Recent Pew report on American religiosity finds Seattle has largest atheist proportion of the major U.S. metro areas.
  • According to the study, 10% of Seattle residents identify as atheist.
  • 52% of Seattleites identify as Christian (23% evangelical, 10% mainline).
  • 22% identified as “nothing in particular.”

More on this story at the Seattle Sun Times.

News

Colombia passes new hate crime law building in tougher punishments for gender-based violence against women.
  • The bill–passed with 104-3 in favor–targets violence of a physical, psychological, or sexual nature.
  • Those convicted could now face up to 50 years in jail.
  • The bill was named for Rosa Elvira Cely, a woman whose brutal attack, rape, and murder in a Bogota park spurred mass protests in 2012.

Presidential adviser for women’s equality Martha Ordonez said that in Colombia a woman was the victim of a violent act on average every 13 minutes, and that every four days one was killed by her partner.

More on this story at BBC.

(Image Credit: Getty Images, via BBC)

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Masaai women in Kenya find opportunity for themselves and their villages through the solar energy industry.
  • The Women and Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy Project (WEREP) trains local women to install solar energy products.
  • Communities benefit from easier electricity access, decreases in energy costs, and environmental and livestock protection in a country that sees 68% of its population disconnected from electrical grids.
  • With the market penetration of solar energy having risen from 0 to 20% since 2006, clean energy advocates are hopeful that these women will help market and spread the products throughout their communities.

“Our community customs do not allow women to own any property…But now women here own the solar technology, and it is something we are very happy about.”

More on this story at Reuters.

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Ugandan LGBT activist remains skeptical of the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions against Uganda for its anti-homosexuality laws.
  • The U.S. imposed sanctions ranging from financial divestment to visa restrictions a year ago.
  • Celebrated activist Pepe Onziema shares that conditions on the ground have changed little: fear still permeates his daily life as the threat of violence follows him wherever he goes.
  • Activists have filed suit against Scott Lively, the American pastor widely viewed as having contributed to the creation of Uganda’s anti-gay laws.

“Le gouvernement est devenu encore plus arrogant à notre égard…Cela signifie que le but recherché par les sanctions n’a pas été atteint, surtout pour la communauté LGBT. Cela a peut-être permis un meilleur dialogue entre les gouvernements, mais pour nous sur le terrain, nous en avons subi les conséquences.”

Translation: “The government has become more arrogant with regard to us…That means that the goal sought by sanctions hasn’t been achieved, above all for the LGBT community.  That has perhaps allowed for a better dialogue between the [U.S. and Ugandan] governments, but for us on the ground, we have suffered the consequences of it.”

More on this story at RFI (in French).

(Image Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for GLAAD/AFP, via RFI)

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Satori Interactive, a tech company founded and led by two black sisters, wins Black Enterprise‘s Family Business of the Year award.
  • The sisters, both computer science graduates, founded the company in 2004 in an industry that still struggles with diversity in both gender and race.
  • The 2013 U.S. Census Report revealed that only 25% of STEM employees in 2011 were women and only 6% African-Americans, despite the latter graduating with computer science degrees from elite universities  at twice that rate.
  • Satori Interactive provides business-to-business services focusing on user experience research and consulting.

“Our father would tell us, ‘If you’re good at what you do, people respect you and they welcome your suggestions and feedback. Nobody can take your knowledge away from you.’”

More on this story at The Root.

(Image Credit: Ashley Zimmerman, via The Root)

News

Hungarian PM dismisses multicultural society as something from which Hungary must be spared.
  • Viktor Orban denounces “mass-scale” intermingling of different faiths.
  • He has been outspoken in his opposition to the EU’s response to the Mediterranean migration crisis.

“Multiculturalism means the coexistence of Islam, Asian religions and Christianity. We will do everything to spare Hungary from that.”

More on this story at Reuters.

The first refugees arrive in Cambodia as part of Australia’s controversial program resettling asylum seekers from its offshore detention center.
  • Political opposition leaders and human rights advocates criticize the government’s harsh stance against refugees and their resettlement in an under-resourced country with a poor rights records.
  • Australia has offered Cambodia A$40 million as part of the resettlement deal.
  • Despite cash incentives, few refugees have taken up the Australian government on its offer.

More on this story at Reuters.