<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usWed, 24 Aug 2016 19:29:19 -0400Wed, 24 Aug 2016 19:29:19 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA['Like Dante's Inferno': Italy Quake Death Toll Rises to 159]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 17:46:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16237570393567.jpg

The death toll from the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck central Italy early Wednesday, has reached at least 159, as rescuers raced to pull residents buried beneath debris.

The strong tremor hit at 3:36 a.m. local time near Norcia and was felt more than 100 miles away in Rome. Some 368 people were injured. The army has been called to help search of survivors, using bare hands, heavy equipment and sniffer dogs. Several large aftershocks followed the quake amid dramatic scenes of rescue and cries for help.

An 8-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble, according to The Associated Press. Chief firefighter Danilo Dionesei confirmed to the AP that she was alive and taken to hospital, but did not provide details on her condition. 

Stunned locals wandered through rubble in the worst-affected towns of Amatrice and Accumoli, near Perugia. Aerial images from the fire department showed whole streets in Amatrice flattened.

"We came out to the piazza, and it looked like 'Dante's Inferno,'" Agostino Severo, a Rome resident visiting the damaged town of Illica, told The Associated Press. "People crying for help, help."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Killing of Terror Suspect Justified]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 18:39:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/coverphotoforgallery.jpg

The Boston police officer and FBI agent who shot and killed a man suspected in a terror plot last year have been found justified in using deadly force and no charges will be filed.

Usaamah Rahim, 26, of Boston's Roslindale neighborhood was shot and killed on June 2, 2015 by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force after allegedly lunging at investigators with a knife when they approached him and about recorded phone conversations.

"The evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Rahim was armed with a large, military-style knife and posed the threat of death or serious bodily injury to the task force officers," Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said at a Wednesday afternoon media briefing. "Their use of deadly force was a lawful exercise of self defense and defense of others."

Rahim allegedly plotted with two others to behead conservative blogger Pamela Geller, who organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas. They abandoned that plot in favor of one where they attacked police officers.

The FBI said they confronted Rahim because he had bought knives and talked of an imminent attack on "boys in blue."

"There is no question that members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force had probable cause to arrest Mr. Rahim," Conley said. "Knowing what they know and knowing what they now know about his plans for that day, they had the duty to stop him before he could act."

The two other men - Nicholas Rovinski of Warwick, Rhode Island, and David Wright of Everett, Massachusetts - were indicted on conspiracy and terrorism charges in connection with the alleged plot and are being held without bail. They are scheduled to face trial sometime next year.

Conley said he met with Rahim's family earlier Wednesday to inform them he would not be seeking criminal charges against the officers. He also released his office's 770-page investigative file to the family.

The district attorney also met with members of the local Islamic community on Wednesday, and said he made it clear that Rahim was being investigated "for his actions, not for his faith."

Rahim's family held their own press conference later Wednesday afternoon, saying they still have concerns about the shooting despite the district attorney's report, feeling that more could have been done to de-escalate the situation.

Family spokesman Ronald Sullivan said Rahim "was the subject of an illegal arrest," and cited comments by Congressman Stephen Lynch and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans after the shooting that implied that police were under orders not to let him go.

"This illegal arrest was the first call in a series of events that led to Usaamah's untimely death," he said.

He also connected Rahim's death "to the many tragic police-involved shootings of other African-American men around this country," saying it was not an isolated event.

<![CDATA[Dramatic Images: Deadly Quake Rocks Central Italy]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:26:14 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/QUAKE_GRIEF_AP_16237345369264.jpg Searchers scrambled to rescue people in central Italy where a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck early Wednesday, collapsing homes as residents slept and killing dozens.

Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Check: A Look at Trump's Comments on Clinton's Emails]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 19:21:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/clinton-trump-split-serious.jpg

FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Donald Trump distorted the facts about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails when he said in Texas that “the FBI found thousands [of emails] she never turned over, and now just recently found another 15,000 more.”

Trump is right that the FBI recovered “several thousand work-related emails” that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department, as FBI Director James Comey disclosed in July. But the FBI did not “just recently” find “another 15,000 more.”

Instead, it was recently announced that the FBI recovered a total of about 14,900 emails during its year-long investigation of Clinton, including the “several thousand work-related emails” that Comey cited in July.

Also, Trump claimed that Clinton deleted her emails to “cover up her crimes,” but Comey said the FBI found “no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails [that the FBI found] were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

Trump made his remarks (at the 45:34 mark) during a rally in Austin, Texas, where he talked about the “new revelations about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.”

Trump, Aug. 23: She said she turned over all of her work-related emails. But the FBI found thousands she never turned over, and now just recently found another 15,000 more. That was another lie.

The 15,000 emails weren’t “just recently found,” and they are not all work-related.

Let’s recap what happened, beginning with Comey’s announcement on July 5 that the FBI had completed its investigation of Clinton’s use of personal email for government business while secretary of state. The FBI investigation concerned whether there were any violations of federal law on the handling of classified information, and whether there had been any hacking of the email server by foreign or hostile powers.

Comey announced that day that the FBI would not recommend that criminal charges be filed against Clinton or any State Department staffers for mishandling classified information. During his announcement, Comey said that Clinton turned over about 30,000 emails to the State Department in December 2014, but that the FBI “also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014.”

Comey at the time didn’t say how many total emails the FBI had recovered or exactly how many of them were work-related. However, it was disclosed at a court hearing on Aug. 22 that the FBI had turned over about 14,900 emails to the State Department that it had uncovered during the course of its investigation. The judge, who is presiding over a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative Judicial Watch, ordered the State Department to expedite its review process and release any emails that are responsive to the group’s FOIA request.

In a statement to us, the State Department said the 14,900 emails included the “several thousand work-related emails” that Comey mentioned at his July 5 press briefing. A department official told us that the FBI turned over the documents in two batches on July 21 and Aug. 5, and not all of the emails are work-related. The State Department needs to determine how many of them are work-related, although the FBI has said that “several thousand” are work-related. It may also turn out that some of these documents were already released.

“State has not yet had the opportunity to complete a review of the documents to determine whether they are agency records or if they are duplicative of documents State has already produced through the Freedom of Information Act,” the State Department said in its statement.

Trump also suggested that Clinton intentionally deleted emails to “cover up her crimes.” But the FBI found no evidence of a coverup.

Comey explained how the FBI recovered the emails that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department in December 2014:

Comey, July 5: We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond. … Still others we recovered from the laborious review of the millions of e-mail fragments dumped into the slack space of the server decommissioned in 2013.

Comey said the FBI “found no evidence” that she deleted emails intentionally to conceal them, saying it was “not surprising” that the FBI found emails that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department:

Comey, July 5: I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account — or even a commercial account like Gmail — there was no archiving at all of her e-mails, so it is not surprising that we discovered e-mails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 e-mails to the State Department.

So, Trump is not only wrong that the FBI “just recently found another 15,000 more” emails, but he is making an unsupported claim that she deleted the emails to “cover up her crimes.”

Photo Credit: Getty/NBC Universal]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Footage Shows Earthquake Devastation in Italy]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:07:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-08-24-at-11.03.39-AM.jpg Drone footage released by the Italian Civil Defense shows the devastation after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy on Aug. 24, 2016, killing dozens. ]]> <![CDATA[Trump: Perry Will 'Do Well' If He Challenges Cruz for Senate]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:46:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trump43.jpg

Donald Trump is applauding the prospect of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry mounting a possible primary challenge against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, saying, "Boy, will he do well." 

At a fundraiser in downtown Austin, Trump was standing next to Perry when he was asked about the Texan's chance to unseat his state's junior senator. Cruz, who unsuccessfully fought Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, notably declined to endorse him at last month's GOP national convention and faces re-election in 2018. 

In a recording of the event first posted online by a Democratic group, the Lone Star Project, Trump answers that he's been "hearing a lot about that." 

"I don't know if he wants to do it, but boy, will he do well," Trump says of Perry. "People love him in Texas. And he was one great governor." 

Two fundraiser attendees verified the recording on Wednesday on the condition that their names not be published. The fundraiser occurred Tuesday. 

Trump hasn't been shy about criticizing fellow Republicans — even those up for re-election. He initially declined to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan's re-election bid earlier this summer, then formally threw his support behind it before Ryan crushed a primary challenger in his Wisconsin district. 

Cruz sparked an outcry at the GOP convention in Cleveland last month by refusing to endorse Trump during his prime-time speech — rebuffing calls for Republican Party unity behind its nominee. 

Perry left office last year and was a harsh Trump critic as he briefly ran for the Republican presidential nomination, even calling the billionaire businessman a cancer on conservatism. Perry has since endorsed Trump and become a surrogate who has praised him on national television. 

The former governor has kept a low profile since dropping out of the 2016 presidential race last fall. Recent polls suggest Cruz's popularity in Texas has suffered since his convention speech, and one even indicated that Perry would top Cruz in a hypothetical matchup. 

Those close to Perry say he's laughed off the idea of a Senate run, but Perry hasn't publicly ruled it out. 

While running for president, Cruz originally said he'd endorse whoever the eventual Republican nominee was. He said later he'd changed his mind because Trump insulted his family during the bitter White House campaign. 

Mica Mosbacher, an Austin resident and former finance co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, was a vocal supporter of Cruz's presidential run but is now is backing Trump. 

"I am deeply disappointed in our senator that he did not honor his pledge," Mosbacher said by phone Wednesday, referring to Cruz's reneging support for Trump. "And I, along with a lot of other donors, are very upset." 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Think You Remember the Rio Olympics? Take the Quiz]]> Sun, 21 Aug 2016 22:16:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/michael-phelps-200m-im-web-aptopix-rio-olympics-_webf-5.jpg

For 17 days in August, athletes from around the world competed in Rio de Janeiro for the ultimate prize in sports: an Olympic gold medal.

You probably didn't win gold yourself, but you can try to get the next best thing by acing our Olympics quiz.

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tornado Flattens Starbucks]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:23:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000019296045_1200x675_750130243600.jpg A tornado touched down in Howard County, Indiana, Wednesday and leveled a Starbucks coffee shop.]]> <![CDATA[Controversial Chemical Used In Zika Spraying]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:36:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_zikaspray0824_1920x1080.jpg Naled, currently being used to combat mosquitos in Florida, has been banned in Europe and Puerto Rico, with officials there calling it dangerous. WBBH's Nestor Mato reports.]]> <![CDATA[Chicago Police Dismiss Trump's Claim That Violence Could Be Stopped in a Week]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:14:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/chicago+police+GettyImages-500346628.jpg

The Chicago Police Department denied Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's claim this week that he met with a "top" Chicago officer and argued the city's violence would not be solved with "tough police tactics."

"We've discredited this claim months ago," CPD spokesperson Frank Giancamilli said Tuesday in a statement. "No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign."

Trump said in an interview Monday that he believed Chicago's violence could be stopped using "tough police tactics," telling Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that he met a "top" Chicago officer who reportedly said he could "stop much of this horror show that’s going on" within a single week. 

Trump added that he knows officers in Chicago who would put an end to violent crime "if they were given the authority to do it," a claim that Giancamilli refuted. 

"Beyond that, the best way to address crime is through a commitment to community policing and a commitment to stronger laws to keep illegal guns and repeat violent offenders off the street," Giancamilli added.

Trump told O'Reilly he didn’t ask the officer for specifics on the plan because he isn’t the mayor of Chicago, but added that police would be "much tougher than they are right now."

"I’m sure he’s got a strategy," Trump added. "I didn’t ask him his strategy."

Trump also claimed that he submitted the officer’s name for some sort of job.

"I sent his name in and I said, 'you probably should hire this guy because you have nothing to lose,'" Trump said. "Look at what’s going on in Chicago, it’s horrible. This guy felt totally confident that he could stop it in a very short period of time."

Trump's campaign told the Chicago Tribune Tuesday that he did not specifically say the officer he spoke with was in senior command, but rather he "spoke with some talented and dedicated police officers on a prior visit."

It's not the first time Chicago police have disagreed with Trump's claims.

During Trump's failed Chicago rally, which was canceled due to violence concerns, the candidate said he met with law enforcement before canceling his appearance. CPD said in a statement, however, the department had not advised Trump's campaign to cancel the rally and did not issue any public safety threats or safety risks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Visualizing the Olympics: Medal Counts & More]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 08:53:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-149332217-edited.jpg Which countries have the most gold medals? And how much does it cost to host an Olympic Games? Get ready for the Rio Olympics – and the answers to those and many other Olympic-related questions – with this series of graphics. Click here for the visualization.
View Full Story

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sailors Touching Tribute to WWII Veteran Goes Viral]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:21:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/191*120/08-24-2016-ernest-thompson-uss-iowa-missour-1.jpg

A World War II veteran's salute-worthy surprise has touched hearts and received millions of social media views after the stirring tribute was captured on video earlier this month.

The video posted on Facebook shows Chief Selects from the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center visiting the Gardena home of veteran Ernest Thompson, who served on the USS Missouri during World War II, on Aug. 13. The sailors performed "Anchors Aweigh" in front of Thompsons' house as he stood on the porch in salute, and neighbors came out of their homes to watch. 

Each sailor then thanked Thompson and shook his hand.

Thompsons' grandson Jonathan Williams wrote in the post that his grandfather called it one of the best days of his life. Williams, CEO of the Battleship IOWA Museum in San Pedro, visited the USS Missouri with his grandfather in 2000, part of a bond between generations.

"I witnessed an 82-year-old man become 18 again and a flood of emotions that affected all that were present tremendously," Williams wrote on Facebook.

Battleship Missouri launched in January 1944 and entered the Pacific battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. On Sept. 2, 1945, Allied and Axis power representatives met aboard the ship to sign copies of the Instrument of Surrender, marking the end to World War II.

USS Missouri also was part of the Korean War. The ship now serves as a museum at Pearl Harbor.

The emotional tour of the battleship convinced Williams to help preserve the USS Iowa, which opened to the public in July 2012 as a naval museum at a berth in the Port of Los Angeles. Members of the Chief Selects worked with an IOWA volunteer coordinator to pull off the surprise for his grandfather.

"When they found out that my grandfather was unable to visit the (USS IOWA) lately due to health reasons, they decided to take it to him," Williams wrote.

His original Facebook video had more than 4.5 million views Wednesday morning.

Photo Credit: USS IOWA Museum
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<![CDATA[Rap Video to Welcome 4th Graders]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:32:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/217*120/reed0823.png

A suburban Chicago student-teacher’s passion for music and his classroom has garnered internet acclaim and offers of school supplies after a rap video he made was posted to social media.

Dwayne Reed, 25, a first-year student teacher at Jane Stenson Elementary School in Skokie, posted a rap video titled “Welcome to The Fourth Grade” on YouTube over the weekend. He said he chose a more creative and engaging way to introduce himself than a boring old newsletter so many students have grown accustomed to.

“I wanted a cool way to introduce myself to the students and the parents I was gonna have,” Reed said.

Reed, originally from the north suburban East Garfield Park neighborhood but now living in Skokie, said the idea came to him when a filmmaker friend, Ty Gotham, said he wanted to make a music video.

“I think I’m somewhat gifted at music,” Reed said. “It’s simply a way for me to try to connect with my students.”

Sue O’Neil, principal at Jane Stenson, says she’s happy to be working with Reed.

“I think he’s gonna bring a lot of creativity and I just think the kids are gonna relate to him really well,” she said.

Reed said the video was shot Saturday, edited just after midnight Sunday morning and posted to YouTube.

Users on the social media site Reddit were quick to share the video, encouraging Reed with praise and offering to donate school supplies to his class.

“That would be so amazing,” he said. “I would love for them to donate supplies to my kids. A lot of the students here are low income."

Reed says basic supplies like notepads, pens and folders, to winter clothes and shoes would all be helpful donations. 

He plans to use his passion for music to help kids come up with their own songs to help them study.

“Regardless of how cheesy it is, if it helps them remember something, if it helps them excel on the test, or in life, I’m fine with it, I’m backing it,” he said. “You can’t disconnect music from true life, so if we want our students to live excellent lives, we gotta have music involved in that.”

Reed said his enthusiasm and positivity are heavily tied to his faith and he doesn’t agree with some of the more negative comments that plague posts like his on social media—specifically those that say he will lose his enthusiasm as time goes on.

“My joy, my enthusiasm, my passion isn’t necessarily tied or weighed down by teaching,” he said. “I have that joy, that enthusiasm for every aspect in my life.”

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<![CDATA[Hooded Intruder Breaks Into NJ Home, Watched Family Sleep]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:54:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/belleville+home+intruder.jpg

A man is breaking into homes in a New Jersey community and leaving behind valuables in at least one case to simply survey sleeping family members while walking from room to room, police and victims say. 

One homeowner recounted his bizarre confrontation with the burglar in Belleville at around 4 a.m. last Wednesday. 

"I was standing right there, he was standing right there," said Michael Maldonado, describing how he came face to face with the intruder in his living room in the middle of the night. 

"I freaked out. My blood dropped to my feet. I didn't know what to do," he said. 

In nothing but his boxers, Maldonado had raced upstairs from his basement bedroom after he and his wife were awakened by a chilling FaceTime message from their daughters on the second floor. 

"She actually did say, 'There's somebody up here with us,'" said Maldonado's wife, Milagros.

Daughter Debora, who is 12 years old, said she'd seen a hooded stranger emerge from her brother's room into their little sister's room. There were eight children in the house. 

"I got really freaked out, I thought I was just imagining things," the young girl said. "'Cause I was moving side to side. I was really scared." 

When Maldonado confronted the man, he knew something wasn't right. 

"I asked him, 'What do you want?' His response was, 'I was just upstairs,'" he said.

The dad's blood ran cold. 

"That's when I told him, come outside," he said. 

That's where Maldonado tried to tackle the man wearing a cap and hooded sweatshirt, but the man fought back. 

"He tells me, 'You gonna be like that?' and runs away," Maldonado said. 

The family would later come to find the intruder's muddy footprints in nearly every room of their Smallwood Avenue home. 

"He went into my room while we were sleeping. He was in my daughters' room while they were sleeping. He had stepped over my daughters," said Maldonado.

Strangely, the intruder only took $40 from Maldonado's wallet, and left behind cellphones and tablets in the open. 

Police believe the same suspect has struck or tried to break into at least two other homes on Fairway Avenue and Elena Place within the last week and a half. 

For now, the Maldonados are grateful their children weren't hurt. 

"I really give thanks to God, he did protect our children," Michael Maldonado said. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[UK's Nigel Farage to Appear at Trump Rally in Mississippi]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:33:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/farage-trump-split.jpg

Nigel Farage, the former head of the UK Independence Party, will accompany Donald Trump when the Republican presidential candidate continues to court African-American voters Wednesday night in Mississippi, NBC News reported. 

Farage confirmed a Sky News report that he’ll appear at the Trump event in Jackson, Mississippi, where he plans on telling the “story of Brexit.” 

Even though he’ll appear with Trump, he won’t be endorsing the candidate. Farage said in an interview that would be hypocritical, since he condemned President Barack Obama for wading into the Brexit campaign during his visit to London. 

Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment about Farage’s appearance.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Alex Brands Infant Building Toys Recalled Due to Choking Hazard]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:33:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/recall-alex-toy-sets.jpg

Alex Brands is recalling 91,000 infant building toy sets due to a choking hazard posed by small parts that can detach from the units, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The New Jersey-based company recalled its Baby Builder model 1982, First Pops model 1981P and the First Snaps model 1981S produced before November 2010 after 22 reports of small parts detaching.

No injuries have been reported.

The recalled sets contain 14 or 26 pieces designed to be pulled, pushed, snapped and twisted and come in plastic jars. The toys were sold at Barnes & Noble, Land of Nod and Zulily.com for about $18 to $28. 

The recalled First Snaps sets' containers have the following batch codes: P0002073, P0001713, P0001330, P0000954, P0002107, P0001628, P0001009, P00000814, P0001948, P0001536, P0001098, P0001677, P0001427 and P0000983. 

ALEX advised consumers to immediately contact them for a prepaid shipping envelope to return the products for a full refund.

For more information, call ALEX at 844-310-6691 anytime or online at www.alexbrands.com/recall-information.

Photo Credit: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Holds Campaign Rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:50:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Trump+Florida+State+Fairgrounds.png

Donald Trump is campaigning in the battleground state of Florida, where he will hold a rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The campaign event comes a day after Trump suggested during a Fox News town hall in Texas that he is open to "softening" laws dealing with immigrants in the country illegally. It is the latest sign that the Republican presidential nominee is considering easing the hardline stance he has taken since the beginning of his campaign.

Trump will continue to urge African-American voters to support him and is also expected to reiterate his calls for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the connection between Hillary Clinton's State Department and the Clinton Foundation, his campaign told NBC News.   

<![CDATA[Back From Rio, Swimmer Jimmy Feigen Apologizes]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 22:58:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/feigen-lochte-conger-bentz.jpg

U.S. Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen on Tuesday made his first public comments about the incident in Rio de Janeiro last week that involved Feigen, Ryan Lochte and two of their teammates.

In a written statement provided to NBC News, Feigen admitted to initially leaving out details of an early morning incident at a Rio gas station, saying he omitted the facts to police in an attempt to help Lochte.

The Aug. 14 encounter was initially described by Lochte as an armed robbery by men posing as police officers, but the tale soon unraveled into an embarrassing controversy.

By the time a judge ordered Lochte and Feigen to remain in Brazil, Lochte had already left. Feigen eventually paid almost $11,000 to a sports foundation and was allowed to leave Brazil.

Feigen also said he was given an option to pay a fine rather than wait the month in Brazil for the investigation to conclude, but the amount first suggested was the equivalent of $31,250 and 15 days of community service.

When Feigen and his attorneys rejected that offer as unreasonable, the prosecutor increased the proposed fine to the equivalent of $46,875, he said. The smaller agreement was eventually reached.

Photo Credit: Getty Images - AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Check: Clinton Campaign’s 'Kremlin' Deception]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 06:53:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mookGettyImages-584258326.jpg

FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, made the baseless insinuation that Donald Trump compromised national security by inviting a man with Russian ties to his intelligence briefing.

Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” Mook said Trump was accompanied to his first intelligence briefing on Aug. 17 by “someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin.” Mook claimed this “gentleman” — whom he did not name — “was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin” at RT’s 10th anniversary gala in December, and he demanded that Trump disclose “whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.”

Who is this mysterious, unnamed gentleman? The Clinton campaign told us Mook was referring to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who until two years ago was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama.

Flynn is not “on the payroll of the Russia Times.” He was merely one of many speakers at RT’s anniversary conference on Dec. 10, 2015, in Moscow. RT is a Russian government-funded TV station once known as Russia Today.

Mook made his misleading assertion about Flynn shortly after he claimed that “real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin.” Host George Stephanopoulos questioned Mook about that claim — which has been part of the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Trump ever since it was reported that Russia was likely behind the successful attacks on computer servers at the Democratic National Committee and the release of DNC emails.

Stephanopoulos: You’re saying he’s a puppet for the Kremlin?

Mook: Well, real questions are being raised about that. We — again, there’s a web of financial ties to the Russians that he refuses to disclose. We’ve seen over the last few week, him parroted Vladimir Putin in his own remarks. We saw the Republican Party platform changed. She saw Donald Trump talk about leaving NATO and leaving our Eastern European allies vulnerable to a Russian attack. The gentleman he brought with him to his security briefing just last week is someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin. He was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin at their 10th anniversary gala.

There are a lot of questions here. And we need Donald Trump to disclose all of his financial ties and whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.

Trump has praised Putin and has called for improved relations with Russia, but he has denied that he has had any financial ties with Russia beyond holding the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013. Also, Trump’s personal financial disclosure report required of all presidential candidates does not show any investments in Russia.

However, Paul Manafort, who until last week was Trump’s campaign chairman, did have business dealings with Russian-aligned leaders in Ukraine, as uncovered by the New York Times. With Manafort gone, Mook redirected the campaign’s guilt-by-association attack on Trump by questioning Flynn’s associations with the Kremlin.

Trump was joined at his first intelligence briefing on Aug. 17 at FBI headquarters in New York City by Flynn and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. As Huffington Post wrote, Flynn “was paid by a Russian state-funded television network to speak at its 10th-anniversary gala,” and Putin attended that conference. Reuters reported that Flynn “was pictured sitting at the head table with Putin” at the conference.

In an Aug. 15 article, Flynn told the Washington Post that his speaking engagement was arranged by his speaker’s bureau and that he was paid for it. He said he was introduced to Putin, but did not speak to him.

Flynn was one of many speakers at the conference. Others included former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and liberal U.S. media commentator Thom Hartmann.

Flynn sat for a one-on-one Q&A with RT correspondent Sophie Shevardnadze on the Islamic State terrorist group and the crisis in the Middle East. His conference topic coincided with the announcement that he is writing a book with Michael Ledeen on the Middle East called “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”

The Clinton campaign provided no evidence that Flynn is “on the payroll” of RT or that he is “having meetings with the Kremlin,” as Mook alleged. It forwarded us a Politico story from May that said Flynn “makes semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst.” Politico wrote that Flynn is “presumably” paid for those TV appearances, but the retired lieutenant general told the Post that he is not paid by RT or any other TV stations, because “I want to be able to speak freely about what I believe.”

Steve Sestanovich, a senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told us that Flynn’s appearance at the conference certainly raises a question about Flynn’s “judgment and good sense,” but it probably doesn’t make him a security risk.

Flynn served for more than three decades in the military, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. He became the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama in July 2012. He was asked to resign after two years and quickly became one of the Obama administration’s most vocal critics on foreign policy. “I was asked to step down,” Flynn admitted in an interview with Foreign Policy. “It wasn’t necessarily the timing that I wanted, but I understand.”

Trump reportedly considered Flynn during his search for a vice presidential candidate, but ultimately picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The Clinton campaign certainly has legitimate questions it can raise about Trump’s foreign policy positions, such as his comments that he would “certainly look at” pulling the United States out of NATO, because it is “obsolete” and “is costing us a fortune.” But Mook goes too far in falsely claiming that Flynn is “on the payroll” of the government-funded Russia TV station and insinuating without evidence that the retired United States Army lieutenant general is a security risk.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Target Refunds for Phony Cotton]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:56:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-183984938.jpg

Target Corp. is refunding millions of dollars worth of sheets after finding a textile supply company was pawning off phony fabrics as luxurious Egyptian-cotton.

Approximately 750,000 sheets and pillowcases manufactured by Welspun India Ltd. were labeled to be 500-thread count Egyptian cotton, Bloomberg reports, but found to be a knockoff instead.

“After an extensive investigation, we recently confirmed that Welspun substituted another type of non-Egyptian cotton when producing these sheets between August 2014 and July 2016,” Target announced Friday.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has since pulled all Welspun products – sold under labels Fieldcrest and Crowning Touch – from its stores and website.

“Neither Target nor Fieldcrest had any knowledge of this substitution,” the company said in a statement. “These sheets were produced by a number of vendors and only one of those vendors was substituting product.”

Falsely labeled products were sold for as much as $175 per set, Business Insider reports, amounting in $90 million in potential refunds for Target.

Target has terminated its partnership with the Mumbai-based supplier, which responded by saying it was investigating the claims.

“We have initiated immediate actions to investigate the root cause. We are appointing an external auditor (one of the Big Four) to audit our supply systems and processes,” Welspun wrote in the release. “This is an issue of highest priority for us and we will take all necessary steps to address it.”

By Sunday, Welspun’s shares had fallen 20 percent, the most in a decade, according to Bloomberg.

Welspun managing director Rajesh Mandawewala maintained to Bloomberg Monday that the “error” was about “fiber provenance” and not about quality.

Customers who purchased the products during the timeframe can request a refund in the form of a gift card on Target’s web form here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fish Kill in NJ Marina]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:41:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fish-kill-3.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of dead fish were spotted floating in the waterways in New Jersey this week.

Officials said that the scores of dead bunker fish that were spotted on the surface of local waterways around the Raritan Bay in West Keansburg Tuesday were victims of a fish kill.

Department of Environmental Protection officials said the fish were likely chased into the bay by bluefish or skates, and once there the fish were killed off by low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Fish were found in Natco Lake, Thornes Creek and Waackaak Creek, officials said. 

Officials said that it was the second fish kill in the waterway this week. It’s a common occurrence caused by a cocktail of warm, still waters and growing plant life.

"The temperatures have been sweltering, and you can imagine what it's like in the smaller bodies of water," said Greg Remaud, the deputy director of NY/NJ Baykeeper.

Baykeeeper officials said that tests revelaed that oxygen levels in the waterways were below the minimum concentration for fish to survive. 

“This is primarily a natural phenomenon, but it is exacerbated by polluted runoff, including fertilizers from lawns, which is why preserving stream corridors and buffers is important,” said Remaud.

Chopper 4 footage from the scene showed thousands of fish carcasses floating in the bay, mostly grouped around docks and twists in the waterway.

Officials said that most of the fish, normally used for fertilizer, will likely be washed out of the bay within two tide cycles.

There is no risk to the public from the water or the dead fish, authorities said. 

Photo Credit: Provided by NY/NJ Baykeeper]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Teacher Eliminates Homework for 2nd-Graders]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:48:48 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/199*120/no-homework-image.jpg

A North Texas teacher's decision to skip homework for her second-grade class in favor of giving them more time to play and spend with family is sparking a debate about its value for young children.

Even as some parents praised the new policy and her announcement of it went viral on Facebook, a professor who has analyzed dozens of homework studies cautioned against the approach.

Brandy Young, a teacher at Godley Elementary School in Johnson County, told parents she would not send home assignments because research had been "unable to prove that homework improves student performance." Only work unfinished during the day would have to be completed at home, she wrote.

She instead asked parents to spend their evenings doing things that would help their child to succeed in school and offered these suggestions: Eat dinner as a family, read, play outside and go to bed early.

"Take what you've learned in the classroom and apply it outside of the classroom," Young said. "That's what I hope they're doing with the learning that they get in my room."

Her letter to parents was posted on Facebook by a mother, Samantha Gallagher, who wrote that her daughter was loving her new teacher. The post has been shared more than 69,000 times.

Asked about the policy, the superintendent of the Godley Independent School District, Rich Dear, said that teachers in the district were encouraged to be innovative and to do what was best for their pupils.

"And Brandy and some of our second-grade teachers felt like that reducing assigned homework was good for our kids," he said. "And I support them for putting our learners first."

A half dozen second-grade teachers were dropping homework for the year and would evaluate the results in their classrooms, Dear said.

"We're not saying we won't ever assign homework," he said. "We're just saying we aren't assigning homework just for the sake of assigning it. Meaningful homework will always have its place."

One education professor, Harris M. Cooper of Duke University, the author of "The Battle Over Homework," disagreed with Young's assessment of homework. It can improve achievement for second-graders if it covers vocabulary, spelling, math and other subject matter that children learn through practice, he said.

Homework can be beneficial in other ways too, he said. It can show children that what they learn at school can apply to what they enjoy doing at home. It lets them know that they can learn anywhere. It can help them develop strong study and time management skills. And it allows parents to keep up with what their children are doing in school.

Assignments for children that age should take 20 minutes and should be short, simple and lead to success, he said. Children can be asked to read the back of a cereal box and discuss it in school or to apply math to sports that they like, whether goals scored in soccer or a batting average.

"Make it relevant, make it fun and make it part of what kids want to do," he said. "That's her challenge, not cut it off entirely."

A Met Life survey done in 2007 found that 60 percent of parents thought that schools were giving the right amount of homework, according to Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of The Brown Center Report on American Education, an annual report analyzing trends in education. Twenty-five percent said the amount was too little and only 15 percent said too much.

Another poll conducted by Public Agenda in 2006 reported similar numbers: 68 percent of parents finding the amount of homework about right, 20 percent saying too little and 11 percent saying too much. And a third poll, by AP-AOL in 2006, had the highest percentage of parents saying too much homework was assigned, 19 percent, to 23 percent too little and 57 percent about right, Loveless said.

Vicki Abeles, a producer and director whose documentary "Race to Nowhere" looked at what she calls the pressure-cooker culture dominating American schools, said she was in favor of Young's approach.

"Six hours in school is already a full work day for a 7-year-old, and adding more seat time to that day only squeezes out other activities that are just as critical to healthy growth," said Abeles, now the author of "Beyond Measure: Rescuing an Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation." "The practice of assigning homework is a reflex -- something we do because it's been done that way before, not because we actually sat down and considered what was most beneficial to kids. And it's refreshing to see a teacher break the habit."

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<![CDATA[South Florida Teen Survives Brain-Eating Amoeba]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:21:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Sebastian-DeLeon-AP_16236727958455.jpg

A South Florida teen beat the odds to survive a brain-eating amoeba thanks to some quick-working doctors in Orlando.

Every brain-eating amoeba patient Dr. Humberto Liriano has ever treated died. The cases are so rare that only four people have survived in the past 50 years.

One of the survivors is 16-year-old Sebastian DeLeon, and talking about him brings Liriano to tears.

"We woke him up, we decided to take the breathing tube out and within hours he spoke," Liriano said Tuesday. "Since then he’s done very well. He’s walking, he’s speaking. I saw him already this morning. He’s ready to go home."

DeLeon was infected by swimming in a private lake in Broward County. He and his family were visiting theme parks in Orlando when he suffered brain-crushing headaches and severe light sensitivity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only four out of 138 people have survived being infected with the amoeba in the past 50 years, including DeLeon, according to the hospital's doctors.

Emergency room doctors at Orlando's Florida Hospital for Children first thought he had meningitis, but gut instinct pushed doctors to perform a spinal puncture test.

DeLeon tested positive for the amoeba and the race against the clock to save his life was on. Luck was on their side as amoeba-fighting drugs happened to be local.

"By 4:00, he was already cooled, intubated, in a coma and received all five medications," Liriano said.

For 10 days DeLeon has been recovering and getting stronger. He beat grim odds to a deadly reality that claims 97 percent of its victims.

"We are so thankful that God has given us the miracle through this medical team and this hospital for having our son back and having him full of life," mother Brunilda Gonzalez said. "He's a very energetic, adventurous, wonderful teen, and we are so thankful for the gift of life."

Photo Credit: DeLeon Family/Florida Hospital Orlando via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gets Stuck Between Buildings]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 18:47:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Puittsburgh+stuck+Between+Buildings.jpg

Emergency crews rescued a man who became trapped between two buildings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reportedly after trying to jump from one rooftop to another to impress a woman he had just met.

The man, whose name wasn't immediately released, was freed about 6 a.m. Tuesday. He'd been trapped about four hours after falling awkwardly into the narrow, debris-filled space between the buildings. Police say the man reported an ankle injury; he was bleeding, but waved to TV news cameras as he was wheeled on a gurney to an ambulance.

At one point, crews broke a hole through a Qdoba restaurant in an unsuccessful effort to reach him. A medic was eventually lowered on a rope to reach the man.

Authorities say the man and woman reached the roof by climbing a fire escape.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Justin Timberlake Hosts HRC in LA]]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 06:56:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/205*120/08-23-2016-timberlake-clinton.jpg

On the narrow street leading to the home of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, there are orders for no parking and no stopping.

Unless you're invited, there is no way to reach the house serving as backdrop for the third Hillary Clinton campaign fundraiser in SoCal in just two days.

The Democratic presidential nominee will wrap her a two-day visit to Los Angeles and Orange counties Tuesday with a star-studded fundraiser at the Timberlake-Biel Hollywood Hills abode before heading on to two fundraisers in Laguna Beach.

It's at the home of the iconic pop singer where a luncheon running at $33,400 per person will be held.

Everyone from actors Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Aniston to TV producer Shonda Rhimes are expected. 

The event was punctuated by a tweet from the super-star couple with Clinton sandwiched in the middle, featuring the hashtag "I'm with her."

The event was originally scheduled to be hosted by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. A change in the production schedule for DiCaprio's upcoming climate change documentary meant the Oscar winner could not attend, according to People magazine, which cited a source close to the event. 

Clinton will then hold another $33,400 per person lunch fundraiser in Laguna Beach, which includes a photo with Clinton. Couples paying $100,000 are also admitted to a host reception with Clinton, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.

Clinton will conclude her Southland visit with another Laguna Beach fundraiser, with tickets priced at $2,700, the maximum individual contribution to a presidential candidate in the general election under federal law. Guests raising $27,000 are admitted to a host reception with Clinton.

The $33,400 figure is the maximum amount an individual can contribute to a national party committee in a year.

Clinton began the visit Monday by taping an appearance on the ABC late- night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and holding two fundraisers. In her appearance with Kimmel, Clinton made light of both the revelation that the FBI collected nearly 15,000 new emails in its investigation of her and Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioning her health.

Clinton told Kimmel "my emails are so boring and I'm embarrassed about that."

When Kimmel asked 68-year-old Clinton about the questions about her health, she offered up her hand and said "take my pulse," explaining "to make sure I'm still alive."

Kimmel then took her hand and gasped, telling the audience, "Oh my god, there's nothing there."

Clinton implied that the stories are baseless, saying sarcastically, "With every breath I take, I feel like it's a new lease on life."

Much of the speculation stems from a concussion Clinton sustained in December 2012 after fainting, an episode her doctor has attributed to a stomach virus and dehydration. Giuliani urged voters to "go online and put down `Hillary Clinton illness,"' in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, saying the next morning that she "looks sick." Trump has questioned her stamina at campaign rallies and speeches, saying in a foreign policy address earlier this month that she "lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS".

When Kimmel asked about her preparations for the three debates with Trump, Clinton said she's taking the match-up seriously but is getting ready for "wacky stuff."

Her first fundraiser Monday was at the home of Basketball Hall of Fame member Earvin "Magic" Johnson near Beverly Hills, with co-hosts including actors Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. The second fundraiser at the Beverly Hills home of Haim Saban, the chairman and CEO of the Saban Capital Group, Inc., whose assets include the Spanish-language television network Univision.

Tickets began at $2,700 per person, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.

Like nearly all fundraisers for presidential candidates, the events were closed to reporters.

Clinton's visit began one day after the Republican National Committee released a 19-second paid web ad critical of "Hillary Clinton's liberal elite summer tour with frequent stops in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Cape Cod."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Nazi-Looted Paintings Stay in SoCal]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 23:20:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/knbc-lucas-cranach-the-elder-adam-and-even-paintings-2.jpg

A judge has ruled in favor of a Southern California museum in its 10-year legal battle over the ownership of two German Renaissance masterpieces that were seized by the Nazis in World War II.

U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter ruled last week that Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum, where the paintings "Adam" and "Eve" have been for more than 30 years, is the rightful owner of the two life-size oil-on-panel paintings.

The museum called the decision mindful of "the facts and law at the heart of the dispute," the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Marei von Saher alleged that the paintings were seized from her father-in-law, Dutch Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, after his family fled Holland during the Holocaust.

The Norton Simon countered that it legally acquired the works in the 1970s from the descendant of Russian aristocrats who had them wrongly taken by the Soviet Union in the 1920s.

Lucas Cranach the Elder painted the works in around 1530. In 1971, they were acquired by the museum for $800,000, the equivalent of about $4.8 million today. They were appraised at $24 million in 2006.

Depicting mankind in the ominous moment before the biblical Fall, the painting's ownership battle, too, points to a period in human history fraught with uncertainty: a 20th-century Europe ravaged by war.

The dispute is one of many to emerge in recent years involving precious art looted by the Nazis.

The judge said that because Goudstikker's art dealership decided not to seek restitution for the works after the war, his family thereby abandoned their claim to the art.

"Obviously, Ms. von Saher is disappointed with the court's decision," representatives from her legal firm, who plan to appeal the decision, said in a statement to the Times.

They also criticized a legal motion exchanged with them by the museum's legal team, presenting evidence that von Saher's father was a member of the Nazi Party.

"Using this information in an attempt to discredit Ms. von Saher is nothing more than a distasteful device to evade responsibility for refusing to restitute artworks that were indisputably stolen from her husband's family," the attorneys said.

A statement from the Norton Simon Art Foundation said in part, "We take seriously the fiduciary responsibility to the public that our ownership of such important artworks confers. We have placed the panels on near-constant public display since 1971 and will continue to ensure they remain accessible to the public for years to come."

Photo Credit: Norton Simon Art Foundation]]>