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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   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.

   The company that owns the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill has 20 days to submit a new plan to stop the fire's spread toward radioactive waste buried at the adjacent West Lake Landfill.  

   The Missouri Department of Natural Resources yesterday found "significant deficiencies" in Republic Service's contingency plan.  

   Residents living near the two landfills have expressed serious concerns about the underground fire that continues to creep closer to the radioactive waste site.  

   Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued Republic in March because the continuous burning violates state environmental laws.  Koster says he will take them back to court if necessary to force the company to comply with the DNR's request for a new plan.

Slum trip, mass youth meeting await pope in Rio

Thursday, 25 July 2013 03:12 Published in National News

   RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Pope Francis has a packed schedule Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, where he will bless the Olympic flag, visit a slum and address upward of 1 million young Roman Catholics on Copacabana beach.

   On his first full day of activities in Brazil on Wednesday, Francis traveled from one of the most important shrines in Latin America, Our Lady of Aparecida, to what he called a "shrine of human suffering" - a hospital in Rio that treats substance abusers.

   Both events had a common theme that the humble pope has stressed during his young papacy: a denunciation of the "ephemeral idols" of money and power and a need for the Catholic Church to focus on the poor and outcasts of society.

   Francis is in Brazil for World Youth Day, a church event that brings together young Catholics from around the world roughly every three years.

 

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