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French State Schools Turn Away 298 Girls Wearing Muslim Abaya Dress

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According to the French education minister, about 300 students appeared at school on Monday wearing the abaya, a long Muslim robe prohibited in schools last week.

The majority of the girls consented to change their outfits.

Official records show that 298 girls, mostly aged 15 and older, wore the prohibited clothing to school.

Following the ministry’s directions, each case had a communication time with school staff.

Most females then decided to dress differently and were permitted to begin classes.

67 girls, however, refused to comply and were sent home.

A new round of discussions with their families will now take place. If it fails, they will be kicked out.

Compared to the 12 million schoolboys and girls who began classes on Monday, the administration feels the data prove that the prohibition has been widely accepted.

However, a judicial challenge filed by an organization representing some Muslims will be heard later today.


According to the French education minister, about 300 students appeared at school on Monday wearing the abaya, a long Muslim robe prohibited in schools last week.

At the end of August, the education minister declared that students in France’s state-run schools would be prohibited from wearing the loose-fitting, full-length robes some Muslim women used beginning September 4th.

Religious signage is strictly prohibited in state schools and government buildings in France, stating that they contravene secular rules.

Since 2004, wearing a headscarf at state-run schools has been prohibited.

The decision follows months of controversy around the wearing of abayas in French schools.

The garment is increasingly being worn in schools, causing a political schism, with right-wing parties campaigning for a ban and those on the left concerned about the rights of Muslim women and girls.

France banned full-face veils in public in 2010, infuriating France’s five million-strong Muslim community.

Since the nineteenth century, France has strictly prohibited religious indications in schools, especially Christian symbols such as huge crosses, to limit Catholic influence in public education.

It has revised the rule throughout the years to include the Muslim headscarf and Jewish kippa, reflecting its growing demographic, but abayas have not been explicitly banned until now.


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Dianne Feinstein: ‘Pioneering’ Senator Dies Aged 90

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Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who served for more than three decades and was a pioneer for women in American politics, passed away at 90.

Feinstein was the eldest senator in the United States, and she voted on Thursday.

The veteran Democrat was questioned about alleged memory and cognitive issues for months.

After a “minor fall” at home in April, she was admitted to the hospital, the latest in a series of health concerns.

The office of Ms. Feinstein stated in a statement that she died overnight at her residence in Washington, DC.

The statement continued, “Senator Feinstein was a force of nature who had an enormous impact on our country and her home state.” She left an incontestable and extraordinary legacy.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California must now appoint her replacement. He had previously promised to nominate a black woman to serve the remainder of her term, which ends in 2025.

Ms. Feinstein, born in 1933 and grew up in San Francisco, attended Stanford University and was elected to the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors in 1969.

This election marked the beginning of a long career in public service that led her to become the first female mayor of San Francisco and, in 1992, a senator.

She had previously proclaimed her intention to retire at the end of the following year, but she resisted mounting pressure. Several prominent Democrats, including Representatives Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, have previously declared their intentions to run for her Senate seat.


Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who served for more than three decades and was a pioneer for women in American politics, passed away at 90.

In a statement issued after her passing, US President Joe Biden said that Ms. Feinstein “made history in so many ways, and generations to come will benefit from her legacy.”

Due to a case of shingles, she was absent from Capitol Hill for nearly three months earlier this year. Upon her return, she assumed fewer responsibilities and used a wheelchair to navigate the US Capitol. She occasionally appeared perplexed in interviews, committee hearings, and floor votes.

Ms. Feinstein was well-known for her ardent support of gun control measures and the 1994 assault weapons prohibition signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

After the murders of her predecessor, George Moscone, and city councilman Harvey Milk, she became mayor of San Francisco in 1978.

She stated that the experience of racing to Mayor Moscone’s office and discovering a bullet wound while searching for his pulse had left an indelible mark on her.

As a senator, Ms. Feinstein was the first woman to chair the influential Senate Intelligence Committee, overseeing a multi-year evaluation of the CIA’s controversial interrogation program of foreign terrorists following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The evaluation ultimately resulted in legislation prohibiting “enhanced interrogation techniques” on terrorism suspects, such as waterboarding.


Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who served for more than three decades and was a pioneer for women in American politics, passed away at 90.

Ms. Feinstein was the first woman to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the first woman to lead the Senate Rules Committee.

Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, described Dianne Feinstein as a “pioneering woman leader” in a statement.

“Dianne’s extraordinary career will inspire countless women and girls to pursue careers in public service for generations to come,” she said.

On the Senate floor, Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell praised “her dogged advocacy and diligent service”.

In recent years, concerns about her deteriorating health and cognitive abilities have prompted calls for her retirement and brought attention to the aging of America’s legislators.

During a committee vote, individuals around her could be heard in a widely circulated video telling her to “just say yes.”

Despite mounting family tensions, she is succeeded by a daughter, Katherine, who reportedly held power of attorney over her mother’s legal affairs. Richard Blum, her investment banker spouse, passed away last year.


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Soccer Player Paulinho Won’t Let Intolerance Of His Afro-Brazilian Religion Stop His Faith

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LAGOA SANTA, Brazil — When the Brazilian football player Paulinho scored a goal at the Tokyo Olympics, he celebrated by pointing an imaginary arrow at the glowing cameras as a tribute to a deity in his persecuted Afro-Brazilian religion and a shot at religious intolerance.

Subsequently, he lost over 10,000 social media followers for his public tribute to Oxóssi, a godly archer who uses his bow to stalk and feed the hungry.

He claims he progressively gained new fans in his soccer-obsessed South American nation by representing his Afro-Brazilian religion, Candomblé, and challenging religious intolerance. His religion has been subject to a rising tide of persecution, sometimes attributed to the rapid spread of evangelical Christianity in Brazil.

“Some competitors inquire about my religion, wanting to know what it is like… They always heed when I speak. But it’s still a small minority in football’, the 23-year-old Atletico Mineiro player said in an interview at his residence outside of Belo Horizonte in Brazil’s southeast. “I…get messages about how I express myself about the religion, some from people who also believe in the faith but aren’t too outspoken. And it’s great to feel that they appreciate what I do.”

In Brazil, only a small minority practice Candomblé. In recent years, however, reports of religious intolerance against them have increased, particularly at the hands of members of Pentecostal and neo-Pentecostal congregations, whose mission is to convert unbelievers.


Although he was not as involved with Candomblé then, he felt targeted when he began his professional career in 2017 with the prominent club Vasco da Gama.

Some members of African-influenced religions have been subjected to verbal abuse, discrimination, and even the devastation of their temples and forced eviction from their neighborhoods.

Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Paulinho experienced religious discrimination like his mother and grandmother before him.

His mother, Ana Christina Sampaio, recalled feeling insulted when other players’ parents implied that her son’s success on the football pitch was due to Afro-Brazilian sacrificial rituals.

She stated, “They disregarded Paulinho’s abilities and efforts.” Certainly, there is religious intolerance, but in Brazil, it appears to be religious bigotry against Candomblé.

As Catholic Portuguese colonists carried enslaved Africans to Brazil, these men and women merged their traditional religions with Catholicism. These religions are practiced by less than 1% of Brazil’s 210 million inhabitants.

Academics and advocates for religious freedom assert that neo-Pentecostal congregations sometimes demonize Afro-Brazilian religions. In uncommon instances, pastors have been found to explicitly direct radicalized evangelicals to commit acts of violence.

Sociologist Reginaldo Prandi stated, “Candomblé has always been persecuted; the only place in Brazil where its adherents are the majority is during Carnival.” He made note of the well-known traditional samba school competition in which references to Candomblé deities, or orixas, have been a constant for decades.


In recent years, samba schools have pleaded for Afro-Brazilians to be accepted and religious violence to cease.

“Prejudice cannot invalidate his football abilities. Everyone will forget about his religion if he proves to be an exceptional athlete. This is Brazil’s custom, said Prandi. However, it will be one of the first things people say when he performs poorly.

Paulinho stated that the prejudice he faced prompted him to abandon Brazil and play football in Europe. In 2018, he transferred to the German club Bayer Leverkusen for $21 million. In four years, he participated in 79 matches and scored nine goals. According to him, his faith was never an issue there.

Paulinho currently plays for the Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro, which in the 1980s featured some of the country’s first outspokenly evangelical soccer players. He still hopes to play professionally in England or Spain.

In Brazil, however, he has become an influential advocate for a marginalized religious minority.

He stated, “People recognize that I have a deeper understanding and knowledge of our religion.” Looking back… Candomblé has been present throughout all phases, illuminating the path. And now I can speak with more assurance.”

Earlier this year, Paulinho displayed his Candomblé pride during a game, provoking his detractors and bolstering his supporters. After scoring, he removed his shirt to reveal a new tattoo. It read “se” — or “energy” in Yoruba — or, as Axé is known to Brazilians, Axé, which is essential to Candomblé.

A supporter of Atletico Mineiro posted on Paulinho’s Instagram, “Get out of our club, macumbeiro!” shortly after. This term is sometimes used derisively to refer to Macumba members, defined as “a polytheistic religion of African origin… practiced mainly by Black Brazilians in urban areas.”

In the same post, another club supporter said: “You care more about candomblé and politics than football, you shouldn’t be here.”

Paulinho has also been targeted by far-right activists aligned with former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who had a significant evangelical support base. Paulinho was among the few active soccer players to publicly endorse President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the 2022 elections.


Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Paulinho experienced religious discrimination like his mother and grandmother.

Since the 1960s, the acceptance of Candomblé among Brazil’s middle class has been facilitated by the support of Brazilian performers such as Grammy-winner Caetano Veloso.

“At that time, the world was in search of other civilizations. Europeans pursued Buddhism, while the Beatles travelled to India,’ said Prandi. “Brazilians were not required to travel.

“We had this very dramatic and theatrical religion in the state of Bahia, which originated with the Africans,” he continued. It was then that all intellectuals became involved; it was our counterculture.

Prandi stated nonetheless that persecution of Candomblé continued.

“Now Brazil has a very conservative movement, which led to the election of Bolsonaro, and people like Paulinho are viewed as a threat because he is a popular football player,” he said.

Others are following in Paulinho’s footsteps. After scoring the game-winning goal in the Brazilian Cup final against Flamengo on Sunday, Sao Paulo FC midfielder Rodrigo Nestor revealed on national television that he is a Candomblé follower.

Nestor told TV Globo after the match, “My orishas, my mother Ians, were with me.” He referred to the Candomblé deity of wind, lightning, magic, and fire.

Paulinho aims to again represent Brazil at the Paris Olympics next year. He maintains confidence in his abilities and religious pride. Before each contest, he prays to the divine beings for guidance. In addition, his mother blesses him with water and basil leaves to ward off negative vibrations.

“My faith has taught me to be patient,” said Paulinho. “This is also a wonderful quality of my orisha: Oxóssi only has one arrow, so he must be accurate. He must be patient.

“In some games, I have only one clean shot. I could get it right; I could get it wrong,” he added. “However, regardless of the outcome, I am confident that the discipline I’ve gained from Candomblé will allow me to find other opportunities if I remain resilient.”


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Judge Rules Donald Trump Defrauded Banks And Insurers While Building Real Estate Empire

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NEW YORK — On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency, and he ordered that some of the former president’s companies be removed from his control and dissolved.

In a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers, and others by grossly overvaluing his assets and inflating his net worth on documents to secure agreements and loans.

As punishment, Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be revoked, making it difficult or impossible for them to conduct business in New York, and he stated that an independent monitor would continue to supervise Trump Organisation operations.

Without a successful appeal, the order would revoke Trump’s authority to make strategic and financial decisions regarding several of his most valuable properties in the state.

Trump railed against the decision in several statements, labeling it “un-American” and part of an ongoing plot to harm his reelection campaign.

He wrote on his Truth Social site, “My civil rights have been violated, and a federal or state appellate court must reverse this horrible, un-American decision.” He asserted that his company had “done a magnificent job for New York State” and “conducted business flawlessly,” describing the event as “A very sad day for the New York State System of Justice!”


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

His attorney, Christopher Kise, stated that an appeal would be filed, labeling the decision “completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.”

A few days before starting a non-jury trial in James’ lawsuit, Engoron’s ruling is the strongest rejection of Trump’s carefully manicured image as an affluent and intelligent real estate magnate turned political powerhouse.

Engoron discovered that Trump, his company, and key executives repeatedly lied about his wealth in his annual financial statements, garnering benefits such as favorable loan terms and reduced insurance premiums.

The judge stated that these tactics crossed the line and violated the law, refuting Trump’s argument that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of wrongdoing.

“In the world of the defendants, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can vanish into thin air; a disclaimer by one party casting blame on another party exonerates the other party’s lies,” Engoron wrote in his 35-page ruling. This is a fantasy world, not the actual universe.


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

Manhattan prosecutors considered filing criminal charges for the same conduct but ultimately decided against it, leaving James no choice but to sue him and seek penalties designed to impede his and his family’s ability to conduct business.

The summary judgment rendered by Judge Engoron resolves the primary claim in James’ lawsuit, but several others remain. In a trial beginning on October 2, he will deliberate on these claims and James’ request for $250 million in penalties. Trump’s attorneys have requested a postponement from the Court of Appeals.

“Today, a judge ruled in our favour and found that Donald Trump and the Trump Organisation engaged in years of financial fraud,” James said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the rest of our case at trial.”

In their motion for summary judgment, Trump’s attorneys argued that there was no evidence that their client’s actions had injured the public. They also argued that the statute of limitations prohibited many of the lawsuit’s allegations.

Noting that he had previously rejected these arguments, Engoron compared them to the narrative of the film “Groundhog Day.” He fined five defense attorneys $7,500 each as punishment for “engaging in repetitive, frivolous” arguments but denied James’ request to sanction Trump and other defendants.

James, a Democrat, filed a lawsuit against him and the Trump Organisation a year ago, alleging them of routinely inflating the value of his assets, including skyscrapers, golf courses, and his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, by billions.

Engoron discovered he consistently overvalued Mar-a-Lago, exaggerating its value by up to 2,300% on one financial statement. Additionally, the judge reprimanded Trump for misrepresenting the size of his Manhattan apartment. Trump asserted that his three-story Trump Tower penthouse was nearly three times larger than it was and valued it at $327 million.


On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to prominence and the presidency.

“A disparity of this magnitude, by a real estate developer calculating his own living space over decades, can only be considered fraud,” wrote Engoron.

Eric Trump insisted on X following the ruling that his father’s claims about Mar-a-Lago were accurate, writing that the Palm Beach estate is “estimated to be worth well over a billion dollars, making it arguably the most valuable residential property.” He described the decision and the lawsuit as “an attempt to destroy my father and evict him from New York.”

Under the terms of the ruling, the limited liability companies that control some of Trump’s most valuable properties, such as 40 Wall Street, will be dissolved, and a receiver will assume control over their operations. Trump would lose the authority to recruit or fire employees, rent office space, and make other crucial decisions.

Kise stated after the decision, “The decision seeks to nationalise one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States and seize control of private property despite the fact that there is no evidence of any default, breach, late payment, or complaint of harm.”

The presumptive Republican nominee for next year’s election faces several legal issues, including James’ suit. In the past six months, he has been indicted four times: in Georgia and Washington, D.C., for conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss, in Florida for stockpiling classified documents, and in New York for falsifying business records related to hush money paid on his behalf.

In a separate criminal case last year, the Trump Organisation was convicted of tax fraud for assisting executives to evade taxes on perks such as apartments and vehicles. The company received a $1.6 million sanction. Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s longtime finance chief, pled guilty and served five months in prison.

James’ office previously charged Trump with misusing his charitable foundation to advance his political and business interests. As a penalty, Trump was ordered to donate $2 million to charity, while his charity, the Trump Foundation, was dissolved.


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