Preliminary results for Afghanistan's recent presidential election were released on Saturday, showing that former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister and World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai are the top contenders.
The April 5 elections represent the beginning of the first democratic shift in presidential power in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai has served as president of the country since the collapse of the Taliban in 2001. Both Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani have supported a continuing relationship with the United States and have indicated that they would sign the bilateral security agreement negotiated between the two countries. President Karzai has delayed signing the agreement, preferring to wait until after the elections.
Media Resources: Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan 4/26/14; TOLO News 4/26/14; Associated Press 4/26/14; The New York Times 4/26/14; Feminist Newswire 11/27/13, 4/7/14
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. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .