In central Afghanistan at least 100 people, mostly women and children, have died of starvation caused by a Taliban militia blockade barring transport of relief supplies into the region, according to unconfirmed U.N. World Food Program (WFP) reports. Reports said that 3,000 families are likely to run out of food in a few days and that tens of thousands more could starve to death this month in the Hazarajat region.
“The missions, some on foot, in trucks or on horseback, have been sending back preliminary information on pockets of severe hunger, dwindling food supplies and empty marketplaces,” the report said. “They have filed unconfirmed reports of as many as 100 deaths by starvation -- mostly women and children.”
Taliban leaders broke off so-called “peace-talks” last night when they would not agree to give up the assault on Hazarajat. The talks, hosted by the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference, between the Taliban militia group that controls 85 percent of Afghanistan and northern opposition forces are set to resume Sunday.
Since the fundamentalist group gained control of the capital city of Kabul in September, 1996, they have issued decrees that forbid women from leaving their homes unaccompanied by a brother, son or husband, prohibit girls from obtaining an education and deny women access to adequate healthcare.
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. . . .