Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Taliban Work to Expedite Pipeline Project
Energy ministers for Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and for Afghanistan's Taliban regime have signed a joint declaration pledging their resolve to expedite construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan.
CENTGAS, a consortium of energy companies that began negotiating the pipeline project with the Taliban in 1997 delivered a report to the governmental leaders as part of their recent meeting in Islamabad. Current members of the CENTGAS consortium include Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, the Turkmen Ministry of Oil and Gas, Itochu and Inpex of Japan, Pakistan's Crescent Steel company, and South Korean's Hyundai. California-based Unocal dropped out of the pipeline project late last year.
All sides agreed to actively prepare for the pipeline's construction by forming a Joint Task Force to coordinate the project. They also agreed that governmental officials would meet every three months to assess progress.
The proposed pipeline could generate hundreds of millions for the repressive Taliban regime. Turkmenistan's Deputy Prime Minister Batyr Sardjaev has told reporters that future projects with the Taliban may follow, saying, "We believe this project could become a precursor for several other cross-Afghanistan oil and gas pipeline projects from central Asia."
Media Resources: Itar-Tass and DAWN Newspapers - April 29-30, 1999 and Feminist Majority Foundation
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .