With Kabul freed from Taliban rule, the local television station began broadcasting again, and 16-year old Mariam Shakebar was the first to welcome viewers back to Kabul TV. Before the Taliban takeover in 1996, Shakebar hosted children’s programs for the station, but could no longer work under the Taliban’s system of gender apartheid. Shakebar, wearing only a headscarf, introduced three hours of programming that included music, once forbidden by the Taliban, as well as news and readings from the Koran. Only six days earlier, Shakebar would have faced brutal punishment for not wearing a burqa in the street, now she is broadcasting on television, her face exposed. Shakebar’s co-host, newly shaved Shamsuddin Hamid, opened the program by announcing, “We’re glad to have destroyed terrorism and the Taliban and to be able to present his program to you.” Hamid also promised that the programming on Kabul TV would not be subject to censorship. Under the Taliban, television was banned and radio broadcasted solely Taliban propaganda.
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. . . .