<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.pngNBC Chicagohttp://www.nbcchicago.comen-usMon, 23 Jan 2017 13:47:17 -0600Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:47:17 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[WHO on 'High-Alert' Over New Outbreaks of Bird Flu]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:31:49 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/influenza1.jpg

The World Health Organization is urging all countries to monitor avian influenza and to report any human cases that could indicate the beginning of a flu pandemic, Reuters reported.

About 40 countries have reported new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry and wild birds since November, according to WHO. Several strains of bird flu have been spreading across Europe and Asia, resulting in large-scale poultry slaughters and some human deaths in China.

Due to the rapid pace and expansive nature of these outbreaks, WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said the organization is on "high alert."

The WHO’s 194 member states are required to detect and report human cases promptly, Chan added: "We cannot afford to miss the early signals."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Inauguration Weekend in Photos ]]>Sat, 21 Jan 2017 07:55:54 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-632223148.jpg

Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dictionary Tweets 'Fact' Definition Following Conway Comment]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:32:58 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/conway-alt-fact.jpg

Searches for the definition of “fact” spiked on Merriam Webster following Kellyanne Conway’s appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” where she used the phrase, “alternative facts.”

“A fact is a piece of information present as having objective reality,” the dictionary tweeted Sunday afternoon, following the segment.

Press secretary Sean Spicer had previously described the crowd at President Trump’s inauguration as the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” On “Meet the Press,” Todd questioned the veracity of this statement.

Conway told Todd that “alternative facts” were used to assess the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration.

“Alternative facts are not facts--they’re falsehoods,” Todd said.

Twitter users went wild with humor and memes, at first with "alternative facts," and then at the correction that the dictionary offered for Conway's phrase. But it was Merriam Webster’s website that had the last word.

“In contemporary use, fact is generally understood to refer something with actual existence, or presented as having objective reality.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[From Antarctica to Europe: Women's Marches Around the World]]>Sat, 21 Jan 2017 16:01:20 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/London_England_1_March1.jpgFrom Antarctica to the Netherlands, global marches and rallies for women's right were held around the world in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the Women's March in Washington, as well as the 600 "sister marches" held across the United States, on Jan. 21, 2017. See the photos.

Photo Credit: Dan KitwoodGetty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spicer: Memorandum on TPP, Mexico City Policy and Gov Hiring]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:19:23 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Spicer_TPP_Briefing_15261157_1200x675_860835907558.jpgWhite House press secretary Sean Spicer announced that President Donald Trump issued three memorandums on his first day on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Mexico City Policy and a hiring freeze on the executive branch of the federal government. ]]><![CDATA[Compare the Crowds: Obama and Trump Inaugurations]]>Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:41:45 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/182*120/inaug-aerial-th.jpg

President Donald Trump promised an “unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout” for his inauguration, but it appears he fell short of a record.

Photos taken from the same vantage point at roughly the same time during the inaugurations of Trump and Barack Obama show far fewer people on the National Mall on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Subway ridership figures released Friday also show a drop between 2009 and 2017.

Various groups involved with the planning of Friday’s ceremonies — the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Activities, the D.C. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the U.S. Armed Forces Joint Task Force-National Capital Region — predicted 700,000 to 900,000 would attend Trump’s swearing-in and parade.

His predecessor drew what was originally estimated to be a record 1.8 million people to the National Mall for his inauguration in 2009. That estimate was provided by Washington D.C. officials, though The Washington Post later questioned whether it was too high.

On Friday, ridership numbers from the Washington D.C. Metro showed a drop from the 2009 inaugural. As of 11 a.m. on Friday, it recorded 193,000 rides, compared to 513,000 at that time in 2009.

Meanwhile, an expert told The New York Times the crowd on the National Mall on Friday was about one-third the size of the crowd for Obama in 2009. 

The Joint Congressional Committee for Inaugural Ceremonies distributed about 250,000 tickets for Trump’s inauguration on Friday, 1,600 on platforms and 1,000 on bleachers, which it said was on par for previous ceremonies. But most people attending the festival watch from elsewhere.



Photo Credit: AP/Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
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<![CDATA[Pope's Warning: Rising Populism Could Produce New Hitler]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:14:11 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pope+francis+GettyImages-457244520.png

Pope Francis has expressed concern over the growing populist movement in Europe, saying it could result in the rise of leaders like Germany's Adolf Hitler, NBC News reported.

"In times of crisis, we lack judgment, and that is a constant reference for me," the pope said in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais. "Hitler didn't steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people."

Angry with traditional political elites, voters across Europe are throwing support towards nationalist, anti-immigrant leaders.

The pontiff, who sent President Donald Trump his best wishes Friday, also told El Pais that he is reserving judgment on Trump: "We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion."



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Analysis: How Women Upstaged President Trump]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 19:33:21 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/dc-womens-march.jpg

For President Trump, the inauguration should have been his Super Bowl – the kind of spectacle everybody talks about at work all day Monday and beyond.

But for once Trump, the self-styled showman who upended media and politics to become chief executive, got upstaged. The Women's March on Saturday, a day after the inauguration, gave the world a far bigger and better show. 

The event packed all the elements of a yuge spectacular: epic scale (a cast of hundreds of thousands spread across the globe); family drama (emotional moments shared by multiple generations); humor (creative signs and chants, the cleverest of which can't be repeated here); colorful costumes (most prominently those pink hats); celebrities (Scarlett Johansson, among many others); songs (Alicia Keys sang “Girl on Fire”); and high stakes (the future of women's rights).

It marked a defiant, raucous and joyful display of force by masses angry about Trump's taped vulgar comments declaring his carte blanche to accost women and fearful of life under his leadership.

As comedian Aziz Ansari put it on "Saturday Night Live," a program Trump went from hosting to regularly decrying: “Yesterday, Trump was inaugurated. Today, an entire gender protested against him. Wow."

The New York Times reported three times as many people participated in the main march in Washington than attended Trump's inauguration. The rookie president, though, wasn't only behind in the in-person audience category. In another sense, the marchers, all performers of a sort for the day, outnumbered him on the world stage.

That seemed to unnerve the now officially powerful Trump, who vastly exaggerated inauguration attendance Saturday and scapegoated journalists for using photographic evidence to show Obama attracted a far larger crowd to the National Mall eight years ago. Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, made the demonstrably erroneous claim that his boss commanded the "largest audience ever to witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe."

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that his inauguration ratings were bigger than President Obama’s 2013 numbers (true, though Trump’s viewership tally landed well below that of Obama’s history-making 2009 festivities). The new president said he watched march coverage and suggested something that he could not possibly know: that the protesters hadn’t cast ballots: “Why didn't these people vote?”

He later posted a tweet that most would recognize as presidential: “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

Still, the overall tone Trump set in his first weekend as star of the biggest reality show of them all echoed his attention-at-all-costs campaigning style.

The point of Trump's sore-winner act remains unclear. The inauguration, despite a lack of major performers (Toby Keith, Sam Moore and the Rockettes were among the bigger names), offered some memorable moments.

The limited dancing prowess Trump exhibited while shuffling to "My Way" with his wife, Melania, actually helped humanize him. The stylish new first lady showed signs of becoming a fashion leader (unlike his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, whose Paddington Bear-like outfit inspired mocking memes).

Some folks, on both sides of the political aisle, likely found something comforting and elegant in the pageantry and tradition surrounding the peaceful transfer of power, even amid Trump's speech, with its jarring "American carnage" declaration.

His strong words, like his attempts to steal back the show from the marchers (and just perhaps deflect attention from the major challenges facing his administration), defy presidential precedent.

But it's not unprecedented behavior for Trump.

After Arnold Schwarzenegger debuted Jan. 2 as the new ringmaster of "Celebrity Apprentice," then-President-elect Trump taunted his successor via Twitter.

"Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got 'swamped' (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT," read the tweet, written in the third-person with Trump referring to himself by his initials.

This weekend, President Donald J. Trump got swamped, if not in the ratings, then in the race for notice that appears to drive him. The throngs from around the world who marched grabbed the spotlight and beat him at his own game.

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best Moments of the Presidential Inaugural Balls ]]>Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:19:20 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-632249496.jpgSee some of the best moments at the presidential inaugural balls held in honor of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Who's Who in Trump's Brain Trust]]>Wed, 07 Dec 2016 09:48:52 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/223*120/trump-cab-adv-th.jpgHere's a look at the people who will be closest to Donald Trump in the White House, his advisers and his picks for the top jobs in his administration. The nominees for Cabinet positions will need Senate approval.
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<![CDATA[Presidential Children: Post-White House Years ]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:56:45 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/HarrySTruman.jpgThe sons and daughters of United States presidents, most of whom were children and teenagers when they followed their parents into the White House, each made a life for themselves away from the shadow of their famous fathers. See how the former first children lived post-White House.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Slashes Trump Sign Because it 'Ruined Her Chill']]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:11:45 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Elizabeth+McSurdy.jpg

A woman who was arrested Friday for slashing a Trump sign on Big Pine Key told deputies she did it because the sign "ruined her chill," authorities said.

Monroe County Sheriff's deputies responded to R & T Vinyl Signs at 5 p.m. on Friday, where the owners of the business told them a woman had slashed their vinyl "Trump" sign. The owners said she also threatened them while holding a knife in her hand. One of the men was able to take a picture of her vehicle as she was leaving.

The woman was later pulled over and identified as 30-year-old Elizabeth McSurdy of Oakland, California, officials said.

Officials say initially McSurdy denied slashing the signs and threatening the men, but after she was confronted with the photo and the victim identified her as the suspect, she admitted to doing the damage to the sign.

McSurdy allegedly denied threatening the men but admitted to holding the knife during the confrontation.

She's been charged with criminal mischief and aggravated assault and she was booked into jail. 

Jail records and attorney information weren't immediately available Monday. 



Photo Credit: Monroe County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Cabinet Picks In Their Own Words]]>Mon, 09 Jan 2017 17:41:48 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16345069714951-Trump-Wisc-win.jpg

President-elect Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, defeat ISIS, withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, create 25 million jobs over the next decade and "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. How well do his Cabinet nominees reflect his governing philosophy? Here they are in their own words. 

The retired neurosurgeon and unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination grew up in Detroit and has no experience in elected office or in running a large bureaucracy.

"These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse. There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous."The Washington Times, 2015

Former secretary of labor under President George W. Bush, deputy transportation secretary under President George H.W. Bush, Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"If vehicles already meet an acceptable level of safety on a particular aspect of vehicle performance without being required to do so by regulation, I believe the Department should devote its resources to other issues rather than engage in rulemaking simply to affirm the existing level of safety."Statement before DOT deputy secretary confirmation hearing, 1989

A keen advocate for school vouchers and charter schools, influential in Detroit, where charter schools have a poor record and state legislators rejected calls for more oversight, she engages in political battles to help advance God's kingdom, she told a religious gathering in 2001.

"We are stuck in a partisan rut. The political parties are dead-enders when it comes to education revolution. As long as we think political parties might solve the problem it will never be solved. Oddly enough education choice is very unique in that some conservative Republicans and some liberal Democrats are actually on the same wavelength….But those are exceptions. The vast majority of the political class is committed to defending and protecting the status quo." — SXSW in Austin, 2015

The governor of South Carolina and the daughter of immigrants from India, Haley led the drive to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse and during the Republican primary accused Donald Trump of "irresponsible talk."

"During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation." -- Speaking of Donald Trump and others in the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, 2016

A retired four-star Marine general, he oversaw the Guantanamo Bay military prison and efforts to stop drug trafficking and other smuggling into the United States.

"In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers move tens of thousands of people to our nation’s doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland. As I stated last year, terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States."Testimony to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, 2015

Nicknamed "Mad Dog," the retired Marine Corps general and former commander of U.S. Central Command blames President Barack Obama's policy in the Middle East for adding to the rise of extremism.

"Is political Islam in the best interest of the United States? I suggest the answer is no but then we need to have the discussion. If we won't even ask the question, then how to we ever get to the point of recognizing which is our side in the fight. And if we don't take our own side in this fight we're leaving others adrift."— The Heritage Foundation, 2015

Donald Trump's campaign finance chairman, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, and Hollywood financier, he and partners took over failed mortgage lender IndyMac Bank and operated it under the name, OneWest Bank. He pledged to tackle mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"It makes no sense that these are owned by the government and have been controlled by the government for as long as they have. In many cases this displaces private lending in the mortgage markets, and we need these entities that will be safe. So let me just be clear— we'll make sure that when they're restructured, they're absolutely safe and they don't get taken over again. But we've got to get them out of government control." — Fox Business, November

Perry, the former governor of Texas, has promoted the state's oil industry and has questioned climate change. He has advocated eliminating the department he would head though famously could not name it during a presidential debate in 2012.

"I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number or scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we're seeing, almost weekly or daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climate has changed. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed." -- Town Hall in Bedford, N.H., 2011

Republican congressman from Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon and persistent critic of Obamacare, he has repeatedly introduced his own legislation for replacing it.

"It's a fundamental philosophical difference that we have with the other side …. They believe that government ought to be in control of health care. We believe that patients and families ought to be in control of health care. And sadly what we're seeing right now is that government control that we've seen ramped up over the past six or seven years has resulted in a decrease in quality that's being seen by patients. People have coverage, but they don't have care. They're priced out of the market." American Enterprise Institute, June

Attorney general of Oklahoma, one of the Republicans leading the legal fight against President Barack Obama's attempts to curb carbon emissions, Pruitt questions how much human actions are contributing to climate change, a point disputed by the vast majority of the world's climate scientists.

"Healthy debate is the lifeblood of American democracy, and global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime." — with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, Tulsa World, May

The CEO of CKE Restaurants, the fast-food company that owns burger chains Carl's Jr and Hardee's, Puzder is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act, which he said created a "government-mandated restaurant recession" and of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which he argues would lead to fewer jobs.

"I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality." Entrepreneur, 2015

Turnaround specialist who became rich buying struggling steel, textile, coal and other companies and restructuring them, Ross came under criticism for a deadly explosion at a mine his company had bought.

"Clinton will raise taxes. Trump will cut taxes. Clinton will increase regulation. Trump will decrease regulation. Clinton has vowed to kill the coal industry. Trump will leverage America's energy resources to create new jobs and growth." — with Trump adviser Peter Navarro, CNBC, August

U.S. senator and former U.S. attorney from Alabama who failed to win confirmation to a federal judgeship because of concerns about racially charged comments he was accused of making, he has opposed immigration reform and the legalization of marijuana.

"You have to have leadership from Washington. You can't have the president of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink, saying I used marijuana when I was in high school and it is no different than smoking. It is different. And you are sending a message to young people that there is no danger in this process. It is false that marijuana use doesn't lead people to more drug use. It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal. I think we need to be careful about this."Senate floor speech, April 2016

Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, has what he has called "a very close relationship" with Russia's Vladimir Putin, which could be problematic during his confirmation hearing. Although he does not have a political or diplomatic background, he has broad experience negotiating deals for ExxonMobil in troubled spots around the world.

"We do not support sanctions, generally, because we don't find them to be effective unless they are very well implemented comprehensively and that's a very hard thing to do," he said, adding, "We always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad collateral damage of who are they really harming with sanctions."ExxonMobil shareholders' meeting, 2014.

Montana's sole representative in the House, Zinke would end a moratorium on federal coal leases on public lands. He is also a hunter and fisherman who opposes transferring public lands to the states.

"It's not a hoax, but it's not proven science either. But you don't dismantle America's power and energy on a maybe. We need to be energy independent first. We need to do it better, which we can, but it is not a settled science."Campaign debate, 2014



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Russia Moves to Decriminalize Some Domestic Violence]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 07:13:31 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/russia-dom-violence.jpg

In the days following international demonstrations for women's rights, Russia is looking to advance legislation that would decriminalize domestic violence, NBC News reported.

The bill would remove criminal liability for assaults against family members, assaults that are first-time offenses and assaults that caused no hospitalizations and excluded rape. Instead of jail sentences, assaults would result in fines.

Earlier this month, Russian lawmakers gave almost unanimous approval for the legislation. The second reading is set for Jan. 25.

President Vladimir Putin has also voiced support for the decriminalization of domestic violence. In December, Putin told a journalist that punishment "should not go overboard" for some assault.

An online petition against the legislation has garnered more than 180,000 signatures, but there have not been any significant protests in Russia against the bill so far.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Help Repair Church After Driver Crashes Into It]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:46:37 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Church-Repair-12217.jpg

A group of North Texas firefighters went above and beyond the call of duty Sunday by helping clean up and repair a church wall damaged by a driver.

Firefighters from Waxahachie Fire-Rescue's Station 2 responded after a congregant accidentally crashed into the Graham Street Church of Christ, according to John Rodgers, a battalion chief with the fire department.

Rodgers said the driver was trying to back up but accidentally put the car in drive and crashed through the wall. The collision happened at 4:53 p.m., just after a service had ended, Rodgers said, and several people were still inside.

After making sure no one was injured, the firefighters stayed and got to work fixing some of the damage. 

Photos posted on the department's Facebook page showed firefighters sweeping inside the church, installing new framing and putting up plywood.

The church is located in the 300 block of Graham Street. The damage is estimated at $20,000.



Photo Credit: Waxahachie Fire-Rescue Department
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<![CDATA[Fighting Winter Allergies]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:57:44 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WinterAllergies0120_MP4-148517587405100001.jpgMany people believe that as the spring and fall seasons wrap up, so do their allergies, but that's not always the case once winter rolls around.]]><![CDATA[The Cost of Raising Kids Rises]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:54:01 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CostOfKids0120_MP4-148517575137600001.jpgThe U.S. Department of Agriculture's recent study puts the cost of raising a newborn through the first year of life at $12,680.]]><![CDATA[Reversing Campaign Pledge, Trump Won't Release Taxes: Aide]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:05:03 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kellyanneeee.jpg

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said Sunday the president would not be releasing his tax returns, reversing months of repeated campaign-trail promises to do so after an audit is completed, NBC News reported.

The comments were a response to a Whitehouse.gov petition with more than 200,000 signatures calling on Trump to release his tax returns.

Conway also added that Trump's returns are irrelevant. "They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: Most Americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like," Conway said in an interview on ABC's "This Week."

Conway's statements are false — multiple polls showed a majority of Americans believe Trump should release his tax returns, including an ABC News/Washington Post survey out last week that found three-fourths of Americans believe he should release them.



Photo Credit: Carolyn KasterAP Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Trump, Israeli PM Have ‘Very Warm’ Conversation]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:46:20 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TrumpIsraeliPM.jpg

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a "very warm" conversation with President Donald Trump on Sunday, NBC News reported. 

Netanyahu's office said the two leaders discussed Iran and the Palestinian peace process. However, they did not discuss Trump's campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city of Jerusalem. 

"We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told NBC News.

In a statement, the White House said that peace between Israel and the Palestinians could be achieved only through direct negotiation.

Trump and Netanyahu agreed to a White House visit next month.



Photo Credit: Ronen Zvulun/Andrew Harnik/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Conway: White House Gave 'Alternative Facts' on Crowd Size]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:26:35 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/conwayfeuerherdINB.jpg

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said the White House press secretary gave "alternative facts" when he inaccurately described the inauguration crowd as "the largest ever" during his first appearance before the press this weekend.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gathered the press to deliver a five-minute statement Saturday in which he issued multiple falsehoods, including declaring erroneously that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe," NBC News reported.

Asked on "Meet the Press" why Spicer used his first appearance before the press to dispute a minimal issue like the inauguration crowd size, and why he used falsehoods to do so, Conway pushed back.

 "You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that," she told NBC's Chuck Todd.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[George H.W. Bush Breathing on His Own in Texas Hospital ]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:58:57 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1943442.jpg

Former President George H.W. Bush's health continues to improve and his wife, who is also recovering from illness, has chosen to remain hospitalized one more night to be "closer to her husband," a family spokesman said Sunday.

The 92-year-old former president and his wife Barbara remained at Houston Methodist Hospital. He has been receiving treatment for breathing difficulties from pneumonia while she is recovering from bronchitis.

The 41st president's vital signs are normal and doctors hope he can be moved out of intensive care in the next day or two, said Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath.

Bush has been in the Houston hospital now for a week. Doctors on Wednesday inserted a breathing tube, and a ventilator was employed to assist his breathing. The tube was removed Friday.

Physicians are scheduled to provide an update on the Bushes' conditions from Houston Methodist Hospital at 10 a.m. Monday. The update will be streamed live atop this story.

Barbara Bush, 91, entered the hospital Wednesday after feeling run down and coughing for the past few weeks. Doctors determined she had bronchitis. Her health has improved since receiving treatment.

