Report: Secret Service tried to Shame lawmaker
Scores of U.S. Secret Service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House oversight committee.
The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the U.S. Privacy Act, said the report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, John Roth. "It doesn't take a lawyer explaining the nuances of the Privacy Act to know that the conduct that occurred here — by dozens of agents in every part of the agency — was wrong," the report said.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson personally apologized to Chaffetz again Wednesday, the congressman told the Associated Press in an interview on Capitol Hill. Johnson did not disclose whether any employees had been punished. "It's intimidating," Chaffetz said. "It's what it was supposed to be."
State executes first woman in 70 years
The only woman on Georgia's death row was executed early Wednesday, despite a flurry of last minute legal appeals and pleas for mercy from her children and the pope.
Kelly Renee Gissendaner, who was the first woman put to death by the state in seven decades, was pronounced dead by injection of pentobarbital at 12:21 a.m. at the state prison in Jackson. She was convicted of murder in the February 1997 slaying of her husband after she conspired with her lover, who stabbed Douglas Gissendaner to death.
Kelly Gissendaner, 47, sobbed as she said she loved her children and apologized to Douglas Gissendaner's family, saying she hopes they can find some peace and happiness.
Mob kills man over allegedly eating beef
A mob killed a 50-year-old Muslim man and severely wounded his 22-year-old son in a northern Indian village over allegations they had eaten beef, which is anathema to conservative Hindus, police said Wednesday.
Mohammad Akhlaq and his son, Danish, were dragged out of their house and beaten with bricks Monday night, family members said. Rumors that they had eaten and were storing cow meat were reportedly spread at a Hindu temple near their village of Dadri, about 30 miles outside the capital, New Delhi.
Police said they had arrested six suspects and were searching for at least four others. Danish Akhlaq was reportedly battling for his life at a hospital with injuries to his head and chest.
Authorities said they had found meat near Akhlaq's house and sent it for testing to determine whether it was beef. Beef consumption is illegal in the populous northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which like most Indian states also bans the slaughter of cows, an animal that India's Hindu majority regards as sacred.
Palestinian flag rises for first time at U.N.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas raised the flag of the state of Palestine at the United Nations for the first time on Wednesday with a promise that it will be raised soon in Jerusalem, "the capital of our Palestinian state."
More than 300 ministers, diplomats and well-wishers who crowded into the rose garden at U.N. headquarters where a temporary flagpole had been erected for the ceremony applauded his words.
Abbas told the crowd it was a "historical moment" on the Palestinian road to independence.