All posts filed under: In the News

Pride Parade Taiwan Marriage Equality

Taiwan Set To Become First Asian Country to Legalize Same-sex Marriage

Taiwan looks set to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Lawmakers of the country’s ruling political party, the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) have introduced a new bill that would make marriage equality legal by removing gender from the constitution’s definition of marriage.   Yu Mei-nu, a  lawmaker from the Democratic Progressive Party who is sponsoring the bill, says that “it’s a big step forward for the history of human rights. If Taiwan can get this passed… it will give other Asian countries a model.” Efforts to make marriage equality legal in Taiwan have been ongoing since 2003 when proposed legislation that would allow same-sex marriages (and adoption by same-sex couples) faced opposition from the DPP and the ruling coalition led by conservative political party Kuomintang. Since then, support for marriage equality has steadily grown, with a 2012 poll by Taiwanese publication United Daily News suggesting that 55% of people were in favour, and 37% against. The Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy group says that 80% of 20-29 year olds support marriage …

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A Conversation With Nigerian-based Journalist Chika Oduah About Those Stories That Deserve To Be Told

When you hear the word “Africa” what do you see?  Despite it’s cultural vibrancy, those from the outside looking in often only see a faceless dark mass ridden with terror and desolation. Chika Oduah sees colors of all different shades because Africa could never be reduced to anything less than a multifaceted diamond in the rough. She sees the future of a continent that’s incredible strength has been proven through its trials and deserves much more than to be painted with a single brush. Chika artfully pens about her subjects in a way that allows them to breathe a raw energy into her stories. Because after all, it’s theirs to tell and should never be misconstrued. Chika’s articles include stories of culture and stories of change; stories of horror, yes, but also the untold stories of happy endings. She opens the book and articulately tells each one, seeking to eradicate the western myths of the unknown Africa. Through her journalistic work and evocative words, she investigates then illustrates the life and times of Nigeria and beyond. Chika Oduah …

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Eyes Bigger than Our Stomach: The Perilous Food Waste Regime

Waste not, want not is how the old saying goes. The proverbial ideology that if one were to utilize commodity or resource in a wise manner, they will have enough in the long run. And in theory, it makes sense. However, in an era where suppliers are racing to meet the heightening demands of Western consumers, mama’s motto is lost in the dust. We want more; the bigger the better. Yet as we have the privileged access to a stocked fridge and fast ready meals at our greasy fingertips, we take it for granted, rabidly chewing a whole lot more than we can swallow. Research analysts have discovered that approximately one third of food produced around the world goes uneaten. That’s 1.3 billion tons that is lost or tossed in the dump every year. (source: FAO.org) The United States alone wastes up to 40% of their food, about 60 million metric tons of food that is tossed yearly, with an estimated value of $162 billion. About 40 million metric tons of it end up in municipal landfills, …

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The World’s Happiest President, José Mujica

It was almost a year ago when former Uruguayan leader José Mujica humbly stepped down and passed the presidential torch to Tabaré Vázquez after 5 faithful years in head of state. As sad as fans across the globe were to see him go, there is no doubt that he had a good run. José “Pepe” Mujica is many things. In the sixties he was a guerilla fighter and one of the leaders in Marxist group Tupamaro, inspired by the Cuban Revolution and opposing Uruguay’s ongoing military dictatorship. Then, he was a prisoner who spent 13 years of his life in solitary confinement, locked away under a well where he would share his crumbs with rats and talk to ants biding time. Mujica was released in 1985 when constitutional democracy was restored in the country and he vowed to change things once and for all. He was the Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries until 2008 and then won the presidential election in 2009. Despite his remarkable story and international fame, above all Mujica is a …

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Accepting No Defeat, about former French minister Christiane Taubira

On January 27th, French minister of Justice Christiane Taubira rode her bicycle home from a meeting with the president at Élysée Palace that morning, blowing a kiss farewell as she had no plans on returning to her job. “I left the government over a major political disagreement” Taubira said. “I am choosing to be true to myself, to my commitments, my battles and my relationships with other people.” The former minister is referring to the controversial new anti-terrorism proposals that stemmed after the November 13 Paris attacks, in which 130 people were murdered. Following the attack, President Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls introduced plans of stripping French citizenship from dual-nationality citizens who were convicted of terrorism. [“Because French citizenship can be granted to those born on French soil, the country has many dual citizens who also have citizenship of former French colonies, often in north Africa. Under current law, only dual-national citizens who have been naturalized and acquired French citizenship less than 10 years before a convicted crime can be stripped of their French …