<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.pngNBC Chicagohttp://www.nbcchicago.comen-usThu, 27 Apr 2017 09:01:58 -0500Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:01:58 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Promises, Promises: What Trump Said He'd Do But Hasn’t]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:11:58 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/AP_17019801482842.jpg

President Donald Trump hasn't followed through on most of his key campaign promises in his first 100 days in office, according to an NBC News analysis.

Of the 10 core goals NBC News tracked, the president made progress on two, faltered on four, and did little to nothing on the rest.

The tangible progress is mostly due to headline-grabbing executive orders on creating 25 million jobs and rebuilding industry, along with deporting undocumented immigrants. But on others like uniting a divided nation, having so many big wins that America would get bored, and rebuilding the country with a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, Trump has achieved little or nothing.  

"He's issued executive orders in line with what he's said and appointments as well, but at the same time … to a remarkable degree, he doesn't feel his previous statements bind him to anything," presidential historian Michael Beschloss said.

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Flyer Protections on Overbooked Plane Flights]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:09:32 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_flights0425_1500x845.jpg

NBC reports on the steps that flyers and travelers can take to protect themselves, and their vacation, from an overbooked flight.

<![CDATA[California Gears Up to Fight Trump on Car Emissions]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:18:00 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/134002821-405-traffic-generic.jpg

Even as President Trump pulls back on regulations governing car emissions, part of a broader policy of overturning environmental protections enacted by the Obama administration, California is determinedly headed in the opposite direction with stricter rules it alone is authorized to enact.

During a visit to Detroit last month, Trump halted the imposition of standards that would cut car emissions almost in half by 2025, including greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming. The administration instead will reopen a review of the standards at the request of the major automakers, giving them the chance to argue that the rules should be eased.

"This is going to be a new era for American jobs and job creation," Trump said in Detroit.

But California is moving forward with the more stringent tailpipe rules, setting up an expected showdown with the Trump administration. A week after Trump's announcement, the California Air Resources Board not only voted to reaffirm the standards and but also began to consider new ones to take effect after 2025. Likely to join the fight will be the dozen other states that follow California's standards rather than the national ones. States can choose either.

"The Trump administration really is very aggressively proclaiming that we should not be addressing climate change at the federal level," said Sean B. Hecht, the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law. "And the auto companies have taken this as an opportunity…to say, 'Hold on, let's try to back out of this deal where we have these federal fuel economy standards through 2025.'"

Trump has had a mixed record in his first 100 days in office. He began dismantling former President Barack Obama's major climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan, with an executive order lifting carbon restrictions, but has made little headway on many of his other campaign promises. His travel ban is tied up in the courts and an overhaul of Obamacare was withdrawn from the House because it had little support. Now California and other, mostly blue states are vowing to fight any easing of regulations governing car emissions.

California needs to control emissions to meet its ambitious plans for battling climate change, with zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars from Tesla and Chevrolet part of the mix. Last year, legislators passed a bill requiring that by 2030, the state cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below its 1990 levels. To send a message about their willingness to take on Trump, Democratic leaders of the California legislature hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to represent them in legal fights with the White House.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and the state's other top Democrats called Trump's move to roll back the emissions standards a cynical ploy.

"President Trump's decision today to weaken emission standards in cars is an unconscionable gift to polluters," Brown wrote to the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on March 15. "Once again you've put the interests of big oil ahead of clean air and politics ahead of science."

Electricity production accounted for most of the greenhouse gases produced in 2014 at 30 percent, but transportation was right behind at 26 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's website. In California, that percentage was even higher: Transportation generated 37 percent of its emissions in 2014.

"For sure California is gearing up," said Deborah Sivas, an environmental litigator at Stanford Law School. "Part of it depends on the next moves by the administration."

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment about its plans for the emissions standards. In a statement last month, Pruitt said that along with the Department of Transportation, the EPA would consider whether the emissions standards were good not only for the environment but also for consumers.

"These standards are costly for automakers and the American people," he said. "We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic."

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao echoed his statement, calling Trump's position a "win" for the American people.

Attempts to undercut the standards will prompt drawn-out litigation from states such as California or New York, Sivas predicted. To reverse an earlier decision, the EPA will have to go through the same series of elaborate steps that were taken to put the rules into place.

"They can't just say, 'Oh yeah, well forget that,'" Sivas said.

California earned its unique authority to set regulations tougher than national ones through its pioneering efforts to curb air pollution. When Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1970, it gave the EPA authority to restrict air pollution from tailpipes as a way to tackle smog. But because California had established its own laws a decade earlier, and because it successfully argued that its air pollution was naturally worse than other states', it was given special status in the law. California may ask the EPA administrator for a waiver to restrict pollution more stringently than the federal government if, in the law's language, the state's standards are at least as protective of public health and welfare and needed to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions.

The EPA has denied California's request for a waiver just once, during the administration of President George W. Bush, when California first moved to regulate greenhouse gases in addition to more traditional pollutants. California sued but the case was never decided because Obama was elected.

If the Trump administration were to deny future waivers, California would certainly push back. 

Hecht said that in the past, California has argued that it has compelling and extraordinary circumstances because it has a very large economy and sells many cars, and so its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases will make a difference. It also has said that climate change will have specific, negative effects on the state: the loss of the snow pack which will threaten its water supply, for example.

"They were accepted by the Obama administration, and the question will be, Will California win that court fight?'" he said.

Nor is there anything in the law giving the EPA administrator the authority to withdraw a waiver already granted.

"It doesn't speak to the issue one way or the other," said Richard Frank, an environmental law professor at the University of California-Davis.

The Trump administration would likely argue that it has the discretion to revoke any waivers granted by a previous administration, while California would say that absent specific language in the law, the EPA lacks the authority, he said.

"Given all that it will be tough for EPA to say we're going to rescind your waiver," Sivas said. "So I think California has the upper hand in that fight if it comes down to that."

At Pruitt's confirmation hearing, he refused to commit to keeping the waiver in place. Pressed by California's Sen. Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, he said, "I don't know without going through the process to determine that. One would not want to presume the outcome."

If the Trump administration were to try to withdraw the waiver, Sivas thought California would win in court.

"It's pretty clear under the statue that the deference goes to California not to the EPA on whether the waiver is appropriate," she said. "The Congress wrote the statute that way."

The EPA has already concluded both that elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger" public health and that emissions from new cars contribute to the dangerous levels of greenhouse gases.

The so-called "endangerment finding" came about after Massachusetts sued the EPA under the George W. Bush administration to force it to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S. Supreme Court determined that greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act's "capacious definition of 'air pollutant,'" meaning the EPA had the statutory authority to regulate their emissions from new cars and other vehicles.

When it was challenged, the finding was upheld in a federal court, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

"It is there, and it needs to be enforced and respected," Pruitt said during his confirmation hearing. "There is nothing that I know that would cause it to be reviewed."

Massachusetts — which along with Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington follow California's lead — is committed to the stricter standards, said Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

As with California, Massachusetts is relying on lower car emissions to achieve its climate change goals. The administration of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker wants to place 300,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road in Massachusetts by 2025 as part of a multi-state effort.

"Any weakening of those standards would raise concerns about Massachusetts' ability to meet emissions reduction goals and maintain ozone standards," Coletta said.

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation also said it would stick with the California standards to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050.

"While federal leadership is essential, New York will not stand idly by while clean air protections are eviscerated, and will take any and all actions necessary to ensure public health and our environment are protected," it said.

Meanwhile, the attorneys general of eight of the states plus the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection criticized Trump's position as a dramatic wrong turn for the country that would undermine successful efforts to combat pollution.

"An extensive technical study by the Environmental Protection Agency already found that the standards are fully and economically achievable by the auto industry," their March 16 statement said. "Relaxing them would increase the air pollution that is responsible for premature death, asthma, and more – particularly in our most vulnerable communities."

The standards that Trump wants to ease were set in 2012 in an ambitious effort that also created consistency across the country. The agreement, which grew out of an accord that Obama crafted in 2009 after the financial melt-down, brought together the Obama administration, the car manufacturers and the California Air Resources Board. The rules require each company's fleet of vehicles for the model years 2022 through 2025 to achieve on average 54.5 miles per gallon and they enable the manufactures to avoid making two versions of vehicles for different states.

As part of the agreement, the EPA undertook an evaluation mid-way through the period, but expedited its analysis just before Obama's term ended. In November, with Trump about to take office, it announced it would leave the regulations in place.

That decision left many of the car companies crying foul, saying the review had been rushed, and urging Trump to intervene and weaken the standards. Manufactures warned of price hikes over what consumers could pay, and the loss of 1 million automotive jobs, and pointed to the popularity of pickup trucks and other less fuel-efficient vehicles.

"The Trump Administration has created an opportunity for decision-makers to reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data," the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement after Trump’s announcement.

Now that the review has been reopened, a final decision from the EPA could come as late as April 2018.

Meanwhile in court, the alliance is arguing that the EPA's speeded up review was arbitrary and capricious. California responded by asking the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit that it be allowed to defend the feasibility of the standards in court.

An earlier analysis by the EPA found that the standards would reduce oil consumption by nearly 40 billion gallons of refined gasoline and diesel fuel, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons and save consumers more than $1,650 per vehicle, the California politicians said.

"Your action to weaken vehicle pollution standards — standards your own members agreed to —breaks your promise to the American people," Brown wrote to the automobile manufacturers. "Please be advised that California will take the necessary steps to preserve the current standards and protect the health of our people and the stability of our climate."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Through the Years]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:34:36 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trumpthumb.jpgWhat Donald Trump's presidency will look like is unclear to many observers. He has not previously worked in politics, and has made contradictory statements on policy issues in several areas during his campaign. Despite the unknowns, Trump has an extensive public profile that, along with his real estate empire and the Trump brand, grew domestically and internationally over the last few decades. Here is a look at the president-elect's personal and career milestones and controversies.

Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Girl Found Dead in Joliet]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:25:01 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/semaj+crosby+found.png

A 16-month girl who went missing from her home in a southwest suburb of Chicago was found dead early Thursday morning. 

After 30 hours of searching, the body of Semaj Crosby was discovered inside a home in the 300 block of Louis Road in Joliet Township around 12 a.m., according to the Will County Sheriff's Office. 

An evidence van could be seen parked outside the home where Semaj was found and yellow crime tape surrounded the area early Thursday.

The house is right in the center of what had been a massive search area scoured by more than 100 officers, multiple teams of bloodhounds, divers and volunteers ever since the 16-month old was reported missing by her mother, Sheri Gordon, on Tuesday evening.

Gordon told authorities her daughter had been playing in the yard with her cousins before she wandered away. She pleaded for her safe return in an interview with NBC 5 Wednesday morning. 

“I just want her home with mommy. I just want her home with me,” Gordon had said.

NBC 5 learned Wednesday that Gordon had hired an attorney as search crews were continuing their efforts to find Semaj. The Will County Sheriff's Office said it was Gordon's attorney that helped authorities get consent to search the home at on Louis Road around 11 p.m. Wednesday, before investigators found the body of the girl an hour later. 

Gordon and other family members were seen walking in and out of the residence during the search Wednesday. Authorities have not confirmed that Semaj was found in her own home.

The Department of Child and Family Services said Wednesday that Gordon is currently under investigation for an allegation of neglect. 

"We have had prior contact with this family including four unfounded investigations for neglect and two prior pending investigation[s] for neglect opened in March 2017," said Veronica Resa, deputy director of communications for DCFS. 

Resa said DCFS had been at the family's home April 25 about 3:20 p.m. and all three of the mother's children were there — including Semaj. 

"There were no obvious hazards or safety concerns at that time. DCFS has been working with the family, offering services since September 2016," Resa said. 

An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday to determine the girl’s cause of death.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 / Family Photo
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<![CDATA[World's Largest Starbucks Coming to Chicago]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:36:11 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Chicago_Roastery_1+%281%29.jpg

The world’s largest Starbucks is coming to Chicago.

The coffee chain announced Wednesday that it will open a Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago on North Michigan Avenue in 2019.

According to the company, the four-story roastery will be a “fully sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world.”

“Chicago’s Magnificent Mile brings in millions of visitors from across this globe and is the perfect location for a world-class coffee destination,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “This Starbucks Reserve Roastery will be an investment in Chicago and a strong addition to Michigan Avenue, where residents and visitors can enjoy incredible coffees from around the world in a remarkable environment.”

The 43,000-square-foot Starbucks will be located at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street, in the current Crate and Barrel building.

"This building has a unique way of becoming a beacon for a brand, and I can’t think of a better retailer than Starbucks to offer Chicago something new and exciting with its Reserve Roastery,” Gordon Segal, founder of Crate and Barrel, said in a statement.

The interactive space will feature multiple brewing methods, a new menu of coffees and mixology and fresh baking on-site.

It will be the third roastery to open in the U.S. behind the flagship Seattle location, which opened in 2014, and one slated to open in New York in 2018.

“Having opened our first Starbucks store in Chicago nearly 30 years ago, our first outside of Seattle, this is a very special city for me," Howard Schultz, Starbucks' executive chairman, said in a statement. "At the time, it was a true test for Starbucks because the Chicago customer is so savvy and discerning about their coffee." 

Starbucks also revealed plans to open a “Reserve” store in Chicago’s West Loop in 2018.

Photo Credit: Starbucks]]>
<![CDATA[IRS, Postal Inspectors Raid Benny Hinn Ministries]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:14:39 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Benny+Hinn+investigation1.jpg

U.S. Postal Service inspectors and IRS criminal investigators returned Thursday to search the Grapevine offices of prominent televangelist Benny Hinn.

Though NBC 5 crews saw a large number of federal agents walking in and out of the offices with boxes, investigators would not say what they are looking for or even confirm they are investigating Hinn.

Neighbors saw the agents swarm into the building about 9 a.m. Wednesday.

"It looked like a big raid – people everywhere, police people everywhere out there, and just rushing in," said John Ebert, who works next door.

The IRS criminal investigators on scene primarily investigate tax evasion and general fraud against the government.

Investigators said most of the employees had gone home and Hinn himself was not present. According to a schedule posted on his website, Hinn is in Paris, France.

A woman reached by phone at Hinn's offices said no one from the ministry would be making any comments.

Hinn is known around the world for his "Miracle Crusades," revival and faith-healing gatherings broadcast on the televised program "This Is Your Day."

Hinn was one of six well-known televangelists investigated by the Senate Finance Committee beginning in 2007. After more than three years, Hinn and the other pastors involved were cleared of any official wrongdoing.

Hinn said at the time that he complied with tax regulations for religious nonprofits and that following the investigation he made changes to how he ran his ministry and set compensation.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/NBC News]]>
<![CDATA['Mayday!' Air Traffic Controllers Tell How They Saved Pilot]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:51:48 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/215*120/042617+air+traffic+controllers.jpg

"Mayday! Mayday! I just lost my engines!" A pilot flying over southern Virginia on Easter Sunday 2016 had two failed engines, no working instruments and no visibility. The two air traffic controllers who guided the plane to safety were honored for their expertise. "The recognition is beyond my dreams, however, I never would wish it upon anybody," Rick Wallace said. News4's Kristin Wright reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Fossils Show Humans in North America Earlier Than Previously Thought]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 22:27:53 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mastodon-bones-1992-archives_2.jpg

Fossils uncovered in San Diego 25 years ago show that humans inhabited North America at least 115,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to researchers. 

The San Diego Natural History Museum announced the findings to the public on Wednesday.

“It’s the 130,000 year age of this site that’s the really extraordinary result of our research,” said SDNHM paleontology curator Tom Deméré.

The prehistoric bones were uncovered in November 1992 along the construction site of State Route 54.

Field paleontologist Richard Cerutti carefully worked to extricate the bones of what would soon be known to be a mastodon.

However, the position of other stones and bones in the area created what was described as a “paleo crime scene.”

Scientists soon realized it was an archaeological site, not a paleontological one, that contained preserved evidence of human activity.

“As scientists we follow the evidence no matter where it leads,” said Deméré. “Who would think in this sort of setting we’d make such a startling discovery.”

Sites with evidence of humans in North America are typically around 14,000 years old. Some researchers now believe the San Diego site marks a much older beginning of humans in North America, though that is not definitive.

The site included clusters of rocks believed to have been used as tools. Richard Fullagar of the University of Wollongong, Australia, confirmed stones found at the San Diego site showed the same wear marks as stones used as tools in other sites.

But some are skeptical that the rocks were really used as tools. Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona in Tucson told The Associated Press the paper shows the bones could have been broken the way the authors assert, but they haven't demonstrated that's the only way.

Steve Holen, former curator of archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, traveled to San Diego in 2008. His experiments about stone tools were used to determine some of the bone fragments were broken apart in that way.

Holen called the discovery the biggest shock of his scientific career.

“Once I realized in my mind how old this site was, I could not believe that humans were here at that time,” Holen said. “It went against everything I’d ever been taught and everything that I ever thought I knew. It was quite shocking.”

He said they believe the location was a place where humans took bones and made tools. 

In 2011, technological advances enabled Jim Paces of the U.S. Geological Survey to use state-of-the-art radiometric dating methods to date the mastodon bones to 130,000 years old.

“It’s been a long, hard process,” he said. Their results, he said, are based on hundreds of analyses.

“We anticipate people will be curious to see if they can’t replicate those results,” Paces said.

Museum officials said there is no doubt the announcement raises more questions than answers. 

Not all researchers are convinced about the conclusion that humans arrived earlier than previously known. 

"I was astonished not because it is so good and important, but because it is so bad," Donald Grayson, an archaeologist at the University of Washington, wrote in a statement.

Grayson added he feels the "real mystery" is how the report was published in the scientific journal "Nature."

"It is one thing to show that broken bones and modified rocks could have been produced by people, which Holen and his colleagues have done," Grayson wrote. "It is quite another to show that people, and people alone, could have produced those modifications."

Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, told The Associated Press he doesn't reject the paper's claims outright, but he finds the evidence "not yet solid."

There are plans to begin field surveys looking for other sites of a similar age in geological deposits across Southern California, Holen said. Researchers will also look at museum collections to use similar analysis on those fossils.

Photo Credit: NBC 7
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<![CDATA[Will Trump’s Border Wall Prevent Human Trafficking?]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:52:18 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mexicowall_1200x675.jpg

President Donald Trump has said that his border wall could potentially curb human trafficking, but experts say that isn’t a sure thing, NBC News reported.

Traffickers could use different paths as leverage over their victims if they have trouble getting into the United States, according to one expert. The Department of Homeland Security is unable to comment on whether a border wall could curb human trafficking through the border.

Polaris, a partner of "Blue Campaign," the DHS program to combat human trafficking, keeps records of calls made to Línea Nacional Contra la Trata de Personas and Polaris' National Human Trafficking Resource Center to gain data on trafficking at the border.

Between Sept. 30, 2015 and Aug. 31, 2016, 508 human-trafficking victims were reported. The data also said a majority of traffickers were male adults of Mexican nationality.

Photo Credit: AP, File ]]>
<![CDATA[Top News: Fox Employees Files Racial Discrimination Case]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:42:27 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-673374172.jpgView daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cleveland POs Recall Tamir Rice's Shooting in Released Tape]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:34:07 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Tamir_Rice_Vid-149324031944900001.jpg

Footage released nearly two and a half years after the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, 12, show the reactions of the Cleveland police officers involved in the incident. Timothy Loehmann, the rookie officer who shot Rice, remained stoic throughout the interview. His partner, Frank Garmback, got emotional as he walked through the incident with internal investigators. "I didn't know it was a kid," Garmback said in the interview.

<![CDATA[Cosby Speaks About Sight, 'True Histories' in Rare Interview]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:57:33 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-645957880.jpg

Comedian Bill Cosby is blind, he confirmed in a rare interview released Wednesday, in the run-up to his sexual assault trial in suburban Philadelphia.

The interview, published by the National Newspaper Publishers Association Newswire, only features a few quotes from Cosby. He and a public relations expert decided to give the interview to the agency, which focuses on the black community, because they felt the outlet would be more interested in "facts over sensationalism," according to the interview.

