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"God Left Libya a Long Time Ago": Daily Brief

Plus: Trump tweet storm in UK; transgender law outrage in Japan; Bangladesh to relocate Rohingya refugees; forced labor fuels North Korea's nuclear weapons program; FIFA warning to gay fans at Russia 2018; Vietnam upholds blogger sentence; Indonesia virginity tests; & Philippines HIV row.


  1. The Mediterranean is the deadliest migration route in the world, with more than 15,000 deaths recorded since 2014. This vivid and personal account of two weeks spent on board a migrant rescue ship helps explain why so many are willing to risk their lives to flee their home countries, and why people are so desperate to escape the brutality they face in Libya.
  2. US President Donald Trump has told British Prime Minister Theresa May to focus on "radical Islamic terrorism" in the UK after she criticized his sharing of far-right videos. Mrs May was one of scores of people to call the president out after he re-tweeted three inflammatory videos posted online by the British far-right group, Britain First.
  3. There have been some positive steps to improve the rights of LGBT people in Japan but the country’s legal gender recognition procedure – the law that allows transgender people to be recognized according to their gender identity – remains a stain on Japan’s record.
  4. Bangladesh has given the green light to a controversial plan to move 100,000 Rohingya refugees - who fled Burma for Bangladesh following a spate of ethnic cleansing against them - to a low-lying desolate island which is prone to flooding.
  5. North Korea sparked alarm by conducting another long-range missile test this week. But how is it able to invest such tremendous resources into its nuclear weapons program? In part by forcing ordinary citizens into forced labor.
  6. FIFA's anti-discrimination advisers are warning gay soccer fans going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia that displays of affection could be met with an aggressive response from intolerant locals.
  7. A Vietnamese court has upheld a 10-year jail sentence for a prominent blogger convicted of publishing propaganda against the state.
  8. Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should order Indonesia’s police chief and armed forces commander to immediately ban so-called “virginity tests” of female applicants.
  9. And a media frenzy in underway in the Philippines after drug enforcement officers unlawfully disclosed that one of 11 suspects they'd arrested in a Manila hotel room on suspicion of using illegal drugs is HIV positive.