Sunday news round-up: January 5th-11th

An ongoing series that gathers some main headlines from the week, for people too busy to keep an eye on the news.

Top Story: Offices of Charlie Hebdo and Kosher deli attacked: The offices of the satirical French magazine were stormed by two gun-men, leaving 12 people dead, including a Muslim police officer who attempted to defend the building. A similar terrorist attack occured a couple of days later against a Kosher deli, and a Muslim man was again responsible for attempting to rescue people. France has a Muslim population of around 5 million but in recent years both Islamopobia and anti-Semitism have been on the rise. Muslim hate crimes, including the brutalizing of a pregnant Muslim woman, have also sky-rocketed since the Hebdo attack.

Vietnam repeals same-sex marriage ban: Although the South-East Asian country does not currently allow any provisions for gay individuals or couples, the repeal has been met with praise as other Asian countries reaffirm their bigoted opposition to LGBT rights.

Macedonia to ban same-sex marriage: In a complete reversal to the previous story, the central Balkan country’s legislature has decided, by a two-thirds majority, to outlaw same-sex marriages, with a formal bill being presented to the assembly soon.

Russia bans transgender people from driving: At the behest of Russian Prime Minister¬†Dmitry Medvedev, new regulations outlaw people with “sex disorders” from driving. Citing an increased risk of crash, the regulations target people involved in “disorders of sexual preference”. The ban has been endorsed by the Professional Drivers Union.

Dianne Feinstein turns down request to appear before Parliament: After receiving a request from British MPs to give testimony on the recently declassified CIA torture report, Senator Feinstein turned down the request on the basis of having little else to share. The requesting MPs are trying to ascertain how much the British government knew about the covert CIA programme, responsible for committing human rights abuses against at least 140 people.

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