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June 23, 2015

Gentrification-led destruction of the UK capital's LGBTI scene continues as popular sauna Chariots might close

London 'biggest and busiest' gay sauna could close to make room for a skyscraper, new proposals have revealed.

If one of the biggest US hotel operators have its way, Chariots in Shoreditch could close in 2016 at the latest.

Manhatten's largest hotel operator Highgate Holdings secured control on the site on Shoreditch High Street, submitting plans for a 300,000 sq ft mixed-use project (artist rendering pictured).

In the proposal, there will be a new 200-bedroom luxury hotel as well as 100,000 sq ft of offices, community retail and leisure space.

May 9, 2015

Adam Hird died two days after an incident outside Vauxhall's No. 65 nightclub last June

Three bouncers have been charged in connection with the death of an aspiring pilot outside a gay-friendly London nightclub.

Lewis Thorne, 22, of St Lawrence Chase, Mark Pantalleresco, 51, of Tadworth and Sebastiano Ragusa, 30, of East London have been charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

Adam Hird, an aspiring pilot about to qualify, died in hospital last June after an incident outside the No. 65 nightclub, located next to gay sauna Chariots, in Vauxhall.

April 14, 2015

UK party, whose members have made homophobic comments, claims 'they are not bothered' by the neighbor clientele

When you pick a place to have your new office, it's all about location, location, location.

So when UKIP, the right-wing anti-immigration British party, chose a new premise for its office in Luton, they picked some odd neighbors.

The Greenhouse gay sauna, which also holds regular fetish nights, is right next door alongside a Turkish takeaway, a Lebanese restaurant and a Polish shop.

Bob Clements, election agent for UKIP, has said: '[The sauna] has got nothing to do with us, we are not bothered.

March 9, 2015

His death is currently being listed as unexplained

Police are investigating after a man died after collapsing at a gay sauna in London.

The 37-year-old passed out at the Pleasuredrome sauna in Waterloo yesterday, where he was rushed to St Thomas' Hospital.

Doctors called police when he died at 3.40pm.

Pleasuredrome, which describes itself as London’s best sauna for gay men, has a drug and smoke free policy and is open 24 hours a day. It was forced to stay closed for 24 hours as inquiries continued.

February 25, 2015

Mona Iraqi is charged with defamation and spreading false news

An Egyptian TV journalist will face trial for defamation and spreading false news after she orchestrated a raid on an alleged gay bathhouse in Cairo.

Mona Iraqi tipped off police before entering 'the den of male sex' on the night of 7 December.

Iraqi filmed as 33 men were arrested and paraded naked out of the bathhouse. The footage was then broadcast on al-Qahira wal Nas news and made international headlines.

February 4, 2015

One admitted to taking class A drugs

A London gay sauna closed after three men were taken ill in an incident connected to drug use.

Police were called to Chariots Health Club in Albert Embankment, in Vauxhall, following reports of drug activity.

A man in his 30s admitted to officers he had consumed class A drugs, and he was taken to a north London hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

'Two other men (no further details) were subsequently found collapsed inside the club,' a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.

December 20, 2014

Meanwhile, a Swiss film festival, which is represented in Egypt by the same journalist who filmed and broadcasted the raid, has come to her defense backing her claim that she was investigating sex trafficking

Several well-known organizations in the Middle East and North Africa have issued a joint statement to condemn the raid of a gay bathhouse in Cairo on Dec 7 in which 26 or 33 men, according to various media reports, have been arrested.

The men were arrested for the alleged 'group practice of deviance' in exchange for money inside the bathhouse.

December 18, 2014

Prosecutors refer the case to trial unusually quickly

Twenty-six men arrested in a much publicized raid on an alleged gay bathhouse in Cairo will stand trial for 'debauchery' on Sunday.

Prosecutors refered the case to trial yesterday, less than two weeks after the raid. This is unusually quick as some wait up to a year to go to trial in Egypt's backlogged judicial system.

Police raided the bathhouse on 7 December after a tip-off from a journalist.

December 8, 2014

Police accused them of 'perversion', 'promoting AIDS' and group sex

Egyptian police arrested at least 33 men for 'perversion' after raiding an alleged gay Cairo hammam (sauna) last night (7 December).

Paraded naked as they were loaded on to trucks, the men shielded their faces from the glare of the media and other onlookers.

Along the police were Central Security Forces, an army forces formed of new recruits.

General Ali al-Demerdash, head of the Cairo security directorate, said the men were arrested in 'a common public bathhouse in the Azbakeya neighborhood of Cairo for practising debauchery'.

November 3, 2014

One of the best gay parties in the world hits 25 and GSN travels to Belgium to help celebrate.

Friday morning and it was busy in the Eurostar departure lounge of London’s St Pancras station, but this is an incredibly easy way to travel – security and passport control is a breeze and there’s minimal hanging around before you’re boarding the comfortable train.

As I was patiently working my way down the carriage trying to find my seat, I realised that I was going to be sitting in a ‘duo’ seat, two seats opposite each other sharing a small table.

June 25, 2014

Inquest hears how a sauna's drug policy has become more 'aggressive' since the death of one of its patrons

Three men have died within eight months after taking a party drug at a London gay sauna, inquests have heard.

Greg Page, 41, was found dead at the Pleasuredrome sauna in Waterloo at 8am on 27 October 2012.

John Scott, 46, was found collapsed at the same time and rushed to hospital where he died two days later.

And not only that, but Konstantinos Bamptazis was found dead eight months earlier in a locked private room after taking mephedrone and GHB.

June 20, 2014

Victim's father believes his son died on the streets of Vauxhall after being manhandled by security staff

A man has died after allegedly restrained for 10 minutes by bouncers outside a London gay-friendly club.

Adam Hird, 30, an aspiring pilot engaged to a woman, was left unconscious after the alleged confrontation outside Club No 65 in Vauxhall, a venue south of the River Thames directly next door to gay sauna Chariots.

Scotland Yard said officers were called to reports of a man being restrained by security staff at about 3.20am on Sunday (15 June).

He was rushed to hospital, but he died two days later.

April 9, 2014

After police announced an investigation, the bishop of the diocese immediately dismissed the priest involved for 'health reasons'

An Italian priest stole cash from nuns in order to pay for gay sex, police have said.

The priest, who has not been named, allegedly swiped money entrusted to him by a local convent in the northern province of Belluno.

He then reportedly used it to pay his young Moroccan lover for sex.

The two are believed to have had a ‘long-standing relationship’.

While the amount of money the priest is accused of stealing has not yet been revealed, the amount he forked out could be thousands of euros.

March 5, 2014

Would shutting down gay saunas be the start of a slippery slope which could lead to re-criminalization of consensual sex and self-loathing among LGBTI people?

A few weeks ago I was having a chat with my mate about going to a gay sauna. He told me he just went to sauna himself for the first time and loved it. He wanted to know if I had been to one and what my experience was.

The truth is I never have been to one, but that’s not in the least a moralistic decision. I am not a choirboy, I have my flaws, and I wouldn’t judge people who enjoy saunas, it just doesn’t appeal to me.

March 4, 2014

James Wharton, a friend of Prince Harry, is receiving backlash after calling on saunas to be closed as it 'feeds the haters'

A gay British former soldier has said if LGBT people want equality and respect, gay saunas should be shut down.

James Wharton, a former army pal of Prince Harry's, have said saunas promote homophobia and undermine gains in equality.

Writing in Winq magazine, he said: ‘Sex saunas need to be history. The time has come to close them down.’

Wharton said if gay people want to be respected and accepted as ‘the new normal’, the community must stop supporting establishments that encourage promiscuity and sex.

March 4, 2014

James Wharton’s demand gay saunas should be shut down sparked a social media storm today but he says his main argument – public health – has been overlooked

My argument that gay saunas should be shut down, first published by Winq magazine, has generated a massive argument today.

I find it unfathomable that people do not comprehend the danger associated with engaging in sexual activity with strangers, often under the influence of alcohol and drugs – saunas are major culprits for all three of these risk factors.

October 23, 2013

Gay saunas have hit out at the proposed condom ban proclaiming it 'unfair' while HIV experts warn it will stop safer sex and be a 'public health own goal'

Edinburgh gay saunas are facing the possibility of having to remove condoms after police complaints.

Police Scotland have written to the city council arguing if it grants licenses for saunas it should be on condition that no items of a sexual nature are allowed on the premises.

The authorities are focusing on five saunas in particular in an effort to crack down on the sex trade.

A spokesman for gay sauna Steamworks described the proposal as ‘unfair’.

Speaking to Gay Star News, he said: ‘I don’t understand why they want to take away condoms.

September 26, 2013

Semen was found on a towel and a chain around the neck of a Singapore businessman

A naked man who was found dead at a gay spa likely died from a sex game gone wrong, a Singapore court has heard this week.

It is believed Yeo Hung Song, 48, was practising auto-erotic asphyxiation, which involves starving the brain of oxygen to increase sexual arousal.

Imran Abdul Amid, the State Coroner, has said suicide could also have been a possibility, the Straits Times reports.

Song arrived at Club One Seven Spa & Gym at around 2pm, a men only establishment on 19 November last year.

May 10, 2013

A group of community leaders meet in South London’s clubbing district Vauxhall to discuss the drug GHB, and its relationship to clubbing and the gay community

In 2012, Gay Star News reported at least three separate deaths in the months of July, August and October where gay men died of suspected drug overdose in clubs and sex saunas.

April 16, 2013

GSN travels to Portugal’s northern city and discovers how a Portugese bookstore inspired the author of the Harry Potter franchise

I'd only been to Portugal once before, and that was an Easter weekend in Lisbon a couple of years ago. On that trip I was traveling with my ex-boyfriend, another of his ex-boyfriends, and his new boyfriend at the time – a strange combination but it worked surprisingly well.

This expedition was to Porto in the country’s north and I was on my own.

March 12, 2013

Roman Catholic officials are sweating over claims the Holy See splashed out millions on an apartment building in Rome that includes a gay sauna

Vatican officials are sweating over claims it has splashed out millions on an Italian apartment block above ‘Europe’s largest gay sauna’.

As 115 cardinals prepare to elect a new Pope, Italian newspaper La Repubblica has claimed the Vatican spent €23m ($30m) on the building.

The apartments provide accommodation for 15 priests, with Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias, 76, currently residing in a plush 12-room pad on the first floor.

‘Italy’s best known gay sauna in the premises is an embarrassment,’ La Repubblica said on its front page.

October 30, 2012

Police are investigating the death of two men, one of which happened at the sauna, and believe it is drug-related

A London gay sauna’s staff has said they are ‘shocked and deeply saddened’ by the death of two men, one of which occurred at the venue on Saturday (27 October).

Police are investigating the two deaths, both men in their 40s, who were visiting the Pleasuredrome in Cornwall Road, Waterloo.

In a press release, the sauna said: ‘The management and staff of Pleasuredrome Spa are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic events of the weekend.’

October 28, 2012

Police and paramedics were called to help three men who had collapsed, possibly due to drugs. One died at the scene, and another remains in critical condition

A man has died at a gay London sauna in the early hours of yesterday morning (27 October).

Police and paramedics were called to help save three men who had collapsed in Pleasuredrome, a venue in Cornwall Road, Waterloo.

The ambulance was called at 8.15am to help the three unconscious men.

In a statement made to Gay Star News, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other two were taken to the nearby hospital.

‘One remains there in critical condition.’

August 6, 2012

Contaminated drugs may be circulating in UK capital after death and collapses on gay scene. Plus another man collapses in gay Soho sauna on same night

Police are worried London’s gay clubbers may be offered contaminated drugs after one man died and three others had to be hospitalized in just one night.

As Gay Star News reported yesterday, the man who died and two others who fell ill were at gay scene venues in Vauxhall, south London – an area popular with clubbers.