As the controversy swarms around the Talibanís refusal to release 24 humanitarian aid workers from custody, new reports of human rights abuses are emerging from one of the countryís poorest and most remote regions. According to refugee accounts, Taliban militants have set fire to businesses and villages in Yakawlang, Bamiyin, and the surrounding areas as recently as this June. The Taliban is also believed to have killed at least 170 men and teenage boys in January, after opposing forces took control of Yakawlang. Additional reports of mass murder and burnings have surfaced in recent weeks indicating that the fundamentalist militant group shot as many as 130 men, women, and children in recent military maneuvers, including several men who were trying to get back to their homes to tend their crops.
Given that Afghans are facing their fourth year of severe drought, those crops, along with continuing humanitarian aid, will be critical to civilian survival in the upcoming winter. However, as tension mounts between relief workers and Taliban officials, fear is growing that aid agencies may soon decide to leave. More than $300 million from countries and relief agencies around the world is currently provided to Afghan civilians.
Media Resources: BBC, 8/20/01; New York Times, 8/23/01
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .