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Thursday, 30 January 2014 14:24

Sen. McCaskill meets with real-life Philomena

WASHINGTON (AP) - Philomena Lee wistfully described her search for her son 50 years after his adoption, a quest captured in an Oscar-nominated film.
 
Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said Lee's experience was an argument for adoption rights and an incentive for Ireland to open its records.
 
The two women met Thursday and spoke to reporters about the Philomena Project and efforts to reconcile families. They were joined by Lee's daughter, Jane Libberton, who helped in the search.
 
The movie starring Judi Dench has drawn attention to Lee's story and what transpired in Ireland for decades. Children were adopted by Americans, and their birth mothers were unable to find out what happened to them.
 
Lee said weeks ago she was a housewife, now she's on daytime television and will be attending the Oscars.
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 09:43

Senator McCaskill's questions target Target

Following one of the nation’s largest breaches of consumers’ personal data in history, the Chairmen of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Consumer Protection Subcommittee are taking action. 
Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, along with Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, wrote to Target asking for answers from the company’s information security officials, and advocating the need for greater protection for consumers.
Both senators asked the President and CEO of Target for the latest findings on the circumstances that permitted unauthorized access to the financial and personal information of as many as 110 million Americans, including Missourians who shopped at Target's 36 locations in the Show-Me state. The security breach occurred over the holidays.  
Senators McCaskill and Rockefeller wrote, in part, "We expect that your security experts have had time to fully examine the cause and impact of the breach and will be able to provide the Committee with detailed information.” 
 
Published in Local News
Just weeks after calling on the Air Force to remove a Lieutenant General from command, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill released a statement Wednesday regarding the retirement of that officer.
McCaskill says the decision by Lieutenant General Craig Franklin to step away from the Air Force is the right one, adding, "His handling of sexual assault cases is the best possible illustration of why civilian review, elimination of commanders’ ability to overturn convictions, and so many other protections are included in our recent defense bill.”  
Franklin’s response to a sexual assault case at Aviano Air Base in Italy led to criticism and scrutiny of how such cases are handled by the military.
McCaskill introduced legislation—which has since been passed into law—that curtailed the authority of military commanders to dismiss jury convictions against sex offenders.
Other reforms designed to curb sexual assaults in the military include:
*  Requiring civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case 
*  Assigning victims their own independent legal counsel to protect their rights 
*  Mandating dishonorable discharge for anyone convicted of sexual assault 
*  Criminalizing retaliation against victims who report a sexual assault 
*  Eliminating the statute of limitations in rape and sexual assault cases
 
Published in Local News

Score one for the traveling public as the Federal Aviation Administration today announced the expanded use of personal electronic devices on airplanes.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill calls it "great news for the traveling public and a win for common sense.”  McCaskill is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection.

The Senator says she applauds the FAA for taking the necessary steps to change "these outdated regulations" and expects the airlines to turn around quick plans for implementation.  

The FAA also announced a plan in which airlines would submit strategies for the expanded use of PEDs.  

The FAA expects those plans to be quickly approved and believes they could be largely completed by the end of the year.

There will continue to be some restrictions. For instance, talking on cell phones during flight will still be prohibited. Since joining the Senate in 2007, McCaskill has served on the Senate Committee on Commerce, which has jurisdiction over aviation and communications policy, and this year was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance.

Published in Local News

   Another group of Missouri veterans are back home after a successful day trip to visit Washington, DC.  Tuesday's "Honor Flight" carried 25 veterans of World War II and the Korean War.  

   Those organizing the flights had again been concerned that the government shutdown might keep the vets from visiting the federal memorials, but again they were granted access.  Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill  and Roy Blunt welcomed the veterans in DC, along with Congresswoman Ann Wagner.   

   All federal monuments in Washington, DC are closed to the general public because of the federal shutdown, but the National Parks Service has stipulated that the vets will be allowed to visit the memorials despite the shutdown.

Published in Local News

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is joining congressional colleagues in responding to President Obama's decision to pause in taking military action against Syria for its' use of chemical weapons.  Negotiators are attempting to iron out a Syrian-Russian plan for Syria to relinquish its' chemical weapons arsenal. Senator McCaskill says she will continue to evaluate and monitor the situation daily, adding “The President made an important case for why Syria’s use of chemical weapons has serious implications for America’s national security and that a credible threat of military force can strengthen the chances of a diplomatic solution."

Published in Local News

   Senator Claire McCaskill has long been an advocate for victims of sexual assault in the military. So the Missouri Democrat is perplexed this week after being singled out in St. Louis Post Dispatch and Facebook ads calling her a roadblock to reforming the system.

   Protect Our Defenders, a Washington-based advocacy group for military sexual assault victims, took aim at McCaskill over her opposition to an amendment proposed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

   Gillibrand proposes setting up a new independent legal channel to prosecute sexual assaults and other major crimes.   The Pentagon and many Democratic and GOP senators oppose the idea.

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 13:31

Sen. McCaskill puzzled by attack ad

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Sen. Claire McCaskill has long been an advocate for victims of sexual assault in the military, so the Missouri Democrat is perplexed after being singled out in newspaper and Facebook ads calling her a roadblock to reforming the system.

Protect Our Defenders, a Washington-based advocacy group for military sexual assault victims, took aim at McCaskill in a half-page St. Louis Post-Dispatch ad over her opposition to an amendment proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Gillibrand's proposal would authorize military lawyers - rather than commanding officers - to decide which cases go to trial.

McCaskill favors reforms suggested by the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee. She says she finds the ad puzzling given her history criticizing the military's handling of sexual assault cases.

 

Published in Local News

Senator Claire McCaskill, business solutions company Intuit, and search giant Google are in St. Louis Friday, and they are all here to help area small businesses.

The Internet can be a great launching pad for businesses, but Google's Rebecca Ginsberg tells me it is vastly underutilized by business owners, "We (Google) did some research last year that while 97% of Internet users go online to look for local products and services, 64% of small businesses in Missouri still do not have a website.'

Attendees at the Get Your Business Online workshop on Friday will get a free website and hosting for one year. The event starts at 8:30 at the Third Degree Glass Factory on Delmar just north of Forest Park.

If you can't make the event, the same offer is available at MissouriGetOnline.com, or by clicking here.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill returned to Missouri to push for tougher punishments of military sexual assaults.

 

The Democratic senator and former Jackson County prosecutor met Wednesday with top officials from the Missouri National Guard at the Guard's Jefferson City headquarters.

 

Her appearance came one month after senior military leaders were chastised at a Senate hearing because an Air Force commander dismissed the conviction of a lieutenant colonel for sexually assaulting a civilian employee at Aviana Air Force Base in Italy.

 

McCaskill has introduced legislation to revise the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prohibit commanders from overturning jury verdicts in military tribunals. Those leaders would also have to explain in writing any decisions to reduce sentences after guilty verdicts in court martials.

 

Published in Local News
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