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Increase Credit Score How Do Credit Scores Work? Jan 14

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By Carrie Reeder

Although many mortgage companies and finance experts have been warning consumers about the importance of maintaining a good credit score, many people fail to recognize the value. When applying for any type of credit, potential lenders review our credit history and base loan approvals on its contents. If applying for instant credit, lenders simply use credit scores. Here are a few tips to help you understand how credit works, and tips for boosting your personal rating.

The Value of Credit Scores

Credit scores are a valuable tool for lenders. Because banks and other lending institutions receive numerous loan requests on a daily basis, it is challenging determining which applicants should get approved.

Lenders have many methods for judging a person’s credit worthiness. To speed up the process, several lenders begin by reviewing a credit score. To separate the good applicants from the bad, they establish a minimum credit score requirement. If your score falls below this requirement, it’s an immediate credit denial.

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Calculating Credit Score

Many factors play a role in credit scoring. Scores are between 300 and 850. The higher the score, the better the credit. Although having perfect credit is very hard, it is possible to maintain a good credit rating. This typically consists of scores above 680. Those who fall into this category usually qualify for prime rates on home loans, auto loans, and credit cards.

When calculating credit scores, several factors are taken into account. For example, payment history, outstanding debt, length of credit, and inquiries. Payment history and outstanding debts contributes largely to credit scoring.

Payment history with creditors is important because future lenders are curious as to whether you submit payments on time, or have a habit of being late. Moreover, having too much debt will have a negative effect on your score.

Raising Credit Scores

Little things can quickly boost your credit score. For starters, begin establishing a good payment history with creditors. Because payment history contributes to 35% of credit scoring, paying creditors on time is a great way to increase your score. Furthermore, reduce your outstanding debts. Debt contributes to 30% of scoring. Thus, the more debt you have, the lower your score. Keeping credit cards at their maximum limit is damaging. If possible, keep cards at about 25% of their maximum limit.

About the Author: Go to

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to

Check Your Credit For Free

.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate John Ogilvie, Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Jan 14

Sunday, October 7, 2007

John Ogilvie is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Carleton—Mississippi Mills riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Bolivian troops told to seize natural gas fields
Jan 14

Monday, May 1, 2006

Bolivian President Evo Morales has ordered that all foreign-owned natural gas fields be turned over to the national government of Bolivia.

President Morales signed a decree that orders troops to seize the fields “immediately” to ensure gas production. The decree also says that companies have 180 days to sign over their fields or leave the country.

The fields are owned by such companies as the United States‘ Exxon-Mobil Corporation, Brazil‘s Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA, and Great Britain‘s BG Group PLC and BP PLC.

“The looting by the foreign companies has ended. We are not a government of mere promises, we follow through on what we propose and what the people demand. We want to ask (the Armed Forces) that starting now, they occupy all the energy fields in Bolivia along with battalions of engineers,” said Mr Morales after signing the decree.

“The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources,” added President Morales.

One of Morales’ vows in his presidential campaign was to “recover” the country’s natural resources by renationalizing them. President Morales explained, on a visit to Brazil in January, that renationalising the industry would not mean expelling foreign companies or expropriating foreign property. “Foreign companies have every right to recover investments and make profits, but profits should be balanced”.

Bolivia has the second largest supply of natural gas in South America after Venezuela.

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Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund gains 2.4% in first quarter
Jan 13

Friday, April 22, 2005

Ireland’s National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) has posted a 2.4% return for the first quarter (9.6% annualized). On March 31, the funds value stood at €12.3bn, a rise of €290m (excluding state contributions) since December 31.

Donal Geaney, the fund’s chairman, told the press that growth in the past quarter had been driven by the Fund’s European equity investments.

Mr Geaney, former Élan CEO, has pursued a policy of diversification since February of this year, with the stated aim of placing a larger amount of the funds assets in companies with small market capitalizations and in property funds.

The fund was set up by the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act, 2000 to partially meet the expected rise in Irish pension costs from 2025 onwards.

