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German teachers stand up for Muslim student barred from wearing niqab at school

© Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters
The German Education and Science Workers' Union (GEW) has criticized a court decision that forbid a student in the city of Osnabruck from attending classes dressed in a niqab - veiled headwear attached to a full body covering.

"A ban on full face veils is completely the wrong way," GEW spokesperson Ilka Hoffmann told Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung, a local newspaper. "We cannot exclude women from education just because they are wearing the burqa or niqab."

The student in question, who has not been named, but is over 18 years of age, was barred from attending lessons at the Sophie Scholl night school in the western German city, for refusing to remove the garment.

The regional court ruled against her Monday, and it is not yet clear if the student will appeal the decision at a higher-level legal body, or simply abandon her course, which is assumed to be voluntary. The Sophie Scholl School mostly teaches adults attempting to complete secondary education.

Comment: See also: Islamophobia: German public swimming pool bans 'burquini' for Muslim women


Heart - Black

"We only tip citizens": Waitress gets hateful note left on receipt instead of tip

© John Elledge / Facebook
When a waitress at a Virginia diner picked up the receipt of customers she had just served, she probably expected to see a tip. Instead, she found a note informing her that the customers "only tip citizens" - even though she was born and raised in the US.

Monday started like any other day for 18-year-old Sadie Elledge, an employee at Jess' Quick Lunch in Harrisonburg, Virginia. That routine day included serving a man and a woman two gyros, two sodas, and a small Greek salad.

But Elledge said the couple made her feel uncomfortable almost immediately. "They wouldn't talk to me. They would just nod their heads," she told local ABC affiliate WHSV.

When it came time to pay, the couple did so with a Mastercard. As with many credit card payments, the receipt included a line where they could write in the amount they wished to leave as a tip.

However, instead of leaving a few dollars on their $26.11 bill, they left a hateful message for Elledge, who is of Honduran and Mexican descent. "We only tip citizens," the note reads.

Star of David

Ultra-orthodox Jew sect bans "dangerous" higher education for women

© Keith Bedford / Reuters
It is "dangerous" for women to be university-educated and the practice is now banned among the Satmar sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews, according to a decree viewed by The Independent. The ban is to prevent "secular influences" in the "holy environment."

"It has lately become the new trend that girls and married women are pursuing degrees in special education. Some attend classes and others online. And so we'd like to let their parents know that it is against the Torah," reads the decree, written in Yiddish and translated by The Independent.

The decree was issued by Satmar rabbis in New York, where the sect is based, but will apply to all its followers globally.

"We will be very strict about this. No girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree. It is dangerous. Girls who will not abide will be forced to leave our school," the decree reads. "Also, we will not give any jobs or teaching position in the school to girls who've been to college or have a degree."

"We have to keep our school safe and we can't allow any secular influences in our holy environment," it continues. "It is against the base upon which our Mosed was built."

Comment: These people have more in common with the Wahhabi Saudis than


Bomb

1 dead and 29 injured after blast rocks Western tourist hotspot in Thailand

© ÇapaMagENG / Twitter
A suspected car bomb went off outside a small hotel in the coastal resort of Pattani in Thailand, near the border with Malaysia. At least one person is dead, and 29 are injured, according to media reports. Authorities attempt to establish the nationality of the victims.

Photos from location show a gaping hall in the wall of the Southern Hotel, with a fire raging inside. In a video on social media, debris are scattered around the lightweight building, as rescue workers and civilians scuttle around.

The attack comes in the wake of a wave of explosions set off by homemade devices that rocked locations across the South-East Asian country earlier this month, killing four people. Most took place in the restive Muslim-dominated regions in the south of the country, which include Pattani. An increasingly radical separatist Islamic insurgency in the south of the country has reportedly claimed over 6,000 lives since the turn of the millennium.

Comment: Background:


Pistol

Cops hold guns to 10 y.o. boy's face, mistake him for a robbery suspect twice his age

With guns drawn, police chased down a 10-year-old boy they apparently mistook for an armed robbery suspect — and then told his mother to fill out a report if she "had something to say about it."

"They tried to shoot me," Legend Preston said softly through tears as his mother, Patisha filmed afterward.

"Who tried to shoot you?" she asked gently.

"The cops."

Although Legend might easily be mistaken for an older child, the suspect Newark police were searching for was twice as old— and where Legend's hair is closely cropped, the suspect sports braids that fall below his collarbone.

Comment: Because the boy was a little large the police could not distinguish him from a man twice his age? Ridiculous. What kind of training are these officers receiving? Are they purposefully recruiting morons and bullies? This could have easily been another kid, shot and killed by police.


Flashlight

RT journalist live-streams normal life for most in government-held Aleppo, despite terrorist siege

© Periscope / Lizzie Phelan / RT
While people go about their daily lives in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo, they risk being killed by terrorist attacks daily, RT's Lizzie Phelan learned during her interviews with locals. The reporter witnessed mortar shells landing hundreds of meters away.

Despite businesses and social services working, there is not a safe place in Aleppo as mortars fired by the militants can land almost anywhere, RT's reporter revealed in her latest footage from the city.

A local journalist drove Phelan around the government-held western part of Aleppo, showing the destruction caused by the conflict, and the street life that continues in spite of it.

Phelan's live Periscope of the tour stream wowed the viewers, some of whom couldn't believe it was showing a warzone. The scene looked deceptively quiet, with people going out, shopping or sitting in cafes smoking shisha.

Monkey Wrench

Syringes, bats & drills, oh my: ISIS allegedly shows 'lone wolves' how to use household items to attack West

© www.rt.com
The latest propaganda video allegedly shot by Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL) calls for its followers to use everyday items to carry out jihad, specifically singling out the US and France as future targets. Ostensibly produced in Wilayat Al Khayr, an IS-occupied city in eastern Syria, the 19-minute Arab-language video is called Defend Your State, and appeared through social media channels said to be used by IS.

The alleged IS propaganda clip begins by whipping up anger against bombardments by the US-led coalition and Russia of territory controlled by the terrorist group. There are several close-ups of dead children, supposedly killed by the "infidels."

© www.rt.com
Making a rifle, part of the video footage.
The slickly put-together video then highlights a roll call of recent "martyrs." Those include Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlelhel, whose truck rampage resulted in the deaths of 86 people following an attack on Nice last month, and Aaron Driver, a failed white Canadian suicide bomber, who was shot dead by Toronto police on August 10, and left a video in which he pledged allegiance to the Islamist group.

It next moves to a list of prominent symbolic targets, which include the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Statue of Liberty in New York. Recruits are instructed to use "any means available" and a montage flashes by, featuring a homemade rifle, a power screwdriver, a baseball bat, a contaminant in a test tube, and a syringe filled with a potentially dangerous substance. The video also features a staged sequence of a man wearing a menacing black rucksack approaching a French diplomatic mission.

Comment: An example of how to bring paranoia into every household. The gardener, the pharmacist, a repairman, a mom fixing a broken toy...all jihadists, especially if they are thought to be Muslim or look Middle Eastern or just have, you know, darkish hair.


Stock Down

Major insurers fleeing Obamacare exchanges over lack of profit

© Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Major private insurance companies such as Aetna, which is "extremely profitable," have fled Obamacare health exchanges, although they were not focused on individual plans in many markets to begin with, a former health insurance executive has told RT.

Insurance giant Aetna announced last week that it would cancel its participation in health exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in all but four states by the beginning of 2017. In April, UnitedHealth Group, the largest US private health insurer, said it would pull out of all but a "handful" of state exchanges in 2017 after participating in nearly three dozen states in 2016.

Aetna claimed that it's absorbed $430 billion in pre-tax losses from the exchanges since January 2014, pushing the company to reduce its exchange participation to 242 US counties from 778. Yet Wendell Potter, former insurance executive at Cigna and Humana and author of 'Nation On The Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy', pointed out in an interview with RT America's Ed Schultz that Aetna recently reported healthy gains in the second quarter of 2016.

"These companies that are saying they are pulling out are doing so only because they are not satisfied with their earnings in that particular part of their overall business," Potter told RT.

Dollars

Fined for student loan fees scam: Wells Fargo to pay $4.1M

© fortune.com
Wells Fargo will pay $4.1 million to settle allegations that it charged students illegal fees and failed to update inaccurate credit report information, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. "Specifically, if a borrower made a payment that was not enough to cover the total amount due for all loans in an account, the bank divided that payment across the loans in a way that maximized late fees rather than satisfying payments for some of the loans," the watchdog said in a statement about the settlement Monday.

The CFPB in its investigation found Wells Fargo had violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's prohibition against unfair and deceptive acts and practices, as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The watchdog agency found the bank failed to provide a level of student loan servicing that borrowers were entitled to under the law, leading to thousands of student loan borrowers to receive misinformation and encounter problems over their payment options.

Specifically, Wells Fargo, the world's largest bank by capitalization and third largest in the US by assets, didn't notify the students when it applied a payment across multiple loans. leaving students "unable to effectively manage their student loan accounts and minimize costs and fees."

Comment: So...$3.6M of the fine goes to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. $410,000 goes to the students with loan fraud. Quite a good split for the bureau, just saying.


Handcuffs

Four detained in Kazakhstan, accused of plotting attacks in Almaty

Four members of a radical group that was plotting a string of terrorist attacks were detained in the Almaty region of Kazakhstan, the press service of the Kazakh National Security Committee said.

"The components for making improvised explosive devices and extremist religious materials, which they had kept at their residences...have been seized from the detained members of the group, which includes Kazakh and Kyrgyz nationals," the committee announced on August 22.

The committee said it foiled plans by the militants to target the committee's own employees and offices, as well as police detachments and military units.

The militants, who were not identified, also planned a second stage of attacks on crowded venues, it said.

Authorities are still investigating the suspects and will report further developments, the committee said.

Comment: See also: