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Government/Legal

Saudi Arabia Finally Lets Women Drive in 2018, Enters 21st Century

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Saudi Woman Driving

After decades of pondering, Suadi Arabia will now let women drive starting in 2018, a move that should hopefully help usher in a new era of women’s rights in the religiously-strict Middle Eastern country.

Women were never exactly banned from driving in Saudi Arabia; however, they weren’t allowed to get driver’s license and faced intense punishment if caught behind the wheel, such as being detained for days or even months, or sentenced to lashings.

Intrepid women who’ve dared to oppose the law either to get from A to B out of desperation or as a form of protest have lost their passport and / or job.

Prince Khaled bin Salman had a lot to do with the decision and told that giving women the right to drive is “a huge step forward” and that it “is the right time to do the right thing.”

According to Times Colonist, many influential Saudi clerics previously campaigned vigorously against putting women behind the wheel, with some going as far as to argue that driving reduces their fertility by hurting their ovaries.

The clerics eventually reached a consensus that Islam doesn’t specifically ban women from operating a car, so life for women in Saudi Arabia should be considerably easier moving forward.

I wonder what the average Saudi man feels about the move…

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Government/Legal

Musk Settles SEC Lawsuit – Pays $20M Fine, No Longer Tesla’s Chairman

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Elon Musk debuting Tesla Roadster

He’s no longer chairman but remains CEO.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has settled the Security and Exchanges Commission lawsuit filed against him, agreeing to pay a $20 million fine as a civil penalty and step down as the chairman of the company’s board, a position he cannot reclaim for at least three years. Musk remains Tesla’s CEO, though.

Additionally, Tesla will pay a $20 million fine, bringing the total fine to $40 million; must appoint two new independent directors to its board; and create a new committee of independent directors to oversee Musk’s communications.

The SEC originally filed a lawsuit against the outspoken executive after his August 2018 tweet about wanting to take the company private, a tweet that specifically stated “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

The regulatory agency alleged that Musk violated protocol and did not in fact have the funds fully vetted at the time of his tweet and originally wanted him banned from any director or officer positions at the company. The $40 million fine will be distributed to harmed investors.

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Canada

Sikh Motorcyclists Can Soon Ride Without Helmets In Ontario

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sikh motorcycle helmet

Canada’s largest province, Ontario, will become the fourth province in the country to allow Sikh motorcyclists to ride without helmets.

Male Sikhs wear turbans for religious purposes. In an August roundtable interview with the Sikh community in Brampton, ON, premier Doug Ford said “It’s going to be one of my agendas, I’ll move forward with it, I’m keeping my promise” when asked about exempting male Sikhs.”

“Promises made, promises kept,” he added.

Alberta became the third province to exempt Sikh riders from helmets in March 2018, following in the footsteps of British Columbia and Manitoba. Bills regarding the matter were introduced in Ontario as far back as 2013 but were shot down and failed to pass.

The helmet law as it pertains to Sikhs was first challenged in Ontario in 2008, when the Ontario Human Rights Commission took up the cause of Baljinder Badesha, who was fighting a $110 ticket for refusing to wear his motorcycle helmet.

Ontario Court Justice James Blacklock ended up ruling against Badesha and the OHRC. In his 35-page decision, he stated that an exemption would render the province’s helmet law unwieldy since anyone violating it could simply claim they were devout, a , if you ask me, even when not considering for the safety implications.

Let us know, is it fair for only Sikh motorcyclists to be exempt from the helmet law, and is there a solid argument for the exemption? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Credit: Surjit Singh Flora

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Government/Legal

Government Tax Credit For Tesla Cars Is Being Eliminated

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Tesla Model S EV Driving, red

As predicted last month, has officially sold over 200,000 vehicles in the US, a threshold that triggers the phase out of the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles.

The tax credit will be cut in half to $3,750 starting in January 1, 2019 so buyers have until the end of 2018 to get the full $7,500 amount.

If the US government doesn’t intervene, the amount will be further halved to $1875 in July 1, 2019, before being eliminated altogether by the end of the year.

To notify buyers of the change, Tesla has updated its website to reflect the revised tax incentives.

Tesla is the first automaker to surpass the 200,000 threshold, but General Motors isn’t far behind and Nissan is well on its way. Act fast if you want an electric car from any of these manufacturers.

On a related note, Ontario, Canada’s largest province, has canceled its generous tax incentives of up to $10,645 ($14,000 Canadian) for electric cars following the election of Conservative Doug Ford as premier.

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