UN Peacekeepers Suspended from Police Force after Sex Abuse Allegations
Eleven Nigerian police officers who were part of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been suspended from the Nigerian police force in the course of investigations into the sexual abuse of Congolese women and girls. Nigeria withdrew all 120 of its peacekeepers in Kinshasa, the DRCís capital, in mid-September when the UN began investigating the allegations. The decision to withdraw was accepted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who cited ďa policy of zero tolerance regarding sexual exploitation and abuse Ö by peacekeeping personnel.Ē
The facts of the cases that led to the suspensions have not been released, according to the Associated Press, but rapes, the soliciting of prostitutes, and pedophilia have been widely reported since the beginning of 2004, with girls and women of all ages being abused by both peacekeepers and civilians. In August 2005, the UN began an investigation of the allegations of sex abuse suffered by Congolese women and girls, according to the BBC, including those against the Nigerian policemen.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .