American Ex-Solider Accused of Rape, Murder in Iraq
A former US soldier was accused on Monday of raping and murdering a young Iraqi woman and killing her three family members in their home. According to the Washington Post, former Pfc. Steven D. Green and four other unnamed members of his regiment planned the attack over drinks after seeing the girl, Abeer Qasim Hamza, near the checkpoint where they worked. The Post reports that Green has been charged with killing all four victims, and he and another soldier allegedly raped the girl, whose age has been estimated by neighbors and hospital officials at 15.
The crimes, allegedly carried out in March, were originally attributed to insurgents. In June, however, soldiers began discussing the incident when receiving counseling after two other members of their platoon were captured and beheaded by insurgents, according to the Post. Green had been honorably discharged because of a "personality disorder" before investigators were aware of the accusations, the Post reports. He was arrested Friday on a federal warrant.
With the urging of two women legislators, Iraqi prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called for an independent investigation into the alleged rape and murders, and a reconsideration of the immunity to prosecution in Iraq granted to US soldiers , according to the Associated Press.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 7/4/06; Associated Press 7/5/06
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .