As US Catholic bishops convene today for a biannual meeting in St Louis to discuss the status of the priest sex abuse scandal, the news appears less than promising. After a difficult year laden with legal battles, pricey settlements, disputes with lay Catholic groups, and diminishing financial contributions, the bishops opened their meeting faced with yesterday's resignation of Phoenix Bishop Thomas O'Brien under felony charges for leaving a fatal hit-and-run scene and Monday's ouster of former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating as leader of the National Review Board, created to monitor and advise the Church's handling of the scandal. Keating was forced to resign after he made statements to the Los Angeles Times likening the bishops' behavior and stronghold of power to that of the Mafia, reported the New York Times. In his resignation letter, Keating insisted that despite the fact that "most bishops" support the review board, "[t]o resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church," according to the Associated Press.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .