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LGBTQ groups cheer Tokyo’s same-sex partnership move

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Tokyo is moving to introduce a same-sex partnership system, an announcement welcomed by many

Japanese LGBTQ rights activists on Wednesday hailed Tokyo’s move to introduce a same-sex partnership system as a huge step in their fight for equality in the only G7 country that does not fully recognize same-sex marriage. Emer McCarthy reports.

Japanese LGBTQ rights activists are hailing Tokyo’s move to introduce a same-sex partnership system as a huge step in their fight for equality, in the only G7 country that does not fully recognize same-sex marriage.

Tokyo’s governor Yuriko Koike announced on Tuesday (December 7) that partnerships would be allowed early next year and made legal in the fiscal year beginning April 2022.

The partnership system allows same-sex partners to register their relationship and gain some of the privileges enjoyed by married couples, like being allowed to rent places to live together and gain hospital visitation rights.

“I think it is very revolutionary. I think diversity will continue to progress, so I think what the Tokyo governor said was good.”

“In rural areas, there are long-standing cultures and way of living, so I think those kinds of things are kind of difficult to root in immediately. I think Tokyo can set itself as a good example, and that can spread nationwide.”

Activists have long lobbied for the capital to adopt the system, and pushed its efforts ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

LGBTQ rights activist Gon Matsunaka said the Olympics helped sway public opinion.

“We had the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and I think Tokyo is thinking about what to it should do in regards to the legacy of the Games. In fact, the United Kingdom legalized same-sex marriage after the London Olympics. In that sense, since Koike made the announcement in the year of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in which ‘diversity and harmony’ was the theme, although she said she would introduce it next year, I think the Games had an influence.”

Activists say the next goal is making marriage possible, though this probably requires more local areas to adopt same-sex partnership regulations, creating enough pressure that the national government can no longer ignore it.

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Princess Catherine visits the Royal Surrey County Hospital

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Princess Catherine has visited the Royal Surrey County Hospital, in a heartwarming gesture to new mothers

Princess Catherine, the new Princess of Wales visited the Royal Surrey County Hospital in her first solo public engagement since the death of the Queen.

While there, she met with staff and new mothers, with the visit making the Princess reminisce about her own children.

The Princess held a baby during her visit and even joked that her youngest, Prince Louis, still seemed like a baby to her, even though he is now four years old.

Speaking about childbirth, Catherine said “no matter how much everyone tells you what you expect, it’s a shock to the system” and “you have this idea of what will happen but every single birth is different.”

It’s clear that the Princess loves being a mother and is enjoying every moment with her children.

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Vladimir Putin announces changes to his mobilisation orders

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Vladimir Putin announces

Vladimir Putin announces changes to his mobilisation orders during a televised address

Vladimir Putin has appeared on state television to announce changes to his mobilisation orders.

The Russian leader has made “corrections” to the decree, meaning students at universities and postgraduates don’t have to fight in the war.

The Russian President has also signed a new law to claim the “annexed” regions of Ukraine are now officially a part of the nation.

He stopped short of defining where the borders of these so-called regions are though.

It follows, reports suggesting Russia’s military might on the frontline is dwindling, as wounded troops retreat from key areas.

Ukraine’s military is continuing to make territorial gains in the south and east, pushing into these areas Russia claims to have “annexed.”

Putin appeared to concede Russia would “stabilise” the situation in these areas.

“We are working on the assumption that the situation in the new territories will stabilise,” Putin said during a televised video call.

New images emerging online show Ukrainian troops in the Luhansk region.

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Liz Truss pledges to get her country through the stormy days ahead

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Liz Truss pledges to get her country through the stormy days ahead during Tory Party address

Liz Truss has pledged to get the UK through the stormy days head.

It comes comes against a backdrop of financial and political turmoil following the government’s mini-budget.

Markets reacted badly to the plans for 45 billion pound tax cuts funded by borrowing.

Meanwhile, the government’s U-turn on plans to slash the 45 per cent tax rate led to criticism from within the party.

In the address, Truss admitted her policies will cause “disruption”. But she says “the status quo is not an option” and her party “must stay the course”.

“I’m determined to get Britain moving, to get us through the tempest and to put us on a stronger footing as a nation,” Truss said.

Truss also vowed to take on the “anti-growth coalition” and “enemies of enterprise”. This includes opposition parties, “militant unions” and environmental campaigners.

The speech was an attempt to reassert the government’s commitment to its economic plans, in the face of criticism from both inside and outside the party.

There were a number of protestors at the conference hall during the event.

Two Greenpeace demonstrators were removed after holding up a sign which read ‘who voted for this’.

The reaction to Liz Truss’s speech was mixed.

Some commentators praised her for her “straight talking” and for her willingness to take on the “anti-growth coalition”.

Others criticised her for her lack of detail and failure to address concerns about the government’s economic plans.

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