<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York https://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usTue, 17 Jul 2018 02:11:04 -0400Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:11:04 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Widespread Storms, Hail, Severe Weather Threat Loom Tuesday]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 00:54:48 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*160/mon+gif.gif

After yet another humid scorcher that saw highs hit 90 in parts of the city, Storm Team 4 says more widespread, potentially severe storms are likely on Tuesday.

A strong cold front approaching the region brings the chance for severe weather Tuesday, with Storm Team 4 anticipating widespread storms, particularly during the afternoon and evening.

Storm Team 4 says damaging winds in excess of 60 mph and torrential rain are possible, posing a risk of flash flooding, from about noon through 7 p.m. Some small hail is possible as well. 

The weather improves after that, with highs expected in the mid-80s and sunny skies through the remainder of the workweek.

Photo Credit: NOAA
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<![CDATA[Top Moments From the Trump-Putin News Conference]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 19:03:16 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NAT_DIT_Trump_Putin_Presser-_best_moments-153176510104600002.jpg

President Donald Trump, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Russian President Vladimir Monday, refused to say whether he believed his own intelligence agencies over Putin about interference in the 2016 United States presidential election. In an extraordinary news conference in Helsinki, Finland, just days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents on charges of hacking into the Democratic National Committee and Hillary’s Clinton presidential campaign, Trump instead said both the U.S. and Russia were to blame over deteriorating relations. 

Here were some of the most stunning moments from a question-and-answer session with reporters that had Democrats and even some Republicans crying foul.

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Trump refuses to defend U.S. intelligence agencies
Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire asked Trump whether he believed his own intelligence agencies or Putin about whether Russians interfered in the 2016 election and whether he would denounce the meddling and warn Putin against doing it again.

In his answer, Trump declined to back his own Justice Department and instead put forward conspiracy theories about the 2016 election and pivoted again to Hillary Clinton's emails. 

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“We have two thoughts,” Trump said. “You have groups the are wondering why the FBI never took the [DNC] server. “Why haven’t they taken the server. Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee. I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting that out.”

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Trump also refused to back U.S. intelligence agencies and noted that Putin had denied Russian involvement.

“I don’t see any reason why it would be but I really do want to see the server,” Trump said.

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Afterward, Daniel R. Coats, the director of national intelligence, said in a statement that the intelligence community's role was to provide the best, fact-based information to the president and policymakers. 

“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security,” he said.

Is there Russian "kompromat?"

The AP’s Lemire also asked Putin directly whether the Russian state had compromising information on Trump, which was the subject of a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent and which Trump supporters have denounced. The dossier alleged that an incident involving Trump and prostitutes was secretly recorded by Russia during the visit.

Putin called the uncorroborated accusation “utter nonsense” but in waving it off did not specifically deny the claim. Instead he insisted he didn’t know that Trump was in Moscow at the time and said that many American businessmen had visited Russia.

“Distinguished colleague, let me tell you this: When Mr. Trump visited Moscow back then, I didn’t even know he was in Moscow. I treat Mr. Trump with utmost respect but back then when he was private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me he was in Moscow.”

Rob Goldstone, a music promoter who arranged the meeting in July 2016 in Trump Tower when material damaging to Clinton was allegedly promised to Donald Trump Jr., tweeted out the following:

“President Putin just stated that he had no idea Donald Trump was in Moscow in 2013. I know for sure that he did and tell the full story in my soon to be released book…”

Putin's candidate
Putin was asked whether he wanted Trump to win the election, as U.S. intelligence agencies have maintained.

“Yes, I did,” Putin said. “Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the Russian relationship back to normal.”

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Will Russia extradite indicted Russian agents?
Putin was asked whether he would extradite 12 Russian agents indicted for hacking into Democratic computers during the 2016 presidential election. The U.S does not have an extradition treaty with Russia. 

Putin replied that a different U.S.-Russian treaty calls for mutual assistance on criminal cases and suggested Mueller send an official request asking that Russia question the agents on behalf of the United States. 

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“I don’t know the full extent of the situation but President Trump mentioned this issue and I will look into it,” Putin said. “So far I can say the following off the top of my head. We have an existing agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, an existing treaty that dates back to 1999, the mutual assistance on criminal cases. This treaty is in full effect, it works quite efficiently.”

He said that U.S. agents could come to Russia to witness the questioning, if Americans would also assist Russia in its investigation into Putin critic Bill Browder, a British financier who has spearheaded sanctions against Russians for human rights abuses.  

Soccer diplomacy 
Russia is coming off hosting a successful World Cup competition, which ended on Sunday with France defeating Croatia 4-2 to win the tournament. Putin playfully tossed a soccer ball to Trump, telling him, “Speaking of the football actually. Mr. President, I’ll give this ball. and now the ball is in your court. All the more that the United States will host the World Cup in 2026.”

The 2026 World Cup will be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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Trump said the soccer ball would go to his son, Baron, and threw the ball to his wife, Melania, who was sitting in the audience.

Afterward, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted: “Finally, if it were me, I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.”

Reporter ejected from press conference
Moments before the joint press conference began a reporter representing The Nation magazine was forcibly removed from the room by security agents. He appeared to be carrying a handwritten sign that said “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty.”

Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation’s editor, told CNN: “Sam Husseini, communications director of Institute for Public Accuracy, received press accreditation from @thenation to cover the summit. As Trump administration consistently denigrates media, we’re deeply troubled by reports that he was forcibly removed from press conference.”

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<![CDATA[Timing, Expectations for Tuesday's Severe Weather Threat]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 23:08:52 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Severe+Threat+Impacts+071618A.png ]]> <![CDATA[Lawmakers Push Bill to Ban 'Gay and Trans Panic Defense']]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:03:22 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/markeykennedyGettyImages-989904562.jpg

Sen. Edward Markey and Rep. Joe Kennedy, are pushing a bill that would end the use of so-called “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses in federal court, NBC News reported.  

The legislation, titled Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2018, states that these defenses “seek to partially or completely excuse crimes such as murder and assault on the grounds that the sexual orientation or gender identity of the victim is provocation enough for the violent reaction of the defendant.”

The rare defense tactic has already been banned in California and Illinois, but is still theoretically usable in federal court. Markey and Kennedy, two Democrats from Massachusetts, aim to change that with this legislation.

“Gay and trans panic legal defenses reflect an irrational fear and bigotry toward the LGBTQ community and corrode the legitimacy of federal prosecutions,” Markey said in a statement. “These defenses must be prohibited to ensure that all Americans are treated with dignity and humanity in our justice system.”

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images, File ]]>
<![CDATA[Inferno Chews Through Chinese Restaurant in NJ: Firefighters]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 02:01:53 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PASSAIC+FIRE4.jpg

An inferno raged out of control as it chewed its way through a Chinese restaurant in New Jersey late Tuesday, firefighters say.

The blaze broke out around 10:30 p.m. at the restaurant at a strip mall on Lexington Avenue, between Monroe and Quincy streets in Passaic, the Passaic Fire Department said.

Video from the scene shows the flames leaping from the roof of the restaurant. The fire quickly went up to six-alarms, according to a nearly 30-minute Facebook Live with the Mayor Hector Carlos Lora.

There was no immediate word on any injuries or what may have sparked the fire.

Photo Credit: dgreatbabe]]>
<![CDATA['Zombie' Rat Climbs Out of NYC Bathroom Sink]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:52:47 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/rat-diptych.jpg

A Brooklyn couple experienced firsthand one of New York City’s most disgusting urban legends: a rat came wiggling its way out of their plumbing.

Bari Finkel said a rat crawled out of the sink drain in their Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone Friday night.

“It looked like a zombie coming out of the grave,” she recalled.

Finkel said it was actually her boyfriend who discovered something amiss with the sink -- which had no stopper because of a slow drain -- while using the restroom.

When he looked over at let out a yelp, Finkel went over to the bathroom thinking that he had somehow hurt himself. She said she let out her own horrified scream when she saw the critter for herself.

“I looked over and saw this small creature just emerging from the drain,” she said.

She added, “It was just so insane I couldn’t not laugh.”

Finkel said she went back to the living room to keep her dogs out of the bathroom while her boyfriend tried to handle the situation with a grocery bag. But she said went back into the bathroom document what had happened.

“After a couple minutes, (the rat) was making sounds and was clearly also freaked out,” she said. “I said ‘we should probably take a couple of pictures, because this is insane.’”

She said that when she lifted the bag to get pictures, the rat escaped the only way it could: it climbed back down the drain.

“I’m glad we didn’t have to figure out what to do with it, but I did not love the idea of it being in the pipes,” she said.

Finkel said she’d never seen rodents in her apartment building before, and even members of her block association had never heard of anything like that happening.

She told her landlord, whose only response was “that’s a first.”

They were a little wary of using the bathroom for a few hours after the critter’s visit, Finkel said, but they don’t have any plans to change their routine -- other than replacing their sink stopper.

Photo Credit: Bari Finkel
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<![CDATA[Man Spotted Slipping Into NYC Subway Grate]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 23:49:31 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gratre_person_1280x720_1278644803953.jpg

Are there really people living in New York City's underground systems? A video taken in Brooklyn last Thursday shows it's not so hard to hide out in the city -- as long as you know where to go. 

Jeunesse Awad was locked out of her apartment in Greenpoint last Thursday when she witnessed a man climbing into a subway grate.

"Yesterday morning I locked myself out of my apartment and because Greenpoint and it was 6:00 am-nothing was open," Awad said.

"So I walked around looking for coffee spots. We were passing each other on the sidewalk on Manhattan Avenue when he stopped at the subway grate and casually lifted it up."

Awad was surprised by the situation and immediately whipped out her phone.

"I had always had my doubts about the New York myth that people live in the subway [mole people], but he didn't look or act as I expected one would. He wasn't too tattered and seemed well aware of me," she said.

It isn't clear why the man was entering the subway grate that morning.

"Him and I were the only ones up that early. We actually passed each other twice more that morning as I waited for my roommate to wake up. I hope I see him around again," Awad said.

<![CDATA['I Will Kill You on This Train,' Kid-Hitting Rider Tells Dad]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:45:20 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Knife+Stroller+Threatening.jpg

Authorities reissued their call Monday for help finding the enraged subway rider law enforcement sources say pulled a knife on another man and threatened to kill him after the man admonished him for hitting his child last month.

The 45-year-old victim was riding an uptown E train in Manhattan with his wife and 4-year-old daughter mid-afternoon on June 24 when he saw the other rider hit his own child, who was riding in a stroller, the law enforcement sources said.

After the 45-year-old father expressed disapproval, the passenger started to threaten him, police said.

“It’s my kid — worry about your f---ing kid,” the passenger told the man at some point during the dispute, according to law enforcement sources. "I will kill you on this train." 

“I promise you I will change your life," the rider added. 

Video taken inside the subway car shows the rider with the stroller pull out a knife and shout as he holds open the train doors.

The passenger spits at the 45-year-old man just before exiting the train, the video shows.

On Sunday, the man told News 4 he and his family were on an outing to get ice cream when the squabble happened. 

"We made eye contact and he says, 'Why are you looking at me?' And used f-words. And I said, 'You shouldn't hit your kid. It's unnecessary,'" the man said. 

The knife-wielding passenger was last seen wearing a red shirt. Anyone who recognizes him is asked to call police. 

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[4th Child Dies After Last Week's Blaze at New Jersey Home]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 17:56:21 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fatal+fire+union+city+nj.jpg

The inferno that devoured a multi-family home in New Jersey last week, killing two young brothers and their 5-year-old cousin, has claimed the life of a fourth child -- a 13-year-old boy, the prosecutor's office said Monday. 

The four children killed in the Union City blaze have been identified as brothers Jason Gonzalez, 2, and Christian Josue Mendez, 7; their cousin, Mayli Wood, 5; and 13-year-old Jose Felipe Tejada.

Three others injured in the fire remain hospitalized: a 4-year-old girl who's in critical condition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a woman and a man who are in stable condition. 

Prosecutors said Monday the fire appears to have started on the first floor of the three-story home at 416 25th St. They're still looking into a cause and origin. 

Witnesses described a horrifying scene. 

"They were all unconscious, one child's face was burned," said Eddei Miranda. 

Eudes Hernandez, a friend of a family that lost a child, was at the corner of the street when he says he saw smoke and fire. He ran to the flaming building and tried desperately to help get everyone out. He said he tried to knock on the doors, but he couldn't even see anything because of all the smoke. 

"I feel so bad for them. I knock on the door, try to get out everybody," he said. 

Chopper 4 footage showed an entire side of the multi-story building charred black from heavy fire. The windows looked like smoldering panels of charcoal as smoke billowed from the roof and sides of the house. People were seen gathering on the roofs of neighboring buildings to watch the response unfold. 

Photo Credit: News 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[16-Year-Old Boy Shot Dead Day After His Birthday: NYPD]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 23:43:42 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/justin+richey.png

A popular teenage honors student who had just celebrated 16th his birthday on Saturday died after he was shot on a Brooklyn street in front of a bodega, authorities say.

The boy, later identified by cops as Justin Richey of Brooklyn, was found unconscious near Blake Avenue and Pine Street in East New York shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday, police said. 

Officials said the boy was shot after getting into an argument outside a nearby bodega with someone who opened fire, police said. Surveillance video showed him being punched before someone pulled a gun and shot him several times. 

He had several gunshot wounds to his chest, back, abdomen and ribs, the NYPD said. 

The teen, an honors student called "Chuck," tried to get help but by the time emergency officers arrived, he was in cardiac arrest. He was taken to Brookdale Hospital, and pronounced dead a short time later. 

Richey, who wanted to be a doctor, was a pillar in the community, neighbors and friends said. 

"He cared about his family," said friend Keith Watkins. "He wanted to take care of his family, and his family to be all right." 

Another friend said, "All he wanted to do was make people laugh, take care of his mother and his siblings." 

Tyana Hale was emotional as she described her friend. 

"Chuck was amazing," she said. "He would do anything to make someone laugh. He would do anything for anyone." 

Bodega owner Rubel Uddin showed a photo he took of Richey on his graduation day a few weeks ago. He was so impressed by the teen.

"That day he graduated, he has a nice dress. I said, 'Can I take a picture,'" said Uddin. "He's a really good kid." 

Uddin gave Richey a free soda on his birthday; less than 24 hours later, the teen was dead.

It's not clear why Richey was targeted. Police said he had no criminal history and was not known to be affiliated with any gang. Instead, he was known to help neighbors, shoveling their snow and carrying their groceries. 

"He was a really good kid, man," said Mike Blake. "He was probably the least deserving kid in this neighborhood for something like this." 

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. 

A rally for Richey and another recently slain Brooklyn teen, Latrell Brown, was held Monday evening. Brown, 16, was killed last Wednesday in Bedford-Stuyvesant. 

"He lived on the basketball court. When he wasn't there, he was at the rec center, or on the basketball court with one of his coaches," his mother said.

Brown's mother clutched and prayed with Richey's aunt at Monday's march to end gun violence killing young people in the community. 

"I'm not going to stop until justice is done. It's not fair, he was just coming home. That's it. Just coming home," Brown's mother said.

The suspect in Brown's death, 17-year-old Justin Delapara, is due in court Tuesday. 

Photo Credit: Provided to News 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Found Dead of Blow to Head in Newark Apartment: Pros.]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 17:26:38 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/newark+homicide+Nellie+Marquez.png

A woman popular in the gated building community where she lived in Newark was found dead of a blow to the head over the weekend, authorities say. 

The body of 55-year-old Nellie Marquez was discovered in her apartment in the 100 block of Dayton Street in Newark Saturday afternoon, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced Monday.

Neighbors said Marquez had been living at the Seth Boyden Houses for three years. She was in charge of the social committee and had many friends there, and they didn't know who would do that and how they got into the gated complex. 

"She was a beautiful woman and it's sad," said Michele Leverett. "We are hurting."

"I loved her, I would visit her and spend time with her," said Kevin Newton, another neighbor. 

The last time friends saw Marquez, she had just come home from dialysis. 

"Friday, she came back, and was outside. She was laughing with everyone," said Leverett.

An autopsy is set to take place, but preliminary investigation indicates she died from blunt force trauma, officials said.

Security officers with the Newark Hosuing Authority said it was an "isolated incident" and assured there are cameras everywhere and security around the clock. Still, worried residents said too many "guests" are buzzed in and some even sleep in the hallways.  

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which includes detectives from the Newark Police Department, is investigating the incident as a homicide.

No arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified.

Authorities urge anyone with information to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.

Photo Credit: News 4 NY ]]>
<![CDATA[Lawmakers Blast Trump After Summit With Putin]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:11:36 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Lawmakers_Blast_Trump_After_Summit_With_Putin.jpg

President Donald Trump stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday and called the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election a "disaster" for the United States and its relationship with Russia. Andrew Siff reports.

<![CDATA[17, Including Kids, Hurt in Summer Camp Bus Pileup in NJ]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 23:56:57 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Bus+Crash+Medford+Lakes+_29512031.jpg

Nearly two dozen children suffered minor injuries following a crash involving five school buses in Medford Lakes, New Jersey.

Officials say five buses rear-ended each other on Tuckerton Road and Lenape Trail Monday around 4 p.m. The buses were dropping off children who attended the JCC Medford Day Camp.

