<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usSun, 25 Sep 2016 09:28:36 -0500Sun, 25 Sep 2016 09:28:36 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[PHOTOS: African-American History Museum Opening]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 14:58:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/20160924+Children+Embrace.jpg Celebrities, politicians and civil rights leaders joined thousands on the National Mall this weekend for a three-day festival event to celebrate the newest Smithsonian Museum — the National Museum of African American History and Culture. ]]> <![CDATA[Kaep Joins High School Protest]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 07:55:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Castlemont+Football.jpg

High school students in the East Bay are following Colin Kaepernick’s lead and helping to shine a light on issues of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States — this time by lying down during the national anthem.

Since August, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has taken to kneeling before games – something he did alongside the Castlemont High School football team in Oakland on Friday.

When the first strains of the national anthem floated across the field and Kaepernick knelt, the Knights lay on the ground with their hands up in the air.

"It's basically showing our vulnerability ... them being the authority and the power, and us being the citizens," said protest organizer and senior player Jadan Starks.

Head coach Edward Washington supports his team's actions.

“Black men and brown men have been assassinated unarmed, hands on the ground,” he said. “We had to protest and stand against this because it's not right."

Friday’s protest came after nearly a week after the team knelt during the National Anthem before another game and tweeted a picture of it. Kaepernick retweeted the Twitter post and it went viral, sparking a conversation between him and the school.

“He had reached out through a fraternity brother and a mutual friend and he was like, ‘I want to come over and talk to the kids,’” Washington said.

And that's exactly what Kaepernick did, catching the players by surprise.

“This is your family, these are your brothers,” he told the team. “I look at all of you as brothers. I see your strength, I see your power, I see your courage, your confidence.”

Speaking to the athletes in their locker room before the game, Kaepernick said he attended their game to stand – or kneel as the case may be – in solidarity with them.

“The same way y'all took a stand and stood with me, I had to come out here and stand with you’ll,” he said.

Kaepernick also encouraged his rapt audience to “lift each other up” because “that’s what this is about.”

He assured the Castlemont students that their actions, thoughts and words have value – both on and off the football field.

“You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters,” Kaepernick stressed.

Earlier in the week, a school band of roughly 155 middle and high school students from the Oakland Unified School District knelt as they played "The Star Bangled Banner" before an Oakland A's game on Wednesday.

San Francisco’s Mission High School football team has also decided to take a knee at every game in the season when the national anthem is played. The Bears are slated to face Millbrae’s Mills High School Saturday.

According to Castlemont coach Bryan Parker, this is just the beginning of a movement among young students and athletes, and those who motivate them.

"We want to keep a dialogue going, getting rid of the dehumanization of black and brown people all around the country, but specifically in Oakland," he said.

School officials say they plan to continue working with community leaders, politicians and law enforcement, going forward.

Social unrest has rocked the U.S. this week. Police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte have spawned massive demonstrations and even riots. Amid this social landscape, Kaepernick’s ongoing protest has ignited a maelstrom of conflicting reactions.

His face will grace the cover of Time magazine next month, but he has also received death threats and a recent poll reflects his unenviable achievement of being the most disliked player in the National Football League.

Closer to home, the NFLer has had not only the 49ers head coach Chip Kelly in his corner, but even a muralist, who created artwork on the side of an Oakland wall to remind Kaepernick, “We got your back.”

Photo Credit: Castlemont Football
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<![CDATA[How Should Trump Debate Clinton? Advice From a Man Who Knows]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 09:38:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/clinton-trump-split-upset.jpg

The man famous for getting in Hillary Clinton’s face during the campaign that launched her political career has some debate advice for Donald Trump.

Stay at his lectern.

Rick Lazio should know. The former Republican congressman didn't — and paid the price for a performance that has become a textbook example of what not to do when your opponent is a woman.

Lazio, today a partner with the Jones Walker law firm, ran against Clinton in 2000 for the U.S. Senate. At their first debate in Buffalo, New York, he crossed the stage to Clinton's lectern, pointing his finger as he urged her to sign a pledge about limiting the funding of their race. He was seen as hectoring, his campaign faltered and she went on to win.

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Lazio's misstep is being recalled as Clinton and Donald Trump prepare for their debate on Monday, pitting the first woman to run as a major party presidential candidate versus the former reality TV star who has made browbeating opponents a key to his success. "Little Marco," "Lyin' Ted" and "Low-energy Jeb" have given way to "Crooked Hillary," but will he fling insults at her when they meet at New York's Hofstra University? Will Clinton goad him to try to show he is not suited for the presidency?

Trump said that he would curb his disparaging tone at the debate, to be moderated by NBC News' Lester Holt. The 90-minute debate will be televised by NBC and streamed on this site at 9 p.m. ET Monday. 

"I'm going to be very respectful of her," he told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "I think she deserves that and I'm going to be nice. And if she's respectful of me, that'll be nice."

That hasn't stopped him from mocking her on Twitter.

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"Hillary is taking the day off again, she needs the rest," he tweeted Tuesday about her bout with pneumonia. "Sleep well Hillary — see you at the debate!"

For Clinton's part, she zeroed in on Trump's derisive comments when she spoke on Steve Harvey's radio show.

"I am going to do my very best to communicate as clearly and fearlessly as I can in the face of the insults and the attacks and the bullying and bigotry that we have seen coming from my opponent," Clinton said. "I can take it, Steve. I can take that kind of stuff. I have been at this, and I understand it is a contact sport."

Lazio, who said that neither Trump nor Clinton had earned his support, has several suggestions for Trump: Present a positive vision, be aware of non-verbal communication and don't go for the knock-out punch, but rather, amplify Clinton's negatives. Demonstrate enough knowledge of policy details to establish his credibility as president without trying to duel with someone who has been in and around Washington for nearly 25 years. And with nearly two-thirds of the public feeling that the country is on the wrong track, distinguish himself as the change agent and Clinton as more of the failed and uninspiring status quo.

"Have your team prepared and on high alert afterward to drive your debate message," he wrote. “There are two debates — as I well discovered — the actual event and what gets covered by the media and watched by the public afterward.

"And finally....stay at the podium!"

Photo Credit: Getty/NBC Universal
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<![CDATA[Israel's Netanyahu to Meet With Clinton, Trump on Sunday]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 06:13:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_722547109871.jpg

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are expected to meet separately with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday ahead of their first presidential debate on Monday night.

Netanyahu was expected to meet in New York with the presidential nominees of the two major parties in what could set the tone for future relations between Israel and the next White House administration. The Israeli leader has sought to project neutrality this time after perceptions arose that he favored Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama in 2012.

The one-on-one discussions will follow what was likely Netanyahu's final meeting with Obama last week, capping what has been a sometimes rocky relationship between the leaders of the two allies.

The Obama administration has opposed Israel's push to expand settlements in the West Bank while Netanyahu has been a leading critic of the U.S. nuclear agreement with Iran. More recently, Netanyahu has urged Obama to avoid pushing for a Palestinian state in his final months in office.

Clinton has supported a negotiated two-state solution in the region, vowed to enforce the Iran nuclear agreement and help defend Israel's security. The former secretary of state suggested in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 earlier this month that the Islamic State group was "rooting for Donald Trump's victory" and he had helped strengthen the hands of extremists by his provocative statements about Muslims.

Trump has been a fierce critic of the Iran nuclear agreement and promised during a speech to AIPAC earlier this year that he would deepen ties between the two countries if he was elected president, adding the days of "treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one." But he also raised eyebrows when he questioned Israel's commitment to a peace deal last year and said he didn't want to show any bias in favor of one side or the other.

The meetings will also come after the U.S. recently completed a 10-year, $38 billion military aid package for Israel. Clinton said in a statement that it would help "solidify and chart a course for the U.S.-Israeli defense relationship in the 21st century as we face a range of common challenges."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Social Media Mourns Death of Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 09:22:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488189159.jpg

Baseball fans and players awoke Sunday morning to the tragic news of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez's untimely death.

The ace right-hander was just 24 years old. 

Fans, athletes and sports teams took to social media Sunday to mourn Fernandez's death, tweeting condolences and prayers for his family and the Marlins organization.  

Fellow players were sickened by the news.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Police Shootings of Black Men Spark Protests]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 03:48:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP16268817332310_opt.jpg The fatal shootings of black men in separate incidents in Oklahoma, North Carolina and other states spawned protests in cities across the U.S.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['We Are America': New African American History Museum Opens]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 15:54:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/20160924+Obama+on+Stage+Thumb.jpg

Bells rang out throughout Washington, D.C. Saturday as the Smithsonian's highly anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., opened after more than 100 years in the making.

Centuries of struggles and strife, decades of planning and pain, and years of hoping for a place that African-American history can call home culminated as President Barack Obama officially dedicated the museum Saturday morning.

The president opened the museum with the ringing of the historic Freedom Bell from the First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, which was organized in 1776 by slaves.

Obama said the new national museum will help to tell a richer and fuller story of the country.

"It helps us better understand the lives, yes, of a president, but also the slave. The industrialist, but also the worker. The teacher or the cook, alongside the story of the statesman," he said. "By understanding this story, it binds us together and reaffirms we are all Americans."

He continued his message of the inclusion of African Americans in American history, calling it "an act of patriotism to understand where we've been."

"We're not a burden on America or a stain on America or an object of shame and pity for America. We are America. And that's what this museum explains," Obama said. "Hopefully, this museum makes us talk to each other and listen to each other and see each other."

With thousands of items occupying 85,000 square feet of exhibition space, the new Smithsonian will chronicle the complex relationship between the United States and a people it once enslaved, and tell the story of those who worked to make the necessary changes to bring the country to where it is today.

The dedication featured speeches by Obama, civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former President George W. Bush and the museum's founding director, Lonnie Bunch. It also featured rousing musical tributes with a local flair, including Howard University's "Showtime" marching band and an a capella presentation by a choir from D.C.'s Duke Ellington School for the Arts.

The museum, the 19th and newest of the Smithsonians, opened to the public following the dedication ceremony.

"It's a historic event," said Leslie Howard, who traveled from New Orleans to attend the dedication. "And the fact that we have our first black president to dedicate it shows you how God works."

"We want to make sure we reinforce the commitment to preserve African-American history," said Glen Yonkers, Jr., a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, which was founded at Howard University in Washington. Members marched to the mall for the dedication Saturday.

