According to a report by the Washington Post, White House fence jumper Omar Gonzalez made it further into the White House than the Secret Service let on. Gonzalez reportedly not only made it through the front doors, he then knocked down a Secret Service officer, and while carrying a knife, sprinted right by stairs leading up to the family's living quarters, and down the hall to the East Room. The East Room is a large state room used for formal events. He was then tackled just as he reached the doorway to the Green Room. Apparently an officer inside the front door was delayed in finding out that an intruder was about to break through, and therefore did not immediately lock the front door.
Former Ohio congressman James Traficant has died at age 73, a family spokeswoman confirmed on Saturday. Traficant was in “very critical condition” after a tractor accident on Tuesday when the 1943 tractor he was driving rolled over backward on top of him. He had shown no brain activity since the accident, according to family friends. Traficant served 17 years in the House as a Democrat until he was expelled in 2002 after a federal jury convicted him of 10 felony counts including racketeering, bribery, tax evasion, and obstruction of justice. He was only the second member of Congress since the Civil War to be expelled. Despite this, Traficant has been fondly remembered in his home area.
ESPN commentator and Grantland founder Bill Simmons was suspended by the network for three weeks on Wednesday for a rant against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. On a podcast on Grantland, which ESPN owns, Simmons lit into the executive, declaring, “I just think not enough is being made out of the fact that they knew about the tape and they knew what was on it. Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar. I’m just saying it. He is lying. I think that dude is lying. If you put him up on a lie-detector test that guy would fail.” He also said he was “insulted” and challenged ESPN to “leave me alone… on my podcast.” ESPN said that Simmons did not meet its journalistic standards.
Last evening, the United States—along with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates—launched cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs around Raqqa and along Syria’s border with Iraq. Three other ISIS strongholds (Dair Elzur, Hasakah, and Abu Kamal) were also targeted. Speaking from the South Lawn of the White House earlier Tuesday, President Obama addressed the strikes against ISIS and also acknowledged the eight strikes west of Allepo against the "Khorosan Group," an Al Qaeda splinter group the U.S. says was planning an “imminent attack” against America and the West. "It must be clear to anyone who would plot against America, we will not tolerate safe havens," Obama said.
The mayor of Peoria, Illinois hated a parody Twitter account of himself so much that he deployed a SWAT team to stop it—which, according to an Illinois judge’s ruling, is perfectly OK. Four fully-armed officers nurse into Jon Daniel’s home in April, believing him to be the source of @peoriamayor, a parody account that portrayed the mayor as alcohol, sex- and drug-addicted. In the process, Daniel’s housemate Jacob Elliot’s bedroom was searched as well, where officers found a bag of marijuana and pot-smoking paraphernalia. Elliott now faces charges of felony marijuana possession. A judge ruled that the police were entitled to the raid under the town’s “false personation” law which prohibits impersonation of public officials. Daniel was never charged, as the law only applies to in-person impersonations, not online ones.
He was already facing a new inquiry about rape allegations, but that didn’t stop Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston from reportedly standing on a table and yelling “**** her right in the *****” on campus this week. Now the Heisman Trophy winner will be suspended for at least part of the No. 1-ranked Seminoles’ game against Clemson on Saturday. Winston was never charged for the alleged 2012 sexual assault of a female student, but the university launched a new investigation of the incident this month. Back in April, he was suspended from the baseball team for stealing crab legs from a supermarket.
North Korea sentenced U.S. citizen Matthew Miller to six years of hard labor on Sunday. “He committed acts hostile to the DPRK while entering the territory of the DPRK under the guise of a tourist last April," read a short statement published through the state media. The trial of Miller, a 24-year-old from Bakerfield, California, lasted about 90 minutes, and he waived the right to a lawyer. While North Korea media had reported Miller tore up his passport and sought asylum in the country, Miller refuted that claim during the trial. When he was sentenced, the court announced it would not hear any appeals of the decision. Miller is now the second American serving a hard labor sentence in the country.
Ohio University Student Senate President Megan Marzec has come under fire for her response to being challenged to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by University President Roderick McDavis. Marzec chose to cover herself in fake blood on behalf of Palestinians working to survive under Israeli law and to ask her University to divest in Israel. In response, campus Rabbi Danielle Leshaw chose to speak from a position of power to publicly chastize Marzec in the student paper, while other students chose to instead threaten her life. Student Senate meetings since the video went viral have been filled with protests, including the arrest of numerous students this past week. As of this time , Marzec has not stepped down and has instead made it clear she does not intend to. Campus reactions to Marzec have been mixed with both supporters and opponents voicing their opinions.
A new poll on Scottish independence puts the vote against leaving the United Kingdom ahead by six points--about where things were two months ago, before the yes vote surged slightly ahead in recent days. The new poll was conducted by Survation between September 5 and 9 and covered 1,000 Scottish residents. The bump comes just as British Prime Minister David Cameron and other London-based politicians, some of whom have been reported as "panicked" over the September 18 referendum, have been visiting Scotland and pleading with the Scots not to leave the 300-year-old union. Cameron noticeably abandoned any "fear-factor" tactics and instead delivered impassioned, personal pleas for Scotland to stay. Other polls, however, have found different results.
The United Nations Security Council plans to demand that countries “prevent and suppress” the recruiting and travel of foreign fighters to join extremist groups such as Islamic State by making sure that such actions are considered serious criminal offenses under domestic laws. The United States circulated a draft resolution on the matter that it hopes will be unanimously adopted by the 15-member Security Council. The measure would require that nations make it illegal for their citizens to travel abroad, collect funds, or facilitate the travel of other individuals overseas with the purpose of planning, preparing, or participating in terrorist acts.
A mother has been sentenced to a minimum of one year in prison for obtaining “abortion pills” from a European website and giving them to her 16-year-old daughter, who wanted to end her pregnancy. Jennifer Ann Whalen pled guilty in August to violating a Pennsylvania state law that abortions must be performed by a physician and was sentenced late last week. Whalen, who is a single mother and a nursing home aide, said her daughter did not have insurance to cover a hospital abortion and that the closest clinic was 74 miles away, in Harrisburg. In addition to her jail sentence, Whalen will be forced to pay a fine of $1,000. The Pennsylvania case follows the prosecution of a Florida man who pleaded guilty to tricking his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill. He was sentenced in January to 13 years in prison and $28,500 restitution. In June, Florida toughened state law to allow for prosecutions in the death of non-viable fetuses.
A Georgia father was indicted this morning on eight charges, including malice murder, for his son's death in a hot car. Justin Ross Harris faces the death penalty if he is convicted of killing his 22-month-old son Cooper by leaving him in a hot car in June for several hours. Prosecutors allege that Harris sent sexual text messages to several women while his son was in the car, that he Googled "how to survive in prison," and visited a Reddit page called "child-free."
A source close to the investigation into the leaked nude photos of dozens of celebrities tells the Los Angeles Times the pictures were hacked from the stars’ Apple devices through phishing. The source did not provide the newspaper any more details. Typically in phishing, a hacker pretends to be a computer company or communications provider trying to check security information. The hacker then gains access to passwords, personal emails, and other material. The nude photos of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Kate Upton, and Kirsten Dunst vent viral on the Internet on Sunday after they were uploaded to a message board. The FBI has said it is looking into the case, and Apple also is investigating its iCloud system.