While the bipartisan agreement on the Fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill unveiled Monday by leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee addresses sexual assaults in the US military, it does not include any of the of highly publicized amendments introduced in recent months. Instead, it includes a package of 36 provisions that boost prevention efforts, enhance response tactics, and reform standing policies. Missing from the bill is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) controversial proposal to take military sexual assault cases outside the chain of command. However, Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) competing, and less severe, amendment also is absent. SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) addressed the absence of the two amendments, noting that the Senate wanted to debate it but was halted by objections. “We couldn’t get those debated,” he said. “However, …the bill we will be offering has the combination of the Senate [and House] provisions on sexual assault.” (Continue to full report)
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.