International News Highlights — October 28, 2022

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Giorgia Meloni flanked by coalition leaders — Photo by Robert Monaldo / LaPresse via AP
Giorgia Meloni flanked by coalition leaders — Photo by Robert Monaldo / LaPresse via AP

Policy peril possible in new Italian government
Italy, and the world, has its eyes on Giorgia Meloni to see what kind of conservatism she favors. She has become Italy's first female premier, and is forming a new government from not only her far-right Brothers of Italy Party but also the right-wing populist League and the center-right Forza Italia.

More specifically, Italians are keeping an eye on key issues. The country is facing an energy crisis. The cost of power has risen more than tenfold since 2019, and in response, Meloni has advocated for a European price cap on Russian gas.

In addition, the European Union has joined Queer Italians in anticipating whether Meloni's government will join the likes of Hungary in Poland in violating EU human rights and democratic standards, especially as they apply to the Queer community. Meloni has hinted at limiting the EU's influence in the past, though she chose a pro-EU candidate as her foreign minister last Friday.

Overall, women and minority groups fear for their rights, since Meloni has criticized the "LGBT lobby," and her party platform is explicitly against abortion, Gay marriage, Gay adoptions, and surrogate motherhood.

Russia expands Queer "propaganda" ban
Russian lawmakers voted on Thursday, October 27 to expand an existing ban on the promotion of what they consider "LGBT propaganda." The ban, which previously only extended to children, has been extended to people of all ages in an attempt to oppress sexual minorities. Under the new legislation, offending citizens may be fined up to 400,000 rubles (roughly $6,500), while offending legal entities such as corporations could be fined up to 5 million rubles. Non-Russian individuals found guilty of promoting LGBTQ lifestyles and/or allyship would face deportation from the country.

Russian authorities previously used the existing ban to detain LGBTQ+ activists and to stop public pride parades. Supporters of the ban argue that they are defending morality against "un-Russian" liberal values promoted by Americans and the West.