The New York Times reported new information on Telephone Systems International (TSI), the New Jersey-based company that signed a $240 million contract with the Taliban to build and maintain a communications network throughout Afghanistan.
The company was incorporated in June for the specific purpose of building a cellular telephone network for the Taliban. Two of the company's three owners, Gary Breshinsky and Afghan Ehsan Bayat, are known.
Construction of the network is scheduled to begin in a few weeks. TSI anticipates that, within the next two years on construction, at least 1 million working telephones will be available in 15 cities.
The network will give Afghans direct-dial access to the world, including access to the Internet. The Taliban has ordered that special software be used to block citizen's access to anti-Taliban Web sites, which they deemed "smut."
Breshinsky stated that TSI will use AT&T, Motorola, Nokia, and Ericsson technology to build the pipeline. A spokesperson for Motorola later denied doing business with Breshinsky or the Taliban. "We have not signed any contracts in Kabul and we have never heard of a company called Telephone Systems International," said Motorola spokesperson Margot Brown.
There are no federal restrictions that bar U.S. companies from doing business with the extremist Taliban militia, which has committed countless brutal acts against Afghan women and is suspected of harboring Osama bin Laden, the top suspect in U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa last month.
Media Resources: New York Times - September 15, 1998
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. . . .