Homosexuality is still punishable by death in five countries

India decriminalized homosexuality today, marking a major victory for gay rights activists worldwide. But there's still a long way to go, according to international watchdog ILGA.

Being gay in India carried the risk of a lifelong prison term, reports the ILGA's May 2009 world map of gay rights. At least five other countries -- Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran -- substitute the death penalty in place of imprisonment. Only six countries afford gay couples marriage with full legal rights: South Africa, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Canada.

Correction: The new measure approved by India applies only to the country's capital, New Delhi.


Nepal's new anticorruption device: pocketless pants

Via World Politics Review, Nepal has devised a strategic intervention to cut down on corruption among its airport employees: take away their pockets.

From the AFP in Kathmandu:

“We sent a team to observe the growing complaints about the behaviour of airport authorities and workers towards travellers and we discovered that the reports were true,” said Ishwori Prasad Paudyal, spokesman for the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).

“So we decided that airport officials should be given trousers with no pockets. We have directed the ministry of civil aviation to implement our order as soon as possible,” he told AFP.

The question that I want answered is where will they keep their keys? Nepal is pretty progressive for the region, but I'm not sure airport bureaucrats are ready for the man purse.