<![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 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:41:01 -0500 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:41:01 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Island Scoured for MH370 Clues After Debris Washes Ashore]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:40:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-482269752+%281%29.jpg

The discovery of a piece of aircraft wing on an island in the Indian Ocean sparked an air, land and sea search, with investigators hoping to connect the debris to the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, NBC News reported.

Beaches were being combed and boats were scouring the waters off Reunion Island as helicopters flew overhead the French territory, east of Madagascar off the southern tip of Africa.

Boeing investigators have looked at photos of the barnacle-covered plane piece found by a crew cleaning the coastline on Wednesday and say that they believe it is from one of their 777s, sources told NBC News. It appears to be a piece of a flap from a wing. There is only one such aircraft missing in the world right now — Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Local media also reported Thursday that the remains of a suitcase had also been found in the same area where the debris was recovered. Officials did not immediately comment on the reports.

"This is obviously a very significant development," Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss told a news conference in Sydney early Thursday.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was carrying 239 people when it disappeared about an hour into its journey from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, on March 8 last year.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Torso Found After Limbs Discovered]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:54:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Investigation+on+George+Street+New+Haven.jpg

Police have found a torso in a vacant building almost two weeks after finding two dismembered legs and two arms in New Haven, Connecticut. 

The torso was discovered in a vacant building that was a former Salvation Army thrift store on Crown Street while state police cadaver dogs scoured the area. 

Police said the legs belonged to Ray Roberson, 54, a homeless man who was last seen alive May 20 and missed a court date June 17.

Roberson was not reported missing prior to his death.

The arms are likely Roberson's but as of now it is not clear whether the arms and torso belong to the man, the state of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, a division of Scientific Services said.

Investigators found Robersons’ legs, severed near the knee, on July 15 in the area of State and Court streets in New Haven, near the State Street Railroad Station.

Police then discovered a pair of arms in a plastic bag blocks away only hours later.

On Wednesday, police obtained information that Roberson might have spent time at the now-vacant Salvation Army building at 301 George Street, which led to a search there as well as at another building, 274 Crown Street, which shares the same parking lot.

Around 2 a.m. on Thursday, police found the torso inside 274 Crown Street, the former thrift store.

The office of the chief medical examiner and state forensic lab must complete their investigation to determine whether the torso is connected to the Roberson case.

Authorities are investigating the case as a homicide but said they do not know where Roberson was killed or dismembered and they are hoping someone will come forward with information to help solve the case.

Authorities said earlier this week that the crime appears to have been personal rather than random.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Accused of Killing California 8-Year-Old Appears in Court]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:28:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/T48+SANTA+CRUZ+GIRL+VO+SOTVO+-+20021121.jpg

The Santa Cruz 15-year-old charged with kidnapping, sexually assaulting and raping an 8-year-old girl made his first court appearance on Thursday in a brief hearing.

Adrian Jerry "AJ" Gonzalez was led into the courthouse by an attorney, looking down, and mostly sullen. He did not enter a plea and spoke only to answer questions from a judge, saying a simple "yes" when asked if he would waive his right to a speedy trial. He wore a green T-shirt and khaki pants issed to minors and his hands were bound in front of him in silver metal cuffs. A woman who appeared to be his mother was in the courtroom, too upset to speak. It did not appear as though the mother of Maddy Middleton - the girl who was killed on Sunday after she was riding around on her Razor scooter - or any other immediate family member of the little girl came to court.

The teen's public defender, Larry Biggam, spoke briefly to reporters, but didn't offer any insight into the case.

"I think you in the media know more about this case than we do in the public defender's office," he said. "Our job is to review the evidence, conduct our own investigation and make sure that the minor, like every citizen accused, receives a fair trial.  At the end of the day, I'm confident this case will be handled professionally and thoroughly and fairly."

Gonzalez is also being represented by Leila Sayer of Biggam, Christensen and Minsloff.

Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Timony Volkmann order Gonzalez to re-appear in court on Sept. 21.

Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell on Wednesday formally charged the teen as an adult with murder, rape, and other sexual assault-related offenses. If found guilty of all counts, he faces a maximum of life in prison. Outside court, Rosell told reporters: "We filed charges that we feel are appropriate and are confident in our case."

Police said that Gonzalez lured Maddy into his apartment on Sunday afternoon, sexually assaulted her, killed her, and dumped her body in a recycling bin on the apartment complex property. The two knew each other from living at the same apartment complex, Tannery Arts Center, an artist haven.

A motive in the case has never been offered.

"People do things things for all sorts of reasons," Rosell said. "Sometimes we understand them and sometimes we don't."

Some neighbors who know the boy, however, said that he is a good kid who comes from a loving family. Even the boyfriend of Maddy's mother, Kirby Scudder, told NBC Bay Area that Gonzalez is a "great kid."

 NBC Bay Area's Michelle Roberts and KSBW's Phil Gomez contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Despite Lower Unemployment, Many Millennials Still Staying at Home]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:01:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/eneric+house.JPG

Employment among young people has bounced back from Great Recession lows, but you wouldn’t know it by their living arrangements, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Young people are more likely to live at home now than they were in 2007, a trend that could have major implications for the nation's housing industry.

Overall, the job outlook for for Americans 18 to 34 is greater than it has been in the recent past. Unemployment fell from a high of 12.4 percent in 2010 to 7.7 percent this year.

But the number of young adults living independently has continued to decline, from 71 percent in 2007 to 67 percent in 2015. Twenty-six percent of young people lived in a parent's home in 2015. When the unemployment rate peaked in 2010, 24 percent did. 

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A college education is correlated with greater personal independence, Pew found. Seventy-five percent of young Americans with only a high school education or less lived independently, compared with 86 percent of those with a degree. Still, young people of all educational backgrounds are more likely to live at home now than they were in 2007.

Ironically, the accomplishment that has made it easier for many young people to seek better employment and greater independence, a college education, has also held back many from moving out and buying homes. Young Americans’ burdensome student loan debt has discouraged many of them from leaving home. 

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Although there are nearly three million more Americans aged 18 to 34 now than there were in 2007, the number of households run by young adults has stayed flat.

Young people taking longer to move out may have wider consequences on the nation’s housing market and related industries, the study found. That could mean everything from fewer furniture purchases to cable installations. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[California National Guard Launches Drone to Find Missing Teacher ]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 09:38:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cav1.JPG

Using an unprecedented search technique, the California National Guard has launched a drone to help look for a missing San Francisco teacher after he was last seen almost two weeks ago while riding a motorcycle in the El Dorado National Forest.

The drone, formally called a “remotely piloted aircraft,” was set off into the air to look for 45-year-old Edward Cavanaugh Wednesday at the request of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, the National Guard said in a statement.

This is the first time such a vehicle has been used by the National Guard to aid a search-and-rescue effort, the National Guard said. The Guard previously tried out the use of drones to help firefighters battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite in 2013.

The drone, called an Air National Guard MQ-9 Reaper, left the March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, California, on Wednesday morning. Equipped with infrared sensors, image-intensified cameras and laser illuminators, the cameras send back detailed aerial pictures that are instantly relayed to National Guard ground crews.

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“This technology allows us to provide persistent coverage of the search area in support of our partner agencies," California's Adjutant General Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin said.

Cavanaugh, a Downtown Continuation High School teacher who teaches outdoor education, was last seen July 17 riding his blue Yamaha YZ250 motorcycle in the Rock Creek trail system near Georgetown. He had been out with a friend, but took off on his own that day. His sister, Debbie Cavanaugh Schultz, told Dateline NBC she was especially worried about her brother because he is a diabetic who needs a daily dose of insulin.

Cavanaugh is described as 5'11", weighing 160 lbs with a bald head and a mustache. Anyone who sees him or knows where he is should call the Georgetown Ranger Station at (530) 333-4312 or the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office at (530) 621-5655. 

Photo Credit: Debbie Cavanaugh Schultz via Facebook
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<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:51:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_944772135737.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Despite Latino Pope, U.S. Hispanics Drawn to Evangelicalism]]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 06:34:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/lamb22.jpg

Despite growing up in the Catholic Church and attending parochial school, Gladys Verdejo said that for years her faith didn't extend much beyond attending Sunday Mass.

But an invitation to a worship service at the Lamb's Church of Nazarene in New York City seven years ago changed that. 

"I fell in love," said Verdejo, who was born in Puerto Rico, of her experience visiting an evangelical church. 

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On a recent Sunday at the Lamb’s Church, Verdejo was among a large number of Latino congregants worshipping to gospel songs in Spanish. When the Rev. Gabriel Salguero took to the pulpit, he began his sermon with a fiery message: “Education is power! Ignorance is slavery!”

According to Verdejo, it was this message of empowerment and a direct connection to the gospel she felt she was lacking in the Catholic Church. “I feel more comfortable and at home here. I have a lot to learn still, but it's great,” she said.

Shifting Denomination

As millions of Catholics throughout the country await Pope Francis’s first U.S. visit this September, the steady movement of Hispanics, like Gladys Verdejo, away from the Catholic Church underscores a dilemma for the church: Despite efforts to attract and retain U.S. Latinos through expansion of lay ministry positions and support for immigration reform, many Hispanics continue to convert to an evangelical church or abandon their faith altogether.

The pope is expected to speak about immigrant rights at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia later this fall. In a nod to U.S. Hispanic Catholics — who comprise 17 percent of the population and 38 percent of U.S. Catholics — the pope will also offer a historic canonization Mass in Spanish for the Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary who established mission churches in California. 

Addressing Latinos in Spanish “will be an unquestioned acknowledgment of the importance of Latino communities and Latino Catholics in the United States,” said Professor Luis Fraga, director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of Transformative Latino Leadership at the University of Notre Dame.

After the pope's 2013 inauguration, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, presumed the evangelical church's success in drawing in U.S. Latinos would diminish.  

“We [Latino Evangelicals] expected Pope Francis to, in a very measurable manner, slow down the exodus from Catholicism to Evangelicals in Latin America and here in America. But guess what? He’s not slowing down the exodus,” he said.

In fact, Pew Research Center polling from last year notes that among Latinos between 30 to 49, “the net movement has been away from Catholicism and toward both evangelical Protestantism and no religious affiliation.”

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"I Experienced the Presence of God"

After the service at the Lamb’s Church of Nazarene in Manhattan, Katira Castro de Lopez, 34, of Queens, New York, chatted with parishioners as her two children played.

Born in Puerto Rico and baptized in the Catholic Church, Castro de Lopez said she was a teenager when she first visited an evangelical church.

“I experienced the presence of God. It was tangible. I’ve never experienced that feeling in my life ever before,” she said.

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The Catholic Church has experienced a net loss of members for decades, and evangelical Protestantism has woven its way into Latino immigrant communities since the 1940s. While the greater part of Latinos in the U.S. still belong to the Catholic Church, the Pew data show that this majority continues to shrink as evangelical Protestant and unaffiliated groups rise among U.S. Latinos. According to the research, nearly one-quarter of U.S. Latinos are now former Catholics.

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Evangelical Community-Building

Rodriguez’s Sacramento-based organization, which encompasses over 40,000 member-churches representing millions of Latino Evangelicals, is the largest Latino Christian organization in the country. Rodriguez said intense community-building efforts continue to draw Hispanics to the evangelical church.

“You’re Salvadoran; we prepare your food and we sing your songs. You’re Mexican; we sing your music at church. You don’t have to abandon your culture when you come to our parish,” Rodriguez said.

The church isn’t just offering cultural affirmation. Rodriguez said it’s a message of personal and spiritual empowerment, including a message of financial prosperity, that’s attracting an increasing number of Latino immigrants who have experienced poverty.

“We validate the American dream. The Catholic Church is very ambiguous — almost silent, if not antagonistic — to the idea that America does represent social economic vertical mobility,” Rodriguez said.

Penance and Power

Rodriguez said the evangelical church’s inclusion of spiritual, social, and financial empowerment in gospel teachings resonates with Latino churchgoers.

Among the ways the evangelical church empowers, said Rodriguez, is by mobilizing congregants around social and political movements, and by using its leverage to persuade Congress on immigration reform.

For its part, the Catholic Church has worked to empower U.S. Latinos for decades, Luis Fraga said. One successful way, he said, is the Church continues to affirm its Latino base is by expanding the appointment of Latino deacons.

“There is an explicit attempt to appoint individuals who have language knowledge, cultural capital, life experience directly related to Latino communities, and give them very important roles in ministering to Hispanic communities,” he said.

Fraga added that Catholic social charities, local parishes and organizations like the Catholic Campaign for Human Development — the Church’s domestic anti-poverty program which works to address immigration reform and assist low-income communities — have been highly responsive to the needs of immigrant communities. Initiatives by Latino dioceses across the U.S. are anchoring the Catholic Church, according to Fraga.

“The growth in the Catholic Church — at least the slowing of the decline — of strong Catholic congregants is directly related to the increased presence of Latino immigrant communities,” he said.

Mar Muñoz-Visoso, executive director of Cultural Diversity in the Church at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, describes the Catholic Church’s efforts to minister to Hispanic communities as all-embracing.

“We have close to 5,000 parishes in the United States that do have some kind of ministry for Hispanic immigrants,” she said.

Muñoz-Visoso also said that 47 percent of lay ministry positions in the U.S., including youth ministers, parish managers, and religious educators, are filled by Latinos.

“[T]here is something very impressive there because it really means that we’re preparing the next generation of Latinos for the Church,” she said.

On Immigration

As trends in American Christianity continue to indicate a decline in membership, both Catholic and evangelical church leaders agree the future of Catholic and evangelical churches alike are intimately linked to Latinos in the U.S.

Rodriguez said for the better part of a decade he has been putting pressure on conservatives in Congress as well as assuaging the concerns that he said many white Evangelicals have about comprehensive immigration reform. “You need to support immigration reform because if not, you’re actually deporting the very future of your church,” he said.

Echoing the official views of the Catholic church, Muñoz-Visoso describes the Catholic church’s approach to immigration reform as comprehensive. “There has to be a grassroots movement to make sure that human dignity is respected, that due process is respected, and to understand the root causes of immigration,” she said.

Pope Francis has been vocal about the plight of immigrants worldwide. In a message for the 2014 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, he addressed the need for thorough reform. “Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more,” he wrote.

Pope Francis is expected to address immigration in a speech in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families. The event's theme is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

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<![CDATA[Slain Toddler May Have Been Shot by Child Playing With Gun: PD]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:30:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Dalis+Cox.jpg

A 3-year-old girl killed in southeast Washington, D.C.,Wednesday night may have been shot by another child who was playing with a gun, police revealed Thursday.

According to police, another child in the home on the 600 block of 46th Place SE in Benning Ridge may have found a gun and was playing with it when the weapon discharged, striking Dalis Cox.

Cox was rushed to Prince George's Hospital Center in critical condition, where she died. 

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

<![CDATA[Colo. Movie Theater Shooting Trial Penalty Phase]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:49:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP4383057802331.jpg

He flashed a toothy grin in his second grade photograph, but by the ninth grade, the smile was gone, replaced with an awkward smirk and a wild look in his eye.

James Holmes, now 27, was still "Jimmy" then, by most accounts a happy, mild-mannered kid, but he was morphing into an odd loner, so quiet and detached it was easy to forget he was there.

A fuller portrait of the Colorado movie theater shooter has emerged during his death penalty trial. Yet more than 12 weeks of testimony — most recently about his unremarkable suburban childhood and college years — have made it even more difficult to comprehend his descent from a well-behaved child with a quirky sense of humor into a killer capable of gunning down defenseless strangers.

Robert Holmes assumed his son had been hurt when he got an early morning phone call from a reporter telling him of the shooting at a crowded midnight movie premiere.

"It never occurred to me that he would be the shooter," the older Holmes said. "He was not a violent person. At least not until the event."

James Holmes' defense says mental illness contorted him from a once-promising neuroscience graduate student into the deranged-looking man police arrested outside the blood-drenched theater where he killed 12 people in July 2012. A forensic psychiatrist who diagnosed him with schizoaffective disorder testified that Holmes suffered delusions that drove him to kill and said the massacre would not have happened if he weren't severely mentally ill.

The defense team hopes this conclusion — and testimony from his family and more than a dozen friends, neighbors and grade-school teachers — will persuade jurors to show mercy and spare him from execution. They offered details of Holmes' pleasant and seemingly average life to counter the prosecutors' depiction of him as a monster who wanted to kill as many as he could in the audience of more than 400 people, and stopped at 12 only because his assault rifle jammed.

Jurors must consider Holmes' early years as they decide his fate. They could sentence him to life in prison if they find his mental illness reduces his moral culpability and if his enduring human connections show justice is better served by mercy than capital punishment.

Long before Holmes amassed a weapons arsenal, dyed his hair comic-book orange and opened fire in suburban Denver, he was a friendly boy who liked soccer, never got into fights, cradled his baby sister and helped the younger kids celebrate Halloween with a haunted house that was more fun than scary. Everyone knew him as Jimmy.

"He played well. He was always polite, said 'please' and 'thank you,'" said Katherine Barrett, who lived near the Holmes family in a close-knit part of Salinas, near California's coast.

He looked out for his sister, Chris, five years younger; impressed his second-grade teacher; baked cookies with his grandma; and made a Valentine for his dad, who said he was "really a pretty excellent kid."

The Holmes family moved to San Diego when he was in the sixth grade. Tears welled in his eyes as their car pulled away from what had been a happy life with many young friends.

It was about that time that he said he tried to cut his wrists with a piece of cardboard, he told a psychiatrist after the shootings.

His mother, Arlene Holmes, noticed an almost imperceptible change even before the move to Southern California but figured it was puberty.

"He was living on a blue note, where you're not so exuberant or joyful," she testified.

But if he was having suicidal or homicidal thoughts as he came of age, he did not tell his parents, said Robert Holmes, whose own father and twin sister each spent time in psychiatric hospitals for schizophrenia. Mental illness wasn't something his family talked about.

His parents could tell he was isolated and struggling to make friends. They tried family counseling, but stopped after a year. Inwardly, their son was becoming a sullen teenager, tormented by homicidal thoughts.

Holmes said after the attack that he was just 10 when he first started thinking of killing people. He would picture those who hurt or annoyed him but also people who had done nothing to him at all, he said.

Holmes withdrew more with each passing year.

A few close Westview High School friends said he would open up to them, but his family never met them.

Holmes' parents pushed him to join the cross-country team, but the gangly teenager stood so far from his teammates for the team photo that it had to be taken multiple times to get him in the frame, his coach, Lori Godwin testified.

"I never saw Jimmy smile," she said. "He was just kind of a shadow figure. He was always on the outside. If I didn't take roll, I probably wouldn't have even known he was there."

Yet in academics, he excelled. He decided at 14 that he would study neuroscience, and his high grades earned him a full-ride scholarship at the University of California, Riverside.

Once he left home, he nearly stopped calling his parents, who relied on terse and sporadic emails to check on his well-being.

"He wasn't really a phone person," Robert Holmes said. "We didn't really know what he was doing socially."

He graduated with high honors but chose not to walk with his classmates at the ceremony. Still, his family saw no reason for alarm.

But James Holmes said he realized early on that his mind was troubled and that he couldn't trust anyone else to make it right.

"He had a sense there was something wrong with him," said Dr. Jeffrey Metzner, who examined him after the attack. "He was hopeful that if he learned something about the brain, he could fix it."

Holmes applied to only the most competitive graduate schools and was disappointed when none accepted him. So he returned home and retreated into video games, until his mother gave him an ultimatum: get a job or get out. He chose the graveyard shift at a pill-coating factory, and his parents saw him even less.

He again applied to graduate schools, without their help.

This time he was accepted into the University of Colorado's prestigious doctoral program in neuroscience. He packed his white Hyundai and headed to Denver by himself, rejecting his father's offer to help him move.

From the outside, things seemed to be looking up. Holmes forged his first romantic relationship with a fellow grad student and kept up his grades, initially. But his anxiety was worsening. He struggled with labs requiring social interaction. Classmates described his presentations as painfully awkward.

Even Gargi Datta, the only woman Holmes said he ever loved, didn't feel a bond.

"I told him that I didn't see a future with him," she said.

Before they stopped speaking, she urged him to see a psychiatrist to help with his fear of social settings. He told that doctor, Lynne Fenton, he was having homicidal thoughts three or four times a day. He also told her that he had thoughts of killing people.

But he told no one that he had begun collecting the implements of a massacre, having purchased a handgun, a shotgun and an assault rifle.

He mostly stopped returning his father's calls. "Not much news here," he wrote in an email in June 2012. He did not let on that had already failed a key exam.

His murderous delusions were "like a storm that in some ways he tried to stop," said Raquel Gur, a schizophrenia expert who found him too psychotic at that point to know right from wrong.

Holmes withdrew from school, gave up therapy and rigged his 800-square-foot apartment into a potentially lethal booby trap. He scribbled in his spiral notebook that he was solely focused on his "mission": to kill as many as he could at "The Dark Knight Rises" premiere.

"Despite my biological shortcomings, I have fought and fought," he scrawled. "There is one more battle to fight with life. To face death, embrace the longstanding hatred of mankind and overcome all fear in certain death."


This story has been corrected to show the name of the movie is "The Dark Knight Rises," not "The Dark Night Rises," and James Holmes had a Hyundai, not a Honda.

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<![CDATA[Micropreemie Goes Home After 345 Days in NICU]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:04:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trevor_Frolek.jpg

Trevor Frolek was born a micropreemie, at just 23 weeks and weighing in at a little over a pound. After spending 345 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at a Fargo, North Dakota, hospital, he is a smiling, 20-pound baby — and he's finally home. His family and the medical staff celebrated his release with a party last week.

"It's just a complete miracle. The doctors and nurses have worked so hard to get him to this point. It's beyond amazing," his mom Becky Frolek told NBC's "Today."

The baby was due last December, but when Becky Frolek suddenly began cramping on Aug. 12, 2014, she and her husband rushed to the hospital. There, the tiny boy quickly came into the world.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Frolek family]]>
<![CDATA[Beer Keg Wrongful Death Suit Settled for $1.2M]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:36:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/judge_gavel_720.jpg

A wrongful death suit filed by the family of a New Hampshire brewery worker who was killed by an exploding beer keg three years ago has been settled for $1.2 million.

According to Seacoastonline.com, about a third of the settlement money will go to the family's lawyers. The lawsuit was filed against the three companies that manufacture and distribute the keg that exploded in April of 2012, killing 26-year-old Benjamin Harris.

The suit was settled out of court and approved by a U.S. District Court judge on July 15.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jetliner's Cracked Windshield Triggers Emergency Landing]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 09:55:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-84701784.jpg

A Boeing 777 passenger jet made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport after suffering a cracked windshield, the airline said, according to NBC News.

The Virgin Australia flight had just left LAX bound for Brisbane, Australia, when it was forced to turn around after the pilots noticed the damaged window.

The plane landed "without incident" at 2:21 a.m. local time Wednesday (5:21 a.m. ET), a spokeswoman from the airline said in a statement.

Engineers "rectified the issue" before the plane left for Brisbane at 12:50 a.m. Thursday (3:50 a.m. ET), the airline added.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lion's Killer Apologizes to Dental Patients]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:07:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_716454610724.jpg

The American dentist who shot a lion during what officials allege was an illegal trophy-hunt in Zimbabwe, has apologized — but only for the disruption caused to his dental patients, NBC News reported. 

Life-long hunter Walter James Palmer received a barrage of condemnation for killing Cecil, who was popular with tourists and was tagged by researchers in 2008 as part of a study at the U.K.'s Oxford University. Protests forced Palmer to shut his Minnesota dental practice doors and disappear from public view.

In a letter sent to his patients Palmer said: "I apologize profoundly for this inconvenience and promise you that we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible."

Zimbabwe wildlife officials allege Palmer paid $50,000 to guides who used meat to lure the animal out of a protected wildlife reserve. He then shot and injured the lion with a bow, before tracking it for 40 hours and killing it with a gun, according to officials.

<![CDATA[Trump in Scotland: I'm Number One With Hispanics]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:58:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/trump-thumb-GettyImages-482327648.jpg

Presidential contender Donald Trump arrived at his Turnberry golf resort in western Scotland on Thursday for the first day of the Women's British Open, and was grilled about his provocative remarks on immigration in the U.S. by a combative pack of British reporters, NBC News reported. 

Trump, wearing a red hat emblazoned with his campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," was asked if he represented the Hispanic population of America.

"A poll came out two days ago where I am number one with the Hispanics," Trump said. "I know you are surprised to hear that. But I am number one with the Hispanics. And I said that if I get the nomination I will win with the Hispanics."

The real estate mogul was also asked whether Lizette Salas, the American golfer currently ranked 29th in the world whose parents are Mexican, was "not too pleased you're here?"

He replied: "Don't know who she is."

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[US Olympic Committee Exploring LA-SF Joint Bid: Sources]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 01:40:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/196*120/01-08-2015-olympics-los-angeles-coliseum-flag.jpg

With Boston now out of the 2024 Olympics race, Los Angeles is exploring a new bid that could include Bay Area cooperation.

The United States Olympics Committee has reached out to San Francisco’s Olympics bid committee regarding a joint bid with Los Angeles, multiple sources within the San Francisco 2024 Olympic Bid and the USOC told NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai.

“Discussions are taking place,” one of the sources said, but "a lot will have to happen in the next six weeks." 

According to the Chronicle, Giants CEO Larry Baer, who led San Francisco's bid to host the games, got a call from LA sports agent Casey Wasserman on Tuesday to ask about the possibility of submitting a joint proposal to the U.S. Olympic Committee in September.

"I'm not saying we are going to do it, but we are certainly open to discussing it," Baer told the publication.

Tony Winnicker, who has worked with the office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Olympics efforts, acknowledged that the city might also be open to the possibility.

Sources say the USOC plans to vet the unique proposal at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur from July 31 to Aug. 3.

Boston's bid to host the games had been selected to move forward in January over those by San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

The U.S. Olympic Commitee ended Boston's bid after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Monday that he was not ready to sign a host city document that would force taxpayers to cover any cost overruns. 

NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Steve Powell/Allsport
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<![CDATA[Officer's Bodycam Crucial to Murder Indictment: Officials]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:54:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Ray-Tensing-mug.jpg

Cincinnati officials said a university police officer who shot a driver to death during a traffic stop probably would not have been indicted for murder if it wasn't for the video from a camera worn by the cop.

"We're glad that we did have it," Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said on MSNBC on Wednesday.

University of Cincinnati Officer Ray Tensing claimed he was dragged by Samuel Dubose's car during the July 19 stop, officials said. Tensing, 25, said he was "almost run over by the driver of the Honda Accord and was forced to shoot the driver with his duty weapon."

Bodycam video, however, shows the officer approach Dubose's car after pulling him over for missing a front license plate. Tensing asks Dubose, 43, for his license, which the driver says he doesn't have on him.

The stop escalates when Tensing asks him to get out of the car, and a scuffle ensues. Without warning, the officer shoots Dubose in the head while he is still behind the wheel, and the car accelerates down the road.

Photo Credit: WLWT]]>
<![CDATA[Possible MH370 Debris: Relatives Still Await Loved Ones' Bodies]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 07:17:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MH370.jpg

Chinese relatives of passengers on board missing Flight MH370 said Thursday the discovery of possible debris from the missing plane would mean nothing until their loved ones were found, NBC News reported. 

"I have no reaction yet because it's not confirmed," Wang Le, whose mother was aboard the plane, told NBC News. "There have been too many updates before and many were not reliable, so I think I'd rather wait for confirmation."

Of the 239 people on board the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared on March 8 last year, 153 were Chinese citizens.

The piece of debris was found off the southern tip of Africa. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said he has been in contact with other countries regarding the debris, and they are all watching for progress.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Man With Guns Arrested After Asking for Directions to White House]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:09:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-97765250.jpg

A man found with three guns was arrested near the Capitol Building early Tuesday after he stopped an officer to ask for directions to the White House. 

Steve Randall Oney approached an officer about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday on the 100 block of Independence Ave SW and asked where the White House was located, according to court documents. 

Oney told the officer he was visiting the area for the night and that he was in the process of moving, adding that everything he owned was in his late model Ford pickup truck with a Tennessee license plate. 

The officer noticed a propane tank and what appeared to be an ammunition box in the back of the truck. He asked Oney if he had any weapons in the vehicle, and the suspect acknowledged he had two guns in the front of the truck and one in the back, court documents say. 

Oney gave the officer permission to search the vehicle. According to prosecutors, officials found a .44 caliber revolver, a loaded .22 rifle and a 7 mm Remington rifle. The truck also contained a knife and three boxes of ammunition.

Oney was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, and possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.

Court documents say Oney said he was unfamiliar with D.C. gun laws.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Man Charged in Shooting Death of Transgender Woman]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 02:58:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

A Florida man has been charged with murder in the death of a transgender woman who was found fatally shot in a Tampa park last week, NBC News reported.

Keith Gaillard, 18, of Tampa, turned himself in to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and was charged Tuesday with one count each of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a "violent career criminal," the sheriff's office said.

India Clarke, 25, formerly Samuel Clarke, was found dead at around 8:45 a.m. on July 21. She suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, the sheriff's office said.

<![CDATA[Pet Shop Owner Charged With Animal Cruelty]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:41:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Handcuffs-generic-custody.jpg

A Connecticut pet shop owner from New York is facing animal cruelty charges for failing to properly care for at least three animals, leading to the deaths of two, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Richard Doyle, 55, of Mahopac, was arrested Monday after a months-long investigation that began in March when the Connecticut Department of Agriculture received animal cruelty complaints from some of Doyle's employees.

Doyle owns the American Breeders pet shop on Federal Road in Danbury, along with two other pet stores in New York, according to the Department of Agriculture.

One employee told investigators Doyle performed eye surgery on a female Mastiff, which he was not licensed to do, causing severe bleeding on the dog's inner eyelid. Department of Agriculture officials said the employee showed them photos that supported her claims.

Another employee told them she was required to administer medications and shots that she was not licensed to give, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Doyle is also accused of failing to give medical attention to at least two animals that were later euthanized, including a critically ill exotic kitten and a sick Shih Tzu puppy that was vomiting, coughing and having diarrhea.

He was charged with three counts of animal cruelty. Doyle was released on a promise to appear and is due in court Aug. 6.

A store manager, Kathy Seton, will also face animal cruelty charges, according to the Department of Agriculture.

An employee who answered the phone at American Breeders said no one was available to comment on the case Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: NBCSanDiego]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Truck Crashes Into Shuttle Bus]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 23:18:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/casino+bus+fire+truck.jpg

A fire truck slammed into a shuttle bus in front of a Westchester casino Wednesday evening, hurting 10 people in both vehicles, authorities say. 

Yonkers Fire Commissioner John Darcy said the fire department received a call to head to 41 Maple Pl. at about 6 p.m. Engine 313 pulled out of its fire station and about a half-block away, struck the Empire Casino shuttle bus, at Yonkers and Kimball avenues. 

The shuttle bus appeared to have been heading west when it was hit by the fire truck, Darcy said. It was a few blocks away from Empire Casino. 

"A lot of people were bleeding badly, mostly the people on the bus," said witness Tony Finar of Yonkers. "Taken out on stretchers, definitely not conscious." 

Six civilians on the bus were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and Westchester Medical Center with varying degrees of injury, Darcy said. The extent of their injuries and their ages were not immediately clear, but at least some of them were elderly. 

All four firefighters in the truck suffered back and neck injuries and were taken to Jacobi Hospital. They're expected to be OK. 

Darcy said there was damage to the fire truck and "it looked like a pretty significant impact." 

