By Terri Judd
The Independent UK / Truthout
Monday 25 February 2008
Grinding poverty and the escalating war is driving an increasing number of Afghan families to sell their daughters into forced marriages.
Girls as young as six are being married into a life of slavery and rape, often by multiple members of their new relatives. Banned from seeing their own parents or siblings, they are also prohibited from going to school. With little recognition of the illegality of the situation or any effective recourse, many of the victims are driven to self-immolation – burning themselves to death – or severe self-harm.
Six years after the US and Britain “freed” Afghan women from the oppressive Taliban regime, a new report proves that life is just as bad for most, and worse in some cases. Continue reading
OMB Watch 9/25/07
All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA, recently announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation which began in June 2005 has now been closed. The IRS will not revoke the church’s tax-exempt status because of a 2004 anti-war, anti-poverty sermon delivered by its former pastor Rev. George F. Regas on the Sunday before the 2004 presidential election. However, the IRS concluded that the church in fact intervened in the election. While churches and other tax-exempt organizations are prohibited from endorsing or opposing political candidates, the 2004 sermon did not urge anyone to support either President Bush or Sen. John Kerry (D-MA).
All Saints released the Sept. 10 letter from the IRS, which concluded without explanation that “the Church intervened in the 2004 Presidential election campaign. We note this appears to be a one-time occurrence and that you have policies in place to ensure that the Church complies with the prohibition against intervention in campaigns for public office.” In response, the church has demanded an investigation of the IRS and an apology. Continue reading
By DAN KRISTIE
Staff Writer,Daily Local News, 1/25/08, p.A3
TREDYFFRIN â€” The library board met Tuesday night to discuss potentially illegal political activity which several people, in their capacity as volunteers for the Tredyffrin Library, engaged in just before the November 2007 election.
Such political activity, several board members said, could endanger the libraryâ€™s status as a nonprofit.
The Tredyffrin Library has obtained tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, and according to the IRS Web site, members of nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status are, when acting in their capacity as members, prohibited from engaging in activities â€œfor or against political candidates.â€
The incident that led to the library board discussion is this: the Tredyffrin Library is currently running a capital campaign that seeks to get private donors to give money toward renovations of its Strafford branch.
Two of the co-chairs of this capital campaign, Rod Ross and Anne McCollum, sent a politically charged letter to local papers a few weeks before the election. The third co-chair of the capital campaign, a Republican named Paul Olson, was then running for office. Continue reading