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Parents padlock Costa Rica schools to protest sex education

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Parents padlocked shut gates of some schools in Costa Rica on Thursday to protest sex education classes for teens that some believe promotes homosexuality, the education ministry said.

The actions took place in at least four schools in the north of the small Central American country, on the first day of the new school year, the ministry said.

Other parents elsewhere in the country loudly protested the sex education guide to local media and in social media posts.

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The protests were happening against the backdrop of heightened religious and social conservatism in the country energized by presidential elections which have propelled into first place an evangelical preacher who vehemently opposes gay marriage.

The preacher, Fabricio Alvarado, is the candidate of the National Restoration Party, a right-wing Christian party.

He emerged as the frontrunner after the first round of elections last weekend. On April 1 he faces a runoff against the ruling party candidate, Carlos Alvarado (no relation).

– ‘False information’ –

A video circulating online featured an unidentified man explaining his opposition to the sex education program at the Puerto Escondido school in Pital, in the northern district of San Carlos, where he said his child was enrolled.

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“We are not going to allow this sexual guide to be implanted in our children,” he said. “We are putting on chains and padlocks to say no to this program.”

Some parents interviewed by Costa Rican media said they believed the sex-education guide promotes homosexuality, something the government denied.

Education Minister Sonia Marta Mora asked parents who had doubts about the program — which has been in place since 2012 for students in their penultimate year of high school, usually aged around 16 — to contact the schools to get information about its content.

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Last year Mora sent a memorandum to high schools telling them sex education was not compulsory, and that parents could exempt their children from the class.

“It’s very serious that they are claiming that the program promotes homosexuality. It is unacceptable that such false information is circulating,” Mora said.

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Her predecessor, Leonardo Garnier, also criticized the bigotry that he said has surrounded the sex education initiative.

“We have now entered a new phase of intolerance. Now schools are being closed to oppose education about sex and intimacy. This is an attack on the right of all to education,” he wrote on his social media accounts.

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Fox’s John Roberts: Trump’s attack on Yovanovitch caused ‘a lot of damage’ to foreheads at the White House

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On today's edition of Your World, Fox News Neil Cavuto asked White House correspondent John Roberts what he thinks the consequences will be for President Trump's apparent attempt to intimidate former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch -- at the very moment she was testifying at the second public hearing of the House's impeachment inquiry.

"I don't know how much political damage that tweet is going to do, Neil, but certainly I think there was a lot of damage here at the White House to a collective group of foreheads as people went like this..." Roberts said, while mimicking someone smacking their forehead in frustration. "...as the President tweeted that out right in the middle of the hearing."

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‘American hero’ Marie Yovanovitch gets standing ovation ‘drowning out and effectively answering’ GOP’s ‘limp objections’

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'Poignant and Perfect'

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was heralded with a standing ovation as her five-plus hours of calm and patriotic testimony ended and House Republicans tried to commandeer the last whiffs of Friday's impeachment proceedings.

Republicans demanded they be given extra time to speak as the hearing was gaveled to a close, claiming they had been disparaged and had the right to respond.

They did not.

As she stood and began to walk away, audience members in the gallery cheered, and gave Ambassador Yovanovitch a standing ovation.

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‘This is not about tweets!’ GOP lawmaker deflects wildly when asked about Trump’s attacks on Yovanovitch

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Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on Friday was not happy to be asked about President Donald Trump's tweets attacking former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

During a press conference that occurred after the day's impeachment hearings, Stefanik tried to make the case that nothing in Yovanovitch's testimony provided any reason to impeach the president.

She was thrown off her game, however, when a reporter asked her whether the president's tweet harmed her party's ability to send a consistent message.

"We're not here to talk about tweets but impeachable offenses!" she angrily replied. "Let me answer your question. These hearings are not about tweets. They are about impeachment of the president of United States. This is a constitutional matter."

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