UN Aid Worker Slain in Afghanistan; Women Candidates Threatened
A United Nations aid worker was killed on Sunday in Ghazni by two men whom authorities believe are Taliban rebels. The 29-year-old Frenchwoman, Bettina Goislard, who was working for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was the first UN staff to be killed in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban two years ago. This attack came less than a week after a bomb exploded near a UN vehicle carrying three Afghan UN employees and another bomb was set off outside the UN offices in Kandahar. Taliban officials have warned that they would not spare any foreign aid workers or the Afghans working for them, reports Reuters.
In addition, women chosen to represent their provinces in the upcoming loya jirga (grand council) are being threatened by letters warning them that if they continue trying to elect women to the loya jirga they will be targeted, reports the Christian Science Monitor. In Paktika Province, no women have registered for elections even though they were supposed to have an election on November 3 and in Parwan the mullah announced that women should not participate in the elections, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
After a recent visit to Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council reported that the lack of security has "affected the entire Afghan peace process" and has seriously slowed reconstruction efforts, reports the Washington Post.
Even with new commitments by the United Nations and NATO to expand the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) beyond Kabul, concerns remain over whether the size of the expansion will be large enough and whether the troop size in Kabul will be reduced, a move that many experts say would destabilize the already fragile Afghan central government. For two years, the Afghan government, the United Nations, and human rights and women's rights organizations have requested expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which has been limited to some 5,500 troops in Kabul.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .