Germany News | Refugees

Rise in anti-refugee violence in Germany endangers efforts to provide safe havens for the displaced
  • In the first half of the year, 150 arson and other attacks were recorded by the government, putting 2015 on track for a significant increase over the 170 recorded in 2014.
  • One anti-immigrant demonstration in Rostock saw Albanian and Egyptian refugees attacked during a festival.
  • Germany is expected to provide shelter to 450,000 asylum-seekers this year, and at least one poll indicated 50% of Germans would like to see the country take in more.

“The right’s populist ideas are spreading like wildfire in the CSU [Christian Social Union] and it’s extremely dangerous.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

South Africa News | Women

South African woman awarded country’s first drone pilot license
  • Nicole Swart, 23, was awarded the license by the South African Civil Aviation Authority.
  • Already a holder of the highest pilot’s license, Swart is certified to pilot planes in-person and remotely and also works as a testing standards officer.
  • The licensing comes as countries begin to build regulations for the operation of drones, controlled remotely from the ground or via another aircraft.

“It was important for me to get an RPAS pilot’s licence, as I believe technology is advancing rapidly and in the near future this mode of transport will be as common and necessary as cellular phones are in this era.”

Read the full story at News24.

(Image Credit: Facebook, via News24)

Japan Feature | Black Women

The Life and Love of Black Women in Japan

Part of her “Black Eye” series in The Japan Times examining life in Japan for black immigrants, this Baye McNeil piece shines a light on the hardships of romantic life for black women in the country.  From fetishism to “friend-zoning,” McNeil finds black women face challenges particular to the intersection of their identities in the search for romance and familial security in Japan.

Read the full feature at The Japan Times.

(Image Credit: Matsui Family/Courtesy, via The Japan Times)

Philippines News | LGBT

Manila church provides haven for gay Filipinos
  • The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) offers sanctuary to Manila’s downtrodden in the red-light district of Cubao.
  • While other religious proscriptions like divorce and abortion are legally enforced, the Catholic-majority Philippines has seen a gradual increase in the social visibility and acceptance of its gay population.
  • The Manila church is one of five operated in the Philippines by the MCC, a network of churches founded in the U.S. under the mission of social justice and inclusion.

“I don’t have illusions of assimilation into the mainline Catholic Church. They will always resist anything that disrupts their order. … We have a long way to go… but we must never lose hope, fighting for what is right and what is ours.”

Read the full AFP story at The Jakarta Post.

(Image Credit: Noel Celis/AFP, via The Jakarta Post)

Italy News | LGB

European human rights court rules same-sex partnership rights fall under international human rights law
  • The decision responded to a lawsuit from Italian same-sex couples, who live in the only remaining Western European country lacking some form of same-sex partnership rights.
  • Italy’s own courts have ruled in favor of such rights with support from the Italian PM, but Parliament has largely ignored the issue, refusing to create the framework establishing such rights and protections.
  • Arguing that partnership rights fall under the “right to respect for private and family life,” the ruling technically compels compliance from the 47 Council of Europe member states, though its rulings have been ignored in the past.

Read the full story at BuzzFeed.

(Image Credit: Virginia Mayo/AP, via BuzzFeed)