Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Defense secretary backs removing sex assault prosecutions from military justice system

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Tuesday that he supports changes to the military justice system in cases of sexual assault.

Why it matters: This is the first time Austin has publicly commented on a Senate bill proposing the overhaul to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which would see independent military prosecutors replaced commanders in deciding whether to try serious criminal cases in court.


  • Failure to address sexual assault has plagued the military for years, and it became a national issue after Vanessa Guillén's death in 2020.
  • An investigation found the chain of command had failed to address the sexual harassment she faced before she was killed.

What he's saying: Austin said in a statement that he will present President Biden with recommendations he said provide "us real opportunities to finally end the scourge of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military. "

  • The defense secretary noted that the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military recommended changes to "other special victims' crimes inside this independent prosecution system, to include domestic violence."
  • Austin said he also supported these changes, "given the strong correlation between these sorts of crimes and the prevalence of sexual assault."

Of note: Austin's announcement came hours after it emerged that the top U.S. military officers opposed the bill, which they said would "undermine military leadership," per the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeper: Military sexual assaults reported in Pentagon survey jump to 20,000

U.S. market makes up more than 40% of COVID-19 vaccine sales

Data: Company filings; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The four main drug companies making COVID-19 vaccines have sold a combined $18.6 billion worth of the shots in the first half of 2021, and sales are expected to reach a combined $60 billion by the end of the year.

The big picture: Even though the U.S. represents less than 5% of the global population, the U.S. market makes up 41% of the vaccine sales.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden administration offers temporary "safe haven" for Hong Kongers in U.S.

President Joe Biden on Thursday directed the Department of Homeland Security to defer the removal of Hong Kong residents currently in the U.S. for 18 months, offering them a "safe haven" to those who fear returning home.

Why it matters: The move, which could potentially extend the stay of thousands of Hong Kongers in the U.S., is the latest step the Biden administration has taken in response to Beijing's crackdown on democracy in the semi-autonomous territory.

Keep reading... Show less

Massive California blaze levels town, threatens others as it burns out of control

The small Sierra town of Greenville, Calif., was heavily damaged on Wednesday night into early Thursday as the Dixie Fire surged northward amid high winds, extremely dry air and hot temperatures.

The big picture: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze and the sixth-largest wildfire in state history, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County.

Keep reading... Show less

Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine "remains durable" with 93% efficacy through 6 months

Moderna said Thursday that its coronavirus vaccine was 93% effective against COVID-19 through six months after receiving the second dose.

Why it matters: The number shows that efficacy "remains durable" through that time, and hardly wanes from the 94.5% efficacy Moderna reported last November. But the clinical trial, which started in July 2020, was conducted before the Delta variant became the common strain in the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less

U.S. women's soccer team beats Australia, wins Olympic bronze

The U.S. women's soccer team won the bronze medal on Thursday after beating ninth-ranked Australia 4-3.

Why it matters: Thursday's victory marks the U.S. team's first bronze in Olympic history, handing the team a medal after it failed to earn one during the Rio Games in 2016.

Keep reading... Show less

Top Democratic operatives mapped out how to defend Kamala Harris at high-powered dinner

A group of the Democratic Party's most influential women met for dinner at a home in the nation’s capital last month to game out how to defend Vice President Kamala Harris and her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, against a torrent of bad press.

Why it matters: It's telling that so early in the Biden-Harris administration, such powerful operatives felt compelled to try to right the vice president's ship.

Keep reading... Show less

In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 13 highlights

Day 13 of the Tokyo Olympic Games saw Team USA's men's basketball team beat Australia 97-78 on Thursday to advance to the gold medal game.

The big picture: Kevin Durant led the charge with 23 points to help the U.S. secure a final spot against either France or Slovenia on Saturday local time. Elsewhere, the U.S. added to its gold medals count, with shot putter Ryan Crouser and teenage canoeist Nevin Harrison both winning their events.

Keep reading... Show less

Judge to Capitol rioter: Insurrection is "not patriotism"

A federal judge sentencing a Michigan man in D.C. Wednesday over his role in the U.S. Capitol riot dismissed any notion that he's a political prisoner.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that she wasn't sentencing Karl Dresch, of Calumet, "because he is a supporter" of former President Trump, noting that "millions of people" had voted for him "and did not heed his call to descend on the nation's Capitol," per the Detroit News.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories