1. Stephen Fry wrote an essay about LGBT rights in Russia today.
In it, he addresses David Cameron and the IOC, imploring them to relocate the 2014 Winter Olympics that are due to take place in Russia. Here are some of the highlights.
An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential… At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.
[Putin] may claim that the ‘values’ of Russia are not the ‘values’ of the West, but this is absolutely… against the hopes of millions of Russians, those not in the grip of that toxic mix of shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion, those who are agonised by the rolling back of democracy and the formation of a new autocracy in the motherland that has suffered so much.
I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian ‘correctively’ raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory.
I especially appeal to you, Prime Minister… [You have shown] a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights and helped push gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side… In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.
Read the whole letter here.
- Police in Athens used pepper spray on protesters two days ahead of Greece's major bailout vote.
- A medical helicopter crashed in Colorado. The crash killed the pilot and injured two crew members.