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Minorities News

Turkey parliament backs hotly-contested immunity bill

Ankara - The Turkish parliament on Tuesday approved, in a preliminary vote, a controversial bill that would strip dozens of deputies of their parliamentary immunity and which pro-Kurdish lawmakers say is directly aimed at driving them out of the legislature.

Kabul locked down as minority Hazaras protest over power line

Kabul - Afghanistan's capital was under lockdown Monday as thousands of minority Shiite Hazaras launched protests over a multi-million-dollar power transmission line, in what could snowball into a political crisis for the beleaguered government.

Roma face uncertain future amid Slovakia's nationalist surge

Kosice - His mouth open wide, four-year-old Milos is intent on managing a plate of fish and potatoes using adult-sized cutlery -- a meal all too rare for the many Roma children living in squalor in Slovakia.

Myanmar lifts state of emergency in troubled Rakhine state

Yangon - Myanmar's outgoing government on Tuesday lifted a state of emergency in conflict-hit Rakhine, a parting gesture that coincides with turbulent relations between Aung San Suu Kyi's new administration and the western state's powerful Buddhist political pa...

Pakistan minorities live in fear after blasphemy mob killings

Kot Radha Kishan - Four-year-old Aliya's life collapsed last year when her illiterate Christian parents were falsely accused of tossing out pages of the Koran in their rubbish, and then lynched and burnt on a brick kiln by an angry mob.

U.S. university names black president to defuse race row

Washington - The University of Missouri named a black interim president on Thursday after the incumbent was forced out amid an escalating race row, as a wave of protests spread to half a dozen US campuses.

Lemkos: Abandoned minority of shattered Ukraine war zone

- Partially blind Tetyana has been living near the skeletal remains of a rebel-held airport in eastern Ukraine and surviving off hand-picked vegetables since war gripped the EU's backyard last year.

France cash pledge for persecuted Mideast minorities

Paris - France will contribute 25 million euros to a global "action plan" for the protection of minorities in the Middle East that are persecuted by the Islamic State group and other extremists, Paris announced Tuesday.

Opportunity found in lack of diversity in U.S. tech sector

San Francisco - Too many white men and too few women, blacks and Latinos: While fueling debate, the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley is also inspiring startups focused on improving the mix.

Pakistan's fading Parsi community looks abroad

Karachi - For more than 1,000 years, Parsis have thrived in South Asia but an ageing population and emigration to the West driven by instability in Pakistan means the tiny community of "fire worshippers" could soon be consigned to the country's history books.

Turkey's Alevis hail 'historic' court decision on prayer houses

Istanbul - Turkey's Alevi community on Tuesday hailed a Supreme Court ruling on the funding of their prayer houses as a historic decision bringing Turkey's biggest minority faith more closely in line with other beliefs.

CIA promises better diversity

Washington - CIA Director John Brennan announced a series of measures to improve diversity at the upper echelons of the spy agency, currently occupied by a disproportionate majority of whites.

Armenians, Yazidi, Roma in Turkey's diverse new parliament

Ankara - The new Turkish parliament will show greater diversity than before, with three Armenians elected from three different parties and also representatives from other minority ethnic or religious backgrounds.

Spate of attacks shake Pakistan's dwindling Sikh community

Chichawatni - Pilgrims descended from all over the world on a small town in Pakistan that is home to one of Sikhism's holiest sites this week, dipping into holy spring water and solemnly offering prayers.

Norway to ease rules on gender change recognition

Oslo - Norway will introduce a new law governing sex changes, the government said Friday after an expert group recommended an end to what critics call "medieval" treatment of transgender people.

UN, Myanmar leader hail draft peace deal

Yangon - Myanmar's president Tuesday hailed a draft national ceasefire with armed rebel groups, described by the UN as a "historic and significant achievement" as the country tries to end decades of civil war.

Myanmar, rebels agree landmark draft peace deal

Yangon - Myanmar peace negotiators agreed the draft text of a historic nationwide ceasefire agreement on Monday, as the country edges closer to ending decades of conflict between ethnic minority groups and the government.

Turkish Kurds bury slain child, government denies shooting

Thousands of mourners on Thursday buried a 12-year-old Kurdish boy who activists say was killed by Turkish security forces, a claim vehemently denied by the government.

Roma baby case highlights community's plight in France

Paris - The tragic case of a dead Roma baby refused burial in a Paris suburb has underscored the plight of the community in France, where supporters say they are a scapegoat for the country's ills.

France probes uproar over Roma baby burial

Paris - The French human rights ombudsman launched an investigation Sunday into an uproar over a mayor's alleged refusal -- which he later emphatically denied -- to allow burial of a Roma migrant's baby.

Pope urges Muslim leaders to condemn Islamist terror

Istanbul - Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders worldwide to "clearly" condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam, and called for an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

Clashes erupt as Turkish nationalist visits Kurdish region

Tunceli - Turkish security forces and pro-Kurdish protesters clashed on Friday as tensions erupted over the visit of a nationalist leader to a flashpoint eastern region, an AFP photographer reported.

Archbishop of Constantinople keeps Byzantium alive in Turkey

Istanbul - Down a narrow side street, in a district of Istanbul on the Golden Horn well off the beaten tourist track, sit the relatively modest headquarters of the "first among equals" of the world's estimated 300 million Orthodox Christian believers.

Hungarians march to celebrate 'Roma Pride'

Budapest - Hundreds of Hungarians took part in a "Roma Pride" march in Budapest on Sunday to celebrate the country's largest ethnic minority, a community scarred by widespread prejudice.Around 500 people walked through the city centre chanting "Opre Roma!

Russia evicts Crimean Tatars from assembly

Simferopol - Russian authorities have ordered Crimean Tatars to leave their assembly building, in a move that the leader of the ethnic minority -- which opposed Russia's annexing of Crimea from Ukraine -- called a return to Soviet oppression.

Isolated Amazonian tribe makes contact with outside

Rio De Janeiro - Members of an isolated tribe have emerged from the Amazon rainforest and made contact with the outside world in a video released by Brazil's indigenous authority.

Outrage in France over vigilante attack on Roma teen

Paris - The brutal beating by vigilantes of a Roma teenager who is now fighting for his life has shocked France, with President Francois Hollande on Tuesday decrying an "unspeakable and unjustifiable" act.

Ethnic minorities in focus in British election race

Grays - Feeling "surrounded" by ethnic minorities, retired factory worker Peter Harvey voted for Britain's anti-immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP) in last month's European and local polls and plans to do so again in next year's national election.

Crimean Karaites hail Russia's takeover of peninsula

Bakhchysaray - Crimea's tiny 800-strong Karaite minority -- Turkic-speaking, not entirely Jewish and overwhelmingly pro-Russian -- hopes that Moscow’s takeover of the peninsula will help them preserve their ancient culture.

Op-Ed: V. Stiviano/ Vanessa Maria Perez — Imitation of life redux

We know all about Donald Tokowitz Sterling’s disgusting remarks. As much as we are mortified and sickened by him, we have encountered this toxic mindset before. Here’s the real question: What the hell is wrong with his girlfriend?
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