Annan "Deeply Distressed" by Displacement of Afghan Civilians
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan released a statement yesterday saying that he was "deeply distressed by reports of widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Afghanistan."
A spokesperson for the U.N. added that Annan "strongly condemns the ongoing forceful displacement of civilians, resulting from the most recent offensive by the Taliban, and remains alarmed by reports of violations affecting inhabitants of the Shomali plain, as well as displaced persons in Kabul." Annan also expressed concern about reports that children as young as age 14 were engaging in combat.
As a result of the Taliban's latest military endeavors, approximately 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Almost 20,000 of those people have fled to or were forced into the capital city of Kabul, where the Taliban has detained those who lived in areas held by the Taliban's opposition. Many are in danger of dying due to disease, starvation, and dehydration. Residents of Afghanistan's Shomali plain were quoted as saying that Taliban soldiers had set entire villages on fire in an attempt to force civilians out.
Annan urged the Taliban and its opposition to "immediately end the conflict" and to take measure to protect aid workers and civilians while fighting ensues.
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state.
In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .