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Iranian court fines women for ‘bad hijabs’

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A Tehran court has fined two women $260 for violating the Islamic dress code by not wearing their mandatory hijabs (headscarves) properly in the street, a judicial official was quoted Wednesday as saying.

“In recent days several cases have been filed in the court for bad hijabs and, in two of them, the accused were sentenced to pay 9 million rials ($260/232 euros) in cash,” reformist daily Arman quoted the official as saying.

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When in public, all women in Iran, even foreigners, are required to wear the loose scarf, which covers the hair and neck.

But since the mid-1990s, there has been a gradual relaxation of the dress code despite continued campaigns by police to enforce it.

In some rich neighbourhoods of northern Tehran, a city of 12 million, it is not uncommon to see women’s scarves around their shoulders.

Many young women also wear tight clothes and short coats.

No details were given on what the women had done wrong to warrant the fine, which is equivalent to the monthly minimum wage.

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Since his election in 2013, moderate President Hassan Rouhani has overseen some political and social reforms, but much Iran’s political establishment remains deeply conservative.

Earlier this month, a police official said women drivers could have their cars impounded if they are caught driving with a poorly fixed veil or with their heads uncovered.

“If a (female) driver in a car is poorly veiled or has taken her veil off, the vehicle will be seized in accordance with the law,” said Tehran traffic police chief General Teymour Hosseini.

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In addition to the struggle to make women, and men, observe Islamic values in the public, police also interfere in people’s private lives.

In the past six months, managers of 73 residential buildings have been “called in” as part of the war against mixed “night parties,” Arman quoted the same official as saying.

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“The number of night parties has dropped sharply compared to last year,” he said.

Parties involving unmarried men and women are prohibited by law.


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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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