<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:59:43 -0400 Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:59:43 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[President Obama to Meet With Families in Oregon]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:55:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_919444398949.jpg

President Barack Obama will travel Friday to Roseburg, Oregon, for closed-door visits with families of the victims of last week's shootings at Umpqua Community College, a White House official told NBC News on Monday.

Nine people were killed and nine others were injured Thursday before the suspected gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, 26, is believed to have committed suicide. 

No other details of the president's visit were immediately made available.

Obama again voiced his frustration with America's gun laws hours after the rampage last week, lamenting that tragic mass shootings have somehow "become routine."

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 20 Hurt After Car Strikes Trolley Bus]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:32:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Car-vs-Trolley-Bus-Arrott-S.jpg

At least one person was killed and several injured after a car crashed into a SEPTA trolley bus in Philadelphia Monday night.

The SEPTA trolley bus and vehicle were traveling on Arrott Street around 7:30 p.m. when the bus slowed down and stopped at a stop sign at Penn Street, police said. The car, which police say was traveling at a high rate of speed, then struck the trolley bus in the back, according to investigators.

"This vehicle behind it just didn't stop," said Philadelphia Police Captain Drew Techner. "The only thing that stopped it was the fact that there was a bus in its path. Speed was definitely involved with this accident." 

The car took on the most damage in the crash and the front half of it was destroyed. Both the 34-year-old driver and his 44-year-old passenger were taken to the hospital. The driver was later pronounced dead. Police have identified the man but are not releasing his name until his family is notified.

The 44-year-old passenger is currently in critical condition.

Officials also say 19 people on the trolley bus were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com ]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Shares Son's Textbook Describing African Slaves as 'Workers']]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 19:06:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GenericBooks.jpg

A high school geography textbook has been making the rounds on social media after a concerned mother posted a video showing a page that described African slaves as simply "'workers", NBC News reported.

Roni Dean-Burren posted the video to her Facebook page after her son Coby sent her a photo of his ninth-grade geography book. The video shows the textbook with a map detailing immigration patterns across American history. Africans are listed as one of those "immigrant" groups; the caption reads: "The Atlantic slave trade between the 1500s and the 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations."



Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Mortgage Rules Aim to Help Homebuyers]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:36:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RealEstate-Homes.jpg

Shouldn't you be able to read and understand a mortgage document before you sign it? The government thinks so, and new rules went into effect today to make that and other homebuyer-friendly changes happen.

The goal is to make the mind-numbing mortgage process much easier for consumers to understand. It's called "Know Before You Owe," which sounds simple enough.

The means to that goal, however, is all-new paperwork and disclosure rules for lenders that went into effect this past Saturday and which some say could delay the mortgage process and cost consumers cash.

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[Extreme Weather: South Carolina Flooding]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:47:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/extremeWeather-AP_453581428642.jpg See photos of extreme weather from the U.S. and around the world.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Infant, Pregnant Woman Shot ]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:38:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/Grandma-Mother-Back.jpg

A march for justice took place Monday evening in Chicago’s Back of the Woods neighborhood one week after a pregnant woman and her mother were killed in a shooting in the area.

Family and friends took to the streets in honor of Patricia Chew, 23, and Lolita Wells, 46, the women killed in the shooting. Chew's 11-month-old infant and two other men were also wounded in the shooting.

The march happened hours after Chicago's Black Caucus called for the firing of Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Fifteen members from the city’s Black Caucus appeared at City Hall for a press conference where they demanded Chicago's top cop be fired.

"Supt. McCarthy has had five years, he has failed," said Ald. Roderick, chairman of the Black Caucus.

The mayor's office said in a statement that it "supports the work and commitment of Superintendent McCarthy and the 12,500 sworn men and women of the Chicago Police Department."

Alderman Willie Cochran, who lead the Monday march, said he believes Chicago's violence problem is larger than McCarthy.

"The new super is not the answer," Cochran said. "The problem needs more than just a superintendent."

Funerals for the two women killed in the Back of the Yards shooting will be held on Wednesday. Police have yet to make any arrests over the shooting.

Meanwhile, McCathy is expected to attend a budget hearing with city council on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fantasy Sports Companies Dispute Allegations of Unfair Betting]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 22:38:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/FanDuel.jpg

Two companies in the booming, unregulated world of online fantasy sports issued statements Monday after recent allegations that employees may have access to insider data that could allow unfair, highly profitable bets. 

In the statement posted on FanDuel's website, the company said that despite "recent attention on industry employees," FanDuel — as well as a second sports site, DraftKings — valued "the integrity of the games we offer to our customers."

