Tag Archives: NBC News

Secret Service Agents in Obama’s Detail Sent Home After Boozy Night

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Three Secret Service agents in charge of protecting President Obama in Amsterdam were sent home Sunday after going out for a night of drinking, sources familiar with the incident told NBC News.

One of the agents was found intoxicated in a hotel hallway Sunday morning by hotel security, who contacted the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands, the sources said.

The embassy then alerted Secret Service managers on the presidential trip.

The agents were put on administrative leave but have not faced any other disciplinary action, the sources said.

Secret Service officials insist that they have raised their standards and toughened the codes of conduct following a scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in April 2012. That’s when a dozen agents and officers had gone out, drank heavily and then brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms prior to the president’s arrival.

Obama landed in the Netherlands on Monday for a week of diplomacy in Europe and Saudi Arabia.

 NBC News.com.

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​Missing Malaysia Airlines plane was programmed to divert just before signoff – report

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Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 changed direction at least 12 minutes before its co-pilot signed off, sources told NBC News. The diversion was based on a programming command to the plane’s cockpit computer used to guide the flight plan.

Follow RT’s live updates as the missing Malaysian flight saga continues to unfold

The direction change occurred prior to co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid saying, “All right, good night,” to air traffic controllers, the sources said. .

If true, the theory supports the belief of investigators – first voiced by Malaysian officials – that the flight was deliberately diverted. The New York Times  reported as much late on Monday, adding that it was not clear whether the system was reprogrammed before or after takeoff.

Yet for a Flight Management System (FMS) to contain multiple flight routes is routine, NBC News analyst Greg Feith said.

“Some pilots program an alternate flight plan in the event of an emergency,” said Feith, a former US National Transportation Safety Board crash investigator.

“We don’t know if this was an alternate plan to go back to Kuala Lumpur or if this was to take the plane from some place other than Beijing,” where the flight was due land, Feith said.

The plane was last detected by Malaysian military radar in the Strait of Malacca, south of Phuket Island, Thailand, hundreds of miles off course.

Authorities said Saturday that MH370 diverted from its path to Beijing because of “deliberate action by someone on the plane.”

Navigational instructions logged in the FMS changed the plane’s path, according to reports. The FMS transmits data to the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) that in turn sends information to the airline.

Malaysian officials believe MH370’s ACARS was still functioning when the plane’s co-pilot spoke the last words heard by ground control.

Yet MH370’s ACARS lost function around the same time that oral radio contact was cut off and as the airplane’s transponder halted, the Times reported.

Investigators are combing over radar tapes from MH370’s departure, believing the recordings would show that after the plane changed its path, it went through several pre-ordained “waypoints,” or markers in the sky. That would implicate that a knowledgeable pilot was controlling MH370 as it went through those points, as passing through them without a computer is not likely.

Meanwhile, in a press briefing on Tuesday that included little new information on the missing flight, Malaysian authorities said search efforts continue.

They defended their handling of search operations, as some missing passengers’ relatives have threatened to take part in a hunger strike for more information.

“We are doing all that we can to ensure that we are giving sufficient assistance, information and care to all the family members in Beijing,” said Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, chief executive of Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysian government officials asked the countries assisting in the search, including China and the US, to recheck their radars for any more information.

“The only one out in the open is Malaysia,” acting transport minister Hishamuddin Hussein told reporters on Tuesday, suggesting that Malaysia has been the most transparent in the search.

RT News.

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Obama’s elite Secret Service agents removed over sexual misconduct allegations — RT USA

Two secret service agents have been removed from President Obama’s elite personal security detail and are currently under investigation over charges of sexual misconduct.

The Washington Post is reporting that two agents – Ignacio Zamora, Jr. and Timothy Barraclough – have been removed for sending sexually suggestive emails to an unidentified female subordinate.

The investigation began when Zamora was found trying to re-enter a woman’s room at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. Zamora said he met the woman at the hotel bar and had accidentally left a bullet in her room.

According to a Secret Service review of the incident, the hotel then notified the White House, which began an internal investigation into the matter. During that review, agency officials discovered that both Zamora and Barraclough had sent the emails in question to a female agent working under them.

Zamora has been removed from his position, and Barraclough has been reassigned to a separate part of the division, the Post reported.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan declined to comment on the situation directly, and efforts by the Post to reach either Zamora or Barraclough were fruitless.

Speaking with NBC News, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman for the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the reports of inappropriate behavior are“unacceptable,” and that Congress will review the situation.

“Allegations of misconduct on the part of those tasked with protecting the nation’s highest officials are extremely concerning,” he said. “The integrity of those looking after our First Family must be exemplary, and anything less does our entire nation a disservice.” 

The incident comes just one year after a prostitution scandal rocked the agency as it prepared for President Obama’s trip to Cartagena, Colombia. Twelve secret service agents were caught up in the scandal, nine of whom are no longer with the agency. An inspector general report on the incident is set to be released in the next few weeks.

In March, Obama appointed Julia Pierson to be the Secret Service’s first female director, in an attempt to change the culture at the agency.

Obama’s elite Secret Service agents removed over sexual misconduct allegations — RT USA.