Daily Archives: December 8, 2011

Obama Administration Announces Support for World LGBT Community

Hillary Rodham Clinton (Wellesley College)

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On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced that the U.S. will use all the tools of diplomacy, including foreign aid, to promote LGBT rights around the world.

In a memorandum by President Obama and speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the administration vowed to combat efforts by nations that criminalize homosexual conduct, abuse people who identify as LGBT, or ignore abuse against them.

“Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct,” Mrs. Clinton said to the U.N. Human Rights Council, “but in fact they are one and the same.”

The administration’s announcement could bolster support among gay voters and donors, who have questioned the President’s commitment to their cause. In the past, the President pushed for repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and his Justice Department has said it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

The initiative invites attacks from Republicans trying to appeal to a conservative base. One Republican candidate for President, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, said, “President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.”

Sec. Clinton anticipated the sensitivity of the issue for some conservative countries, saying that “the obstacles standing in the way of protecting the human rights” of LGBT people “rest on deeply held personal, political, cultural and religious beliefs.” She argued that gay rights transcended national, political and cultural boundaries, casting them as universal rights like those adopted in the aftermath of World War II in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Mrs. Clinton’s aides worried about the reaction of some countries at the Human Rights Council, so that they did not advertise the theme of her remarks before she delivered them. In the end, no one left the chamber, and the audience gave her a standing ovation.

On Tuesday, Sec. Clinton announced a $3 million program to finance gay-rights organizations to combat discrimination, violence and other abuses. An administration official said that the money could be used to finance a lawyers’ group that is defending gays. It could also provide relocation aid to refugees fleeing persecution.

Via The New York Times.

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Pop Five: The Five Most Tweeted Events

5. New Year’s Day in Japan (6,939 TPS on January 1). As the clock passed midnight on the first day of 2011, Twitter users in Japan turned to Twitter to wish the world a Happy New Year. Twitter use increased immensely across the globe as each time zone entered 2011. Will New Year’s Day 2012 surpass this record?

4. Steve Jobs‘s Resignation (7,064 TPS on August 25). “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,” Steve Jobs wrote in a resignation letter. Apple tapped Tim Cook as the new CEO the same day. Later, when Mr. Jobs passed away, Twitter mourned him to the tun of 6,049 tweets per second (the ninth-most-tweeted event ever).

3. FIFA Women’s World Cup (7,196 and 7,166 TPS on July 17). Okay, technically, this is a “top six” list, because two Women’s World Cup events set new records for tweets for second. The end of the last match between the United States and Japan saw an astounding 7,196 tweets per second; the Paraguay-Brazil game saw 7,166 tweets per second.

2. Troy Davis‘s Execution (7,671 TPS on September 20). Twitter caught fire in a last-minute effort to save Troy Davis from execution. Mr. Davis was sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer based on eyewitness testimony; seven of nine of those witnesses later recanted their testimony. Despite the doubt of Mr. Davis’s guilt, he was executed the next morning.

1. Beyoncé’s Pregnancy (8,868 tweets per second on August 28). In a gag-inducing display of joy and attention seeking, Beyoncé spent the red carpet rubbing her belly to let the world know that she and her husband Jay-Z were expecting a child. During her performance, she yelled, “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside me.” At the end of the song, she dropped her microphone, unbuttoned her top, and rubbed her belly once more for good measure. I can only assume that at least half of these tweets bemoaned the media’s unrelenting use of the term “baby bump.”

Via Mashable.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Entertainment, Health, National, Notable Passings, Pop Five, Technology, World

On This Day…

English: A navy photographer snapped this phot...

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In 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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