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Inside Indonesia’s Islamic Boarding School for Transgender People

Fulvio Bugani, an Italian photographer, spent nearly three weeks living with a transgender community in Indonesia

When Shinta Ratri visits her family in Yogyakarta, the Indonesian city where she still lives, she sits outside her family’s home and waits. She hasn’t been allowed inside since she was 16, when as a young boy she told her family she identified as a girl.

Today, Shinta, 53, is one of the leading transgender activists in the country. She runs Pondok Pesantren Waria, an Islamic boarding school for Indonesia’s so-called waria, a portmanteau of the Indonesian words for woman (wanita) and man (pria). The school, in Shinta’s own home in Yogyakarta on the island of Java, provides a tight-knit community for transgender women from across the country who may face discrimination at home.

“They come to Yogyakarta just because they know about this school,” says Fulvio Bugani, an Italian photographer who spent nearly three weeks living with the waria community at the school. “They know that there they can pray and live like a woman in a good atmosphere.”

Bugani’s powerful images depict the daily lives of the school’s diverse waria community, and one of his shots was awarded third prize in the World Press Photo’s Contemporary Issues category this year.

About 10 women live at the school, according to Bugani, though the numbers fluctuate. Many of them make a living as sex workers or street performers, unable to find work in other areas, but the school offers a comfortable environment where, Bugani says, they can be themselves.

It also provides a unique place for the waria to pray. In Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, mosques are typically segregated by gender and the transgender women are reluctant to join or barred from participating in either group. But Shinta has ensured that the women can pray together at the school.

“She is very proud to be a woman and also to be a Muslim,” Bugani says. “She wants to help the other waria to become like her.”

Bugani joined Shinta on one of her semiannual visits to her family’s home and watched as she sat outside, waiting. Then, in what has become something of a ritual, her mother emerged.

“You know, a mother is always a mother,” Bugani says.

Fulvio Bugani is a freelance photographer based in Bologna, Italy.

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

Noah Rayman is a reporter at TIME.

TIME

These Maps Show Changing Marijuana Laws Across America

Nearly two decades of major change

With April 20, the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana upon us, here’s a look at the drastically changing American legal landscape for pot users. Data provided by the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Conference of State Legislatures shows just how much of the country’s laws have altered since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996.

 

 

 

 

TIME europe

Meet the Man Who Claims He Just Founded a New Country in Europe

The flag of Liberland.
Liberland The flag of Liberland.

Welcome to "Liberland"

A Czech man is claiming to be the president of a new country he founded in Europe.

Vit Jedlicka, a member of the conservative Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic, is the self-appointed president of Liberland, which he says sits on unclaimed terra nullius territory wedged between Serbia and Croatia. The 3 sq. mi. “country,” where taxes are optional and a military is nonexistent, does not “interfere with the territory” of the two states, according to Liberland’s website.

“The objective of the founders of the new state is to build a country where honest people can prosper without being oppressed by governments making their lives unpleasant through the burden of unnecessary restrictions and taxes,” reads a statement announcing the creation of the new country this week. The country’s motto is: “To live and let live.”

Jedlicka, speaking by phone from Prague, told TIME that the effort began as a political stunt to garner media attention. “It started a little bit like a protest,” Jedlicka, 31, said. “But now it’s really turning out to be a real project with real support.”

The project has already received roughly 20,000 applications for citizenship, according to Jedlicka, who estimated that the country will receive as many as 100,000 applications by the end of next week (Liberland’s website has details of how to apply for citizenship, including sending an email of introduction—a C.V. is optional). Jedlicka added that some people already have plans to relocate.

“We have the busiest immigration office in the world,” he joked of his seven-person volunteer staff that he expects will grow.

The citizenship process is selective, and Jedlicka says only between 3,000 and 5,000 people will be granted citizenship in the coming weeks. Down the line, he said he expects the number of citizens to be comparable to Liechtenstein, a 62 sq. mi. country that borders Switzerland and Austria with 35,000 people (not all citizens will live in Liberland).

Jedlicka was active in his party in the Czech Republic, but he said he efforts to oppose government largesse proved fruitless. “So we decided we have to go the other way around,” he said. “We have to set up another country and really start the other way around.”

“I’m still going to be active in Czech politics,” he said, though he noted that Czech laws may forbid a president of another country from running for office. “I would probably resign and let somebody else run Liberland for me if there was a chance to do political change in the Czech Republic.”

Liberland is a “peaceful” country and will have no standing army. If neighbors Croatia or Serbia were to oppose, he said he would put up only “passive defense.”

“We will move, but we will keep our claim to the country,” he said. So far he’s still awaiting a diplomatic response from the country’s neighbors.

The Serbian and Croatian Embassies in the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read next: Here Are the 5 Things TIME 100 Says About the World

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Ukraine

Ukrainian Ally of Ousted President Found Dead

Oleg Kalashnikov in Kiev, Ukraine in 2013.
Vladimir Donsov—AP Oleg Kalashnikov in Kiev in 2013.

Eight other allies of Viktor Yanukovich have had sudden deaths in the last year

A former member of the Ukrainian parliament who opposed the popular movement that ousted President Viktor Yanukovich was found dead with gunshot wounds in Kiev.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said in a statement that the body of Oleg Kalashnikov, 52, was discovered Wednesday evening.

Kalashnikov was involved in the “anti-Maidan” protests in support of Yanukovych, who fled in February 2014. According to the BBC, at least eight Yanukovych allies have died in the last three months; most of the deaths have been deemed suicides.

[Reuters]

TIME russia

See Pictures of a Young Vladimir Putin

Putin is a Leader on the 2015 TIME 100 list

Russian President Vladimir Putin prides himself on his humble, rough and tumble upbringing.

Putin, who won this year’s TIME 100 reader’s poll and is included in the Leaders section of this year’s annual list, was born in Leningrad (now called St. Petersburg) on Oct. 7, 1952. His father was seriously injured in World War II and his mother survived the siege of the city. Putin was the only son of his parents to survive; one died soon after birth and another died in the siege.

Details of Putin’s early life can be hard to find, in part because of his obscure background and his later work with the KGB, and much of what is known of his earlier days comes from him and his friends at the time. One such friend told Masha Gessen, the author of The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, that “If anyone ever insulted him in any way, Volodya would immediately jump on the guy, scratch him, bite him, rip his hair out by the clump—do anything at all never to allow anyone to humiliate him in any way.”

Before reaching his teens, Putin began training in a martial art that combines techniques from others like karate and judo. He later continued with the latter.

From an early age, Putin was intent on joining the KGB, perhaps influenced by the books and TV shows of the time that romanticized the nation’s spy agency. He attended a selective high school, according to his official biography, and later pursued a law degree after he was told that it would help his chances of entering the KGB.

By the mid-1970s, and married to his first wife, Lyudmila, Putin was recruited by the KGB and began a decade and a half career with the Soviet agency. In 1984, he received spy training and was sent to Dresden in East Germany—a disappointing, largely backwater assignment where he was charged with reporting back on activity in West Germany and trying to recruit foreign students.

As the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union began to crumble, Putin and his family returned to his home city. His transition into politics began there, when he joined the successful mayoral campaign of Anatoly Sobchak as a key aide. He formally quit the KGB amid the failed 1991 coup that accelerated the collapse of the Soviet Union, and took up a post as Deputy Mayor in St. Petersburg.

Putin moved to Moscow after Sobchak lost a reelection bid in 1996, and two years later he was tapped to head the FSB, the KGB’s successor, setting him on a path that would take him to top.

Read next: Former White House Adviser: What Vladimir Putin Could Learn From ‘Doctor Zhivago’

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Germany

Watch a Protester Shower the European Central Bank President With Glitter

The protester shouted "End the ECB Dictatorship"

A protester interrupted a press conference of the European Central Bank with a flurry of glitter.

In an act caught by photographers on scene in Frankfurt, the activist launched herself onto the table and—to the apparent relief of a taken-aback ECB President Mario Draghi—proceeded to toss glitter and paper onto the banker.

The activist, who was shouting “End the ECB dictatorship” and wore a shirt that read “End the ECB Dick-tatorship,” was promptly dragged away, and Draghi resumed his speech.

The ECB said in a statement that the protester had registered as a journalist, gone through an “identity check,” passed through a metal detector and put her bag through an X-ray machine, which is presumably not designed to spot confetti.

“Staff from the ECB are investigating the incident,” the ECB said in a statement. “ECB President Mario Draghi remained unharmed and calmly proceeded with the press conference.”

TIME Middle East

U.N. Warns of ‘Slaughter’ in ISIS-Held Refugee Camp

Palestinian refugees demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinians in Yarmouk refugee camp, overrun by Islamic State militants last week, in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, Lebanon, on Apr. 10, 2015.
Mohammed Zaatari—AP Palestinian refugees demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinians in Yarmouk refugee camp, overrun by Islamic State militants last week, in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, Lebanon, on Apr. 10, 2015.

ISIS controls roughly half of the Palestinian refugee camp in Syria

The United Nations warned Friday of a “potential massacre” in the Palestinian refugee camp in Syria that was partially seized by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

ISIS now controls roughly half of the Yarmouk camp, which is home to some 18,000 people, according to the U.N.

“Today, this hour, we are looking at nothing short of the potential massacre of the innocents,” Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said in a call with journalists on Friday.

“We have called for a cease-fire,” Gunness said. “We have called for humanitarian access so that people can have aid administered to them where they are.”

The camp is located in the outskirts of the capital Damascus, which is mostly controlled by government forces.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon warned that the refugee camp “is beginning to resemble a death camp.”

TIME Crime

Lawyer of South Carolina Cop in Shooting Case Says Authorities Aren’t Cooperating With Him

Michael Slager's lawyer says he "has not received the cooperation from law enforcement that the media has”

A prominent lawyer defending the white police officer caught on video shooting an unarmed black man in South Carolina said Friday that he has not received the same cooperation from authorities that media outlets have.

The law firm of Andy Savage, which is representing the officer Michael Slager, said in a statement that he has filed a formal request for investigative documents and video tapes after earlier requests went largely unfulfilled.

“Unfortunately, despite having made requests, he has not received the cooperation from law enforcement that the media has,” the firm said. “He remains confident that he will receive all pertinent documents, including audio and video tapes, as soon as the Solicitor receives them from law enforcement.”

MORE: In the Line of Fire

Slager, aNorth Charleston police officer, was charged with murder after a video taken by a bystander showed Slager shoot and kill Walter Scott as he ran away. State authorities on Thursday released new video that showed the moments before the deadly confrontation.

The defense lawyer’s past clients include an accused enemy combatant with alleged ties to al-Qaeda and a woman who allegedly let her two children die after leaving them in a parked car.

Read next: Walter Scott’s Brother Recalls First Viewing of Shocking Video

 

TIME China

China Considers Building Rail Line Underneath Mount Everest, Report Says

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Whitworth Images—Getty Images/Moment RF Last light on Mt Everest and Nuptse, Nepal

A Chinese railroad expert said a planned line linking China and Tibet may have to pass through Mount Everest

China is considering a plan to extend a railway line to Nepal that may run through Mount Everest, state media reported on Thursday.

China has begun preparatory work for the project “at Nepal’s request,” China Daily reported. But the plan, which officials say could be finished by 2020, may have to run through Mount Everest along the border between the two countries, according to Wang Mengshu, a rail expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

“The line will probably have to go through Qomolangma so that workers may have to dig some very long tunnels,” Wang said, using the Tibetan name for Mount Everest.

TIME

GoFundMe Removes Campaign to Support Cop in South Carolina Shooting

The campaign for Michael Slager was moved to Indiegogo and has raised more than $370

The crowd-funding website GoFundMe rejected a campaign to raise funds for Michael Slager, the police officer accused of shooting and killing an unarmed black man in South Carolina.

A representative for GoFundMe, marketed as the No. 1 fundraising site for personal causes, confirmed that it had removed the campaign because of unspecified violations to its terms and conditions.

Slager, 33, was charged with murder and fired from the North Charleston Police Department after a video taken by bystander Feidin Santana emerged appearing to show Slager shoot and kill Walter Scott, 50, as he ran away.

“After review by our team, the campaign set up for Officer Slager was removed due to a violation of GoFundMe’s Terms & Conditions,” Kelsea Little, public relations manager at GoFundMe, said in an emailed statement to TIME. “Unfortunately, I’m only able to discuss specific details about the account with the campaign organizer due to privacy concerns,” she wrote.

The campaign organizer has not been identified, but started a new campaign on Indiegogo, another crowd-funding website. The Twitter account to support the officer posted on Wednesday that GoFundMe did not explain why the initial campaign had been removed. By Thursday morning, the new campaign had raised more than $370.

In a statement to TIME, Indigogo indicated that the page did not violate its terms or conditions.

“Indiegogo allows anyone, anywhere to fund ideas that matter to them,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Just like other open platforms — such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — we don’t judge the content of campaigns as long as they are in compliance with our Terms of Use.”

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