"Our fraternity was built for African-American men to have a place to share our history and stories," said fraternity brother Jude Collins. "This was the only place to be today."

Seeing the dedication was a family event for many; Alicia Frayer came from Charleston with her husband and three daughters to attend. "I'm inspired by history," she said. "It's a major part of our history, and the fact that our history and culture are here for everyone to see is so important." 

Many celebrities came to the museum's dedication as well, including Oprah Winfrey, who has donated more then $20 million to the museum.

The museum tweeted a video of Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae arriving. Robert De Niro, Angela Bassett, Will Smith and Patti LaBelle were among those presenting during the dedication.

Many of those present shared their personal connection to the museum's story, including D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke before the ceremony, honoring its opening and using the opportunity to call for statehood for the nation's capital, where residents do not have voting representation in Congress. "While we are proud to host this museum ... we know it will show how far Washington has to go," Bowser said.

The museum is offering extended hours for the grand opening weekend, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday, but timed entry passes are no longer available. While entry is free, like at other Smithsonian facilities, the museum is instituting a timed pass system to control crowds and alleviate wait times. 

Those who didn't score tickets had the option to watch the museum's dedication ceremony in large-screen viewing areas at the Washington Monument grounds, or livestream the ceremony on the museum's website.

A free three-day festival celebrating the talent and creativity of African-American artists is also taking place on the Washington Monument grounds. The Freedom Sounds festival features jazz, R&B, gospel and hip-hop artists throughout the weekend. The Roots, Living Colour and Public Enemy headlined the festival Saturday night, and a surprise special guest is slated to perform Sunday. 

Anyone heading toward the museum this weekend should be prepared for large crowds and heightened security.

The push for the museum began in 1915 with African-American Civil War veterans looking for a way to commemorate America's black experience. Former President George W. Bush signed the law authorizing the construction in 2003.

Lewis, who co-sponsored legislation authorizing its construction, said the bronze-colored museum "is more than a building, it is a dream come true."

For more information about the museum, check NBC Washington's full coverage here.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian
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<![CDATA[Anthem Protests Spread to Colleges, WNBA Player Sits]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:19:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/colinkaepernick3.JPG

Liberty guard Brittany Boyd sat on the bench with her head bowed during the national anthem before a WNBA playoff game.

Hours earlier, college football players for Michigan and Michigan State, along with a group of students at North Carolina, raised their fists during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner on Saturday. 

Since 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem before NFL preseason games, citing racial injustice and police brutality, his movement has slowly spread across fields and courts in the U.S. On Saturday, college athletes and professional athletes joined together to follow his lead after a week punctuated by riots in Charlotte, North Carolina , and the killing of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Boyd had sat on the bench during the anthem at the team's last home game on Sept. 13, too. Her New York teammates stood, arms locked with their heads bowed before their WNBA playoff game with Phoenix. Mercury players Mistie Bass and Kelsey Bone kneeled, just as they had done during their first-round playoff game. Bass was inspired that younger athletes were joining an effort that until this weekend, had been mostly led by the pros. 

"I think it shows that the younger generations are about this and they did it together," she said. "They are understanding what is going on in our society. It's perfect because they are so caught up in their phones. To see them standing up for social injustices and wanting things to be right in their communities I think is awesome." 

Three Michigan State players — Delton Williams, Kenney Lyke and Gabe Sherrod — held their right fists in the air while standing on the sideline before the No. 8 Spartans hosted No. 11 Wisconsin.

"Whether somebody salutes, puts the hand over their heart or does something else, everybody has a choice to make," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio added after the Spartans' 30-6 loss. "Our young people are in college, and I can promise you one thing, that when the flag is presented in some respect, I guess it becomes much more important now. It's not just, oh by the way, we'll just stand for 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'

"All I can do is try and lead the best way I can, and be positive and accepting to our football team and our players," the coach added.

Several players for No. 4 Michigan also had their fists up before facing Penn State in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Among them were Khalid Hill, Mike McCray, Devin Bush, Elysee Mbem-Bosse and Jourdan Lewis.

Most college conferences play the anthem before the teams take the field. The Big Ten is among the exceptions.

The University of Michigan is 6 miles from Eastern Michigan University, where chanting students marched on the field Friday night after the school's 27-24 victory over Wyoming. The students were protesting racist graffiti on the campus earlier in the week.

"We have great respect for our students engaged in the constructive efforts underway to address the issues we face," Eastern Michigan President James Smith said in a statement Saturday.

Before North Carolina hosted Pittsburgh, students wearing black shirts remained seated with fists raised. Some 60 to 70 black and white students participated.

Nebraska players Michael Rose-Ivey, Daishon Neal and Mohamed Barry also kneeled before the No. 20 Cornhuskers' game at Northwestern.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was Kaepernick's coach for four seasons in San Francisco. Last month, Harbaugh said he supported Kaepernick's motivation to speak out but took exception to his method.

After Saturday's game, Harbaugh said he had been thinking a lot about the issue the past couple of weeks and that he supports his players. 

"This is something that's not going away. It's going to keep happening," Harbaugh said after the Wolverines' 49-10 victory. "It's not something that's going to keep them out of heaven. So I'm not going to worry about it. As long as it doesn't keep them out of heaven for supporting their minds, I support it."

Kaepernick was at a high school football game on Friday night. He spoke to players from Castlemont High School and joined them on the sideline before the game. A photo by former NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison on Twitter shows Kaepernick kneeling while the rest of the team laid on their backs with their hands up during the anthem.

Saturday's gestures came a day after it was announced that Tommie Smith and John Carlos will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama. The raised-fist salutes by the American sprinters on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics became a political flash point.

Photo Credit: Pendarvis Harsha]]>
<![CDATA[Highlights From the 2016 Campaign Trail]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:32:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-609886960.jpg The 2016 presidential race has been contentious and full of surprises. Check out scenes from the campaign trail.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Standoff Prompts Evacuations in SF]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:32:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SF+CIVIC+CENTER+STANDOFF+OFFICER+INTERVIEW+-+14551803.jpg

The San Francisco Civic Center and United Nations Plaza were evacuated Saturday due to a six-hour standoff with an armed man, who it turned out was carrying an airsoft gun, police said.

The man, who surrendered peacefully around 6 p.m., was initially reported to be carrying a semi-automatic handgun that he did not fire, according to police spokesman Carlos Manfredi. The man had threatened to "use the gun on officers and on himself," Manfredi said.

Fire officials later clarified that the man was carrying an airsoft or replica gun.

The man, who Manfredi said is a San Francisco resident in his 40s, called 911 after 12 p.m. and reported that he had a weapon and was standing in the center of the plaza. Police were "assuming" the gun is "loaded," Manfredi said.

Police evacuated people in a two-block radius and secured the perimeter, Manfredi said, but initial attempts to talk to the man were not successful so officers "took a step back."

Crisis hostage negotiators were then called in and the SWAT team was also on scene, according to Manfredi. Negotiators were seeking a "good dialogue" with the man so they could better understand "what's going on," he said.

"As long as we have time to talk to this person, we have hope," Manfredi said. 

Police believed the man may be suicidal because of some of the things he said, like wanting "to end his life" and "take out other people," Manfredi said.

"We don't want that to happen," he said.

The surrounding roads were blocked to traffic, and pedestrians and motorists were sked to avoid the area. The Federal Aviation Administration also instated temporary flight restrictions for two nautical miles around the Civic Center to ensure the safety of all involved.

Police did not believe the standoff is terror-related, said Manfredi, who could not comment on whether the man is lucid or under the influence of any drugs.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[New York Times Endorses Hillary Clinton for President]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 13:25:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hillary-clinton-profile.jpg

The New York Times editorial board endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Saturday, writing the endorsement is "rooted in respect for her intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of almost continuous public service."

The Times touted Clinton's record as first lady, New York senator and secretary of state in their endorsement, claiming she has shown the ability to work with politicians from opposing parties to enact her policy agenda.

"When Mrs. Clinton was sworn in as a senator from New York in 2001, Republican leaders warned their caucus not to do anything that might make her look good," the editorial says. "Yet as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she earned the respect of Republicans like Senator John McCain with her determination to master intricate military matters."

The editorial also praised her foreign policy record as secretary of state, but does mention her missteps in that role.

"As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton was charged with repairing American credibility after eight years of the Bush administration’s unilateralism," the editorial board wrote. "She bears a share of the responsibility for the Obama administration’s foreign-policy failings, notably in Libya. But her achievements are substantial."

Clinton's ability to bounce back from her failings, however, is another one of her strengths as a politician and presidential candidate, according to the endorsement.

"She is one of the most tenacious politicians of her generation, whose willingness to study and correct course is rare in an age of unyielding partisanship. As first lady, she rebounded from professional setbacks and personal trials with astounding resilience," the editorial board wrote.

The endorsement only made passing reference to Republican nominee Donald Trump, who "discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway," according to the Times.

The editorial board added it will publish another editorial to explain why Trump is the "worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Watch Police Dashcam Video From Keith Scott Shooting]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:34:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/charlotte-shooting-dashcam-147476749023100001.jpg Charlotte police on Saturday released portions of an officer's dashboard camera footage captured during the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.]]> <![CDATA[Man Arrested After 6 People Stabbed at SoCal House Party]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 23:35:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/199*120/9-24-16+Pasadena+stabbing+party.JPG

A man was charged with attempted murder after six people were stabbed at a Pasadena house party early Saturday morning, police said.

Police responded to a residence on the 3100 block of East California Boulevard around 3:10 a.m. after a fight broke out during a house party, according to Lt. Vasken Gourdikian of the Pasadena Police Department. About 100 to 150 people were in the home.

When officers arrived, they found six victims with stab wounds. According to police, a fight broke out after someone bumped into the suspect, identified as 21-year-old Aaron Te, and the San Gabriel resident pulled out a knife and began stabbing people around him.

Te was in front of the home when responding officers arrived and detained, Pasadena police said in a statement.

Police recovered Te's knife, which he had before he came to the party, Gourdikian said.

It was unclear if the man knew the victims or if he was an uninvited guest.

The victms were transported to local hospitals. All of the victims were described by police as Asian men in their early 20's. As of Saturday morning, one victim was in serious condition, two of the victims were in critical condition, and three others had moderate to severe injuries, but were expected to recover, police said.

Te was arrested for attempted murder and booked at the Pasadena City Jail," Pasadena police said in statement. It was not known if Te had an attorney.

Anyone with information about the stabbing was asked to call 626-744-4620. 

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[2 Firefighters Killed Battling Delaware Blaze]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 08:28:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Christopher-Leach-Jerry-Fic.jpg

Flags were at half-staff in Wilmington, Delaware Saturday in honor of two firefighters who were killed after the first floor of a burning row home collapsed.

Loved ones continue to mourn Wilmington Fire Lt. Christopher Leach, 41, and Wilmington Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes, 51.

“All of our family is hurting, significantly," said Wilmington Fire Department Chief Anthony Goode. "The entire city is hurting significantly. I know I am.”

Leach, who was assigned to Ladder 2, and Fickes, who was assigned to Squad 4, were two of the several firefighters who responded to a fire at a row home on the 1900 block of Lakeview Road in a development called Canby Park in Wilmington shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday. Smoke detectors inside the home began going off as a family of six slept.

"We were like, 'wake up, wake up, it's a fire!'" said Winter Brooks, who lives inside the home. "It was really scary."

After the first unit arrived, a report was transmitted of heavy fire from the rear and another engine was dispatched. Firefighters entered the home and tried to save the family members who they believed were trapped inside the basement. They didn't realize at the time however that the entire family had safely escaped the burning house.

As the firefighters remained inside, the first floor of the home, which investigators say was soft and brittle, collapsed. Leach and Fickes then fell through to the basement and were trapped inside.

A Wilmington firefighter declared a "mayday" at 3:14 a.m. and officials directed more resources to assist them.

"Firefighters trapped, first floor," a dispatcher said in a recording obtained by NBC10. "Mayday has been declared. All units out."

Several firefighters searched through the home and eventually found Leach and Fickes. Both firefighters had died from their injuries.

“The saddest thing was having to watch them carry that firefighter out with an American flag over them, and it almost broke my heart,” said neighbor Marion Veasey.

Veasey, who lives right behind the home that caught fire, said she was awakened close to 3 a.m. by all the commotion and ran to the back window.

“The flames were shooting out of the top of the house. It was everywhere. Everywhere. It was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen,” Veasey said. “The most horrible thing is a house can be replaced, but not these lives."

Four other firefighters were also injured during the fire. Two of the survivors remain in critical condition at the Crozer Chester Medical Center Burn Center while two others were treated and released from Christiana Hospital.

The fallen firefighters both leave behind children and families. Leach was with the department for 14 years and Fickes spent the last 13 years as a Wilmington firefighter.

"He died a hero," said Betsy Arnold, a neighbor.

A prayer service was held for the two firefighters at the Salesianum School in Wilmington where Leach had attended as a teen. Leach's son also currently attends the school. Leach had visited the school just last week to talk with students.

"He told the students about how much he loved his job," said Salesianum School president Brendan Kennealey, who was also Leach's classmate in the 90s.

Just last week, Leach left a Facebook post that seems to underscore his love of the job.

Vice President Joe Biden visited the scene of the deadly fire Saturday night. He was one of many leaders who tried to comfort the family of the fallen first responders. Delaware Senator Chris Coons also attended the prayer service.

"It should remind all of us just how grateful we should be for all of our first responders who take up jobs where every day they don't know if they'll come home," Senator Coons said.

In addition to their work as firefighters, Leach and Fickes were also known for helping others and collected coats for needy children during the winter.

"Jerry and I started in the fire service many, many years ago," said Tim Taggart of Local 1590. "He's one of the toughest guys I know."

Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting in the fire investigation, which will be led by the state fire marshal's office.

Photo Credit: Wilmington Fire Department
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<![CDATA[Couple Attacks Boy With Autism After Being Photographed]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 13:53:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/222*120/oc-autism-attack092416.jpg

The mother of a teenage boy with autism says a couple who attacked her son after he took photographs of them wouldn't stop even when she told them about his disability.

Beatriz Fox, of Newport Beach, said taking pictures of people with his iPad calms her 16-year-old son Christopher McVay.

"It's not with bad intent," Fox said. "It's what he likes to do."

On Saturday, McVay was sitting in the back seat of his mother's car, in front of their house on Balboa Boulevard, when he snapped photos of a man and woman walking by.

The couple became upset, and the woman allegedly approached the car, opened the door and started pushing him, Newport Beach police said.

"She's shoving him and she's pushing him, she's yelling and cursing him," said Christopher's sister Mila McVay. "I was yelling, 'What are you doing? Why are you pushing my brother?'"

Fox ran out and tried to explain to the couple that her son has a disability, but she said that didn't stop them.

"She was cursing me out, she was cursing my child out," she said. "My worst nightmare, ever."

Police are now seeking the public's help in identifying the man and woman. The woman is described as Caucasian with long, dark hair, approximately 24 to 27 years old, 5 feet and 5 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. She was wearing an olive green jacket and cropped black leggings during the attack.

The other alleged suspect, is described as a dark-haired Caucasian male with facial hair, approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs between 200 and 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing a "Newport Beach Lifeguard" novelty t-shirt.

The boy's family wants everyone to learn from this attack.

