In Iranian Jalali calendar, today, Mehr 20, is Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī’s commemoration day. He is also known and famous as Hafez.

He is one of mythical poets of Iran not only known inside the country but well known in many countries.

His collected works are regarded by many Iranians as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are often found in the homes of people in the Persian-speaking world, who learn his poems by heart and still use them as proverbs and sayings. His life and poems have become the subjects of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-14th century Persian writing more than any other author.

Hafez is best known for his poems that can be described as “antinomian” and with the medieval use of the term “theosophical”; the term “theosophy” in the 13th and 14th centuries was used to indicate mystical work by “authors only inspired by the holy books” (as distinguished from theology).

Hafez primarily wrote in the literary genre of lyric poetry or ghazals, that is the ideal style for expressing the ecstasy of divine inspiration in the mystical form of love poems. He was a Sufi.

See how the roses burn!

Bring the wine to quench the fire!

Alas the flames come up with us,

We perish with desire.

Hafez

A temporary ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan has begun following nearly two weeks of fierce fighting in the disputed Artsakh region.

However less than an hour into the truce, which came into force at midday local time (08:00 GMT), each side accused the other of breaking it.

Armenia and Azerbaijan also accused each other of bombarding civilian areas ahead of the ceasefire. The truce aims to enable an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of bodies.

It was agreed earlier after 10 hours of talks in the Russian capital Moscow, which Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan later described as “rather difficult”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the two countries would now begin “substantive” talks.

More than 300 people have died and thousands been displaced since the latest violence in the long-running conflict broke out on September 27.

Artsakh is run by ethnic Armenians although it is officially part of Azerbaijan. The two former Soviet republics have blamed each other for the latest outbreak of violence – the worst in decades.

Since few days ago, GitLab is restricting Iranians from accessing its services and is also banning Iranian users’ accounts. A GitLab Support employee confirmed this.

GitLab Support message about banning Iranians
GitLab Support message about banning Iranians

Sadly, United States doesn’t stop its terrible and ridicules laws and sanctions. I remember talking about this a lot. Restricting Iranian software developers from using a git service is totally ridiculous and unbelievable.

Iranians are an important and very efficient part of the software libre community. Restricting them can only harm the community and progress and success of the software libre community.

More importantly, the law is discriminatory. Banning people from using a service because of the bad their government did is discriminatory and inhumane.

United States have done very awful stuff during years but nobody bans Americans from using European and/or Asian services. It’s hard to believe that these sanctions are only targeting the Iranian government. Even if it was targeting the government only, the sanctions should be on officials and/or certain range, not on the nationality.

There are great software libre alternatives for GitHub and GitLab. Codeberg.org for example is one of the bests. We should encourage people to use decentralized and non-discriminatory services instead of GitLab and GitHub.

+972 Magazine has reported that Israel claims incarcerated Palestinian children pose a threat to national security just like adults — and therefore can’t contact their families.

Ahmad Sabri, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank town of Qalqilya, has been incarcerated in Israel’s Megiddo Prison since March 2019. Since the coronavirus crisis began earlier this year, Sabri, a “security prisoner,” has been subjected to restrictions that bar him from making phone calls or receiving visits from lawyers and family members.

Last October, Sabri petitioned the Nazareth District Court asking that he be allowed to make phone calls to his family, with the same rights as criminal prisoners. But the court rejected the petition, claiming that the “temporary regulations” enacted due to the pandemic already allow minors to call their families under supervision.

The court added that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) is preparing to conduct a pilot program that allows minors to make phone calls in prisons different from the one Sabri is incarcerated in. That program was initiated in response to a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners last year, which compelled the IPS to install public phones in security wings and allow up to three phone calls for each prisoner per week, for a maximum of 15 minutes.

Palestinian security prisoners in Israel, and minors in particular, are suffering from deteriorating conditions as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Without phone calls and visits, these prisoners have been cut off from the world for months — with no end in sight. As of August, there were 140 Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons, according to the rights group Addameer.

Update: I deleted my Telegram account. My main messengers will be IRC and Matrix.

Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram messenger announced in a recent post in his Telegram channel that Apple is forcing Telegram to shut down three channels used by the people of Belarus to expose the identities of their oppressors.

Apple is requesting that we shut down 3 channels used by the people of Belarus to expose the identities of their oppressors.

@karatelibelarusi
@chatpartizan
@belarusassholes

Their concern is that publishing the personal information of law enforcers and propagandists may incite violence.

I think this situation is not black and white and would rather leave the channels be, but typically Apple doesn’t offer much choice for apps like Telegram in such situations. Unfortunately, I assume these channels will end up getting blocked on iOS, but remain available on other platforms.

P. S. Everyone is welcome to express their views and comment on this post provided they stay on-topic and use English. Thanks!

If Telegram complies with Apple and shuts down these channels which are for protecting people of Belarus, I’ll delete the app and won’t use it again. One of the reasons I was on Telegram was that it’s a great platform for people when it comes to free speech and fighting dictators, like Lukashenko.

I know Apple is one of the important places for apps to be published but it is not more important than people. Apple is requesting a thing that can hurt the revolution and protests of people of Belarus.

If Telegram complies with this, it’ll be start of complying with dictators and other powerfuls like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc.

Telegram is software libre but the server is still proprietary. There are alternatives to that such as Matrix or IRC. I’ll use them instead, in case Telegram complies with what Apple (and most likely Belarus dictator Lukashenko) wants.

Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Iranian legend of music, died today because of cancer at the age of 80. He was an iconic vocalist master of Persian traditional music.

In 2017 Los Angeles Times cited him as the “greatest living maestro of Persian classical music.” Shajarian was also known for his skills in Persian calligraphy, and humanitarian activities.

In 2016 March, Shajarian revealed that he has had kidney cancer for the past fifteen years. He appeared with shaved hair in his Nowrouz congratulation video, published on his YouTube account. Bahram Beyzai composed a poem after announcement of Shajarian’s illness and described it as a sad day in happy days of Nowruz.

Shajarian transferred to Jam Hospital on 2020 January 27 and had a successful surgery. He was released from hospital on August 25 but was hospitalized again on 5 October. Sadly, today, October 08, he died at the age of 80.

He nominated for and won various awards and honors including:

  • NIRT Golden Cup (1977)
  • Golden Picasso Medal (1999)
  • Nominated for Grammy award in Best World Music (2004, 2006)
  • Nushin Medal (2008)
  • The UNESCO Mozart Medal (2006)
  • One of NPR’s 50 great voices. (2010)
  • French National Order of the Legon of Honour (2014)
  • National Order of Merit (2014)
  • Aga Khan Trust for Culture (2019)

May he rest in peace. He was an unique person and a true legend. May his way be continued.

Derek Chauvin has been released from jail after posting a $1 million bond. Chauvin had been jailed in segregation at the maximum security Oak Park Heights, Minnesota prison awaiting a March 8 trial in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

A Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesperson confirmed Chauvin was no longer being held at the prison on Wednesday, and state court records show he posted a non-cash $1 million bond on Oct. 7, signed by A-Affordable Bail Bonds of Brainerd, Minnesota. A notice of release was posted at 10:34 a.m. on Octtober 07.

Chauvin had been at the Oak Park Heights prison since May 31. Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell previously told FOX 9 such transfers of high-profile subjects from a county jail to state prison are “not uncommon.” Oak Park Heights is the same prison where former Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor was moved after being arrested for murder in the death of Justine Ruszczyk.

It is very unlikely that he paid for it himself, and it is possible that white racist groups came to his aid. If it’s correct and racist groups are helping him, he should be arrested again and the matter should be investigated carefully.

Supporting and helping a racist person should be illegal as racism itself.

The Verge has reported that the House Judiciary Committee has released its conclusions on whether Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google are violating antitrust law. Its 449-page report criticizes these companies for buying competitors, preferencing their own services, and holding outsized power over smaller businesses that use their platforms. “Our investigation revealed an alarming pattern of business practices that degrade competition and stifle innovation,” said committee member Val Demings (D-FL). “Competition must reward the best idea, not the biggest corporate account. We will take steps necessary to hold rulebreakers accountable.”

The majority’s report lays out a number of concrete policy recommendations, which, taken together, would drastically change how the tech industry operates. It urges Congress to consider passing commercial nondiscrimination rules that would make large companies offer equal terms to companies selling products and services on their platforms. It recommends barring certain dominant platforms from competing in “adjacent lines of business” where they’d have a huge advantage.

“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report says. “By controlling access to markets, these giants can pick winners and losers throughout our economy. They not only wield tremendous power, but they also abuse it by charging exorbitant fees, imposing oppressive contract terms, and extracting valuable data from the people and businesses that rely on them.”

Most broadly, it suggests that Congress define a new standard for antitrust violations, declaring that the laws should be “designed to protect not just consumers, but also workers, entrepreneurs, independent businesses, open markets, a fair economy, and democratic ideals.”

The IRS is under investigation by the US Treasury’s Inspector General over its practice of buying people’s smartphone data from private surveillance companies, according to a letter from the Inspector General obtained by Business Insider.

In the letter, first reported by Motherboard, Inspector General J. Russel George writes that his office will investigate the IRS’ data collection practices after Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren voiced concerns that the agency could have violated the Constitution. Wyden’s office provided Business Insider with a copy of the letter Tuesday.

Wyden and Warren first raised concerns about the IRS’ collection of Americans’ personal data after IRS agents disclosed that the agency purchased smartphone location data in bulk from a private firm called Venntel.

Venntel aggregates location data mined by normal weather apps and games that people download, then sells it in bulk to its clients. Because this location data is collected through apps and then sold by a middleman, there’s no way for individual users to check whether their location data has been collected.

Typically, government agencies need a court-issued search warrant before they can request personal data stored on people’s devices. But by buying the location data directly from a private company, agencies are able to side-step that requirement.

Venntel is already the subject of a separate probe by House Democrats over similar contracts with the Department of Homeland Security. DHS used data from Venntel to track people unlawfully crossing the US-Mexico border, The Wall Street Journal revealed earlier this year.

A Treasury spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Inspector General’s letter.

There are some viral videos of Iranian thugs taking some two criminals (or defendants) to the streets and showing them to people. In the videos, we see the thugs hitting the criminals hard in the head which is kind of torture.

This is an obvious violation of human rights. This act is probably for showing people how powerful the thugs department is but this should be stopped as it’s wrong and inhumane.

Violation of human rights, violation of civil rights, and violation of human dignity in broad daylight and in public. A very sad day.

I totally support punishing those criminals as they do a lot of terrible stuff and violate people’s rights and safety but this shouldn’t be a reason to torture them and violate their rights as human beings. Humans should be respected.