El Salvador News | LGBT

El Salvador toughens punishments for hate crimes against LGBT individuals
  • The country’s lower chamber approved changes that will see those convicted of identity-based homicide against LGBT individuals facing up to 50 years in prison.
  • The changes increase the maximum penalty for hate crimes–which also include racially, ethnically, and religiously based targeting–by 20 years.
  • Gender continues to lag behind other protected classes, however, with those convicted of homicides against women facing 20 to 30 years of imprisonment.

“We have made a lot of progress in the democracy (of the country). This is a significant step toward the recognition of rights in the LGBT community.”

Read the full story at teleSUR.

(Image Credit: EFE, via teleSUR)

Brazil News | Refugees

Brazilian president welcomes refugees as asylum process is expedited
  • President Dilma Rousseff reiterated Brazil’s openness to taking in refugees to support international efforts to provide haven to the millions of refugees pouring out of Asia and Africa.
  • In addition to granting 90-day tourist visas to asylum seekers awaiting their application results, the government approved a new program to simplify the asylum application process.
  • Brazil has led Latin America in providing asylum to Syrian refugees, having welcomed 1,740 into the country.

Read the full story at teleSUR.

Venezuela News | Syrian Refugees

Venezuelan president offers to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees
  • President Nicolás Maduro indicated that the country is ready to take in the refugees to help cope with the global migration crisis.
  • Maduro has previously expressed support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose conflict with rebel forces has driven much of the flight from the country.

“How many more Arabs must die before a great human conscience of peace is awakened? … I want 20,000 Syrians to come to our Venezuelan fatherland, to share this land of peace, of Christ, of (independence hero Simon) Bolivar, and to help with the development of this magical land.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

South Africa News | Americans

U.S. embassy in South Africa issues threat alert
  • The embassy issued an alert to U.S. citizens in the country about a possible attack by “extremists.”
  • The alert is a rare one in the African democracy, which to date has had none of the embedded radical groups that have historically targeted the U.S.
  • No specific details such as time or place were available, with the alert serving as a precaution for Americans to review personal security plans.

Read the full story at Reuters.

U.K. News | Muslims

London’s Islamophobia Uptick

Image Credit: YouTube, via BuzzFeed
Image Credit: YouTube, via BuzzFeed

With reported Islamophobic incidents in the city having increased by 70% over the last year, London’s Muslims share stories of the harassment they have faced at work, in school, on public transportation, and in many of the other areas of public life. From threats to name-calling to “jokes,” four Muslims share their stories of Islamophobic harassment with BuzzFeed News, including three women who share how the intersection of gender further compounds vulnerability.

Read the full feature at BuzzFeed News.