Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat was HIV-positive when he died in a Paris hospital last year, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Sept. 8. â€śAn analysis of the confidential medical report on Yasser Arafatâ€™s death reveals three main possibilities as to the cause: poisoning, AIDS or an infection,â€ť the newspaper said. The report says the immediate cause of death was a massive brain hemorrhage but adds that doctors were unable to explain his underlying illness.The reportâ€™s findings are published in a new edition of the book The Seventh War by journalists Amos Harel and Avi Isacharoff.
Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, Arafatâ€™s personal physician, told the reporters that French doctors found HIV in Arafatâ€™s blood. He claimed Arafat had been injected with the virus to blur traces of poisoning by Israeli agents. Meanwhile, The New York Times did its own analysis of the records and concluded Arafat died â€śfrom a stroke that resulted from a bleeding disorder caused by an unidentified infection.â€ť â€śThe first independent review of the records, obtained by The New York Times, suggests that poisoning was highly unlikely and dispels a rumor that he may have died of AIDS,â€ť the Times said. â€śNonetheless, the records show that despite extensive testing, his doctors could not determine the underlying infection.â€ť
The Jerusalem Post claimed that Gay.com has reported that Arafat was bisexual and had AIDS. A search of Gay.com turned up nothing except a message-board posting by a user linking to an article at 365Gay.com which speculated about AIDS and said, â€śFor several years there have been suggestions that Arafat was bisexual.â€ť
Strippers Found Dead In Montreal
Two U.S. strippers who were working at the Toronto gay bar Remingtonâ€™s were found dead inside a rock quarry outside Montreal Sept. 1. Mark Kraynak, 23, and Steve Wright, 20, had been missing since Aug. 22 when they planned to visit a nearby after-hours bar, Red Lite, in the suburb of Laval. Police have not determined if the men fell, were pushed, or were placed at the quarry after being murdered. The bodies were found on a ledge about 50 feet (15 meters) into the quarry.
Kraynak, who was from Uniontown, Pa., and Wright, who was from Santa Rosa, Calif., had been part of a successful lawsuit against the Canadian government by six U.S. adult entertainers who sought the right to perform in Canada. Kraynak served as a specialist with the Armyâ€™s 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad prior to being wounded and receiving a Purple Heart.
Isle Of Man To Equalize Sex Laws
The Isle of Man, a British crown dependency, is planning to equalize the age of consent for gay and straight sex, Isle of Man Today reported. At present, the island off the west coast of Britain allows heterosexual sex at age 16 but prohibits gay sex until age 18. The government said it wants to make the change to stay in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Aussie Broadcaster Escapes Censure
Veteran Sydney, Australia, radio broadcaster John Laws will not be censured by the Australian Media and Communications Authority for calling Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Carson Kressley a â€śpompous little pansy prigâ€ť and a â€śpillow-biter.â€ť The outburst aired last November on Lawsâ€™ program on radio station 2UE.
The media watchdog agency called the comments offensive and tasteless but said they were unlikely to incite or perpetuate hatred or vilification of gays. The station itself was rapped for failing to respond to complaints within 30 days, a breach of broadcasting codes. Laws later apologized for the slurs in the gay weekly Sydney Star Observer.
â€śMy intentions were humorous and satirical and this is how I believe people who heard my show that morning would have reacted,â€ť he wrote. â€śI do apologize to you for any distress my words might have caused, especially if you might have come to believe I was condoning or supporting any form of verbal or physical violence directed at gay men and lesbians.â€ť
Liverpool Seeks To Create Gay Village
The City Council in Liverpool, England, voted unanimously Sept. 7 to support the idea of creating a gay commercial district, the Liverpool Daily Post reported. â€śWe hope to get moving on it very quickly and we want to talk to businesses who are already gay-friendly and also the gay community to get their ideas and suggestions about the way forward,â€ť said Councilor Peter Millea. â€śLiverpool has always had gay-friendly bars, but they have never worked together as part of a strategy.â€ť
Councilors said the district could make gays and lesbians feel safer and more welcome, stem the routine flow of gay partiers to Manchesterâ€™s Canal Street, and lead to gentrification of the city center. They envision a neighborhood of gay bars, clubs, health services, clothing stores, barbers and residential buildings, said Councilor Paul Brant.
Gay Rugby Players Produce Sexy Calendar
Walesâ€™ gay rugby team, the Cardiff Lions, has released a sexy calendar in hopes of raising money to send itself to New York for next yearâ€™s Bingham Cup tournament.
â€śWe are over-the-moon with the finished productâ€”itâ€™s brilliant,â€ť team spokesman Stuart Savage told the Wales on Sunday newspaper. â€śWe were all nervous at the start of the shoot but as soon as one person did it, we all relaxed. It was in a good cause!â€ť
The calendar sells for ÂŁ8.99, about $16.57. It is available at the teamâ€™s Web site: www.cardifflions.co.uk/calendar.htm.