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4 Highlights Of Walking In Kwa Zulu Natal Sep 13

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Submitted by: Tony Maniscalco

If you like to spend your holidays wildlife watching and walking, South Africa is a destination you won’t want to miss. The landscapes vary from coastlines to mountain ranges, game reserves to wineland regions and, wherever you choose to go in this country, you are sure to find some truly breathtaking scenery for unforgettable walking holidays.

The region of KwaZulu-Natal has so many natural highlights and some of the very best walking South Africa has to offer. Located in the east of the country, it is a region of outstanding natural beauty that is also steeped in ancient Zulu culture, with its own Zulu king acting as spiritual leader for the province.

If you go walking in KwaZulu-Natal, here are four of the very best highlights on offer, from national parks and towering mountain ranges to notable historical sights…

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve

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The oldest park in the country, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is a big attraction for animal lovers on a South Africa walking holiday. There is a huge range of wildlife to be seen here, with all Big Five game animals (lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and buffalo), a great number of different birds, and the largest number of white rhino in the world. Self-guided and guided walks, game drives and boat trips up the main river all offer opportunities to get up close and personal with the wildlife at this reserve.

Rourke’s Drift

The site of Rourke’s Drift, located in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, has become legendary due to the battle that was fought there in 1879. A tiny garrison of just over a hundred British soldiers, based at the small mission station and hospital that was there at that time, held off a force of many thousands of Zulu warriors. Famously dramatised in the film Zulu, starring Michael Caine, visiting present day Rourke’s Drift is likely to be a real highlight for history buffs and fans of spectacular countryside alike!

Drakensberg Mountains

This dramatic mountain range is the highest set of mountains in South Africa. The mountains are known as ‘The Barrier of Spears’ in Zulu and, once you see the imposing sight of the range itself, you’ll understand why! With the strikingly beautiful mountains and a surrounding area that is rich with diverse wildlife, it’s a real pleasure to explore the Drakensberg Mountains on foot. Whilst you are here, don’t miss out on the legendary Amphitheatre a walk to the top of this vertical rock face provides one of the finest views in South Africa!

Royal Natal National Park

Located in the shadow of the Drakensberg Mountains, the Royal Natal National Park is an ideal place to visit for walkers, with a wide range of graded walks suitable for all levels that showcase the very best sights that the park has to offer. The Tugela Falls are the must see in the park, being the second highest waterfall in the world at 948 metres high.

About the Author: Tony Maniscalco is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. Operating since 1946, they now offer over 250 guided group walking holidays in more than 90 different countries. Whilst

walking South Africa

with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, you can walk the most scenic locations & landscapes at the best value prices.

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US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%
Sep 13

Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

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Israel Journal: Is Yossi Vardi a good father to his entrepreneurial children?
Sep 13

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone is currently, courtesy of the Israeli government and friends, visiting Israel. This is a first-hand account of his experiences and may — as a result — not fully comply with Wikinews’ neutrality policy. Please note this is a journalism experiment for Wikinews and put constructive criticism on the collaboration page.

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Dr. Yossi Vardi is known as Israel’s ‘Father of the Entrepreneur’, and he has many children in the form of technology companies he has helped to incubate in Tel Aviv‘s booming Internet sector. At the offices of Superna, one such company, he introduced a whirlwind of presentations from his baby incubators to a group of journalists. What stuck most in my head was when Vardi said, “What is important is not the technology, but the talent.” Perhaps because he repeated this after each young Internet entrepreneur showed us his or her latest creation under Vardi’s tutelage. I had a sense of déjà vu from this mantra. A casual reader of the newspapers during the Dot.com boom will remember a glut of stories that could be called “The Rise of the Failure”; people whose technology companies had collapsed were suddenly hot commodities to start up new companies. This seemingly paradoxical thinking was talked about as new back then; but even Thomas Edison—the Father of Invention—is oft-quoted for saying, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Vardi’s focus on encouraging his brood of talent regardless of the practicalities stuck out to me because of a recent pair of “dueling studies” The New York Times has printed. These are the sort of studies that confuse parents on how to raise their kids. The first, by Carol Dweck at Stanford University, came to the conclusion that children who are not praised for their efforts, regardless of the outcome’s success, rarely attempt more challenging and complex pursuits. According to Dweck’s study, when a child knows that they will receive praise for being right instead of for tackling difficult problems, even if they fail, they will simply elect to take on easy tasks in which they are assured of finding the solution.

Only one month earlier the Times produced another story for parents to agonize over, this time based on a study from the Brookings Institution, entitled “Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise?” Unlike Dweck’s clinical study, Brookings drew conclusions from statistical data that could be influenced by a variety of factors (since there was no clinical control). The study found American kids are far more confident that they have done well than their Korean counterparts, even when the inverse is true. The Times adds in the words of a Harvard faculty psychologist who intoned, “Self-esteem is based on real accomplishments. It’s all about letting kids shine in a realistic way.” But this is not the first time the self-esteem generation’s proponents have been criticized.

Vardi clearly would find himself encouraged by Dweck’s study, though, based upon how often he seemed to ask us to keep our eyes on the people more than the products. That’s not to say he has not found his latest ICQ, though only time—and consumers—will tell.

For a Web 2.User like myself, I was most fascinated by Fixya, a site that, like Wikipedia, exists on the free work of people with knowledge. Fixya is a tech support site where people who are having problems with equipment ask a question and it is answered by registered “experts.” These experts are the equivalent of Wikipedia’s editors: they are self-ordained purveyors of solutions. But instead of solving a mystery of knowledge a reader has in their head, these experts solve a problem related to something you have bought and do not understand. From baby cribs to cellular phones, over 500,000 products are “supported” on Fixya’s website. The Fixya business model relies upon the good will of its experts to want to help other people through the ever-expanding world of consumer appliances. But it is different from Wikipedia in two important ways. First, Fixya is for-profit. The altruistic exchange of information is somewhat dampened by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, is profiting from whatever you give. Second, with Wikipedia it is very easy for a person to type in a few sentences about a subject on an article about the Toshiba Satellite laptop, but to answer technical problems a person is experiencing seems like a different realm. But is it? “It’s a beautiful thing. People really want to help other people,” said the presenter, who marveled at the community that has already developed on Fixya. “Another difference from Wikipedia is that we have a premium content version of the site.” Their premium site is where they envision making their money. Customers with a problem will assign a dollar amount based upon how badly they need an answer to a question, and the expert-editors of Fixya will share in the payment for the resolved issue. Like Wikipedia, reputation is paramount to Fixya’s experts. Whereas Wikipedia editors are judged by how they are perceived in the Wiki community, the amount of barnstars they receive and by the value of their contributions, Fixya’s customers rate its experts based upon the usefulness of their advice. The site is currently working on offering extended warranties with some manufacturers, although it was not clear how that would work on a site that functioned on the work of any expert.

Another collaborative effort product presented to us was YouFig, which is software designed to allow a group of people to collaborate on work product. This is not a new idea, although may web-based products have generally fallen flat. The idea is that people who are working on a multi-media project can combine efforts to create a final product. They envision their initial market to be academia, but one could see the product stretching to fields such as law, where large litigation projects with high-level of collaboration on both document creation and media presentation; in business, where software aimed at product development has generally not lived up to its promises; and in the science and engineering fields, where multi-media collaboration is quickly becoming not only the norm, but a necessity.

For the popular consumer market, Superna, whose offices hosted our meeting, demonstrated their cost-saving vision for the Smart Home (SH). Current SH systems require a large, expensive server in order to coordinate all the electronic appliances in today’s air-conditioned, lit and entertainment-saturated house. Such coordinating servers can cost upwards of US$5,000, whereas Superna’s software can turn a US$1,000 hand-held tablet PC into household remote control.

There were a few start-ups where Vardi’s fatherly mentoring seemed more at play than long-term practical business modeling. In the hot market of WiFi products, WeFi is software that will allow groups of users, such as friends, share knowledge about the location of free Internet WiFi access, and also provide codes and keys for certain hot spots, with access provided only to the trusted users within a group. The mock-up that was shown to us had a Google Maps-esque city block that had green points to the known hot spots that are available either for free (such as those owned by good Samaritans who do not secure their WiFi access) or for pay, with access information provided for that location. I saw two long-term problems: first, WiMAX, which is able to provide Internet access to people for miles within its range. There is already discussion all over the Internet as to whether this technology will eventually make WiFi obsolete, negating the need to find “hot spots” for a group of friends. Taiwan is already testing an island-wide WiMAX project. The second problem is if good Samaritans are more easily located, instead of just happened-upon, how many will keep their WiFi access free? It has already become more difficult to find people willing to contribute to free Internet. Even in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere, I have come across several secure wireless users who named their network “Fuck Off” in an in-your-face message to freeloaders.

Another child of Vardi’s that the Brookings Institution might say was over-praised for self-esteem but lacking real accomplishment is AtlasCT, although reportedly Nokia offered to pay US$8.1 million for the software, which they turned down. It is again a map-based software that allows user-generated photographs to be uploaded to personalized street maps that they can share with friends, students, colleagues or whomever else wants to view a person’s slideshow from their vacation to Paris (“Dude, go to the icon over Boulevard Montmartre and you’ll see this girl I thought was hot outside the Hard Rock Cafe!”) Aside from the idea that many people probably have little interest in looking at the photo journey of someone they know (“You can see how I traced the steps of Jesus in the Galilee“), it is also easy to imagine Google coming out with its own freeware that would instantly trump this program. Although one can see an e-classroom in architecture employing such software to allow students to take a walking tour through Rome, its desirability may be limited.

Whether Vardi is a smart parent for his encouragement, or in fact propping up laggards, is something only time will tell him as he attempts to bring these products of his children to market. The look of awe that came across each company’s representative whenever he entered the room provided the answer to the question of Who’s your daddy?

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Habertürk media sparks outrage over woman’s murder photo in Turkey
Sep 13

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A photo of a naked and bloodstained murdered woman was shown on the front page of Turkey’s Habertürk Daily print edition last Friday, causing a social and media uproar.

The article was titled “The last point of violence against women”, and whilst there are daily reports of abuse and ‘honour-killings’, Habertürk has been the first to show a photo so graphic and uncensored. The photograph clearly shows the woman’s identity and the kitchen knife used to kill her that was still planted in her back.

I would have used that image even if it was my own mother

Habertürk has been highly criticized by social media users, readers, celebrities, woman organizations, professional press organisations and even its own staff members, with some claiming violation of journalism ethics rules. Habertürk’s own staff columnist Balcicek Ilter said, “the photo of the violated woman on my newspaper’s front page is violence itself.” Habertürk reported her husband, 45, murdered the woman, 38, in Manisa. A mother of two children, they separated after he was abusive towards her, the paper said.

At a time where campaigns are targeting the issue of violence against Turkish women, Habertürk‘s editor-in-chief, Fatih Altayl?, believes this photo counters reduced sensitivity to violence amongst the public. “I would have used that image even if it was my own mother,” he said. Habertürk firmly believes they made the correct choice in publishing the photograph even when asked by woman’s advocacy groups to apologise. “We demand the resignation of the writer of this news and the person who approved it. We call for journalism in print and on TV that stands for the right perspective,” said Canan Güllü from the Turkish Federation of Women Associations (TKDF).

the photo of the violated woman on my newspaper’s front page is violence itself

The Press Council convened Sunday to find a solution to this matter and its Secretary General, Dr. Hasan Sinar states that Habertürk has “ignored the Press Council and the Professional Press Principles” since mid 2009.

While this article has caught a lot of negative attention, there are supporters of Habertürk’s choice in using the photo. Serpil Sancar, head of Ankara University’s Women’s Issues Center agrees stating, “This photograph illustrates the violence women have to face. I don’t think showing the truth is bad. Seeing blood sets the conscience in motion.”

Since talking with Brussels over European Union membership in 2005, Turkey pledged to strengthen human rights and the protection of women. Earlier this year Human Rights Watch reported “Turkey’s flawed family violence protection system leaves women and girls across the country unprotected against domestic abuse.” The rate of female murders has increased 1,400% since 2004.

The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Thomas Hammarberg, is scheduled to be in Turkey currently. A report by Hammarberg earlier this year noted improvements in press freedom, but nonetheless claimed “There is a need for immediate measures to defend these rights [freedom of expression and the media] and support an environment of tolerance to accommodate opposing views.”

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Nail Polish Remover: Why Non Acetone Remover Wipes Are Your Safest Bet Oct 12

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By Christine Stuart

Women love to look beautiful. Make-up has been a staple of this practice and society for as long as living memory. Even the most uncivil societies on this planet use make-up in one form or another. Nail polish is but one example of how women attempt to add a bit of flair to their appearance. Nail polish, like other make-ups, can be harsh on the skin and the ways that we go about removing it can hurt the derma, or surface of the skin.

Nail polish remover is alcohol based and can, and usually does, hurt the fingernail. The alcohol base in commercial nail polish remover can dry out the nail causing it to turn white or crack. These removers also can cause damage to the cuticle of the finger leaving it red, agitated, and hurting. There is also a risk of one being allergic to the harsh astringent found in them.

The astringent found in commercial nail polish remover is a substance known as acetone, a chemical that dries the nail bed and cuticle. The nail can turn white, become brittle and flake apart. Many feel that it is the polish itself that causes the damage when, in fact, it is the nail polish remover and more importantly the acetone that is contained in it.

Over a short period of time there have been new nail polish removers coming onto the market that are being labeled as ‘NON-ACETONE’. These removers use a chemical known as ethyl acetate to replace the acetone. Unfortunately, both chemicals can actually kill you, can cause cancer, birth defects and are unfriendly to the environment. They also damage the cuticles and nail bed due to the massive drying out that occurs from their use.

There has to be a way to clean your nails without worrying if doing so will kill you, cause a birth defect or hurt your nail.

Enter Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover Wipes. What makes them better? They contain no alcohol, acetone or ethyl acetate. They have no migraine-inducing smell and are even environmentally safe. They are also easier to carry and offer no chance of spilling in your purse or all over your clothes during use. The wipes use a type of all natural paint thinner to break down the components of the polish thus cleaning it off your nails. The wipes come in pleasing fragrances and are laced with

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Vitamin E to strengthen your nails so that future nail growth will be stronger and healthier.

To summarize, non-acetone nail polish remover wipes work better and are safer because:

— They are non-toxic

— They are clean and easy to use

— They are non-flammable

— They are hypo-allergenic

— They are non-carcinogenic

— They are organic and biodegradable

— They smell GREAT!

— They will not dry out nails or cuticles

— They nourish nails with Vitamin E

Now that you know the TRUTH about your common, every day acetone-based nail polish remover, you can make the right choice, the SAFEST choice, when it’s time to redo your nails. Acetone is unhealthy for you and for your nails, plain and simple.

Non-acetone based nail polish remover wipes are simply your safest bet to give your nails and your skin a healthy glow that lasts a lifetime.

About the Author: Looking for non-acetone based, nail polish remover wipes at a great price? Order the safest nail polish remover on the market for just $2.65 or visit

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for more information.

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Muslim hair stylist sues hairdresser over alleged discrimination Oct 11

Friday, November 9, 2007 

British-born Muslim hair stylist Bushra Noah is currently undertaking legal action against the owner of a hair salon for alleged religious discrimination. Noah is suing London hair salon owner Sarah Desroiser. Desroiser who runs a salon in King’s Cross, has said that she would not accept Noah as a stylist if Noah’s hair was covered. Noah, like many devout Muslims keeps her hair covered in public places, believing it to be immodest otherwise.

Noah claims that her headscarf is a fundamental part of her religious beliefs and that wearing the scarf would not interfere in her carrying out the job at all. Desrosiers said that it is not discrimination but rather that “the essence of my line of work is the display of hair. To me, it’s absolutely basic that people should be able to see the stylist’s hair. It has nothing to do with religion. It is just unfortunate that for her covering her hair symbolises religion.” Desosiers added that she had worked with Muslims in the past and employs a Muslim accountant.

Noah claims that the state of her own hair is irrelevant to her ability to style others hair.

The last few years have seen a string of similar cases in Britain. Last year, there was a case over whether a British Airways employee could wear a prominent cross, and another case in which a teacher argued that she had a right to wear a Jilb?b (a traditional Islamic dress that covers almost the entire body) in the classroom. In that case, the teacher lost in the High Court.

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