TIME intelligence

U.S. Cracked North Korea’s Computer Systems

Kim Jong Un North Korea
KCNA/Reuters North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks through a pair of binoculars as he guides the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851, in Pyongyang in this undated photo released on Dec. 30, 2014.

It reportedly happened before the devastating Sony hack

Comments by top U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, that blamed North Korea for the Sony Pictures cyberattack were apparently rooted in a top-secret penetration of North Korea’s computer systems by the National Security Agency, according to The New York Times — a report independently confirmed by NBC News.

The Times reported that the penetration occurred before the hack of Sony, but U.S. intelligence officials would not discuss the report Sunday or confirm its details. But the Times report says the evidence gleaned from the U.S. penetration of North Korean government hackers’ activities persuaded Obama and other top officials that North Korea was behind the attack…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Crime

2 Teachers Accused of Having Sex With High School Students

Los Angeles Teachers Arrested Sex
Orange County Sheriff’s Department/AP Left: Melody Lippert; Right: Michelle Ghirelli, two teachers who have been arrested following allegations they had sex with high school students on an overnight beach camping trip in Southern California, Jan. 17, 2015.

The school district has alerted parents and put the teachers on paid leave

Two Los Angeles-area teachers have been arrested and accused of having sex with high school students, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

Melody Lippert, a teacher at South Hills High School in the Covina-Valley Unified School District, allegedly provided alcohol to students on the San Clemente beach and took part in a “sexual relationship” with one of them, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Later, 38-year-old Lippert allegedly organized a camping trip that was not sponsored by the school to the same beach, where she and Michelle Ghirelli, a 30-year-old former South Hills teacher who worked in the district offices, are suspected of having sexual contact with students.

“As soon as we found out about this, we contacted the Police Department. We’re taking the matter very, very seriously,” said Michelle Van Der Linden, the school district’s spokesperson. Both women are on paid administrative leave, and parents of the school have been informed. They are set to be arraigned on Wednesday.

[Los Angeles Times]


12 Key Moments That Led to the Supreme Court’s Same-sex Marriage Case

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Gay Marriage
Win McNamee—Getty Images Gay rights supporter Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on June 26, 2013 in Washington.

The 42-year backdrop for the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on gay marriage

1. “The appeal is dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.”

–Unsigned one-sentence ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, October 10, 1972, Baker v. Nelson.

With these 11 words, the Court dismissed, without oral arguments, the appeal of two Minneapolis men, Richard John Baker and James Michael McConnell, who argued that a clerk’s refusal to issue them a marriage license violated their federal constitutional rights. (Source:Courting Justice, Gay Men and Lesbians v. The Supreme Court, by Joyce Murdoch and Deb Price.)

2. “I don’t believe I ever met a homosexual.”

–Justice Lewis Powell, Jr., in early 1986.

In preparing for Bowers v. Hardwick, a landmark case challenging the constitutionality of a Georgia law criminalizing homosexual sodomy, Powell, then 78, made this observation to one of his law clerks, Carter Cabell Chinnis, Jr. Chinnis didn’t tell Powell that Chinnis was himself gay, as he knew many of Powell’s previous clerks had been, but wondered if Powell suspected it. Powell looked for a compromise position in the case, but couldn’t find one, and voted in the end to uphold the felony statute. [Sources: Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., by John Calvin Jeffries, Jr., and Courting Justice (above).]

3. “[T]o claim that a right to engage in [homosexual] conduct is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ or ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ is, at best, facetious.”

–Justice Byron White, Bowers v Hardwick, June 30, 1986.

White wrote this opinion for the Court’s 5-4 majority, upholding Georgia’s law criminalizing homosexual sodomy, evidently finding it difficult to take the plaintiffs’ arguments seriously.

4. “Condemnation of [homosexual] practices is firmly rooted in Judeao-Christian moral and ethical standards.”

–Chief Justice Warren Burger, concurring in Bowers, June 30, 1986.

In joining the majority opinion, upholding Georgia’s law criminalizing homosexual sodomy, Chief Justice Burger’s added: “Decisions of individuals relating to homosexual conduct have been subject to state intervention throughout the history of Western civilization. Homosexual sodomy was a capital crime under Roman law. … [Eighteenth century English jurist Sir William] Blackstone described ‘the infamous crime against nature’ as an offense of ‘deeper malignity’ than rape, a heinous act ‘the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature,’ and ‘a crime not fit to be named.’”

5. “[A] bare … desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest.”

–Justice Anthony Kennedy, Romer v Evans, May 20, 1996.

Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion of the Court for a 6-3 majority. After several cities and villages in Colorado had passed ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, Colorado voters passed, by referendum, a state constitutional amendment banning and invalidating those ordinances. In Romer, the Court struck down that referendum, marking its first important turn toward protecting gay rights.

6. “The court has mistaken a Kulturkampf for a fit of spite.”

–Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting in Romer v. Evans, May 20, 1996.

Scalia’s argument continued: “Of course it is our moral heritage that one should not hate any human being or class of human beings. But I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible–murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals–and could exhibit even ‘animus’ toward such conduct. Surely that is the only sort of ‘animus’ at issue here: moral disapproval of homosexual conduct, the same sort of moral disapproval that produced the centuries-old criminal laws that we held constitutional in Bowers.”

7. “The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.”

–Justice Anthony Kennedy, Lawrence v. Texas, June 26, 2003.

In this landmark ruling, the Court, 6-3, overruled Bowers v. Hardwick, and struck down the Texas law criminalizing homosexual sodomy. Kennedy continued: “[A]dults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons. When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice.”

8. “Today’s opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned.”

–Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting in Lawrence v. Texas, June 26, 2003.

Though Scalia obviously sought to chide the majority for what he regarded as poor reasoning, many lower-court judges later cited his dissent as proof that the logic ofLawrence now required according constitutional protection to same-sex marriage. Scalia had also written: “If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ . . . what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution’?”

9. “DOMA writes inequality into the entire United States Code.”

–Justice Anthony Kennedy, United States v. Windsor, June 26, 2013.

Justice Kennedy wrote this opinion for the 5-4 majority, striking down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had forbidden same-sex couples, even when lawfully married under state law, from being treated as “spouses” under federal law.

“DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” Kennedy wrote. “The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects … and whose relationship the State has sought to dignify. And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.”

10. “By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition.”

–Justice Scalia, dissenting in United States v. Windsor, June 26, 2013.

In his apoplectic dissent, Justice Scalia once again seemed to unwittingly play into the hands of those who favored a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. “The real rationale of today’s opinion,” Scalia wrote, “whatever disappearing trail of its legalistic argle-bargle one chooses to follow, is that DOMA is motivated by ‘bare … desire to harm’ couples in same-sex marriages. … How easy it is, indeed how inevitable, to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status.”

11. “Only the Supreme Court may overrule its own precedents, and we remain bound even by its summary decisions.”

–Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton, Obergefell v. Hodges; Tanco v Haslam; DeBoer v. Snyder; Bourke v. Beshear., Nov 6, 2014.

Two months ago, writing for a 2-1 majority, Judge Sutton, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, upheldsame-sex marriage bans in four cases arising from Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. He said his hands were tied by the Supreme Court’s one-line 1972 dismissal in Baker v. Nelson (see point 1, above). Since four other U.S. Courts of Appeals had by then ruled that there was a constitutional right to same-sex marriage—and 36 states by this point permitted such marriages—Judge Sutton’s ruling created a “circuit split,” which frequently triggers U.S. Supreme Court review.

In dissent, circuit judge Martha Craig Daughtrey wrote: “If ever there was a legal ‘dead letter’ emanating from the Supreme Court, Baker v. Nelson … is a prime candidate. It lacks only a stake through its heart.”

12. “The petitions … are granted [for] the following questions: 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? . . .”

–unsigned order of the U.S. Supreme Court, January 16, 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges; Tanco v Haslam; DeBoer v. Snyder; Bourke v. Beshear.

Using standard, understated, formulaic language, the Court agreed on Friday to decide the issue Jack Baker and Mike McConnell tried to bring before it in 1972: Do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to get married. The issue will be argued in late April, and the historic answer handed down in late June.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Bizarre

A Florida Teen Impersonated a Doctor for a Whole Month

"I am really getting old because these young doctors look younger every year," one physician thought

A teenager in Florida managed to fool an entire medical center into thinking he was a doctor for a whole month before he was found out.

The teen wore a white coat that read “Anesthesiology” on the back as he walked through the corridors of St. Mary’s Medical Center in Palm Beach, KCTV 5 News reports.

“He presented himself with a patient of our practice and introduced himself as Dr. Robinson,” Dr. Sebastian Kent said. “The first thing I thought was, ‘I am really getting old because these young doctors look younger every year.'”

The teen was discovered after being caught in an examination room with a patient while wearing a mask and a stethoscope.

His mother told police he had an undisclosed illness and had not been taking his medication. Both police and the hospital decided not file charges.

[KCTV 5 News]

TIME People

L.A. Artist Will Tattoo Your Name on Her Body for $10

It will take an estimated 60 hours to complete the tattooing

An artist in Los Angeles will tattoo your name on her body for $10.

Illma Gore is conducting a social experiment and wants to cover her whole body, from the neck down, in tattoos for an art exhibition, ABC reports.

For $10 you can have your name or a few words inked onto her skin, but for $100 you can even add a small picture to the 22-year-old.

So far she has raised $6,319 in three days, already beating her initial target of $6,000.

“There is something absurd and beautiful about having an accumulation of absolute strangers names draped over my pale goth skin, even if half of them are ‘Penis Butt,’” she says on her GoFundMe page.

TIME Transportation

Man Walks Away from 26-Car Pileup After Being Pinned Between Two Semis

"Thank God that I'm still alive," said Kaleb Whitby. "Now I've got to go figure out why."

A massive highway accident in eastern Oregon involving approximately 100 people and 26 cars, left 12 people injured Saturday. Heavy winds and fog, combined with icy road conditions on the stretch of Interstate 84, resulted in a dangerous mix for drivers causing three separate collisions, primarily with semi trucks.

And one 27-year-old man, Kaleb Whitby, has become the public face of the incident, thanks to one wild picture captured by truck driver Sergi Karplyuk, 32, on Twitter.

The image shows Whitby in what used to be his four-door pickup truck, wedged tightly between two semis. Karplyuk’s was one of them, and he eventually helped Whitby escape, but not before snapping the picture above.

Of the dozen people injured, one was transferred to OHSU Hospital in Portland and remains listed in critical condition. Six others remained hospitalized as of Saturday afternoon. Two were listed as stable, and four had been transferred to a sister hospital in Boise.

“I think we’re fortunate that there weren’t any fatalities here,” Oregon State Police Sgt. Kyle Hove told The Oregonian.

Whitby was very fortunate. Against all logic, he was largely unharmed.

“I’ve got two Band-Aids on my right ring finger,” he told The Oregonian. “And a little bit of ice on my left eye.”

“Thank God that I’m still alive,” he continued. “Now I’ve got to go figure out why.”

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Crime

Shooter Opens Fire in Florida Mall

Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a shooting at the Melbourne Square Mall on Jan 17, 2015 in Melbourne, Fla.
Malcolm Denemark—AP Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a shooting at the Melbourne Square Mall on Jan 17, 2015 in Melbourne, Fla.

At least one person was killed, police said

A shooter opened fire inside the Melbourne Square Mall in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday morning, NBC News reports.

Calls came in around 9:30 a.m., and police reportedly “contained” the shooter by 10:40 a.m.

Cathy Wright, an employee at Starbucks, tells NBC News that she heard about “three or four gunshots” in “rapid succession” and was told by mall security to remain in her store.

The Melbourne Police’s Twitter account later asked store employees and shoppers to exit the mall through the back door while they evacuated the entire complex.

News 13, a local news station, reported that at least one person is dead with two others injured. The shooter is believed to be one of the people shot.

One witness, Jeff Gross, shared a shot of police officers outside of the mall on Twitter.

“I was in the back of my restaurant, in the kitchen, and one of my coworker came out screaming,” Jeff Gross, who works at the Rodizio Grill, told PEOPLE.

“We all ran out of the back,” he continued, adding that he and everyone in the restaurant got out safe.

This article originally appeared at PEOPLE.com

TIME Crime

Teens on the Run After Alleged Crime Spree Spotted in Florida

A still from surveillance shows 18-year-old Dalton Hayes and 13-year-old Cheyenne Phillips leave a South Carolina Wal-Mart.
Grayson County Sheriff's Office/AP A still from surveillance shows 18-year-old Dalton Hayes and 13-year-old Cheyenne Phillips leave a South Carolina Wal-Mart.

Police are searching for Dalton Hayes, 18, and Cheyenne Phillips, 13

Police in Florida spotted on Friday two teens, Dalton Hayes, 18, and Cheyenne Phillips, 13, who are accused of stealing several cars since they went missing two weeks ago.

