<![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-usSun, 04 Dec 2016 13:37:17 -0500Sun, 04 Dec 2016 13:37:17 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[24 Killed, Death Toll Expected to Climb After Oakland Fire]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 13:15:22 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/oakfire23.jpg

Twenty-four people were confirmed dead Sunday after a horrific Oakland warehouse blaze that has since been deemed one of the country’s deadliest structure fires, sheriff's officials said.

The death toll rose from Saturday's nine and Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly expects that number to continue to climb as firefighters maneuver through the wrecked “Oakland Ghost Ship," where between 50 and 100 people were attending a Friday night electronic music festival.

Crews have so far only been able to search about 20 percent of the building and a "significant number" of people are still missing, so "that number will go up," Kelly said at a news conference Sunday. 

He continued: "We've only been able to do three official notifications to families so this is going very slow for us because we have to go back to our coroner's bureau and try to identify these people."

Meanwhile, "several dozen" people who were initially reported missing have been located and reunited with their families, Kelly added.

A Facebook event page indicates that the fire sparked during a Golden Donna show — promoted by Los Angeles-based dance label 100% Silk — at the warehouse at 1315 31st Avenue. 

Officials suspect that artists were living illegally in the structure, although it was permitted for use only as a warehouse. Mark Hoffman, operations chief at the Oakland Fire Department, described the building as a "labyrinth," cluttered with wood workers, sculptors, painters and more.

Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said that there was no evidence of smoke alarms or sprinklers at the now-destroyed building, where the charred roof collapsed onto the second floor, which in places plunged onto the first floor. 

When she tried to enter the building, Reed said she was "just able to get in about 10 feet." Kelly agreed that it has proven "tricky" to move around in the building because of debris, downed beams, a collapsed roof and leaking water.

The inferno reduced the building to a smoldering skeleton, and Kelly said that weakened walls further complicated and delayed the recovery and identification process. Fire crews were forced to withdraw from the unstable structure Saturday because it needed to be shored up.

Officials brought in heavy equipment, including cranes, dump trucks, excavators and bulldozers, to create a safe path into the building. They flooded the building with light while crews worked carefully so bodies weren't scooped up with debris, Kelly said.

Melinda Drayton, a battalion chief with the Oakland Fire Department, said she took up her post around 9 p.m. Saturday and oversaw recovery efforts for 12 hours.

Crews "breached the left side of the warehouse building" so firefighters and Alameda County sheriff's officials could move debris "literally bucket by bucket" from the ravaged structure to a vacant lot next door," Drayton said.

Firefighters dressed in "coveralls" used "buckets and shovels" to clear the scene in a "methodical, thoughtful, mindful and compassionate way," according to Drayton.

"We have gone from one end to the other end of the building, encompassing approximately 20 percent of the building, searching for victims and doing debris removal," she said.

When Drayton entered the building, she said she noted a "somber approach" to the difficult work being done.

"It was quiet. It was heartbreaking," she said, choking up.

Kelly echoed the same sentiment.

"This is very hard work and it's very slow and it's definitely taken a toll on first responders here," he said.  

And although it was a "phenomenal feat" to comb through one-fifth of the warehouse overnight, firefighters still have a ways to go, Drayton said.

"This will be a long and arduous process, but we want to make sure that we are respecting the victims, their families and our firefighters' safety," Drayton said.

In the meantime, Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said officers have conducted an areawide search, noting license plate numbers of cars that victims may have driven to the warehouse. They are now trying to match cars with registered owners to aid in the identification process. 

It may take "considerable" time before all the victims are found and identified, according to Kelly.

Investigators will be at the scene through late Sunday, and possibly into early Monday.

The victims are primarily people in their 20s and 30s, and some traveled to Oakland from other countries, Kelly said.

"It appears that people either made it out or didn’t make it out," he said. "There’s not a lot of other injuries that have been reported to us at this time."

Although 25 people were killed by the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, Drayton, who has spent 19 years with the city's fire department, said, "This is the most deadly fire in Oakland Fire’s history that I’m aware of."

"It is tragic to watch so many people perish from a fire fatality in front of your eyes and have to be stoic in your job, be professional in your actions, and make sure we’re honoring the victims and their families to bring them safely out of the building," Drayton added.

In the hours after the fire, the Bay Area community roared back with support for people affected by the fire. Elected officials, including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Gov. Jerry Brown, offered their condolences; groups organized vigils; the A's and Raiders made donations; and Facebook rolled out its Safety Check so people could inform family and friends about their condition. 

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office and American Red Cross also set up a family assistance center at 2425 E. 12th St. People called 510-382-3000 for help.

According to Kelly, the center proved to be a great resource for people frantically searching for their loved ones.

"We have contacted every family member. We have sat down with them. We have talked to them. We have cried with them. We have spent hours and hours with them," Kelly said. However, that wouldn't have been possible without support from chaplins, city workers, Red Cross officials and others.

"The offers of assistance have been amazing," he said.

Separately, an arson task force is investigating the cause of the fire, but there’s no reason to suspect arson at this time, officials said. 

"It’s still under investigation," Drayton said. "We don’t believe we’ve even gotten close to the point of origin of the fire."

Check back for updates.


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<![CDATA[Extreme Weather: Deadly Tornadoes, Flooding in the South]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 08:27:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/AP_16335815446420-weather.jpg Take a look at photos of extreme weather from the U.S. and around the world, from floods to snow to rough seas.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Rips Through Oakland Warehouse, Killing 9]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:38:35 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/oaklandfireI.jpg At least nine people were killed and 25 others are unaccounted for after a three-alarm fire erupted at a warehouse party in Oakland late Friday night, fire officials said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[How to Help Oakland Fire Victims]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:27:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/oakfire11.jpg

After the horrific news of at least nine people killed with dozens more feared dead following a three-alarm warehouse fire in Oakland, many organizations and Bay Area residents are reaching out to help.

The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts has started an online fundraising page and has raised more than $40,000. Gray Area is also slated to hold a vigil starting at 6 p.m. at 2665 Mission St. in San Francisco.

The Oakland Athletics tweeted their support for those affected by the fire. "We will work together to heal our community," the team wrote. The A's also sought donations and pledged to match contributions up to $30,000

The Golden State Warriors also plan to hold a moment of silence for the victims at Saturday night's game. Proceeds from the game's Warriors Community Foundations 50/50 raffle will support family assistance services for the Oakland fire, team officials said.

A vigil service will also be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, 4499 Piedmont Ave.

Organizers from the event held at the warehouse have created a list on Facebook to try and figure out who is alive and accounted for. Families and friends took to Facebook and Twitter to express condolences for those who had died in the fire, and search for those still missing.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office and American Red Cross have set up a family assistance center at 2425 E. 12th Street. Grief counselors will be on hand. People can call 510-382-3000 for help.

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<![CDATA[Seen in Trump's Orbit: Pam Bondi, John Bolton ]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:41:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/PamBondi_Trump.jpg Manhattan's Trump Tower in New York City and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, have both become political hot spots, as mayors, senators and advisers meet with President-elect Donald Trump during his transition period.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top News: Indonesia Protests, Brazil Plane Crash and More ]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:32:25 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/AP_16337270032630.jpg View daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Dita Alangkara/AP]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Man Steals Bus to Go for a Joyride (Again)]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:31:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mta+bus+ridership.jpg

Some people steal sports cars when they want to joyride. Others boost a motorcycle.

Nickolas Ellias allegedly prefers the bus. 

Police said they arrested Ellias, 24, of Staten Island, for stealing an MTA bus from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George sometime between midnight and 3 a.m.

He was spotted driving the bus and later arrested.

Ellias was caught doing the same thing in June 2014 and arrested then as well. At the time, his foster father reportedly said the young man was obsessed with buses. 

He is facing charges of grand larceny auto and criminal mischief in the current case. 

Ellias's case recalls another, more famous New York City transit thief - Darius McCollum, 51, who has been arrested more than 30 times for stealing buses and trains. 

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<![CDATA[10-Alarm Fire Breaks Out in Mass.]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 06:21:12 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000002638653.JPG

A raging blaze fueled by winds engulfed at least eight buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Saturday afternoon, emitting a massive plume of smoke that could be seen for miles around.

Cambridge firefighters struck 10 alarms for the fire near Berkshire and Vandine streets, which burned at least eight buildings and damaged up to 11 in total, plus several cars parked along the street.

Mayor Denise Simmons says approximately six first responders sustained minor injuries and were taken to an area hospital, where they are doing well.

"As far as we know, no residents have been hurt," Simmons said. "I'm amazed and I'm very pleased that we don't have any major casualties that we know of."

As of 8:15 p.m., fire officials said the blaze had been contained.

Responders' injuries ranged from a fall to breathing problems, according to officials.

Multiple roads have been blocked off, and authorities are warning people to stay away from the area. More than 1,600 electrical customers have been left in the dark, because crews had to cut power to safely fight the blaze when it started burning primary electrical wires. Fire officials say they're uncertain when the power will be restored.

Between 130 to 140 firefighters from 17 surrounding communities responded to the fire for mutual aid.

Fire officials say the close proximity of the buildings, which appear to be mostly residential, also played a role in the fire's quick destruction. Wind gusts of more than 20 mph have been recorded in the area.

"They responded very quickly to get the situation under control as fast as possible, and all the cities and towns," Simmons said. "I'm just very grateful for the amount of help and support that we've gotten from all the neighboring cities and towns around Cambridge to make sure that we keep the community safe."

Although the cause of the fire is still unclear, witnesses say they heard an explosion from a home under construction in the area.

Upwards of 60 people are believed to have been displaced, Cambridge Fire Chief Gerald Reardon says.

"This looks like a third world country after a bombing," said Reardon. "It's a lot of devastation."

The Frisoli Youth Center was initially where those displaced by the fire were directed to go; however, the shelter has been affected by the ongoing power outage.

Simmons is recommending those who would like to help displaced residents make a donation to the Mayors Fire Relief Fund at Cambridge City Hall for now: Mayors Fire Relief Fund, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA 02139



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Warehouse Fire Survivor]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:41:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/bob+mule.jpg

A survivor of the deadly fire at an Oakland warehouse said Saturday he's thankful to be alive.

Bob Mule told NBC News he belongs to a 24-hour artist collective occupying the building that burned overnight, leaving at least 24 people dead. 

Mule was seen being treated in an ambulance early Saturday. He suffered "pretty gnarly" burns on his arms, hands and shoulder, he said. His vest was charred and appeared to have taken the brunt of the flames.

When the fire broke out, Mule said he was downstairs and about to start painting. But the acrid smell of smoke alerted him and a fellow artist to what exploded into a three-alarm fire.

"We were trying to figure out where the smoke was coming from, and we saw where the fire was, it was on the back left corner of the space," he said. "It all happened really quickly. The fire went up really, really quickly."

When Mule tried to retrieve some personal belongings, he saw that a fellow collective member "had broken his ankle and was calling out for help." Mule tried helping him out, but "there was a lot of stuff in the way and the flames were too much," he said.

"There was too much smoke and ... I had to let him go," Mule said.

Although glad to be alive, he remained worried about his friend.

"I haven't seen him and there've been flames shooting out of the building for the past 30 minutes. ... I hope he's OK," Mule said.

Mule said before the fire broke out, the collective was having an event with some music, art and projections. He said the collective consists of 18 working artists throughout the day.

"It's like a living piece of art; it's always in flux, as far as the space goes," he said. "There's always something being built, being changed or rearranged."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Thumbs Up! Buzz Aldrin Gets Surprise Visit in Hospital]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 13:27:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/buzz+aldrin+astronauta.jpg

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was medically evacuated from the South Pole earlier this week, is continuing to recover in a New Zealand hospital — and is in good spirits thanks to a visit from a friend, NBC News reported.

"I had a surprise visitor this morning," the 86-year-old rocket man tweeted from his hospital bed Saturday, along with photos of himself and NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman.

[[404474936, C]]

The tweet called Newman a "longtime friend."

Aldrin had been on a tourism adventure to Antarctica when "his condition deteriorated," according to White Desert, which organizes luxury tourism trips to the icy continent. He was evacuated on the first flight out as a precaution and transferred to a hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand, where doctors determined he had fluid in his lungs and prescribed him antibiotics.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Sarah Palin Warns of ‘Crony Capitalism’ After Trump Deal ]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 00:22:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/el-factor-palin.jpg

An unexpected dissenting voice came out Friday against a Trump administration brokered deal to keep a Carrier plant in Indiana and save around 1,000 jobs, NBC News reported.

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in an op-ed for the Young Conservatives website called the deal, which was reportedly negotiated by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, an example of government intervention that could lead to "crony capitalism."

"Republicans oppose this, remember? Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember?" Palin wrote. "Because we know special interest crony capitalism is one big fail."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sandy Hook Group Begins Violence Warning-Signs Campaign ]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 10:09:17 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/sandyhookmemorialIII.jpg

A group formed by families who lost children in the Sandy Hook school shooting has started a new public service campaign designed to teach people to recognize the warning signs of someone who may be contemplating gun violence.

The Know the Signs campaign from Sandy Hook Promise includes the launch on Friday of a new 2 ½-minute video public service announcement designed to show how easy it is to overlook at-risk behavior.

The group's founders include Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden. Both had 6-year-old sons who were among the 26 people killed by a gunman inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

The PSA can be viewed on YouTube.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Professor Stabbed to Death at USC]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 06:04:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/bosco-tjan-120216.png

A professor stabbed to death on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles on Friday was identified as psychology Professor Bosco Tjan, university officials said.

Tjan was killed Friday afternoon at the University Park Campus in the Seeley G. Mudd building, officials said. A student was arrested in connection with the death, officials said. He was identified Saturday morning as 28-year-old David Jonathan Brown of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Police said.

Tjan served as a co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center and was an expert in perception, vision, and vision cognition. He joined the USC faculty in 2001.

"We are extremely proud of our Department of Public Safety officers for their quick response, and our university counselors for immediately offering support at the scene," C. L. Max Nikias, USC's president, said in a statement. "As the Trojan Family mourns Professor Tjan’s untimely passing, we will keep his family in our thoughts. We encourage anyone in need of support to reach out to Student Counseling Services or the Center for Work and Family Life. On Monday, our dean of religious life, Varun Soni, will bring the campus community together for reflection and prayer."

The university's Trojans Alert emergency texting service quickly put out a message urging students, faculty and employees to stay away from the Seeley G. Mudd building, which houses science and medical classrooms.

"Police-related incident in progress at Seely G. Mudd. No danger to USC or the community. Stay away from the area," the text read.

The 10-story building is in the heart of campus near the school's running track.

USC was rocked last year by the beating death of a graduate student who was attacked by several people as he walked back to his off-campus apartment late at night after attending a study session.

