<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.pngNBC 6 South Floridahttp://www.nbcmiami.comen-usTue, 28 Feb 2017 12:07:36 -0500Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:07:36 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Trump's Big Promises Come Due in Congress Speech: Analysis]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:33:58 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/632781142-president-donald-trump-colonnade.jpg

President Donald Trump has projected plenty of confidence about taking American in a bold new direction, but more than a month into his first term, no one seems to know exactly what direction that is, NBC News reported.

He's given limited or contradictory guidance to Congress on three major parts of his agenda: health care, tax reform and infrastructure. That puts pressure on his White House to fill in the blanks when he speaks to Congress at the Capitol Tuesday night.

The speech is traditionally a platform for laying out the president's policy wish list, and Republicans will be paying close attention to how his many promises from the campaign trail will be turned into action, especially with divisions starting to show on health care reform.

"I don't think you can do big reforms without White House leadership and air cover," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and longtime adviser to Republican leaders, told NBC News. "They have to establish priorities."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, FIle]]>
<![CDATA[Car Hits Parade Celebrating Mardi Gras in Alabama: Reports]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:02:30 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Police-tape-generic-jpg.jpg

A Mardi Gras parade in Gulf Shores, Alabama, has been canceled after a car struck members of a marching band, according to local reports. 

Grant Brown, a spokesman for the city, told AL.com that a vehicle in the parade accelerated and hit teens performing in the parade who had just entered the street. 

The Gulf Shores Police Department confirmed the parade was canceled on Facebook "due to an incident." 

Details on the number and severity of injuries were unclear.

<![CDATA[Oscar Accountants Talk Mistake Protocols Before Show]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:02:32 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NA24M-148819403985500001.jpg

Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz are the two accountants from PwC who controlled the envelopes at the 89th Academy Awards. Before the big event, they talked about their job, which Ruiz called a "big responsibility." She added that they even memorize the winners so they can make sure the right names are called onstage.

<![CDATA[Strangers Find Bottle of Bubbly on NYC Subway, Share Toast]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:55:11 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/colleen+hagerty+strangers+split+bottle.jpg

When two straphangers found a full bottle of wine on their subway car, they decided to toast to the occasion. 

Colleen Hagerty captured the New York moment, which took place on an uptown 6 train between Union Square and Grand Central at about 1 a.m. Sunday. 

Hagerty tweeted the photo with the caption, "A full bottle of wine just rolled out from under a subway seat and now these 2 strangers popped it open & are drinking it. This is peak NYC." 

A friend of Hagerty who witnessed the occasion detailed on Reddit: "The bottle did, legitimately, roll out from under the seat. The man in the suit, confused, picked it up and proceeded to pop it. He offered some to the man next to him, who grabbed an empty Hennessy bottle from under his seat (not sure it was his) and the man in the suit poured him some wine into the empty Hennessy bottle and they cheers'd. It was hysterical." 

Hagerty says the "top was popped" on the bottle, which was in a plastic bag when it was found, so it was either sparkling wine or champagne.

Skeptics also wondered if the moment was staged, but Haggerty told NBC 4, "It honestly looked like an organic moment as an observer, but I guess you never know!" 

In one of her final thoughts on the ordeal, Hagerty tweeted: "the real lesson here is always look under your subway seat and New York City is the best." 

Photo Credit: Colleen Hagerty]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos: Phelps Testifies in DC on Anti-Doping]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:21:57 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/AP_17059584928758-sm.jpgClick to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Policing the Schools]]>Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:32:00 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/policing-schools-th.jpg

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<![CDATA[Top News: Chileans Face Floods, Mardi Gras in New Orleans]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:02:14 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_17058680487891.jpgView daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Esteban FelixAP]]>
<![CDATA['Make Racism Wrong Again' Hats Advocate Racial, Gender Equality]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:45:13 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022717+make+racism+wrong+again+blue+hat+2.jpg

President Donald Trump's infamous "Make America Great Again" hats got a liberal makeover.

A couple in Fairfax County, Virginia, is selling blue hats that read "Make Racism Wrong Again," "Make Sexism Wrong Again" and "Make Hatred Wrong Again" to advocate for racial and gender equality.

The two lawyers say they have fulfilled 2,000 orders for the hats and T-shirts with the slogans. The "Make Racism Wrong Again" hat outsells products with the other two slogans 10 to 1, Eric Clingan said.

Clingan and his wife Lachina Dovodova, a Muslim-American, said they were "aghast" on election night when Trump beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. 

"We said to ourselves, we could either be upset and just gripe about it, or we could do something about it," Clingan said in his office, surrounded by stacks of merchandise.

He and Dovodova launched the website OurLiberalPride.org and sent the first batch of hats and shirts to high-profile figures in politics, entertainment and sports.

"Hamilton" playwright Lin Manuel Miranda sent back a thank-you note.

"Thank you so much for the lovely shirt and hat. We need to keep working until sexism and racism are history," the handwritten note on gold paper says.

So did some members of Congress. And an online post by music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons gave sales a boost.

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Clingan said the merchandise was not designed to be a big moneymaker. Half the proceeds go to organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood. Buyers decide who gets the donation.

"We're assisting organizations that we think are threatened by this current administration," he said.

Fairfax County Trump supporter Puneet Ahluwalia said he thought the blue hats potentially were divisive.

"Why can't we just all stay with the focus of 'Make America Great Again,' make our country great again, believe in the Constitution?'" he asked. "That protects all minorities, all religions, all races."

Clingan is pushing ahead and is adding a blog and podcast to his website.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Who's Who in Trump's Brain Trust]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:38:49 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/223*120/trump-cab-adv-th.jpgHere's a look at the people who are closest to Donald Trump in the White House, his advisers and his picks for the top jobs in his administration. The nominees for Cabinet positions need Senate approval.
View Full Story]]>
<![CDATA[Monster Sinkhole Swallows SUV in NJ After Water Main Break]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:08:03 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/sinkhole+hoboken.jpg

A huge sinkhole swallowed an SUV after a 12-inch water main break flooded streets in Hoboken, New Jersey, Tuesday morning. 

Chopper 4 showed the muddied red SUV on its side as workers stood around the waterlogged pit on Willow Avenue between Fifth and Sixth avenues just before 7:30 a.m. No one was in the vehicle; it had apparently been submerged and workers only noticed it once the water receded. 

Utility company Suez was investigating the break. It said no customers were without water by 9:30 a.m., and repairs were expected to be completed by early afternoon. 

Streets were shut down in the area as crews worked to repair the main. Some NJ Transit bus service was rerouted.

The cause of the break is under investigation. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[No Significant Intel Gained in Yemen SEAL Raid: Officials]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 21:27:19 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trumpandowensfeuerherd.jpg

Last month's raid in Yemen, which cost the lives of a U.S. Navy SEAL as well as multiple children, has so far yielded no significant intelligence, U.S. officials told NBC News.

While Pentagon officials have said the raid produced "actionable intelligence," senior officials who spoke to NBC News said they were unaware of any.

The father of the dead SEAL questioned the premise of the raid in an interview with the Miami Herald published Sunday.

"Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn't even barely a week into [President Trump's] administration?" Bill Owens, whose youngest son Ryan was killed during the raid, said.

Photo Credit: Getty/U.S. Navy]]>
<![CDATA[April and Oliver: Love Story Behind Famous Giraffe's Pregnancy]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 15:50:59 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/175*120/oliver+and+april+cropped.JPG

The pregnancy of New York giraffe April has captivated the world, with millions of people across the globe tuning into a live stream as she prepares for the birth of her fourth calf at an upstate zoo.

But what do we know of the relationship between April and her much younger beau Oliver?

On Monday morning, Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, outside Binghamton, revealed new details about the romance that led to the pregnancy, which has had the world enthralled for days.

It was no secret April was an older woman. At the ripe age of 15, the long-necked beauty has already had three calves to at least one other giraffe.

But for Oliver, who is only 5 years old, this calf is his first.

