Candidates Begin Campaigning for Afghanistan's Presidential Elections
Despite threats from the Taliban to disrupt the upcoming elections in Afghanistan, campaigns for the first post-Taliban elections began today. A Taliban spokesman, Abdul Hakimi, stated that Taliban fighters would target all presidential candidates, parliamentary candidates running in April’s parliamentary elections, and anyone who voted, reports Reuter’s. In addition, the Taliban has been making recent efforts to impede the elections process, specifically targeting women. Members of the Taliban have been present at the registration polls and have threatened women as they approach to register.
Eighteen candidates are running for President of Afghanistan, including President Hamid Karzai and only one female candidate, Massooda Jalal. Jalal made a speech to women at a bakery subsidized by the United Nations, asserting that “those people who betrayed you and destroyed your homes and who killed your loves ones…have no place in my government,” reports the Associated Press.
While recent reports show that there are over 10 million people registered to vote in Afghanistan's October presidential elections, it has become evident that the election registration process is Afghanistan is seriously flawed. The United Nations and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission released a report stating that the most basic conditions for a democratic vote in Afghanistan are in danger of not being met, reports BBC News. The report states that this lack of information is making voters vulnerable to intimidation and manipulation, and that there are individuals who are brandishing two or more voting cards.
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. . . .