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US Attacks Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia Attacks Yemen, EPAs Pesticide Rules, Poll on Planned Parenthood

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, author and a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

A day after the Taliban claimed control of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, the US military dropped a bomb and paved the way for Afghan government forces to attempt to re-take it from the ground. Kunduz is Afghanistan’s sixth largest city and the battle between the Taliban and US-backed forces is being fought dangerously close to populated residential areas. The Taliban offensive undermines US claims that the 14-year war has made progress. Meanwhile the US is backing another war – in Yemen. Saudi Arabia, which has been fighting a deadly war against the Houthi rebellion in Yemen, struck a wedding party yesterday in a move reminiscent of deadly US strikes on Afghan wedding parties. So far 131 Yemenis have been declared killed, making it the deadliest strike since the war began in March. Eighty of those killed were women. The air strike was reportedly a mistake. Saudi forces are receiving logistical and intelligence support from US military advisers.Click here for a Washington Post article about Afghanistan and here for a New York Times article about Yemen.

A US Agency has just released new rules aimed at human exposure to pesticides on farms. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Worker Protection Standard on Monday requiring that only workers over the age of 18 rather than 16 could apply pesticides and that farmworkers would now have whistleblower protections and access to records over exposure to hazardous chemicals. The rules are the result of years of protests and lobbying by the United Farm Workers (UFW) to undo the exemptions that the mostly immigrant and non-white workforce faced under existing federal protections. UFW worked closely with EPA officials to craft the rules. The news comes just days after the 50th anniversary of the Delano farmworker strike led by Cesar Chavez and his allies in California. The rules do not apply to family farms.Click here for a Huffington Post article, and here for an NBC News article about the story.

As the battle over defunding Planned Parenthood continues to rage, a new poll by USA Today and Suffolk University has found that a majority of Americans support the organization’s federal funding. Sixty-five percent of Americans surveyed feel that the federal government should continue to fund women’s healthcare through Planned Parenthood but responses were dramatically polarized by party affiliation. Among survey respondents who identified as Democrat, 91% supported the funding, whereas 59% of those who say they were Republican thought Planned Parenthood should continue to get the support. That 59% number among Republicans is not reflected by GOP leaders who are relatively united in their push to cut funds. Click here for a USA Today article about the story.