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Hijab design takes centre stage at Tokyo Fashion Week

Among the aspiring Asian designers competing for the limelight at Tokyo Fashion Week, one of the most striking was an Indonesian label's bid to blend a traditional Muslim headscarf with haute couture. The twice-yearly show, which wraps up on Saturday, saw NurZahra roll out its autumn/winter collection "Layers of Fidelity", turning the modest hijab into sophisticated fashion.

Lawsuit: Gym refuses to let New Mexico woman wear religious head covering while working out

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A gym in Albuquerque refused to let a Muslim woman wear her religious head covering when she tried to work out, according to a new lawsuit against the company. An attorney for Tarainia McDaniel, 37, recently filed the lawsuit in a New Mexico district court stemming from a 2011 clash at a Planet Fitness that prevented McDaniel from using the gym while wearing the head covering, even though court documents said another Planet Fitness in the area had previously let her do so, the Albuquerque Journal reports (http://goo.gl/lqi6Xj).

U.S. lawmakers urge Pentagon to allow Sikhs leeway in military attire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers urged the Pentagon on Monday to lift a virtual ban on Sikhs serving in the U.S. armed forces by easing the military-uniform policy to enable Sikhs to wear beards, long hair and turbans in accordance with the customs of their religion. "We believe it is time for our military to make inclusion of practicing Sikh Americans the rule, not the exception," Representatives Joseph Crowley, a Democrat, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican, said in a bipartisan letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, signed by 105 lawmakers.

Football: FIFA authorise wearing of veils, turbans during matches

Football's world governing body FIFA on Saturday officially authorised the wearing of veils and turbans during matches. "It was decided that female players can cover their heads to play," said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke at a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the sport's lawmakers, in Zurich. "It was decided that male players can play with head cover too," he added, in reference to the turban following a request from the Sikh community of Canada. stp-dla/gv/as/pi

Fairbairn takes a brainy approach

By Alan Baldwin ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Canadian Olympic skeleton slider John Fairbairn has a degree in mechanical engineering and a brain painted on his helmet. Lest there be any doubt, the World Cup medalist likes to portray himself as one of the brighter members of his squad in a sport where mental strength is key.

Fairbairn takes a brainy approach

By Alan Baldwin ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Canadian Olympic skeleton slider John Fairbairn has a degree in mechanical engineering and a brain painted on his helmet. Lest there be any doubt, the World Cup medalist likes to portray himself as one of the brighter members of his squad in a sport where mental strength is key.

Woman strangled after clothing gets caught in Montreal subway escalator

MONTREAL - A woman was strangled Thursday after her scarf and then her hair got caught in the mechanism of a Montreal subway escalator as the moving staircase rolled toward the platform. A spokesman for the city's ambulance service said he's never seen anything like it in his 30-year career. "We see accidents in escalators, but I don't recall a situation like this where somebody was physically trapped in the mechanism," said Bob Lamle, a division chief for Urgences-sante. The ambulance service has received several calls about people falling in the subway, he noted.

Supreme Court says steelworkers can't claim pay for time spent putting on protective gear

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court says steelworkers do not have to be paid for time they spend putting on and taking off protective gear they wear on the job. The court was unanimous Monday in ruling in favour of United States Steel Corp. over workers' claims that they should be paid under the terms of federal labour law for the time it takes them to put on flame-retardant jackets and pants, safety glasses, earplugs, hardhats and other equipment.

Sikhs see step forward on US military service

American Sikhs and their supporters in Congress on Thursday praised the military for easing a ban on beards but called for an outright decision to allow their articles of faith. The Pentagon on Wednesday loosened its requirement for soldiers to be "clean-cut," which ruled out most service by devout Sikhs whose religion requires men to don turbans and beards.

U.S. military giving troops more leeway for religious clothing, beards

By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon took steps on Wednesday to give individual troops greater latitude to wear turbans, head scarfs, yarmulkes and other religious clothing with their uniforms, but advocacy groups said the new policy fell short of what they were seeking.
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