Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering met recently with the chief representative of Afghanistan's Taliban militia, Abdul Hakeem Mujahid, to demand the expulsion of Saudi millionaire, Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, who has resided in Afghanistan since his 1996 expulsion from the Sudan, is suspected in the August bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Although the Taliban claim to discourage bin Laden's presence in Afghanistan, many Afghans admire him as a heroic warrior who fought against the former Soviet Union during their occuption of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.
The Taliban have offered to put bin Laden on trial in Afghanistan if the U.S. can present them with compelling evidence of his terrorist activities, but they refuse to release him into the custody of any country.
Such an offer appears to be an attempt by the Taliban to put forth a more flexible image in order to gain international acceptance. However, acceptance will not come until the Taliban begin to move toward creating a broad-based government that is accepting of various minorities and remove their harsh restrictions on women.
Media Resources: Reuters - October 21, 1998 and AP - October 22, 1998]
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
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House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .