<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:22:11 -0500 Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:22:11 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Local Students Say U.S. Travel Alert Won't Change Their Plans]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:56:53 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000012741899_1200x675_573704771820.jpg Local students planning trips abroad, including to France and Ghana, say the revised State Department travel alert won't deter them from packing their bags and leaving. News4's Meagan Fitzgerald reports. ]]> <![CDATA[Chicago Releases Dash-Cam Video of Teen's Fatal Shooting]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:12:00 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Laquan+McDonald.png

***WARNING: The video at the bottom of this story is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.***

Chicago officials on Tuesday released "graphic" and "chilling" video showing an officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. The footage has been described as something that "will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans."

In the dash-cam video, which a judge ordered police to release by Nov. 25, Laquan McDonald first appears about 5 minutes, 16 seconds in, and is seen walking down a street. The teen, who police say was armed with a knife, walks diagonally across the street, away from police officers at the scene. 

Seconds later, an officer opens fire, and McDonald falls to the ground. At that point, the officer who fired is no longer in view, but McDonald's body appears to jerk repeatedly from additional gunshots. 

Though no audio is heard in the footage, up to three puffs of smoke, which prosecutors say were identified as "clouds of debris," are seen rising from the ground near his body. 

Another officer then kicks an object away from McDonald. The video does not show anyone at the scene performing aid on McDonald after the shooting. 

In the moments before the video was made public, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy called for peace and calm. 

"I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than become a barrier of misunderstanding," Emanuel said, adding that it is "fine to be passionate, but it is essential that it remain peaceful."

Emanuel noted that he will "see [the video] when it becomes public like everyone else." 

The release comes on the same day the Cook County State's Attorney's office charged Officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder in the shooting. Van Dyke was ordered held without bail and is expected to appear in court again Monday. 

"We’ve been prepared for this day to come for quite some time," McCarthy said. 

He later added, "We are not predicting doom and gloom, we are predicting protests."

Prosecutors said in court Tuesday that the shooting happened within 15 seconds, but for 13 of those seconds McDonald was on the ground. They added the video "clearly does not show McDonald advancing toward [Van Dyke]."

Police said the shooting was in self-defense and that McDonald lunged at the officer with a knife while authorities were investigating car break-ins in a trucking yard.

"I’ve been a prosecutor for nearly 30 years," she said. "I have personally investigated and prosecuted numerous cases of police misconduct and public corruption, I’ve been involved in hundreds of murder investigations and trials, and I’ve seen some of the most violent and graphic evidence and crime scene photos that you can only imagine. To watch a 17-year-old young man die in such a violent manner is simply disturbing and I have absolutely no doubt that this video will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans."

Attorney Dan Herbert has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if Van Dyke "acted inappropriately" when he fatally shot McDonald, though he has described the footage as "graphic and violent" and "difficult to watch." He said outside the courtroom Tuesday that the case needs to be tried in a courtroom, "not in the streets or in the media."

Alvarez revealed that Van Dyke was one of eight officers who responded to the scene on Oct. 20, 2014 after a caller reported a man was breaking into cars and stealing from them on the city's Southwest Side. It was later discovered that the suspect was armed with a knife.

Alvarez said Van Dyke was at the scene for less than 30 seconds before he started shooting, and opened fire six seconds after he got out of the car. Van Dyke was the only one of the eight officers at the scene to open fire, she said.

McDonald suffered wounds to the scalp, neck, left chest, right chest, left elbow, left forearm, right upper arm, right upper arm, right hand, right upper leg, left upper back and right lower back. An autopsy confirmed he was shot a total of 16 times and had PCP in his system.

The footage has been described as "disturbing" and so graphic that McDonald’s mother is concerned its release will prompt an uproar. Attorney Mike Robbins, who represents the McDonald family, said Thursday McDonald's mother "is not looking forward to the day this is released."

"Police officers are entrusted to uphold the law, and to provide safety to our residents," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "In this case unfortunately, it appears an officer violated that trust at every level."

Herbert maintained that he’s confident Van Dyke's actions were "not only lawful, but also within department policy and within his training."

Alvarez said that while she does not oppose the release of the dash-cam footage, she joins other city leaders in urging those who see it to "show respect and restraint in their actions."

"Violent actions will not honor the life of Laquan and it will do nothing to hold this defendant accountable for his actions," she said.

***WARNING: The video in this story is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. If you're having trouble viewing the video on mobile, click here.***

<![CDATA[Thanksgiving: Best Travel Times]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 16:13:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4522816851.jpg

Hitting the road for the holidays? Unfortunately, you're not the only one -- about 42 million of your closest friends are also expected to drive this Thanksgiving, according to AAA.

So how to stay sane? Here are our seven quick tips to make the most of your trip.

1. Obviously, you want to drive during off-peak hours. But when are those, exactly?

2a. Still don't have an E-ZPass? Get one. You'll save a signicant amount of time. Although it's too late to order one online if you want it before traveling for Thanksgiving, the transponders are available at a few retail locations. Visit EZPassMD.com or EZPassVA.com to see where you can get one in person.

2b. Do have an E-ZPass? Make sure your info's up to date. Log into your state's E-Zpass site to verify that your credit card, license plate number and contact information are all current. 

3. Don't have roadside assistance? Make a quick call to sign up for it through your car insurance company, or go online to register with AAA. You'll have help if the unexpected happens, both to keep you safe and to save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

4. Make sure your car is ready for the trip. Consumer Reports has a quick checklist you can run through, including making sure all your lights are working, your washer fluid's filled and your tire pressure is good. See the full list here.

5. Don't text and drive... or look at directions and drive... or flip through your playlist and drive. In Maryland, it's illegal to text or otherwise handheld cellphones while driving. Texting while driving is illegal in Virginia. Designate your front-seat passenger to be in change of your phone, the playlist and the directions.

6. Take a safety break. You might be tempted to make as few stops as possible, but don't drive for so long that you become a danger to yourself or others. A break at a rest stop will refresh you or let you exchange driving duties with a travel buddy.

7. But plan ahead to avoid unnecessary stops. If you have small kids, you're probably used to packing water and snacks. But even if your car's adults-only this Thanksgiving, it's always a good idea to bring along the basics. You'll also save money and probably end up with healthier options than what you'd get at a rest stop.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[D.C. Opens New Fire Station Inside Hotel]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:08:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/new+dc+fire+station+in+hotel.jpg A new fire station opened in D.C. on the first floor of a brand new hotel. News4's Mark Segraves reports.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[GW Basketball Coach's Kids Help With Post-Game Interviews]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:22:59 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GW+Coach+Lonergan+Interviewed+by+Son.jpg About 2,500 local students attended George Washington's 94-65 win over Gardner-Webb on DMV Kids Day Tuesday, and coach Mike Lonergan had two special ballboys at the game: His sons Moe and Michael, who helped News4 Sports with some post-game interviews.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Lover Shares Nightmare Story About Closed Shop Dreamy Puppy]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:49:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/112415+dreamy+puppy+customer.jpg

An animal lover says she bought a puppy from a pet shop in Virginia and soon found herself with a sick animal and an $1,800 veterinarian's bill on her hands.

After Animal Control officers seized as many as 50 puppies on Monday from Dreamy Puppy in Chantilly, Virginia, past customers are coming forward to share stories of their bad experiences with the business.

Kay Trinidad said she bought a Yorkshire terrier more than a year ago from the store. Before long, the puppy she named Chewie grew lethargic and unresponsive.

"I went to touch him and he didn't move, so I picked him up and he was really floppy," Trinidad said. "His tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth, so I rushed him to the vet."

The doctors told Trinidad they thought Chewie was younger than Dreamy Puppy had told her.

"They thought it was taken from its mother too soon," Trinidad said.

A representative of Animal Control Services in Fairfax County said Monday that officers seized 40 to 50 puppies to check the animals' health and determine whether they were old enough to be sold legally. Dogs sold in pet stores must be no younger than eight weeks old, the Animal Control representative said.

When the dog owner told Dreamy Puppy what had happened and showed the $1,800 veterinarian's bill, the workers rejected it, Trinidad said.

"They sent it back saying we don't accept a diagnosis from your vet," Trinidad said.

Dreamy Puppy did not respond to multiple requests for comment. No charges have been filed against the business.

Their website bills the dogs as the healthiest in the nation. Many of the dogs sell for more than $1,500.

Customer Eliana Drakopoulos picked out a Maltipoo puppy for her mother on Sunday. She headed to Dreamy Puppy on Sunday to pick up the pooch but found the doors closed and the lights off.

"It's very sad," she said. "The puppies did seem very small."

A Fairfax County worker placed a notice on the building on Tuesday declaring the structure unsafe.

Trinidad said she hoped the investigation would reveal whether Dreamy Puppy was selling unhealthy dogs.

"I went, "Oh my goodness, it's about time sometime did something about it,'" she said as she snuggled her dog.

<![CDATA[Siblings in Their 70s Missing From Pr. George's Co.]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:41:03 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/missing-couple-12091.jpg

A brother and sister in their 70s are missing from Prince George's County.

James Everett Ward, 76, and Rosa Lee Thomas, 72, were last seen in the 7200 block of Sheriff Road in Landover, Prince George's County Police said.

Ward and Thomas, who both live in Landover, were driving a burgundy Jeep Liberty with Maryland tags 638M085.

Thomas may need medication. She was last seen wearing blue pants and gray jacket.

It's unknown what Mr. Ward was wearing.

Photo Credit: Prince George's Co. Police]]>
<![CDATA[New Police Methods for Thanksgiving Week Travel]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:37:40 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000012741654_1200x675_573683779792.jpg News4's Adam Tuss talked with Montgomery County's police chief about some of the efforts they'll be deploying as AAA expects 1 million people from the D.C. region to travel over the long holiday weekend.]]> <![CDATA[Student’s Death Prompts Change at Local Hospital]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:35:16 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Ilan+Rasooly.jpg

Ilan Rasooly died after he tripped and fell. No one is sure he would have survived, but what happened to him in the last days of his life has a local hospital making changes.

There were no lights or sirens when Rasooly arrived at the emergency room at Adventist Hospital in October 2014.

And no compassion, according to his mother, Rebekah Rasooly.

“I hope that by talking about this intensely personal moment that we can make change,” she said.

She said it began at the University of Maryland in College Park, when her 20 year-old son was visiting friends attending college there when, “He ran backwards and he fell and hit his head.”

EMT records obtained by the News4 I-Team state Rasooly was “intoxicated.” We now know that was not true.

One of his best friends, Tani Levitt, rode with Rasooly in the ambulance and told the I-Team, from the beginning, he felt like both the rescue crew and those in the emergency department at Washington Adventist Hospital brushed off his friend as just another drunk student.

“Everybody is complaining about the drunk kid,” he said. “And I tell them time and again, ‘He's not drunk. He puked not because he is drunk but because he smacked his head against the pavement.’"

“There was one nurse in particular who was incredibly obnoxious, telling him, ‘Well, this kid can't hold his liquor," Levitt said.

Medical records show two separate blood tests that night proved Rasooly was not intoxicated.

But Levitt said he grew frustrated at how staff continued to treat his friend.

"He was pleading with these people to give him a blanket," Levitt said. "They said, ‘No, no we're not going to give you a blanket. You're covered in puke.’"

"They didn't clean him up," Rebekah Rasooly said. "They didn't give him a blanket when he was shivering. When they wanted to get him into a gown, they made him take off his own shirt because he was some old drunk kid who didn't deserve any better."

She said she is haunted by how her son was treated in those last few hours of his life, especially at a time when she couldn't be by his side.

"I feel very betrayed and very let down," she said.

Dr. Linda Nordeman, who heads the emergency department at Washington Adventist, said from the moment Rasooly arrived, staff responded quickly for his head injury.

"Things were done well from a medical standpoint," she said. "I think we could have been more compassionate, and that is really important to us."

“It's our responsibility to those patients to console them, to support them, to care about them in their last moments," she said. "That's why we're there. That's our job."

Dr. Nordeman and the hospital’s president, Erick Wangsness, met with Rasooly's family after he died. Asked if he thought the hospital made real changes because of Rasooly, Wangsness said, “I hope so. I believe so."

He said the hospital ordered all emergency department staff to be retrained to improve patient communication and suspended one ER employee because of comments made to Rasooly that night.

"This was a mirror held up to us that we didn't like," Wangsness said. “There were comments made that aren't supportive of who we are."

Wangsness said he shares a video of Rasooly and his story with all new employees and hospital leadership to remind them that caring for patients doesn't always just involve medicine.

Dr. Nordeman also promised patients will get the care they need at Washington Adventist no matter what the extenuating circumstances that brought them to the emergency room. “Absolutely,” she said. “I believe so.”

Rebekah Rasooly said by the time she got to her son, he had slipped into a coma. He died six days after the accident.

She decided against filing any lawsuit, hoping instead her son's story will improve care for all future patients who end up at Washington Adventist.

"So we can make it so that even one person gets treated better by EMS, by a hospital, in their hour of need," she said. "Even one would be enough."

<![CDATA[1 Dead, 1 Injured in Southeast D.C. Shooting]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 05:28:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/2015-11-24_0526.png

One man is dead and another was injured in a shooting in Southeast Washington Monday night.

Officers were called to the area of Pennsylvania Avenue and Minnesota Avenue at 9:45 p.m. One victim was found in the 2500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue and the second man was found in the 2500 block of Minnesota Avenue.

One of the men died from his injuries. The other man was conscious and breathing when he was taken to the hospital. His current condition is not known.

Roads in the area were closed overnight, but they have since reopened.

No arrests have been made.  

<![CDATA[Prince George's Fire & EMS Retrained After Student’s Death]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:21:33 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Ilan+Rasooly+Cornell+Shirt.jpg

Rebekah Rasooly still lights up when she talk about her son Ilan, the outgoing, religious college student, who she said loved making other people happy.

"He was a redhead. Like his hair, he was bright and jolly and social and just totally lovable,” she told the News4 I-Team.
But one year ago, Ilan Rasooly was on school break from Cornell, visiting childhood friends in College Park, Maryland, when one misstep changed everything.
"We never expected this to happen," his mother said. "We are perfectly ordinary people living an ordinary life. We sent our son off to have fun with his friends. When he needed help, the people who are supposed to help him didn't help him."
Rasooly and some of his friends were challenging each other to short foot races on a sidewalk outside a University of Maryland residence hall when the accident happened.
His best friend, Tani Levitt, was there and said he remembers the moment Rasooly fell.
“Just clipped his heel or he tripped on the sidewalk," Levitt explained.
Rasooly hit the back of his head while trying to run backwards. Friends immediately called 911.
"[The emergency technicians] were just moving very, very slowly," Levitt said. Asked if he thought the EMTs assumed they were drunk, Levitt said, “Absolutely."
A copy of the EMT report obtained by the I-Team noted, "All bystanders on scene were considerably intoxicated as well as the patient."
But Levitt said Rasooly had only one drink that night. According to Levitt, the emergency crew did not put a neck brace on his friend and at first tried to make him walk to the ambulance.
"They tried to pick him up, and his legs were all like jelly, and he was complaining that he couldn't feel the bottom half of his body,” Levitt said. "Instead of standing flat on his feet, he was like this, almost standing on the top of his feet."
The EMTs eventually used a stretcher. According to county records, they did not use lights and sirens to transport Rasooly, meaning they did not consider his injuries to be life-threatening.
Levitt said what one of the emergency technicians said after Rasooly yelled out in pain the moment after they arrived at the emergency room still haunts him one year later. “I'll never forget this, absolutely never in my life. The guy, the one who was driving, he slaps him on the thigh, ‘Could you shut up? There are people who are really sick here,’” Levitt said.
Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor talked to the I-Team about how he investigated Rasooly’s case after getting a complaint from his mother. When asked whether comments made to Rasooly that night were acceptable, he responded, “Absolutely not acceptable. And frankly, if the retraining and the retesting doesn't show an improvement, then those folks would not be back to service.”
Chief Bashoor said while the crew did transport Rasooly in a timely manner, both county employees had their licenses suspended until they received extra training.
"In this particular case, folks probably weren't as professional as they needed to be. Probably needed a little extra help recognizing that there could have been something else going on there,” Bashoor said.
The chief said that training will be passed on to all employees in his department as well.
"This case is giving us a moment of pause," he said. "To be able to go back and make sure that all of our providers are provided with a little bit extra information about recognition of potential head injury and the types of things that they might think were intoxication."
Rasooly died a few days after the accident from his head injury. Blood tests showed he was not intoxicated.
"By the time we got there, Ilan was no longer talking," his mother said.
And while she says she knows nothing might have saved her son that night from the traumatic brain injury, she can't help but wonder why compassion was missing from his critical care.
"It can't be that when you call people to come help you, the first-responders decide if you're worthy of help," she said. "That's not fair. You think about all the times you take such good care of your children. And here, they had an injury that could kill him, and nobody cared.”

<![CDATA[Officer Indicted in Teen’s Death]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:14:05 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Cop+Court+21.png

Editor's Note: Police released the video following a press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2015. Click here to view.

The officer accused of fatally shooting a Chicago teen 16 times in October 2014 was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday, as the city braces for the moment video of the "disturbing" shooting is released to the public.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning and was later ordered held without bail in connection with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's office. Van Dyke is scheduled to appear in court again Monday as Judge Donald Panarese said he wants to see video of the shooting. 

The dash-cam video, which a judge ordered police to release by Nov. 25, is said to show the teen holding a small knife and walking away from officers when one unexpectedly opens fire, spraying the teen with more than a dozen bullets and continuing to shoot as McDonald lies lifeless on the ground, according to an attorney for the McDonald family. 

Prosecutors said in court Tuesday that the shooting happened within 15 seconds, but for 13 of those seconds McDonald was on the ground. They added the video "clearly does not show McDonald advancing toward [Van Dyke]."

"To watch a 17-year-old young man die in such a violent manner is simply disturbing and I have absolutely no doubt that this video will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a press conference after bond court.

It is reportedly the first time a Chicago officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty shooting in nearly 35 years. 

Attorney Dan Herbert has argued the video alone is not enough to determine if Van Dyke "acted inappropriately" when he fatally shot McDonald, though he has described the footage as "graphic and violent" and "difficult to watch." He said outside the courtroom Tuesday that the case needs to be tried in a courtroom, "not in the streets or in the media."

"[Van Dyke] is scared to death about possible outcomes here," Herbert said during a press conference Friday afternoon. "But he has been a professional and he has really been selfless. His concern is for his wife and his two young kids who are in grammar school."

Police said the shooting was in self-defense and that McDonald lunged at the officer with a knife while authorities were investigating car break-ins in a trucking yard.

An autopsy confirmed McDonald was shot a total of 16 times and had PCP in his system.

"It’s not unlike any video that would depict something being shot to death," Herbert said, adding that the footage is "limited" and does not show what happened before the shooting.

"The video by nature is two dimensional so the problem is it distorts distances, and distances and depth perception are important," he said. "The most critical problem is that the video does not depict what my client was seeing. It is not a video from the eyes of my client."

The video has also been described as "disturbing" and so graphic that McDonald’s mother is concerned its release would prompt an uproar, according to an attorney representing the McDonald family. Attorney Mike Robbins said Thursday McDonald's mother "is not looking forward to the day this is released."

"Once he hits the ground, Laquan is almost like in a fetal position and what you see from the dash-cam is his body making jerking movements around his head and area then graphic puffs of smoke coming out while he is being shot on the ground," Jeff Neslund, a second attorney for the McDonald family had earlier told NBC Chicago. 

In a statement from McDonald's family, released Tuesday afternoon by Robbins and Neslund, the family called for peace.

"We [the family of Laquan McDonald] deeply appreciate the outpouring of love and support for Laquan. This is a difficult time for us. As we have said in the past, while we would prefer that the video not be released we understand that a court has ordered otherwise. We ask for calm in Chicago. No one understands the anger more than us but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful. Don’t resort to violence in Laquan’s name. Let his legacy be better than that."

Herbert maintained that he’s confident Van Dyke's actions were "not only lawful, but also within department policy and within his training."

The city has paid $5 million to the McDonald family, but there have since been calls for the officer’s firing. He was placed on desk duty following the shooting.

"It’s my hope and my prayer that everybody who’s working on this case will see it the way the public sees it and that he’ll lose his job," said city Alderman Michelle Harris.

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<![CDATA['Cannot Succumb to Fear': U.S., France United Against ISIS]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:48:00 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_684794480276.jpg

President Barack Obama said Tuesday the U.S. stands "united in total solidarity" with France following the Paris massacre to "deliver justice to these terrorists and to defend our nations."

Standing alongside French counterpart François Hollande, Obama said ISIS “cannot be tolerated and must be destroyed. And we must do it together.”

"We cannot succumb to fear," Obama said.

As his nation reels from attacks that left 130 dead just under two weeks ago, Hollande has been on a mission to get the international community to bolster the campaign against the Islamic State.

He said Tuesday he and Obama have agreed to broaden the scope of the airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Obama stressed that Russia could play a role in efforts against ISIS if it's willing to focus on defeating the terror group.

Hollande met with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday and will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday. On Thursday, Hollande will meet with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Russia: 2 Killed After Aircraft Shot Down, Rescue Mission]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:37:52 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/498544574-russian-jet-downed1.jpg

Two members of the Russian military were killed Tuesday after a Russian aircraft was struck by a Turkish missile, NBC News reported.

One of the two who died was a pilot, who ejected from their aircraft along with another aviator, after it was struck by a Turkish missile, Russian Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said in a statement.

The other was a Marine aboard an Mi-8 helicopter dispatched to a contested area along the Turkish/Syrian border to find the downed pilots, said Rudskoy, who did not name either of the servicemen.

"In the course of the operation, one of helicopters was damaged by small arms fire and performed an emergency landing in the neutral area," his statement read. "One contract serviceman — member of Marine Troops — was killed."

The missile strike has prompted a furious backlash from the Russian government, and Rudskoy closed his statement by declaring that "contacts with Turkey will be terminated at the military level."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA['A Frightening Time': Muslims Face Bigotry After Paris Attacks]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:13:34 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/meriden+mosque+1200.jpg

In the weeks since terrorists killed 130 people in Paris and wounded hundreds more, bullet holes were found at a mosque in Connecticut, threats were called in to two others in Florida and a man left a fake bomb outside a fourth in Virginia.

More than 30 of the country's governors announced that Syrian refugees were not welcome in their states, while Southwest Airlines tried to keep a Philadelphia pizza parlor owner and his friend off a flight after a fellow passenger heard them speaking Arabic.

And Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who had already suggested a registry for Muslims, revived a debunked claim that they celebrated in the streets of New Jersey as the Twin Towers fell.

"They don't need to blame all the Muslims because the ISIS are Muslims," said Omar Alnajjar, 16, outside the Mocha Hookah shop on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. "We're Muslim but we're not like them."

"They just kill anybody," he said. "They're terrorists."

He and 14-year-old Ezzaldeen Alkushtary both came from Yemen eight years ago and both believed that if they lived elsewhere in the United States they would face discrimination. Alkushtary said that Muslims are replacing black Americans as targets.

Comments like Trump's are fueling Islamaphobia across the country, said Abdul Mubarak-Rowe, the communications director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. So are comments from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said that not even Syrian orphans younger than 5 should be admitted to the United States.

"Of course we are very disturbed by what we are hearing and what are seeing," Mubarak-Rowe said. "It's very unfortunate that these candidates seem to want to promote bigotry and racism in order to appeal to a very narrow base of their constituency."

A group of Muslim leaders in New Jersey came together after the Paris attacks to condemn them and to insist that Islam provided no rationale for such deadly acts.

"There is no cause or injustice done to anyone that can ever justify killing of innocent human beings," they said.

Muslims routinely speak out against terrorist attacks and yet are ignored, Mubarak-Rowe said.

"We denounce them continuously," he said. "It is not something that is found in Islam at all and we speak out vociferously against it."

Hate crimes against Muslims as tracked by the FBI are on the rise even as attacks against other groups fell. There were 154 attacks in 2014, up from 135 in 2013, according to the figures released earlier this month. Most reglious attacks continued to be anti-Jewish — 609 in 2014.

But the Southern Poverty Law Center argues that crimes against Muslims are likely to be much higher than the official numbers, up to 6,000 by the group's estimates.

Farhana Khera, the president and executive director of Muslim Advocates, an Oakland, California-based legal and education organization, noted that the year began with the killing of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Threats have continued, particularly in the last 10 days, Khera said.

"This has definitely been a very frightening time for American Muslims," she said.

"The reckless and irresponsible rhetoric from a number of public officials is creating this toxic climate where for some, it's sending the message that it's essentially open season to harass, attack and discriminate against American Muslims. So this is a very, very deeply disturbing time."

Her group is calling for further federal investigations of at least two of the attacks on mosques.

In Meriden, Connecticut, the Baitul Aman mosque was riddled with bullets over the weekend following the Paris killings. Gov. Dannel Malloy later visited and officials say they have a suspect.

"Love for all, hatred for none," Salaam Bhatti, a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, said afterward. "That is what we will continue to do, and no terrorist can make us back down from that."

The same weekend, threatening phone messages were left at two mosques in the Tampa Bay area -- at the Islamic Society of St. Petersburg and the Islamic Society of Pinellas County. Hatem Jaber, a volunteer at the St. Petersburg mosque said that the caller threatened to firebomb the mosque. An FBI spokesman said that investigators knew who had made the call and found no plan to carry out the threats. 

The most recent threat, the fake bomb in Fairfax County, Virginia, was found on Thursday at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church. A 27-year-old man has been charged.

At the A-Halal Meat Market and Grocery in Brooklyn, the owner, 55-year-old Saeed Ahmad, denounced the Paris attackers. Like others along Atlantic Avenue, he said they were not true Muslims. He is frightened, he said, but of terrorists, and even in his native Pakistan.

"I never send my children to Pakistan," he said.

Were they to visit, he would worry about kidnappers and attackers who do not know who they are killing in their assaults.

"They are killing children too," he said. "Sometimes I want to go to Pakistan and I'm scared. Honestly, I'm so safe here in America. How can I send my children over there?"

But another businessman who declined to give his name said he did fear a backlash against Muslims, especially with politicians like Trump stirring anger.

Heading into Ahmad's meat market, 46-year-old Mohamad Moazeb said Muslims needed to support the United States, where everyone has opportunity.

"Muslims love America," said Moazeb, who moved from Yemen in 1985. "Trust me. There's no doubt about it."

Moazeb had no comment about Trump, other to say that like Trump he was in real estate, but he knew whom he would favor for president should he run: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

Meanwhile a woman in another Brooklyn neighborhood, Bedford Stuyvesant, reported that a postal worker spit on her and shouted anti-Muslim slurs after she bumped into him with her baby carriage. The postal worker was accused with aggravated harassment and other charges, according to the New York Police Department.

In Jersey City, New Jersey, where Trump claimed thousands of people cheered the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Muslims are outraged. 

"It is insulting, it is hurtful and it makes us not feel like a real American," said Egyptian-born teacher Nabil Youssef, who said he donated blood on Sept. 11.

Khera said her group appreciated that some people were standing up to anti-Muslim sentiment, the way that the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, did when a fan shouted out an slur against Muslims during a moment of silence for the French victims before a Sunday game.

"I must admit, I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was that made a comment that was very inappropriate during the moment of silence," Rodgers said.

The pizza parlor owner, Maher Khalil and his friend, Anas Ayyad, called police when they were asked to step aside as their plane home to Philadelphia was boarding in Chicago. The men, who moved to Philadelphia from Palestine 15 years ago, were allowed onto the plane after a delay.

"If that person doesn't feel safe, let them take the bus," Khalil told a Southwest Airlines agent. "We're American citizens just like everybody else."

And getting lots of attention on Twitter is Tayyib M. Rashid, who tweeted: "Hey @realDonaldTrump, I'm an American Muslim and I already carry a special ID badge. Where's yours?"

Below, the now retired U.S. Marine from Chicago posted his Armed Forces of the United States identification card.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Jeff Bezos' Space Company Successfully Lands a Rocket]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:56:43 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Blue-Orgin1.jpg

Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos’ space transportation company successfully landed a suborbital rocket on Monday after launching it earlier that day.

The New Shepard rocket poked the border where earth’s atmosphere gives way to space, at an altitude of 62 miles. Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin, recalled the rocket back to earth where it safely landed at its West Texas launch site.

The reusable rocket is designed to carry six passengers and Monday’s feat is one giant leap for the company’s goal to commission commercial space trips. Bezos told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that he expects that Blue Origin will be involved in commercial space operations within "a couple of years."

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Body of Missing Man, 80, Found in Submerged Car]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:34:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/howard+Shrieves.jpg

The body of a missing 80-year-old man has been found in a car submerged in the Rappahannock River in Virginia.

Howard Shrieves, Jr., of Virginia's Eastern Shore, had suffered from Alzheimer's disease, authorities said. 

Shrieves was reported missing the evening of Nov. 19. He had been headed to Pocomoke City, Maryland, but never arrived at his destination, the Accomack County Sheriff's Office said.

On Tuesday morning, someone at the city dock in Fredericksburg saw the submerged car and contacted authorities. Divers found Shrieves' body inside the car, said the Stafford County Sheriff's Office.

The chief medical examiner will determine Shrieves's cause of death.

Stafford detectives are investigating why Shrieves was in the Fredericksburg area and how the car ended up in the river.

Anyone who may have seen him in the Fredericksburg area between Nov. 19 and Monday is asked to call Detective Todd Nosal at 540-658-4492.

<![CDATA[NYC Subway Ads Bear Nazi Insignia]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:24:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Man-High-Castle-GettyImages-495423882.jpg

Amazon is removing a subway ad for its new series, "The Man in the High Castle," amid uproar over their use of insignia inspired by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

The online retailer made the decision to pull the ads amid widespread coverage of the wrap, which cover half the 42nd Street shuttle's seats in decals of the American flag with the stars replaced by an emblem that closely resembles the Nazi Reichsadler, the heraldic eagle used by the Third Reich. The other side features a recreation of a World War II-era Japanese flag in red, white and blue.

Cars on the line that runs between Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal and Times Square were recently wrapped in decals for the show, which is based on the eponymous book by Philip K. Dick that imagines an alternate reality where the Axis powers won World War II and took over the world. 

Ad posters for the show can be seen throughout the subway system and show of the Statue of Liberty performing the Nazi salute while draped in a sash featuring the Reichsadler.  

Straphanger Ann Toback was disturbed to find the posters wallpapered on the Grand Central shuttle.

"Hate speech, hate insignia requires a response when you see it, you don't just say, 'oh, it's New York," said Toback. "You see, you have a choice to stare at the Japanese empire insignia or the Nazi insignia." 

A spokesman for the MTA said there were no grounds to reject the ads because they do not violate the authority's content-neutral ad standards, which only prohibits advertising that disparages an individual or group. 

"The MTA is a government agency and can't accept or reject ads based on how we feel about them; we have to follow the standards approved by our board," the spokesman said. "Please note they’re commercial ads."

Some activists and officials, however, expressed outrage that the advertisements were allowed to run.

"As a Jew, I am offended, and as a New Yorker, I am embarrassed," said state Rep. Jeffrey Dinowitz. "The MTA should be ashamed of themselves and this ignorant advertising campaign, as it is offensive not just to the Jewish community, but to all Americans."

Mayor de Blasio also decried the ads, calling them "irresponsible."

“While these ads technically may be within MTA guidelines, they’re irresponsible and offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, their families, and countless other New Yorkers. Amazon should take them down,” de Blasio said.

Not everyone was bothered by the marketing. One rider said, "It's not like the end of the world, it's not specifically targeting a group of people. It's just for a show."

Ultimately, the backlash prompted Amazon the make the decision to pull the ads late Tuesday. Still, Toback wondered about the process that led to the controversial ads going up in the first place. 

"It scares me almost as much this went up the chain of command at the MTA, and nobody said this is a bad idea," she said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[How to Cook Your Turkey Safely]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:54:03 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000012737027_1200x675_573441603924.jpg Kristina Beaugh of the USDA discusses how far in advance to buy a turkey, how to safety thaw it -- and how long you can leave it out after cooking it.]]> <![CDATA[France Indicts 124, Detains 165 After Paris Attacks]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:09:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/paris-mourners1.jpg

French authorities have taken 165 people into custody and indicted 124 in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, the country’s interior minister said on Tuesday.

The officials didn’t say what the indictments were related to or whether they were directly linked to the attacks. France imposed a state of emergency hours after the Nov. 13 attacks that left 130 dead and injured hundreds.

Along with the people who have been detained, authorities there have also conducted 1,233 searches and seized close to 200 arms — including "weapons of war" such as automatic rifles and explosives, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told parliament.

In nearby Brussels, the city has been on high alert as well.  

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Travel Alert: What to Know]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 10:09:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2015-11-24_1006.jpg A travel alert says Americans should be vigilant and avoid large crowds while traveling abroad. The alert warns that terrorist groups including the Islamic State, al Qaeda and Boko Haram are planning attacks in "multiple regions."]]> <![CDATA[2 Lanes of Inner Loop Still Closed After Fuel Spill]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 08:28:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/2015-11-24_0818.png

Two lanes of the Inner Loop of the Beltway remain closed near the exit for New Hampshire Avenue, hours after a dump truck crashed and spilled dirt and diesel fuel onto the roadway.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is normally a difficult drive, but the closed lanes made for even more significant delays.

The truck crashed into a Beltway overpass shortly before 8 a.m., just past the exit for New Hampshire Avenue.

After the crash, the body of the truck was left leaning towards the roadway, spilling some of the dirt it was carrying. Fire officials say up to 30 gallon of  diesel fuel also spilled onto the road.

Cleanup by HAZMAT crews continued into midday, with the two left lanes remaining closed.

The driver of the dump truck was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

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<![CDATA[Animal Rescuer Charged With Abuse]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:15:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/223*120/abusedogs-112315.PNG

A well-known animal rescuer in San Bernardino County, California, now faces more than a dozen felony counts of animal abuse in what some in the rescue community are calling one of the worst cases of animal cruelty they have seen.

Sherre Kay Buell is charged with three counts in Hesperia and twelve counts in Apple Valley.

"I think that's one of the most difficult things for any of us in the animal welfare position. Why do people hurt animals?" wondered Gina Whiteside, manager at the Town of Apple Valley Animal Services.

Of the 13 severely malnourished dogs animal control officers removed from Buell's home in April, two had to be euthanized, one died en route to the veterinarian and another was found dead in a trash can.

"Their skin was very tight to their ribs," said Whiteside, adding that some animals were so weak, they not able to get up on their own.

The case shocked the animal rescue community, especially those who had worked with Buell to help dogs in the past.

"Kay had an impeccable reputation for helping rescues as a foster, specifically for senior dogs, hospice dogs," said Annie Hart of Rescue from the Hart.

Hart had not worked with Buell directly, but had heard of her rescue work from others.

"I was horrified when Kay Buell was arrested," she said.

Hart said Buell brought a dog named Angel to her rescue group in January.

"She was hours away from death," Hart said. "We had been told she was found stumbling down the side of the road. And she couldn’t even stand up for us, so that seemed a little odd. ... To go from a 30 pound dog, 33 pound dog down to an 11 pound dog, that takes months."

Angel is not one of the dogs included in the felony complaint against Buell, but her case is still being investigated, according to Whiteside, who said she expects more dogs to be added to the complaint.

"There needs to be some animal action at the state level that regulates animal rescuing," Whiteside said.

Angel has made a remarkable recovery and has now been officially adopted.

While shelters are regulated by law to ensure they humanely care and provide for the animals they take in, the same rules are not in place for rescue groups or the people who foster, explained Whiteside.

"When you don't keep track of animals going out, you don't know who's taking them," said Whiteside. "You end up with a situation like Ms. Buell's."

Hart said she would like to see more accountability when it comes to keeping track of animals after they leave the shelter.

"First, would be an animal abuse registry that shelters and general public can look up to make sure the person is legitimate," she said.

Lindsay Vose, Buell's attorney, urged the public "to refrain from prejudging Ms. Buell based on much of the misinformation currently being shared on social media." She went on to say, "At this time we are diligently reviewing all of the evidence received from the DA’s office. Ms. Buell looks forward to her day in court and the opportunity for the true facts in this case to come to light."

Buell is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 3. She is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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For additional video of Angel, please visit Rescue From the Hart.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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<![CDATA[Who Was Laquan McDonald? ]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 20:04:02 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Laquan+McDonald.png

The single image of Laquan McDonald for the past six months has been that of a 17-year-old African-American teenager dressed in a red graduation cap and gown.

Beyond the fact that he was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer the night of October 20, 2014, only a few facts about the remainder of his life have been reported.

He was the son of Tina Hunter. He had a younger sister. His father played no role in his life, according to attorneys for the McDonald family.

The 17-year-old was near the intersection of Pulaski and 41st when police encountered him carrying a small knife, which, according to an attorney for the McDonald family, can be seen on the police video expected to be released Wednesday following a Cook County judge’s order.

“The knife is actually visible. It was a small, I believe, 3-inch blade in his right hand,” said attorney Jeff Neslund. “He did not drop the knife, but that certainly was no justification or excuse to shoot a man like that.”

Ten officers were on the scene when, according to attorneys, one officer began to fire.

“Witnesses told us that there were several shots and then there was a pause, a discernable pause,” said Michael Robbins, who also represents the McDonald family.

“And then the shooting resumed,” he said.

The officer’s lawyer said he was in fear of his life that night.

An autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office showed the teen had a small amount of PCP in his bloodstream.

McDonald had a juvenile record, though those records have not been made public. His 2014 W2 shows he earned $1,100 working after school for the Youth Advocate Program.

According to a March 20, 2015, letter written to the city by family attorneys and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, on the day he was shot and killed McDonald was serving a two-day suspension for missing a high school class the prior week.

His final report card included the following grades:
Personal Finance: A
World Studies: B
Algebra: C
Music: A
Biology: C
Reading Work Shop: B

One of his teachers, according to the letter, described him as “very respectful and reserved,” adding he was not aggressive.

Among those who attended Laquan McDonald’s funeral were Cook County judge Marianne Jackson, past teachers and social workers.

Photo Credit: Family Photo/NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[13 Fliers Skipped Customs: Feds]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 09:23:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/american-airlines-customs.jpg

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they are looking for passengers from an international flight who did not pass through customs after landing in New York City.

Federal officials said 76 passengers were on an American Airlines flight from Cancun to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. When the flight arrived, 13 passengers were ushered through the wrong exit.

"Due to an airline error, 13 of the 76 passengers inadvertently exited through a domestic gate before being processed by CBP," Customs and Border Protection spokesman Anthony L. Bucci said in a statement.

Ten people have since returned for processing, but three U.S. citizens still need to be screened.

"CBP and JFK airline security personnel and the airport authority are conducting an investigation regarding the incident and will implement measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future," Bucci stated.

American Airlines released the following statement:

"We take the safety and security of our customers, employees and operation very seriously and work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who vet all passengers prior to boarding any aircraft with a destination in the United States. Some passengers on flight 1671 did not complete the immigration and customs process upon arrival when they were inadvertently directed to the domestic terminal. We are reviewing the matter with CBP to ensure the one remaining U.S. citizen completes the process and to prevent this from happening in the future."

Airline officials added that passengers are "checked several times" before takeoff for an international flight.

NBC 5's Ellen Bryan contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed by Metro Train May Have Fallen: Officials]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:52:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/112315+capitol+heights+metro.jpg

A man who was hit and killed by a Metro train in Maryland Monday night he may have fallen onto the tracks, Metro officials said.

Surveillance video shows the man was walking alone on a platform of the Capitol Heights station about 7:30 p.m. when he fell in front of a train and became pinned beneath it, near the electrified third rail, said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

A toxicology test will be performed on the man. 

"He looked, based on camera footage, to possibly be unsteady on his feet and might have had a container in his hand at the time that he fell," Stessel said. 

An EMS crew tried to save the man, but he was pronounced dead. His name was not released immediately. 

The Capitol Heights station was closed for hours, and Metro traffic was suspended between the Stadium-Armory and Addison Road stations. By 10:30 p.m., the Capitol Heights station had reopened and trains were operating with delays.

<![CDATA[Law Enforcement Sees Spike in Child Exploitation]]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:28:30 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/smartphone+generic.jpg

State and federal agents are handling a rapidly soaring number of child exploitation and pornography cases, according to an investigation by the News4 I-Team.

Maryland State Police, Virginia State Police and FBI field offices have experienced a 50 percent spike in such cases in recent months, some of it attributed to the pervasiveness of cellphones among adolescent girls.

The fast-rising workload is also stretching resources and pulling some state police troops away from investigations of fraud, extortion and other electronic crimes requiring forensics and undercover field work, the I-Team learned.

The I-Team, which spent 12 months compiling police incident reports and federal court complaints, found Maryland State Police investigated 1,682 electronic or computer crimes in 2014, a sudden and sharp increase from the 1,063 investigations completed in 2013.

The agency’s computer crimes unit uses a heavily secured lab at a state office in Howard County to conduct analysis on hardware linked to child pornography investigations. Computer crimes unit troopers, speaking with the News4 I-Team, said their investigations have quickly grown more sophisticated and complex because of rapidly changing and increasingly large hardware and computer drives used by predators.

“The explosion of technology fueled by the Internet has been exploited by criminals involved in child pornography, human trafficking and other related crimes to expand their enterprise and increase their activities,” Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

The rapid increase in computer-based child exploitation forced the agency to shift resources from other criminal investigations, Shipley said.

“State Police computer crimes investigators spend much of their time working investigations related to child exploitation due to the large number of cases, leaving less time to investigate the array of other computer generated crimes, such as theft, fraud and extortion,” he said.

Virginia State Police, which helps operate a child crimes task force with the Washington Field Office of the FBI, also experienced a spike in child exploitation investigations. The I-Team’s review found the agency undertook 745 investigations of suspected child exploitation last year, a 50 percent increase from 2013.

The Baltimore Field Office of the FBI deploys undercover agents to investigate and capture child predators. Special Agent Michael Mizer said the increasingly widespread distribution of cellphones among younger girls and boys is potentially driving the increase in cases.

“They’ve got a constant hook in them, when they’ve got that cellphone,” Mizer said. “We need the assistance of parents. They’re the front line of defense against these predators.”

An undercover FBI agent, with whom the I-Team spoke on the condition of anonymity, said child sex predators are tracking down cellphone numbers of younger girls and boys and asking the girls and boys to send inappropriate pictures via text message or social media.

“(Predators) can be very secretive,” the agent said. “They use a lot of different tools to conceal themselves online. If it’s an easy platform to chat and exchange images (with children), that’s what they’re going to use.”

Anne Arundel County mother Andrea Briggs said a suspected predator tracked down the cellphone number of her 10-year-old daughter. Her daughter received graphic and sexually suggestive text messages from an unknown phone number, Briggs said.

“It just kept getting more and more graphic,” she said.

At one point in the text message exchange, according to Briggs, the suspected predator began sending graphic pictures.

Briggs said police were unable to launch an investigation into who was making the solicitations.

“I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, because how many little girls are out there answering those messages,” she said.

Maryland State Sen. Susan Lee said the legislature must consider increasing its funding for Maryland State Police and its computer crimes division.

“It’s a top funding priority of our state budget,” Lee said. “We have to deal with this. We can’t just direct money at the old types of crimes.”

Lee said the state would also attempt to win more federal funding to combat child exploitation.

“These (cellphone) devices were supposed to improve our quality of life,” she said. “But they’re also exposing kids to a myriad of dangers.”

Tips for Parents With Children Who Use Cellphones (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children):

  • Unintentional Sharing of Geolocation Data: Most smartphones have GPS technology which allows the user’s precise location to be pinpointed by apps and on websites. Social networking sites such as FourSquare, GoWalla, and Facebook take advantage of this technology by encouraging their users to “check-in” or share their locations. A “check-in” can be shared with a list of friends, so make sure you know who is on your child’s friends list before allowing them to use this type of technology. Children also may share their locations unintentionally through pictures taken with their smartphones; these photos often have geolocation data embedded in them. Consider disabling the location services on smartphones before allowing children to post photos online.
  • Playing a Role in Grooming: Predators also know and take advantage of the fact that cell phones let them talk with their victims at any time. They are also aware that parents and guardians often forget to monitor children’s cell phones. Predators may send children cell phones and ask them to keep the phones a secret. They can then talk to and exchange text messages and pictures with children without close monitoring by parents and guardians. Others may ask children for their cell phone numbers after meeting them online or try to connect with willing children by sending texts to random numbers.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Downed Russian Jet Over Turkey for 'Seconds': Officials]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:43:18 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RussianSU24-AP_104747074248.jpg

Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border after it violated Turkish airspace on Tuesday, U.S. defense officials told NBC News.

"They were in Turkish airspace only 2 to 3 seconds, a matter of seconds" before the Turkish F-16s struck it, the officials said.

Russian warplanes had been targeting Turkomen forces inside Syria for the "past couple days," they said. Those attacks "got the attention of the Turkish government and military," a senior defense official told NBC News. That official stopped short of saying the Turks shot down the Russian plane as payback for attacking their allies inside Syria.

The Turkish Air Force said they warned the Russian aircraft 10 times before their jets opened fire.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called the incident a "stab in the back delivered by terrorists’ helpers," accusing Turkey of aiding ISIS by buying their oil. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[4 Killed in Military Helicopter Crash at Fort Hood in Texas]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 07:00:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/generic+caution+tape+vg.jpg

A military helicopter crashed Monday in Fort Hood, Texas, killing all four crew members on board, the U.S. Army said.

The chopper went down in the northeast portion of the Fort Hood Range according to a statement released by the Army.

NBC News said victims’ names were not being released until next of kin could be notified.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: Valeria Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Residents Outraged by Trump's False Remark on 9/11 'Cheering']]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:55:02 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_21212478014.jpg

Donald Trump's recent claim that "thousands and thousands of people were cheering" in Jersey City when the twin towers came down on 9/11 is drawing the ire of Muslim residents there. 

Trump made the remarks in Alabama Saturday, saying, "I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down." 

Hamed Elshanawany, president of the Hudson County Islamic Council in Jersey City, said it never happened. 

"If anybody has any proof this happened in the community, is right but no proof at all," he said. 

Trump also tweeted Monday a passage from a Washington Post article posted a few days after 9/11 about Jersey City police detaining people allegedly seen celebrating. 

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop disputed the account.

"There is no record of anything he said, so we would hope going forward he would be more responsible," he told NBC 4 New York. 

The state's biggest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, said it doesn't have any proof that happened.

Even when he was reminded that police said it didn't happen during an interview on ABC Sunday, Trump doubled down on his remarks. 

"It did happen, I saw it," he said. "It was on television. I saw it."

Egyptian-born teacher Nabil Youssef said, "It is insulting, it is hurtful and it makes us not feel like a real American."

Youssef said he ran to help victims on 9/11, donating blood to the Red Cross. 

Trump is sticking by his comments but that may energize Muslims, said Ahmed Shedeed of the Islamic Center of Jersey City.

"He'll get a lot of Muslims upset, a lot of Muslims now going to go out and vote," he said. 

NBC News' political blog First Read dissects more of the recent false statements made by Trump recently in a post titled: "Donald Trump, the post-truth 2016 candidate.

Photo Credit: AP]]>