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US and World News

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    Iran's government has long tried to keep out American pop culture, but it seems happy to let Iranians watch the backstabbing, deceitful machinations of fictional U.S. politician Frank Underwood in "House of Cards." 

    Iran's hard-liners point to the show and say: This is what America is really like. 

    The sudden arrival of the Netflix series, which stars Kevin Spacey as a South Carolina congressman who connives his way to the presidency, illustrates the reach and popularity of Western television and film. It also offers a window into the thinking of Iran's censors, who have approved the dark portrayal of power politics and even murder in the corridors of Washington — but not the bedroom scenes. 

    "It shows how politics is dirty in the United States," said Mohammad Kazemi, a student of mechanics at Tehran's Azad University. "They do anything to reach power." 

    Every night at 11 p.m., the state-run Namayesh channel airs the program dubbed into Farsi, calling it "Khaneh Poushaly," or "Straw House." It started playing the show in late September, beginning with its first season, which follows Underwood as the manipulative House majority whip. 

    The arrival of "House of Cards" has caused something of a stir in Iran, where American programming is extremely rare, and where authorities routinely denounce Western pop culture as decadent and un-Islamic. The government blocks many websites, but a ban on satellite dishes is rarely enforced. Many Iranians, particularly the young, watch foreign shows on the internet or purchase pirated DVDs of movies and TV series, which are widely available at street markets. 

    Farnaz Rahmani, a 17-year-old high school student, said she thinks state TV is showing "House of Cards" to prove that U.S. politicians are deceitful. 

    "For me it is a chance to fill my spare time with a good TV series. Maybe it is also a chance for the TV to attract more people to Iranian channels," she said. 

    Iranian media have also noted its arrival, with the conservative website Tabnak praising Spacey's "brilliant portrayal" of Underwood, who conspires with his wife to amass power in Washington through blackmail and betrayal. On social media, users have shared a clip of Spacey and co-star Robin Wright dubbed over in Farsi, discussing how to navigate the halls of power. 

    The drama offers a jaundiced view of American politics that plays well in a country long suspicious of U.S. intentions. Iranians still blame America for the CIA-engineered coup in 1953 that installed the shah, and fury at the United States boiled over during the 1979 Islamic Revolution, leading to the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. 

    Nearly 40 years on, Iranian hard-liners still portray the United States as the "Great Satan," hatching conspiracies involving everyone from Israel's Mossad spy agency to the Islamic State group — in other words, as the Frank Underwood of the Middle East. 

    "'House of Cards' has been able to skillfully show the deception in the complicated political sphere of liberal American civilization, as well as treason, power-hungriness, promiscuities and crimes behind those ruling in the country," the hard-line website Mashregh wrote. 

    The show was approved by the massive Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting corporation, whose chief is directly appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iranian television previously broadcast the British series that inspired the show. 

    Neither Namayesh nor the IRIB have commented publicly on the decision to air "House of Cards," and there are no figures for viewership. Calls to the IRIB were not immediately returned this week. 

    It's also unclear what deal, if any, Iran struck with the show's producers. Iran and the U.S. have no official agreements on copyright protection, and Netflix is not available in Iran. 

    Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, said it did not have a global license to sell "House of Cards," without commenting on its newfound home on Iranian state television. A public relations firm for Media Rights Capital, the production house behind the show, did not respond to requests for comment. 

    The IRIB is happy to show Iranian viewers the seductions of power, but not the more literal variety. 

    The show has been edited to remove the steamier scenes between Underwood and young reporter Zoe Barnes, played by Kate Mara, in line with Islamic sensibilities.



    Photo Credit: AP

    This image released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from This image released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from "House of Cards." Farnaz Rahmani, a 17-year-old high school student in Iran, said she thinks state TV is showing "House of Cards" to prove that U.S. politicians are deceitful.

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    Vice President Joe Biden is not letting Donald Trump off the hook for comments he made about groping women in 2005, calling the GOP candidate's "locker room" language the "textbook definition of sexual assault."

    In an interview with "Late Night" host Seth Meyers Wednesday, Biden said it is "astounding" that a presidential candidate would publicly acknowledge that being a star allowed him to have his way with women.

    "He didn't say, you know, 'I go up and I ask...' He says, 'I go up and grab and I can do this...'" Biden said during his appearance, which was recorded before new accounts from women who allege Trump touched them in an inappropriate manner were published in the New York Times, Palm Beach Post and People magazine Wednesday night.

    Meanwhile, five former contestants in the Trump­–owned Miss Teen USA pageant claim that Trump deliberately walked in on them while they were changing during the 1997 competition, Buzzfeed reported.

    "And then I see in the paper today, one of the pageants — I guess Miss Teen America — and the teen girls — three, four, five in a room —they were getting dressed, they were naked, he walked in and said, 'Don't worry girls, I've seen all this,' and he stood there. I mean, this is absolutely outrageous behavior," Biden continued. 

    Trump has denied all allegations and demanded that the Times retracts their story and apologize, threatening legal action.

    Biden, who drafted the landmark Violence Against Women Act, expressed his disappointment "to come across someone like Trump" after having worked for years "trying to figure out how to change the culture in this country so that we treat women with respect and dignity."

    "My dad used to say, 'The greatest sin of all is the abuse of power. And the cardinal sin of all is a man raising his hand or taking advantage of a woman," Biden said. "And here's a guy that says...'I'm a billionaire, I'm a star, I'm a celebrity, so I can go in and intimidate women [into] allowing me to assault them and assume they're not going to say anything.' That is the ultimate abuse of power."

    On Friday, an 11-year-old audio tape leaked of Trump making lewd comments about women to Billy Bush, then-host of "Access Hollywood." Trump has apologized for the tape, describing the comments as "locker room talk."

    Since then, at least four women have come forward claiming Trump either touched or kissed them inappropriately. NBC News has not confirmed any of the allegations, some dating back decades.

    Biden also weighed in on Trump's recent debate performance, saying he couldn't believe what he was watching.

    "It's a frightening notion that the vice president and the president don't understand each other's [positions]," he said, referring to when Trump said he disagreed with running mate Mike Pence over Russia's involvement in the Syria conflict.

    "Access Hollywood" is owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, MSNBC and this station.”



    Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

    Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with host Seth Meyers on Oct.12, 2016.Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with host Seth Meyers on Oct.12, 2016.

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    Forestry police in southwest China rushed to the site after receiving a report from villagers on Sunday to find the three animals, two adults and one baby, struggling in the 16-foot-deep concrete pond while several other elephants were standing beside and reaching out their noses to help. Police broke one side of the pond to discharge water. The three elephants finally walked out of the pond Wednesday afternoon and into a nearby forest.

    Photo Credit: APTN

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    Temple Taggart McDowell, who represented Utah as a 21-year-old in the 1997 Miss USA pageant in Shreveport, Louisiana, told NBC News about two encounters similar to the behavior Donald Trump boasted about in a 2005 hot-microphone vide, as a flood of new allegations against the Republican presidential candidate emerged Wednesday. 

    "It was at that time that he turned to me and embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips," McDowell said. 

    Later, McDowell said, Trump offered to help her get contracts with elite modeling agencies, and during a visit to Trump Tower in Manhattan at Trump's invitation, he again embraced and kissed her on the lips.

    Trump strongly disputed McDowell's claim Wednesday night, telling NBC News that he couldn't remember her. 

    The extensive interview with NBC News adds many new details to an accusation Taggart first made to The New York Times in May.



    Photo Credit: NBC News
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    Temple Taggart McDowell, who represented Utah as a 21-year-old in the 1997 Miss USA pageant, said Wednesday night that she was introduced to Trump during a rehearsal by her father, who was a fan of Trump's.Temple Taggart McDowell, who represented Utah as a 21-year-old in the 1997 Miss USA pageant, said Wednesday night that she was introduced to Trump during a rehearsal by her father, who was a fan of Trump's.

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  • 10/13/16--18:55: 2 Cops Shot in East Boston

  • Two police officers were shot in an East Boston neighborhood late Wednesday and the suspect, who had a tactical shotgun and body armor, is dead, authorities said.

    Both officers underwent surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and are in critical but stable condition, but they are recovering, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said.

    The officers were identified Thursday as 27-year department veteran Richard Cintolo and 12-year veteran Matthew Morris.

    "They're two outstanding officers," Evans said. "We're very fortunate. We continue to pray and hope they make a full recovery."

    He said Morris suffered a severed artery, and only the actions of one of his fellow officers who put his hand inside his wound to help stop the bleeding saved his life.

    "He knows how close he was to death," Evans said of Morris.

    Nine other officers were taken to Tufts Medical Center to treat minor injuries and emotional stress.

    "Police work is a difficult job," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh added. "Often times we see what's happening around the world, and in Boston this is another example of our police officers doing the right thing - doing their job."

    The suspect has been identified as Kirk Figueroa, 33, of East Boston, a bounty hunter who lived with two other roommates. According to his website, he offered security and private investigation services. He was also a sworn constable in Boston.

    Officers responded to a 911 call from a home at 136 Gladstone St. just before 11 p.m. from a man who said his roommate, later identified as Figueroa, was threatening him with a knife. Two officers entered the home and were shot by Figueroa, who was then shot and killed by other officers. The second roommate was not injured in the shooting. Evans said he heard the dispute centered around the apartment's thermostat.

    Figueroa was described to NBC News by a senior Boston police official as "heavily armed," and may have had as many as three firearms, including a weapon described as a "long gun/rifle."

    Evans said Thursday that Figueroa had at least one tactical shotgun and a ballistic vest. He said Figueroa did not have a criminal record in Massachusetts, but did have a record in other states, including charges of arson and impersonating a police officer. He was not licensed to carry a firearm.

    "No one likes to take a life," the police commissioner said. "It's the most difficult decision we make. It's unfortunate he lost his life, but he chose to use deadly force."

    According to Evans, several officers entered the building after hearing gun shots and dragged out the injured officers while exchanging gunfire with Figueroa.

    "All I can say is he was a dangerous individual and our officers went in there no matter what the danger," he said. "We've seen it on marathon day, and we saw it today."

    Residents were asked to shelter-in-place or stay away from the area as police briefly searched for a possible second suspect. The shelter-in-place was later lifted and residents were escorted back to their homes.

    Evans asked Boston to "please pray for our injured officers."

    Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley pledged Thursday that his office "will do a fair and thorough investigation."

    Area residents described the chaos in the immediate moments after the shooting.

    "I saw a whole bunch of guns, and the shooting kept going, and (police officers) were running," resident Eric Dicrescenzo said.

    He added, "I've never been that close to a shooting in an uncontrolled area, so I was kind of freaking out."

    Tiara Willdigg, whose car was parked near the scene of the shooting, said she got a phone call from a friend about the shooting.

    "I was coming outside and ran out of the house and I went up there, and as I'm up there, there's mad SWAT, just ran, ran, 'Get off the street, get off the street,' heard shots popping off," she said.

    Evans said it's likely no officers in the East Boston shooting were wearing body cameras because the district isn't part of the department's pilot body camera program.

    Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito released a statement Thursday saying they were "shocked and saddened to learn of last night's horrific incident and their thoughts and prayers are with the police officers and their families."



    Photo Credit: Twitter/@Dhuha89
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    Police officers at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in East Boston.Police officers at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in East Boston.

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    Arianne Zucker, the soap opera actress in the video that has rocked the presidential campaign, says Donald Trump's comments toward her were offensive.

    But Zucker says she wasn't shocked by it, given "that type of personality." She says that's "probably why it doesn't mean a lot to me."

    Zucker spoke in an interview broadcast Thursday on NBC's "Today."

    Zucker is the actress who meets Trump and TV personality Billy Bush on a soap opera set in the 2005 video. In the video, Trump boasts of using his fame to kiss and grab women. Trump, before greeting Zucker, tells Bush he needs to use Tic Tacs in case he starts kissing her.



    Photo Credit: WireImage
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    File photo of Arianne Zucker attending the 5th Annual Unbridled Eve Derby Prelude Party at The London West Hollywood on January 9, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.File photo of Arianne Zucker attending the 5th Annual Unbridled Eve Derby Prelude Party at The London West Hollywood on January 9, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

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  • 10/13/16--06:26: 3,000 Strollers Recalled

  • Mamas & Papas has recalled nearly 3,000 strollers due to a fall hazard.

    The company recalled its Armadillo Flip and Flip XT strollers after reports that a loose latch can cause the seat to tip back unexpectedly, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    No injuries have been reported.

    The strollers were sold at Albee Baby, Babies ‘R’ Us, Buy Buy Baby and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com from December 2014 through July 2016. Lot numbers for recalled Flip strollers are 00814 through 00416 and for Flip XT are 01214 through 00416.

    The company advised consumers to immediately stop using the strollers and contact Mamas & Papas for a free repair. Customers can call 800-309-6312 any time or visit www.mamasandpapas.com and click Recall Notice.



    Photo Credit: Mamas & Papas

    Mamas & Papas recalls nearly 3,000 Armadillo Flip and Flip XT strollers due to a fall hazard.Mamas & Papas recalls nearly 3,000 Armadillo Flip and Flip XT strollers due to a fall hazard.

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    Police are cautioning drivers to beware at the pump, NBC's "Today" show reports.

    Surveillance cameras around the country are revealing what police call “sliders”: thieves stealing from women who leave their purses in the car while they pump gas.

    The suspects sneak through the passenger side of the car, targeting potential victims who leave items on the front seat.

    "Today" national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen reports how to protect yourself from “sliders.”

    In short: lock your doors and roll up any windows.



    Photo Credit: 'Today'
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    A plane crash in East Hartford, Connecticut, that killed a student pilot and left his instructor with serious injuries applainpears to have been the result of an intentional act, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. 

    East Hartford police Lt. Josh Litwin said Wednesday that investigators had concluded the crash Tuesday afternoon was "an intentional act," but noted that they hadn't been able to determine a motive.

    "Nothing's off the table," Litwin told reporters.

    The FBI and NTSB are leading a joint investigation after the twin-engine Piper PA 34 crashed with the two men aboard during a training flight around 3:30 p.m. near the Connecticut headquaerters of military jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney.

    The plane was on its final approach to Brainard Airport when it crashed on Main Street and burst into flames, according to the FAA.

    A senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told NBC News the crash appears to have been a case of suicide, not terrorism. The official said the student pilot, identified as Feras M. Freitekh, was arguing with his instructor.

    According to the official, the flight instructor told investigators that Freitekh, a Jordanian national, was at the controls at the time of the crash. Some kind of argument or struggle for the controls ensued, the official said, and the plane crashed. The instructor did not know why it happened.

    The flight instructor was identified as Arian Prevalla, the owner of American Flight Academy in Hartford -- formerly known as Connecticut Flight Academy. Prevalla escaped from the burning plane and was in fair condition Thursday at Yale-New Haven Bridgeport Hospital's burn unit, a hospital spokesman said.

    He is expected to survive and is speaking with investigators, officials said.

    [[396820151,R,200,200]]

    Illinois police said Wednesday that Freitekh was in the U.S. on a student visa to obtain his pilot license. Orland Hills Police Chief Thomas Scully said Freitekh used his father's friend's local address but the student pilot had never been to Orland Hills. 

    "He would come from Jordan directly to the flight school and his dad continued to make money to pay for his training,” Chief Thomas Scully said. “When he ran out he would go back to Jordan."

    Police searched Freitek's Hartford-area home but did not find anything to indicate any terrorist interests or sympathies, a senior federal official told NBC News' Pete Williams. He was also not on any terrorism watch list, the official added. The FBI will seek a search warrant for any computers the student pilot had to see what clues they might hold, if any.

    Pratt & Whitney released a statement Tuesday saying the crash did not appear to involve any of its employees or contractors.

    Main Street was closed between Willow Street Extension and Ensign Street on Tuesday and Wednesday, but most of the street has reopened. Utility crews are fixing the light post and make repairs to the lines before reopening the right lane. 

    The crash was also near American Eagle Financial Credit Union, which is running on generator power as utility poles are installed on Main Street. The drive-through is closed, but the lobby and ATM are open.

    While investigators from several agencies are there, police said they want to reassure neighbors that the scene is safe and secure.

    A mother and her three daughters who also witnessed the crash, were taken to the hospital as a precaustion but all were released. 

    Investigators said it's fortunate there were no additional deaths.

    "The path that the plane took could have been much worse, so we're fortunate in that sense," said Scott Sansom, East Hartford's police chief.



    Photo Credit: Kenatha Abernaty/NBC Connecticut
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Feras M. Freitekh was killed in what law enforcement called an intentional plane crash in East Hartford on Tuesday.Feras M. Freitekh was killed in what law enforcement called an intentional plane crash in East Hartford on Tuesday.

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    Donald Trump’s campaign sent two of its top surrogates to Pennsylvania Thursday to stump for the Republican presidential candidate. 

    Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, is holding several "Coffee with Ivanka" events in the Philadelphia suburbs Thursday. The fashion mogul is trying to sway voters in the critical battleground state. 

    She was delayed arriving at her first event in Chester County due to fog at Philadelphia International Airport and didn't start until nearly noon.[[397001111, C]]

    After apologizing for her tardiness, Trump spoke about playing a role in her father's campaign's family care initiatives.

    "I got very excited when the campaign and I started to talk about some of these ideas... that hopefully would start to eliminate big systematic issues such as gender equality."

    Trump's late arrival into the Philadelphia area delayed a planned noon event at The Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill, Delaware County, for about 80 minutes. And, it may have impacted a planned 2:30 p.m. event at Spring Hill Manor in Ivyland, Bucks County. [[338107532, C]]

    At neither of the first two "coffee" events did Ivanka drink coffee while on stage, instead opting for a glass of water.

    Women voters in Philadelphia’s suburbs could be critical in the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The race to appeal to these voters even got its own "Weekend Update" sketch featuring Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon on "Saturday Night Live." Trump has struggled to court female voters throughout the campaign and has worked to mitigate damage done by the release of a 2005 video where Donald Trump is heard crudely speaking about women during an "Access Hollywood" shoot.

    The 2005 video, dismissed by Donald Trump as "locker room talk," bothered 80 percent of Philadelphia suburban voters, said a Bloomberg Poll released Thursday that put Clinton up 9 points over Trump in the critical Keystone State in large part due to growing support (a 28-point lead) for Clinton in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties.

    Also Thursday, another of Donald Trump's children, Donald Trump Jr., defended the "locker room talk" as something that happens very often, including in his own experience. [[396953061, C]]

    "I've had conversations like that with plenty of people, where people use, you know, language [that's] off color. They're talking, two guys, amongst themselves," he said in an appearance on a Charlotte, North Carolina, talk radio show.

    Ivanka Trump's suburban tour ends with her addressing the Montgomery County Republican Committee's dinner starting at 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel along Mall Boulevard in Montgomery County. The event carries at $125-per-person or $200-per-couple cost.

    Also Thursday night, Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, spoke to Lehigh Valley Republicans at two events. The Indiana governor first spoke at the 3rd annual RepublicanFest reception in Orefield at 6 p.m. He then wrapped up his visit by addressing the Northampton County Republican Committee’s Chairman’s Dinner at Hotel Bethlehem at 7 p.m.

    Mike Pence blamed the media and Hillary Clinton for what he characterizes as "a discussion of slander and lies" targeting his running mate Donald Trump. 

    Pence's remarks Thursday evening were the first time the Republican vice presidential candidate addressed multiple allegations of sexual assault leveled at Trump. 

    Pence told attendees at a GOP dinner in Orefield, Pennsylvania, that Trump denies accusations that he groped or forcefully kissed women against their will. Pence said the claims are "unsubstantiated." 

    Pence blamed Clinton for pushing the story. He said Democrats are trying to draw attention away from hacked emails that are unflattering to her campaign.

    [[396918491, C]]



    Photo Credit: NBC10

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    Nutrisystem is recalling one of its popular high-protein bars over concerns about possible listeria contamination, which can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections in young children and the elderly.

    The company's Nutricrush Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar, manufactured by Noble Foods, Inc., contains an ingredient that may be contaminated with the bacteria, Nutrisystem said. 

    Only 455 cases of the affected product were shipped to ShopRite and Hannaford stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and nine other states; it was also sold online through Amazon.com and Walmart.com. The product, sold in a box of five, can be identified by the UPC 6 32674 85579 4, Enjoy by Aug 22 2017 and Lot Code NF082216A. 

    No other Nutrisystem product is affected by the recall, which the company said it is initiating out of an abundance of caution. 

    No illnesses have been reported to date. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

    Young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infection.

    Anyone who purchased the affected products can return them to the place of purchase or call Nutrisystem's customer service at 1-866-293-8118.



    Photo Credit: handout

    No illnesses have been reported to date, and the company said it is initiating the recall out of an abundance of caution.No illnesses have been reported to date, and the company said it is initiating the recall out of an abundance of caution.

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    In the days after Hurricane Matthew grazed the Florida coast, families of residents living in the deadly storm's track wondered if their loved ones in the Sunshine state were safe.

    One Nebraska family, desperate for news of their grandmother who lives alone in Palm Coast, decided to get creative after attempts to reach her failed.

    Eric Olsen of Omaha, Nebraska, hadn't heard from Grandma Claire Olsen for several days after the storm, according to NBC affiliate WBBH.

    After calls to the local police department and sheriff's office in Flagler County went unanswered, the worried grandson thought of a way to get someone to check in on her, WBBH reported.

    Lance Tyler was running deliveries at the only Papa John's pizzeria in Flagler County when Eric Olsen called in an order from Nebraska. The pizza, however, was destined for Grandma Claire's house on Parkway Drive.

    Tyler told WBBH when he arrived in the neighborhood and looked at the receipt, there was a phone number and special instructions to call once he arrived at the house. Tyler said he assumed it was because the owner of the home "had some big dogs they needed to put away, or something."

    But when Tyler called the number, a concerned Eric Olsen asked "Is she there? Is she OK?."

    "The way that he answered the phone," Tyler said. "It sounded like he was worried."

    Tyler knocked on Olsen’s door, who was reluctant to answer.

    "He said 'Delivery.' I said, 'I didn't order anything.' He says, 'Your grandson did,'" grandma Olsen said, according to WBBH.

    Eric Olsen was finally able to speak to this grandmother, quelling his worries. Grandma Claire's pepperoni pizza was "fantastic” and much appreciated.

    Tyler said connecting the two topped every tip he's ever received.

    "Her expression was just priceless," he said. "The way she was like 'Whoa!'"



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    FILEFILE

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    The Federal Drug Administration has issued a blanket warning to consumers to refrain from using homeopathic teethers after receiving reports of the deaths of 10 babies who used those products.

    "I can confirm we have 10 deaths associated with the use of this product... over six years, since 2010," said FDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer. 

    The FDA received information on Sept. 9 that a child had a seizure due to the use of a homeopathic teething product, which triggered the agency investigation that led to the discovery of more than 400 reports of adverse events, including the deaths.

    "The relationship of these deaths to the homeopathic teething products has not yet been determined and is currently under review," Meyer wrote in an email.

    "Our preliminary review shows that these adverse events are similar to those observed in 2010 when the FDA warned of belladonna toxicity associated with Hyland’s Teething Tablets, when we also issued a warning to protect the public health."

    In a Sept. 30 FDA warning about the teethers, the FDA cautioned: "Consumers should seek medical care immediately if their child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using homeopathic teething tablets or gels."

    The blanket warning impacts homeopathic teethers made by various manufacturers, such as Hyland, CVS and Oragel. 

    CVS pulled all of their products voluntarily off of their shelves on Sept. 30 and listed the products types they removed here

    Hyland posted online that it will stop distribution of the products in the United States: "We share with you that we have chosen to discontinue the distribution of our Hyland’s teething medicines in the United States. This decision was made in light of the recent warning issued by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels."

    The adverse data report, which documents the teethers' affects, will be posted online after FDA completes an analysis. 



    Photo Credit: Fabrizio Balestrieri/Getty Images

    Photo of a sleeping baby.Photo of a sleeping baby.

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    Scotland is drawing up plans for a vote on independence from the rest of Britain after its Brexit vote, deepening the political fallout from the U.K.'s decision to quit the European Union, NBC News reported.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Thursday she would publish draft proposals for a new national ballot.

    She told the annual conference of her ruling Scottish National Party that she wanted the bill in place to give her the possibility of calling another referendum before Britain is expected to formally leave the E.U. in March 2019.

    Unlike the British on the whole, Scots rejected independence by 55 to 45 percent in 2014, and opinion polls suggest there is still no clear majority in favor of a split.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    Tens of thousands of people march through central London in a 'March For Europe Event' on July 2, 2016. The march was in protest at the result of the E.U. referendum.Tens of thousands of people march through central London in a 'March For Europe Event' on July 2, 2016. The march was in protest at the result of the E.U. referendum.

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    A U.S. Navy lieutenant commander has pleaded guilty to accepting cash, luxury hotels and prostitutes from foreign defense contractor "Fat Leonard" Francis in exchange for proprietary Navy information, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. 

    Lt. Cmdr. Gentry Debord pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit bribery Thursday before U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino. He was charged in the multi-million dollar Navy bribary case in May. 

    NBC 7 has been following this investigation since September 2013.

    [[232730181,C]]

    Debord admitted he instructed Francis and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), to add charges for fake services into invoices sent to the U.S. Navy; those charges were used to mask the illegal gifts he received in turn. The fraud lasted from November 2007 to January 2013.

    According to his guilty plea, Debord used code language and fake email accounts to communicate with Francis and others involved in the fraud—often referring to prostitutes as "cheesecakes" and "bodyguards" to avoid being caught.

    In one instance, Debord asked for three hotel rooms, two cell phones, a van and $2,000 in Singaporean money from a GDMA executive during a port visit to Singapore. He then told the employee to inflate the charges billed to the U.S. Navy for potable water and trash removal service on a U.S. Navy ship.

    “This conduct is a disgrace to the U.S. Navy and an affront to U.S. taxpayers who were left to foot the bill for parties and prostitutes. We are pressing forward in this investigation until we are certain that all involved have been held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. 

    Sixteen people have been charged during the investigation.

    In 2015, Francis pleaded guilty to bribing senior Navy officials in exchange for specific U.S. Navy warship movements so his company could overbill the Pentagon. Two former executives of his company were also charged for their involvement in the bribery scheme in September 2016.

    Earlier in the year, Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau pleaded guilty to one felony charge in the multi-million dollar bribery scheme. He became the highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer to be charged in the case.

    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 Capt. (Select) Michael Misiewicz, Lt. Cmdr. Todd Malaki, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dan Layug have also pleaded guilty. Layug, Malaki, Dusek and Misiwicz have been sentenced, while Gilbeau, Beliveau, Sanchez, Simpkins and Aruffo await sentencing.

    Retired Capt. Michael Brooks and Cmdr. Bobby Pitts were charged in May, along with Debord. Their cases are pending.

    Debord is scheduled to appear in court for his sentencing on Jan. 13, 2017. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.



    Photo Credit: Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David Didier

    Lt. Gentry Debord gives a report during a vertical replenishment aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex with the Military Sealift Command combat stores ship USNS Niagara Falls. Taken in the South China Sea on Feb. 29, 2008.Lt. Gentry Debord gives a report during a vertical replenishment aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex with the Military Sealift Command combat stores ship USNS Niagara Falls. Taken in the South China Sea on Feb. 29, 2008.

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    In an effort to "expand your mind to new horizons," President Barack Obama offered his list of favorite science-fiction movies and TV shows in Wired magazine. Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" are among his top eight favorites.

    Photo Credit: Warner Brothers

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  • 10/13/16--20:31: Miami's 3rd Zika Zone

  • A new Zika zone has been confirmed in Miami-Dade, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday, within a month of another zone in the county being declared closed.

    The Florida Department of Health discovered that local transmission of Zika is occurring in an area about one square mile, Scott said in a statement. That zone runs from Northwest 79th Street south to Northwest 63rd Street and from Northwest 10th Avenue east to N. Miami Avenue.

    Five people, two women and three men, have tested positive for Zika in the zone, according to the DOH. Four of the cases had already been announced but the investigation into the fifth case was completed Thursday.

    "Today’s announcement of a new area in Miami of ongoing local transmission of the Zika virus underscores the urgent need for federal funding to combat the Zika virus," Scott said in a statement. "It has been two weeks since federal funding to fight Zika was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama. However, Florida has not yet received a dime. We don’t need bureaucratic timelines – we need funding now."

    A second Zika zone in Miami Beach stretches from 8th Street to 63rd Street. The first Zika zone, which was in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood, was lifted last month.

    Federal and state health officials recommend that pregnant woman refrain from traveling to all the Zika zones.

    More than 1,000 cases of Zika have been confirmed in Florida. Officials say 155 of those cases are non-travel related.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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    In this Sept. 2, 2016, file photo, Carlos Varas, a Miami-Dade County mosquito control inspector, walks through the streets looking for places that might hold breeding mosquitos that are carrying the Zika virus.In this Sept. 2, 2016, file photo, Carlos Varas, a Miami-Dade County mosquito control inspector, walks through the streets looking for places that might hold breeding mosquitos that are carrying the Zika virus.

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    For Geno Vento, namesake of Philadelphia's iconic cheesesteak shop and the son of its owner, it's never been about a sign.

    And so, a few weeks ago, Geno, who took over his father's steak shop at 9th and Passyunk in South Philly when Joey Vento died of a heart attack, unceremoniously removed what may be the shop's second most talked about item (after the cheesesteak, of course): a sign that hung for about a decade in the front window of the shop proclaiming, "This is America. When ordering, please speak English."

    When his father put up the sign about 10 years ago, it sparked a massive firestorm, grabbing national headlines and focusing criticism on Joey Vento, the outspoken steak shop owner who opened the shop in 1966 with $6 in his pocket and a $2,000 loan from his father-in-law, for his views.

    But now, five years after his father passed away, Geno Vento wants to set the record straight. In an exclusive interview with NBC10's Keith Jones, Geno talked about why he finally decided to remove the controversial sign from the window at Geno's.

    "It's not about a sign. It's about what you do and what your mark in life is, and I wanna change that mark in life," Geno told Jones, sitting across from him in the shop's construction-cone orange booth in front of a wall of famous people who've visited the shop over the years. "I wanna make Geno's Geno's Steaks different than what my father did. Not saying that was right or wrong, but that wasn't my vision, and I wanna take Geno's to the next level."

    Geno said the sign was taken down unceremoniously weeks ago. It was gone from the storefront before presidential candidate Donald Trump's visit to Geno's in September, he said.

    And even though it was widely believed that his dad's dying wish was to see the sign stay forever, Geno says that's an urban legend as cooked-up as the rib-eye Geno's counter workers sling 24 hours a day.

    His father, although outspoken, cared about people, Geno said.

    "Dad is humanitarian. We do a lot of support with the community, the troops," he said. "He had a big mouth, but not a bad guy."

    In a 2006 interview with NBC10 about the sign — at the height of the controversy — Joey Vento said he didn't intend to remove the sign, although Geno's never turned anybody away.

    "We got troops that get blown up, and here we got this big, bad Joey Vento because he's got the audacity to try to teach people to speak English in America, where the language is English, and if you don't know it, you're not going anywhere," Vento said at the time in his gruff Philly twang. "The bottom line is, nobody's ever been refused."

    Today, Geno said his vision for Geno's Steaks is to keep coming to work every day to put smiles on people's faces.

    "We have all different kinds of customers from all walks of life, from janitors to presidents, come in here," he said. "I'm a people person. I serve everybody ... I'm here to make people happy, and believe it or not, being a cheesesteak in Philadelphia known all over the world. That's amazing."

    He stressed that his dad, despite his big mouth, never intended any harm by hanging the sign.

    "He basically was proud of America and being American, and that's the way he stood," Geno said, flashing his signature grin. "The way I do it is a little differently, you know? I like to hug."



    Photo Credit: NBC10

    Geno Vento holds up the sign that used to hang in the window of his family's cheesesteak shop at 9th and Passyunk in South Philly. The sign sparked a controversy when his father, Joey Vento, first hung it a decade ago.Geno Vento holds up the sign that used to hang in the window of his family's cheesesteak shop at 9th and Passyunk in South Philly. The sign sparked a controversy when his father, Joey Vento, first hung it a decade ago.

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    Two new polls of critical swing states shows mixed fortunes for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as their push for the White House reaches their final few weeks, NBC News reports.

    Clinton leads Trump by four points in North Carolina but trails him by one in Ohio, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls released Thursday.

    In North Carolina, 45 percent of likely voters backed Clinton compared to 41 percent for Trump. In Ohio, Trump's 42-41 percent lead is inside the poll's margin of error, making the state a toss-up.

    For Trump to win the election, he likely needs to sweep North Carolina and Ohio, as well as Florida and Pennsylvania.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are jockeying for support in critical battleground states, including North Carolina and Ohio.Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are jockeying for support in critical battleground states, including North Carolina and Ohio.

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    The roommate of the man suspected of shooting two police officers before being shot and killed by other officers Wednesday night in East Boston is speaking out about the moments leading up to the firefight.

    Diego, an necn employee who moved to Boston just four months ago, said he was sleeping in his room upstairs on Wednesday night when he heard his two roommates arguing.

    The suspect, 33-year-old Kirk Figueroa, was a sworn constable and former Army reservist.

    "The way he put it, he was trying to revolutionize the policing world," Diego said. 

    Additionally, Diego recalls, Figueroa seemed to be racist against white people.

    "Race played a big part in Kirk's life. He would constantly talk down on 'white people,'" Diego said. "When he first moved in, he told me, 'Good thing you're Latino ... I would have a problem if you were a white guy.' He tells me, 'I refuse to have a white person sleeping over my head.'"

    What ended in chaos, with three people lying shot on the floor of his apartment, at first didn't seem like a major incident to Diego.

    "I woke up to them screaming and cursing," he told necn Investigates. "I didn't really think much of it."

    Eventually, he said, the screaming died down and he assumed the argument had ended.

    "Maybe 10 minutes later, I heard knocking on the front door. I opened my room door and police busted down the front door, guns drawn, saying, 'Hands up! Who are you? What are you doing here?'"

    Police said they responded to a 911 call just before 11 p.m. The caller said his roommate, later identified as Figueroa, was threatening him with a knife. 

    Diego said he was taken outside in his underwear, barefoot, and had no idea what was going on.

    Two minutes later, the shooting started.

    Two officers had entered the home and were shot by Figueroa, who was then shot and killed by other officers.

    "It's hard to describe," Diego said. "It all kind of happened so fast. It took a while to sink in. I see they're lying on the floor. You hear all these gun shots, people screaming, 'Shots fired, shots fired.' The radio is going crazy. You see the helicopter.

    "It wasn't until later that I really noticed, I just heard my roommate die. To hear the screams, it's chilling."

    Diego told necn investigates that he believes his roommate "snapped" and might have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Figuero served as an Army reservist from 2003 to 2011 and told his roomates he had an extensive weapons collection.

    The two officers he allegedly shot — Richard Cintolo and Matthew Morris — remain in stable but critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital, but they are expetected to survive.

    Diego said he's still shaken by what happened, but is just grateful that no one else was killed.



    Photo Credit: necn

    Diego, an NBC employee, was roommates with Kirk Figueroa, the man who shot two Boston Police officers on Wednesday night before being shot and killed by other officers.Diego, an NBC employee, was roommates with Kirk Figueroa, the man who shot two Boston Police officers on Wednesday night before being shot and killed by other officers.

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