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.
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. . . .