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

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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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Sport

Bombshell pro-Russian video emerges from Australian Open

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A bombshell video has emerged of the father of tennis star Novak Djokovic, amplifying the Russian controversy the Australian Open

 
Djokovic’s father was seen posing for pictures with a group of Putin supporters after his son won against Russia’s Andrey Rublev, to qualify for his 10th semi-final.

Russian flags have been banned from the Australian Open, but that didn’t stop one fan.

A man was seen holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it and wearing a t-shirt with the pro-war ‘Z’ symbol on it.

Four spectators were questioned by police and evicted from Melbourne Park.

After losing her semi-final, Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka hit back at media when pressed on tennis’ relationship with Russia’s war on Ukraine.

She told reporters incidents like Novak’s father posing with Russian fans have nothing to do with players.

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World

FBI Director discusses classified documents as U.S. lawmakers demand answers

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Bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill as politicians say the Biden administration is stonewalling their quest for answers

FBI Director Christopher Wray is speaking out for the first time after several batches of classified documents were discovered in U.S. President Joe Biden’s Wilmington home and Washington think tank office.

On Thursday, Wray urged lawmakers and officials to be “conscious of the rules” when dealing with classified documents.

The statements appear to be a veiled criticism of President Biden after news broke that some of the classified papers in the President’s possession date back 14-years ago to when Biden was a Delaware Senator raising questions if this is a pattern for the president to mishandle classified information.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, there is bipartisan outrage as lawmakers say the Biden administration is stonewalling them in their quest for answers.

Currently, both Biden and former President Donald Trump are facing special counsel investigations into their mishandling of classified documents—and just this week, former Vice President Mike Pence turned over classified documents to the DOJ.

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World

Black box from Nepal plane disaster to be sent to Singapore

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The black box recovered from the January 15 Nepal plane crash in Nepal is being sent to Singapore for analysis

The aim will be to identify the cause of the Yeti Airlines crash that killed all 72 people on board.

Both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder will be examined by experts at Singapore’s Transportation Safety Investigation Bureau.

A government committee is still looking into the cause of the plane disaster.

It was initially suggested the black box be taken to France where the aircraft was manufactured, but Nepalese authorities decided to send it to Singapore.

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