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US and World News

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    Grant Lynch’s home security camera captured what seemed like a relatively quiet scene — until waves rushed against the glass of his home south of Marineland on the Palm Coast of Florida. A fire alarm goes off in the background.

    Photo Credit: Grant Lynch

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    As Hurricane Matthew barreled up the coast of Florida, many found themselves facing gouged prices at hotels and gas stations, according to "Today's" investigative reporter. 

    Some retailers are taking advantage of the crisis by raising prices on necessities as people scramble to take cover or evacuate, officials said. 

    A room at one Days Inn that would normally be priced at $52 was going for $200. Some gas stations are also being accused of charging more than $8 per gallon and water cases are being sold by vendors for more than $30 each.

    Price gouging is being investigated by the state's attorney general's office. 


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

    Some gas stations in Florida are being accused of charging more than $8 per gallon.Some gas stations in Florida are being accused of charging more than $8 per gallon.

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    Hurricane Matthew cleared out of Florida's southern tip Friday morning and service gradually resumed in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale's airports. Orlando International Airport said it will resume operations at 6 a.m. Saturday, though many flights are still cancelled. 

    However, as the storm moves north transit hubs in neighboring states tapered off flights or closed terminals altogether.

    According to FlightAware, a site that tracks global flight statuses, Matthew has forced airlines to cancel more than 4,500 flights between Wednesday and Sunday.

    Charleston International in South Carolina shut down operations Friday afternoon and cancelled all Saturday flights. The airport said plans for Sunday will be announced at a later time, and updates can be found here.

    In Georgia, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport closed at 12 a.m. Friday. The terminal is scheduled to reopen at 8 a.m. Sunday. 

    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest airport, said it is monitoring the storm and asked passengers to check with their carrier for cancellations. Over 200 flights have been cancelled Friday and dozens more on Saturday.

    The Air Force controls the runways and will dictate when to close the airfield. Service at the airport could resume Sunday, Campbell said.

    Early Friday Ft.Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport announced that the airport's terminals were being reopened and that "our airline partners are implementing their plans to resume service later this morning," the airport announced in a tweet.

    The number of canceled flights globally on Friday morning was down to 1,946 from Thursday's 2,800, according to FlightAware. As Miami and Fort Lauderdale clear up, the number of delays and cancellations will continue to decline.

    American Airlines announced Friday that most of its flights would resume sometime Friday morning or afternoon. The airlines saw its first arrival at Miami International Airport at 9:05 a.m with a flight from São Paulo, Brazil. A reduced departure schedule began Friday at 1 p.m. and a full departure schedule was expected at 4 p.m.

    As the storm tracked northward, Delta Airlines also resumed flights Friday morning to Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

    Miami, along with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, both shut down Thursday. Fort Lauderdale halted operations at 10:30 a.m. with Miami following at noon.

    Orlando International Airport announced Thursday afternoon that it would cease commercial operations at 8 p.m. ET. It anticipates to resume flights on Saturday, Oct. 8, contingent on staff availability and clean-up ability. 

    All flights to and from Orlando have been cancelled Friday and half scrapped Saturday. FlightAware expects that number to rise. Orlando's world-famous theme parks — Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld — all closed due to the storm.

    Orlando Melbourne International Airport closed at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. It was not clear when it expect to reopen. Jacksonville International Airport remains open, but noted several flights have been canceled. "Check flight status with your airline before coming to the airport," JAX wrote in a tweet.

    The Palm Beach International Airport also reopened Friday and many airlines planned to resume operations from the terminal. The airport advised passengers to check with their airline before going to the airport as several flights remain cancelled.

    Changing Flights

    Hurricane Matthew has prompted airlines to offer travel waivers to passengers scheduled to fly from airports impacted by the storm.

    Airlines had previously offered Matthew-related change-fee waivers to areas in the Caribbean hit by the powerful hurricane but are now extending them to cover U.S. airports as well.

    American said it would waive change fees on trips scheduled between Oct. 5 to Oct. 9 from certain airports in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. The airline had already offered waivers on trips scheduled through Thursday in several Caribbean nations including Cuba.

    United Airlines said it would waive change fees and any difference in fare for customers scheduled to fly Wednesday through Friday to, from or through five airports in Florida. The waiver has also been extended to several airports in the Carolinas and Georgia.

    Delta waived change fees on flights to, from and through the Caribbean between Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 that may have been impacted by Matthew. Flights Thursday and Friday in or out of eight Florida cities as well as to and from several airports in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia can also be changed without incuring fee. Customers who wish to cancel a trip as a result of a flight cancellation are entitled to a refund.

    JetBlue Airways said passengers flying Thursday through Sunday to or from eight cities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina can change planes without a fee or additional fare. A similar offer covers Caribbean travel through Thursday.

    Spirit Airlines said it would waive the change fee and fare difference on Florida trips Thursday and Friday.

    Southwest Airlines will allow customers with flight reservations scheduled to arrive or depart cities that have been affected by or will be in the storm's path between Oct. 2 and Oct. 7, to re-book a new trip or travel standby within 14 days of their original travel date. 

    Cruises

    Cruises have also been affected by Hurricane Matthew, with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Carnival Cruise Line all rerouting some ships or modifying the order of ports.

    For instance, the Carnival Elation — which is currently in the middle of a five-day cruise — is skipping Half Moon Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas, adding in an extra day at sea and an extra day in Key West, Florida. The Carnival Conquest skipped a stop in the Dominican Republic for an extra day at sea.

    Royal Caribbean, however, has changed the date for at least one cruise sailing out of Port Miami. The Empress of the Seas will now depart Friday instead of Thursday.

    Port Canaveral has announced it will close by Wednesday afternoon, the first time the naval port has shut down operations since 2004.

    Bus and Rail

    Amtrak suspended passenger rail service through Friday between Miami and New York and the auto train between Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida. A line that normally runs from New York to Savannah, Georgia, only went as far south as Washington.

    Transit Operations have also been affected by the storm. Broward County Transit will cancel all scheduled bus service and paratransit service for Thursday. The county said it will decide on what service will run on Friday and Thursday evening. 



    Photo Credit: David Goldman, AP

    A departure board displays flight cancellations to Miami at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta on Oct. 6, 2016.A departure board displays flight cancellations to Miami at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta on Oct. 6, 2016.

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    Donald Trump stepped back into one of the most racially charged controversies in New York City history this week, saying he still believed the "Central Park Five" were guilty.

    Two years after a judge approved a $41 million settlement with the five men, Trump told CNN they should not have been exonerated, after one of the men said he was hoping for an apology from the Republican presidential nominee. 

    "They admitted they were guilty," Trump told CNN in a statement. "The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty." 

    The five black and Hispanic defendants were convicted as teenagers in the rape and assault of a white woman. They served six to 13 years in prison.

    Following their arrest, Trump took out full-page ads in the city's newspapers calling for New York to bring back the death penalty, though he did not explicitly say those five defendants should be executed. 

    Their convictions were thrown out in 2002 because of evidence that someone else, acting alone, was responsible. The victim was found in the brush with more than 75 percent of her blood drained from her body and her skull smashed.

    She was in a coma for 12 days, suffered permanent damage and remembers nothing about the attack. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    Raymond Santana, right, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam, left, react to supporters Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in New York. The three men who were exonerated in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, were in court for a hearing in a $250 million federal lawsuit they filed against the city after their sentences were vacated. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Raymond Santana, right, Kevin Richardson, and Yusef Salaam, left, react to supporters Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in New York. The three men who were exonerated in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case, were in court for a hearing in a $250 million federal lawsuit they filed against the city after their sentences were vacated. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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  • 10/07/16--15:26: Stork's Shelter From Matthew

  • Humans weren't the only ones hunkering down as Hurricane Matthew batters Florida. A stork apparently found refuge in a zoo bathroom. 

    On Thursday, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park shared a photo of a marabou stork inside a bathroom at the facility. The zoo's Facebook page jokes in the caption, "no species discrimination in this bathroom!''

    The stork isn't the only animal taking cover from the storm. The zoo also shared photos of young alligators swimming indoors in plastic tubs and other birds walking around freely inside a building.

    The zoo says it has moved all of its birds and mammals inside.

    This actually isn't the first time that a bird has caught attention for sheltering from a Florida hurricane in a bathroom. While Hurricane Andrew raged in 1992, a flock of flamingos at Miami Metrozoo were brought to a bathroom for shelter. A photo taken by an assistant curator became an iconic image; The Miami Herald has the story behind the photo.



