<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:12:24 -0600 Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:12:24 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Protesters Block Some Stores on Michigan Avenue]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:08:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/protesters+block2.jpg

Hundreds of protesters descended on Michigan Avenue on Black Friday, marching up the major shopping strip in Chicago in response to the release of the dash-cam video showing the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer.

The demonstration, organized by Rev. Jesse Jackson and several community activists and church leaders, began at 11 a.m. Friday. It started at Michigan and Wacker and proceeded to Water Tower Place, where some protesters attempted to block store entrances at Neiman Marcus, Victoria's Secret and Macy's.

Carrying signs that read "Stop police terror" and chanting "Rahm Emanuel has to go" and "Garry McCarthy must step down," protesters blocked traffic on both sides of the Mag Mile. Guided by police, the protest along the Mag Mile remained peaceful.

"This is what it should be about," one protester told NBC 5. "This is Chicago. This is an international city. We can't afford to let the embarrassments of other places happen here. We have to be the example. Justice in Chicago, I believe that."

At one point, protesters attempted to get into Macy's on Water Tower Place, as well as H&M and Columbia on Michigan Avenue, saying if they weren't allowed it, no one would be able to get out.

The purpose of the Black Friday protest is to bring the attention of the world to Chicago and to call for change via "mass demonstrations" and voter registration, Jackson said. 

"It's not enough to focus on what brought us here today, the execution of this young man (Laquan McDonald)," Jackson said. "That takes the scab off a deeper sore, a deeper cancer. So we want mass demonstrations, mass voter registration."

The Chicago Teachers Union on Thursday endorsed the march and CTU President Karen Lewis encouraged all member to "express their outrage and dignity" by participating in the demonstration.

"While we're talking a lot of money, toys, and clothes and consumer items, we ought to start thinking about where we need to really spend our money," Lewis said.

"We're here to take a simple stand for justice," CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said during the protest.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said protests so far have gone "exceptionally well" and credited the professionalism of the police department.

"It's remarkable what they do, and that's why we're not having problems that other cities have had," he said Friday. "We're trying to help [protesters] do what they want to do, quite frankly."

Jackson said 450 shootings have taken place in Chicago this year, which he believes should have gained the same media attention as the terror attacks in Paris and Beirut and on the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt.

Jackson headed a press conference Wednesday, a day after Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for shooting McDonald to death. The video tape showing the incident was also released to the public the same day. During the conference, Jackson asked for an investigation into the video and the timing of its release.

"We want a firm investigation on the suppression of the tapes," Jackson said. "The suppression of the tapes was manipulated for someone's advantage at the expense of others."

Footage from the dash-cam video was released more than a year after the October 2014 shooting. Several officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, faced harsh criticism for the timing of the video's release, and some residents and activists called for the resignation of all three of them this week. Jackson also called for a new police superintendent and a "new infrastructure." 

"The governor has a role to play. He’s been silent in this," Jackson said. "The state’s attorney [has] a role to play, the U.S. attorney a role to play. They should all get together. The police chief and his infrastructure needs to go, the state’s attorney should resign and should not run again. And all of those who saw the tape and who did nothing but suppress it, must also be made accountable."

Alvarez defended herself and Emanuel on Tuesday after first-degree murder charges were filed against Van Dyke, saying the mayor's plea last week to keep the video away from the public eye "was in the best interest of the investigation." Alvarez added that the reason it took 13 months to charge Van Dyke is because investigations into police shootings and misconduct are "massive and labor intensive." 

Minutes before the video was released, Emanuel said he hadn't seen it yet and was waiting until the rest of the city could see it, too. He added that he hoped the release of the video would help "build bridges of understanding" in the city instead of inciting unrest.

"I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than become a barrier of misunderstanding," Emanuel said. "I understand that people will be upset and want to protest when they see this video. But I would like to echo the comments of the McDonald family. They asked for calm and that those who choose to speak out do it peacefully."

Earlier this week, protesters took to downtown city streets in protest, resulting in several arrests. A group of protesters were also seen tearing the lights from the Christmas treet standing in Millennium Park. Still, officials say the protests have been largely peaceful. 

The Magnificent Mile Association said in a statement that it respects the right to assemble but hopes the demonstrations remain peaceful.

"The Magnificent Mile Association represents the interests of employees and businesses in the famous North Michigan Avenue District of Chicago," the statement read. "We respect the American freedom to assemble and the process in the pursuit of social justice. We hope that any assembly on Friday will continue to be peaceful."

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged With Murder in 'Assassination' of Tyshawn Lee]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 10:55:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tyshawn+lee2.jpg

A man has been charged with first-degree murder in the brutal killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, who was lured from a Chicago park to a nearby alley where he was "assassinated," authorities said Friday.

Corey Morgan, who was earlier considered a "person of interest" in the case, was arrested and charged with murder, according to Chicago Police News Affairs. Police believe he was one of three people involved in the young boy's execution-style shooting in Chicago earlier this month. 

Authorities have said Tyshawn was lured from a park into an alley near his grandmother’s house in the 8000 block of South Damen. The grade-schooler was shot multiple times at close range with a .40-caliber weapon in what authorities have said was a gang-related incident.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy called the shooting "a crime that shook our city" and said the "targeted and calculated" killing was gang retaliation to get back at Tyshawn's father. 

Morgan, 27, was arrested last week on an unrelated weapons charge, but had been free on bail after meeting the $1 million bond requirements with the help of his girlfriend. Police say he was in violation of his bond when he was taken into custody this week. 

Morgan's attorney, Jeff Kent, said Morgan has denied having any involvement in the young boy's murder. 

"[Morgan] maintained his innocence when police questioned him a couple of weeks ago and maintains his innocence now," Kent said in a statement released on Morgan's behalf last week. "His family is supporting him through this ordeal. He says he had nothing to do with Tyshawn Lee's execution. The entire city wants the person who did this caught but it's not Corey."

The murder weapon has not yet been recovered and police say they're searching for another suspect identified as Kevin Edwards, allegedly a member of the same gang as Morgan, who they believe was also involved in the murder. Edwards is wanted on a first-degree murder charge, police said. 

A third suspect is already in custody on an unrelated charge, and McCarthy said he is "not getting out anytime soon."

Investigators said at least three people were involved in the killing, but it's not clear yet who did what. 

Police noted that members of the community have been vital to the investigation.

"This was very clearly not a case of no snitching, but there was a lot of fear," McCarthy said.

McCarthy also vowed to "obliterate" the gangs involved in the shooting. 

Tyshawn was a student at Scott Joplin School, where his teachers say he was a "delight" to have in class. He liked to play sports and video games.

"He was supposed to play ball. That's all he do, all he liked to do is play ball and play video games," Tyshawn's mother, Karla Lee, said. "He didn't hurt nobody. I don't know why this happened."

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<![CDATA[A's Pitcher Hosts Syrian Refugees]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:09:51 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/172*120/DSC_15321.jpg

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and his activist girlfriend Eireann Dolan, both natives of Illinois, hosted 17 Syrian refugee families for a Thanksgiving meal in Chicago on Wednesday night with Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a special guest.

The idea of whether to accept Syrian refugees has become controversial as of late, as some critics fear that terrorists could slip in as desperate families seek safe shelter from their war-torn homeland.

But the couple shunned those worries, and instead decided to act how they think all Americans should.

“Chicago is so lucky to have 17 Syrian refugee families now officially calling it home,” Dolan wrote on Instagram. “We thought we'd officially welcome them with one of our greatest American traditions, Thanksgiving.”

Her photo shows women in hijabs and a young boy wearing a Cubs baseball cap seated around a festive table, dotted with Pepsi, flowers and cranberry sauce.

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A’s spokesman Ken Pries told NBC Bay Area on Friday the power couple hosted the dinner on Wednesday and have no personal connection with the refugees. The city of Chicago and the mayor helped put them in contact with the group, he said.

“It was obviously a very nice gesture," he said.

The couple has made nice gestures before.

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The A’s kicked off LGBT Pride Night in June, which sparked some homophobic reaction, such as season ticket holders indicating they wanted to sell their tickets.

Dolan, who said she has two “super gay” moms, and Doolittle offered to buy any unwanted tickets up to $3,000, and donate the tickets to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth.

Photo Credit: Walter Mitchell, City of Chicago
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<![CDATA[Best of 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:43:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_797372372594-parade.jpg Millions of people attended the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on Nov. 26, 2015, in New York City. Floats graced the skies and musical and theatrical performances entertained on street level.

Photo Credit: Scott Roth/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Neiman Marcus Site Down on Black Friday]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:03:29 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/nmSiteDown_040215.jpg

Shoppers looking to score some Black Friday deals on the Neiman Marcus website, instead encountered an error message. 

"We're currently making improvements to you shopping experience," the message said. "For immediate assistance, simply call 1.888.888.4757."

The luxury brand's homepage has been mostly down since 8 a.m. ET., according to Catchpoint Systems, which monitors retailers' web performance, CNBC reported. 

Ginger Reeder, a spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus, said in a statement, "We are working fervently to get the site back up. I don't have an estimated time it will be back up."

According to Catchpoint Systems, Neiman Marcus' outage was the first significant outage of the day.



Photo Credit: Neiman Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[First Lady Receives 2015 WH Christmas Tree]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 10:36:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/whitehouse-GettyImages-498935450.jpg

The official White House Christmas Tree - an 18.5-foot Fraser fir - was presented to First Lady Michelle Obama on Friday. 

The Marine Band played as the horse-drawn wagon carrying the tree pulled up to the North Portico. Glenn and Jay Bustard of Bustard's Christmas Trees of Pennsylvania, the growers of this year's tree, presented the tree to the first lady. 

"It's beautiful. It's going to work," said Obama, who was holding the first family's dogs, Bo and Sunny, on a leash. 

She wished everyone happy holidays, saying she hopes there will be snow. The tree will be on display in the Blue Room. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Fights to Save Yazidis From Extermination]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:47:44 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Vian-Dahkil.jpg

Iraqi legislator Vian Dahkil is seen by many as the last and only hope for Yazidis, an ancient religious minority reviled by ISIS and driven from their historic homeland on Mount Sinjar in August 2014.

ISIS has captured thousands of women and children, around 2,500 of whom are still in the militants' hands, Dakhil told NBC News. 

The 42-year-old regularly fields calls from captured women and girls begging for help, then she works with Kurdish security forces and an underground network of activists to try and rescue them. The activists are often forced to pay smugglers to help hostages escape.

"Sometimes I hear some things I can't imagine — girls, maybe 15 years old, with two or three ISIS men raping [them]," said Dahkil. "The Yazidi girls those terrorist [are] buying and selling, Yazidi girls sometimes [for] $100, sometimes one cigarette — they sell the girls and nobody does anything."

Her international campaign, which includes efforts to help the nearly half-a-million families living in camps, has put her on the extremists' hit list so she travels with an armed guard.

Photo Credit: Yuka Tachibana/NBC News
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<![CDATA[Ben Carson to Visit Syrian Refugees in Jordan]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:18:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Carson-AP_843823648598.jpg

Ben Carson will visit Syrian refugees in Jordan on Friday, campaign officials said Thursday.

Officials confirmed the trip on Thursday night, after the New York Times first reported that the Republican presidential candidate plans to visit a refugee camp in northern Jordan.

"I find when you have firsthand knowledge of things as opposed to secondhand, it makes a much stronger impression," Carson told the Times before his departure.

A recent poll shows support for Carson in Iowa has dropped 10 points since October, when he stood in first place.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Woman, 80, Tries to Rescue Husband]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 09:28:24 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/lula-johnson.jpg

An 80-year-old North Texas woman smashed her bedroom window, climbed out and then tried to save her husband after their Fort Worth house filled with smoke on Thanksgiving morning. 

“I seen that smoke coming in on me and I had to get out of there,” said the woman, identified by family as Lula Johnson. “I got out through the help of the Lord.”

Johnson and her 79-year-old husband James Johnson, who suffered burns on his face and body, remain hospitalized. 

The house, located on the 4400 block of Carmel Avenue, filled with smoke at around 10:30 a.m. ET. Johnson saw the smoke and smashed her bedroom window to get outside. She then attempted to help her husband who was trapped inside another room.

“We had a resident who evacuated the building and was breaking a window trying to get to her husband,” said Kyle Clay, with the Fort Worth Fire Department.

Within four minutes of receiving the call, firefighters arrived and took over. They went through the window to rescue James Johnson.

MedStar rushed him to John Peter Smith Hospital in critical condition. Family said he was later taken by air ambulance to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas to receive care for his burns.

“I’m thankful she is still here and everything,” said Lula Johnson’s daughter, Joyce Smith. “In her right mind and she’s alright."

and James is going to be alright too,” added another a family member.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Storm, Flooding Risk Threatens Holiday Weekend]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 04:29:53 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Weather-AP_487424761544.jpg

A blast of cold air was threatening to whip up a Black Friday ice storm across the center of the country, forecasters said.

Ice-storm warnings and other watches and advisories covered a 900-mile stretch from New Mexico and western Texas to Missouri and the Iowa border. Heavy rain is also expected further east, NBC News reported.

