Gay athletes and visitors will be safe in Sochi – as long as they leave the children alone.
During a question-and-answer session on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reassured everyone that gays need not fear persecution at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. But Putin also stood behind his country’s ban on promoting homosexuality to children. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors,” Putin said, “We don’t ban anything and we won’t arrest anyone. Therefore you can feel calm, relaxed. But leave children alone please.” That doesn’t seem very reassuring… but if you want further proof that gay Olympic-enthusiasts will be safe, just check out Sochi’s rainbow-coloured uniforms. If they don’t say gay-friendly, I don’t know what does. Just don’t hand them out to children. Washington Post
Australia isn’t the only place that’s experiencing heat-related problems. On Thursday, a fast-moving brush fire erupted in California and burned through 1,700 acres in a matter of hours. Three potential hooligans were arrested in connection with the blaze, which is burning north of Los Angeles. The trio is facing charges of recklessly starting a fire and although they were “apologetic,” they are being held on $20,000 bail. And then to make matters worse, on Friday California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the entire state. Fast-moving fire + no water = recipe for disaster. As a result, the governor has called for a voluntary “20 percent conservation” of water use – at least until the rain comes. New York Times
The U.N is on to you Pope Francis… The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child got all up in the Vatican’s face about over the sexual abuse of children by clergy. Although the Vatican insisted on Thursday that it is committed to stamping out it’s pedo-reputation, the UN panel publicly confronted the church over the numerous allegations. Vatican officials faced a barrage of tough questions as they appeared before the panel including “Does the Holy See believe that paedophilia is something that can be successfully overcome?” Vatican Answer: “To prevent abuse of minors is a real, immediate concern.” So… is that a yes? BBC News
France may have underestimated the level of hatred between Christian and Muslim communities in the conflict-ridden Central African Republic. In fact, there may be impending genocide… France’s ambassador to the UN warned the organization that African Union and French forces were confronting a “nearly impossible” situation between “two communities who want to kill each other”. The former French colony spiralled into total chaos after a mostly Muslim rebel coalition, Seleka, seized power in March and installed their leader Michel Djotodia as interim president. Djotodia resigned last week under intense international pressure but the violence is still going strong. I’m not sure what tipped the French off about their hatred underestimation, but it may have been when a member of a Christian mob attacked and burned a Muslim man and then proceeded to chew on his charred flesh. BBC News