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3 LGBTQ diplomats see opportunity and crisis for queer people around the world

The world is at an inflection point for LBGTQ rights, as a mixture of opportunities and crises converge, according to an assessment from one of the world's few special envoys on queer rights.

While notable progress has been made for human rights worldwide, only four countries have a diplomat specifically assigned to handle LGBTQ issues.

Three of them marched together for the first time at the New York Pride parade this past Sunday: U.S special envoy Jessica Stern; Italy's special envoy for human rights, Fabrizio Petri; and Argentina's Alba Rueda.


One man's outsized role in shaping the Supreme Court and overturning Roe

Last Friday morning, life in America changed dramatically when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned half a century of the federal right to an abortion.

Most Americans support abortion rights, but a dedicated minority of conservative activists has been working for decades to dismantle Roe v. Wade, and one man in particular has played an outsized role in that effort: Leonard Leo.


New Zealand's government classifies the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization

The New Zealand government has declared the far-right U.S. extremist group Proud Boys a terrorist organization.

The Proud Boys' role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, as well as their chauvinistic beliefs, hyper-nationalism and violent messaging contributed to the decision, the New Zealand Police said in a document published this week.


Chinese leader Xi arrives in Hong Kong for 25th anniversary of handover

HONG KONG — Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday ahead of the 25th anniversary of the British handover and after a two-year transformation bringing the city more tightly under Communist Party control. It is Xi's first trip outside of mainland China in nearly 2 ½ years.

Supporters waving Chinese and Hong Kong flags chanted "Welcome, welcome! Warm welcome!" as Xi's train pulled into the train station.


Dictator's son Ferdinand Marcos Jr. takes oath as Philippine president

MANILA, Philippines — Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the namesake son of an ousted dictator, was sworn in as Philippine president Thursday in one of the greatest political comebacks in recent history but which opponents say was pulled off by whitewashing his family's image.

His rise to power, 36 years after an army-backed "People Power" revolt booted his father to global infamy, upends politics in the Asian democracy, where a public holiday, monuments and the Philippine Constitution stand as reminders of his father's tyrannical rule.


Emmett Till's family seeks the arrest of a woman after a 1955 warrant is found

A team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence about the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till has found the unserved warrant charging a white woman in his 1955 kidnapping, and relatives of the victim want authorities to finally arrest her nearly 70 years later.

A warrant for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham — identified as "Mrs. Roy Bryant" on the document — was discovered last week by searchers inside a file folder that had been placed in a box, Leflore County Circuit Clerk Elmus Stockstill told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Pat Cipollone, Trump's former White House counsel

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has issued a subpoena to former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, a critical figure in the final days of the Trump White House who the committee has been publicly pleading with to appear.

The committee has spoken to Cipollone in an informal interview but Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has argued from the dais for him to appear publicly.


The dealer that sold the gun used in the Oxford High School shooting is being sued

The parents of a teen injured during the mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan last year are suing the dealer that sold the handgun used to kill four students and injure seven others.

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Putin has been unwilling to engage in Ukraine talks, says Secretary of State Blinken

Russia has been unwilling to engage in talks over Ukraine, said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview with NPR.

"We have not seen any interest on the part of Vladimir Putin in engaging in any kind of meaningful diplomatic initiative," Blinken said.

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Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (June 29)

As Wednesday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day: