Taliban Captures More Territory; Foreign Ministers Condemn Human Rights Abuses
Afghanistan's northern opposition alliance lost territory to the Taliban in this weekend's fighting and has launched a counterattack. The number of casualities has not yet been reported.
Since the fundamentalist Taliban regime took control of Afghanistan's capital city in September 1996, women have been systematically stripped of their human rights. A series of decrees prohibit women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a husband, brother or uncle, forbid girls from attending school and deny women access to healthcare.
In London, Group of Eight foreign ministers issued a statement condemning the Taliban for its human rights abuses. The statement urged the Taliban to "end the appalling human rights abuses in Afghanistan, including discrimination against women and girls," to reduce production, trade, and abuse of drugs there, and to cease support of foreign terrorists. The ministers also urged all countries to deny arms and supplies to the warring factions.
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. . . .