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Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade aims to raise diversity awareness

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Some 2,500 people marched in a gay pride parade in Tokyo on Sunday, vowing to transform a low-profile campaign for the rights of sexual minorities into a major movement in Japan.

The crowd, mainly from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, as well as their supporters and sex workers, paraded through the capital’s entertainment and shopping district of Shibuya.

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Waving rainbow-coloured flags and banners, foreign and Japanese campaigners marched in colourful carnival and samurai warrior outfits.

It was the first parade organised by Tokyo Rainbow Pride, a private organisation formed last year which aims to support the rights of sexual minorities.

“Compared with that of New York or London, Japan’s awareness of sexual minorities is quite low,” said Sayaka Kato, a spokeswoman for the organisation.

“I’m afraid Japan has yet to have a culture of accepting diversity.”

The group hopes to stage a gay pride parade with 50,000 participants within the next five years by expanding its networks among not only Japanese but foreign residents.

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Wataru Ishizaka, 35, who as an openly gay politician in Japan is a rarity, noted that a number of sexual minorities in the country still hesitate to take part in events in support of LGBT rights for fear of discrimination.

“Japanese sexual minorities are still concerned about their exposure to the public,” said Ishizaka, a local Tokyo politician, after participating in the parade.

Photo via AFP


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2020 Election

MSNBC’s Morning Joe scorches GOP senators for following Trump ‘over the cliff’ to election losses

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough hammered Senate Republicans for following President Donald Trump "over a cliff."

The "Morning Joe" host said the GOP had suffered losses in every election cycle since Trump won, and he said the president was a threat to his own party.

"All Republican incumbents who are endangered politicians," Scarborough said. "What bargain did they make that is worth following this man over the cliff? Who, right now, in early June, is on his way to losing in a landslide of his own?"

"These polls that we're going to show you in a minute are just a snapshot of where we are at the beginning of June," he added. "Things can change, but if they do change, it will be the first time in almost four years that elections have broken Donald Trump's way."

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Donald Trump is no longer president: Robert Reich

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You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. His verbal bombshells are louder than ever, but Donald J. Trump is no longer president of the United States.

By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office.

He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV, and tweeting.

How has Trump responded to the widespread unrest following the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground?

He has incited more police violence. Trump called the protesters “thugs” and threatened to have them shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted, parroting a former Miami police chief whose words spurred race riots in the late 1960s.

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Trump-loving Minneapolis police union boss calls the cops on a reporter for knocking on his door

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Lt. Bob Kroll, the Trump-loving president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, called the police this week on a Washington Post reporter for the purported offense of knocking on the door of his house.

In an effort to get Kroll to respond to the charges that were filed this week against all four Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's death, the Post sent one of its reporter to Krolls house after multiple other requests for comment went unanswered.

"A Washington Post reporter who knocked on Kroll’s door was soon pulled over by a police officer who said that Kroll had reported suspicious activity on his front porch and that 'he doesn’t want any press,'" the paper reports.

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