A United Nations delegation left Kabul on Sunday after negotiations with the Taliban militia failed to secure the return of foreign aid agencies expelled from the country after workers refused to confine themselves to substandard housing and headquarters.
UN humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan Bronek Szynalsky said that he was not convinced Taliban officials were open to discussing the relocation issue. He said the Taliban has left the UN little room to negotiate on behalf of the 35 non-governmental organizations expelled from Kabul. “We unfortunately were not given too much of an opportunity to discuss the alternatives for the NGO’s eventual return,” he said. “It was very disappointing to us.”
Taliban officials have a different perception of the events that took place on Saturday. Planning Minister Qari Deen Mohammed told reporters in Kabul that the Taliban is ready to negotiate anything that will benefit the Afghan people. He said both sides are willing to resolve the crisis.
Although no progress was made, according to Szynalsky, talks will probably resume next week.
Media Resources: Afghan Online Press - August 2, 1998
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. . . .