Alvi Karimov, spokesperson for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, described the report as “absolute lies and disinformation”, basing his denial on the claim that there were no gay people in Chechnya. “You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic,” he told Interfax news agency.
“If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.” –Chechnya government spokesman, reported in The Guardian (UK)
Kyle W. Orton writes extensively about Syria and fighting across the Middle East (see his blog here).
An international research consortium reports Thursday that it has figured out an efficient method for synthesizing a substantial part of the genetic code of yeast. . . .
The milestone is the latest development in the intensifying quest to create living, complex organisms from scratch in the lab. This group previously reported it had completely synthesized one of yeast’s 16 chromosomes, which are the molecular structures that carry all of an organism’s genes. –NPR
New elections to replace Park Geun-hye must be held within 60 days. The leader, far and away, is a leftist who wants to pursue more accommodation with North Korea and might well ask the US to remove its newly arrived anti-missile system. (Washington Post)
Comment: Beijing and Pyongyang would welcome such an appeasement policy toward the increasingly aggressive and erratic regime in North Korea. Indeed, Chinese pressure on Seoul to do just that has been ratcheting up.
Timothy Boatwright was born a girl, and checked off the “female” box when applying to the Massachusetts all-women’s school, according to an article in the New York Times.
But when he got there, he introduced himself as a “masculine-of-center genderqueer” person named “Timothy” (the name he picked for himself) and asked them to use male pronouns when referring to him.
And, by all accounts, Boatwright felt welcome on campus — until the day he announced that he wanted to run for the school’s office of multicultural affairs coordinator, whose job is to promote a “culture of diversity” on campus. –National Review Online
Comment: You have to watch with fascination the world of “diversity politics” when Wellesley students reject–as insufficiently diverse–what could be planet earth’s only self-identified female who uses the descriptor, “masculine-of-center genderqueer.”
At Wellesley’s diversity carnival, the prime attraction seems to be an ancient mythical symbol, the Ouroboros. This serpent is eating its own tail.
There are East Room meetings, evening dinners and sumptuous lunches — even a White House bowling soiree. Mr. Trump is deploying the salesman tactics he sharpened over several decades in New York real estate. His pitch: He is fully behind the bill to scotch President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, but he is open to negotiations on the details. –New York Times
♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions: ◆ A friend who forwarded the Wellesley story
“The film presents an image of the revolution that reduces it to an expression of intolerance and violence against culture and makes irresponsible use of our patriotic symbols and unacceptable references toward comrade Fidel,” said [Roberto] Smith — director of the all-powerful Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC).
Traditionally stigmatized in Cuba, homosexuality was fiercely repressed for many years under the communist regime, which interned gays in work camps in the 1960s and ostracized them in the 1970s. –AFP in Yahoo News
Personal note:One of my friends wrote me that his “cousin was expelled in the Mariel boat lift of 1980 for homosexuality.” Expelled from the country for his sexual orientation.
An authentic hero and genuine American icon, Glenn died this afternoon surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus after a remarkably healthy life spent almost from the cradle with Annie, his beloved wife of 73 years, who survives.
He, along with fellow aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright and moon-walker Neil Armstrong, truly made Ohio first in flight. –Columbus Dispatch
The picture here not as the distinguished Senator, not as the man who flew 149 combat missions in World War II and Korea (where his wingman was the greatest hitter in baseball, Ted Williams), but as the young man who, in February 1962, sat atop the Mercury launcher at Cape Canaveral, packed with one-quarter million pounds of rocket fuel, and became the first American to orbit earth. Rest in Peace.
Comment: Reid was a noxious political figure, symbolized by his baseless attack on Mitt Romney, whom he tarred by saying “there were rumors” that Romney had not paid his taxes for a decade. That was untrue and, when Reid was asked later if he was sorry about it, said, “He lost, didn’t he?” His moral scruples summarized in four words.
◆ New York Times runs characteristic article in news section, headlined “Trump Is Still Not Very Popular, and His Problem With Women Could Return.” The first subheader is perfect Times-think: “Hillary Clinton, out of the woods.” The article is here.
Comment: At the Times, the paper’s editorial opinions too often suffuse their presentation of “hard news.” Too often, too bad.
◆ Gregg Allman celebrates his 69th birthday. (JamBase) Just shows the lasting benefits of living a good, clean life. Here’s Gregg, his late brother, Duane, and their eponymous band, in “Tied to the Whipping Post.” This early version shows how they merged acid rock and blues (as Jimi Hendrix did in another way) to create something real, true, and original. The sequence of still photographs in this video capture the era.
◆ Send interesting stories to Charles (dot) Lipson at Gmail (dot) com