Hundreds of people gathered at a sports stadium in Afghanistan to witness the public hanging of two Afghan women convicted of prostitution by the Taliban. BBC correspondents say that, although public execution has become common under the Taliban, it is rare for women to be executed in this manner. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Afghans continue to attempt to flee Afghanistan, but Tajikistan and Pakistan have essentially closed their borders. Pakistan is threateneing to forcibly return 100,000 of the some 3 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan because it can no longer deal with the humanitarian crisis. Some 1 million Afghans, both in Afghanistan and in refugee camps in neighboring countries, are facing death by starvation and exposure to freezing temperatures during one of the most severe droughts in the region in the past 30 years. The situation is exacerbated by the collapse of humanitarian services to refugees, displaced persons, and the population in Afghanistan.
Media Resources: BBC World News – February 23, 2001 and Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .