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    Female TV presenters in Afghanistan appeared on-air without face coverings, explicitly defying a recent Taliban order requiring them to conceal themselves in compliance with Islamic rule. Women on three different broadcast stations refused to cover their faces during their live programs on Saturday, prompting backlash from the Taliban government, which warned they were risking termination from their outlets. Media managers who did not enforce the rule are also at risk for penalties, Taliban officials said. “If they don't comply, we will talk to the managers and guardians of the presenters,” spokesman Mohammad Sadeq Akif Mohajir told Agence France-Presse. “Anyone who lives under a particular system and government has to obey the laws and orders of that system, so they must implement the order.” TALIBAN TO REQUIRE FEMALE TV PRESENTERS TO COVER FACES WHILE ON SCREEN The women refused to wear face coverings because they feared it was a step toward losing their right to work altogether, the broadcast companies said. “Our female colleagues are concerned that if they cover their faces, the next thing they...
    The Taliban regime on Thursday ordered all female television presenters to cover their faces while on the air. The order was the latest example of the Islamist regime failing to live up to the absurdly optimistic “reform” expectations of the United Nations. The Associated Press (AP) quoted Afghanistan’s independent TOLO News describing the order from the Taliban’s Virtue and Vice Ministry and Information and Culture Ministry, which both said the face-covering requirements were “final and non-negotiable.” “Yesterday we met with media officials … they accepted our advice very happily,” claimed Virtue and Vice Ministry spokesman Akif Mahajar. He indicated compliance with this “advice” must begin no later than Saturday. Mahajar said medical sanitary masks would be sufficient to hide women’s faces. He did not respond to questions about the penalty for disobedience. Basira Joya, 20, presenter of the news program, sits during a recording at the Zan TV station (women’s TV) in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 30, 2017. Afghanistan’s Taliban regime ruled all female presenters on TV channels to cover their faces on air, the country’s biggest media outlet...
    The Taliban will require Afghan women who present on television to wear face coverings, another regressive step for women's rights since the group's takeover last August. The new decree, termed "advice" by a spokesman for the Taliban's Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, will take effect on Saturday. It is not clear what the consequences will be for women who appear barefaced on broadcasts, according to the BBC. "They are putting indirect pressure on us to stop us presenting on TV," an unidentified female Afghan journalist said. "How can I read the news with my mouth covered? I don't know what to do now. I must work. I am the breadwinner of my family." US DEAL WITH TALIBAN MOST IMPORTANT REASON AFGHAN GOVERNMENT FELL: WATCHDOG A day earlier, the Taliban disbanded Afghanistan's independent human rights commission, deeming it "not considered necessary." Other departments the Taliban dissolved include the High Council for National Reconciliation, the National Security Council, and a commission overseeing the enactment of the country's constitution. After retaking Afghanistan...
    Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN Business)It's a somber Thursday morning at TOLOnews, Afghanistan's leading independent news channel. The staff was told the day before that the Taliban have ordered female presenters to cover their faces on air.The devastating directive came on Wednesday from the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which replaced the country's Ministry of Women's Affairs after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August. In the newsroom, headquartered in central Kabul, two presenters break down in tears in conversation with CNN. "They want women to be removed from the screen. They are afraid of an educated woman," says 27-year-old Khatera, who has been anchoring the morning news for the past five months."First, they deprived girls from going to school and then they came onto media now. I am sure, they don't want the presence of women in general," she adds. Read More27-year-old Khatera, an anchor at TOLOnews. During Thursday's morning editorial meeting, a group of around 30 staff, more than a third of them women, discuss the day's news agenda. Feeds of TOLOnews and...
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers ordered all female presenters on TV channels to cover their faces on air, the country’s biggest media outlet said Thursday. The order came in a statement from the Taliban’s Virtue and Vice Ministry, tasked with enforcing the group’s rulings, as well as from the Information and Culture Ministry, the TOLOnews channel said in a tweet. The statement called the order “final and non-negotiable,” the channel said. The statement was sent to the Moby Group, which owns TOLOnews and several other TV and radio networks, and the tweet said it was being applied to other Afghan media as well. An Afghan local media official confirmed his station had received the order and was told it was not up for discussion. He said the station has no other option. He spoke on condition he and his station not be identified for fear of problems with the authorities. Several female anchors and presenters posted their photos on social media showing them with their faces covered with face masks during presenting programs. One prominent TOLO...
