Afghanistan Foundation Urges Clinton to Further Isolate the Taliban
The Afghanistan Foundation, founded by former Congressman Don Ritter (R-PA) has implored President Clinton to take a stronger stance against the Taliban. Ritter said that while the President’s current economic and trade sanctions towards the regime are a good start, there is much more that needs to be done.
Ritter believes that the imposed sanctions are significant, but that they are primarily symbolic. He said that the money exchanged between the U.S. and the Taliban amounts only to $24 million, a relatively trivial sum.
The group proposed that the U.S. reach out to political moderates to gain their support, and to establish a "special" representative to Afghanistan. In addition, the Foundation urged the Clinton Administration to increase the amount of humanitarian aid for Afghanistan (currently $40 million annually) to "alleviate the suffering of the people of Afghanistan outside the control of Taliban radicals…to weaken and transfer the Taliban and to protest human rights abuses and the denial of basic [human] rights to women." The organization contended that Clinton’s sanctions have not adequately addressed the problems of Afghanistan’s terrorism narcotic’s trade, or human rights abuses.
In related news, 23 Afghan immigrants who are being detained in Hungary have launched a hunger strike against authorities. The refugees are seeking political asylum on counts that they were "victims of political or religious discrimination in their homeland," and have demanded that they be released to a refugee reception center.
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. . . .