Local and federal authorities are ramping up security precautions heading into the July 4 holiday weekend amid heightened concerns about potential terror attacks, NBC News is reporting. While officials say there are no specific or credible threats, the rise of ISIS and ISIS-inspired lone wolf attacks is prompting calls for increased vigilance. Police in New York City, where the Macy's fireworks show over the East River is expected to draw big crowds, have pledged "enhanced counterterrorism and security measures." Authorities in Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have also upped security for the weekend. Officials urge members of the public to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. "Officers can't be everywhere at once," San Francisco Police Department spokesman Albie Esparza said. "We depend on our public to be our eyes and ears to report any suspicious activity."
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NASCAR is the latest corporation to distance itself from Donald Trump.
On the same day one of its top sponsors called on NASCAR to take a stance against Trump, the motorsports series said it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at the Trump National Doral Miami. "We looked at everything we saw coming down and what we heard from our sponsors and our partners and what we feel we should be doing, and that's what led us to the decision today," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
A "good" nuclear deal with the West could lead Iran to join other nations in the global fight against terrorism, the country's foreign minister suggested Friday. In a YouTube video, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the country is "ready to strike a balanced and good deal and open new horizons to address important common challenges." "Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism," Zarif said, making an apparent reference to the terror network ISIS. "The menace we're facing — and I say we, because no one is spared — is embodied by the hooded men who are ravaging the cradle of civilization. To deal with this new challenge, new approaches are badly needed."
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A 14-year-old New Jersey boy eager to express his patriotism has been standing on a street corner in front of his house with an American flag and a sign reading "Honk if you love the USA," and he says he'll continue to stand there until the fireworks go off on the Fourth of July.
Shpejtim Zenelej has been standing on the corner of Harold Avenue and Franklin Street in Rahway all day every day since Sunday, inspired to show his love for America after he saw reports of flag burning last week.
"It's the best country in the world," he said.
Zenelej was born in the U.S. but his parents are from Kosovo. He said he's been to the republic and knows how fortunate his life has been in America.
There's royal anticipation for Princess Charlotte's christening that takes place this Sunday. At just two months old, William and Kate's baby girl will be christened at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham. Who will be the godparents to the fourth-in-line to the British throne? NBC's Keir Simmons reports.
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There will no doubt be plenty of beer and fireworks this Fourth of July.
Although we celebrate Independence Day on July 4 every year, that may not be the correct date of America's independence from Britain. In fact, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife Abigail hailing the July 2 as the day people would celebrate America for generations to come.
That's because on July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution for independence. However, America celebrates July 4 because that was the day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
Here's a look at other things to know this July 4.
Authorities are monitoring the waters off the North Carolina coast after a string of shark attacks that began in June. There have been at least seven attacks by sharks reported. There are six types of sharks that could be responsible for the attacks -- blacknose shark, sharpnose shark, bull shark, tiger shark, blacktip shark and spinner shark. However the challenge is that sharks who attack and swim off are difficult to identify, according to Dr. Louis Daniel, director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. Read more about the six sharks' unique characteristics.
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Rio de Janeiro organizers unveiled the Olympic torch for the 2016 Games on Friday, saying it brings together "movement, innovation and Brazilian flavor." Organizers said the torch's design was inspired by Brazil's "nature, and the harmonious diversity and energy" of the Brazilian people.
Kane County State's Attorney's Office
A northwest suburban woman has pleaded guilty Thursday to beating her boyfriend to death with a frying pan in their apartment three years ago.
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JetBlue officially began direct flights to Cuba out of New York's Kennedy Airport Friday, becoming the first major carrier to make the trip after travel restrictions were eased by the White House earlier this year and making passengers who got to be on the virgin flight feel like part of history.
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Investigators announced Thursday that weather caused a destructive blaze at a predominantly black church in South Carolina. The State Law Enforcement Division said in a statement that investigators found no evidence of criminal intent in the fire at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, about 50 miles north of the "Mother Emanuel" church in Charleston where nine people were killed June 17. SLED says its conclusion was based on an examination of the scene, analysis of debris, witness statements and a lightning strike report. "All of the factors led us to the conclusion that the cause of this fire was natural," SLED spokesman Thom Berry said.
To us, fireworks are the sparkling embodiment of July Fourth. But to dogs, they truly are bombs bursting in air. The pops and explosions, raucous block parties and other loud noises during holiday festivities can scare dogs into leaping over or digging under fences to escape the thunderous blasts, leading them to get lost or injured. More pets go missing over the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Many seasoned animal lovers know to keep their dogs inside, but many pets are still running away or getting killed by cars as they bolt blindly from the noise.
A man was killed early Friday when an alligator attacked him during a late-night swim at a Southeast Texas marina, according to police.
Orange police Capt. Robert Enmon said Tommie Woodward, 28, suffered severe trauma to a limb when he was attacked early Friday morning at the private marina, which is along a bayou extending from the Sabine River near the Louisiana line.
Orange County sheriff's deputies and a Texas game warden found his body nearby about two hours later.