World News in briefs

By Drum Digital
14 January 2014

Nigerian president signs anti-gay bill into law.

Nigerian president signs anti-gay bill into law

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill that criminalises same-sex relationships, the presidency said, defying pressure from Western governments to respect gay and lesbian rights.

The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex "amorous relationships" and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the national assembly last May but Jonathan had delayed signing it into law.

-Reuters

DRC warned of renewed disorder

The UN’s leading protagonist in the DRC says the positive atmosphere that prevailed in the country following the defeat of M23 rebels last year that led to the conclusion of the Kampala Process, has vanished. Great Lakes Special Envoy, Mary Robinson, warned that the region was going through a period of renewed turbulence.

The precariousness of security in neighbouring Central African Republic and South Sudan doesn’t auger well for efforts in the DRC.

- SABC

Pope, calls abortion "horrific"

Pope Francis, whom conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church have accused of not speaking out forcefully enough against abortion, called the practice "horrific".

The pope made his toughest remarks to date on abortion in his yearly address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, a speech known as his "State of the World" address.

"It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day," he said in a section of the speech about the rights of children around the world.

-Reuters

Conflicting views of former leader

Funeral of Arial Sharon revealed the military achievements of a man seen as a war hero at home but as a war criminal by many in the Arab world.

Eulogised first in a ceremony in Jerusalem, and later in the green fields of his southern estate, a stream of speakers hailed a life entwined with that of his country, while gently alluding to the controversies that also defined his career.

US Vice President Joe Biden and former British prime minister Tony Blair laid wreaths at his grave, 10 Km from the border of the Gaza strip, with the army on high alert lest any rockets be fired out of the Palestinian territory.

- Reuters

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