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The case of Brittany Clardy, a St. Paul teen killed in 2013, helped inspire the panel's formation. Photo courtesy of the Clardy family

Minnesota will soon launch what appears to be the nation's first state-level panel to address the disproportionately high rates of violence against Black women.

Why it matters: Black women die of homicide at twice the rate of women in general, per the CDC. Recent death data suggests the trend holds here.

  • But cases involving Black women tend to receive less attention from law enforcement, media and the public, said Rep. Ruth Richardson, the Mendota Heights Democrat who proposed the idea.

How it works: The Task Force on Missing and Murdered African American Women, approved as part of a public safety budget bill, will be modeled after the state's recent work on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

  • A 12-person panel, made up of representatives from the courts, law enforcement and victims' advocacy groups, will come up with policy recommendations to address the issue by December 2022.

What they're saying: Richardson told Axios she hopes the task force accomplishes more than just "another shiny report."

  • "It really is truly a public health crisis and it's one that there just hasn't been a bright light shone on," she said. "We hope this is a moment that not only moves us forward in Minnesota, but sets a standard for other states."

Of note: The case of Brittany Clardy — an 18 year old from St. Paul who was killed and left in a car in 2013 — was a driving force behind the proposal.

  • Clardy's family testified at a legislative hearing that they believe a swifter response to their missing persons report could've saved her life.
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Go deeper

Sep 19, 2021 - World

Taliban forces Kabul's female city employees out of their jobs

Afghan female activists gather in Kabul to protest against Taliban restrictions on Sept. 19. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

New restrictions issued by the Taliban on Sunday will force the majority of Kabul's female municipal workers out of their jobs, the Associated Press reported.

Why it matters: Despite the Taliban's efforts to cast a more tempered image this time around, vowing to respect women's rights within Islamic "frameworks," the restrictions are the latest sign the group is returning to the oppressive tactics it used when last in power, from 1996 to 2001.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
54 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China vows end to building coal-fired power plants abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Mary Altaffer - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that his country "will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad" and plans to boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Why it matters: The pledge, if maintained, would mark a breakthrough in efforts to transition global power away from the most carbon-emitting fuel.

House Democrats strip Iron Dome money from government funding bill

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats on Tuesday stripped $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome defense system from its short-term government funding bill after backlash from progressives, people familiar with the decision tell Axios.

Why it matters: There has never a situation where military aid for Israel was held up because of objections from members of Congress. While the funding will get a vote in its current defense bill, the clash underscores the deep divisions within the Democratic party over Israel.