Frist: Taliban Should Be Incorporated into Afghan Government
US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) made comments yesterday about the Taliban’s extensive presence in Afghanistan, the unlikelihood that the war against the Taliban could be won militarily, and the need to incorporate "people who call themselves the Taliban" into the Afghan government. Frist said to the Associated Press during a visit with Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) to a military base in Afghanistan that there appeared to be an "unlimited flow" of individuals "willing to pick up arms and integrate themselves with the Taliban… It sounds to me… that the Taliban is everywhere."
According to All Headline News, Frist told reporters that the only way to resolve the conflicts in Afghanistan is to "assimilate people who call themselves Taliban into a larger, more representative government." Martinez then told the Associated Press that negotiating with the Taliban is not "out of the question," but that Taliban militants who continue to be violent must be attacked.
The Taliban regime protected Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The Taliban regime, which brutally took away the rights of women and girls, has reemerged in Afghanistan. Recent Taliban attacks and violence are once again depriving Afghan women and girls of many rights and the ability to obtain an education. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the recent assassination of Safia Amajan, the provincial director of Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs, who was gunned down outside of her home in Kandahar.
The Feminist Majority Foundation and other organizations have been working to pass the Afghan Women's Empowerment Act, which provides funding for the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, and women-led non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan. It is anticipated that Congress will take up the Act when it returns after the November 7 election.
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. . . .