Iran to Use Non-Military Efforts to Defeat Taliban
Representatives from the Iranian government have said that they will not engage in military battles with the Taliban militia, but will instead pursue more "prudent" efforts to stifle the repressive regime.
Iran has accused the Taliban of kipnapping 10 of its diplomats and a journalist during the Taliban's capture of Mazari-i-Sharif last month, during which the Iranian consulate was seized. Many fear that the missing diplomats and journalist were murdered by the Taliban. The Taliban admits to holding dozens of Iranian citizens, but has repeatedly denying retaining the diplomats.
In response to the suspected kidnappings, Iran has struck back with public denouncements of the Taliban and through military exercises conducted near the countries' borders.
Qods, an influential daily newspaper run by a powerful religious foundation in Khorasan province, bordering Afghanistan, called on the Iranian government to openly assist Afghanistan's anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and to initiate negotiations with the Taliban regarding the missing Iranian nationals. The paper asserted that, while direct military attacks were not in Iran's best interest, "There are still political moves we can undertake that will bring about better effects than a war." The paper further urged loosening diplomatic ties with Pakistan, Iran's rival in Afghanistan and a Taliban ally. The paper also proposed strengthening ties with Pakistan's arch-foe, India, as well as with other countries which have opposed the Taliban regime, including Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .