Last month, Afghanistan's Taliban regime and its northern opponents agreed to cease fighting and to create a common government. Under the agreement, the Taliban and the Islamic groups which make up the northern-based opposition would share power in national executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government. Both sides also agreed to release 20 prisoners each to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Further talks to discuss the initial agreement were to have taken place at March's end, but still have not been scheduled. Anger over continued military strikes and disagreement over the leadership of the joint government are the likely causes of the delay.
The Islamic Press has quoted Taliban head Mulla Mohammed Omar as saying "There is no possibility of holding another round of [peace] talks" until the northern opposition alliance agrees to forming a unified government under the Taliban's control. Taliban negotiator Wakil Ahmed said "This is what the people want and there is no issue in principle concerning the leadership."
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .