News Roundup for June 30, 2011

The FBI is reeling after it was discovered that Timothy Phelps of the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church was invited to address agents at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Va. High-ranking FBI officials have said they didn’t know of Phelps’ presence until recently; Phelps, son of Westboro chief Fred Phelps, claims he was invited to speak to agents about how to deal with controversial groups. Since the brouhaha erupted, the FBI has barred the future use of Westboro members in training sessions.

Nine people have been charged with beating an openly gay man in Springfield, Mass. The assailants, ranging from ages 12 to 19, repeatedly kicked and punched the victim while they taunted him with gay slurs, according to officials.

A Boulder, Colo. man was sentenced to five years in prison for drunkenly assaulting a Nigerian college student while using racial slurs. Joseph Coy chased down and beat Oluyibi Ogundipe until he was unconscious.

Three Oklahoma suspects, including one adult and two juveniles, have been identified in the burning of cross outside of a black Baptist Church in Creek County. Officials say two of the suspects have admitted their involvement, while a third has yet to be questioned. Charges are pending.

The bankruptcy hearing of the Giordano’s Pizza chain in Chicago took a bizarre turn when a man was thrown out after making vague threats and interrupting the court proceedings. The man has been identified as Marshall Home, an Arizona “sovereign citizen” who had intervened in the case by attempting to file an unjustified $150 million property lien against Giordano’s, similar to filings former Giordano’s owner John Apostolou himself made to avoid bankruptcy.