Governor Wolf Honors Victims’ Rights Boost with Ceremonial Bill Signing

first_imgGovernor Wolf Honors Victims’ Rights Boost with Ceremonial Bill Signing Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed six bills that will expand protections and support for crime victims. He was joined by Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm, legislators and advocates at the ceremonial bill signing. Gov. Wolf first signed the bills on June 28.“We’re here today to recognize a successful joint effort at bringing a package of bills across the finish line that will help ensure Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system supports victims,” Gov. Wolf said.The bills include:• House Bill 315, which criminalizes female genital mutilation by making it a first-degree felony.• House Bill 502, which amends the Crime Victims Act to allow the victim to be present in any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim’s own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses.• House Bill 504, which prevents prosecutors from bringing up the victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.• Senate Bill 399, which makes updates to the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act, including requiring the Pennsylvania State Police to create procedures for anonymous victims and establishing timelines for submitting, testing, and storing rape kits.• Senate Bill 469, which establishes procedures protecting victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder, including allowing for testimony and questioning to take place outside of a courtroom.• Senate Bill 479, which expands the list of crimes for which an out-of-court statement made by a child under 12 can be used.“This legislative session has been unprecedented and historic in its passage of laws that seek to protect crime victims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Jennifer Storm said.“These bills will make it easier for prosecutors to pursue justice by eliminating some of the deterrents that are keeping victims from speaking out,” Gov. Wolf said. “Victims have been through enough. They deserve the most support we can possible give them.” July 15, 2019center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Rebels in South Sudan want oil firms closed

first_imgRebels in South Sudan want foreign oil firms to leave the Upper Nile region immediately.On Tuesday evening, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in opposition and allied groups under former Vice President Riek Machar said the firms should leave the Upper Nile region immediately.This is after they said that they have captured a refinery near major oil field in Upper Nile state.However the government has not responded to the reports.“In response to the government’s full scale offensive on our positions in the three states of greater Upper Nile region, we have decided to take control of the oilfields and … (prevent) Salva Kiir from using the oil revenues to perpetuate the war,” James Gatdet Dak, the rebels’ spokesman said.“SPLM/SPLA leadership has asked all oil companies operating in Upper Nile state to shut down their operations and evacuate their staff immediately. We also ask them to do the process of closing down in a safe manner that will not damage the oil facilities and cause environmental damage.”Oil firms in South Sudan include China National Petroleum Corp, India’s ONGC Videsh and Malaysia’s Petronas.Forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy, Riek Machar, have been fighting for nearly 18 months in the world’s newest state, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.SPLA-in-Opposition spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, said that the rebels were still fighting government troops in the area that is home to South Sudan’s biggest oilfield – Paloch.Forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy, Riek Machar, have been fighting for nearly 18 months in the world’s newest state, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.Several ceasefires have been reached and broken and each side accuses the other of violating one announced in February.last_img read more