World News: Guardian Liberty Voice Daily Digest for July 11, 2014


world news

The world news daily digest update from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 11, 2014 includes the news from Australia, where a judge was recorded comparing homosexuality with pedophilia and incest. Meanwhile, Barcelona witnesses the rising popularity of cannabis clubs and hundreds of Ghanaian football fans seek asylum in Brazil.

Australian Judge Says Incest Will No Longer Be Taboo

An Australian judge is making headlines around the world after stating that incest and pedophilia may no longer be considered taboo. By comparing incest and pedophilia to homosexual relationships, District Court Judge Garry Neilson sparked anger and outrage among child protection and gay rights advocates. Neilson was recorded saying that “A jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available,’ not having [a] sexual partner,” as quoted by Australia’s Fairfax Media.

According to Neilson, incest is now a crime only because it may lead to various genetic mutations and abnormalities in offspring, however this rationale is becoming increasingly irrelevant due to the availability of contraception and abortion. An advocate for preventing child sex abuse, Doctor Cathy Kezelman, responded to the news by calling incest horrific, regardless of age and was quoted saying, “The relational betrayal of the horrors of incest between a brother and sister of any age is abhorrently criminal.”

Barcelona Challenges Amsterdam For Drug Tourism

While Amsterdam battles with drug tourism by reducing the number of coffee shops where it is legal to purchase and smoke marijuana, Barcelona has opened more than 300 new cannabis clubs. This is possible due to decades-old Spanish laws that  allow anyone to grow and smoke marijuana in private or to band together with others to form a cannabis club, as long as it is a non-profit organization for members only, something like a chess or a cooking club.

The number of new cannabis clubs that have opened in Barcelona has some experts saying the city will soon challenge Amsterdam as the drug tourism hotspot. Many of the new clubs have opened in popular tourist locations, with cheap memberships that tourists can purchase online or over the phone. These clubs vary dramatically, however most also sell food and provide recreational activities to their members, such as Pilates classes and music nights.

Football Fans From Ghana Seek Asylum in Brazil

According to Brazilian federal police, 200 Ghanaians have requested asylum in Brazil. Many of the asylum seekers are football fans who have entered Brazil on tourist visas to watch the World Cup. The Ghanaians have claimed that they are Muslims and are fleeing from the inter-religious conflicts in their home country. Brazilian police expect that another 1,000 Ghanaians will request refugee status once the tournament is over.

The majority of the asylum-seekers filed their applications in the southern city of Caxias do Sul, which is currently one of the most prosperous areas in Brazil. Although they entered the country on a tourist visas, that will not be taken into consideration against them, according to Joao Guilherme Granja, who is a Justice Ministry official. “Asylum cannot be requested at a Brazilian embassy. The asylum-seeker must be in the country to apply. We have hundreds of Syrian refugees in the same situation.”

The Brazilian authorities believe that these Ghanaian refugees are going to be looking to work legally in the country. Meanwhile, the federal police chief, Noerci da Silva Melo, called the area overcrowded, attracting vast numbers of foreign workers looking for service industry jobs there. For now, many of the Ghanaian asylum seekers have been given shelter by local Roman Catholic churches.

World Digest Commentary by Ivelina Kunina

See also: World News: Guardian Liberty Voice Daily Digest for July 10, 2014

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