Iran minister says in U.S. interest to stay committed to nuclear pact
TOKYO Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday it was in the interest of the United States to remain committed to a multilateral nuclear treaty.
MOSCOW A Russian lawmaker has said parliament should ban blood donations from homosexuals, news agencies reported on Monday, upsetting activists already angry at a nationwide ban on gay 'propaganda'.
"We will suggest an amendment to the law on (blood) donations on the order of the Health Ministry that returns homosexuals to the list of contra-indicated donors," Interfax quoted parliamentarian and Moscow mayoral candidate Mikhail Dyegtyaryov as saying.
A law passed in June that prohibits spreading "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" has sparked criticism from Western governments and led to calls for a boycott of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next February.
The measure, popular with many Russians and with the powerful Orthodox Church, highlighted the more socially conservative course that President Vladimir Putin has charted in his third term. Putin draws strong support from conservative rural parts of Russia, while protests against his 13-year rule have mostly been confined to big cities.
Dyegtyaryov, who represents the nationalist LDPR party in parliament's lower house, the Duma, said the proposed move would help staunch Russia's HIV-AIDS epidemic. Many experts, however, say Russia's high drug addiction rates pose a greater HIV threat.
Gay activists say that the propaganda law has increased discrimination against them and emboldened vigilante-style attacks.
Gay rights advocate Yelena Kostyuchenko, who said she regularly gives blood, wrote on her Twitter blog on Monday that she had been asked to donate that very day.
"Next time I'll say - I'm sorry, I'm a lesbian, I don't deserve to give blood for your family members. Keep looking," she wrote.
(Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
BRUSSELS The European Union will soon let Ukrainians and Georgians visit the bloc without needing a visa after diplomats and lawmakers struck a deal on Thursday to end an internal EU dispute that had been holding up the promised measures.
SHIKHAN, Iraq The spiritual leader of Iraq’s Yazidis said his people need international help to recover from the worst atrocities they have suffered in more than a century and to reintegrate thousands of women who were enslaved by Islamic State.