WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is launching an initiative to combat sexual assault, particularly on college campuses, turning the spotlight on a problem that has devastated millions of Americans yet rarely receives such White House attention.
Obama planned to sign a presidential memorandum Wednesday creating a task force to protect students from sexual assault, with a new White House report declaring that no one in America is more at risk of being raped or assaulted than college women.
The report, Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action, says that 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted at college but that only 12 percent of student victims report the assault.
Obama is giving the task force of administration officials 90 days to come up with recommendations for colleges to prevent and respond to sexual assault, increase public awareness of each schools track record, and enhance coordination among federal agencies to hold schools accountable if they dont confront the problem.
Ohio ex-con charged with killing girl, 5
In Cleveland, an ex-con was charged with aggravated murder in the death of a 5-year-old girl who was shot in the head while sitting in a vehicle with her mother. Jermani Brooks and her 33-year-old mother, Noni Brooks, who was also shot but survived, apparently were in the wrong place at the wrong time, police said.
The suspect, Geoffrey Gurkovich, intended to shoot a man who got into an argument with his girlfriend, police said.
Money pours in for 8-year-old hero
An online fundraising campaign at YouCaring.com has raised enough money to pay for the funeral of an 8-year-old New York boy who died while trying to rescue his disabled grandfather from a burning mobile home. The page for Tyler Doohan shows more than $43,000 has been raised.
Authorities in the town of Penfield say Tyler alerted relatives to the fire early Monday morning inside his grandfathers trailer home and six of them escaped. Fire officials say Tylers body was found just a few feet from his grandfather. An uncle also died.
Thousands attend March for Life
Thousands of abortion opponents confronted wind chills in the single digits Wednesday to rally and march on Capitol Hill to protest legalized abortion, with a message of support through Twitter from Pope Francis.
The annual March for Life is held every January on the anniversary of the Supreme Courts landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion.
14-year-old charged with death of sister
A 14-year-old girl was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of her 11-year-old sister, who was stabbed more than 30 times at their suburban Chicago home.
During a court hearing Wednesday, prosecutors said the suspect told authorities the 11-year-old didnt appreciate all she had done for her, including making dinner and doing the younger girls chores. Authorities havent released the names of the victim or the suspect. The Chicago Tribune reported that the girls were sisters.