The teens, who were dubbed by some media reports as a new “Bonnie and Clyde,” were dating three months before they disappeared two weeks ago, and police said they stole vehicles to make their escape. Kentucky police said Hayes could face charges associated with his relationship with Cheyenne, who is a minor.

The duo appeared to have stolen a second vehicle recently with a .45-caliber handgun and a .38 special handgun sitting in the backseat, along with ammunition.

“They are getting increasingly brazen and hopefully they’ll come to their sense and turn themselves,” Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins told The Washington Post on Friday. “I do believe them to be a danger now because the vehicle they stole has weapons in it.”

Police also said Hayes was out on bond on a felony burglary charge, which carries a sentence of one to five years, and that he didn’t want to face charges in Kentucky.


TIME cities

Mystery Buyer Nabs Manhattan Penthouse for Record-Breaking $100 Million

New York's Central Park Skyline
Robert Nickelsberg—;Getty Images A view of the southern skyline of Central Park is seen on May 19, 2014 including the 90-story One57 luxury condominium building under construction in New York City.

New York City real estate: get it while it's hot

A penthouse on Manhattan’s “Billionaires’ Row” has sold for $100 million, a record for the most expensive apartment ever sold in Manhattan.

The $100.47-million apartment occupies the 89th and 90th floors of One57, a high-end apartment tower overlooking Central Park, the New York Daily News reports. It’s the first single-family home to sell for more than $100 million in the city’s history.

The 11,000-square-foot pad has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two powder rooms, and grand stellar Central Park and city views. There’s a gym in the building, a pool, Jacuzzi, a steam room, a library and a screening room.

The identity of the apartment’s buyer was not disclosed.

The ultra-wealthy have increasingly been buying New York luxury apartments as pied-à-terre in recent years. In some sections of Midtown, 50% of apartments are vacant at least 10 months out of the year.



Meet the Plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Case

The families and couples at the heart of the Supreme Court's historic decision to rule on gay marriage in the U.S.

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it would review an appeals court case upholding bans on same-sex marriage in four states.

The Court will consider four cases that have been consolidated and will be heard together, from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. In each case, families and individuals are challenging the gay marriage bans in their respective states. These are their stories:


April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse: DeBoer and Rowse’s lawsuit against the state of Michigan was inspired by a close call on a snowy Ohio road that could have been a fatal car accident. That’s when they realized that if anything ever happened to one of them, their children would be split up and sent to live with distant relatives. Even though the Detroit-area nurses have adopted four special-needs kids together (ages 2-5,) they’re not legally a family. DeBoer and Rowse each have legal custody of two of their brood, but they can’t adopt together because Michigan doesn’t allow unmarried couples to adopt, and they can’t marry because same-sex marriage is illegal in that state. They filed their lawsuit in 2012.


Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon: Bourke and DeLeon have been together for more than 30 years and have two adopted teenagers together. Even though they married in Canada in 2004 and their marriage was recognized by the federal government in the 2013 DOMA decision, Kentucky still doesn’t recognize them as a married couple, which means that only one of them can be the official parent of their children. The couple filed their lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Kentucky’s gay marriage ban in 2013. “There’s no reason why we should be second-class citizens,” De Leon said in an interview. “We should be at the table with everybody else.”


Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty: Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty have made history even before their case was selected to be heard before the Supreme Court. Their daughter, Emilia Maria Jesty, was the first baby born in Tennessee to have a woman listed as her “father” on her birth certificate. Tanco and Jesty were legally married in New York, but then moved to Tennessee, which does not recognize gay marriage. Both Tanco and Jesty are veterinary professors at the University of Tennessee, and they filed a lawsuit in 2013 to ask that the state recognize their marriage. “It affects my rights because I actually don’t have any legal rights as her parent at this time and that’s why we’ve been fighting so hard, so many families, like ours, can have the legal acknowledgement of their real relationships,” Jesty said.


James Obergefell: While the other three cases were inspired by the birth and adoption of children, James Obergefell and John Arthur’s lawsuit was inspired by death. Arthur suffered from ALS, so when the Supreme Court overturned DOMA the couple chartered a private medical jet to go to Maryland to get married after more than 20 years together. When they returned to Ohio, they filed a lawsuit to get their marriage recognized so that the couple could be buried together, in a family plot of a cemetery that allows only spouses and relatives. A judge ruled that Arthur, who died in Oct. 2013, could be listed as “married” on his death certificate. But Ohio appealed that ruling, and if the appeal stands, Arthur’s death certificate will be amended to remove his marriage to Obergefell.

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