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"Friday" singer Rebecca Black wrote an essay for NBC News’ THINK opinion section discussing the online bullying she faced after rocketing to fame at age 13:
I was skipping my way through the minefield of early adolescence, experiencing the same low-grade bullying that most kids do, when I recorded a music video during a school break, just to help me gain some experience and have some fun. When “Friday” went up on the internet, it went crazy — and the onslaught of negative attention I receive was so sudden and so intense that I wasn’t sure I would survive.
One minute, I was a normal girl and then, in the next, millions of people know who I was and they were ruthless in hurling the most vile words my way. People were writing things all over the internet, on social media and they were laughing at me on TV shows, and making fun of me in YouTube videos. It was open season and I was the target. The fact that there was a human, a person — a 13-year-old girl — on the other side of the screen seemingly escaped so many people’s attention. Get More at NBC News
For people on vacation, being watched on hidden cameras in your room should be the furthest thing on their mind, but police are warning people to be on the lookout after an alarming case last month was revealed, TODAY reports.
Last week, an Indiana couple found a hidden camera and microphone in a smoke detector pointed toward their bed at their Airnbnb rental in Longboat Key, Florida. Wayne Natt, the homeowner, was arrested and charged with video voyeurism.
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A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over the Islamic State group in its former "capital" of Raqqa on Friday, declaring the northern Syrian city free of any extremist presence.
At a press conference held inside the city Friday, the Kurdish-led force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces formally handed over administration of the devastated northern city to a council made up of local officials and tribal leaders.
In a highly symbolic move, the press conference was held inside the city's sports stadium which Islamic State militants had turned into an arms depot and a huge prison where they incarcerated and tortured their opponents.
FEMA announced Thursday the North Bay Fires rank 4th on their list of disasters in terms of the amount of destruction and the number of lives taken in a single incident. The urban wildfires have killed at least 42 people and more than 50 remain on the Sonoma County Sheriff’s missing persons list.
Melania Trump donated her inaugural ball gown Friday to the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection, as previous first ladies have done.
The first lady's vanilla silk, off-the-shoulder gown was presented to the museum during a ceremony Friday in Washington. The gown also featured a slit skirt, ruffled accent trim from the neckline to the hem and a claret ribbon around the waist. Mrs. Trump worked with designer Herve Pierre on the gown.
School officials say there will be no more Civil War-related student dress-up activities at a Georgia elementary school after its "Civil War Day" sparked conflict among students, parents and others.
Big Shanty Elementary School last month invited fifth-graders to dress up as characters from the war.
CIA via AP
Just a few weeks into her training, the doe-eyed black Labrador with flappy ears just wasn't interested in detecting explosive odors anymore, the agency said in a series Twitter posts, many of which got thousands of retweets or likes.
Even food and play couldn't motivate her. Lulu sought a different future.
She found one with a loving handler, who adopted her.
Now, instead of spending days finding blast materials and terrorist devices, the CIA says Lulu plays with kids and sniffs out rabbits and squirrels in the yard.
"She was clearly not enjoying herself any longer," the CIA said of its erstwhile detector dog.
A sketch of the Empire State Building drawn by President Donald Trump has sold at auction for $16,000.
Julien's Auctions says the 12-inch-by-9-inch black marker depiction of the iconic New York City skyscraper was created by Trump for a charity auction in Florida during the time he opened his Mar-a-Lago estate as a private club in 1995.
Julien's says the piece signed by Trump went for less than $100 the first time it was sold. It was estimated to go for $8,000 to $12,000 at the auction that took place in Los Angeles and online Thursday.
Richardson Police/NBC 5
The Indian Embassy says they are monitoring developments in the Sherin Mathews missing child's case in Richardson, Texas.
"We are closely monitoring Sherin Mathews case. We have established the contact with the community and authorities," a spokesperson for Indian Embassy in Houston, said in a written statement.
The minister of External Affairs for Government of India, Sushma Swaraj, said in a tweet Thursday, "We are deeply concerned about the missing child. Indian Embassy in U.S. is actively involved and they keep me informed."
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
He started by describing the reverent handling of America's war dead, bodies packed in ice and shipped home in the dark to Dover Air Force Base.
From that opening, White House chief of staff John Kelly delivered a raw and searing monologue Thursday about the reality and pain of war sacrifice, praising those who serve and summoning the 2010 death of his own son to defend President Donald Trump against accusations of insensitive outreach to a grieving military family.
In an unannounced appearance at the White House, Kelly, a retired three-star general whose son was killed while serving in Afghanistan, dressed down the Democratic congresswoman who had criticized Trump for comments she said he had made in a condolence call to the pregnant widow of a Green Beret killed in Niger.
AP/Farah Abdi Warsameh
Thousands of anguished Somalis gathered to pray Friday at the site of the country's deadliest attack, while the toll rose to 358 and dozens remained missing. Somalia's president will announce a "state of war" against the al-Shabab extremist group blamed for the bombing, the prime minister said.
The United States is expected to play a supporting role in the new offensive that President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is expected to announce on Saturday, a Somali military official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
AP Photo/John Locher
Some survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting said they were ready for closure, though they confessed feeling engulfed by anxiety and security fears while gathering in a large group for the first time since the attack.
Theresa Almada, 49, drove Thursday evening from San Diego back to Las Vegas to attend a country music concert benefiting victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds more were wounded Oct. 1 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip. Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino-hotel tower, unleashing more than 1,000 bullets into the crowd.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
The number of U.S. adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over "Obamacare" undermine coverage gains that drove the nation's uninsured rate to a historic low.
That finding is based on the latest installment of a major survey, released Friday. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index asks a random sample of 500 people each day whether they have health insurance.
The survey found that the uninsured rate among adults was 12.3 percent during the period from July 1-Sept. 30, an increase of 1.4 percentage points since the end of last year. The increase in the number of uninsured is more striking because it comes at a time of economic growth and low unemployment.
A witness to the deadly rampage inside a Maryland granite company said the suspect, Radee Prince, had gathered a small group of his co-workers together by saying "come with me, I want to say something to everybody." Without another word, he opened fire.
The witness, a man who worked at the countertop making company for a year and a half, said when Prince arrived on Wednesday morning he responded to a polite greeting with harsh language describing Advanced Granite Solutions and its workers. Then he tried to talk individually to a few employees.
"He talked to me first," said the man, who spoke Thursday to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he was afraid of retaliation and worried about his family's immigration status. "Then I saw him talk to another friend. Nobody listened to him, because his reaction was to start a fight."
The wildfires that have devastated California this month caused at least $1 billion in damage to insured property, officials said Thursday, as authorities raised the number of homes and other buildings destroyed to nearly 7,000.
Both numbers were expected to rise as crews continue assessing areas scorched by the blazes that killed 42 people.
State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said the preliminary dollar valuation of losses came from claims filed with the eight largest insurance companies in the affected areas and did not include uninsured property.