<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usSat, 23 Jul 2016 17:12:43 -0400Sat, 23 Jul 2016 17:12:43 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[35K Pets Find Homes Through Clear the Shelters]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 17:12:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kids-cats-cts.jpg

Within minutes of opening its doors Saturday morning, the Stonington Animal Rescue Project in Stonington, Connecticut, had found homes for all of its kittens.

Kittens are always popular but shelter officials were unprepared for the speed at which these 13 were adopted at the beginning of NBC's second annual Clear the Shelters drive.

"We were totally cleared by 10:10," said Brooke Russell, who is charge of social media for the shelter.

More than 35,000 animals have been adopted as part of Clear the Shelters this month. Pet owners who mentioned the Clear the Shelters campaign during the adoption process were included in NBC's count.

More than 40 local NBC and Telemundo television stations are teaming up with more than 680 animal shelters across the country and in Puerto Rico for the event. Animal shelters are offering no-cost or reduced-fee adoptions or will waive spaying and neutering fees.

"Clear the Shelters took the nation by storm last year and inspired thousands of families to open their hearts to animals in need," said Valari Staab, the president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. "I'm very excited that our stations are working with hundreds of local animal shelters once again to help save the lives of thousands of deserving animals."

Still to find homes at the Stonington shelter: two guinea pigs, some roosters, barn cats and a few older cats, Russell said.

"We're an all-species rescue group," she said. "We rescue any animal in need of help."

In New York, a Huskie named Rose reached the end of a long journey that began a month and a half ago in Turkey. 

Rescued by a woman in Turkey, Rose and another dog, a Doberman, were flown to the Westchester County chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Briarcliff Manor.

The Doberman was adopted quickly but Rose is a bit unsteady on her feet, a result of a neurological syndrome that made her more difficult to place until Saturday, when a man who seemed a perfect fit came in and took her home to Connecticut.

"She’s going to fine for her life but it's just something to look out for and keep on top of," said the shelter’s executive director, Shannon Laukhuf. "When you see her walk, she's usually fine but every ten steps she might sway a little bit."

"She doesn’t let it stop her," Laukhuf added. "She's just the most playful dog. She loves other animals, she's great with kids."

Nearly 20,000 animals found new homes last August during Clear the Shelters, among them Roxie.

An older pit bull, she was left in a backyard in Stockton, California, when the woman who owned her went to prison. She had been well cared but ended up at the city shelter, shivering, anxious and unable to walk.

Another dog thought to be her daughter was adopted but she languished until she was moved to the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco in time for NBC's nationwide pet adoption drive last year. And there she met Terry and Doug Burke.

They took her home and showered her with affection.

"Roxie is thriving," Doug Burke said. "She's loving her life."

On the Muttville Senior Rescue on Saturday, Jennifer Gonzalez of Santa Cruz wanted a calm and mellow lap dog and she got just that, in Santana, an 11-year-old Yorkie mix. 

Beth Martin, who has already adopted three dogs and fostered 22 others, fell in love with Peggy Sue, a terrier mix stray from Sacramento with a broken leg. The two went home to Silicon Valley.

At the Humane Society of Broward Country, Florida, 167 animals were adopted last year — mostly dogs and cats but also guinea pigs and rabbits. Between 25 and 50 animals are adopted on a typical Saturday, according to Cherie Wachter, the vice president of marketing.

The shelter is looking forward to similar success during this year. Wachter expects the shelter to be busy and said families will be asked to fill out an application and talk to a counselor to ensure a good match.

"Be patient and bring the whole family," she said. "What Dad picks out might not be what Mom likes. So it's best if it's a family decision."

Natalie Morales, NBC News' West Coast anchor for the "Today" show, will host a 30-minute special on Friday, July 29 to recap the day. It will air on the NBC Owned Television Stations and on more than 120 NBC affiliated stations.

A similar show airing on the Telemundo stations will be co-hosted by Stephanie Himonidis, known as "Chiquibaby," and Elva Saray, hosts of the daily entertainment show "Acceso Total" on Telemundo 52 Los Angeles or KVEA.

The Muttville shelter will have about 80 dogs available for adoption Saturday — of all types and sizes, from 3 to 110 pounds. They were strays or lost their homes when their owners moved, went into nursing homes, died or in some other way were no longer able to care for them. The one thing the mutts have in common is that they are all at least 7 years old.

"What you see is what you get," said Sherri Franklin, founder and executive director of the Muttville shelter. "Their personalities are already formed. A lot of our dogs have grown up in families so we sometimes are able to give that kind of background on the dog. They're trained, they're not going to chew up your shoes."

Last year's mood was festive, drawing in people who might have been putting off getting a dog, she said. At the end of the day, 19 dogs had new homes. The goal for this year event is to double that number.

Muttville is on what's known as "Rescue Row," which it shares with the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control shelter and the Northern California Family Dog Rescue.

"If you're looking to adopt, you can find anything on Rescue Row," said Patty Stanton, who handles the shelter's public relations.

Roxie is the second dog the Burkes have adopted from Muttville — and their fourth rescue dog in all — and she has been playing with Doug Burke from the first day in their home.

"And she hasn’t stopped since," Terry Burke wrote in describing the adoption. "Except to eat and sleep, both of which she also enjoys tremendously. Along with giving little tiny kisses, which my friend told me from pit bulls are called 'pibbles.'"

Photo Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek
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<![CDATA[Memorable Moments From #ClearTheShelters]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 16:16:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/baywatch_animal_rescue.jpg

It was her ears! 

Mandy Rickman fell in love with a 4-month-old puppy when she stopped by an animal shelter in rural Maryland during NBC's second annual Clear the Shelters drive on Saturday.

Rickman had just finished grocery shopping when she decided to stop by the Baywatch Animal Shelter to look for a playmate for her dog at home.

Just as Rickman walked in, a litter of puppies was let out. Right away, she noticed a brown pup named Maggie with big, floppy ears. Maggie and her siblings had traveled all night from a kill shelter in Florida before landing in Baywatch's care. 

Rickman knew she had to take Maggie home.

"She's just adorable. I've been home for 10 minutes and she's already taken over the house," said Rickman, who lives in East New Market, Maryland. "I had been looking for another dog. I just lost a dog a year ago. I knew she had to come home with me." 

Rickman, a Ravens fan, renamed the puppy Poe after the Baltimore team's mascot. Her first order of business when she got home was to give Poe a bath and a walk.

For Baywatch, Clear the Shelters has brought plenty of prospective pet parents through their front doors. 

"We are psyched," said Baywatch executive director Maureen Scott-Taylor. "Families can pick out the dog they think is going to be their forever friend."

Poe is one of more than 33,000 pets to be adopted as part of Clear the Shelters this month. Pet parents who mentioned Clear the Shelters during the adoption process were included in NBC's count.

Other new pet owners shared photos of their once-homeless animals on social media Saturday, including a kitten from New Hampshire named Storm.

The Hussey family fell in love with Storm when they walked into the New Hampshire SPCA. Two-year-old Braelynn Hussey greeted her new furry friend with a kiss.

See other Clear the Shelters memorable moments from across the country:

Photo Credit: Baywatch Animal Rescue
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<![CDATA[At Least 80 Killed in Suicide Blasts at Kabul Protest]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 14:55:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/AP_16205468400202.jpg

Suicide bombings in the capital of Afghanistan Saturday killed at least 80 people and injured more than 230, many of whom were taking part in a political demonstration, authorities said.

The blasts occurred in Dehmazamg Square near the Kabul Zoo on the main road to Parliament, Health Ministry spokesperson Ismail Kawosi told NBC News.

Three suicide bombers worked in tandem in the attacks, according to the Ministry of the Interior. While one bomb was detonated, a second bomb exploded prematurely and a third bomber was shot dead by police.

The protesters, mostly ethnic minority Hazaras, were marching to demand that their impoverished home province be included in a major new electricity line, according to The Associated Press.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the bombings.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['No Indications' Munich Shooting Was Linked to ISIS: Police]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 09:01:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Munich-Shooting-GettyImages-579198418.jpg

The 18-year-old gunman who killed 9 people and injured 27 others in the German city of Munich was obsessed with mass shootings, police said Saturday.

Investigators searched the unnamed man's home, which he shared with his parents and a brother, overnight and revealed he had "looked intensively" at the subject of "shooting rampages," NBC News reported.

A book titled "Rampage in Head: Why Students Kill" was found among the suspect's belongings, but "no indication" that he was linked to extremist groups such as ISIS. They believe he acted alone.

It also appeared that the attacker had hacked a young woman's Facebook account and posted a message to lure people to the mall for a free meal, police investigator Robert Heimberger told journalists.

Seven of the nine who were killed during the Friday evening rampage were themselves teens, officials announced. Three were female. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Charizard the Iguana and Other Unusual Pets Find Homes]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 17:07:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-07-23_15011.jpg

Parrie Henderson-O'Keefe's son Peirman has a surprise waiting for him for his 16th birthday: an iguana named after a rare Pokemon character that he met at an animal shelter in Washington, D.C.

He took to the 2-year-old iguana, Charizard, as soon as he saw her at the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League on Thursday, scratching her neck as she shed an old layer of skin. She crawled onto his shoulder when he picked her up.

The shelter is one of more than 680 shelters participating on Saturday in Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive sponsored by NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo. Shelters are offering no-cost or reduced-fee adoptions or are waiving spaying and neutering fees.

Among the other more unusual animals adopted Saturday were chickens, a pigeon, two fire-bellied toads, ferrets, rabbits, parakeets, guinea pigs and mice.

Henderson-O'Keefe, who lives in Washington, D.C., learned about Clear the Shelters in an email from the shelter. She went early to look around with Peirman and his sister, 12-year-old Eldie. When they left, Peirman told Henderson-O'Keefe he wanted the iguana for his upcoming birthday.

Peirman, who hope to study amphibians and reptiles, then left for a camp in Ohio, and Henderson-O’Keefe and Eldie decided to adopt Charizard as a surprise.

"He's going to be thrilled. Ecstatic," said Henderson-O'Keefe, who planned to call her son to give him the news. "That’s all we've been talking about since he saw her."

"He's probably going to make us FaceTime the reptile," she added.

Charizard was at the animal shelter for three months before being adopted, Henderson-O'Keefe said. The iguana's previous owners trained her to be walked on a leash. The shelter did not know why she was given up, according to Henderson-O'Keefe.

