Armed intruder had penetrated farther into White House than admitted

Revelation came ahead of a congressional hearing on Tuesday and heaped pressure on the beleaguered US secret service

The intruder who breached the fence line was able to run through an unlocked door into the White House. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

An armed intruder said by prosecutors to have been a threat to the president made it much further into the White House after jumping a perimeter fence than the secret service first admitted, according to damning new evidence to be heard by a congressional panel on Tuesday.

Witnesses have told the House oversight committee that Omar Gonzalez overpowered an officer at the front door and was not stopped until he reached a separate room toward the back of the White House, according to testimony first reported by the Washington Post.

After running past a stairway leading to the first family’s living quarters, Gonzalez, a former army sniper, sprinted the 80-foot length of the East Room and was finally apprehended at the doorway to the Green Room – another formal room overlooking the South Lawn – the Post reports.

The account differs starkly from a press release issued by the secret service the day after the incident which merely says he was “physically apprehended after entering the White House North Portico doors”.

The impression that this meant he was stopped immediately after entering the doors is something administration officials did nothing to counter in the days after the event.

The ground-floor rooms of the main White House residence are normally highly guarded, as they are used for a range of public visits and guided tours, and the fact that Gonzalez was able to travel a considerable distance will compound concerns that the incident has revealed serious weaknesses in the protection given to Barack Obama and his family.

Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the House oversight subcommittee on homeland security, told CNN an alarm box near the front entrance had been muted, leaving interior personnel unaware of the intrusion before the suspect burst through the open front door, Reuters reported.

“I have deep concerns that the president is not as safe as we want and need him to be.”

Chaffetz said his information on the wild chase through the executive mansion came from whistleblowers interviewed during his congressional investigation into the incident.

Chaffetz is expected to seize on the alleged evidence from whistleblowers to demand an explanation of why the door through which Gonzalez entered the building was unlocked, as well as on suggestions that the alarm system had been muted because it had irritated ushers who worked at the door.

Obama and his family had left by helicopter from the South Lawn just minutes before Gonzalez, a former Iraq veteran allegedly carrying a pocket knife, scaled a fence outside the North Lawn and made it across the stretch of grass in front of the White House without being challenged by the snipers and dog patrols intended to guard against intruders.

Spokesmen for the secret service and the White House both declined to comment.

The White House earlier downplayed a separate Washington Post reportinto a shooting incident in 2011, which the Post says the secret service failed to properly investigate.

“As you would expect, the president and first lady, like all parents, are concerned about the safety of their children,” said spokesman Josh Earnest when asked about the Post’s reporting that Michelle Obama was furious about the attack, in which seven bullets struck the upstairs residence.

“But the president and first lady also have confidence in the men and women of the secret service to do a very important job, which is to protect the first family, to protect the White House, but also protect the ability of tourists and members of the public to conduct their business or even tour the White House.”

Gonzalez, who was allegedly found to have 800 rounds of ammunition and a machete in his nearby car, was described as “a danger to the president” by assistant US attorney David Mudd during a court hearing regarding the fence-jumping incident.

Chaffetz on Monday criticised the secret service for claiming it was exercising restraint by not shooting Gonzalez – who was originally reported to be unarmed – and argued there had been “epic failure from top to bottom” and that lethal force should be used stop to intruders entering the White House.(The Guardian)

Patient admitted to hospital with potential Ebola virus

A patient is in strict isolation Monday night to be tested for the Ebola virus.

According to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the patient is being tested for the potentially deadly virus because of their symptoms and recent travel history.

Further details have not been released because of privacy reasons.

In a statement the hospital said, “The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors.”

Preliminary results are expected to be released by the CDC on Tuesday.

Sunday afternoon, an American doctor exposed to the Ebola virus in West Africa was admitted to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., “out of an abundance of caution.”

(UPI) more to follow

Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, a native of Kenya, was arrested Friday in Oklahoma City on a terrorism complaint.

In a bizarre coincidence, a fired Oklahoma City nursing home employee was arrested Friday after a co-worker reported he threatened to cut her head off.

Jacob Mugambi Muriithi

Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on a terrorism complaint. His bail is set at $1 million.

“We take these threats very seriously,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said.

The arrest came on the same day police in Moore revealed fired Vaughan Foods worker Alton Alexander Nolen beheaded a co-worker after he was fired Thursday. Nolen is a Muslim convert.

Muriithi was identified as a native of Kenya who is living in Oklahoma City. He worked at Bellevue Nursing Home in northwest Oklahoma City, police reported.

The co-worker reported Muriithi threatened her while they were both working at the nursing home Sept. 19, a police detective wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit.

The woman was not identified.

She said Muriithi identified himself as a Muslim and said he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians,” the detective told a judge in the affidavit. The two had not worked together before.

ISIS is a reference to Islamic State militants responsible for highly publicized beheadings in the Middle East.

The woman said she asked him why they kill Christians and he replied, “This is just what we do,” the detective reported.

“The victim said Jacob asked her what time she got off work and she replied by asking him in a joking manner if he was going to kill her,’ the detective wrote. “Jacob told the victim, ‘Yes,’ he was going to cut her head off. The victim asked Jacob what he was going to cut her head off with and he said, ‘A blade,’ then told her after he did it he was going to post it on Facebook.

“The victim said Jacob was serious when speaking and never made any statements that he was joking or playing around.”

The woman reported Muriithi repeated the threat as she left work, saying in front of another employee that he was going to use a blade, the detective reported.

The FBI said Friday about the tragedy in Moore that there is no current indication of any additional threat to residents of Oklahoma related to that incident.(NewsOk)

US ‘underestimated’ rise of ISIS, President Obama says

President Obama acknowledged Sunday that U.S. intelligence officials “underestimated” the threat posed by the Islamic State and overestimated the Iraqi army’s capacity to defeat the militant group.

The president said in an wide-ranging interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the Islamic State militants went “underground” after being squashed in Iraq and regrouped amid the Syrian civil war.

“During the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos,” Obama said.

The president said his director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has acknowledged that the U.S. “underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.” He also said it was “absolutely true” that the U.S. overestimated the ability and will of the Iraqi army.

Obama also acknowledged that the U.S. is dealing with a conundrum in Syria, as the U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State is helping Syrian President Bashar Assad, who the U.N. has accused of war crimes.

“I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a contradictory circumstance,” Obama said.”We are not going to stabilize Syria under the rule of Assad.”

However, Obama called the threat from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and other terror groups a more “immediate concern that has to be dealt with.”

“On the other hand, in terms of immediate threats to the United States, ISIL, Khorasan Group — those folks could kill Americans,” he said.

In terms of Iraq, Obama said the U.S. left the country after the war with “a democracy that was intact, a military that was well-equipped and the ability then (for Iraqis) to chart their own course.”

However, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “squandered” that opportunity over roughly five years because he was “much more interested in consolidating his Shia base and very suspicious of the Sunnis and the Kurds, who make up the other two thirds of the country,” the president said.

Obama said military force is necessary to shrink the Islamic State’s capacity, cut off financing and eliminate the flow of foreign fighters. He said political solutions are also needed that accommodate both Sunnis and Shiites, adding that conflicts between the two sects are the biggest cause of conflict throughout the world.

However, Obama made clear he has no interest in a major U.S. ground presence beyond the 1,600 American advisers and special operations troops he already has ordered to Iraq. When asked if the current conflict was not really a war, Obama said there are clear distinctions between this campaign and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We are assisting Iraq in a very real battle that’s taking place on their soil, with their troops,” the president said. “This is not America against ISIL. This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership.”

Obama also discussed the midterm elections, U.S. relations with Russia and reviewed his six years as president.

Obama described his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “blunt,” saying Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is threatening progress made since the Cold War.

“I’ve always had a business-like relationship with (Putin)– and it’s blunt and it’s firm,” Obama said. “And what I’ve said from the outset is that Russian aggression, violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a smaller or weaker country, violates international norms and is contrary to all the progress that’s been made in creating a peaceful and prosperous Europe after World War II and then after the Cold War period.”

Obama also said he believes Democrats can maintain control of the Senate in November.

“I can put my record against any leader around the world in terms of digging ourselves out of a terrible, un– almost unprecedented financial crisis,” Obama said. “Ronald Reagan used to ask– the question, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ In this case, are you better off than you were in six? And the answer is, the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office…”

sources: fox and Associated press

Kenyan Truck Driver killed in early morning crash in Scituate

A truck driver was killed early Friday morning in a crash that shut down parts of routes 6 and 101 in Scituate.

Police said the trucker was thrown from the cab of the truck and buried under the contents of the trailer.

It took an extensive police search to locate the body. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The tractor-trailer swerved off the road at about 4 a.m. Police speculate the driver may have fallen asleep or had some kind of emergency. He was the only person on the road at the time.

Sources said the driver likely went the wrong way through an intersection, hitting some poles along the way before striking a guardrail and veering into the woods.

The crash damaged 66 feet of guardrail and several trees had to be cut down.

The state Department of Environmental Management helped with the cleanup process because the truck was leaking diesel fuel onto the highway.

