<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - National & International News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.pngNBC 6 South Floridahttps://www.nbcmiami.comen-usThu, 16 Aug 2018 07:46:46 -0400Thu, 16 Aug 2018 07:46:46 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Election Security and Regrets]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:34:57 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/201*120/JackDorseyAlexJones.jpg

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday defended the company’s decision this week to put Infowars’ Alex Jones in a seven-day “timeout” after Jones urged his viewers to ready their “battle rifles” against the media.

Dorsey said he resisted banning Jones, the embattled conspiracy theorist and radio host, despite calls to do so, some of which came from inside Twitter.

“We can’t build a service that is subjective just to the whims of what we personally believe,” Dorsey told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an exclusive interview.





Photo Credit: Mark Lennihan/AP, File
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<![CDATA[Blue Wine Is a Hit]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 18:16:45 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/blue+wine.jpgA turquoise-colored chardonnay called "Vindigo" has been a hit at a Mediterranean resort in France.]]><![CDATA[What Happens When China Doesn’t Want Our Recyclables]]>Mon, 13 Aug 2018 16:20:29 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/recycle-messy.jpg

Feeling pleased that your conscientious recycling is helping to save the environment? Not so fast. Your yogurt container or takeout clamshell might end up in a dump thanks to a ban on discarded items that the United States had been sending to China for processing.

This year, China followed through with its threat to prohibit the import of U.S. plastics, mixed paper and other materials that it says were turning the country into the world’s garbage dump. The repercussions from the new policy have been quick and nowhere close to sorted out in communities across the U.S. 

Sacramento, California, cut back on which plastics it will pick up curbside, and will send items like egg cartoons, medicine bottles and some yogurt containers to landfills instead.

San Diego’s recycling program brought in $4 million in revenue last year. Recycling could now cost the city $1.1 million.

In New Jersey, Sunil Bagaria is retooling his company, moving from one that exported to China to one that will do the work of recycling in the U.S.

“What we are trying to achieve is recycling at source,” said Bagaria, president and co-founder with his brother of GDB International, a recycling and sustainability company based in New Brunswick. “That means the community that produces the plastic waste will be responsible for the recycling.”

But until that happens, recycling markets are in turmoil. China had been taking half of the world’s paper and plastic when it called a halt to the imports, tightening the contamination limit to 0.5 percent for most imports. The material it used to accept was too dirty, it said.

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Now no one knows where that material will go instead. While the developed world looks for new markets for its scrap, environmentalists warn that we must curb our addiction to disposable items, from plastic cups to food containers and other items that we use once and throw away.

“The human footprint on the planet and here in the United States is still too large,” said Benjamin Orlove, a director at Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and a faculty member of its Earth Institute.

CHINA TACKLES POLLUTION
Here's how we got to this point: For decades, the U.S., rather than recycling its own material, had been sorting it, baling it and shipping it to China, where it became raw materials for new goods. But then China began warning that as part of its efforts to tackle its environmental pollution, it would impose stricter demands on scrap imports. China launched Green Fences in 2013 to enforce regulations on the quality of the imports, and announced its latest policy, National Sword, last year. It told the World Trade Organization that it needed to protect China’s environment and the health of its people.

Dirty or hazardous waste mixed in with raw materials had "polluted China's environment seriously," the WTO filing said.

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China’s 40 years of economic growth has pushed the country’s carbon dioxide emissions to the highest in the world, and left China dealing with terrible smog and water and other pollution. Its economy now is the second largest of all nations, about two-thirds of the U.S. output last year. China has less need for imported scrap material, though some economists question whether fewer recyclables could result in a slowdown. At the same time China banned imported trash, it announced plans to step up enforcement of recycling within the country.

“They have a mountain of plastic scrap of their own so they want to first solve their own problem before importing plastic scrap from overseas,” Bagaria said. The takeaway for him was that China’s shutoff means other countries have to take responsibility for recycling at source.

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LOW RECYCLING RATE
The U.S. has a long way to go. Of the 258 million tons of waste that Americans generated in 2014 more than 89 million tons were recycled and composted for a recycling rate of 34.6 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

China had been taking about 40 percent of U.S. paper, plastics and other recyclables but after the new restrictions began going into effect, the numbers plummeted. Recycled plastics from the U.S. to China dropped by 92 percent over the first five months of the year. All types of exported scrap, from plastics and paper to aluminum, cooper and stainless steel, fell 36 percent.

The Chinese market was greater than the next 15 markets combined, leaving the U.S. with little in the way of backup. Thousands of tons of material that would have been recycled are now going into landfills instead. Some municipalities have stopped collecting items that used to be recycled and others have been stockpiling them.  

“No other market can possibly take in that much volume and they gave us so little time for transition that the industry is still having to react,” said Adina Renee Adler, a senior director at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. “So unfortunately we have seen some materials go to landfill, which is no good.”

California is especially dependent on China. It had been exporting about a third of all recyclable material that it generated, 62 percent of that to China.

The new ban is playing out by the numbers. Sacramento continues to take plastics marked with codes one through three — PET or polyethylene terephthalate which is used for soft drink bottles and peanut butter jars; HDPE or high density polyethylene, which is used for milk jugs, butter tubs and detergent bottles; and V or polyvinyl chloride, which is used in shampoo bottles. But it is no longer accepting plastics four through seven, which typically are found in grocery bags, many yogurt containers, bottle caps, meat trays and other items.

Sacramento asked its Houston-based waste and recycling hauler, Waste Management, to indicate which items should no longer be included in its recycling collection before changing its recycling criteria.

Waste Management spokesperson Janette Micelli said there is no "system-wide restrictions on materials" and it makes sure customers understand what the markets will pay for recyclables being collected. The company has shifted material to alternative markets, some domestically, some elsewhere.

“While we've been shipping into China for years, we also have opened up market in other parts of Southeast Asia, India, South America and Europe,” said Brent Bell, a Waste Management vice president for recycling. “And so when the Chinese starting restricting the imports we quickly shifted that material to some of these alternative markets.” 

San Diego historically had exported 80 percent of its curbside material, 60 percent to China, according to the city’s Environmental Services Department. The percentage dropped to 24 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Its recycling processing contractors in May proposed suspending all revenue payments to the city — which stood at $4 million in the last fiscal year. Instead it would assess the city a $1.1 million annual cost. The loss of the China market and low oil prices together have tanked the value of plastic.

The department is working to amend the contract to adjust for the effects of China’s National Sword Policy. 

CATALYST FOR THE INDUSTRY
Back in New Jersey, Bagaria’s company had been baling recyclables for shipment to China, where the material was sorted by hand. It now is investing in machinery to do the recycling in the U.S. Two facilities in New Jersey are up and running; the others are to be outfitted by the end of August. They will be able to clean the recyclables, grind them up and convert them into small pellets that can serve as raw material for new products.

“There is a lot to be still done, but the China ban was almost like a catalyst in that direction,” he said. “It helped the industry. Now we don’t have a choice.”

As disruptive as the ban is, experts hope the upheaval will spur even more innovation. Marian Chertow, an associate professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and director of the program on solid waste policy, noted that in 2008 China passed a law promoting a circular economy. The idea is you make a product with material you know can be recycled rather than make a product and then figure out how to recycle it.

China’s move to ban recyclables now is an enormous opportunity for the U.S. to see value in its own scrap, Chertow said. That said, change will not be easy, nor will it be quick, she and others said. Many municipalities invested heavily in single stream recycling, in which everything is put into one recycling box and separated later, a decision that may have contributed to poorly separated items.

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“When single-stream became popular some years ago, I was dismayed, even aghast,” Richard Holden Bole, the owner of Recycle Midwest in Cleveland, wrote in Recycling Today last year. “Treating recyclables the same way you treat the trash – in a trash truck – seemed terrible to me. I knew it would result in contamination and sorting difficulty of all the materials. Sure enough, for years many of the materials coming out of single-stream plants have been poorly sorted.”

Bole says the best solution going forward would be to return to separating recyclables before they are picked up, as some communities still do: a pile of flattened cardboard preferably tied with string, mingled bottles and cans and finally mixed paper.

“It’s a true crisis,” he said. “It was poorly thought out to begin with.”

RECYCLING WILL SURVIVE
The industry is facing a massive retooling, that in the end will be for the better, said National Recycling Coalition executive director Marjorie Griek. Recycling will survive the setback, though individuals have few choices at the moment, she said.

“It’s too entrenched in society and too many people understand the importance of recycling both for the environment and for the economy,” she said.

Eric Goldstein, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council and its environmental director for New York City, said that recyclables are likely to be stockpiled in the short term until new markets are found. The key is to focus on the long term. Recyclables are like all commodities — whether corn or oil or bitcoin — and their markets fluctuate. New uses are being found for typically hard to recycle items, recycled glass in concrete, for example. Manufacturers must be brought into the loop so that the producers of products or packaging share the responsibility of recycling them, he said.

Studies show that recycling and composting trash produce more jobs per ton handled than does bringing it to landfills or incinerators. A study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that the removal of 10,000 tons of solid waster creates six jobs versus as many as 36 if that waste were recycled instead.

“It’s very unlikely that America’s cities and towns are going to abandon recycling, which makes so much sense both from an environmental standpoint and a climate change standpoint and a jobs production standpoint,” Goldstein said.

Orlove, of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, notes that recycling is not an end to itself but a way to address an excess use of resources and to curb climate change.

With a recycling rate of only about 34 percent, the U.S. has not progressed fast enough, he said. 

NEW TECHNOLOGIES EMERGE
New practices and technologies are emerging. Ikea will start using biodegradable mushroom-based packaging that can decompose in a couple of weeks and which Dell is already cushioning its computers with. Clothing designer Eileen Fisher and Fabscrap, a non-profit in New York City, are reusing fabric, Terracycle's Zero Waste Box provides 120 different boxes to segregate waste better, and Enerkem uses municipal waste to manufacture biofuel. Apple has a robot that dismantles cell phones, while DSM-Niaga, a technology and chemical company based in the Netherlands, recycles carpets.

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At the Burbank Recycling Center in Burbank, California, the coordinator, Kreigh Hampel, said the U.S. had lost control of its consumption. Looking forward, the situation is very unstable, he said.

“It’s a big ask to change things very quickly in the United States about our consumption habits,” he said. “It’s a big ask to find other countries and other mills and processors to take the amount of waste that we generate in the U.S. every year and try to get it into re-use programs or recycling programs. So I wish I had a crystal ball to predict the future. And I just don’t.”

Jeremy Berg contributed to this article.


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<![CDATA[Connecticut City Deals With Dozens of Overdoses in 1 Day]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 23:52:32 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/New+Haven+police+on+New+Haven+Green.jpg

Emergency crews in New Haven have responded to at least 76 overdoses on what’s suspected to be a batch of the synthetic drug K2 in a roughly 24-hour period.

Emergency crews responded to the New Haven Green, a park near Yale University, Tuesday night for three suspected ODs. 

More cases came to light Wednesday morning when around 18 people collapsed on the New Haven Green in a span of three-and-a-half hours, authorities said. Officials said as of 10 p.m. Wednesday, first responders had been called to close to 76 suspected overdoses, the majority of which occurred on or around the Green. Of those, there were 71 transports to the hospital, and five patient refusals.

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Fire officials said the first calls Wednesday morning began coming in around 7:30 a.m. and at 9:30 a.m. the situation began escalating.

They found people of a variety of ages suffering from overdose symptoms. Some were unconscious while others were vomiting, nauseated or lethargic.

Naloxone was administered at the scene but it was not effective.

Yale-New Haven Hospital said it has received multiple patients. Fire officials said some patients were released from the hospital only to overdose again and require a second transport to the hospital.

Higher doses of naloxone given at the hospital have been helping, officials said during a news conference Wednesday morning.

The DEA has been notified.

Some of the patients were in life-threatening condition, but officials said there have been no fatalities.

City officials said initial test results from the DEA found the substance to be pure K2, a synthetic drug promoted as similar to marijuana, but there are still more samples to be tested. There were no additives in the first tested samples, city officials said.

Local officials had suspected the K2 might have been laced with an opiate or fentanyl.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns it is potentially much more powerful and dangerous, and can even be life-threatening.

Some of the people on the Green told emergency crews that the drug could have been laced with PCP.

Police said they have arrested a local man on a violation of probation warrant who is believed connected to at least some of the overdoses. The investigation is ongoing and the man, who had drugs on him at the time of his arrest, has yet to be charged in any of the overdose cases.

Police made two other arrests Wednesday, but so far have not confirmed if those people are connected to distributing the drugs.

New Haven Fire Chief John Alston Jr. said during a news conference that the opiate problem extends far beyond New Haven.

"People are self-medicating for several different reasons and every agency — police, fire, medical, hospitals — all are strained at this time. This is a problem that's not going away," Alston said.

Mayor Toni Harp released a statement praising first responders for their work as the investigation continues.

“I’m extremely grateful for the timely and effective work of first responders who helped revive, transport, and save these victims," the statement read.

Hamden has issued a public health advisory because of the overdoses in New Haven County, and the mayor’s office is warning that using any street drugs can and might result in death or serious medical complications.

The city also shared signs of an overdose, citing the Quinnipiack Valley Health District, for the information.

Symptoms include:

  1. Person will not wake up
  2. Blue lips or fingernails
  3. Clammy, cool skin
  4. Shallow, slow breathing
  5. Seizures or convulsions
  6. No response to knuckles being rubbed hard on breastbone.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Shark Bites Man Off Cape, Leaving 'Deep Puncture Wounds']]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 23:34:48 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/rescue40.jpg

A man suffered "deep puncture wounds" when he was bitten by a shark while standing in the water just 30 yards off shore of a Cape Cod beach on Wednesday afternoon.

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The victim was bitten near Long Nook Beach in Truro, according to police. The Truro harbormaster said the victim, a 61-year-old man, suffered puncture wounds to his torso and leg. He was transported to Wellfleet and then taken by medical helicopter to Tufts Medical Center in Boston. His condition was not immediately known.

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The incident was reported at 4:15 p.m., 300 yards south of Long Nook Beach. It is not known yet what type of shark bit the man.

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According to Cape Cod National Seashore officials, the victim said he was standing in the water 30 yards off shore when the shark bit him.

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Long Nook Beach has been closed to swimming until further notice, according to the town's website, but some swimmers can still be seen in the water.

No further details on the attack were immediately available. U.S. National Park Service rangers are investigating.

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There have been a number of close encounters in recent weeks, with sharks leaping out of the water after fishing lines and one even jumping at a shark scientist who was on a research boat.

There have been 10 great white shark sightings in the past week, and more than 60 over the last month off Cape Cod, according to the Sharktivity app.

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It's been six years since a shark has attacked a person off the Massachusetts coast.

Last August, a shark bit into a stand-up paddleboard in 3-foot-deep water off Marconi Beach in Wellfleet.

"I caught a few waves and was paddling back out and I was moving to stand up when I got knocked off my board," 69-year-old Cleveland "Cleve" Bigelow said at the time. "It felt like getting hit by a truck while on a bicycle. It was a shock. I thought, 'What was that?'" He was not bitten and was able to paddle to shore.

In September 2014, two kayakers were knocked out of their boats by a great white shark off Manomet Point in Plymouth. 

Two years before that, in 2012, a 50-year-old man was bodysurfing with his son off Ballston Beach in Truro when he was bitten by an eight to nine foot shark. He suffered nerve and tendon damage, but otherwise fully recovered.

Prior to that, the last shark attack on a human off Cape Cod was in July of 1996, when a 46-year-old man was bitten while collecting starfish in North Truro.



Photo Credit: @mesullybrklyn]]>
<![CDATA[See How Big California's Biggest-Ever Fire Would Be in Your City]]>Wed, 08 Aug 2018 10:14:00 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fire-compare-th.gif

The biggest wildfire ever recorded in California, which exploded to more than 450 square miles in just 11 days, continued to spread in the northern part of the state Wednesday as firefighters struggled in hot, windy, rugged conditions to contain it. Dubbed the Mendocino Complex fire, it is actually two fires burning near each other that cover a combined swath of land the size of Los Angeles.

Search in the field below to see how much of your hometown would be scorched by a fire as big as the record-breaking Mendocino Complex.

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The blazes have torched at least 75 homes and 68 other structures. Firefighters say they expect to contain the twin wildfires, currently 20 percent contained, by the beginning of September.


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<![CDATA[Vermont Governor Faces Transgender Opponent]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 12:22:24 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hallquist-th.jpg

A former Vermont utility executive on Tuesday became the first transgender candidate from a major political party to be nominated for governor. Christine Hallquist is challenging Republican Governor Phil Scott.

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<![CDATA[Video Provides Clues on Cause of Miami Bridge Collapse]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 22:18:47 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/bridgeAP_18075617897391.jpg

Videos recorded right before a pedestrian bridge collapsed near Florida International University earlier this year show a construction crew using a jack to tighten the rods that ran through a concrete support truss — work that might have caused the walkway to fall down, NBC News reported

The dramatic collapse on March 15 killed six people — five vehicle occupants and a bridge worker — and injured eight others.

Photos released earlier this month by the National Transportation showed large cracks in the concrete just days before it came crashing down.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Power Restored at DC Airport After Blackout]]>Thu, 16 Aug 2018 05:33:43 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/reagan+power+outage.jpg

Power has been restored at Reagan National Airport after an outage left travelers stuck in pitch-black darkness Wednesday night.

The airport tweeted just before 10 p.m.: "We are aware of an airport wide power outage and investigating. Updates to follow."

More than an hour later, power was restored to the airport, Reagan National said. The airport said "systems are coming back online. Some flights may be delayed."

Travelers posted photos and videos of the airport's dark corridors and waiting areas after the outage. One video shows people gasp and even scream the moment the lights flickered off.

Reagan National said flights were operating during the outage, but mechanical systems without power slowed boarding and deplaning.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said a Dominion Energy issue caused the outage.

The airport responded to reports of smoke and said there was no fire related to the outage, but fire and rescue crews responded to the airport as a precaution.



Photo Credit: Gene Anderson
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<![CDATA[San Francisco Set to Roll Out the 'Poop Patrol']]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 14:42:11 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/sf_poop_patrol_0814_3860079.JPG

It has a funny name, but it’s targeting a serious problem. San Francisco is rolling out the "Poop Patrol."

Next month, two city crews will begin patrolling and cleaning the parts of San Francisco that generate the most complaints about human and pet waste on sidewalks. The Department of Public Works says it’s going to concentrate on the area between Van Ness Avenue and the bay, with particular attention to Polk Street and the Tenderloin area.

The development comes after a NBC Bay Area investigation detailed an alarming amount of trash, drug needles and feces scattered across the city. The report centered around a 153-block survey of downtown San Francisco, revealing trash on every block, 100 needles and more than 300 piles of feces along the 20-mile stretch of streets and sidewalks. The report spotlighted a preschool teacher who said part of her duties was teaching young children how to avoid the contamination.

San Francisco already spends millions of dollars cleaning up the streets but Public Works is still flooded with complaints — about 65 a day. 

Polk and Pine and the surrounding alleyways, especially, have been the focus of thousands of complaints.

Mayor London Breed is dedicating $1 million to what is being dubbed the Poop Patrol: Five employees and a supervisor whose job will be to get ahead of the complaints by scouting out problem areas, installing pit stop toilets and cleaning up waste.

"I’ve had to do deal with it myself in front of my home, and it’s not a pleasant feeling," Breed said. "I want to change San Francisco for the better. I want to clean up the city."

Mohammed Nuru, the head of Public Works, says the two trucks and six employees represent a shift from reacting to complaints to being more proactive.

Residents say human waste is a big problem.

"I even see people pooping next to my car when I’m in the car parking," resident Dawa Sherpa said.

Resident Rose Smith added: "They run into places like public places, and people tell them, 'Well we don’t have a restroom for you,' and then they just dump on the street."

Mayor Breed told NBC Bay Area last month in her first one-on-one interview since taking office that she has encouraged homeless advocacy groups to talk to their clients about cutting down on the problem.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen has said that part of the root of the problem is that the city has been too focused on permanent housing for the homeless and neglected to provide enough temporary shelter, which can provide the homeless with a respite from the streets.

San Francisco spent $65 million on street cleaning last year and plans to add nearly $13 million in additional spending over the next two years. Nuru has estimated that half of his street cleaning budget has gone toward cleaning up feces and needles from homeless encampments and sidewalks. 

A single pile of human waste, Nuru has said, takes at least 30 minutes for one of his staffers to clean. 

