President Obama Signs Defense Bill Expanding Efforts to Prevent Military Sexual Assault
Late last week, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), which expands efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthens protections for victims.
Under the new law, any individual in the military who sexual assaults another will face dishonorable discharge, and commanders will not be able to overturn jury decisions. Legal assistance will be provided for victims, and retaliation against a victim will be punished.
The inclusion of efforts to prevent sexual assault and improve protections for victims comes after a long campaign led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and activist groups. The Senate is expected to vote on another potential improvement, Sen. Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), this month. The Act, which will take the decision of whether to prosecute sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and give it to independent, objective, trained military prosecutors, was supposed to be included in the NDAA, but will instead be voted on as a stand-alone measure.
1/27/2016 Taiwan Elects First Woman President - In a landslide victory, the leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen won the country's presidential election, becoming the first woman in Taiwan's history to hold the position.
Emphasizing her party's commitment to maintaining Taiwan's independence from China, Tsai won over young voters eager to usher in a political changing of the guard following some 70 years of dominance by the pro-Chinese unification party, the Kuomintang (KMT), chaired by presidential opponent Eric Chu. . . .