<![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, 24 May 2018 15:29:56 -0400Thu, 24 May 2018 15:29:56 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Trump Claims Ex-Intel Chief Admitted FBI Spied on His Campaign. That's False.]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 13:32:48 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/AP_37800338517.jpg

President Donald Trump repeated a claim Thursday that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted the FBI had spied on his presidential campaign.

But that mischaracterizes what Clapper said on "The View" this week, NBC News reported.

Responding to a direct question from one of the hosts, Joy Behar — "Was the FBI spying on Trump's campaign?" — Clapper said, "No, they were not." He went on to explain that the purpose of the FBI's reported use of an informant, which is different from a "spy," was to determine what the Russians were doing.

Trump has used Clapper's comments as part of an effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe. Trump has branded the FBI's use of an informant "spygate."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Scenes From Kilauea: Blue Flames, 'Laze,' Lava Rivers]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 08:40:58 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/volcano-thumb.jpgA Hawaii volcano that began to erupt earlier this month continues to spew lava and ash into the air. USGS photos show lava flowing from fissures to the ocean, creating a dense white "lava haze," and blue flames caused by methane.]]><![CDATA[Marine Reunites With Stray Dogs He Adopted From Iraq]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 10:35:07 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/marines+dog+adoptions.png

A U.S. Marine was reunited in San Diego Wednesday with three stray dogs he fell in love with while deployed in Iraq.

Once roaming the Iraqi desert scrounging for food and suffering abuse at the hands of some locals, Rooster, Hesko and Wendy are on their way to forever homes.

Captain Kyle Watkins said it’s been a months-long journey for the pups, bouncing around from place to place along their journey in the ASPCA’s Operation Baghdad Pups.

Now he can’t wait to give them good meals, warm beds and seemingly endless property to roam on his farm. He adopted Hesko and Wendy, and another Marine claimed Rooster.

For Captain Watkins, who grew up around dogs and had several at home while he was deployed, Rooster, Hesko and Wendy were more than just a piece of home in a foreign land. Watkins said that in a way, the dogs served too, roaming the perimeter fence line and alerting him and his fellow Marines when anyone came near.

"I'd been telling my wife about these dogs and she finally said, ‘Fine. I know these dogs mean a lot to you. Bring as many home as you can.’ So, we did,” Watkins said.

Watkins and his team started exploring ways to get the dogs back to the states, and that’s when they learned about Operation Baghdad Pups.

An email to the project coordinator set the plan in motion. The Marines did some paperwork and the dogs were scooped up.

“It was really the SPCA that did most of the work,” Watkins said. “We just corralled them into an area and they loaded them into a truck and off they went to Baghdad.”

Watkins said he was proud of the fact that he was able to take as many as he could.

The dogs will have companions and a large area to play, which Watkins hope will help with the socialization process and transition to a new life.

“They weren’t really treated well over there by the locals, so they’re not really big people dogs out there, but a few of them really warmed up to us and I think that’s because we were nice to them,” Watkins said.

<![CDATA[Read President Donald Trump's Letter to Kim Jong Un]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 10:05:51 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_18138260756484.jpg

Here is the letter that President Donald Trump wrote to the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, canceling the nuclear summit in Singapore

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP]]>
<![CDATA['Disturbing' Video Shows Taser Arrest of NBA Player Brown]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 07:42:32 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/sterling_brown_5-23.png

Milwaukee’s chief of police said officers “acted inappropriately” during a January arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown, that included use of a stun gun, and apologized to the NBA player.

Chief Alfonso Morales’ apology came as the department released body-camera footage of the arrest, which occurred around 2 a.m. on Jan. 26 in a Walgreens parking lot. Brown was tased and arrested during a routine parking violation, Morales said. No charges were ever filed against Brown.

“The department conducted an investigation into the incident, which revealed members acted inappropriately and those members were recently disciplined,” Morales said at a brief news conference Wednesday.

The video released by police shows an officer pulling up to a Mercedes sedan parked horizontally across two handicapped parking space outside the drug store. As the officer gets out of his cruiser and approaches the car, Brown can be seen walking out of the Walgreens and towards him.

The officer asks Brown for his driver’s license and then repeatedly tells him to "back up" from the car, video shows. 

"For what? I ain't did nothing," Brown responds.

The conversation between the two is testy. The officer notes that "everything I'm doing is on camera," and points to the recording device on his chest. Brown asks the officer not to touch him, to which he responds: "I'll do what I want, I own this."

"You don’t own me,” Brown says in the video.

Several more officers respond to the parking lot. The situation escalates when one of the officers asks Brown to take his hands out of his pockets. 

“I’ve got stuff in my hands,” Brown says.

Several officers are then seen swarming Brown, and one yells "Taser, Taser, Taser" before a pop is heard. Brown is heard groaning on the ground, but is not clearly visible from the camera's viewpoint.

Later in the video, after officers used the stun gun, Brown can be heard speaking to someone off-camera, telling them "they tased me for no reason." An officer talking to a colleague about what happened says "he was being an a-- and trying to hide something."

"And now he's like, 'I'm a Bucks player, blah, blah, blah. So what," the officer said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told the Milwaukee Journal Sential Tuesday, a day before the video was released, that what he saw was "disturbing" and the actions of officers in the video was "disconcerting."

The Milwaukee Bucks signed the 6-foot-6 guard from Southern Methodist University last summer in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brown issued a statement on the NBA website saying what happened to him was wrong and "shouldn't happen to anybody."

"What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked," he wrote. "This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future."

Brown said situations like his happen in the black community every day. He said police rarely see any reprecussions for inappropriate actions.

"Black men shouldn’t have to have their guard up and instantly be on the defensive when seeing a police officer, but it’s our reality and a real problem," he said. "There must be mutual respect and both sides have to figure out how to accomplish this."

Morales described a similar hope for officers and citizens treating one another with respect.

“When I took office, I vowed to rebuild trust between the Milwaukee Police Department and the community,” he said. “We are doing that.”

Morales said the department has hundreds of interactions with citizens each day that end positively.

In his statement, Brown called for a peaceful response to the video from the community. 

"I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it," he said.

He also said he would take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department.

Brown mentioned by name black men who were killed by police officers across the country in high-profile cases, including Laquan McDonald who was killed by Chicago police in 2014.

"I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on," he said. "These people aren’t able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to “serve and protect” the people.

<![CDATA[Mom Says Daughter Was Sexually Abused by Classmate, Sues School District]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 04:02:27 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/HoneyHarlowElementarySchool.jpg

The Moreno Valley Unified School District in Southern California is facing a lawsuit after a mother says her special needs daughter was sexually assaulted by a fellow student at school and the principal tried to keep the third-grader quiet about the abuse.

The lawsuit filed by the student's mother, Akeila Lundy, claims that Lundy's 9-year-old daughter was molested on multiple occasions by a classmate inside a special education classroom at Honey Hollow Elementary School. Some incidents occurred during class with the teacher present, the suit states.

"I said, 'Say it again, I want to make sure,'" Lundy said of asking her daughter about the alleged abuse. "She told me, 'This student is touching my secret and I need you to call her mom to tell her to stop."

Lundy reported multiple instances of "forcible sexual penetration and assault" to the school district during the second semester of the 2016-17 school year, according to the suit.

The filing alleges that district and school officials did not report the sexual assaults to the police or a child welfare agency, which is required by California law.

Lundy claims she walked into a "closed-door room" where her daughter was "with the principal writing a statement." The suit alleges that the principal "coerced" the girl into signing the statement "in an unconscionable attempt to mitigate their liability."

Lundy says the principal wouldn't allow her to read the statement.

The mother requested access to the statement several times, but the school has not turned over the document, the filing claims.

The girl's alleged abuser was suspended for two days, according to the lawsuit. Upon her return, the abuse continued and the victim was beaten and called a "snitch," the lawsuit states.

On Wednesday, the Moreno Valley School District said in a statement that it "takes any allegation of misconduct very seriously and strives to provide a safe environment for learning" but cannot comment on the lawsuit because of its "legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of that investigation as well as the due process and privacy rights of the students."

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[DeVos Incorrectly Says Schools Can Call ICE: Advocates]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 19:39:22 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/devos2.jpg

Civil rights groups and educators lambasted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she said schools can decide whether to report undocumented students and their families to immigration authorities.

DeVos made the comments on Tuesday during testimony before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in response to a question on whether principals and teachers should report undocumented students or families to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, NBC News reported.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), who asked the question, immediately slammed DeVos' comments, saying that it's not up to local schools to define immigration policy. “Let me just remind madam chair that immigration law is federal law. It's not local law," said Espaillat.

After the hearing, educators and advocates also sharply disputed DeVos’ comments and noted a 1982 Supreme Court decision that states cannot deny students free public education based on their immigration status.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[US Border Patrol in Rio Grande Valley Faces Challenges: Chief]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 10:51:57 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/RGC-Stash-House-1-uscbp.jpg

Less than a mile from the Rio Grande River, in a valley well known to law enforcement as the “RGV,” a U.S. Border Patrol agent shouted into his radio: "I got visual. They are running toward the tower, copy.”

The chase was on. Weeds high, the ground a sloshy mud. And it was hot.

“They are still going eastbound,” a pursuing border agent observed.

He is one of several Border Patrol officers who chased a group that had just illegally crossed the United States border from Mexico.

It is an area south of McAllen that is so well-traveled by undocumented immigrants that it leads the nation in Border Patrol apprehensions and prompted President Donald Trump to send National Guard troops to help out. It may only be a temporary fix, though, for the challenges facing the Border Patrol.

On this day, NBC 5 Investigates went along to observe.

“I just caught one of them,” a border agent said breathlessly. “One of them should be somewhere right around here.”

After five people were caught, another one was spotted. He tried to escape — unsuccessfully. The six detainees – four women, two men – are from Mexico, El Salvador and Ecuador, all tired and thirsty as they sat in the weeds.

Some were in tears because their mad dash into the U.S. failed.

Over the past year, more than 137,000 undocumented immigrants were caught along this 300-mile stretch, the “RGV,” representing about 40 percent of all such apprehensions along the southern border.

“This is the last stand,” said Manuel Padilla, sector chief for the Border Patrol.

Padilla told NBC 5 Investigates that his team is fighting to keep up, especially with the increasing number of children and whole families who require greater needs, and trigger more paperwork, when caught.

In addition, he said, “stash houses” are found almost daily – places where undocumented immigrants hide in horrid conditions, sometimes stolen, like cargo, by rival smugglers.

“So these things are what I call symptoms of a border that needs a lot of work. Those are the things that keep me up at night,” Padilla said.

The Border Patrol is also fighting a staffing battle, losing agents faster than their replacements can be hired.

In the RGV, the patrol is short 90 agents, while nationwide there are more than 2,000 vacancies.

Despite the shortages, Padilla said the patrol still can respond quickly to illegal crossings, though “I can tell you, we may have some lapses in time.”

He said he hopes relief will come from the hundreds of National Guard troops recently sent to the RGV. They will work behind the scenes providing support services, freeing up Border Patrol agents to return to the front lines.

It’s not the first time National Guard troops have been sent to the border to help out.

In 2014, then-Gov. Rick Perry dispatched troops to back up Border Patrol agents.

But there are differences this time, such as the current deployment being ordered by the White House, with a better understanding that the Border Patrol remains the lead agency in the mission.

Still, “it remains a challenge,” said Ralph Basham, head of the U.S. Border Patrol under President George W. Bush.

“The National Guard deployment is good for the short term, but it’s not a long-term solution,” Basham said.

One of the biggest reasons, he said, is that the National Guard lacks the authority to make an arrest – an essential tool when chasing someone on the run.

“The solution is really to hire enough agents,” Basham added.

Until then, Border Patrol agents said they will do all they can with what they’ve got.

That happened when NBC 5 Investigates went along for the ride.

On that morning alone, with just a handful of agents on patrol, more than 25 people were caught as they attempted to enter the country illegally.

Photo Credit: US Customs and Border Protection
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<![CDATA[Milwaukee Police Release Video of Sterling Brown Incident]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 20:05:50 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+STERLING+BROWN+ARREST+052318.00_05_04_06+THUMB.jpg

Video released by Milwaukee Police shows officers tasing and detaining Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown.

<![CDATA[Harley-Davidson Plant Closure Stuns Workers After Tax Cuts]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 06:44:33 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/harleyGettyImages-119372798.jpg

Employees at Harley-Davidson's Kansas City, Missouri, plant were shocked in January when the company announced that the plant would close next year, NBC News reported. 

Operations are being moved to the motorcycle manufacturer's facility in York, Pennsylvania. The company is also building a new plant in Thailand. A Harley-Davidson spokesman said the Bangkok plant is "separate and unrelated" to the decision to close the Kansas City plant. 

Harley-Davidson, like other corporations, is benefiting this year from the tax cut law passed in 2017, which slashed the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Soon after announcing the Kansas City plant's closure, the company announced a dividend increase, as well as a stock buyback plan to reward shareholders, repurchasing 15 million of its shares — valued at nearly $700 million. The company says that the dividend increase and stock buyback is not related to the tax savings. 

When he visited a Harley-Davidson plant in Wisconsin in September, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "Tax reform can put American manufacturers and American companies like Harley-Davidson on a much better footing to compete in the global economy and keep jobs in America."

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Sunscreen Pills Are Fake Medicine: FDA]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 18:53:54 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/sunbathe.jpg

So-called sunscreen pills are fakes and people should not fall for the scam, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday, NBC News reported.

“There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

The agency specifically called out the companies that make Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare and Sunergetic, saying they should stop claiming people are protected from the sun's rays.

None of the companies contacted by NBC News for comment responded immediately.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Van Full of Children Crashes Into North Miami Restaurant]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 23:28:51 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/north+miami+van+into+restaurant.gif

A van carrying children from a Florida Catholic school plowed into a pizzeria in North Miami Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened at G's BBQ & Pizza at Northwest Seventh Avenue and 122nd Street.

Police said the van was cut off by another car and the driver swerved in an attempt to avoid a collision, but crashed into the building.

Officials said the 10 students from St. James Catholic School inside the van were were not injured. Their ages were not immediately known.  

The van's driver and patrons and employees inside the restaurant also escaped without injuries.

The owner said he opened the restaurant just two weeks ago and hopes to reopen soon.

<![CDATA[Comcast Announces Plan to Outbid Disney for Fox Assets]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 23:55:00 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Comcast-AP_760634721034.jpg

Comcast announced Wednesday that it is preparing to trump Disney's $52.4-billion stock bid to acquire much of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, NBC News reported.

Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of this station, did not detail the size of its potential offer but said it would be "all-cash," according to a press release from the Philadelphia cable giant.

In its press release, Comcast noted that it hasn't committed to a bid quite yet, saying "no final decision has been made." But it does put Fox shareholders on notice that Comcast is seriously interested in buying up Fox's entertainment assets, including its movie studio and some cable channels.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Comcast was planning to borrow around $60 billion to fund its bid.

Photo Credit: AP Images for Comcast]]>
<![CDATA[3 Dragged Stolen Shed Down Road With Pickup Truck: PD]]>Thu, 24 May 2018 06:40:00 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Maine+State+Police+Stolen+Shed+Lebanon.jpg

Three men allegedly decided to steal and drag a full-sized shed down a Maine road, but they didn't get too far.

Maine State Police said they arrested the men — Matthew Thompson of Lebanon, Maine; Timothy James of Pembroke, New Hampshire; and Robert Breton on Milton, New Hampshire — on Sunday after troopers received a call about a shed that had been stolen from a foreclosed property on Pork Street in Lebanon.

When troopers arrived at the scene on nearby Heath Road, they found a 25-foot shed being dragged by a pickup truck blocking half of the street.

An investigation revealed that Thompson, James and Breton were stealing the shed.

Troopers also found that Thompson had crystal meth and prescription pills, for which he did not have a prescription.

All three were charged with theft, reckless conduct and criminal mischief. Thompson was also charged with two counts of unlawful possession in connection with the drugs.

The trio was taken to York County Jail, where they were held on $5,000 bail. It's unclear if they have attorneys.

Photo Credit: Maine State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Sally Ride, 1st American Woman in Space, Gets Forever Stamp]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 18:16:18 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Sally-Ride-stamp.jpg

The first American woman to go to space was immortalized on the Forever stamp in a dedication ceremony from the United States Postal Service Wednesday.

The Sally Ride Forever stamp was dedicated at the University of California, San Diego, where Ride was a physics professor after her time with NASA.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King, a friend of Ride's, spoke at the ceremony, along with Ride's long-time partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy.

The celebrated astronaut launched for the first time on June 18, 1983, aboard the space shuttle Challenger. During the mission, she helped launched communication satellites and became the first woman to operate the shuttle's robotic arm.

Ride, who died in 2012, continued breaking records during her career. She also became the first American woman to travel to space twice when she launched on another Challenger mission in October 1984.

“Sally Ride’s history-making journey has made it easier for young girls to dream of one day being an astronaut, an engineer, a physicist or a mathematician," USPS Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President Kristin Seaver said. "Today, girls don’t just dream. Because of trailblazers like Sally Ride, they have been empowered to do.”

Ride was also the only person to serve on the accident investigation boards for both the Challenger and Columbia disasters. And in 2009, she participated in the committee that helped define NASA's spaceflight goals.

In addition to her involvement with the space program, she wrote several science-related books, some co-authored with O’Shaughnessy. Ride and O’Shaughnessy went on to found the education company Sally Ride Science, which aims to narrow the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math. O’Shaughnessy now serves as the organization's executive director.

A Forever stamp will always be in equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.

Photo Credit: U.S. Postal Service]]>
<![CDATA[See the Best Moments of Harry and Meghan's Royal Wedding]]>Sat, 19 May 2018 10:25:21 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/20180519_kiss_SOCIAL.gif

Royal entrances, the exchanging of vows and an emotional tear. These are the best moments from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.

<![CDATA[FBI Cracks Down on Mexican Mafia in Los Angeles Raids]]>Wed, 23 May 2018 20:35:20 -0400https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/5-22-2018-fbi-mexican-mafia-20180523_094324_resized.jpg

Federal, state and local law enforcement cracked down Wednesday on 83 members and associates of the Mexican Mafia, accused of drug running in the Los Angeles County Jail system.

The suspects were charged under racketeering indictments known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). It's the same tool prosecutors used against members of the Mafia in the 1970s.

It alleges drug smuggling, "widespread extortion," assaults, and money laundering.

Thirty five of the 83 defendants are already in custody in state prison or county jails. Sixteen others are fugitives still being sought by police.

"These cases have delivered a major blow to the Mexican Mafia and leaders of many of the street gangs under the control of the organization," said United States Attorney Nick Hanna in a statement. "By taking out the gang members who control the jails, and by disrupting their communications network, we undermined the Mexican Mafia's ability to coordinate street gang activity."

Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Offic, said gang violence in the jails impacts what happens on the streets.

"This three-year investigation focused on players at all levels for their role in the conspiracy — from the shot-caller, to the secretary, to the dealer, to the smuggler," he said.

The indictment focuses on a time when reputed Mexican Mafia member Jose Landa-Rodriguez and two other members of the prison gang, now dead, allegedly controlled the criminal enterprise at the jail system, authorities said.

According to the indictment, Landa-Rodriquez, 55, orchestrated murders, assaults, and the kidnapping and murder of the relative of a gang member who authorities said had defied him.

A second suspect, identified as Luis Vega, 33, allegedly ordered a murder and directed assaults against those who "showed disrespect" or "failed to follow Mexican Mafia rules."

Gabriel Zendejas-Chavez, an attorney for Landa-Rodriguez, is accused of traveling to state and federal prisons with messages with the names of people potentially cooperating with police and plotting a $100,000 extortion from the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang.

Attorneys are valuable to the Mexican Mafia because attorney-client privilege can serve as a shield to conceal criminal activity from law enforcement, officials said.

Michael "Pomona Mike" Lerma, 61, allegedly extorted drug proceeds from Latino street gangs in and around Pomona, and inmates at Calipatria State Prison in Imperial County, officials said.

Lerma profited when top-level female associates known as "señoras" put money into his prison account, according to the indictment.

The indictment also alleges Lerna's associates shot a man who refused to give them a Mercedes-Benz owned by an inmate in the LA County Jail.

Authorities said they disrupted a murder after learning about a woman being kidnapped and extorted.

Photo Credit: Toni Guinyard/KNBC-TV]]>