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Kaine Confident In Congressional Effort To End Military Sexual Assaults

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Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine says he has confidence in military commanders to handle the rampant sexual assault problem plaguing the military.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that an estimated 26,000 sexual assaults in the military last year is unacceptable. But Democrats are having an internal fight over how to curb the culture of abuse.

This week, Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin led an effort to defeat a measure to have independent prosecutors handle military rape cases, which infuriated the proposal's sponsors who say many service members don't report abuse out of fear of being punished by commanders.

Kaine sided with Levin and military commanders, arguing that relying on independent prosecutors would undermine Pentagon leaders. Kaine also says the proposal cast too wide of a net because it covered other crimes, like arson, perjury, and fraud.

"So before you do something so major and remove all of these crimes from the chain of command, you know, you really need to think about it," he says.

Levin's alternative proposal requires higher-level officers to review alleged sexual assault cases. Kaine is co-sponsoring a measure by Virginia's senior Democratic senator, Mark Warner, that they say would increase whistleblower protections for sexual assault victims.

WAMU 88.5

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

NPR

'Cup Noodles' Turns 45: A Closer Look At The Revolutionary Ramen Creation

Today instant ramen is consumed in at least 80 countries around the world and even considered popular currency in American prisons.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Scientists To Bid A Bittersweet Farewell To Rosetta, The Comet Chaser

To cap its 12-year scientific voyage, the Rosetta spacecraft will take a final plunge Friday. Scientists will signal Rosetta to crash into the surface of a comet — and gather data all the way down.

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