As a new academic year begins, troubles continue to plague two of the nation's prestigious military academies already embroiled in sexual assault scandals. Last weekend, police cited three US Air Force Academy cadets for underage drinking with two high school girls in a Colorado Springs hotel. On Monday, an arrest affidavit was released for David Phillip Hawkins, 21, a senior cadet charged with raping a nearly unconscious, drunken woman in his pickup truck. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 26. This Thursday, junior cadet Robert C. Graham II will face a court-martial for allegedly using and distributing Ecstasy and a similar hallucinogenic drug, the Associated Press reported. Graham faces academy dismissal and a maximum 25-year prison sentence should he be convicted.
Meanwhile two midshipmen at the US Naval Academy have resigned, under allegations of raping two female classmates last year. Todd Thurston, 20, and Eric Bailey, 23, are accused of serving alcohol to minors and raping one woman and two women, respectively in their dormitory. Their attorney, William Ferris, told the AP the Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt has recommended acceptance of their resignations.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .