Taliban Attack In Afghan Capital As NATO Transfers Power
Yesterday, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) transferred responsibility for the country's security forces to the Afghan government after a bomb blast targeting a political official left three civilians dead in Kabul.
The blast, which occurred in front of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Watch, was targeting Afghanistan's second vice-president Mohammed Mohaqiq, who is also a Muslim cleric and leader of the Hazara minority. Three civilians were killed and 30 others were injured. Mohaqiq was not injured in the blast, though six of his bodyguards sustained injuries and one car in his convoy was damaged. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Watch was not a related target.
Just miles away, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accepted control of the security operations for Afghanistan from NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen. While NATO forces will still be in the country, the Afghan police force of over 350,000 officers will be in charge of operations.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/18/2013; The Independent 6/18/2013; Los Angeles Times 6/18/2013
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. . . .