The National Weather Service announced that Dallas-Fort Worth broke its all-time yearly rainfall total at 12:14 a.m. local time (1:14 a.m. ET) on Friday, recording 53.56 inches over 2015. The area was also under a flash-flood warning.

Forecasters said the blast of wintery weather could "wreak havoc on the roadways" as millions of people prepare to be traveling over the holiday weekend.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Great-Grandma, 102, Plays Baseball]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 09:29:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/102-year-old-grandma-baseball.gif

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

A San Diego cul-de-sac has been transformed into a concrete baseball diamond, home to the Zimmer family’s annual Thanksgiving game for about 22 years.

The instruction comes from the team’s oldest and feistiest player, 102-year-old Ann Sellaro.

But she’s not satisfied with acting as batting coach. Putting aside her walker, the great-grandmother steps up to the imaginary plate with a blue, plastic bat in hand.

One, two, three swings at bright yellow wiffle balls and Sellaro strikes out. But for her family, the misses don’t detract from her baseball chops and a love of the game that helped inspire two of her great-grandsons to become Major League Baseball players.

"I taught them everything they know," Sellaro says.

Kyle and Bradley Zimmer, La Jolla High School graduates, were both first-round draft picks out of the University of San Francisco. Kyle now pitches for the Kansas City Royals, and Bradley plays center field for the Cleveland Indians.

But long before they were playing in the big leagues, their training began in a quiet La Jolla cul-de-sac. Sellaro was there dealing out advice “since the first time we picked up a bat, I think,” said Bradley.

“I think that was about two days after we started walking,” quipped Kyle. "It’s been a long time."

Back then, the Zimmers and their friends would keep the wiffle balls within easy reach. However, as they grew, the balls soon started flying across streets, over fences and into neighbor’s yards.

“We've had to extend the home run line,” said Eric Zimmer, the players’ dad. “It used to be the curb, and then it was the sidewalk, then it was the neighbor’s roof.”

The annual Thanksgiving game has become less competitive with fewer rules, but their favorite part remains the same.

“Anytime you can say you have a grandma who's 102 years old and showing you how to hit a wiffle ball in the backyard, it's pretty special,” said Bradley. “So having her down here has been awesome. It's something that we really cherish and look forward to every year."

Sellaro used to travel long distances to watch her great-grandsons play, but as traveling becomes harder, she shows her support by watching their games on TV or online.

In person, though, the batting coach instincts kick back in.

“Keep your eye on the ball,” she says, pointing at Kyle. “And that goes for you, too.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Niger Says Boko Haram Gunmen Kill 18 in Border Village]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 05:24:37 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Niger+map.png

Boko Haram militants killed 18 people in an attack on a village in the Niger's southern border area of Diffa on the Nigerian border on Thursday, the country’s government said.

The gunmen arrived in the village of Gogone near the shores of Lake Chad on foot and fired on residents and attacked their homes, security sources said. They also fired rockets in the attack, according to the sources.

Niger has suffered numerous cross-border attacks by Boko Haram, which has a stronghold in northeast Nigeria.

A state of emergency has been declared there in a bid to boost security, according to NBC News.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[Germany to Support Campaign Against ISIS After French Appeal]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 23:29:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MerkelHollande-AP_993382740121.jpg

Germany will deploy military personnel and hardware in the fight against ISIS militants in Syria, according to Reuters.

The country agreed after a direct appeal from France to do more in the fight against militancy. Germany expects to commit four to six Tornado jets, satellite support, refueling planes and a frigate to help protect a French aircraft carrier.

It’s a shift for Germany, which has resisted direct involvement in the conflict. Germany will not, however, join France, Russia and the U.S. in airstrikes in Syria.

Chancellor Angela Merkel promised the support, which has yet to be approved by parliament.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pope Presses Case for Dignified Housing in Visit to Nairobi Slum]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 02:36:32 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/PopeNairobi-AP_120869002272.jpg

Pope Francis visited a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday, calling for adequate and dignified housing for society’s most marginal, The Associated Press reported.

Kangemi is one of 11 slums in Nairobi and has about 50,000 residents living without basic sanitation.

The pope referred to the problem of urban shanties when speaking to the African U.N. headquarters on Thursday, saying everyone has the right to “dignified living conditions,” and that local residents’ views must be taken into account when new constructions are designed.

