<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usThu, 28 Jul 2016 06:30:19 -0400Thu, 28 Jul 2016 06:30:19 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man With Gun at Port Authority: 'Let's Off Some Cops']]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 06:13:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PORT+AUTHORITY+BUS+TERMINAL2.jpg

A man smoking marijuana with an acquaintance at the Port Authority bus terminal allegedly said "Let's off some cops" and showed the friend a gun inside his bag, law enforcement sources say. 

The two men were smoking and talking inside the bus terminal Wednesday night when the 18-year-old suspect allegedly told the other man, "Let's off some cops" as Port Authority police officers walked by. 

The acquaintance became startled and made an excuse to walk away. He then went to find some Port Authority officers, the sources said.

The officers took Hunter Lee Taylor, who is from Florida, into custody and found a fully loaded revolver inside his bag. He was transferred to Manhattan Central Booking on Thursday morning. 

The man who turned in Taylor lives at Samaritan Village, a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, sources say. He was interviewed by police and released.

It's not clear how the two knew one another.

Sources say the investigation is ongoing. They believe this was an isolated incident and that there is no danger to commuters. 

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<![CDATA[Obama: Clinton More Qualified Than Me, Bill to Be President]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 05:30:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583839280.jpg

Their political fates now entwined, President Barack Obama implored with voters Wednesday to elect Hillary Clinton, appealing to the women, minorities and young people who powered his rise and are now crucial to hers.

Obama told delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia there has never been a man or a woman — "not me, not Bill" — who's more qualified than his former secretary of state to be president of the United States and endorsed her as the woman to finish the job he started eight years ago. 

"Nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. Until you've sat at that desk, you don't know what it's like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war," Obama said. "But Hillary's been in the room and knows what's at stake."

Exactly 12 years to the day after the obscure Senator from Illinois delivered a rousing speech to the Democratic convention, Obama defended his White House legacy and argued that the former secretary of state would be the best choice to bequeath those policies.

Obama cast Clinton as a candidate who believes in the optimism that fuels the nation's democracy and warned against the "deeply pessimistic" vision of Republican Donald Trump.

"America is already great. America is already strong," he declared to cheering delegates Wednesday night at the Democratic convention. "And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump."

In addition to party loyalty, a big motivation for Obama's robust support is deep concern that the Republican nominee can win in November and unravel the president's eight years in office.

Obama acknowledged the economic and security anxieties that have helped fuel Trump's rise, but he argued they don't define the country.

"Through every victory and every setback, I've insisted that change is never easy, and never quick; that we wouldn't meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime," Obama said, adding that he's "more optimistic of the future of America then ever before."

Wednesday night's Democratic lineup was aimed at emphasizing Clinton's own national security credentials, a shift from two nights focused more on re-introducing her to voters as a champion for women's issues, children and families. Among those were former Pentagon and CIA chief Leon Panetta, who served alongside Clinton in Obama's Cabinet.

Panetta, citing his experiencing working alongside nine U.S. presidents, said he believes, in this election, Hillary Clinton "is the only candidate that has the experience, judgment and temperament to be Commander in Chief."

Obama, too, was vouching for Clinton's national security experience, recalling their work together during trying times and saying she won't relent until ISIL is destroyed.  

"And she'll do it without resorting to torcher, or banning entire religions from entiring our country," Obama said. 

Touting Clinton's experience and judgment, Obama's speech was a direct rebuttal to Trump's attacks on Clinton at last week's Republican convention in Cleveland, when he claimed her tenure as Secretary of State was marked by "death, destruction and weakness."

In a statement, Trump's campaign called the Democratic Party "disconnected from what's happening in our world," and said Democrats described a vision of America that "doesn't exist for most Americans."

"They resorted to the politics of fear, trying to convince Americans not to vote for change — they spoke on behalf of the big banks and the big elites, not on behalf of suffering Americans," Trump's campaign said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Owner Gets 60-Pound Boa Constrictor Back]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 06:11:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Paulsboro+SNake+Boa+Constrictor.jpg

Police in a South Jersey community alerted residents Wednesday morning after a large snake got away from them.

Paulsboro Police were sent to the 200 block of E Jefferson Street Tuesday night for the "report of a large snake under a porch," the department posted on Facebook.

By the time animal control showed up the snake – it appeared to be about a 60-pound boa constrictor measuring around 10 to 12 feet long – had escaped into a hole in the ground but not before a photo was snapped of the large reptile, said police.

Boas aren’t venomous but they can cause harm to people and pets by cutting off the blood supply, according to National Geographic.

Paulsboro Police reported Wednesday night the snake was caught and returned to its owner. 



Photo Credit: Paulsboro Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Man Sues Fashion Giants Over 'LES' Designs: Reports]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 05:34:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/forever+211.jpg

A New York City designer and former intellectual property paralegal is suing major clothing retailers like Macy’s and Forever 21 over their use of the term “LES NYC,” according to reports.

Robert G. Lopez owns LES Clothing, a small business on the Lower East Side that sells neighborhood-themed apparel.

Lopez has sued a number of large retailers in recent years that used Lower East Side designs, among them Bloomingdale’s, Gap, J Crew, Macy’s, Puma, and Urban Outfitters. His most recent legal action was against Forever 21 this year, World Trademark Review reported.

Lopez says he’s been using the term “LES NYC” on clothing since 1999. After a three-year battle with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Lopez was able to trademark the term across the U.S. in 2014.

But despite his trademark, large companies continue to use LES imagery. Lopez says he takes the major fashion brands to court because cease-and-desist letters are often ignored by those businesses. On the other hand, they are legally obligated to respond to litigation.

“Some of these bigger companies will automatically see me as a small business owner not represented by counsel, and they themselves will be represented by some of the biggest law firms in the country,” Lopez told World Trademark Review.

World Trademark Review reports that Lopez has filed 19 trademark-related lawsuits since 2009. Eight of them were filed just this year and the majority reached a “likely settlement.”

The large number of lawsuits has led some parties to label Lopez as a “trademark troll.” But he says this accusation is “disparaging.”

“I look at myself as a small business owner that is fortunate enough to be in a position to go against some of these major corporations that have violated my IP rights,” he said.

As the lawsuits continue, Lopez says litigation isn’t his preferred route, but big businesses continue to ignore the legal demands of smaller ones like his.

“[They will] put it in the drawer and laugh or will pay it no attention and pretend it doesn’t exist,” he told World Trademark Review. “[I’m] making sure I’m the one to throw the first punch.”



Photo Credit: File]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gunned Down in Queens; Shooter Flees on Motorbike: NYPD]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 06:01:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FLUSHING+FATAL+SHOOTING.jpg

A man was shot and killed in Flushing by another man, who then drove off on a motorcycle Wednesday night, police say. 

The 50-year-old victim and the suspect were seen talking near 35th Avenue and Farrington Street just before a gun was pulled around 11:45 p.m., according to police.

The suspect shot the man once in his forehead, above his left eye, according to police. Despite emergency responders’ efforts to save him, he was pronounced dead at Booth Memorial Hospital.

Police said the suspect took off down 35th Avenue on a motorcycle.

A man said he heard the gunshots, but wasn't sure what they were at first.

"I heard a couple of loud boom noises and I just thought it was fireworks, so I didn't really think much of it," the man said. 

There was a heavy police presence on 35th Avenue Thursday morning as police investigated. 

No arrests have been reported. Police said an investigation is ongoing.

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<![CDATA[DNC Day 3: Obama Backs Clinton and Knocks Trump, and Other Top Moments]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 05:37:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583839536-dnc.jpg

President Barack Obama excoriated Donald Trump's vision of America Wednesday night as he endorsed Hillary Clinton, telling Democrats Trump was betting he could get win in November by scaring enough people into voting for him. 

"That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose," Obama said. "Because he's selling the American people short."

Here are the top moments of Obama's speech and of the rest of the third day of the Democratic National Convention, inside the convention hall and out.

"We Don't Look to Be Ruled"

Obama told the DNC he was ready to pass the baton to Clinton and asked his audience to reject cynicism and fear and summon what was best in the country.

"Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me," he said. "I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you're who I was talking about 12 years ago, when I talked about hope. It's been you who've fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds are great, even when the road is long."

This election was not a typical one between Democrats and Republicans, he said. Republicans at their convention last week had presented a deeply pessimistic vision of a country turning against each other and away from the rest of the world.

"And that is not the America I know," he said. "The America I know is full of courage, and optimism and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous."

The United States does not depend on any one person, Obama said. It has never been about what one person says he will do but about what the country can achieve together, he said.

"We don't look to be ruled," he said. "Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that together, We, the People, can form a more perfect union."

There had never been a man or woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president, he said, not him, not Bill Clinton.

He acknowledged that Clinton had critics and had made mistakes, but compared her to the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt had once described — not timid souls on the sidelines but in the arena.

"Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena," he said. "She's been there for us - even if we haven't always noticed. And if you're serious about our democracy, you can't afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport. America isn't about 'Yes he will.' It's about 'Yes we can.'"

"Lying Is Second Nature to Him"

Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia, a U.S. senator and the state's former governor, mocked Trump's credibility and his repeated use of the phrase "believe me."

"Believe me?" Kaine asked. "Believe me?"

Trump's ghostwriter on "The Art of the Deal" has said that lying was second nature to him, Kaine said. U.S. Sen. John McCain's former economic adviser said that Trump's policies would result in the loss of 3.5 million jobs. His tax plan would leave the country $30 trillion debt, according to an independent assessment, he said. Charity after charity believed Trump when he said he would contribute to them, he said.

"Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth," he said as the audience chanted "Not one word."

"Our nation is too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting one-man wrecking crew," he said.

Bloomberg: "I’m a New Yorker and I Know a Con When I See One"

Vice President Joseph Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another billionaire businessman from New York, went on the attack, calling Trump in succession a man of unbounded cynicism and a hypocrite.

His lack of compassion and empathy can be summed up in one of Trump's favorite phrases, Biden said: "You’re fired."

"He's trying to tell us he cares about the middle-class," Biden said. "Give me a break. That's a bunch of malarkey."

America is strong and has held together because of its middle class, Biden said. When the middle class does well, the rich do very well and the poor has hope, he said.

"This guy doesn’t have a clue about the middle class, not a clue," Biden said.

"He has no clue period," he added and the phrase quickly became a refrain on the convention floor.

Trump is appealing to fear, but Americans never bow, never bend and never break, Biden said.

"We are America, second to none, and we own the finish line," he said.

Bloomberg spoke to the convention as an independent. He was there, he said, to urge other independents to unite around the candidate who could defeat a dangerous demagogue.

"I built a business, and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father," he said.

Bloomberg belittled Trump's business experience, calling attention to his bankruptcies, the lawsuits brought against him and the contractors who said he had cheated them. 

He said he watched Clinton work with Republicans in Congress to get the money New York City needed to recover from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He did not always agree with her, but she always listened, he said.

"Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy," he said. "He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He's wrong on both counts."

"Russia, If You're Listening"

Far from the Democratic National Convention, Donald Trump caused a stir on Wednesday when - at a time Russia is suspected of trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election - he appeared to ask Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said during a news conference in Florida. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

His comments immediately drew condemnation, with the Clinton campaign accusing Trump of encouraging a foreign power to conduct espionage against his opponent.

"This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue," Jake Sullivan, a Clinton spokesman, said.

Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House, called Putin a "devious thug" who should stay out of the U.S. election.

Trump has said he doubted Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers, but U.S. intelligence believe it was.

Clinton has said she deleted 30,000 emails from her personal email server, received while she was secretary of state, before turning others over to the U.S. State Department. FBI Director James Comey criticized Clinton's use of a private email server but recommended against her prosecution.

"Strong Women Get Things Done"

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head when a man opened fire at a constituent meeting five years ago, walked onto the stage on the convention's third night to endorse Clinton as the candidate who would be able to stand up to the gun lobby.

"Speaking is difficult for me, but come January I want to say these two words: 'Madame President,'" she said.

She described Clinton as a tough and courageous woman who would fight to make families safer.

"In Congress I learned a powerful lesson: Strong women get things done," she said.

Giffords was among those touched by gun violence to speak — survivors or the relatives of whose who had been killed. They demanded what they called common-sense gun legislation, expanded background checks and other similar measures.

Giffords' husband, former astronaut U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, said Clinton would work to close loopholes governing who could buy weapons. Clinton is ready to take on one of the country's greatest moral failings at home -- the gun violence that is tearing up so many communities, Kelly said. 

Erica Smeglieski, the daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who was shot to death with five other staff members and 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, said she did not want to be addressing the convention. She wanted to be at home watching the convention with her mother, Dawn Hochsprung, with whom she had planned her wedding, she said.

"My mom was murdered so I'm here," she said. "I'm here for the mothers and daughters who are planning weddings so you get to watch your daughter walk down the aisle."

Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, survived the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, during Bible studies. Sanders said her son’s last words were, "We mean you no harm." Two days later she forgave the shooter, she said.

Sheppard said the shooter, like those in Orlando and Dallas, had hate in his heart.

"Love never fails and so I choose love," she said.

Christine Leinonen's son was killed in the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It takes five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times for the victims but only a minute to fire 30 rounds with the weapon used to shoot her son, she said.

When she went into labor with her son, said Leinonen, who was then a Michigan state trooper, her weapon was placed in a safe. She did not object because she knew common sense gun policy saves lives, she said.

"Where was that common sense the day that he died," she asked.

Emilie Plesset contributed information to this article.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tries to Rape Woman as She Showers at Home: NYPD]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 03:15:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/attempted+rape+shower+staten+island.jpg

A man broke into a bathroom on Staten Island earlier this week and then tried to rape a woman in a shower before choking her, police say.

The 22-year-old woman was in a home near Ebbitts Street and Hett Avenue in Oakwood on Tuesday morning when the man managed to break into the locked bathroom.

Once inside the bathroom, the man went into the shower and touched the woman’s privates, according to police. When she tried to fight him off, the suspect threw her to the floor and began choking her.

When the man let go of her, the woman was able to convince him to let her walk out of the bathroom. Once they were in a nearby hallway, she dashed out of the apartment and into a street, where she ran up to passersby for help. By that time, the man was gone.

The woman was treated for her physical injuries at a nearby hospital and released.

Police have identified 30-year-old Miguel Felipe as a suspect. Police said Felipe goes by the names “Tino” and “Constantino.”

The NYPD asks anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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<![CDATA[Fact Check: Democratic National Convention Day 3]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 02:20:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Obama-583835804.jpg

The president headlined the night’s speeches, and a few of his boasts of his record headline our fact-checking report:

  • President Barack Obama claimed that under his administration, “we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil,” but dependency on imported oil had begun to drop years before he took office.
  • The president repeated a frequent boast that the U.S. “doubled our production of clean energy” during his tenure. Monthly renewable energy production has gone up 40 percent.
  • Obama said deficits have “come down” under his administration. That’s true, but they are expected to rise again soon under his proposed budget.
  • Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine falsely referred to economist Mark Zandi as “John McCain’s chief economic adviser during the ’08 race,” in touting an estimate of job loss under Donald Trump’s proposals. In fact, Zandi is a Democrat.
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson wrongly said “we have not lost a single job, a single month” since Obama became president, and he was also off in saying the U.S. trades “more with Mexico than we do with China.”
  • Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta falsely claimed that Trump “says he gets his foreign policy experience from … running the Miss Universe pageant.” Trump didn’t say that was his foreign policy experience.
  • Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid claimed that the GOP ticket wanted to “gamble” Social Security “in the stock market.” But Trump’s campaign has called for making no changes to Social Security.
  • Kaine claimed that Trump said he “wants to abandon” our NATO allies. Trump has said that he doesn’t want the U.S. to leave NATO, but has suggested he would not automatically defend NATO allies that do not pay their share of defense costs.

Note to Readers

This story was written with the help of the entire staff, including some of those based in Philadelphia who are at the convention site. As we did for the Republican National Convention, we intend to vet the major speeches at the Democratic National Convention for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.

Article

Foreign Oil Dependency

President Obama made a misstep when he said, “After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil” under his administration.

Actually, U.S. dependency on imported oil had already begun to decline years before Obama first took office.

According to official figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, dependency peaked in 2005, when the nation imported 60.3 percent of the crude oil it consumed. But that percentage dropped to 57 percent in 2008, the year before Obama was sworn in.

It’s true that U.S. dependency had continued to drop during Obama’s time — down to 24 percent last year.

But the fact is the decline “began” well before Obama entered the White House. Also, dependency has now begun to rise again due to low oil prices and reduced U.S. drilling. The U.S. imported 26.6 percent of its crude oil in the first half of 2016.

And Clean Energy Growth

Obama also repeated his frequent, and inflated, boast that during his time in office the U.S. “doubled our production of clean energy.”

Monthly renewable energy production has increased by about 40 percent from January 2009 to April 2016, far from the 100 percent increase Obama claimed. While it is true that wind and solar power have more than doubled since 2008 (they’ve nearly quadrupled, in fact), they represent only part of the renewable energy picture. Less than a third of renewable energy consumption in April came from wind and solar.

As we wrote back in 2012 when Obama made a similar claim, the largest category of renewable energy is biomass, such as ethanol that is blended in gasoline. And the second-biggest category is hydropower — electricity generated from dams. Together, hydroelectric power and biomass accounted for nearly 70 percent of renewable energy consumption in April.

Deficits to Rise Again

Boasting of his post-recession record, President Obama said that “we’ve seen deficits come down.” They have, but deficits will soon begin to rise again under the president’s proposed budget unless his successor cuts revenues or increases taxes, or both.

It’s true that annual federal deficits have declined since peaking at $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2009 — a deficit Obama largely inherited from a budget signed into law by his predecessor, George W. Bush. The decline was slow at first with deficits stubbornly remaining above the $1 trillion mark for four straight years.

Since then, the yearly deficits have declined markedly. In fiscal year 2015, which ended last Sept. 30, the deficit was $438 billion, a drop of 69 percent from FY 2009.

In an analysis of Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects deficits will continue to fall for two more years. But it also warned about the return of growing deficits in the 10-year period covered by the analysis.

CBO, March: Under the President’s proposals, CBO estimates, the deficit would total $529 billion in 2016. It would fall to $433 billion in 2017, fall further to $383 billion in 2018, and then increase in most subsequent years, eventually growing to $972 billion in 2026.

In its analysis of the presidential budget proposal, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the plan would “stabilize the debt as a share of the economy,” but it “does not go far enough” to reduce the debt “from its current record-high levels.”

The CBO analysis showed that federal debt owed to the public was 73.6 percent of GDP in 2015, and will creep up under the budget plan to 77.4 percent by 2026.

Kaine Wrong on McCain Adviser

Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine repeated a shopworn Democratic falsehood when he referred to economist Mark Zandi as “John McCain’s chief economic adviser.”

Kaine: John McCain’s chief economic adviser during the ’08 race … estimates that Trump’s promises would cause America to lose 3.5 million jobs.

It’s true that Moody’s Analytics, where Zandi is chief economist, issued a report last month concluding that the combined effects of Trump’s policy proposals on taxes, government spending, immigration and international trade — if fully implemented — would cause “a decline of 3.4 million jobs” during the four years of a Trump presidency.

Zandi was lead author of that study, and he’s a well-respected business economist. But he wasn’t the 2008 GOP nominee’s “chief” economic adviser. He’s not even a Republican. Kaine and other Democrats have adopted the bad habit of referring to him that way in the hope that it will give added weight to whatever Zandi says that’s critical of Republican policy.

Kaine is a serial offender in this bit of petty deceit. Nearly six years ago, in September 2010, Kaine described Zandi that way in a Sunday talk show, when Kaine was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. What we wrote then still goes:

FactCheck.org, Sept. 7, 2010: Kaine got it wrong when he called economist Mark Zandi “John McCain’s chief economics adviser.” … It’s true that Zandi was one of those who offered advice to McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. But as we’ve reported before, he says he’s a registered Democrat, and he was just one of several economists who advised McCain. His chief economic adviser was Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

What we reported prior to that was that Zandi said in a 2009 interview: “I’m a registered Democrat.” Zandi said in that same 2009 Washington Post interview that he had agreed to advise McCain at the request of an old friend, McCain’s chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Zandi also advises Democrats.

And last year, Zandi gave $2,700 — the legal maximum — to Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign.

Jesse Jackson, Off-Script

Rev. Jesse Jackson — departing from his prepared remarks — made two false claims, about trade and about Obama’s record on jobs.

Jobs: Jackson said: “He came in office, we lost 800,000 jobs. We have not lost a single job, a single month since Barack has been president.”

That’s off by a mile.

It’s true that the U.S. was losing jobs at the rate of hundreds of thousands per month at the time Obama first took office, but that hemorrhaging continued for months afterward as well.

The loss in total nonfarm employment, officially measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 769,000 in November 2008, 695,000 in December and 791,000 in January 2009.

Every month of Obama’s first year in office showed losses, and there were five months in 2010 that also showed losses. In all, the U.S. lost close to 4.4 million jobs in the months before Obama took office, but it lost a little more than 4.3 million more in the opening months of Obama’s term — not hitting bottom until February 2010.

Trade: Jackson said, “We trade more with Mexico than we do with China and Japan every day.”

Not so. It’s true that the U.S. trades more with Mexico than with Japan — but not more than it trades with China.

Total trade in goods (the value of all exports plus the value of all imports) between Mexico and the U.S. was $214 billion in the first five months of this year, according to the U.S Census Bureau. That’s a bit less than the $216 billion total trade with China.

And that’s been true for years. Trade in goods with China has exceeded that with Mexico for all of 2015, and for all of 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 as well. We had to go back more than a decade, to 2005, to find a year in which trade with Mexico exceeded that with China.

Foreign Policy and Pageants

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta falsely claimed that “Donald Trump says he gets his foreign policy experience from … running the Miss Universe pageant.”

Panetta was referring to a Trump interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier in May. As we’ve written before, Baier asked Trump whether he had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump refused to answer, and went on to say that “I know Russia well” because “I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago,” referring to the 2013 pageant.

But Trump didn’t go so far as to say that the pageant was an example of his foreign-policy experience, and Baier never asked him that question.

Hillary Clinton has made similar claims, saying that Trump “says he’s qualified to be commander in chief because he took Miss Universe to Moscow.”

Reid’s Outdated Social Security Claim

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid dredged up an old Democratic talking point in claiming that, “Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to gamble with your retirement benefits in the stock market.” But Trump has said he wants to “leave [Social Security] the way it is.”

Pence supported a plan more than a decade ago that would have allowed younger workers to voluntarily invest part of their Social Security taxes in private mutual funds. Trump advocated something like that 16 years ago, but not now.

We’ve seen Reid’s claim over and over again, and it usually refers to a lawmaker’s support for President George W. Bush’s 2005 proposal for private accounts. And, in fact, Pence, then a congressman, did back Bush’s plan. But that called for voluntary private accounts and limiting how much workers could put into them — plus the accounts would have been government-approved mutual funds. The plan wouldn’t have forced anyone to have their Social Security taxes “gamble[d]” on the stock market.

Trump, however, hasn’t called for any such thing in this campaign. In fact, he said in a March GOP debate, “I will do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is.” And in response to an AARP request for information on his stance, Trump said, “The key to preserving Social Security and other programs that benefit AARP members is to have an economy that is robust and growing.” He went on to talk about “tax reform” and “immigration reform.” He didn’t outline any changes to Social Security.

Back in 2000, Trump did advocate private Social Security accounts, writing in his book “The America We Deserve”: “The solution to the Great Social Security Crisis couldn’t be more obvious: Allow every American to dedicate some portion of their payroll taxes to a personal Social Security account that they could own and invest in stocks and bonds.”

But 16 years later, that’s not a plan he has pushed on the campaign trail.

Abandonment Issues

Kaine said that Trump said he “wants to abandon” our NATO allies. Trump has said that he doesn’t want the U.S. to leave the international security alliance. However, he has recently suggested that he would not automatically defend NATO allies that do not pay their share of defense costs.

Kaine: I want to start off thanking my wife, Anne, and my three beautiful children, Nat, Woody and Annella. … You know, my son, Nat, deployed with his Marine battalion just two days ago. He deployed overseas to protect and defend the very NATO allies that Donald Trump says he now wants to abandon.

Trump’s most recent comments on NATO came during a July interview with David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. Trump said that he would be willing to defend fellow NATO members, “if they fulfill their obligations to us.”

Sanger, July 21: My point here is, Can the members of NATO, including the new members in the Baltics, count on the United States to come to their military aid if they were attacked by Russia? And count on us fulfilling our obligations.

Trump: Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.

Haberman: And if not?

Trump: Well, I’m not saying if not. I’m saying, right now there are many countries that have not fulfilled their obligations to us.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has been critical of NATO, which was established in 1949 by the U.S., Canada and 10 Western European nations to defend against the former Soviet Union. One of Trump’s main criticisms of NATO, which now has 28 member nations, is that it is too costly to the U.S., which pays about 22 percent of direct spending by NATO, and an even larger share of indirect costs, according to budget information. In addition, only five member nations, including the U.S., spend the 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense called for by NATO guidelines, according to a CNN Money analysis.

But Trump didn’t actually tell the Times reporters that “he wants to abandon” allies that don’t make the required payments. He declined to say what he would do if countries had not fulfilled their financial obligations.

And as we wrote in May, Trump, despite his criticisms of NATO, has said that he doesn’t want the U.S. to leave the NATO alliance. Although, he also said that he would “certainly look at” doing so. But in his more recent interview with the Times, Trump at least suggested that he’s open to not defending those nations that don’t pay more.

— Eugene Kiely, with Brooks Jackson, Lori Robertson, Robert Farley, D’Angelo Gore and Zachary Gross

Sources

Congressional Budget Office. “Federal Budget Deficit Totals $1.4 Trillion in Fiscal Year 2009.” 6 Nov 2009.

Office of Management and Budget. “Fiscal 2017 Budget of the United States, Historical Tables: “Table 1.1—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2021.” 9 Feb 2016.

Congressional Budget Office. “An Analysis of the President’s 2017 Budget.” Mar 2016.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Analysis of the President’s FY 2017 Budget.” 9 Feb 2016.

DNCC Announces Third Night Program for Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.” Press release. Democratic National Convention Committee. 27 Jul 2016.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Board Members.” Undated, accessed 28 Jul 2016.

Zandi, Mark and Chris Lafakis, Dan White and Adam Ozimek. “The Macroeconomic Consequences of Mr. Trump’s Economic Policies.” Moody’s Analytics. 20 Jun 2016.

Henig, Jess. “Sunday Replay.” FactCheck.org. 7 Sep 2010.

Keily, Eugene. “Sunday Replay.” FactCheck.org. 9 Aug 2010.

Murray, Shailagh. “Moody’s Economist Has Become a Go-To Guy on Stimulus Plan.” Washington Post. 3 Feb 2009.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Table 3.3a. Monthly Energy Review.” 26 Jul 2016.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National); Total Nonfarm Employment, Seasonally Adjusted.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – May 2016.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2015.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2014.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2013.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2012.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2011.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – Total Trade, Exports, Imports; Year-to-Date December 2010.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – Total Trade, Exports, Imports; Year-to-Date December 2005.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. Total Energy: Monthly Energy Review.

Jackson, Brooks. “Obama’s Numbers April 2016 Update.” FactCheck.org. 06 Apr 2016.

Robertson, Lori. “Renewable Energy ‘Doubled’?” FactCheck.org. 14 Sep 2012.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. Biomass Explained.

Robertson, Lori. “A Decade-Old Democratic Claim.” FactCheck.org. 31 Aug 2015.

Washington Times. “House conservatives harden backing for Social Security plan.” 4 Feb 2005.

CNN. “Transcript of Republican debate in Miami, full text.” 15 Mar 2016.

AARP Bulletin. “Trump & Clinton: Find Out Where They Stand On Social Security.” 27 Jun 2016.

Excerpts from “The America We Deserve.” Ontheissues.org. accessed 28 Jul 2016.

New York Times. “Transcript: Donald Trump on NATO, Turkey’s Coup Attempt and the World.” 21 Jul 2016.

Gore, D’Angelo. “What’s Trump’s Position on NATO?” FactCheck.org. 28 Jul 2016.

Kottasova, Ivana. “These NATO countries are not spending their fair share on defense.” CNNMoney.com. 8 Jul 2016.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Funding NATO. Updated 3 Jun 2015, accessed 27 Jul 2016.

Rucker, Philip and Costa, Robert. “Trump questions need for NATO, outlines noninterventionist foreign policy.” Washington Post. 21 Mar 2016.

New York Times. “Transcript: Donald Trump Expounds on His Foreign Policy Views.” 26 Mar 2016.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Forrest E. Mars, Jr., CEO of Confectionery Empire, Dies at 84]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 04:35:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MARS_GettyImages-452614796.jpg

Forrest E. Mars Jr., the billionaire scion of the Mars Inc., died Tuesday at the age of 84, the company confirmed in a statement Wednesday.

Mars is survived by his wife, four children, eleven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

He inherited the business together with his brother and sister and grew it into a confectionery empire.

"Forrest was a great inspiration to all of us at Mars, Incorporated," said Grant F. Reid, CEO and Office of the President for Mars, Incorporated. "He was instrumental in building our business, while remaining committed to the founding principles of the Company. Forrest will be sorely missed, but his contributions and the legacy he leaves behind at Mars will be long-lasting."

Mars began his career in 1955 as a certified public accountant, working as an auditor for Price Waterhouse after serving in the United States Army for two years. He joined Mars, Incorporated - then, a business of less than $100 million in revenue - as a Financial Staff Officer for M&M's Candies in 1959.

Two years later, Mars was appointed General Manager of a new confectionery factory — now one of the largest chocolate factories in the world — in Veghel, Netherlands. Over the next two decades Mars exploded expanding Mars presence globally.

According to Forbes magazine, the Mars family, with an estimated worth of $78 billion, is the third-richest in the United States, behind only the Waltons of Walmart and the Kochs of Koch Industries.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Beaten by Man Who Groped Her: NYPD]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 02:05:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/woman+beaten+groped.jpg A violent assault in the East Village was caught on camera. Police say a woman was punched repeatedly by a man who grabbed her rear end. She confronted him after the groping and that's when he attacked. Michael George reports.]]> <![CDATA[Clinton Joins These Female 'Firsts']]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 04:53:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/20160727+elizabeth+blackwwell+victoria+woodhull+first+women.jpg

Tuesday marked a historic moment as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major political party. Clinton joined good company when she claimed the "first" title. Here are 13 powerful women who chipped away at the glass ceiling by achieving historic firsts.

Computer Scientist: Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is considered to be the first female computer scientist. She worked with close friend Charles Babbage on plans for a computing machine in 1834 — they were some of the first people to come up with the concept.

