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Lawsuit Filed Against FBI After They Fail to Provide Communications With Facebook About Censoring Hunter Biden Laptop Story


A conservative legal group has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the FBI after they failed to turn over communications between the bureau and Big Tech companies such as Facebook related to alleged efforts to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story.

The lawsuit, launched by America First Legal (AFL), comes following a FOIA request in August that was denied by the FBI as “overly broad.”

It claims that the bureau violated the law by failing to produce communications with Facebook and other social media companies indicating an alleged effort to “censor news and information” about Biden’s laptop prior to the 2020 presidential election.

“The evidence is that the FBI and Big Tech, including Facebook, colluded to interfere with the 2020 Presidential election first by falsely and maliciously labeling the laptop ‘Russian disinformation’ and then by censoring and/or discrediting all news about its contents,” court documents read, according to Fox News.

RELATED: FBI Agent Accused By Whistleblowers Of Shielding Hunter Biden Resigns, Escorted From Building: Report

Lawsuit Filed Against the FBI

The lawsuit by AFL points out that by withholding the information requested, the FBI is again engaged in a cover-up of matters the public may find of interest prior to another election.

“Now, barely a month before the 2022 midterm election, FBI officials continue to suppress information of great interest to American voters and stonewall AFL’s request for records relating to the FBI’s collusive scheme with Facebook to censor news and information about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop,” it reads.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted during a podcast with host Joe Rogan in August that Facebook had algorithmically throttled the reach on any posts involving the Hunter laptop scandal following a visit from the FBI.

“The FBI, I think, basically came to us – some folks on our team – and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert…’ We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election,” Zuckerberg told Rogan.

“‘We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant,’” he continued.

Zuckerberg said they were not specifically instructed by the FBI to focus on the Hunter Biden story but the company apparently did so anyway because “it basically fit the pattern” mentioned in the visit.

RELATED: 33 Republican Senators Finally Start Demanding Accountability for Hunter Biden

Whistleblowers Accuse FBI of Suppressing Hunter Biden Story

The lawsuit comes amidst recent claims from Senator Chuck Grassley, who says high-ranking FBI whistleblowers have accused the FBI, along with the DOJ, of suppressing negative information about Hunter Biden prior to the 2020 election.

Grassley (R-IA), in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Garland dated July 25th, claimed the FBI had information in 2020 on alleged “criminal financial and related activity” engaged in by Hunter Biden.

Rather than investigate, the FBI reportedly set up a team to discredit it as ‘disinformation,’ a move that “caused investigative activity to cease.”

One FBI agent named by the whistleblowers as having suppressed negative information about Hunter Biden and his laptop and business dealings was Timothy Thibault, who left his position last month.

In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson Tuesday night, former Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski claimed the FBI had buried his allegations against the President and his family.

Bobulinsky said he was shocked to learn that Thibault simply left the FBI after the whistleblowers came forward to allege he had actively shut down investigations into Hunter Biden.

Grassley’s report contends that “an avenue of derogatory Hunter Biden reporting was ordered closed at the direction of” Thibault.

The FBI field office, it further argues, tried to downplay news on Biden’s activity as “disinformation” even though “all of the reporting was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants.”

Thibault, according to Grassley, “subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”

“When I … found out that Tim Thibault, the FBI agent that was assigned to run point on all the information I and my lawyers provided the FBI, had walked out of the building, I was sort of flabbergasted,” Bobulinski told Carlson.

“You know, like what? This is crazy. Like when are the American people going to get the facts on all this?” he wondered.

“The fact pattern is the FBI alone altered history in that election.”

AFL lead counsel Reed Rubinstein agrees.

“The evidence is that during the 2020 Presidential election campaign, the FBI conspired and combined with large corporations, including Facebook, to censor and suppress the damning evidence of Biden family corruption and influence peddling found on Hunter Biden’s laptop,” Rubinstein told Fox.

“This was done to help Joe Biden and the Democrats win the 2020 election.”

Thirty-three Senate Republicans, in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland last month, are requesting the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden be given special counsel privileges.

The letter to Merrick Garland contends that evidence suggests Hunter Biden may have committed “numerous federal crimes.”

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Burkina Faso’s coup and political situation: All you need to know | News


On September 30, Burkina Faso military leader President Paul-Henri Damiba was deposed in the country’s second coup in a year, as army Captain Ibrahim Traore took charge, dissolving the transitional government and suspending the constitution.

The 34-year-old Traore said on Friday evening that a group of officers had decided to remove Damiba due to his inability to deal with an armed uprising in the country that has worsened in the past nine months.

Damiba resigned from his post on Sunday, fleeing to neighbouring Togo.

Tensions have been high in Burkina Faso since Friday, with clashes occurring between protesters and security forces.

Here are the key details of all that has happened:

How did things get here?

On January 24, Burkina Faso’s army, led by Damiba, announced it had deposed President Roch Kabore after more than six years in power, following several days of unrest in the capital Ouagadougou.

Damiba cited the failure of the Kabore administration to unite the country and control the deteriorating security situation as reasons for ousting the civilian government.

New junta's soldiers stand guard in a street of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
New military government’s soldiers stand guard in a street of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso October 1, 2022 [Vincent Bado/Reuters]

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been caught up in an escalating wave of violence attributed to rebel fighters allied to both al-Qaeda and the ISIL (ISIS) group, killing thousands of people and further displacing two million. Analysts have said this has made it the new epicentre of conflict in the Sahel.

While the move sparked some celebration among anti-government protesters, international actors expressed concern about the move, including nations the United States and France.

The West African regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Burkina Faso from the organisation, demanding the Damiba-led government hold elections as soon as possible.

What happened under Damiba’s rule?

Despite Damiba’s promises to improve the security situation in the country, the crisis worsened under his government.

According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), attacks by armed groups increased by 23 percent in the five months after former leader Damiba took over.

In June, Mahamadou Issoufou, former president of Niger and a mediator between Burkina Faso and ECOWAS said Ouagadougou only controlled 60 percent of the country and the remaining territory was outside state control.

Damiba was also criticised for seemingly taking a more pro-France stance in working together with the former coloniser to root out armed groups, as anti-France sentiment has risen in former colonies.

Young men chant slogans against the power of military leader Paul-Henri Damiba.
Young men chant slogans against the power of Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba and France, as well as pro-Russian sentiment, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Friday, September 30, 2022 [Sophie Garcia/AP Photo]

Some in the country have argued the government should seek help from Moscow, mirroring the route neighbouring Mali has taken in allowing the private Russian mercenary firm Wagner group to operate within its borders.

On the economic front, the UN highlighted Burkina Faso, a country of 16 million people, as one of several west African nations facing an “alarming level” of hunger with the country facing the worst hunger crisis in six years with more than 630,000 people on the brink of starvation.

Blockades of towns by armed groups have made it difficult for aid to reach those in need, the UN has said.

Who is Damiba’s successor, Ibrahim Traore?

Prior to being catapulted to the highest office in the land after overthrowing Dmaiba, Traore was a relatively low-ranking officer running an artillery regiment in a small northern town.

Little else is known of the 34-year-old and his supporting officers, he has claimed that he will not hold power for too long.

In an interview with French state broadcaster RFI, Traore has said a national conference will appoint a new interim leader by the end of the year – one who could be civilian or military – and honour an agreement with West Africa’s regional bloc and oversee a return to civilian rule by 2024.

“We did not come to continue, we did not come for a particular purpose,” he said. “All that matters when the level of security returns is the fight, its development.”

The new leader also downplayed accusations from coup supporters that Damiba was being protected by the French and with their help was planning to launch a counter-coup.

“There are many partners. France is a partner. There is no particular target,” he told RFI.

What have the reactions been like?

There has been an outpouring of condemnation internationally for the overthrow of Damiba.

ECOWAS said that it came at an “inopportune” time when progress was being made towards a return to constitutional order in the West African state.

“ECOWAS reaffirms its unequivocal opposition to any seizure or maintenance of power by unconstitutional means,” it said in a statement shared on social media.

African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat condemned the “unconstitutional change of government” and urged the government to prevent acts of violence and threats to the civilian populations

France told its citizens in Ouagadougou, believed to number between 4,000 and 5,000, to stay home, while the European Union expressed “concern” at the unfolding events.

NBA GM Survey picks Milwaukee Bucks to win 2022-23 title


The NBA released the results of its annual GM Survey , where the league’s 30 general managers weigh in on 50 questions about teams, awards, personnel moves, position rankings and more. And for the first time since the survey began in the 2002-3 season, the GMs picked the Milwaukee Bucks to win the title.

The Bucks got 43% of the votes for most likely titleist, with the defending champion Golden State Warriors second with 25%. The Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics rounded out the voting with 21% and 11%. Milwaukee was the overwhelming choice to win the Eastern Conference with 72% of the votes, while the Warriors and Clippers were even with 48% to win the West.

It’s not a perfect predictor, as the Brooklyn Nets were picked by 72% of the voters last season, and they got swept in Round One. Second place? The Lakers, who went 33-49. In the 2020-21 survey, 81% of the voters picked the Lakers to repeat, and they also lost in Round One. When the Lakers did win in the 2019-20 season, 46% of the GMs picked the Clippers, and only 11% picked the Lake Show. Not since the 2017-18 survey has the survey selected the actual champions.

The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo edged out Luka Doncic of the Mavericks as the player they’d choose to start a franchise, 55% to 45%. The voters chose Doncic as the most likely MVP, though he finished behind the Suns’ Devin Booker as the NBA’s best shooting guard because some voters chose him as a small forward. According to the GMs, the All-NBA team is:

PG: Steph Curry

SG: Devin Booker

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo

C: Nikola Jokic

Biden Administration Pushes Oil Producers to Keep Production High


U.S. officials have been in talks with oil-producing countries in an effort to prevent global oil prices from rising sharply.

Alec Baldwin Settles With Halyna Hutchins’ Family After ‘Rust’ Shooting


The family of the late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins has reached a settlement with actor Alec Baldwin following her fatal shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” in 2021.

Hutchins’ widower, Matthew Hutchins, told CNN that as part of the settlement ― which requires court approval ― he will executive produce the film when it resumes production in January 2023.

“All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident,” he said. “I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work.”

Baldwin’s attorney, Luke Nikas of Quinn Emanuel, said they are grateful for the resolution reached.

“Throughout this difficult process, everyone has maintained the specific desire to do what is best for Halyna’s son,” Nikas said in a statement to HuffPost.

Attorneys for Rust Productions LLC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

‘Act of defiance’: US advocates launching mobile abortion clinic | Health News


Yamelsie Rodriguez describes it as an “act of defiance”.

But more than that, the plan to open a mobile abortion clinic in the US state of Illinois aims to respond to what Rodriguez – president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St Louis region and southwest Missouri – said is an increasingly urgent need for abortion services.

Illinois has seen a dramatic jump in the number of patients travelling from states where abortion was banned or severely restricted after the United States Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure in June, she told Al Jazeera.

Abortion remains legal in Illinois and people have been travelling long distances from Oklahoma, Tennessee and other areas to access care since the fall of Roe v Wade, she said. Already, wait times at a Planned Parenthood clinic in southern Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St Louis, have jumped from four days to more than two weeks.

“We have made it clear to our patients that we were not going to leave them behind, and that we were not going to back down,” Rodriguez told Al Jazeera, stressing the group’s commitment to providing patients with abortion services “no matter where they are”.

Earlier this week, the US marked 100 days since the country’s top court overturned its landmark 1973 abortion ruling, setting off widespread protests and calls for action to protect reproductive rights.

The end of Roe v Wade also saw Republican-led states immediately spring into action to curtail the procedure, capping a decades-long campaign by conservatives and religious groups opposed to abortion. Several states imposed outright bans, while others put stringent curbs in place.

Planned Parenthood’s mobile abortion clinic – the group’s first in the US – comes as part of an opposite push by rights advocates to create abortion sanctuary networks and reduce barriers to accessing the procedure in a post-Roe US.

“It’s been 100 days since the Supreme Court unjustly overturned #RoevWade, but our communities are coming together in new ways to protect access to reproductive healthcare,” St Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones wrote on Twitter on Monday, welcoming the mobile clinic plan.

Rodriguez told Al Jazeera that Planned Parenthood has secured an 11-metre (37-foot) RV, which will have two examination rooms, a waiting room and a laboratory.

The vehicle is expected to be operational before the end of the year, when it will travel along Illinois’s southern border offering what’s known as medication abortion up to 11 weeks of gestation. The process – ending a pregnancy through medication – accounts for more than half of all abortions in the US, according to the Guttmacher Institute reproductive rights group.

Surgical abortions will be available at the mobile clinic early next year, Rodriguez said.

“We expect to see an increase in demand for mobile care as the goal here is to reduce the hundreds of miles that people are travelling one way just to access abortion care in southern Illinois,” she added.

Travel increasing

Even before Roe was overturned, approximately 9 percent of abortion patients in the US had to travel outside their home states to access services, the Guttmacher Institute said. But rights advocates have warned the rate is steadily increasing since the Supreme Court’s decision.

The National Abortion Federation, which operates the country’s largest abortion hotline, said it paid for 76 hotel rooms in the first month after the top court overturned Roe on June 24 – up from five such bookings during the same period a year earlier.

The federation also booked 52 bus or plane trips for patients travelling for abortion services between June 24 and July 25 of this year, compared to just one over the same period in 2021. “More people are being forced to travel now than ever before,” the group’s chief operating officer, Veronica Jones, said in a statement in August unveiling the statistics.

“The truth is, abortion bans are intended to make accessing care burdensome, and even with financial assistance, some people will still be denied the abortion care they need. Until we restore abortion rights for everyone and remove the burdens that made accessing abortion care difficult even before Roe was overturned, there will always be people without access to the care they want and need.”

That was echoed by Rodriguez at Planned Parenthood, who said reproductive rights groups are in an “all hands on deck” moment to provide access to care.

“One hundred days post-[the Supreme Court decision], what we are seeing is exactly what we expected … devastating stories of people who are being forced to flee their home states, people who are outraged that a 50-year precedent has been taken away,” she told Al Jazeera.

“But I think the silver lining of this,” she added, “is that more and more people are coming out and standing firmly for reproductive rights.”

A Government Report Shows The Stark Reality of Latinx Representation In Media


In the past 10 years, “little change occurred” in the level of Latinx representation in media, according to a government report released Wednesday, confirming on a wider scale what many industry-level studies have illustrated over the years.

The percentage of Latinx workers in the media industry only rose by a paltry 1% from 2010 to 2019 (from 11% to 12%), the report found, examining U.S. Census and federal employment data. Latinx women were especially underrepresented: They made up only 3% of workers in media, while Latinx men accounted for 7%. The report also broke down what roles Latinx workers served in the industry. Latinx people were more likely to be in service jobs (19%) than in senior and executive management roles (3%).

Conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, or GAO, the new report is the second installment of a federal study on Latinx underrepresentation in film, television, music, journalism and book publishing. It was first requested in 2020 by lawmakers in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, then chaired by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).

Released last fall, the GAO’s initial findings were the first federal report in many years to provide quantitative data on the level of Latinx underrepresentation in the media industry. (The authors use the term Hispanic throughout the reports, explaining that the figures cited by the GAO use the term “Hispanic or Latino” in data collection.)

While people identifying as Hispanic or Latino make up nearly 20% of the total U.S. workforce, they hold only about 12% of media jobs across the country, the 2021 report found. This severely affects the ways Latinx people are represented in news and entertainment, and the ways Latinx stories are told and disseminated.

“Last year’s GAO report on Latino underrepresentation in American media put a national spotlight on the industry’s failure to recruit and retain talented Latinos,” Castro said in a statement Wednesday. “From entry-level to the C-Suite, Latino voices are missing from the main image-defining and narrative-creating institutions in American society. This invisibility means that Americans don’t know who Latinos are or how we have contributed to the success of our nation.”

“This year’s report will be a call-to-action to achieve greater Latino representation in media and enable the Latino narrative to finally be part of the larger American narrative,” he continued.

The new GAO report expanded its analysis using data from the past 10 years instead of five. It also looked at what steps major media companies have publicly taken to improve diversity in their workforces, and what federal agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Communications Commission should be doing better.

The GAO interviewed an array of workers, advocates and experts, such as researchers at the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and UCLA who have studied Hollywood representation for years; unions like the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; and professional non-profit organizations like Latinx in Publishing and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

They noted some of the factors that have led to Latinx underrepresentation in media, such as financial and educational barriers, less access to professional networks, and the lack of diversity in decision-making roles, from newsroom executives to talent agents.

For example, a person in publishing said that “the pay structure that sometimes pays out small sums over several years can be a deterrent to Hispanic authors without additional financial means to sustain them,” according to the report. Others interviewed noted the “lack of diversity among decision makers may lead them to dismiss Hispanic content as unmarketable to a broad audience,” the report states.

Among the GAO’s recommendations include more specific demographic data collection and tracking, as well as improved data-sharing among federal agencies, in order to better enforce anti-discrimination laws.

For example, the report found that the FCC does not break down data on whether violations they’ve investigated “affected particular racial or ethnic groups.” In analyzing EEOC data, the report found that from 2020 to 2021, the agency investigated and resolved 24 discrimination cases “based on Hispanic national origin involving media companies.” EEOC officials told the GAO that the number of discrimination cases was likely an undercount.

Castro will present the report’s findings Wednesday at a National Press Club event in Washington, which can be streamed here.

Infographic: Does Europe have enough gas for winter? | Oil and Gas News


Russia’s war in Ukraine has led to a European energy crisis, with the price of natural gas soaring to new highs this year.

As Western nations sparred with Moscow over its invasion, Russia mostly cut off the supply of gas to Europe.

In an attempt to mitigate its reliance on Russian gas, the European Union has set minimum storage targets.

Currently, gas storage capacity is 89.6 percent full, above the 80 percent target set by the EU for October 1.

“Storage is intended to deal with seasonal variations in consumption, not provide a strategic reserve in case of an embargo or blockade,” said John Kemp, a market analyst at Reuters.

“In the event of a complete cessation of imports from Russia, a colder than normal winter, or both, gas would become scarce before the end of March 2023.”

EU countries have agreed to impose emergency levies on the profits of energy firms and are discussing the possibility of a bloc-wide gas price cap.

Also agreed is a mandatory 5 percent cut in electricity use during peak price periods.

Global gas consumption is expected to decline by 0.8 percent in 2022, the result of a 10 percent reduction in demand in Europe, according to a report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this week.

Elevated gas prices timeline

Gas prices in Europe soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

In August, Russia stopped the flow of gas via its Nord Stream 1 pipeline, citing the need for repairs, and said it would not resume flows until sanctions were lifted against Moscow.

At the same time, European countries have struggled to find alternative energy supplies used to heat homes, generate electricity and run factories.

(Al Jazeera)

Furthermore, gas leaks have imperilled the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, with Denmark reporting that the largest leak caused surface-level disturbances in September.

Officials in Russia and the West have suspected sabotage as the cause of leaks, blaming each other.

In light of the EU reaching its gas storage mandate by October 1, fears of a gas supply shortage for winter have eased and the price has dropped recently.

But Kemp, at Reuters, warned: “Inventory accumulation has put Europe in a stronger position than at this time last year, but regional supplies are still at risk which will require further action from the market and policymakers.”

(Al Jazeera)

How much does Europe rely on gas?

Europe is highly dependent on gas for generating electricity, transport and heating. In 2021, 34 percent of the continent’s energy came from burning gas.

Belarus is the most gas-dependent country in Europe with 62 percent of its energy coming from gas, followed by Russia (54 percent), Italy (42 percent), the United Kingdom (40 percent) and Hungary (39 percent).

In 2021, 76 percent of Europe’s energy was made by burning fossil fuels – gas (34 percent), oil (31 percent) and coal (11 percent).

Renewable energy, including hydropower, solar, wind and biofuels, accounted for 14 percent, with nuclear making up the remaining 10 percent.

Russia’s gas supply squeeze has forced countries to accelerate their search for alternatives.

Germany announced that it would temporarily halt the phasing out of two nuclear power plants in an effort to shore up energy security.

INTERACTIVE - Where Europe gets its energy from
(Al Jazeera)

Gas storage in Europe

The EU is storing 15 percent more gas now than at the same time last year.

Most EU members have gas storage facilities in their respective states, with storage capacities in Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Austria making up two-thirds of the EU’s total capacity.

Countries that do not have storage facilities will need to store 15 percent of their annual domestic gas consumption in stocks located in other member states, according to a European Council regulation.

These include Ireland, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece and Cyprus.

Gas storage by member states

Europe is the largest importer of natural gas in the world.

In 2021, Russia, Germany, the UK, Italy and France consumed three-quarters of the continent’s 10,073 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy from gas.

In addition to navigating gas storage challenges, several EU nations have announced multibillion-dollar emergency measures to combat skyrocketing energy prices.

Germany’s gas storage is at 92 percent currently, while France is at 97 percent, Italy at 91 percent, and the Netherlands at 92 percent.

INTERACTIVE - Gas storage in Europe
(Al Jazeera)

Will gas prices stay high?

Following EU efforts to avoid gas shortages, the price of gas will likely halve this winter, according to Goldman Sachs.

In September, the investment bank said it expects European wholesale natural gas prices to fall to below 100 euros ($99) per megawatt hour (MWh) by the end of March 2023, assuming normal winter conditions.

INTERACTIVE - Natural gas wholesale prices europe_updated
(Al Jazeera)

Liquified natural gas (LNG) imports have surged in Europe, with a 65 percent increase in demand in the first eight months of 2022 compared with a year earlier.

According to an analysis by the IEA, if there is a complete shutdown of Russian gas supply and without demand reductions in place, EU gas storage would be less than 20 percent full in February, assuming a high level of LNG supply.

A  9 percent drop in EU gas demand from the average level of the past five years would be necessary to maintain gas storage levels above 25 percent if there are lower LNG flows.

Apple reportedly in talks to make AirPods and Beats in India


Apple AirPods with Spatial Audio

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Apple has asked suppliers to begin making some of its AirPods and Beats headphones in India as early as next year, according to a Nikkei Asia report Wednesday.

The talks mark the company’s latest attempt to lower the risk of supply chain disruptions in China due to Covid lockdowns and increased U.S.-China trade tensions. Apple was reportedly in discussions in August to shift some of its Apple Watches, MacBooks and HomePods to Vietnam, and it announced in September that it is assembling some of its flagship iPhone 14 phones in India.

Apple still relies heavily on China for the majority of iPhone production.

Foxconn, one of Apple’s manufacturing partners, will make the Beats headphones in India and strive to make AirPods there in the future, according to the report. Luxshare Precision Industry, which produces Apple’s AirPods in Vietnam and China, will also help with AirPods production efforts in India.

Apple has been looking to increase sales in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market. And though Apple’s shift to production in India was initially aimed at increasing sales, it is now treating the country more like a strategic production base, according to the report.

India will work to attract further investment by spending more than $30 billion on its electronics supply chain, Nikkei Asia said.

An Apple representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marion Cotillard, Juliette Binoche And French Peers Cut Hair In Support Of Iranian Women


Actors Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Isabelle Huppert and around 50 other French artists cut their hair in support of Iranian women engaged in mass protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for not wearing her hijab.

Posted Wednesday on the Instagram account @soutienfemmesiran, which translates to “support Iranian women,” the symbolic slashing of locks was inspired by viral social media footage of Iranian women cutting their hijabs or hair in protest after Amini’s death in custody.

“Since Mahsa’s death on September 16, the Iranian people, led by women, have been protesting at the risk of their lives,” the translated caption reads, per Deadline. “These people only hope for access to the most essential freedoms. These women, these men, are asking for our support.”

“We decided to answer the call that was thrown at us by cutting some of these locks,” the caption adds.

The video is set to Iranian singer Gandom’s cover of the Italian anti-fascist song “Bella Ciao,” which also went viral last week. It shows actors including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Isabelle Adjani and Bérénice Bejo participating in the act of protest as title cards urge viewers to support the women of Iran.

“Their courage and dignity oblige us,” the caption urges. “It is impossible not to denounce again and again this terrible repression. There have been dozens of deaths, including children. The arrests are swelling the number of prisoners already illegally held and too often tortured.”

Amini was arrested Sept. 13 by the morality police, a state apparatus that enforces the Islamic Republic’s religious laws, for not properly wearing her hijab. The police sent her to a “re-education center,” where authorities claim she died of a heart attack.

Witnesses who were locked up in the same facility as Amini said she was aggressively beaten in custody. On Sept. 20, the U.N. human rights office called for an investigation into the matter and demanded Iran end its “systemic persecution” of women.

The non-profit Iran Human Rights, which has monitored the protests since their eruption in Tehran, estimated at least 154 people had been killed during the demonstrations as of Tuesday. At least 63 of those citizens were gunned down in Zahedan in one day, according to the organization.

“This time protesters aren’t only calling for justice for Mahsa Amini,” Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, told CNN. “They’re also calling for women’s rights, for their civil and human rights, for a life without a religious dictatorship.”

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