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US and World News

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    The mainland United States's first official outbreak of Zika virus may be declared over by early next week, NBC News reported.

    But another, in Miami Beach, is going strong, and on Thursday Florida health officials reported seven more Zika cases acquired locally, one of which involves a visitor from out of state.

    It's been almost 45 days since Zika first started spreading locally, in Miami's Wynwood district, and "the clock is ticking" on that outbreak, Lillian Rivera, of the Florida Department of Health, told a Miami Beach City Council meeting Wednesday.

    If no one new is infected in Wynwood by Monday, after the 45-day period that represents three full incubation periods for Zika virus, it can be declared free of active Zika transmission. Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that countdown Thursday.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    Carlos Varas, a Miami-Dade County mosquito control inspector, uses a Golden Eagle blower to spray pesticide to kill mosquitos in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami as the county fights to control the Zika virus outbreak on August 2, 2016.Carlos Varas, a Miami-Dade County mosquito control inspector, uses a Golden Eagle blower to spray pesticide to kill mosquitos in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami as the county fights to control the Zika virus outbreak on August 2, 2016.

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    Donald Trump outlined his vision for managing the nation's economy as president on Thursday, promising that his plans to lower taxes by $4.4 trillion over a decade and cut regulations would lead to booming growth, create millions of jobs and even cut into the nation's budget deficit.

    "My plan will embrace the truth that people flourish under a minimum government burden and will tap into the incredible, unrealized potential of our workers and their dreams," Trump said in a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

    The Republican nominee said his plans would raise the nation's economic growth rate to at least 3.5 percent, well above its current rate of about 2 percent, and create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

    For Trump's plans to succeed, they would have to overcome forces in the economy, such as rising automation, an aging population and low-wage competition overseas, that have led even conservative economists to say a 3.5 percent growth rate is an improbable goal.

    The U.S. economy is already creating 2.5 million jobs a year, the same pace promised by Trump over the next decade.

    The heart of Trump's plan is a revised tax code, which includes a pledge that no business should pay more than 15 percent of its income in taxes, down from the current 35 percent corporate tax rate. Few businesses now pay the full 35 percent rate, taking advantage instead of many deductions in the existing tax code.

     

    He also proposed simplifying the U.S. tax code for individuals, reducing the current seven tax brackets to three: 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent of income after deductions.

    Trump called for the elimination of what's known as the carried interest loophole, which is used by hedge funds and other investment funds to reduce their tax burden.

    As president, Trump said he would cut the number of regulations imposed by the federal government, including some that are designed to combat climate change and protect the food Americans eat. The celebrity businessman said that "excessive regulation" costs Americans nearly $2 trillion a year.

    Among those he plans to target: Environmental Protection Agency regulations for coal-fired power plants and standards for ground level ozone. His campaign also said he would target the Food and Drug Administration's "food police," and rules that govern "food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures."

    Trump said he will lift restrictions on energy production, including offshore drilling, scrap trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and implement a child care plan, including six weeks of paid maternity leave, he outlined earlier this week.

    While Trump said the economic growth and some limited spending cuts would fully pay for the cost of his tax cuts, and may even allow for a reduction in the nation's federal budget deficit, critics have said his economic proposals would add as much as $10 trillion to the nation's debt over the course of a decade.

    The campaign disputes those estimates. To help offset the cost of the tax cuts, he said Thursday his administration would reduce non-defense, non-safety net spending by one percent of each previous year's total. Trump said that would reduce spending by $1 trillion over a decade.

    He vowed to not cut defense spending and to exempt Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from any reductions. Yet if benefits to veterans are included as part of defense spending, the programs Trump places off limits for cuts make up nearly 70 percent of the federal budget, and it wasn't immediately clear how he would reach his spending cut goal with such programs off the table.

    Such an approach also would conflict with House Speaker Paul Ryan plans for the federal budget, widely embraced by Republicans, that call for reining in the costs of programs such as Medicare and Social Security.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at luncheon for the Economic Club of New York in New York, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at luncheon for the Economic Club of New York in New York, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

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    The grandmother who was pictured in police photos passed out in an SUV from an apparent heroin overdose while her 4-year-old grandson sat in the back seatwas sentenced to 180 days in jail Wednesday, NBC News reported.

    Rhonda Pasek pleaded no contest to charges of endangering a child, public intoxication and a seat belt violation. She was sent back to the Columbiana County jail, according to Gisele Stevenson, a deputy municipal court clerk in East Liverpool.

    It was the latest setback for 50-year-old Pasek, who lives in West Virginia, across the Ohio River from East Liverpool. According to her sister, she has struggled with substance abuse addiction for many years.

    Several days after Pasek was arrested on Sept. 7, custody of the boy was awarded to his great aunt and great uncle, who live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, officials said.



    Photo Credit: East Liverpool Police Department

    A photo released by the East Liverpool Police Department that shows adults unresponsive in the car with a child. Paramedics revived the pair, who now face child endangerment charges.A photo released by the East Liverpool Police Department that shows adults unresponsive in the car with a child. Paramedics revived the pair, who now face child endangerment charges.

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    Donald Trump Jr. made a reference to "a gas chamber" during a radio interview on Wednesday while accusing the media of being a surrogate for Hillary Clinton.

    "The media has been her number one surrogate in this," he said. "Without the media, this wouldn't even be a contest, but the media has built her up. They've let her slide on every in-discrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of the thing.

    "If Republicans were doing that, they'd be warming up the gas chamber right now," he continued.

    Trump Jr. made his comment during a radio interview with Philadelphia-based talk radio host Chris Stigall on 1210 WPHT.

    Leaked emails showed that members of the Democratic National Committee played favorites during the primaries and tried to undermine U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

    Trump Jr. said that the American Left was trying to ensure that moderators were unfair to his father during the upcoming presidential debates.

    Hillary Clinton's campaign released a response to the remark, calling it an example of the Trump campaign being "insensitive, divisive and reckless."

    "Offensive references to the Holocaust are never acceptable, especially from a Presidential campaign," said Sarah Bard, Hillary for America's director of Jewish Outreach.

    The Anti-Defamation League, which works to counter anti-Semitism around the world, tweeted that trivilization of the Holocaust and gas chambers "is NEVER okay" and called on Trump Jr. to retract his comment. 

    The Trump campaign issued a statement in light of the media coverage on Wednesday afternoon, saying Trump Jr. "was clearly referring to capital punishment to make the case that the media continues to take words out of context."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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    File Photo: Donald Trump Jr. gestures as he delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.File Photo: Donald Trump Jr. gestures as he delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

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    Donald Trump promised Thursday to grow the American economy fast enough to create 25 million new jobs in a decade.

    It's a claim bound to win support among American workers, but there's one problem with it, CNBC reported: Without a wave of new immigrants entering the American workforce, Trump will have a hard time finding enough workers to fill those jobs.

    The Trump campaign promises on its website to double the average pace of U.S. gross domestic product growth this century to 3.5 percent a year. At a speech in New York Thursday, he suggested the country could achieve 4 percent growth.

    But aging baby boomers are leaving the labor force en masse, reducing the number of workers available to fill new jobs. Chad Stone, chief economist at The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said demographic trends from the post-World War II era will be impossible to repeat, "especially in the absence of immigration."



    Photo Credit: AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at luncheon for the Economic Club of New York in New York, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at luncheon for the Economic Club of New York in New York, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

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    Two former executives of a Singapore-based contractor were charged on Thursday for their involvement in a multi-million dollar Navy bribery scheme. More than a dozen U.S. Navy Officers and Pentagon employees have also been charged in the case.

    Neil Patterson, 38, and Linda Raja, 43, former executives of Glenn Defense Marine Asia were arrested and are currently being held in Singapore. Both worked for Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis, known by his nickname “Fat Leonard." Patterson served as the Vice President of the company and Raja was as General Manager for Singapore, Australia and the Pacific Isles.

    According to the indictment, Patterson and Raja submitted false claims and invoices amounting to more than $5 million dollars to the U.S. Navy, and attempted to cover up their fraud by submitting false price quotes on letterheads from companies that did not exist. Both allegedly cut and pasted images from the internet onto letterheads to make the companies appear legitimate.

    NBC 7 has been following this investigation since September 2013.

    “Fat Leonard” plead guilty in January 2015 to bribing senior navy officials in exchange for specific U.S. Navy warship movements so his company could overbill the Pentagon.

    A total of 16 defendants have been charged in connection to the investigation against the Malaysian businessman’s company, including Patterson and Raja.

    In June, Read Admiral Robert Gilbeau became the first highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer to be charged in the case. He pleaded guilty to one felony charge in connection to the years-long corruption and fraud scheme. 

    Former civilian Defense Department Officer Paul Simpkins also entered a guilty plea in a federal court in San Diego.

    Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Edmond A. Aruffo, U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek, U.S. Navy Captain (Select) Michael Misiewicz, Lieutenant Commander Todd Malaki, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug have also pleaded guilty. Layug, Malaki, Dusek, and Misiwicz have all been sentenced while Gilbeau, Beliveau, Sanchez, Simpkins and Aruffo await their sentencing.

    Brooks, Pitts and Debord were charged in May 2016 and their cases are pending.

    Lt. Commander Gentry Debord, Captain (ret.) Michael Brooks and Commander Bobby Pitts were charged in May of this year. Their cases are still pending.

    Peterson and Raja are each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and multiple counts of making false claims. Both are being held in custody in Singapore before they are extradited to the United States.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Neil Patterson, 38, and Linda Raja, 43, former executives of Glenn Defense Marine Asia were arrested and are currently being held in Singapore.Neil Patterson, 38, and Linda Raja, 43, former executives of Glenn Defense Marine Asia were arrested and are currently being held in Singapore.

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    A man attacked an off-duty NYPD officer with a cleaver near Penn Station at the height of the evening rush hour Thursday, wounding the cop in the face before being shot at 18 times by police, officials say.

    Police initially confronted 32-year-old Akram Joudeh near West 31st Street and Broadway as they caught him trying to remove a boot from his car, NYPD Chief of Department and incoming police commissioner Jimmy O'Neill said at a briefing Thursday evening. 

    Video obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York shows a frustrated Joudeh trying to remove the boot, pulling tools from his packed car.

    When police arrived, Joudeh pulled out an 11-inch cleaver from his waistband and began running toward Sixth Avenue, officials said. Officers chased after him, with others joining the pursuit along the way, and one uniformed sergeant deployed a stun gun to no effect.

    The suspect continued running westbound on West 32nd Street toward Seventh Avenue, and in the middle of the block, mounted the front grill of a marked NYPD car, O'Neill said.

    That's when an off-duty detective, who was walking to Penn Station to catch a Long Island Rail Road train home after work, saw the chase coming toward him, law enforcement officials told NBC 4 New York. He decided to engage and went to tackle the suspect. 

    The two struggled, and Joudeh hit him in the head with the cleaver, leaving a six-inch gash from the temple to the jaw, said O'Neill.

    Three uniformed NYPD officers fired a total of 18 gunshots at Joudeh, striking him several times.

    "I heard police from behind me screaming, 'Get down, get down, get down!'" said witness Jonathan Schneier. "I saw a deranged individual with a very large meat cleaver... Probably six to eight suspects engaged the suspect verbally, told him to drop his weapon."

    O'Neill told reporters, "Keep in mind he had just attacked an off-duty officer who's got a six-inch gash on his face. He's got an 11-inch cleaver. They shot until the threat was stopped."

    The off-duty detective, identified by sources as 16-year veteran Det. Brian O'Donnell, was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he's listed in serious condition, officials said. Doctors are assessing the damage, and surgeons have said reconstructive surgery will be needed.

    O'Donnell has spent most of his time on the force in the 19th Precinct, and became a detective in March 2015.

    Two other officers were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries from the encounter, though it's not clear how they got hurt. 

    Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who is finishing his last week on the job, visited the officers at the hospital. Bratton said the wounded detective was in good spirits despite the "significant injury." 

    Joudeh was also taken to Bellevue Hospital, and he's in critical but stable condition, said O'Neill. He has been moved to the operating room. 

    The attack happened near the busy Midtown commuter hub at the height of the evening rush hour. Bratton said the officers acted bravely in subduing the suspect in the crowded shopping and transit district, and that "sufficient shots" were fired to stop the "character running down the street waving a cleaver." 

    Witness Steven Coyle, who recorded video of officers shooting at the suspect, agreed.

    "He was a threat to the officers and anyone in the area," he said. 

    Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, said in a statement, "An incident like this proves that you are really never off duty. Our detective engaged the perpetrator because the suspect was carrying a meat cleaver and the detective was worried about the crowded conditions on the street given that it was rush hour full of residents, tourists and commuters."

    Joudeh has 15 prior arrests, including one on July 27 after he was found carrying knives near a synagogue in the Manhattan Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn. His last known address was in Queens, though police say he may have been living in his car.  

    The other arrests stretching back to 2009 include charges for driving while impaired by drugs, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing with a weapon and criminal trespassing, sources said. 

    Two years ago, a hatchet-wielding man ambushed a group of NYPD officers in Jamaica, Queens, gashing a rookie cop in the head with the 18-inch ax. Two other officers shot and killed the suspect, Zale Thompson, on the street. 

    Thompson was a self-radicalized "lone wolf terrorist," police officials said after the attack. 

    In Thursday's incident, a federal official told NBC News "based on what we know of how this started, and on his priors, we don't currently think this was an act of terrorism." 

    Another law enforcement source told NBC 4 that investigators actively looked into whether Joudeh had any interest in or connection to terror planning after he was caught outside the synagogue in July with the knives. But they did not find any evidence of any radicalization. 

    Joudeh's former neighbors in Elmhurst described him as troubled, constantly fighting with his two roommates and sometimes getting visits from police. One woman who asked not to be identified said he once got into an altercation with a family member, and during the fight, broke the front glass door of the building's entrance.



    Photo Credit: @d8brown/Provided to NBC 4 NY

    Suspect Akram Joudeh, 32, (pictured) attacked an off-duty NYPD officer with a cleaver while being chased near Penn Station Thursday, officials saySuspect Akram Joudeh, 32, (pictured) attacked an off-duty NYPD officer with a cleaver while being chased near Penn Station Thursday, officials say

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    The "White Helmets" — some 3,000 ordinary Syrians who make up the Syrian Civil Defense rescue group — are the country's unlikely group of heroes, NBC News reported.

    These volunteers, nicknamed for the color of their headgear, used to be shopkeepers, bakers, and teachers. Now they put their lives on the line every day to save civilians affected by the country's brutal war.

    "These are very normal, ordinary people who now do one of the most extraordinary jobs on this planet," explained Orlando von Einsiedel, the director of a new Netflix original documentary that offers a glimpse into the lives of these volunteers.

    The 40-minute documentary follows three men to Turkey, where they receive training before returning to Aleppo to work together in the same rescue unit. It was at this training site that the filmmakers met Khaled Khatib, a 21-year-old volunteer who has documented rescue missions since the group first formed in 2013.



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this Sunday, April 24, 2016, file photo made from video posted online by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, Civil Defense workers run after airstrikes and shelling hit Aleppo, Syria. A new Netflix documentary highlights the group's work.In this Sunday, April 24, 2016, file photo made from video posted online by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, Civil Defense workers run after airstrikes and shelling hit Aleppo, Syria. A new Netflix documentary highlights the group's work.

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    A San Diego judge denied Donald Trump and his attorney's request to move a Trump University trial date to 2017, according to a federal court document filed Thursday.

    Earlier this week, Donald Trump and his attorneys requested the trial date in the Low v. Trump class-action lawsuit be moved to a later date due to a scheduling conflict with one of his lead attorneys, Daniel Petrocelli.

    U.S District Judge Gonzalo Curiel denied the request and in a court document said Trump and his attorneys failed to prove an actual or potential conflict exists between the Low case and the other trial Petrocelli is assigned to.

    Click here to read more of the judge's decision.

    In his ruling, Judge Curiel said the trial will begin on its previously scheduled date, November 28. He also moved up a hearing on jury instruction to November 10, the same day a motion hearing was already scheduled.

    In asking for the date change, Petrocelli discussed how he is the lead trial attorney in another case set to begin on November 15. The current schedule would “prevent Mr. Petrocelli from conducting the necessary pretrial work and preparation in this case,” and “defendants will suffer substantial prejudice,” the court document filed earlier this week detailed.

    Click here to read the complete court document

    In court documents filed Wednesday, Jason Forge writing for the plaintiffs, said he opposed any more delays. Four months ago the court chose a trial date that wouldn’t conflict with the presidential campaign or the holidays, he wrote in the court documents.

    "We have waited six and half years to get this case to trial,” Forge wrote. "There is no mystery about what happened here....a possible Trump victory (in the presidential election) would spawn a host of potential new excuses to postpone trial for years.”

    Click here to read the complete opposition filed by the plaintiffs. 

    The Trump University lawsuits allege the former university, which took in over $40 million, was fraudulent and deceptive. Two class-action lawsuits against the now-closed Trump University are being heard in San Diego courtrooms; another lawsuit is based in a New York court.

    The San Diego cases include: Cohen v. Trump, a nationwide class action lawsuit and Low v. Trump, a class action in California, Florida and New York. Trump denies the allegations in the lawsuits. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    In his ruling, Judge Curiel said the trial will begin on its previously scheduled date, November 28. He also moved up a hearing on jury instruction to November 10, the same day a motion hearing was already scheduled.In his ruling, Judge Curiel said the trial will begin on its previously scheduled date, November 28. He also moved up a hearing on jury instruction to November 10, the same day a motion hearing was already scheduled.

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    Some fantasy football leagues have toilet -- or consolation -- bowls to keep losers engaged when it's clear their teams are no longer in contention. In New Jersey, one group goes a step further. 

    For the last two years, the loser of a league comprised mostly of pizzeria owners in Ocean County has had to walk down a highway wearing just a pair of bright pink bikini bottoms and holding a sign that reads "I suck at Fantasy Football."

    Angelo Boemio, 42, made the bikini walk of shame this Labor Day, trotting along Route 9 in Toms River for 10 minutes as drivers beeped and paused to take photos, he told The New York Post

    "One lady with four kids in her minivan drove back and forth five times while her kids laughed in the back," Boemio told the paper. 

    He said residents called local police to report a disturbance. 

    “People were calling to say there’s some weirdo in a bikini walking down Route 9, but the officers knew it was a product of fantasy loss, so they let us have our walk of shame,” Boemio told the Post. 

    The league holds its draft on Labor Day, so whoever finishes last the prior year has all those months between the end of the season and September to build up dread -- or get into shape, as the loser before Boemio did. 

    “Now the league is no longer about winning," Boemio said. "It’s just about not coming in last place. No one wants to be mortified.”



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles sits in the end zone after losing to the Arizona Cardinals 24-20 at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 26, 2014, in Glendale, Arizona.Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles sits in the end zone after losing to the Arizona Cardinals 24-20 at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 26, 2014, in Glendale, Arizona.

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    The investigation into a fire attack on a Muslim tourist on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan has expanded to at least five other attacks on women in midtown by a group of teenage boys and girls who are still on the loose, police said. 

    The NYPD released new video of the six teens — three males and three females —sought in connection with the attacks. 

    Police believe a group of teens stalked midtown for two hours Saturday night, trying to light women on fire. Six women were attacked from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the probe. 

    The first attack was on 42nd Street near Bryant Park, when the teens approached a teenage tourist from California, sources said. They tried to burn her shirt from behind and the girl turned around when she felt something. When her mother turned to confront them, they ran away. 

    Then, about a mile away near Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, a woman was window shopping when one teen tried to light her clothing on fire, sources said. She turned around and the boy fled back to the group. 

    Shortly afterward, the Muslim woman's clothing was set on fire. The 35-year-old tourist from Scotland was window-shopping near East 54th Street at the time. 

    Just one minute later, the group of teens walked past a woman at the intersection of East 54th Street and Fifth Avenue, and she suddenly began patting her skirt to put out the flame, sources said. 

    And finally, they targeted two women walking side by side into the Bryant Park subway station, trying to set fire to their sleeves. 

    Law enforcement sources said of all six victims, only one was wearing Muslim attire. The sources said it's appearing to be more of a gender bias case than a religious hate crime.

    Police have released surveillance video of at least one of the suspects. They're asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 


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    A group of manatees displaced by Hurricane Hermine are heading home.

    It's been nearly two weeks since the six manatees were left stranded in a pond at a golf course in Citrus County on Florida's Gulf Coast.

    The four adults and two calves were swept in to the pond by flood waters that receded too quickly.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission workers and volunteers showed up Thursday to help move the manatees back into the Gulf, but it was no easy feat. FWC said one of the manatees was one of the largest they've ever seen, weighing in at more than 1,400 pounds.

    Each manatee underwent a health assessment before being returned to the water.



    Photo Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

    The manatees were swept in to the pond by flood waters that receded too quickly.The manatees were swept in to the pond by flood waters that receded too quickly.

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    The “White Helmets,” a new Netflix original documentary, follows the first responders in Syria who are unlikely heroes, NBC News reported. 

    About 3,000 Syrians make up the Syrian Civil Defense group, comprised of shopkeepers, bakers and teachers put their lives on the line each day to help during the country’s war.

    The Netflix documentary follows three men to Turkey, where they receive training before returning to Aleppo to work in the same rescue unit. The filmmakers' hope was to bring international attention to this civilian group and the work that they do.

