1. In Surat, over 10,000 students from various schools are expected to take an oath to never marry without the consent of their parents. It was proposed by Kamlesh Masalawala, a city-based laughter therapist who runs 'Laughter club, Crying club' in Surat. The students on Thursday recited eight lines of a poem written by city-based child psychiatrist Dr Mukul Choksi, who is also a poet. Part of the poem reads,"We will love this gift of life given by God, not just our lover, we shall love the whole family..."
2. Robert Biedron, an atheist and the first openly gay official in Poland, announced plans on Sunday to establish a new political party, Wiosna, to diminish the Church's influence in his country by placing tighter restrictions on it. In launching it, Biedron opposes the conservative Law and Justice party which supports the Catholic Church. With this party, the tax breaks the church receives will be eliminated, an end to religious lessons schools are compelled to teach and allowing abortion to take place prior to 12 weeks gestation.
3. Ethan Lindenberger, a young man from Ohio who turned 18, got vaccinated after his parents did not get take him for shots. Months ago, he posted his story on Reddit and asked people if he could get inoculations on his own. His post was updated to say he had an appointment to get his shots and his mom was angry but his dad did not care that much. Some of his other family members are now thinking about getting shots too.
4. Assil Belalta, 21-year-old medical student was found dead at his student residence at University City in Ben Aknoun, just outside Algiers, Algeria. His throat was slashed and the killers wrote 'he&'s gay' in his blood across the wall of his dorm room. It has been reported as a homophobic killing by two attackers who then stole his car. Homosexuality has been illegal in the Islamic county since 1966 under Sharia Law, which can lead to punishments of fines or up to two years in jail.
5. Eric Porterfield, a Republican West Virginia legislator, went on a rant against LGBTQ people when he was trying to explain an anti-gay slur he used during a committee meeting. When the Charleston Gazette-Mail interviewed him, he said, "The LGBTQ is a modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods with their antics of hate." He also called the gay community a "terrorist group" and that he is being "persecuted" in retaliation for his remarks.
6. Shamima Begum, a pregnant British schoolgirl who joined Islamic State in Syria has revealed that she is going to give birth to her baby, having married a young Dutch IS fighter three weeks after she arrived in Syria four years ago. She said that she did not regret fleeing the UK but wants to come home so her baby can be looked after. She revealed that she had already given birth to two children but they died so she is now "overprotective" of her unborn baby. Ben Wallace, the security minister said that the public would be worried about people returning to a country "they apparently hate".
7. According to a 570-page book to be published next week, some of the most senior clerics in the Roman Catholic church who have attacked homosexuality are themselves gay. The book, "In the Closet of the Vatican", claimed that 80% of priests working at the VAtican are gay although not necessarily sexually active. French journalist and author Frederic Martel spent four years researching for this book and according to its British publisher Bloomsbury, it is a "startling account of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican".
8. Alexandre Bissonnette, the man who opened fire on a group of Muslim worshippers in Quebec City, killing six, will serve a life sentence and won't be eligible for parole for 40 years. Quebec Superior Court Justice Francois Huot told a courtroom that Alexandre was driven by a "visceral hatred" of Muslims. The judge did not consider the killings an act of terrorism and in his reading of the decision did not specify why. The judge also stated that when speaking to a psychiatrist after the killings, Bissonnette said that he regretted not killing more people.
9. The West Virginia Senate has introduced a bill that would increase exemptions for religious and personal reasons, along with the standard exemptions that are provided for people with medical reasons. The lead sponsor of the bill, Senator Mark Maynard, believes vaccines are linked to autism. His bill only seeks to make religious and ideological exemptions more available. He said, “With religious and conscientious concerns, not only with the increase of autism that is thought to be linked to vaccination but the fact that embryos that are derived from abortions that are used in these vaccinations, should be enough reasons for parents to exempt their child.”
10. 42-year-old Ramalingam was assaulted in Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district on his way back home by a group of unidentified people and his hands were chopped off. Ramalingam died on the way to the hospital due to excessive bleeding. He was brutally murdered by a group of people belonging to a minority community for opposing religious conversation. It is suspected that the murder is linked to an argument Ramalingam had with few Muslim men earlier in the day. A group of Muslim preachers had gone to an area with large number Dalit inhabitants and started preaching about Islam. Ramalingam confronted the men opposing the same, and the preachers retaliated. He said, “Hindus are never anti-Muslims. We worship our God, you worship your Allah”.