The Taliban militia have come to an agreement to allow an United Nations assessment team access to the Bamiyan province in Afghanistan to determine the need for winter food aid. Deep snows throughout Bamiyan province make access to this central region difficult. Winter conditions last year cut off supplies to the region which led to food shortages. Taliban and Northern Alliance fighting have also made it difficult for UN aid agencies to send in emergency supplies.
The UN also expressed concern last week about the disappearance of emergency food stores held in UN warehouses over the summer. Fifteen thousand tons of grain are missing and several UN trucks have vanished.
However, the Taliban claim that they have distributed the grain to people throughout the province and that the trucks have been returned.
The Taliban took central Afghanistan in September following their occupation of the north in August. International aid agency staff have not been in central Afghanistan since then.
4/17/2014 Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights - India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs.
"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court. . . .