U.N Agencies Prepare for Looming Humanitarian Crisis
Major U.N. agencies, including the U.N. High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP), announced plans Monday to undertake one of the largest humanitarian aid operations in the history of the United Nations. Officials estimate that as many as 1-1.5 million Afghans are expected to cross the Afghan border in coming days and weeks, as they flee their homeland and seek safe harbor in Pakistan and Iran. They would join another 4-5 million Afghan refugees already seeking asylum in those countries.
To deal with the potentially crushing flow of expected refugees, the U.N. will open some 20 new camps, and a team of UNHCR officials have been dispatched to Pakistan to coordinate the efforts. However, the Taliban has locked up U.N communications equipment in Afghanistan and issued a death decree to any aid workers who tried to use communications equipment, such as satellite phones, to communicate with other aid workers inside or outside the country. The WFPís humanitarian efforts are being further exacerbated by the Talibanís theft over the weekend of U.N. food supplies from their offices in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Fortunately, reports received this morning from the World Food Programme indicate the agency, in conjunction with other NGOís still operating in Afghanistan, will resume limited operation in the northern and western portions of Afghanistan where the agency estimates that without additional food aid, almost 1.6 million Afghans in the northern Afghan regions will run out of food by December.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund¬†Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).¬†Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as¬†out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two¬†heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .