Iran restricted Internet access, on Thursday, 22 September 2022 after days of protests and unrest that have claimed at least 17 lives, following the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police.
Public anger has flared in the Islamic republic over the death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained for allegedly wearing a hijab headscarf in an “improper” way.
Activists said the woman, whose Kurdish first name is Jhina, had suffered a fatal blow to the head, a claim denied by officials, who had announced an investigation.
During six straight nights of protests, women demonstrators have defiantly taken off their headscarves and burned them in bonfires or symbolically cut their hair before cheering crowds, video footage spread on social media has shown.
“No to the headscarf … yes to freedom and equality!” protesters in Tehran were heard chanting in a rally that has been echoed by solidarity protests abroad.
Iranian women interviewed by Journalists on the streets of Tehran said they were now more careful about their dress to avoid run-ins with the morality police.
“I’m frightened,” said Nazanin, a 23-year-old nurse, who asked to be identified by her first name only for safety reasons. “They shouldn’t confront people at all” or interfere with how women dress, she added.
There has been growing international alarm at the Iranian crackdown on the protests, including from United States President Joe Biden in an address to the United Nations.
“Today, we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights,” Biden told the General Assembly on Wednesday.
He was speaking shortly after world leaders gathered in New York heard a defiant speech from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
He pointed to the deaths of indigenous women in Canada as well as Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories and the Islamic State group’s “savagery” against women from religious minority groups.
“So long as we have this double standard, where attention is solely focused on one side and not all equally, we will not have true justice and fairness,” Raisi said.
Iranian state media reported that by Wednesday street rallies had spread to 15 cities, with police using tear gas and making arrests to disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people.
In southern Iran, video footage purportedly from Wednesday showed demonstrators setting fire to a gigantic picture on the side of a building of general Qassem Soleimani, the revered Revolutionary Guards commander killed in a 2020 US drone strike in Iraq.
Demonstrators hurled stones at security forces, set fire to police vehicles and garbage bins, and chanted anti-government slogans, the official IRNA news agency said.
“Death to the dictator” and “Woman, life, freedom,” protesters could be heard shouting in video footage that spread beyond Iran, despite online restrictions first reported by internet access monitor Netblocks.
Iran moved to further block access to Instagram and WhatsApp on Thursday 22,September 2022.
“In accordance with a decision by officials, it has no longer been possible to access Instagram in Iran since yesterday (Wednesday) evening and access to WhatsApp is also disrupted,” the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
The two apps were the most widely used in Iran after the blocking of other platforms in recent years, including Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok.
UN human rights experts condemned both the “use of physical violence against women” and the “state-mandated internet disruptions”.
“Disruptions to the internet are usually part of a larger effort to stifle… free expression… and to curtail ongoing protests,” they said in a statement.
Russia holds referendum in occupied Ukraine regions
Russia-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine have concluded a five-day referendum voting to join Russia.
In what Ukraine and its allies describe as illegitimate and a sham, voting was hastily arranged in four areas: Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson which make up about 15 per cent of Ukrainian territory.
According to Al Jazeera, Russian authorities incharge of the voting said the majority of the people in the region voted to join Russia. Donetsk, 99.2 per cent; Luhansk, 98.4 per cent; Zaporizhia, 93.1 per cent; Kherson, above 87 per cent.
Reports noted that ballot boxes were taken from house to house.
The voting exercise creates a legal pretext for Russia to annex parts of Ukraine after seven months of war and counting. Russia deployed the same technique in 2014 when it annexed Crimea.
Just before launching its attack on Ukraine, Russia recognised separatist Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states. Zaporizhia and Kherson have yet to be recognised as independent states.
After the annexation is formally announced, any attempts by Ukraine to reclaim these regions will be interpreted as an attack on Russia.
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, last week said he was willing to use nuclear weapons to defend the “territorial integrity” of Russia.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council meeting held after the voting was concluded that the body “remains fully committed” to Ukraine’s territorial integrity “within its internationally recognised borders”.
A Russian legislator, Valentina Matviyenko, said if the vote results were favourable, Russia could consider annexing the four regions on October 4, three days before Putin celebrates his 70th birthday.
Chiamaka Okafor is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe.
Divorce: Court orders Woman to hand over her nude photos to ex-husband because he wanted to keep it for ‘memory’s sake’
A woman from Utah, USA has revealed her shock at being ordered by a judge to hand over a photo album of her ‘boudoir style’ nude photos to her ex-husband, after he requested them as part of their divorce.
The term ‘Boudoir’ is a French word that means either the bedroom or a lady’s private dressing room.
A Boudoir Photo Album is themed around this concept and contains sexually provocative photos of a lady taken by a professional photographer.
The lady, Lindsay Marsh said that she commissioned the photos in the early years of her marriage, and wrote ‘loving’ and intimate messages to him inside the album.
But, when she filed for divorce in April 2021 after 25 years together, her ex-husband Chris Marsh said that he wanted to keep the album, for the memories of their time together.
‘It’s violating and it’s incredibly embarrassing and humiliating.’ she said.
‘The only way I can hopefully protect someone else from going through the same situation is to tell my story and expose that these are the types of things that he thinks are OK.’
Marsh said she was shocked when her ex requested the book of photos in court.
Judge orders woman to hand over her nude photos to her ex-husband in divorce proceedings because he wanted to keep it for
But Judge Michael Edwards, sitting in the 2nd district court, supported her ex-husband’s claims.
As a gesture, the judge said Marsh should take the book back to the original photographer, and have a copy made, with her body edited out.
Marsh went to the photographer, but the photographer refused, arguing that the images were art which should not be altered.
The judge then ruled, in August this year, that she must hand the album to a third party, who would themselves edit the images.
‘That person is to do whatever it takes to modify the pages of the pictures so that any photographs of [Lindsay Marsh] in lingerie or that sort of thing or even without clothing are obscured and taken out,’ he wrote in a ruling according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
‘But the words are maintained for memory’s sake.’
Marsh said the thought of handing the book over to a stranger was even more traumatic.
She said she had to call the judge’s clerk to ensure she hadn’t misunderstood the ruling.
‘I just want to clarify,’ she recalled saying. ‘The judge has ordered me to give nude photos of my body to a third party that I don’t know without my consent?’
‘That’s even violating,’ said Marsh.
‘Because these are things that were sensual and loving that I wrote to my husband that I loved. You’re my ex-husband now.’
Lindsay Marsh is legally required to keep the originals until December, in case her ex objects to any of the edits.
She then plans to hold a burning party, and throw them into the fire.
‘It’s going to be amazing,’ she said.
Her ex-husband, Chris Marsh told The Tribune the books were full of memories, inscriptions and photos, stressing they were not ‘inappropriate-type books.’
He said: ‘I cherish the loving memories we had for all those years as part of normal and appropriate exchanges between a husband and wife, and sought to preserve that in having the inscriptions.’
‘As boudoir photography becomes a more common way for a couple to share intimacy, where is the line of appropriateness when they split up?’
The Only Place Where Rent Hasn’t Increased in 500 Years
For most people rent is the biggest expense they have to face each month and although the prices fluctuate, it seems to have a slight increase each year that is strongly felt for those with a lower income.
The increase in rent rates is due to various reasons such as economical inflation, an increase in the housing market, and of course demand.
Many people around the world don’t own a home and the criteria for getting a mortgage are becoming more demanding, therefore in today’s economical situation, fewer people identify as homeowners.
Our world is facing major inflation when it comes to renting, one that has not been seen in many years, and experts are only estimating that prices are going to keep rising.
Despite all this, there is one place on this capitalist earth where rent hasn’t been affected by anything for exactly 500 years.
Inflation has been the main reason for the increase in all prices and this is because as time goes on, more people are strengthening their purchasing power.
1$ per year in Fuggerei
This place is located on the outskirts of Augsburg which happens to be the oldest city in Germany.
In the small Bavarian village named Fuggerei, there is a social housing complex that hasn’t changed its rent since it has been built in 1521.
This small social housing complex is also considered to be the oldest in existence.
The house has been built by Jakob Fugger the Rich as he was known in the local community during the early 16th century.
It was built specifically for citizens who were below the poverty line through no fault of their own.
The criteria to apply for housing have also stayed the same. If someone wants to apply they need to show proof of their financial status and have no debt whatsoever.
The complex is made up of 67 houses that have been split up into 147 apartments.
One of the houses hasn’t been refurbished as it is used to present what Bavarian medieval houses looked like in the 16th century. Most people that live in the complex today are seniors that have a small pension.
It is amazing to see how the price has been kept the same for so long despite the complex suffering many damages through this period of 500 years due to the various wars that had taken place.
Destroyed and Rebuilt several times
In fact, the complex was destroyed more than three times, with the worst event taking place during the Second World War where 70% of the complex was bombed.
However, every time the complex would be demolished, it had been rebuilt accordingly to the same style and traditional architecture.
With time the apartments were renovated to stay up with the times, but the outside has been kept the same.
If we look at the price of something very common from 500 years ago such as bread, a loaf would have cost you around 2 cents.
500 years ahead and applying inflation the average price for bread is around 1$. If you want to visit the complex you have to pay an entrance fee that sums up to five years of rent, so around 5$.
Although many people have not heard about this place, it used to be quite popular in its contemporary era.
The most famous person that stayed here was actually Mozart’s great grandfather, making it special.
What is really special is the community within the complex that helps one another and is very welcoming to the tourists who want to visit the complex as long as they respect the laws and rules.
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