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Woman becomes first to be fined in France for wearing face veil

French police fined a woman for wearing a full-face Islamic veil, the first reported enforcement of a ban on the garment on the day it came into effect.
full-face veil
© AFP/GETTY IMAGES
French officials estimate that only around 2,000 women, from a total Muslim population estimated at between four and six million, wear the full-face veil
The young woman, born in 1983, was fined 150 euros (£133) "without incident" in a shopping centre in Mureaux, northwest of Paris, early Monday evening, the source said, without elaborating on exactly what she was wearing.

France on Monday became the first country in Europe to apply a ban on the wearing of full-face coverings, including the Islamic niqab. At least two niqab-wearing women were arrested the same day for protesting the ban.

French police have voiced fears the law will be impossible to enforce, since they have not been empowered to use force to remove head coverings, and could face resistance in already tense immigrant districts.

Arrow Down

Two arrested in France as burka ban comes in

Two Muslim women wearing face veils were arrested on Monday as France because the first country to enforce a ban on full face coverings.
Kenza Drider
© AFP
Kenza Drider demonstrates against the ban of the Burka in front of the Notre Dame cathedral
Kenza Drider, a 32-year-old, travelled to Paris from her home in Provence to force a confrontation with police, and was one of those arrested.

There were minor scuffles as officers apprehended her outside Notre Dame Cathedral together with another niqab-wearer staging an illegal demonstration against the new law.

Technically, the women could now face fines of 150 euros, or 132 pounds, as well as citizenship lessons.

But Alexis Marsan, a public order official, said they were solely given warnings for taking part in an illegal gathering.

Five men and another women were also held for taking part in the demonstration.

Comment: Al-Qaeda seems to be in on the act too, coming to Sarkozy's aid as France invades two African countries and institutes immoral laws against a religious minority that would have made the Vichy government proud.


Heart - Black

Over 800 abuse cases reported in Austrian Catholic institutions

Image

Vienna - Over 800 cases of abuse in Catholic institutions in Austria have been reported so far, a commission tasked with investigating abuse cases announced on Wednesday.

A total 837 abuse victims approached the commission, which was set up by the Austrian Catholic Church last year after it was hit by a wave of abuse revelations, commission head Waltraud Klasnic told a press conference.

Three quarters of the victims were male, with the most cases -- about 20 percent -- reported in northern Upper Austria province, followed by Vienna and western Tyrol, according to a commission report summarising its first-year findings.

Cult

Catholic group claims children raped by priests were 'homosexual' participants, not victims

Bill Donohue
© na
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

The anti-gay Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is going on the attack against "those who are distorting the truth about priestly sexual abuse."

The group bought an expensive full-page ad in The New York Times Monday that places the blames for the church's scandals on "homosexuality, not pedophilia."

And perhaps most shockingly, it also claimed that some children were active participants in the abuse.

Bulb

Icelandic Volcano: Your rights - plane and simple

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© Unknown
What's the score?

In case another volcano should blow its top or air-traffic controllers decide to stop work, you need to know your rights when flights go wrong. They are most easily summed up as: "All European airlines have an open-ended duty of care to passengers."

A year ago, an unhelpful Icelandic volcano named Eyjafjallajökull erupted. Computer modelling suggested ash from the volcano could spread across the British Isles and northern Europe. A progressive shutdown of airspace began on 14 April 2010. Almost a week later, under the clearest of skies - and under intense pressure from the airlines - the Civil Aviation Authority allowed flying to resume.

During the closure, tens of thousands of flights were cancelled; eight million individual journeys were disrupted and airlines collectively lost around half a billion pounds.

Binoculars

US police increasingly peeping at email, instant messages

Law enforcement organizations are making tens of thousands of requests for private electronic information from companies such as Sprint, Facebook and AOL, but few detailed statistics are available, according to a privacy researcher.

Law enforcement organizations are making tens of thousands of requests for private electronic information from companies such as Sprint, Facebook and AOL, but few detailed statistics are available, according to a privacy researcher.

Police and other agencies have "enthusiastically embraced" asking for e-mail, instant messages and mobile-phone location data, but there's no U.S. federal law that requires the reporting of requests for stored communications data, wrote Christopher Soghoian, a doctoral candidate at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, in a newly published paper.

"Unfortunately, there are no reporting requirements for the modern surveillance methods that make up the majority of law enforcement requests to service providers and telephone companies," Soghoian wrote. "As such, this surveillance largely occurs off the books, with no way for Congress or the general public to know the true scale of such activities."

That's in contrast to traditional wiretaps and "pen registers," which record non-content data around a particular communication, such as the number dialed or e-mail address that a communication was sent to. The U.S. Congress mandates that it should receive reports on these requests, which are compiled by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Soghoian wrote.

Laptop

UK: Woman sentenced after streaming sex abuse of daughter over webcam

A Maine judge handed down a 15-year prison sentence to a woman convicted of sexually abusing her 2-year-old daughter and streaming the acts over the Internet to a teenager in the United Kingdom.

Thirty-three year-old Julie Carr received a 20-year sentence last week after she was convicted on child pornography charges, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock imposed the second sentence Tuesday, which will run concurrently with the first.

Carr was convicted of producing child pornography and gross sexual assault and exploitation of a minor.

"When I see child-pornography, I ask myself: Where are the parents? Where are the people who are supposed to be protecting the child?," Woodcock said, according to the court transcript. "Well, Ms. Carr, in your case, we know where the mother was."

The acts took place in June 2009 when Carr used a webcam to deliver four live videos of herself performing oral sex on her youngest daughter, according to the documents.

The videos were sent to Nicholas Wilde, then 19, in West Midlands, England, after meeting on an internet dating site.

They exchanged messages for approximately 10 hours over the month in which the crime occurred, accoridng to the documents.

Pistol

Propaganda Alert! Syrian soldiers shot for refusing to fire on protesters

Witnesses claim soldiers who disobeyed orders in Banias were shot by security services as crackdown on protests intensifies
President Bashar al-Assad
© AFP-Getty Images
President Bashar al-Assad blames conspirators for the unrest sweeping Syria.
Syrian soldiers have been shot by security forces after refusing to fire on protesters, witnesses said, as a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations intensified.

Witnesses told al-Jazeera and the BBC that some soldiers had refused to shoot after the army moved into Banias in the wake of intense protests on Friday.

Human rights monitors named Mourad Hejjo, a conscript from Madaya village, as one of those shot by security snipers. "His family and town are saying he refused to shoot at his people," said Wassim Tarif, a local human rights monitor.

Footage on YouTube shows an injured soldier saying he was shot in the back by security forces, while another video shows the funeral of Muhammad Awad Qunbar, who sources said was killed for refusing to fire on protesters. Signs of defections will be worrying to Syria's regime. State media reported a different version of events, claiming nine soldiers had been killed in an ambush by an armed group in Banias.

Syringe

Nurse gives toddler MMR jab without mother's consent to meet government targets

A nurse is under investigation after she allegedly gave a child the MMR jab without his mother's consent.

Practice nurse Rashiela Parekh failed to ask permission before injecting the three-year-old and did not inform his parents that he had been given the jab until it was too late, his mother claims.

Robina Siddique has accused the nurse of giving her son the injection simply to meet Government targets.
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© Men Syndication
Robina Siddique, 28, claims her son Mohammed Raees Ali, right, was given the MMR jab against her wishes in Birmingham

She said she had decided not to give her toddler Mohammed the combined measles, mumps and rubella jab because she believes it may be unsafe.

But when she took her son to a surgery for the diphtheria, tetanus and polio vaccines, Miss Parekh also gave him the MMR injection without asking permission, she claims.

Phoenix

I'm winning my cancer fight, says doctor refused treatment in postcode lottery

Image
© Unknown
Becky - seen here with husband Simon on their wedding day, he's now responding well to her treatment and hopes to join her brother on a sailing expedition soon.
A young doctor who was refused treatment under the NHS 'postcode lottery' is winning the battle against her life-threatening cancer.

Becky Smith was told she had only a short time to live after her breast cancer was missed four times.

She was refused a breakthrough treatment freely available from 40 other trusts in the country.

But after her story was revealed in the Daily Mail, kind-hearted members of the public and a wealthy donor came forward within days to fund part of the £23,000 treatment.

And facing public uproar, local NHS chiefs on the Isle of Wight - who were at that time prepared to fund obesity operations and breast enlargements - were forced to back down.

The 31-year-old, who has since married her childhood sweetheart Simon Morton, said the Selective Internal Radiation Therapy, used to tackle tumours in her liver and spine, appeared to be working.