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The chairman of Poland’s conservative ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has called the LGBT rights movement a foreign import that threatens the Polish nation.
Kaczynski, a member of parliament who wields tremendous influence as leader of the Law and Justice party, also said during a lecture on patriotism that “everyone must accept Christianity” in Poland and that questioning the Roman Catholic Church is unpatriotic.
The positions Kaczynski expressed Wednesday in the central city of Wloclawek came as Poland’s powerful Catholic Church is under scrutiny for child sex abuse by clergy and superiors who might have covered up for pedophile priests.
Poland also has two elections this year: the vote next month to elect the country’s representatives to the European Union parliament and a national election in the fall. With his remarks, Kaczynski seemed to be tapping into the belief held by some Poles that liberal values have been forced on them as a result of Poland joining the EU 15 years ago.
Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party won the last general election in 2015, the height of Europe’s mass migration crisis. The party’s campaign included portraying Muslim refugees as a threat to Poland.
In recent weeks, Law and Justice has described the LGBT rights movement as another danger to Polish families and children. LGBT rights have become increasingly visible as more Polish cities and towns hold gay pride parades, even places known as bastions of the church and conservative values.
Miroslawa Makuchowska, from the group Campaign Against Homophobia, said she thinks the party chairman’s anti-LGBT message was meant to distract attention from corruption scandals in the Catholic Church and in the Polish government.
“These are the same methods and same messages” used to demonize Muslim immigrants, Makuchowska said. “It’s appalling and frightening because it’s scapegoating.”
The Catholic Church has long been revered as the institution that kept the language and spirit of Poland’s people alive during a long period of foreign rule, while also supporting the democracy movement under communism
But the church’s standing has taken a hit as sex abuse victims increasingly speak publicly about past crimes of accused priests. Public opinion surveys show falling support for having nuns and priests, or even lay educators, teach religion in public schools, as is now the case.
A movie about the clergy abuse problem, Kler (Clergy), became a blockbuster hit last year. On Wednesday, Kaczynski called the film an “attack on the church” and alleged it’s the LGBT rights movement that puts Polish children at risk.
“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children — the sexualization of children, that entire LBGT movement, gender,” he said. “This is imported, but they, today, actually threaten our identity, our nation, its continuation and therefore the Polish state.” (VOA)
Tamil Nadu will host the national blind football tournament for men and women from October 27-30. This is the first time the state is playing host to the national blind football tournament.
The state has formed a blind football team for men only in 2018, and, in 2019 the Tamil Nadu blind football association commenced functioning.
The founder of the TN Blind football association, GR Bharathiraja, while speaking to IANS said, "While we were late in establishing a team and forming an association, we have not lagged behind in training, and a good team is now arranged. We are hosting the national football championship for the blind in both men's and women's categories from October 27."
This is the first time a national-level women's blind football tournament is being conducted while this will be the sixth national blind football tournament for men.
The teams are coached by Francis Sebastian who is an acclaimed blind football coach and he said that the tournament was slated for 2023 but the associations put pressure on the national office-bearers and have made the tournament possible in 2021 itself.
Sebastian, while speaking to IANS, said, "While both the men's and women's teams are performing extremely well, we need more support from sponsors as well as the general public. In the northeastern states of the country, blind football is popular in villages and we are planning to make it popular among the masses of Tamil Nadu, and for that, we need more support and patronage."
The state association, as a first step, is planning to introduce football in every blind school of the state and to train coaches for the same. The blind football association also wants to divide the state into five zones with each zone comprising of some districts and to decentralise the coaching programme so that the game is introduced across the state.
Bharathiraja and Sebastian have said that infrastructural problems are plaguing the game and that the team does not have a playing ground of its own, but the passion for the game is pulling the organisers, players, and coach forward. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Football, Sports, Blind Tournament. national blind football tournament, Tamil Nadu blind football association
Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will replace its decade-old navigation satellite.
The satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 10.19 p.m. on Monday night, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a statement.
The company builds and operates H-2A rockets the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite first launched in 2010. “It was a really beautiful launch," the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.
"H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle," the statement said.
The official QZSS website lists four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3 and QZS-4, Space.com reported.
The QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites that fly in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan, and QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites, according to JAXA.
It is specially optimised for mountainous and urban regions in Japan, JAXA said.
Mitsubishi's H-2A 202 rocket launch system has been operational since 2003 and has sent satellites to locations such as Venus (Akatsuki) and Mars (Emirates Mars Mission).
The latest H2-A rocket launch is the first since November 29, 2020, when Japan launched an advanced relay satellite with laser communications tech into orbit, the report said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Science, Space Satellite, Communications, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, satellite QZS-1R
Everyone loves firecrackers, even the most environment-friendly advocates cannot hide their joy when they see these delightful lights colour the skies. India celebrates Diwali in the true spirit of her culture and heritage by spraying the navy-blue skies with sparkling hues of gold, silver, red, and green. Firecrackers are not just a tradition in this country, they are a legacy.
The original connotation one makes with fireworks in China. The elaborate Chinese celebrations with dragons and zapping firecrackers have left their mark in human memory, but the use of fireworks is not limited to heralding the Chinese New Year. All over the world, fireworks have come to symbolise the ultimate celebration. During Diwali in India, this spirit is re-ignited every year.
Indians have known the use of gunpowder for many centuries now. Sanskrit texts name a substance called 'agnichura' which is described as a 'powder that creates fire'. This is believed to be saltpetre.
A single firecracker ablaze Photo by Unsplash
Sometime during the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, and the Adil Shah Dynasty in South India, the use of the Chinese pyrotechnic formulae became extensively common in entertaining the royals. Weddings, Festivals, and other special celebrations in the palace were marked with a spectacular display of fireworks.
Between the 1920s and 1940s, the dynamics of fireworks changed in India. Ayya Nadar and Shanmuga Nadar, from Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi who migrated to Kolkata, set up a fireworks factory there. It began as a match factory, but after receiving the required permission, it was converted into a fireworks unit. Within a few years, another factory was set up in Sivakasi. Before long, multiple units were set up there, and today, it is India's fireworks hub. Most of the crackers that are used during Diwali come from Sivakasi.
Recently, environmental concerns have caused the ban of fireworks as it causes air pollution. The sale of crackers has reduced drastically after this new law. During the lockdown, the factory labourers underwent great losses, especially in Sivakasi. But keeping the spirit of Diwali in mind. crackers cannot be entirely done away with, and continue to light up the skies at least for a few hours every year.
Keywords: Diwali festival, Fireworks, Sivakasi, the Vijayanagar Empire, culture and heritage in India.