"Both companies have strong policies in place to ensure that employees do not misuse any information at their disposal and strictly limit access to company data to only those employees who require it to do their jobs," the statement said.

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Company Recalls 561,000 Pounds of Chicken]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:33:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/183270299.jpg

A Chicago-based company expanded its recall of chicken products on Friday to include an additional 561,000 pounds of frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken products.

Aspen Foods recalled the products due to possible salmonella contamination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The frozen, raw, stuffed and breaded chicken items appear to be "ready-to-eat," but that may not be the case, according to the federal agency.

The products that fall under the recall were produced between Aug. 25, 2015, and Sept. 17, 2015. The "best if used by" dates on these products range from Aug. 23, 2016, to Dec. 15, 2016.

Brands that fall under the recall include Antioch Farms, Kirkwood, Market Day, Roundy's, Safeway Kitchens, Schwan's and Sysco. See a complete list here.

Aspen Foods recalled nearly 2 million pounds of raw frozen chicken products in July when the U.S. Department of Agriculture determined there was a link between the products and three people in Minnesota getting infected with salmonella.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hairy Situation: Top Photos From World Beard and Mustache Championships]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:50:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Mustache-491153524-cropped.jpg The World Beard and Mustache Championships were held Oct. 3, 2015, in Leogang, Austria. More than 300 contestants came in teams from around the globe for the competition, which included sixteen different categories in three groups: mustache, partial beard, and full beard. The event takes place at different locations worldwide every few years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Saves Baby Off Md. Highway]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 23:56:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/100515+kenzlee+Mae+Cushman.jpg

A baby had a seizure on a Maryland highway Sunday afternoon and a Montgomery County police officer was able to save her life.

Nine-month-old Kenzlee Mae Cushman was headed home to Charles Town, West Virginia with her grandparents on Sunday when she froze and then became unresponsive, her family and the Montgomery County Police Department said Monday.

Kenzlee's grandparents spotted a police officer on the northbound shoulder of I-270 in Gaithersburg, near the Muddy Branch Road exit, and her grandmother ran toward the patrol car with the child in her arms.

Ofc. James Herman cradled the infant and performed CPR, seeing she was ashen.

"It was amazing how fast the baby came back," he told News4. "The eyes came back. The baby became responsive, tracking our fingers." 

As Herman radioed for an ambulance, a good Samaritan stopped to offer help. The man said he was an out-of-state firefighter, but no one caught his name, police said. 

Kenzlee was rushed to a hospital and on Monday evening was recovering in a West Virginia hospital, where she previously had heart surgery. Her family lives in Charles Town.

MCPD said Monday afternoon the department sought to identify and locate the good Samaritan who stopped to help. Within hours, members of the Firefighter Nation Facebook page said he was Brody Channell, a firefighter in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Channell had travelled to Maryland because his father, Capt. Dennis A. Channell, was honored by the National Fallen Firefighters Association at a cermony attended by President Barrack Obama. Channell's father died in the line of duty Feb. 10, 2014 while responding to an EMS call.

On a phone call Monday night, Channell said it was fate that led him to little Kenzlee. 

"I think it was meant to be. It was a right place, right time situation where I could assist the officer in what he was doing and save a life," he said. 

MCPD thanked Herman and Channell. 

"A tip of the helmet again to Officer James Herman and to Firefighter Brody Channell for stopping to help Officer Herman and the young child," the department said.

Cmdr. David Falcinelli praised Herman, an 11-year veteran of the department who now works in the Second District.

"He followed his training and his efforts resulted in a positive outcome," Falcinelli said in a statement. "He is an excellent representative of the dedication and professionalism that Montgomery County Police officers possess.”

<![CDATA[Pilot Dies on Flight to Boston]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:21:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/image1162.JPG

Boston-bound American Airlines flight 550 was forced to make an emergency landing Monday morning after the pilot became ill on the red eye flight from Phoenix.

The concerned copilot can be heard radioing in to air traffic controllers in Syracuse, New York.

According to audio from LiveATC.net the copilot said, "Medical emergency, the captain is incapacitated...As long as they have a way to get on the airplane quickly, we'll need to get to the captain thank you."

Passenger Steve Falcone said, "We were just told the pilot wasn't feeling well and they had to land in Syracuse instead of Boston.

Tom Rachal of Cape Cod, MA said, "You could tell we were landing but it was obvious we weren't in Boston."

Jason Berroa of Lynn, MA added, "When we landed there were ambulances, fire trucks, police, so we knew it must have been something serious."

The 147 passengers and five crew members onboard the Airbus A320 were not only met by emergency crews on the tarmac, but a tarp was put up between the ambulance and the cockpit door.

American Airlines later informed passengers and confirmed to NECN that the pilot had passed away.

Michael Litterio of South Boston, MA said, "You put your life in this guy's hands, next thing you know he's gone."

Frank Cacciola of North Andover, MA said through tears, "It's just really sad, my heart goes out to the family, I think they handled it very well but who knows what really went on in the cockpit."

Many had praise for the copilot for keeping calm and landing safely in a stressful situation.

Peter McSwiggin of Middleton, MA said, "It could have been more of a disaster, I give the copilot a lot of credit for keeping his cool in mid-flight."

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Rain Devastates Parts of S.C. in '1,000-Year' Flooding]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:02:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/South-Carolina-floods-AP_135324514546.jpg

Days of historic rain left residents in parts of soaked South Carolina knee-deep in deadly floodwaters, and while skies were clearing Monday afternoon afer as much as three inches of rain, officials warned that dangers weren't over.  

At least 11 people have already died in weather-related incidents across North and South Carolina since Thursday, according to authorities. The victims included a highway worker whose truck was swept away Sunday in Columbia. 

The storm triggered flash flooding, smashed rainfall records and led to several hundred water rescues, prompting officials to warn residents not to leave their homes for any reason — even on foot. 

"This is not over. Just because the rain stops does not mean that we are out of the woods," Gov. Nikki Haley said early Monday afternoon.

Several dams in South Carolina were breached in the massive flooding, the state's Office of Emergency Management said. Some 30,000 homes and businesses remained without power across the state on Monday

Experts said parts of South Carolina experienced a "1,000-year flood event," meaning in any given year there is a 1-in-1,000 chance of observing such rainfall totals.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Air France Execs Lose Shirts in Attack by Union Activists]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:38:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AirFrance-Shirtless.jpg

Union activists protesting nearly 3,000 proposed layoffs at Air France stormed the headquarters during a meeting Monday, zeroing in on two managers who had their shirts torn from their bodies, scaled a fence and fled under police protection.

An Associated Press photographer saw about a hundred activists rush the building after breaking through a gate. Shortly afterward two high-level managers fled, one bare-chested and the other with his shirt and suit jacket shredded.

Road access to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris was briefly disrupted, and some flights suffered delays. Although Monday's scuffle was unusually violent, labor relations in France are commonly testy, with unions sometimes even resorting to holding managers hostage — or "boss-napping" — to make a point.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rainbow PUSH on Gun Violence]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 18:18:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/jesse+jackson+sr+rainbow+push.jpg

The civil rights organization led by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., has called on the White House to declare a national state of emergency over gun violence across the country.

The Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH Coalition held an emergency summit Monday to discuss the issue of gun violence and the possibility of federal involvement in easing it. Several Chicago ministers, elected officials, community organizers and activists attended the meeting.

"Whether it's a hurricane or whether it is flooding on the East Coast, when the federal government steps in, they bring resources, they bring solutions, they bring answers," said Father Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church. "Well, we have a hurricane of violence and war going on in our communities.

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition issued a statement last week in response to the recent mass shooting at an Oregon community college that left nine dead. The organization also decried the gun violence in Chicago, saying September was the most violent month in the city since 2002.

"We believe a national state of emergency should be declared, banning people from carrying guns outside of their homes (hunters and law enforcement excepted)," the coalition said in the statement. "Parents who own guns must be held accountable for gun violence their children cause with their weapons. Gun trafficking should be made a felony and other gun laws strengthened and the penalties for violating them made better."

Two weekends in a row last month saw more than 50 people shot in Chicago. Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel both expressed their anger with the uptick in shootings and pointed the finger at a lack of gun control.

After naming Chicago the "epicenter of the urban crisis," the leaders of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition also called on the White House to hold a national conference on gun violence here in Chicago. They also suggested a national commission should be created to address the "epidemic of gun violence," but members of the commission should not include members of gun lobbies.

"The gun manufacturers are protected by law and lobbyists. The gun shop owners are protected by law and lobbyists," the statement reads. "The only ones not protected are the victims and their loved ones. It's time we stop finger pointing. It's time we come together and act; past time. This is a national crisis and we must respond accordingly." 

Photo Credit: File - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Secret Week' for Holiday Air]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:10:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/7-25-2013-airplane-generic.jpg

If you’re planning to travel for the holidays, now is the time to buy your tickets.

According to a report from Orbitz, travelers who wait even a week too long will miss some of this season’s cheapest flights.

The report indicates that Oct. 5-12 is the “secret week” to buy tickets before airfares increase for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The week’s prices are about 5 percent lower than the average ticket prices.

According to the report, Oct. 6 is the best day to book Thanksgiving fares, Oct. 9 is the best day to purchase Christmas fares and Oct. 10 is best for New Year’s Eve fares.

For a look at dates where ticket prices are cheapest and most expensive, click here.

Photo Credit: File - NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Civil Rights Icon Grace Lee Boggs Dies at 100]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:05:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GraceLeeBoggs.jpg

Longtime civil rights icon Grace Lee Boggs died Monday morning at her home in Detroit, her trustees confirmed to NBC News.

In a statement from Alice Jennings and Shea Howell, Boggs' trustees, Boggs "died as she lived surrounded by books, politics, people and ideas." 

Boggs, who celebrated her 100th birthday in June, has been referred to as the "Heart and Soul of Detroit's Activist Community" for her decades of dedication and leadership in labor, civil rights, and Black Power movements.  Her life was documented by filmmaker Grace Lee in "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," a documentary that debuted in 2015 on PBS stations.

Photo Credit: File--WireImage via Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Injects Teen With Heroin: DA]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:26:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/heroin-GettyImages-129230581.jpg

A Pennsylvania mother faces drug and child abuse charges after authorities say she injected her 14-year-old daughter and the girl's 16-year-old friend with heroin.

"Supplying anyone with heroin is a potential death sentence, said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. "Injecting children - including your own daughter - with heroin demonstrates depravity that defies belief."

Hogan announced Monday the arrest of Jessica Riffey, of Telegraph Road in the Honey Brook section of West Caln Township, after police went to check on the 34-year-old mother's home on Oct. 1. Riffey's 14-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old boy told township police that on multiple occasions since August Riffey gave them heroin - even occasionally shooting up the children in the past month by tying the draw string of a sweatshirt around the teens' arms to bring out their veins, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Riffey admitted to injecting the teens no more than three times in the presence of her boyfriend, Jameson Burn, said police.

Online court records didn't list a defense lawyer to comment on the charges.

The teens also told investigators that Burn supplied them with heroin that they snorted while in Riffey's bedroom, said the affidavit.

After she was unable to post bail, a magisterial judge sent Riffey to county jail to await a preliminary hearing on Friday on 13 counts including drug possession, corruption of minors and reckless endangerment, court records said.

Burn also faces a slew of drug and child corruption charges, according to court records.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Photo Illustration/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Russia Moves Artillery and Ground Forces to Hama, Syria]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:52:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RussiaPlane-Missile.jpg

A senior defense official has told NBC News that the Russian military has been moving artillery and ground forces towards Hama — one of the locations that the Russians targeted in the first 24 hours of their airstrikes, NBC News reported.

"So much for fighting ISIS," the defense official said.

U.S. officials have questioned whether Moscow's airstrikes — in the name of defeating ISIS — were genuinely targeting the group or were instead a cover to shore up Syrian President Bashar Assad by bombing anti-government rebel groups. Russia defended its latest round of airstrikes in Syria amid mounting questions over their targets, insisting that Moscow's planes had struck ISIS installations.

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA['I Found Baby Rainn': Volunteer Finds Missing Ohio Toddler ]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 13:53:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ohio-missingtoddler.jpg

A 2-year-old girl who went missing Friday from her great-grandparents' home in rural northeastern Ohio was found alive on Sunday evening. 

A volunteer searcher found Rainn Peterson in a grassy field about a half-mile from where she had been reported missing, NBC affiliate WKYC reported. She was "as fine as can be expected," according to the Trumbull County Sheriff, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

"I found Baby Rainn and she's still alive..." the volunteer said in a 911 call released by authorities. "She's got flies all over her, but she's OK. It'll all be OK honey...You're OK sweetheart. I swear you're gonna be OK."

The dispatcher responded, "That's her I hear? Oh, I just got goosebumps."

Rainn and her two brothers, ages 3 and 4, were staying with their great-grandparents on Friday when they reported her missing at around 7:30 p.m. ET, Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere told WKYC. 

The mother of the little girl told the station she was out with her boyfriend when her grandparents called and said that the toddler had gone missing.

Brandi Peterson said her grandmother was cooking and the three children were downstairs with the grandfather. The missing toddler went upstairs and went missing a short time after, Peterson told WKYC.

On Saturday, search dogs picked up Rainn Peterson's scent a few hundred yards from the house. Late Sunday afternoon the search was expanded to the entire state of Ohio and western Pennsylvania, aided by hundreds of volunteers.

"We were looking in holes, in a cornfield," volunteer Lorie Tingler told WKYC. "We were looking in the woods. We were crawling under pine trees, through forest, we were wet."

A volunteer found the toddler 48 hours after she was reported missing.

Altiere said early Sunday, before Peterson was found, that there were no signs of foul play and that deputies had searched the family's home and had given polygraph tests to the toddler's relatives, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

Photo Credit: Trumbull County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Best Week for Holiday Airfares]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:21:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/thanksgiving-airfare.jpg For travelers that are looking to make it to Thanksgiving dinner this year, and have to fly to get there, the best day to book a flight at the lowest price is Tuesday, October 6th.]]> <![CDATA[Alaska Airlines CEO Admits His Airline Lost His Luggage]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:29:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AlaskaAirlines-CEO.jpg

Not even airline executives are safe from having a bad flight.

Last week, Alaska Airlines president and CEO, Brad Tilden, got on stage at an airline gathering in Washington, D.C., and according to a report in the LA Times, told the audience that his checked bag had been misplaced during the flight and was delivered to him a day late.

It's happened before, too. The airline executive said the last time his airline misplaced his bag was 25 years ago.

Alaska Airlines is one of the airlines that prides itself on its modern day baggage delivery rate.

Since 2010 the Alaska-based carrier has offered passengers a baggage guarantee that hat awards passengers a $25 discount code or 2,500 Mileage Plan bonus miles if a checked bags doesn't arrive on the baggage claim carousel within 20 minutes of the plane's arrival at the gate.

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[LinkedIn to Pay Users Up to $1,500 to Settle Suit]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:29:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/linkedin+new.jpg

The networking site LinkedIn announced Friday it will pay some of its users up to $1,500 each to settle a $13 million lawsuit regarding one of the website's services.

The lawsuit targeted LinkedIn's "Add Connections" service that allows members to import contacts from their email accounts and send invitations to those contacts to use LinkedIn, according an email sent from LinkedIn.

If an invitation was not accepted within a certain amount of time, then one or two more emails were sent to the contact to remind them their invitation is pending, according to the email, which contained court-authorized settlement information from the class action suit. The suit claims LinkedIn members did not consent to the reminder emails when they agreed to send the invitations.

LinkedIn has since revised its disclosures to clarify that up to two reminder emails will be sent following the initial invitation. To settle the lawsuit, however, the company agreed to pay $13 million into a fund that can be used, in part, to make payments to LinkedIn members who file approved claims.

Depending on how many people file claims, members can receive up to $1,500 from the fund.

Members who used the "Add Connections" service between Sept. 17, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2014, are eligible to file a claim. An ID to file the claim was sent in an email informing customers about the lawsuit.

Click here to file a claim before Dec. 14, 2015. The final approval hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.

<![CDATA[SCOTUS Term Likely to Yield Conservative Victories]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 07:05:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-74883336.jpg

The U.S. Supreme Court term that begins Monday is likely to produce big victories for the court's conservatives, NBC News reported.

That is in contrast to last term's liberal-leaning decisions in favor of Obamacare, same-sex marriage and the right to sue for housing discrimination.

"The left side did a lot of winning last year," says Prof. Irv Gornstein, who directs the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Probe Death of Doctor, 38]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:56:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kiersten+cerveny.jpg

The 38-year-old Long Island doctor found dead in the vestibule of a Manhattan apartment building had been using cocaine inside an apartment there with a boyfriend and another man before they left her in a lobby to be picked up by EMS, multiple law enforcement sources say. 

An autopsy was being conducted Monday on Dr. Kiersten Cerveny, a dermatologist who lived in Manhasset and was a married mother of three, according to sources and a post on her Facebook page.

Investigators initially suspected that Cerveny had been strangled. They backed off that assessment late Sunday and said they were awaiting toxicology and other tests for more clues about her death. 

Sources told NBC 4 New York Monday that after Cerveny became ill after consuming cocaine inside an apartment of a five-story walk-up building on West 16th Street. The two men she was with tried to carry her to a cab downstairs, but she collapsed, the sources said.

The men called 911, and when EMS arrived, the man believed to be her boyfriend fled back upstairs, the sources said.

Emergency medical technicians attempted to resuscitate Cerveny as they loaded her into the ambulance and took her to the Lenox Health emergency room in Greenwich Village. She died at the hospital.

Investigators initially said they were looking for an unidentified man who was thought to have spotted the unconscious Cerveny in the vestibule and flagged down an ambulance before fleeing. Police said Monday the man now believed to be Cerveny's boyfriend was questioned, but neither he nor the other man is expected to face charges. 

The New York City medical examiner's office has yet to confirm Cerveny's cause of death. 

