cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
Broken Clouds
H 86° L 69°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 69°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 69°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 88° L 62°

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Does chain of command fit in military sex assault cases?

An amendment that would overhaul the military’s sexual assault policies just got hit with a potentially big roadblock.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she has the support of 45 senators on a measure that would take the military chain of command OUT of the prosecution of sexual assault crimes. (Via YouTube / Kirsten E. Gillibrand)

The problem? 45 votes is a bit far from the 60 she just found out she’s probably gonna need. See, normally a bill like that would just need a 51-vote majority.

Read more trending stories

But Michigan Democrat Carl Levin — who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee — thinks the vote will prove too controversial and end up needing 60 to avoid a filibuster. (Via Fora TV)

The idea behind taking the chain of command out of the process is so victims aren’t afraid of repercussions for reporting incidents of alleged sexual assault to their superiors.

Last year there were 4,000 such reports — and only 191 convictions.

VICTIM: “I reported it two different times to my squad leader, and he told me there was nothing he could do about it because I didn’t have proof.” (Via PBS)

And activists say there were more than 25,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact and sexual assault in 2012 — but that victims are often too scared to report them. Thing is — there’s actually not a lot of disagreement about whether the issue requires attention. 

“How many women and men are being raped and sexually assaulted? Are you friggin kidding me? Why is one and 10 going to trial and why is only 1 in 100 only resulting in conviction?” (Via ABC)

Hearings over the summer on the problem of military sexual assaults featured bipartisan outrage — and admissions from top military brass that more could be done. (Via YouTube / SenatorJohnMcCain)

But whether that includes taking the chain of command OUT of the prosecution of the crimes could end up being a real sticking point.

Gillibrand — a Democrat — has the support of Tea Party senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on the issue. (Via U.S. News & World Report)

But South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham recently told Politico he was “dead set” against it: “You can’t fix any problem in the military where you exclude the commander.”

There’s a split within the ranks of the Senate’s female Democrats as well.

Missouri’s Claire McCaskill has campaigned against the amendment. Rather than completely take out the chain of command, she’s advocating taking away commanders’ ability to overturn jury verdicts. (Via YouTube / SenatorMcCaskill)

We should note top military leaders have come out in opposition of the amendment — which has previously failed to pass the Armed Services Committee. It’s expected to get another vote soon though — as an amendment to a military spending bill. According to the latest count from The New York Times, as many as 30 senators remain undecided.

- See more at newsy.com.  

Read More

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • For the first time in history, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched a recycled rocket back into Earth’s orbit — a milestone that could drastically cut the cost of traveling into space and pave the way for a new era in space travel. The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center Thursday evening on the historic reflight. It's the first time SpaceX founder Elon Musk has tried to fly a salvaged booster. The first stage landed on an ocean platform almost a year ago after a launch for NASA.  According to SpaceX, a “rapidly reusable space launch vehicle” could reduce the cost of traveling to space by a hundredfold in the future. >> Related: SpaceX capsule returns space station science to Earth, lands in Pacific Ocean The part of the rocket that is being recycled is its main body, which separates from the top part of the rocket and then barrels back to Earth, NBC News reported. So far, after 13 attempts, SpaceX has successfully returned eight rockets back to Earth. But the Falcon 9 rocket launch will be the company’s first time reusing the same booster. >> Read more trending news Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, a SpaceX rival, was the first to launch and land the same rocket twice with its New Shepard rocket in 2016.
  • Billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company Blue Origins has released detailed images of the space capsule it plans to use to take paying customers into suborbital flight some 60 miles above the earth. The new capsule will be mounted on top of the private space company’s reusable New Shepherd rocket, according to a mass email update Bezos, the man behind both Blue Origins and Amazon, sent out on Wednesday. >> Read more trending news In the email, Bezos shared illustrations of the capsule mock-up, which features “the largest windows ever in space,” where “every seat’s a window seat,” he said. The windows make up one-third of the entire capsule, so that those on board can immerse themselves in “the vastness of space and life-changing views of our blue planet,” Blue Origins said on its website. The interior measures 530 square feet and includes six leather reclining seats with Blue Origin feather logos. Small video screens are mounted next to each window. In the photos, you can also see passengers donning Blue Origin pullovers, their 'launch suits.' Jeff Bezos said the company is on track to start taking paying customers to space as early as 2018, the Verge reported. Last month, SpaceX’s Elon Musk also announced plans to send two private citizens around the moon. While pricing for the approximately 10-minute Blue Origin flight into space hasn’t been disclosed, Ars Technica estimates tickets will likely cost between $100,000 and $200,000.  The capsule mock-up and the New Shepard reusable booster will be on display at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs on April 3-6, Bezos said.  
  • Florida authorities used a victim’s iCloud account to track down three accused armed robbers at a Denny’s restaurant. The victim agreed to meet the suspects, identified as Ellis Colon de la Rosa, Rafael Mayeta Castillo and Nomar Sanchez Figueroa, on Monday night to show the men electronics he was trying to sell, according to WPLG.  >> Read more trending news When the North Bay Village man got into Figueroa’s car with iPhones, sunglasses and laptops, one of the suspects allegedly put a gun to his head while the other two men took the electronics. The three suspects then drove around with the victim, and before letting him go, threatened to kill him if he went to authorities, news outlets reported. Despite the threat, the victim went to police anyway and reported the crime, investigators said. >> Related: Florida man stalks girlfriend, makes 46 calls in 11 hours Authorities used the victim’s stolen iPhone to track the suspects back to a Denny’s in Coral Gables. Police searched Figueroa’s car and found the victim’s stolen property. The three suspects were arrested and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed kidnapping. The suspects are jailed without bail.
  • A Jacksonville man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for receiving sexual abuse videos of children over the Internet. A search warrant was executed on 58-year-old Richard Lord’s Jacksonville home in September 2016. Prosecutors say, while speaking with investigators, Lord admitted to using his cellphones to search for, download, and view child porn. Court records say Lord “constantly” searched for child porn and couldn’t control himself, specifically targeting media with 10 to 12-year-old children.  Investigators found six videos on Lord’s cellphones showing the sexual abuse of young children.  After Lord’s seven year three month sentence in federal prison, he will serve a lifetime of supervision and register as a sex offender.
  • He’s accused of fleeing law enforcement on multiple occasions at high rates of speed.  The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says they have identified a reckless motorcyclist, on the same day they put a call out for public tips to track the suspect down. The motorcyclist has been the subject of numerous complaints to law enforcement. Both citizens and police officers say this person makes gestures toward anyone who tries to stop him or speak with him.  SJSO says the motorcyclist has been spotted around US 1 South and SR 312 westbound, heading toward 207 and then north on South Holmes Blvd. He’s also known to be in the St. Augustine Beach area, and has been seen on the 312 bridge early in the morning.  The driver is described as a white male in his late 20s to early 30s, with a distinctive tattoo on his right arm. The motorcycle is believed to be a black Yamaha R6 sport bike, but the tag has apparently been tampered with so it’s difficult to read.  Investigators will be following up with the suspect. They’re thanking the community for all of the tips that were submitted.

The Latest News Videos