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News Brief: Sept. 24 – Oct. 1


Afghan women barred from Kabul University 

Photo courtesy of Felipe Dana, AP.

New Taliban Chancellor, Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat, announced on Sept. 27 women will be banned to attend and teach at Kabul University.  

Ghairat said on his official Twitter account women will not be allowed in universities. He said the measure is part of a working plan to accommodate teaching female students. 

“As long as a real Islamic environment is not provided for all, women will not be allowed to come to universities or work,” Ghairat said. “Islam first.”  

The new policy reflects the Taliban’s treatment of women since they first took power in the 1990s.

“Due to shortage of female lecturers, we are working on a plan for male lecturers to be able to teach female students from behind a curtain in the classroom,” Ghairat said on Twitter. “That way an Islamic environment would be created for the female students to get an education.” 

Social Democratic Party wins German election 

Although the Social Democratic Party won the German election, an official leader has yet to be decided following Angela Merkel’s expiring term as chancellor. 

A coalition with the Christian Social Union will begin after the SPD’s preliminary results showed a narrow victory in the federal election. The SPD has said they will rely on the coalition to decide the next government and leader. 

 SPD won 25.7% of the 299 electoral districts that reported while the CDU took 24.1% of the votes. 

Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said although there is no official decision over the next leader, he said there are some likely choices. 

“After potentially lengthy ‘sounding out’ talks, these two parties will either team up to put Olaf Scholz, the SPD leader, or – slightly less likely, Armin Laschet, of CDU/CSU, into the chancellor’s office,” Schmieding said. 


R. Kelly found guilty in decades-long sexual abuse scheme

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Keith for The New York Times.

On Sept. 27, singer R. Kelly was found guilty of running a 20-year-long sexual abuse scheme of women and children. After two days of deliberation, the jury found the singer guilty on all nine charges he was facing. 

The six-week-long trial included 11 accusers, nine women and two men, who took the stand to describe sexual violence. The jury also found R. Kelly guilty of domestic women trafficking.

Documents presented in court proved mental coercion and extreme control over the victims. R. Kelly faces life in prison, and his sentence is scheduled for May 4. 

One of the women who testified said Kelly drugged, imprisoned and raped her. She also said she received threats since the accusations became public. 

“I’m ready to start living my life free from fear and to start the healing process,” the woman said. 

President Joe Biden received a Pfizer booster shoot 

On Monday, Sept. 27, President Joe Biden received the third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the White House. The event was publicly broadcasted in an attempt to push eligible Americans to do the same. 

 Biden said since he publicly took the first and second COVID-19 vaccination shot, he wanted to do the same for the booster shot. 

One week previously, the Food and Drug Administration approved boosters of Pfizer’s vaccine for Americans over age 65, adults with underlying health conditions and people living in long-term care facilities. 

“Now, I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am over 65. And that’s why I am getting my booster shot today,” Biden said before receiving the vaccine shot. “The Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective.”

Other eligible Americans include adult workers with a high risk of contracting the coronavirus.


QuikTrip considering the first location in OKC

Photo courtesy of the Oklahoman.

On Monday, Sept. 27, the QuikTrip convenience store chain based in Tulsa announced plans to come to Oklahoma City

Although QuikTrip has more than 900 locations in the United States, with 81 in the state of Oklahoma, none of the locations are in the Oklahoma City area. 

Aisha Jefferson-Smith, QuikTrip’s communications manager, said the company is excited to consider Oklahoma City as a potential market. 

“QuikTrip Corporation has been focused on expanding the footprint of our travel center network to geographies with strong truck traffic across the United States,” Jefferson-Smith said.

Edmond Public Schools lunches affected by national supply chain shortages 

On Sept. 27, Edmond Public Schools officials announced students’ meals are being affected by national staff and supply chain shortages. Starting on Oct. 1, the district will offer one option for lunch because of it.

Shortages include a lack of cargo ships and tractor-trailers responsible for bringing products to local stores. The COVID-19 pandemic also caused a lack of staff such as truck drivers, ship crews, dockworkers and freight handlers. 

“Please be aware, especially for students with allergy and special diet concerns, that product shortages may require last-minute menu changes or substitutions at individual sites. The October menus are posted to the child nutrition website,” Edmond Public Schools said. “We apologize for any uncertainty and inconvenience this may cause as we work through these difficult market conditions.”

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