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Turkish Airlines bans bright red lipstick on employees

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Turkish Airlines has banned air hostesses from wearing brightly-coloured lipsticks such as red or pink, a move which has sparked fierce debate as the government is accused of trying to Islamise the country, local media reported Wednesday.

Numerous women posted pictures of themselves wearing bright red lipstick on social media websites to protest at the measure, part of a new aesthetics code for stewardesses working for Turkey’s main airline.

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The lipstick ban is the latest in a string of conservative measures adopted by the airline, which have sparked the ire of fiercely secular Turks.

“This measure is an act of perversion. How else could you describe it?” said Gursel Tekin, vice-president of the main opposition party CHP.

Turkish Airlines defended the ban, saying in a statement Tuesday that “simple make-up, immaculate and in pastel colours, is preferred for staff working in the service sector.”

In recent months the booming airline — 49 percent state-owned — has also stopped serving alcohol on internal flights.

In February, images of proposed new uniforms for flight attendants bringing in ankle-length dresses and Ottoman-style fez caps were criticised as too conservative. The skirts of Turkish Airlines stewardesses once came in far above the knee.

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However the more conservative new uniforms have not been adopted.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyin Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, in power for over a decade, is often accused of creeping efforts to coerce the country to be more conservative and pious.

Turkey is a fiercely secular state, despite being a majority Muslim country. Under Erdogan’s rule headscarves — banned in public institutions — have become more visible in public places and alcohol bans are more widespread.

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[Flight attendants with bright red lipstick via Shutterstock]


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Navy captain fired by Trump over coronavirus letter tests positive for COVID-19: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, the Navy captain relieved of his duties by the Trump administration over a letter drawing attention to dangerous health conditions on his aircraft carrier has tested positive for COVID-19.

The report states, "Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family."

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Georgia GOP governor orders several beaches to reopen days after acknowledging he’s woefully uneducated on coronavirus spread

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported today that Kemp is reopening Tybee Island and other beaches along the Georgia coast.

Local officials in several of Georgia’s coastal communities reacted with fury on Saturday after Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order simultaneously reopened several of the state’s most popular beaches.

The stupidity and lack of regard of human life on display in Republican-run states is beyond criminal and inhumane. In fact, there are no words to describe this. Because the longer these so-called “leaders” make decisions that are in the best interests of, I don’t know who, the longer it will take to come out of this pandemic that is claiming so many thousands of lives.

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Health care insurers expected to jack up premiums as much as 40 percent to recoup coronavirus losses

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Private health insurers are expected to raise premiums by as much as 40% to recoup the costs of coronavirus testing and treatment, according to a new analysis from Covered California, the state's health care marketplace.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Though it remains unclear how much the coronavirus crisis will ultimately cost in health care expenditures, insurers will be submitting their 2021 rates to state regulators next month. Analyzing a wide range of models, Covered California expects that this year's care associated with the virus will cost between $34 billion and $251 billion, or between 2% of premiums and 21% of premiums. The analysis estimates that insurers would price the costs at double the rate into their 2021 premiums, projecting increases that range from as little as 4% to more than 40% for the 170 million workers and individuals who have private plans.

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