It's his first time speaking at length to the press since charges were filed against him for allegedly sexually assaulting a Temple University employee at his home in 2004. Cosby has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail. He calls the encounter consensual.

His attorneys said in court in November that Cosby is too blind to identify his accusers in photographs. He has been guided into the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, courtroom for pre-trial appearances.

In the interview, Cosby said he called out to his wife when he woke up one morning without sight, and he also referred to "the true histories" of the United States being different from what is in textbooks.

Cosby also said in the interview that he misses performing: "I think about walking out on stage somewhere in the United States of America and sitting down in a chair and giving the performance that will be the beginning of the next chapter of my career."

His youngest daughter, Evin Cosby, released a statement defending her father as loving and the victim of unproven allegations that were played up because of their salaciousness. Dozens of women have come forward in recent years to allege they were the victims of Cosby's sexual misconduct, which Cosby has denied. He's also argued he can't defend himself against vague accusations stretching back decades.

"The harsh and hurtful accusations of things that supposedly happened 40 or 50 years ago, before I was born, in another lifetime, and that have been carelessly repeated as truth without allowing my dad to defend himself and without requiring proof, has punished not just my dad but every one of us," Evin Cosby wrote.

The trial beings June 5, and the judge expects it to last about two weeks.

Photo Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gas Station Cashier Recalls Terror of Los Angeles Riots]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:38:26 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/4-19-17-Son-Park.jpg

From inside a bulletproof cashier's booth at her Compton gas station 25 years ago, Son Park watched in horror as rioters threw rocks and yelled at her to leave.

The Korean mother of three had only inherited the duties of running the gas station two years earlier after her husband died.

Now, she was faced with a harrowing decision.

Should she leave and risk being hurt by other rioters or stay and risk being hurt if rioters were to get inside her business?

"I was very afraid. I wanted to go home, but I was very scared," she said in Korean as her daughter translated.

Park was caught in the middle of one of LA's worst riots. She recalled the memories from 25 years ago, when the city exploded in violence.

Park spent more than 12 hours in that cramped gas station cashier's space -- just 25 feet by 10 feet -- with a fellow employee in the early hours after the riots erupted on April 29, 1992. Her view of the mayhem and destruction was through several-inch thick glass windows looking out onto Rosecrans and Atlantic avenues.

The Los Angeles riots erupted over six days after a jury acquitted four members of the Los Angeles Police Department of charges of using excessive force in the videotaped beating and arrest of black motorist Rodney King after a high-speed pursuit.

More than 60 people were killed, 2,000 were injured and more than 1,000 buildings were destroyed in fires.

Park came to the United States at age 25 in the mid 1970s seeking the American dream. But she had never seen such violence before that day in Compton. Her biggest hurdle up to that point was overcoming a life of poverty on a South Korean farm after the Korean War.

"When I came to the United States I was shocked because there was just so much food," she said. "I could eat oranges and bananas like they were nothing. In Korea, I couldn't do that. But in America, I could work, I could make money, I could buy food."

Even as she watched the disorder in her adopted homeland, she still believed in the American dream, even as the city ignited in flames and businesses were looted.

Despite the tensions she made a lot of money that day. She sold nearly all of her gas and made thousands of dollars. People streamed in to fill up their tanks. She kept money in the register. When it filled up, she wrapped the money in bags and hid the cash under the counter.

Eventually, she thought, "I need to get out of here."

But if she left with the money, someone would likely steal it and set back her livelihood.

"I need to leave and I have to take this money," she said. "If I take this money and they see me, my life will be in danger."

She and the co-worker hid the money in a bucket and covered it with rags and trash to conceal it. They carried the bucket together and walked out of the gas station to their cars before driving away.

"I was super-relieved that Mom had come home unharmed," said her youngest daughter, Carol Park, an award winning journalist and researcher at the Young Oak Kim Center at UC Riverside.

She was 12 at the time. Park recently published a book about their life called "Memoir of a Cashier: Korean Americans, Racism, and Riots."

