Former Afghan President's Brother-In-Law Murdered in Pakistan
Mohammed Hashim Bakhtiari, the brother-in-law of former Afghan president Najibullah, was shot down after returning home on Monday in Peshawar, Pakistan. The attackers killed Bakhtiari after firing upon him with automatic rifles. Police are continuing to investigate Bakhtiari's death. As of yet, no one has claimed responsibility for it.
Bakhtiari had condemned the Taliban for the torture and killing of Najibullah when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, in 1996. The Taliban forced Najibullah and his brother out of their protective compound and proceeded to torture and hang them, leaving their dead bodies in front of the presidential palace for two days.
Najibullah became president of Afghanistan in 1985, and remained in that position until he stepped down in 1992. The Muslim insurgents who took control of the capital after he renounced his office did not allow him to leave Kabul as he had intended. He spent the four years prior to his death in a compound provided by the United Nations.
Many refugees from Afghanistan who live in camps around Peshawar claim strong support for the Taliban and express great hostility towards Najibullah.
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. . . .