October 23, 2019

Belgium: Muslim Students Denied School Entry Because of Their Long Skirts

By Illah Soussi TamliOrlando, Florida – Long skirts, particularly those of darker colors, are no longer acceptable in certain institutions in Europe.Sarah a 15-year-old Muslim student in France set precedence to this new phenomenon. In April of 2015, upon her arrival to school, Sarah removed her head covering at the entrance, and yet was redirected home by the headmistress who felt that her long back skirt conspicuously portrayed religious affiliation and defied the rules of secularity in France. A very similar occurrence took place this past Friday in Brussels, Belgium. About thirty female Muslim students were denied entry to their school because their skirts were deemed too long.  The underlying reason was that this piece of garment is largely assimilated with “an ostentatious religious appearance”.The Muslim female students of l’Institut De Mot-Couvreur, resisted such treatment as they stood in protest outside the building until the arrival of the police who dispersed the demonstration.“We arrived around 8 am this morning. Large in number, we were attired in either long skirts or dresses of various colors. We were denied access because of this, and provided with the excuse that it was prohibited according to the institution’s regulations” Sana explains to the Belgian news magazine La Capitale. “Yet they only address religious symbols and long skirts of dark colors in their regulations” she insists. “I do not think my dress is dark. In addition, it is fashionable.”“This is not the first time we are sanctioned. Earlier this month I had points deduced for inappropriate behavior because I was wearing a skirt” states the 22 year old Dhnet Yasmina.In a video posted by Dirk De Block, the school’s director, he explained that this decision derived from the deputy mayor of Brussels, Faouzia Hariche, and not a concept he initiated himself.According to Dhnet, De Block had previously provided a notice of regulations to students, which stated that “the wearing of baggy pants, long skirts or dark dresses, and skirts or dresses over pants is not tolerated.”This past Friday the director of l’Institut De Mot-Couvreur refused to address the press regarding the case. He did however provide this explanation- he had been forbidden to speak by the “organizing authority”. read more

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Closing Bell TSX falls on weaker commodities US budget talk concerns

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was lower on Thursday as gold stocks were weighed down and concerns developed over comments made at the federal budget talks in Washington.Here are the closing numbersTSX —12,189.17 -63.92 -0.52%S&P 500 —1,419.45 -9.03 -0.63%Dow —13,170.72 -74.73 -0.56%Nasdaq — 2,992.16 -21.65 -0.72The S&P/TSX composite index fell 63.92 points to end the session at 12,289.17, with commodities-heavy sectors contributing most to the decline. The TSX Venture Exchange was off 11.35 points to 1,173.59.The Canadian dollar fell 0.01 of a cent to 101.54 cents US.The TSX gold sector fell 2.8% as February bullion dropped against the U.S. dollar. The contract fell $21.10 to close at US$1,696.80 an ounce.Goldcorp Inc. shares dropped 3.2%, or $1.22, to $36.41.Crude oil prices for January backed off 88 cents to US$85.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, helping to pull down the energy sector 0.5%.And copper prices also fell, with the March contract on the Nymex dropping 5.6 cents to US$3.66 a pound.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials dropped 74.73 points to 13,170.72, while the Nasdaq shed 21.65 points to 2,992.16 and the S&P 500 dropped 9.03 points to 1,419.45.In Washington, House Speaker John Boehner said that the White House was so resistant to cutting government spending that it risked pushing the country off the “fiscal cliff.”The cliff scenario involves an end-of-year deadline when automatic spending cuts and tax increases are set to take place. With economic growth already weak, the worry is that the two moves would push the U.S. back into recession, sending shockwaves around the world.President Barack Obama said that a deal was “still a work in progress.” Asked about Boehner’s assertion that he was waiting to hear more from the president, Obama said only, “Merry Christmas.”The developments appeared to leave traders with mixed feelings about whether a deal to avert the cliff will come to fruition before the end of the year.“We all know they’re going to take it to the last minute,” said Allan Small, senior adviser at DWM Securities.“If they could get something done prior to Christmas it would be fantastic, the problem is we know how these politicians work … and unfortunately it looks like they’re going to take this right to the wire.”In U.S. economic data, the Commerce Department said Americans spent more on autos, electronics and building supplies in November, pushing retail sales up 0.3% last month. That offset a 0.3% decline in October.And the U.S. Labor Department said fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the fourth straight weekly decline. The seasonally-adjusted figure of 343,000 was the lowest level in two months and the second-lowest total this year.The data on declining unemployment applications, which suggests that companies are cutting fewer jobs, comes after the Federal Reserve for the first time ever tied its interest rate policy to unemployment as it aggressively attacks joblessness in the U.S.The Fed said Wednesday that it will keep its key short-term interest rate near zero at least until the unemployment rate drops below 6.5% and inflation rises to 2.5%.On the TSX, shares of Research In Motion gained more than 3.5% after the company said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will be launching a pilot program with its smartphones using the new operating system BlackBerry 10, likely in January. Its stock was up 49 cents to $13.63.Sobeys supermarket operator Empire Company Ltd. reported a 19.5% increase in fiscal second-quarter profits to $93.3 million or $1.37 per share, compared with net income of $78.1 million or $1.15 per share in the second quarter last year. Shares of the company fell $1.66 to $59.85.Here’s the news investors were watching today:EU reaches landmark banking union dealPrimero Mining to buy Cerro ResourcesEncana, PetroChina form $2.18-billion joint ventureON DECK FRIDAYCANADA8:30 a.m.Manufacturing sales and orders (October) New motor vehical sales (October) UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Consumer price index (November) 8:58 a.m.Markit Flash Manufacturing PMI (December) 9:15 a.m.Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization (November) read more

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