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Documentary: VICE – Return To Yemen And Church And States

Ben Anderson in Yemen,; Gianna Toboni in United States. VICE on HBO

Documentary: VICE - Return To Yemen And Church And States. Part One: Return to Yemen - Last year, Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a massive military campaign. Part Two: Church and States - While many Americans cheered the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage, (Left) Return to Yemen - Last year, Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a massive military campaign. (Right) Church and States - While many Americans cheered the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage,

Part One: Return to Yemen – Last year, Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a massive military campaign. Now, Saudi Arabia – nervous about the insurrection near its southern border – is trying to push the Houthis back with a ruthless bombing campaign.

Ben Anderson returns to Yemen to witness one of the worlds most bloody and under-reported conflicts.

Part Two: Church and States – While many Americans cheered the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, the fight for equality is far from over. In many American states, it is still legally acceptable to refuse services, housing or employment to people because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Gianna Toboni meets some of the families navigating this new landscape, and hears from supporters of religious freedom laws.

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  • The May 18-21 festival appeared to be a Saudi charm offensive aimed at federal policy makers as the Trudeau government fields questions about its decision to grant export permits for the armoured vehicles to a country that U.S. watchdog Freedom House regularly ranks among “the worst of the worst” on human rights. The Saudi embassy blamed “logistical reasons” for its last-minute change of plans when contacted Monday and a spokesperson said the country’s decision was not motivated by fear of protesters. Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s office had already said he would not be attending the “Saudi Cultural Days in Canada.” The embassy was adamant the event “had nothing to do” with the $15-billion arms deal and said it had been planned for years. Canada’s Department of Global Affairs, however, said it was notified of the “Cultural Days” on Jan. 14. That date was nearly two weeks after mass executions in Saudi Arabia drew public condemnation from the Trudeau government.
  • UNICEF estimates nearly 400 children have been killed and over 600 injured in the past four months in the country, the poorest in the Middle East. 13 Yemeni teaching staff and four children were killed by a Saudi air strike on August 20. Two days before, coalition bombing in the Amran province took the lives of 17 civilians, injuring 20 more. UNICEF condemned what it called the “senseless bloodshed.” A Red Cross spokeswoman said the violence in Ta’iz, in southern Yemen, in just one day on August 21 left 80 people dead.
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