The LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters agreed to a plea bargain on Monday for one of the black teenagers facing trial in the Jena Six case. With this deal, the charges against Mychal Bell, 17, will be sharply reduced. Walters dropped the conspiracy charge, and Bell pled guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery for a sentence of 18 months in jail with credit for the ten months he has already served, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Bell is the first of the Jena Six students to face trial for their alleged roles in the assault of white student Justin Barker at Jena High School on Dec. 4, 2006. The attack capped months of racial tension in the town, which began after three white students hung nooses from a tree on the high school campus. School administrators treated the hanging of the nooses as a prank, and did not expel the student responsible. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Civil rights leaders asserted that the school and legal system treated the black students more harshly than the white ones. The charges against Bell and the five other black students, who became known as the "Jena Six," drew more than 20,000 protesters to the Louisiana town in September.
Media Resources: Associated Press 12-4-07; Chicago Tribune 12-3-07; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/20/07
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. . . .