Afghan Parliamentary Elections Delayed Until September; Bomb Blast Kills Five
Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that the parliamentary elections that were scheduled to take place in May will be postponed until September, citing technical problems for the delay. The parliamentary vote has been delayed several times over the past year due to security and logistical concerns.
According to the Associated Press, minutes before US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Karzai held a joint press conference announcing the delay, a bomb exploded in the southern city of Kandahar, killing at least five people and injuring 32. The Afghan police are blaming Taliban-led militants for the attack.
At the press conference, Secretary Rice stated that the US “will stand by the Afghan people as they go through the next state in their democratic development, the parliamentary elections that will take place this fall.” However, Rice did not mention that security continues to be a major obstacle to the rebuilding of democracy and reconstruction of the country. Winter weather in Afghanistan has claimed more than 600 lives, mainly children, due to a lack of roads for aid workers and military units to reach remote villages in the western and north-eastern parts of the country, reports . Reports have also been received that 1.5 million Afghans in Kabul are without shelter, with many dying from the brutal cold this winter.
Media Resources: The Associated Press 3/17/05; CNN 3/17/05; Reuters 3/16, 3/17/05; BBC News 3/14/05
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. . . .