The truck was traveling through Rhode Island from Fort Worth, Texas, carrying with it a truck bed filled with Hunt’s tomato sauce.the truck was registered to Kass FM, a trucking firm outside of Dallas.

The accident shut down Route 6 and 101 for more than eight hour

The driver according to undisclosed sources presumed to be Joseph Kariuki, husband to Jane Maina, was driving the truck registered to a Kenyan owned trucking company-KASS FM based in Fort-Worth, Texas. Family and friends are meeting at their residence 8772 Franklin Ave, Clive, Iowa, 50325 everyday for funeral arrangements.

We say Pole.

4 killed when semi hits bus carrying Texas college softball team in Oklahoma

Four young women died after a tractor-trailer crashed into a bus carrying members of a college women’s softball team late Friday in southern Oklahoma, a law enforcement spokesman said.

The bus, which belonged to North Central Texas College, was transporting its softball team back from a game, the school said. It was carrying 15 female students and one male coach.

“The semi departed the roadway to the left and traveled into the median and crossed the median, entering the southbound lane where it impacted the bus,” said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Cpt. Ronnie Hampton.

The college website identified the victims as Brooke Deckard, 20, of Scurry, Texas; Jaiden Pelton, 20, of Telephone, Texas; Meagan Richardson, 19, of Wylie, Texas; and Katelynn Woodlee, 18, of Windom, Texas.

The National Transportation and Safety Board was sending a team to investigate the accident, which occurred on Interstate 35 in the Arbuckle Mountains near Davis, about 60 miles from the main campus of NCTC and an hour south of Oklahoma City.

Eleven students were taken to the hospital, as well as the driver of the tractor-trailer, Hampton said. Two of the injured were flown by air ambulance to the Oklahoma University Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

Earlier, the highway patrol had reported that two semis were involved in the accident but later revised that to one truck.

NCTC is a two-year school in north Texas. The college scheduled a prayer vigil for 8 p.m. Sunday on the school’s main campus in Gainesville.

NCTC President Brent Wallace said at a press conference that the school’s other traveling athletic teams were called back to campus because of the tragedy.(CBS 6)

Houston-Area Office Manager Gets Prison For Theft

Originally posted on CBS Dallas / Fort Worth:

HOUSTON (AP) — The former manager of a Houston-area plastics company has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for stealing nearly $1.6 million from the business.

Carol Mack of Humble was also ordered Friday to repay the money.

Mack, who was executive assistant to the company’s CEO, pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud.

Federal prosecutors in Houston say Mack from 2005 through 2012 wired corporate funds to her bank account and used a credit card terminal to hide the bogus transactions. Investigators say Mack, who must serve 39 months behind bars, processed sham customer refunds more than 500 times.

Further details on the plastics company weren’t immediately available.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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El Paso Man Gets 50 Years For Killing Wife

Originally posted on CBS Dallas / Fort Worth:

EL PASO (AP) — A West Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for strangling his wife as they argued about whether she had been unfaithful.

Manuel Torres of El Paso was sentenced Friday.

El Paso County jurors on Thursday found the 50-year-old Torres guilty of murder in the April 2013 death of his spouse, Lilia Torres.

The El Paso Times reports attorneys for Torres say he was acting in self-defense as his wife allegedly punched and kicked him. She was found dead on a sofa in the couple’s home.

Torres will be eligible for parole in 25 years.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Texas College Grieves After 4 Killed In Bus Crash

Originally posted on CBS Dallas / Fort Worth:

GAINESVILLE, TX (CBSDFW.COM) -North Texas community college brought in counselors to comfort grieving students Saturday and canceled athletic competitions after four women’s softball players were killed when an 18-wheel truck veered into oncoming traffic on a major interstate highway and crashed into the side of their team bus.

The collision near Davis, Oklahoma late Friday badly damaged the driver’s side of the North Central Texas College team bus driven by a coach with 15 players aboard as they returned from a scrimmage against Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma.

In addition to the deaths, two team members remained in hospitals Saturday, one in critical condition. The other nine players were treated and released, along with the coach.

“This is the most traumatic event that NCTC has had in its 90 years of history,” North Central Texas College President Brent Wallace said at an emotional news conference Saturday in Gainesville, Texas…

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Before You Cheat, Consider This

Originally posted on The Fickle Heartbeat:

Before You Cheat, Consider This

Shared by One Gentleman.

The grass is always greener on the other side. People cheat for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes you want to see the difference between your yard and many others, but only on a temporary basis. Other times, you want to leave your current residence on a long-term basis. Regardless of the reason and duration, take a step back, and understand the position you are putting your partner through.

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