Xinran Ji, a 24-year old engineering student, managed to return to his apartment, where his roommate found him.

In 2012 Chinese graduate students Ming Qu and Ying Wu were shot to death as they sat in their BMW about a mile from campus.

After Ji's murder USC officials sought to reassure parents of Chinese exchange students that the campus and its surrounding areas are safe.

USC has 44,000 students enrolled, including more than 10,000 international students.

A highly competitive school, it enrolled only about 16 percent of the more than 54,000 people who applied for its freshman class this year.

NBC4 wire services contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: USC]]>
<![CDATA[Former Officer: Gen. Mattis Left 'My Men to Die']]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:05:31 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/James_Mattis_2.jpg

A former Army Special Forces officer is accusing retired Marine General James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be defense secretary, of "leaving my men to die" after they were hit by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2001, NBC News reported.

Mattis has not commented publicly on the incident, which was chronicled in a 2011 New York Times bestselling book, "The Only Thing Worthy Dying For," by Eric Blehm, which portrays Mattis as stubbornly unwilling to help the Green Berets.

His actions, which were not formally investigated at the time, are now likely to get far more scrutiny during the retired general's Senate confirmation process.

Trump's transition team did not respond to request for comment from NBC News.

Mattis, whose 2013 retirement from the military means he would need a waiver from Congress to serve as the civilian Pentagon chief, did not respond to a request for comment from NBC News.



Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Parrot May Serve As Witness In Murder Case]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:45:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_murderparrot0603_1920x1080.jpg

In Michigan, one pet owner may rue the day she adopted her parrot.

Glenna Duram is currently on trial, charged with murdering her 45-year-old husband Martin on May 12, 2015. Bud, her African grey parrot, is the sole witness to the crime. And he’s been vocal about what he saw.

"Don't f---ing shoot," Bud said on a video recorded by family members weeks after the killing, NBC News reports.

"That bird picks up anything and everything," Martin’s mother, Lillian Duram, told Today in June. "He's got the filthiest mouth around."

The local prosecutor previously told NBC affiliate WOOD in Grand Rapids that he has not ruled out putting the African Grey parrot on the stand.

Duram, who survived what prosecutors believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, is charged with first-degree murder.



Photo Credit: WOOD]]>
<![CDATA[9 Killed, Dozens More Feared Dead in Oakland Warehouse Fire]]> Sun, 04 Dec 2016 01:04:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/2016-12-03-oakland-fire.jpg

At least nine people were killed and 25 others unaccounted for after a massive blaze ripped through a warehouse party in Oakland late Friday, but officials are preparing for the death toll to rise.

In what is being described as one of the deadliest structure fires in the U.S. in recent history, the fire gutted the 1300 block of 31st Avenue at about 11:30 p.m., Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said. Officials found no evidence of smoke alarms or sprinklers at the now-destroyed building, where the charred roof collapsed onto the second floor, which in places dropped onto the first floor. 

On social media, people referred to the building as the “Oakland Ghost Ship,” an artist's conclave. City officials described as a “a labyrinth of artist studios."

A Facebook event page indicates that the fire sparked during a Golden Donna show, which was promoted by Los Angeles-based dance label 100% Silk. Bob Mule, a survivor, said the space is also occupied by a 24-hour artist collective that he belongs to. 

Battalion Chief Lisa Baker said the building was "subdivided into other occupancies" and between 50 and 100 people were partying on the upper floor. Mark Hoffman, operations chief at the Oakland Fire Department, described the building as a "labyrinth," dotted with wood workers, sculptors, painters and more.

However, Darin Ranelletti, of the Oakland Planning Department, said the building was only permitted for use as a warehouse. City officials are investigating whether people were living in the warehouse illegally before Friday's lethal fire.

The party that young electronic music fans flocked to, Ranelletti said, "would require a special permit from the city, and such a permit had not been issued." 

Reed confirmed there were "nine known fatalities" around 7 a.m. Saturday, and that at least 25 others were unaccounted for. Around 9 a.m., Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. JD Nelson said officials are preparing for about 40 deaths based on the number of confirmed fatalities and numerous reports of missing people

Six coroners' tents were set up outside the building Saturday, while friends and strangers alike left flowers on a fence near the destroyed building.

Later in the day, Sheriff's spokesman Ray Kelly said nine bodies had been recovered and taken to the coroner's office, but declined to "play the numbers game." Several dozen people initially reported as missing have been located and reunited with their families, but a few dozen more remain unaccounted for, he said. 

While some families' fears were put at ease, others remain in an "unknown stage" and are "grieving," Kelly said.

The inferno reduced the building to a smoldering skeleton, and Kelly said that weakened walls have complicated and delayed the recovery and identification process. Fire crews were forced to withdraw from the unstable structure because it needs to be shored up.

Officials will need to use heavy equipment, including cranes, dump trucks, excavators and bulldozers, to create a safe path into the building. Crews have to work carefully, though, Kelly said, so bodies aren't scooped up with debris. 

