White House photo shows Obama shooting gun
WASHINGTON — Two days before President Barack Obama’s first trip outside Washington to promote his gun-control proposals, the White House tried to settle a brewing mystery when it released a photo to back his claim to be a skeet shooter.
Obama had set inquiring minds spinning when, in an interview with The New Republic magazine, he answered “yes” when asked if he had ever fired a gun.
“Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” Obama said in the interview released last weekend, referring to the official presidential retreat in rural Maryland, which he last visited in October while campaigning for re-election.
The official White House photo released Saturday is dated Aug. 4, 2012. The caption says Obama is shooting clay targets on the range at Camp David. Obama is seen holding a gun against his left shoulder, his left index finger on the trigger and smoke coming from the barrel. He is wearing jeans, a dark blue, short-sleeved polo shirt, sunglasses and earmuffs.
Hostage standoff continues in Alabama
MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — As the standoff with a man accused of holding a 5-year-old boy hostage continued Saturday, a nearby community prepared to bury the beloved bus driver who was shot to death when the episode started to unfold five days ago.
Charles Albert Poland Jr., a 66-year-old man known around his town as Chuck, was described by folks in his hometown of Newton as a humble hero who gave his life Tuesday to protect the children on his bus.
Authorities said Jim Lee Dykes — a Vietnam-era veteran known as Jimmy to his neighbors — boarded a stopped school bus filled with 21 children Tuesday afternoon and demanded two boys between 6 and 8 years old. When Poland tried to block his way, the gunman shot him several times and took one 5-year-old boy — who police say remains in an underground bunker with Dykes.
Etch A Sketch inventor dies near Paris
BRYAN, Ohio — Andre Cassagnes, the inventor of the Etch A Sketch toy that generations of children drew on, shook up and started over, has died in France, the toy’s maker said.
Cassagnes died Jan. 16 in a Paris suburb at age 86, said the Ohio Art Co., based in Bryan, Ohio. The cause wasn’t disclosed Saturday.
An electrical technician, Cassagnes came upon the Etch A Sketch idea in the late 1950s when he peeled a translucent decal from a light switch plate and found pencil mark images transferred to the opposite face, the Toy Industry Association said.
Twitter, Washington Post targeted by hackers
NEW YORK — Social media giant Twitter is among the latest U.S. companies to report that it is among a growing list of victims of Internet security attacks, saying hackers may have gained access to information on 250,000 of its more than 200 million active users. And now, The Washington Post is joining the chorus, revealing the discovery of a sophisticated cyberattack in 2011.
Twitter said in a blog post Friday it detected attempts to gain access to its user data earlier in the week. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected.
But Twitter discovered the attackers may have stolen user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords belonging to 250,000 users they describe as “a very small percentage of our users.” The company reset the pilfered passwords and sent emails advising the affected users.
The Twitter attack comes on the heels of recent hacks into the computer systems of U.S. companies, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Both newspapers reported this week that their computer systems had been infiltrated by China-based hackers, likely to monitor media coverage the Chinese government deems important.
By wire sources