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Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Samantha Zucchi/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen issued a statement Wednesday criticizing a planned Hungarian law that would ban the depiction or promotion of homosexuality to people under 18 years old, dubbing the bill "a shame."

The state of play: Hungary's parliament approved the bill on June 15.

  • Under the new law, material depicting LGBTQ relationships or gender transitions will be labeled as inappropriate for minors and only be allowed to air on TV from the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

What they're saying: "This Hungarian bill is a shame," Von der Leyen said, adding that she has instructed commissioners to express their legal concerns before the law enters into force.

  • "This bill clearly discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation. It goes against the fundamental values of the European Union. Human dignity, equality and respect for human rights."
  • "I believe in a European Union where you are free to be who you are and love whomever you want. I believe in a Europe which embraces diversity."
  • "I will use all the powers of the Commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed."

What to watch: Hungary's president is expected to sign the bill into law soon, per Reuters.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 15, 2021 - Energy & Environment

A wrinkle in Europe's climate policy debate

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Surging European natural gas and power prices are spilling into the debate over European Unions' plans to implement a suite of aggressive climate policies.

Driving the news: "Had we had the Green Deal five years earlier, we would not be in this position because then we would have less dependence on fossil fuels and on natural gas," Frans Timmermans, a top European Commission official on climate, told a European Parliament meeting Tuesday.

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.