Both police and fire departments are investigating the crash. 

<![CDATA[Dispatcher Who Hung Up on 911 Caller Before Friend Died Resigns]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:15:08 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/201*120/150728-jaydon-chavez-silver-plane-314p.jpeg

An Albuquerque Fire Department dispatcher who allegedly hung up on a distressed 911 caller seeking help as her friend was dying from a gunshot wound has resigned, officials said. 

"Driver Matthew Sanchez tendered his resignation of employment from the Albuquerque Fire Department effective immediately," fire department Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry said in a statement.

Sanchez allegedly hung up on a distraught women who was tending to a 17-year-old who was shot after the woman used explicit language.

"OK, you kow what, ma'am? you can deal with yourself, I'm not going to deal with this, OK?" Sanchez supposedly said before the line disconnects. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy Nicole Chavez]]>
<![CDATA[Charges in Maddy Middleton Death]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 01:31:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/T5A+VIGILIA+MADDY+SANTA+CRUZ+KATHERINE+VO+-+00002316.jpg

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney on Wednesday charged a 15-year-old boy with murder and kidnapping in the death of an 8-year-old girl who vanished while riding her scooter near her apartment on Sunday afternoon.

The decision to charge Adrian Jerry Gonzalez as an adult in the death of Madyson "Maddy" Middleton was announced by Jeffrey Rosell at a news conference on the county courthouse steps.

Rosell said he couldn't remember any similar cases in recent history.

Gonzalez is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday. He is being housed at a juvenile detention facility.  Gonzalez, a minor, is being named publicly because he is charged as an adult.

Rosell would not go into the specifics of the case. But he said the charges are: one count of murder that includes special circumstances of lying in wait, kidnap and sexual assault, and other counts related to sexual offenses and kidnapping. The maximum penalty for the crimes is life in prison, Rosell said, as the death penalty is not applicable to minors.

Because of his age, authorities have declined to say whether the teen had a record.

A motive in the case has never been offered.

"People do things things for all sorts of reasons," Rosell said. "Sometimes we understand them and sometimes we don't."

A call to the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender for comment on the case wasn't immediately returned.

Attempts to speak to the teen and his mother have not been successful. A woman who appeared to be his mother wailed in front of a bank of TV cameras on Monday night as the boy was led off in a patrol car calmly.

Some neighbors who know the boy, however, said that he is a good kid who comes from a loving family. Even the boyfriend of Maddy's mother, Kirby Scudder, told NBC Bay Area that Gonzalez is a "great kid." Others knew him for throwing a yo-yo around the complex.

On Tuesday, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said that Gonzalez “lured” Maddy up to his apartment on Sunday afternoon or evening, and killed her, before carrying her body down to a recycling bin at the apartment complex where both lived. Police didn't find her body until about 8 p.m. Monday.

Vogel also said that evidence, including the girl’s belongings, witness statements and video surveillance, links Gonzalez to Maddy's death. He also said the “suspect went to great lengths” to disguise and conceal the body left in the dumpster.

The 8-year-old's death has left many near and far in shock and disbelief. Santa Cruz residents held a vigil for her on Tuesday night and the Rio Theatre dedicated its marquee to her.

Neighbors at the Tannery Arts Center said they were stunned by the death. The center is a public-private nonprofit that includes 100 affordable loft apartments for artists and their families. About 250 people live in the complex, including about 50 children.

A memorial has been set up in Madyson's honor, overflowing with dozens of bouquets, stuffed animals, balloons, candles and notes.

On Wednesday, a group of girls about Madyson's age were crying at the memorial. One girl was walking Madyson's dog, Lucy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Telemundo
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<![CDATA[Boy Who Asked For Junk Mail Gets Hundreds of Books]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:04:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-539749513.jpg

Matthew Flores asked his mailman for junk mail to read since he had no books at home or money for a bus fare to the library. 

After the mailman's plea went viral, the 12-year-old boy received hundreds of books.

"A young man was standing here reading junk mail and asked me if I had any extra," Ron Lynch told NBC News.

Flores has a passion for reading and asked Lynch for junk mail so he would have anytime of literature to read.

"I like using my imagination. It's super fun and it's interesting plus it gets you smarter," Flores told NBC News. 

<![CDATA[Audio Reveals Moments Before Deadly Milwaukee Plane Crash]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 01:34:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/216*120/plane+crash+fire.png

Two people were killed when a small plane plummeted to the ground and burst into flames outside Milwaukee's Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport Wednesday evening.

Emergency responders received initial calls of a crash on the Wisconsin city's northwest side just after 6 p.m. Witnesses reported seeing a single-engine plane engulfed in flames.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner was placed on standby soon after as firefighters and police crews worked to put out the blazing aircraft and clear the intense clouds of black smoke that blanketed the scene. The medical examiner then confirmed two fatalities.

Officials said the fatal crash unraveled as the flight was approaching the airport about five miles north of downtown Milwaukee, although the flight’s manifests do not indicate Timmerman Airport was the intended destination.

Audio tapes released late Wednesday from a website monitoring air traffic interaction revealed the pilot had communication with the control tower right before landing, but it is still unknown what ultimately sent the plane crashing down.

In the tapes the male pilot can be heard announcing the plane is approaching Runway 33 before being cleared to land.

A chopper pilot from NBC Chicago’s affiliate station in Wisconsin reports the plane was doing what they call a “go around,” which signals to the control tower that an approach or landing is not working out.

It was near a residential area by Appleton Avenue – just blocks from the airport located in the 9300 block of the same street – where the plane took an untimely turn and plummeted to the ground.

While weather had been clear in the area, there had been previous reports of high winds.

In the same tapes someone aboard the plane on the air traffic control frequency can be heard asking for a wind check just moments before the devastating crash.

By the end of the night Wednesday the only evidence left of the deadly accident that could be seen was a portion of the plane’s tail and an area of charred grass.

Both autopsies for the two killed are scheduled for Thursday, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working with the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the crash.

<![CDATA[Family of Man Killed by Ohio Cop Calls For Peace]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:20:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Ray-Tensing-mug.jpg

The family of Samuel DuBose, the Cincinnati man shot and killed during a traffic stop, is calling for peace following the release of the body camera video that captured the moment when DuBose was killed. 

DuBose family attorney Mark O'Mara called for a "peaceful and nonaggressive" response from the community after University of Cincinnati police Officer Ray Tensing was indicted on murder charges.  

The white University of Cincinnati police officer who shot the unarmed black man during a traffic stop has been indicted on murder charges, a prosecutor announced Wednesday, saying the cop "purposely" killed the motorist and "should never have been a police officer," according to NBC News.

In announcing the murder charge against officer Ray Tensing, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters lambasted the cop over the death of Dubose, 43, saying the fatal shooting was "the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make."

Dubose was pulled over July 19 for having a missing front license plate.

Photo Credit: WLWT]]>
<![CDATA[Man Wrongfully Jailed Fatally Shot 3 Years After Release]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:27:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Alprentiss-Nash.jpg

A man has been fatally shot in Chicago nearly three years after he was released from prison, having spent 17 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.

Alprentiss Nash, 40, was fatally shot in the chest Tuesday afternoon in the 1600 block of West Van Buren on the Near West Side, according to his attorney and police.

Police said Nash was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County where he was later pronounced dead.

Nash’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said Nash was murdered during a failed robbery attempt. Police could not immediately confirm that information but said a person of interest was being questioned in his death.

Nash was previously sentenced to 80 years in prison for murder in connection with the 1995 death of Leon Stroud of Chicago's South Side.

He spent 17 years in prison before being released in August 2012 after evidence indicated he might not have committed the crime.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said at the time that new DNA evidence and a collective investigation showed there was not enough evidence to convict Nash.

Nash said in 2012 that while he was shocked, he wasn’t angry. He just wanted to get on with his life.

"The time is now. I'm a free man and I'm going to move forward," he said.

According to court records, Nash was arrested shortly after the April 30, 1995, crime in Chicago's West Pullman neighborhood. He was convicted on witness testimony.

The killer wore a black ski mask during the crime. One was recovered from a gate post near Stroud's home. During a post-conviction appeal, Nash sought DNA testing of the mask. That was opposed by the state's attorney's office and subsequently dismissed by a circuit judge.

An Illinois Appellate Court later reversed that decision, ordering the DNA testing that in 2010 came back with a genetic profile matching another man.

<![CDATA[New Doughnut-Ice Cream Hybrid Food Craze: Milky Buns]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:22:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/milkybun.jpg

There's a new food craze that is kicking Cronuts to the curb: the Milky Bun.

"When [customers] tried the Milky Bun for the first time, that's when the wild fire started," Scott Ngheim, co-found of Afters Ice Cream in Los Angeles, told NBC News. "We did not expect the scale of how large everything went."

Ngheim and his partner Andy Nguyen put a new twist to classic sweets: stuffing homemade ice cream inside a warm glazed doughnut. 

When Ngheim and Nguyen started the ice cream shop, they knew the frozen dessert wouldn't be enough.

"We needed something more in order to get people really excited," said Nguyen. The two said they "tried anything and everything" that could hold ice cream, including shells, waffles and breads.

Photo Credit: Joshua Garcia
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<![CDATA[Trump: I'd 'Love' to Pick Palin for Cabinet Spot]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:58:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/114965052_10.jpg

Donald Trump said he'd "love" to have former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as a member of his cabinet if he is elected president. 

Asked on Sarah Palin's Mama Grizz Radio's "The Palin Update with Kevin Scholla" whether he'd include Palin in his administration, Trump responded "I'd love that."

"She really is somebody that knows what's happening. She's a special person, she's really a special person," he said. "She's got a following that's unbelievable."

Trump said he's always admired the former Alaska governor's talent for taking criticism in stride.

"One of things I most admire so much about her is that she took so much nonsense, lies, disgusting lies," he said. "And she handles it so well. She's tough and smart and just a great woman."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taliban Chief Mullah Omar Is Dead: Afghan Official]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:07:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP120428025635.jpg

The Afghan government announced Wednesday that longtime Taliban leader Mullah Omar was dead.

"I can confirm that Mullah Omar is dead," the spokesman for Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security Abdul Hassib Sediqi told NBC News. "According to our intelligence Mullah Omar has died in a hospital in Pakistan a couple years ago."

Rumors have circulated for years that the leader of the militant group that ruled Afghanistan until being toppled by U.S.-backed forces in 2001 had died.

Afghan intelligence officials told NBC News earlier that the government came to the conclusion Omar had died about two years earlier during a high-level national security meeting Wednesday morning.

The government had sufficient information to conclude that Omar died of hepatitis B about two years ago, and his death was kept secret to keep the group together, a second intelligence source told NBC News. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>