Let’s take a look at our favorite headlines for Tuesday, Oct. 9. For starters, yet another Trump appointee bites the dust as news of today’s Nikki Haley resignation as America’s ambassador to the United Nations has been making the rounds.
Also, remember how yesterday we reported on Taylor Swift finally breaking her political silence? Well, big things have come from it. Big. Huge.
Plus, disconcerting news out of California, where another gay man who was regularly using PrEP to prevent HIV has come down with the virus. In Taiwan, the government has decided to hold a referendum on gay marriage (yuck) and see why pop star Sam Smith has some animal activists seeing red.
From the Nikki Haley resignation to Sam Smith’s fishy eating habits, here are the day’s top headlines:
1. Nikki Haley Resignation Makes Her the Latest Trump Appointee to Call It Quits (News)
“It was a blessing to go into the U.N. with body armor every day and defend America,” Nikki Haley told reporters today while seated next to Donald Trump in the Oval Office. She also called it “an honor of a lifetime.” News of the Nikki Haley resignation has been hailed as expected by Trump himself, who says Haley always intended to leave after two years. He says he plans to name her successor in the next month. Haley, one of the few women in the Trump administration, will remain in her position through the end of the year. The New York Times mentions that earlier this year some White House Republicans were whispering about the possibility of a Pence / Haley ticket in 2020.
2. In One Day, Taylor Swift Caused a Huge Spike in Voter Registration (Celebrities, Politics)
Yesterday we reported that burgeoning pop icon Taylor Swift broke her rigidly apolitical stance on Sunday by encouraging Americans to get out and vote, supporting queer rights and endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee. Naturally, backlash from conservatives followed, many conveying a good ol’ fashioned “shut up and sing” sentiment, Donald Trump saying, “I like Taylor’s music about 25% less now” (???) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee attempting to land a joke by saying Swift’s post won’t impact the election because 13-year-old girls can’t vote.
So you can image Huckabee’s assured frustration when the Taylor Swift Insta post caused a massive spike in voter registration, up 65,000 registrations in 24 hours according to Vote.org‘s director of communications.
3. A San Francisco Man on PrEP Has Contracted HIV (Health)
A sixth instance of seroconversion by an individual making regular use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was reported at annual conference IDWeek 2018 in San Francisco. Researchers were quick to relay, however, the rarity of such a case, with one PrEP researcher commenting, “I really want to say that PrEP is almost there in terms of 100% [protection]. This is a rare case and I don’t want anyone to worry too much.” Despite adhering to proper PrEP usage, the San Francisco man, a 21-year-old Latino, came into contact with a particularly resistant strain of the virus.
“HIV infections during PrEP use are extremely rare,” says PrEP researcher Robert Grant of UCSF. “There are only a few cases reported worldwide after hundreds of thousands of people have used PrEP and tens of thousands of HIV infections have been prevented.”
Read the full story by AIDSMap here.
4. Taiwan to Hold a Public Vote in November on Marriage Equality (News, World)
It was only May when the highest court of Taiwan ruled that not letting gay couples marry is unconstitutional — the first ruling to say as much in Asia — but today those fighting for gay marriage in Taiwan are facing a setback. Just today the island nation’s Central Election Commission approved a petition to hold a referendum on Nov. 24, asking the public whether the country’s civil code should recognize gay marriage or whether there should be separate legislation for gay marriage (which gay marriage supporters say would not create full equality). Also taking place next month is a referendum on whether LGBTQ education should be included in school curricula.
LGBTQ residents of Taiwan are frustrated by current President Tsai Ing-wen’s failure to legislate gay marriage, as she campaigned on the issue. Later this month, queer people from all across Asia and the world will meet in Taiwan for the continent’s largest Pride celebration.
5. Sam Smith Posts Video of Raw Octopus Meal, Internet Goes Off (Celebrities)
He’s one of the world’s favorite pop crooner’s of the moment, and he’s currently touring Asia. But why are some of Sam Smith‘s fans currently pissed? Yesterday Smith posted the above video on Insta; he’s at Gwangjang Market in Seoul, South Korea, and in the vid he and his friends are enjoying local eats, including an octopus dish in which the sea creature is killed just before being served, which results in its tentacles continuing to wiggle even as it’s being ingested. Several fans called the dish “disgusting,” while others seemed upset he was ingesting an animal at all. Still others commented that what’s truly disgusting is the bashing of another culture — in this case something that is seen as a Korean delicacy.