Russia is Anti-Gay but Pro-Whistleblower… And Other News

Gay Russia

Russia hates gays but loves whistleblowers? Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, has just passed a law banning “gay propaganda.”

The law, which passed unanimously, imposes heavy fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under 18. Minutes after passing the anti-gay legislation, the Duma also approved a new law allowing jail sentences of up to three years for “offending religious feelings”, an initiative obviously aimed at preventing more Pussy Riot situations. And while Russia is condemning free speech among its own citizens, they are considering sheltering Edward Snowden, the American NSA leak. After a spokesman for Vladimir Putin said that they would consider an asylum request from Edward Snowden, Russian politicians are praising the idea. “In this case, Snowden, like Assange, is a human-rights activist,” said Alexey Pushkov, head of the Duma’s international affairs committee. How this makes any sense, no one will ever know. BBC News

MemoSex, drugs, and US state department officials. An internal memo from the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General details some not so appropriate staff behaviour during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State. Scandalous behaviour included: a drug ring near the American Embassy in Iraq; a U.S. ambassador’s “endemic” trysts with prostitutes; and sexual assault by a security official in Beirut. The memo alleges that officials failed to fully investigate the scandals, and instead attempted to cover them up. The memo could damage Hillary Clinton’s reputation as Secretary of State but if there’s anyone who knows how to come out on top after a sex scandal, it’s Hillary. BBC News

Taksim SquareTaksim square is a mess! Police stormed Istanbul’s Taksim Square with water cannons and tear gas, dispersing thousands of Turkish protesters. Witnesses reported that police pushed past the protesters’ barricades and fired water cannons to break up the crowds who have been gathered there for two weeks protesting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. The demonstrators responded by throwing Molotov cocktails, rocks, and fireworks. So basically, it was a mess. Erdogen seems to running out of patience with these protesters and accused them of damaging Turkey’s image. He has called for major pro-government rallies to be held in Ankara and Istanbul this weekend. CBC News

Crowds of iImmigrants protest in favor of comprehensive immigration reform on West side of Capitol Hill in WashingtonIt seems like this has been dragging on forever, but today the Senate voted to officially begin the hisotirc immigration reform debate.  The immigration debate is set to dominate the upper chamber through the Fourth of July holiday. Whether or not they will overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, allowing those currently residing in the United States without documentation a pathway to citizenship, is still unknown. Obama is certainly onboard! And he gave a stern warning to those who oppose the bill: there is “no good reason to play procedural games or engage in obstruction.” NBC News

Day LululemonSometimes pants can really put a dent in your career and Lululemon CEO Christina Day is proof of that. Day stepped down today, taking Lululemon shares with her. Lululemon’s shares plunged 13% in aftermarket trading when the company announced Day, a former Starbucks executive, would step down from her role when the company finds a suitable successor. Day led the company through whole “see-through pants” fiasco. The ordeal led to the recall of 17% of its women’s yoga pants from store shelves and warehouses after they were deemed too sheer. Day handled the recall situation quickly and overhauled quality control. “The bounce back in loyalty and comments was really clear” after the recall and reintroduction of the pants, Ms. Day said.  Financial Post

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