At Least Two Killed at Polling Centers in Afghanistan, Aid Group Leaves
At least two people were killed, including a member of the Afghan election coordinating body, by an explosion at a polling center in Ghazni, Afghanistan. The United State’s military puts the number of Afghans killed at six, including two UN workers, while United Nations is reporting only two deaths. According to Reuters, Afghan authorities are placing blame on the Taliban who have vowed to do everything to disrupt the election scheduled for October.
The first post-Taliban elections, originally scheduled to take place in June then pushed back to September, have again been delayed until October due to slow voter registration and insecurity caused by Taliban-like militia and so-called warlords. In June, three female election workers were killed in Jalalabad, and 16 Afghan were shot dead because they had voter registration cards.
Meanwhile, the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said it is pulling out of Afghanistan, citing three major reasons for leaving, reports the Associated Press. These include the lack of security on the ground, lack of a thorough investigation on the killings of five members of the agency in June, and the US military’s use of humanitarian aid for military and political motives. According to the Associated Press, Medecins Sans Frontieres has been in Afghanistan for 24 years and currently has 80 volunteers and 1,400 staff in the country who provide health care and support hospitals in nearly half of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces.
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. . . .