WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday.
Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. Adesanya has also been charged with four misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and unlawful entry.
After climbing over the fence, Adesanya was swiftly apprehended on the North Lawn by uniformed Secret Service agents and their dogs. He was unarmed when he was arrested.
President Barack Obama was at the White House at the time of Wednesday's incident.
Video of the incident recorded by TV news cameras shows a man in white shorts on the lawn just inside the fence. The man lifts his shirt as if to show that he is unarmed, then is seen kicking and punching the two Secret Service dogs.
Leary said the two dogs, named Hurricane and Jordan, were taken to a veterinarian and treated for minor bruising. Both dogs were cleared to return to duty.
The incident came about a month after a previous White House fence jumper carrying a knife sprinted across the same lawn, ran past armed uniformed agents and entered the mansion before he was felled in the ceremonial East Room and taken into custody.
That embarrassing Sept. 19 incident preceded the disclosure of other serious Secret Service breaches in security for Obama and ultimately led to Julia Pierson's resignation as director of the agency after 18 months on the job.
After Pierson resigned, an agent who once led Obama's protective detail came out of retirement to lead the Secret Service until Obama names a new director, pending the completion of internal and independent reviews of agency practices.
This week, a federal judge delayed the arraignment of Omar Gonzalez, the man charged in September's fence-jumping incident, because of questions about his mental fitness to stand trial.
Gonzalez has been indicted on several charges, including carrying a knife into the White House and assaulting two Secret Service officers.
The latest security breach occurred the same day that a gunman went on a rampage in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.
BUDUBURAM CAMP, Ghana (AP) — Henry Boley left Liberia to attend a conference in Nigeria just days after his twins were born. Now, weeks later, he can't get home. Amanda Johnson, a 50-year-old Liberian living in Ghana, awaits her fiance's departure from their home country for their wedding, but refuses to return home because of Ebola.
Hundreds of Liberians are stranded in Ghana, separated from their families because of poverty, fear and logistics. Some are waiting for flights to resume after most airlines cancelled flights to Liberia. Others are having trouble navigating or affording the circuitous route back by bus. Many others feel it's too risky to return home, even if their spouses or children are desperately urging them to.
Boley and Johnson are neighbors in a camp for refugees just outside Accra, the Ghanaian capital, where they monitor the news for any signs that Ebola is slowing down in their home country. Their exile is likely to continue as the worst outbreak of the disease in history continues infecting more people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, with a total death toll of more than 4,500.
Ghana, which is still free of Ebola, has become the hub for an intensified international response to the crisis, with the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response based in Accra. Ghana is one of 14 West African counties seen as being at risk, and authorities have set up at least three Ebola isolation centers across the country in case there is an outbreak.
Boley, a 40-year-old Christian pastor, has been stranded for weeks. He is bored and often thinks of his babies, whom he barely knows.
"I have been trying to get back to Liberia but it's very difficult," he said. "This is tough for me. I am the man of the home and when I talk to my wife she says to me that I need to be there. But I can't do anything for her."
Boley believes more than 500 Liberians — often jobless, broke and desperate for good news out of their country — are at the Buduburam camp, an unsanitary maze of tin-roofed shacks, tents and other makeshift structures. Many more are said to be sheltering in other parts of Ghana. When he is not walking about idly, Boley sits huddled among other men who talk quietly over cold drinks. In a crowded market in Buduburam's dusty grounds, women sell fresh vegetables, bottled honey and other goods. The area stinks of rotting garbage.
Boley had flown to Nigeria on Gambia Bird, but after he left that airline stopped flying to Liberia. While in Lagos, Nigeria, people avoided him after learning he was from Liberia, he said. Disinvited from the conference, he took a bus to Ghana, where border officials announced there was a possibly Ebola-infected Liberian in their company. People panicked, he said.
The only way he can return home is by taking another long bus trip through four countries, including Guinea and Sierra Leone. It would cost him at least $350, money he doesn't have. The most direct route, through Ivory Coast, is closed, and French-speaking Ivorian border officials are hostile toward Liberians, he said.
A shuttered kiosk in the middle of the camp is a reminder of the stigma of Ebola: The Liberian man who used to run it, some said, was ignored and left to die in hospital because his doctors suspected Ebola was the reason for his high fever. Police also come to the camp at night in search of Ebola patients, residents said.
Johnson is awaiting her fiance's arrival in Ghana for a wedding at the end of the year. But he can't leave Liberia because of border closings.
"Some people are saying we will get married in December, others are saying maybe three years later. I just don't know what will happen," said Johnson, who runs a stall selling clothes and food in the camp. "I also can't go back to Liberia. I don't want to go."
Liberians are deeply religious people, and every morning many who live in this camp crowd into a church to pray for the end of Ebola
Boley, the Liberian pastor, said he genuinely believes that "only God can help us to solve" Ebola.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — So long Silicon Valley. These days entrepreneurs and engineers are flocking to a place better known for wave surfing than Web surfing. Amid the palm trees and purple sunsets of the Southern California coastline, techies have built "Silicon Beach."
In the past few years Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and YouTube have opened offices on the west side of Los Angeles from Santa Monica south to Venice and Playa del Rey. They are joined by hundreds of startups including Hulu, Demand Media and Snapchat, which nixed a $3 billion takeover offer from Facebook. Major Hollywood players like The Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. have launched startup accelerators to help local tech entrepreneurs. The city of Los Angeles even hired its first chief technology officer, former Qualcomm executive Peter Marx, earlier this year.
"Historically, Silicon Valley has been the center of gravity for tech and startups but I think more and more, these types of companies can be built anywhere," says Erik Rannala, who moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles with his entrepreneurial partner William Hsu several years ago.
Rannala and Hsu oversee MuckerLab, a technology incubator in Santa Monica, California, that has invested in 45 startups such as flower marketplace BloomNation and online tuxedo rental outfit The Black Tux. Many of the ideas for the companies were hatched in MuckerLab's concrete-walled space, which is covered with white boards and sticky tabs.
The vibe is eclectic. No office-park chic here. Graffiti murals mix with coffee shops, foodie scenes, and boutiques. Companies allocate ample space for bikes and surfboards so employees can hit the beach after work.
Social media software maker Epoxy TV, founded by Juan Bruce and Jason Ahmad, is located in a Venice complex formerly owned by the late actor Dennis Hopper. They still get his mail. One of Hopper's sculptures adorns the yard and inside, there's a staircase to nowhere designed by renowned Los Angeles architect Frank Gehry. The Venice scene also has helped online razor service Dollar Shave Club recruit employees, according to founder and Philadelphia native Michael Dubin.
"It's very different to be at the heart of Venice than to be in the heart of Mountain View," says Epoxy TV's Ahmad. "Culturally it's just a vastly different place."
What's happening here is part of a growing movement of U.S. cities seeking to duplicate the formula that turned northern California's Silicon Valley, slightly south of San Francisco, into a mecca of society-shifting innovation and immense wealth. Cupertino-based Apple Inc., Mountain View's Google Inc. and Menlo Park-based Facebook Inc. collectively have created more than $1 trillion in shareholder wealth while routinely paying employees six-figure salaries, generous benefits and stock options that can generate multimillion-dollar windfalls.
All the prosperity has caused the cost of living in Silicon Valley to soar. It's nearly impossible to buy even a small home for less than a $1 million in San Francisco and many other nearby cities. Tiny apartments can cost $2,500 to $3,500 per month.
Prices like those are one more reason that less expensive, but still enticing places like Los Angeles make sense to tech entrepreneurs, says Chris DeWolfe, who runs a rapidly growing company called the Social Gaming Network in Beverly Hills.
"It's more affordable to live almost anywhere in Los Angeles, and you still get a great variety of life here with an amazing culture, super beaches and great hiking," DeWolfe says. "And the sun is almost always shining."
The only thing that remains as a major benchmark for Los Angeles is to give birth to a city-defining company in the same way that Facebook, Google and Apple have defined Silicon Valley, or how Amazon and Microsoft have reshaped Seattle.
On the other opposite side of the U.S., New York's "Silicon Alley" has been a high-tech cove for the past 15 years. Boston and Washington D.C. also have had some success cultivating a vibrant technology scene, though neither city has coined a catchy nickname that has stuck. Billionaire Steve Case, who co-founded AOL Inc. in Virginia, is trying to spread the tech gospel in U.S. cities that have been brushed off as rusty relics of a bygone industrial era.
In June, Case visited more than 100 entrepreneurs and startups during a bus tour of Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Nashville, Tennessee that he called the "Rise of the Rest." This month he followed up with another round of technology-preaching stops in Minneapolis, St. Louis, Madison, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Iowa; and Kansas City, Missouri.
"This tech phenomenon in other parts of the country besides Silicon Valley is only going to increase as it becomes easier and cheaper to start companies," Case predicts.
DeWolfe said he had trouble luring technology engineers to Beverly Hills a decade ago when he was trying to expand MySpace, the social networking forerunner to Facebook that he co-founded. That's no longer a problem now that there's a steady stream of local students graduating with engineering degrees from local colleges like CalTech, UCLA and USC, says Marx, Los Angeles' chief technology officer.
Those students are flocking to local universities inspired by southern California's own success stories, including Internet search engine Overture Services of Pasadena, which Yahoo Inc. bought for $1.3 billion; MySpace, which News Corp. bought for $650 million; YouTube channel producer Maker Studios of Culver City, which sold to Disney in May for up to $950 million; and virtual reality headset maker Oculus of Irvine, which agreed to a $2 billion sale to Facebook in March.
Meanwhile, venture capitalists continue to pour more money into Southern California startups. In the first nine months of this year, venture capitalists invested $1.6 billion in startups based in Los Angeles County and neighboring Orange County. That's up 26 percent from the same time last year, according to figures compiled by PricewaterCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
That's still a pittance compared to Silicon Valley, where venture capital investments nearly doubled to $17 billion during the same period.
DeWolfe, who shuttles between Social Gaming Network's Beverly Hills headquarters and a San Francisco office, doubts Silicon Beach will ever come close to matching Silicon Valley's technology prowess. "There is something about Silicon Valley lore that you will never be able to reproduce, no matter how much you say you want to," he says.
That doesn't mean Silicon Valley can't be toppled from its perch, Case cautions. "It's important to never get cocky or complacent. Fifty or 60 years ago, Detroit was like the Silicon Valley of its day. You have to constantly attract talent and constantly innovate."