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Philippines elect first transgender

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MANILA — The Philippines is all set to elect its first transgender person to public office in a breakthrough for the predominantly Catholic country’s LGBT community.

The 49-year-old comes from the politically powerful Roman family, who are popular among low-income earners in the area.

Geraldine Roman, who has been living as a lady for over two decades, is set to win the congressional seat in Bataan previously held by her mother, Herminia Roman.

With 97.2 per cent of national election returns processed, Ms Roman had secured a win with 23,814 votes over her opponent’s 10,325.

Ms Roman’s mother had planned to run for vice governorship before supporting her daughter’s campaign, telling local press her decision was because of the Catholic Church’s “unsupportive stance on transgender sexuality”.

The Philippines is ranked as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in Asia, however the community remains a minority and often faces discrimination.

Mr Roman’s planned policies include providing modern equipment for public hospitals, expanding the province’s road network, and backing an anti-discrimination bill that would give the LGBT community improved rights.

According to the Pew Research Centre 81 per cent of Filipinos identify as Catholic.

AFP

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5 dead as gunman attacks churchgoers in Russia

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At least five people were killed and another five were injured when a gunman attacked a crowd of people leaving a church on Sunday in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported.

The attack occurred in the village of Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

CCTV footage from the site of the deadly shooting shows a man armed with a rifle gunning down two women in broad daylight.

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A bearded man clad in a black vest and camouflage pants was seen crossing the street before opening fire on two female churchgoers as they left a service in Kizlyar in the Republic of Dagestan on Sunday afternoon. A woman walking several meters from the attacker was seen rushing away as the bloodshed unfolded.

The attacker was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

Agencies

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