It may take "considerable" time before victims are identified, according to Kelly. Investigators will be at the scene through late Sunday, and possibly into early Monday

Reed emphasized that just because someone is unaccounted for does not mean the person is dead. Officials are working to determine if attendees had taken themselves to the hospital or simply left the warehouse.

"One of the issues," Reed said, was that the building had only "one way up and down from the second floor and it’s my understanding that stairwell was kind of like a makeshift, that they put it together with pallets."

When she tried to enter the building, Reed said she was "just able to get in about 10 feet." Kelly added that it has proven "tricky" to maneuver in the building because of debris, downed beams, a collapsed roof and leaking water.

"This is not an easy task by any means," Kelly said.

The victims are primarily people in their 20s and 30s, but some hail from foreign countries, Kelly said.

"It appears that people either made it out or didn’t make it out," he said. "There’s not a lot of other injuries that have been reported to us at this time." 

The first fire crews on the scene "found a building that had smoke and flames coming out of three sides," Baker said. They made an "aggressive" attack to put the fire out, but conditions changed, forcing them to "retreat" from the then-"defensive" blaze.

It took 11 fire engines, three fire trucks and 52 firefighters "four hours to get the fire out," Baker said.

Reed said that 25 people were killed in the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, but "as a single-structure fire, I don't think Oakland has had a fatality of this magnitude in a while."

"It's going to be a huge impact, not just on the firefighters but on the families, on this community and the city as a whole," she added.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement that the fire was an "immense tragedy" and thanked emergency responders.

"Our focus right now is on the victims and their families and ensuring that we have a full accounting for everyone who was impacted by this tragedy," she said.

The Oakland Athletics tweeted their support for those affected by the fire. "We will work together to heal our community," the team wrote. The A's also sought donations and pledged to match contributions up to $30,000. 

Event organizers have created a list on Facebook to try to figure out who is alive and accounted for. Families and friends took to Facebook and Twitter to express condolences for those who had died in the fire and search for those still missing. Vigils were also held Saturday evening.

But some, like Daniel Vega, who was anxiously awaiting news about his brother, Alexander, questioned those responsible

"If there was any kind of things wrong with that building, like maybe it was an old, dilapidated building or something like that, why would somebody have a rave there?" he asked. "And if the rave was there, and it was an underground rave, why did the cops let it happen?"

Oakland property records indicate that the warehouse is owned by the Chor N. Ng trust.

A family member speaking on behalf of Ng said they were "trying to figure out what happened just like everyone else" and were "sorry to hear of [the tragedy] and those injured and killed."

Multiple complaints have been filed against the property's owner, records show. A Housing Habitability Complaint, involving an illegal interior building structure, was filed as recently as Nov. 14. City officials were in the process of investigating the complaint when the fire broke out.

A complaint was also filed on Nov. 13 for garbage piling up on the property, some of which was hazardous, records show. There have also been reports of blight at the building.

On Nov. 17, investigator tried to inspect the building but could not even enter, Ranelletti said.

However, in its defense, the Ng family said they didn't regularly communicate with the tenants, who had been renting the property for a few years. They also disputed Reed's comments about the makeshift staircase and said it is a full stairway in the back of the building, which was constructed to code.

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the area is home to a mixture of Latinos and artists. When the warehouse first caught fire, many said, "Oh, that must be the hippie house."

It is common knowledge, the neighbor said, that artists lived inside the warehouse and left all sorts of junk — including RVs and odds-and-ends —outside, drawing scavengers. 

An arson task force is investigating the cause of the fire, but there’s no reason to suspect arson at this time, officials say. "We will be at this crime scene for weeks to come," Kelly said.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office and American Red Cross have set up a family assistance center at 2425 E. 12th St. Grief counselors will be on hand. People can call 510-382-3000 for help.

NBC Bay Area's Liz Wagner contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Trader Joe's Hummus Recalled Over Listeria Concerns]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:13:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/joes+hummus.jpg

Bakkavor Foods USA is recalling two kinds of Trader Joe's hummus over concerns about possible Listeria contamination, which can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections in young children and the elderly.

The recall applies to Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus and Trader Joe's White Bean and Basil Hummus sold in 30 states with "USE BY" date codes up through and including Dec. 15. The products come in 16-ounce plastic tubs with SKU numbers printed on the top labels and "USE BY" date codes stamped on the bottom of the tubs, along with the plant identification code "C."

There haven't been any reports of illness, and Bakkavor Foods USA said it implemented the voluntary recall as a precautionary measure.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infection.

Click here for a list of affected products and states, as well as information on obtaining a refund.  

Less than two weeks ago, Sabra Dipping Company issued a voluntary recall for a variety of its hummus products over similar Listeria concerns. That recall affects hummus products that were made before Nov. 8, 2016, and sold across the United States and Canada at supermarkets and other stores.



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Gunman Pleads Guilty in Road Rage Killing of 4-Year-Old Gi]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:37:55 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/MurderTrial1202_MP4-148072375663500001.jpg Tony Torrez was sentenced to 16 years in jail in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Dec. 1, 2016 after he plead guilty to the murder of 4-year-old Lilly Garcia. Garcia was fatally shot in the head by Torrez in a 2015 road rage incident.]]> <![CDATA[In 2015, Health Spending Surges in the U.S. ]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:00:42 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/170*120/AP_16320836144895-doctor.jpg

In 2015, Americans spent $3.2 trillion on medical expenses, up by 5.8 percent since 2014, NBC News reported.

Experts say there are also indications that health spending increased because people sought medical treatment for diseases they previously ignored because of lack of resources, according to a report released Friday by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Spending on prescription drugs also surged last year, with a nine percent increase since 2014.

"Recent rapid growth was due to increased spending for new medicines (particularly for specialty drugs such as those used to treat hepatitis C), price growth in existing brand-name drugs, increased spending on generics, and a decrease in the number of expensive blockbuster drugs whose patents expired," the CMS report read.



Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dominos Japan Pulls the Reins on Reindeer Delivery Program]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:55:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Dominos+Reindeer+Delivery.jpg

Domino's Japan has pulled the reins on its special caribou-based delivery program just one week after it launched, after the reindeer continually shook their antlers, refused to stop at delivery spots, and kept dislodging the pizzas from their delivery pouches, NBC News reported.

The pizza giant announced Thursday that it didn't want to be saddled with any more reindeer training operations at its Hokkaido Integrated Research Center, and would return Santa's helpers to where they belong.

But the buck didn't stop there. Undefeated, Domino's has instead started to deliver via scooters dressed as reindeer, complete with antlers and a fluffy tail.



Photo Credit: Dominos Japan]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Names Panel of Executives to Advise on Private Sector]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:22:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Donald-Trump-cancela-reunion-con-The-New-York-Times.jpg

The CEOs of General Motors, Disney and Wal-Mart are among those who will have Donald Trump's ear during his presidency.

They are all part of the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of CEOs, business executives and thinkers announced Friday who are to regularly meet with Trump to discuss the best ways to create jobs.

The group will be led by the chairman and CEO of investment group Blackstone, Stephen A. Schwarzman. The Trump transition team said in a statement that it believes the forum will help the president-elect better understand how government policy affects the private sector.

“This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth,” Trump said in a statement. “My administration is committed to drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America.”

President-elect Trump is not the first to create a team of this sort. President Obama created a similar group in his first term, the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which provided non-partisan advice on job creation and the economy. Unlike Trump's group, it included union leaders.

Other members of Trump's forum include:
Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, Former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors
Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JP Morgan Chase & Co
Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company 
Rich Lesser, President and CEO, Boston Consulting Group 
Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Jim McNerney, Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Boeing
Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM
Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY
Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric
Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Swastika Tagging Spree in LA]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 05:12:00 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/dtla-swastikas-120216.PNG

A vandal has been spray painting swastikas and hateful messages on buildings in downtown Los Angeles and residents are hoping surveillance video can help catch him.

Humboldt Farmacy Dispensary reached out to NBC4 with surveillance footage from Tuesday night that shows a man, wearing a baseball cap and a hoodie, walking up to a wall of the building in the 2400 block of Hunter Street and spray-painting a swastika on it.

"We're all minorities here, and so it just sucks," said Daniel Sung, the dispensary's manager. "It's pretty discouraging to think that an area like this that's up and coming, getting a lot nicer, that people want to go around and promote symbols of hate."

The dispensary wasn't the only target of the vandal — neighbors said swastikas were painted on every building in the area. 

Aaron Moreno, who lives down the street from the dispensary, said he's been vandalized twice in the past week. He used his own spray paint cans to paint over as many as 18 swastikas and other messages, such as one that simply said "Hitler." He said he found another swastika days after he tried covering them up.

"The effects of the symbols are longer lasting," Moreno said.

Sung said he's filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department. He and Moreno believe the vandalism isn't aimed at anyone specific on their block.

"The (vandal's) intent is to use that symbol in order to inflict some amount of psychological and emotional harm on other people," Moreno said.

Police said Friday they received a report of the vandalism and were investigating.



Photo Credit: Humboldt Farmacy Dispensary]]>
<![CDATA[Moose Wanders Onto Vermont Farm, Attempts to Befriend Cows]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:26:51 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/179*120/Vermont+Sharyn+Abbott.jpg

A farm in northern Vermont got quite a surprise this past weekend when a moose snuck into a cow pasture and appeared to try to befriend the animals there.

Cattle ranchers Sharyn and Tim Abbott were returning to their Sheldon home from an outing when they noticed a creature had joined their herd. 

"I thought it was pretty cool," said Sharyn Abbott, whose Belted Galloway cows, Precious and Primrose, got up close and personal with the moose.

The Abbotts said the moose looked really healthy, and didn't appear to be in search of food or water.

"I think she was looking for companionship," Tim Abbott speculated.

At one point, the moose flopped down to rest not far from one of the cows, a picture shows. In another photo, the moose and one of the cows appear to have locked eyes, making the Abbots wonder what the animals thought of each other.

"It was a treat just to see the pictures, and get pictures close, and see how big and massive and tall they are," Sharyn Abbott said of the experience.

They said while one of their Belted Galloways, Primrose, was really friendly with the moose, the other, Precious, was much more hesitant.

"The brown one was scared to death of her," Tim Abbott said of Precious' tendency to avoid the moose.

A young child of a neighbor dubbed the moose "Molly," believing the animal needed a name.

After a full day of visiting, the Abbotts decided it was time to shoo Molly away. They explained they didn't want her getting injured or stuck in the barn if she attempted to enter.

The Abbotts also wanted to avoid the moose damaging some of the fences on their property, they said.

The Abbotts are now curious if the moose will ever come back.

"We watch for her every day, thinking she might show up again," Tim Abbott said, smiling.

We're guessing Precious and Primrose are thinking the same.



Photo Credit: Sharyn Abbott]]>
<![CDATA['Clown of Aleppo' Killed in Airstrikes]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:47:26 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16335637572869-Clown-Aleppo.jpg

Wearing a bright orange wig and colorful face paint, the “Clown of Aleppo” worked to bring laughter to children living in the ruins of the battle-torn city.

But now, the children and families who found joy in his antics are mourning his death, as the 24-year-old social worker Anas al-Basha was killed in the Mashhad neighborhood on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, NBC News reports.

Anas al-Basha could have fled Aleppo in July, according to a Facebook post written by Mahmoud al-Basha, who identified himself as Anas' brother, but he stayed behind to help other civilians and their children.

“He lived to make children laugh and happy in the darkest most dangerous place,” reads Mahmoud's post.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Found Decapitated Near River]]> Sat, 03 Dec 2016 17:46:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Lee+Manuel+Viloria-Paulino+Merrimack+River.jpg

The decapitated body found along the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on Thursday has been identified as a missing 16-year-old.

Lawrence resident Lee Manuel Viloria-Paulino was last seen on the evening of November 18.

Friday night, friends and family gathered for a candlelight vigil outside Lawrence High School, where Viloria-Paulino was an honors student.

"This is a tragic loss for his family and friends," Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. "We are working tirelessly to determine the person or persons responsible for Mr. Viloria-Paulino's death."

Police were called to the Merrimack River at McCabe Court around 2:45 p.m. Thursday after a woman walking her dog found the body. The teen's head was found roughly 30 feet away from his body. For hours, crews in boats and on land searched for the victim's hands.

Officials have said little about the case, concerned that any information that is released could negatively impact their investigation.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera said at a press conference Friday that "rumors and innuendo" surrounding the case were causing concerns about public safety.

"I share everyone's frustration and anger, about the incident itself, about the lack of information currently available and, frankly, about how this can happen in our community," he said.

Rivera and Blodgett have said there is not much they can say without jeopardizing the investigation except that it is not believed to be a random act.

Rivera said he does not know if the killing might have been connected to drug or gang activity and urged people not to believe everything they are reading about the incident on social media.

"I live here, I work here and I'm concerned about this," he said. "This is a serious matter in a very big city with a lot of people."



Photo Credit: necn/Lawrence Police]]>
<![CDATA['Changed My Life': Michaels Employee Thanks Donors After Viral Tirade]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:47:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/michaels+rant.png

The Michaels employee who became the target of a customer's now-viral tirade at a Chicago store said she is in "utter shock" at the donations strangers from across the country have made in an effort to show their support this holiday season.

In a letter to those that raised more than $32,000 for her, the store manager identified only as Holli wrote "you have all single handedly changed my life."

"You will be blessed for this act of unconditional kindness," she wrote. "I never thought my ginormous dreams would become a reality so soon and at the hand of others, but with your support I can now take the steps needed to build a better future. Because of you this dark world has a lot more light in it."

Supporters rallied around the Michaels employee after video of an incident at a location in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood the day before Thanksgiving went viral.

The footage, which had been viewed more than 590,000 times as of Monday afternoon, showed an angry customer yelling at an employee claiming she was discriminated against while checking out last week. By Tuesday morning, more than 2 million people watched the footage. In the video, the white customer is seen calling a black employee at the Lakeview store “an animal” and telling one employee to “shut your face.”

She claims an employee discriminated against her and mumbled that she must have voted for Donald Trump, but the employee is heard in the video denying that claim.

“And I voted for Trump, so there,” she said. “What? You want to kick me out because of that? And look who won. Look who won.”

The woman vows to report the employees to their corporate headquarters and yells at bystanders filming the incident before calling the police. An employee can be heard in the background telling the woman she was not discriminated against, but that the employee asked if she would like to buy a reusable bag.

"When I asked for my things to be bagged, and I don't care about the size of the bag, this other woman makes a big deal about it, coming around," she says in the video. "She's screaming at me from across the store, screaming at me."

Jessie Grady, who witnessed and filmed part of the 30-minute ordeal, posted the footage to social media and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the employee targeted in the so-called rant.

Grady said the employees “did nothing to provoke this verbal attack and in fact treated all customers with professionalism and courtesy.”

“I was so shocked by this unprovoked attack that I captured 17 minutes of it on video on my phone,” Grady wrote on the GoFundMe page. “I am starting this gofundme [sic] because I’d like to do something to try to make it up to the employee who was the main target of this racist attack. I’d like to show her that many people are horrified by how this woman treated her, and that we stand with her and appreciate her hard work. She inspired me because despite the hateful words that were being hurled in her direction, she stood in that entranceway calm and unmoving to protect her staff and customers.”

Both the woman in the video and bystanders called police to report the incident. Police confirmed officers were called to the store Wednesday, but when they arrived, the woman was gone and no police report could be filed.

Michaels said in a statement it does not “tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind against our team members or customers.”

“We regret that our customers and team members were affected by this unfortunate incident and are grateful for the leadership of our store team in working to resolve it without further escalation,” the statement read.

The company also tweeted Monday, “We appreciate the outpouring of support for our Chicago-based team member.”

Grady said that she was "astounded" by how big her GoFundMe campaign grew.

"What started as a small gesture to let one person know that she is valued and important to her community turned into something I never imagined," she wrote on Facebook. "I never expected this to get past the neighborhood. Our country has been completely divided in the past couple years, but somehow this one story resonated with and united millions of people."

She noted that there were "hundreds of Trump supporters who donated and sent kind messages denouncing this behavior."

"Millions of you saw that this was about more than one incident," she wrote. "This was about treating workers with dignity and respect. This was about community and kindness and standing up against hatred. These are values Americans once believed in and other countries admired us for. Shine a mirror on it. This won’t solve all of our problems, but it’s one small step."

Read the manager's full letter below: 

A letter from Holli:

I'll start with this. I am in utter shock. You have all single handedly changed my life. Each of you have shown me that this world is worth living in. I have felt so misguided in a sense of why can't I get passed where I am. I've tried to be kind, I've tried to be fair, I've tried to share regardless if I was able to. I want others to smile when I smile back at them. Knowing deeply we all have a higher purpose. How can I help!!

For some time now, I've felt this overwhelming sense of failure. I want to make a positive change in this world. I know what I'm here for and that's to help others reach their higher potential. With your support I have been blessed with the opportunity to live and not just survive daily. I can properly provide for my family and meet all our children's needs. I will now have the ability to get my business up and running in order to provide a better future for us. And I can still give back to my community even more now. 

You have personally contributed to SO much more than you could possible know.

I ask that you please forgive me as I'm a little afraid to make a public video. Just know that from my soul to yours. You will be blessed for this act of unconditional kindness. I never thought my ginormous dreams would become a reality so soon and at the hand of others, but with your support I can now take the steps needed to build a better future. Because of you this dark world has a lot more light in it.

Not to preach at you or push spirituality at you. That being said I pray that you gain real fulfillment in your life. I don't know you but I love you. It's weird to some people but whatever, I believe we are one people so if I love myself therefore I love you. We've been taught that what we do unto others, we receive in return.

A great teacher of mine has said "All forms of pain, suffering, illness or financial chaos are there to promote spiritual growth and character change." We are the change. You are this change. We stand together side by side in truth and know love trumps hate. Blessings to you may your light continue to break through the darkness.

-Yours sincerely Jony AKA Holli



Photo Credit: Jessie Grady]]>
<![CDATA[General Tso's Creator Dies: Report]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:16:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GeneralTsoPlate.jpg

Chef Peng Chang-kuei, the inventor of the iconic Chinese food dish General Tso's chicken, died at the age of 98 on Wednesday, the Taiwan News reports

His son, Chuck Peng, told the Associated Press that his father died Wednesday in Taipei, Taiwan's capital. The junior Peng runs the family's Taiwan restaurant chain, where his father still cooked until a few months ago.

The Hunan, China, native began training to be a cook at just 13 years old, according to the newspaper. By the end of World War II, he was in charge of running banquets for the Chinese Nationalist government. A military uprising forced Peng to flee to Taiwan, where he created his culinary magnum opus in 1952.

The world-renowned dish is composed of breaded chicken chunks tossed and fried in a thick, sugary ginger-garlic sauce. Broccoli, baby corn and carrots are sometimes added for extra flavor.

He named the dish in honor of Tso Tsung T'ang, a respected Hunan war general, according to the Taiwan News.

He has been honored by the government of Taipei, Taiwan's people, for passing on Hunan culture.

Peng brought his famous platter stateside in 1973 with the opening of his restaurant, Peng's, on East 44th Street, according to The New York Times. News of his dish caught the attention of officials from the neighboring United Nations headquarters and dignitaries like former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The New York Times published one of the earliest accounts of the dish in a 1977 feature story.

"General Tso's thicken [sic] was a stir-fried masterpiece, sizzling hot in both flavor and temperature," wrote food critic Mimi Sheraton.

A 2014 documentary called "The Search for General Tso" examined the origins of the iconic plate and the history of its eponymous military leader.

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