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Internet down in Iran ahead of opposition protests

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Iran said on Sunday its Internet connections will remain slow this week due to technical problems, ahead of anticipated protests by opposition supporters.

Connections have been slow since last week and some email accounts have been unavailable for several hours each day.

“The cause of the reduced Internet speed in recent days is that part of the fibre-optic network is damaged,” Communications Minister Reza Taghipour told Iran’s state broadcaster.

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“The breakage will be repaired by next week and the Internet speed will be back to normal,” he added.

The Iranian week runs from Saturday to Friday.

Taghipour said the undersea optic fibre across the Gulf between the Iranian port of Jask and Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates had been damaged due to shipping traffic and anchoring.

He also acknowledged that text messaging in Iran had been disrupted, blaming it on “changing software.”

Iran’s anti-government protesters have effectively used the Internet and SMS services to organise rallies and spread news and pictures of the demonstrations.

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Opposition supporters have used every opportunity to take to the streets for protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose re-election in June they reject as fraudulent.

They have held demonstrations alongside state-sponsored events over the past months and plan to take to the streets again on the February 11 anniversary of the Islamic revolution when annual state-backed marches are held.

Internet connections have slowed to a crawl on past protest days and mobile phone networks been disrupted.

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Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum worldwide with fresh weekend of protests

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From Sydney to London, Paris to Washington, D.C., protesters have launched a global weekend of action to support Black Lives Matter, in many cases defying bans on public gatherings.

Taking a knee, chanting and ignoring social-distancing measures, outraged protesters kicked off a weekend of global rallies Saturday against racism and police brutality.

The death during the arrest of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in the US state of Minnesota, has brought tens of thousands out onto the streets during a pandemic that is ebbing in Asia and Europe, but spreading in other parts of the world.

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Philly police threaten to call in sick during protests after officer charged with assault: report

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Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna has been charged with assault after a video circulated of him beating Evan Gorski, a Temple University student, during a protest. But according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, his fellow officers on the force are outraged — and may stage a "sickout" in protest.

"John McNesby, head of the city’s police union, came to Bologna’s defense, calling him one of the city’s 'most decorated and respected police leaders' who had to make a split-second call in a chaotic situation," reported William Bender and Jeremy Roebuck. "By Friday evening, talk was circulating about a 'blue flu,' or organized move by officers to call in sick in solidarity with Bologna, as another round of demonstrations, with crowds anticipated in the thousands, was set to take place Saturday in central Philadelphia."

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‘These unions dishonor the labor movement’: Nearly 200 academics, lawmakers, and activists demand AFL-CIO expel police unions

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"The AFL-CIO cannot stand for criminal justice reform, while at the same time allowing police unions to use your power to impede reform."

A coalition of nearly 200 civil rights activists, academics, and state and city lawmakers is calling on the AFL-CIO—the largest federation of unions in the United States—to permanently expel police unions from its ranks, arguing that organized labor's "proud history" of fighting for the most vulnerable "is being destroyed by the legacy that police unions are leaving behind."

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