Destinations: Last News


Fears of Switzerland as a Gay Conversion Tourist Destination

Activists and advocacy groups in Switzerland are warning legislation is needed to prevent the country from becoming a tourist destination for gay conversion therapy.“We absolutely have to prevent Switzerland from becoming a refuge for ‘gay healers,’” the Swiss LGBTQ+ advocacy group, Pink Cross, told AFP.Roman Heggli, the group’s managing director, said part of the problem is many elected officials don’t acknowledge the problem or say existing laws should stop the practice.“We tell them it’s not enough and we can see that because conversion therapy is still happening in Switzerland, and we have a lot of victims,” Hegglis told Euronews.Heggli also said practitioners in Switzerland use a linguistic sleight-of-hand and don’t call it conversion therapy.“They say it’s only a self-finding trip, a therapy, or they want people to accept themselves but of course, that’s a lie because they don't really want them to accept themselves,” Heggli said. “They just want to make them straight and cis.”RELATED: The Men of Bern Switzerland In 11 Elska Magazine PortraitsThe mountainous nation is culturally conservative, and only passed legislation legalizing marriage equality and making it easier to change gender markers on official documents in late 2020.

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At Least 59 Killed, 150+ Injured at Seoul Halloween Festival Incident
(CNN) – At least 59 people were killed during an incident at Halloween festivities in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood Saturday night, according to the Yongsan Fire Department chief.At least 150 others were also injured, the chief added.The cause of the deaths was not immediately provided but the chief said many people fell amid the Halloween festivities, resulting in casualties.Yonhap News Agency earlier reported that people suffered from “cardiac arrest,” attributing fire authorities. Emergency officials received at least 81 people in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood reporting “difficulty breathing.”Authorities have yet to provide exact details on the cause of the incident.Police closed off the area and social media videos showed people lying in the streets and on stretchers as first responders rendered aid.The fire chief said that a total of 848 emergency response forces have been dispatched, including 364 firefighters and 400 police officials.South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sent a disaster medical assistance team to the Halloween incident, according to the presidential office.The president also ordered authorities to secure emergency beds in hospitals nearby and to implement swift rescue operations and treatment, presidential spokesman Lee Jae-Myung said in a briefing.Yoon was in an emergency meeting regarding the situation, the office said in a statement.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros.
Statue of Liberty Crown Reopens After Two Years
(CNN) – The public can once again enter the crown portion of the Statue of Liberty – the first time since it closed its doors in March 2020 because of the pandemic, a spokesperson told CNN.While portions of the Statue of Liberty gradually reopened throughout the pandemic, the crown was kept off limits for more than two and a half years until Tuesday.The National Park Service, which manages the New York City monument, was attempting to hold a soft reopening without too much advertisement in late October to celebrate the 136th anniversary of the statue’s dedication in 1886, said Jerry Willis, a spokesperson for Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.Willis said the plan was to acclimate newly hired staff to crown-specific safety and security protocols by having them train with veteran tour guides, but that didn't happen.“People really were excited about the news,” Willis said. He said public demand for access to the crown has always existed, and park officials had been hoping to reopen access for a while, but several factors stood in the way.Willis said it wasn’t any one thing that delayed the reopening but a series of factors that kept pushing back their timeline such as getting city, state, and federal pandemic restrictions lifted and also dealing with a record-low hiring pool.“We had to hire people and get them up to speed to effectively run crown operations,” Willis said. Statue City Cruises is the only NPS-authorized ferry service, which must be reserved in advance online or by phone.Depending upon when you visit, reservations to access the crown need to be made between four to six months in advance.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros.
Race and Power Collide in Fight Over Sacred Rock Art
(CNN) – Near a dry, red rock peninsula on Australia’s far western coast, a dusty highway separates two communities with contrasting fortunes tied to an ancient land.One is home to the small but booming city of Karratha, a regional hub scattered with four-wheel drives that was purpose-built in the 1960s to accommodate a growing army of miners looking to extract the land's vast stores of iron ore, oil, and gas.The other is Roebourne, a former gold rush town 30 minutes up the highway, where the peninsula’s Indigenous population settled after being driven from their lands by colonialists in the mid-1800s.For years, news reports painted Roebourne as a “misfit town where everyone drinks, smokes, and can’t take care of their kids,” says Josie Alec, a proud descendent of the Kuruma-Marthudunera people, who raised her four kids there.In reality, she says it’s a deeply resilient community made up of families like her own, whose ancestors have watched over “Murujuga” – the peninsula’s Aboriginal name – for generations, while keeping its vibrant cultural traditions alive.For Australia’s First Nations people, Murujuga is the birthplace of songs and creation stories explaining the laws of nature, told through more than a million rock carvings scattered across its deserts and nearby islands.These irreplaceable petroglyphs are 10 times older than the pyramids of Egypt and depict early human civilization, but some of their ancestral guardians fear they could be destroyed by pollution from one of Australia’s largest new fossil fuel developments. Experts say the prehistoric petroglyphs show extinct species and the earliest depictions of the human faceThe company behind the project, Woodside Energy, plans to extract millions of tons of gas