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Iran ‘assures’ FIFA that women can attend soccer qualifier

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Sunday that world footbalil’s governing body has been “assured” by Iranian authorities that women will be able to attend a World Cup qualifier in Tehran next month.

FIFA had demanded Iran allow women free unlimited access to stadiums following the ‘Blue girl’ incident where a woman killed herself after being arrested trying to access a football stadium.

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“We have been assured, that as of the next international game of Iran, women will be allowed to enter football stadiums,” Infantino told a FIFA conference on women’s football in Milan on Sunday.

FIFA wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums that breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.

“We need to have women attending, we need to push for that with respect but in a strong and forceful way and we cannot wait anymore,” Infantino added.

“This is something very important, it is 40 years that this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions, but it is important to move to the next level and to the next stage.”

The Islamic republic has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums since 1981, with clerics arguing they must be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.

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FIFA officials have been in Iran to discus preparations for the October 10 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, their first home game of the 2022 qualifying competition.

Sahar Khodayari, dubbed “blue girl” because of the colours of the team she supported, Esteghlal FC, was reportedly detained last year when trying to enter a stadium dressed as a man to watch them.

She died of her injuries in a Tehran hospital after setting herself on fire outside a court in early September.

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The death of Khodayari sparked an outcry online, with many calling on world football’s governing body FIFA to ban Iran from international competitions and for fans to boycott matches.


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Music industry mogul Scooter Braun reports ‘death threats’ amid feud with Taylor Swift

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Music industry mogul Scooter Braun said Friday his dispute with megastar Taylor Swift over her music catalogue has left his family receiving "death threats."

The 29-year-old pop artist famous for hits like "Shake It Off" began publicly sparring with Braun this summer over his company's purchase of her former label, Big Machine Label Group, which gave him a majority stake in the master recordings of her first six albums.

Last week, Swift -- known for her calculating social media strategy -- said on Tumblr that Big Machine heads were "exercising tyrannical control," claiming they were preventing her from performing at an upcoming awards gala and releasing a Netflix documentary including songs from her early catalogue.

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More people are watching impeachment hearings than Trump’s last season of Celebrity Apprentice

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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and President Donald Trump have tried to promote the idea that somehow Americans aren't watching the impeachment hearings and that their ratings are terrible.

Axios reported Friday evening that the Thursday hearings garnered 11.3 million viewers during the day-time. For context, that's an astounding number. The top ratings getter during the day is syndicated Dr. Phil episodes, who leads the way with 3.45 million viewers per episode so far this season and "Ellen" had 2.668 million.

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Donald Trump is obsessed with impeachment — and lashing out

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An irate Donald Trump said Friday he welcomes the prospect of an impeachment trial, as the US leader lashed out at "crazy" and "corrupt" opponents probing potential abuse of presidential power.

After a week of dramatic impeachment testimony from current and former administration officials, an embattled Trump took to a favorite broadcaster to air a long, occasionally incoherent list of grievances -- against the FBI, his political adversaries, impeachment inquiry leaders, the "deep state," and more.

"These people are sick," Trump raged down the telephone line to Fox at the start of a 53-minute tirade that showed how angered and unsettled he has been by an impeachment inquiry that threatens his presidency.

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