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US and World News

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    In NBC News' updated presidential battleground map, Hillary Clinton has 274 electoral votes in her column -- which is more than the 270 needed to win the presidency, but it's down from where it was last month (at 287). Meanwhile, Donald Trump's electoral-vote total has grown to 180, up from 157 in mid-October. And we have 84 electoral votes in the Tossup column.

    The big changes here: We moved Georgia, Iowa, and Maine's 2nd Congressional District from Tossup to Lean GOP; we moved Nevada from Tossup to Lean Dem; and we moved both New Hampshire and North Carolina from Lean Dem back to Tossup. We attribute these changes to the natural tightening of the race, with Republican voters coming back home to Trump. But we will continue to watch any fallout from last Friday's Comey news.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally and concert at The Manor Complex in Wilton Manors, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally and concert at The Manor Complex in Wilton Manors, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.

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    With the general election less than one week away, early voting has nearly doubled this year, in comparison to to the 2012 election, NBC News reported.

    In 2012, one week ahead of the election, about 13.5 million voters had cast early ballots. This year, the number has surpassed 26 million.

    In 12 battleground states, there have been 12,602,929 ballots cast. Eight million had been cast in these same states ahead of the 2012 election.

    While the increase in early voting isn’t totally unexpected given the attention that’s been put on the election, the increase is significant.  



    Photo Credit: Getty/NBC Universal

    Republican Donald Trump (L) and Democrat Hillary Clinton.Republican Donald Trump (L) and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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    A Boca Raton woman who gave birth inside her car on a hospital parking lot is being billed a delivery room fee even though she never made it into the delivery room.

    It wasn't the way Paula D'Amore and her husband planned on bringing her baby into the world.

    "We drove up, my husband ran out and I said she's crowning and her head came out," D'Amore told NBC affiliate WPTV.

    D'Amore said her husband caught the baby's head and nurses ran out to help with the rest of the delivery. Baby Daniella was born in a Jeep Grand Cherokee in the fire lane outside Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

    Seven months later, the family says it received a bill for more than $7,000, which included the delivery room charge.

    "I knew that I was responsible for the $5,000 deductible. I get it, I'm going to pay the bill, that's not the issue, the issue is that I'm like, I look at this delivery charge and I think that's a little outrageous," said D'Amore.

    The mother said she planned for the birthing costs, but thought that since she never made it to the delivery room, the hospital would adjust the bill. D'Amore noted she did deliver the placenta in the hospital.

    A spokesperson for Boca Raton Regional Hospital told WPTV the administration has no comment at this time.

    Thomas Chakurda, the hospital's vice president for marketing, told the Sun Sentinel in an emailed statement that Boca Regional has reviewed D'Amore's concerns, and deemed the billing was suitable.

    "The hospital appropriately bills for the medical services and care it provides and has determined that the level of care provided and billing were appropriate in this instance," Chakurda said.

    D'Amore argues the hospital is "basically saying that everything was billed appropriately."

    She says she is going to pay the bill even though it says the baby was delivered in the car prior to arrival.



    Photo Credit: WPTV

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    Facebook reported quarterly earnings and revenue Wednesday that beat analyst expectations, as it added more users than Wall Street expected, CNBC reported.

    The social media giant posted adjusted earnings of $1.09 per share on revenue of $7.01 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 97 cents per share, adjusted, on $6.92 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

    "We had another good quarter," Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a release. "We're making progress putting video first across our apps and executing our 10 year technology roadmap."

    Monthly active users rose to 1.79 billion, above the more than 1.75 billion expected. For the first time, more than 1 billion users were active on their phones every month.

    But even so, shares of the stock fell more than 1 percent after hours.



    Photo Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking during the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2016 event in Barcelona, Spain. Some of Zuckerberg's neighbors are grumbling about a rock wall he's having built on his property on Kauai's north shore. Retiree Moku Crain said June 28, 2016, the wall looks daunting and forbidding. Crain hopes and expects Zuckerberg will soften the wall's look by planting foliage around it. It runs along the property next to a road in the semi-rural community of Kilauea.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking during the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2016 event in Barcelona, Spain. Some of Zuckerberg's neighbors are grumbling about a rock wall he's having built on his property on Kauai's north shore. Retiree Moku Crain said June 28, 2016, the wall looks daunting and forbidding. Crain hopes and expects Zuckerberg will soften the wall's look by planting foliage around it. It runs along the property next to a road in the semi-rural community of Kilauea.

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    Sofya Tsygankova, the wife of internationally renowned pianist Vadym Kholodenko, has been declared unfit to stand trial in the March slayings of the couple's two young daughters.

    According to court documents, Dr. Barry Norman, completed a competency evaluation and found Tsygankova unfit to stand trial.

    Kholodenko, a Ukrainian-born, Cliburn competition winner who plays with the Fort Worth Symphony, arrived March 17 at the suburban Fort Worth home of his estranged wife to find her in distress and his children, 1-year-old Michaela Kholodenko and 5-year-old Nika Kholodenko, dead.

    Tsygankova was charged with suffocating the children and has pleaded not guilty.

    The court found, however, that Tsygankova could, with proper care and treatment, obtain competency and be able to understand the proceedings against her and have sufficient ability to consult with her attorney.

    The court believes Tsygankova does pose a danger to others and may not safely be treated on an outpatient basis. She has been ordered transferred to a maximum security unit of a State Mental Health Facility for a 120-day treatment program.

    At the completion of the program she'll be returned to Tarrant County and will undergo further evaluation for competency.

    Prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty against Tsygankova.

    Incompetency Ruling



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Sofya Tsygankova walks into her arraignment hearing in a Tarrant County courtroom, March 23, 2016.Sofya Tsygankova walks into her arraignment hearing in a Tarrant County courtroom, March 23, 2016.

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    A day after Iraq said its forces had re-entered the last ISIS-held city in the country, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi emerged Wednesday with a statement calling on supporters to spread their attacks to other countries, NBC News reported.

    The 30-minute message, titled "This Is What Allah and His Messenger Had Promised Us," was the first official statement from the terrorist leader since last December.

    With Iraqi special forces having advanced Tuesday into Mosul, al-Baghdadi sought to portray gains by the anti-ISIS coalition as a victory, contending that the sheer number of forces opposing ISIS proves just how strong it really is, according to an analysis by Flashpoint Intelligence, a global security firm and NBC News consultant.



    Photo Credit: Militant video via AP File

    This image made from video posted on a militant website Saturday, July 5, 2014, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq.This image made from video posted on a militant website Saturday, July 5, 2014, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq.

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    A tweet that was first published in 2014 has resurfaced Wednesday, leaving fans of both the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs speechless.

    The tweet not only predicted that the Cubs and the Indians would be in the World Series, and that the game would go to Game 7, but it also predicted it would be tied in extra innings. The tweet ended with #apocalypse. 

    It's time stamp sat at 11:23 a.m., Nov. 4, 2014. 

    As of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Cubs-Indians World Series Game 7 sat tied 6-6 in the ninth inning. 

    It's not clear who exactly runs the account or what prompted the prediction two years ago. 

    "2016 World Series. Cubs vs Indians," the tweet reads. "And then the world will end with the score tied in game seven in extra innings #apocalypse."

    It's not the first eerie prediction to surface this World Series. 

    A quote from a Cubs fan published in a 1993 high school yearbook predicted a 2016 Cubs World Series win. 

    The Cubs went on to beat the Indians to capture their first World Series title in 108 years. 



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

    A Chicago Cubs celebrates during the eighth inning of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland.A Chicago Cubs celebrates during the eighth inning of Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Cleveland.

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    A record number of people are expected to fly during the 12 days surrounding Thanksgiving, taking advantage of air carriers’ low fares, NBC News reported.

    Airlines for America, an industry trade group, estimated that air travel worldwide will soar to 27.3 million people on domestic airlines. That means an average of 2.27 million people every day, up 2.5 percent from 2015.

    The peak years for Thanksgiving travel in the past are believed to have been 2006 and 2007, when 26.2 million people flew on U.S. airlines each year.

    The Sunday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest day for air travel that weekend.


    Air travel is expected to hit a record 27.3 million people this Thanksgiving.Air travel is expected to hit a record 27.3 million people this Thanksgiving.

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    U.S. Coast Guard crews rescued four fisherman early Thursday morning after their boat caught fire and exploded near St. Simons Island Sound, Georgia – just north of Jacksonville, Florida.

    A Coast Guard vessel located and rescued the crew and their dog from the 58-foot fishing vessel Predator, officials said in a news release.

    Coast Guard authorities received a mayday call from the fishing vessel crew at 3:53 a.m. saying their vessel had caught fire, and they were abandoning ship. Crews launched and located the vessel. The fishermen were rescued at 4:25 a.m. and taken to the Coast Guard station where emergency medical services were waiting.

    The crew sustained minor injuries but were reported to be in good condition. An urgent marine broadcast is being issued, warning other mariners of debris and hazards in the area, Coast Guard officials said.

    The cause of the fire in under investigation.



    Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

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    The commute in Center City, Philadelphia, is downright ghoulish thanks to the SEPTA strike.

    But there is a friendly "ghost bus" making the rounds to whisk commuters to and from downtown locations and stops in the city's outer-neighborhoods.

    Normally commissioned by Eastern State Penitentiary, the bus is now part of a shuttle service for a group of businesses, hotels and Temple University to transport employees during the strike of the transit authority's 4,700 bus, trolley and subway drivers inside city boundaries.

    "It is one of ours. We have joined a local consortium of organizations and businesses to provide transportation to our staff, faculty and students, as long as they have proper identification," Temple spokesman Brandon Lausch said Wednesday.

    Temple's shuttle service (here's a link to their routes) joins a robust service that the City of Philadelphia is also providing its employees through the city Office of Emergency Management.

    More than 1,400 city workers and jurors were transported by the city's shuttle service Tuesday, day one of the strike, according to OEM spokeswoman Noelle Foizen.

    On the morning of day two, Foizen said 909 employees and jurors were transported.

    "We expect increased ridership this evening," she said.

