Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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LGBTQ+ Pride Month in US culminates with parades
New York, July 1: The monthlong celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride reached its exuberant grand finale on Sunday, bringing rainbow-laden revellers to the streets for marquee parades in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere across the globe.
The wide-ranging festivities functioned as both jubilant parties and political protests, as participants recognize the community’s gains while also calling attention to recent anti-LGBTQ+ laws, such as bans on transgender health care, passed by Republican-led states.
“We’re at a time where there’s a ton of legislation, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation,” Zach Overton, 47, said at the New York parade. “It feels like we’re taking a step backwards in the fight for equality and so it’s a great moment to come out and be with our community and see all the different colours of the spectrum of our community and remind ourselves what we’re all fighting for.” (AP)

Rabbi retires as progressive voice for LGBTQ Jews
New York, July 1: For more than three decades, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum has led the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ synagogue through the myriad ups and downs of the modern gay-rights movement – through the AIDS crisis, the murder of Matthew Shepard, the historic civil-rights advances that included marriage equality, and mostly recently the backlash against transgender rights.
She is now stepping down from that role and shifting into retirement. The New York City synagogue that she led for 32 years – Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in midtown Manhattan – will have to grapple with its identity after being defined by its celebrity rabbi for so long.
Her retirement also comes at a challenging moment for the LGBTQ+-rights movement. Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, but conservative politicians are enacting restrictions on transgender healthcare, restricting LGBTQ+ curriculum in schools, and proposing bans on the performances of drag queens. “I’ve been blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to use the gifts I have, on behalf of God’s vision for the world,” Kleinbaum said in an interview. “I’m very, very lucky that I’ve been able to do this. I just feel like now is the time to make room for a younger generation.” (AP)

Military horses bolt through London streets
London, July 1: Three runaway horses bolted through the streets of central London Monday after one was spooked by a bus and two others tossed their riders, the Army said.
The Army said one horse Monday had minor injuries but didn’t require further treatment and neither soldier was injured. The scene was reminiscent of – but less chaotic – than an incident when five horses bolted in April and two were seriously injured. The incident Monday occurred as five soldiers from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment conducted a routine exercise with six horses.
A riderless horse that was being led got spooked while two other horses threw off their riders and bolted.
One was caught a short distance away but two others made it to Vauxhall Bridge, about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) away. None of the horses Monday was involved in the April escape. (AP)

Japan launches advanced Earth observation satellite
Tokyo, July 1: Japan deployed an upgraded Earth observation satellite for disaster response and security after it was launched on a new flagship H3 rocket Monday.
The H3 No. 3 rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Centre on a southwestern Japanese island and released its payload about 16 minutes later as planned, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said during a livestream.
The Advanced Land Observation Satellite, or ALOS-4, is tasked primarily with Earth observation and data collection for disaster response and mapmaking.
It’s also capable of monitoring military activity, such as missile launches, with an infrared sensor developed by the Defence Ministry.
The rocket appeared to fly as planned, and JAXA is expected to give further details at a news conference later Monday. The launch was initially planned for Sunday but was delayed due to bad weather at the launch site. The ALOS-4 is a successor to the current ALOS-2 and can observe a much wider area. Japan will operate both for the time being. The launch was the third of the H3 system, after the successful one on February 17. and the shocking failed debut flight a year earlier when the rocket had to be destroyed with its payload – a satellite that was supposed to be the ALOS-3. (AP)

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