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US To Ban LGBTQ Flags From Embassies – Bloomberg

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The temporary measure was included in a massive government funding bill

American embassies around the world will not be able to fly the rainbow, Progress or Black Lives Matter banners this summer, Bloomberg has reported. The White House agreed to the prohibition to get a $1.2 trillion spending bill through Congress.

The bill, passed on Friday morning, keeps the US government open through September 30, the end of the 2024 fiscal year.

The spending deal has been heavily criticized by some Republican legislators, who argued that it funds all of the ruling Democrats’ priorities and removes any policy leverage from the House of Representatives.

House Speaker Mike Johnson – a Louisiana Republican – has presented the flag amendment as a major victory. Meanwhile, the Democrats have used it to accuse the GOP of being mean and “homophobic.”

“[The] Republican Party loves nothing more than to demagogue at the expense of LGBTQ Americans,” Congressman Ritchie Torres of New York said on Friday. “I support funding the federal government. So we’re held hostage by the extremism of the Republican Party.”

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One Democrat familiar with the deal told Bloomberg that the ban applies to any banners other than the national flag, exempts the POW-MIA banners traditionally flown to commemorate missing prisoners from the Vietnam War, and does not apply to “embassy officials’ personal use.” It would also expire on September 30, along with the spending bill.

Washington’s embrace of the Pride flag dates back to the first term of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department (2009-2013). The Trump administration (2017-2021) reserved the official flagpoles for Old Glory alone, but did not stop embassies from flying the rainbow banner as a provocation – in Moscow in June 2020, for example.

Since 2021, however, the State Department has promoted both the Pride flag and the Black Lives Matter banner, both at embassies abroad and at its Washington headquarters

In May 2021, the Republicans proposed the ‘Stars and Stripes Act’ that would ban any other flags from official embassy flagpoles. The following month, the US embassy to the Vatican hung a massive Pride flag on the outside of its building and boasted about it on social media, insisting that “LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.”

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Victims of Domestic Violence Rally Against Proposed Joint Custody Laws in Japan, Citing Legal System Flaws

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In Japan, the debate over joint custody laws reveals deep societal concerns about family violence and its impact on victims. Critics argue the proposed joint custody laws could endanger victims by inadvertently reconnecting them with abusive ex-partners. Demonstrations have taken place, with advocates arguing that the system lacks effective measures to protect those affected by family violence.

Women, disproportionately impacted, represent a higher percentage of abuse reports. Allegations of physical abuse backed by photographic evidence and medical reports have been dismissed by the courts, leaving victims feeling helpless and ignored. On the other hand, parents deprived of their children’s presence argue the legal system fails to address their grievances or consider the emotional harm inflicted on both children and parents.

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Electricians’ Union Raises Alarm Over Unsafe Practices in Solar Industry

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In Australia, safety and employment conditions in the solar farm industry are raising concerns. There have been reports of unqualified workers, including backpackers on working holiday visas, doing electrical tasks that legally require licensed electricians. The electrical trades union has pointed out cases where trade assistants without proper qualifications or supervision performed risky electrical work.

Incidents include workers installing solar panels in water, posing a risk of electrocution. Poor working conditions have led to dissatisfaction among electricians, who feel their safety concerns and expertise are being ignored. The industry is currently facing a significant demand for electricians due to the rapid expansion of solar farm constructions, with 34 projects underway. The union is urging the renewable energy sector to invest in training a new generation of electricians to meet this demand.

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Tesla Faces Backlash from Cybertruck Owners Citing Multiple Performance Flaws

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