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Germany moves to ban gay ‘conversion therapy’

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The German government on Wednesday signed off on a new law banning “conversion therapies” designed to force heterosexuality on homosexuals.

The legislation, set to be introduced next year, would see the practice made punishable with up to a year in prison and fines of up to 30,000 euros ($33,000).

“Homosexuality is not an illness, so the word ‘therapy’ is misleading,” said health minister Jens Spahn, the architect of the law.

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Once it is approved, Germany — where there are an estimated 1,000 attempts a year to “re-educate” gay people — would be only the second European country with such a ban after Malta passed similar legislation in 2016.

Spahn said that he wanted the ban to be as far-reaching as possible, adding that the so-called therapies often caused “severe physical and psychological damage”.

“A ban is also an important sign for all those struggling with their sexuality: it is ok to be as you are,” said the health minister.

Aside from prison sentences for practitioners, the new law will impose fines for those offering or advertising “conversion” practices.

It could also potentially make parents and teachers liable if they are ruled to have neglected their duty of care.

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So-called conversion therapies for minors will be outlawed entirely, while those for adults will be illegal if carried out against the will of the subject, for example with the use of force or threats.

Medical experts consider psychological or spiritual interventions to change someone’s sexual orientation pseudo-scientific, ineffective and often harmful.

The most controversial techniques involve administering electric shocks as subjects view images of homosexual acts or injections of the male hormone testosterone.

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In March 2018, the European parliament passed a resolution condemning the practice and urging member states to ban it.


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This Europe country is housing quarantined coronavirus patients in a five-star hotel

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An ambulance driver wearing a white protective gown enters a Barcelona hotel and announces the arrival of three new "customers" -- a trio of coronavirus patients discharged from hospital into luxury quarantine.

"Good morning! How are you? My name is Enrique Aranda and I am probably the first non health care worker you see in several days," says the director of the five-star Melia Sarria hotel, peering into the ambulance.

It took just three days to convert the hotel, which features contemporary decor and bathrooms with marble finishing, into a clinic.

"Some patients arrive thinking that they were taken out of hospital to be left to die, many people are frightened. I try to make them forget all that," said Aranda, wearing mask and gloves.

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UK Labour to unveil new leader to replace Jeremy Corbyn

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Britain's main opposition Labour party on Saturday unveils a new leader who will take the helm of a defeated and divided party in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Keir Starmer, a former director of state prosecutions and Labour's Brexit spokesman, is the runaway favourite to win the ballot of around 500,000 party members and succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The announcement will be a low-key affair, with a planned special conference cancelled due to restrictions on social gatherings imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the result will be put out in a press release mid-morning -- and candidates have been asked to pre-record their victory speeches.

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‘Trump fires people for telling the truth’: President blasted for ‘dead of night decision’ to fire intel watchdog

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President Donald Trump was harshly criticized on Friday for firing intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Senate Intel Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) were among the lawmakers who took to Twitter to criticize Trump on his favorite social media platform.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's decision:

Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.

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