In another in a series of attacks on aid workers in Afghanistan, an Italian woman working for CARE International was abducted Monday evening in Kabul. According to CARE International, Clementina Cantoni has been in Afghanistan for three years and has managed their “Humanitarian Assistance for Women” project since September 2003. According to the New York Times, Cantoni’s driver said their car was blocked by another car and three armed men jumped out, pulled Cantoni from her car, and took her away with them.
This latest incident comes just two weeks after three Afghan women were found raped and strangled to death in the northern province of Baghlan. The women’s bodies were found with a note stating that “this is retribution for those women who are working in NGO’s and those who are involved in whoredom.” It is not clear whether either of these attacks is related to the Taliban, which has targeted aid workers, especially women causing some organizations to withdraw staff.
A report released this month by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) and CARE raises serious concerns about staff working in the field in Afghanistan. According to the report, “NGO Insecurity in Afghanistan,” “the unprecedented number” of fatalities among workers for non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian assistance is impacting their ability to reach those who need assistance. The report concludes that “NGO insecurity is linked to wider, prevalent insecurity across Afghanistan. Unless and until this wider insecurity is addressed, NGO staff will continue to be a target, making it difficult to reach all those in need.”
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .