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Taliban gives green light to education, but not without the great divide



As Afghan women return to the classroom, they’re confronted with a flash from the past as hierarchy comes to the education system.

Women’s rights at stake in Afghanistan

For the first time since the Taliban’s takeover, students are returning to their studies at Afghanistan universities.

Female students are among those included in the return, a move many thought wouldn’t happen under the group’s governance.

But it doesn’t come without change.

Afghan women now have to learn with a curtain or board placed in the middle of the classroom to divide them from their male counterparts.

Meanwhile, other reports suggest female students are excluded from sections of the university altogether.

On a path to traditional ways

Many Afghan women feared their right to accessing education would be revoked under the Taliban.

While this isn’t the case, many feel that they’re on a path to returning to traditional ways.

“Putting up curtains is not acceptable,” Anjila, a 21-year-old student at Kabul University who returned to find her classroom partitioned, told Reuters.

“I really felt terrible when I entered the class … We are gradually going back to 20 years ago.”

A document circulating private universities suggests new guidelines and policies women must follow if they wish to return to campus.

Such new rules include mandatory wearing of hijabs and separate entrances for women.

It’s also been reported that female teachers are only allowed to teach a female cohort in some circumstances.

While it’s unclear if this document is from the Taliban, a spokesperson told Reuters that dividers in classrooms to separate male and female congregations is acceptable and that they ask women to keep studying.

Are they really supporting women’s rights?

Under the Taliban’s previous rule from 1996 to 2001, girls and women were banned from attending school and work.

But as the group works to uphold their promise in supporting women’s rights, this rule has been overturned for now.

It comes as the Taliban acts on their bid to support women’s rights however authorities aren’t holding their breath about what this means and how this will pan out in practice.

Classes were mostly empty on Monday, with many students and teachers fleeing the country in the weeks prior.

A journalism professor at Herat University told Reuters that less than a quarter of his 120 student cohort attended class, with many unsure if they had made the right decision.

“Students were very nervous today,” he said.

“I told them to just keep coming and keep studying and in the coming days the new government will set the rules.”

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Donald Trump’s legal woes will serve him well



It’s not often that a U.S. President faces federal indictment, but if it’s going to happen to anyone, it might as well be Donald Trump first.

The news that Donald Trump is facing a federal investigation over the removal of secret documents from the White House in 2021 came as no surprise.

Keen watches of the Washington soap opera have seen this playbook before, albeit in a different form.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a Washington outsider. But as seriously damaged as he may be (thanks to the events of January 6), his support base has only grown whenever he faces scrutiny.

For his supporters, his legal woes mirror their own relationship with the government – a giant, unfair beast that picks and chooses its fights.

Trump is accused of storing sensitive documents—including those concerning matters of national security—in boxes, some even in a shower.

The documents were seized last August when investigators from the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.

The Department of Justice has historically avoided charging people who are running for public office. Whether they should do that is a debate for another day. But it’s happening now. And it’s making it all too easy for Trump to claim there is a concerted campaign to get him away from the White House.

Trump exposed the deep state. IF they exist, they probably don’t want him back in power. Whether they exist doesn’t matter really, because plenty of Trump’s supporters agree with him, and believe the secret state is working against them. Call it QAnon, call it a conspiracy – it doesn’t matter in a democracy.

The DoJ now has to go all in. Failing to secure a conviction would be a serious embarrassment for the department.

This is the second time Trump has been indicted in recent months, yet the opinion polls show he only increases his popularity among MAGA and Republican voters. It leaves the Republican party in a difficult position. Support their leading candidate or support the law?

As other Republicans rallied around the embattled candidate, Trump held on to his loyal base of supporters.

For the Democrats, and for Biden, another reality will soon sink in – if Trump becomes President, and they lose office next year, how will a Trump-run DoJ deal with them?

Broadly, the tit-for-tat one-up-manship of U.S. politics is breaking tradition and potentially breaking the country.


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How has the hospitality industry changed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic?



Many global issues continue to have an impact on multiple sectors of the economy—including the hospitality industry.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, how has the hospitality industry changed ?

Numerous international challenges including inflation, worker shortages, the Russia-Ukraine war and rising tensions between the United States and China—continue to have an impact on many sectors of the economy—including the hospitality industry.

According to the 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report, the foodservice sector is forecast to reach $997-billion in sales in 2023—driven in part by higher menu prices.

So, how has the hospitality industry changed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic?

Priya Krishna, a food reporter with The New York Times joins us to discuss. #PriyaKrishna #thenewyorktimes #food #hospitality #economy #veronicadudo #business

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Why are restaurants adding service charges amid rising prices?



American diners across the nation may be bewildered by an unfamiliar charge at the bottom of the check—a“service charge,”tacked on with little explanation.

So, why are restaurants adding service charges amid rising prices?

You’ve probably noticed it’s a lot more expensive to go out to eat.

The post-covid world is still working try and get back to pre-pandemic economic output.

And the hospitality industry is no different.

An increasing number of restaurants have added service charges of up to 22%—or more—in recent years in to keep up with rising costs.

So, are these changes in the hospitality industry a byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic?

Priya Krishna, a food reporter with The New York Times joined us to discuss. #hospitality #restaurants #PriyaKrishna #veronicadudo #inflation #pandemic #economy #thenewyorktimes

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