Today's Headline News

Senate Blocks GOP Bill to Halt Planned Parenthood Funding
The Senate blocked a Republican bill aiming to terminate federal funds for Planned Parenthood, the Associated Press reported Aug.3. The derailed legislation was the Republican response to videos, recorded secretly by anti-abortion activists, showing Planned Parenthood officials dispassionately discussing how they sometimes provide medical researchers with tissue from aborted fetuses. Mostly party-line vote was 53-46 to halt Democratic delays aimed at derailing the bill, seven short of the 60 votes the Republicans needed. Even so, the GOP is hoping to reap political gains because the videos have ignited the party's core conservative, anti-abortion voters.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren took the floor to issue a fierce defense of the health organization. "Do you have any idea what year it is?" Warren asked. "Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950's or the 1890's? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women's health care centers. You know, on second thought, maybe I shouldn't be that surprised. The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women's rights to make choices over our own bodies. Just look at the recent facts," Warren added as reported by Mother Jones
After weeks of vague comments, Hillary Clinton has also made her position on Planned Parenthood very clear and affirmed in her video her full support of the organization, POLITICO reported. “I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood, I’ll never stop fighting to protect the ability and right of every woman in this country to make her own health decisions,” Clinton said.

'Breast Are Not Weapons' Chant Hong Kong Protesters
In Hong Kong, dozens of angry citizens wore a bra in a demonstration against what they say is an absurd and sexist ruling: the sentencing of a female protester to three and a half months in prison for "assaulting a police officer" with her breast, CNN reported August 3rd. Ng Lai-ying's chest bumped the right arm of policeman Chan Ka-Po during a crowded protest against mainland Chinese border traders in March. Protesters who gathered outside the Wan Chai Police Headquarters in downtown Hong Kong chanted "breasts are not weapons" and said the ruling against Ng was ludicrous.

Women Risk Life at Calais Migrant Camp, Rohingya Sold into Marriage

While for years, it was the norm to see male migrants trying to cross the channel from France to reach UK, Medecins du Monde is saying that women and children are now turning up in large numbers at migrant camps in Calais for the first time. Jean-François Corty, director of French operations for Médecins du Monde, who runs a clinic in the camp, said that authorities are not doing enough to shelter and protect them. Women have been dying in the last days, he told The Guardian. The British newspaper reports the story of Syrian woman, Ahlem, 31, seven-month pregnant, who keeps trying to cross the channel to join her husband in UK despite all the risks. Another Eritrean pregnant woman of 22 weeks was not as lucky, The Guardian reported, and miscarried after felling off a moving lorry. 
Thousands of miles away, Rohingya women and girls are also suffering the consequences of a conflict. Hundreds of young Rohingya women from Myanmar sold into marriage to Rohingya men already in Malaysia as the price of escaping violence and poverty in their homeland, the New York Times reported Aug. 2nd. While some Rohingya women agree to such marriages to escape imprisonment or worse at the hands of smugglers, others are tricked or coerced. Some are only teenagers.

Pink Taxis Arrive in Egypt to Help Fight Sexual Harassment
Pink taxis have arrived in Egypt in an attempt to use them to protect women from sexual violence. The pink car experience lets women drive women to their destinations to protect them from potential sexual harassment or attacks, Al Monitor reported July 31. The cars are equipped with a GPS service to track the vehicle’s movement and a counter to calculate the fare. Similar taxis already exist in other countries like the United States, Turkey and France. Al-Monitor conducted several interviews and found a huge gap between supporters of this idea — which they consider an opportunity to limit harassment — and opponents, who believe it encourages further segregation of the sexes.

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