AL JAZEERA (Qatar), FRANCE 24-ARABE (France)

Worldcrunch

AMMAN - Led by Jordan's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, thousands of protesters marched in the capital on Friday demanding democratic reforms from King Abdullah.

Following the Friday prayers, protestors who'd come from across the country descended on the Husseini mosque in downtown Amman, chanting: "Listen Abdullah, our demands are legitimate," Reuters expand=1] reported.

The "Friday to Rescue the Nation" rally was the largest single protest in Jordan since the Arab Spring popular movement began to spread across the region in 2011.

On the eve of the march, Abdullah had issued two royal decrees on Thursday that dissolved the Parliament and called for early elections, expected to take place by end of 2012, Al Jazeera reported. The new government is expected to be formed next week. Muslim Brotherhood leaders said the move does not meet their demands.

The constitutional and political reforms that the King has announced over the past year have not swayed the Islamic Action Front (the name of Jordan's wing of the Muslim Brotherhood). The group also announced that they would boycott the parliamentary elections.

In addition to reforms, The IAF claim that there should be more parliamentary representativeness, as most of the seats are held by pro-regime supporters. According to the Arab-language France 24 network, the political elite in Jordan are now worried that they may suffer the same fate as their counterparts in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, all governed by Islamic movements now.

The IAF is mostly constituted of Jordanian citizens of Palestinian origins.

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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