The rumors are true! “Slumdog Millionaire” stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto are dating. The couple was photographed kissing on a lunch date in Israel April 26, 2009. Patel’s mother Anita has confirmed that the two are in fact an item. “Freida is really beautiful, and I am really happy for them. Yes, we knew he was flying to Israel to see her,” she told OK! magazine.
Kendra Wilkinson married Philadelphia Eagle NFL player Hank Baskett June 27, 2009, at the Playboy Mansion. The list of guests included Wilkinson’s former boyfriend Hugh Hefner and former roommates turned bridesmaids, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt. Baskett proposed to Kendra Nov. 1, 2008, in the restaurant atop the Space Needle in Seattle.
September 11, 2001 fundamentally changed the way Americans viewed their standing in the world. The day and it’s now iconic abbreviation, 9/11, have become shorthand for tragedy and bravery in the face of terror. The following slide show returns to the people and places whose names are forever linked with that fated day. Firefighters William Eisengrein, George Johnson and Daniel McWilliams gained fame on 9/11 when they planted a U.S. flag in the middle of the rubble on the afternoon of the terrorist attacks. The photo of them became an instant sensation, seen in newspapers across the world. In March 2002, the U.S. Postal Service used the image for a special stamp to raise money for families of emergency workers injured or killed in the attacks. All three men remain firefighters.
President George W. Bush first learned of the attacks while he was reading to a group of schoolchildren in Florida. That evening, he addressed the nation from the Oval Office and on Sept. 14, visited Ground Zero. The next year, in his State of the Union address, Bush turned his attention toward Iraq, a country he included in his “axis of evil.” On March 20, 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq. Bush now lives in Texas.
Despite a $50 million bounty, the largest in U.S. history, and millions more dollars spent looking for him, the man behind the attacks, Osama bin Laden, remains at large. Believed to be hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan or Pakistan, bin Laden has eluded an epic manhunt for eight years. Reports of his whereabouts, health and death have circulated for years, adding to his mystery and menace. As recently as January, bin Laden released an audio tape from his secret hideout, infuriating U.S. intelligence officials who acknowledged its authenticity. In his most recent message, the terrorist mastermind touched on the financial crisis, saying, “Now America is begging the world for money and the U.S.A. will not be as powerful as it used to be.”
Some 3,000 people were killed when two hijacked airplanes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. On 9/11, New York City Mayor Giuliani declared, “The skyline will be made whole again,” but in the eight years since the attacks no significant building has taken place on the site, which remains a ditch. Though plans were approved six-and-a-half years ago for a new skyscraper, memorial and visitors center, only a concrete and steel lattice has been completed. An analysis done for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey this spring projected there might be no market for developer Larry Silverstein’s plan until 2030. A Quinnipiac poll conducted in August 2009 found that more than half of local voters believe the rebuilding is going badly.
As defense secretary with an office in the Pentagon on 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld had a closer perspective on the attacks than perhaps any other member of the administration. Soon after a plane struck the Pentagon, Rumsfeld raised the nation’s defenses to DEFCON 3, the highest level since 1973, and personally went to assist in rescue efforts in the parking lot. Rumsfeld, however, was blamed for many of the Bush administration’s failed strategies in the early years of the Iraq War. Many observers felt he sent U.S. troops to Iraq without the equipment they needed. Following a Republican defeat in midterm elections of 2006, a result of the unpopular war, Rumsfeld resigned. Since then, he has been working on a memoir due out in 2010, the proceeds of which, he says, will be donated to charity.
Debra Burlingame is the sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, Sept. 11, 2001, after being hijacked by terrorists. She has since become the director of the National September 11 Memorial Foundation and an occasional opinion columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where she writes primarily on issues regarding terrorism.
A loyal lieutenant and disciple of Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheik Mohammed was picked up by Pakistani intelligence officials in March 2003. In was revealed in 2006 that Mohammed was moved to the U.S. prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mohammed has consistently admitted his guilt in the planning of the 9/11 attacks as well as several other high-profile acts of terrorism. In a 2008 military hearing, it was revealed that Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding. In that same hearing, Mohammed pleaded guilty to his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The International Red Cross released the first new images of Mohammed since his capture. During his time in prison, the admitted terrorist has grown a large beard, emulating, some say, his old boss, Osama bin Laden.
This is an undated Metropolitan Police picture of Abdulla Ahmed Ali, who was convicted Monday, Sept. 7, 2009, of conspiring to kill thousands of civilians by blowing up trans-Atlantic flights in mid-air with liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks. A jury at a London courthouse found Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, Assad Sarwar, 29, and Tanvir Hussain, 28, guilty of conspiracy to murder by detonating explosives on aircraft. The trial started in February. The jury found that they were the ringleaders of a conspiracy to carry out the biggest terrorist attack since 9/11.