Violence in Afghanistan Surges; Taliban Commits Deadliest Attack Since 2001
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber who blew up a bus transporting police recruits in Afghanistan yesterday. The attack killed 35 people, the Los Angeles Times reports, making it the deadliest bombing since US-led forces overthrew the Taliban in December 2001. At least 35 other people were wounded in the attack.
Since Friday, at least 14 other people were killed in four other suicide bombing incidents. Mullah Dadullah, a top Taliban commander who was killed during a US military operation in May, had warned in March that there would be a surge in suicide bombings and attacks, mirroring al Qaeda's methods in Iraq. "The suicide martyrs, those willing to blow themselves up, are countless," Dadullah stated, the Los Angeles Times reports. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Amid the violence, Afghan women and girls are particularly targeted. In the past two weeks, two women reporters -- one of whom was a headmaster at a girls' school -- were murdered. Last week, two gunmen opened fire outside a girls' school, killing two girls and wounding six others.
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. . . .