Japan: Court says not recognizing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional
By Abiodun Ogundairo
20 March 2021 | 1:23 pm
More than a dozen same-sex couples had filed lawsuits in 2019, asking the government to recognize gay marriage. The verdict is being hailed as a step towards marriage equality.
Judges at the European Union's top court have ruled that national judges should not be punished for seeking the advice of the European Court of Justice.
In a big day for LGBT residents of Botswana, an attempt to overturn the decriminalisation of homosexuality has failed in court. Also, South Africa's government says it is being punished as it tries to get countries to walk back some of their Covid-19 travel restrictions. And the China-Africa summit kicks off in Dakar, where participants are discussing trade, conflict and the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan has stopped new bookings onto incoming flights after identifying the first cases of the Omicron strain of Covid-19. The country has also tightened its quarantine requirements for all arriving passengers, and extended a ban on non-citizens coming from ten countries in southern Africa. Travel companies have seen their shares tumble in recent days as governments tighten border rules in response to the new strain. Also today, Australia's economy feels the pinch from the recent lockdowns.
The Supreme Court appeared set to put limits on abortion rights in the United States by upholding one state's law banning the procedure after 15 weeks. Protesters from both sides of the issue rallied at the top court.
Germany's top court is reviewing the case of an accomplice to the neo-Nazi NSU terror cell. Prosecutors are hoping to increase his sentence from 2.5 to 12 years.
Here are a few reasons to pick up a copy of The Guardian on Saturday
The Taliban have promised to end the practice of young girls being sold off to pay debts. However, the Islamist fundamentalists have not clarified how they intend to implement the decree.
For a wealthy nation, Japan has a high proportion of seniors who have jobs - from babysitters to gardeners. With an aging population, the country is encouraging the "silver generation” to go back to work. Many are reveling in the new challenge.
Some 30 countries around the world have already legalised gay marriage, but just a handful of them are in Latin America. They include Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and now Chile can be added to that list. People there celebrated this week as the Chilean Congress voted to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption. The decision now needs to be signed by the president, who backs the law.
The former South African president's medical parole was found to be "unlawful". He was instructed to return to jail to serve out the remainder of his sentence.
Will Jacob Zuma return to prison? South Africa's highest court orders the former president to be re-incarcerated after setting aside an earlier decision to release him on medical parole. Meanwhile, the country records close to 27,000 new Covid-19 cases, an all-time record. Plus, European football clubs say they may not release their African players to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations, amid fears surrounding the tournament's Covid-19 health protocol.
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Stock markets slumped in Asia on Thursday and European shares started the day's trading in the red, after signals from the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates more than three times in 2022. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank's policy committee was "of a mind" to start raising rates in March, and that it would be guided by the economic data. FRANCE 24's Business Editor Stephen Carroll looks at market reaction to the announcements.
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The carcasses of goats and sheep strewn across the scrubland of northern Kenya are testament to the devastation wrought by the once-in-a-generation floods that have hit the region. In just one area of Marsabit County, herders lost around 20,000 goats and sheep last week after the torrential rain, Roba Koto, the top government official in North Horr constituency, said.
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We look to the Mexican papers as journalists there protest after a high-profile journalist is murdered outside her home. Antwerp customs officials sound the alarm on what they call a greater security threat than terrorism: the international drug trade. Also, French rugby star Antoine Dupont graces the cover of GQ France. Finally, Taylor Swift finds surprising support in Chile's president-elect after she's criticised by former Blur frontman Damon Albarn!
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Russia still seems to be beefing up the military presence on its border with Ukraine, while Kyiv has received military support from the US and and its NATO allies. Germany won't send weapons to Ukraine, saying that would only escalate the situation.