    Photo Credit: St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park

    A stork takes refuge in a Florida bathroom during Hurricane Matthew. According to the zoo, the bird will hopefully stay in the bathroom until Saturday.A stork takes refuge in a Florida bathroom during Hurricane Matthew. According to the zoo, the bird will hopefully stay in the bathroom until Saturday.

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  • 10/07/16--16:03: Top Sports Photos

  • Click to see dramatic game action photos from professional football, hockey, basketball, baseball and more.

    Photo Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

    Andy Murray celebrates a point against Kyle Edmund during the men's singles quarterfinals match on day seven of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on Oct. 7, 2016, in Beijing, China.Andy Murray celebrates a point against Kyle Edmund during the men's singles quarterfinals match on day seven of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on Oct. 7, 2016, in Beijing, China.

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    U.S. intelligence officials are investigating the possibility that recent leaks of sensitive National Security Agency hacking tools did not stem from the alleged theft of classified materials by a Pentagon contractor whose arrest was made public this week.

    Current and former U.S. officials briefed on the matter told NBC News that investigators so far have found no evidence that Harold T. Martin III, a Maryland resident who was charged with taking home reams of documents from his top secret job inside the NSA, sold or distributed the material. They haven't ruled it out, however, and they are looking into whether his home computers could have been hacked.

    Still, officials say they are examining other possibilities to explain the recent leaks, which seem to have originated well after Edward Snowden began his forced exile in Russia three years ago. A defense attorney told The Associated Press Martin did not intend to betray his country.



    Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

    National Security Agency seal hanging on wall.National Security Agency seal hanging on wall.

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    U.S. homeland security officials said Friday they are confident Russia's government is behind recent hacks of American political organizations' email systems.

    "These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow," said the statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security.

    The statement says that "only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized" hacks that resulted in documents posted on sites like WikiLeaks and DCLeaks.com, given "the scope and sensitivity of these efforts." But it stopped short of saying the Russian Government was responsible for the recent scanning and probing of American states' election systems.

    Thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee emails were posted online this summer, upending the party's primary and convention, as the emails appeared to show some officials throwing their support behind Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz eventually resigned over the uproar.

    The intelligence officials said in their statement Friday that Moscow has used similar tactics to influence public opinion in Europe and Asia.

    The White House had asked a special intelligence task force to examine the implications of recent hacks, NBC News reported in August.

    Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committe, applauded the Obama administration's statement.

    "All of us should be gravely concerned when a foreign power like Russia seeks to undermine our democratic institutions, and we must do everything in our power to guard against it," he said in a statement Friday.

    A spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin called the hacking allegations nonsense.



    Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images

    (AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT) Still life of laptop computer, mouse and phone. Monday 27 October 2003. AFR GENERIC Picture by LOUIE DOUVIS (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images)(AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT) Still life of laptop computer, mouse and phone. Monday 27 October 2003. AFR GENERIC Picture by LOUIE DOUVIS (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

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    A decade-old recording of Donald Trump bragging that he can do anything he wants to women has resurfaced, prompting an apology from the Republican nominee, NBC News reported.

    In the conversation, Trump discusses wooing a married woman, vulgarly says he can grab a woman's genital area, and says he needs to use Tic Tacs in case he kisses a woman he sees.

    "I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet," Trump said in 2005 during a conversation with Billy Bush obtained by NBC News from Access Hollywood. It was first reported by The Washington Post.

    "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab 'em by the p-," Trump continued.

    Trump, who has criticized Hillary Clinton's husband for his infidelity, offered an apology in a statement released after the story was published, adding, "This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course."

    Clinton tweeted the story and added, "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president."

    Bush released a statement after the tape was released: “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It's no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago - I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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    In this file photo, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters during a campaign rally on Oct. 4, in Prescott Valley, Arizona.In this file photo, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters during a campaign rally on Oct. 4, in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

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    Hurricane Matthew's has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, but that's done little to diminish its potential for damage along the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia after battering the east coast of Florida Friday. NBC News' Mark Barger reports.

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    Hillary Clinton apparently told a group of Latin American bankers in 2013 that she envisions a "hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders," according to purportedly hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta released Friday by WikiLeaks.

    The Clinton campaign said Friday they "are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents," though Podesta acknowledged on Twitter that he had been hacked. However, he suggested some emails may be "faked," echoing a claim Democrats made about previous disclosures of hacked emails by WikiLeaks, the transparency organization.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at the Sunrise Theatre on Friday, September 30, 2016, in Coral Springs, Florida.Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at the Sunrise Theatre on Friday, September 30, 2016, in Coral Springs, Florida.

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    Meteorologists say radars are showing birds flying inside the eye of Hurricane Matthew, apparently taking refuge from the storm's winds. 

    The center of the swirling hurricane was showing "biological returns, probably birds," according to meteorologist Jeff Last.

    One Atlanta meteorologist said on air: "Those are seagulls and birds that are flying inside the eye of the storm, trying to escpae the strongest part of the storm which is in the north and northeastern center of it." 

    Winds are calm in the eye of the hurricane, USA Today reports.  

    The newspaper cites bird expert Kenn Kaufman, who explains: "The birds get into the end of the hurricane's spiral and they move toward the eye of the hurricane. They may not necessarily do that in any organized way; more likely they’re out there in all this wild wind and when they chance into the calm of the eye they may make an effort to stay there and travel with it rather than fighting the winds again."

    A slightly weakened Hurricane Matthew was continuing to pound northern Florida and crawl up the Atlantic coast Friday



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

    Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 7, 2016, at 12 a.m. UTC.Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 7, 2016, at 12 a.m. UTC.

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    Hurricane Matthew pummeled parts of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, flooding streets as as surf surged past the shore and onto roadways, and eroding much of the shoreline.

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  • 10/08/16--20:24: Police Shot in Palm Springs

  • Two officers are dead and one is hospitalized after all three were shot in Palm Springs on Saturday, sources tell NBC News. 

    The shooting occurred just after noon at 2700 Cypress Road, according to the Palm Springs Police Department.

    The officers had responded to "some type" of a family disturbance call before the shooting occurred, said an officer with the Palm Springs Police Department.

    A woman reported that her adult son was causing a disturbance. When officers arrived, the man threatened that he would shoot through the door, police said. 

    All three were taken to a hospital, where two of the officers — identified as Officer Jose Gilbert Vega and Lesley Zerebny — died.

    The third officer is alert and providing investigators with information. 

    "I am awake in a nightmare right now," Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes said at a news conference. 

    Palms Springs police said they were actively searching for the shooter around 5 p.m. Saturday, and were working on evacuating residents living on several blocks. 

    Police advised people who live in the area to remain indoors and lock their doors. Anyone who sees suspicious activity was urged to call the Palm Springs Police Department. 

    Several law enforcement agencies and SWAT teams were assisting with the investigation, with the police perimeter stretching several blocks. 

    Vega was a 35-year veteran of the police department. The 63-year-old was due to retire in December. He was not scheduled to work Saturday and chose to work overtime at the time of the shooting, according to Reyes. 

    Vega is survived by his wife and eight children. 

    Zerebny, 27, was with the department for a year and a half, Reyes said. She had just returned to work after giving birth to a 4-month-old baby. 

    Zerebny is survived by her husband and child. 

    The gunman remains at large, police said. 

    NBCLA.com's Jessica Rice and Whitney Irick, and NBC News' Andrew Blankstein and Scott Patterson contributed to this report. 



    Photo Credit: Palm Springs Police Department

    Palm Springs Police officers Jose Gilbert Vega, 63, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, were shot and killed while responding to a family disturbance call on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. A third officer was also shot and hospitalized.Palm Springs Police officers Jose Gilbert Vega, 63, and Lesley Zerebny, 27, were shot and killed while responding to a family disturbance call on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. A third officer was also shot and hospitalized.

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    A Long Island Rail Road train derailed in New Hyde Park Saturday night, though most of the hundreds of passengers were uninjured.

    An eastbound commuter train struck a work train at about 9:10 p.m., causing the commuter train to derail and the work train to catch fire, according to Nassau County police and the MTA. 

    Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano told a news conference there were 29 injuries but no fatalities. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had earlier said there were 600 people on the train and that the worst of the injuries were broken bones. 

    Photos on social media showed trains tipped at an angle next to the tracks and smashed glass inside at least one car. Emergency crews were using ladders to get passengers off the derailed train. 

    [[396432141, C]]

    "So the train was going normally, it was going at its normal speed, and then it started to shake, but that’s sort of normal, and then everyone started to sort of scream – so I realized something was wrong," Lindsay Javitz, who was on the derailed train, told NBC 4 New York. 

    "And the train was really (going) back and forth and shaking … and then I look out the window and I saw a spark or a fire type thing … and then the train abruptly stopped and the car in front of mine was tilted, as if it wasn’t fully on the track."

    The LIRR said three cars derailed and were damaged. 

    Service was suspended on three branches of the railroad and there was no estimate on when trains would start running again.

    The LIRR is the busiest commuter rail in North America, carrying an average of 300,000 people each weekday. 

    [[396429631, C]]

    The accident comes three days after a CSX derailment in the Bronx caused widespread Amtrak delays, and about 10 days after a deadly New Jersey Transit crash in Hoboken that continues to snarl service. 



    Photo Credit: @sarahaqamar / Twitter
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    A LIRR train derailed after an incident in New Hyde Park on Oct. 8, 2016.A LIRR train derailed after an incident in New Hyde Park on Oct. 8, 2016.

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    Every passenger is accounted for after a boat carrying 30 people capsized near San Francisco's Pier 45 Saturday afternoon, according to public safety officials.

    A total of 27 adults and three children were rescued from the boat, which has been listed a recreational sailboat named "Khaleesi." Some of those passengers onboard were reportedly trapped underneath the boat's hull, according to officials.

    A 5-year-old child was pulled from the water and found to be unconscious, but a citizen and public safety crews were able to initiate CPR before sending the child to a local hospital in life-threatening condition, Giselle Talkoff from the San Francisco Police Department said.

    A total of eight people, ranging from five adults to three children, were transported to the hospital with varying degress of injury. In addition to the 5-year-old child, a second passenger was listed in critical condition, Bob Postel from the San Francisco Fire Department said. The rest of the transported passengers reported to be suffering from hypothermia-related injuries after floating in the cold water.

    Despite the serious injuries, Postel said the capsizing could have resulted in a worse outcome.

    "This could have been really, really catastrophic," he said. "For this to have the outcome that it did, is really a lot of good fortune and good luck."

    Postel credits the joint cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and local public safety agencies along with helpful bystanders for assisting in the rescue.

    Bystanders were also seen throwing floatation devices to the passengers stuck in the water, prompting praise from Postel.

    The boat did submerge completely and authorities are conducting an investigation into what caused the vessel to capsize.

    Stay tuned for details.



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

    Rescue crews work to pluck people from the San Francisco Bay after a boat capsized (Oct. 8, 2016).Rescue crews work to pluck people from the San Francisco Bay after a boat capsized (Oct. 8, 2016).

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    Melania Trump condemned her husband's comments Saturday, joining ranking Republican party officials in denouncing crude comments about women made by Donald Trump over a decade ago, with a handful withdrawing their endorsement of the presidential candidate or calling for him to step aside as the GOP nominee.

    In a statement published on the GOP presidential nominee's website, Melania Trump said: "The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."

    Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, was "beside himself" and his wife was furious, according to a person close to the couple, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share the private discussion, the Associated Press reported.

    After refusing to respond to questions from reporters Friday night, Pence released a statement Saturday saying he was "offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump" and "cannot defend them." But, he added, "I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people."

    It is the first time Pence has publicly condemned controversial statements made by Trump. During the vice presidential debate Tuesday, the governor repeatedly dodged challenges to defend some of Trump's most inflammatory comments about women and immigrants when pressed by Hillary Clinton's runningmate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was "sickened" by Trump's remarks and angrily revoked an invitation for the real estate mogul to appear at a GOP event Saturday in Wisconsin. Pence canceled a scheduled appearance at the same event amid fallout from Friday's video.

    "I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests," Ryan said.

    Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has been a champion of the billionaire businessman's campaign since Trump won the party's nomination, but he was among the first Republicans to criticize the latest revelations from Trump's comments about women in a curt response.

    "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever."

    Newly released audio from 2005 revealed Trump bragging about trying to have sex with a married woman and made a series of profane, sexually charged comments about women. The recording was published Friday by The Washington Post and NBC News.

    Sen. John McCain, who offered grudging support for the Republican candidate, withdrew his support for Trump Saturday, saying "Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump."

    "Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy, McCain said in a statement. "Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this."

    Two Utah Republicans, Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, also withdrew their endorsements Friday, while former Gov. Jon Huntsman called for the candidate to step aside and let Pence take his place. 

    Chaffetz, who is chairman of the House oversight committee, told a Utah television station he can “no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president.” He called Trump’s comments “some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in after more than five hours, calling the comments repugnant and unacceptable.

    "As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape," McConnell said.

    Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican congressman in Colorado, also called on the candidate to step aside “for the good of the country and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.” Coffman had previously refused to endorse Trump.

    South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote in tweet that he was "never comfortable with Donald Trump as our party nominee" and conservative Alabama congresswoman Martha Roby admitted to previously tolerating Trump's "antics" because she wanted to support the party's nominee. Now, she says Trump should "step aside and allow a responsible, respectable Republican to lead the ticket."

    The highest-ranking female Republican in the House, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, released a statement declaring that "it is never appropriate to condone unwanted sexual advances or violence against women. Mr. Trump must realize that it has no place in public or private conversations today or in the past."

    Ryan's spokesman and several others who criticized Trump's comments sidestepped the question of whether he should stay in the race.

    Former Secretary of State and George W. Bush advisor Condoleezza Rice took to Facebook to announce that she would not support Trump, either. 

    "Enough!" she posted. "Donald Trump should not be President.  He should withdraw. As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth."

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former GOP primary opponent who has not endorsed Trump, called Trump's comments "wrong and offensive." 

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who have never been Trump fans, also took to Twitter to denounce him. 

    But Trump's Virginia campaign chairman, Corey A. Stewart told The Washington Post that women voters wouldn't be moved by Trump's comments.

    “When people voted for Donald Trump, they knew he wasn’t an angel,” said Stewart, a 2017 contender for Virginia governor and chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “They are not concerned that, at times, Donald Trump acts like a frat boy. Sometimes he does, but that’s okay.”

    Trump held his ground in a video statement released early Saturday that made it clear he was staying in the race. “Anyone who knows me, knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” he said, before apologizing and claiming he has “changed.” 

    “See you at the debate on Sunday,” he said.

    NBC's Danielle Abreu contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    In this file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife Melania greet reporters in the spin room following a debate sponsored by Fox News at the Fox Theatre on March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan.In this file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife Melania greet reporters in the spin room following a debate sponsored by Fox News at the Fox Theatre on March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan.

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    Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump in the key battleground states of Florida and Pennsylvania, including by double digits in the Keystone State due to her strength in Philadelphia and its suburbs, according to two brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls.

    In Florida, the Democratic nominee is ahead of Trump by three points among likely voters, 45 percent to 42 percent, within the poll’s margin of error. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets 5 percent, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein gets 3 percent.

    In Pennsylvania, Clinton’s lead over the Republican candidate is 12 points among likely voters, 49 percent to 37 percent, with Johnson at 6 percent and Stein at 4 percent. 

    It would be virtually impossible for Trump to win the White House if he loses both states, especially Florida.

    Both polls were conducted before Friday’s bombshell 2005 audio of Trump talking about groping and kissing women.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Donald TrumpFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump

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    The second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be held Sunday night. Watch the event above live at 9 p.m. ET, and follow along below as FactCheck.org and PolitiFact fact check the candidates' statements in real time.

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton went head to head in their second presidential debate in St. Louis Sunday night.

    The rematch kicked off without a handshake, followed by questions regarding etiquette. Trump's recorded comments from 2005 about his pursuit of a married woman and Clinton's emails took center stage during the first 15 minutes of the town hall. 

    #Nohandshake began trending on Twitter, as did #Obamacare. Trump said he'd completely repeal Obamacare and Clinton said the Affordable Care Act was not perfect. 

    In a twist, the two candidates walked toward each other and shook hands at the end of the debate. 

    Here's the top tweets reacting to tonight's debate. 



    Photo Credit: AP
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    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrive before the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016.Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrive before the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016.

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