Today's Headline News


Woman in Spain Arrested for Recruiting for ISIS

Francis Carolina Peña Orellana was arrested in Spain on suspicion of being a member of the Islamic State terrorist group whose main responsibility was to convince young women to convert to Islam and become life partners of ISIS fighters, The Daily News reported Dec.17. Orellana and the six others were arrested— two in Morocco — as part of a police investigation into those believed to be recruiting members for the Islamic State.

Boko Haram Carry Out Another Mass Kidnapping in Nigeria 

At least 100 women and children were reportedly kidnapped and 35 people killed when Boko Haram extremists plundered a remote village in north-east Nigeria, The Guardian reported Dec.18. There are conflicting reports about the date of the attack. Two witnesses said it occurred on Dec.12, while other reports said it took place on Dec.14.

 Boston Uber Driver Arrested of Kidnapping and Raping Female Passengers charges 

A 46-year-old Boston Uber driver, identified as Alejandro Done, has been arrested for the alleged kidnapping and rape of a Cambridge woman who had requested a ride home from Tremont Street, according to the Middlesex District Attorney's office, reported Bostlnoo, Dec.17.  His arraignment came just hours after Uber posted a statement promising new safety standards following a string of incidents involving its drivers, NewYork Postreported Dec.18. The driver has pleaded not guilty to his charges, which include rape and kidnapping, Fox News reported Dec.17. One of Uber drivers was accused, this month, of raping a woman in New Delhi, Bloomberg reported Dec.18. An Uber driver was also charged in San Francisco this month for killing a 6-year-old girl crossing a city street last New Year’s Eve.
 Actor Stephen Collins Admits Sexual Abuse with Minors
Stephen Collins, star of “7th Heaven" has admitted to inappropriate sexual contact with three female minors from 1973 to 199, in a statement to People.In this statement, Collins said "I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way" in the past 20 years. After the news broke, Collins was dropped from various projects, including the film "Ted 2," and he also resigned from SAG AFTRA, ABC News reported Dec. 17.

No Way to Tell How U.S. Funds Improved Afghan Women's Lives

An audit of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the United States on programs designed to benefit Afghan women found the success of the efforts cannot be comprehensively assessed because the U.S. agencies involved could not track their spending and results, according to a report released Dec. 18. The report states that the Defense and State Departments and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) were unable to identify the portions of programs that specifically related to Afghan women, Al Jazeera America reported. 

Missouri Lawmakers Wants Allow Abortion Only After Father's Consent

A Missouri Republican is pushing a bill that would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to stop her from having an abortion, Mother Jones reported Dec. 17. The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first—unless she was the victim of "legitimate rape." Rick Brattin, a state representative from outside Kansas City, filed the bill on December 3 for next year's legislative session.


Isis Excutes Women Who Refused to Marry Fighters

Isis continues to perpertuate violence against women as Turkish media have reported that at least 150 women were executed for refusing to marry militants of the extremist group in Iraq. The Independent that relays the news on its website reported that the militants had attacked women in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar before burying them in mass graves in Fallujah, according to a statement released by the country's Ministry of Human Rights. Some of the women killed were pregnant at the time, according to the Anadolu Agency.


Rev. Libby Lane Becomes Church of England's First Female Bishop 

The Rev Libby Lane, a parish priest from Crewe, has become the first female bishop for the Church of England, The Guardian reported Dec. 17. Her appointment brings to an end 22 years of resistance to the promotion of female priests.

Three Women Report Assault While Using Ride-Sharing Services in Boston

At least two of three women who police said were indecently assaulted Sunday while using ride-sharing services in Boston had ordered vehicles through Uber, according to authorities, The Boston Globe reported Dec. 17. As of Tuesday night the three incidents did not appear to be connected, police said.


Data Arrives on Rise of Early Marriage in War-Torn Iraq  
Human rights researchers concerned about the rise of child marriage in conflicts have gained data from Valeria Cetorelli, a PhD candidate in Demography at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her study in the December 2014 issue of Population and Development Review, quantifies that between 2003 and 2010, marriage in Iraq increased sharply among females in the youngest age groups, but little among older females.

Wal-Mart Must Pay $188 Million in Workers' Class Action

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Wal-Mart Stores to pay $188 million to employees who had sued the retailer for failing to compensate them for rest breaks and all hours worked, Reuters reported Dec. 16. Wal-Mart said on that it might appeal the decision, which upheld lower court rulings, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Against this backdrop, three legal organizations that brought a class action complaint against Wal-Mart earlier this year for discrimination against pregnant workers have filed a new EEOC charge against the superstore. The charge is on behalf of Candis Riggins, a former Walmart worker whose job responsibilities—including cleaning bathrooms with toxic chemicals—were causing her to become ill while she was pregnant. When Riggins asked for temporary relief of those duties, she was denied. Riggins called out sick a number of times, and was eventually fired.

Malala 'Heartbroken' by Pakistan School Attack
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, joint winner of this year's Nobel peace prize for her education campaign work, said she was "heartbroken" by the news that at least 126 people, mostly children, had been killed in a Taliban attack on a school in northwest Pakistan on Dec. 16, Reuters reported.  Malala, 17, was shot in the head on a school bus by the Taliban in 2012 and won global acclaim for her passionate advocacy of women's right to education.


Supreme Court Refuses to Limit Abortion Drug's Use

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked enforcement of an Arizona law aimed at limiting use of the increasingly popular abortion pill, NPR reported Dec. 15. In 2012 nearly half of the abortions in the state were via the pill, known as RU-486. The pill was approved by the FDA in 2000 for the first seven weeks of pregnancy and some with smaller doses can also be now used through the ninth week.The medication is increasingly popular as a cheaper and safer alternative to intrusive surgery, and it makes abortion available in areas where abortion clinics have had to close down under public pressure or new state laws. In reaction, some states have passed laws to limit the use of the pill; Arizona's forces doctors to use the pill only for the original, FDA-approved seven weeks.


N.Y. Democrat Pushes Bill to Help DV Victims Secure Public Housing

State Senator Jeffrey Klein, a Bronx Democrat, will introduce legislation next year that would make it easier for domestic violence victims to secure public housing, New York Observer reported Dec. 15. Klein, who is co-sponsoring the legislation, criticized the New York City Housing Authority for ranking domestic violence victims placed in shelters as a slightly lower priority for public housing than homeless families.


Hillary Clinton, Bloomberg Encourage Data Gathering to Help Women

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are backing an effort to gather data to help women and girls around the world, the Associated Press reported Dec. 15. Clinton and Bloomberg made their push on Dec. 15 at the Manhattan headquarters of the billionaire ex-mayor's charitable foundation. Clinton says women across the globe suffer due a lack of knowledge about their health, childbirth conditions and workplace roles. She says data gaps undermine the progress of women and girls. The initiative is called "Data 2x" and is the result of a partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Clinton Foundation and the United Nations Foundation. 

Saudi Woman Arrested for Attending Football Game
A Saudi woman who attended a football game in the kingdom was arrested, The Guardian reported Dec. 15. The woman claims that she did not know women were prohibited from going to the male-only stadiums. The newspaper Okaz, which first reported the news, described the woman as being in her twenties and who tried to "impersonate" a man by wearing pants, a long-sleeve top, a hat and sunglasses. Saudi Arabia enforces strict gender segregation and has no designated areas for women at football stadiums, though authorities have announced plans for “family” areas from where women can watch matches.
Number of Female Executives in Jewish Institutions Same than in 2009
The number of women in leadership roles is no better now in major national Jewish federations, service and advocacy groups and religious and educational institutions than it was five years ago, the Jewish Daily Forward publication reported Dec.15. When the Forward compiled its first list of executive salaries in communal institutions there were 11 in 2009 and there are 11 today.


Migrant Women Face 'Insurmountable' Obstacle to Travel for Abortion

The Irish Family Planning Association says migrant women are facing "insurmountable" obstacles in trying to travel abroad for an abortion, Newstalk reported Dec. 15. These include issues such as trying to find money to travel abroad or arrange travel documentation to leave and re-enter the country. An audit of its services shows 26 women who were seeking asylum here or had other travel restrictions contacted the group for help in the year to the end of September. At least five of these women continued with their pregnancy and parented against their wishes, it says.


WeNews starts releasing today its finding on the access to reproductive rights in Europe. Read first story here: France Pushes Abortion Beyond Its Borders


Women's Advocates Want More Female Officers

Women's advocates want more female police officers hired since they display less violence than male counterparts during arrests, MPR News reported Dec. 14. Women's advocates say that the gender of police officers needs to be part of the discussion that is occurring in many cities following the recent deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in Missouri and New York. In 2002 study conducted by the National Center for Women in Policing, researchers found that in several big city police departments, female officers were several times less likely than male officers to be named in excessive force complaints and lawsuits.


'She Taxis' Could Be One Solution to Keep Women Safe in India 

The alleged rape of a woman passenger by an Uber taxi driver once again spotlights the risks of India's transport system and one solution to keep woman safe is taxis by women for women. Last year, the southern state of Kerala launched 'She Taxis', a fleet of 40 pink taxis run by women, Reuters reported Dec. 15.  The taxis are equipped with wireless tracking gear and panic buttons linked to call centers. Now the service has become a model for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to replicate nationwide, its chief executive says. 



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