Three hundred Afghan demonstrators staged an anti-US, anti-British protest in Kabul today-the capital's first since the Taliban fell in 2001. Shouting sentiments like, "We want Islam to rule. We want security. [The US and Britain] have failed to bring it to us and we want them out," the protesters confirmed warnings that religious fundamentalism is on the rise in Afghanistan, according to Reuters. The demonstration, led by native philosopher Sediq Afghan's "Scientific Center," insisted that international donors have repeatedly failed to deliver what they promised: security, economic growth, and infrastructure construction. For example, progress on the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway remains slow, with the project suffering a series of setbacks including inadequate funding, complex management, and equipment failure, according to the Boston Globe.
As US Army Lt. Gen. Dan K. McNeill gave indication last week to the Los Angeles Times that coalition forces could leave Afghanistan beginning summer 2004, reports by the Associated Press and the New York Times depict an increasingly unstable security situation throughout the country. Last week, a council comprised of 350 Islamic scholars passed a resolution urging working Afghan women to wear the hijab, a head scarf and long dress, and said publications violating Islamic values should be punished, reported the AP. In areas bordering Pakistan, fundamentalist groups are holding regular meetings, calling for the restoration of an Islamic government, according to the NY Times. Throughout the rest of the country, militias continue to form, purporting to keep the peace. Currently, local warlords command an estimated 100,000 militiamen.
The Feminist Majority continues leading the call for ISAF expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.
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. . . .