Woman, Life, Freedom
Iran might be disbanding its morality police.
Tell me more.
In September, the morality police arrested 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the country’s hijab law. Days later, she was dead. Iranians took to the streets — calling for a change in leadership and laws — all while the world watched. It’s largely been a women-led movement. The protests left at least 300 dead, with more than 18,000 arrested. The unrest has been a major challenge. Now, Iran’s attorney general says the morality police has been abolished.
Did that really happen?
That’s the question. It’s still not clear if the morality police have actually been disbanded. There are reports that people haven’t seen them on the streets. But Iran’s state media is saying the morality police might still be around since the AG leads the judiciary and not the interior — which is actually in charge of the morality police. But the government hasn’t denied any of the reports…or confirmed them. Iran’s AG also said the judiciary branch will continue to monitor restrictions on social “behavior.”
The AG said the government will be taking a look at the law that requires women to cover up. And will issue a decision in about two weeks. Some activists and protesters are saying the government might just rebrand the morality police and they’ll be back under a new name (which has happened before). They also still want Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei out of power — but no one is holding their breath on that one.
It’s still too early to say if Iran is, in fact, bending to the protesters. But if it is, it may be the biggest concession yet to one of the most impactful protests in Iran since the 1979 revolution. And comes on the heels of another authoritarian government that seems to have been forced to respond to protesters: China.
What has our attention…
The “Twitter Files.” On Friday, Twitter CEO Elon Musk teased releasing the company's internal docs discussing a 2020 New York Post article about Hunter Biden. ICYMI, weeks before the 2020 election, Twitter blocked the Post's article on Hunter's laptop. The exclusive included emails on the younger Biden’s business dealings. Another article then revealed Hunter's business partner asked a Chinese energy company for 10% for “the big guy.” At the time, Twitter said it believed the emails were the result of a hack. And suppressed the story citing concerns about Russian disinformation. But since then, 22,000 emails — including the one about “the big guy” — have been verified. Now, Musk — who stumped for Republicans in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms seemed to have given journalist Matt Taibbi access to conversations that led to the decision. Taibbi says the docs show Old Twitter’s actions favored Democrats.
What we learned: Twitter employees debated whether to censor the story. That included a comms official saying he struggled to understand “the policy basis” for censorship. But Taibbi also dispelled rumors of FBI involvement, saying he’d seen “no evidence” of “any government involvement” in the company’s decision.
What’s next: The FBI is investigating Hunter Biden for alleged tax crimes. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) promises to “get answers” when Republicans retake the House. Hunter and Joe Biden haven’t commented on the latest story — but the president has denied being involved in his son’s business dealings.
…Oh and amid all of this, former President Trump used the latest update to call for parts of the Constitution to be “terminated” and for him to be declared the “rightful winner” of the 2020 election. Some Republicans are distancing themselves from Trump’s comments. Others are not.
Why things could get heated…
Oil. Last week, the European Union, G7, and Australia agreed to set a cap on Russian oil at $60 a barrel. The goal: maintain pressure on Moscow as the war in Ukraine continues. But Russia — the world’s third-largest oil producer — said it rejects the cap and threatened to stop supplying oil to any country that supported the move…including the US. The limit is set to go into effect today. Meanwhile, gas prices in the US have gone back down to pre-Ukraine invasion prices (nearly $3 a gallon). But analysts aren’t sure if that price will stay down, saying any other big economic event could send prices back up.
What’s going on down South…
A runoff election. Tomorrow, Georgia voters will be deciding between former NFL star Herschel Walker (R) and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D). The Peach State’s already seen record voter turnout during early voting. But it’s still looking like a tight race. And even though Dems kept their hold on the Senate, this will determine if Dems have 51 seats or just 50. And whether VP Kamala Harris will have to step in as the Senate tie-breaker.
While the US is out of the World Cup…
Others are heading to the quarterfinals. Yesterday, Kylian Mbappé scored two goals against Poland and is having the “competition” of his dreams. South Korea advanced to its first knockout round since 2010. Senegal’s dreams to bring the World Cup home have been dashed. Here’s to some more upsets during the knockout round.
Why it’s a no-bones day...
Noodle has died. The pug that went viral on TikTok for helping people predict how their days were going to go passed away last week at 14. His owner thanked his audience “for loving him.”
Who's setting the record straight…
Who's missing from this reunion...
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.