South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye, was sworn in Monday. Her election was an historic event for a country where women earn forty percent less than men, and women's groups hope that Park's presidency will include many advances in gender equity. She has nominated two women for Cabinet posts so far.
The current priority for the president is dealing with North Korea's atomic February 12th detonation test. Park recently denounced the test as "a challenge to the survival and future of the Korean people" and urged Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, to shift its efforts from violence to peace. In a speech she stated that North Korea poses an immense threat to itself first and foremost with its testing of atomic and nuclear technology. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea]stated that the February 12th test was meant to make South Korea and its American allies think twice before attempting to control the DPRK. Park has promised firm reform in relations with North Korea. World powers are waiting to see if Park will pursue a more aggressive policy with North Korea than her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak.
Media Resources: Sources: Associated Press by way of TIME 2/24/2013; Associated Press by way of Washington Post 2/24/2013; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/21/2012
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .