Underscoring the lack of security in Afghanistan, four German peacekeeping troops were killed on Saturday in an explosion that wounded 31 others. This was the biggest attack on the international security assistance forces (ISAF) yet, according to Reuters. The peacekeeping troops were traveling on a bus in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber in a taxi drove alongside the bus and exploded, according to the Los Angeles Times. At least one Afghan citizen was killed in the explosion and an unknown number were wounded, the Times reports.
The situation in Kabul "is not yet stable and not yet 100% safe," said ISAF Lt. Col. Thomas Lobbering, according to the Times. Currently, there are only about 5,000 international peacekeeping troops stationed in Afghanistan, and they are all in Kabul. United Nations spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva cautioned that "this act ... in all likelihood is not a one-off event." Recently, citizens have been facing increasing threats for expressing their political views in Afghanistan. Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan, asserts that Afghanistan has plunged into its worst security crisis since the end of the war last year and that Western nations are sabotaging Karzai's attempts to bring security by continuing to dismiss the need to expand the international peacekeeping force (ISAF) beyond Kabul.
The Feminist Majority continues to lead the call for peace troop 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. . . .