Current Affairs

In this edition of our current affairs updates, we aim to provide our readers with the recent happenings around the world that may be lesser known. While we’re faced with solemn events — the passing of our founding father Lee Kuan Yew and the Germanwings airplane crash, just to name a few — we should still be aware of small yet significant events happening around the world, so that we can broaden our horizons and learn more about the various events taking place in the world we live in.

Tokyo District First in Japan to Recognise Same-sex Partnerships


Gay activists celebrating the move on Tuesday (Photo credits: Straits Times)

A district assembly in Tokyo became the first in Japan to recognise same-sex partnerships, passing an ordinance to allow officials to issue certificates to same-sex couples, which state that businesses have to make the “maximum possible consideration” to these couples and cannot discriminate against them. This move has been a major step forward for couples in same-sex relationships as Japan remains among the countries where going public in such a relationship is still a taboo.

In Japan, same-sex couples are clearly discriminated against; normal visiting rights in hospitals do not apply to them and they may be refused joint-tenancy from landlords as their relationship is not recognised. Activists hope that with the ordinance in place, society will become more accepting and embrace diversity, allowing just and fair treatment to all people.

Some members of the LGBT community are cautiously optimistic as they believe that this move was made primarily to boost Tokyo’s reputation internationally, but most hailed the move as a step closer towards the eradication of discrimination against homosexuality.

For more on this story, click here and here.

Dog-killing Spree Stuns Mexican City


A five-year-old German shepherd, named Box, was one of the victims. (Photo credits: AP)

More than 60 dogs — most of them house pets — have been poisoned to death in the past few weeks in the Mexican city of Hermosillo, leading to demands for an investigation by animal rights activists. Most of them have been killed by eating meat laced with poison, which had been thrown to them over walls and fences.

The authorities were shocked when they received 10 reports of dog deaths in a day — as many as Hermosillo usually receives in a month. According to the Associated Press news agency, a Los Angeles based actor, Raul Julia Levy, is offering a USD$10,000 reward to anyone with information that could lead to an arrest.

The poisoning only came to light in mid-March, but it is still unclear if the local police has the ability to conduct a full investigation into the matter, as Hermosillo is a city plagued with violence and even drug crimes.

For more on this story, click here.

World Street Food Congress Returns to Singapore


World Street Food Congress 2013 (Photo credits: Makansutra)

Need something to do over the weekend? Why not head down to the World Street Food Congress? The event aims to preserve street food culture, professionalise street food and  explore the possibilities that street food brings to food culture. Organised by Makansutra, a local company that celebrates and promotes food culture, and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, it will be held at the open field opposite Bugis Junction, from April 8 to April 12.

Attendees can expect to sample a wide variety of food from 24 stalls with delectable treats from top chefs like Peter Lloyd (Executive Chef, Spice Market Restaurant) and William Wongso (celebrity chef). Be prepared to taste delicious dishes from around the world, such as the Nonya Black Satay from Penang, barbecued pork and potatoes from Bolivia and the Philippines’ pork with truffle rice. Attendees can also expect a special segment of the event this year that is in line with the SG50 celebrations: the SG50 Deliciously Singaporean exhibition on April 8, which will showcase Singapore’s heritage and feature 50 Singaporean treats, such as chicken rice, Indian curry and cheng tng.

For more on this story, click here or visit the World Street Food Congress’ official website.

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