"Mrs. Bush was given the option of being discharged today, but has elected to remain at Houston Methodist Hospital one more evening to continue her recovery and to be closer to her husband," McGrath said.

McGrath added the Bushes wanted to make sure "they thank their well-wishers for their kindness, and especially their prayers."

In a tweet on Saturday, McGrath said the couple's spirits were up, they were very interested "in inauguration doings" and were "very happy" that President Donald Trump went to see the men and women of the CIA. On Saturday, Trump traveled to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and spoke to a group of about 400 people in attendance. Bush served as CIA director from 1976 to 1977.

The couple's 72-year marriage is the longest of any presidential couple in American history.



Photo Credit: Joe Mitchell/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Aerial Footage Shows Damages From Mississippi Tornado]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:18:21 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Mississippi-Tornado-thumb.jpgFour people were killed, roofs were ripped from homes and churches, and trees were torn from the earth early Saturday when a tornado hitting in the dark of night ripped through a region in southern Mississippi, officials said.]]><![CDATA[Trump Official Blasts Media, Madonna in Response to Marches]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 14:19:28 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/AP17021755160983_opt.jpg

A Trump administration official responded to the women's marches yesterday after Press Secretary Sean Spicer ignored shouted questions about the matter on Saturday, NBC News reported.

The comment from the Trump administration official said it was a "shame" that the March for Life next Friday "will not get anywhere near the same amount of coverage that this march got—and those pro-life members were NOT welcome at the Women’s March."

"The organizers noted that their platform is pro-choice and they revoked partnership status’ from pro-life groups," the comment continued.

The comment also called out Madonna, one of many celebrities to speak at marches across the country, for telling crowds that she had "thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House."

The administration official's comment does not include the rest of Madonna's comment, which continued: "But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair." Instead, Madonna called for a "revolution of love."

"Comments like [Madonna's] are absolutely unacceptable and had they been said about President Obama, the mainstream media would be in an uproar," the official continued. "The Trump administration welcomes a robust discussion regarding the critical issues facing America’s women and families."

Hundreds of thousands of women and men poured into the nation's capital Saturday for a march aimed at showing Donald Trump they won't be silent over the next four years.

The Washington, D.C., event was the largest of more than 600 "sister marches" planned across the country and around the world. Organizers estimated 3 million people would march worldwide, and city centers across the U.S. were flooded with people in rallies that lasted for hours.

President Trump responded to the march on Twitter Sunday morning, accusing the marchers of not voting and adding more criticism to the celebrities who attended. 

"Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly," Trump wrote. 

About an hour and a half later, Trump responded with another tweet, writing, "Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views."

The marchers brandished signs with messages such as "Women won't back down" and "Less fear more love" and decried Trump's stand on such issues as abortion, health care, diversity and climate change.

The rallies were a peaceful counterpoint to the window-smashing unrest that unfolded on Friday when self-described anarchists tried to disrupt the inauguration. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades against demonstrators. More than 200 people were arrested. 

But the Women's March on Washington didn't yield a single arrest, according to D.C. Homeland Security Director Christopher Geldart.

While the march organizers' "mission and vision" statement never mentions Trump and stresses broad themes, including the message that "women's rights are human rights," the unifying factor among those turning out appeared to be a loathing for the new president and dismay that so much of the country voted for him.

The administration official's full reaction is below:

It's a shame that the March for Life, which estimates the same number of marchers in DC (650,000 in 2013) and will be happening next Friday, will not get anywhere near the same amount of coverage that this march got — and those pro-life members were NOT welcome at the Women’s March. The organizers noted that their platform is pro-choice and they revoked partnership status’ from pro-life groups.

Madonna, who was one of the celebrities headlining the march, was quoted saying “Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House” — comments like these are absolutely unacceptable and had they been said about President Obama, the mainstream media would be in an uproar.

The Trump administration welcomes a robust discussion regarding the critical issues facing America’s women and families.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Deadly Tornado Strikes Mobile Home Park in Georgia]]>Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:34:51 -0600http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Georgia-tornado.jpgOn Sunday, an apparent tornado blew through a mobile home park in rural Cook County in southern Georgia — sheering off siding, upending homes and killing several people, officials said.]]>