"I worried that someone would try hurt her, would try to beat her," Carol Park said. "I was always afraid that someone would blow up the gas station, whether it was somebody smoking cigarettes while pumping gas or throwing a Molotov cocktail during the riots."

Today, at age 66, on dialysis and in failing health, Son Park doesn't think about the riots much. She sold the gas station in 2014 and put the violence behind her. Instead she tries to stay as healthy as she can and maintains her relationship with her children, one of whom takes care of her.

"I've always tried to think positively and always tried to teach my children to think positively," she said.

Photo Credit: Keun-pyo "Root" Park]]>
<![CDATA[Biden Talks Sex Assault Awareness at GMU Rally]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:54:50 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Joe+Biden+at+GMU+George+Mason+042617.jpg

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday at a campus sexual assault awareness event at George Mason University.

Biden has long been at the forefront of the movement fighting to end violence against women. In the '90s, as a senator, he wrote the Violence Against Woman Act that changed how the U.S. criminal justice system responded to domestic violence and sexual assault.

As vice president, he appointed the first-ever White House adviser on violence against women and has been a champion for the "It's On Us" campaign, which the Obama Administration launched in 2014 and aims to reduce campus sexual assault.

"My dad used to say the greatest sin a man can do is ignore the abuse to all," Biden said during Wednesday's event. "You have an obligation to say something. This is about truth."

Biden also talked about the recent firing of Bill O'Reilly following allegations of sexual harassment.

"You know you're making progress when you have the most popular talking head lose his job for sexual assault," Biden said. 

Actress Alisha Boe, known for her role as Jessica in the Neflix's series "13 Reasons Why," also spoke at the event.

George Mason has made eradicating sexual assault a top priority, offering a 24-hour crisis hotline which is managed by the Student Support and Advocacy Center, and obligating students to take the Mason pledge to end sexual violence.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Key Things to Know As Trump Tries to Change Tax Policy]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:13:52 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/donaldtrumpfeeuerherdIB.jpg

President Donald Trump's administration released a broad outline of his tax plan Wednesday, three days ahead of his 100th day in office.

Trump suggested his plan will include "maybe the biggest tax cut we've ever had," prior to the announcement by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn. The claim would suggest a cut of more than $600 billion a year to exceed former President Ronald Reagan's 1981 action, according to The Associated Press.

Among many changes, the plan seeks a corporate tax rate reduction, but also abandons a so-called border adjustment tax included in a plan released by House Republicans last year.

Here's a breakdown of what to keep an eye on as the White House and congressional Republicans attempt to push a tax bill through Congress this year.

Corporate Tax Rate:
The corporate tax rate is the rate that corporations pay on their net income.

The U.S. now has a 35 percent corporate tax rate, which is relatively high by international standards, said Joe Rosenberg of the Tax Policy Center.

Trump's proposal will seek to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, a policy he set during the campaign, it was announced Wednesday.

The House tax plan included a decrease of the corporate tax rate to 20 percent.

Lowering the corporate rate to 15 percent, critics argue, may make it difficult for the Trump plan to pay for itself with increased revenue elsewhere.

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation said in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan this week that a three-year cut to 20 percent would reduce revenue by a third in those years and lead to a $489.7 billion hole over 10 years, The Washington Post reported.

The Trump administration, however, maintains the decreased rate will spur economic growth and be revenue neutral despite an even bigger tax cut.

"The tax plan will pay for itself with growth," Steven Mnuchin, Trump's treasury secretary, said last week.

Individual Tax Bracket:
The individual tax bracket refers to the amount a taxpayer owes in federal income tax based on their income. The U.S. tax code now has seven tax brackets that range from a high of 39.6 percent to a low of 10 percent.

The tax plan proposed by House Republicans would reduce the number of individual tax brackets to three. Depending on income, taxpayers will be subject to either a 12, 25 or 33 percent income tax rate under the House plan.

The House plan would lower the top tax rate of 39.6 percent to 33 percent, but raise the lowest rate of 10 percent to 12 percent.

The Trump plan would also limit the number of individual brackets to three, but at rates of 10, 25 and 35 percent, Cohn announced Wednesday. 

During the campaign, however, Trump had called for the rates in the three brackets to be lower than his proposal, at 10, 20 and 25 percent.

Border-Adjustment Tax:
The so-called border-adjustment tax is a measure included in the House blueprint under the "destination-based cash flow tax."

The first piece of that policy -- "destination-based" -- is where the border adjustment comes in. The policy would make goods produced in the U.S. that are sold abroad tax-exempt. At the same time, it would tax goods produced outside of the U.S. and sold within the country.

Trump's plan will not include the controversial tax for now, though it might be revisited later, a person briefed on the rollout told The New York Times. This again puts the White House's plan at odds with the House's. The House GOP sought to use the increased revenue from the tax to offset tax breaks elsewhere.

Critics of the policy argue it would hurt retailers and consumers because tons of imported products -- cars, clothing, appliances -- would suddenly become more expensive.

Beyond the border adjustment, the House's destination-based cash flow tax makes other broad changes to the way corporations are taxed in the U.S.

Instead of taxing corporations on income, the current tax scheme, the plan would tax their cash flow.

Revenue-Neutral Tax Plan:
A revenue-neutral tax plan is one that includes a combination of tax changes, but leaves the overall federal revenue constant.

This means if taxes for corporations or individuals are cut, they must be offset by some combination of revenue increases elsewhere.

Trump's proposal for a 15 percent corporate tax rate conflicts with House Republicans, whose plan called for a 20 percent corporate tax. The House rate would be in keeping with a revenue-neutral tax plan, they say.

There's a disparity in the numbers, but the economic theory in both plans is the same: tax cuts will pay for themselves because they spur economic growth.

"I'm not convinced that cutting taxes is necessarily going to blow a hole in the deficit," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told the AP. "Now, whether 15 percent is the right figure or not, that's a matter to be determined."

A revenue-neutral tax plan is especially important because tax cuts that add to the deficit may expire after 10 years.

Senate Republicans can use a process called reconciliation, which allows the passage of a bill with a simply majority, to pass a tax bill. Under the rules of the Senate, a tax bill passed through reconciliation cannot add to the federal deficit over 10 years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning Photos Show Inside Vacant Theaters in Chicago Area]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:00:57 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/palace08+thumb.jpgA Chicago photographer managed to capture incredible images of vacant spaces across the Chicago area, including several inside abandoned theaters.

Photo Credit: Darris Lee Harris]]>
<![CDATA[She Said Yes! Man Proposes at Dulles With Huge Poster]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:32:51 -0500http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/042517+airport+proposal.jpg

Inside an arrivals terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport on Tuesday night, several people held balloons, flowers and small signs as they waited for passengers to arrive.

Borden Edgerton waited for his fiancee with a 6 1/2-foot-tall poster covered with 14 photos of the pair and these words:

"Hilda! The wait is over!
2 years
9 months
29 days
Let's Get Married!"

A crowd gathered, cellphones out, to watch Edgerton make what he described as a second proposal; he and fiancee Hilda Yu got engaged in July but had lived in separate countries for the exact time span listed on the poster.

Edgerton, a 31-year-old Richmond, Virginia, resident said he wanted to greet Yu, 29, in style.

"You gotta make a statement," he said.


The two met in 2014 in Shanghai, where they both were living. Edgerton, a landscape architect, was about to leave after two years and coordinated a trip to Bali, the Indonesian island. Yu, who works in human resources, was invited on the trip through friends she shared with Edgerton, but they didn't know each other well.

At the last minute, the friends who were supposed to take the trip with Edgerton and Yu cancelled. They went anyway.

"We've been together ever since," Edgerton said.

Edgerton moved home to Virginia, and Yu moved to Brussels, Belgium. It wasn't long before he said he knew he wanted to marry her.

He proposed for the first time at the Van Buuren Museum in Brussels, which is known for its elaborate gardens.

On Tuesday, he unfurled a 78-inch-by-90-inch presentation banner covered with photos of the pair. A crowd gathered, waiting for Yu to arrive.

Finally, she walked into the terminal to applause, and a kiss from Edgerton.

"She said yes!" he told the crowd. 

Edgerton and Yu will marry in Richmond on May 12.

"You're all invited," he called out in the airport. 

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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