    The city service includes four free shuttle loops along the Broad Street and Market-Frankford transit lines, with 12 buses and six vans continuously running during the morning and evening commute.

    The same goes for the Temple/local business service: buses run from 6-11 a.m. and 3-10 p.m.

    Foizen did not say how much the bus service was costing the city.

    "We will have better numbers for the total operation post-strike based on length of activation," she said. 



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

    Normally commissioned by Eastern State Penitentiary, the Normally commissioned by Eastern State Penitentiary, the "ghost bus" is now part of a shuttle service for a group of businesses, hotels and Temple University to transport employees during the SEPTA strike.

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    Donald Trump has stayed on message in recent days — and is revealing why. Trump opened his rally in Pensacola, Florida Wednesday night by predicting victory and then mimicked his aides. " 'Stay on point, Donald,' Stay on point,' " he teasingly quoted his staff as saying. " 'No sidetracks, Donald. Nice and easy. Nice and easy.' " Trump has not taken the bait in recent days as Democrats have tried to once again put this treatment of women at the center of his campaign. He has not addressed the matter, instead focusing on criticisms of The Affordable Care Act and the investigation into Clinton's private email server.

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    A poll worker was injured after he picked up a campaign sign on Collin College's Plano campus that had box-cutter blades attached to it.

    Photo Credit: Collin College

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    Police are searching for a suspect who attached sharp blades to a Donald Trump campaign sign that was posted on a North Texas college campus.

    School officials say an election worker was at the Spring Creek Campus of Collin College in Plano early Tuesday morning when he noticed the Trump campaign sign blocking the official polling site sign.

    The worker tried to re-position the sign to its correct location, but when he picked it up his hands were cut by box-cutter blades attached to the sign.

    The cuts were minor, so he treated the wounds himself and did not seek medical attention.

    "The safety of our campus is of the utmost importance, so the incident was reported to the campus police and the Texas Rangers for investigation," said Lisa Vasquez, public relations spokesperson for Collin College. "All campaign signs on the college’s campuses are being inspected, and any sharps found on signage will be removed. The college will be working with local election officials and both political parties to ensure safety."



    Photo Credit: Collin College

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    The Atlanta Zoo announced on Tuesday that its giant panda, Lun Lun, gave birth to twin cubs. The pandas are now nearly 2 months old and weigh more than four pounds. They are expected to make their debut at the Atlanta Zoo in December or January and, in accordance with the Chinese tradition, the twins will be named on Dec. 12, which is 100 days after they were born.

    Photo Credit: AP

    This undated photo provided by Zoo Atlanta on Nov. 1, 2016, shows twin panda cubs born at the zoo on Sept. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. Atlanta's zoo has revealed that each of its giant panda twins born nearly two months ago is female.This undated photo provided by Zoo Atlanta on Nov. 1, 2016, shows twin panda cubs born at the zoo on Sept. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. Atlanta's zoo has revealed that each of its giant panda twins born nearly two months ago is female.

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    See all the newest arrivals at zoos around the world. Baby lions, tigers and bears step into the spotlight.

    Photo Credit: AP

    This undated photo provided by Zoo Atlanta on Nov. 1, 2016, shows twin panda cubs born at the zoo on Sept. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. Atlanta's zoo has revealed that each of its giant panda twins born nearly two months ago is female.This undated photo provided by Zoo Atlanta on Nov. 1, 2016, shows twin panda cubs born at the zoo on Sept. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. Atlanta's zoo has revealed that each of its giant panda twins born nearly two months ago is female.

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    A wild panda trapped in a river was successfully saved after a three-hour rescue in Wolong National Nature Reserve in southwest China. A few hours later the panda was lifted up and pulled back to the bank. After some examinations, the female panda was found to be unscathed and was released back to the wild.

    Photo Credit: APTN

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    Two baby elephants born at The Prague Zoo have gone on public display.

    Photo Credit: APTN

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    Russia is accused of organizing political cyberattacks in the United States ahead of Election Day, but Kremlin-linked hackers have been accused before of trying to influence voters in other countries, NBC News reports.

    Hackers attempted to hijack an election in Ukraine in 2014, shutting down its Central Election Commission just before the vote. Pro-Russian hacktivist group CyberBerkut claimed responsibility.

    A Ukrainian official investigating the incident told NBC News on condition of anonymity that more malware was found in the election commission's system, and it was traced to a group linked to the recent hacks in the U.S, known as APT28 or Fancy Bears.

    U.S. officials have said a cache of stolen emails later released by WikiLeaks is an unprecedented attempt by the Russian government to undermine trust in the election.



    Photo Credit: AP, File

    A Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016 file screenshot of the Fancy Bears website fancybear.net seen on a computes screen in Moscow, Russia.A Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016 file screenshot of the Fancy Bears website fancybear.net seen on a computes screen in Moscow, Russia.

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    A North Carolina man drove to his father's grave in Indiana to keep a decades-old promise to his dad: listening to Game 7 of the World Series together.

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    An Indiana community comes together to stage a second Halloween for a little girl who missed trick-or-treating when she was bitten by a dog. The power of social media helped the girl get the Halloween she deserved.

    Photo Credit: WTHR-TV

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