<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.pngNBC4 Washingtonhttp://www.nbcwashington.comen-usWed, 29 Mar 2017 23:08:26 -0400Wed, 29 Mar 2017 23:08:26 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Shots Fired Near Capitol After Woman Nearly Hits Officer]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:06:23 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Taleah+Everett.jpg

U.S. Capitol Police fired shots at a woman driver during a confrontation near the Capitol Building Wednesday morning. Officials say that just before the clash, the woman fled from a traffic stop and nearly hit an officer.

Taleah Everett, 20, was arrested after the shooting near the U.S. Botanic Garden, on the 100 block of Independence Avenue SW. 

Police said the incident appeared to be criminal in nature and not related to terrorism. The woman's family told News4 she is mentally ill and did not get the care she needed. 

The incident began about 9:20 a.m. when an officer saw someone driving erratically, headed eastbound on Independence Avenue. The driver nearly hit the officer, Capitol Police said. 

The officer put out a priority alert, and barricades were put up along the avenue, trapping the dark-colored Chevrolet sedan. 

The driver made a U-turn, drove the opposite way on Independence Avenue and crashed into a police cruiser, tearing the grille from the car.

Then, as tourists headed to see the cherry blossoms and Capitol Hill staffers walked to work, at least one Capitol Police officer fired at the car. 

"During the attempt to arrest the individual, shots were fired," Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Maleki said at a news conference. 

No one was hurt.

Everett was arrested and taken to Capitol Police headquarters for processing. She was charged with seven counts of assault on a police officer, two counts of destruction of property, fleeing, leaving after colliding and not having a valid license. 

 

Additional information was not released immediately on what prompted officers to fire, how many officers fired, how many shots were fired or whether the suspect was armed. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

Video from the scene showed officers putting Everett, a small young woman who was wearing a teal sweatshirt, into a police van. The windows of the car with Maryland tags had been shot out. There were two bullet holes through the windshield. 

A woman who was headed to the Capitol to visit her congressman found herself near the mayhem. 

"We saw somebody running and we heard three shots fired," Linda Yanta told NBC News. "We did not know what was going on or who was shooting."

The Capitol Building was not closed as it all unfolded. Independence Avenue was closed between Washington Avenue and 1st Street SW for hours. The public was asked to avoid the area.

Everett's Family Describes Mental Illness

Everett's aunt, Bonnie Everett, told News4 that Teleah Everett had serious mental health issues. The former Ballou High School student from Southeast D.C. had been diagnosed with bipolar depression and had psychotic behavior, she said.

Her family was desperate for help and tried to get help several times. Less than two weeks ago, Everett's aunt filed a petition at a Prince George's County courthouse for an emergency health evaluation. A judge denied the request, the young woman's aunt said.

“We know that she needs help. Unfortunately the judge didn’t see that, and this is the result of her not getting the care that we know she desperately needed," she said.

Everett was due in court Monday on domestic violence charges, but she never appeared.

A family friend said her heart ached for the young woman's family.

"The whole family is sweet, the whole family got structure," Helen Butler said. She said her daughter saw Everett driving erratically Sunday night. The car she drove then and also on Monday was her mother's, Butler said.

Previous Incidents at the Capitol

In October 2013, 34-year-old Miriam Carey was shot and killed by law enforcement after she hit a security barrier and a Secret Service officer outside the White House, leading police on a chase that ended near the Capitol. The dental hygienist who drove to D.C. from Connecticut had her 1-year-old daughter in the car. The child was not hurt.

Her family later said she had been suffering from postpartum depression and psychosis. Police in Stamford, Connecticut, said Carey had reported that she believed former President Barack Obama had her under surveillance.

One year ago, a Capitol Police officer shot and injured a man who brought a weapon into the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Larry R. Dawson, 66, was known to law enforcement and frequented the Capitol grounds.

What Capitol Police See 

Hundreds of dangerous drivers have been stopped near the Capitol in recent years. The News4 I-Team found about 300 cases of drivers stopped for driving under the influence on Capitol grounds since 2014. Additionally, people were found to have been driving without licenses and with drugs in the vehicles.

U.S. Capitol Police have jurisdiction spanning several blocks around the Capitol Building itself. Congressional leaders say that's because they want to stop threats before they get close to this focal point of the U.S. government.


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<![CDATA['Stunning' Drug Lab Scandal Could Overturn 23K Convictions]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:09:14 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_405440204470-Annie-Dookhan-Arrest.jpg

About 23,000 people are expected to have low-level drug convictions wiped away next month, the culmination of an epic drug-lab scandal in Massachusetts, NBC News reported.

It comes five years after a rogue chemist admitted to tampering with evidence, forging test results and lying about it, resulting in 24,000 people with questionable convictions. Prosecutors fought to preserve the convictions, but a court ordered them to decide who they can realistically try to re-prosecute.

They are still working through the list, but their answer is expected to be "in the hundreds," a spokeswoman for one district attorney said this week.

"It's absolutely stunning. I have never seen anything like it," said Suzanne Bell, a professor at West Virginia University who serves on the National Commission of Forensic Science. "It's unbelievable to me that it could have even happened. And then when you look at the scope of the number of cases that may be dismissed or vacated, there are no words for it."



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[12 Killed in Head-On Highway Collision]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:30:14 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_CRASHINTEXAS_032917-149083089944100001.jpg

A church bus and a pick-up truck collided head-on on a highway west of San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday, killing 12 people.

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<![CDATA[Unbelievable Animals: Painting Pig's Art Sells for Up $2,000]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:57:30 -0400 in a South African animal sanctuary and painting original works that have sold for up to $2,000.]]> in a South African animal sanctuary and painting original works that have sold for up to $2,000.]]>http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2017-03-29+at+10.50.16+AM.pngCheck out some of the craziest animals and the stories behind them.]]><![CDATA[Ivanka Trump Will Serve as White House Employee]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:36:18 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT_POL_IVANKATRUMP_JOB_032917_1-149082984481800001.jpg

Ivanka Trump will become an official White House employee. The eldest daughter of President Donald Trump will serves as Assistant to the President, the White House announced Wednesday.

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<![CDATA[Donald Trump Through the Years]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:34:36 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Trumpthumb.jpgWhat Donald Trump's presidency will look like is unclear to many observers. He has not previously worked in politics, and has made contradictory statements on policy issues in several areas during his campaign. Despite the unknowns, Trump has an extensive public profile that, along with his real estate empire and the Trump brand, grew domestically and internationally over the last few decades. Here is a look at the president-elect's personal and career milestones and controversies.

Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prom Dress Guideline Fliers Slammed by Students for Sexism]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 18:23:53 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_promflyer0329_1500x845.jpg

Fliers posted at Stanton College Prep High sparked outrage from both female and male students in the Jacksonville, Florida, school. Students cited outdated "guidelines", as well as demeaning language, for the outcry.

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<![CDATA[Who's Who in Trump's Brain Trust]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:38:49 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/223*120/trump-cab-adv-th.jpgHere's a look at the people who are closest to Donald Trump in the White House, his advisers and his picks for the top jobs in his administration. The nominees for Cabinet positions need Senate approval.
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<![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue 6 Dogs From House Fire]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 17:15:34 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_DOGSRESCUED_FIRE_032917_2-149082186514900001.jpg

Firefighters in Seekonk, Massachusetts rescued six dogs that were trapped in a burning home. One other dog escaped the fire on its own. Unfortunately, a cat that was in the house died.

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<![CDATA[Top News: Brexit Protests; Russia Reasserts Arctic Claim]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:25:35 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-660135540.jpgView daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Samsung Unveils New Galaxy Smartphones]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:20:10 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DIT+TECH+SAMSUNGGALAXY8+032917.00_00_24_05.Still001.jpg

Samsung unveiled its latest smartphones, the Galaxy 8 and 8+, at an event in New York City on Wednesday.  This is Samsung's first major phone release since issues with battery fires forced the company to recall all Note 7 smartphones.

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<![CDATA[Hoofs Crossed: April the Pregnant Giraffe Is Soooooooo Close]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:07:46 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/233*120/Screen+Shot+2017-03-26+at+11.33.58+AM.png

Cross those fingers, or hoofs, April is getting close, Animal Adventure Park says. 

"April continues to progress in front of our eyes," the upstate New York zoo live-streaming the giraffe's world-famous pregnancy wrote on Facebook late Tuesday. "Mammary development has increased again." 

Predictions by the zoo had April finally giving birth Tuesday, but like many others, that was thrown out the window. 

"And away we go," the zoo said. 

Tuesday turned into Wednesday morning and the calf was still yet to be born. However, the zoo said to keep watching the live stream because "all can change in a few minutes." 

Watch the live stream below.

All eyes lately have been on April's udders, with keepers and vets saying we are now seeing progression, despite the fact no baby giraffe had presented itself to the world just yet.

"The udder continues to fill," Animal Adventure Park said. "The development occurs, generally, just prior to birthing."

This is a very promising sign of progress, the zoo said, as April and the world continues to wait patiently for the arrival of the giraffe's newest calf. 

"We do not expect any additional back end swell," the zoo said. "So all judging is now done based on udder changes."

When April goes into labor, the baby's front hoofs will be the first to come out, followed by the snout, the zoo says.

Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer -- the zoo says it won't rush the process. Once weaning is over, the baby giraffe will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there.

"We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species," the zoo says on its YouTube page.

This is 15-year-old April's fourth calf. Her younger, 5-year-old mate Oliver, however, is about to welcome his very first. He won't take any part in rearing the calf, though. Male giraffes, called bulls, really only care about two things, the zoo says: "fighting and the unmentionable."

"He is a bull -- and a bull is a bull is a bull!" the zoo says.

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

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.

Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

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



Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park YouTube
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<![CDATA[Car Shop Owner Accused of Stealing Dead Man's Porsche]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:22:32 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tow+truck+owner.jpg

A New York auto body shop owner has been arrested for allegedly filing paperwork to claim ownership of a Porsche he was working on when the owner died unexpectedly. 

The shop owner, Patrick Torpey, though, says he's had the 1978 Porsche for 20 years, that the dead man had given it to his son, and the case is a sham brought about by a local builder angry Torpey dated his daughter. 

According to police, authorities had been looking for the vehicle for eight months as the dead owner's wife tried to resolve some outstanding issues with his estate. They say Torpey, 53, had the car at his 20th Century Towing and 21st Century Auto Body in New Windsor for repairs in 2012 and when the owner suddenly died, he allegedly began filing false documents with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle to take ownership. 

Torpey eventually got a new title of ownership in his name, police say. Authorities say Torpey knew the dead client's wife personally and that she was looking for the car, but purposely hid it from her. It wasn't until last summer, years after the owner's death, that the Porsche's whereabouts were discovered and Torpey's alleged fraud revealed, police say. Torpey says the wife knew he had the car the whole time, and even says he has a Christmas card from the family saying they hoped Torpey's son "PJ" enjoyed the Porsche. 

Torpey was charged Wednesday with grand larceny, perjury and other crimes related to the alleged forged documents. He posted bail following his arraignment and was released. The Porsche was taken from his garage and is in the custody of the New Windsor Police Department, pending prosecution. 

Torpey says he expects the charges to be dropped. He also says he has filed 16 complaints against the builder. And as for the reaction from people in town, Torpey says everyone loves his mugshot. 



Photo Credit: New Windsor Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Photo of IHOP Server's Act of Kindness Goes Viral]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:31:25 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/keshia+dotson.png

A waiter at an IHOP in Springfield, Illinois, is earning praise from thousands of strangers after a photo of him serving up an act of kindness earned national attention.

Keisha Dotson, 26, was eating at the restaurant on Saturday when she spotted her server sitting with a woman in a wheelchair, helping her eat.

“The lady was a couple of seats away from us. I’m not sure what her disability was, but she was coughing really loud,” Dotson told NBC News, adding, “The entire restaurant was dead quiet. The waiter cracked a joke about it, and it made her smile.”

“My mom noticed it. We watched. As he was feeding, I decided to snap the picture,” Dotson said. She posted the photo on IHOP’s Facebook page, where it was shared more than 4,000 times by Tuesday night. 

“My faith in humanity has been restored a little today,” she wrote in the post about what she called “a very touching moment.”

Dotson, an adult programs coordinator at a library in nearby Rochester, said she is a regular customer at the Springfield IHOP but this was the first time she had encountered the server, whose name is Joe Thomas.

Thomas told NBC affiliate WAND that he was raised to practice compassion, and was simply doing what he could for a regular customer.

“My mother and father always told me to treat everybody as equals, no matter what race, creed, color, whatever,” Thomas said. “Treat everybody equal.”

"I just love helping people," he added. "Every Saturday they'll come in and they don't even need menus or anything. I know exactly what they want." 

His co-workers praised his work ethic, with one saying “Joe has been doing it for a long time with these customers, and they are really great.”

“Ever since I started working here every weekend that couple comes in and he feeds her every single weekend,” said another.

Dotson, along with hundreds of people commenting on her photo, was in awe of the gesture.

“I’m completely blown away. I shared it because I worked in retail and in the service industry, no one takes the time to give positive feedback,” she explained.

“I wanted the company to know they have an amazing employee that is doing service to their patrons,” Dotson added.



Photo Credit: Keshia Dotson
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<![CDATA[Think You Know Where Trafficking Victims Work? Think Again ]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:48:03 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-512316100-traffic.jpg

Human trafficking hides in the shadows, and it can be difficult for bystanders to identify victims. But now Polaris, an organization that fights against trafficking in the United States, has created a guide to help.

With “The Typology of Modern Slavery,” Polaris is providing officials and activists with relevant information so they don't waste resources on misguided initiatives and instead focus on the kinds of trafficking most prevalent in their communities.

The new tool classifies human trafficking into 25 categories, based on data collected by Polaris between December 2007 and December 2016. A team of experts parsed 32,000 trafficking cases in search of trends so they could report on vulnerable populations and profile potential traffickers.

The study says that while many victims are sexually abused, on the global level labor trafficking seems more common than sexual exploitation. From agriculture to drug running to manufacturing, both legitimate and illicit industries take advantage of victims.

Some of the complicit industries may come as a surprise. Polaris has noted 108 trafficking cases in arts and entertainment, the majority of which involved U.S. and foreign models. There were also athletes and performers who were exploited by recruiters, executives and coaches.

The staff at carnivals can be trafficked, as can those who provide health-care assistance at nursing homes or through in-house services.

Polaris believes labor trafficking is more widespread than the numbers suggest. Victims of labor trafficking constitute only 16 percent of those included in the report, which is based on information collected by Polaris through phone calls, emails and other means of contact. The authors say this relatively small ratio is because labor victims don’t always know about the resources at their disposal, or if they qualify for help.

“Polaris strongly believes that labor trafficking cases in the U.S. are chronically underreported due to a lack of awareness about the issue and a lack of recognition of the significant vulnerability of workers in many U.S. labor sectors,” they write.

With 4,651 cases, victims who were forced to provide escort services comprise the largest group in Polaris’ typology. The study says that “the vast majority of the survivors of ‘escort services’ are U.S. citizen women and girls,” though “LGBTQ youth are also vulnerable.”

Escort services are distinct from outdoor solicitation, where victims are forced to sell themselves on street corners. Outdoor solicitation victims face more physical violence than others who experience sexual exploitation. According to Polaris, 50 percent of those forced into outdoor solicitation are minors. Again, members of the LGBTQ community are especially susceptible.

“Traffickers often exploit an LGBTQ person’s housing insecurity and need for family, threaten to ‘out’ them to loved ones, manipulate their self-worth, cause distrust of others, and withhold hormone therapy or other gender-expression necessities in order to control them,” the study finds.

Other forms of sexual exploitation include residential brothels where romantic partners or family members force a victim into having sex; cantinas, bars and strip clubs that require attractive employees to gratify customers who spend a lot on alcoholic drinks; families who sell young girls into sexual servitude to pay off a debt; and pornographic distribution without the consent of those filmed. Between 2007-2016, 61 percent of reported pornography victims were minors.

Traffickers also coerce victims into "remote interactive sexual acts" using webcams, texting and phones. 

While the majority of sex trafficking victims are women, industries that require hard labor target male populations. In agriculture and animal husbandry, 86 percent of reported victims were men, many of whom worked in tobacco fields that required extensive physical effort. Likewise, the vast majority of those trafficked in construction were male and came from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala.

Labor trafficking victims tend to be enticed by unfulfilled promises of education opportunities and benefits, according to the report. They are often offered temporary work visas without portability so that their financial futures and legal status are inextricably tied to their abusive jobs.

Others are undocumented and fear retribution if they seek out authorities.

It can be nearly impossible for victims to identify their traffickers, as the chain of command is too intricate and complicated within trafficking networks. 

At hotels, Jamaican, Filipino, and Indian victims clean guest rooms. At nail and hair salons, Vietnamese, Chinese, and South Koreans are surrounded by customers who could help them, but their traffickers have ensured they can’t speak English well enough to ask for an intervention. Men and women from around the world who are misled into disingenuous contracts and promised legal documentation fill jobs as lifeguards, food vendors, or camp counselors at recreation centers.

Of Polaris' trafficking cases, 575 were members of traveling sales crews.

“Unlike other types of labor trafficking, the victims in this category are overwhelmingly U.S. citizens,” according to the report.

Traffickers target vulnerable teenagers and young adults and pay victims $5 to $20 stipends a day. When someone threatens to leave the crew, they abandon him or her with nothing in an isolated location to dissuade others from following suit. 

“Although most crews claim to hire those who are at least 18, minors as young as 15 can be involved,” the study says.

The authors of the report say they hope it will advise officials on how to combat trafficking through education campaigns and collaboration.

“It allows stakeholders to begin to look more precisely at each category in order to take steps to prevent and eliminate distinct forms of exploitation,” they write.



Photo Credit: Denver Post via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[19-Year-Old Arrested in 'Ambush-Style' Attack of 2 Miami Officers]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 16:45:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/032917+damian+antwan+thompson+shooting.jpg

A 19-year-old man was arrested early Wednesday after police say he opened fire in an "ambush-style attack" on two undercover Miami-Dade detectives who were investigating gang activity, police said.

Damian Antwan Thompson is charged with two counts of attempted murder in the Monday night shooting, Miami-Dade police officials said Wednesday.

Detective Terence White, 47, and Detective Charles Woods, 37, were in an unmarked police vehicle on the city's north side investigating gang activity when, according to officials, at least four men "ambushed" the car just before 10 p.m. Monday and opened fire.

Police say Thompson fired multiple shots as he walked about the car, "aiming to kill" the detectives, according to an arrest report. At least one officer returned fire, Miami-Dade Police Maj. Hector Llevat said.

"They were ambushed in their vehicle, unprovoked," Llevat said.

White was shot in the foot and was being treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Woods was treated for a gunshot wound in the arm at the same Miami hospital and released. The officers' unmarked car was riddled with dozens of bullet holes.

Several people were detained Tuesday in connection to the shooting near Northwest 62nd Street and 20th Avenue. Police say several Crime Stoppers tips led police to Thompson. The wounded officers also positively identified Thompson as the suspect, according to the report.

Thompson was arrested and booked into jail where he was being held without bond Wednesday morning. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.

An arrest report said Thompson was taken into custody in a room at the Hyatt Place Hotel on Northwest 42nd Avenue, along with three other people.

The other three people who were at the hotel — 25-year-old Jamal Daniels, 22-year-old Jessica Pierre and 22-year-old Mikequesha Simmons — are facing charges unrelated to the shooting.

NBC 6's cameras captured Thompson Tuesday when he was seen in blue hospital scrubs being placed into a police squad car. Thompson's mother spoke to NBC 6 about her son's arrest. 

"I'm not saying he's innnocent. I know he be out there with a crowd. But, they didn't have to beat him like they did, you know, because he's so little. At the same time, just hurts," Michele Thompson said.

The police report indicates when police officers found the 19-year-old in the hotel room, he refused to comply, charged at the officers and started fighting with them.

During questioning, Thompson said he knew one of the officers and an investigation revealed White had previously arrested the alleged shooter earlier this year, according to the arrest warrant.

Woods is an 11-year veteran of the department and White has been on the force for 26 years. The detectives were assigned to the Homicide Street Violence Task Force as part of a multiagency gang enforcement sweep in northwest Miami-Dade County.



Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections, Miami-Dade Police
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