First responders say 21 children, two bus drivers and one staff member suffered injuries in the crash though none were life-threatening. They were taken to Virtua Voorhees and Virtua Mount Holly hospitals for treatment. The other 67 campers and 10 staff members were taken back to the JCC Camp on additional buses and reunited with their families.

The buses involved in the crash are owned and operated by the Safety Bus Company based in Pennsauken, New Jersey. The Medford Township Traffic Safety Unit is investigating the incident.

<![CDATA[Refund Snarled in Google Service]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 17:55:32 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Refund_Snarled_in_Google_Service.jpg

A man who tried to get a startup off the ground with a Google AdWords account and was befuddled when he tried to get a refund. Lynda Baquero reports.

<![CDATA[Renovations Keep Long Island Pool Closed]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 17:38:24 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Renovations_Keep_Long_Island_Pool_Closed.jpg

A Long Island pool will stay closed as hot residents try to find a new place to cool off. Greg Cergol reports.

<![CDATA[Ex-Camp Counselor in NJ Admits to Producing Child Porn]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:38:59 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-141810855+edited.jpg

A former New Jersey teacher and camp counselor admitted his role in producing child pornography, authorities announced Monday.

Colin M. Skeele, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography, the New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney’s Office say.

Skeele, of Florham Park, was arrested and charged on Aug. 4, 2016.

The charge of producing child pornography to which Skeele pleaded guilty is punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2018.

Skeele’s attorney, Jay Surgent, says that his client has accepted the consequences of his conduct.

“My client today has accepted the responsibility for his conduct and will accept this sentence and that is why he has voluntarily plead guilty,” Surgent said, adding that Skeele “is sorry for his conduct.”

According to court documents, Skeele previously worked as a counselor at a boys’ summer camp in Hardwick, New Jersey, and as a teacher at a parochial schools in Boontown and Stirling.

In 2011, Skeele became Facebook friends with a boy that Skeele met while working as a counselor at the summer camp, authorities say, adding that in Facebook messages with the minor, Skeele allegedly offered to pay money for the minor to take sexually explicit photographs to send to Skeele.

Authorities say that in one instance, Skeele paid the boy about $100 to send nude images of himself and Skeele later sent at least one pornographic image of that minor to another minor who also attended the camp.

Additionally, in February 2012, Skeele allegedly communicated online with individuals in the Phillippines to purchase live child sexual abuse shows. Instant messages gathered during the investigation showed that Skeele used an online fund transfer service to buy the videos, prosecutors say.

Authorities urge anyone with information regarding possible victims to contact the Department of Homeland Security in Newark, New Jersey, 973-776-5500.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Politicians Call Trump-Putin News Conference 'Embarrassing']]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 19:07:10 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/071618gtrumppitom.jpg

Democrats and some Republicans on Monday criticized President Donald Trump’s performance at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Helsinki, Finland. Former CIA Director John Brennan called Trump's  behavior "treasonous."

Brennan tweeted: "Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???" 

Many critics took issue with Trump's decision not to publicly hold Russia accountable for what U.S. investigators have called interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement that Trump was putting himself before the country.

“In the entire history of our country, Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an American adversary the way President Trump has supported President Putin,” Schumer said in the statement. “For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak."

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called Trump's remarks disgraceful.

“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory," McCain said in a statement. "The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement that “the president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.”

“There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals,” Ryan said. “The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy."

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After a private conversation with Putin that lasted about two hours, Trump said the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the election was a “disaster” for the U.S. and its relationship with Russia.

During the joint news conference, Trump also said he holds both Russia and the U.S. responsible for a decline in relations between both countries. 

Trump dismissed the idea that there was collusion between his administration and Russian officials, explaining that he didn’t know Putin before the election and that there wasn’t anybody to collude with.

Trump also said he has been told that Russia interfered in the election but that Putin denied the allegations and “I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia].”

Putin said he would look into the indicted Russian intelligence officers mentioned in the special counsel’s probe.

The news conference came three days after 12 Russian officials were accused of hacking the Democratic National Convention and Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign in an indictment. Democrats had called for Trump to cancel Monday’s meeting with Putin after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the findings detailed in the indictment.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., called Trump’s comments shameful in a tweet.

“I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression,” Flake said in the tweet.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Twitter that it was a “missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.”

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump’s comments embarrassing in a statement.

“President Trump’s weakness in front of Putin was embarrassing, and proves that the Russians have something on the President, personally, financially or politically,” Pelosi said. “This is a sad day for America, and for all Western democracies that Putin continues to target.”

