A defiant François Fillon says he will not end his bid for France's presidency. The embattled Republican candidate tweeted Sunday that he would not withdraw after it was announced that a "respectful exit plan" will be discussed at a party meeting on Monday.
A Russian lawmaker has urged that country's government to ban Disney's new "Beauty and the Beast" remake after labeling it "a blatant, shameless propaganda of sin and perverted sexual relationships."
The complaint was detailed in a letter sent by Vitaly Milonov to the Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and reported by state-run news agency Ria Novsti. It says the movie should not be shown in Russia if the ministry found "elements of propaganda of homosexuality."
The Ministry of Culture has not yet issued a ruling on the film, which stars Emma Watson and is scheduled to open in Russia March 16.
The movie is rated PG and is a live-action remake of the 1991 animated hit. Its director, Bill Condon, has said the character of LeFou, fawning sidekick to the villainous Gaston, has an "exclusively gay moment" in the film.
At the end of the film, there's a huge celebratory dance -- the kind where everyone's in a big circle and regularly changes partners. On one of these changes, LeFou finds himself paired with another man. They freeze, surprised, in their "embrace." The audience laughs and then the camera cuts away. That's it -- the moment is over in less than a second.
Russia's anti-gay climate
Russia's government passed legislation in 2013 prohibiting the spreading of "gay propaganda" among minors.
The law, which described homosexuality as "non-traditional sexual relations," bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere children might hear it.
The move drew fierce criticism from the international gay community and human rights groups across the world.
Laws which banned homosexuality in Russia were revoked in 1993 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But it was not until 1999 that homosexuality in Russia was dropped from a list of psychiatric disorders.
Milonov has been the driving force behind Russia's anti-gay laws.
As a lawmaker with the ruling United Russia party, he ensured the legislation was first passed in his home city of St. Petersburg before it was adopted across the country.
In the past, he has called lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people "sick" and "crazy."
Milonov also was a supporter of a new Russian law that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence.
Controversy in the US
Milonov's comments come after a drive-in theater in Alabama announced it would not show the new "Beauty and the Beast" movie because of its apparent gay content.
"It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing 'Beauty and the Beast,'" read a message on the Facebook page of the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in the northeast portion of the state.
"We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches," the message continued. "We will continue to show family-oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language."
The message was removed Friday evening, but CNN affiliate WHNT in Huntsville, Alabama has it here.
CNN's attempts to reach the theater owners were unsuccessful.
The Facebook post drew thousands of responses from both supporters and opponents.
photo of Russia urged to ban 'Beauty and the Beast'
A rumor of an affair, a series of fake job scandals and a handful of investigations -- the French presidential election campaign has not lacked for drama.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow for "high-level talks" on Syria and Ukraine in the coming weeks, the UK Foreign Office said.
Excavations have uncovered "significant quantities of human remains" at a former home for unwed mothers and bab run by nuns in Ireland, officials said Friday.
In the weeks after President Donald Trump's victory, European governments adopted a wait-and-see attitude, telling envoys not to react to every presidential tweet and watching for actual action.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paints himself as the champion of the working class. But he pursues policies that will inevitably hurt the working class and further resentment against the 'political and corporate elites,' Louis-Philippe Rochon says.
Cyprus has a lot to teach the world about the poison and polarization of unchecked nationalism, writes Nil Köksal.
Former Reform party leader Preston Manning says the public is alienated and disenchanted. Do Conservatives want to address those feelings or merely encourage disenchantment?
The European Union's commissioner on climate action and energy is looking to Canada to help play the role of environmental enforcer as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration decides whether to bail on the Paris agreement.
Gerhard P. Bassler's book Escape Hatch looks at Newfoundland's quest for German industry and immigration between the years of 1950 and 1970.
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