"I've always known there's a possibility that people might not understand my brother's disability," Mila McVay said. "So, to finally see somebody actually going after him — it was really scary."

"He's a child, he's a child with a disability," Fox said. "He wasn't hurting them -- they need to come forward. They need to turn themselves in and be responsible for what they did to another human being."

Photo Credit: Newport Beach Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Snapchat Introduces Camera-Equipped Spectacles]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 07:29:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Snap+Inc+Spectacles.jpg

A newly christened Snapchat debuted its first hardware product on Friday — Spectacles.

Snap, Inc.'s $130 glasses will able to record 10-second videos from the wearer's vantage point, according to the Wall Street Journal. Spectacles' 115-degree camera lens closely mirrors people's line of sight. 

"When I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes — it was unbelievable," co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel told the Journal. 

The company says its wireless video camera, touted as one of the smallest in the world, is capable of taking a day's worth of Snaps on a single charge. The camera is intergrated into sunglasses that will be available in three colors. 

Spectacles will connect directly to a user's Snapchat account via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections to "transfer your Memories directly into the app in our brand new circular video format," Snap Inc. said.

The glasses are expected to be available sometime this fall.

Photo Credit: Snap Inc.]]>
<![CDATA[Charlotte Shooting Video: Footage Shows Fatal Encounter]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:45:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/217*120/Screen+Shot+2016-09-23+at+1.06.16+PM.png

WARNING: This video contains graphic language. Viewer discretion advised. 

Unsettling footage obtained exclusively by NBC News shows the moments leading up to the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

The footage, taken by Scott's wife, does not clearly show the exact moment he was shot by police on Tuesday. Scott is seen on the ground moments after the shots were fired and surrounded by officers. 

"He better not be f---ing dead, he better not be f---ing dead," Scott's wife Rakeyia Scott can be heard shouting at the police officers. "He better live, he better live!" 

"He has no weapon — don't shoot him!" she is heard saying.

Police say Scott had a handgun on him and posed "an imminent, deadly threat." The family says he was not armed and did not pose a threat to the officers.

The killing of Scott, 43, sparked three nights of fiery protests and violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. Activists and the Scott family have pressed city officials to release bodycam or dashcam footage of the fatal encounter, which reignited debates about race and policing nationwide.

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<![CDATA[Brits Bash Pugs, American Dog Lovers Respond]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:26:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/GettyImages-477235447-pug.jpg

It’s a good thing Instagram celebrity Doug the Pug lives in the United States.

If he were from the United Kingdom, he might confront an unexpected stigma this week after the British Veterinary Association called for prospective dog owners to avoid flat-faced dog breeds.

The warning targets canines of the brachycephalic variety, or dogs with little to no snout, like pugs, bulldogs, and shih tzus.

According to The Guardian, Sean Wensley, president of the BVA, said “prospective dog owners need to consider that these dogs can suffer a range of health issues throughout their lives, from eye ulcers to painful spine abnormalities and severe breathing difficulties that can result in otherwise preventable surgery.”

Many domestic canine lovers say the Brits are grossly overreacting.

Richard Goldstein, chief medical officer at Manhattan’s Animal Medical Center, explained that nearly all thoroughbreds will come with baggage because of their specializations; if you’re looking for a problem-free dog, he recommended swinging by a shelter and picking out a medium-sized mutt.

That said, Goldstein has his own brachycephalic pooch, an 8-year-old English toy spaniel he absolutely adores. 

“Our role is not to try to eliminate certain breeds or tell people that they shouldn’t get them,” said the vet. “I definitely feel like there’s a place for them, and I don’t feel like we should be discouraging the appropriate owner from adopting one.”

The American Kennel Club agrees with the message, writing that it "emphatically supports freedom of choice in selecting a pet." 

"AKC actively promotes efforts to ensure that people are educated, understand the demands of responsible ownership and have access to healthy, well-bred dogs that are right for them," a spokesperson told NBC.

They emphasized "that breeding programs should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized purebred puppies... Owners should be diligent in the care and overall well-being of their dog by keeping track of their exercise, health visits, vaccinations and other preventative measures that aid in their dog maintaining its best health."

All breeds have their pros and cons, and flat-faced canines do come with flaws.

Goldstein allowed that brachycephalic dogs are more prone to airway and back problems, and sometimes suffer from skin damage, like many breeds.

According to Julie Legred, executive director at the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, "brachycephalic breeds have an increased risk of complications during anesthesia." But, she countered, by following protocols and using certified veterinary technicians, such surgical errors dramatically decrease.

Because the dogs' faces are so close to the objects they sniff, their owners must be attentive, said Cynthia Cool, a pug breeder in Vacaville, California.. They’re also more sensitive to weather than other breeds. 

“If you’re walking the dog, you need to exercise them when it’s cooler as opposed to too warm outside,” she advised. 

In terms of life expectancy, Cool bragged that some of her pugs celebrated 16th birthdays. On average, the animals make it to 11 or 12, which is typical for a dog under 20 pounds. By contrast, Goldstein said that large dogs tend to have the shortest lives, with some considered geriatric at only 5 years old.

John Little, president of the Bulldog Club of America, didn't seem convinced about his favorite pooch's deficiencies.  

“The fact is that the bulldog is an exceptional breed,” he added. “It’s a tremendous pet, and it has all the characteristics we want in it.”

