Report: Rape Used as “Weapon of War” by Burmese Military
Relations between the US and Burma (Myanmar) are once again strained following a report by Thailand-based human rights activists that charges the Burmese military with using systematic rape of ethnic civilians as a war tactic. In recent months, the Burmese government—aiming to gain favor from the Bush administration—released Nobel Peace Prize activist Aung San Suu Kyi and also hired a lobbying firm to facilitate the relation-building process. However, the report released by the Shan Human Rights Foundation and the Shan Women’s Action Network has prompted the State Department to issue warnings to the junta, calling for full investigation of the charges and punishment for “those guilty of such heinous crimes,” said a State Department official.
In a letter to Myanmar’s ambassador to the United States, the Burmese government rejected the report’s documentation of the rape of at least 625 girls and women in the largest ethnic minority state of Shan, which is currently seeking independence. “You will find that they are nothing but unverified testimonies said to have been provided by the so-called victims on the other side of the border.”
Media Resources: Washington Post 7/4/02; Associated Press 7/7/02
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. . . .