Western Sydney Aboriginal community health center de-funded by government due to debts
- The Department of Health announced that it was cutting AUS$2.6 million of funding from the Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney, a primary health care center for western Sydney’s indigenous community serving 11,000.
- A department spokesman said that the department would work with the center over the next three months to transition its patients to other health service providers.
- AMSWS had been found to have AUS$4 million in debt and had applied for funding from the government’s new Indigenous Advancement Strategy program.
“The Australian government acknowledges that this could be disruptive for patients, many of whom benefit by the community controlled model of care presently offered by AMSWS, but as this service is now no longer viable, every effort will be made to transition patients to other services, including local GPs and mental health and drug rehabilitation services.”
Read the full story at The Australian.
U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of broad interpretability of Fair Housing Act
- The 5-4 ruling allows for lawsuits to be filed claiming “disparate impact” of housing policies and practices on minorities–a statistical measure–rather than simply explicit discrimination, which can be difficult to prove as organizations and individuals are rarely obvious in their discriminatory practices.
- The case involved an organization that supports integrated housing, often involving lower-income minority families attempting to use housing vouchers to move to the suburbs; the group claimed that because a disproportionate number of the low-income tax credits that require that landlords accept the vouchers had been given to landlords in minority neighborhoods, the practice was making it difficult for families to move to white-majority suburbs.
- However, the ruling did not go so far as to say such practices would be proven to generate disparate impact, only that “disparate impact” was a justifiable legal claim.
“Much progress remains to be made in our nation’s continuing struggle against racial isolation. … The court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the nation toward a more integrated society.”
Read the full story at the New York Times.
Paris appeals court finds discriminatory police tactics violated minorities’ rights, reversing lower court’s decision
- The court ruled that in five of the 13 cases on appeal, police carried out discriminatory “stop-and-frisk” ID checks that resulted in no legal action against the individuals, all of Arab or African descent.
- In addition to awarding damages to the plaintiffs, the ruling also requires police to record and distribute the objective grounds on which stops are initiated, as the ID checks have been difficult to file complaints over because they have not been recorded.
- Of concern to legal and community observers is that the other eight cases were found to be legal because the checks took place in areas where behavior deemed suspicious by police is more likely to indicate illegal activity, i.e. in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
“We struck at the heart of the system by attacking the state. … This is a big victory for our clients. But it’s also a big victory for everyone, notably young people, black or North African, who each day are controlled (by police) mainly because of the color of their skin.”
Read the full story from AP at Yahoo! News.
(Image Credit: Francois Mori/AP, via Yahoo! News)
The Islamic State targets Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina in latest recruitment efforts
- A recently released recruitment video shows Bosnian IS fighters calling on Muslims from the Balkans–and specifically in Bosnia and Herzegovina–to launch attacks in their home cities and emigrate to fight in the Middle East.
- Young men in Bosnia are particularly vulnerable to such recruitment efforts, where they face a 63% youth unemployment rate, precarious social conditions, and poor prospects.
- Security and counterterrorism efforts have been largely uncoordinated and lacking a grand strategy, even in the wake of one radical’s attack on a police station in late April that left one officer and the gunman dead.
“Returning foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq – battle-hardened, skilled in handling arms and explosives, and ideologically radicalised – pose a direct threat not only to the security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also of the region and beyond.”
Read the full story at the Guardian.
(Image Credit: Al Hayat, via the Guardian)
Nearly half of Czechs support same-sex marriage in their country
- According to a new poll from the Public Opinion Research Centre (CVVM), 49% of Czechs support the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 47% oppose it.
- 75% support the establishment of some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples.
- Despite the support for same-sex marriage, 49% still remain opposed to same-sex couples adopting children, although the 44% in support is an increase from 19% a decade ago.
Read the full story at PinkNews.
Alabama governor orders Confederate flags removed from capitol grounds
- After checking for legal impediments to such a decision, Governor Robert Bentley had the four flags removed, including the iconic battle flag as well as the first, second, and third national flags of the Confederacy.
- Bentley ordered the removal to preempt a length debate as the state grapples with contentious budget legislation.
- The first official capital of the Confederacy, Montgomery had the three additional flags installed after a governor tried to remove the battle flag from the grounds in the early ’90s.
Read the full story at NPR.
(Image Credit: Martin Swant/AP, via NPR)
In Milan, Holocaust memorial doubles as accommodations for African refugees
- With the help of Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim community partners and volunteers, the Holocaust Memorial has dedicated part of its space to sheltering the refugees, providing food, beds, and washing facilities.
- The Memorial stands at the site of Platform 21, the only remaining intact deportation site from the Holocaust that had part of its plan converted into a museum in 2013.
- The Italian Jewish community–including famed Holocaust survivor Liliana Serge–has drawn parallels between the situations and indifference faced by Holocaust-era Jews and African migrants fleeing violence, persecution, and hardship.
“When I was expelled from school, very few people noticed that my seat had suddenly been emptied; very few people didn’t turn their faces when they ran into me on the streets. Today I witness with astonishment what is happening to these migrants who are seeking help from our opulent Europe, where people waste food and are obsessed with buying new things even if their houses are already full.”
Read the full story at the Times of Israel.
(Image Credit: Rossella Tercatin/The Times of Israel)
Tokyo theater scene sees rise in British directors this season
- Directors like Thom Southerland, Phillip Breen, Max Webster, and Robin Herford reflect an internationalization of the directing scene, bringing such productions as Titanic, Orpheus Descending, Mary Stuart, and The Woman in Black to the stage.
- Although producers and directors indicate the trend is largely accidental, they note that as theaters increasingly show international plays, the desire to work with foreign directors intimately familiar with the histories contained in such work has increased.
- The directors themselves have found ease in working with Japanese actors and note that such internationalization trends are on the rise back in Europe as well.
“Of course our scope to select directors is much greater in today’s global world with information instantly available on our computers. So now there’s no reason not to expand our options to engage with new talent outside Japan.”
Read the full story at the Japan Times.
(Image Credit: Shinji Hosono/Japan Times)
Dominican Republic organization works with government and community to promote tourism and economic empowerment for LGBT community
- The Center for Integrated Training and Research (COIN) has roots in the three-decade fight against AIDS in the Caribbean.
- The organization now focuses on economic empowerment , through which it has worked with government and travel industry officials and offered community workshops through its program ProActividad.
- Out U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster and his husband have worked to support the country’s LGBT community despite opposition in the conservative, Catholic-predominant country.
“We are all looking for the same thing: To eliminate negative things in order for us to build something positive.”
(Image Credit: Michael K. Lavers/Washington Blade)