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said McConnell's positions on Russia haven't changed. 

“As the Leader has said many times, Russia is not our friend, and he agrees with the findings of the intelligence community regarding Russia’s efforts to interfere in our elections," the spokesman said in a statement.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement the president's actions left him "dismayed".

“U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed Russia’s actions, and the evidence is plentiful," Goodlatte said. "Today’s summit was an opportunity to forcefully address this growing threat directly with President Putin. I am dismayed that we did not see that.”

U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, D.-Calif., said Trump's "disgraceful remarks in Helsinki betray our American democracy in the face of its most dangerous adversary."

"We must stand up to the President’s refusal to defend our country," he said. "Today, I call on both Democratic and Republican leadership in the House and Senate to introduce a formal joint resolution censuring the President for his egregious comments."

Trump and Putin met during Trump’s week-long tour that took him through four European nations. Before departing the U.S., Trump had said his meeting with Putin might be the “easiest” of all of his meetings on the trip.

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—Scott Gelman contributed to this story

Photo Credit: Chris McGrath/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[8 Bike Paths in NY Perfect for Beginners: Report]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:49:56 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/places+to+bike+ride+nyc-8+cropped.jpg Bike riding in New York could be intimidating or even frightening for seasoned riders but especially for beginners. Here are the eight best places to scope out the city while on a bike for beginners, according to Curbed New York:

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple, Google Cashed in on Conspiracy App]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:12:00 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/QDrops.jpg

An app that sent alerts about a child sex ring conspiracy theory called QAnon stayed in Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store for months, raising revenue for the conspirators and the tech giants, NBC News reported.

The fringe QAnon conspiracy purports that a secret police task force put assembled by President Donald Trump has arrested world politicians in a murderous child sex ring and forced them to wear ankle bracelets. It's an offshoot of the "pizzagate" fiction and has led to real-world actions, like a follower who blocked an entrance to the Hoover Dam last month.

The 99-cent QDrops app was launched in April and sends alerts when new details about the supposed investigation are posted on the anonymous social media site 4Chan.

QDrops peaked at No. 10 among all paid Apple apps, though Apple removed it from its app store Sunday after it was contacted by NBC News. The app remains live on the Google Play Store; Google has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Police Department ‘Arrests’ Runaway Dog, Takes 'Pug'shot]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:55:39 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/capemaypug.jpg

You can take the pug out of the the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the pug.

Sunday afternoon, the Cape May Police Department took to Facebook after finding a pug wandering through yards along New Jersey Avenue.

Police first announced finding the dog by posting a “pugmug” on the department's official facebook page and giving a phone number for people to contact if they knew the owner.

Shortly after, the pug was photographed in a jail cell with an update that mentioned the owner had been identified and the runaway pooch would be “released on bail.”

Still no word on charges or the bail amount. The owner will likely be be keeping this pug on a tight leash from now on.

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<![CDATA[Woman Who Fatally Stabbed Romantic Rival Sentenced: DA]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:54:07 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-84611044+%282%29+edited.jpg

A woman who stabbed her alleged romantic rival to death in 2016 as the victim’s child sat in a stroller nearby was sentenced to prison, authorities announced.

Shenia Williams, 22, of Brownsville, Brooklyn, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and five years post-release supervision Friday after she pleaded guilty in June 2018 to first-degree manslaughter.

According to prosecutors, on Sept. 13, 2016, shortly before 1 a.m., 22-year-old Joanna Beauzier arrived at the home of her ex-boyfriend on Lott Avenue in Brownsville to confront Williams. Beauzier brought her 9-month-old son with her.

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The two women allegedly had a physical altercation outside the house and were separated a few times, before Williams pulled put a knife and stabbed Beauzier multiple times, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

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The victim, an employee of the city's Parks Department, according to officials, sustained three stab wounds to her stab wounds. She was subsequently pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital.

“The defendant needlessly and senselessly escalated a fight by using a knife with fatal and tragic consequences. She ended a young woman’s life and ruined her own future because of the terrible choice that she made,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Seeks 6 Dispensaries to Expand Medical Marijuana Access]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:43:54 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-99037601+edited.jpg

New Jersey hopes to add six new dispensaries to expand access to medicinal marijuana, doubling the state’s medical marijuana program.

The Murphy Administration is looking to add two new dispensaries each in the northern, central and southern regions of the state.

