Sunday, 30 June 2013

News for Today

Contributed by Karthik Jayakumar

Contributed by Norhana Kamid

Ohio Approves Budget With Radical Abortion Restrictions, Voters Disapprove 
The Ohio legislature approved Thursday a budget bill that includes several serious attacks on women’s reproductive freedom, Think Progress reported June 28. The proposed budget would defund Planned Parenthood, strip funding from rape crisis centers that give their clients information about abortion, force some abortion clinics to close, and require doctors to give women information about the fetal heartbeat before proceeding with an abortion. The majority of Ohio voters don’t support the provisions in the state budget related to limiting women’s reproductive rights, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling. 

Top GOP Women Launch Campaign to Recruit Female Candidates for 2014
Women from across six of the Republican party's top campaign committees will gather Friday to launch a new project - "Women on the Right Unite" - designed to promote the recruitment of female GOP candidates, The Hill reported June 27. The party looks to repair its image among a demographic that broke 55-43 percent for President Obama in 2012. 

Syria's Government Shelling Kills 8 Women and Girls
Intense shelling by Syrian government troops on a village in the country's south killed at least eight women and girls overnight, the Associated Press reported June 28. The forces loyal to President Bashar Assad are intensifying their offensive against rebels near the border with Jordan.
Two Women Allegedly Raped Near New Delhi
Indian police detained four men in connection with the alleged rape of two women in a car as it traveled on a highway near New Delhi in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported June 27.
Women Settle With Texas State Police for $185K Over Illegal Cavity Search
The Texas Department of Public Safety has settled a lawsuit with two Irving women who filed a lawsuit claiming they were humiliated after they were subjected to an illegal cavity search by police during a traffic stop last July, CBS News reported June 28. Attorney Scott Palmer confirmed his client Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, received a settlement of $185,000 in the federal civil rights case. 
Hillary Clinton Hopes to See Female President in Her Lifetime
Hillary Clinton ignited further speculation around a potential 2016 presidential run by declaring last week in Toronto that she hopes "we have a woman president in my lifetime,” Forbes reported June 26. “I hope that we will see a woman elected because I think it would send exactly the right historic signal to girls, women as well as boys and men. And I will certainly vote for the right woman to be president.”

Texas Gov. Perry Vows to Pass Abortion Ban 
Texas Governor Rick Perry vowed Thursday that his state will ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill requires abortion clinics to meet hospital standards in order to remain open and would close most of the state's clinics if passed.  Among the Republican lawmakers who supported the bill was Rep. Jody Laubenberg, who suggested that a rape-testing kit was a form of abortion. "In the emergency room they have what's called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out," AP quoted the lawmaker as saying June 24 as a reason for not including an exception for rape victims.

Hobby Lobby Won't Have to Pay Fines for Challenging Contraception Mandate
In a health care decision giving hope to opponents of the federal birth-control coverage mandate, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Hobby Lobby stores won't have to start paying millions of dollars in fines next week for not complying with the requirement, the Associated Press reported June 27. 
Immigration Reform Bill Passes Through the U.S. Senate 
A comprehensive immigration reform bill passed with strong support in the Senate on Thursday, bringing Washington one step closer to accomplishing a major milestone that both Democrats and Republicans have long sought, reported CBS News June 27. The final decision rests with the Republican-led House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said earlier in the day that his chamber will not simply take up whatever the Senate passes. "We're going to do our own bill through regular order, and it will be legislation that reflects the will of our majority and the will of the American people," he said.
New York City Passes Paid Sick Time Law
New York City is becoming the most populous place in the United States to make businesses provide workers with paid sick time, after lawmakers overrode a mayoral veto early June 27 to pass a law expected to affect more than 1 million workers, reported the Associated Press. Under the new law steered by Councilwoman Gale Brewer, employees of businesses with 20 or more workers would get up to five paid sick days a year beginning in April 2014; the benefit would kick in by October 2015 at enterprises with 15 to 19 workers. All others would have to provide five unpaid sick days per year, meaning that workers couldn't get fired for using those days. With the vote, the city joined Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; and the state of Connecticut in requiring the benefit for at least some workers. 

Australia's First Female Prime Minister Ousted
Just three years after a political coup that secured her spot in the highest chair, Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was elected out of office, reported The Washington Post June 27. Gillard lost her seat in a caucus ballot vote to her predecessor former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, 57 to 45 late June 26th. The vote come in ahead of national elections which were set to take place on Sept 14.
HIV Transmission Drops 21% for Black Women: CDC Fact Sheet 
For the first time in two decades, the number of new HIV infections reported among black women -- a group bearing the brunt of one of the nation's most disproportionately high HIV-infection rates -- has declined, the Root reported June 27, citing the most recent detailed data (pdf) available provided in a Centers for Disease Control fact sheet. The number of new infections among black women slid a full 21 percent.
Supreme Court Opens Way for Marriage Equality
Finding a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, the High Court declared that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights to the benefits under federal law that go to all other married couples, reported The LA Times June 26. Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said DOMA was unconstitutional because it violated the right to liberty and to equal protection for gay couples. "By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute" violates the Constitution, he said. Minutes later California's Proposition 8 was dismissed due to a state technicality that requires such propositions be brought forward by authorized state officials, reported the Huffington Post. The court ruled that private parties had no legal standing to bring up such measures, effectively restoring same-sex marriage to California.
Turkish Gynecologists Respond to Sterilization, Abortion Accusations 
The Turkish Gynecologists and Obstetricians' Association spoke out on June 25, saying that thousands of gynecologists are offended by a recent comment made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who called abortions "murder" and Caesarian sections a plot to "sterilize women," Today's Zaman June 25.
Turkish Women Gain Big Ground in Work Force 
Turkish women's participation in the non-agricultural work force rose to around 4.8 million in February 2013, up from 3.2 million in February 2008, a rise of about 50 percent within six years,Hurriyet Daily News reported June 24. 
Rights Unit Finds Bias Against Transgender Student
In a Colorado case concerning a transgender first grader, the state's civil rights division determined the future policies on state antidiscrimination applied to transgender students. A Colorado school district barred a female identified transgender student from the girls' restrooms, which the court ruled needlessly created a situation in which the student, Coy Mathis, would be subject to harassment, The New York Times reported on June 23. 
High Court Harassment Ruling Slammed
The National Partnership for Women and Families slammed the June 24 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court  in Maetta Vance v. Ball State University as deeply troubling and a show of callous disregard for victims of harassment. "It will undermine efforts to end harassment and advance equal opportunity," the group said in a press statement. 
Girl Kicked Off Team Because of Guys' 'Impure Thoughts'
A private school outside Atlanta recently informed 12-year-old Madison Baxter that she would not be welcome at tryouts for the seventh-grade football team, because her male teammates are beginning to have “impure thoughts” about her, Strong Rock Christian Academy school administrator Patrick Stuart told Baxter’s mother, ThinkProgress reported June 24.
New York Women's Equality Proposal Fails
After more than five months of advocacy by the governor — including a trip to Seneca Falls, a landmark of the women’s suffrage movement — New York lawmakers ended their annual session over the weekend without approving a single element of a women's equality proposal, in large part because one of the measure’s provisions would have strengthened abortion rights language in state law, the New York Times reported June 24.
One Rape Suspect Arrested in Case Involving Police Officers in Turkey
One suspect has been arrested on charges related to allegations that four police raped a 16-year-old girl in southeastern Turkey, a case which has caused great public outcry following the release of all four suspects. The Hurriyet Daily News reported on June 25 that the suspect, identified as M.T., was arrested in accordance with the investigation that looks into charges of “sexual abuse and restricting freedom.” The court originally rejected demands for the sergeants to be arrested following an official report filed by the victim last month.
Turkey Counts Toll of Domestic Violence in Early 2013
In Turkey, during the first three months of 2013, 47 women were killed as a result of domestic violence and a further 38 were victims of rape, reported Today's Zaman on June 25. Two men are believed to have been killed by their partners in Istanbul, and a man allegedly killed his wife and critically injured his daughter in Konya.
Pakistani Actress Attacked With Acid
An  18-year-old Pakistani actress, known as Bushra and popular in the northwest for her film, television and theatre appearances, was attacked with acid while asleep at her home in the town of Nowshera, 92 miles northwest of Islamabad, Agence France Presse reported June 22.
New York Assembly Votes for 'No Condoms as Evidence' 
A variety of activist groups were cheering on June 24  the Friday vote by the New York State Assembly to pass the “No Condoms as Evidence” bill, the No Condoms as Evidence Coalition, said in a press statement. Video and testimony of the hearing are available at:
No complaints of sexual exploitation found in other PH missions

30% divorces in KSA blamed on ‘takhbeeb’
Contributed by Cassie Hearn
A re-trial following DNA evidence of a man that raped a 66 year old woman in the UK.
Contributed by William Kin

Contributed by Vikram Simhan

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