Carnival Cruise Lines Revises Sexual Assault Figures
A lawyer representing Carnival Cruise Lines announced yesterday that more incidents of sexual assault and sexual misconduct have occurred on the company's ships than was previously reported.
Two weeks ago, the company announced that 62 incidents of sexual assault and sexual misconduct had been reported on its ships during August 1993 and August 1998. The revised number, gained through a more detailed search of the company's records, is 108. Company officials said the additional incidents mostly involved unwanted touching, kissing, and inappropriate sexual advances.
Carnival released the two sets of figures after a Miami-Dade County judge and a state appellate court ordered the company to do so. The court orders were issued as part of a lawsuit brought by a former employee who alleged that she was raped and sodomized by an officer on a Carnival ship. Carnival's internal investigation of the incident concluded that the sexual act was consensual, while a federal grand jury in Miami indicted the alleged rapist on charges of aggravated sexual assault.
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. . . .