Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni Becomes New Leader of Israel's Governing Party
Tzipi Livni won the election in Israel to replace Prime Minister Elmud Olmert Thursday as head of the Kadima Party. According to the Associated Press, Livni, Israel's foreign minister and a political moderate, secured 43.1 percent of the vote. Shaul Mofaz, a former defense minister and military leader received 42 percent of the vote.
Olmert, who will resign due to corruption allegations, will most likely step down sometime after next Sunday's Cabinet meeting. Livni will then begin the process of formally creating a new ruling coalition. She will have 42 days to form the coalition and, if successful, will become the first female prime minister since Golda Meir resigned 34 years ago. If she is unable to create a new coalition, Israel will hold elections next year.
The government under Olmert had planned to forge an agreement with Palestine by the end of the year. According to BBC News, Livni will most likely continue where Olmert’s government left off, negotiating the movement of Jewish settlers and transfer of Israeli territory to Palestine. Linvi is known for her non-confrontational approach in peace talks.
After years of violence and unrest in the region, Israelis hope Livni can resolve many of the problems faced by Israelis and Palestinians. According to the AP, Shula Lon, a resident of Jerusalem, felt encouraged by the election of the would-be prime minister. "I really wish her the best, that she will bring peace," she said. "After so many generations (when) nobody succeeded, maybe a woman could do it now."
Media Resources: Associated Press 9/18/2008, BBC News 9/18/2008, Ms. Magazine Winter 2008
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. . . .