Francis is due to arrive in the Central African Republic on the next leg of his trip, where there is ongoing conflicts between Christians and Muslims.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mali Arrests Two Suspects Linked to Hotel Attack: Ministry]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 22:24:19 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MaliAttacks-AP_457868932560.jpg

Two people suspected of links to an attack on a hotel in Mali’s capital that killed 20 people were arrested, the country’s security ministry said on Thursday.

The two have not yet been identified. Three Islamist groups have claimed the strike, Reuters reported.

At least two armed men attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako on Friday in a raid. Six Russians, three Chinese and an American were killed in the worst jihadist strike in the country in years.

The siege ended when commandos stormed the hotel and freed 170 hostages. Two attackers were killed.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Thieves Strip, Hide in Pool: PD]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 09:32:26 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SAN+LEANDRO+VERIZON+ROBBERY+VSV+%28WED%29+-+00000418.jpg

San Leandro police arrested two men on suspicious of stealing iPads and then jumping into a popular Oakland, California, recreational pool - in only their boxers - to try to avoid capture.

But residents nearby and swimmers all thought the scene was pretty odd, and helped lead police to their arrest.

“It’s very, very rare,” Lt. Robert McManus said. “It’s the first of its kind with somebody stripping down into their boxing shorts trying to blend in the crowd in a swimming pool. They were the only two adult males in the crowd. The rest were teenagers.”

Detectives now believe that the men are responsible for similar thefts throughout the East Bay, including one at a San Leandro Radio Shack store on Monday afternoon, McManus said. He did not identify them or release their photos to allow other Bay Area agencies to investigate their cases.

On Wednesday about 1:30 p.m., a plain clothes detective was in the parking lot at the Westgate Shopping Center on Davis Street when he saw a white Cadillac El Dorado driving through the parking lot with three men inside, who appeared to be acting suspiciously.

McManus said the detective watched as the Cadillac, registered to an address on the Peninsula, backed into a parking stall and stopped. The driver and front passenger got out of the car and walked towards the Verizon store, out of the detective’s view, leaving the third passenger in the car.

Minutes later, the detective saw the driver and passenger sprinting back to the Cadillac as they were being chased by a Verizon employee, police said. They got into the car and fled through the parking lot, smashing into an Enterprise box truck, before driving over cement medians.

The detective radioed to other officers and began to follow the Cadillac as it sped out of the parking lot, running through two red lights heading north on Interstate 880 at Davis Street, McManus said. More police arrived. Eventually they found the empty Cadillac on Clara Street, near Edes Avenue in Oakland, a few blocks north of 98th Avenue.

Neighbors told police they saw the suspects running toward the Brookfield Recreation Center in the 9100 block of Edes Ave. Others directed the officers into the building, which had teens and seniors inside. There, they found the men had tried to pose as swimmers: They took off their clothes and slipped into the pool wearing only boxer shorts.

The detectives recognized the two men from surveillance footage from a similar burglary that occurred at the Radio Shack store located at 1359 Washington Ave. on Monday afternoon, where more high-end electronic items were stolen, police said.

Police searched the area and found the stolen iPads, iPhones believed to have been stolen in other thefts, the keys to the Cadillac and some of the clothing worn by the men, underneath a parked car, near the recreation center.

Police have arrested both men on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, and other related crimes. The third man, who remained in the car during the theft, fled and has not been found, McManus said.

The pair are expected to appear be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Online Sales Surge, but Thousands Lining Up for Black Friday]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 06:28:13 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/BlackFridayMacys-AP_931186516506.jpg

Thousands of shoppers are still choosing to line up in the stores to make sure they got the best deals. The tradition of getting there early was still going strong, according to NBC News.

Hundreds lined nine levels of escalators at Macy's flagship store in New York City to get Black Friday deals on Thursday.

Many more consumers opted to stay home and shop online, according to NBC News.

Online sales increased 24 percent through 11 a.m. ET Thursday, compared to the same 12-hour period on Thanksgiving last year, according to Adobe Digital Index, which tracks real-time data for retailers.

Online shops are also reporting greater sales volumes - as much as 50 percent from midnight to noon, including 31 percent at Amazon.com, online retail data aggregator, Channel Advisor, said.

Photo Credit: AP Images for Macy's]]>
<![CDATA[Hollande Calls for 'Grand Coalition' Against ISIS]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:47:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_967237575586.jpg

Speaking in Russia on Thursday, French President Francois Hollande called for world powers to create a "grand coalition" to defeat ISIS militants who control swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, Reuters reported. 

Hollande is on a diplomatic offensive to build a common front against ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people and for the bombing of the Russian jet that killed 224 people over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Russia's Vladimir Putin said Moscow was ready to unite with Paris against a "mutual enemy." Russia and France have stepped up their aerial bombing campaigns in Syria but they have different objectives.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Slammed After He Appears to Mock Disabled Reporter]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 11:59:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_608044254548.jpg

Donald Trump has come under fire again. The New York Times has slammed the Republican presidential candidate after he appeared to mock a reporter with a congenital joint condition that limits movement in his arms, NBC News reported. 

Addressing a rally in South Carolina on Tuesday, Trump defended his widely discredited claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center came down on Sept. 11, 2001. He then appeared to impersonate reporter Serge Kovaleski, one of the authors of a 2001 article in The Washington Post that Trump has used to support his claim.

"Now, the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: 'Uh, I don't know what I said. I don't remember,'" Trump said, as he appeared to imitate Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis.

Kovaleski told MSNBC on Monday that he did "not recall anyone saying there were thousands, or even hundreds, of people celebrating." 

"We think it's outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters," a spokesman for The Times told NBC News. Kovaleski is currently an investigative reporter for The Times.

Trump's presidential campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[History of Thanksgiving: How Much Do You Know About Turkey Day?]]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 10:30:30 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_51734552621.jpg

Millions of Americans will travel to visit family and friends and stuff themselves with turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. But how much do you know about the holiday’s origins and why we celebrate? Test your knowledge of the history behind Turkey Day with this quiz.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Brett Favre’s Number to be Retired at Halftime]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 21:37:00 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-56396130+%281%29.jpg

The Chicago Bears will head into a hostile Lambeau Field Thursday night to face the Green Bay Packers, and even though they won’t have to face Brett Favre, the legendary quarterback’s presence will still be a big part of the evening.

That’s because the Packers are retiring Favre’s jersey at halftime of the Thanksgiving showdown.

The honor has been a long time coming for Favre, who spent the vast majority of his Hall of Fame-caliber career wearing the green and gold, and it’s especially appropriate that he is receiving the distinction during a game against a Bears team that he routinely tortured in his NFL career.

In 36 career starts against the Bears, Favre racked up a 23-13 record and some incredible passing numbers. He threw for 8606 yards in those 36 games, tossing 60 touchdowns and rushing for three more against Chicago during his career. Those 60 touchdowns are the most he threw against any team, and even though he did throw 42 interceptions against the Bears (also the most he’s thrown against any team), he still represented the Bears’ ultimate nemesis during his time in Green Bay.

The list of Favre’s best games against the Bears is a long one, but there are a few that certainly stand out.

Few will forget the masterful performance he had at Soldier Field in a November 1995 game, where he threw five touchdowns and racked up 336 passing yards despite playing the game with a severely sprained ankle.

A 2002 tilt against the Bears in Champaign was another Favre classic as he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in an emphatic 34-21 victory.

Unfortunately for Chicago, Favre’s replacement in Green Bay hasn’t been an easier opponent, as Aaron Rodgers holds a 12-3 record and throws for an average of 242.5 yards per game against the Bears in his career. Oh, and he’s thrown 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions too.

<![CDATA[Macy's Blimp Goes Down Near School]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 18:43:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/BLIMP-DOWN-FARMINGDALE-2.jpg

A blimp that was supposed to fly over the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade went down in a baseball field near a school on Long Island Thursday morning.

The Manhattan Institute blimp made an emergency landing on the the field behind the Woodward Parkway School in Farmingdale at about 9:45 a.m., according to multiple witnesses on social media. 

The pilot, Trevor Thompson, told NBC 4 New York that the blimp made a controlled landing because the vessel was running out of fuel and was being blown around by high winds. The blimp was supposed to land at the nearby Republic Airport.

The company that owns the blimp, AirSign, said that the blimp was scheduled to fly over the parade to promote the school and had to land when strong winds began hampering the flight of the vessel.

No one was hurt.

Several residents living nearby posted photos and videos of the blimp slowly coming down on a field in the neighborhood. One video shows the blimp coming down slowly, eventually disappearing behind a house.

There were residents gathered on the field for a 35-year ritual of neighborhood Thanksgiving football when the withering blimp overshadowed the game. 

"It was huge and close to the ground," said Tom Jones.

Tony LoFaso wondered, "Is someone gonna get hurt with this thing?" 

Thompson thanked the people on the field who helped him land safely.

"They came over, and have two lines in blimp-type scenarios. they grabbed them and held me in place while I shut it down," he said. 

Oddly enough, it's not the first time that a blimp has gone down in the Nassau County community. In 1994, a blimp flying over the U.S. Open crash-landed after it similarly was unable to make it back to Republic Airport. 

Photo Credit: @Rangers211 / Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Raped in NYC Park: Police]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 21:34:33 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/LES-Rape-NY-1126.jpg

Police are investigating after they say a woman reported that she was raped while jogging in a park on Manhattan's Lower East Side Wednesday evening. 

The woman told police she was jogging in East River Park near Jackson Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. when a man with dreadlocks grabbed her and dragged her into an amphitheater off the waterfront path. 

Once there, police say the woman alleged that the man raped her, then took her cell phone and credit cards. He rode off on a bike after the assault.

Police say after the alleged attack, the woman walked over a footbridge out of the park and borrowed a stranger's cellphone to call 911.

She was taken to Beth Israel Hospital for evaluation and treatment. 

The NYPD's Special Victims Unit is investigating the case. They have released surveillance video of a suspect in the case. 

<![CDATA[Man Kills Father, Stabs Mother in Dispute Over Food: Police]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 18:17:58 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Ronald-pritchett-murder-suspect.jpg

Police say a 32-year-old Mississippi man stabbed his father to death and injured his mother after an argument over food the night before.

According to Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, Ronald Pritchett was visiting his parents in Gretna, Louisiana, when he became enraged during a dispute about a meal.

Pritchett who is from Purvis, just south of Hattiesburg, was arrested on Thanksgiving. 

The sheriff's office says he kicked down his parent's bedroom door and stabbed his father, Percival Pritchett, 58, in the chest and his mother, Renta, 57.

Percival Pritchett died later at the hospital and Renta suffered non-life-threatening injuries. 

Pritchett was apprehended early Thursday at his home in Purvis, and is being held at the Lamar County Jail.

Photo Credit: Lamar County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Best Friends? Goat Becomes Pals With a Tiger ]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 10:12:52 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/IMG-20151127-WA0011.jpg

Something strange happened when a goat entered a Siberian tiger's enclosure at a safari park in Moscow.

The intended four-legged meal surprised everyone. Instead of becoming an edible delight, the goat named Timur has become friends with Amur the tiger. 

The courageous goat was sent into the tiger's enclosure earlier this week as one of the predator's twice-weekly meals, the Russian Primorsky Safari Park said Thursday.

However, no one had taught the animal to be afraid of tigers. Timur chased the big cat from its resting area. Timur has been using his spot for four nights now and Amur has been sleeping on the shelter's roof. 

Siberian tigers are the world's largest cats, endangered, and live in eastern Russia's birch forests, according to National Geographic. There are an estimated 400 to 500 Siberian tigers living in the wild and beyond Russia, some exist in China and North Korea. 

Photo Credit: Anton Fedoseyev]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Killed by MTA Bus ]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 17:33:04 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/215*120/bus-MTA-woman-inset-1126.jpg

The 41-year-old woman who was hit and killed by an MTA bus on a busy Brooklyn Avenue Wednesday evening was on her way to pick up her 9-year-old son, according to her husband.

Ruhksana Khan's husband Fayaz told NBC 4 New York that she was walking across Ocean Avenue in Midwood, just steps from their home, to pick up their 9-year-old son when she was fatally hit by an a BM1 bus. 

"She takes our kids to school every day," the grieving husband and father of six said. "She was a good mother. The kids miss (her)."

Ruhksana Khan was taken to the hospital after the crash in critical condition, but she died not long after arriving in the emergency room. Her husband said that they will likely take her back to Pakistan, their native country.

Neighbors also mourned the 41-year-old's death. 

"The kids are beautiful. She's a very nice, quiet lady," said one neighbor. "It tears me apart."

Wednesday's incident was the latest in a series of accidents in the city involving MTA buses making left-hand turns and hitting pedestrians, some fatally.

Surveillance footage from the scene of Wednesday's crash doesn't appear to show the bus making a left turn. The footage does show the impact of the bus throwing the 41-year-old woman's body into the middle of the street.

<![CDATA[4 New Dash-Cam Videos Released of Laquan McDonald Shooting]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:33:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Laquan+McDonald+New+Dash+Cam.jpg

***WARNING: Videos in this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.***

The City of Chicago released four new police dash-cam videos Wednesday showing the moments before the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

The videos were released in response to a request by NBC 5 under the Freedom of Information Act and come a day after the city met a judge's order to release 2014 dash-cam video of a Chicago officer shooting McDonald 16 times.

In the newly released videos, McDonald appears to be running in front of the police vehicle of Officer Jason Van Dyke, the officer charged with McDonald’s murder, 30 seconds before the fatal shooting.

As the video continues, officers pursue McDonald until the shooting, which takes place out of the frame of this dash cam.The video goes on to show officers arriving on the scene after the shots were fired.

At 9:58 p.m., just after the shooting, another police vehicle arrives on the scene. The video released from that vehicle shows McDonald's body on the street.

Another dash-cam video from a separate police vehicle that was first to respond to the call doesn’t start recording until almost five minutes after the shooting takes place.

Police told one of the attorneys representing the McDonald family that five police cruisers equipped with cameras responded to the crime scene that night. However, three vehicles were not recording video.

Van Dyke turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning and was later ordered held without bail in connection with the fatal shooting. Van Dyke is scheduled to appear in court again Monday as Judge Donald Panarese said he wants to see video of the shooting.

Prosecutors said in court Tuesday that the shooting happened within 15 seconds, but for 13 of those seconds McDonald was on the ground. They added the video "clearly does not show McDonald advancing toward [Van Dyke]."Police said the shooting was in self-defense and that McDonald lunged at the officer with a knife while authorities were investigating car break-ins in a trucking yard.

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

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

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

It was later discovered that the suspect was armed with a knife. Alvarez said Van Dyke was at the scene for less than 30 seconds before he started shooting, and opened fire six seconds after he got out of the car.

Van Dyke was the only one of the eight officers at the scene to open fire, she said. McDonald suffered wounds to the scalp, neck, left chest, right chest, left elbow, left forearm, right upper arm, right upper arm, right hand, right upper leg, left upper back and right lower back.

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

***WARNING: Videos in this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.***

[To view the videos on our app, click here: Dash-Cam 1Dash-Cam 2Dash-Cam 3Dash-Cam 4]

<![CDATA[West Point Bans Cadet Pillow Fights After 30 Injured]]> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 02:05:43 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WestPoint-AP_161758363204.jpg

Pillow fights involving cadets will now be banned at West Point, U.S. Military Academy officials said.

The move comes after a bloody fight left 30 injured this summer. On Aug. 20, the fight escalated into a free-for-all, with plebes being hit from behind and knocked to the ground. Injuries ranged from a broken nose, a fractured cheek and 24 concussions.

Actions are being pursued against many of those involved, according to The Associated Press. 

The annual pillow fight is organized by first-year students, known as “plebes,” to build camaraderie after a grueling summer of training.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Drone Spotted Over Macy's Parade]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 21:33:06 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/parade+drone+operator.jpg

A man was issued a summons after he was accused of flying a drone over the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday morning, sources tell NBC 4 New York.

The drone was spotted flying near West 77th Street and Central Park West at about 10:30 a.m. Sources say that police tracked down an alleged operator, a Russian man who was with his son, a few blocks away at 81st Street and Central Park West.

The man's drone was confiscated as police spoke to him and his son, taking the two from the parade route to the 20th precinct stationhouse, sources say and video shows.

Sources said the man claimed he didn't know about the law forbidding the drone flight. 

The family did not want to comment on the incident, but the boy's mother told NBC 4 New York her son was terrified when police approached. 

Police issued a ticket to the man and released the two. The drone was returned to them. 

"I think he probably was a guy who thought it was cool to get some footage but you have to go through the right procedures," said parade spectator Zack Marleau of hte Upper East Side. 

Police "probably had the right idea" to be cautious, though, said April Wild, visiting from Columbia, Maryland. 

The drone flight was the only known notable security incident in the 89th edition of the annual parade. Security at the event was stepped up due to fears of terrorism following attacks in Paris that left 130 dead earlier this month. 

With 2,500 NYPD officers along the route, plus 500 members of the counterterrorism unit, the security made up the biggest police force at any Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

More than 3 million people attended the annual parade.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Butterball Hotline Shares Funny, Strange Stories About Call-Ins]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 12:27:58 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_talkingturkey1125_1500x845.jpg Employees at the Butterball Turkey's "Turkey Talk-Line" share some of the strange calls they've handled over the hotline's 34 years.]]> <![CDATA[Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Through the Years]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 11:19:04 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498820136-parade.jpg Click through for images of the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade through the years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>