While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 7

A curtain divides male, female students as Afghan universities reopen

Students across Afghanistan have started returning to university classrooms after the Taliban stormed to power, and in some cases females have been separated from their male peers by curtains or boards down the middle of the room.

What happens in universities and schools across the country will be closely watched by foreign powers for signs of what rights women will have now the Islamist militant movement is back in charge.

Some Western countries have said vital aid and recognition of the Taliban would depend on how they ran the country, including their treatment of girls and women.


Covid-19 shows need for strong healthcare systems to get most vulnerable vaccinated: Ong Ye Kung

Covid-19 has shown a pressing need for strong primary healthcare systems that can persuade and get the most vulnerable in each country vaccinated, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said during a meeting of the world’s health authorities.

The pandemic has also underscored the need for a coordinated approach in tackling this and future health emergencies.

This includes having secure supply chains and urban development that factors for pandemic control, and an education system that can continue operating to avert a “lost generation” of children with schooling gaps.


COP26 summit urged to prioritise adaptation as ‘climate emergency’ surges

On the heels of last month’s warning from the UN climate science panel that extreme weather and rising seas are hitting faster than expected, leaders called on Monday (Sept 6) for more money and political will to help people adapt to the new reality.

At a dialogue in Rotterdam convened by the Global Centre on Adaptation, more than 50 ministers and heads of climate organisations and development banks called for November’s COP26 climate talks to treat adaptation as “urgent”.

In a communique, they said adaptation – which ranges from building higher flood defences to growing more drought-tolerant crops and relocating coastal communities – had not benefited from the same attention, resources or level of action as efforts to cut planet-heating emissions.


Nasa confirms Perseverance Mars rover got its first piece of rock

Nasa has confirmed that its Perseverance rover has succeeded in collecting its first rock sample on Mars.

“I’ve got it!” the space agency tweeted in the early hours of Monday (Sept 6), alongside a photograph of a rock core slightly thicker than a pencil inside a sample tube.

Nasa said last week it thought it had accomplished the feat, but poorly-lit photographs taken by the rover meant that the team operating the mission were not certain whether the sample had stayed inside its tube.


Football: Fifa chief says Brazil game abandonment was ‘crazy’

Fifa has opened an investigation into the abandonment of the Brazil v Argentina World Cup qualifier with its president Gianni Infantino labelling the events “crazy” while Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly ready to take disciplinary action against their Argentine players.

Brazilian health authorities intervened on Sunday (Sept 5) after accusing four Argentine Premier League players of violating the country’s Covid-19 quarantine rules.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Tottenham duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso were on the Neo Quimica Arena pitch as part of Argentina’s team when officials from Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa walked on to the field and stopped the game around five minutes after kickoff.


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