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Panama’s Supreme Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage

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Panama’s Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is not a human right and the country therefore does not have to recognise such unions, according to a judgement published Wednesday.

The court had been considering the issue since 2016, following several appeals from same-sex couples claiming the Central American country’s family code was unconstitutional as it only recognises marriages between a man and a woman.

“There is a reality, and it is that, until now, the right to equal marriage is no more than an aspiration, even though a legitimate one for the groups involved, and it does not fall into the category of a human right or a fundamental right,” said the court, in the ruling dated February 16.

The same-sex couples who filed suit were attempting to have marriages that took place in other countries be legally recognised in Panama.

The court, however, said, “no matter how many changes happen in reality,” for now gay marriage “lacks conventional and constitutional recognition.”

The court added the family code was “objectively and reasonably justified in the general interests of giving precedence to those unions capable of establishing families, giving continuity to the human species, and therefore, to society.”

The Catholic Church, which opposes same-sex marriage, holds significant political influence in Panama.

The Interamerican Court of Human Rights ruled in 2018 that same-sex couples are entitled to the same marriage rights as opposite-sex couples, in a binding judgement that applied to all of the court’s members, including Panama.

However, Costa Rica remains the only Central American country to recognize same-sex marriages.

With the February 16 ruling, the Panamanian justice system “has rejected the recognition of the dignity of same-sex couples and their right to build a family in Panama,” Ivan Chanis, president of the gay rights organisation Fundacion Iguales, told AFP.

AFP

 

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Teen Girl, Parents Found Dead Inside $5M Mansion In Possible Murder Suicide

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A teenage girl and her parents were found dead in a $5 million Massachusetts, USA mansion overnight in an apparent domestic violence incident, police authorities said Friday, December 29.

The bodies of Rakesh Kamal, 57, his wife, Teena, 54, and their 18-year-old daughter, Ariana, were found in their home estimated to be worth $5.45 million — at about 7:30 p.m on Thursday, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said.

The district attorney who described the “terrible tragedy” as a “domestic violence situation” said a gun was found near the husband’s body.

He refused to say whether all three family members were shot dead — and by whom.

Morrissey said he was waiting for the medical examiner’s ruling, which was expected later Friday, before deciding whether to refer to the incident as a murder-suicide.

“Although the investigation is at a very preliminary stage, the evidence available at this time does not indicate the involvement of any outside party, but suggests that this is a deadly incident of domestic violence,” his office said in a statement.

“It is not believed that there is any ongoing danger to the Dover community related to this incident.”

The family’s mansion went into foreclosure a year ago and was sold to the Massachusetts-based Wilsondale Associates LLC for $3 million, property records obtained by The Post show.

The Kamals had purchased the 19,000-square-foot estate – which boasts 11 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms – for $4 million in 2019, according to the records.

The slain family members were the only ones living in the mansion at the time, the DA said, adding that the area was “a nice neighborhood, a safe community.”

The daughter was a student at Middlebury College, a $64,800-a-year private liberal arts school in Vermont, Morrissey confirmed.

The grim discovery of their bodies was made after a relative had stopped by to check on the family members after not hearing from them in one or two days, the district attorney said.

Morrissey added that there had been no prior police reports or domestic incidents tied to the home.

“I hate to see it at any time,” Morrissey said of domestic violence incidents. “I think some of the tensions that people feel in relationships often come out around the holidays.”

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Enough Is Enough: Pope Francis Calls For Ceasefire In Israel-Hamas War

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Pope Francis, has waded into the ongoing attacks and violence in Israel and Gaza, saying the killings that had claimed children and women among others.

The leader of the Roman Catholic church, called for humanitarian corridors to allow the delivery of food, water and fuel to the Gaza Strip, which is under heavy Israeli bombardment following a bloody attack by Hamas last weekend

In the eight days since Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,300 Israelis in their attack, Israel has responded with a devastating bombing campaign that had claimed over 2,300 lives in Gaza.

According to reports, conditions in Gaza hospitals were so critical that health workers had begun to store bodies in ice cream freezer trucks because moving them to hospitals has become too risky plus cemeteries have become full.

Pope, speaking after his traditional Angelus prayer in Rome’s Saint Peter’s Square, on Sunday, October 15, said;

“Humanitarian law must be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to guarantee humanitarian corridors and help the population.

“I strongly urge that children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians should not fall victim to the conflict.

“There have already been so many deaths, please let’s not shed any more innocent blood, not in the Holy Land, not in Ukraine, not anywhere else. Enough is enough. War is always a defeat,” he said, castigating “the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war.”

Pope Francis also renewed his call “for the release of the hostages” kidnapped by Hamas fighters in southern Israel and invited “all believers to unite in prayer with the Church in the Holy Land”

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, vowed to “demolish Hamas” as his military prepared to move into the Gaza Strip in search of Islamist militants, whose deadly rampage through Israeli border towns shocked the world.

Israel has told Gazans to evacuate toward the South, which hundreds of thousands had already done in the enclave that was home to more than two million people, about half in Gaza City.

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Israel Pounding Hamas, Will Obliterate hem – Prime Minister Netanyahu Vows

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The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has vowed to obliterate Hamas and emerge triumphant in the ongoing war.

Netanyahu said Israeli forces are pounding Hamas with brute force, adding that they just started paying the price.

The Prime Minister disclosed this in a statement following a security assessment at Kirya in Tel Aviv.

According to him, “Citizens of Israel, Shabbat Shalom. Shabbat shalom to our forces deployed across the country, who are celebrating the Sabbath in the field, far from home.

“And we are fighting tooth and nail: soldiers, police officers, citizens, security forces, health personnel and rescue teams — and Israel’s citizens, with your extraordinary volunteering spirit that has touched the world.

“We are all mobilized, we are all united. We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated against us by our enemies.

“We will never forget the horrific acts perpetrated by our enemies and we will never forgive. We will not allow the world, or anyone, to forget these horrors, the likes of which the Jewish people have not endured in decades.

“We are pounding our enemies with unprecedented force, and I stress, this is only the beginning. Our enemies have only just begun to pay the price. I will not detail our plans, but I tell you, this is only the beginning.

“We will obliterate Hamas, we will triumph. It might take time, but we will end this war stronger than ever. “May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them.”

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