Another group of Afghan girls was poisoned today, making this the second attack on schoolgirls in the past week. 160 girls in Talokhan, the capital of the Northern Afghan province of Takhar, were taken to the hospital after the attack, complaining of headaches, dizziness, and nausea. CNN reports that the girls were poisoned with some sort of spray.
A report by Radio Free Afghanistan said that some of the girls reported smelling a foul odor before falling unconscious. One of the victims of the attack told the press that, "When I entered the class I smelled something and then I started to vomit and fall unconscious; I don't remember what happened after that."
Last Wednesday, over 120 Afghan girls in the Takhar province were poisoned when a toxic substance was released into their school's air. On April 17, 150 school girls in the same province drank contaminated water, sending many to the hospital. The education ministry of Afghanistan announced earlier this month that 550 schools have been closed in 11 different provinces with strong Taliban influence. According to CNN, the Taliban have denied responsibility for last week's attack and claimed that US and NATO forces are responsible in an attempt to "defame" the Taliban.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .