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US and World News

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    Kerri Strausbaugh, a victim Monday's bloody attack at Ohio State University, was on her way to class that morning when she was suddenly surrounded by people screaming and running for their lives, NBC News reported.

    After turning around to see what was happening, she says she locked eyes with Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the 18-year-old student who attacked several students on the OSU campus. Strausbagh said he told her, "I’m going to kill you," before slashing at her left arm and slicing through her skin.

    She ran away from the attacker, finding safety in a nearby locked computer lab. Once inside, someone used a scarf to create a tourniquet for Strausbaugh’s bloody arm, which needed 12 stitches.



    Photo Credit: AP

    SWAT teams and police respond to reports of an incident on campus at Ohio State University, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.SWAT teams and police respond to reports of an incident on campus at Ohio State University, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.

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    Their attempt was ambitious, but when 4,000 rabbis took the so-called "mannequin challenge," the result was something less than statuesque.

    The rabbis had gathered at their group’s headquarters in Brooklyn for their annual Chabad-Lubavitch conference, also known as “kinus.”

    While taking the time to pose for their annual “class portrait” on Sunday, the group also filmed the thousands of rabbis attempting to do the #MannequinChallenge by standing completely still and in silence.

    "It's hard to get thousands of rabbis to stay still, but we went for it," the organization said in a caption for the video.

    While most participants followed instructions, not everyone complied. One man is seen sitting down in the beginning of the video while several others turn their heads or wave.

    “Stop moving! He’s moving!” one man is heard yelling in the video, which can be seen on the Instagram account @chabadorg.

    NYPD officers working security at the event also participated.

    The gathering of Lubavitch rabbis has tried its hands at social media in years prior. Two years ago, the group took what they claimed to be the “world’s biggest selfie” using a large camera extender and fish-eye lens.

    The rabbis work as emissaries of the Lubavitch sect in over 80 countries around the world, returning to Crown Heights every year for the conference.



    Photo Credit: NBC New York via @chabadorg/Instagram

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    The camera maker plans to reduce its jobs and close its entertainment unit as part of its efforts to turn the company around, CNBC reported.



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

    In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, photo, the Vitrima stereoscopic 3-D lens, by Fantem, for GoPro cameras, is displayed during a preview of products at CE Week in New York.In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, photo, the Vitrima stereoscopic 3-D lens, by Fantem, for GoPro cameras, is displayed during a preview of products at CE Week in New York.

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    Police in Gardner, Kansas expected their trail cameras to take photos of coyotes, foxes and raccoons. They got something much different.

    Officers were contacted about a mountain lion possibly being in the area of Celebration Park. Police said they put out two trail cameras to check for activity.

    "It's not impossible for there to be a mountain lion in this area because there have been reports in the past," said Gardner police Lt. Lee Krout.

    They posted on Facebook that they didn't see a mountain lion, but they did see a white gorilla, a female werewolf, 'bad santa,' among other things.

    "The old lady with the walker and the bow and arrow was really comical," said Krout, who reviewed the trail camera pictures. "I immediately called a couple of other people in the room and said, 'Hey you gotta see this.'"

    They found multiple photos of people dressed in costumes in front of the cameras. "It made me laugh," Krout added.


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    Sarah Palin has been in touch with Trump transition officials about a role with the incoming administration, according to sources close to the former Alaska governor. While there is no confirmation what specific position she might be interested in, her son-in-law has dropped a hint, NBC News reported.

    Dakota Meyer, a Medal of Honor recipient married to Palin's daughter Bristol, posted his appeal on Facebook, including a video that makes a glossy pitch for Palin as an advocate for America's veterans. 

    "Governor Palin has relayed to the Trump transition team her offer to continue helping the next President either in the public or private sector," a Palin adviser said.

    However, Trump transition officials declined to comment on what position, if any, for which Palin might be considered.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa.Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa.

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    The technician who died during the set-up of the Cirque du Soleil show "Luzia" in San Francisco was identified Wednesday by the company as the son of one of the company's founders.

    In a statement, the Montreal-based company said it was "deeply saddened" about the death of Olivier Rochette of Montreal, Quebec, whose father, Gilles Ste-Croix, helped found the company in 1984, which bills itself as "largest theatrical producer in the world."

    Cirque du Soleil performers wow and awe throughout the word with seemingly inhuman acrobatics, dancing and theatrics. Rochette's Facebook page shows what appears to be him standing on top of a huge cliff, his arms outspread to the sky earlier this month.

    "I am heartbroken," Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement. "Olivier has always been a member of our tight-knit family and a truly beloved colleague."

    Just how Rochette died hasn't been fully explained, only that he was struck by a lift about 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday at the AT&T Park show in Lot A at Mission Rock and Third Street.

    Wednesday night's show was canceled, the company said, as was Tuesday night's. The company said it would determine the status of Thursday's show at a later time.

    Cal-OSHA officials were at the scene early Wednesday morning. They have up to six months to complete their investigation, which will study whether the company followed mandatory safety procedures. Cal-OSHA's investigation consists of checks and tests on safety equipment and work equipment as well as ensuring workplace conditions met all safety standards.

    "The Cal-OSHA investigation is a very thorough process involving collection of evidence on scene ... as well as multiple interviews with witnesses, employees and managers," said Julia Bernstein, agency spokeswoman.

    Rochette's was the third death in the Cirque du Soleil family since 2009, according to federal work records and news reports.

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration records, Cirque du Soleil has four violations, including one death, cited in the last five years within the United States.

    The most notable was on June 29, 2013, when Sarah Guillot-Guyard died during a show in Las Vegas. She had fallen 94 feet in front of spectators after the wire attached to her safety harness shredded during the production of "Ka." She was the second death during a Cirque show.

    The first person to die on Cirque's watch was in 2009, the Guardian reported, when Ukrainian acrobat Oleksandr Zhurov, 24, died during a Montreal, Quebec rehearsal.

    And just three days ago in Brisbane, Australia, acrobat Lisa Skinner was hospitalized, when she lost her grip on a ring during a "Kooza" performance, according to Courier Mail.

    The other U.S. violations OSHA has on record occurred in Florida in October, and two others in Nevada, in 2013 and 2014.

    Cirque du Soleil had zero violations in California over the last five years, according to OSHA records.

    Emilia Flockhart was supposed to have attended Tuesday night's show, but couldn't because of the death. She told NBC Bay Area that "people were of course disappointed, but the atmosphere was generally OK and met with understanding."

    [[403841276, C]]



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Facebook
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    Olivier Rochette of Quebec died setting up for the “Luzia” Cirque du Soleil show in San Francisco, Nov. 29, 2016.Olivier Rochette of Quebec died setting up for the “Luzia” Cirque du Soleil show in San Francisco, Nov. 29, 2016.

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    Rogelio Chavez, one of two inmates who escaped from the Santa Clara County Main Jail on Thanksgiving Eve, was taken into custody late Wednesday, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

    Deputies and a SWAT team were searching a home near Coy Park in San Jose when Chavez was nabbed, which comes just after U.S. Marshals on Tuesday night captured 26-year-old Laron Desean Campbell in Antioch.

    The afternoon search comes after U.S. Marshals on Tuesday night captured 26-year-old Laron Desean Campbell in Antioch.
    Both Campbell and Chavez made national news on Nov. 23 about 11 p.m., when they made a daring escape from Santa Clara County Main Jail, using bedsheets to rappel down their second-story jail cell window. Campbell had been held since February 2015 on various charges including robbery, false imprisonment, criminal threats and firearms violations.
    Chavez has the letter B tattooed on the left side of his neck and a wavy line tattooed over his left eye. Chavez had been in jail since Aug. 17 on various charges including burglary, extortion, false imprisonment, resisting arrest, and firearms violations.The afternoon search comes after U.S. Marshals on Tuesday night captured 26-year-old Laron Desean Campbell in Antioch.

    Both Campbell and Chavez made national news on Nov. 23 about 11 p.m., when they made a daring escape from Santa Clara County Main Jail, using bedsheets to rappel down their second-story jail cell window.

    Sources tell NBC Bay Area the search on Coy Road was at the home of a "known associate" of Chavez. Sources also said tear gas was used during the search.

    The capture of Campbell on Tuesday night came hours after Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies swarmed an east San Jose neighborhood in the afternoon looking for one of the inmates— it wasn't immediately clear if that search was for Campbell or Chavez. On Sunday, deputies swarmed a Gilroy Days Inn, hoping to find Chavez, which they didn't.

    Campbell had been held since February 2015 on various charges including robbery, false imprisonment, criminal threats and firearms violations.

    Chavez had been in jail since Aug. 17 on various charges including burglary, extortion, false imprisonment, resisting arrest, and firearms violations.



    Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office
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    Rogelio ChavezRogelio Chavez

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    Protesters marched through the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, Wednesday night, angered by the news that the officer who fatally shot a black man will not face charges, NBC News reported. 

    Warnings of powerful thunderstorms in the area did not deter protesters, who gathered outside of the city's police headquarters. Flanked by officers on bicycle patrol, nearly a hundred people marched through the streets of Uptown Charlotte chanting "No Justice, No Peace!" and "Tell the truth and stop the lies, Keith Scott didn't have to die."

    Several members of the local clergy also marched in the crowd asking protesters to remain peaceful. One chanted "The blood of Jesus" over and again.

    Despite the anger that rippled through small pockets of the crowd, protests remained peaceful. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police tweeted that three protesters had been arrested for obstructing traffic.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File

    In this Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 file photo, protesters shout as they march in the streets of Charlotte, N.C., to protest the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.In this Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 file photo, protesters shout as they march in the streets of Charlotte, N.C., to protest the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

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    Colombia's Congress approved a new peace deal with FARC rebels late on Wednesday, despite objections from former President and now Senator Alvaro Uribe, who said it was still too lenient on the insurgents who have battled the government for 52 years, NBC News reported. 

    The agreement was approved in the lower house by 130-0, a day after the Senate ratified it 75-0. Lawmakers from Uribe's Democratic Center party left the floors of both houses in protest just before voting began.

    The new agreement to end Latin America's longest insurgency was put together in just over a month after the original pact — which allowed the rebels to hold public office and skip jail — was narrowly and unexpectedly defeated in an Oct. 2 referendum.

    The government and FARC worked together in Cuba for four years to negotiate an end to the region's longest-running conflict that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions in the Andean nation.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ivan Valencia

    In this Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, photo, women hug during a rally in support of the peace process with rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, a few blocks from the venue where Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and top FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono signed a revised peace pact, in Bogota, Colombia. An original accord ending the half century conflict was rejected by voters in a referendum last month.In this Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, photo, women hug during a rally in support of the peace process with rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, a few blocks from the venue where Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and top FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono signed a revised peace pact, in Bogota, Colombia. An original accord ending the half century conflict was rejected by voters in a referendum last month.

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    California state assemblyman Matt Dababneh worked to raise money to replace the specialized wheelchairs designed for children and adults with disabilities after they were stolen from a nonprofit's warehouse in Van Nuys, Los Angeles.

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    Country music icon Dolly Parton is pitching in to help the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up.

    The fires have killed at least seven people and another six are still missing, NBC News reported. 

    “I’ve always believed that charity begins at home,” Parton said in a video, announcing that she will provide $1,000 a month for six months to displaced families affected by the deadly fires in the area. Her Dollywood Foundation has established the My People Fund and she invited fans to donate to it online.

    “I know it’s been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help,” she added. 

    Approximately 300 buildings have been destroyed in Gatlinburg and 14,000 people had been forced to flee their homes, according to The Associated Press.

    Many families are still separated and have not heard from their loved ones. Wolf McLellan, who was staying at a nearby motel, lost his dog, Kylie, to the disaster.

    "She was too scared to move with the smoke and sirens and she just stood there. I didn't want to drag her. I couldn't drag her," he told the AP. "I figured the humane thing to do would be to just cut her loose."

    Meanwhile, first responders, some of whom have been personally affected by the fires, are conducting a search and rescue mission. While they’ve found bodies, they’ve also been able to rescue people who were initially unable to evacuate.

    Parton lauded organizations like the Red Cross for their efforts in Gatlinburg this week. “The support, as always, has been overwhelming,” she said. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images for Webster PR
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    Dolly Parton talks about her 2016 North American tour on March 8, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee.Dolly Parton talks about her 2016 North American tour on March 8, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee.

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    "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" have been pulled from shelves in one Virginia school district following complaints from a parent.

    Photo Credit: WAVY-TV

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    Hundreds of people gathered in Miami Wednesday for a rally to call for liberty and democracy in Cuba following the death of Fidel Castro.

    Cuban exiles in South Florida have been anticipating Castro's death for years and have been celebrating since it was announced over the weekend.

    Wednesday's gathering began at 5 p.m., with the crowd descending on the Bay of Pigs Memorial on 8th Street and 13th Avenue in Little Havana.

    "The message is clear. We want freedom for Cuba. We are not happy about death per se, we are happy that the symbol in Cuba of Fidel Castro, dictator, assassin, totalitarian, is over," rally attendee Odalys Fuentes said.

    Attendees waved Cuban flags, danced to Cuban music and listened to speeches.

    Those who fought against Castro's regime said they want to show a more serious tone about how they were impacted by his dictatorship.

    "We are going to talk specifically about what this means now and what this means for the future," organizer Humberto Arguelles said.

    They called for change on the island and don't want any violence, just to get their message across. That message: join the fight for freedom and put pressure on the Cuban government.

    "That is why it is so important that the young people are there because we were able to be lucky enough to have that freedom and grow up with it and it's more important especially to me and Ray the same young people in Cuba can't have those freedoms," organizer Claudia De La Vega said.

    Some vendors set up shop and were selling items like Cuban flags and bandannas.



    Photo Credit: Steve Paine/NBC 6

    The crowd gathers for the Cuban Unity Rally in Little Havana.The crowd gathers for the Cuban Unity Rally in Little Havana.

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    The widow of American gonzo journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson is working with a company to clone, grow and sell a strain from the writer's personal marijuana stash, CNBC reported.

    "I am in the process of making the strains available to those who would like to enjoy the authentic Gonzo strains in legal states," Anita Thompson, who married Hunter in 2003, said in a Facebook post.

    She told The Aspen Times that proceeds from the sales would go toward renovating Hunter's 42-acre Owl Farm property in Colorado and turning it into a private museum and writer's retreat.

    The recreational use of pot has been legalized in some form in eight states and Washington, D.C. Hunter S. Thompson died in 2005 of what was ruled a self-inflicted gunshot wound at Owl Farm.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    American gonzo journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson died on February 20, 2005, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.American gonzo journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson died on February 20, 2005, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

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    The engineer who nodded off at the controls of a Metro-North train just before it derailed in the Bronx in 2013, killing four people and injuring more than 70 others, is suing the railroad for $10 million.

    Attorneys for William Rockefeller filed the suit in federal court on Thursday morning, alleging that the railroad acted negligently by not providing mechanisms that would automatically slow trains as they approached a dangerous curve near the Spuyten Duyvil station or an alerter to keep an engineer in the control cab alert before the Dec. 1, 2013, crash. 

    The suit also alleged that the railroad has a "'deficient safety culture' that prizes on-time performance at the expense of protecting riders and workers."

    The suit also states that Rockefeller sustained several "permanently disabling injuries" including a torn labrum on his left shoulder, compression to his left acromioclavicular joint and post-traumatic stress disorder. The suit alleges that the injuries have caused Rockefeller to lose past and future wages.

    Through a spokesman, Metro-North said it does not comment on pending litigation.

    Rockefeller's sleepiness was due to a combination of an undiagnosed disorder — sleep apnea — and a drastic shift in his work schedule, the National Transportation Board determined. The agency said the railroad lacked a policy to screen engineers for sleep disorders, which contributed to the crash. According to the NTSB, had a system been in place to automatically apply the brakes when an engineer nods off, the crash would have been avoided.

    The acting head of the NTSB at the time the report came out called the deaths and injuries "preventable," and politicians, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat from Connecticut, slammed the MTA, which runs Metro-North, and said it had "blood on its hands."

    Rockefeller wasn't charged in the crash.



    Photo Credit: AP, File

    In this Dec. 1, 2013 file photo, Metro North Railroad engineer William Rockefeller is wheeled on a stretcher away from the area where the commuter train he was operating derailed in the Bronx.In this Dec. 1, 2013 file photo, Metro North Railroad engineer William Rockefeller is wheeled on a stretcher away from the area where the commuter train he was operating derailed in the Bronx.

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    Ahead of the one year anniversary of the deadly terror attacks in San Bernardino that claimed the lives of 14, the husband of one of the victims described raising their son as a single parent.

    James Godoy's son Alexander goes by the nickname Xander, and he looks almost exactly like his mom Aurora.

    James said this makes many days difficult. It's the reason why James often can't look at his son without thinking of her.

    Aurora Godoy was an office assistant for the San Bernardino County Department of Health. On December 2, 2015, she was killed along with 13 coworkers in the terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center.

    This Friday marks one year since the massacre, and James and other victims and their family members will that day attend a private luncheon to remember the 14 innocent lives that were taken.

    Aurora, 26, was the most caring person James has ever known.

    "When we were in school, she would go above what was probably expected," James said.

    Yet, despite losing his wife, James said he can't live with a negative attitude.

    "I think when you've been through something like that, it changes the way you think," James said. "I'm more of a positive person so I try to be as positive as possible."

    Alexander turns 3 in January. When the time comes, he will find the inner strength to tell Xander what happened to his mom.

    He even feels some compassion and concern for the orphaned daughter of the shooter, who is just a little younger than his son Xander.

    "Because when you go to school someone is going to be like, 'Oh, you're so-and-so?' And I'm sure that could be bad as far as bullying for that kid when they get older," James said.

    James is hoping that doesn't happen. He's also hoping a positive attitude will help guide his son toward a good life.

    "I think he's going to be a good person and I want him to be a good person," James said. "I think he's going to be successful at whatever he does."



    Photo Credit: Godoy Family

    Ahead of the San Bernardino terror attacks that left James Godoy's wife Aurora dead, he talks about raising their baby boy who looks just like his mother. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016.)Ahead of the San Bernardino terror attacks that left James Godoy's wife Aurora dead, he talks about raising their baby boy who looks just like his mother. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016.)

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    Kitkat and Aero bar maker Nestle said it has found a new way to reduce sugar by up to 40 percent without affecting the taste of its products, Reuters reported.

    Nestle said the process works by changing the structure of sugar particles so each dissolves faster on the tongue.

    Nestle said it would begin to use the new sugar in 2018.



    Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

    A file photo of KitKats.A file photo of KitKats.

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    President-elect Donald Trump starts his victory tour at a Carrier plant in Indiana on Dec. 1, 2016, celebrating Carrier's decision to keep a thousand jobs slated for Mexico within the United States.

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    An ailing Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was evacuated from the South Pole to New Zealand where he was in a hospital on Friday in stable condition.

    Aldrin, 86, was visiting Antarctica as a tourist when he fell ill. He was flown to Christchurch from McMurdo Station, a U.S. research center on the Antarctic coast.

    Tour company White Desert said Aldrin has fluid in his lungs, but was responding well to antibiotics. He'll remain hospitalized overnight for observation. His manager Christina Korp, who accompanied him, said he was in good spirits.

    On Twitter, she said the past 24 hours had been grueling. She posted side-by-side photos of Aldrin — one on a stretcher giving a thumbs-up with a purple knit cap on his head, another in a hospital bed, on oxygen and with an IV in his left arm.

    Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first men on the moon, on July 20, 1969. Armstrong died in 2012.

    Just three weeks ago, Aldrin was at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the unveiling of a new astronaut exhibit. The ceremony coincided with the 50th anniversary of his launch with Jim Lovell on Gemini 12, the last of the two-man Gemini flights. Both were present and looked as energetic as usual.

    Aldrin has crisscrossed the globe in recent months and years, pushing hard for human exploration of Mars and promoting space and science education. His latest book, "No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man who Walked on the Moon," came out in April. And year, he teamed up with Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, now home to the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute. Aldrin lives in nearby Satellite Beach, Florida, not far from Cape Canaveral and its launch pads.

    "We wish Buzz a speedy recovery," the London-based White Desert said in a statement.

    Aldrin was part of an Antarctica sightseeing tour, along with son Andrew. The elder Aldrin was clearly excited about his adventure to the bottom of the world: "South Pole here I come!" he said via Twitter on Nov. 28. The group departed Tuesday from Cape Town, South Africa, on a trip that was supposed to last just over a week. Doctors agreed an evacuation was prudent after Aldrin's condition deteriorated, according to his staff in Florida.

    The National Science Foundation helped provide the air lift via a ski-equipped LC-130 cargo plane from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station to McMurdo, and then on to New Zealand on another plane.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    Buzz Aldrin, former NASA Astronaut and Apollo 11 pilot, adjusts his glasses as he arrives to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, before the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness hearing on human exploration goals and commercial space competitiveness.Buzz Aldrin, former NASA Astronaut and Apollo 11 pilot, adjusts his glasses as he arrives to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, before the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness hearing on human exploration goals and commercial space competitiveness.

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    Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tom Carper are pressing the government to explain how Donald Trump's federal lease to operate a luxury hotel near the White House can go forward despite what they call the "unmanageable conflicts of interest" presented by the president becoming his own landlord — as well as a provision that bans government officials from the deal.

    The two Democrats sent a letter Thursday to the General Services Administration, which in 2013 awarded a lease to the Trump organization to redevelop and run a hotel in the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue, NBC News reported.

    Trump committed $200 million to transform the historic building into a hotel, and in return received the exclusive rights to run the hotel and keep the profits for a period of at least 60 years.

    While Trump has said he will hand off control of his real estate empire to his children, he has not said whether he will transfer ownership.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (File photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (File photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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