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UN expert berates Britain's 'sexist culture'

A United Nations investigator warned on Tuesday that Britain had a "boys' club sexist culture" that was more pervasive than in other countries. Rashido Manjoo, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, also confirmed that she was blocked from entering an immigration detention centre for women during her 16-day fact-finding visit to Britain.

World Bank head meets poor-country gays on discrimination

Gay leaders from developing countries held a private meeting Friday with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to discuss the discrimination they face in their countries. Six weeks after the bank put a hold on a $90 million loan to Uganda due to its harsh anti-gay laws, Kim held talks with 15 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) leaders on mistreatement they suffer due to their sexual orientation. It was the first meeting of its kind to take place during the high-profile shareholders meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington.

Arizona bill prompts debate about discrimination, raises complicated legal questions

PHOENIX - The bill has galvanized business leaders and gay-rights supporters nationwide, united libertarians and Christian conservatives and stirred up a passionate debate on topics like religion and discrimination. Opponents of the legislation, Senate Bill 1062, call it state-sanctioned discrimination because it provides legal protection to business owners who refuse service to gays. But those on the other side say it's a relatively small change to an existing state law covering religious freedom.

Kerry likens Uganda anti-gay law to Nazism, apartheid

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday compared tough new anti-gay laws enacted in Uganda to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany or apartheid in South Africa. "You could change the focus of this legislation to black or Jew, Jewish, and you could be in 1930s Germany or you could be 1950s, 60s apartheid South Africa," the top US diplomat told a small group of reporters. jkb/dc

Peacekeepers disarm militias in C. Africa capital

French and African peacekeepers on Saturday launched a major push to disarm militias in the capital of the strife-torn Central African Republic, going house to house searching for weapons. The operation was launched in the early morning hours in Bangui's Boy Rabe neighbourhood, the base of mostly Christian militias whose attacks have driven many minority Muslims from the city in recent weeks, sparking warnings of "ethnic cleansing".

Hungarian Jews threaten boycott of official Holocaust events

By Sandor Peto BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary's main Jewish group voted on Sunday to boycott official Holocaust commemorations this year unless they more clearly show the role of local citizens in the Nazi deportation and killing of Hungarian Jews. The Hungarian Jewish Congregations' Association (Mazsihisz) decided to stay away from events marking the 70th anniversary of June 1944, when 437,000 Jews were sent to Nazi death camps within weeks, and set conditions for a change of position.

Polish Church uncovers hidden painting to foster religious ties

Poland's Catholic Church on Thursday unveiled a painting kept hidden because of its controversial depiction of Jews murdering Christian children, saying it wanted to foster interfaith dialogue. The 18th-century painting by Italy's Charles de Prevot entitled "Ritual Murder" was put on display at the cathedral in the southern town of Sandomierz to mark the Church's annual Judaism Day. It is being displayed with a plaque explaining that it is historically incorrect and that Jews could not have committed ritual murder because their faith forbids it.

U.S. acts to keep minority, disabled students out of jail

By Alice Popovici BALTIMORE (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice and Education departments unveiled guidelines on Wednesday to prevent schools from violating civil rights laws and keep students out of jail after data found minorities and the disabled were more likely than others to face discipline or arrest. Attorney General Eric Holder said the guidelines were aimed at giving direction to school law enforcement officers, protecting the civil rights of students, and disrupting what he called "the school-to-prison pipeline."

Hollande vows 'intransigence' on racism

French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday he would be "intransigent" on racism after a provocative gesture popularised by a French comedian sparked global controversy. French striker Nicolas Anelka triggered a media outcry when he used the 'quenelle' gesture, performed by putting one arm across his chest and straightening the other, during a weekend football match. Described by critics as an 'inverted Nazi salute', it was popularised by the outspoken comedian Dieudonne, who has been fined repeatedly for hate speech and racial discrimination.

Anti-Semitism on rise in Europe

Anti-Semitism has worsened in Europe in the past few years with abuse increasingly widespread on the Internet, a survey by the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) showed Friday. The study -- released ahead of the 75th anniversary of "Kristallnacht", which saw Nazi thugs smash up Jewish businesses and synagogues -- found that 66 percent of European Jews considered anti-Semitism "a fairly big or very big" problem in their country.
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