RAP Sheet

Afghan Policewomen Struggle Against Culture

posted on March 4, 2015

In The New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin describes the inequality, oppression, and stigma experienced by policewomen in Afghanistan. Often sexually harassed and coerced by colleagues and supervisors, Afghan policewomen are also threatened with violence and shame for violating community standards of morality by working. “The plight of women under the Taliban captured the Western imagination, and their liberation became a rallying cry,” Rubin writes, continuing: “Now, as Western troops and money flow out of Afghanistan, the question is just how much the encounter with the West and its values has really changed the country, and whether any of the foreign ideas about the status of women took hold.”

Read at The New York Times

Break-in at Y-12

posted on March 4, 2015

In The New Yorker, Eric Schlosser explores the history of the Catholic Plowshares operations against nuclear facilities, focusing on the recent break-in of three activists—including an 82-year-old nun—to the Y-12 National Security Complex known as the Fort Knox of Uranium. Plowshares operations began under the leadership of Dorothy Day, a socialist activist turned Catholic pacifist, and brothers and Catholic priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan, all of whom condemned the use and development of nuclear weapons. “Plowshares actions have not only revealed serious vulnerabilities in the security of America’s nuclear enterprise; they’ve also shed light on the inherent risks faced by every nation that possesses weapons of mass destruction,” Schlosser writes.

Read at The New Yorker

Danforth, in Eulogy, Decries “Whispering Campaign” Against Schweich

posted on March 3, 2015

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that former U.S. Senator John C. Danforth issued a harsh reproach of his own party while condemning the dialogue of political campaigns, implicitly blaming it for the suicide of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich. In his eulogy, Danforth said, “This campaign for governor started two years in advance of the 2016 election. And even at this early date, what has been said is worse than anything in my memory, and that’s a long memory. I have never experienced an anti-Semitic campaign. Anti-Semitism is always wrong and we can never let it creep into politics.”

Read at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Obama Against Iran Nuclear Deal

posted on March 3, 2015

Dan Williams and Matt Spetalnick of Reuters report that in his speech before Congress today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned a nuclear peace deal with Iran.  “This deal won’t be a farewell to arms, it will be a farewell to arms control … a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare,” Netanyahu said.

Read at Reuters

Federal Judge Blocks Nebraska Gay Marriage Ban

posted on March 3, 2015

Reid Wilson of The Washington Post reports, “A federal district court judge has blocked Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage, setting a 38th state on the likely path to recognizing unions between gay couples.” Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson filed appealed the decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, joining Missouri, South Dakota and Arkansas in their appeals to reinstate their respective bans. The Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the issue as it is set to hear oral arguments this term.

Read at The Washington Post

A Thin Line of Defense Against “Honor Killings”

posted on March 3, 2015

In The New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin reports on the emergency women’s shelters in Afghanistan that provide a final line of protection from honor killings. “These shelters, almost entirely funded by Western donors, are one of the most successful — and provocative — legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan, demonstrating that women need protection from their families and can make their own choices,” writes Rubin. “[A]llowing women to decide for themselves raises the prospect that men might not control the order of things, as they have for centuries. This is a revolutionary idea in Afghanistan — every bit as alien as Western democracy and far more transgressive.”

Read at The New York Times

A Death Row Inmate Finds Common Ground with Theologians

posted on March 2, 2015

In The New York Times, Mark Oppenheimer profiles Kelly Renee Gissendaner, a death row inmate scheduled to die on Monday, and her study of theology while in prison that included an unlikely friendship with German theologian Jürgen Moltmann. “Professor Moltmann, who has written of his own remorse at having fought in the German Army, offered his own idea of what awaits his friend,” Oppenheimer writes. “’If the State of Georgia has no mercy,’ he said, ‘she has received already the mercy of Heaven.'”

Read at The New York Times

Ordain Women’s Kate Kelly Loses Last Appeal; Husband to Resign from Mormon Church

posted on March 2, 2015

At The Salt Lake Tribune, Peggy Fletcher Stack reports that Kate Kelly, co-founder of the Ordain Women movement for opening the Mormon priesthood to women, has lost her last appeal to rejoin the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. Kelly was excommunicated in June for apostasy and announced following the appeal that her husband would also leave the church. “I am disappointed in the outcome, but not surprised since the disciplinary process has been entirely opaque and inequitable from the get-go,” Kelly wrote in an Ordain Women news release, continuing, “Fortunately, men do not control my happiness, nor do they control my connection to God. I am proud of what I have done.”

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

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