Afghan Refugees Turned Away on World Humanitarian Day
Pakistani authorities forced about three hundred fleeing Afghans, including women and children, to return to Afghanistan. Despite the Taliban's brutal treatment of women under gender apartheid, widespread ethnic cleansing, and continued fighting, Pakistani authorities claimed that there is "peace" in Afghanistan and no reason for refugees to flee.
The United Nations called Afghanistan one of the world's forgotten humanitarian emergencies at the launching of World Humanitarian Day on Tuesday. The United Nations pointed to Afghanistan and several African countries as severe international emergencies requiring immediate attention. According to UN predictions only a third of Afghans will have access to medical services if the international community does not intervene.
The Feminist Majority Foundation has urged the U.S. government to increase humanitarian assistance for Afghans, particularly for women and girls, whose suffering due to the humanitarian crisis is exacerbated by the Tal iban's oppressive gender apartheid policy.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .