Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have proposed a bill that would give the state legislature the authority to establish a state religion and allow prayer in public institutions such as schools.
House Joint Resolution 494 challenges the authority of the United States Constitution and the First Amendment, which guarantees the separation of church and state. The bill reads [PDF], "SECTION 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion. SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion."
The bill was proposed by Representative Carl Ford (R-China Grove) and Harry Warren (R-Salisbury) in response to a lawsuit to stop Rowan County commissioners from beginning meetings with a Christian prayer.
Media Resources: Associated Press 4/4/2013; Huffington Post 4/3/2013; House Joint Resolution 494 4/1/2013
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .