<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usFri, 09 Dec 2016 08:50:58 -0500Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:50:58 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Teens Behind Macedonia's Fake News Boom]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:13:32 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/facebookfakenewsfeuerherd.jpg

Dimitri — who asked NBC News not to use his real name — is one of dozens of teenagers in the Macedonian town of Veles who got rich during the U.S. presidential election producing fake news for millions on social media, NBC News reported.

The articles, sensationalist and often baseless, were posted to Facebook, drawing in armies of readers and earning fake-news writers money from penny-per-click advertising.

Dmitri says he's earned at least $60,000 in the past six months — far outstripping his parents' income and transforming his prospects in a town where the average annual wage is $4,800. He is one of the more successful fake news pushers in the area.

His main source of cash? Supporters of America's president-elect.

"Nothing can beat Trump's supporters when it comes to social media engagement," he says. "So that's why we stick with Trump."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Spent $3M on Family Business as Expenses in Campaign]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:43:12 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/trumpfeuerherdIII.jpg

President-elect Donald Trump spent $3 million on the family business as campaign expenses in the final weeks of the race, according to the last Federal Election Committee filing of the 2016 campaign, NBC New reported.

But even while spending millions on Trump-owned entities, he still spent less overall than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the closing stretch of the campaign and beyond.

Trump spent $94.5 million from Oct. 20 to Nov. 28, while Clinton spent $131.8 million over the same period, according to the new filings. The numbers indicate Clinton dramatically increased her spending during the last weeks of the campaign, whereas Trump's remained steady. They spent nearly the same amount, Clinton $50 million and Trump $49 million, during the first 19 days of the month.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[The Life of Astronaut John Glenn]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:29:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/137628main_image_feature_445_ys_full.jpg

Photo Credit: NASA ]]>
<![CDATA[Who's Who in Trump's Brain Trust]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:48:52 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/223*120/trump-cab-adv-th.jpg Here's a look at the people who will be closest to Donald Trump in the White House, his advisers and his picks for the top jobs in his administration. The nominees for Cabinet positions will need Senate approval.
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<![CDATA[Top News: Indonedia Quake Damage, Saturn's Rings and More]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:04:11 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/AP_16344425886906-news.jpg View daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cheerleaders Rally to Rival School]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:48:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/cheerleader-group.jpg

A squad of hundreds of cheerleaders from across Texas are traveling to Abilene in a show of spirit and solidarity.

Last week, a bus filled with cheerleaders from Iraan High School was involved in a crash that left the group’s coach dead and seven others injured.

“When my coach told me about it, I was really heartbroken,” Sam Houston High School cheerleader Victoria Limon said. “I can’t imagine that happening to any of my teammates or having my coach pass away like that.”

Now cheerleaders, including many from North Texas, will travel to Abilene to cheer for Iraan during their playoff game as the school heals from the aftermath of the deadly accident.

“We’re going to support them at their playoff game since their cheerleaders can’t be there,” Bowie High School cheerleader Alexis Brackens said. “We’re going to support them and just give good vibes out there.”

“We’re just a big cheer family. Even though we don’t always cheer for the same team, we’re still together,” Martin High School cheerleader Katherine Griffith said.

Arlington ISD stepped up to help out the school, sending cheerleaders from Bowie, Sam Houston and Martin high schools.

“It’s sad that they lost one of their own,” Brackens said. “I feel if we lost anyone on our team or that situation happened to us, we’d want other people to come support us and just give good spirits.”

From 200 to 500 cheerleaders from all over Texas are expected to attend the game in support of the school and their fellow cheerleaders.

“I think there is going to be a lot of emotions going around because it’s such a small town,” Limon said. “They’re all going to feel it right in their hearts, but we’re there to bring their spirits up as cheerleaders and pump the crowd and try to lead them on to their victory.”

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Cops Re-Deliver Stolen Packages]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:26:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/howardcountypackagescropped.png

Christmas was saved for many families in Maryland on Wednesday when police caught two people who they say went door to door stealing packages off doorsteps and stuffing them into a box truck. 

On Thursday night, officers played Santa and returned more than 70 stolen packages.

"I think everybody's pretty excited about this, the fact that we were able to stop a couple grinches from ruining a holiday," Sgt. Perry Thorsvik said. 

A Columbia, Maryland, resident called Howard County police about 4:50 p.m. Wednesday and said they saw a truck driving around, police said. Occupants were said to be moving boxes from residents' doorsteps into the truck. 

Two officers heard the call and arrived in less than a minute to stop the truck in the area of Greystone Lane. The box truck was stuffed with packages, police said. 

Ernest Ohanyan, 25, and Amjad Jaouni, 28, both of Baltimore, were arrested. Ohanyan posted $5,000 bond and was released. Jaouni still was being held. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys. 

Officers personally delivered some of the packages Thursday night. 

"I called my wife, I said a package was supposed to be at the house at 2 p.m. yesterday," said one homeowner who was surprised when an officer showed up at his doorstep with the package Thursday.

Any packages that cannot be delivered will be available for pickup Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Northern District Station at 3410 Courthouse Drive in Ellicott City. Pickup also will be available Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Residents should bring photo identification and/or proof of address in order to receive their packages. Any questions can be directed to 410-313-3200.

Police said the packages were stolen from Tamar Drive, Dry Barley Lane, Four Foot Trail, Fire Cloud Court, Sanctuary Court, Dark Hawk Circle, Black Star Circle, Dry Stone Gate, Roan Stallion Lane, Dawn Whistle Lane, Sea Light Lane, Summer Cloud Way, Saddle Drive, Oak Bush Terrace and Silver Trumpet Drive.

To avoid future package theft, police encourage residents to track their shipments and be home to receive them when they do arrive.

Otherwise, they should ask their neighbors to take their packages inside. Police also say to keep an eye out for suspicious people and vehicles and call 911 to report any suspicious behavior.

Photo Credit: Howard County Police]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Warehouse Blaze: Faces of the Victims]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:55:09 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/oakland-warehouse-fire-victims-collage.jpg They were artists, musicians, students and teachers, as young as 17 and most with long lives ahead of them. But those lives, at least 36, were cut short when an Oakland warehouse-turned-residence went up in flames as it hosted a concert. Here are their portraits and what we know about them.
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<![CDATA[Seen in Trump's Orbit: Andrew Puzder, Lewis Eisenberg]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:26:57 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/AP_16342788642420.jpg Manhattan's Trump Tower in New York City and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, have both become political hot spots, as mayors, senators and advisers meet with President-elect Donald Trump during his transition period.

Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Conjoined Twins Separated After 17-Hour Surgery in California]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:48:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/EvaErika.jpg

Erika and Eva Sandoval will be able to share the uncanny connection twins are said to have, but a grueling 17-hour surgery has ensured that they can soon do that safely.

The 2-year-old twins from Antelope, California, were born conjoined, but as of Wednesday were separated by surgeons at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. The surgery began on Tuesday and lasted through early Wednesday, hospital officials said.

The girls are in stable condition, hospital officials said Thursday, although they remain in the intensive care unit. 

Erika and Eva's mother, Aida Sandoval, was overcome with emotion as she spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon. In Spanish, she said that her first words upon seeing the girls emerge from their respective operating rooms were, "You're missing your other part, my daughter. Where is your sister?"

"It still seems very surreal when I see one on one side and the other one on the other side," Aida Sandoval said. "But it brings us all joy to see them, that it happened, that it was a dream come true for everybody." 

Dr. Gary Hartman, a pediatric surgeon who led the medical team that performed the lengthy, complicated procedure, recalled meeting the girls' parents, Aida and Arturo Sandoval in 2014. They had just learned that their twins were conjoined and were experiencing "multiple anomalies," he said.

"From that moment forward, the goal of the family and of all of the providers here at Packard has been the same goal that we have for all of our children — and that is that we end up with two happy, healthy girls," Hartman said. 

Anyone who met Eva and Erika Sandoval prior to Tuesday's surgery "can testify to the happy part. That is entirely the fault of the Sandovals," he quipped.

"We think that this week we made a big step toward the healthy part," Hartman explained.

Aida Sandoval's pregnancy was overseen by Lucile Packard's perinatal center. She was 32 weeks along when the girls were born via emergency C-section, according to Hartman.

Eva and Erika have spent the first two years of their lives closely monitored by Stanford doctors and others closer to the Sandovals' home in Antelope. 

"They were basically joined at the pericardium – which is the sac that covers the heart – joined at the sternum, joined at the liver, they shared parts of the ... small and large bowel, and they shared most of the pelvic organs," said pediatric surgeon Dr. Matias Bruzoni. "So for us it was a big challenge, but little by little and with the help of a lot of people … we were able to, from the top down, finally separate them."

On Tuesday, too, Eva and Erika's surgery depended on about 50 experts in pediatric surgery, orthopedics and anesthesiology as well as plastic surgeons, radiologists, urologists, and more.  

Bruzoni said that once the girls were separated, the medical team split into two groups for Eva and Erika's reconstruction phases, which lasted longer than the separation.

"Everyone is very focused on the separation and all the questions are about the separation," Hartman said. But it "doesn’t matter if you get them separated, if you can't get them reconstructed and get them closed."

Hartman admitted that he was extremely concerned about Erika, the smaller twin. "She basically kept getting smaller. The more calories we gave her, the bigger Eva got," he said.

Doctors were worried about her ability to make it through the "stress of the surgery," but Hartman said the girls were reconstructed so well that Eva has already been taken off the ventilator and is recovering faster than Erika.

Hartman joked that he took it upon himself to add levity to the otherwise complex and serious surgery.

"I wanted each girl to have half of [their] belly button so for the rest of their life they can look at that half a belly button and think, 'That was where I was connected to my sister,'" he said. "So that's the goofy thing."

Jokes apart, the Sandovals knew, going into Tuesday, that Erika and Eva faced an estimated risk of mortality of up to 30 percent. 

But Aida and Arturo Sandoval stuck by their decision. 

"Once you see them, you know their personalities are different," Arturo Sandoval said. "They [got to] have their own lives."

To that, Aida Sandoval added that it was difficult to watch one child feel sick and seek rest and sleep while the other was healthy, happy and wanted to play. She recalled one of the girls experiencing pain when plastic surgeons used tissue expanders to stretch their skin, but her sister simply wanted to "crab walk."

Expressing gratitude to the doctors at Stanford for supporting them, Aida Sandoval said that she had heard "how peaceful it was" in the operating rooms during Eva and Erika's separation and reconstruction.

Now, however, the girls' mother is excited to get "more gray hair."

"They always say, 'When you have twins, you're going to go crazy because one's over here, the other's over there," Aida Sandoval said. "I want to go chasing after one that way and then go chasing after the other. That’s something I do look forward to doing."

Photo Credit: David Hodges / DNK Digital]]>
<![CDATA[Nevada Teen's Family Says Cop Didn't Need to Shoot]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 06:38:16 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_16342841355451.jpg

The family of the 14-year-old boy whom police shot and critically wounded at a Nevada high school said Thursday that the officer should have found a better way to resolve things, NBC News reported. 

A school district police officer shot the boy Wednesday during a confrontation witnessed by more than 40 classmates at Hug High School in Reno, authorities said. They said the boy got into an altercation with a classmate and began threatening other students with a knife. 

The boy remained in critical condition Thursday at Renown Medical Center, police told NBC News, which isn't naming him because he's a juvenile. 

"There are many questions to be answered as to what happened and what could have been done to avoid the use of lethal force," the boy's family said in a statement Thursday.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Scott Sonner]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Warns Against 'Epidemic' of Fake News]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:23:41 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-628630764.jpg

Hillary Clinton appealed Thursday for a bipartisan fight against an "epidemic of malicious, fake news," calling the dissemination of false propaganda a threat with "real-world consequences."

"It's now clear that so-called fake news can have real world consequences. This isn't about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk. Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities. It's a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly," Clinton told lawmakers at the Capitol during a portrait unveiling in honor of retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

"It's imperative that leaders in both the private and public sector step up to protect our democracy and innocent lives," she added.

The former secretary of state sounded the alarm one month after her presidential election loss to Donald Trump in a race that was beset by the public spread of misinformation on social media.

Clinton's reference to the "real-world consequences" of fake news comes days after a man fired an assault rifle at a Washington D.C. pizza parlor. Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, said he went to investigate a fake online news story about a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton and prominent Democrats operating out of the restaurant.

Clinton received sustained applause as she stood to speak, ruefully remarking, "This is not exactly the speech at the Capitol I hoped to give" after the election.

She joked that after spending several weeks in the woods taking selfies, she thought it would be a good idea to emerge.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Aren't Many Heroes Left': World Reacts to John Glenn's Death]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:08:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/143118608-Astronaut-John-Glenn-Space-Shuttle.jpg

John Glenn was once called "the last true national hero America has ever made," and when the astronaut-turned-senator died Thursday at 95, it prompted an outpouring of condolences from all walks of American life.

As the first American to orbit the Earth, Glenn's was one of the most instantly recognizable faces in the United States at the start of the Space Age. It was author Tom Wolfe who dubbed him the nation's "last true national hero," and Glenn rode that fame and love like a rocket into the U.S. Senate, serving Ohio for 24 years before returning to space again in 1998 at 77 years old — another first.

Both the president and president-elect marked the moment Thursday.

"When John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket in 1962, he lifted the hopes of a nation. And when his Friendship 7 spacecraft splashed down a few hours later, the first American to orbit the Earth reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there's no limit to the heights we can reach together," President Barack Obama wrote in a statement. "John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond—not just to visit, but to stay."

Trump tweeted that Glenn is "a great pioneer of air and space" who will be missed.

Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon, and who was released from a New Zealand hospital Friday after falling ill, paid tribute as well to his "friend and world space icon."

"I’m saddened again to hear that we have lost the pioneer of space flight for the United States," Aldrin wrote on his website. "I am very sorry that he has departed us with his wisdom. I join that crowd of people and the entire nation and the world in paying homage to his service."

Many took to social media to mark Glenn's outsized life.

"Aren’t many Heroes left," astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote on Twitter shortly after his death was announced.

"As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation," Ohio Gov. John Kasich wrote.

NASA, famed Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and many others said goodbye online as well:

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Social Media Helps Fire Victim’s Girlfriend Find Photo]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:37:32 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/ArkenAvan.jpg

The girlfriend of an Oakland warehouse fire victim experienced a “Facebook miracle” in a time of crippling grief when hundreds of social media users helped her track down a special year-old photograph of the two of them.

Saya Tomioka's boyfriend Griffin Madden, 23, was among 36 people who perished in a fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse Friday. Amid her mourning for the loss, she turned to social media in an attempt to find the person who captured a a photo of the couple during a trip to New York City last June. 

It had been Tomioka's first time in Times Square, she recalled in a Facebook post published Sunday. Tomioka and Madden were mid-embrace when a photographer captured the moment.

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“I've always longed to find this particular photograph and thank the photographer,” she wrote in the post. “Friends, possibly with your help, I can be reunited with this photograph, this treasured memory that I'll always keep in my heart.”

Tomioka acknowledged that finding it would be akin to a “Facebook miracle,” but wrote it would be something to lift her spirits.

After being shared more than 300 times, the post made its way to Arken Avan, a professional photographer who is known for taking pictures of couples in New York's bustling city center. After a quick search through his photo collection, Avan zeroed in on the now famous photo and send it to Tomioka. 

“Two people shared that post with me yesterday, my NYPD friend I know from Times Square, and some of Saya’s friends,” Avan told NBC Bay Area, on how he heard about the photo search. 

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He told Tomioka he remembered that exact moment.

“I actually remember this moment — young lady was holding pretzel in her hand and young man had lipstick on his cheek,” he wrote in a message to her. "What a beautiful and adorable couple I thought at that moment. I'm sorry for your loss and hope you will keep these pictures for memory, forever.”

He says also plans to share the photo on his @NewYorkFaces Instagram, in honor of Madden.

Tomioka has since taken to Facebook again, describing the agony of learning about the devastating fire and having to wait for days until crews recovered Madden's body and identified him.

"I thought that I'd feel better when the waiting ended, but instead, I felt dissatisfied. I felt like I hadn't found you---yet," she wrote.

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But Avan's photo helped bring a "glimpse of your light back into my life," Tomioka said. "With the infinite help from our families, friends, and strangers, I finally found you."

Avan's photograph came at the end of a June 2015 evening that included Madden and Tomioka laughing hysterically over "The Book of Mormon" and haggling over a pretzel. After finding the photo, Tomioka said she "sobbed" and "immediately laughed uncontrollably."

She continued: "Life is so strange. I've lost you, but I've never felt stronger in my life. Through our many years of love and growth, I learned how to be strong from you."

NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani contributed to this report.

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Gillian Edevane covers Contra Costa County for NBC Bay Area. Contact her at Gillian.Edevane@NBCuni.com or at (669) 263-2895. 

Photo Credit: Arken Avan Photography
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<![CDATA[Extreme Weather: Polar Vortex Is Back]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:35:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_16342642397205-weather.jpg Take a look at photos of extreme weather from the U.S. and around the world, from floods to snow to rough seas.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[US Stock Indexes Close at Record Highs ]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:56:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-628522000.jpg

Major U.S. stock indexes are closing at record highs for the second day in a row, as a post-election rally continued following a key monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank, CNBC reported.

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly rose more than 100 points before closing 65 points higher, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains.

The S&P 500 closed 0.2 percent higher while the Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent.

"This really is the Trump trade," said Phil Blancato, CEO of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management. "This trade is about the potential for a more pro-business economy."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Actor Judge Reinhold Arrested at Dallas Airport]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2016 05:20:20 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/judge-reinhold-love.jpg

Actor Judge Reinhold was arrested at Dallas Love Field Thursday afternoon for disorderly conduct.

Dallas police say they were called to the airport by the Transportation Security Administration "regarding an individual causing a disturbance by refusing to submit to a screening at the appropriate checkpoint area."

The 59-year-old actor’s lawyer, Dallas attorney Steve Stodghill, told The Dallas Morning News Reinhold passed through security but was stopped when his bag set off an alarm. Stodghill told DallasNews.com that when TSA agents asked to pat Reinhold down again, he questioned the procedure since he had already cleared the scanner without incident.

Reinhold was transported to Lew Sterrett Justice Center and charged with the class C misdemeanor.

His attorney said he would release a statement later Thursday.

Reinhold is best known for his roles in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Gremlins," the "Beverly Hills Cop" series and "Ruthless People." He is also known for his role as the "close-talker" Aaron on NBC's hit series "Seinfeld."

Photo Credit: Dallas Police Department | NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Tsunami Warnings Cancelled After Big Pacific Earthquake]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:04:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Solomon-Islands-Earthquake-December-8.jpg

Tsunami warnings for several Pacific islands, including those in Hawaii, were canceled Friday after authorities determined that a powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck near the Solomon Islands did not pose a broad tsunami threat.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) were still possible along the coast of the Solomon Islands and smaller tsunami waves could hit Papua New Guinea.

There were reports of some power outages in the Solomon Islands, although there were no immediate reports of widespread damage or injuries from the quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit about 200 kilometers (120 miles) southeast of Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. The epicenter was relatively deep at 48 kilometers (30 miles) below the surface. Deeper quakes generally cause less damage on the ground.

The Solomon Islands are located in the Pacific's geologically active "Ring of Fire."

Photo Credit: USGS]]>
<![CDATA[US Fighter Pilot Died After Crash]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:35:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/12-8-16-Captain-Jake+Frederick.JPG

A U.S. Marine Corps pilot who ejected from an F/A-18 fighter jet near Japan Wednesday has been recovered and pronounced dead a day later, officials said. 

The jet suffered a mishap, prompting its pilot — identified Thursday as Capt. Jake Frederick — to eject, according to a news release from the Marines.

Search-and-rescue teams looked for the pilot, who ejected southeast of Japan's Shikoku island, according to an earlier military statement.

The F/A-18 was part of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing based in Okinawa, Japan and was flying a regularly scheduled training mission.

Frederick was recovered by a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ship, the Japanese Ministry of Defense confirmed to local media Thursday, the statement said. "Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the pilot. The cause of the crash is still unknown."

It remains unclear what caused the crash.

Photo Credit: Cpl. Kevin Crist and Pfc. Maxwell Pennington/Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
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<![CDATA[From the Archives: NYC Honors John Glenn With Hero's Welcome]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:10:27 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/John+Glenn+Ticker+Tape+Parade.png On March 1, 1962, New York City honored astronaut John Glenn by showering him with 3,474 tons of ticker tape to celebrate his return from his first space flight. Aboard Friendship 7, Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.

Photo Credit: The Universal Archives]]>
<![CDATA['Going to Be a Shock': Polar Vortex to Send Temps Plunging]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:52:12 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/polarvortexIII.jpg

The first arctic blast of the season has hit mainland United States, blanketing parts of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and the Dakotas with temperatures as low as minus 14 overnight, NBC News reported.

But meteorologists are warning about a second, perhaps even colder freeze that could spread into the East Coast and possibly portions of the South late next week. A shift in a weather system known as the Polar Vortex may be partially to blame, according to The Weather Channel.

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By Friday evening these frigid temperatures were expected to have swept most of the U.S. with temperatures in the 20s from Albuquerque to Buffalo, and from Atlanta to Seattle. New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston were also expected to flirt with freezing temperatures Friday night.

"It's going to be a shock," said Kevin Roth, senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Freak Accident' Killed 2 Toddlers]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 23:23:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/COLD+2+KIDS+KILLED+11PM+-+01000419_WNBC_000000014174878.jpg

A memorial was held outside the window of a family's apartment in the Bronx where two toddler sisters were killed by exposure to hot steam from a malfunctioning radiator valve.

As night fell over Hunts Point on Thursday, candles lit up a piece of sidewalk outside the city-owned Bronx apartment building where the family was staying while homeless, as neighbors and well-wishers showed up with balloons to remember the girls.

Earlier on Thursday, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner said the cause of the toddlers' deaths was accidental, and was caused by "hyperthermia and thermal injuries due to exposure to hot steam".

Mayor de Blasio has pledged a thorough, multi-agency investigation into the "freak accident". The Fire Department said the radiator valve inside their first floor apartment malfunctioned, sending high pressure steam shooting out to fill the apartment on Hunts Point Avenue shortly after noon Wednesday. 

The children, identified as Scylee Vayoh, 1, and Ibanez Ambrose, 2, were severely burned.

At a news briefing Thursday, de Blasio said multiple agencies, including the NYPD and Department of Homeless Services, are investigating what he said appeared to be an "extraordinary and unprecedented accident." 

"No one I've talked to so far in any agency has ever seen anything like this," de Blasio said. "We need to understand what happened here. This was a freak accident, a series of painful coincidences that led to the loss of these children."

But neighbors who lived in the same building had growing concerns about their own safety. Inspectors have been to each apartment and checked each radiator, but residents say they had filed complaints about the premise leading up the girls' deaths.

"So it takes a tragedy of 2 little girls to lose their lives for them to come and inspect?," one resident asked. "It doesn't make any sense. Too little, too late."

The mayor said the problem appeared contained to the radiator valve in the children's apartment. 

He said an investigation of the apartment building last month yielded no "high priority" violations. And he said there were no specific complaints to the city's knowledge that would have indicated such a tragedy was looming. NYPD officials said Thursday that another routine inspection on Monday didn't reveal anything "untoward."

"We are trying to put the pieces together but so far cannot understand how something like this could have happened," de Blasio said.

Kids' drawings and photos decorated the small apartment where the children lived with their parents, the mayor said, describing the scene as painful to see.

"It was clearly a warm and loving household," de Blasio said.

Neighbors told NBC 4 New York they heard a loud boom at the time of the steam blast and fled the building.

"The babies came out, they were burned all over the body -- burned blue, and there was no fire, so steam coming from somewhere," said Martiza Morales, recalling they "were not moving at all."

The children's parents ran out in tears, neighbors said.

"They were screaming for help. They say the radiator exploded in there," said Annie Martinez.

Martinez said she was supposed to babysit for the children on Thursday, and hasn't been albe to sleep since the explosion. She said she had been complaining about conditions in her apartment for months and nothing was done until after the blast. 

"All these tenants have been giving complaints," she said. "All these violations and they didn't do anything about it."

Radio transmissions between the dispatcher and emergency responders revealed a grim scene.

"It looks like it might have been something to do with a heater," the dispatcher could be heard saying. "We don't know if it blew up or what. But a heater injured those two kids, and they're in cardiac arrest right now."

"We got a lot of calls for smoke, so it looks like it might have been steam," the dispatcher added.

The city's social services department said after the blast that the children and their family were among five placed at the apartment building being used as a so-called "cluster site" -- a building with a mix of renters and homeless families. The other families at the apartment were moved to other shelters.

"We are devastated by this tragedy," the department said in a statement. "We are investigating and taking steps to immediately transfer the four other families being sheltered at this location to another shelter.”

City records show that the apartment where the blast went off had no open violations with the city, but that the building itself had 60 violations. There had been 46 complaints called into 311 this year for the building, including three for radiators."

One of the landlords of the building was on the city advocate's list of the 100 worst landlords. NBC 4 New York has reached out to the landlord's attorney for comment.

In a statement Thursday, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said he was outraged by the deaths of the children and called on the city to release a roadmap to tackle the homeless crisis.

"Cluster sites can be extremely dangerous for homeless families. Hotels are extraordinarily expensive and provide limited services. These options make no sense," Stringer said. "That’s why we need a clear, transparent, public plan. While I know that progress will take time, we cannot continue to accept the status quo. The city promised to end its reliance on both of these forms of shelter – and we are no doubt trending in the wrong direction."

Stringer said cluster sites not previously identified for closure have more than 13,000 open violations, including 1,000 that are "high priority."

"What a horrifying loss," he said of the little girls who lost their lives. "My heart goes out to this family in this time of unimaginable pain."

De Blasio said Thursday the city wants to move away from cluster sites, but doesn't want homeless people living on the street. He said his administration would work to develop a timeline and additional strategic planning. In the meantime, he said the city will perform checks at 3,000 cluster sites.

A representative for the non-profit Bedco, which placed the Ambrose family, declined to comment to NBC 4 New York. The city said it was in the process of entering a contract with Bedco to place more homeless families.

<![CDATA[Suspect in Georgia Officer Shooting Dead ]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:35:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_officersshot111208_1500x845.jpg Authorities announced the death of Minquell Kennedy Lembrick, 32, on Dec. 8, 2016 after a manhunt stemming from a domestic abuse call at an Americus, Georgia apartment.

Photo Credit: NBC News ]]>