<![CDATA[NBC New York - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpgNBC New Yorkhttp://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usSun, 30 Apr 2017 00:08:31 -0400Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:08:31 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Trump Versus the World: An Overview]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 15:09:21 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-654571120.jpg

Since taking office in January, President Donald Trump's administration has been associated with one foreign country in particular, Russia. U.S. intelligence officials say President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election, to denigrate Hillary Clinton and then to help Trump's chances. Trump denies any wrongdoing, while the FBI and Congress investigate his administration's contacts with Russia.

Meanwhile Trump has flirted with upending U.S. foreign policy, threatening to declare China a currency manipulator and to pull out of NAFTA, for example, questioning the one-China policy under which the United States recognizes China and not Taiwan and backing off a U.S. commitment to the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In the end, though, Trump has often reverted to traditional policies. His supporters say he is scrutinizing foreign agreements with the goal of benefitting Americans, but critics say the uncertainty is unsettling to allies and unproductive.

Here are some of the more significant interactions between the Trump administration and world leaders over international issues.



Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[From Spicey to Kush: 'SNL's' First 100 Days of Trump]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:31:37 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SNL_Trump.jpg

There have been seven episodes of “Saturday Night Live” during the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the program’s been handed plenty of material by the administration, from the president’s tweeting and press secretary Sean Spicer’s gaffes to Stephen Bannon’s perceived influence behind-the-scenes and Jared Kushner’s sunglasses-and-blazer fashion statement in Iraq.

The most consistent "SNL" target is the president himself, played by Alec Baldwin on five of the seven episodes.

When Trump's travel ban got stymied in the courts, "SNL's" Trump took his case to "The People's Court." On another episode, Baldwin's Trump spoke to supporters worried about their jobs by comparing his followers to people who "find a finger in their chili" but eat it anyway. After Trump wore a flight jacket while speaking to members of the Navy, "SNL" parodied the commander in chief by having Baldwin give a less-than-inspirational speech during an alien invasion. 

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Baldwin also branched out, playing both Trump and ousted Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on a split screen in a "No Spin Zone" segment.

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The response to Baldwin’s version of Trump has been, on average, favorable. Trump, who hosted NBC's "SNL" during the campaign, has been quiet about the impression since he took office. But before his inauguration, Trump argued that Baldwin's send-up “stinks.”

"He's gone from funny to mean and that's unfortunate," Spicer told "Extra" back in February. "'Saturday Night Live' used to be really funny and I think there's a streak of meanness now that they've kind of crossed over into." 

Of course, audiences became familiar with Baldwin’s Trump long before the inauguration — he’d been making "SNL" appearances since before the election, facing off as a presidential candidate in debates with Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton.

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Baldwin's parody had become a mainstay by the time the real Trump took office.

Melissa McCarthy, not Baldwin, became the surprising breakout star of the first 100 days of "SNL’s" Trump administration in playing Spicer.

McCarthy first showed up, unannounced, on the Feb. 4 episode to riff on Spicer’s first press conference, during which the public face of the White House took an adversarial stance toward the press corps. 

Spicer had scolded the media for “deliberately false reporting.” One instance referred to an incorrect tweet from a pool reporter that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. It hadn't, and the reporter had apologized. Spicer also criticized reports on Trump's inauguration crowd size.

On "SNL," McCarthy played up Spicer’s defensive stance. 

“Now I’d like to begin today by apologizing — on behalf of you, to me, for how you have treated me these last two weeks. And that apology is not accepted. Because I’m not here to be your buddy. I’m here to swallow gum, and I’m here to take names,” she said, the gum being a reference to Spicer’s reported fondness for downing pieces of Orbit

She ended the press conference by shooting a reporter with a water gun for asking about the White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that didn’t mention Jews.

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Real-life Spicer responded to the portrayal in an interview later with "Extra." He said it was funny, but over-exaggerated — presumably what "SNL" was going for. He offered some seemingly good-natured advice for McCarthy, suggesting she tone it down on the gum.

McCarthy returned for her second of three appearances the following week. “I have been told that I am going to cut back on the gum chewing, so I’ve cut back to one slice a day,” she said, just before pulling out a giant stick of gum. This time she used a leaf-blower on a reporter in response to a question about the president’s statements on Chicago’s murder rate. “That was me blowing away their dishonesty,” she said.

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Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, said it’s unusual that the press secretary would become the central person in the comic pantheon of an administration. But in Spicer's case it was “inevitable,” he said. That's because Spicer appears on television every weekday, then his performance is aired and re-aired and repackaged by networks, cable news and late-night shows. 

McCarthy’s third Spicer spoof came the Saturday after the real Spicer made an inaccurate, off-base remark on Passover in which he suggested Hitler never used chemical weapons on his own people. He’d been trying to highlight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inhumanity.

Spicer tried to clarify his intentions throughout the day but kept flubbing it, referring to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers.” By the evening he admitted to his mistake and asked for forgiveness.

McCarthy appeared that week as Spicer in an Easter Bunny costume. Not only was it the night before Easter Sunday, but Spicer had previously played the role of Easter Bunny at the White House Easter Egg Roll during the George W. Bush administration. 

"SNL's" Easter Bunny begrudgingly admitted that she’d done wrong.

“You all got your wish this week,” she snarled. “Spicey finally made a mistake.” She clarified that she of course meant to say “concentration clubs,” not Holocaust centers then climbed into a car shaped like an Easter egg shell and crashed it into her podium.

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There have been other standout Trump administration characters since Jan. 21.

The makeup department transformed Kate McKinnon into Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was portrayed as Forrest Gump, offering chocolates to passengers waiting at a bus stop and occasionally making unsolicited confessions about his meetings with Russians. This came after the revelation that the newly appointed attorney general had neglected to let lawmakers know during his confirmation hearing that he had met with Russia's top diplomat during the Trump campaign when he was a prominent adviser.

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Early into the first 100 days, McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway “Fatal Attraction”-style in an attempt to get CNN's Jake Tapper to give her airtime. The "SNL" sketch came after CNN reconsidered its booking of Conway over credibility issues. “You don’t get it, Kellyanne. You made up a massacre. We can’t have you on,” Beck Bennett said as Tapper.

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Other characters, whose roles in the administration’s first 100 days have been more behind-the-scenes, made recurring appearances on "SNL."

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president and possible election-meddler, was played week-after-week by a greased-up, shirtless Bennett. 

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Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon was portrayed as a grim reaper/puppet-master figure at the helm of the Resolute desk. Baldwin's Trump, by contrast, was relegated to a kiddie desk.

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But with Bannon's perceived influenced waning by April amid reports of a West Wing power struggle, "SNL" had Baldwin's Trump choose son-in-law Jared Kushner in a reality show-style showdown over who would occupy the Resolute desk.   

Jimmy Fallon, who played Kushner while hosting "SNL" on April 15, stayed mum and wore a stylish outfit underneath a flak jacket, in a mocking reference to the real Kushner's visit with ground troops in Iraq.

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Then, there was the pre-taped commercial parody for a fictional Ivanka Trump (played by host Scarlett Johansson) fragrance called “Complicit.” CBS' Gayle King referenced the sketch while asking the real Ivanka Trump whether she felt “complicit” with what happened in the White House. Ivanka Trump replied that, "If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit." 

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If Ivanka Trump's reaction to "SNL's" ribbing was lukewarm, Spicer has seemed to take McCarthy’s jabs in stride. He was seen wearing an Easter bunny necktie during the press briefing the Monday after the Easter bunny episode aired.

President Trump hasn't shown the same penchant to laugh at himself. 

That contrasts with former President Gerald Ford, who wrote the book on humor and the presidency. 

Ford was repeatedly lampooned as an oafish klutz by Chevy Chase on "SNL" in the 1970s, in the program’s earliest days. Ford responded by making a cameo on "SNL". 

Ford reflected in his book “Humor and the Presidency” that, “It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a measurable correlation between humor in an administration and the popularity of that administration’s policies.” 

Of course, quantifying humor isn’t a science, and the jury is out on how effective Trump has been in his first 100 days. Trump's approval with 82 percent of Republicans is strong, though nearly two-thirds of Americans overall give him fair or poor ratings, according to NBC News.   

"SNL," for its part, is having its most-watched season in 23 years.



Photo Credit: NBCUniversal
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<![CDATA[Looking Back: Trump's First 100 Days]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:43:23 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Trump1000427_MP4-149333632682600001.jpg

President Trump came to Washington with an aggressive legislative agenda dubbed the "100-day Action Plan to Make America Great Again."

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<![CDATA[Deadly Tornado Hits East Texas]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 00:05:23 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/damage6.JPG

Five people are dead and dozens more injured after the National Weather Service reported three tornadoes left a trail of damage in the Van Zandt, Henderson and Rains Counties Saturday evening.

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The Canton Fire Department said in a news conference Saturday night that at least five people were dead. The fire department told NBC 5/Telemundo 39 that one person was killed along Highway 64 near Canton when the tornado threw their car.

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Canton officials asked people to stay away from the area because of the danger of downed power lines and debris.

Canton, in Van Zandt County, appeared to be hardest hit. NBC 5 Meteorologist David Finfrock said the Canton tornado was on the ground for 40 miles -- long enough to hit Fruitvale and Emory.

Another tornado touched down outside the town of Eustace in the Henderson County.

Jody Vincik captured the tornado outside Eustace during a Facebook live.

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The NWS reported a third in Caney City along Cedar Creek Lake, also in Henderson County.

NBC 5 Meteorologist Grant Johnston was in Texas Thunder Truck as it captured at least tornado on camera in Canton (in the video player above).

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Johnston reported dozens of cars overturned east of Canton on Interstate 20.

"We have a lot of injuries," said a dispatcher at the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office. The dispatcher said there was "a lot of damage" before hanging up.

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East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System reported at least 52 patients at three different hospitals in Tyler, Athens and Cedar Creek Lake. One person is in critical condition, all the others have non-life-threatening injuries.

Damage was also reported in Grand Saline and Fruitvale in Van Zandt County, as well as Emory in Rains County.

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NBC 5's Meredith Yeomans reported Highway 80 at Highway 19 west of Fruitvale was shut down.

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The First Baptist Church of Fruitvale reported that while the church building is without electricity, there was a lot of damage in the area and that some houses have been destroyed and others damaged. The school across the street from the church was being used as an emergency command center.

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Dallas Fire-Rescue told NBC 5 it was sending 15 people to Canton to help firefighters there in the wake of the storm. The Rowlett Police Department and Fire-Rescue also said crews were also en route to Canton.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Texas Task Force 2 was also helping.

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The American Red Cross of North Texas will also be responding. A shelter is open at First Methodist Church Life Center at 200 S. Buffalo in Canton.

The Tyler Fire Department reported crews were dispatched to Canton to help with a HAZMAT situation. According to Tyler Fire Marshal Paul Findley fuel and unknown chemicals were released when the tornado hit a warehouse facility.

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Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.



Photo Credit: Grant Johnston - NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Celebs, Journalists Attend the Trump-Less WH Dinner]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 23:48:16 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WHCDthumb.jpgCelebrities and media correspondents walked the red carpet for the president-less White House Correspondents' Dinner, an annual event that celebrates journalists who cover the White House. In contrast with last year, when guests at former President Barack Obama's final dinner included Emma Watson, Kerry Washington and Helen Mirren, this year's guests include NBC's Chris Matthews, CNN's Don Lemon and author James Patterson.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[California Gears Up to Fight Trump on Car Emissions]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:18:00 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/134002821-405-traffic-generic.jpg

Even as President Trump pulls back on regulations governing car emissions, part of a broader policy of overturning environmental protections enacted by the Obama administration, California is determinedly headed in the opposite direction with stricter rules it alone is authorized to enact.

During a visit to Detroit last month, Trump halted the imposition of standards that would cut car emissions almost in half by 2025, including greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming. The administration instead will reopen a review of the standards at the request of the major automakers, giving them the chance to argue that the rules should be eased.

"This is going to be a new era for American jobs and job creation," Trump said in Detroit.

But California is moving forward with the more stringent tailpipe rules, setting up an expected showdown with the Trump administration. A week after Trump's announcement, the California Air Resources Board not only voted to reaffirm the standards and but also began to consider new ones to take effect after 2025. Likely to join the fight will be the dozen other states that follow California's standards rather than the national ones. States can choose either.

"The Trump administration really is very aggressively proclaiming that we should not be addressing climate change at the federal level," said Sean B. Hecht, the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law. "And the auto companies have taken this as an opportunity…to say, 'Hold on, let's try to back out of this deal where we have these federal fuel economy standards through 2025.'"

Trump has had a mixed record in his first 100 days in office. He began dismantling former President Barack Obama's major climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan, with an executive order lifting carbon restrictions, but has made little headway on many of his other campaign promises. His travel ban is tied up in the courts and an overhaul of Obamacare was withdrawn from the House because it had little support. Now California and other, mostly blue states are vowing to fight any easing of regulations governing car emissions.

California needs to control emissions to meet its ambitious plans for battling climate change, with zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars from Tesla and Chevrolet part of the mix. Last year, legislators passed a bill requiring that by 2030, the state cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below its 1990 levels. To send a message about their willingness to take on Trump, Democratic leaders of the California legislature hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to represent them in legal fights with the White House.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and the state's other top Democrats called Trump's move to roll back the emissions standards a cynical ploy.

"President Trump's decision today to weaken emission standards in cars is an unconscionable gift to polluters," Brown wrote to the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on March 15. "Once again you've put the interests of big oil ahead of clean air and politics ahead of science."

Electricity production accounted for most of the greenhouse gases produced in 2014 at 30 percent, but transportation was right behind at 26 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's website. In California, that percentage was even higher: Transportation generated 37 percent of its emissions in 2014.

"For sure California is gearing up," said Deborah Sivas, an environmental litigator at Stanford Law School. "Part of it depends on the next moves by the administration."

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment about its plans for the emissions standards. In a statement last month, Pruitt said that along with the Department of Transportation, the EPA would consider whether the emissions standards were good not only for the environment but also for consumers.

"These standards are costly for automakers and the American people," he said. "We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic."

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao echoed his statement, calling Trump's position a "win" for the American people.

Attempts to undercut the standards will prompt drawn-out litigation from states such as California or New York, Sivas predicted. To reverse an earlier decision, the EPA will have to go through the same series of elaborate steps that were taken to put the rules into place.

"They can't just say, 'Oh yeah, well forget that,'" Sivas said.

California earned its unique authority to set regulations tougher than national ones through its pioneering efforts to curb air pollution. When Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1970, it gave the EPA authority to restrict air pollution from tailpipes as a way to tackle smog. But because California had established its own laws a decade earlier, and because it successfully argued that its air pollution was naturally worse than other states', it was given special status in the law. California may ask the EPA administrator for a waiver to restrict pollution more stringently than the federal government if, in the law's language, the state's standards are at least as protective of public health and welfare and needed to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions.

The EPA has denied California's request for a waiver just once, during the administration of President George W. Bush, when California first moved to regulate greenhouse gases in addition to more traditional pollutants. California sued but the case was never decided because Obama was elected.

If the Trump administration were to deny future waivers, California would certainly push back. 

Hecht said that in the past, California has argued that it has compelling and extraordinary circumstances because it has a very large economy and sells many cars, and so its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases will make a difference. It also has said that climate change will have specific, negative effects on the state: the loss of the snow pack which will threaten its water supply, for example.

"They were accepted by the Obama administration, and the question will be, Will California win that court fight?'" he said.

Nor is there anything in the law giving the EPA administrator the authority to withdraw a waiver already granted.

"It doesn't speak to the issue one way or the other," said Richard Frank, an environmental law professor at the University of California-Davis.

The Trump administration would likely argue that it has the discretion to revoke any waivers granted by a previous administration, while California would say that absent specific language in the law, the EPA lacks the authority, he said.

"Given all that it will be tough for EPA to say we're going to rescind your waiver," Sivas said. "So I think California has the upper hand in that fight if it comes down to that."

At Pruitt's confirmation hearing, he refused to commit to keeping the waiver in place. Pressed by California's Sen. Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, he said, "I don't know without going through the process to determine that. One would not want to presume the outcome."

If the Trump administration were to try to withdraw the waiver, Sivas thought California would win in court.

"It's pretty clear under the statue that the deference goes to California not to the EPA on whether the waiver is appropriate," she said. "The Congress wrote the statute that way."

The EPA has already concluded both that elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger" public health and that emissions from new cars contribute to the dangerous levels of greenhouse gases.

The so-called "endangerment finding" came about after Massachusetts sued the EPA under the George W. Bush administration to force it to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S. Supreme Court determined that greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act's "capacious definition of 'air pollutant,'" meaning the EPA had the statutory authority to regulate their emissions from new cars and other vehicles.

When it was challenged, the finding was upheld in a federal court, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

"It is there, and it needs to be enforced and respected," Pruitt said during his confirmation hearing. "There is nothing that I know that would cause it to be reviewed."

Massachusetts — which along with Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington follow California's lead — is committed to the stricter standards, said Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

As with California, Massachusetts is relying on lower car emissions to achieve its climate change goals. The administration of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker wants to place 300,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road in Massachusetts by 2025 as part of a multi-state effort.

"Any weakening of those standards would raise concerns about Massachusetts' ability to meet emissions reduction goals and maintain ozone standards," Coletta said.

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation also said it would stick with the California standards to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050.

"While federal leadership is essential, New York will not stand idly by while clean air protections are eviscerated, and will take any and all actions necessary to ensure public health and our environment are protected," it said.

Meanwhile, the attorneys general of eight of the states plus the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection criticized Trump's position as a dramatic wrong turn for the country that would undermine successful efforts to combat pollution.

"An extensive technical study by the Environmental Protection Agency already found that the standards are fully and economically achievable by the auto industry," their March 16 statement said. "Relaxing them would increase the air pollution that is responsible for premature death, asthma, and more – particularly in our most vulnerable communities."

The standards that Trump wants to ease were set in 2012 in an ambitious effort that also created consistency across the country. The agreement, which grew out of an accord that Obama crafted in 2009 after the financial melt-down, brought together the Obama administration, the car manufacturers and the California Air Resources Board. The rules require each company's fleet of vehicles for the model years 2022 through 2025 to achieve on average 54.5 miles per gallon and they enable the manufactures to avoid making two versions of vehicles for different states.

As part of the agreement, the EPA undertook an evaluation mid-way through the period, but expedited its analysis just before Obama's term ended. In November, with Trump about to take office, it announced it would leave the regulations in place.

That decision left many of the car companies crying foul, saying the review had been rushed, and urging Trump to intervene and weaken the standards. Manufactures warned of price hikes over what consumers could pay, and the loss of 1 million automotive jobs, and pointed to the popularity of pickup trucks and other less fuel-efficient vehicles.

"The Trump Administration has created an opportunity for decision-makers to reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data," the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement after Trump’s announcement.

Now that the review has been reopened, a final decision from the EPA could come as late as April 2018.

Meanwhile in court, the alliance is arguing that the EPA's speeded up review was arbitrary and capricious. California responded by asking the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit that it be allowed to defend the feasibility of the standards in court.

An earlier analysis by the EPA found that the standards would reduce oil consumption by nearly 40 billion gallons of refined gasoline and diesel fuel, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons and save consumers more than $1,650 per vehicle, the California politicians said.

"Your action to weaken vehicle pollution standards — standards your own members agreed to —breaks your promise to the American people," Brown wrote to the automobile manufacturers. "Please be advised that California will take the necessary steps to preserve the current standards and protect the health of our people and the stability of our climate."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Through the Years]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:34:36 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Trumpthumb.jpgWhat Donald Trump's presidency will look like is unclear to many observers. He has not previously worked in politics, and has made contradictory statements on policy issues in several areas during his campaign. Despite the unknowns, Trump has an extensive public profile that, along with his real estate empire and the Trump brand, grew domestically and internationally over the last few decades. Here is a look at the president-elect's personal and career milestones and controversies.

Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What Is 'Stealthing'?: Disturbing Sex Act Detailed in Report]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:00:13 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/stealthingcondomsfeuerherd.jpg

A new report details the disturbing trend of "stealthing", when men remove condoms during sex without their partner's consent, NBC News reported. 

Alexandra Brodsky defined the act in the report for the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

In the report, Brodsky interviews victims and delves into their fears of sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancies. The report also looks at possible legal repercussions for those who carry out the practice.

It's unclear where this act got its start, but websites listed in the report — many of which are now disabled — give instructions to men seeking to perform the act. 

"Online writers who practice or promote nonconsensual condom removal root their actions in misogyny and investment in male sexual supremacy. While one can imagine a range of motivations for 'stealthers'—increased physical pleasure, a thrill from degradation — online discussions suggest offenders and their defenders justify their actions as a natural male instinct — and natural male right," Brodsky writes.



Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[How Trump's Tweets Have Changed in 100 Days as @POTUS]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:49:09 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/632863052-realdonaldtrump-potus-donald-trump-twitter.jpg

President Donald Trump is known for his quick-fire tweeting, a habit he believes helped him win the election. But as his term progressed, the number of likes and retweets each post received started to fall.

As he approaches his 100th day in office, @realDonaldTrump's rate of interactions is about a quarter of what it was on the week of his inauguration, according to data from CrowdTangle, the social media-monitoring platform. The official @POTUS account's interaction rate is about one-eighth of what it was the week of Jan. 20.

While the drop-off in likes and retweets, known as engagement, may seem like a blow for someone so committed to winning, social media experts say it's unsurprising.

"The dust is settling on social media" as people are winding down after a social-media frenzied election, said Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant communications professor at Syracuse's Newhouse School of Public Communications. 


Despite a fall in interactions, the following for Trump's two accounts has continued to grow, by a combined 27 percent — though the rate they've grown has also slowed down as he settled into the White House. Today @realDonaldTrump has 28.4 million followers, while @POTUS has 16.8 million followers.

@realDonaldTrump's most popular tweets as president all came in the first few weeks of his presidency — his most popular remains a Jan. 22 tweet noting the right to peaceful protest after the Women's March on Washington. (@POTUS tweets get much less engagement than Trump's personal account.)

Since then, most tweets have had much less engagement. The most popular tweet from March, in which he called Barack Obama a "Bad (or sick) guy!" and alleged without evidence that his predecessor tapped his phones at Trump Tower, received the 25th most likes and retweets since Jan. 20. April's most popular message wished "Happy Easter to everyone!" and was his 25th most popular as president.

On average, the accounts collected a combined 2.14 million interactions each week since the inauguration, according to the CrowdTangle analysis. Interactions with @realDonaldTrump spiked the week after the inauguration, while those with @POTUS spiked around his late-February address to Congress. 

The decline in interactions isn't necessarily indicative of an unsuccessful administration, Grygiel said.

"People are moving on with their lives, and also just consuming updates about the new administration by way of more traditional means, such as reading stuff that's published by journalists," she said.


Engagement could be falling because people find his tweets to be less helpful, according to Tom Hollihan, a communications professor at the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California.

"One gets a sense even his hardcore supporters think [his] tweets are less helpful to his cause," Hollihan said, based on polling he's seen. 

Two-thirds of millennials, consummate social media users, found Trump's tweeting to be inappropriate, according to a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics survey conducted in March. A January NBC/WSJ poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans thought Trump's Twitter habit was a bad idea.

The White House didn't respond to requests for comment for this story.

The president's tone varies greatly between his Twitter accounts, said USC professor Hollihan and Grygiel, the Syracuse professor. They had different explanations for why.

The @realDonaldTrump account frequently talks about the news cycle and "fake news" — something that isn't usually discussed on the @POTUS account, according to data that Grygiel collected through Sysomos, a social media analytics company.

Other popular words on @realDonaldTrump include "great," "big" and "Trump." @POTUS frequently mentions @realDonaldTrump — a sign of cross promotion, Grygiel said — along with "POTUS," "VP" and "White House," according to her analysis.

Hollihan said the @POTUS account is clearly being run by his advisers, while the @realDonaldTrump account is run from the president's cellphone.

But Grygiel said she believes Trump has split his time between his personal and official accounts, a strategy she calls "brilliant."

"He’s essentially split himself in two, and he has two strikingly different tones," Grygiel said.

Grygiel likened Trump's tone on @realDonaldTrump to that of "a mafia boss" — it appeals to the part of his base that wants him to be more aggressive. On the other hand, @POTUS has a more diplomatic tone she believes appeals to people outside of his base.

"It’s a really amazing strategy," Grygiel added. "I think he's essentially pandering to two populaces in this country."

Hollihan doesn't believe there is much of a strategy, and that Trump's tweets seem to sow confusion among his advisers and cabinet.

"I think instead what we see is that he's continuing this set of practices that seemed to work for him during the campaign," when Trump's reactiveness to news developments dominated his feed. "In fact, he's conducted himself in the first 100 days of his presidency exactly the same way he sought to conduct himself during the campaign."

Trump seems to tweet about a series of different issues every day in the White House, like health care, tax reform or renegotiating NAFTA, Hollihan added, rather than picking one to focus on so he can rally public and congressional support.

As for Trump's predecessor, Grygiel said there's no way to really compare Trump's Twitter habits and Obama's. Twitter and Facebook "really came of age" when Obama was in office, she said.

"Social media was something Obama had to adopt and grow over the eight years he was in office," Grygiel said. "He was probably one of the first presidents to hand over large-scale social media accounts to a new administration."

Hollihan said Obama used Twitter in a more reflective way.

"Nothing about Obama's temperament suggested he acted without...reflection, and yet that's what defines Trump’s use of social media," he said.

Both presidents' Twitter habits are vastly different, both in how often they tweeted and in content. Obama occasionally tweeted from his @POTUS account to comment on policy or current events, such as when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

Trump, on the other hand, has tweeted nearly every single day since taking office. He tweets from @realDonaldTrump five times per day on average, according to CrowdTangle data. @POTUS sends out three tweets per day. 

"This is pretty remarkable that we have a president who's so willing to reveal that he is influenced by the last thing he hears on TV, or reads," Hollihan said.



Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Judge Lets Alabama Town Secede From School District]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:33:01 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/197*120/GettyImages-84611044+gavel.jpg

An Alabama federal judge has allowed a predominately white town to secede from the racially mixed county school district and start its own system — despite the fact that "race was the motivating factor," NBC News reported.

"History teaches that communities, left to their own devices, re-segregate fairly quickly," Judge Madeline Haikala wrote in her 190-page ruling.

Gardendale, a suburb of Birmingham, is 88 percent white. It is located in Jefferson County, which had a population of 658,000 that is roughly 53 percent white and 42 percent black.

Monique Lin-Luse, a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund who represented black families opposed to the split, might appeal the decision.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top News: Schwarzenegger Visits France, Trump Speaks to NRA]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 04:47:02 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/top-news-schwarzenegger-france.jpgView daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Francois Mori/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Former Pres. George H.W. Bush Discharged From Hospital]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 00:15:41 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/georgne+h+w+bush+hospital+discharged+houston.jpg

Former president George H. W. Bush is at home after a mild case of pneumonia led to a stay in a Houston hospital.

Bush was being treated at Houston Methodist Hospital for mild pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, and was discharged Friday, according to a statement.

Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, are "pleased to be home spending time with family and friends," the statement said.

The former president was admitted to the hospital over a week ago and remained under observation since the beginning of the week. He was also hospitalized ahead of his appearance at the Super Bowl, where he tossed the coin before the game. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images for HBO, File]]>
<![CDATA[Cat Survives 15 BB Gun Shots]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:34:08 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/chance-the-cat-la.jpg

An eight-month-old kitten is recovering after being shot 15 times with a BB gun earlier this week.

The stray feline came in to Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital with multiple puncture wounds, all of them aimed at his head, according to hospital officials. Five BB gun pellets went through the cat's skull; surgeons were able to remove all but one, which was too deeply embedded. 

Hospital workers have named the cat "Chance" because he miraculously survived the attack. Veterinarians said that cats are normally quick to run away once they've been attacked, raising questions about how 15 shots were fired at the kitten. 

"We would think he would have ran, so it's a possibility that he could've been held down or tied down," Dr. Janie Guirguis said. "But we're not sure."

Chance was found hovering under a truck just a few blocks from the Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital in Orange County, California.

Doctors said the shock of the attack left Chance blind, but they're hoping he'll regain his eyesight as he heals.

Chance will continue to recover before Nohl Ranch begins searching for a suitable home.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Inmate Was Dead for Days Before Body Discovered: ME]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:10:05 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Richard+Donovan+prison.JPG

An inmate found dead at California state prison lay dead for two to three days before authorities found him, officials confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego. 

James Acuna, 58, was found dead Monday in his cell at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Vicky Waters.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department homicide detectives were called to the prison Monday. The Medical Examiner's office determined Acuna had died two to three days earlier, Lt. Ken Nelson said.

Nelson said, according the Medical Examiner, there were no indications of foul play.

Acuna was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, his second strike according to Waters. He began a 16-year sentence in October 2014.

Previous convictions included robbery with a firearm in 1984 and burglary in 2000.

No further details were given as an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Acuna's death were ongoing, Waters said.


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<![CDATA[UC Davis Now Sells Plan B and Condoms From a Vending Machine]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:16:34 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_birthcontrol0427_1500x8451.jpg

Students at the University of California, Davis, can now purchase $30 Plan B emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests, condoms and other personal care products from a vending machine. The idea came from UC Davis senior Parteek Singh, after a friend was unable to buy emergency contraceptives in time. 

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<![CDATA[Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams ]]>Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:41:47 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_scams0427_1500x845.jpg

A new study finds that it is not the elderly who are most susceptible to scam phone calls, but millennials, who are six times more likely to give away credit card information than any other age group. 

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<![CDATA[Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:11:51 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_kkkresolution0428_1500x845.jpg

Lawmakers in Tennessee are crying foul after Republican Rep. Mike Sparks sneaked in a resolution to honor former Ku Klux Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest with a bust under a different name. The resolution passed unanimously, 94-0, and the bust was installed at the state Capitol before lawmakers realized the mistake. 

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<![CDATA[Girl Scalped on Carnival Ride Talks Recovery One Year Later]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:38:03 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_lulu0428_1500x8451.jpg

Elizabeth "Lulu" Gilreath talks about her recovery from a carnival ride gone very wrong. Gilreath was scalped when her hair was caught on the King's Crown ride in Omaha, Nebraska, but she does not dwell on the incident, saying "My scars don't define me."

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<![CDATA[Florist Nabbed After Monthslong Cemetery Flower Theft Spree]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:58:02 -0400http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/florist+arrested+nj.jpg

A 59-year-old flower shop owner has been arrested for allegedly stealing plants and other items from graves at a New Jersey cemetery, possibly for months.

Police say they'd been getting reports for some time of thefts at First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pompton Plains. Authorities replaced two of the missing plants in front of a mausoleum and installed surveillance cameras in the area last week. Two days later, police got a call that the plants were missing again. 

Detectives checked out the surveillance footage and saw a woman approach the mausoleum in a silver minivan, get out of the vehicle and take the plants. Authorities were able to identify the suspect as Lynda Wingate, a former police dispatcher and flower shop owner in nearby Riverdale. 

She was arrested on a charge of theft of moveable property and released pending an appearance in municipal court. Attorney information wasn't known, and someone at her listed address turned away a reporter.

Capt. Christopher DePuyt says Wingate claimed she was cleaning up old flowers from graves of people she knew, but he says that isn't the case, according to The Associated Press.

Police didn't say if they believed Wingate had resold the other flowers or if any of the previously stolen ones had been recovered.

"It's not the crime of the century. It's a minor crime, but one that shocks the conscience, and it won't be tolerated," DePuyt told News 4. 



Photo Credit: Handout]]>