By Karen James
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became Africa's first elected woman president after winning Liberia's presidential election Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. She declared victory Thursday night, despite claims from her opponent, George Weah, that her campaign stuffed ballot boxes and tainted the election results. Election monitors have found no signs of fraud.
Johnson-Sirleaf received 59 percent of the tally to Weah's 41 percent with 97 percent of the vote counted in the first election Liberia has held since the end of its 14-year civil war. Johnson-Sirleaf told the BBC Friday that she would still offer Weah a position in her government after the election dispute is settled, adding that his background as a soccer star and his popularity with Liberia's youth are valuable political assets. Before the election, the new president-elect told Women's eNews her victory would benefit women across the African continent by opening the doors of leadership to all.
"Liberian Becomes Africa's First Elected Female Prez":
Planned Parenthood's Fill My Pills Now:
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An amendment to fund an investigation of the Food and Drug Administration's delay in approving Plan B emergency contraception for over-the-counter sales was withdrawn last week by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash, the trade newsletter FDA Week reported. Murray's action came after Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn proposed an investigation into the Clinton-era approval of the abortion pill RU-486. Coburn's office suggested that Murray withdrew her proposal for fear of a vote on both amendments.
"There is a huge difference between RU-486 and Plan B," Murray's spokesperson responded. "They are not the same drug and they don't do the same thing. Coburn was trying to muddle them and this is not fair to the health community and not fair to women around the country."
On Thursday, House Republicans postponed a vote on the $51 billion-spending cut bill--which originally included the Murray and Coburn amendments--after it became clear that divisiveness within its own party would prevent the bill from passing, the Los Angeles Times reported. Proposed cuts could affect child support enforcement programs, food stamps, child care subsidies and Medicaid benefits.
A Tokyo underwear manufacturer announced that Japanese women can stay warm this winter by wearing its new Warm Biz Bra, named after a government campaign to encourage energy savings, the Associated Press reported. The bra features removable pads that can be heated in the microwave or in warm water and has long furry straps that double as a scarf. Matching shorts are available.
-- Allison Stevens contributed to this report.
Karen James is a Women's eNews intern and master's candidate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Allison Stevens is Washington bureau chief for Women's eNews.
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