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The Week Unwrapped: Afghanistan, Florida and Northern Ireland

Can the World Bank set the Taliban straight? Why is Florida saying ‘don’t say gay’? And what can we learn from the last trials of the Troubles?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Taliban vs. the World Bank

The World Bank has suspended four aid projects in Afghanistan, worth a total of $600m (£460m) after the Taliban reversed an earlier decision to allow girls to attend school. The Islamist group blamed problems with the national school uniform, but it is widely believed that the group is divided along ideological lines about whether girls should ever be allowed to return to high school. Is the Taliban slipping back into its old ways, and is there anything the West could or should do in response?

‘Don’t say gay’

This week the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, signed into law what has colloquially become known as the Don’t Say Gay bill. The new law, which forbids forbids teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten to third grade (covering children aged five to nine), has drawn intense scrutiny and criticism, including from Joe Biden. But with DeSantis expected to run as a Republican presidential candidate for 2024, is it a sign of things to come?

Troubles trials

A former British soldier has gone on trial in connection with the death of Aidan McAnespie in Northern Ireland in 1988, in what could be the last prosecution before a proposed amnesty on Troubles killings comes into effect. The accused, David Holden, does not deny that he shot and killed McAnespie, an unarmed civilian, at a border checkpoint in Tyrone – but says he fired his weapon accidentally. What can this trial teach us about the state of the Northern Irish peace process?

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