“We look forward to the opening of six new dispensaries so we can ensure that all qualifying patients who want access to medicinal marijuana can have it,’’ said Gov. Phil Murphy in a statement.

Currently, more than 25,000 patients, 1,000 caregivers and 700 physicians are participating in the medicinal marijuana program of the state.

“As we strive to make the program more responsive to the needs of patients, caregivers and Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), we recognize the need to grow the industry and create more options for patients,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal in a statement.

A Request for Applications shows that the six new medical marijuana providers would follow the formula of the existing six. They are expected to grow, process and sell cannabis.

The business can be either nonprofit or for profit and applicants are also required to submit a business plan including a budget detailing revenues and expenses over a five-year period.

While applicants can submit applications for more than one region of the state, but must submit a separate application for each region.

The fee for applying is $20,000. However, $18,000 of that fee will be returned to unsuccessful applicants.

Currently, there are six dispensaries operating in the state. These six are not eligible to participate in the application process, officials say.

A mandatory pre-application conference is scheduled for Aug. 9 at the headquarters of the Department of Health in Trenton.

In March, Murphy announced a medical marijuana program overhaul in the state, which included a long list of reforms such as lowering fees for patients and caregivers, adding five approved medical conditions and proposing legislation to increase monthly product limit for patients. Patients receiving hospice care would also be eligible for an unlimited supply of cannabis.

The latest expansion comes at a time when the state is considering legalizing recreational marijuana.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump on Poor Relations With Russia: ‘I Hold Both Countries Responsible’]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:36:39 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_01_45_07.Still003.jpg

President Trump was asked if he held Russia accountable for a decline in relations with the U.S. He said there is blame on both sides.

<![CDATA[FDA Recalls Blood Pressure, Heart Drugs Over Cancer Concerns]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:50:30 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6837401591.jpg

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a voluntary recall of several medications used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure over concerns that an active ingredient in the drugs could be contaminated with a cancer-causing agent.

The agency reported that traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a "probable human carcinogen," was found in the active ingredient valsartan in the recalled products. The FDA noted not all products containing valsartan are contaminated and being recalled. The valsartan contained in the recall was supplied by a third-party.

Companies that have recalled valsartan products are: Major Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals are also recalling valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide medicines.

"We have carefully assessed the valsartan-containing medications sold in the United States, and we’ve found that the valsartan sold by these specific companies does not meet our safety standards. This is why we’ve asked these companies to take immediate action to protect patients," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Patients are urged to look at the drug name and company name on the label of their prescription bottle to determine whether a specific product has been recalled. If the information is not on the bottle, patients should contact the pharmacy that dispensed the medicine to find out the company name.

If a patient is taking one of the recalled medicines, they should follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company, which will be available on the FDA’s website.

If a patient's medicine is included in the recall, they should contact their health care professional to discuss their treatment options, which may include another valsartan product not affected by this recall or an alternative option.

The agency encourages patients and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the FDA’s MedWatch program.

"The FDA’s review is ongoing and has included investigating the levels of NDMA in the recalled products, assessing the possible effect on patients who have been taking them and what measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate the impurity from future batches produced by the company," the FDA said Friday in a news release.

The presence of NDMA is "thought to be related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured," the agency said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cultura RF, File]]>
<![CDATA[FDA Recalls Common Heart Medications Over Cancer Concern]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:05:05 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-151262781+edited+doc.jpg

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a voluntary recall of several medicines containing an ingredient used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

The FDA issued an alert Friday regarding various drug products containing valsartan due to an impurity. However, not all products containing the active ingredient are being recalled.

The impurity known as N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, is classified as a possible human carcinogen based on laboratory tests.

“We have carefully assessed the valsartan-containing medications sold in the United States, and we’ve found that the valsartan sold by these specific companies does not meet our safety standards. This is why we’ve asked these companies to take immediate action to protect patients,” Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

The FDA says that the presence of NDMA was unexpected and a probable result of changes in the way the substance was manufactured.

The agency’s review of NDMA is ongoing and has included investigating the levels of NDMA in the recalled products and the possible effect on patients who have been taking them.

Additionally, the FDA is investigating what measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate the impurity in future batches.

The FDA also alerts that since valsartan is used in medicines used to treat serious conditions, patients should continue to take the medicine until they have a replacement product.

The recalled products are:

  • Medicine: Valsartan Company: Major Pharmaceuticals
  • Medicine: Valsartan Company: Solco Healthcare
  • Medicine: Valsartan Company: Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
  • Medicine: Valsartan / Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Company: Solco Healthcare
  • Medicine: Valsartan / Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Company: Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

The FDA urges those who have been taking the recalled medicines to follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company, which are posted on the FDA’s website.

Patients should also contact their health care professional.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 NYC Fried Chicken Spots Land Among 10 Best in U.S.: Report]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 09:13:50 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*160/piesthighs.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[New Pay-to-Nap Experience Opens for Sleepy Workers in NYC]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:24:43 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/The+Dreamery+2.jpg

Photo Credit: Casper]]>
<![CDATA[Pizza Delivery Man Shot, Crashes, Dies in NJ: Police ]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:36:47 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/passiac+crash+7-15.jpg

A pizza deliveryman was shot as he drove to drop off a pizza, then crashed his car into a tree before being found dead in the car, police said. 

Dervy Almonte-Moore, 27, was shot in his black Toyota Camry shortly after 2 a.m. near 582 Paulison Ave. in Clifton, police and prosecutors said. 

Almonte-Moore crashed his car a short distance away on Paulson Avenue in Passaic, near a ShopRite store, according to police and prosecutors. It appeared a shopping cart had been smashed between the car and tree. 

A pair of sneakers was visible outside the car. 

The Elmwood Park resident was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson at 2:48 a.m. 

He was making a delivery for Jumbo's Pizza in Wallington, where he worked as a delivery driver, prosecutors said. 

"Everyone's in shock, because we don't know what happened to him," said friend Adrianna de Jesus. 

"He was just a generous guy. To me, to my son, he was always nice to us," she said. 

"It's just sad. He didn't deserve any of that. He was a nice guy, and I hope they find justice for him." 

Numerous officers from the Clifton Police Department and Passaic County Sheriff's Department were investigating hours later, taking photos of the scene and laying down evidence markers. 

The shooting is under investigation. 

Photo Credit: Tracie Strahan/NBC New York ]]>
<![CDATA[Documents Could Reveal Whether Kavanaugh Misled Congress]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:25:39 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/071618kavanaugh.jpg

New documents set to be released could reveal whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh misled Congress during his confirmation hearing for his job as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, something two Democratic senators accused him of in 2007, according to NBC News.

While under oath in 2006, Kavanaugh said he wasn’t involved in creating a terrorism detainee policy during his stint working under the Bush administration. However, a media report that later surfaced prompted two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to claim that Kavanaugh “misled me, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the nation,” Sen. Dick Durbin wrote in a letter.

Kavanaugh’s involvement in the policy has been questioned again as soon-to-be released documents are expected to detail the nominee’s work in the Bush White House as it attempted to respond to terrorism threats after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Photo Credit: Alex Edelman/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[How Team Trump Capitalized on Russian Interference: Analysis]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 10:46:26 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/699393960-Robert-Mueller.jpg

Special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officials helps shed light on how the Trump campaign actively seized on outside interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to the NBC Political Unit.

Wittingly or unwittingly, associates of the campaign communicated with members of Russian intelligence, which posed as independent hackers when stealing and sharing documents stolen from Democrats, according to Mueller's indictment, previous reporting and the public record. 

Among those contacts is a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and a Kremlin-connected lawyer, after Trump Jr. was told the Russian government had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

While Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday that "there's no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime," the NBC Political Unit asks what to call the contacts, if not collusion, coordination or conspiracy. A coincidence? Ignorance?

Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Insta-Friendly Soft Serve-in-a-Watermelon Returns to NYC]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:12:51 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WatermelonInsta.PNG

With this summer being one of the most hot and humid we've seen so far, ice cream and nice cold fruit is a welcome relief. Dominique Ansel Kitchen has got you covered with the perfect combination -- and it looks good, too.

The Insta-famous soft-serve in a watermelon was available for just one week last summer.

Due to high popularity, the What-a-Melon has returned to NYC ready to be served all summer long.

The hollowed out slice of juicy ripe watermelon is filled with the bakery’s homemade refreshing watermelon serve, topped with tiny hand-cut dark chocolate "seeds”.

The What-a-Melon Soft Serve, priced at $10, is exclusively available at Dominique Ansel Kitchen at 137 7th Ave S (not to be confused with its other location on Spring Street) at the ice cream window on the side of the shop.

The ice cream window hours are:

Wednesday - Thursday 3 - 9 p.m.

Friday - Saturday 12 - 10 p.m.

Sunday 12 - 9 p.m.

Photo Credit: @Desserted_in_Paris]]>