Cerveny's father told the New York Daily News that she had told her husband she was headed out from their home in Manhasset, New York, to spend the night in the city with a friend.

Cerveny had been drinking at a Lower East Side nightspot before arriving by cab with a man at the apartment building around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. Investigators recovered security video that showed the man and another person carrying her into the entryway about four hours later.

Cerveny, who was originally from Washington Township in Gloucester County, New Jersey, had been an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, according to a Dec. 12, 2009, announcement of her marriage to Andrew Cerveny Jr., also a dermatologist, in The New York Times. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and earned her medical degree at Tulane University.

She met her husband in 2004 while both were residents at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. No one would comment at his Long Beach office Monday. 

"It's just mind-boggling,'' said Thomas Nicotri, one of Cerveny's professors during her residency in New Orleans and who had seen her and her husband at dinner two months ago. "They looked healthy and happy. It seemed like they were on top of the world. They had everything.''

"She was intelligent, caring and very professional,'' Nicotri said. "I never had any concerns about her at all.''

Scott Wyosota, a neighbor of the Cervenys in Manhassett, said she was "a very vibrant, very alive, dedicated mom." 

Cerveny's achievements included winning the 1995 America's Junior Miss competition as a teenager from Blackwood, New Jersey. The prize was a $30,000 scholarship she used to attend Duke.

An outpouring of grief from friends and acquaintances was evident on Cerveny's Facebook page Monday morning.

"So saddened to hear of this news. Our hearts and prayers go out to your family Kiersten Rickenback Cerveny especially your three beautiful children," wrote one poster. "Rest in peace."

Another woman wrote of knowing Cerveny since they were young girls taking gymnastics together; she called her a beautiful and intelligent woman who had a gorgeous family.

Still another referred to Cerveny as "the light of our pledge class."

Several women expressed shock and anger on Cerveny's Facebook page over what they described as a "tragic loss." One said, "My heart is breaking."

"I think back to those first days at Randolph. You were so stunning it was intimidating," another woman wrote. "But, as we all quickly learned, your inner beauty trumped any physical beauty."

Cerveny's work as a doctor also drew praise on the social media app Yelp. Posts there called her "a beautiful soul," "friendly, helpful, awesome" and a "doctor with a great bedside manner, very kind and encouraging."  

Photo Credit: NBCNewYork.com/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Astronaut Takes Stunning Photo of Chicago, Aurora Borealis]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 15:22:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/scott-kelly-gabrielle-giffords-astronaut.jpg

Astronaut Scott Kelly has once again captured a one-of-a-kind view of Chicago that shows the city in all its beauty.

During his #YearInSpace mission, Kelly floated in space above Chicago at night and caught a view of the city lights and the aurora borealis — also known as the Northern Lights — in the distance. The result was a stunning Instagram photo of the entire city from above awash in orange lights. The aurora borealis appears as a green halo to the north.

Noting Chicago's history of jazz, Kelly wrote, "#Aurora and all that jazz over #Chicago city lights. #YearInSpace." 

In September, Kelly tweeted a photo of Soldier Field from space while the Bears were playing the Green Bay Packers.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NASA Releases New Landscape Photo of Mars Surface]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 13:31:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Mars-NASA-landscape.jpg

A new photo released by NASA looks like a picturesque shot from a hiking vacation in the desert with layers of hills and ridges, a mountain looming in the distance. But it's an image of Mount Sharp on Mars.

Taken on Sept. 9 by NASA's Curiosity rover, the photo was turned in a postcard and comes after Mars Curiosity drilled its eighth hole on the Red Planet.

Curiosity has been studying the area around Mount Sharp, a mountain within Gale Crater on the Red Planet. The photo, taken about two miles away from the mountain, was released on Oct. 2.

The rover landed on the planet in August of 2012. It has been drilling holes in the surface of the planet to study its mineral composition. On Tuesday, it drilled its eighth hole into a rock dubbed "Big Sky." The sample will be analyzed within two onboard laboratories.

Big Sky, said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada in a release, "happens to be relatively near sandstone that looks as though it has been altered by fluids — likely groundwater with other dissolved chemicals."

The layers visible in the photo of Mount Sharp also suggest a changing environment on the planet, including the exposure to water billions of years ago.

Last week, NBC News reported that a new study found the "strongest evidence yet" for liquid water on Mars.

John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C., tweeted after the discovery: "Water on Mars, not just froze. Is anything drinking it? Someday we will find out on our #JourneyToMars."

So perhaps a Mars hiking trip will be sooner than we think. 

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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<![CDATA[New Kennedy Memoir ]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 08:20:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/87184349.jpg

A new book by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, youngest son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, openly discusses what he says are the mental illnesses and addictions of himself and his family members, and takes on what he portrays as a veil of secrecy used to hide the problems of America's most famous political family.

The memoir, "A Common Struggle," due out Monday, focuses heavily on his relationship with his father and how the younger Kennedy often felt he let his father down while coping with bipolar and anxiety disorders and repeated trips to rehab, even as a Rhode Island congressman.

By his telling, it was a singular experience growing up a Kennedy: Family members have the habit of giving each other autographed photos of themselves; he got one from his father when he was just a baby. A family photo printed in the book depicts him in his bedroom as a young child showing off his aquarium to Henry Kissinger.

But even stranger was browsing through a bookstore one day and discovering a shelf of Kennedy books, and realizing all the family secrets he wasn't supposed to talk about were written there, he writes.

"The books were often riddled with inaccuracies, but also riddled with facts that probably would have been much easier to hear first from close family members and perhaps with some context," Kennedy writes.

He says his father spoke with him only once about his 1969 car accident on Chappaquiddick Island that killed his father's passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. It happened one year as the anniversary approached.

"'I just want you to know how bad I feel about everything, and I'm really sorry you have to hear about it,'" he says his father told him. "That was it. Then we just walked in silence."

Many of the details in the book are no surprise. Kennedy, 48, has been open in recent years about his belief that his father had PTSD after seeing both his brothers assassinated - then being forced to relive the killings whenever they were replayed on television.

But the book contains interesting windows into how his father coped. Sen. Kennedy, for example, wrote a letter to his son when he decided to run for president - to be delivered if he was assassinated.

He also recounts what happened after a 1979 CBS interview when his father famously choked when asked why he wanted to be president. The two went sailing, and the elder Kennedy tried to pretend everything was fine, but kept shaking his head and muttering.

"I had never seen him so upset with himself," he writes.

Kennedy describes worrying that his father was drinking too much, particularly around the time of the 1991 sexual assault trial of his cousin, William Kennedy Smith. He writes that he, his brother and sister staged an "anemic" intervention, which their father rejected, telling them he was trying to get help from a priest.

His relationship with his father was chilly for years after that, he writes. So chilly that he decided to run for Congress in 1994 without speaking with his dad first. But their relationship righted itself after he took office in Washington the following year, he says.

Ted Kennedy Jr. disputed the accuracy of the book  on Sunday, saying in a written statement that he was "heartbroken" that his younger brother had chosen to write "an inaccurate and unfair portrayal of our family" that was "misleading and hurtful."

"I am proud of my brother Patrick for his tremendous work to make mental health parity part of our national conversation and I admire him for his candor about his own challenges. However, I am heartbroken that Patrick has chosen to write what is an inaccurate and unfair portrayal of our family," Ted Kennedy Jr. said in a statement. 

"My brother's recollections of family events and particularly our parents are quite different from my own," he went on to write, although he did not give specifics.

Patrick Kennedy's book describes the first time he got drunk - at age 10 at a state dinner on a diplomatic trip to China - and substance abuse that grew to include cocaine, Adderall and OxyContin. He details trip after trip to rehab starting in high school and his paranoia that someone would recognize him and go public (which did happen).

The book opens on Kennedy's 2006 car crash outside the U.S. Capitol - which his father downplayed as "a little fendah bendah" in his Boston accent - that he blamed on a mixture of Ambien and Phenergan. He recounts other incidents he attributed to drinking: berating a security guard at the Los Angeles airport and having his girlfriend call the Coast Guard to retrieve her off his boat.

Kennedy remained in politics until 2010, when he decided not to run for Congress again, fearing the job would kill him. He writes that he has been sober for more than four years, and now lives with his wife, Amy, in New Jersey with their children. The couple met not long after his father died in 2009.

In one of the more painful stories in the book, Kennedy recounts the "seething anger and outrage" he felt after being told only Ted Jr. would be allowed to eulogize his father. At the time, Patrick Kennedy was abusing various substances.

He writes that he felt "that I had been deemed not worthy to pay tribute to him because I had an illness that could be embarrassing or inconvenient," he wrote.

He then was given a letter from his father, written in the 1980s, in which he asked his son to speak at his funeral. Feeling vindicated, Kennedy, with a shaky voice, delivered the eulogy. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[4 Calif. Students Arrested in High School Shooting Plot]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 07:37:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Policelightsgeneric.jpg

Four students in Tuolumne, California, were arrested Friday for a "detailed" plan to "shoot and kill as many people as possible" at a local high school, the sheriff said.

The students, who were not identified, have not been charged yet for the alleged shooting that was supposed to happen at Summerville High School, Tuolumne Sheriff James Mele said in a news conference. 

The school's staff was told after other students heard the suspects discussing the shooting last week.

The four suspects were in the process of securing weapons, Mele said, adding that they were "pretty doggone close" to being able to carry out the attack.

"I have no idea why somebody or a group of individuals would want to do this," Mele said, but he added, "Cyber-bullying is a problem in our society."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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<![CDATA[American Apparel Files For Bankruptcy]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 03:04:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-103497678.jpg

Troubled teen apparel retailer American Apparel Inc filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, Reuters reported.

The company said it had reached a restructuring support agreement with 95 percent of its secured lenders.

"This restructuring will enable American Apparel to become a stronger, more vibrant company," Chief Executive Paula Schneider said in a statement.

The company listed assets and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million in its bankruptcy filing.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cassette Tapes Making a Comeback ]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:58:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-10-05+at+6.32.41+AM.png

Many music lovers are hitting the rewind button, turning back to analog cassette tapes, NBC News reported.

Demand for cassette tapes has surged, according to National Audio Co. The company produced 10 million tapes in 2014, according to a Bloomberg report.

"We attribute our success, as I say often, to stubbornness and stupidity," said Steve Stepp, the company's president.

Cassettes were overshadowed by compact discs during the 1990s, and sales dipped to 4 percent of all music sales with the onset of digital music files.

<![CDATA[Brother of Dodgers' Pitcher Shot]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 02:35:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/203*120/g-shooting-100415.PNG

The brother of a Dodgers pitcher was shot five times while entering his garage at the rear alley of his residence early Sunday, his family confirmed. 

The victim, identified by his mother, is Joel Ravin, brother of Dodgers relief pitch Josh Ravin.

Joel was shot twice in the neck, once in the arm, stomach and side, his mother said.

He was in stable condition, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Ravin's mother said Joel was out of surgery, and she was praying for her son. 

The shooting occurred at 1:45 a.m. in the 22900 block of Vanowen Street in West Hills.

Police said someone confronted the victim and began firing at him. 

Josh Ravin also tweeted about the incident.

"My brother was shot [three times] this morning by a mentally unstable person," Ravin said in a tweet. "We don't need gun control. We need Mental Health Control!"

Lana Ravin, Joel and Josh's mother, said they knew the shooter. 

"We know who the shooter is. So does the LAPD. Justice is on the way!" the athlete said via Twitter.

Police did not have a suspected shooter in custody as of Sunday afternoon.  

<![CDATA[Man Surfs Through Flood]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:56:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Surfer-Street-New-Jersey-1004.jpg

A surfer glided down a neighborhood street in one flood-stricken Jersey Shore town Sunday as a powerful, wind-swept storm that has pummeled the tri-state's coastline and has been blamed for at least two deaths this weekend pushes out of the region. 

A surfer rode down Waterway Road in Ocean City, New Jersey, Sunday afternoon as high tides swelled onto the street. Video posted to Twitter shows him gliding along the side of a pickup truck before falling off the slow-moving board as someone off-camera laughs, "wipeout!" 

The lighthearted moment came at the end of a weeklong weather pattern that saw most of the region pummeled with rain, wind and blustery conditions. The Jersey Shore and Long Island saw the worst conditions as coastal flood warnings were issued for storm-swollen high tides inundated beaches and washed onto coastal roads. 

Coastal flood warnings remained in effect until Sunday evening for most of the Jersey shore, but conditions should improve drastically as the region enters the workweek.

In midtown Manhattan, steely gray skies gave way to sunshine for the first time in nearly a week Sunday afternoon as the mercury climbed back above the 60 degree mark. Elsewhere, conditions improved as well.

The trend should continue into the workweek, with temperatures climbing into the 70s by Tuesday.

The nice weather will be a welcome change from the conditions that wreaked havoc throughout the region and were blamed on at least two deaths. 

Five anglers were tossed into Jamaica Bay Friday night as 10 to 15 foot swells capsized their boat. Two people were able to swim ashore to get help; two others later died. 

On Saturday in New Jersey, a woman died after her car was hit by a falling tree branch during the storms. But it's not clear if the branch snapped because of the severe weather. 

The flooding appears to have made a devastating impact on at least one home in Cape May County, causing it to collapse and wash into an inlet. 

Hundreds of people in the Garden State lost power for at least some time during the storms Friday and Saturday as limbs and trees knocked out lines. 

Photo Credit: @bfralz42]]>