    (CNN)Women in Afghanistan must cover their faces in public, according to a decree issued by the Taliban on Saturday. The new rules say women must cover their faces, ideally wearing the traditional burqa, according to a statement from the General Directorate of Administrative Affairs. If a woman does not follow the rules, her "male guardian" will be visited and advised, and eventually jailed and sentenced. Women who work in government offices and do not follow the new decree will be fired. The Taliban has been criticized for restricting women's rights and freedoms in various areas of public life."The Taliban cannot erase us, they can't. This is not like the 1990s or before -- they have to accept [women]. They have no other choice," former Afghan politician and women's rights activist Zarifa Ghafari told CNN last month.Read MoreThe Taliban have seized control of Afghanistan. What does that mean for women and girls?In December, the Taliban banned women from taking long-distance road trips in Afghanistan on their own, requiring that a male relative accompany them for any distance beyond 45 miles. The...
    New York City parents of children under five have furiously condemned rules forcing their little ones to mask-up when the rest of the city will be liberated from COVID-19 restrictions. On Wednesday, Mayor Eric Adams announced that Big Apple public school children aged five and up will no longer be forced to wear face covering as the infection rate in the city has plummeted to 671 cases a day. That is an 11.6 per cent drop from the week before, with just 1.8 per cent of all tests of tests now coming back positive. The only exception to that will be children under the age of five, who are not currently eligible for the vaccine, with day care providers also ordered to enforce face masks. That comes even though just 307 children aged between 0 and four have died of COVID in the whole of the US since the pandemic began in spring 2020, according to the latest CDC data.    One NYC mom, Daniela Jampel, 38, of Washington Heights in Manhattan, told DailyMail.com the new mask policy flies in the...
    The Biden administration is not budging on mask guidelines just yet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday. During the White House COVID-19 briefing, Walensky said officials were 'cautiously optimistic' about the direction of the pandemic given the rate at which Omicron cases are declining nationwide.  She added that the CDC is currently examining its guidance and that it 'will be updated soon.' An update could be expected late February or early March, giving President Joe Biden the opportunity to announce it right around the State of the Union on March 1, CNBC reported.  The White House has been under fire for dragging its feet to update COVID-19 health guidelines like mask-wearing even as a majority of states have raced to drop or roll back restrictions in recent weeks. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was dragged on Twitter for stating his favorite part of teaching is seeing kids' smiles, while some Democrat-led states like New York and California are still facing intense criticism for lifting mask mandates in bars and restaurants but not public schools....
    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday night delivered a scathing rebuke of Democratic COVID-19 health policies that he says have allowed 'rich celebrities' to have a 'big maskless party' on Super Bowl Sunday while kids are still forced to don masks for school. The Kentucky lawmaker also tore into Democrat-led states that have recently rolled back mask mandates despite pushing them earlier this month, claiming the 'only science that's changed in the last two weeks is the political science.'   He accused the left-wing officials of putting kids and families' interests behind those of ultra-wealthy elites after New Jersey, New York, California, Connecticut, Oregon and Delaware all announced rollbacks of their mask mandates last week.   McConnell took issue with New York and California's governors in particular lifting mask rules for public spaces -- but not public schools. 'While Democratic leaders are stampeding to finally follow the science and end burdensome mandates on adults, in many places America's children are still being left behind,' McConnell said. 'States like New York and California are rolling back restrictions on adults but have yet...
    Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, who recently appeared maskless among dozens of masked-up children during a visit to a Georgia elementary school, did so “on the condition that everyone around her” wore a face covering, including children, her campaign said. Over the weekend, a photo surfaced showing the Georgia gubernatorial candidate smiling gleefully around dozens of children at Glennwood Elementary School in Decatur. She visited the school for an “African-American Read-In” event for Black History Month. City Schools of Decatur mandate masks for both students and employees, requiring them to wear “an appropriate mask or face covering while inside CSD buildings.” Yet, Abrams joined the ranks of several of her left-wing colleagues in defying the same rules she purportedly supports, appearing maskless while others — in this case, elementary school children — were forced to mask up: Self-righteous politicians show off their smile as they force your children to be muzzled all day, set back years in their development, and carry the burden of a pandemic that was never at high risk to them. Stacey Abrams is an enemy to Georgias families. pic.twitter.com/57U1daKJol...
    (CNN)A former Monroe, Louisiana, police officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury for kicking a man who was under arrest and then attempting to cover up the "unjustified force," the Department of Justice said Thursday.Jared Desadier, 43, faces two counts in the indictment, including willfully depriving an individual of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, and witness tampering, the Justice Department said in a news release. Desadier faces up to 30 years in prison for both charges if he's convicted. Online records do not list an attorney for Desadier. It's unclear if he has legal representation who would comment on his behalf.According to the Justice Department, the indictment alleges Desadier "used unjustified force against an arrestee by kicking him in the area of his face and head, and that the assault caused bodily injury." The alleged assault also involved the use of "a dangerous weapon," the statement says, referring to Desadier's "shod foot."Black state trooper in Louisiana faces termination after accusing colleagues of murderAdditionally, Desadier allegedly tried to cover up the use of force by misleading...
    Celebrities and wealthy elites attended the recent Met Gala and Emmy awards maskless while staff working the events had to cover their faces, photos from the events showed. The vast majority of stars entering the Met Gala did not wear masks, but the photographers, members of the media and other people working the event were all masked up. Romeo Hunte attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images) Emma Bengtsson attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images) Simone Biles attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images) Chloe Bailey attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York...
    Virginia's former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe was caught maskless violating federal COVID health rules during an Amtrak journey from New York to Washington, D.C., according to photos that surfaced on Tuesday. McAuliffe ran Virginia from 2014 to 2018 and is currently campaigning for a second term in the state's upcoming November election.  But the pro-mask mandate Democrat was accused of an 'absolute double standard' by an anonymous Amtrak passenger who handed the photos over to Fox. The photos purport to show McAuliffe on July 29 at Penn Station's Moynihan Train Hall in New York City.  He's seen walking through the train terminal while mid-conversation on his phone.  No sign of a face covering can be seen, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) January directive that requires everyone going through airports, train stations and other transit hubs to wear one at all times.    The CDC also recommends wearing masks regardless of vaccination status if you live in a COVID hotspot.  McAuliffe expressed strong support for sitting Governor Ralph Northam, also a Democrat, when he mandated masks for students...
    Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh faces further financial ruin as his claim on his $6million indemnification policy over the wrongful death lawsuit resulting from the fatal boating accident involving his deceased son  has been rejected by his insurance company, DailyMail.com can reveal. According to court documents reviewed by DailyMail.com, insurance company Philadelphia Indemnity denied Murdaugh's claim following the accident that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach. Beach was on board in 2019 when, a 'highly drunk,' 'belligerent' and 'intoxicated' Paul Murdaugh plowed his father's boat into a piling on Archer's Creek. Philadelphia Indemnity stated that it had no obligation to insure or indemnify Murdaugh when he 'had knowledge or should have had knowledge that his minor son illegally purchased and consumed alcohol on a regular basis by using or displaying the driver's license of his adult son, Murdaugh Jr.' Although the ongoing Beach lawsuit does not stipulate an amount, Murdaugh could be on the hook for millions.  Earlier this week the South Carolina legal heir was accused of misappropriating over $1million from his private law firm. He...
    Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, has agreed to plead guilty to stealing $835,000 from a school A nun who took a vow of poverty has agreed to plead guilty to stealing more than $800,000 from a school to fund her gambling habit. Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, from Los Angeles faces up to 40 years in jail for embezzling funds from St. James Catholic School in Torrance. She was charged on Tuesday with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, the U.S. attorney's office said.   Prosecutors said that in a plea agreement also filed Tuesday, the now-retired nun acknowledged that over a decade ending in 2018, she embezzled about $835,000 in donations, tuition and fee money. Kreuper, who was the school principal for 28 years, 'controlled accounts at a credit union, including a savings account for the school and one established to pay the living expenses of the nuns employed by the school,' the U.S. attorney's office said. Kreuper, 79, from Los Angeles faces up to 40 years in jail for embezzling funds from St. James Catholic...
    With new guidance advising fully vaccinated Americans that they no long need to wear masks in most  circumstances, indoor  or outdoor, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) director is 'cautiously optimistic that we are seeing this great, great end point in sight,' she told the Today show on Friday.  As vaccinations rise and inoculated Americans unmask, COVID-19 cases and deaths are falling rapidly - by more than 30 percent and nearly nine percent, respectively, over the past two weeks.  The U.S. is now seeing about 630 fatalities a day - the lowest since early July - and about 35,000 new infections a day. Nearly 36 percent of the U.S. population and almost 47 percent of adults are fully vaccinated.  Amid the promising trends, Dr Rochelle Walensky reiterated her call for schools to reopen full time.  Despite telling fully vaccinated Americans they could shed their masks indoors less than 24 hours earlier, Dr Walensky suggested that parents teachers should keep theirs on when in public with their unvaccinated kids and in classrooms.  'Parents and perhaps even teachers may want...
    Prince Andrew was today dragged into the US court battle engulfing Ghislaine Maxwell today after she was charged with new offences linked to Jeffrey Epstein at a time when the paedophile was socialising with the royal. The Duke of York is facing renewed calls to be questioned by the FBI after developments in the child sex inquiry overnight expanded the breadth of the investigation.  Maxwell, who was Epstein’s longtime associate and former girlfriend, faces new charges of sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor in the eight-count indictment, as well as earlier charges that include perjury.  An amended indictment against Maxwell now covers alleged crimes stretching from 1994 to 2004 in New York and Florida, including accusations that she paid the girl, known as Minor Victim-4, hundreds of dollars for each sexual act with Epstein. The girl was 14 when the grooming began, the indictment said.  She had previously pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom three teenage girls for sex between 1994 and 1997 in New York. Maxwell, 59, has been held in a jail...
    A family doctor in Oregon publicly bragged that he and the staffers at his clinic have refused to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic while caring for patients as he compared COVID-19 to a ‘common cold virus.’ ‘I and my staff, none of us, not once, wore a mask in my clinic,’ said Dr. Steven LaTulippe, the owner and operator of the South View Medical Arts clinic in Dallas, Oregon, which lies about 60 miles southwest of Portland. LaTulippe, a family doctor who specializes in pain management and addiction, made the comments during a ‘stop the steal’ rally in Salem on November 7. ‘Stop the steal’ is the campaign launched by supporters of President Trump who claim that the November 3 election, which was won by President-elect Joe Biden, was tainted by widespread voter fraud. Those claims have not been substantiated. Video of LaTulippe’s comments was posted to YouTube by the Multnomah County Republican Party. ‘I petition all of you, take off the mask of shame!’ LaTulippe said. ‘I want you to know that I never shut down during the...
    Costco will soon require all shoppers to cover their faces in its stores — even those who say they can’t wear masks for medical reasons. The wholesale chain says anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a standard face mask will have to don a face shield while they shop. Costco had previously allowed a medical exemption to the mask mandate it imposed in May, but the company reversed course amid a record-setting surge in coronavirus infections across the US. Children younger than 2 can still go mask-free under the tweaked policy, which takes effect Nov. 16. “This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said in a note to shoppers dated Tuesday. Costco provoked outrage from some customers when it started requiring masks, which are considered essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19. The move reportedly led to boycott threats from some Costco members, who pay an annual fee to shop there. But other big retail chains including Walmart, Target and...
    Costco will soon require all shoppers to cover their faces in its stores — even those who say they can’t wear masks for medical reasons. The wholesale chain says anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a standard face mask will have to don a face shield while they shop. Costco had previously allowed a medical exemption to the mask mandate it imposed in May, but the company reversed course amid a record-setting surge in coronavirus infections across the US. Children younger than 2 can still go mask-free under the tweaked policy, which takes effect Nov. 16. “This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said in a note to shoppers dated Tuesday. Costco provoked outrage from some customers when it started requiring masks, which are considered essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19. The move reportedly led to boycott threats from some Costco members, who pay an annual fee to shop there. But other big retail chains including Walmart, Target and CVS...
    Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, asked on Tuesday why so few members of the New York City Police Department were wearing face masks, despite their use in public mandated by law.  As cases in New York City continue to rise, Bill de Blasio, the mayor, on Tuesday said he would start imposing fines on anyone who does not wear a mask in public.  On Monday the COVID-19 infection rate rose above three per cent for the first time since June.  Cuomo asked why NYPD officers felt the law did not apply to them. Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, on Tuesday asked why NYPD didn't wear face masks Officers are frequently seen without masks, as during this September 18 arrest Few members of the NYPD, pictured September 18, wear face masks, as Cuomo pointed out Many - but not all - members of the NYPD chose not to wear face masks 'The current law was everybody has to wear a mask,' he said, addressing a press conference.  'Why didn’t you enforce the current mask law? Why...
    Customers who try getting into an Uber without a face mask will have to prove they have their mouths and noses covered if they want a ride in the future, the ride-hailing service said on Tuesday. It cited medical experts in stating that wearing a mask can slow the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 180,000 Americans to date. Should a driver report a passenger not wearing a face mask during a ride, the Uber app will require that person send a selfie of themselves wearing a facial covering before they can call an Uber again, the San Francisco company said.  The mask verification is being rolled out in the United States and Canada by the end of the month, and across Latin America and other countries after that, the company said. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox A policy already in place allows riders and drivers to cancel trips without penalty should the other person not be wearing a mask.  Uber's move comes as transportation companies, including airlines, step up enforcement of mask policies, with all...
    A map has shown where Americans are wearing face masks to help get the coronavirus pandemic under control. Public health officials say wearing face coverings can slow the spread of the virus, but they are not being adopted widely in every state.  Redditor bgregory98 collected data from The New York Times and research firm Dynata to plot out all 3,141 counties in the US. The map shows that residents of hotspot states like California, Texas and Florida - and former hotspot New York - are the most compliant about mask use with between 70 and 100 percent of people wearing them in public. Meanwhile, residents in counties located in the Plains and Midwest, which is starting to see an uptick in cases, had much lower rates of mask-wearing with as little as 30 percent compliance.   A map shows the face mask-wearing rates across all 3,141 counties in the US amid the coronavirus pandemic (above) Counties in the Northeast, now seeing record-lows, and the West, experiencing record-highs, were high with rates between 70% and 100%. Pictured: People wear protective face...
    A South Carolina doctor performed an experiment to prove that a person's oxygen levels do not drop while they wear a mask. Dr. Megan Hall, a pediatrician in South Carolina, hit out at those who say they can't breathe with a mask on, as well as conspiracy theorists who have argued — without any scientific evidence — that wearing a face mask is unsafe because it makes people 're-breath their exhaled carbon dioxide.' To prove that this is not at all the case, the MD measured her own oxygen levels and heart rate while mask-free, then with both a surgical mask and an N95 mask, and showed on a monitor that her numbers remained the same. Proof: A South Carolina doctor performed an experiment to prove that a person's oxygen levels do not drop while they wear a mask Fired up: Dr. Megan Hall, a pediatrician in South Carolina, hit out at those who say they can't breathe with a mask on by measuring her own oxygen levels and heart rate 'As a physician, I urge you and ask you...
    Nebraska's governor has threatened to withhold federal COVID-19 funding from local governments if they make it mandatory to wear masks in public buildings - despite him urging people to cover their faces to stop the spread. The mandate from Republican Governor Pete Ricketts is at odds with his usual message of encouraging people to wear masks to slow the spread. As recently as Thursday, Gov Ricketts tweeted the need for people to wear a mask inside stores. 'When you’re out in public places, keep six feet of distance from other people. Continue to wash your hands often, avoid large groups of people, and wear a mask when you go to the store,' he said.   But Ricketts has told local governments they will not receive any of the $100 million in COVID-19 federal funding if they make their 'customers' wear masks in courthouses and other local administrative offices, the Omaha World-Herald reports. Nebraska's Republican Governor Pete Ricketts has threatened to withhold federal COVID-19 funding from local governments if they make it mandatory to wear masks in public buildings The governor stands...
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