Secret Service head quits

WASHINGTON – The US Secret Service director has resigned following a string of security lapses by the elite presidential protection branch, including one in which an armed intruder ran into the White House.

Julia Pierson stepped down on Wednesday, a day after enduring a withering public grilling by lawmakers.

They cited baffling failures by Secret Service agents, including an incident in which an armed former felon got into a lift with President Barack Obama.

Ms Pierson had been brought into the agency as a new broom after the reputation of its sharp-suited agents took a hit from drinking and prostitution scandals.