TIME weather

Texas Floods: Dozens Rescued as State Struggles With Record Rain

Texas Flood Weather Bridge
Bob Daemmrich—Corbis A destroyed bridge over the Blanco River in Wimberley, Texas on May 27, 2015.

Flood alerts extended nearly 800 miles from southern Texas to central Missouri

Dozens of people were rescued from flash flooding in central Texas early Friday, as emergency responders throughout the state struggled to cope with the wettest May on record.

Flood alerts extended nearly 800 miles from southern Texas to central Missouri, according to The Weather Channel’s Justin Abraham. He highlighted “major flash flooding issues around Dallas” after up to 6 inches of rain fell overnight.

Tow-truck driver Robert Levtzow, was stranded on a flooded Dallas street after responding to a police call.

“I was trying to put in reverse to get out and it died off and the water started rising immediately,” he told The Weather Channel. “I was scared, didn’t know really what to do [so] I called my wife immediately.”

Read the full story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Crime

Hastert Indictment Offers Few Clues About Alleged Misconduct

US Representative Dennis Hastert (C), R-IL, speaks
Stephen Jaffe—AFP/Getty Images Representative Dennis Hastert (C), R-IL, speaks to the media after receiving the nomination for Speaker of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, in January of 1999

Dennis Hastert agreed to pay Individual A from Yorkville $3.5 million to keep past misconduct quiet

CHICAGO — A newly unveiled indictment against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert accuses the Illinois Republican of agreeing to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a person from the town where he was a longtime high school teacher silent about “prior misconduct.” But it offers few hints about a central question: What was the alleged wrongdoing?

The concise federal grand jury indictment handed down Thursday accuses Hastert, who once was second in line to the U.S. presidency, of agreeing to pay the money to a person identified in the document only as “Individual A,” to “compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against” that person.

It notes that Hastert, 73, was a high school teacher and coach from 1965 to 1981 in suburban Yorkville, about 50 miles west of Chicago. It goes on to say Individual A has been a resident of Yorkville, and has known Hastert most of Individual A’s life, but doesn’t describe their relationship.

Legal experts say the fact that federal prosecutors noted Hastert’s tenure in Yorkville in the indictment’s first few sentences strongly suggests some connection between the allegations and that time and place.

“Notice the teacher and coach language,” said Jeff Cramer, a former federal prosecutor and head of the Chicago office of the investigation firm Kroll. “Feds don’t put in language like that unless it’s relevant.”

The indictment charges Hastert with one count of evading bank regulations by withdrawing $952,000 in increments of less than $10,000 to skirt reporting requirements. He also is charged with one count of lying to the FBI about the reason for the unusual withdrawals.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hastert did not return email and phone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment on the allegations. Hastert, who had worked as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., since shortly after he left Congress in 2007, resigned from Dickstein Shapiro LLC, a spokesman for the lobbying and law firm said Thursday.

A statement from the U.S. attorney’s office announcing the indictment said Hastert will be ordered to appear for arraignment. The date was not immediately set.

The indictment alleges Hastert withdrew a total of around $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts from 2010 to 2014, then provided the money to Individual A.

The indictment says Hastert agreed to the payments after multiple meetings in 2010. It says that “during at least one of the meetings, Individual A and defendant discussed past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier” and Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep it quiet. The indictment suggests he never paid the full amount.

The indictment says that between 2010 and 2012 Hastert made 15 cash withdrawals of $50,000 from bank accounts at Old Second Bank, People’s State Bank and Castle Bank and gave cash to Individual A around every six weeks.

Around April 2012, bank officials began questioning Hastert about the withdrawals, and starting in July of that year, Hastert reduced the amounts he withdrew at a time to less than $10,000 — apparently so they would not run afoul of a regulation designed to stop illicit activity such as money laundering, according to the indictment.

Among the focuses of the FBI investigation was whether Hastert, in the words of the indictment, was “the victim of a criminal extortion related to, among other matters, his prior positions in government.” The court document does not elaborate.

Legal experts said extortion cases can be tricky.

In mulling over whom to charge, prosecutors often must decide whether the person being extorted or the person doing the extorting is most victimized, said Chicago-based attorney and former federal prosecutor Phil Turner.

“In most instances you would view someone being extorted as the victim because they are being shaken down,” he said. “But prosecutors have enormous discretion and, in some instance, may see the person doing the extortion as a greater victim. Those are factors that can be weighed.”

Investigators questioned Hastert on Dec. 8, 2014, and he lied about why he had been withdrawing so much money at a time, saying he did it because he didn’t trust the banking system, the indictment alleges.

“Yeah, … I kept the cash. That’s what I am doing,” it quotes Hastert as saying.

Hastert, who also maintains a home in the Chicago suburb of Plano several miles northwest of Yorkville, was a little-known lawmaker from suburban Chicago when chosen to succeed conservative Newt Gingrich as speaker. Hastert was picked after favored Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston resigned following his admission of several sexual affairs.

As speaker, Hastert pushed President George W. Bush’s legislative agenda, helping pass a massive tax cut and expanding Medicare prescription drug benefits.

He retired from Congress in 2007 after eight years as speaker, making him the longest-serving Republican House speaker. He was second in line to the presidency during those years after the vice president.

David Corwin of Yorkville said his son, Scott, wrestled for Hastert in high school, then later became a wrestling coach himself.

“You won’t get anyone to say anything bad about him out here,” said David Corwin. “Everybody loved him. The kids loved him and they still do.”

Illinois has a long history of politicians getting in legal trouble.

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. served a year and a half for illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on furs, vacations and other luxury items. Two successive governors in the 2000s, Republican George Ryan and Democrat Rod Blagojevich, were convicted on corruption charges.

In the Hastert case, it’s not clear whether the money was paid in relation to his former position in government. Hastert started making the payments to the person in about 2010, according to the indictment.

TIME language

Here’s a Theory About Why South Asian Americans Totally Rule the Spelling Bee

Champion Spellers Compete In Scripps National Spelling Bee
Alex Wong—Getty Images Speller Vanya Shivashankar (2L) of Olathe, Kansas, and speller Gokul Venkatachalam (R) of St. Louis, Missouri, celebrate with family members after winning the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Anthropology professor Shalini Shankar shares her ideas with TIME

South Asian-Americans, whose forebears immigrated from countries like India or Pakistan, have now won the Scripps National Spelling Bee eight years in a row. At one point in the 2015 final, six of the remaining seven spellers were of that ethnicity, and in the end there were two: co-champions Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam. That means that out of the last 16 years, spellers of South-Asian origin have lost only four competitions. And one Northwestern academic says it’s not a coincidence.

Shalini Shankar, an associate professor of anthropology and Asian-American studies, spent this week with the 283 elite spellers who qualified for the bee in National Harbor, Md., continuing her research into what, exactly, might have produced this string of success. TIME spoke with Shankar about her interviews with parents, the kids’ intense preparation and how immigrant culture might lead to dominance in “brain sports.” (Hint: It doesn’t hurt that there is a spelling bee circuit exclusively for spellers of South-Asian descent.)

Who exactly are we talking about when we talk about top spellers in South Asian cultures?

Primarily India and Pakistan and Bangladesh are the countries that appear to have a lot of spellers. And when you look at South Asians in the South Asian spelling bee, it’s a range across those three countries. Occasionally from Sri Lanka as well. But once you get down to the finals or the championship level, it tends to be more spellers just from India. So Indian-Americans. Usually they are second generation. They were born in the United States to parents who are first generation Indian immigrants.

Is there a chance the string of wins by South Asian-Americans is a coincidence?

I think we can safely say it’s not a coincidence. I hesitate to call it dominance, only because it sounds like something premeditated or strategized. These kids come from families where their parents are really well educated, many of them, and their parents really emphasize education and certain types of extracurricular activities. Combined with that, they seem to have a real love of words and language and their parents foster that.

What kind of extracurricular activities are we talking about?

The parents spend a lot of their time and resources taking [their kids] to participate in what some of them describe as brain sports. So rather that going to travel baseball or travel soccer, they’re traveling this academic competition loop. Part of why you’re seeing their success on the rise is they’re in constant preparation mode for these various academic competitions. And there are several competitions that are exclusively for children of South Asian parentage. So they have more opportunities to do what they’re doing.

If part of this is the parents spending money on the travel circuit, does income level come into play in explaining the phenomenon?

I can’t speak to income levels because I don’t have that data. But I can safely say there’s at least one professional parent in most of these families that have what they call elite spellers. So they’re certainly socially upwardly mobile families even if they may not be wealthy, per se.

How much have you found the kids are into this intense competition because their parents are pushing them, versus pursuing it themselves?

The parents are definitely facilitators to this process but they can’t actually produce champions. They can only enable their children to excel in this activity if they’re predisposed and dedicated to doing it themselves. But I don’t think that’s so different from spelling bee champions of any other race or ethnicity. Any time you see spellers who really are dedicated and they’re making it to the highest levels of competition at the national level, generally their parents have invested a tremendous amount of time and energy helping them.

But isn’t there something, even if it’s not Tiger-Mom tactics, like a value the parents are passing along about what kind of competition is worth winning?

I have some partially formed ideas about that. I’m still looking into it. Part of what I’m seeing is that there’s a lot of prestige in this community to winning something like a spelling bee or winning a geography bee or a math bee. And that is valued as much if not more than winning some sort of physical sport … These are very important bragging rights among South Asian-American communities. There’s some real status linked to it, that the kids feel too. The kids are really excited about the prospect of being on ESPN. They want to be on television.

 

Is there a more fundamental place in the culture that this value on academic prowess comes from, like what brought these immigrants to America?

Among the elite classes in India, both economically and socially elite, there’s a real emphasis on education and the use of education for social mobility. It’s not so different from other places in the world, but it’s certainly quite prevalent there. So I think that value is one that gets very magnified when you look at what Indian-American populations actually emigrated. It’s mostly professionals who immigrated post-1965. They are doctors or engineers or scientists, etcetera. So they are absolutely going to place a higher value on that than, say, other types of accomplishment. It doesn’t meant they downplay other types of accomplishments, but there’s an understood value of education that these contests jibe with very well.

What is it that drives these kids to dedicate themselves to spelling so intensely?

Unless you really love language and reading and words, it becomes very hard to care about preparing to the extent that one needs to for a spelling bee at this level. Kids who do this love words and they love thinking about words. They read the dictionary, among other things. And not all of them prepare to win. They set their own goals, like ‘I want to make it to Scripps’ or ‘I want to make it to the semi-finals’ or the finals and proportionately spend time preparing in whatever ways they think will allow them to attain those goals.

What is that preparation process like?

That process is usually every day, if not almost every day, they spend a few hours after school, after their homework, sometimes after their parents get home so they can quiz them. They spend several hours each weekend day preparing, maybe not year-round but certainly in the weeks and months leading up to the bee. Some of these spellers who compete in their school bees as well as these South Asian spelling bees, they don’t let too much time go by when they don’t have to be preparing for something. They’re kind of constantly keeping this fresh in their minds. So it’s an ongoing process for them, during the years in which they’re able to compete. And then suddenly it ends when they’re 14. It can be a very abrupt ending.

How do competitions like this affect the way we think about childhood?

If anything, the continuum of what childhood means is being expanded in productive ways to accommodate things that might have seemed extremely marginal or relegated to this untouchable nerd kind of activity. It’s something that has more mainstream cachet. I mean, being on ESPN is something very few kids get to do and these kids are very proud of participating in something that has such national recognition. It’s just expanding our ideas about what childhood means in ways that are keeping up with how the world is changing.

TIME language

The Scripps National Spelling Bee Has Co-Champions, Again

Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, and Gokul Venkatachalam, St. Louis Missouri lift the trophy after becoming co-champions after the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee
Joshua Roberts—Reuters Vanya Shivashankar, left, and Gokul Venkatachalam lift the trophy after becoming co-champions after the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Md., on May 28, 2015

The winning words in the nail-biter final were 'scherenschnitte' and 'nunatak'

In a dramatic, flawless final round, two eighth-graders proved to be joint winners at the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. One a girl and one a boy, one from Kansas and one from Missouri, one a five-time finalist and one a four-timer, 13-year-old Vanya Shivashankar and 14-year-old Gokul Venkatachalam put both their hands on the trophy and thrust it into the air on Thursday evening—after spelling word after word that few people could even hope to pronounce correctly.

Shivashankar’s winning word was scherenschnitte, meaning the art of cutting paper into decorative designs. Venkatachalam’s was nunatak, a hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice.

This is the second year in a row that the final has yielded co-champions. Last year was the first time in 52 years that two people had shared the trophy, and 2015 marks the first time in the bee’s 90-year history that there have ever been co-champions two years in a row. This is only the fifth tie ever.

How do two people win the bee? If three or fewer spellers are left when a round begins, the officials move to a 25-word “championship list.” As Scripps explained last year:

Once there are three spellers left in a round, the next round begins with a 25-word list. Ordinarily, a winner is declared if one speller misspells and the remaining speller correctly spells two words in a row. If no winner is declared before the list has been exhausted—or there are not enough words left for two consecutive spellings—co-champions are announced.

In the last minutes of the final, Shivashankar and Venkatachalam navigated—and sometimes breezed—through the championship words with poise, like tennis players returning near-impossible shots. And the announcers from ESPN, which broadcasts the competition held in National Harbor, Md., each year, espoused due color commentary.

Shivashankar started with bouquetiere.

“If they do want only one champion, the words are going to have to get tougher than that one was for Vanya,” the announcer scoffed.

Venkatachalam countered with caudillismo.

“It’s not the first time in this competition he’s proven he can handle a Spanish-derived word.”

She spelled thamakau, a word of Fijian origin that describes a large canoe.

“Very obscure.”

He spelled scytale, a message written in a method of cipher used especially by the Spartans.

“That’s how good these too are. For most spellers, that would be a nightmare,” the announcer explains. “That dictionary is no mystery to them.”

Tantieme. Cypseline. Urgrund. Filicite.

“I don’t know that either one of these is capable of not winning that trophy.”

Myrmotherine. Sprachgefuhl. Zimocca. Hippocrepiform.

Neither one betrayed much emotion as they cycled up to the microphone. The announcers explained that Venkatachalam was wearing a LeBron James jersey under his button-up. The audience learned that Shivshankar’s sister had previously won the bee. It was no wonder they kept so cool.

Nixtamal. Paroemiology. Scacchite. Pipsissewa. Bruxellois. Pyrrhuloxia.

At this point, there were only four words remaining. That meant that if both spelled their next words correctly, both would go home winners—because there would be just two words left, not enough for a winner to spell two correctly in succession.

After cycling through her questions about the origin, part of speech, definition and alternative pronunciations, Shivashankar nailed the byzantine mess of letters that is scherenschnitte. (She also won the Lifetime reality show Child Genius earlier this year, which was starting to look like an omen.)

Then Venkatachalam headed up to the microphone. The pronouncer said the word. The boy asked no questions and spelled nunatak like he was spelling his own name.

The ticker tape rained down on the stage and the spellers hugged each other. He held the left side and she held the right. “This is a dream come true. I can’t believe I’m up here,” Shivashankar said. But with nine bee appearances between them, it’s pretty easy to imagine that something this fitting would happen.

TIME viral

Baltimore’s Top Prosecutor Once Made Her Case to Judge Judy

A young Marilyn J. Mosby worked to resolve a personal legal matter

Before she made national headlines by indicting six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby made an appearance on the small screen for a more personal legal matter.

A young Marilyn James made her case before none other than Judge Judy Sheindlin, the fiery host of the popular TV courtroom show, a spokesman for her office confirmed to the Baltimore Sun. The 20-year-old appeared before the judge to seek damages after discovering her neighbor trashed her college apartment while she was away on summer break.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Mosby attended Tuskegee University between 1998 and 2002, before heading to Boston College Law School.

The future prosecutor upstaged her neighbor in the courtroom, presenting receipts, photos and checks to aid her case. The defendant, on the other hand, offered little more than a shrug.

In the end, the young Mosby told the viewing audience there was “finally some justice served” when Judge Judy ruled in her favor and awarded her $1,731.90.

TIME Military

How Disbanding the Iraqi Army Fueled ISIS

IRAQ-CONFLICT
MOHAMMED SAWAF / AFP / Getty Images Iraqi Shiite fighters battle Sunni Islamic State militants north of Baghdad May 26.

The U.S. decision 12 years ago has provided the enemy with some of its best commanders and fighters

After nearly a year of air strikes led by the U.S. and ground attacks by the U.S.-trained Iraqi army, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is proving to be a far more cagey and cunning foe than the Pentagon ever expected. A big reason for its success is the George W. Bush Administration’s decision to disband the Iraqi army shortly after the 2003 invasion—without the knowledge or consent of either the Pentagon or President.

It’s a jarring reminder of how a key decision made long ago is complicating U.S. efforts to fight ISIS and restore some semblance of stability to Iraq. Instead of giving Iraq a fresh start with a new army, it helped create a vacuum that ISIS has filled. Anthony Zinni, a retired Marine general and chief of U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000, said keeping the Iraqi army intact was always part of U.S. strategy. “The plan was that the army would be the foundation of rebuilding the Iraqi military,” he says. “Many of the Sunnis who were chased out ended up on the other side and are probably ISIS fighters and leaders now.” One expert estimates that more than 25 of ISIS’s top 40 leaders once served in the Iraqi military.

General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, says the U.S. could have weeded Saddam Hussein’s loyalists from the Iraqi army while keeping its structure, and the bulk of its forces, in place. “We could have done a lot better job of sorting through that and keeping the Iraqi army together,” he told TIME on Thursday. “We struggled for years to try to put it back together again.”

The decision to dissolve the Iraqi army robbed Baghdad’s post-invasion military of some of its best commanders and troops. Combined with sectarian strains that persist 12 years later, it also drove many of the suddenly out-of-work Sunni warriors into alliances with a Sunni insurgency that would eventually mutate into ISIS. Many former Iraqi military officers and troops, trained under Saddam, have spent the last 12 years in Anbar Province battling both U.S. troops and Baghdad’s Shi’ite-dominated security forces, Pentagon officials say.

“Not reorganizing the army and police immediately were huge strategic mistakes,” said Jack Keane, a retired Army vice chief of staff and architect of the “surge” of 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Iraq in 2007. “We began to slowly put together a security force, but it took far too much time and that gave the insurgency an ability to start to rise.”

The U.S.-ordered dissolution of the Iraqi army was a major error. But it was compounded by former Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki’s wholesale firing of Sunni commanders in favor of more compliant, if less competent, Shi’ites during his 2006-2014 tenure. That turned what was supposed to have been a national army into little more than a sectarian militia that took orders from the Prime Minister’s inner circle. “Malaki went into that army and pulled out all of its distinguished leaders, whose guys were devoted to them, and put in these cronies and hacks,” Keane said. “And those guys pocketed the money that was supposed to be used for training.”

So how did the Iraqi army come to dissolve? The Bush Administration tapped Paul Bremer to head the so-called Coalition Provisional Authority on May 11, 2003. Twelve days later, he issued an order wiping away the Iraqi military, with a pledge to build a new one from scratch, untainted by any ties to Saddam’s regime. The army’s end quickly led to civil unrest, a growing insurgency and a U.S. occupation that would last eight years and cost the lives of 4,491 American troops.

Things would have been different if the Iraqi army had been scrubbed of Hussein’s loyalists, but otherwise permitted to exist, military officers believe. “I think it would have caused us to spend less time in Iraq—I think we would have been to leave a lot sooner than we were,” said Odierno, who commanded forces in Iraq during three tours between 2003 and 2010. “I think it would have given a better chance for Iraqis to come together.”

Bremer’s decision to disband the Iraqi army has been shrouded in mystery. James Pfiffner, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, conducted one of the most detailed autopsies into the decision. “President Bush had agreed with military planners that the Army was essential for the internal and external security of the country,” Pfiffner wrote in the professional journal Intelligence and National Security in 2010. “When asked in 2006 by his biographer…about the decision, Bush replied ‘Well, the policy was to keep the army intact. Didn’t happen’.” Pfiffner suggests the decision made by Bremer actually came from Vice President Dick Cheney. (“It may have been a mistake,” Cheney said in 2011 without confirming it was his decision.)

Over the past year, ISIS has seized hundreds of U.S.-built Iraqi military vehicles given to Baghdad by the U.S. government. But history shows that the U.S., beyond providing ISIS with war machines, also made a fateful decision that gave ISIS some of its best commanders and fighters.

TIME Courts

Theater Shooting Gunman Told Psychiatrist He Regretted Attack

"What brings tears to your eyes?" the psychiatrist asks. "Just regrets," James Holmes responds

(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial heard for the first time in the gunman’s own words that he regretted the attack and sometimes cried about it at night.

James Holmes’ comments came about two years after the shooting, in a videotaped interview with a state-appointed psychiatrist.

On Thursday, jurors watched the video and heard testimony from the doctor, William Reid, who said he believes Holmes knew the consequences when he opened fire at a Batman movie premiere in July 2012.

In the video, Reid asks Holmes if he got emotional when his parents visited him in jail for the first time. Holmes responds, “Nope,” but concedes in short answers that he sometimes cries before he goes to bed because he feels bad about the attack.

“What brings tears to your eyes?” the psychiatrist asks.

“Just regrets,” Holmes responds. “Usually it’s before I go to sleep.”

“Regrets about?” Reid asks.

“About the shooting.”

Earlier in the day, Reid testified about his conclusions from the July 2014 interviews, saying “whatever he (Holmes) suffered from” that night, he knew what he was doing.

Reminded that his task was to determine whether Holmes was legally sane during the attack, Reid declared, “whatever he suffered from, it did not prevent him from forming intent and knowing the consequences of what he was doing.”

The comment briefly frustrated the prosecutor, who said his witness had jumped ahead of him, and prompted the defense to ask for a mistrial.

Judge Carlos Samour ultimately denied the request, even as he acknowledged it might confuse jurors on the key question of the trial. They must decide whether Holmes’ disease or deficient mental state at the time of the attack met Colorado’s legal definition of sanity, leaving him unable to form a “culpable mental state.”

Essentially, the judge said, Reid was supposed to limit his opinions to whether Holmes was capable of understanding right from wrong — but not whether he actually understood it.

“I do think someone could misunderstand the use of the term “prevent,” Samour said, but he ruled that Reid’s overall comments didn’t violate that subtle boundary.

MORE: Colorado Gunman’s Notebook of Ramblings Becomes Evidence

After a long break to settle the question, District Attorney George Brauchler asked Reid “to be precise” about his findings, and the psychiatrist gave the briefest possible responses.

Did Holmes have a serious mental illness? “Yes.”

Despite that illness, did Holmes have “the capacity to know right from wrong” on July 19 and 20, the night of the attack? “Yes.”

Did Holmes have the capacity to form the intent to act after deliberation, and to act knowingly? “Yes.”

And did Holmes meet the legal definition of sanity? “Yes.”

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the attack that killed 12 people and injured 70. Colorado law gives the state the burden to prove he was sane, and therefore guilty. Prosecutors want him executed, not sent to a mental hospital.

Reid said before spending 22 hours interviewing Holmes, he interviewed Holmes’ parents and dozens of others who knew him. He said he spent about 300 hours preparing for the sanity exam, including viewing more than a week of videos of Holmes in jail shortly after the attack.

“There was nothing to indicate insanity,” Reid said. “He seemed to sleep at slightly odd hours. I can’t think of very much else.”

Reid acknowledged that Holmes’ mental state had changed in the two years between the attack and the interview, including what he described as a “physical and mental breakdown” in November 2012, when Holmes was videotaped repeatedly ramming his head against a cell wall while naked.

Holmes has taken anti-psychotic medicine since then, but Reid said the episode wasn’t relevant to his capacity to understand right from wrong months earlier.

The judge asked for Reid’s interview after prosecutors challenged the conclusions of the first state-ordered review of his sanity, by Dr. Jeffrey Metzner in December 2013.

TIME Congress

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted on Bank-Related Charges

He's also accused of lying to the FBI

(CHICAGO)—Federal prosecutors announced bank-related charges against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Thursday, accusing the 73-year-old Illinois Republican of structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000. He’s also accused of lying to the FBI.

Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.

From 2010 to 2014, Hastert withdrew a total of approximately $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts and provided it to a person identified only as Individual A, according to the indictment.

In December last year, “Hastert falsely stated that he was keeping the cash” when questioned by the FBI, the prosecutor’s statement says.

Hastert, a former high school wrestling coach, was a little known lawmaker from suburban Chicago when chosen to succeed conservative Newt Gingrich. Hastert was picked after favored Louisiana Congressman Bob Livingston resigned after admitting to several sexual affairs.

As speaker, Hastert pushed President George W. Bush’s legislative agenda, helping pass a massive tax cut and expanding Medicare prescription drug benefits.

He retired from Congress in 2007 after eight years as speaker.

TIME Environment

California Drought Leads City to Cancel Fireworks

The football field where Cupertino residents typically gather to watch the display requires 100,000 gallons of water to prevent damage

California’s drought is putting a damper on one town’s Fourth of July festivities. The city of Cupertino in central California announced this week that its annual fireworks display had been canceled because the field where it’s held requires too much water.

According to the city, it takes 100,000 gallons of water to keep the Cupertino High School football field in good condition after the fireworks display.

In an effort to conserve water, the school’s district denied the city’s request to use the field for the 2015 festivities. Because the city couldn’t find an alternate site, officials had to cancel the fireworks.

The city’s spokesman told NBC News Bay Area that though people are upset about the cancellation, they generally understand.

“People are very disappointed,” Rick Kitson told NBC. “Who doesn’t love fireworks? But overall, I think they get it.”

The state of California is currently experiencing one of its most severe droughts. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of an emergency in January and in April he issued an executive order calling for a 25% reduction in urban water usage.

TIME Crime

Baltimore Sees Worst Month for Homicides in 15 Years

Homicide Spike Baltimore
Colin Campbell—AP Baltimore police pick up a pair of shoes after a double shooting on May 24, 2015. One month after riots erupted in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, homicides and shootings are up.

The spike coincides with a decrease in arrests

Thirty-eight people have been killed in Baltimore so far this month, making it the deadliest in 15 years for a city still recovering from the protests surrounding the death of Freddie Gray.

On Thursday, a woman and a young boy were shot and killed, becoming the 37th and 38th homicide victims this month, surpassing a record set in November 1999 when 36 people were killed.

While homicides tend to spike during the summer months, the increase in murders has coincided with an overall decrease in arrests made by the Baltimore Police Department.

According to the Associated Press, arrests in May are down 56% compared with last year, and it appears that officers are increasingly reluctant to detain suspects after six officers were indicted in the case of Freddie Gray, a black Baltimore man who died on April 19 in police custody.

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