The Pentagon has linked leadership failure to violence at the base

WASHINGTON – Military bases with a high risk for sexual harassment, harassment and other malicious behavior often have leaders who do not understand the prevention of violence, do not prioritize it and do not pay more attention to their mission than their people, a Pentagon review has concluded.

The review studied 20 bases in the United States and Europe, with 18 of the commands having more serious problems identified in the climate survey. It was found that the failures were worse at several bases in Germany and Spain where the original leaders and resources were not on site. Senior defense officials described the report to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the results before the review was made public.

At the Spanish naval station Rota, for example, officials said the need for military missions was “given top priority and for the well-being of sailors.” They said sailors reported bullying, mental health problems, sexual harassment and relationship problems, but often could not seek help because of the need for their mission.

At one point, officials said they saw enlisted young men taking steps to help their female colleagues stay safe away from their harassing more senior leaders.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the report as part of his efforts to strengthen the prevention of sexual harassment and harassment across the military, identify programs that work, and ensure prompt attention to high-risk bases. Austin endorsed the report, and said in a memo obtained by the AP that it would help the department improve for bases where the need may change.

“While we have made progress, we need to do more to strengthen the integrated capacity of our soil to prevent sexual harassment, harassment, suicide, domestic violence and other harmful behaviors,” he said.

The report comes almost two years after the Army SPC. Vanessa Guillain went missing from Fort Hood, Texas, and her body was found two months later. Guillain was killed by a soldier who was told by his family that he had been sexually harassed and that he had killed himself when police tried to arrest him.

His death and many other crimes, murders and suicides led to higher investigations and multiple reviews on attacks and other violence in the military. An independent panel appointed by Austin last year made more than 80 recommendations, including specific changes to improve leadership accountability, command climate and culture, and victim care and assistance.

Officials say Austin’s goal is to find effective ways to prevent harmful behavior, including sexual harassment and harassment, suicide and domestic violence. They say this latest report is designed to point out which leadership and other failures contribute to higher examples of such behavior and which prevention programs and other changes actually work.

According to officials, 16 bases were selected because a command climate survey of about one million workers identified problems there, including issues such as reckless drinking, toxic leadership, stress and racial or sexual harassment. Although serious problems were identified at these 16 bases, the report looks at different factors for each location and does not specifically identify them as the worst in the military field.

Two more bases were chosen because the survey showed good results, such as high morale, inclusion and good leadership. The other two had a mix of both high-performance and problem units.

Officials say that in many cases there was a “widespread” misunderstanding of how leaders could do it, even if they had a genuine desire to prevent violence, and they often did not provide enough staff or time or hold subordinates accountable.

And even if they understood departmental policies, leaders often did not recognize when there was a high risk of violence or malicious behavior among their people.

In the United States, the bases surveyed were: Fort Custer, Michigan; Naval Support Activity Sarasota Springs, New York; Fort Pollock, Louisiana; Fort Bliss, Texas; Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia; Marine Corps Base Hawaii; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California; Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California; Dice Air Force Base, Texas; Vandenberg Space Force Base, California; Kentucky National Guard; And Army Reserve Base in Fraser, Michigan.

The last two – Kentucky and Michigan Guard and Reserve Base – were chosen because they had a lower risk and a more positive command climate.

Overseas bases were: Army Garrison Ansbach, Army Garrison Rhineland-Paftage Smith Barracks; Army Garrison Bavaria; Naval Station Rota; Army Garrison Stuttgart; And Army Garrison Rhineland-Palatinate, Kaiserslautern. Everyone is in Germany except Rota.

For example, the report found that Kentucky National Guard base leaders believed their troops came first, and that they were part of a “recovery mission, an adjunct effort that was not secondary.” In contrast, commanders in German and Spanish bases had “tolerated malicious behavior” and had difficulty accessing resources “due to mission requirements or geographical dispersal of services.”

The report said the changes proposed by the Independent Review Board would help solve the problem. These improvements include establishing a dedicated prevention workforce, sexual harassment prevention and response programs, and better leadership. The 2023 budget includes funding for additional staffing.

The report further recommends that the department establish data to help prevent military services and program support information sharing, holding leaders accountable if they do not have healthy command weather. Officials say leaders have a better understanding of prevention policies and programs and it is important to make sure service members and employees know where to get help.

Officials added that follow-up inspections will be conducted at the bases during this fall and similar sites will be inspected and reviewed every two years.

Austin is asking military service leaders to implement the plan in early June and said the department will issue more guidelines and policies in early October.

Panel 6 is the main name of the UN for investigating the climate efforts of the organizations

The head of the UN has announced the appointment of an expert panel to examine the agencies’ efforts to combat climate change.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “the government has the lion’s share of responsibility for achieving net zero emissions by the middle of the century,” adding that this is especially true for the 20 major emerging and industrialized economies that account for 80%. Greenhouse gas emissions.

“But we urgently need to discuss every business, investor, city, state and region in their net-zero commitment,” he said.

The 16-member panel will recommend before the end of the year the standards and definitions of net-zero targeting, how progress can be measured and verified, and ways to translate it into international and national regulations.

In addition to examining the private sector’s net-zero commitment, it will also examine commitments made by local and regional governments that do not report directly to the UN but will not “name and shame” individual companies, says UN climate envoy Selwyn Hart.

The panel includes prominent Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, South Africa-based sustainable finance expert Malango Mughogho and former longtime governor of the People’s Bank of China Zhou Jiaochuan.

McKenna urged businesses not to view the Net-Zero promise as “getting out of jail-free cards” and said he supported the idea of ​​incorporating all emissions from the company’s products into the new standards.

An outside expert called the creation of the new panel “extremely stable”, noting that goals such as “Net Zero” are interpreted differently by companies and executives.

Think tanks have recently reviewed a number of large companies and found “a number of complex issues with net-zero commitment, many of which are confusing customers, regulators and shareholders,” said Harry Firenehoff, a policy analyst at the Nuclimate Institute.

Nonprofit Carbon Market Watch’s Giles Dufrasne also welcomed the new UN expert group, but called for it to issue clear and meaningful recommendations.

“Just like the goals it aims to control, this group needs to go from word to action and provide strict standards that end green washing,” he said.

A report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month found that more than three billion people worldwide were already at risk of global warming.

The panel will release another report next week that will confirm that the world is not on track to meet its goal of 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) temperature rise by the end of the century, which was set in 2015. Paris Climate Agreement.

“If we don’t see significant and sustainable emissions declines in this decade, the window of opportunity to keep 1.5 alive will be closed – forever,” Guterres said. “And it will be a disaster for everyone.”


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About 300 Texas defendants released due to computer error

Officials say the release of about 300 Houston-area defendants was ordered when a computer error prevented them from attending the primary court hearing within the time required by state law.

HOUSTON – Nearly 300 Houston-area defendants were ordered released after a computer error prevented them from getting a primary court hearing within the time required by state law, according to officials.

Under Texas law, defendants typically cannot be detained for more than 24 hours in a misdemeanor case and 48 hours in a criminal case. The error prevented the accused from appearing before a magistrate judge for a probable cause during this period.

The public defender’s office filed a motion to release the defendants because they did not appear before a magistrate judge within the required time. Proposals are granted. Most of the released accused have been arrested on non-violent charges.

In a letter to local law enforcement, the district attorney’s office said officers would have to re-file charges and some individuals may need to be re-arrested. It is not clear how many cases need to be refilled.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the breach occurred after a necessary system update, and Rick Noriga of Harris County Universal Services, the organization that manages the county’s technical problems, described the breach as “minimal.”

Officials say the system has crashed for the fifth time since August.

“The safety of the public, the security of our criminal justice system and the effectiveness of our courts demand that County Universal Services provide the resources to fix this and ensure it never happens again,” said Dan Schiller, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.

Valves will be needed in the new U.S. pipeline to prevent catastrophe

U.S. officials are adopting a long-delayed rule aimed at reducing deaths and environmental damage from oil and gas pipeline ruptures.

Billings, Mont. – U.S. officials on Monday adopted a long-delayed rule aimed at reducing deaths and environmental damage from oil and gas pipeline ruptures in response to deadly explosions and widespread outbreaks in California, Michigan and other states.

But security attorneys say the U.S. Department of Transportation’s move does not prevent accidents that prompted the rule because it only applies to new pipelines – and not the few thousand miles that have already crossed the country.

As a rule, companies are required to install valves that can quickly stop the flow of oil, natural gas or other hazardous fuels if the pipeline ruptures. It came in response to a massive gas explosion in San Bruno, California, which killed eight people in 2010 and spilled large amounts of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and the Yellowstone River in Montana, among others.

To reduce the severity of accidents, since 1990 the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended the use of automatic or remote controlled valves in large pipelines – whether existing or new – to reduce the severity of accidents.

But pipeline companies resisted the need for new valves because of the cost and concerns of installing them, which could cause them to shut down accidentally and cut off fuel supplies.

Transportation Secretary Pete Butigig said the industry needed tougher regulations because many people were affected by the pipeline failure.

He said the installation of the valve would also protect against the large release of methane, an extremely powerful greenhouse gas that helps drive climate change.

“Today we are taking an important step to protect communities from dangerous pipeline leaks – preventing over-polluting methane leaks as well as helping save lives, property and jobs in every part of the country.” Dr. Butigig.

The Pipeline Safety Trust, a Bellingham-based Washington-based advocacy group, says the rule has made progress since Congress enacted more stringent pipeline regulations more than a decade ago.

But the group said the pipelines were already on the ground, meaning it would not prevent a recurrence of the accident in San Bruno, which involved a pipeline more than 60 years old.

Bill Carram, executive director of the Safety Trust, said: “This rule is much lower than the NTSB recommendation and would not provide any additional protection for the community living near existing pipelines.”


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Five fetuses were found inside the DC home of an anti-abortion worker

Police have found five fetuses in the home of a self-proclaimed “anti-abortion activist” who was accused by federalists of being part of a group of people blocking access to Washington, D.C.

The Metropolitan Police Department said officers were responding to a tip about “potential bio-hazardous material” at a home in southeastern Washington on Wednesday when they found five fetuses inside.

The station, which reported the first discovery, Handy told a reporter that “people would be scared to hear” what detectives had found inside his home. Handy did not respond to a request for comment on his Facebook profile.

Police say five fetuses have been collected by medical examiners in Washington and an investigation is underway.

In the complaint, prosecutors say Handy pretended to be a potential patient and called the clinic to schedule an appointment. Once there, on October 22, 2020, eight of the accused suspects pushed their way in and started slamming the door, according to the complaint. Five of them tied chairs together in chairs to block the treatment area because others blocked the entrance to the staff to prevent other patients from entering, the complaint alleges. Other suspects were prevented from entering the waiting room, prosecutors allege.

Handy and eight others were charged with conspiracy against rights and violation of freedom of entry under the Clinic Access Act. Federal law, commonly known as FACE law, prohibits the use of physical force or threats to intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health care.

Kentucky, Arizona go ahead with 15-week abortion ban

Arizona and Kentucky move toward 15-week abortion ban A Supreme Court ruling in June could determine the fate of the system in the United States.

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducie signed a bill into law Wednesday after the Arizona Legislature passed it without a single Democrat vote last week.

Arizona law only provides exemptions for medical emergencies when continuing pregnancy “creates a significant risk of significant and irreversible disruption of a major physical activity” for the mother.

It does not include any exemptions for rape or incest.

“In Arizona, we know every life has immense value – including prenatal life,” Dusi, a Republican, wrote in a letter announcing the signing of the bill. “I believe it is the responsibility of every state to protect them.”

Dusi was very vocal about her opposition to abortion, and since she took office in 2015, she has signed every piece of anti-abortion law that has crossed her desk.

“This bill stigmatizes and embarrasses our patients who love their bodies and their lives,” Brittany Fonteno, president of Arizona Planned Parenthood Advocates, told ABC News. “We know this is a political move to deprive the people of their rights. It is not based on any medical evidence and politicians should not play the role of doctors.”

Under the law, women cannot be sued for abortion, but doctors who perform abortions after 15 weeks will face criminal charges and see their medical licenses suspended or revoked.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky state legislature on Tuesday passed a similar ban, along with other abortion bans.

Any drug used for abortion, known as HB3 – a nonsurgical procedure typically used up to 10 weeks into pregnancy – must be provided by a physician who is licensed to practice the drug and is in good standing with Kentucky.

A personal examination is required at least 24 hours in advance, during which women are informed of any risks. Medicines cannot be sent by mail.

Abortion lawyers say it will prevent many women, especially low-income ones, from accessing abortion if they have to go to a clinic to receive it.

Tamara Weeder, state director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates-Kentucky, told ABC News, “Those who have the means will always be able to access abortion; they can carry planes, hotel rooms.” “But those who live in poor, rural communities, far from care, are already going to be more deprived. It’s a huge burden for those who have work or school holidays to find child care and make sure they can carry gas.” . “

Additionally, the bill would require that physicians provide abortions and that a state-run “complaints portal” be set up so that people can report anonymous abortion providers who are violating the program.

Meg Stern, director of the abortion support fund of an advocacy group, the Kentucky Health Justice Network, said it could be sued by people who have personal revenge against abortion providers.

She added that she had been harassed as a volunteer clinic escort at the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, one of only two abortion providers in Kentucky.

“I’ve been physically abused, I’ve been followed, my picture has been posted on social media, my address has been leaked – and I’m just a volunteer escort and an abortion fundraiser,” Stern said. “I’m not giving people drugs, I’m not having abortions, but I’m accessible, so we think what about suppliers? It’s creating a headhunter-like situation.”

Weeder agrees, calling it a “hit list” that could hurt abortion providers.

Several other states, including Texas and Idaho, have banned abortion.

Currently, it is unconstitutional to prohibit abortion before a fetus is effective – between 22 and 26 weeks. States hope the Supreme Court will change that.

In June, the court will review the 15-week ban in Mississippi and see if it is constitutional. If the court decides the bill is constitutional, it could mean Row v. Wade is either repealed or fundamentally weak.

“My personal opinion is that lawmakers in Kentucky are convinced that the Scots will turn into guts, if not destroy, Rowe v. Wade,” Stern said. “And they’re counting. Even if it doesn’t happen, Texas Row has shown a way to ban abortion.”

The size of the COVID package may shrink to $ 10B as negotiations continue

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says a bipartisan package to cut new spending on the fight against Covid-19 could drop to 10 billion.

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the size of a bipartisan package to cover the new cost of tackling Covid-19 could shrink, and that the Chamber’s top Democrats could cut prices.

Negotiators have been working for weeks to revive the 15.6 billion deal earlier this month. It fell apart after House Democrats refused to cut back on epidemic aid to states to help pay for it, and parties split over how both sides could save.

The new money will be for the purchase of vaccines, treatments and tests, which the administration says are running low, and even more contagious Omicron variant BA.2 is spreading rapidly in the United States and abroad.

“It’s still a kind of work, but until last night, it looked like it would be less than 15 to 10,” McConnell, R-Ky., Said in an interview with Punchbowl News.

A few minutes later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer went to the Senate floor and suggested a similar approach, although he did not mention any statistics.

“I’m urging my Republican colleagues to join us,” Schumer told DN.Y. “We want more than you, but we have to do something. We have to do something.”

Republicans have demanded that the measure be paid for by bringing back epidemic funds that were approved in previous relief measures but have not yet been spent. Bargainers on both sides said they were divided on how to do it.

McConnell says Democrats are saving about $ 100 billion, “reluctant to find another বিল 5 billion,” which has not yet been spent. Democrats say the cuts that Republicans are pushing for are unreasonable, such as reconsidering cuts already rejected in state aid.

McConnell said that reducing the size of the bill could mean omitting one-third of the measurements taken for vaccines and treatment abroad, “which I think is terribly unfortunate.”

Schumer said the difference between the two sides was “very narrow.” But he acknowledged the need to win GOP support in 50-50 chambers, where 60 votes are needed to pass most major bills.

“We want a lot more money than our Republican counterparts,” Schumer said. But in order to pass something through the Senate, we have to reach 60 votes. And so we’re going to emphasize that as much as possible. “

Biden initially requested $ 22.5 billion for the effort.

Asked if he thought an agreement could be reached before lawmakers leave, McConnell said: “We’ll see. I hope so. “

LGBTQ groups have sued Florida over the so-called ‘don’t say gay’ law

Gay rights advocates are suing Florida Governor Ron Descentis over a new law banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten until third grade.

The law puts Florida and Desantis, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024, at the forefront of the country’s cultural war. Critics call it the “don’t call it gay” law and argue that its real purpose is to marginalize LGBTQ people and their families.

The challenge, filed in federal court in Tallahassee on behalf of Equality Florida and Family Equality, alleges that the law violates the constitutionally protected freedom of speech, equal protection, and appropriate process rights for students and families.

“This attempt to control young minds through state censorship – and to deny their reality by degrading LGBTQ life – is a serious abuse of power,” the lawsuit states.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed that LGBTQ people and their families are at home under our constitutional mandate. The state of Florida has no right to declare them outcasts, or to treat their allies as outsiders, punishing schools where anyone dares to assert their identity and dignity, ”the lawsuit states.

The law intentionally imposes broad terms and invites arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, giving parents the power to censor censors who can sue the school board for damages based on a perceived violation, the lawsuit added.

The law states: “Classroom instruction by school staff or third parties regarding sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten in grade 3 or in a way that is not age-appropriate or developmental for students according to state standards.” Parents will be able to sue the districts for violations.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona met Thursday with LGBTQ students and their families at a school in Orlando to discuss in private how the law is affecting their lives. Cardona’s visit was one of several events in the Biden administration on Thursday that showed support for the Cuarre community, including a presidential announcement recognizing the visibility of Transgender Day.

DeSantis and other Republicans have repeatedly called the rules reasonable, saying children should learn about their parents’ sexual orientation and gender identity from their parents, not from school.

“We will ensure that parents can send their children to school for education, not an instinct,” the governor said at the signing of the law this week.

Many critics say the language of the law, especially the phrases “classroom instruction” and “age appropriate”, can be so broadly interpreted that any grade discussion could trigger a lawsuit, creating a classroom environment where teachers would avoid the subject altogether.

The bill, introduced this year in Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature, drew strong public reaction, with the White House, Hollywood celebrities, students, Democrats and LGBTQ advocates condemning the policy. Legal challenges expected.

Kaplan seeks to prevent the Hacker & Fink LLP and the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ filing law from taking effect, and names Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and other education officials as defendants.

“Meanwhile, our kids have told us they’re afraid they won’t be able to talk about their families at school,” Dan and Brent Vantis, parents of two first-graders, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “We are sorry that our children are already feeling isolated and stigmatized by this law.”

Andrew Spurr, president of the Florida Education Association Union, said the law is politically motivated because elementary schools, especially kindergarten through third grade, do not teach these subjects and the standard of the classroom curriculum is state curriculum.

The law adds fuel to an endless feud between Descentis and Democratic President Joe Biden, who tweeted after signing the Descentis bill this week that “my administration will continue to fight for dignity and opportunity for every student and family in Florida and across the country.” Says his agency will monitor for consequences of any federal civil rights violations.

The DOJ has extended the January 6 investigation to include plans for the ‘Save America’ rally

Investigators are examining the rally that took place before the Capitol attack.

Multiple sources told ABC News that the judiciary is expanding its criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 incidents to include preparations for a hurricane rally in the U.S. Capitol, as well as funding for the event.

Over the past two months, a grand jury subpoena has been sent to the White House to assist in organizing and planning former President Donald Trump’s “Save America” ​​rally in Ellipse, sources said.

News of the expansion of the investigation was first published by the Washington Post.

The subponas are wide open to people with knowledge of the event, sources said. Prosecutors are looking for multiple records and documents related to the rally, including text messages and emails, as well as possible contact with other people involved in the delivery of the event.

Judicial officials declined to comment to ABC News.

Subponas do not indicate injustice, and a source said that some subponas were sent with a clear indication that the request was for witness testimony and cooperation.

“In a situation like January 7, a full account is not suddenly implemented. To ensure that all those responsible for the crime are held accountable, we must gather evidence,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a January 5 speech. Years after the Capitol attack.

“We follow physical evidence. We follow digital evidence. We follow meaning. But most importantly, we follow truth – no agenda or conjecture. Events tell us where to go next,” Garland said.

Extreme weather has killed at least two people in 30 tornadoes in seven states

The death was reported Thursday in Washington County, Florida.

Two people were killed Thursday in Panhandle, Florida, when their mobile home was destroyed by a suspected tornado, one of about 30 that wreaked havoc across seven southern and midwestern states, officials said.

The first death in Washington County, Florida, was caused by a severe weather outbreak that began Tuesday night.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said two mobile homes were destroyed, and the two dead were inside one of them, according to the ABC-authorized station WMBB in Panama City. The sheriff’s office said two more people from the destroyed second mobile home were injured.

The deadly episode came after the National Weather Service issued a new tornado watch warning from Florida’s coastal Appalachia to Georgia’s Valdosta early Thursday morning.

Severe weather bands continue to move east and north, issuing severe weather warnings along the east coast, with forecasts of potentially damaging winds Thursday evening for New York City, Trenton, NJ and parts of eastern Pennsylvania.

At least 29 tornadoes were reported in seven states on Tuesday night and throughout Wednesday in the face of severe weather from the Rocky Mountains, according to the National Weather Service. Funnel clouds were reported in Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Missouri.

A twister that ripped through Springdale, Ark on Wednesday, injured seven people and caused extensive damage to an elementary school. The NWS reported that the Springdale tornado was a powerful EF-3 on the extended Fujita scale and produced winds of up to 145 miles per hour.

In addition to the tornado, severe weather was followed by harmful winds that tore down the roofs of homes, barns and businesses and uprooted trees.

In Louisiana, strong winds and wreckage were blamed for reduced visibility due to a pile of three cars on a highway near Iowa that caused several minor injuries, according to the Iowa Police Department.

At least 10 twisters have been reported across Mississippi, and large trees have collapsed due to strong winds outside Jackson’s governor’s mansion.

At least three tornadoes have hit central Alabama, including one in Shelby County, overturning a mobile home, rescuing one trapped inside, according to the ABC-authorized station WBMA in Birmingham.

A twister also went down in Montevalo, Alabama on Wednesday night, ripping off the roof of a Montevalo University dormitory and injuring one, according to the Montevalo Police Department.

“We are grateful that there was a spring break this week and very few people were on campus during tonight’s storm,” university officials said in a statement.

ABC News’ Max Golembo, Puri, Alexander, Griffin, Melissa Griffin and Whitney Lloyd contributed to this report.