👋 اسلام عليكم*
Welcome to Thursday, where Libya’s capital sees its worst clashes in years, wildfires rage on the Canary Islands and in northern Canada, and we now know what Ötzi the Iceman may have looked like. For our special Summer Reads edition of Worldcrunch Today, we feature an article by Teresa Son and Emma Gómez in Buenos-Aires-based newspaper Agencia Presentes — and three other stories from around the world on LGBTQ+ news.
[*Ssalamū ‘lekum - Darija, Morocco]
• Clashes in Libyan capital kill at least 55: The worst fighting Tripoli has seen in years left at least 55 people dead and 146 wounded in Libya’s capital, after a factional commander was seized by opposition forces. Commander of the 444 Brigade, Mahmoud Hamza, was detained by the Special Deterrence Force (SDF) earlier this week as he tried to travel from via Mitiga airport, which falls under SDF control. Fighting broke out between the two factions, only stopped by a deal allowing Hamza’s release to a third faction.
• At least 60 feared dead off coast of Cape Verde: Authorities believe more than 60 people have died after a boat capsized near Cape Verde, the island nation off the western coast of Africa. Rescuers found 38 survivors on the boat, which left Senegal in July with 101 migrants on board. One of the world's deadliest migration routes, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says at least 559 people died attempting the Atlantic crossing to Europe via the Canary Islands in 2022.
• More than 100 arrested after mob attack on Pakistani Christians: Police in eastern Pakistan have arrested 129 Muslims after a mob vandalized and torched homes and churches in a Christian settlement over an alleged Koran desecration. The rioters demanded that the two accused men be handed over to them as minority Christians fled their homes.
• Worldwide wildfire update: A wildfire that broke out on Tenerife, in Spain’s Canary Islands, has now spread “out of control,” with 150 people evacuated so far. The far northern Canadian city of Yellowknife is racing to evacuate its 20,000 residents ahead of warnings that wildfires could reach it by the weekend. Meanwhile, the search for more than 1,000 missing people in Maui continues as the death toll from the wildfires reaches 111 on the Hawaiian island.
• BRICS nations to meet for discussion on counteracting Western dominance: Leaders from Brazil, India, China and South Africa will meet next week to discuss how they can become a geopolitical force that can rival the West's dominance in world affairs. Making up a quarter of the global economy, during the South Africa summit they will also touch on whether to expand the bloc to include dozens of “Global South” nations who wish to join. Facing an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be present.
• U.S. Supreme Court to appeal abortion pill restrictions: A U.S. appeals court ruled that access to the abortion pill mifepristone must be restricted, banning telemedicine prescriptions and mail shipments of the drug following a lawsuit brought forward by anti-abortion groups. The decision will not come into effect until an appeal goes through the U.S. Supreme Court, which will review the case during its upcoming term that begins in October.
• Ötzi the Iceman’s true appearance revealed: New DNA analysis of the famous mummified corpse of Ötzi the Iceman has revealed that he isn't what researchers imagined. The genetic study shows that the 5,300-year-old European mummy had dark skin and dark eyes — and was likely bald, contrasting reconstructions that depicted a pale-skinned man with a full head of hair, based on preconceptions surrounding Stone Age Europeans.
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The UK Government has finally announced a draft bill to ban conversion therapy for all – including trans people.
Openly via Twitter
Conversion therapy, which includes a range of practices that aim to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity, has long been controversial. Many in the LGBTQ community consider it outright evil. As the practice has spread, often pushed by homophobic family members, there has been a worldwide push to make conversion therapy illegal. The UK is the latest country set to ban such practices as electric shocks, aversion therapy and a variety of other traumatic, dangerous techniques, as Worldcrunch journalists Riley Sparks, Ginevra Falciani and Renate Mattar report.
Read the full story: Where Conversion Therapy Is Banned, And Where Its Practices Are Ever More Extreme
Memorials in Barcelona for Leila and Iván.
The case of 12-year-old twins, one of whom was transgender, who jumped off a balcony after being bullied, led experts in trans childhoods to reflect on how to better protect children. And how to talk about it. The Free Childhood Association carried out the first statistical survey on the experiences of trans/transvestite childhoods and adolescents, and published the results in 2021. Of 200 families, 53% of those under 12 years of age and 63% of 12 and 17-year-olds said they had suicide-related thoughts, as journalist Maria Eugenia Luduena reports for Buenos-Aires-based newspaper Agencia Presentes.
Read the full story: What A Barcelona Suicide Tells Us About Trans Bullying And Media Blind Spots
LGBTQ group in Uganda.
In March 2023, Uganda passed a law that allowed for life imprisonment for same-sex sexual relations, punishing even the "promotion" of homosexuality. Under the authoritarian regime of Yoweri Museveni for the past 37 years, Uganda has certainly gone above and beyond existing anti-gay legislation inherited from British colonization, as France Inter journalist Pierre Haski reports.
Read the full story: Why Is Homophobia In Africa So Widespread?
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✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin and Anne-Sophie Gobinet.
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