Henderson-O'Keefe said she will keep Charizard in a cage on the balcony with her tortoises and feed the iguana food from her rooftop garden. Right now, she said, Charizard is calm and not moving much as she gets used to her new home. She will become more active as she gets settled, Henderson-O'Keefe said.

"She'll probably be very happy up there," Henderson-O'Keefe said, who played with the iguana outside and said Charizard seemed to like being around people.

<![CDATA[Mother Reveals in Court Missing Miami Toddler is Dead]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 16:42:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/missing3.png

The mother of a 2-year-old Miami girl believed to have been missing since November told a judge Thursday that the child was dead.

As Miami Police continued their search for Angela, who was possibly last seen in November 2015, Marjorie Dufrene told Judge Cindy Lederman that the toddler "was no longer with us," according to audio recordings of the court hearing obtained by the Miami Herald.

When pressed on if she meant the girl had died, Dufrene told Judge Lederman "right." The 30-year-old mother said her daughter died "sometime last year," the Herald reported.

Police released few details and said they were still looking for a picture of the girl.

Sources told the Herald that the mother provided investigators with conflicting accounts of what happened to her daughter. In one version, the girl suffered a fatal fall and her mother discarded the body in a dumpster, the report said.

According to the report, the Florida Department of Children and Families has a long history with Dufrene. She lost custody of three of her other children following an arrest in 2013, and Angela's twin brother is currently in foster care.

In an email to NBC 6 Friday, DCF officials confirmed that the mother had a history with the state's child welfare system, but said the details are confidential.

"We are very concerned about the well-being of this child," DCF wrote in statement Thursday. "The department has initiated a child protective investigation regarding the circumstances that led to the disappearance of the child and we will continue to work closely with law-enforcement."

Authorities discovered the girl was missing after DCF received an anonymous tip that Dufrene's children, who visit on weekends, were living in filthy conditions, the Herald reported.

Dufrene hasn't been charged with a crime. Authorities hope Angela is still alive and are continuing their search for her.

<![CDATA[What If It's Not Working Out With Your Shelter Pet?]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 16:58:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/porter-east-bay-spca-rescue.jpg

Is the pet you picked up from the shelter having trouble adjusting at home?

Don't worry, you're not alone.

Take Tucker, for example. He had some behavioral issues after he was adopted from the East Bay SCPA in Oakland last year and his family didn't know how to handle them. They brought him back, just in time for Clear the Shelters in 2015, according to shelter spokeswoman Grace Reddy. Tucker ended up finding his forever home with a volunteer during the event.

Plenty of shelter pets don't take to their new surroundings for one reason or another. Ten percent of all the animals brought to the East Bay SPCA are returns, Reddy said.

"We don't mind that," she said. "If it's not a match, for whatever reason, we don't ask questions."

It turns out, there are many reasons why it might not work out with your shelter pet, and shelters are always happy to take animals back.

"The sooner they contact the shelter and have that dog back in foster or back in the shelter, the better," said Tufts University animal behaviorist Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil.

The reason Borns-Weil mentions contacting the shelter is because problems that seem insurmountable at first can be cleared up with a couple of tips from a shelter worker.

"No doubt they've heard it before," she noted.

Some issues shelters often see, according to Borns-Weil:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Not getting along with other animals in the home
  • Potty training
  • Crying at night

If it still can't be worked out, it's actually helpful to go through a shelter, so the unlucky dog or cat can get treated for what's wrong, Borns-Weil said.

Since you're reading this, we're guessing you aren't considering abandoning your dog — Borns-Weil said that still happens, but less often than it used to — but the best course of action is to go back to the organization where you got your pet.

There are alternatives that can work, like listing the pet on Craigslist or giving it to a friend, but Borns-Weil noted that shelters offer the best safety net for treating underlying problems.

"The pet can end up getting repeatedly rehomed without getting the kind of help that it needs," she said.

So if things still seem like they aren't working out, call the shelter where you picked up your pet and talk about the next steps. They'll be glad, and so will you.

Photo Credit: Courtesy East Bay SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Inside the 2016 Republican National Convention]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 23:47:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-578550342-rnc.jpg The Republican National Convention kicked off on Monday evening, July 18, 2016, when a call for a state-by-state roll call vote was denied. Protesters and Trump fans have gathered outside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, for the convention, which wraps up Thursday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Flees Crash Scene, Attacks Cop]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 15:38:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Matthew+Gallant.jpg

Connecticut police arrested a man after they say he crashed his car while drunk, fled the scene and then allegedly assaulted an officer.

Police responded to reports of an overturned vehicle in a field off All Hallows Road in the Wauregan section of Plainfield just before 10 p.m. Friday. When officers arrived, they found the Ford Ranger unoccupied.

The car was registered to 21-year-old Matthew Gallant.  Officers went to Gallant's Depot Road home and found him highly intoxicated. He was uncooperative, according to police, and attacked an officer when police attempted to arrest him. After a struggle, he was arrested. Both Gallant and the officer had minor injuries but both declined treatment, police said.

Gallant refused to be tested for drugs and/or alcohol and was subsequently booked on charges of DUI, interfering with a police investigation and assault on a police officer.

He was released on bond and scheduled to appear in Danielson Superior Court on August 1.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Pets Adopted Around the Country]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 15:45:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/9a720caa57fc4f32a803d009e9ba8813.JPG.jpg Thousands of pets have been adopted from hundreds of shelters across the country as part of Clear the Shelters, NBC and Telemundo's nationwide pet adoption initiative. Here are some of the animals that found their forever homes.

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Robs Stores Wearing Trump Mask]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 13:18:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/242*120/trump+mask+buxton+robbery.png

Police in Maine are searching for a burglary suspect who wore a Donald Trump mask when he robbed two convenience stores in Buxton Wednesday.

According to necn affiliate WCSH, the suspect used a baseball bat to break the front glass door at the Lows' Variety and the Main Street Variety, both in Bar Mills.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Buxton Police Department.

Photo Credit: Buxton Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Adorable Zoo Babies: Baby Leopards]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:50:43 -0400 here. ]]> here. ]]> http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/LeopardCubs.jpg See all the newest arrivals at zoos around the world. Baby lions, tigers and bears step into the spotlight.

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Scenes From the GOP Convention in Cleveland]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 21:51:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16203593293757-rnc.jpg Thousands of people have poured into Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention, which runs through Thursday. Take a look at the some of the fans, protesters and others gathered at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton 'Thrilled' With VP Pick Tim Kaine]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:00:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16196751572126.jpg

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's pick to become the next vice president of the United States, Clinton told supporters Friday evening.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said in a text message Friday evening she was "thrilled" to share that she has selected Kaine as her running mate. 

His guiding principle is "the belief that you can make a difference through public service," Clinton's Twitter account said.  

A steady Clinton surrogate in recent campaign appearances, Kaine was at a fundraiser in Newport, Rhode Island, Friday night when the announcement was made. He is honored to be Clinton's running mate, he tweeted soon after the news broke.

"Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!" he said.

Republican nominee Donald Trump sought to incite rage among Bernie Sanders supporters over Clinton's pick, tweeting that Kaine represents the opposite of what the Vermont senator stood for, "Philly fight?"

In a series of tweets Saturday morning, Trump said Clinton didn't chose Sen. Elizabeth Warren because "she hates her," alleged Kaine is "owned by banks" and, citing the newly leaked DNC emails, said the party planned to "destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED." 

The swing state's former governor, a current member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, has the national security experience Clinton is said to have been seeking, observers said.

Pundits and Kaine supporters have said the senator's experience and moderate positions make him an ideal choice.

"Senator Kaine's judgment, experience and values make him an excellent complement to the Democratic ticket, and he will be a strong partner to President Hillary Clinton in the White House," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday evening. 

The former Virginia governor complements Clinton, Democratic donor Glen Fukushima told CNN.

"He has a business sense and international experience [and] speaks Spanish, which are both pluses," he said. "He also has experience as a governor, which could complement Hillary's background."

Kaine, 58, "has a lot going for him," Rep. Gerry Connolly told CNN.

"He's Catholic, from a swing state, successful governor, speaks fluent Spanish, has political chops, was the head of the [Democratic National Committee]," he told the television network. "He provides a lot of talent to the ticket and could step in and could certainly be an heir apparent." 

"I can say there is no one of higher integrity and trustworthiness," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

"His experience, intellect and dedication to making life better for people from all walks of life will make him an enormous asset to Secretary Clinton throughout the remainder of this campaign and as a leader in her administration over the next four years," Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said. "This is a proud day for every Virginian."

Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell expressed for Kaine while taking the opportunity to attack Clinton. 

"His character makes it all the more surprising that he would sign up to defend Hillary Clinton for the next three-and-a-half months," he said in a statement. "However, Sen. Kaine's selection as the vice presidential nominee does not change that this election is ultimately a referendum on Secretary Clinton." 

Kaine touts his work to reduce unemployment among veterans, to block any Iran nuclear weapons program, to recognize American Indian tribes in Virginia, to preserve Civil War battlegrounds and to improve access to job-training programs.

Kaine, who attended University of Missouri and Harvard Law School, speaks Spanish fluently after taking a year off from attending Harvard to work at a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, his Senate website says.

But critics have called Kaine a safe, even boring, running mate.

When asked by Charlie Rose of PBS on Monday whether Kaine was a boring choice, Clinton said, “I love that about him.” 

Kaine was even asked about being boring on NBC's "Meet the Press" in June, one of his highest-profile appearances in what was evidently his vetting process. Kaine brushed it off with a joke: "I am boring … but boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country."

What Does Kaine Bring to the Table?
Kaine, who was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, was first elected to office in 1994. He served as a city councilman and then was elected mayor of Richmond. He became lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2002, was inaugurated as governor in 2006 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. He serves on the aging, armed services, budget and Senate foreign relations committees. 

Newsweek previously called Kaine "the conventional wisdom pick" for Clinton's running mate and tied his chances of being selected with those of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Kaine will not energize the party's progressive wing, however, Newsweek argued.

"Kaine ... voted to fast-track President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move that angered most of the left. And his views on abortion are to the right of many Democrats: he’s a practicing Catholic who supported parental consent and informed consent laws in his state. And, Sanders aside, old white guys just don't excite voters like they used to," the publication wrote.

Kaine is personally opposed to abortion but has said he is against overturning Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing the procedure. Beyond supporting requiring parental consent, he also was in favor of banning late-term abortions unless a woman’s life is at risk, and he has promoted abstinence-focused education to try to decrease the number of pregnancies that end in abortion. In the past, the state NARAL chapter refused to endorse him. 

Kaine was on President Barack Obama’s short-list for vice president, according to Politico.

He teamed up with Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to introduce legislation to authorize military force against the Islamic State. 

What Has Kaine Said About Wanting to Be VP?
On Thursday in Virginia, Kaine had downplayed speculation he would be Clinton's pick. 

"I'm in a little, momentary bubble of attention. It will be normal again," he told NBC Washington's David Culver

In March, Kaine also demurred about whether he wanted to be vice president.

"Well, I'm a happy senator and I like my job, and I'm not looking for another one, but, look, my best use is helping Secretary Clinton -- especially win Virginia," he said March 10 to a group of Hispanic and African-American publishers at the National Press Club.

The senator echoed those comments on April 29, saying he would accompany Clinton at her inauguration as a senator, not as her vice president, Politico reported.

"You know, I really love my job. I really do," Kaine reportedly said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe. "And I have a great feeling that I'm going to be on that podium with Hillary Clinton when she's taking the oath of office, but I'm going to be sitting with the other senators."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[SoCal Fire Scorches 11K Acres]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 16:32:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/santa+clarita+fire+1.JPG

An 11,000-acre wildfire in mountains just north of Los Angeles and its suburbs is a threat to 1,000 homes, fire officials said Saturday.

Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief says a wind shift is expected Saturday afternoon and communities have been put on alert. In the event of extreme fire behavior 45,000 homes could be threatened, largely in the San Fernando Valley, he said.

The blaze darkened skies with smoke that spread across the city and suburbs, and narrowing the sun to an orange disk.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District warned the air would, at times, reach unhealthy levels as the region was gripped by high heat and very low humidity.

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No injuries were immediately reported as a result of the blaze, which broke out at 2:11 p.m. Friday near Sand Canyon Road along the 14 Freeway.

The blaze was 10 percent contained by 11 a.m. Saturday, the U.S. Forest Service said.

About 100 people were evacuated from the area of Capra Road off Soledad Canyon Road, county fire officials said. In the Little Tujunga area, residents in about between 200 to 300 homes were also under a mandatory evacuation order, according to the sheriff's department. 

An evacuation shelter for residents was established at Golden Valley High School at 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway in Santa Clarita and shelter for large animals was made available at Agua Dulce Airport, Wayside Jail in Castaic and Pierce College in Woodland Hills.

Late Friday night, horses and animals at a nearby wildlife sanctuary were being evacuated. The Wildlife Waystation, a non-profit organization, was in the process of evacuated more than 400 exotic animals, including lions and tigers. The animals were being taken to different locations, according to a spokesperson for Wildlife Waystation.

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About 300 firefighters were battling the flames from the ground and air as of Friday night, Marron said. The Los Angeles Fire Department sent a water-dropping helicopter to join three from the county fire department. Two fixed-wing firefighting aircraft were also called in to attack the blaze. Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service were also assisting in the firefight.

The blaze, dubbed the Sand Fire, was fueled by triple-digit temperatures along with gusty winds and was burning eastward into the Angeles National Forest. Northbound lanes of the freeway were temporarily closed south of Soledad Canyon Road, according to the California Highway Patrol. Metrolink reported that service on its Antelope Valley line was halted at the Via Princessa station for about an hour.

Smoke from the fire was moving southeast into the San Gabriel Valley "due to gusty northwest winds aloft," according to the National Weather Service. Smoke was also visible above downtown Los Angeles.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory for the following areas:

  • Portions of the Central Los Angeles Area
  • Portions of the west and east San Fernando Valley
  • Portions of the west and east San Gabriel Valley
  • Portions of Pomona/Walnut Valley
  • Portions of the Santa Clarita Valley
  • Portions of the San Gabriel Mountains

People with respiratory or heart disease, older adults, and children were advised to stay indoors.

Soledad Canyon Road was closed between the freeway and Agua Dulce Canyon Road, according to county fire department Capt. Keith Mora.

As of Saturday morning, roads were closed between Little Tujunga Canyon Road to Osborne Street, Sand Canyon Road to Placerita Cyn Road, Placerita Canyon Road to Crown Valley Road, Soledad Canyon Road to Agua Dulce Canyon Road, Soledad Canyon Road to the 14 freeway, and on Soledad Canyon Road from Agua Dulce Canyon Road to Shadow Pines Boulevard, according to the U.S. Forest Service. 

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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<![CDATA[RNC Delegates Share Their Opinions on Candidates, Issues]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 23:34:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/KateThumb1.jpg With delegates from across the country in Cleveland, Ohio, for the 2016 Republican National Convention, we took the opportunity to ask them three questions: How would you describe both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in one word (each), and what issue is most important to you? Take a look at the responses.

Photo Credit: Kate Guarino]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton: Trump 'Talking Trash About America']]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 04:50:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-577289256.jpg

Hillary Clinton made no mention of her running mate during a rally in Tampa Friday evening, instead delivering a fiery rebuttal to Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

"The last thing we need is somebody running for president who talks trash about America," Clinton said of the Republican nominee's lengthy address in Cleveland.

Clinton accused Trump of offering a "dark and divisive vision" beyond what he's said in the past. "Last night's speech took it to a whole new level. He offered a lot of fear and anger. And resentment but no solutions about anything that he even talked about," she said.

Clinton also took issue with Trump's assertion that he speaks for most Americans, NBC News reported. She went on a long list of groups she doesn't believe he represents, including: small business owners, housekeepers, cooks, immigrants, people with disabilities, veterans and women.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Shooting at Munich Shopping Center ]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:18:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-578780856-munich.jpg Police confirmed shots were fired Friday at the Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping center in Munich, Germany.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Pokemon Go Player Sets Record]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 12:14:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pokemon+go2.jpg

One "Pokemon Go" player from New York City has already completed the quest to be the very best -- in the United States, at least. 

Nick Johnson, of Brooklyn, posted to Reddit on Thursday that he had caught all of the 142 Pokemon currently available in the United States, Business Insider reports. He appears to be the first person to catch every monster in the game — save six so-called "legendary" Pokemon that haven't been seen anywhere and a trio of others that are exclusive to other countries.

Johnson, an author who works at a Manhattan startup, said that he would spend about eight hours a day catching the monsters after work, spending a lot of time at Grand Army Plaza, in Central Park and in Battery Park to catch Pokemon.

He said that he walked about eight miles each day and caught more than 3,000 of the monsters to complete his collection. Most of the critters he caught in New York City, he told Business Insider that one — a Porygon — required a trip to Jersey City.

"I may or may not have seen it on the radar and then ordered an Uber to drive me around until I found it," he told the website.

Johnson said that he is going to keep playing the game and is writing travel sites and startups to see if he can get a sponsorship to catch three Pokemon that are exclusive to Europe, Asia and Australia. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deadly Stolen Car Hit-and-Run]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 12:49:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/S+Philly+Hit+Run+Minivan+Toyota+Door.jpg

A mother was killed and several others, including children, were hurt when a man crashed a stolen car along a South Philadelphia street Friday night, police said.

It was around 8:30 p.m. when the white Toyota Avalon came barreling westbound along Jackson Street near 21st and slammed into a minivan, carrying several adults and kids, at the intersection, police said.

The Toyota hit the minivan with such force that the car's driver's side door lodged onto the green van's fender, breaking away from the sedan.

The car then careened out of control, skidding along the sidewalk, before hitting a husband, wife and their 2-year-old son as they walked by, police said.

The car traveled another block to Snyder Avenue, where the driver jumped out and ran away. Witnesses led officers to the car and they were able to track down the male driver a short time later. The 36-year-old has been placed under arrest.

In all, seven people were hurt, police said.

The wife, a 40-year-old from the neighborhood, was left in extremely critical condition after the crash. She was rushed to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, but could not be saved, police said.

The husband and their son as well as three people from the minivan were also taken to Jefferson for treatment. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Philadelphia Police's Accident Investigation Division has opened a probe into the deadly crash.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Munich Gunman Kills 9, Then Self: Police ]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:22:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-578781136-munich.jpg

Police said a lone gunman is believed to have carried out a shooting rampage near a shopping center in Munich, Germany, NBC News reported. 

The gunman, who killed at least nine people before killing himself, was an 18-year-old German-Iranian from Munich who lived in the city for more than two years, according to police. A motive was not known. 

Twenty-one people were hospitalized, three of whom were critically wounded, according to police. 

Officials did not identify him, but said he was found dead at 8:30 p.m., and may have killed himself. German police initially said there may have been as many as three gunmen. 

The shooting attack at a McDonald’s attached to the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall forced a lockdown of the city, the shutdown of public transportation and calls to residents to avoid public places.

The shooting prompted authorities to operate “on the premise of a terror attack,” but officials later said there were no links to terror established.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Manson Follower Denied Parole]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:55:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mkt-AP_247374227510.jpg

Governor Jerry Brown on Friday denied parole for former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted of the 1969 killings of grocers Leno and Rosemary La Bianca at their Los Feliz home.

The decision comes a month after Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey urged Brown to deny her parole.

"Despite overwhelming evidence of her involvement in these two horrible murders, inmate Van Houten has consistently minimized her conduct during current and past hearings," the county's top prosecutor wrote in a five-page letter to Gov. Jerry Brown that includes a photo of the victims with their daughter three years before they were killed.

"In reality, she clearly lacks insight, genuine remorse and an understanding of the magnitude of her crimes. The viciousness of the murders, the relationship of those murders to the effort to incite the "Helter Skelter" race war and Van Houten's attempts to minimize her criminal responsibility make her an unreasonable risk of danger to society,'' Lacey wrote in the letter dated June 24 and made public Tuesday.

A state parole board panel ruled on April 14 that Van Houten, now 66, was suitable for parole. She had previously been denied parole 19 times between 1979 and 2013. Van Houten was convicted of murder and conspiracy for participating with fellow Manson family members Charles "Tex" Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel in the Aug. 9, 1969, killings of Leno La Bianca, 44, and his 38-year-old wife, Rosemary, who were each stabbed multiple times.

