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Australia legalizes same-sex marriage



equality campaign
Equality ambassadors from the The Equality Campaign gather in front of Parliament House on Dec. 7. (PC- Photographer: Sean Davey/AFP via Getty Images)

Canberra, Dec 7: Australias Parliament legalized same-sex marriage on Thursday, overcoming years of conservative resistance with an overwhelming majority vote.

Cheers and applause broke out as ministers voted in favour of the bill following hours of debate and emotional speeches at the House of Representatives. Only four MPs voted against the bill, the Australian media reported.

“This is Australia: Fair, diverse, loving and filled for respect for everyone,” said an effusive Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as he introduced the bill for a final vote.

“What a day, what a day for love, for equality, for respect. Australia has done it!” said Turnbull following the announcement.

“Today we’ve voted for love, for equality. It’s time for more marriages, more love, more respect. This belongs to us all.”

Labour Party leader Bill Shorten said the new law spoke for a modern Australia, “inclusive and fair”, reported. Gay rights advocates praised the landmark vote even as they said it was long overdue.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a staunch critic of same-sex marriage, seemed to have softened.

“When it comes to same-sex marriage, some countries have introduced it via the courts, some via Parliament, and others – Ireland and now Australia – by vote of the people,” Abbott said. “And that is the best way because it resolves this matter beyond doubt or quibble.”

The bill will now go to Governor-General Peter Cosgrove for royal assent. The country is now the 24th in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry, according to Pew Research.

The move follows a two-month national postal survey that showed 61 per cent of more than 12 million respondents were in favour of marriage equality.

Australia’s first same-sex weddings will not take place until at least January due to a longstanding requirement for all Australian couples to provide a full month’s notice of their intention to get married.


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North Korea demolishes what it says is nuclear test site

The North did not invite international inspectors to the ceremony, which limits its value as a concession.



North Korean Kim Jong un

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea (AP) – North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

The demolition happened Thursday at the site deep in the mountains of the North’s sparsely populated northeast.

The planned closing was previously announced by leader Kim Jong Un ahead of his planned summit with U.S. President Donald Trump next month.

The North’s decision to close the site has generally been seen as a welcome gesture by Kim to set a positive tone ahead of the summit. Even so, it is not an irreversible move and would need to be followed by many more significant measures to meet Trump’s demands for denuclearization.

The North did not invite international inspectors to the ceremony, which limits its value as a concession.

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Russian missile was used to shoot down flight MH17 : Investigators

Thirty eight Australian residents were among those on board the Boeing 777.



malaysia flight MH 17

Investigators have released evidence confirming that the missile used to shoot down flight MH17 belonged to the Russian military’s 53rd Brigade.

Speaking at a press conference in Utrecht, Wilbert Paulissen of the Joint Investigations Team said the new evidence confirms that the missile was brought into separatist territory in Ukraine and then the equipment used to fire it was quickly taken back to Russia after it was used to shoot down the plane.

MH17 was shot down over the conflict zone in Ukraine’s Donetsk region on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

Thirty-eight Australian residents were among those on board the Boeing 777.

More to come.

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Air strike by US-led coalition hits military posts in Syria, kills 12 pro-regime forces



Air Strike

Damascus, May 24: The coalition led by the US carried out an airstrike against Syrian army positions in the province of Deir ez-Zor, news agency AFP reported citing state media.

“Some of our military positions between Albu Kamal and Hmeimeh were hit this morning in an aggression by American coalition warplanes,” said a military source quoted on state news agency SANA.

A military source from forces allied to Syria’s government had said the strikes had targeted two regime military positions near a frontline with IS.

Daesh then launched an attack on the positions. The strikes and attack left a number of Syrian fighters dead and caused material damage,” the source told AFP, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

“There are no Iranian or Lebanese fighters among the dead,” the source added.


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