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Uganda draws up new Draconian anti-LGBT law: activists

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Uganda’s ruling party has drawn up new anti-gay legislation and could push it through parliament before the end of the year, rights activists said Saturday.

The move comes nearly a year after Ugandan MPs passed a bill that would have seen gays face up to life in prison, only to see the bill struck down by the constitutional court on a technicality.

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According to a leaked copy of the new draft bill, MPs have instead focussed on outlawing the “promotion” of homosexuality — something that activists said made it far more repressive and wide-reaching.

“People don’t realise that the ‘promotion’ part of it will affect everybody,” prominent gay rights activist Frank Mugisha told AFP.

“If newspapers report about homosexuality it could be seen as promotion. My Twitter account could be seen as promotion. All human rights groups that include LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights defence in their activities could be accused of promotion.”

According to the draft, anyone convicted of promoting homosexuality would be liable to seven years in prison.

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“We have confirmed that the draft comes from the cabinet. Their plan is to present it to parliament as soon as possible, before the end of the year,” Mugisha said.

“They have just twisted the language but it is the same thing. It’s actually worse because the ‘promotion’ part is harsher and it will punish the funding of LGBT and human rights groups,” he added.

The new draft also outlaws “funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practices” and “exhibiting unnatural sexual practices”, and deems consent invalid as a defence.

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Mugisha said the revival of such legislation will also result in violence against gays.

“We will try as hard as possible to kill it before it is taken to parliament, because if the law gets to parliament it will be passed as soon as possible. Elections are coming, and the politicians want to be seen as fighting against this evil homosexuality,” he said.

The government has not commented on the draft, although Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has been under pressure for several months from his own party to ensure that anti-gay legislation is passed.

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Last month, however, Museveni — who signed off on the original bill — signalled he was having second thoughts. He argued the east African nation needed to consider the impact on trade and economic growth.

Critics said Museveni signed the previous law to win domestic support ahead of a presidential election scheduled for 2016, which will be his 30th year in power.

Although very popular domestically, the previous law was branded draconian and “abominable” by rights groups and condemned by several key allies and donors including the European Union and United States.

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Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda under a 1950s penal code which remains in force and prescribes jail for those found guilty of homosexual acts.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump is ‘having a full-blown mental breakdown’ and needs to resign: Ex-Trump staffer

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Leading Republican elected officials should work with President Donald Trump's family to negotiate him resigning from office, a former top White House official suggested on MSNBC on Friday.

Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci blasted his former boss during an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily."

"He has totally and completely lost it. There is nobody that can look at the situation, read the tweets, look at the press sprays, and say he hasn’t lost it," Scaramucci argued.

"What does that mean, lost it?" Todd asked. "Define that."

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Obama’s chief economist warns of ‘a very high chance’ Trump’s trade war could cause 2020 recession

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The former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama warned of "a very high chance" of Trump's trade war with China resulting in a recession -- "just in time for 2020."

Austan Goolsbee was interviewed by MSNBC's John Heilemann on Friday after the DJIA closed down over 600 points after the trade war escalated on Friday.

"Just give us, if you would, Austan, your sense of what has unfolded today and how bad it is," Heilemann asked.

"Yes, it’s terrible, I'm phoning from a bunker as we speak," Goolsbee replied.

"There hasn’t been a day like this in a very long time. Yes, the markets sell a lot but the fact we’re going to have an escalating trade war, the president of the United States is publicly declaring the head of the Fed an enemy of the state and, oh, by the way, 40% of the Amazon is on fire and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being treated for pancreatic cancer," he continued. "If this is on a Friday, it makes it bad for Monday."

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Trump responds to China raising tariffs — by raising tariffs on over half a trillion dollars in Chinese goods

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After US markets tanked on Friday, President Donald Trump dramatically escalated his trade war with China.

"For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on trade, intellectual property theft, and much more. Our country has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year to China, with no end in sight," Trump tweeted.

"Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of fair and balanced trade that it has become a great burden to the American taxpayer. As President, I can no longer allow this to happen," he argued.

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