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LGBT rights rally during the Pohela Boishakh in Dhaka. File 2015. (Credit: Nahid Sultan/Wikipedia)

For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we are talking to Mark Bromley, who launched the Council for Global Equality to advance a stronger U.S. foreign policy inclusive of gender identities and sexual orientations. The council—a coalition that brings together international human rights activists, foreign policy experts, LGBT leaders, philanthropists and more—works with officials and policymakers to ensure that LGBT rights is recognized as human rights on the global policy stage. This is especially necessary to bolster LGBT rights in countries that still criminalize individuals simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or any other non-heterosexual, non-cisgender identities. These days, we know that when we talk about LGBT rights, it’s more than…


Basics
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China can still reverse inequality before it’s as bad as the U.S.

Income inequality in China is worse than previously estimated, according to a new paper published last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Still, it’s not as bad as the U.S. Estimates by the new World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world) – an ongoing project of the authors, economists Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman – reveal that China’s richest 1 percent actually holds at least double the share of national income originally reported.

Human Rights
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Trump order forces refugee resettlement group to lay off 140 staff

President Donald Trump’s executive order delaying and cutting refugee resettlement is affecting refugee nonprofits. Aid group World Relief let go of at least 140 staffers this week. It is also closing five offices in the U.S. – all because of the Trump administration’s decision to significantly reduce the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. this year.

Human Rights
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Myanmar: Security crackdown in Rakhine has ended, but presence still heavy

Myanmar’s security operation in Rakhine state has ended, the country’s newly appointed national security adviser said on Wednesday, but military and police will stay to maintain peace. The announcement signals the end of a brutal four-month crackdown that the U.N. has said likely constitutes crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing of the state’s minority Rohingya Muslims.

Human Rights
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Syria continues dance around human rights violations

Activists accuse Syria of war crimes. The government denies the accusation. We saw this dance happen again this week, where activists level an accusation and the Assad regime side-steps with denial. In the latest accusation, Human Rights Watch said that the military used chemical weapons on Aleppo late last year. The report stated that in eight attacks that violated international rules of war, at least nine people died and hundreds were injured. Syrian officials denied the accusation, telling Agence France-Presse that the report was “unprofessional and unscientific.”

Human Rights
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Multiple barriers keep 1.5 million Tanzanian kids out of secondary school

Despite improving access to primary education, children in Tanzania often do not continue on to secondary schools. Barriers including lack of rural schools, pressure to work and high-stakes exams prevent more than half of Tanzanian youth from enrolling in secondary school. Limited alternative options leave millions of young people at a lifelong disadvantage, according to Human Rights Watch.

Basics
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Bill and Melinda Gates celebrate humanitarian investments in letter to Warren Buffett

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter is out, crafted as a thank-you note to fellow billionaire and foundation donor Warren Buffett about the benefit and promise of foreign aid. No big surprises in the 2017 Gates Foundation always optimistic annual letter, repeating many of the gains made in global health through expansion of child vaccinations, reductions in child and maternal mortality and the continuing global trend seeing much less of the more extreme forms of poverty. What’s not said in the letter, or is only referred to somewhat obliquely, is perhaps of more significance.

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