The Iraqi Parliament on Monday voted to ban Kurdish engineering company Kar Group from operating oilfields in Kirkuk as a crackdown on the Kurdistan Region continues following the independence referendum held last September. The vote came after lawmakers in the Iraqi Parliament claimed the Kurdish firm “refused to cooperate” with Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company (NOC) regarding the handover of the Khurmala oilfield. The Parliament also granted NOC permission to take over production and export operations at the field.
Meanwhile, Iran has banned teaching the English language in primary schools, calling the subject a “cultural invasion”. The education ministry “envisages strengthening Persian language skills and Iranian Islamic culture of pupils at the primary school stage.” Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has previously expressed concern about the teaching of English.
Lastly, The Weeknd has cut ties with fashion giant H&M after a racially offensive photo surfaced on the retailer’s website of a black boy modeling a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” “Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with H&M anymore,” the Weeknd wrote in a tweet. Abel Tesfaye first began collaborating with H&M in 2017, modeling in their campaigns and developing collaborative pieces with the Swedish fashion company under his XO brand.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018