U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the Taliban for their complete disregard for the life and welfare of Afghan citizens in an annual report on the condition and future of the war-torn nation. Human rights atrocities committed during Taliban offensives and highlighted in the report included the execution of women and children, forced displacement, looting and burning of homes and crops, arbitrary detention and the separation of men from families.
Annan warned of a bleak situation for the coming year and announced that a new U.N. civil rights monitoring unit which the Feminist Majority Foundation has advocated will work inside Afghanistan to deter the “massive and systematic violations of human rights in the future.” He also spoke out on military involvement in the conflict by Afghanistan’s neighbors, stating ”Such interference from outside the country remains one of the biggest impediments to peace, as it provides the essential means for the continued fighting in the forms of arms, ammunition and other war-making material.”
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. . . .