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US and World News

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    An autopsy report reveals two sisters who were found dead while vacationing on a tropical African island had died from fluid in their lungs, a condition commonly known as acute pulmonary edema.

    Police in the Republic of Seychelles released the findings Friday morning after the bodies of 37-year-old and Annie Korkki 42-year-old Robin Korkki were found last week inside their villa at the Maia Luxury Resort.

    Results showed Robin Korkki, who lived in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood and worked downtown as a trader, died of acute pulmonary edema caused by excess fluid in the lungs. Her sister, Annie Korkki, of Denver, died of the same condition, according to the autopsy, in addition to cerebral edema listed as a contributing cause. Cerebral edema is a swelling of the brain.

    On their own the causes of death do not reveal much about how the sisters died, NBC News reports, but a pending toxicology report may be the key to uncovering it.

    Seychelles police spokesman Jean Toussaint told NBC News officials hope to learn more from a toxicology report currently being processed at a lab on the island of Mauritius, about 1,000 miles away from the resort where the sisters were found.

    The autopsy determined there were "no visible signs of injuries found on the bodies," Toussaint added.

    Earlier this week their brother, Chris Korkki, told NBC 5’s affiliate station KARE that their family had been given no information on how his sisters suddenly died on what was supposed to be a “dream vacation.”

    "It's all very surreal," said their brother, Chris Korkki, who lives in the suburbs of Minneapolis where the sisters grew up. "We don't know very much. Our family is still very much in shock. We're devastated."

    He told The Associated Press he, his mother and brother have traveled to Seychelles for answers and to make arrangements to bring his sisters' bodies back to the U.S.

    The sisters and self-described best friends had been traveling for a month and just two days from when they were scheduled to return home when they died.

    "They were frequent travelers both domestically and internationally," he said. "They were kind and generous and compassionate, and were wonderful people that had a positive impact on a huge number of people."



    Photo Credit: Chris Korkki

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    Musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra went on strike Friday evening, minutes after they were scheduled to perform for an Opening Night gala at the Kimmel Center.

    The vote took place inside the performance center shortly before the event's 7 p.m. start time. Carrying signs and, for some, instruments, the musicians loudly made their way through the the center to Broad Street where they began to picket.

    A few of the musicians played their instruments as concert attendees filed out of the the hall.

    In a statement, the Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians said the strike is not a "greedy search for ever more money," but rather a stand for fair compensation.

    "Over the past nine years, we have endured multiple cuts to our wages, pension, and working conditions in the hopes that our sacrifices would give the Association time to rebuild and restore us to our proper status," the statement read in part.

    The Philadelphia Orchestra filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 and emerged a year later. The 116-year-old institution is one of America's oldest and most acclaimed orchestras.

    Musicians were working on a one-year contract that recently expired. They continued to work as negotiations continued, but those talks broke down Friday.

    Under the orchestra's offer, musician's annual base salary would have been $127,608 a year with two percent increases for three years. A profit sharing fund would also have been created, officials said.

    The musicians union said they are compensated much less than players in comparable ensembles like the Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony.

    "If a talented musician has to decide between auditioning for Philadelphia or Boston or San Francisco, which orchestra will they choose?" the group wrote. "We can no longer remain silent while we continue in a downward spiral."

    Earlier Friday, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra went on strike after rejecting a proposed 15 percent pay cut and pension and staffing reductions.

    The Philadelphia Orchestra's weekend performances have been canceled. Contract negotiations are expected to resume on Monday.



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

    Musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra hold up signs after voting to strike on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 inside the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia.Musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra hold up signs after voting to strike on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 inside the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

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    A South Florida man is suing the owner of a popular restaurant chain after he claims a racial slur was printed twice on his receipt at a Miami Beach eatery.

    The man, Frantz Leger, who is black, says he ate at Los Perros on Alton Road on July 2 and when he received his receipt, a racial slur printed on it, not once, but twice — in the order number and table number sections.

    According to the complaint, Leger claims the restaurant told him their system must have auto-corrected his name to the racial slur. But, the suit alleges that after he called the restaurant to complain, the waiter resigned. 

    The lawsuit claims the restaurant discriminated against Leger and violated civil rights statutes.

    NBC 6 reached the owner of Los Perros Friday but he has so far declined to comment.



    Photo Credit: NBC 6

    A man claims he received a receipt with a racial slur printed on it at Los Perros on Miami Beach.A man claims he received a receipt with a racial slur printed on it at Los Perros on Miami Beach.

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    Gov. Greg Abbott says he's withdrawing Texas from the refugee resettlement program because the federal government refuses to provide assurances refugees don't post a security threat. Experts say, however, that the move will not stop refugees from finding a home in Texas.

    Abbott first said he planned to withdraw from the program last week after asking the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director of National Intelligence to "provide assurances that refugees resettled in Texas will not pose a security threat, and that the number of refugees resettled in Texas would not exceed the State’s original allocation in fiscal year 2016."

    With those requests denied, Abbott said he's pulled out of the program to prioritize the safety of all Texans while urging the government to overhaul the broken system.

    Texas is the third state to leave the program, along with New Jersey and Kansas.

    Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told NBC 5 last week that the governor pulling out of the program won't stop the refugees from coming.

    "The state government doesn't have the power to build a wall around the state and refuse to let the children come here," Jenkins said.

    According the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR, the director can appoint a designee to administer the assistance to refugees, if a state opts out of the program.

    "ORR and its federal partners across the administration are working with states to ensure that all refugees and entrants have access to the critical support needed to help them rebuild their lives in the United States in a manner that protects them as well as the safety and security of the communities where they settle," ORR said in a statement Friday afternoon. "While we of course regret Texas' decision, ORR is working to appoint designees to administer services to refugees in Texas, until a later time when competitive bids will be accepted for a Wilson-Fish alternative program. ORR is working to prevent a disruption in the delivery of services and benefits to refugees and entrants in Texas."

    Last week Bill Bernstein, deputy director of Mosaic Family Services, a state-funded program that helps refugees once they arrive in North Texas, said he was confident the federal government would find another way to channel money to the agencies serving the refugee population.

    In a statement to NBC 5 Friday afternoon, ORR said refugees will continue to be resettled in Texas only after extensive screenings are conducted by the State Department and Department of Homeland Security.

    In the last year, about 2,000 refugees have resettled in the Dallas area, with about one in every 10 of them coming from Syria.

    NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Spencer Platt, Getty Images

    This file photo shows Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott withdrew Texas from the U.S. refugee resettlement program.This file photo shows Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott withdrew Texas from the U.S. refugee resettlement program.

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    The staff at a South Florida high school proved their principal "is better than yours" after a video they published of him dancing at a homecoming pep rally went viral.

    Palm Beach Lakes High School principal David Alfonso is surrounded by students in the school's gymnasium as he followed the choreography to the viral song, "Juju on Dat Beat" by Zay Hilfigerrr.

    Students packed in the bleachers, as well as those on the court, cheered, sang and danced along with him as the song blasted through the gym's speakers.

    The video was uploaded to Facebook Thursday afternoon by the Palm Beach Lakes High School Guidance Department, and by Friday morning had been viewed more than 1.8 million times and shared nearly 37,000 times.

    The post was captioned with the hashtag #ourprincipalisbetterthanyours.


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  • 10/01/16--15:29: Man Posts About Police Chase

  • A 21-year-old man who led state police on a brief pursuit in Killingly, Connecticut, on Tuesday apparently wrote "I won" on social media before being arrested the following day.

    Police were called to a Killingly home at 9 p.m. Tuesday, where Aaron Morrissette was allegedly fighting with several people and had smashed the window of a car on the property. 

    When police arrived at the scene, the 21-year-old drove a pickup toward them, nearly smashing the front end of several cruisers and almost hitting a woman standing outside, Connecticut State Police said.

    He then drove the truck through 6-foot-tall hedges and sped down the road, where he led officers on a brief pursuit, according to police.

    They said Morrissette ran several red lights at busy intersections and nearly caused a crash while being chased by five police cruisers. 

    To ensure safety, police ended the pursuit and went to obtain an arrest warrant to charge Morrissette with two counts of reckless endangerment, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer, engaging the police in a pursuit, operating under suspension as a result of a DWI, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

    The investgation found that Morrissette posted on a social media account that he had outrun the officers and said: "I won."

    On Wednesday, Morrissette was arrested at his home. 

    While in custody, police discovered that Morrissette had sent threatening text messages to a woman he believed had spoken to investigators about the traffic pursuit, troopers said. 

    Morrissette told the woman he had a bomb and harassed her with obscenity- and insult-laced text messages, police said. 

    In addition to aforementioned charges, Morrissette was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment.

    His bond was set at $60,000.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

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    A large crowd of demonstrators shut down the streets of Pasadena on Friday, as police release the 911 calls and surveillance video in the incident of a man who died after a confrontation with officers.

    The protesters, many carrying signs, marched on streets, bringing traffic to a halt at some intersections in Old Town Pasadena.

    They came out after the girlfriend of the man who died demanded answers, claiming officers used excessive force when they restrained him.

    The man's girlfriend, Shanie Lindsey, identified him as 36-year-old Reginald "J.R." Thomas. 

    "I'm hurt, disgusted, disappointed and just upset," Lindsey said.

    Pasadena police received a call reporting a family disturbance around 2 a.m. Friday, said Capt. Steven Katz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau. 

    Then they received a second call around 2:35 a.m., and were told that a man had a knife and a fire extinguisher. Authorities said the caller identified the man, and that they heard a struggle during the call.

    Although investigators do not know who made the calls, they believe both were made by the same person. Katz noted detectives were working to identify who that caller was.

    Police were able to trace the second call to an apartment, and responded to the 200 block of East Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, according to authorities.

    When Pasadena police officers arrived, they attempted to detain Thomas to take him into custody, and "he struggled with the officers," Katz said. Police used a Taser and non-lethal force, and restrained him with handcuffs and ankle restraints.

    Surveillance video from the complex shows officers rushing across the courtyard of the apartment where Thomas was visiting his family.

    Officers noticed Thomas was no longer breathing and removed all of his restraints and started performing CPR, according to authorities. Pasadena Fire paramedics "took over life saving efforts," before Thomas eventually died, Katz said.

    Lindsey believes officers used excessive force on her boyfriend, who she says was mentally ill.

    "They knew he was disabled, they knew he was bipolar, they knew he was on social security, and they still killed him," she said.

    Lindsey said Thomas called police claiming someone was in their apartment, and said he was holding a knife in one hand and a fire extinguisher in the other when police arrived.

    Officers told him to drop both items and used a Taser twice when he did not, according to Lindsey. Then, Thomas got up and slammed the door on the officers.

    "They busted through the door and they wrestled him down to the ground, they started kicking him and beating him with the stick, and then they start tying him up," Lindsey said. "And that was it, and they told us to get out."

    Los Angeles County Sheriff investigators are investigating the circumstances of his death, and Katz noted that there were six detectives at the scene Friday around 11 a.m., adding that the investigation was in its "infancy."

    Two officers were also injured during the confrontation, Katz said.

    Police had not identified the man as of 12:30 p.m. Friday.

    Anyone with information about this investigation was encouraged to call the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's Information Bureau at 213-229-1700.



    Photo Credit: Shanie Lindsey

    This man, identified by his girlfriend as Reginald Thomas, 36, died during a confrontation with police in Pasadena on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.This man, identified by his girlfriend as Reginald Thomas, 36, died during a confrontation with police in Pasadena on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.

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    A Prince William County, Virginia, teen is headed to court after being charged in a dispute over a carton of milk, according to the Washington Post.

    Ryan Turk, 14, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and petit larceny after being accused of stealing a 65-cent carton of milk and pushing a school resource officer. The incident occurred at Graham Park Middle School on May 10.

    Turk said he forgot to get his milk the first time through the lunch line and just went back to grab it, the Post reports. He said as a recipient of free lunches at the school, he felt he was just doing what he did every day.

    Authorities told the Post that a school resource officer saw Turk take the milk and accused him of stealing it. When the student did not cooperate with a trip to see the principal, he was arrested and charged.

    "No one needs to be punished for stealing a 65-cent carton of milk," Emmett Robinson, the family's attorney told the Post. "This officer treats kids like they’re criminals, and guess what happens — they’re going to become criminals."

    Shamise Turk, Ryan’s mother, alleges Ryan was discriminated against and targeted because he is a black teenager who didn’t want to go with the officer, who she said was being unfair, according to the Post. The officer and principal involved are also black.

    Phil Kavits, a Prince William County schools spokesman, said that he could not comment on the specifics of the incident but that it is not a race-related issue, noting "all the key parties involved, including the principal and the police officer, are African-American.”

    "The staff members are well known in our highly diverse community for their dedication and caring approach to all students,” Kavits added.

    The Washington Post generally does not identify minors charged with misdemeanor crimes, but Ryan Turk and his family opted to speak publicly to bring attention to the matter.



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this file photo taken Tuesday, May 3, 2011, milk cartons are displayed.In this file photo taken Tuesday, May 3, 2011, milk cartons are displayed.

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    Bombs knocked out one of besieged Aleppo's last remaining hospitals Saturday, a nurse inside the facility told NBC News.

    Abo Rajab said two crudely made barrel bombs hit M10 — one in front of the hospital and other behind — at 11 a.m. (4 a.m. ET). Within two hours at least one cluster bomb struck the facility, he said.

    While there were no casualties, all the patients had to be evacuated, Rajab said by telephone.

    A worker with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) reported a similar attack. NBC News was not able to independently confirm the separate accounts but they appeared consistent.

    Russian-made cluster bombs — weapons that kill indiscriminately and inflict long-lasting damage — were used in an attack on the same hospital earlier this week, a video obtained by NBC News appeared to show.



    Photo Credit: NBC News

    Medics inspect the damage outside a field hospital after an airstrike in the rebel-held al-Maadi neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on Sept. 28, 2016.Medics inspect the damage outside a field hospital after an airstrike in the rebel-held al-Maadi neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on Sept. 28, 2016.

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    Philadelphia police officers fired 109 shots at a Cobbs Creek father who went on a stabbing spree in his neighborhood Wednesday night.

    The sheer number of rounds that whizzed down a residential street concerns the department's top brass, Commissioner Richard Ross said Friday.

    A number of bullets sprayed two homes at the intersection of Cobbs Creek Parkway and Webster Street. They also took down 32-year-old Christopher Sowell.

    Police said Sowell snapped Wednesday evening, choked his daughter, stabbed his young son and a friend and then assaulted a woman and slit the throat of a elderly neighbor after barging into her home. All victims remain hospitalized, Ross said. The three stabbing victims remain in critical condition.

    Nine officers opened fire on Sowell, whose daughter believed he under the influence of drugs, after he walked out of the neighbor's home and failed to listen to their commands, according to investigators. The medical examiner has not yet said how many times Sowell was hit.

    The standard service weapon for Philadelphia officers is a Glock handgun. Depending on the caliber of the bullet, the gun can fire up to 17 rounds before needing a new magazine.

    Investigators said police thought Sowell was pulling a gun from his pocket when they opened fire. The initial dispatch information they received reported that the children had been shot, not stabbed, Ross said.

    "They had every reason to believe that he was armed with a gun because even the officers who broadcasted that they were headed to the hospital with the victims, they believed the children were shot," Ross said.

    A weapon was not found on or around Sowell's body, but a cell phone was.

    Danny Sowell, a man alleging to be Christopher Sowell's brother in a Facebook post, admonished police for killing him and the media for describing the man in a negative light.