Asked if $1 million is enough money to make a difference, Nuru said it's a start.

"Hey, this is our city, and we have to do whatever it is going to take to make sure our city is clean and safe for people to walk and is a city that everyone loves," he said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Doggy DNA: Could Your Bulldog Be Part Chihuahua?]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 16:00:46 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/doggydna.jpg

If you've ever wanted to know more about your furry family member and where they came from, a dog DNA testing kit could help.

When Amanda Olafsoon of Massachusetts adopted her dog Luna, she knew that the pooch was a mix of Australian Cattle Dog and a small terrier, but felt that her "unique" looking dog could have other breeds in her bloodline.

"We had never seen a dog that looked like her and we wanted to see what she was made of," Olafsoon said.

Using Wisdom Panel’s canine breed detection kit, Olafsoon collected Luna and her other dog Roxie’s DNA with a cheek swab and mailed it in for testing. The Canine DNA Test cost about $75 each at the time and she received the results a few weeks later.

"We knew [Luna] had the Cattle Dog coat, and we knew she had some small terrier in her, but we also learned other breeds that she was mixed with," Olafsoon said. "So, she also has some Lab and mini poodle, which totally surprised us."

Little Roxie turned out to be a mix of some unexpected breeds as well. Her DNA tests listed Cattle Dog, Treeing Walker Coonhound and Chihuahua.

"Treeing Walker Coonhounds are 70 pound, but it’s the Chihuahua in her that’s making her small," Olafsoon said.

Wisdom Panel also sells a dual canine breed plus disease detection kit for about $149.99.

Another canine DNA testing company, Boston-based Embark Veterinary, has provided tens of thousands of dog owners with their pets genetic makeup. The company’s kit tests for canine breed, genetic disease risks as well as genetic ancestry.

"We can tell you really what your dog is down to a T," said Ashley Troutman of Embark Veterinary. "We can tell you how big your dog is going to get, and we also do trait tests, like shedding for example, if you don’t want a house full of fur, you would probably be intrigued by the result for that test."

Pet owners can buy the $199 kit, swab their dog’s cheeks to collect the DNA sample and mail it in. Embark said it uses over 200,000 genetic markers to determine a dog's family tree, and runs more than 175 genetic health and trait tests on the pet.

"We can tell you if a dog is going to have something pop up later in life, and you may be able to prevent it," Troutman added.

Genetic DNA testing for dogs are gaining popularity, with some people hosting breed reveal parties for their canine companions.

But as more and more companies offer tests that assess the risk for genetic diseases, experts warn that consumers could end up with an inaccurate interpretation of the test results, and false information about their pets likelihood to develop disease.

"I think that any results you get you need to talk to your veterinarian about, as well as contact the company, and make sure that you understand what these results mean, and the impact it may or may not have on your dog," said Dr. Jerold Bell, adjunct professor of clinical genetics at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. "Therefore, do your homework. It’s not just a black and white answer."

Pet owners like Olafsoon, however, said she thinks the genetic lineage results are pretty “spot on,” even though Luna and Roxie are smaller than their DNA reports predicted they would be.

"You don’t know all the things they are going to do based on the DNA tests, but you can see what breeds they are made of, and associate that with the things they do around the house, and that is really fun," Olafsoon said.

Three Boston-based canine genetic experts co-authored a paper published last month in the science journal Nature calling for quality standards for how tests are performed and shared. They also advocate for establishment of pet genetic counselors who can help owners interpret results.

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<![CDATA[Jurors Hear Closing Arguments In Manafort Trial]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 20:43:05 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_manafortam0801_1920x1080.jpg

The case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is in the hands of a jury. Lawyers for both sides made their closing arguments Wednesday after the defense rested without calling a single witness. NBC's Nikki Carvajal reports.

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<![CDATA[Trump Revokes Brennan's Security Clearance]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 15:31:32 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_WH_BRIEFING_081518-153436107767000002.jpg

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump is revoking former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance. Brennan has been a prominent critic of Trump's policies, words and actions.

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<![CDATA[Federal Judge Accused of Pointing Gun at Son's Mother]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 18:54:42 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081518+timothy+maher+in+bond+court.jpg

A federal judge was arrested at his Miami-Dade home Tuesday after he allegedly pointed a gun at the mother of his son and tried to run away from officers.

Judge Timothy Robert Maher, 51, was arrested later Tuesday on charges including aggravated assault with a firearm, child abuse causing no great bodily harm and resisting an officer without violence, according to an arrest report.

Maher denied the accusations, which he said in court Wednesday were "horrifically embarrassing." He told the judge he didn't have a gun on him on Tuesday, as the woman alleged.

According to the report, the mother of Maher's child, who shares joint custody with him, arrived to pick up the boy at Maher's home Tuesday. Maher and the woman had lived together for nearly four years but broke up in April, the report said.

The woman said she texted Maher when she arrived at his home and he walked out of the house carrying their son in his left arm and had a holstered pistol on his right hip, the report said.

As Maher approached her, she said he shined a flashlight toward her face and told her, "I'm going to show you what pain is about," as their son was crying, the report said.

Maher handed over the child but kept shining the flashlight at her, according to the report, and she called 911 and started to drive away. While on the phone with the 911 operator, she saw Maher walk out of his home with a "long barrel gun" and saw a "red laser" pointed toward her car, and as she drove away she saw Maher pointing the gun at her, the report said.

When officers arrived, Maher wouldn't answer the door but an officer saw him inside his home trying to hide behind a wall, the report said. Officers set up a perimeter around the home and made contact with Maher over the phone and convinced him to come outside after about an hour, the report said.

Maher stayed on his porch and an officer was able to grab his arm but Maher allegedly pulled away and tried to run back into the home. The officer was able to bring him to the ground and took him into custody, the report said.

Maher was booked into jail and appeared before Miami-Dade Judge Renatha Francis Wednesday morning, where he vehemently denied the charges.

"Your honor, just like you, I am a judge, I'm a federal judge, I've been a judge for over 10 years, before that I spent 15 years as a United States attorney and senior trial counsel to the Treasury Department," Maher said.

Maher said he has been dealing with issues with his son's mother for the past three months.

"The accusations that were made against me are entirely false and fictitious. The mother of my child has called the police to my house on not less than five occasions prior to last night, each time making more incendiary and more fantastic allegations against me," Maher said. "I did not have a gun on me last night, I did not point a gun at anyone, I was handing my son over to his mother."

Maher said the woman has called the Department of Children and Families to his home to perform a search and even alleged he was not the boy's father.

"This is horrifically embarrassing to me, it is career-threatening," he told the judge.

Francis ordered Maher held on $13,000 bond and ordered him to stay away from his child.

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<![CDATA[FDA Recalls Are Reminder China Controls Much of Drug Supply]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 12:41:01 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/140409167-Generic-drug-generic.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration has recalled certain drugs in recent days, one out of precaution and one due to possible contamination, and the warning has served as a reminder of a drug market that's increasingly outsourced to other countries, NBC News reported

Recent recalls include blood pressure drug Valsartan and thyroid medications Levothyroxine and Liothyronine. The FDA said some Valsartan batches around the world have been contaminated with a potentially cancer-causing chemical. No product sold in the U.S. has been found to be contaminated, but the generic versions could have the potential to generate the chemical. Still, the danger only lies in lifetime exposure and patients can continue taking the drug until they confirm its unaffected or they switch to an alternative.

But the case does illustrate the challenges the FDA must overcome in regulating the drug market and how vulnerable the U.S. is when it depends on other countries, especially China, to make essential drugs. The FDA has ways of ensuring product safety, such as regularly sending inspectors to scrutinize Chinese facilities. The thyroid medications were recalled out of precaution over what the FDA said were deficiencies in the manufacturer's practices.

However, no inspection would have found the potentially cancer-causing chemical, a byproduct of processing foods such as bacon as well as a water contaminant.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Bright Red Outdoor Urinals Pop Up in Paris]]>Thu, 16 Aug 2018 06:04:02 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/paris-potty.jpg

The City of Lights has debuted an especially flashy new way to curtail public urination: bright red eco-toilets for those on the go. 

Industrial designer Faltazi created the waterless urinal, called "Uritrottoir," to be filled with straw that can be composted. The tops of the urinals double as flower beds. 

Several of the toilets were first rolled out in the spring to a muted reaction, The New York Times reported. But a backlash has developed after one was recently installed on the picturesque Ile St. Louis, according to reports

Not everyone is saying oui, oui to the attention-grabbing boxes, which include signs illustrating how to use them.


A local mayor told the Times he would consider a "fine tuning" of the location of the urinal but stressed it was necessary to cut down on public urination. 

Outdoor urinals aren't an only-in-Paris thing. San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to install an open-air urinal in 2016 with the "pissoir" that city authorities placed in Dolores Park in 2016.



Photo Credit: Michel Spingler/AP
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<![CDATA[Camel Prom Mom Charged With Social Security Fraud]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 09:04:51 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/saudi+claus.jpg

A North Philadelphia restaurateur who gained local fame last year for spending $25,000 on her son's prom, including camels, has been charged with defrauding the Social Security Administration.

Saudia Shuler was indicted for allegedly collecting nearly $37,000 in government benefits by claiming she was disabled yet continuing to work, according to the U.S. attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania.

"The defendant applied for benefits from the Social Security Administration, claiming she was disabled and unable to work. After Social Security approved benefits, the defendant continued working, including the operation of her own restaurant," a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said in an email Tuesday. "This work and income was never reported to Social Security, in violation of program rules."

If she is found guilty, Shuler faces a maximum sentence of 140 years in prison.

The fraud charges come in the aftermath of a momentous year for Shuler, 44, who twice made headlines for lavish spending.

In the spring of 2017, Shuler spent $25,000 on a camel, three tons of sand and exotic cars for a massive event in her neighborhood celebrating her son’s prom.

It was dubbed "Dubai to Philly."

Months later, at Christmastime, the North Philly restaurant owner held another big party in her neighborhood. It featured hundreds of gifts and two reindeer.

“I know what hard time is,” Saudia Shuler told the crowd of hundreds who gathered along North 22nd Street. “Because I come from hard times.”

The event was held at Country Cookin', the restaurant Shuler owns. She put her role as a business owner aside for the night and became "Saudia Claus," handing out hundreds of gifts to excited children.

“We gave them 140 bikes,” she said. “We gave out over 50 scooters. We gave out 'Batman' cars, like the remote-controlled cars you put your feet on and then drive.”

Shuler told NBC10 that she used the chances to celebrate her good fortunes after dealing with tragedies, including the murder of her son's father and multiple health scares over the past decade.

“I had a stroke. I had seizures. I had cancer,” she said. “All within the last three years.”

At the time, Shuler said she’d received donations from all over the country to help pay for the outsize events.

After reading his client's indictment, Philadelphia-based attorney Tariq El-Shabazz, said, "I didn't see the meat yet, I've just seen the bones." He added that Shuler is still waiting to see what evidence the U.S. attorney's office will present. 

"She is obviously upset because there are allegations contained in the indictment that are absolutely untrue," El-Shabazz said.

Other allegations are being turned around to look different than reality, he said.

She faces six counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government funds and two counts of Social Security fraud.



Photo Credit: Saudia Shuler instagram
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<![CDATA[Are Pollutants Giving a 'Booster Shot' to Fla. Red Tide?]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:11:47 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081018+Red+Tide+Florida+Dead+Fish.jpg

Florida is dealing with a toxic red tide that is killing vast numbers of fish and other wildlife on the Gulf Coast.

NBC News reports that, while the governor's office emphasized in declaring an emergency that red tides are "naturally occurring," scientists are investigating whether the phenomenon is getting a "booster shot" from man-made pollutants spilling into the ocean from inland waterways like Lake Okeechobee.

"We are looking for signature types of nitrogen, like those in the lake, to see if they scoot right through and into the Gulf, where the red tide is," said Florida Gulf Coast University environmental science professor Bill Mitsch, director of Everglades Wetlands Research Park.

If that's the case, it would likely reinvigorate calls for greater regulation of agricultural runoff from crops in South Florida.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bodycam Shows Officers Rescue Shelter Animals in Path of Nelson Fire]]>Mon, 13 Aug 2018 17:47:03 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/animal+rescue.jpg

Vacaville Police Department bodycam footage shows officers teaming up with Animal Services employees to save 60 animals as the Nelson fire inched toward the shelter.

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