Not all canine experts pushed back hard against the BVA's recommendations.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said in a statement to NBC that flat-faced dogs and their associated physical attributes "that negatively affect the animal's welfare should not be bred, as those characteristics and related problems are likely to be passed on to their puppies." 

But rescues are a different story, the group said. 

"Existing dogs with these conditions should not be passed over for adoption as long as the potential owner is informed of the animal's potential health risks and is willing to provide an appropriate lifestyle and necessary veterinary care as issues arise."

Photo Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Million Syrians Without Water in Aleppo: UN]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 08:47:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16253598019602.jpg

A wave of intense airstrikes has left nearly two million people in the Syrian city of Aleppo without water, UN officials said Saturday as activists said at least 25 more civilians had been killed.

UN children's charity, UNICEF, said this week's renewed airstrikes — which further dashed hopes of reviving last week's cease-fire — had damaged a water pumping station which supplies about 250,000 people in rebel-held eastern parts and violence is preventing repair teams from reaching it.

Photo Credit: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Key NJ Legislators Considering Christie Impeachment: Sources]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:16:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Capture121.JPG

Key members of the New Jersey Assembly have begun researching whether or not to bring articles of impeachment against Gov. Chris Christie, NBC 4 New York has learned. 

This follows early testimony in the George Washington Bridge scandal trial, which some Assembly members believe shows the Republican governor had more knowledge of the lane closures in Fort Lee during and after that week in 2013 then he has led the public to believe.   

One committee chairman who did not want to be named said "clearly obstruction of justice" would be an obvious charge against the governor.   

The legislator told NBC 4 New York the chances are probably 50-50 that the assembly would pursue impeachment.   

A Christie spokesman offered a one-word response to the report: "Ridiculous."

The decision on impeachment will be up to Democratic Speaker Vincent Prieto and if he gives the go-ahead, the Assembly Judiciary Committee would begin the process.   

It takes a majority of the 80-member Assembly to vote articles of impeachment.

If it passes the Democrat-controlled body, the trial would be in the Senate, where two-thirds of senators would be needed to convict. Although Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, they would need three Republican senators to join them if all Democrats vote to convict.

Christie is nearing the end of his second term, with a new governor due to be sworn in 16 months from now. The one-time presidential candidate and key Donald Trump advisor is often mentioned as a possible attorney general in a Trump administration.

Earlier this month, Christie acknowledged to MSNBC that the bridge scandal was likely a factor in Trump passing him over for vice president. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Rare Bipartisan Agreement Reached, Briefly, on Abortion]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:45:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CONGRESS_GettyImages-2062515.jpg

Abortion rights advocates and opponents in Congress reached a rare bipartisan consensus at a Friday hearing: Both sides agreed on the effectiveness of a ban on federal abortion funding.

Known as the Hyde Amendment, the 40-year-old law restricting federal funding for abortions has shown to be effective in curbing the number of abortions performed, both sides agreed. For anti-abortion Republicans, the policy’s functionality proves its success. But for abortion rights supporters, it’s a sign that women are simply being denied health care, NBC News reported.

Rep. Trent Franks said the fact that abortion hasn’t become a major issue in this general election campaign is disappointing.

“The American people deserve to know where the candidates stand, in the most important election this century and in the last century,” he said. Franks presided over the House judiciary subcommittee hearing Friday morning.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 06:57:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-609774176_master.jpg View daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Cops Arrest Man in Theft of Naked Trump Statue]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:20:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AleRodriguez.jpg

Miami police have arrested the man allegedly responsible for the theft of a naked statue of Donald Trump that stood over a section of the Wynwood neighborhood.

Pedro Rodriguez, 36, has been charged with grand theft and burglary, police say.

Miami Police PIO said the naked Donald Trump statue has been returned and is in its owner’s possession. No further details were disclosed on the status of the statue.

According to the police report, a witness told police he saw the suspect walking on the roof of the business; the suspect then removed the statue and dropped it into the back of a pickup truck with a Florida tag that was parked in front of the business. The witness was able to capture a picture of the truck while it was driving away. The witness added that the suspect was the driver of the truck.

Authorities conducted a record check of the tag number, which identified Rodriguez as the truck's registered owner. The witness acknowledged that Rodriguez was the one he saw taking the statue.

Eugene Lemay, president of Mana Contemporary, released a statement Friday evening:

"The sculpture... was stolen from the property of Mana Wynwood on Thursday, September 22 before dawn. The owners of Mana Wynwood have filed a police report and shared security footage from the scene. The theft of the sculpture will not undermine our determination to stand strong for what it represents and what we want to communicate: a profound statement against any forms of bigotry, racism, and discrimination during this presidential election campaign."

One of five statues created by a Cleveland man showing the GOP Presidential nominee with no clothes on had been at a display near Northwest 2nd Avenue and 23rd Street. It was moved there after appearing on top of a billboard just blocks away before police asked it to be moved over safety concerns.

The statues began appearing last month in places such as Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City – which was the first location of the one that later appeared in South Florida.

Photo Credit: Miami Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:22:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-609852868.jpg Click to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Exclusive Video: Deadly Charlotte Police Shooting]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 15:06:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/charlotte-shooting-screengrab.jpg Footage obtained by NBC News shows the moments leading up to the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Confesses to Murder for Which Twin Was Convicted: Report]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:59:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kevin+dugar+karl+smith.jpg

In a plot twist that seemed to be straight from a movie, a man confessed in court on Thursday to a murder for which his identical twin brother had been convicted, according to the Chicago Tribune

Karl Smith, 38, was on the witness stand at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago when he testified that he was the gunman in a 2003 shooting that left one man dead and another injured, the Tribune reports. 

His brother Kevin Dugar was convicted in the shooting in 2005 and sentenced to 54 years in prison, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

A gunman opened fire on three people near Sheridan Road and Argyle Street in the city's Uptown neighborhood in March 2003, according to the Tribune, killing Antwan Carter and wounding Ronnie Bolden.

Bolden later identified Dugar in a photo lineup that did not include Smith, according to Dugar's petition for a post-conviction hearing, the Tribune reports. 

Smith, who adopted his mother's maiden name, said Thursday that he didn't come forward because he thought his brother would be acquitted, according to the Tribune, and he even sat in on at least one day of Dugar's trial. 

Smith is serving a 99-year prison sentence for a 2007 home invasion and armed robbery in which a 6-year-old boy was shot in the head, the Tribune reports, never confessing to the murder until he wrote his brother a letter in 2013. 

Dugar responded by telling Smith to contact his lawyers, according to the Tribune. 

Prosecutors questioned Smith's motivation for the confession, the Tribune reports, telling the judge that he only came forward after a court upheld his own conviction for attempted murder in the 2007 case. 

It was unclear when the judge will decide if Dugar should be given a new trial.

Photo Credit: Illinois Department of Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Man Crawls to Road 3 Days After Crash That Killed Girlfriend]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:50:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/indiana+crash+0923.jpg

For three days, Kevin Bell was trapped inside the wreckage of a crash with the body of his dead girlfriend, according to police. 

Shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, officers responded to a crash on U.S. Route 50 near the Jennings-Ripley County line in southeast Indiana, according to Indiana State Police.

There they found Bell, 39, of Dover, Pennsylvania, who had crawled up a 70 to 75-foot ravine from the crash site with injuries to his legs and a bag of belongings, including two 14-pound bowling balls, according to the York Daily Record. Officers also located a 1999 Ford Explorer off the road with the body of Nikki Reed, 37, of Seymour, Indiana, inside. 

However, the facts of the crash and the days thereafter are not adding up for Reed's family because both Reed and Bell had cell phones on their person, according to LEX18.com. Bell reportedly texted a friend but did not call 911.

The crash occurred on Saturday, investigators said, when Bell lost control of the SUV and ran off the road into an embankment, striking a tree head on. Reed died instantly in the crash, police said, and Bell's legs were so badly damaged that he wasn't able to leave the car, which was not visible from the road, until Tuesday. 

Reed's family reported both her and Bell missing on Sunday when they hadn't heard from the two in more than a day, police said. Reed made a trip to Pennsylvania to pick Bell up and they were returning to Reed's home to celebrate her son's birthday when the crash occurred, according to WAVE

Bell was taken with non-life threatening injuries to a hospital in North Vernon, Indiana. 

The investigation into the crash is ongoing. 

Photo Credit: Indiana State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Muralist Salutes Colin Kaepernick]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:47:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/colinkaepernick3.JPG

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received death threats and the dubious title of the most disliked player in the NFL this week.

But there are plenty of people who like what Kaep's been doing, too: Not standing during the national anthem over issues of equity and police brutality.

And now, the QB has an Oakland artist who's got his back.

A muralist who signed the work "FLC" painted a striking image of Kaepernick on what appears to be the back of a garbage structure at 22nd Street and Telegraph Avenue. Across the athlete's face are the words "We Got Your Back." A mural of Ray Charles is on the other side of the wall, and the entire art piece is a block or two away from the Oakland Burmese Mission Baptist Church and a main thoroughfare in the downtown-to-Temescal district.

The image caught the eye of Pendarvis Harshaw, 29, a journalist and senior communications associate at PolicyLink, who saw it on Thursday walking home from work. After tweeting out a picture of it, Harshaw garnered nearly 1,000 retweets in 15 hours.

"The illustration speaks volumes," Harshaw said. "It's about the community rallying around the athlete." But he also noted how significant that is in Oakland, home to the rival football team, the Raiders. Oaklanders usually never tip their hats across the bay to the San Francisco 49ers.

Kaerpernick has indeed divided the country over what constitutes patriotism and received scorn in less progressive parts of the United States. But the biracial football player is a hero to many in Oakland. Several high school students are now starting to grow out their hair in full Afros, which Kaepernick sported a couple of weeks ago. The city of Oakland is comprised of roughly 30 percent African Americans, compared to the rest of the Bay Area, which has just about 7 percent, Census data shows.

Most recently, his coach, Chip Kelly, who is white, told reporters Thursday afternoon that he also believes his quarterback is standing up, or sitting down, for the right reasons.

"He's shedding light on a situation that is heinous, it shouldn't happen in this country," Kelly said, regarding police shootings of black men. "You look at what's going on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights — it's an issue that's in the forefront of our country. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of because it's not right."

Photo Credit: Pendarvis Harshaw
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