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Monday, November 17, 2008

NEWS & POP CULTURE

Hundreds rally to support a lesbian couple in wake of vicious attack

Several hundred people showed up at a Nov 14 rally to support the two Oshawa women who were assaulted in front of their six-year-old son by a man who repeatedly called them "fucking dykes." In an interview before the rally Anji Dimitriou, one of the women who was attacked, said the number of people who showed up for the event and the support the two received from strangers has been a tremendous boost. "I feel excited, happy, completely loved and supported," she said. "All the people who are coming out, we're just at a loss for words." Currie said she refused to change her life because of the attack. "I came to Oshawa in 1988 and I've never been afraid to go anywhere," she said. "I'm still not afraid." The women said their children, however, are still recovering from the trauma of witnessing the attack and its aftermath. "They're still afraid," said Dimitriou. READ MORE

Senators say Clinton a good choice for Secretary of State

(Washington) A top Republican senator said on Sunday U.S. President-elect Barack Obama would be making a good choice if he selected Sen. Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State. Sen. Jon Kyl, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, said he could not predict that Clinton would win Senate confirmation, but told Fox News Sunday: "I think it would be a good choice, at least superficially." "It seems to me she's got the experience. She's got the temperament for it. I think she would be well received around the world." A Democratic official said on Friday Obama had discussed the job with his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination at a meeting in Chicago. But later Friday in New York, Clinton did not confirm or deny the meeting, and the Obama transition office refused to comment. Sen. Byron Dorgan, the second ranking Senate Democrat, predicted Clinton would have no difficulty winning Senate approval, adding that she had "good bipartisan relationships" in the chamber. She is in her second Senate term. "She'd be an excellent choice, would have instant credibility around the world. We have a lot of relationships to repair and a lot of work to do, so I think she'd be a fine choice," Dorgan, of North Dakota, said on Fox. READ MORE

Gay basketball player recruited by ABA's San Francisco Rumble

Outsports has learned from various sources that openly gay Mike Survillion, the narrator and one of the stars of Logo’s gay-basketball series Shirts & Skins, has received an offer from the ABA’s San Francisco Rumble. Survillion’s amateur Rock Dogs team played a game against the Rumble earlier this year, losing 51-41. Survillion talks at length during the show about his hope of playing professional basketball. In particular, Survillion talks to former NBA player John Amaechi about that hope. Amaechi acknowledges the young guard’s skills but told him he had to learn how to become a team leader on and off the court. Read more at Outsports

'Milk' screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Gay rights activist Cleve Jones publish manifesto calling for LGBT civil disobedience and government intervention against Proposition 8

Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (pictured) and gay rights activist Cleve Jones have published a manifesto in one of California's most influential newspapers calling for LGBT civil disobedience and government intervention against Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment, recently approved by voters, that rescinded same-sex marriage rights. In Friday's edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, Jones and Black wrote, "It has been thirty years since Harvey Milk gave his life in our struggle for equality. We will not wait thirty years more. We demand that the Federal Government act immediately, decisively and unequivocally to ensure equal protection under law throughout the United States of America. We can accept no compromise." READ MORE

Hypertension develops early, silently, in African-American men

Young and healthy African-American men have higher central blood pressure and their blood vessels are stiffer compared to their white counterparts, signs that the African American men are developing hypertension early and with little outward sign, according to a new study. While the study found that central blood pressure -- the pressure in the aorta, near the heart -- was higher in the African-American men, the study found no difference in brachial blood pressure -- measured on the arm -- between the two groups. Taken together, the findings suggest that hypertension (high blood pressure) may be developing undetected in young African-American men and that measuring central blood pressure may be a better means of detecting the problem as it develops. READ MORE

Aaron Eckhart lands new role in the alien invasion action movie, Battle: Los Angeles

Aaron Eckhart has signed on to star in Jonathan Liebesman’s alien invasion action movie, Battle: Los Angeles. Eckhart will play the leader of a platoon of marines who engage an alien threat in the streets of the City of Angels in the movie, which sounds to us like Aliens meets Cloverfield. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with the casting of Eckhart, who has long deserved to be a bigger star than he is. He’s made a move on the A-list before, but that was with The Core, so it’s probably best forgotten about. But, with The Dark Knight just about to hit the billion dollar mark worldwide, the man who is Two-Face is finally capitalising on some of that heat. And good for him. (One thing, though: does this rule him out of the running for Captain America? Shame, if so…)

  • Anger over Prop. 8 erupts In San Francisco
  • 5 strategies to win gay marriage
  • Animal rights group throws flour on fur-clad Lohan
  • Catholic school kicks lesbian mother off PTA
  • Mario Lopez looking pumped while working out at the gym
  • Michael Flatley to host NBC's new show 'Superstar Dancers'
  • Syracuse man was killed for being gay, police say
  • Court setback for Russian gay activists over ban on march
  • Ashton Kutcher on Prop 8: That it's on the ballot is 'ridiculous'
  • India lands probe on moon
  • California county clerks: When does gay-marriage ban begin?
  • Scottish government back TV and radio anti-bullying campaign
  • Obama election spurs race crimes around country
  • Nepal's highest court confirms full rights for LGBT people
  • Gay men less likely to cut spending because of economy
  • Pop superstar, Prince, talks anti-gay marriage
  • Governor Schwarzenegger will NOT submit a legal brief to the California Supreme Court arguing for the overturn of Prop. 8

    • South Korea asks court to retain ban on gays in the military

      The government of South Korea has asked the constitutional court to confirm the ban on gays serving in the country's Armed Forces. Servicemen face a year in jail for homosexual acts. In August a military court asked for a review of the constitutionality of the ban. "The military has a unique characteristics," a defence ministry spokesman told AFP. "It has to maintain good combat capability. It requires a sound group life. It works for the public interest rather than personal happiness." All young men in the country are obliged to serve in the military or in the riot police for up to two years and have to take a test at the time of enlistment which includes various questions about their sexual orientation. South Korea has a standing army of 687,000, the 6th largest in the world, with 4.5m reserve personnel. In 2005, eight soldiers were thrown out of South Korea's military for homosexuality, according to army statistics revealed at the time. A year later, a soldier attempted suicide several times after telling his superiors he was gay. He later claimed that he was forced to submit photographs of himself in bed with another man. He was then obliged to take an HIV test and was publicly humiliated. READ MORE

      Colin Farrell confesses his partying ways almost killed him

      Colin Farrell has revealed that he curbed his drinking because he was scared he would die young. The 32-year-old admitted that his new, quiet lifestyle would have been branded "boring" by the Farrell of five years ago but he had to change because his drinking got "out of hand". "I wouldn't have understood it then, but I had to make some changes in my life if I wanted to stay alive. So I made them and my life now is blissfully quiet," he told The Mirror. "All the madness and chaos, and all the people around me got so tiring after a while that I had to find another way. I don't live a monk-like existence [but] I have a new appreciation for solitude that would have terrified me years ago. I'm glad the madness is over." Farrell currently stars with Edward Norton in new film Pride And Glory.

      UN General Assembly will hear plea for end to LGBT discrimination

      Next month's meeting of the United Nations General Assembly will make history when a declaration against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity will be presented. All 27 countries of the European Union have signed the declaration, which will be presented by France. The initiative for the declaration follows a campaign by the committee coordinating the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). More than 80 countries outlaw same-sex relations in all circumstances. The maximum punishments range from a few years jail to life imprisonment. In nine countries, or regions of countries, the mandatory punishment for homosexuality is death by execution. In September the French minister of human rights and foreign affairs confirmed that she will appeal at the United Nations for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality. READ MORE

