China, Iran urge Afghanistan to end restrictions on women’s education, work

China and Iran have urged mutual neighbor Afghanistan to end restrictions on women’s work and education.

The call came in a joint statement Thursday issued at the close of a visit to Beijing by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during which the two sides affirmed close economic and political ties and their rejection of Western standards of human rights and democracy.

Since taking over Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban has banned women and girls from universities and schools after the sixth grade and forced out those in elected offices and other prominent positions.


“The two sides … called on the Afghan rulers to form an inclusive government in which all ethnic groups and political groups actually participate, and cancel all discriminatory measures against women, ethnic minorities and other religions,” the statement said, adding that the US and its NATO allies “should be responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan.”

The US had backed Afghanistan’s elected government against the Taliban, but withdrew amid the rising costs and dwindling domestic support for a government that was unable to counter a Taliban revival.

The call for women’s rights is notable coming from Iran’s hardline Shiite Muslim regime, which has been challenged by months of protests sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody for allegedly violating clothing requirements.

Visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, right, walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony in Beijing, on Feb.  14, 2023.

Visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, right, walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony in Beijing, on Feb. 14, 2023. (Yan

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Mount Vernon schools, superintendent face federal probe over grants

The handling of federal grant money by the Mount Vernon school district and its superintendent is the focus of a federal investigation.

The Mount Vernon school board confirmed Friday morning that the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is seeking records from the district and Superintendent Waveline Bennett-Conroy “associated with grants that the federal government previously issued to the district.”

The US Attorney’s Office served a “civil investigative demand” on the district and Bennett-Conroy, a statement from the board said. A civil investigative demand, like a subpoena, allows federal agencies to obtain documents and other records for an investigation.

The district did not immediately respond to further questions.

A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in Albany declined comment.

Although Mount Vernon is in the Southern District of New York, prosecutors in the Northern District could have jurisdiction based on the federal grants going through the Albany-based state Education Department.

Mount Vernon Superintendent Waveline Bennett-Conroy speaks at a school board meeting Oct.  25.

The board had looked into grants

In October, Bennett-Conroy and the school board announced that it would hire an outside investigator to look at the district’s grant-giving process. A Mount Vernon blogger, Chris McDonough, had questioned the school district’s awarding of $8.5 million in grants since 2016 to a single agency, West Nyack-based Just Inspire. Bennett-Conroy and the board acted after The Journal News/lohud asked extensive questions about the grants and the district’s hiring of Bennett-Conroy’s son, Marlon Stephenson, on a 13-month contract as director of business and grants.

Around 2016, Stephenson worked at the same

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Why America’s Schools Are Getting More Political


In US politics, domestic issues tend to fall into one of two categories: economic or cultural. But it’s getting harder these days to decide where education belongs. That’s because Democrats and Republicans are talking about the issue differently — and their rhetorical dissimilarity shows how each party has adopted its own view of class conflict.

For most Democrats, education has always been largely about dollars and cents. The party’s current policy proposals emphasize increased government funding to improve public schools’ facilities and resources, expand pre-K programs and increase college affordability. President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive certain federal student loan debts, announced shortly before the 2022 midterms but now facing multiple legal challenges, represents a benefit directed toward a specific population — current students and younger graduates — that Democratic leaders view as an important constituency motivated by self-interested material.

Republicans, in contrast, have become more likely to regard education as part of a larger cultural conflict. They describe public schools and universities as liberal-dominated environments that need to be prevented from forcing their ideological vision on US society. Former President Donald Trump introduced an education reform proposal last month that includes cuts in federal funding for schools that teach “critical race theory, gender ideology, or other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content”; a certification program for teachers who “embrace patriotic values”; and a plan to allow the right parents to elect the principal of their children’s school.

“Our public schools have been taken over

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Hawaii’i Tourism Authority Issues RFPs for Destination Stewardship, Visitor Education, and US Brand Management & Marketing

HONOLULU, Feb. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency responsible for holistically managing tourism and The Hawaiian Islands brand, has released two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to procure brand management and marketing services for the United Statesas well as support services for destination stewardship, reflecting HTA’s pivot toward destination management in pursuit of a regenerative model of tourism.

Hawaii'i Tourism Authority Logo

Hawaii’i Tourism Authority Logo

RFP 23-03: Hawaiiʻi Tourism Destination Brand Management & Marketing Services for the US Market

The focus of RFP 23-03 is brand management and marketing in the United States, Hawaii’s largest visitor source market. The solicitation calls for a pre-arrival communications program to educate visitors with specific information about safe, respectful, and mindful travel that will be coordinated with HTA’s on-island programs to provide a seamless message throughout the entire visitor journey.

Another key emphasis of the marketing will be to drive visitor spending into Hawaii’i-based businesses as a means to support a healthy economy, including supporting local businesses, purchasing Hawaii’i-grown agricultural products, and promoting Hawaii’i-made products in- market in partnership with HTA, the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT), and the private sector.

This brand marketing will be targeted to mindful travelers with an emphasis on lifetime trip expenditures and increasing per person, per day expenditures in alignment with the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established in HTA’s 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan: increased average daily visitor spending, increased total visitor spending, increased visitor satisfaction, and

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College Basketball Information, Scores, Fantasy Video Games And Highlights 2022

B Sports


Among repressed ethnic peoples such as the Poles and Czechs, gymnastics grew to become nearly a lifestyle. For them, gymnastic festivals were grand occasions at which tens of thousands of disciplined men and women demonstrated nationalistic fervour. In the 20th century, sports activities underwent social as well as spatial diffusion. After a protracted and considerably much less-bitter battle, girls additionally won the proper to compete in sports—similar to rugby—that had been considered quintessentially masculine. Judo, invented in 1882 by Kanō Jigorō in an effort to mix Western and Asian traditions, attracted European adherents early in the 20th century. From the British Isles, fashionable sports activities have been diffused throughout the world. “Athletics” grew to become well-liked after Oxford and Cambridge held their first track-and-area meet in 1864.

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