”]White House crashers met president
WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) — Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple who crashed U.S. President Obama’s first state dinner, got to meet the president, the White House said Friday.
The couple met and shook hands with the president and first lady Michelle Obama in a receiving line in the Blue Room Tuesday night before guests moved to a tent on the South Lawn for dinner, a White House spokesman said Friday.
The White House released a photograph of the couple being greeted by Obama as he stood next to the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, The New York Times reported Saturday. The Secret Service said the couple crashed the event honoring Singh.
In a statement, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said the agency was deeply concerned and embarrassed. Sullivan said the agency wanted to interview the Salahis and others involved and did not rule out criminal charges, the Times said.
The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list, Sullivan said.
The Salahis, who live outside the nation’s capital in Northern Virginia, hope to land roles in the Bravo cable network’s forthcoming show The Real Housewives of D.C., The Washington Post reported Friday. The Housewives series — with shows filmed in Orange County, Calif., Atlanta and New Jersey — is a popular reality show fixture for the network.
Secret Service agent Edwin Donovan said in a statement the gatecrashers went through metal detectors and other levels of security.
The Salahis’ attorney, Paul W. Gardner, says the couple did not crash the event.
My clients were cleared, by the White House, to be there. More information is forthcoming, the attorney wrote on the couple’s Facebook page.
The couple are named in at least 16 civil suits in Fauquier County, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation for the family wine business, CNN reported.
Bomb may have caused Russian train wreck
MOSCOW, Nov. 27 (UPI) — A bomb may have caused a Russian luxury express train to derail Friday evening, killing at least 25 people and injuring 87, officials said.
The Nevsky Express to St. Petersburg crashed two hours after leaving Moscow, the Novosti news agency reported. At least 25 passengers were missing.
Three cars left the tracks, and some witnesses reported seeing a crater under the train.
There was a clap. The last two cars almost fell apart. I’ve seen such things only in movies, one passenger told Novosti.
A source told the news agency investigators were considering the possibility that a bomb was under the ninth car in the 14-car train.
The British newspaper The Guardian said an official described a crater about a yard across next to the track.
The train was carrying more than 600 passengers and 20 railway employees. It is operated by the Russian Railways, a government monopoly.
Officials said a power failure might also have caused the crash.
In 2007, 27 people were hurt in a terrorist attack on a train traveling between Moscow and St. Petersburg. In recent years, Chechen separatists have launched several terrorist attacks in Russia.
Tiger Woods out of hospital after crash
ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 27 (UPI) — Tiger Woods was released from a Florida hospital Friday several hours after crashing into a fire hydrant and tree, his agent said.
Marc Steinberg of IMG told USA Today the golf superstar was fine.
The Miami Herald reported a publicist for Woods said in a statement that the pro golfer had been in a minor car accident, had been treated and released and was in good condition.
Woods was believed to have suffered facial injuries, the Herald said.
The accident occurred as Woods left his home about 2:25 a.m. It wasn’t clear if there was anyone in the car with him, the Herald said.
The Florida Highway Patrol had initially described Woods as being seriously injured, FirstCoastNews.com reported. Emergency workers took him to Health Central Hospital.
Woods, 33, a child golf prodigy, has dominated the sport at the professional level for more than 10 years. He lives in Windermere near Orlando with his wife and children.
The highway patrol said Woods was at the wheel of a 2009 Cadillac Escalade luxury sport utility vehicle. He first hit the hydrant and then struck a tree on a neighbor’s property.Police officers rounded up in Philippines
Police officers rounded up in Philippines
MANILA, Philippines, Nov. 27 (UPI) — More than 300 police and paramilitary personnel have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the Mindanao massacre, Philippine officials said Friday.
The suspects include Andal Ampatruan Jr., son of the provincial governor of Maguindanao and mayor of Datu Unsay. He is a scion of a powerful family with close ties to President Gloria Arroyo, The Manila Times reported.
Ampatuan denied any involved in the slaughter Monday of 57 people. About 100 gunmen confronted gubernatorial candidate Ismael Mangudadatu’s wife, two sisters and others as they traveled to file his election papers.
Ronaldo Puno, secretary of the interior and local government, said more than 300 police officers and members of local paramilitary groups have been arrested. He said he has urged Arroyo to suspend provincial officials in Maguindanao, including the governor.
He said the national government’s efforts to respond to the killings were delayed because local police could not be trusted.
It was very difficult for us to rely on the local military and police forces to carry out the directives of the central headquarters on both the armed forces and police side, he said.
The dead included 12 journalists.
The younger Ampatuan has been charged with seven counts of murder. TEST