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Society

In Paris, A New Breed Of Urban Outlaw: Pigeon Feeders

Feeding pigeons is forbidden by the French law, and can lead to fines of up to 450 euros. But that doesn’t stop the army of feeders in Paris from risking it all with their bags of illicit bread crumbs. Now the mess has arrived on the Internet.

Some 80,000 pigeons are said to plague the French capital
Some 80,000 pigeons are said to plague the French capital

*NEWSBITES

PARIS - It's late at night, in a deserted Parisian neighborhood. A few furtive silhouettes can be seen in the distance, making strange movements, working hastily. They know what they are doing is forbidden by the law. They know they could get caught. But they are on a mission: the benevolent, yet criminal mission of feeding pigeons.

This new class of urban delinquents, called nourrisseurs (feeders), is starting to seriously annoy a majority of Parisians, who can't help but see the gray city doves as mere flying rats. "They think they're doing a good deed, but feeders are increasing pigeon overcrowding which leads to large concentrated quantities of feces and can damage public and private goods," says a Paris City Hall spokesperson.

The sometimes costly and time-consuming activity is also reprehensible: feeding pigeons is forbidden by the French law and can lead to fines for bird-lovers of up to 450 euros. But that doesn't stop the flying rodent rescuers –mostly women over 60, although they are a very mixed bunch —from saving up their bread crumbs.

The issue is now being addressed in public hearings, and has led to innumerable studies, and the battle has recently reached a new level, as Internet users joined the fight: groups supporting – or in favor of eradicating — the members of the Columbidae family flourish all over Facebook. And we all know that's a public square where you can be hit by other kinds of droppings.

Read the full story in French by Caroline Sallé

Photo – AnnieGreenSprings

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Society

An End To The Hijab Law? Iranian Protesters Want To End The Whole Regime

Reported declarations by some Iranian officials on revising the notorious morality police patrols and obligatory dress codes for women are suspect both in their authenticity, and ultimately not even close to addressing the demands of Iranian protesters.

photo of women in Iran dressed in black hijabs

The regime has required women cover their heads for the past 41 years

Iranian Supreme Leader'S Office/ZUMA
Kayhan-London

-Analysis-

The news spread quickly around Iran, and the world: the Iranian regime's very conservative prosecutor-general, Muhammadja'far Montazeri, was reported to have proposed loosening the mandatory headscarf rules Iran places on women in public.

Let's remember that within months of taking power in 1979, the Islamic Republic had forced women to wear headscarves in public, and shawls and other dressings to cover their clothes. But ongoing protests, which began in September over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody over her headscarf, seem to instead be angling for an overthrow of the entire 40-year regime.

Che ba hejab, che bi hejab, mirim be suyeh enqelab, protesters have chanted. "With or without the hijab, we're heading for a revolution."

Montazeri recently announced that Iran's parliament and Higher Council of the Cultural Revolution, an advisory state body, would discuss the issue of obligatory headscarves over the following two weeks. "The judiciary does not intend to shut down the social security police but after these recent events, security and cultural agencies want to better manage the matter," Montazeri said, adding that this may require new proposals on "hijab and modesty" rules.

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