News Roundup: April 7

Good Morning, today is Friday, April 7th and here are the stories that interest me.

Once again, we are starting the day with Japan. A same sex couple in Osaka has been granted the rights to be foster parents in a first the island nation. This is the first time a couple has been recognised as eligible to be foster parents. A Lesbian couple each had to apply individually to become foster parents but were able to do so. Japan is slowly opening up their society to the LGBT community with many municipalities granting domestic partner benefits similar to marriage to couples. There is currently no push in the national government for LGBT rights and Marriage Equality.

The Russian Supreme Court has upheld the banning of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Birobidzhan. This comes as the Justice Ministry is reviewing whether to ban the religion from Russia all together. There are currently 170,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and many consider them in violation of anti-extremism laws in the country.

Iraqi Kurds have decided to hold a referendum on independence later this year as the War with ISIS is winding down. The two main Kurdish parties,  the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have agreed to a Referendum by the end of this year to help leverage talks in the Iraqi capital for a Kurdish state. Traditionally, a sovereign Kurdish state has been opposed by Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria because of fear of Kurdish independence movements in their own countries. However, given that the Kurdish military, the Peshmerga, has been instrumental in the war against ISIS, the Iraqi Kurds, who already have self-governing in the region, feel that they have earned the right to become their own country. Watch this space because after the ISIS war is over, the Kurdish independence movement may well be the next flash point in the Middle East.

And that is all for news for me this week, have a good weekend, and more news for you come monday!

-W

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