New Zealand police introduce hijab for female Muslim officers

New Zealand police introduce hijab for female Muslim officers
Constable Zeena Ali will become the first member of New Zealand Police to wear the hijab as part of her uniform. (New Zealand Police Instagram)
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Updated 18 November 2020

New Zealand police introduce hijab for female Muslim officers

New Zealand police introduce hijab for female Muslim officers
  • Ali said that she had taken part in the design process for the hijab
  • She said the introduction of the hijab means Muslim women “who may not have previously considered policing can do so now”

LONDON: New Zealand’s police force has introduced a hijab option in its official uniform in a bid to encourage more Muslim women to join the service.
Constable Zeena Ali will become the force’s first member to wear the specially designed hijab as part of her uniform.
Ali, who gained her current rank in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, said the introduction of the hijab means Muslim women “who may not have previously considered policing can do so now.”
“I was training to enter the police service when the Christchurch terror attack happened. If I has been a fully fledged constable then, I would have gone down to support the victims and their families,” she said.
Ali said that she had taken part in the design process for the hijab, and was grateful to the Royal New Zealand Police College staff for organizing halal meals and making a prayer room available during her training.
“I am thrilled the police went out of their way to make sure the hijab I have meets health and safety requirements as well as my own personal needs.”
The UK’s London Metropolitan Police approved a uniform hijab in 2001, with Police Scotland following 15 years later.
Victorian policewoman Maha Sukkar was the first officer in Australia to wear a hijab as part of her uniform in 2004.


China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
Updated 19 January 2021

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
  • Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters underground near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province

BEIJING: Chinese rescuers drilled several fresh holes Tuesday to reach at least 12 gold miners trapped underground for nine days, as dwindling food supplies and rising waters threatened their survival.
Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters (1,750 feet) underground at the Hushan mine near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance.
After days without any signs of life, some of the trapped miners managed to send up a note attached to a metal wire which rescuers had dropped into the mine on Sunday.
Pleading for help, the handwritten message said a dozen of them were alive but surrounded by water and in need of urgent medical supplies.
Several of the miners were injured, the note said.
A subsequent phone call with the miners revealed 11 were in one location 540 meters below the surface with another – apparently alone – trapped a further 100 meters down.
The whereabouts and condition of the other 10 miners is still unknown.
Rescuers have already dug three channels and sent food, medicine, paper and pencils down thin shafts – lifelines to the miners cut into the earth.
But progress was slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.
“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite... that is very hard, resulting in slow progress of rescue,” Chen told reporters on Monday evening.
“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may flow into the manway and pose a danger to the trapped workers.”
Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.
Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official twitter-like Weibo account.
A telephone connection has also been set up.
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed dozens of rescuers clearing the main return shaft, while cranes and a massive bore-hole drill was used to dig new rescue channels to reach the trapped miners.
Rescue teams lost precious time since it took more than a day for the accident to be reported, China Youth daily reported citing provincial authorities.
Both the local Communist Party secretary and mayor have been sacked over the 30-hour delay and an official investigation is under way to determine the cause of the explosion.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.
In December, 23 workers died after being stuck underground in the southwestern city of Chongqing, just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being trapped underground at another coal mine in the city.