By Jueseppi B.
Statements and Releases
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Ukraine
The United States is encouraged by President Yanukovych’s decision to pardon former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and former Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk. This is an important step toward addressing concerns about democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine, however much more remains to be done. We urge Ukrainian authorities to end all politically motivated prosecutions, undertake comprehensive judicial reform to ensure such selective justice does not recur, and fully implement the OSCE recommendations made after the 2012 parliamentary elections. The United States strongly supports the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for a democratic, prosperous, and European future, which can only be realized through continued democratic reform and adherence to the rule of law. We remain dedicated to strengthening our bilateral relationship on the basis of our shared transatlantic values.
Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate
NOMINATION SENT TO THE SENATE:
WASHINGTON, DC – This spring, the White House will be opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on Saturday, April 13th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Sunday, April 14th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. During this event, visitors can see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and South Lawn of the White House. Additionally, the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden – will be accessible to guests.
This event is free and open to the public; however, a ticket is required for all attendees (including small children). The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8:00 AM. Tickets will be distributed — one ticket per person — on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note the following items are not allowed on the White House grounds:
- Aerosols of any kind
- Animals (except guide dogs)
- Backpacks (oversized)
- Food or beverages of any kind
- Duffle bags/suitcases
- Any pointed object
- Electric stun guns
- Insulated metal containers
- Knives of any kind
The U.S. Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items. However, strollers, wheelchairs, umbrellas, and cameras are permitted.
All items needed for medical purposes will be permitted on the tour (e.g. wheelchairs, electric scooters, glucose tablets, EpiPens, etc.). Please identify and explain all items needed for medical purposes to U.S. Secret Service upon arrival.
In the event of inclement weather, the event may be cancelled. Please call the 24-hour information line at (202) 456-7041 to check on the status of the event.
Statement from the President on the Passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher
With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.
Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.
Recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month
11:26 AM EDT
Every April, we recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year, with rape in the headlines nearly every day, we speak out with even greater urgency to honor survivors and prevent sexual violence.
We know the devastating the statistics: 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetimes. That’s 18 million women in this country who have been raped, and more than 1 million rapes that occur every year. The vast majority of these assaults occur when the victims are under the age of 25, and those under the age of 18 are at the greatest risk. These numbers are real, but they don’t tell the whole story. They don’t tell of the broken trust when the attacker is a friend, a trusted colleague, or a family member. They don’t tell of the suicidal feelings, the depression, or of the PTSD. And, they don’t tell of the courage survivors demonstrate when they work every day to put their lives back together.
Across the federal government, we are working to support survivors and to prevent sexual violence. Last year, the Department of Justice modernized the definition of rape used to collect our nation’s crime statistics. This year, the Department of Justice is working with law enforcement agencies to implement this change and develop new guidelines for investigating sexual assault cases. The Office on Violence Against Women is funding training that will help communities address their backlogs of rape kits and improve prosecution of sexual assault crimes. The Office of Victims of Crime is supporting the development of a telemedicine center that will help bring sexual assault forensic exams to victims in rural and isolated communities.
Two years ago, the Vice President announced the winners of the Apps Against Abuse, a challenge to app developers to use this technology to help prevent dating violence and sexual assault. Today, one of those winners -Circle of 6 - had reached 55,000 downloads in 26 countries and justannounced a customized version of their app for use in India.
On March 7, President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act into law. This legislation is ground-breaking in its approach to sexual assault. States must set aside funds to develop programs that meaningfully address rape and sexual assault including those committed by strangers, acquaintances, and intimate partners as well as alcohol and drug facilitated rapes. This means more training for law enforcement and prosecutors and more resources for victim services. College campuses must provide orientation programs to new students about dating violence and sexual assault and must develop clear, written policies about how these cases will be handled. Federally subsidized housing programs must protect sexual assault victims from being evicted or denied housing due to the assault committed against them, and must help a victim transfer to another housing unit if necessary.
Government can’t do it all, and nowhere is private sector support more important than on issues like sexual violence. We applaud the work of Mariska Hargitay and the Joyful Heart Foundation to address the rape kit backlog, and of the No More Campaign working to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. Finally this April, we honor the advocates who devote their lives to serving victims and survivors.
Together, we are working to change the culture so that one day, we will end sexual violence.
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