The park said the two spotted lovers met when Oliver was just a young 3-year-old bull "coming of age." April was 13 at the time.

"The park thought it had only one cougar (LuLu), until April arrived," the zoo joked of the age difference.

A cougar is a term used to describe an older woman who dates younger men.

"Here we are, almost 1 1/2 years later, waiting for their family to grow by one," the zoo said.

It also shared a picture of the couple canoodling on its first meeting at the zoo.

Despite his youth Oliver has showed his maturity, appearing supportive and nuzzling April through her pregnancy. He stood by her when the live stream of her pregnancy was taken down from YouTube after activists complained that she breached the platform's "nudity and sexual content" policies.

But the first-time father had to be separated from April as they frolicked outside Saturday afternoon because he got aggressive and wanted to "rough house."

According to veterinarians, bullish behavior is common for male giraffes during the final stages of pregnancy.

"He does not want to play house -- he wants to ROUGH house," the park wrote in a Facebook post Saturday morning. "That is natural behavior as males take no part in rearing their young, nor have a need for a female once she is pregnant. Sad but true."

Viewers were concerned about the long-necked lovers' separation and questioned the vet's intentions until the zoo offered reassurance and told animal lovers to trust them.

As of Monday, April's pregnancy continued to be streamed online, with the zoo saying the expectant mother was doing well.

Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park
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<![CDATA[Manhunt for Miss. Man Wanted for Killings, 'Random' Shooting]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:47:02 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/16864918_10209027368309046_3324874240480901127_n.jpg

Authorities said they are searching for a 28-year-old Mississippi man wanted for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, killing another woman and shooting a jogger, NBC News reported.

On Monday, officials began a nationwide manhunt for Alex Deaton, who is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Deaton, who police said was armed and considered dangerous, is also a person of interest in the killing of a 69-year-old woman.

Authorities said Deaton also allegedly shot the jogger early Friday morning near Jackson in a "random act of violence." Later that day, a sheriff's deputy found the body of Deaton's girlfriend, who was strangled to death, in a nearby apartment. 

Deaton's last known location was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and local and federal authorities set up a $27,500 reward for information leading to the man's arrest.

Photo Credit: Mississippi Bureau of Investigation]]>
<![CDATA[SpaceX to Send 2 Citizens to Moon in 2018: Elon Musk]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:52:49 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/elonmusk3.jpg

SpaceX said Monday it will fly two people to the moon next year, a feat not attempted since NASA's Apollo heyday close to half a century ago.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk — the company's founder and chief executive officer — announced the surprising news barely a week after launching his first rocket from NASA's legendary moon pad.

Two people who know one another approached the company about sending them on a weeklong flight just beyond the moon, according to Musk. He won't identify the pair or the price tag. They've already paid a "significant" deposit and are "very serious" about it, he noted.

"Fly me to the moon ... Ok," Musk said in a light-hearted tweet following the news conference.

Musk said SpaceX is on track to launch astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA in mid-2018. This moon mission would follow about six months later, by the end of the year under the current schedule, using a Dragon crew capsule and a Falcon heavy rocket launched from NASA's former moon pad in Florida.

If all goes as planned, it could happen close to the 50th anniversary of NASA's first manned flight to the moon, on Apollo 8.

The SpaceX moonshot is designed to be autonomous — unless something goes wrong, Musk said.

"I think they are entering this with their eyes open, knowing that there is some risk here," Musk told reporters in the telephone conference, a day after teasing via Twitter that an announcement of some sort was forthcoming.

"They're certainly not naive, and we'll do everything we can to minimize that risk, but it's not zero. But they're coming into this with their eyes open," said Musk, adding that the pair will receive "extensive" training before the flight.

Musk said he does not have permission to release the passengers' names, and he was hesitant to even say if they were men, women or even pilots. He would only admit, "It's nobody from Hollywood."

The paying passengers would make a long loop around the moon, skimming the lunar surface and then going well beyond, perhaps 300,000 or 400,000 miles distance altogether. It's about 240,000 miles to the moon alone, one way.

The mission would not involve a lunar landing.

"This should be a really exciting mission that hopefully gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again," Musk said.

NASA will have first dibs on a similar mission if it so chooses, he said. The space agency learned of his plan at the same time as reporters.

In a statement, NASA commended SpaceX "for reaching higher." In all, 24 astronauts flew to the moon and 12 walked its surface from 1969 to 1972.

The California-based SpaceX already has a long list of firsts, with its sights ultimately set on Mars. It became the first private company to launch a spacecraft into orbit and safely return it to Earth in 2010, and the first commercial enterprise to fly to the space station in 2012 on a supply mission.

Just a week ago, SpaceX made its latest delivery from Kennedy Space Center's legendary Launch Complex 39A, where the Apollo astronauts flew to the moon and shuttle crews rocketed into orbit. That will be where the private moon mission will originate as well. 

The crew Dragon capsule — an upgraded version of the cargo Dragon — has yet to fly in space. Neither has a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is essentially a Falcon 9 rocket with two strap-on boosters, according to Musk. A Falcon Heavy test flight is planned this summer, while an empty crew capsule is set to launch to the space station late this year. He said there will be ample time to test both the spacecraft and the rocket, before the moon mission.

NASA last week announced it was studying the possibility of adding crew to the test flight of its megarocket, at the request of the Trump administration. Such a flight to the lunar neighborhood wouldn't happen before 2019 at best — if, indeed, that option is even implemented.

Musk said anything that advances the space exploration cause is good, no matter who goes first.

Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who will celebrate his homecoming this week from a one-year space mission, was quick to tweet: "It's been almost a year. Send me!"

Musk said he expects to have more moon-mission customers as time goes by.

At the same time, SpaceX is also working on a so-called Red Dragon, meant to fly to Mars around 2020 with experiments, but no people — and actually land. His ultimate goal is to establish a human settlement on Mars.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Plane Crashes Into Calif. House, Leaving 3 Dead, 2 Hurt]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:52:06 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/170227-riverside-plane-crash.jpg

At least three people were killed and two were injured when a small plane on a cross-California flight crashed in a Riverside neighborhood on Monday afternoon, igniting a devastating fire.

The Cessna 310 crashed under "unknown circumstances" about a half-mile northeast of Riverside Municipal Airport, landing on at least two homes, officials said. The Riverside Fire Department responded to reports of the crash at Central Avenue and Streeter Avenue around 4:45 p.m.

"Upon impact, the plane pretty much split apart," Riverside City Fire Chief Michael Moore said.

"It was like a loud boom," witness Jose Bautista told NBC4 Southern California. 

The plane had departed from Riverside for San Jose, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Cessna's five passengers, which included a husband and wife, were returning to San Jose after attending a cheerleading conference at Disneyland, Moore said.

Three passengers on the aircraft were killed, and their identities are unknown as of Monday night. The other two passengers were ejected from the plane and then taken to hospitals, Moore said.

Fire officials had previously stated that four people were killed in the crash, but they later confirmed that only three deceased victims had been found.

Moore added that the residents of one of the destroyed homes are not believed to have been home at the time of the crash. All other residents are believed to be accounted for, though firefighters are still searching for more possible victims in the wreckage.

David Swinfard, one of the residents of one of the destroyed homes, was sitting in his living room doing a crossword puzzle when the plane crashed.

"I thought, I'm going to have to get out of here or I'm going to die," he said.

Swinfard said he felt his house shook and that flames flew out everywhere. He immediately ran to the front door to escape and got only a minor burn.

Daniel Hernandez, who lives in the neighborhood, described the sounds of the crash as a "very loud explosion." He said fumes entered his room and he could feel the heat on his face before he ran outside.

Ana Duran, who lives just on the other side of where the plane went down, said that everyone in the neighborhood ran to see what they could do to help.

"It just sounded like a bomb," Duran said. "I heard people screaming and yelling."

Witness Ernesto Torres said he pulled a woman from the flames. 

Angelina Caballero, who lives across the street from where the plane crashed, saw a woman climbing out of the wreckage.

Aerial footage showed dozens of firefighters working to extinguish the fire in the Riverside neighborhood. Two homes were completely destroyed and several others were damaged, Moore said. 

Elizabeth Espinosa said she was looking out her window when she heard a "zoom, big crash and boom."

"The ground shook. We were all in shock."

Angelina Caballero, who lives across the street, heard "this loud explosion."

She described the heat like when you open the oven.

"My house shook," she said. Her daughter said, "There's fire. There's fire across the street. The heat, it's awful. It's awful. Right away, boom and the flames."

Kimberly Wilmott was sitting on her couch when she heard a plane "super low" that sounded like a jet.

"It was very loud," she said. "I could see all the smoke and the helicopters."

"I've never seen it like this."

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the plane crash. 

NBC4's Jason Kandel contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Face-Eating Suspect: I Fled Demon-Like Figures Before Attack]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:31:53 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/TLMD-florida-condado-martin-tequesta-acusado-acuchillar-pareja-canibal-austin-Harrouff-update-------------.JPG

A Florida college student accused of randomly killing a couple and chewing on the dead man's face told TV personality Phil McGraw he had been running from a demon-like figure named Daniel before the attack.

In a video released Tuesday by prosecutors, 20-year-old Austin Harrouff told McGraw he only had vague memories of killing John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon last Aug. 15 and that he's sorry for what happened.

"I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I'm so sorry and I never wanted this to happen," Harrouff told McGraw in the video, appealing to the victims' families. "I'm so sorry."

The video had been scheduled to air on McGraw's "Dr. Phil" television show last October but was pulled at the last minute without explanation.

Harrouff, who was a student at Florida State University at the time, is accused of ambushing and fatally stabbing Stevens and Mishcon in their garage and then attempting to eat Stevens’ face. Harrouff also stabbed a neighbor who tried to stop him, authorities said, but that victim was able to recover.

Toxicology tests showed Harrouff did not have any synthetic drugs in his system at the time of the attack. He was hospitalized immediately after the incident and later taken into police custody once he was released.

Harrouff's attorney Nellie King fought against releasing the tape, arguing that the interview shows Austin “when he was in a vulnerable state, recovering from acute medical and psychological trauma.” King went on to say in a statement Monday night that while she agrees that nothing on the tape is prejudicial toward her client, she says that “sensationalizing the details of this case pre-trial does nothing to advance justice in the courtroom.”

King also says that an investigation continues into how the recording took place, since Harrouff was in protective custody with Martin County Sheriff’s Deputies guarding his room.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Pregnant Giraffe Continues to Enchant Droves of Fans]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:22:12 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/april+giraffe+update.jpg

The 15-year-old giraffe named "April" who has captivated millions of people across the world in a live stream as she prepares for the birth of her fourth calf at an upstate New York zoo is still pregnant and doing well as her legions of fans continue to check in. 

Throngs of admirers have been closely watching the live stream of April's pen as they await the birth of her baby giraffe. Some 42,000 people were tuned in to the stream before dawn Tuesday. 

Veterinarians with the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, outside Binghamton, said Tuesday morning April "had a good night and is as large as ever." 

"Activity remains normal, behavior normal," the zoo said on Facebook. "Yard time will be granted this morning once temperatures rise to a safe level."

The zoo said the in-utero calf continues to kick up a storm. The happy and healthy mother-to-be has also started to produce milk and shed a few droplets during a weekend examination.

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines earlier Thursday after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so. 

More than 30 million people across the globe have tuned in over the last few days to watch it. You can check out the live stream above.

Giraffe pregnancies can take 15 months, and labor can last up to a few days.

The spotted beauty was up early Monday morning eating a late night snack and circling her pen. On Sunday morning, she had gazed into the camera, wiggling her ears as she chewed her breakfast. The zoo said the giraffes will stay inside due to the extreme temperature drop and wet or frozen conditions.

"Rest assured, they receive extra enrichment and extra attention on days they do not venture out," the zoo said. "A little extra bonding time!"

April has been slinking gracefully around her hay-laden home in no apparent distress. Once she goes into active labor, zoo officials say the keepers will go in to help her.

She and the first-time father, 5-year-old Oliver, had to be separated from each other while they frolicked outside Saturday afternoon because he got aggressive and wanted to rough house. According to vets, bullish behavior is common for male giraffes during the final stages of pregnancy.

"He does not want to play house -- he wants to ROUGH house," the park wrote in a Facebook post Saturday morning. "That is natural behavior as males take no part in rearing their young, nor have a need for a female once she is pregnant. Sad but true."

Viewers were concerned about the long-necked lovers' separation and questioned the vet's intentions until the zoo offered reassurance and told animal lovers to trust them.

Not much changed over the weekend: April alternated between standing still, swinging her tail, drinking water and slowly circling her pen. At one point Saturday afternoon, the calf could be seen kicking around in her belly.

Giraffe pregnancies last for 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.

Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park/Mazuri
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<![CDATA[Bush Favors 'Welcoming' Immigration Policy, Defends Media]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:14:30 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/632189304-George-W.-Bush-inauguration.jpg

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Former President George W. Bush said Monday he believes in a "welcoming" immigration policy, called freedom of religion a bedrock freedom and forcefully defended the media as "indispensable to democracy."

In speaking out in an interview on NBC's "Today" show, Bush also didn't categorically rule out that a special prosecutor could be needed to investigate contacts between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government.

"Today" host Matt Lauer asked Bush several questions about Trump and his policies, and while Bush didn't criticize the president, whom he noted has been in office for just one month, he did offer positions on religion, immigration, the fight against ISIS and the press that run at odds with views Trump has recently espoused.

Bush was on the "Today" show to discuss his new book of paintings by the Texan and stories of U.S. veterans called "Portraits of Courage," which benefits theMilitary Service Initiative of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Bush did not make an endorsement in the presidential election and did not vote for president, a spokesman has said.

Trump is expected to issue this week a revised version of his controversial travel ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries. 

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"A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely," Bush said when asked about the travel ban, which a federal court stayed amid widespread legal challenges.

Bush went on to say that members of ISIS shouldn't be considered religious people if they cut off the heads of innocent people, and he called the conflict with them an ideological one.

But he seemed to imply that the U.S. is already making its offensive against ISIS harder by insisting on the travel ban. He said, "I think it's very hard to fight the war on terrorism if we're in retreat," when Lauer asked about the ban and the fight against ISIS.

Bush alluded to the consequences that leaving a conflict can have. He presided over the second U.S. invasion of Iraq, which removed Saddam Hussein from power but left the country split by sectarian violence, which ISIS exploited soon after its founding and spread through the country's north — a force the Iraqi military is still battling with in the major city of Mosul.

Asked specifically if he was for or against Trump's ban, he said, "I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law."

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While Trump spent the beginning of his most recent major speech, at CPAC, attacking the "fake news," a label he's given to outlets like NBC News and The New York Times, Bush called the media "indispensable to democracy."

"Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse power, whether it be here or elsewhere," he said.

Bush noted that he tried as president to have Russian President Vladimir Putin embrace a free press, and said that it's harder to insist upon that value abroad if it there isn't one at home.

When Lauer asked Bush if he'd be in favor of a special prosecutor looking into possible links between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government, Bush said, "I think we all need answers."

But he did not know if a special prosecutor was the right way to go about finding those answers. He said that if Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were to recommend a special prosecutor, that would "have a lot more credibility with me."

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Bush has spent time in recent years helping veterans, including painting some of the ones he's gotten to know.

Bush said Monday he wants to sell a lot of books so he can help more veterans, and that what he misses about being president is saluting men and women in uniform.

"This is a book about the men and women who have been tremendous national assets in the Armed Forces -- and who continue to be vital to the future success of our country," Bush writes in the introduction. "The greatest honor of the presidency was looking them in the eye and saluting them as their Commander in Chief. And I intend to support and salute them for the rest of my life."

An exhibit of Bush's paintings will be on display from March 2 through October 1 at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus in Dallas.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Homestead Man Accused of Stealing, Selling Woman's Monkey]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:13:51 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/022717+zoe+stolen+monkey+Oscar+Leiva.jpg

A Homestead man is facing a grand theft charge after he allegedly stole, then sold, his neighbor's pet monkey.

Oscar Leiva, 21, was arrested Sunday night and booked into Miami-Dade jail, where he was being held on $5,000 bond Monday, records showed. Attorney information for Leiva was not available.

Officers responded to the neighborhood in the 400 block of Southeast 8th Street after the monkey's owner, Vanessa Di Gennaro, reported it missing, according to an arrest report.

Di Gennaro said she was cleaning her home and had left the monkey, Zoe, in her backyard. When she went to check on her, the monkey was missing.

"She's my baby, she's my kid. She goes everywhere with me. I love her to death," Di Gennaro said.

Di Gennaro said she had posted fliers in the area and received a call from a witness who told her the monkey, a white tufted marmoset valued at $2,900, was at Leiva's home, the report said.

Officers found Leiva, who said the monkey was in his kitchen and he thought it was a rat so he caught it. He said he realized it was a monkey so he put it in a cage in his room, the report said.

Leiva said the monkey climbed on his shoulder and he tried to grab it but it tried to bite him, the report said. He said he fell asleep and the monkey ran away.

But the witness said Leiva told him he had stolen the monkey and sold it for $900, the report said.

The suspect's mother believes he's innocent. She told NBC 6 in Spanish that her son does not have the animal.

"I'm surprised that there are people that are that evil on one hand and also people that are good that say 'hey, this is where she is,'" Di Gennaro said.

Di Gennaro said she's worried about Zoe's safety and is offering a $2,000 reward for her return.

"She's a very delicate animal on top of everything, she's not like a dog that you can leave alone. They get into things, they hurt themselves really easy. You have to watch them," she said.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Di Gennaro, Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Doctor, Nurses Join Cancer Survivor on Trek Up Mt. Kilimanjaro]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:38:11 -0500http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/170226-lc-cancer-climb.JPG

Determination took one cancer patient from a hospital bed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and inspired others — including her doctor — to join her.

When Lila Javan was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2010, she started chemotherapy, got a stem cell transplant from her sister and eventually regained her health. Then, nearly five years later as she was planning to book a climbing trip to Africa, she went to a routine checkup and learned her cancer had returned.

"At first, [Mt. Kilimanjaro] didn't have much significance," Javan, a 39-year–old filmmaker, said. "I wanted to visit that part of Africa. When I started going through the treatment, it became so much more. It represented my cancer diagnosis."

A friend made a poster of Kilimanjaro through a window and put it up in her hospital room. Climbing Kilimanjaro became a goal, and Javan wanted the doctor who’d helped her fight cancer to climb too.

"She said, 'Will you do this with me?' and I said, 'Absolutely,' because there was all this hope and looking to the future,” Dr. Sarah Larson, an oncologist at UCLA Medical Center, told NBC4. “I said yes, and I walked out of that room and I thought, 'What did i just do?'"

As Javan’s health improved the women began to train, and others soon joined them. A 14-person team of nurses and friends together raised more than $100,000 dollars for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

"It kind of, not to be cheesy, but it renewed my faith in humanity," Javan said. "The love and support I got back from people just was amazing, and it's what got me through."

Two years later the team made it to the top of Africa’s highest mountain.

"I kept putting one foot in front of the other,” Javan said. “We got to the top and the sun was rising, and I saw Sarah and I started to cry. It was the most unbelievable, amazing moment of my life. The fact that we'd all trained togetherand we're doing this not just for ourselves but for something else made it more significant.”

Javan and her climbing cohort have inspired others to raise money for cancer research through a campaign called Climb2Cure. She is turning her journey into a documentary film and already has her sights set on a new climb: Mount Everest.

Click here to learn more about Javan’s journey or join your own Climb2Cure team.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV ]]>