    The volunteers' work gained international attention in August when the group helped save Omran Daqneesh, the little boy covered in dust and blood.

    “White Helmets” is now available on Netflix in 190 countries in 21 languages.



    Photo Credit: AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    In this frame grab taken from video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), a child sits in an ambulance after being pulled out or a building hit by an airstirke, in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. The photo was seen around the world. The group in the new documentary helped save Omran Daqneesh.In this frame grab taken from video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), a child sits in an ambulance after being pulled out or a building hit by an airstirke, in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. The photo was seen around the world. The group in the new documentary helped save Omran Daqneesh.

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    High school freshman Leilani Thomas said she's sat during the Pledge of Allegiance since the 2nd grade. Leilani is one of the last remaining descendants of the Pomo people, an indigenous group native to Northern California. The 14-year-old said for her, standing just doesn't feel right. Last Friday, she learned that by not standing, her grade was dropped to a "C-" because the teacher counted it as participation.

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    Two men, one of whom was wearing a mask from the horror movie “The Purge,” tried to lure a young girl into their car as she walked home from school in Chicago this week, police said.

    The incident happened just before 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 6400 block of West 62nd Street in the city’s Clearing neighborhood.

    Police said in a community alert that an adolescent girl was walking home from school when a light blue Dodge minivan drove alongside her and stopped.

    A passenger in the vehicle told the girl to “Come here” but the girl ran home as the vehicle continued to follow her.

    One man, the driver, was described as being between 35 and 45 years old and was wearing a black bandana over his face. The second man, also believed to be between 35 and 45 years old, was wearing dark clothing and a tan Halloween mask from the movie "The Purge," the alert said. 

    Police are asking anyone with information to call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.



    Photo Credit: Chicago Police

    Police said in a community alert that an adolescent girl was walking home from school when a light blue Dodge minivan drove alongside her and stopped.Police said in a community alert that an adolescent girl was walking home from school when a light blue Dodge minivan drove alongside her and stopped.

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    Police say a Northeast Philadelphia pastor's wife shot an armed man who attacked her husband and tried to rob her family outside their home late Thursday night.

    Pastor Robert Cook, his 38-year-old wife and their 12-year-old son were returning home just before 11 p.m. when a man armed with what appeared to be a rifle approached them near their front porch. Cook, a pastor at St. James Lutheran Church, and his family live next door to the church at Castor Avenue and Pratt Street.

    When the man demanded the pastor's wallet, Cook said he didn't have any money, according to Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. The pastor said he tried to wrestle the gun away from the robber who in turn fought back.

    "He hit me really hard in the back of the head with the gun – swung it like a baseball bat – and then everything was like lighting for a minute," said Cook. "I heard my wife saying, 'drop the gun! drop the gun!' I was like 'she's got her gun.' He turned towards her and I said, 'Shoot him!,' Shoot him!' and she shot him."

    "I needed to do enough to make him drop the gun or make him go away," said the pastor's wife who asked not to be identified.

    The 66-year-old suspect was struck in the leg before fleeing down Pratt Street – dropping his Eagles cap – as Cook chased him. The suspect tossed his firearm under a car and jumped onto the driver side running boards of a passing SUV and escaped, Small said.

    Shortly after, a man fitting the suspects description hobbled into Aria Health Torresdale hospital with a gunshot wound. Hospital officials notified police, who then brought the Cook family to the hospital where they positively identified the suspect, Small said.

    Cook told reporters early Friday he didn't hand over his wallet initially because "in some cases the armed person will shoot the victims anyways."

    Luckily, none of the Cooks required medical treatment, said police.

    Cook and his wife both have permits to carry a firearm. Small said the shooting appeared "justifiable."

    "When we got our guns we're like, 'we got 'em but we hope we never have to use them,'" said Cook. "But... if it comes down to my family or him, it's him, I'm sorry."

    Cook, armed with his gun as he spoke to reporters, said he planned to buy his wife a new gun – an early birthday gift – since her gun was taken into evidence by police.

    The shooting is under investigation. Police have not said what charges the suspect, who has not been identified, will face. It turns out his "gun" was actually a black Ramset nail gun with black electrical tape covering the orange handle so it would look like a real gun, said police.



    Photo Credit: NBC10
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    Pastor Robert Cook's wife shot a would-be-robber who attacked them in their Northeast Philadelphia home's driveway.Pastor Robert Cook's wife shot a would-be-robber who attacked them in their Northeast Philadelphia home's driveway.

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    The principal at a Florida high school is warning students to stand during the national anthem at school-sponsored events or face ejection.

    Principal Ryan Nemeth, from Lely High School in Collier County, notified students last Friday during video announcements the policy will apply during the "Star-Spangled Banner" at all school-sponsored sporting events, NBC 2 reported.

    "You will stand and you will stay quiet, if you don't, you are going to be sent home and you're not going to have a refund of your ticket price," Nemeth said in the video. "It's something that I'm very passionate about and something we are going to do."

    The issue comes as a wave of athletes have refused to stand during the national anthem, a silent protest to denounce police brutality and the oppression of black people in America sparked by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

    Not all students students agreed with the policy.

    "He shouldn't be ejecting people just because they don't wanna stand. Everybody has their voice to say something with it," student Adrianas Pena, a member of the school's basketball team said.

    But, on Thursday, a spokesman for the school district told NBC 2 that Nemeth's announcement was taken out of context. Greg Turchetta said the principal's policy stemmed from a volleyball game a day earlier when 25 to 30 students "were being disruptive during the anthem." Turchetta said they weren't protesting.

    "They may have been laughing and joking, you know, it's the beginning of an athletic competition," Truchetta said. "They just came in, I've seen it sometimes when people don't even realize what's going on... oh the anthem is on, and they might have been slow to react to it."

    Turchetta added that students can peacefully protest during the anthem as long as they have written permission from their parents and aren't causing a disruption. The school district said the parental consent requirement is Florida Statute.

    "I don't recall anywhere in the Constitution where it says that your freedom of speech rights come into effect when you turn 18," said Fort Myers attorney Michael Noone.



    Photo Credit: NBC 6

    Lely High School Principal Ryan NemethLely High School Principal Ryan Nemeth

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    Ralph Nader says he has no plans to run for president again, but the man who some blame for Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 election insists that third-party candidates are still not "spoilers."

    The political activist and former candidate dismissed the idea that there are no choices in what is shaping up to be a tight race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

    Nader pointed to the Green and Libertarian parties as viable options for the presidency, and even advocated people writing in a protest vote, or "your own name in if you have to."

    Activists among Democrats and Republicans are fighting against write-in votes, hoping to win as many as possible from outside their parties. But Nader, who recently wrote a book called "Breaking Through Power" for people discouraged by the electoral and political systems, denied that writing in names would count as spoiling the election. 

    “The system is spoiled,” Nader told NBC Washington’s Barbara Harrison, “and anybody who wants to run to clean it up should never be called a spoiler.”

    The charge is a familiar one to Nader, who some claim would have given Gore a victory in the critical toss-up state of Florida in 2000 if he'd told his supporters to vote for the Democrat. Gore lost the state by a slim margin, though Nader's defenders note there are many factors for Gore's loss, including losing his home state of Tennessee.

    Nader told NBC Washington that in this election, both the leading candidates are highly flawed, agreeing with a statement former Secretary of State Colin Powell made in leaked emails that Clinton has “a lot of hubris” that gets her into trouble.

    “She’s not transformational, as he said,” Nader added.

    But Nader called the prospect of a Trump presidency dangerous because of a tendency to lash out when his "ego's been ruffled." 

    “If you take his personal lack of impulse control, everything is his ego,” Nader said. “You have a foreign leader that criticized him, he’ll go nuts.”


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    Donald Trump's abrupt acknowledgment of President Barack Obama's U.S. birthplace has brought his lengthy history with conspiracy theories, rumors and innuendo back into the spotlight, NBC News reported.

    Whether Trump publicly renounces birtherism -- and his trolling event on Friday was far from definitive -- is largely beside the point. That's because the broader issue isn't just the question of how he feels about Obama's birthplace, it's the way inflammatory and false claims have defined his political career.

    Trump has changed his position on a lot of things over the years. But if there's one consistent thread, it has been his seeming obsession with conspiracy theories that touch on race, religion or ethnicity.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at luncheon for the Economic Club of New York in New York, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at luncheon for the Economic Club of New York in New York, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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    A New Mexico company is hoping their new patch will help stop drunk driving. DermaTec has developed a patch that senses alcohol intake through sweat. It's called the ONUSBlue, as in it's "on us" to end drunk driving.

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