MS-19 craft on Oct. 5 to be delivered to the station, which orbits Earth at an altitude of around 220 miles (354 km). Their launch will come…

"Russian space movie crew set for blast-off"

Four former VW employees go on trial in Dieselgate lawsuit

BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany – Four former employees of carmaker Volkswagen went on trial on Thursday over the Dieselgate scandal in which illegal software was used to cheat emission tests. The trial, being held in the city of Braunschweig, close to Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, started without former CEO Martin Winterkorn, whose separate trial will take place at a later date. The four employees, who are accused of fraud, had been aware of the illegal software but…

"Four former VW employees go on trial in Dieselgate lawsuit"

‘Worn Out’ – Dutch museum finds Van Gogh drawing of tired old man

AMSTERDAM – A Dutch museum on Thursday unveiled a previously unknown work by Vincent van Gogh — a study for one of his best-known drawings, “Worn Out” — in which an old man sits in a chair with his head in his hands. Van Gogh “was really interested in the ordinary person, he was also looking to express emotion,” said Van Gogh Museum Director Emilie Gordenker. “I think we’re all coming out of the COVID…

"‘Worn Out’ – Dutch museum finds Van Gogh drawing of tired old man"

Braving intimidation, hundreds of Iraqi women run for parliament

BAGHDAD – A powerful mix of insecurity and traditional prejudice against more liberal female politicians put Awatef Rasheed off running for parliament when she returned to Iraq in 2014 after years abroad. Seven years later, with Iraq less unstable, Rasheed has decided to contest a Oct. 10 election for the assembly, even if abuse and intimidation of women would-be lawmakers persist. Today, she is one of the 951 women, representing close to 30% of the…

"Braving intimidation, hundreds of Iraqi women run for parliament"