A Texas judge ruled on Thursday that the state cannot ban Planned Parenthood, for now, from offering health care to low-income women through a state-run program even though some of the group’s family planning and health clinics perform abortions, Reuters reports. Although the Texas health program does not pay for abortions, earlier this year the state decided to enforce a law that had been on the books for several years barring funding for abortion providers and affiliates.Planned Parenthood said it does not provide abortions at clinics that participate in the Texas Women’s Health Program, but it is the nation’s leading reproductive health and abortion provider and the state objects to its affiliation with clinics that do provide abortions.
One of Bernard Madoff’s longest-serving employees pleaded guilty on Thursday to falsifying records, a conspiracy that a prosecutor said began in the 1970s at the start of the multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Irwin Lipkin, 74, a former controller of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, told a Manhattan federal court judge that for years he fudged the books on Madoff’s orders, but that at no point did he suspect the epic, decades-long fraud. Lipkin, who signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and falsifying documents. The charges carry up to 10 years in prison.
Seven Navy SEALs, including one involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, have been reprimanded for divulging classified information to the maker of a video game, Pentagon officials said Thursday. The Chicago Tribune reports the seven received letters of reprimand and forfeited half of their pay for two months after a Navy investigation found they had served as paid consultants to the designers of “Medal of Honor Warfighter,” one official said. All are members of Seal Team Six, the secretive commando unit based in Virginia. Members of the unit conducted the operation against bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011.
An employee planted a working pipe bomb in the lighting department of a suburban Home Depot as part of a plot to extort $2 million from the company, a federal prosecutor said Thursday. The Wall Street Journal reports Daniel Sheehan, 50, of Deer Park, was arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted extortion and the use of a destructive device. In an anonymous letter, Sheehan notified the manager of the Home Depot in Huntington that he had placed a bomb there, and police were able to find it, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said. They took it away and detonated it, she said. But Sheehan’s letter said he only wanted to prove he could plant a bomb without being detected, Lynch said. He then threatened to set off three more bombs at Home Depots on Long Island if he didn’t get the money, the prosecutor said.
A prominent Texas attorney and former university trustee faces charges of laundering more than $600 million for a Mexican drug cartel. Marco Antonio Delgado, 46, was in court Thursday to face his charges, according to federal authorities. The attorney, who once was a trustee at the Carnegie Mellon University, was arrested on November 2 at a restaurant in El Paso, CNN reports. ”Delgado is linked to a drug cartel based in Guadalajara, Mexico, and accused of conspiring to launder more than $600 million,” investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations said in a statement.Delgado faces a maximum 20 year prison sentence if convicted, federal authorities said.