California University System Gives Preferences to VIP Applicants
Records show that since 1993, 19 students were admitted to the University of California Berkeley solely because of the intervention of VIPs, including UC Regent Ward Connerly who is leading the fight to dismantle affirmative action programs which he says amount to racial "preferences." A committee created to review such VIP referrals gave "some special consideration" to more than 200 students. UC officials said still other students were given "courtesy handling" such as being denied admission to the fall class but automatically being admitted to spring classes without needing to reapply. The Los Angeles Times found that at the University of California Los Angeles, where no such committee exists, more than 200 VIP applicants were admitted after initial rejection or having been coded for denial. The issue began an uproar last month when the Times reported that several of the UC regents who favor abolishing affirmative action for women and minorities were among those using their university influence to give preferences to relatives and friends.
Media Resources: The Los Angeles Times - April 11, 1996
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. . . .