Three United Nations election workers, two women and a man, were freed unharmed this morning after being abducted from a United Nations vehicle last month in Afghanistan. Shqipe Hebibi from Kosova, Annetta Flanigan from Northern Ireland, and Angelito Nayan, a Filipino diplomat, were kidnapped on a busy street in Kabul by armed men on October 28. They were the first foreigners abducted in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Their abductions raise fear that they could be the start of a string of deadly kidnappings that are similar to what has been occurring in Iraq.
Meanwhile, a Polish woman who was abducted in Iraq last month has also been freed. Teresa Borcz-Khalifa, a resident of Iraq for 30 years, was kidnapped from her home by the Abu Bakr al-Seddiq Salafist Brigades, reports Reuters. Last week, Margaret Hassan, a humanitarian aid worker with CARE International and long-time resident of Iraq, was killed. A mutilated body of a Western woman was found in Falluja that has still not been identified.
Several leading international aid organizations have suspended operations in Iraq as a result of the increased attacks against aid workers, including CARE International, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Rescue Committee.
1/28/2015 Senator Boxer Urges President to Continue Support for UN Population Fund - Earlier this week, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) along with 21 of her Senate colleagues sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to maintain support for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
UNFPA, which promotes maternal and reproductive health, conducts major demographic surveys, and campaigns against fistula and female genital mutilation, supports programs in over 150 countries. . . .
1/27/2015 Marissa Alexander To Be Released from Prison - Marissa Alexander is expected to be released from prison today, where she spent the last three years of her life after firing a warning shot into the air to defend herself from her estranged and abusive husband. . . .