Taliban Allows Women to Work on World Food Program Survey
After a year of strained negotiations and rejections, the Taliban finally agrees to allow the World Food Program (WFP) to employ Afghan women in its survey of the food needs of the most vulnerable households in the country. The survey will allow the Program to assess the need in the region and adjust aid and aid delivery, which has been complicated in recent years by the Talibanís edicts prohibiting contact between men and women. The Taliban announced this weekend that it will allow the World Food Program to hire and train women from a list of potential employees drawn up by the Ministry of Health.
The World Food Program has emphasized from the beginning the importance of hiring women for this effort, as the Talibanís edicts prevent males from speaking with females. In this survey, local Afghan women will be able to survey women in the household to assess the householdís needs, allowing the Program to analyze and adjust its aid distribution. The WFP already feeds an estimated 3.8 million Afghans, but recent reports show that 5 million Afghans have little or no access to food because of the regionís severe drought. Increased aid is desperately needed.
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. . . .