End of Ban on Gay Sex
Singapore has repealed law 377A that banned gay sex. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the decision on Sunday, following years of controversial debate. Lee also stated he would propose a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, putting up a legal barrier to recognition of gay marriage. Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-religious society of 5.5 million people, with the treatment of LGBT groups being a contentious subject for many years. Around 30 countries worldwide have legalized same-sex marriage, with Taiwan being the only place in Asia to do so.

This map depicts global laws regarding homosexual activity in 2022. Click on the map to learn more.
Graphic Source: Statista
Eight Killed in Shrine Collapse
The Qattarat Al Imam Ali shrine in Karbala, Iraq was struck by a landslide on Saturday, trapping worshippers inside. Rescue workers digging out the ruins of the Shiite shrine have thus far retrieved eight bodies from the rubble. The shrine, about 50 miles (80 km) south of Baghdad, was set in a natural depression, and authorities have blamed the landslide on an accumulation of water in the rock walls surrounding it. Inside the shrine is a spring where it is believed the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, stopped with his army for a drink before proceeding to battle in the year 657. The disaster has further spurred political infighting in Iraq, with accusations of corruption causing shortfalls in public safety.

This map depicts the location of the Iraqi city of Karbala, where a landslide damaged a Shiite shrine on Saturday, killing at least 8 people. Click on the map to learn more.
Further Reading: BBC, The National, Washington Post
Graphic Source: Al Jazeera
Mars Water Mapped
A new map of Mars provides insights into the Red Planet's past while offering the hope of finding resources for potential human-led missions. Data for the map was collected by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express orbiter and National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The map shows where mineral deposits were affected by water exposure. While brief exposure to water has low impact on most minerals, extended contact with water - especially flowing water - causes erosion and even chemical changes, creating what are called "aqueous" minerals. The locations with signs of high exposure to water would potentially serve as the ideal locations for landings, with hopes of frozen water still locked beneath the soil.

This map depicts locations of minerals affected by exposure to water in Mars' Jezero Crater, from data now collected to display all such locations across the planet's surface. Click on the map to learn more.
Further Reading: Gizmodo, European Space Agency, Now
Graphic Source: SciTechDaily
Yesterday's Answer
Q: Affecting 193 million people in 53 countries around the world, what are the three main causes of food insecurity

A: Conflict, weather extremes, and economic shock 
The number of people facing acute food insecurity continues to grow rapidly, increasing by some 40 million people in just the last year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Ethiopia, southern Madagascar, South Sudan, and Yemen were classified in the most severe phase of acute food insecurity and requires urgent action to offset a widespread collapse of livelihoods, starvation, and death. Conflict holds as the leading cause, currently pushing almost 140 million people in 24 countries into acute food insecurity. The Russian invasion of Ukraine exposed some countries’ high dependency on imported foods and agricultural inputs. Weather extremes, stemming from the climate crisis and exacerbated natural disasters, have driven over 23 million people to be food insecure in 21 countries. Economic shocks and global food price shocks now impact over 30 million people in 21 countries, a drop of 10 million people since the spike in prices caused by COVID-19 crisis in 2020. Transitioning to sustainable agricultural practices and creating resilient supply chains offer hope to prevent famine and save lives in the long run.  


Today's Question
Q: Home to over 500 castles, what country is known as the castle capital of the world? 
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