Also in the news this Wednesday: search starts for Trump's 4th national security adviser in less than 3 years, and Florida parents press charges against daughter who wanted them killed.
Names float as replacements after John Bolton's messy exit
Whether John Bolton quit as national security adviser or whether President Trump fired him, no one was too surprised that the relationship ended.
They spoke on the phone Monday night and argued over Afghanistan and Bolton's opposition to Trump's since-scuttled plan to host Taliban leaders at Camp David to broker a peace deal.
But they differ on what happened next.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that he "informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House."
"I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions," Trump continued, adding Bolton to a long list of aides fired via tweet.
But this time, there was return fire just a few minutes later.
"I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, 'Let's talk about it tomorrow,'" Bolton retorted via tweet.
Bolton's departure was announced barely 90 minutes before he was to hold a briefing at the White House with Secretary of State Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, both of whom had repeatedly clashed with the national security adviser. The briefing went ahead anyway.
Now, names are being discussed to replace Bolton.
While Trump claimed he would make a decision "next week," there does not appear to be a short list at the moment. White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters Tuesday that Charles Kupperman, who was Bolton's deputy, will serve as acting national security adviser until a replacement is picked.
Given Trump's unpredictable nature, sources warn that the President could choose someone who is not being discussed right now to become his fourth national security adviser in less than three years.
But in the short term, these are some of the people who have been mentioned as possible candidates, CNN reported.
Brian Hook, US Special Representative for Iran and senior policy adviser to Mike Pompeo: Hook's name is being floated as a possibility to replace Bolton, according to three sources familiar with the discussions.
He is interested in and campaigning for the job, according to one source familiar with the process. Hook started at the State Department under Secretary Rex Tillerson and remained a key member of the team when Pompeo took over. He recently traveled with Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner to the Middle East trip and is well liked at the White House, another source told CNN. Hook was tapped by Pompeo to lead the State Department's efforts on Iran.
Ricky Waddell, Major General in the United States Army Reserve who served for a year as Trump's Deputy National Security Adviser to Trump: White House officials are discussing Waddell as an option to replace Bolton as well, according to three sources familiar with the ongoing talks. Waddell left the administration last year and he was close with Trump's former Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Others include Steve Biegun, the U.S. Special Representative to North Korea; Rob Blair, national security adviser to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany; Pete Hoekstra, U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands; Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, and others.
Parents press charges when daughter tries to have them killed
A Florida teenager was arrested this week on charges of attempting to have her parents killed, according to a police affidavit.
Alyssa Michelle Hatcher is accused of stealing nearly $1,500 from her parents' bank account while trying to carry out her murder-for-hire plot, the affidavit shows. She used $400 to pay a friend to have her parents killed, the document says, and when the act was not carried out, the 17-year-old paid another person $900 to do it.
The girl's boyfriend told investigators he had seen her at "a known drug house" where she told him she wanted to kill her parents, according to the affidavit.
When she was interviewed by an investigator at her home, Hatcher said that in addition to paying two people to kill her parents, she also used money she had stolen from her parents to buy cocaine, the affidavit says.
Hatcher's parents were not injured and told investigators they wanted to press charges against their daughter. She has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of criminal solicitation for murder.
On Tuesday, Hatcher was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Ocala, Florida, Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Fred Jones said. She'll get her next court date from that location, he added.
Rape accusation puts Patriots' Antonio Brown future in question
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.
Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told The Associated Press his client plans to countersue.
"He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations," Heitner said in a statement.
Heitner said Brown and Taylor had "a consensual personal relationship."
The New York Times first reported about the lawsuit.
The AP does not ordinarily name the alleged victims of sex assaults, but Taylor was identified in the federal lawsuit and was quoted in a statement provided by her lawyer, David Haas.
"As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision," Taylor said. "I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape."
Taylor also said in the statement she will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies.
A spokesman for the NFL declined comment, but the Patriots said the league told the team it will launch an investigation.
"We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives," the Patriots said in a statement. "We take these allegations very seriously... The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place."
Brown, 31, was released by Oakland last week after clashing with the team throughout training camp. He agreed to a contract with New England on Saturday, but has yet to play for the Patriots.
Brown and Taylor met through a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at Central Michigan University, according to the suit.
Taylor said Brown reached out to her via Facebook in June 2017 and asked the former gymnast for help with improving his strength and flexibility.
According to the lawsuit, Taylor was sexually assaulted by Brown on separate training trips to Pittsburgh and Florida that same month. The suit includes what it says are text messages from Brown bragging about the second assault.
Wanted man's mugshot looks a lot like 'Breaking Bad' lead character
The mugshot of an Illinois man wanted for violating his probation went viral for his strong resemblance to the main character on the television show "Breaking Bad."
Todd W. Barrick Jr., 5 is wanted for probation violations related to methamphetamine possession, the Galesburg, Ill., police department wrote on a Facebook post.
But Barrick's photo shows a strong resemblance to the character Walter White on the show, in which actor Bryan Cranston played a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a ruthless drug dealer.
Cranston won four Emmy awards for his portrayal of White during the show's run from 2008-2013.
British leader's suspension of Parliament breaks law, court rules
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament less than two months before Britain is due to leave the European Union was unlawful, a Scottish court ruled Wednesday — though it said Britain's top court must make the final decision.
Judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh said the government's action was illegal "because it had the purpose of stymieing Parliament."
The judges said the suspension was "null and of no effect," but referred the matter to Britain's Supreme Court for resolution. A hearing there is due to begin Tuesday.
After the ruling, opposition politicians urged the government to scrap the suspension and recall lawmakers to Parliament.
A group of about 70 opposition lawmakers challenged the government's decision to prorogue, or formally shut down, Parliament, for five weeks until Oct. 14 — just over two weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU.
Johnson claims he took the action so that he can start afresh on his domestic agenda at a new session of Parliament next month. But the suspension also gives him a respite from rebellious lawmakers as he plots his next move to break the political deadlock and lead Britain out of the EU by Oct. 31.
Opponents argue that Johnson is trying to evade democratic scrutiny.
Last week, a court in Edinburgh rejected the lawmakers' challenge, saying it was a matter for politicians, not the courts, to decide.
But that was overturned Wednesday on appeal.
Jolyon Maugham, a lawyer who is part of the claim, said he believed "that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued."
It was unclear what that means in practice. Catherine Haddon, a senior fellow at independent think-tank the Institute for Government, tweeted that the ruling "does not (yet) change the prorogation itself. Though of course will add to pressure."
Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said the court's ruling was "very rare and it's very strong." He said the government should immediately recall Parliament.
The British government said it was disappointed by the decision and confirmed it would appeal to the Supreme Court.
In a statement, the government said it "needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this."
It noted that another challenge to the suspension, brought by transparency campaigner Gina Miller, was rejected at the High Court in London last week.
The court ruling deepens Britain's political deadlock, with Brexit due in about 50 days.
America marks 18 years since the 9/11 attacks
Americans are commemorating 9/11 with mournful ceremonies, volunteering, appeals to "never forget" and rising attention to the terror attacks' extended toll on responders.
A crowd of victims' relatives is expected at ground zero Wednesday, while President Donald Trump is scheduled to join an observance at the Pentagon. Vice President Mike Pence is to speak at the third attack site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Former President George W. Bush, the commander-in-chief at the time of the 2001 attacks, is due at an afternoon wreath-laying at the Pentagon.
Eighteen years after the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil, the nation is still grappling with the aftermath at ground zero, in Congress and beyond. The attacks' aftermath is visible from airport security checkpoints to Afghanistan. A rocket exploded at the U.S. embassy as the anniversary began in Afghanistan, where a post-9/11 invasion has become America's longest war.
"People say, 'Why do you stand here, year after year?'" Chundera Epps, a sister of Sept. 11 victim Christopher Epps, said at last year's ceremony at the World Trade Center. "Because soldiers are still dying for our freedom. First responders are still dying and being ill."
"We can't forget. Life won't let us forget," she added.
The anniversary ceremonies center on remembering the nearly 3,000 people killed when hijacked planes rammed into the trade center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001. All those victims' names are read aloud at the ground zero ceremony, where moments of silence and tolling bells mark the moments when the aircraft crashed and the trade center's twin towers fell.
But there has been growing awareness in recent years of the suffering of another group of people tied to the tragedy: firefighters, police and others who died or fell ill after exposure to the wreckage and the toxins unleashed in it.
While research continues into whether those illnesses are tied to 9/11 toxins, a victims compensation fund for people with potentially Sept. 11-related health problems has awarded more than $5.5 billion so far. Over 51,000 people have applied.
After years of legislative gridlock, dwindling money in the fund and fervent activism by ailing first responders and their advocates, Congress this summer made sure the fund won't run dry . Trump, a Republican and a New Yorker who was in the city on 9/11, signed the measure in July.
The sick gained new recognition this year at the memorial plaza at ground zero, where the new 9/11 Memorial Glade was dedicated this spring.
The tribute features six large stacks of granite inlaid with salvaged trade center steel, with a dedication "to those whose actions in our time of need led to their injury, sickness, and death." No one is named specifically.
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