UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks last week with the Taliban militia in an attempt to ease the tension between Afghanistan and Iran. The build-up of troops along the Iranian-Afghan border has continued to increase since August, when members of the Taliban killed eight Iranian diplomats while taking control of Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan.
Brahimi reported that the tension between the two countries began to defuse when the Taliban agreed to release all of the Iranian prisoners held in Afghanistan. Although both countries continue to stock their common border with military personnel, the possibility of a face-to-face talk between Iran and the Taliban looks hopeful.
Fighting within Afghanistan shows no sign of ceasing. The ongoing fighting between the Taliban and its opponents has prevented humanitarian groups, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, from entering the country and administering aid which is desperately needed during such heightened conflict.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .