The United States named its first international envoy for gay rights this week, tasking a veteran diplomat with leading U.S. efforts to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals overseas.
Randy Berry, currently the consul general in the Netherlands, will promote human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, Secretary of State John Kerry said. A longtime foreign service officer, Berry has served at U.S. posts in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda and South Africa, and speaks Spanish and Arabic.
An orangutan that has lived 20 years at the Buenos Aires zoo is entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by humans, an Argentine court has ruled, a decision the ape's attorney called unprecedented and a ticket to greater freedom.
The ruling comes a month after a local animal rights group filed a habeas corpus writ in favor of Sandra, who was born in Germany but has lived in captivity in Buenos Aires most of her life.
A record number of countries this week backed a key United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty globally.
Amnesty International said 117 of the UN’s 193 member states voted in favor of the resolution at the UNGA plenary session in New York, while 38 voted against and 34 abstained. This was the fifth time a resolution on the issue was voted on by the UNGA. At the last vote in December 2012, 111 states voted in favor, 41 against and 34 abstained.
Pope Francis denounced the right to die movement on Nov. 16, saying it’s a “false sense of compassion” to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity when in fact it’s a sin against God and creation.
Francis made the comments to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors.
An atmospheric image of a gay couple in Russia by Danish photographer Mads Nissen was crowned the World Press Photo of the Year 2014.
To many exiles and their allies, President Raul Castro is a brutal dictator who locks up dissenters in gulag-like jails, snuffs out political discourse and condemns his people to socialist poverty.
Cuba’s supporters see the government as heroic, its sins justified by the behavior of its giant enemy to the north, and offset by the fact it provides health care and education that most developing countries could only dream of.
An estimated 35.8 million people are trapped in modern slavery through human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation.
Namibia’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that health workers sterilized HIV-positive women without their consent, a human rights group said this week.
The 2012 judgment that was upheld had found that health workers had coerced three HIV-positive mothers to sign sterilization consent forms they did not fully understand, and while in labor, the Southern Africa Litigation Center said.
Charles F. Hunter, the U.S. Consul General in Istanbul, will marry his Turkish boyfriend during a trip home to Wisconsin over the holidays, according to Daily Sabah, an English-language publication in Turkey.
Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found.