Bridas Ready to Build Pipeline Through Afghanistan
Bridas, an independent energy company in Argentina, is fully prepared to go ahead with their pipeline project in Afghanistan as soon as Taliban officials sign the agreement. The pipeline will cover 790 miles of land from the Dauletabad gas fields in southern Turkmenistan to Multan in western Pakistan; 464 miles will pass through Afghanistan.
Bridas' efforts to build the pipeline will continue regardless the Taliban militia's brutal disregard for human rights. They have not given any conditions that the Taliban must follow, and their plans will go forward even if war between the Taliban and its opposition continues. Bridas representative Mohammed Omar Kakar said, "What I can tell you is that we are in a position to start work on the project immediately after the Taliban sign an agreement with us."
UNOCAL, a California-based oil company, has also expressed interest on the pipeline project, but their participation depends on stable conditions within the country. Despite agreements reached with the Turkmen government, UNOCAL and the Central Asia Gas (CentGas) consortium, formed in 1996, have postponed the project due to continued fighting within Afghanistan.
In August, UNOCAL chief executive Roger Beach said, "We aren't going to do anything there until there is a stable government in Afghanistan and one that is recognized by the United Nations."
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. . . .