One Third of Developing Country Women Become Teen Mothers

On Tuesday, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFA) released “Motherhood in Childhood: The Untold Story”, a report showing that nearly a third of all women in developing countries begin childbearing at age 19 and younger. While total fertility across the globe has fallen, the UNFPA report shows that women who began childbearing in adolescence had almost five births by the time they reached age 40 between 2015 and 2019. Complications from giving birth are a leading cause of death and injury for adolescent girls. But being an adolescent mother can also lead to other grave violations of their human rights and serious social consequences, including child marriage, intimate-partner violence and mental health issues. The youngest child mothers face the highest risks.

— source | 5 Jul 2022

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Oklahoma’s New Total Abortion Ban

Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a bill that bans nearly all abortions starting at fertilization. The measure now heads to Republican Governor Kevin Stitt, who’s promised to sign what will become the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law. The legislation allows anyone to sue doctors who perform abortions or anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion — modeled on Texas’s anti-abortion law that took effect in September. The vote in Oklahoma comes just weeks after the publication of a leaked draft opinion showed the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade.

only exceptions are to save the life of the pregnant person or cases of rape or incest that have to be reported to law enforcement. Right? And so, these are very, very narrow exceptions, that are subject to the interpretation of medical providers who are going to be terrified of violating this law.

And as you point out, this law begins at fertilization, which — you know, basic science lesson here for Oklahoma lawmakers: Fertilization is actually before pregnancy begins. Right? The fertilized egg, when it implants in the uterus, that’s when pregnancy starts, OK? Fertilization at the moment of the sperm and egg coming together is something that we

— source | May 20, 2022

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The Roe Disaster — And What To Do About It

The right is on the verge of achieving what it has promised to accomplish for decades: the destruction of a federal, constitutional right to an abortion.

Democrats have for years raised small donor cash off of the perpetual conservative threat to reproductive rights, and then evaded opportunities to protect those rights, even when they had control of the White House and congressional majorities.

There are obvious lessons: Don’t lose winnable presidential elections to reality TV show hosts, don’t protect the ego of aging celebrity judges when it could cost liberals Supreme Court seats, don’t permit billionaires to anonymously buy lifetime appointments to the high court, and don’t mobilize the party’s electoral apparatus in defense of anti-choice politicians.

It’s also a reminder of how minoritarian the United States government is. While the vast majority of Americans support the right to an abortion in at least some circumstances,

— source | Julia Rock, Matthew Cunningham-Cook, Andrew Perez, David Sirota | May 4, 2022

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Reporting Human Rights Abuses Is Not a Crime

Twenty-four years ago, the search for a way out of the unending violent conflict in Colombia saw a significant moment of hope. On 23 March 1997, 1,350 displaced farmers gathered in the remote village of San José de Apartadó in the north-western province of Antioquia to join together and form a peace community. After paramilitaries had roamed the region pillaging and massacring, the local community declared itself neutral in the war, rejecting weapons, drugs, alcohol and cooperation with any armed group. With their community, the people of San José have shown other communities in the country how to break the victim-perpetrator cycle and to build communal alternatives of nonviolence, solidarity and autonomy outside of the dominant culture.

The armed groups made the peace community of San José de Apartadó pay a huge price for their radical decision. Since 1997, more than 200 of its members, including most of the community’s leaders, have been killed, largely at the hands of paramilitary and national armed forces. Few of the crimes have ever been prosecuted. The exemplary effect of the community’s model of autonomy and independence has been seen as a grave threat to the powerful multinational interests driving lucrative mining and agricultural projects in the country. As the former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe openly admitted, the peace community is despised because it stands “in the way of development.”

Since the demobilisation of the FARC-Ep guerrilla in 2017, the pressure and threats against the Peace Community have increased as paramilitaries have expanded their influence in

— source | Apr 20, 2021

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Abu Zubaydah Was Tortured for Years at CIA Black Sites

It was an extraordinary argument in several respects. The narrow question is whether we can secure the testimony of James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen for use by the Polish prosecutors in their investigation into whether crimes were committed in Poland at the black site there. But the more important turn that the oral argument took is several things. One, virtually every justice on the court described Abu Zubaydah’s treatment as “torture.” They used that word. There were no euphemisms. There was no equivocation. Everyone understood that what happened to him was torture.

Second was the observation that you made, which is the questions by Justice Breyer, Justice Gorsuch and Justice Sotomayor, asking, “Why is it that you can’t just let Abu Zubaydah testify?” That obviously would obviate the need for Mitchell and Jessen’s testimony. And what was as interesting as their request that Abu Zubaydah be allowed to testify was the government’s equivocation and inability to answer that. They were asked — that is, the solicitor general was asked to provide a follow-up statement, so they’ll be filing something else, explaining whether they’re going to allow Abu Zubaydah to testify. And if they do, that will be a sea change at Guantánamo. That will be a radical change. Guantánamo was built to be an isolation chamber, and they have never allowed any detainee to have uncensored access to the outside. The whole purpose of it was to prevent that

— source | Oct 07, 2021

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The Worst Countries for Women (Afghanistan Isn’t on the List)

Concern-trolling over the dismal plight of women in Afghanistan is powerfully appealing to liberals who look for reasons for the United States to maintain a military presence there. If and when the Taliban return to power, the warmongers argue, the bad old days of stonings, burqas and girls banned from school will come back—and it’ll be our fault because we didn’t stick around.

Outrage over women’s inequality is often only ginned up in the service of some other aim, like invading Afghanistan or banning transwomen from high school girls’ sports teams. Scratch the thin veneer of phony feminism and the true agenda, which has nothing to do with women or girls, is quickly exposed.

You may be surprised to learn that, according to a U.S. News & World Report analysis of data provided by the United Nations, Afghanistan isn’t among the ten worst countries for women. Which nations do have the worst gender inequality?

— source | Ted Rall | Jul 22, 2021

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Attack on this lawyer will not fruitful

So, Michael opposed war with every fiber of his being in every medium he had access to: the courtroom, the classroom, in the media. And he knew that legal challenges to protect humans from authoritarian abuses and violence and torture were necessary — that was his project in Guantánamo — and he also knew about the horrors of war, and could manage both at the same time. So, September 23rd, 2001, he gave a talk in which he said, “This is not a lawful basis for the U.S. to engage in war. This is a crime under international law,” citing the Nuremberg precedent, and argued that we should not pursue war but pursue war crimes and crimes against humanity against the perpetrators. And over and over again, he was opposed to war. And the irony of sort of lumping Michael with people who try to make war humane, among many other pieces of evidence, Michael’s project, throughout the 2000s and before, from his experience in challenging war waged by the Clinton administration in Kosovo, is to say, very specifically, the idea of humanitarian war is impossible, because it is just a mask for U.S. forms of hegemony.

So, Professor Moyn has somewhat walked back his critique, suggested that the title was chosen by the editor and not him, but I think the content of his article, as you excerpted, stands and is profoundly misguided. Michael understood that lawyering has a particular role in society. It’s not where the war is won, but it’s where the battle has to be fought, alongside all other sorts of means to leverage, the power of movements to challenge repression. That’s what Michael stood for, and in no way did he ever sanitize war.

— source | Oct 01, 2021

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Don’t Pursue War, Pursue War Crimes

Today we’re in the midst of a pitched battle, a pitched battle to put this country back, at least ostensibly, on the page of fundamental rights and moral decency. The battle is difficult, and the road is long and hard. On occasion, I get pessimistic. Sometimes I and my colleagues feel like Sisyphus. Twice — not just once, twice — we pushed the rock up the hill and won rights for Guantánamo detainees in the Supreme Court, and twice the rock was rolled back down by Congress over those rights. So we pushed it back up again. Five days ago, we were in the Supreme Court for the third time. It was difficult, more difficult than before, because the justices have changed. Four are antediluvians, lost forever to humanity.

But before I get us all depressed, we’ve had our victories. We’ve gotten lawyers to Guantánamo, stopped the most overt torture and freed half of the Guantánamo detainees — over 300. We have

— source | Oct 01, 2021

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Craig Murray’s jailing is the latest assault on independent journalism

Craig Murray, a former ambassador to Uzbekistan, the father of a newborn child, a man in very poor health and one who has no prior convictions, will have to hand himself over to the Scottish police on Sunday morning. He becomes the first person ever to be imprisoned on the obscure and vaguely defined charge of “jigsaw identification”. Murray is also the first person to be jailed in Britain for contempt of court in half a century – a period when such different legal and moral values prevailed that the British establishment had only just ended the prosecution of “homosexuals” and the jailing of women for having abortions.

Murray’s imprisonment for eight months by Lady Dorrian, Scotland’s second most senior judge, is of course based entirely on a keen reading of Scottish law rather than evidence of the Scottish and London political establishments seeking revenge on the former diplomat. And the UK supreme court’s refusal on Thursday to hear Murray’s appeal despite many glaring legal anomalies in the case, thereby paving his path to jail, is equally rooted in a strict application of the law, and not influenced in any way by political considerations.

Murray’s jailing has nothing to do with the fact that he embarrassed the British state in the early 2000s by becoming that rarest of things: a whistleblowing diplomat. He

— source | Jonathan Cook | Jul 31, 2021

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Israeli settlements amount to war crime – U.N. rights expert

Israeli settlements in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank amount to a war crime, a U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday, calling on countries to inflict a cost on Israel for its “illegal occupation”. Michael Lynk, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, was addressing a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, boycotted by Israel which does not recognise his mandate or cooperate with him.

Lynk said Israel’s demolition of Bedouin tent dwellings in a village in the West Bank on Wednesday left residents without food or water in the heat of the Jordan Valley, calling it “both unlawful and heartless”. There are nearly 300 settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, with more than 680,000 Israeli settlers, Lynk said.

— source | Jul 9, 2021

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