Despite efforts by the Taliban militia to lobby United Nations officials, the international body's credentials committee members have again recommended against recognizing the regime as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Both the Taliban and the previous Afghanistan government, led by President Burhanuddin Rabbani, had applied to the UN in an effort to secure Afghanistan's UN seat.
A Russian committee member proposed to defer the decision on the applications from both parties, and representatives from Zimbabwe, China, Fiji and the United States concurred. The UN General Assembly, which will make the final decision, is expected to heed the credentials committee's recommendation and President Rabbani's ambassador is expected to retain the U.N. seat for at least another year.
The Taliban now controls 90% of Afghanistan and continues to deny men, and especially women, their basic human rights.
Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates have agreed to recognize the Taliban, but even this support has weakened since last month, when Saudi Arabia ordered its representative back from Kabul and dismissed the Afghan charge d'affaires.
Media Resources: Associated Press - October 21, 1998
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. . . .