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TOPIC: albania


Where Conversion Therapy Is Banned, And Where Its Practices Are Ever More Extreme

After almost five years of promises, the UK government says it will again introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy — and in a policy shift, the proposed law would include therapies designed for transgender people.

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 on young people by homophobic family members, there has been a worldwide push to make conversion therapy illegal, with the UK as the latest country set to ban such practices as electric shocks, aversion therapy and a variety of other traumatic, dangerous techniques to try to change someone's sexual preferences or gender identity.

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The British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, the professional body which governs therapists in the UK, calls the practice “unethical (and) potentially harmful.”

In France, journalists have documentedmany healthcare professionals offering the pseudoscientific practice. In one case, a self-described “LGBT-friendly” therapist offered to “cure” a young lesbian through so-called "rebirth therapy," a dangerous practice that was banned in some U.S. states after unlicensed therapists killed a 10-year-old girl during a session.

For one Canadian man, therapy included prescription medication and weekly ketamine injections to “correct the error” of his homosexuality, all under the guidance of a licensed psychiatrist. Some people are forced into treatment against their will — often minors — but most of the time, those who receive conversion therapy do so willingly.

The UK announcement of plans to ban conversion therapy for England and Wales comes after four separate British prime ministers had promised, for almost five years, to ban the practice.

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Pressure On Putin In Aftermath Of Darya Dugina’s Murder

Russian authorities opened a murder investigation after Darya Dugina was murdered in a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday. Dugina’s father is Russian author and staunch Putin ally Alexander Dugin: Both of them were together before the attack, though Dugin took a different car than his daughter’s and minutes later the explosion occurred. It is believed he was the intended target of the car bomb.

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Based on evidence collected from the explosion, the Russian Investigative Committee said it believed someone planned and ordered the car blast. “Taking into account the data already obtained, the investigation believes that the crime was pre-planned and was of an ordered nature," the investigative committee said in a statement Sunday.

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Albanian Abandon

After six decades of good old film photography, I decided a couple of years ago that it was time to switch to a digital camera. One of the first series with my new gear was in Albania — this particular photograph under the watchful eye of Albanian soldiers.


Gendercide: Aborting Female Fetuses Occurs In Europe Too

Abort until a son is born.

Having a girl is bad news in China and India, where female fetuses are too often aborted on purpose. But, according to a new German documentary, even Europe is not free of the horrid practice sometimes called "gendercide."

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food / travel
Giacomo Tognini

Five Crime-Fighting Apps Around The World

It gives new meaning to the concept "community policing." The explosion of smartphones is allowing people to fight crime from their pocket, wherever they may be. We take a look at five crime-fighting apps from around the world:


Addiopizzo, a citizen's organization founded a decade ago on the Italian island of Sicily to combat Mafia extortion, recently launched two apps to carry its mission against organized crime into the digital age, the Italian regional newspaper Giornale di Sicilia reports. The organization certifies businesses that refuse to pay the pizzo, the protection money demanded by the Mafia. Mostly active in the Sicilian capital of Palermo and Catania, the island's second-largest city, one of Addiopizzo's new apps help users locate certified restaurants, cafes and other businesses in the area, while the other is a travel app geared towards tourists who want to book a Mafia-free holiday.

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Protest against Sicilian mafia — Photo: Valentina Mignano

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Eurovision 2015 Contestants: Albania

The 60th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, that annual European musical event that no one really understands, will take place on May 23 in Vienna, Austria. This year, 40 countries will participate, including, for the first time that country down in the extreme southeastern corner of Europe: Australia. (organizers cite “strong cultural ties” to explain their qualification).

We will use this space to introduce the 40 contestants this year, one-by-one.

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Albanian Newlywed Drama

Getting married is hard work. This Albanian couple was taking a break from their wedding photo shoot in the ancient Roman theater of Butrint. Located in the very southern tip of modern-day Albania, this archeological site was known as Bouthroton in Ancient Greece and later as the Roman city of Buthrotum.

This is one of the very first pictures I took with my new camera. Still getting used to it...

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