The Taliban militia group punished a teen-age girl for walking with an unrelated man with 100 lashes in front of a crowd of 20,000 in Afghanistan’s sports amphitheater. Taliban authorities accused the girl of committing adultery. The girl, known as Suhailullah, stood for 60 of the lashes and sat down for the remaining 40, without uttering a sound. Since Suhailullah was wearing a burqa, a head-to-toe garment, her age and the severity of injury caused by the lashes is unknown.
The crowd also looked on as the Taliban amputated the hands of two accused thieves. The Taliban frequently administers public punishment. Earlier this year, a yellow crane was seen driving through Kabul with the body of a man hanged for treason, and a Taliban soldier, who was convicted of theft, was driven through Kabul while strapped to the front of a truck.
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .