Abortion decriminalized in Sydney after Australian lawmakers overturn 119-year-old law

(CNN)Abortion has now been decriminalized in almost all of Australia after the country’s most populous state voted to overturn a 119-year-old law. New South Wales’ move means that abortion is now decriminalized everywhere in Australia — apart from the state of South Australia. South Australia’s abortion laws are currently under review. “And there you go folks Abortion has finally been decriminalised everywhere in Australia …. oh yeah except here in South Australia!” tweeted South Australia Abortion Action Coalition on Thursday. “Congratulations NSW now let’s get this done here.” New South Wales’ law change was controversial and provoked heated debate. Religious groups, anti-abortion activists and MPs had raised concerns, including about late-term abortion and people using abortions to select the sex …

Flying a jet and firing a gun: Thailand releases rare photos of King’s royal consort

(CNN)Thailand’s royal palace has released candid photographs of the king’s newly-anointed consort, offering a rare and intimate window into the lives of the Thai royals. In one shot, Sineenat and Vajiralongkorn are wearing military fatigues and holding the King’s royal poodle. In another, the two are wearing casual clothes and laughing naturally. The images received so much interest that the Thai palace’s website crashed following their release, due to the volume of traffic, Reuters reported. A biography released with the images said Sineenat was born in the northern Thai province of Nan on January 26, 1985. She graduated from Army Nursing College in 2008 and spent time in the military undertaking courses in jungle warfare and piloting, according to state …

For China’s LGBTQ people, Taiwan’s rainbow victory is a moment of joy and pain

Taipei, Taiwan (CNN)When Chinese gay rights activist Peng Yanhui heard that Taiwan had approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on May 17 as he boarded a flight, he burst into tears of joy. In one way, the moment could be a turning point for the whole of Asia, where countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia have recently become more conservative towards LGBTQ rights.Taiwan is the first place in the region which is home to about 60% of the world’s population to legalize same-sex marriage.

Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn crowned in elaborate three-day celebration

(CNN)Thailand has crowned its new king in a $31 million three-day celebration that comes almost 69 years to the day since the last coronation. He also delivered his first royal command as King, saying, “I shall continue, preserve, and build upon the royal legacy and shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the people forever.” In some ways, Thitinan said the celebrations are likely to be relatively “modest” compared with those for the late King’s 60th anniversary in 2006, when the Sultan of Brunei, the Emperor of Japan, and Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Andrew traveled to Bangkok for the occasion. This time, no foreign dignitaries have been invited. Who is King Vajiralongkorn? King Vajiralongkorn studied in Australia …