      The View ratings soar to #1 slot in daytime television

      For the second straight week, and only the second time in the talker’s history, The View was Daytime’s No. 1 program in Women 18-49 (1.04 million/1.6 rating – tied). On post-election day Wednesday, The View's telecast qualified as the show’s most-watched telecast ever in Total Viewers (6.17 million), exceeding its previous peak delivery by more than one million viewers (5.04 million, 1/15/07). In Women 18-49 (1.43 million), Wednesday’s outing was the series’ seventh-most-watched episode on record. Driven by “The View’s” record performance, ABC was Daytime’s No. 1 network in Women 18-49 (1.4 rating/926,000), and holds the No. 1 position during November Sweeps ‘08 to date (1.3 rating/892,000 – tied on rating). READ MORE

      Producers' fury at George Takei for boldly going where he shouldn't have gone

      Star Trek star George Takei faces the wrath of the producers of the UK reality show, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! after urinating alfresco in camp in the middle of the night. Night vision cameras observed the 71-year-old actor relieve himself next to the double-decker bus he calls home.I tell all the celebrities not to pee in the camp, but someone always disobeys,’ reveals on-set medic Bob McCarron. ‘Rats love human urine and they are extremely attracted to it. They will come in and gather around the pee, which then attracts snakes who feast on the rats. It’s one of the worst things the contestants can do.’ An addition of rats to the camp will not be the celebrities’ first encounter with the Australian wildlife. Earlier this week, night vision cameras recorded a rat scampering over contestant Simon Webbe (former Blue singer).

      Quantum of Solace makes over 70 million in opening weekend!

      The James Bond franchise's first direct sequel, Quantum of Solace, managed to break all records for the longstanding series, with a $70M opening, which bested Daniel Craig's first ride in the saddle, Casino Royal, which opened with $40M just two years ago, as well as the franchise's best opening, which was $47M for 2002's Die Another Die starring Pierce Brosnan as the British Spy who likes to say his last name first, followed by his complete name afterwards. Only time will tell if the film will be able to surpass the franchise's greatest box-office success, which was Casino Royale, with a touch over $167M back in 2006. Only 5 Bond films have actually grossed over $100M domestically in their lifetime. Being as Quantum of Solace opened two weeks earlier around the world than in North America, the film has already grossed $251M internationally, which combined with the $70M in the States, gives it a worldwide haul of $322M, which is already past the halfway mark of the $594M which Casino Royale totaled around the world back in 2006 (the Bond record).

      Obama resigns Senate seat, adds White House staff

      (Chicago) U.S. President-elect Barack Obama resigned his seat in the Senate on Sunday to focus on his transition to the White House, appointing new staff and thanking his home state of Illinois for launching his political career. "Today, I am ending one journey to begin another," Obama said in a letter to the people of Illinois, describing his job representing them as one of the highest honors of his life. "I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation's next president," he said. "But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful to, the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible." Obama's resignation as senator means he will not participate in this week's post-election session on Capitol Hill that could address the ailing economy and struggling auto industry. Obama's successor in the Senate will be appointed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat. Obama, who will be sworn in as president on January 20, grew up in Hawaii and spent part of his childhood in Indonesia. He moved to Illinois as an adult to work as a community organizer. Obama cited one of his heroes, Abraham Lincoln, who hailed from the same state, when saying his goodbye. "It was long ago that another son of Illinois left for Washington," Obama wrote. "A greater man who spoke to a nation far more divided, Abraham Lincoln, said of his home, 'To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything.' Today, I feel the same." The Democratic president-elect has been assembling his White House team and studying cabinet appointments since beating Republican rival John McCain in the November 4 election. READ MORE

      PLUS:
    • It was a fireside chat for a wi-fi world. Barack Obama yesterday launched his first regular weekly update to the American voters by YouTube. It was an ultra-modern echo of how Franklin D. Roosevelt's regular folksy radio broadcasts, complete with the sound of a fire crackling in the background, helped guide America through the Great Depression. VIDEO

    • Obama vows to exit Iraq and rebuild US 'moral stature'
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