Editor of Major U.S. Newspaper: Cornelia Walter became the first woman to serve as editor of a major U.S. newspaper when she took over as editor of the Boston Transcript in 1842. She was 27 at the time.

American Doctor: In 1849, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to get a medical degree at an American university.

American Lawyer: Arabella Mansfield of Iowa became the first woman officially recognized as a lawyer in the United States when she passed the bar exam in 1869. Although she did not go on to practice law, she taught at several colleges.

Presidential Candidate: Though she received no electoral votes, Victoria Woodhull ran for president in 1872 as the People's Party candidate — nearly 50 years before women could even vote. She was jailed on Election Day on obscenity charges.

Prime Minister: Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first female prime minister or president of a country when she was elected as prime minister of Sri Lanka in 1960.

In Space: Valentaina Tereshkova was the first woman to fly in space when Russia's Vostok 6 launched June 16, 1963. Almost exactly 20 years later, Sally Ride became the first American woman to accomplish the feat when the Challenger launched June 18, 1983.

CEO of Fortune 500 Company: Serving as CEO of The Washington Post from 1963 to 1991, Katharine Graham was the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 Company.

Boston Marathon Runner: When Bobbi Gibb's 1966 application to run the Boston Marathon was rejected because she was a woman, she decided to join in anyway. After sneaking into the starting gate, she ran the marathon in 3:21:40.

Military Academy Graduate: Andrea Hollen was the first of 62 women to graduate from West Point University in the class of 1980. She also received a Rhodes scholarship.

Oscar-Winning Director: Winning an Oscar in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. She was the fourth woman to be nominated for that award.

Head of Major U.S. Sports Magazine: ESPN hired Alison Overholt to be editor of ESPN The Magazine in January, making her the first woman to lead a major American sports magazine.

SEAL Candidates: In light of the recent law change that allows women to serve in more combat military roles, the first female SEAL candidates could start training in late August, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. That means a female Navy SEAL could be just a couple of years away.



Photo Credit: National Library of Medicine / Mathew Brady, Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Social Reaction: Obama, Kaine, Biden and Bloomberg]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 23:47:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/DEM_CON_AP_16210124190186.jpg

One night before Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, a powerhouse lineup of speakers made the case for her to be the next president.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Nominee Tom Kaine and Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg headlined Day 3 of the convention. 

Obama called Clinton the most qualified candidate ever. Kaine introduced himself to the country before questioning Republican Donald Trump's trustworthiness. Biden and Bloomberg both hammered Trump's judgement, temperment and qualifications for the job.

On social media, reaction was swift.  



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Pellet Gun Leads to Lockdown at New Jersey College: Police]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 05:40:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/COLLEGE+CAMPUS+LOCKDOWN.jpg

A student triggered a scare on a New Jersey college campus Wednesday after someone spotted him with a gun, police say. 

Police said a woman saw the young man with a gun in the front seat of his car outside Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. She followed him on campus, where she spotted him getting out of his car. That’s when she called police.

It turns out the gun was a pellet gun, but that wasn’t discovered until after the campus went into lockdown and police scoured the campus for the man.

During the lockdown, Rick Carr, a professor at the college, said he got as many people as he could and told them to get in his classroom.

“I don’t want to say I’m scared all the time, but there are reasons to be concerned,” Carr said. 

Officers surrounded the young man's station wagon and, with the help of students, eventually located him in a classroom. He was searched and that’s when the pellet gun was found.

Monmouth County Chief of Detectives Michael Pasterchick said that the man did not have the gun on him while in the classroom.

“They brought him out and he eventually denied it, but eventually did admit that he had a gun in his car, which was a BB gun,” Pasterchick said.

The man was taken into custody, the lockdown was lifted and a sigh of relief was felt across campus.

It wasn’t clear Wednesday what charges the man may face, but in New Jersey pellet guns are subject to all state laws that apply to handguns, meaning people need a permit to carry them.

“In today’s day and age of terrorism, sure there’s a lot wrong with it, you can’t be showing guns or flashing guns in cars," Pasterchick said.

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<![CDATA[Tim Kaine Dad Jokes Take Twitter By Storm]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 23:13:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TimKaine-AP_16194841924998.jpg

The Democratic Party may be losing the beloved goofiness of "Uncle" Joe Biden, but they could be gaining a new cult hero.

Tim Kaine, who was tapped by Hillary Clinton as her running mate, introduced himself to the Democratic Party at large Wednesday night at their national convention. And upon doing so, he struck a chord with many for what they interpreted as his ability to crack a corny dad joke.

And then they took to Twitter:



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Car Hits 3-Year-Old, Mom Crossing NJ Street, Killing Child]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:40:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/baby-killed-plainfield-0727.jpg

A mother was seriously injured and her 3-year-old daughter was killed after the two were hit by a car in New Jersey on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The mother and child were crossing the road at Park Avenue and West Second Street in Plainfield when they were hit by a car headed south on Park Avenue, police said.

Footage from the scene showed a red sedan and a baby stroller inside a perimeter of police tape.

It's not clear if the child that was killed was in the stroller. 

The driver of the car wasn't hurt and remained at the scene. No arrests have been made. 

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<![CDATA[Facebook Beats Analyst Expectations in Second Quarter]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 22:32:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FacebookLogo3.jpg

Facebook beat Wall Street expectations, posting stronger earnings for the second-quarter, NBC News reported. 

The company reported $6.44 billion in revenue, according to a release posted at the end of the trading day. Analysts expected Facebook to earn $6.02 billion. The boost was due to strong user engagement and dominance in mobile and digital advertisements. 

The company reported 1.71 billion users. Daily active users were 1.13 billion on average for June 2016, amounting to a 17 percent increase year over year. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will now focus on expanding the community. 

"We have five billion people left to connect," Zuckerberg said. "The biggest thing we can do to help people and grow the business is to focus on improving and expanding this already dynamic and large community we have using the Facebook app."



Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Press Conference]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:08:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/583804964-donald-trump-press-conference.jpg

Donald Trump made several false and misleading statements in an hour-long press conference — on Bernie Sanders, Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton’s emails and more.

  • The Republican presidential candidate wrongly said that Sen. Bernie Sanders had “lied” in saying Trump supported a minimum wage below $7.25. In fact, Trump told NBC News in May that he didn’t support a federal “floor” and would leave it up to the states. Sanders got it right.
  • Trump insisted again that Vladimir Putin called him a “genius,” even though Putin clarified just last month that he called Trump “flamboyant.”
  • We found no evidence to corroborate Trump’s claim that Putin “mentioned the N-word one time.” Two experts on Russia told us they had no idea what Trump was talking about.
  • Trump claimed with no evidence that Hillary Clinton deleted emails from her private server “after she gets a subpoena” from Congress.
  • There’s also no evidence for Trump’s repeated claim that “many people” saw or knew about “bombs lying all over the floor” of the San Bernardino shooters’ home and didn’t report it.
  • Trump said Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas had “announced a 60 percent increase” in health insurance premiums. That’s a proposed increase for 2017 that has yet to be approved by regulators for certain plans purchased by those buying their own insurance.

In the press conference, Trump was right about one top Democrat, Vice President Joe Biden. Trump pointed out that Biden was wrong to say that Trump wanted to “carpet-bomb” in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State. Sen. Ted Cruz said that.

Minimum Wage: Sanders Was Right

Trump claimed that Sanders “lied” in saying that Trump “wants the minimum wage to go below $7.” But Sanders got his facts right. He said Trump “believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.” And that’s what Trump said.

Today, Trump said the minimum wage should go up to “at least $10,” the first time we could find that he has said that.

First, here’s Trump today at his press conference:

Trump, July 27: The minimum wage has to go up. … At least $10 but it has to go up. But I think that states … I think that states should really call the shots. … But it has to go up. Now, Bernie Sanders lied. Bernie Sanders said in his speech the other day that Donald Trump wants the minimum wage to go below $7. I said, where did he come up with that one?

Trump went on to say, “In fact he was criticized by people that fact check for saying it because I never said it.” We at FactCheck.org did not criticize Sanders on this point. In fact, Trump did say he was in favor of having no federal minimum wage. He was asked by NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on May 8, “should the federal government set a floor?” And he responded: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do.”

Here’s Sanders Monday night at the Democratic National Convention:

Sanders, July 25: He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a starvation wage. While Trump believes in huge tax breaks, huge tax breaks for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.

It may be difficult to follow Trump’s shifting position on the minimum wage: As Todd noted in that NBC News interview, Trump said in one of the debates that he was against raising it — “I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is,” he said in November — and then months later said he would be “open” to raising it.

He even told Todd in May that he “would like to see an increase of some magnitude,” but added that “I’d rather leave it to the states.” However, there is no doubt that he said in that interview that the federal government should not set a floor, leaving states, as Sanders said, “the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.”

Here’s the full exchange from that May 8 NBC News interview:

NBC News’ Chuck Todd: Minimum wage. Minimum wage. At a debate, you know. You remember what you said. You thought you didn’t want to touch it. Now you’re open to it. What changed?

Trump: Let me just tell you, I’ve been traveling the country for many months. Since June 16th. I’m all over. Today I’m in the state of Washington, where the arena right behind me, you probably hear, is packed with thousands and thousands of people. I’m doing that right after I finish you.

I have seen what’s going on. And I don’t know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now, with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I’d rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. Because don’t forget, the states have to compete with each other. So you may have a governor —

Todd: Right. You want the fed– but should the federal government set a floor, and then you let the states–

Trump: No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they’re out there. They’re working. It is a very low number. You know, with what’s happened to the economy, with what’s happened to the cost. I mean, it’s just– I don’t know how you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide.

Putin Still Didn’t Call Trump a Genius

Trump continues to insist that Vladimir Putin called him a “genius,” even though Russian language experts told us Putin merely called Trump “colorful” or “bright” — depending on the translation — and even after Putin clarified just last month that he never called Trump a genius.

Trump, July 27: I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius.

Trump frequently claims that Putin called him a genius, but as we wrote on June 17, that relies on a faulty translation of the Russian president’s faint praise for Trump during a press scrum in December, after Putin was asked what he thought about the Republican candidate.

According to a translation by Russia Insider, which uploaded the video, Putin responded, “He’s a very colorful person. Talented, without any doubt. But it’s not our affair to determine his worthiness — that’s up to the United States voters. But he is absolutely the leader in the presidential race. He wants to move to a different level of relations, to more solid, deeper relations with Russia. And how can Russia not welcome that — we welcome that. As for his internal political issues and the turn of speech which he uses to raise his popularity, I repeat, it’s not our affair to evaluate them.”

It’s the word “colorful” in the first sentence of that translation that is at issue here. We reached out to several Russian language experts, and there was some disagreement about the precise meaning of Putin’s phrase, with some translating it as “colorful,” others “bold” or “bright.” But they all agreed that Trump was inflating Putin’s rather guarded praise, and that Putin most certainly did not go so far as to call Trump a “genius.”

In a speech in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 17, Putin set the record straight, explaining that he had only described Trump as “flamboyant.” According to Reuters, Putin added, with a smile, “He is, isn’t he? I did not give any other assessment of him.”

Putin Used the N-Word?

We could find no evidence to corroborate Trump’s claim that Putin “mentioned the N-word one time,” in a sign of “a total lack of respect for President Obama.”

Trump: Putin has said things over the last year that are really bad things. OK? He mentioned the N-word one time. I was shocked to hear him mention the N-word. You know what the ‘N’ word is, right? He mentioned it. I was shocked. He has a total lack of respect for President Obama. Number one, he doesn’t like him. And number two, he doesn’t respect him. I think he’s going to respect your president if I’m elected. And I hope he likes me.

We scoured the internet and published reports archived by Lexis-Nexis and could not find where Putin ever used that racial epithet. Neither could the Washington Post or CNN, which wrote, “There are no published reports to back up Trump’s allegation about Putin’s use of the racially derogatory term, however.”

Two experts on Russia told us via email that they had never heard of Putin using that term.

“In Russian, the N-word does not begin with ‘N’ — and Putin’s English is pretty rudimentary,” said Stephen Sestanovich, an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“I have no idea what [Trump] is talking about,” added Fiona Hill, an expert on Russian affairs and director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution. “Putin doesn’t really speak English. So perhaps Trump is referring to some speech in Russian–but again I have no idea what he is referring to.”

Hill, who co-authored the second edition of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin,” added, “If it were something in Russian, then the word ‘negr’ is used widely by Russians who grew up in the Soviet era. It is the literal translation of Negro. When I was a student in the USSR in the late 1980s I heard it many times, used by teachers and students at my institute when talking about Africans and oppressed black Americans, and it was written in textbooks. I have heard it used by Russians of Putin’s generation since, including a couple of Russian officials in conversations. It does sound pretty similar to the “N” word to an English speaker, so it would certainly be shocking out of context.”

We did come across an article posted by the Conservative Tribune, which carried the headline “While Talking ISIS Strategy, Putin Just Dropped The “N” Word… This Could Change EVERYTHING.” But as the article quickly makes clear, the N-word in question there was “nuclear.”

Conservative Tribune: Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out the possibility of deploying nuclear warheads when dealing with the Islamic State group, but he hoped it would never come that.

But the context of Trump’s comment makes clear that that’s not the N-word to which Trump was referring.

Clinton’s Emails

Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails from the private server she used as secretary of state after she received a congressional subpoena requesting her emails. But there is no evidence to support his claim. In fact, an FBI investigation found no evidence of a cover-up.

Trump: That a person in our government, Katy, would delete or get rid of 33,000 emails. That gives me a big problem. After she gets a subpoena. She gets subpoenaed, and she gets rid of 33,000 emails? That gives me a problem.

Trump, of course, is referring to Clinton’s use of a personal email system for government businesses. As we have written in “A Guide to Clinton’s Emails,” the State Department asked her in the summer of 2014 to turn over any work-related emails that she had in her possession after she had already left the department in February 2013. Her lawyers went through the emails stored on her server, and they identified 30,490 work-related emails and 31,830 private emails.

In December 2014, Clinton gave the State Department the work-related emails, and the others were deleted. But when did she delete them? We don’t know — and neither does Trump.

Clinton received a subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi on March 4, 2015. The committee requested “any and all documents and communications in your possession.” The request came two days after the New York Times broke the story that she had been using a private email account exclusively for government business.

Six days after receiving a subpoena, Clinton held a press conference on March 10, 2015, to answer questions raised by the Times article. At that press conference, she first disclosed that she deleted her personal emails. “I didn’t see any reason to keep them,” she said.

Trump is assuming that the emails were deleted after March 4, when Clinton was subpoenaed, and perhaps before March 10, when she held her press conference. But her campaign told us for a previous article that the emails were deleted before March 4, although it did not provide us with a date.

FBI Director Jim Comey at a July 5 press conference announced the results of the agency’s investigation into whether Clinton or anyone on her staff violated federal law in the handling of classified information on a private server. He criticized Clinton and her staff for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” but cleared them of any criminal wrongdoing.

In his press conference, Comey said the FBI “discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton” to the State Department. He also said Clinton’s lawyers cleaned her server “in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery,” but he also said the FBI “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

Health Insurance Premiums

Trump said Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas had “announced a 60 percent increase” in health insurance premiums under Obamacare. To be clear, that’s a proposed increase for 2017 — it has to be approved by regulators — for certain plans purchased by those buying their own insurance.

Trump:In Texas, going through BlueCross/BlueShield they just announced a 60 percent increase. On November 1st, you’re going to have new numbers come out for Obamacare, having to do with increases. President Obama is trying to get it moved to December. Because it is election-defying. It is going to be a massive number, the biggest number ever in our country’s history for health care.

Trump has cherry-picked high rate increases for some plans on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces before. As we wrote in April on this issue, there was wide variation in premium changes for plans that individuals purchase on the marketplaces — ranging from the high increases Trump has touted to double-digit decreases.

In this case, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas has requested rate increases of 57 percent and 59 percent. Any increase above 10 percent has to be submitted and approved by government regulators. A 60 percent jump could well be an outlier. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed preliminary rates and estimated a 10 percent rise on average for the second-lowest-cost silver plan in 14 major metropolitan areas.

That’s double what KFF found actually happened in those metro areas — a 5 percent increase — for 2016. Experts have said the marketplace premiums initially came in lower than expected, in 2014, and now are being adjusted based on insurers’ actual experience with consumers. The Urban Institute wrote in November 2015 that it could take a few years before premiums stabilize.

Consumers can switch plans, and many do: The Department of Health and Human Services found 43 percent of returning customers chose a different plan for 2016. And 85 percent of customers qualified for tax credits, insulating them from higher rate hikes.

We can’t predict whether the final increases for the 2017 marketplace plans will be “the biggest number ever in our country’s history,” as Trump claims. But we’ll note that increases on the individual market before the ACA was passed topped 10 percent on average.

Those buying plans on the marketplaces totaled nearly 13 million in 2016. In contrast, more than 154 million people get health insurance through their employers. Those premiums rose an average of 4 percent for family plans in 2015, according to the latest employer survey by KFF.

San Bernardino Shooting

Trump repeated his claim that “many people” saw or knew there were “bombs lying all over the floor” of the San Bernardino shooters’ home and didn’t report it. There’s no evidence of that.

Trump: I think that the people in the community know what’s going on. Whether it’s in a mosque or whether it’s in the community and they have to report these people. When you look at San Bernardino, people knew — many people knew what was going on. They had bombs lying all over the floor. … I mean, this isn’t — you walk into somebody’s house, there are bombs lying on the floor — I think there’s a problem there. You got to report it.

Trump made a similar claim in mid-June about Muslims being complicit in the Dec. 2, 2015, shooting in San Bernardino, California. He said that “many people,” including neighbors of the shooters, saw “bombs all over the floor” of the couple’s apartment, but declined to report it because of concerns about racial profiling. As we wrote then, one friend of a neighbor said the neighbor noticed a lot of packages arriving at the house, and that the couple had been doing a lot of work in their garage — and the neighbor didn’t report it due to racial profiling concerns.

During the fifth Republican debate in December, Trump accused the mother of the shooter of having advance knowledge of the attack. The FBI was investigating the matter, but officials have not brought any charges or made any accusation against the mother, whose lawyer says that his client didn’t know what her son was planning.

Trump Right About Biden

Trump said that Biden “lied” when Biden said Trump stated that he wanted to “carpet-bomb” in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State. Biden was incorrect. Sen. Ted Cruz, not Trump, said that the U.S. should use carpet-bombing as a strategy against the terrorist organization known as ISIS.

Trump: Joe Biden lied today. He said that Donald Trump wants to carpet-bomb — he was on television — he said, Donald Trump wants to carpet-bomb the enemy in the Middle East. Now, that was Ted Cruz that said that. That was not Donald Trump.

Here’s what Biden said about Trump during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 27 (at 7:10 in the video):

Biden, July 27: And some of the things he says. Like, for example, I know he’s trying to be tough, but he’s gonna go out and carpet-bomb. You want to go out and make friends and influence people in the Middle East? You’re gonna go carpet-bomb innocent people and bad people at the same time and that’s going to help us fight against ISIS and Daesh?

We can’t say whether Biden “lied,” as Trump said. That would mean that Biden knew what he was saying was false. But Biden did get it wrong.

It was Cruz, the Texas senator and former Republican candidate for president, who talked about carpet-bombing ISIS.

“We will have a president who will make clear we will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out,” Cruz said during a campaign event in Iowa on Dec. 5, 2015.

Carpet-bombing, generally, involves dropping many bombs over an area without a specific target. Such a tactic could result in unintended casualties since some ISIS fighters are embedded among civilian populations. That’s one of the reasons that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Cruz’s plan would not work.

“I think most rhetoric about carpet-bombing, about making the sand glow, about bombing them to death and so on is frankly just unrealistic,” Gates said in an interview on Fox Business Network in January.

Gates added: “It’s not going to accomplish the military objective — it takes no account of civilian casualties. It’s a simplistic answer to what’s a complex and long term problem.”

For his part, Trump has said multiple times that he would use bombs against ISIS. But he has said that he would specifically target oil fields that ISIS controls in Iraq, Syria and other areas.

On June 17, 2015, a day after he announced that he was running for president, Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that “I would bomb the hell out of them. I’d bomb the fields.”

Nearly a month later, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper the same thing. “If I win, I would attack those oil sites that are controlled … by ISIS,” Trump said.

In mid-November, the Trump campaign released a radio ad in which Trump says, in a voice-over, “Yes, I will quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS.” That was after Trump, at a campaign rally in Iowa, on Nov. 12, said this:

Trump, Nov. 12, 2015: ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain oil camps, right? They have certain areas of oil that they took away. They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the s— out of them. I would just bomb those suckers. And that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes. I’d blow up the refinery. I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left.

So, Trump has called for specifically targeting ISIS-controlled oil fields. A strategy that some in the military have criticized. But that’s different from carpet-bombing, which is what Biden wrongly said Trump wants to do.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[7-Eleven Bodega Lawsuit]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:29:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/eleven+7+trademark.jpg The folks at 7-Eleven aren’t too happy about a local bodega called “Eleven-7” and now there’s a lawsuit. A deli named Z-11 is also facing a big legal fight. Ida Siegal reports.]]> <![CDATA[Trump Wants Female President, 'Just Not' Clinton]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 19:42:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TrumpScrantonRally-AP_16209751831494.jpg

Speaking to supporters in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump warned women to be “careful what they wished” for if they were supporting Hillary Clinton in her bid to become the first female president, NBC News reported. 

That’s not to say Trump doesn’t want to see a woman commander-in-chief someday. It’s just that he doesn’t want it to be Hillary Clinton. 

Trump told the crowd “they’ll say 'Madame President' — oh, I don't want to hear that. I do want to hear it eventually, 'cause I want to see a woman become President, but it can't be her. She's a disaster. She's a disaster." 

Trump inspired cheers with the phrase “crooked Hillary" at the rally in Scranton, which brought out some of the most enthusiastic supporters in weeks. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dead Whale, Struck by Ship Days Ago, Resurfaces in Hudson]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 05:32:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/dead+whale+hudson.jpg

A dead whale struck by a ship several days ago in New Jersey has apparently resurfaced in the Hudson River — it's one of a number that have been spotted around New York City over the past few days. 

The 30-foot whale was first spotted under the bow of a cargo ship in Newark Bay by a pilot boat driver a couple of days ago, according to Bob Schoelkopf of Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine. The ship appeared to have struck the whale, the pilot boat driver confirmed. 

The whale apparently sank, then floated to the surface in the Hudson River off Jersey City Wednesday, according to Schoelkopf. 

On Wednesday, crews were approaching the whale to try to remove it, Chopper 4 over the scene shows. 

Schoelkopf said he thinks it may be a fin whale, not a humpback, but couldn't tell precisely from Chopper 4's aerial shot. 

Paul Seaswerda, who runs Gotham Whale, a nonprofit that studies marine life around the city and offers whale watching tours, says that whales are being drawn back to the city, partly because of climate change.

"We have whales around here and we have them in abundance," Seaswerda said. "We see whales with the skyline in the background and the whales in the foreground. It's just amazing." 

Some whales can be found just 200 feet from shore. They've been seen near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, where ships enter the busiest port on the Atlantic Seaboard. It's a boon for whale watchers, but it can spell disaster for the whales.

"In 2014 we had more whales than in the previous three years put together," Seaswerda said. "If there's any kind of adjustments that have to be made to so that humans and whales can live happily together, those measures can be taken." 

Marine scientists say 2015 was the worst year so far for whales in the tri-state area; nine whales were reportedly killed, mostly by ship strikes. NOAA put out a warning Tuesday, telling people to watch out for whales in the water. 

Brian Thompson contributed to this report 

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<![CDATA[Pakistan Police Investigate Alleged 'Honor Killing' ]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:54:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/HonorKillings-AP_16200542218184.jpg

Authorities in Pakistan are investigating the death of a British woman suspected to be an “honor killing,” police told NBC News on Wednesday. 

Samia Shahid’s husband, Syed Mukhtar, Kazim claims she was murdered because of her marriage to him. Shahid was visiting her estranged parents in northeastern Pakistan, where she died on July 20.

Police are investigating Shahid’s father and a cousin in her death, and told NBC News they are also looking for her former husband.

A “mark” was spotted on her neck after her death, and police said there was “foaming from her mouth, but that could be normal.” The family, according to police, say Shahid “fell ill and just died.” A final forensic report hasn’t been released yet. 

Shahid’s death has become a high-profile investigation in Pakistan. Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday promised a "transparent and swift probe" into the case.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Muscular Man in Dress, Heels Robs NYC Bank: FBI]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 21:02:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bank+robber+dress+suspect.jpg

A muscular man in a dress, floppy hat and high heels robbed a New York City bank while armed with a handgun, and the FBI and police are searching for the suspect, who's considered dangerous. 

The man walked into Santander Bank at 81 Water Street on Staten Island on Monday, wearing a silver and black formal dress, silver high heels, black hat and sunglasses, the FBI said. 

The man, described as about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 and about 175 pounds, showed a silver handgun and robbed the bank.

Surveillance video later showed him in a nearby store pulling off the skirt, revealing plaid shorts and blue-and-white Nike Jordan sneakers. He was not wearing a shirt. 

The suspect, who may have scarring around the mouth, should be considered armed and dangerous, the FBI-NYPD Joint Violent Crimes Task Force says. 

Anyone with information should contact 800-577-TIPS or the FBI at 212-384-5000. The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. 

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<![CDATA[Hope for Newborn With Rare Heart Condition at NYC Hospital]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:37:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/navy+caroline+dumont.jpg

A newborn girl with a rare heart condition had to be taken to three different hospitals before she was finally able to get care from a surgeon at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. 

Baby girl Navy Caroline Dumont, born to navy man dad Jeremiah and mom Kristen last weekend, was just minutes from leaving the hospital in the upstate New York town of Malone last weekend when one last test sent her parents into panic.

"They just said they found an anamoly, and had to immediately transfer to another hospital," said Kristen Dumont. "It kind of felt like the world was crashing down around you." 

Doctors discovered total anomalous pulmonary venous return, a rare heart defect that affects blood oxygen flow. 

"When you walk in and see a two-day-old baby girl with tubes in her nose," said Jeremiah, crying as she recalled the image. 

Navy was rushed to Burlington, Vermont, in search of a surgeon. Ultimately, Boston Medical Center sent a life-flight to bring her to Columbia Presbyterian. 

Kristen and Jeremiah left Burlington with only $100. They arrived in New York with no place to stay and no change of clothes. But they do have hope.

Doctors are aiming to perform open-heart surgery on Navy next week. But she wouldn't be in New York had their hospital in Malone not started testing for the condition just recently. 

"It's a small hospital, but they caught it. They saved my baby girl's life," said Jeremiah.

Back in their small hometown of 6,000, Malone neighbors are rallying to raise money through a GoFundMe page and even a chairty softball game. 

As for the name Navy, her dad wears it with pride.

"She's definitely living up to the name. You can't sink the U.S. Navy and you can't sink her, she's an absolute fighter." 



Photo Credit: Provided to NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Guns N' Roses Star Slash Surprises 'School of Rock' Cast]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:17:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SLASH+SURPRISES+SCHOOL+OF+ROCK+-+00003401_WNBC_000000012515703.jpg

The kid band at the heart of the Broadway musical "School of Rock" got a surprise guest during rehearsal - Guns N' Roses star Slash.

The guitarist made a surprise appearance Friday while the pre-teen band was practicing the Guns N' Roses song "Sweet Child O' Mine." He then joined in with young guitarist Brandon Niederauer, who seemed delighted.

Singer Bobbi MacKenzie didn't notice the musician until after the song, covering her mouth in surprise. After shaking hands with the kids, Slash joined them on "Paradise City."

The musical stays close to the plot of the Jack Black-led 2003 film, in which a wannabe rocker enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands.

Slash is touring with Guns N' Roses.



Photo Credit: School of Rock The Musical]]>
<![CDATA[Man Donates Kidney to Friend: Video]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:48:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/graham+kidney.jpg

Born with a rare disease and just days away from kidney failure, Fort Worth nurse Danny Kolzow is getting a lifeline from a longtime friend. 

Graham McMillan is donating one of his kidneys to Kolzow. 

The operation took place Wednesday at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth – the same hospital where Kolzow works.

Wednesday afternoon, Mary Kolzow, mother of Danny Kolzow, and Claire McMillan, wife of Graham McMillan, shared a joint statement: Danny and Graham are recovering, doing well and praising Jesus. We have felt loved, encouraged and cared for by the hospital staff. Praise God for his faithfulness through this process. Thank you for the many prayers that have been answered."

McMillan said he wanted to break the news to Kolzow in a special way, so he made arrangements with other nurses to give him the news at work. The moment, posted on Vimeo, has now been viewed more than 800,000 times. 

He showed up with a sign that read, "Heard urine need of a kidney. Want mine?" 

"Pretty funny, right?" McMillan said. "Let's do this." 

He walked down a hallway and delivered the news to his shocked friend. 

The two hugged as other nurses wept. 

"My kidney's going inside that body right there," McMillan said as the two embraced. 

The two met while they were students at Texas Christian University and kept in touch. 

McMillan, a youth pastor, agreed to get tested to see if one of his kidneys would be compatible. 

It was a match. 

"Just to get the news, something I've been waiting for for so long," Kolzow said. "And it's incredible news, that I get to not have to worry, I am going to get this lifesaving organ that I need. It's incredible." 

The two men credit their faith with making it happen. 

"I'm getting a transplant literally the week before I would have to start dialysis," Kolzow said. "It's just perfect timing."



Photo Credit: Graham McMillan/NBC 5
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<![CDATA[NYC Restaurant Begins Selling 'Bleeding' Veggie Burgers]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 05:07:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/impossible-burger.jpg

New Yorkers can be among the first to taste a veggie burger that tastes -- and bleeds -- just like ground beef.

Momofuki Nishi in Chelsea unveiled the so-called "Impossible Burger" -- a lab-produced, plant-based meat burger -- and plans to start selling them for $12 apiece.

The burgers are made with plant-based proteins and fats that are engineered to look and taste exactly like a ground beef patty.

The Impossible Burger will also cook just like a regular patty, meaning diners can get them cooked anywhere from rare to well-done. And if a diner likes a rare burger, it'll "bleed" just like a beef patty thanks to a molecule found in both plants and the blood of animals.

David Chang, the head chef at Momofuku Nishi, told Eater that he had heard about the burger about a year ago and wanted to try it.

"It was something new that I had to get behind," Chang said.

The burger, which was created by Impossible Foods, should be an appealing option for people who enjoy meat but want to lessen the impact of eating it. And according to early taste-tests, it's hard to determine which patty was ground beef and the other was plant-based.



Photo Credit: Kathryn Sheldon / New York Live]]>