Van Houten was sentenced to death, but re-sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1972 that the death penalty was unconstitutional. The former Monrovia High School cheerleader and homecoming princess did not participate in the Manson family's killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in a Benedict Canyon mansion the night before.

Manson and many of his other former followers have repeatedly been denied parole. In January, the governor rejected a state parole board panel's August 2015 finding that another former Manson follower, Bruce Davis, was suitable for release. Davis was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy for the July 25, 1969, stabbing death of musician Gary Hinsman in his Topanga Canyon home and the killing of Donald "Shorty" Shea, who was last seen alive on Aug. 27, 1969. Onetime Manson family member Susan Atkins died in September 2009, about three weeks after a state parole board panel rejected her plea for a "compassionate release" from prison because of brain cancer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[3 Fla. Men Wanted to Join ISIS: DoJ]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 23:35:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/072216+Dayne+Christian.jpg

Three South Florida men have been arrested in connection with a plan one of them made to travel overseas to join ISIS, authorities said.

Gregory Hubbard, aka Jibreel; Darren Arness Jackson, aka Daoud; and Dayne Atani Christian, aka Shakur, are accused of knowingly conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The men appeared in federal court in Miami Friday, officials said. It's unknown if they've hired attorneys.

Hubbard, 52, and Jackson, 50, are from West Palm Beach. Christian, 31, is from Lake Park.

Officials said the men had been under observation by the FBI and that Hubbard told a confidential FBI informant that he wanted to travel to Syria and join ISIS to engage in violent jihad.

Hubbard had bought an airline ticket to Germany and had planned to board a train to Turkey and head to Syria, authorities said.

He was arrested Thursday at Miami International Airport before he could begin the first leg of his trip, officials said.

Authorities said Christian and Jackson also expressed a desire to join ISIS and provided weapons and firearms training to Hubbard.

Jackson was arrested after driving Hubbard to the airport Thursday, officials said. Christian was arrested at work.

Officials said the men discussed trying to carry out attacks in the U.S. and had practiced at a shooting range, but decided against the attack.

"Individuals seeking to travel and take up arms with ISIL pose a threat to the United States and humanity across the globe,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in a statement. "The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force continue to work proactively in order to stifle and disrupt any potential danger posed by the terrorist organizations and their supporters."

A criminal complaint alleges the suspects would regularly listen to online messages from ISIS, including praise for the Pulse nightclub attack that killed 49 people in Orlando.

"The nightclub was a soft target and regardless if they are gay or not, it was blood for blood and it was an added bonus that they were gay," Christian said, according to the complaint.

The three are scheduled to be arraigned next month.

Photo Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Check: Trump Defends Oswald Claim]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:34:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/578550086-Donald-Trump-RNC.jpg

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

Donald Trump doubled down on his baseless insinuation that a photograph published by the National Enquirer shows Ted Cruz’s father with “crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.”

A day after accepting the Republican presidential nomination, Trump touted the national tabloid as a credible source worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, and said the newspaper would not have run the photo if it was “wrong.” Moreover, Trump said, the Cruz camp “never denied” that it was Rafael Cruz in the photo with the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

That’s all nonsense.

As we wrote on May 3, the thinly sourced story hangs largely on comments from an expert who told the paper that a photo of an unidentified man handing out pro-Fidel Castro leaflets with Oswald has “more similarity than dissimilarity” with a passport photo of Cruz’s father, Rafael.

The photo expert, Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos, a California-based digitizing photo service, was quoted in the Enquirer story — “Ted Cruz Father Linked to JFK Assassination!” — as saying, “[I]t looks to be the same person and I can say as much with a high degree of confidence.”

Note the parsing of words. He wasn’t saying with a high degree of certainty that it is Rafael Cruz. He’s saying with a high degree of certainty that it “looks to be the same person.”

Goldstone told us in a phone interview that he never claimed the man in the picture with Oswald was definitely Rafael Cruz, and he called Trump’s unqualified assertion that it is Cruz “stupid.” Goldstone said he compared, by eye, the photo of the unidentified man in the picture with Oswald with a passport photo of a young Rafael Cruz, and concluded “They look pretty close.”

That’s the thin reed upon which this story hangs.

Nonetheless, Trump proclaimed in a May 3 interview on “Fox and Friends” that Cruz’s “father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being, you know, shot! I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous … And nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don’t even talk about that, that was reported and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible, I think it’s absolutely horrible, that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there.”

Trump later added, “I mean what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the death – before the shooting? It’s horrible.”

The day after his controversial convention speech, Cruz said those comments by Trump played a role in his decision not to endorse Trump.

“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and who attack my father,” Cruz said.

The day after his convention speech, in remarks to supporters in Cleveland, Trump fired back at Cruz, saying, “I don’t want his endorsement. If he gives it, I will not accept it.” Trump then launched into a defense of an unflattering image of Cruz’s wife that Trump retweeted, as well as his comments about Cruz’s father.

“All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer, there’s a picture of him [Rafael Cruz] and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast,” Trump said. “I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that frankly in many respects, should be very respected. They got O.J. They got Edwards. They got this. I mean, if that was the New York Times, they would have gotten Pulitzer prizes for their reporting.”

Although Trump said the photo showed the two “having breakfast,” the picture in question actually shows Oswald distributing pro-Castro literature in New Orleans in August 1963, a few months prior to Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. According to the Miami Herald, another man in the picture was never identified by the Warren Commission, whose investigation concluded Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald and that Oswald acted alone.

In his post-convention remarks, Trump said the whole issue “had nothing to do with me, except I might have pointed it out.” No “might” about it. Trump did “point it out” on national TV, and he definitively proclaimed the man in the picture to be Rafael Cruz, even though the text of the National Enquirer story doesn’t go quite that far.

Trump went on to say that neither Cruz nor anyone in his camp ever denied that it was Rafael Cruz in the photo.

“Now, Ted never denied that it was his father,” Trump said in his post-convention remarks, adding later, “But they never denied. Did anybody ever deny that it was the father? They’re not saying, ‘Oh, that’s not really my father.’ It’s little hard to do. It looks like him.”

In fact, they have.

“This is another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage,” Communications Director Alice Stewart told McClatchy. “The story is false; that is not Rafael in the picture.”

“It’s ludicrous, it’s ludicrous,” Rafael Cruz told ABC News on May 3. “I was never in New Orleans at that time.”

Ted Cruz dismissed the Enquirer story as “idiotic” and called Trump a “pathological liar” who is “utterly amoral” and a “bully.”

“Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in the assassinating JFK,” Cruz said. “Now, let’s be clear, this is nuts. This is not a responsible position. This is just kooky.”

As for Trump’s claim that the unidentified man in the photo with Oswald “looks like” Rafael Cruz, experts told us not to put much stock in that kind of assessment.

Anil Jain, a computer scientist and expert on facial recognition and biometric identification at Michigan State University, told us the images are of a poor quality, black and white, and grainy, and that “It would be very difficult, even for a photo expert, to extract facial attributes.” Any conclusion about similarities is subjective, he said.

So to sum up: despite Trump’s claim to the contrary, the Cruz campaign categorically denied that it is Rafael Cruz in the photo. And Ted Cruz called the Enquirer story “nuts.” And there is still no evidence — at all — that the man in the photo with Oswald is Rafael Cruz. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trans Corrections Employee Can't Use Men's Room ]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 17:42:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160623+bathroom+sign.jpg

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed a complained with the Iowa Civil Right Commission Wednesday on behalf of a state corrections employee who wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom associated with his gender identity, NBC News reported. 

Jesse Vroegh was told to use a unisex restroom after being denied access to the men’s bathroom and locker rooms at work. According to an ACLU statement, the unisex facility doesn’t have a shower and would isolate Vroegh from his co-workers. 

Vroegh said he hopes his complaint sends a message. 

A spokesperson for the corrections department told The Associated Press "the department strongly focuses to protect and treat with respect the public, staff and offenders," though he would not comment specifically on Vroegh's complaint.

<![CDATA[Police Find Package of Marijuana ]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 15:33:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Cheltenham+Police+Marijuana.PNG

Police in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, are looking for the owner of a package of marijuana mistakenly left at the wrong resident’s home.

Earlier this week, a resident called the police department when they received a package they were not expecting, police said.

With no name on the box, officers checked the package for any indication of ownership.

"What we found was surprising to say the least. Two-kilos of high (get it?) quality marijuana,” a Facebook post by the department reads.

The department hopes to return the package to its rightful owner ... and maybe chat with them a little about it.

"If you are that person, please feel free to stop by the station to claim it. We'll be waiting."

Photo Credit: Cheltenham Police Department
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<![CDATA[1st Zika Baby Born in NYC]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 20:26:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/zika-GettyImages-543498576.jpg

A baby with Zika-related microcephaly has been born at a New York City hospital, marking the first such delivery in the five boroughs, according to health officials.

The baby's mother was infected while in an area known to have mosquitoes transmitting the virus, the health department said. She and the baby, who has been diagnosed with a smaller-than-normal head and other brain problems, are being monitored by physicians, authorities said. 

The baby did test positive for Zika, and the health department said it is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the case. 

According to the CDC, 12 babies have been born in the U.S. with Zika-related birth defects, including one in New Jersey. Some babies with no immediate signs of problems also have been born in the U.S. to Zika-infected mothers.

Herminia Palacia, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, said the city has been preparing for a case for months, "and we stand ready to help families caring for an infant with microcephaly. This is a sad reminder that Zika can have tragic consequences for pregnant women." 

Earlier this week, health officials said physicians have requested testing for more than 2,000 pregnant women who have traveled to areas where there is active Zika transmission. Forty-one of them have tested positive. 

Pregnant women also continue to be tested for Zika if their sexual partners have traveled to an afflicted area. Virtually all of South and Central America and the Caribbean is considered a hotbed for transmission of the virus. 

In addition to sexual contact, the virus is spread through specific species of mosquitoes. 

The mosquito species most commonly associated with Zika's spread is not found in the tri-state, but a similar species that scientists think could transmit the disease inhabits the area. 

New York City health officials have said they've been monitoring populations of the insect and applying pesticides to keep mosquito-borne diseases at bay.

Photo Credit: Getty Images - File]]>