Sparks

Gay-themed children’s book sparks education row in Taiwan

Sept 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A gay-themed children’s book about two princes who fall in love and get married has sparked protests by parents in Taiwan, after it was added to a government-backed reading programme.

“King & King”, originally published in Dutch, follows the story of a young prince who was pressured by his mother to marry a princess but then falls in love with another prince.

The Chinese version of the book was added to a list of books that the government distributed to students aged six and seven this month in Taiwan, which last year became the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage.

The reading scheme is part of an extra-curricular programme aimed at fostering a love for reading, and is not compulsory in schools. Despite this, the move sparked protests outside the education ministry this week.

“This

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Parker reaches 5,500 career points in Sparks’ win

BRADENTON, Fla. — Candace Parker had 16 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Phoenix Mercury 83-74 on Wednesday night for their fifth consecutive win.

Los Angeles was ahead 64-49 early in the fourth quarter until Diana Taurasi got Phoenix back in it by hitting four 3-pointers in a three-minute span. The Mercury were within 73-71 with 4:55 remaining but didn’t score again until Taurasi’s free throw at 1:12. Chelsea Gray gave Los Angeles a nine-point lead with two free throws at 52.9.

Gray and Brittney Sykes also scored 16 points for Los Angeles (8-3). Gray had six rebounds and six assists and Parker made 8 of 10 free throws as she reached 5,500 career points.

Parker scored 11 points in the first quarter as Los Angeles raced to a 24-10 lead.

Taurasi finished with 19 points for Phoenix (6-6). Brittney Griner added

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Seimone Augustus gives Sparks what they need and ready to remind Lynx what they lost

Sparks guard Seimone Augustus <span class="copyright">(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)</span>
Sparks guard Seimone Augustus (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Seimone Augustus left Minnesota, trading the blue and gray of the Lynx for the purple and gold of the Sparks, but Minnesota hasn’t completely left Augustus. As she prepares to face her former team for the first time with the Sparks on Sunday, the guard is sticking with the same mind-set that turned her into a four-time WNBA champion.

“It’s like what we always say in Minnesota,” Augustus said Saturday. “It’s the biggest game ’cause it’s the next game.”

Augustus intended to finish her career with the Lynx, where she is the franchise leader in points (5,881). But contract negotiations broke down this summer as the Lynx were leaning toward a rebuild. The eight-time All-Star had two conversations with the Sparks, one with coach Derek Fisher and another with assistant general manager Michael Fischer, and that was enough for her

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