A United Nations envoy reports that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leading pro-democracy leader in Burma, is without injuries after she and her traveling convoy were violently attacked on May 30. UN Special Envoy Razali Ismail was able to visit briefly with Suu Kyi, who is currently being held under house arrest by her attackers. "She is in good spirits and very feisty," Ismail said as reported by the Washington Post.
Believed to be the work of Burma's ruling military junta, the attack occurred while Suu Kyi and her convoy were touring a town about 25 miles from the Burmese capital. At least 70 people, many of them youth activists, are believed to have been killed in the resulting confrontation between thousands of attackers and about 200 of Suu Kyi's supporters, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
The US Congress is moving to impose tough penalties against the military junta - the Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would enact strict sanctions by a vote of 97 to 1. The House International Relations Committee approved a similar bill by voice vote yesterday, according to the Post. The legislation currently being considered would shut off shipments of textiles and other goods from Burma to the US that totaled about $356 million last year.
"It is time to reassess our policy toward a military dictatorship that has repeatedly attacked democracy and jailed its heroes," US Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in a commentary published in the Wall Street Journal. "The junta that oppresses democracy inside Burma must find that its actions will not be allowed to stand."
Suu Kyi endured house arrest from 1989 to 1995 after she emerged as a leader of the opposition movement. The military regime refused to honor the results of the 1990 election, where Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) garnered an overwhelming majority of the popular vote.
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. . . .