Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Christiana Wayne
Monday, September 13, 2021, 2:47 PM

North Korea announced that it successfully launched newly developed long-range missiles, according to the New York Times. The launch, North Korea’s first missile test in six months, was not banned by the United Nations Security Council, which only placed a ban on the country testing ballistic missiles. According to North Korean state media, the missiles are a part of a deterrence strategy to combat “the military maneuvers of the hostile forces.”

The Justice Department is set to announce new rules for federal monitors overseeing local police reforms, according to the Washington Post. The new regulations will set caps on the watchdogs’ tenure and budgets and require them to undergo more training. Since his appointment, Attorney General Merrick Garland has launched “pattern or practice” investigations into police departments in Minneapolis, Louisville and Phoenix, and local political leaders and police chiefs have said that the probes can stretch on longer than anticipated. Under the new rules, monitors’ tenures will be capped at five years and will be restricted from serving as consultants in multiple cities at once. 

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has dismissed accusations from Republicans that Twitter illegally blocked users from posting links to an unsubstantiated New York Post article about Hunter Biden, according to the New York Times. The FEC decided that the decision to block the article was made for commercial reasons, not political ones, and thus did not violate federal election laws. The commission said Twitter “credibly explained” its decision based on “factual and legal analysis” provided to the parties involved.

Around 2,000 people have fled wildfires in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, according to the BBC. The blazes have burned over 18,000 acres, and six towns and villages have been evacuated since Sunday. The Spanish government has deployed a military unit to help firefighters as one emergency worker has been killed in the effort. Juan Sánchez, a senior official for the regional fire service, said these fires were the “most complex” seen in the region in recent times. 

The United Nations is hosting a donors conference in Geneva to collect emergency funds for Afghanistan, according to NPR. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for more $600 million in aid for the rest of this year, a “flash appeal” after the Taliban toppled the country’s government and U.S. forces withdrew last month. The U.N. World Food Programme will be a major recipient of the funds as a severe drought in Afghanistan is threatening the upcoming harvest. U.N. officials are concerned that the drought will be compounded by the recent political and economic crises, along with a refugee crisis as more than 500,000 Afghans have been displaced this year.

The Taliban’s Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani announced new rules for women’s and girl’s education, according to Deutsche Welle. The Taliban will segregate universities based on gender, forcing universities to establish alternate class timings or installing partitions in classrooms to keep men and women apart. Haqqani also said hijab will be part of compulsory dress codes but did not specify the policy on the niqab face covering. At a press conference on Saturday, Haqqani said, “Coeducation is in conflict with the principles of Islam and, on the other hand, it is in conflict with national values and is against the customs and traditions of Afghan.”

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