    "My brother is not no killer, he not no menace...he a teddy bear. He'd do anything for you," Danny Sowell wrote in a post. "He just got on some bad s--t, man."

    No one else on the block was injured by gunfire, but another resident being hurt by friendly fire is central to Ross' worry.

    He said officers could have fallen victim to "contagious shooting" -- where they followed each other in discharging their weapons.

    "Other officers hear that gun fire and they believe they are under fire. And they return fire. And in this case firing multiple times," Ross said.

    Ross said there may be a training issue that needs to be addressed.

    The officers who opened fire have not yet spoken to Internal Affairs investigators about what transpired. The department carries out an investigation every time an officer uses their service weapon.

    The officers involved were identified as: Anthony Britton, a 17 year veteran; Jeremy Olesik, a 9 year veteran; Michael Kane, Jr., a 9 year veteran; Thomas Thompson, a 1 year veteran; Walton Scott, a 2 year veteran; Ronald Green, a 19 year veteran; Adrian Hustler, a 9 year veteran; Richard Edwards, a 8 year veteran; and Timothy Moebius, a 3 year veteran.

    The department is currently undertaking reality-based training where officers are put in a number of real-world scenarios to see how they react. Ross said 1,000 officers have gone through the program and it specifically focuses on "contagious shooting."

    "They have to maintain their ability to hold their gunfire while the officer next to them is firing simultaneously," Ross said.

    A dual investigation into the stabbing and the police-involved shooting are ongoing.



    Photo Credit: NBC10
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    Two bullet homes in the side of a home in Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek neighborhood following a police involved shooting. Nine officers opened fire on Christopher Sowell after they say he went on a stabbing spree. Officials say 109 rounds were fired in all. A number landing in this rowhome.Two bullet homes in the side of a home in Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek neighborhood following a police involved shooting. Nine officers opened fire on Christopher Sowell after they say he went on a stabbing spree. Officials say 109 rounds were fired in all. A number landing in this rowhome.

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    Hurricane Matthew remains a powerful Category 4 storm as it moves away from the Colombian coast and churns north through the Caribbean Sea. A 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center said Matthew was moving north-northwest at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm will continue in this direction Sunday and reach Jamaica, Haiti and parts of Cuba by Monday, forecasters say.

    Areas of southwestern Haiti and Jamaica will feel the effects of Matthew as early as late Sunday evening. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica and portions of Haiti, from its southern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas. Overnight, the government of Cuba also issued a Hurricane Warning for the provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas.

    The government of the Bahamas, meanwhile, issued a Hurricane Watch for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Long Cay.

    Areas of Haiti can expect 15 to 25 inches of rain with isolated spots up to 40 inches. Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Cuba can expect 10 to 20 inches of rain with isolated spots 25 inches. This means life-threatening flash flooding and mud slides are possible. 

    The situation must continue to be monitored for areas of South Florida and elsewhere along the Eastern Seaboard as high amount of uncertainty remain in the forecast beyond day 3. The positive for South Florida comes in the shifting of the cone, although it is not completely in the clear. Hurricane force wind chances for Miami and Fort Lauderdale have been reduced to 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively. 

    The NHC says some fluctuations in intensity are possible this weekend, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through Monday. It's the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic since Felix in 2007.


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    The woman killed in the New Jersey Transit train crash into Hoboken Terminal was alive in the initial moments after impact, aided by a man who tried desperately to save her. Roseanne Colletti reports.

    Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY

    Raham Perkins rushed to Fabiola Bittar de Kroon's side in the Hoboken Terminal ThursdayRaham Perkins rushed to Fabiola Bittar de Kroon's side in the Hoboken Terminal Thursday

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    Police in Georgia said a 1-year-old child died Saturday in a shooting that may have been carried out by his 3-year-old brother.

    An adult left the gun in the same room as the children in a house in McDonough and one of brothers grabbed the firearm, described as a .45 caliber handgun, NBC station WXIA in Atlanta reported.

    "There were adults in the room at the time but the adults were not paying attention … they did not actually see the incident occur," said Lt. Mike Ireland of Henry Country police department. 

    Police are trying to determine if gunshot was self-inflicted by the victim or if his 3-year-old adopted brother shot him.


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    The new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., was vandalized by graffiti Saturday afternoon, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

    The words "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice No Peace" were spray painted at one of the entrances of the luxury hotel. Workers at the hotel covered up the messages with pieces of plywood.

    Police said a man dressed in a yellow shirt and hat walked up to the side entrance on 12th Street, Northwest, just after 4 p.m. and spray painted the building's facade.

    Video posted on social media appears to show the man tagging the build while bystanders condemn him and threaten to call police.

    Police are searching for the man.

    In 2013, the Trump Organization won a 60-year lease from the federal government to transform the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue into a luxury hotel.

    The hotel was embroiled in controversy before it even opened. Several chefs who had planned to open restaurants in the newly renovated space pulled out of the project, citing Trump's comments about undocumented Mexican immigrants.

    Trump was also accused of "baiting" the media to cover the hotel's opening by promising to finally address the birther controversy swirling around his campaign. The businessman turned the event into an infomercial for his latest real-estate project, only briefly acknowledging President Barack Obama was born in the Unites States, after touting the hotel for coming "under budget and ahead of schedule."



    Photo Credit: NBC News
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    One of the two on-board event data recorders from the train that crashed into a Hoboken, New Jersey, train station last week was not functioning during that trip, a National Transportation Safety Board official said Sunday. The crash killed one person, Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, who was standing on the platform when the train hit.

    Investigators aren't sure why the recorder wasn't working during that trip, said NTSB vice chairwoman Bella Dinh-Zarr, though she noted that the device was manufactured in 1995, making it older than the other on-board recorder. That recorder, which is in the lead car, has still not been recovered from the wreckage. Dinh-Zarr said conditions are still too dangerous to risk getting all the way to the lead car.

    Aside from looking to the data event recorders, investigators also have taken more than 100 aerial drone photos, taken a 3-D laser scan of the train, interviewed injured passengers and spoken with the train's conductor and its engineer.

    The engineer says he remembers going 10 mph when he hit the station. Officials can't confirm the speed at which the train was moving until they obtain the recorder from the lead car, which was made more recently than the other. They say they are hopeful that the second recorder was working.

    As they continue to investigate the crash site, NTSB officials say they will provide updates. And for those local to the area, information about Monday's commute will be released late Sunday.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    In this photo provided by the National Transportation Safety Board on Sept. 30, 2016, the event recorder retrieved from the locomotive involved in the fatal Sept. 29, 2016 train accident in Hoboken, N.J. is shown.In this photo provided by the National Transportation Safety Board on Sept. 30, 2016, the event recorder retrieved from the locomotive involved in the fatal Sept. 29, 2016 train accident in Hoboken, N.J. is shown.

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    A flood of social media posts that surfaced in recent days threatening attacks on Philadelphia schools by clowns — some of which named specific schools — prompted Philadelphia police and the city school district to investigate.

    The district and police on Sunday released a joint statement saying that the unnerving posts, some of which named Philadelphia schools as targets in attacks to be carried out by clowns in the coming days, are being taken seriously.

    "The School District of Philadelphia's Office of School Safety alerted both the Philadelphia Police Department and the Office of Homeland Security Saturday upon learning of these disturbing social media posts," the statement read in part. "The safety of our children and the communities surrounding our schools is a top priority for us, and we are taking this matter seriously."

    Authorities said similar posts have surfaced in a number of other states, but they're actively investigating those in Philadelphia and "pursuing those responsible for them."

    Reports of clown sightings across the country surfaced in recent weeks, including several in the Philadelphia area and surrounding counties.

    Police in northeastern Pennsylvania about two weeks ago said they were investigating in Pottsville after receiving a report that a 12-year-old girl and her friends were chased by a clown, who then threw a stick at them and yelled obscenities before running back into the woods. Last week in Reading, police said a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death after someone in a clown mask may have provoked a confrontation.

    Reports of clown sightings have also surfaced in Lower Macungie, Easton, and New Jersey over the last several weeks.



    Photo Credit: NBC7

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    Hillary Clinton spoke at a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sunday morning, calling for healing in the wake of the deadly shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Clinton urged those in attendance to try to see recent violence “through our children’s eyes.”

    "Our entire country should take a moment to really look at what's going on here and across America to imagine" how young people view tensions between police and minority communities, Clinton argued.

    The Democratic nominee was first invited to visit Charlotte by faith leaders after Scott was shot and killed by police earlier this month. Ensuing protests and unrest delayed Clinton’s trip.

    Clinton was joined by Zianna Oliphant, who made headlines after her tearful appeal before the Charlotte City Council last week. "We are black people, and we shouldn't have to feel like this," Oliphant said Monday.



    Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik, AP

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 2, 2016.Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 2, 2016.

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    The creepy clown craze spooking the nation reached a fevered pitch last month with at least a dozen people arrested for taking part in the menacing stunt or for making false reports, according to police.

    Now, various communities are stepping up patrols — with one suburban Cincinnati town having installed extra police at its football games Friday — while warning against clown-costumed copycats.

    "Our citizens are frustrated with everything going on in society and this is another issue to address," Christopher Nacco, the sheriff of Pasco County, Florida, told NBC News in an email Saturday following a spate of claimed sightings.

    "We are warning teens and young adults not to get involved in this fad, of dressing up as clowns to cause fear," Nacco added, "because eventually someone is going to perceive their actions as a threat and take justice in their own hands."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    In front of an all-school assembly packed with their peers on Friday, Matt Rodgers and Talia Kotel, who have Down syndrome, were crowned Barrington High School’s 2016 Homecoming King and Queen.

    The moment they found out was captured on video and posted to the suburban Illinois school district’s Facebook page, where it garnered thousands of views and more than 100 shares.

    During the pep rally, the nominees for homecoming court each opened cardboard boxes to find out who won. When Talia and Matt opened theirs, blue balloons streamed out as the crowd erupted in cheers.

    Several students ran up to hug and congratulate the newly crowned king and queen, some even shedding tears of joy.

    "Barrington High School students gave Talia and Matt a standing ovation when they entered the gym for the all-school pep assembly," a spokesperson for the school district said. "Students and staff were crying and embracing when the duo were named King and Queen."

    "We are so proud of Talia and Matt and of our entire student body for showing the utmost respect and kindness toward each other."

    On Saturday, Talia and Matt rode in a horse-drawn carriage during the homecoming parade down Barrington’s Main Street and were honored during the school’s varsity football game ahead of Saturday night’s dance, which was themed "Once Upon a Time."



    Photo Credit: Barrington School District/Facebook
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    Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued Sunday that a New York Times report revealing that Donald Trump might have avoided paying taxes for 18 years shows the Republican candidate is a "genius" and uniquely qualified to overhaul the federal tax code, NBC News reported.

    "There's no one who has shown more genius in their way to maneuver around the tax code and to rightfully use the laws to do that," Christie, a close Trump advisor, said on "Fox News Sunday.

    Christie noted that Trump's use of tax provisions to minimize what he pays in federal income taxes shows "what an absolute mess the federal tax code is and that's why Donald Trump is the person best positioned to fix it."

    His comments echoed those of fellow Trump adviser Giuliani, who said "the reality is he's a genius" on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

    But Trump's former accountant, Jack Mitnick, indicated in his interview with the Times that the businessman "lacked a sophisticated understanding of the tax code" and "rarely showed any interest in the details behind various tax strategies." But, "he clearly grasped the critical role taxes would play in helping him build wealth." 



    Photo Credit: AP
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    In this file photo, Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2013, before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on assessing attacks on the Homeland: From Fort Hood to Boston.In this file photo, Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2013, before the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on assessing attacks on the Homeland: From Fort Hood to Boston.

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