The U.S. supplied weapons in Afghan gun shops
Before the evacuation happened this summer, the Taliban detained weapons and vehicles from the United States during a U.S training and assistance program. Gun dealers paid the government soldiers and Taliban personnel to get a hold of these weapons and military accessories, which are being openly sold in shops by Afghan gun dealers.
According to the New York Times, weapons dealers in Kandahar said among the weapons, there are American-made pistols, rifles, grenades, binoculars and night vision goggles. .
Maj. Rob Lodewick, a Defense Department spokesperson, said in a statement to The Times, the Pentagon acknowledged a large number of American arms in Afghanistan.
“Since 2005, the U.S. military has provided the Afghan national defense and security forces with many thousands of small arms, ranging from pistols to medium machine guns,” Lodewick said.
English schools drop masks mandates
On Oct. 5, England’s Education Department published a report on how their schools are responding to the return of in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The schools sent millions of students back to school in September 2021 with no requirement to be vaccinated or wear face masks.
Questions began to rise along with cases. The report said 186,000 students were absent from school on Sept. 30 due to a confirmed or suspected positive case of COVID-19, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic.
Morgane Kargadouris sends her daughter to Notting Hill Preparatory School in London and said she approved of the policy because it is better than keeping students at home.
“It’s important for kids,” Kargadouris said. “So much of what they learn is through expressions and through contact they have with people.”
George Floyd statue vandalized for the second time
Statues of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and John Lewis have been unveiled in New York’s Union Square on the Juneteenth holiday. On Oct. 3, the statue honoring George Floyd was vandalized for the second time since its construction.
According to police, a security camera caught an unidentified man throwing paint on the statue. The statue was previously vandalized five days after the construction when it was found with black paint and marked with an alleged logo of a white supremacist group.
The statue has been cleaned by members of the group that installed it.
The statues sitting in Union Square were made by artist Chris Carnabuci, who said in a written statement it is frustrating to face vandalism.
“Vandalism of any sort is not an action that is productive or meaningful,” Carnabuci said. “Actions like this remind us that we have a long way to go.”
Texas abortion ban temporarily blocked
On Oct. 7, a U.S. federal judge ruled that Texas’s abortion ban violated the constitutional right to abortion. The rule was the first legal challenge to Senate Bill 8.
The lawsuit came directly from President Joe Biden’s administration and will stop Texas from implementing SB8 as the process over its legality continues.
The federal judge responsible for the ruling, Robert Pitman, said “women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution.”
OU students collect donations for Afghan refugees
Since the announcement that about 1,800 Afghan refugees are expected to arrive in Oklahoma in the upcoming weeks, students from the University of Oklahoma have organized a donation drive to help feed and clothe the refugees.
Shia Student Association at the University of Oklahoma was behind the initiative. In six days of advertisements on campus and social media, they received clothes, menstrual items and 200 cans worth of food.
Zille Huma, co-president and founder of SSA, said she felt the urge to help. She said the success was due to the willingness of the group to work together.
“Our group, I think, was just a tool to tell everybody that there’s a need and we can be the source to help,” Huma said. “It was all the people that collaborated. It was all the people that came and helped pack the baskets. It was all the people that helped advertise. It was them that made it possible, and it was the reason that we have all of these donations.”
Oklahoma school’s leader switches parties to run for governor
On Oct. 7, Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma’s State Superintendent, said she will switch parties to run for governor as a Democrat against Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt.
Hofmeister has conflicted several times with Stitt and the state’s response to COVID-19 in schools. She said the decision to switch parties was difficult but necessary.
“Kevin Stitt has hijacked the Republican Party here in Oklahoma,” Hofmeister said in a statement. “With partisanship and ineffective leadership, Gov. Stitt is running our state into the ground. I’m switching parties in hopes of building the Oklahoma I’ve always known our state can be.”