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Activists say Iran's current wave of protests are different from previous unrest. Unleashing their anger at the compulsory veil for women, protesters are targeting something central to the identity of Iran's Islamic cleric-led rule. The protests are drawing from a long history of resistance among Iranian women. During the 1979 revolution, the hijab was a sign of breaking with the secular monarchy. But when the new Islamic Republic then made wearing it mandatory, thousands of women marched in protests. Woman have been challenging the rule ever since. The death of a woman arrested for wearing too loose a headscarf has sparked an eruption of anger.

AP
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Advocates for women and the LGBTQ community in Italy are worrying that the decisive victory by Giorgia Meloni and her far-right party in Italy's national election will bring setbacks for civil rights. Sunday's vote for Parliament saw the defeat of historic champions of battles decades ago to legalize divorce and abortion, as well as ongoing struggles to make same-sex marriage possible. Women have organized rallies for a dozen Italian cities on Wednesday evening to voice fears that a premiership of Meloni, who exalts motherhood and pushes a “God, homeland and traditional family” political agenda, could endanger hard-won abortion rights.

AP
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Italy’s former premier Silvio Berlusconi is making his return to Italy’s parliament nearly a decade after being banned from holding public office over a tax fraud conviction. Berlusconi was re-elected to the Senate in Sunday's elections that indicated a far-right-led alliance would take power. In 2013, the Senate expelled Berlusconi because of a tax fraud conviction stemming from his media business and he was banned from holding public office for six years. After serving a sentence of community service, a court ruled he could once again hold public office and he won a seat in the European Parliament in 2019.

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Two U.S. military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting with Ukrainian forces have arrived in their home state of Alabama. The men were greeted Saturday by hugs and cheers at the airport in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Drueke, and Andy Huynh had gone missing June 9 in northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Alabama residents were released by Russian-backed separatists as part of a recent prisoner exchange mediated by Saudi Arabia. Also freed were five British nationals and three others — from Morocco, Sweden and Croatia. Smiling but looking tired, the two were pulled into long emotional hugs by family members before being taken to a waiting car.

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Andy Huynh, left, and Alex Drueke, far right, are seen hugging their loved ones after arriving at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. The U.S. military veterans disappeared three months ago while fighting Russia with Ukrainian forces. They were released earlier this week by Russian-backed separatists as part of a prisoner exchange. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

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Andy Huynh, left, and Alex Drueke, right, are seen arriving at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. The U.S. military veterans disappeared three months ago while fighting Russia with Ukrainian forces. They were released earlier this week by Russian-backed separatists as part of a prisoner exchange. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

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Andy Huynh, far left, and Alex Drueke, right, are seen leaving Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. The U.S. military veterans disappeared three months ago while fighting Russia with Ukrainian forces. They were released earlier this week by Russian-backed separatists as part of a prisoner exchange. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is under investigation for using a state-owned airplane to fly to political events and bring family members with her on trips. But the decision on whether to prosecute the Republican governor likely hinges on how a county prosecutor interprets an untested law that was passed by voters in 2006. State law allows the aircraft only to be used “in the conduct of state business.” But Noem attended events hosted by political organizations. State plane logs also show that Noem often had family members join her on in-state flights in 2019. It blurred the lines between official travel and attending family events, including her son’s prom and her daughter’s wedding.

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Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: President Joe Biden did not announce that the U.S. is signing a U.N. “Small Arms Treaty,” that would establish an international gun control registry. There is no scientific evidence to suggest humans or other mammals vaccinated with mRNA shots die within five years. A video shows traffic at the Finnish-Russian border last month, not Russians fleeing after Putin announced the partial mobilization of reservists to Ukraine. Florida ranks 48th in the nation in average public school teacher pay, not 9th.