Taliban leaders recently spoke out against Human Rights Watch, a United States-based human rights organization that issued a report accusing the fundamentalist Islamic militia of violent "ethnic cleansing" during their takeover of the Northern Afghanistan city, Mazar-i Sharif, in August. The report, based on interviews with eyewitnesses who fled the massacre, describes an indiscriminate "killing frenzy" as the Taliban came into the city and singled-out the Hazaras, a Shi'ite minority in Afghanistan, for torture and execution.
A broadcast issued by Radio Kabul claimed that the report has no basis in fact and was designed to damage the image of the Taliban. The Taliban has extended an invitation to the United Nations to take a closer look into the killings to determine the truth. Human Rights Watch has also encouraged the UN to investigate the massacre.
The Taliban blame opposition forces for the Mazar-i Sharif killings and claim that the resulting deaths were just casualties of war. The Radio Kabul broadcast stated, "They [human rights groups] have been holding Taliban responsible for the killing of those who in fact were killed in fighting."
The actual number of those killed during the Mazar-i Sharif massacre has yet to be determined.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .