<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usFri, 06 May 2016 06:04:34 -0700Fri, 06 May 2016 06:04:34 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA['Blue Wall' Gives Trump Little Room for Error: Analysis]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 03:59:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16125071253980.jpg

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will have his own wall to face in the presidential election: the "Blue Wall," according to NBC News.

The election is decided by a handful of key states that sit on the political fence between either party. The "Blue Wall" describes the eighteen states and the District of Columbia that have voted for a Democratic candidate since 1992, accounting for 242 electoral votes, only 28 votes shy of the 270 they needed to win. That gives Democrats plenty of room for error.

Republicans, on the other hand, have consistently won only 13 states over that same period, for a total of 102 electoral votes. Trump needs to win both Florida and Ohio, or he needs flip long-held Democratic states like Pennsylvania.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Highlights From the 2016 Campaign Trail]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:40:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/2016-AP_16125796454108.jpg The 2016 presidential race has been contentious and full of surprises, with candidates fighting to the finish in superdelegate states. Check out scenes from the campaign trail and keep track of the candidates as they vie for a spot on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2016.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Visualizing the Olympics: Medal Counts & More]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 12:54:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-149332217-edited.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images, file
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<![CDATA[Putin's Cellist Friend Performs Concert in Palmyra]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 04:50:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CONCERT_AP_321024775003.jpg

Russia and the Syrian government marked the liberation of the Syrian city of Palmyra from ISIS with a musical concert, NBC News reported.

An associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin implicated in the "Panama Papers" performed a classical piece on the ruins of the historic city on Thursday.

"The event is ... a sign of memory, hope and a sense of gratitude," Putin said, speaking from his office.

Palmyra was captured by ISIS in 2015.

The jihadists committed one of their most outrageous crimes on the record when they attacked Palmyra's historical heritage, destroying antique temples and statues depicting "false gods."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[RNC Chairman Speaks at Politico Playbook Breakfast]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 05:18:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/RNC_AP_383090732392.jpg

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the Politico Playbook Breakfast.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Rio Olympic Torch Travels Around the World]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 06:07:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-528410208-torch.jpg The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch relay began its three-month journey on May 2, 2016, in Brazil. The torch will travel around the world before arriving in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 5, to light the cauldron.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SpaceX Successfully Lands Falcon 9 Rocket at Sea]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 05:22:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_40364550147.jpg

SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean platform early Friday, following the launch of a Japanese communications satellite, NBC News reported.

Company representatives weren't optimistic of a successful touchdown before liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, because of the high altitude needed to send SKY Perfect JSAT Corp.'s JCSAT-14 satellite into orbit.

"Given this mission's GTO destination, the first stage will be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing unlikely," SpaceX wrote in a mission description.

This is the first successful landing at sea for SpaceX, which hopes to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets that the company's billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, contends would cut spaceflight cost by a factor of 100.

"Woohoo!!" Musk exclaimed in a tweet after Falcon 9 touched down vertically atop a barge in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Photo Credit: SpaceX via AP
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<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 05:24:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_174708487616-prays.jpg View weekly updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[No Medical Marijuana in Section 8]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 16:54:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/91997111-marijuana-generic.jpg

A Maine couple is fighting to open a "cannabis club" where people in Section 8 housing can gather and smoke medical marijuana, which is illegal in their federally funded homes.

Shanon and Vince Gogan say customers at their Legal Peaces smoke shop in Lewiston want and need the safe space to smoke.

"These poor people — they choose this as their medication," said Shanon Gogan. "And they can't use it at their home."

While medical marijuana is legal in Maine, it is not legal at the federal level. Because Section 8 housing is federally funded, it is not legal to have or use marijuana in these units.

"A lot of the patients are worried about getting kicked out," said Gogan.

She and her husband have asked the city of Lewiston for a permit to open a lounge in the back of their smoke shop. People would have to show proof of ID and show their medical marijuana card in order to smoke in the cannabis club.

But the director of code enforcement, Gil Arsenault, denied the permit application.

"It's not a matter of [there being] a real need for this. That's not the issue," explained Arsenault.

He said smoking marijuana inside the retail space does not fall under the permitted uses for the property.

It's possible Arsenault could make an exception, if the Gogans can prove smoking pot is "an accessory to permitted use," meaning there are other smoke shops in the country that have spaces for medical marijuana use inside.

The Gogans have appealed Arsenault's decision. An appeals board is reviewing the decision and allowing public comment Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Inmate Dupes Guards, Escapes]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 04:31:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/5516escapee.jpg

Police are asking for the public's help in locating a city jail inmate who duped guards and walked out of the Brooklyn courthouse by capitalizing on a case of mistaken identity.

Police on Thursday released a photo of Layquan Johnson, who was brought to the Brooklyn Supreme Court on Tuesday in connection with his arrest for a shooting that occurred in December 2015.

Johnson was sitting in a holding cell with other defendants, including a friend who was scheduled to be released. When guards called the name of the man to be released, Johnson answered the call, law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York.

He brazenly strolled out of the courthouse at about 10:15 p.m. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt, dark-colored pants and light-colored sneakers at the time.

The Department of Correction captain involved in the inmate's release has been suspended, a spokesperson for the agency said.

"Any erroneous release is unacceptable and this incident is under investigation," the spokesperson said.

City police and U.S. Marshals have teamed up to search for Johnson, who has had numerous run-ins with the law.

He is currently charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a 27-year-old man in the leg in Brooklyn.

Anyone with information about Johnson's whereabouts is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Protesters Gather Outside Hillary Clinton Rally]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 04:46:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/5-5-16-Clinton_Rally.jpg

Protesters gathered Thursday in the streets and on the campus of East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Supporters of Clinton's Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, confronted Clinton's backers outside the college as a cordon of police kept watch.

"She would do absolutely nothing to help the middle class," said Cilena Aziz, a Sanders supporter.

Among the protesters gathered were members of Union del Barrio, a political group with a presence in South Los Angeles. They said Clinton did not support a national $15 minimum wage and has been a part of anti-immigration policies, including deporting undocumented children.

"I believe that being a Democrat is for the people," said Regina Cruz, a Sanders supporter. "I have a really difficult time believing that she is really for the people."

Clinton said Donald Trump wants to create a "deportation force to round up millions of people," warning a largely Hispanic audience about the presumptive Republican nominee's plans.

Clinton said the "best way to prevent that from happening is to make sure he never gets near the White House."

The Democratic front-runner said she will push for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws and end "raids and roundups" of immigrants.

She is pushing for a show of force in California's June 7 primary against Sanders. She said "winning big in California will put us on the path to winning big in November."

Clinton was attending fundraisers and courting black and Latino voters in Los Angeles on Thursday, before her afternoon speech at the college.

She met with local black leaders during a stop at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park, where she touted her lead over Sanders.

"I am 3 million-plus votes ahead of Senator Sanders, right?" Clinton told the crowd. "I am nearly 300 pledged delegates ahead of Senator Sanders."

NBC4 Wire Services contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Bush Presidents Won't Be Endorsing Trump]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:40:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/167503236.jpg

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush will refrain from endorsing or commenting on Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

The senior Bush has enthusiastically endorsed the party's nominee in the past five election cycles. But the 91-year-old's spokesman confirmed to NBC News that President Bush will not endorse Trump and "is retired from politics."

George W. Bush is also staying out of politics this year and "does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign," his personal aide, Freddy Ford, told The Texas Tribune.

Trump repeatedly attacked Bush 43's administration on the campaign trail, saying it failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks and lied to get the U.S. involved in the Iraq War.

Neither Bush attended the 2012 or 2008 Republican conventions.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Aides Interviewed in Email Investigation: Officials]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 17:51:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HillaryClinton-AP_894627747166.jpg

Sources familiar with the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server told NBC News some of her top aides during her time as Secretary of State have been interviewed by the FBI “within the past few months.” 

Among them was Huma Abedin, who will be deposed in a separate Freedom of Information case against the State Department. 

Officials say the interviews were planned ahead of time and officials say the investigation is far from over. 

So far, no conclusions have been reached about whether any laws were violated in setting up or using the system, officials say. 

The Clinton campaign continues to say the Democratic front-runner “has offered to answer any questions that would help the Justice Department complete its review,” and that the campaign is “confident the review will conclude that nothing inappropriate took place.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Conversation on Child Mental Health]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 17:48:12 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/20150505+ReidEwing.jpg

Caring for children's mental health takes a team approach: Family members, health care professionals and educators.

When that happens, a young person's life can blossom.

That's the goal behind National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, culminating in a town-hall event Thursday hosted at George Washington University and streamed live across the country.

Parents can tune in to the conversation that started at 7 p.m. -- and use social media to ask their own questions of the panel. (Tweet questions with the hashtag #HeroesOfHope.)

The event, organized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is called “Finding Help, Finding Hope.” It's aimed at families of young people who experience mental or substance use disorders.

The panel kicked off with a funny, honest reflection from Reid Ewing, the actor who plays Dylan on "Modern Family." He was recognized by the group for sharing his stories of battling body dismorphic disorder and other challenges.

"I didn't have many friends, and I didn't really have the ability to make friends," Ewing said. "When you are depressed it doesn't really work that way."

But, he said, support of family, therapy and medication helped him learn "how live as a happy person."

Others on the panel include youth, family leaders, educators, law enforcement officials and behavioral health professionals. Among them will be SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto, Center for Mental Health Services Director Paolo del Vecchio and National Council of Behavioral Health President and CEO Linda Rosenberg.

News4’s Aaron Gilchrist is moderating the event.

Meanwhile, communities around the nation are assembling watch parties and other events for Thursday night's event. Click here to find a watch party near you.

And don't worry if you miss the livestream -- the discussion will be available on demand, too.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Officer Who Survived Ambush Honored]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 16:59:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Officer-Hartnett-One-on-One.jpg

A Philadelphia Police officer who chased down a gunman after being shot during an ambush attack earlier this year was honored by law enforcement officials from around the world Wednesday night.

Officer Jesse Hartnett received the “Man of the Year” award during the annual National Police Defense Foundation (NPDF) Awards Dinner in Howard Beach, New York. Hartnett spoke to NBC10 about the honor during his first on-camera interview since the shooting.

“It’s a big deal and it’s nice to be recognized,” Hartnett told NBC10’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas in an exclusive interview. “Especially after something tragic like that.”

On January 7, Hartnett, 33, was shot by a gunman in an ambush attack while he was sitting inside his patrol car. Despite being struck in the arm and bleeding heavily, he chased after the suspect and returned fire. The gunman, whom police identified as 30-year-old Edward Archer, was captured a few blocks away. 

During Wednesday’s award ceremony, attendees praised Hartnett for his heroic actions that night.

“In 40 years of police work this is the first time I’ve ever seen such an incident that turned out good,” said Joseph Occhipinti, of the National Police Defense Fund.

Hartnett couldn’t discuss the details of the shooting while speaking with NBC10 due to the pending court case. He did say, however, that his military and police academy training ultimately saved his life.

“I’m sitting here speaking to you,” he said. “So did it keep me alive? I would say, yes. It definitely kept me alive.”

Hartnett also addressed what he believed to be the unfair depiction of police officers involved in shootings.

“A lot of the media coverage you see a lot of bad, negativity of police when you see different shootings and different cases,” he said. “Everything is obviously a different scenario but you have split seconds to react to something where lawyers can just attack it for months, sometimes years.”

Archer faces multiple charges in connection with the shooting. He allegedly told police after his arrest that he was acting in the name of Islam, though Archer's defense attorney has said he may have mental problems.

Hartnett suffered extensive nerve damage and has limited use of his left arm after undergoing eight surgeries. He just started physical therapy and continues to recover. 

“I really look forward to getting my hand back,” Hartnett said. “It’s difficult. You don’t really realize what you have. It’s a real eye-opener when you lose something. But I’m working with really good people at Penn Hospital and everything is going really well.”

Hartnett says he’s spoken to police recruits about his experience and plans to do more volunteering in the future.

“I think it helps to focus their minds and let them realize what they’re getting into,” he said. “It’s not just you, it’s your family involved, so many other people and yourself. It’s a huge decision that they’re making. I think it’s an eye-opener, me sharing my story.”

Watch the full interview in the video embedded above.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Experts Urge Password Changes After Massive Cyber Attack]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 16:36:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/computer+generic2.JPG

Cybersecurity professionals are warning anyone with a personal email account to change their passwords after stolen user names and passwords were being offered up for sale on the Internet, NBC News reported. 

Some 272.3 million accounts were stolen - and involve some of the biggest email providers, including Google, Yahoo, Hotmail and Microsoft, according to Alex Holden of Hold Security. 

"We know he's a young man in central Russia who collected this information from multiple sources," Holden told NBC News. "We don't know the way he did it or the reason why he did it."

The user names and passwords were all being sold on the so-called “dark web,” where hackers hock their goods. Hackers use the stolen information to lure users into giving away more information, including credit card numbers and bank account access.

Experts say people should change their passwords regularly. Use abstract combinations of letters, numbers and characters that a criminal's computer program couldn't easily guess.

Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Proposed Rule May Allow Class-Action Suits Against Banks]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 15:14:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gavel-generic-stock.jpg

A rule proposed Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may ban mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from filing class-action lawsuits against their banks and credit card companies, NBC News reported. 

The proposed rule would prohibit financial services companies from including mandatory arbitration clauses that forbid class-action lawsuits. 

Supporters of the proposal say it will help keep companies honest, while opponents argue banks typically resolve disputes quickly and amicably. 

Arbitration clauses are generally embedded in the fine print of many financial institutions’ contracts, which many advocates say deny people the right to their day in court.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Man Shoots Wife at Md. School: PD]]> Fri, 06 May 2016 04:19:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/EulalioTordilBkg.jpg

A man shot and killed his estranged wife as she sat in the parking lot of a Beltsville, Maryland, high school Thursday, Prince George's County Police said.

Police are searching for 62-year-old Eulalio Tordil of Adelphi. They said he followed his estranged wife, 44-year-old Gladys Tordil, onto the property of High Point High School about 4:40 p.m. Thursday.

Gladys Tordil was in the school parking lot to pick up her daughters when the suspect got out of his car and confronted her as she sat in her SUV, police said.

A man who witnessed the altercation tried to intervene, Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said at a news conference.

Eulalio Tordil took out a handgun and shot the bystander in the shoulder, police said. He then turned the weapon on the woman and shot her several times, killing her, Stawinski said.

The injured man was taken to a hospital and is in good condition with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

No students were directly involved or harmed. Some may have witnessed the shooting, police said.

School had been dismissed for more than an hour when the shooting occurred.

One student said it was her friend's mother who was killed by the gunman.

Another student said she was just about to start playing in a softball game at the school when she heard the shots.

"Everyone was just crying, like we didn't know what to do. We were just crying," she said. "We have a crate where we put all of our equipment. They rushed us in there and after about half an hour they moved us to a locker room and they kept us in the gym after that."

Prince George's County Public Schools said students were secured inside the school after the shots were fired.

Students participating in after-school activities at High Point and Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School were placed in lockdown at 4:50 p.m., the school system said in a statement.

Many parents gathered across the street from High Point waiting to hear what had happened, News4's Tracee Wilkins reports.

"When situations unfold like this it takes some time even for us to know what's happening," said Kevin Maxwell, CEO of Prince George's County Public Schools.

There was a large police presence at the scene and officers could be seen taping off an area outside the school.

The lockdown at High Point was lifted at 6:50 p.m., PGCPS said. Students from DuVal, Oxon Hill and Suitland high schools who were participating in athletic events at High Point were taken back on buses to their schools.

High Point High School is expected to open Friday. Maxwell said a crisis team will be at the school in the morning to support students and staff.

Police said school security cameras captured video of the shooting.

Police have not released a description of the Eulalio Tordil's vehicle that used to drive away from the scene.

Tordil is an employee of the Federal Protective Service, police said.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. Prince George's County also has a special unit that responds to domestic violence crimes.

Find more services and programs for individuals affected by domestic violence here.

Photo Credit: Prince George's County Police Department
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<![CDATA[Trump Tweets Taco Bowl]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 17:26:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16125071253980.jpg

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a huge taco bowl in New York City.

Trump posted a photo of himself, posing with the dish in his office at Trump Tower, to Twitter and Facebook Thursday afternoon. 

"Happy Cinco de Mayo!" the candidate wrote in the caption. "The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill."

"I love Hispanics!" he added.

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The photo had garnered more than 44,000 shares and was liked more than 134,000 times in under an hour after being posted to Facebook. Thousands commented on the photo as well.

"I'm a trump supporter and I thought this was funny," said Facebook commenter Alex Earney.

It also went viral on Twitter, where some users lambasted the photo.

"C'mon man, even your Mexican food has a wall," tweeted Danny O'Dwyer, referring to Trump's promise to build a wall between Mexico and the United States.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was also quick to criticize Trump on social media, posting a video of him telling "NBC Nightly News" host Lester Holt this week that he still plans to deport all undocumented immigrants from the country if he's elected president.

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Photo Credit: File – AP
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<![CDATA[Trump Reverses Stances on Taxes, Minimum Wage]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 23:04:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527324320-trump.jpg

Donald Trump has already indicated he may abandon his positions on two major policy issues: a minimum wage increase and tax cuts for the rich, NBC News reported.

Trump told CNBC on Thursday he backed away from his original tax plan and that he is “more into the middle class.” Trump put out a tax plan last year with major cuts to income, estate and business taxes for the ultra-wealthy, with far less generous cuts for the middle class. 

On Wednesday, Trump was asked on CNN whether the $7.25 minimum wage should be increased.

"I am open to doing something with it, because I don't like that," he said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[180,000 Pacifiers Recalled Over Choking Hazard]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 13:21:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/munchkin-pacifier-recall.jpg

Munchkin is recalling some 180,000 pacifiers sold with clip covers that can detach and pose a choking hazard, according to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission.

The pacifiers were sold from March 2014 through March 2016 at major retailers, including Babies R Us, Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon. The Latch Lightweight Pacifier and Clip was available in five styles and several colors.

Munchkin Inc., based in California, has received 10 reports of the clip cover detaching from the pacifier clip, although no injuries have been reported, according to the CPSC.

Anyone who has purchased a recalled pacifier should take the clip away from children and contact Munchkin at 877-242-3134 or online for a full refund or replacement.

More information about the recall is available on the CPSC website.

Photo Credit: Consumer Protection Safety Commission]]>
<![CDATA[Wal-Mart Welcomes Back Its Greeters]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 12:01:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/4416Walmart.jpg

Wal-Mart is bringing back its store greeters this summer after eliminating the position from its 5,000-plus U.S. stores four years ago, NBC News reported.

The Arkansas-based retail giant said a pilot program that returned its goodwill ambassadors to the front door earned positive customer feedback. The company announced this week it will be stationing 9,000 people at its store entrances.

The company said two-thirds of the new positions will be the traditional greeters — often senior citizens. The remainder will be "customer hosts," specially trained younger employees, who will be responsible for checking receipts, processing returns, handling security, and protecting against theft. 

Wal-Mart's founder Sam Walton implemented "people greeters" in the 1980s after a store associate suggested a familiar face at the entrance would give shoppers the impression of a friendly, neighborhood business.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[No, Cinco de Mayo Is Not Mexico's Independence Day]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 11:50:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/472092370_Dancers.jpg

Thursday marks the 154th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo, a holiday synonymous with margaritas and cervezas (beer) that many would be surprised to learn is a bigger deal in the U.S. than in Mexico.

The holiday commemorates Mexico’s victory against the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1862, not Mexico's Independence Day, which is marked on Sept. 16. In fact, it isn’t a Mexican holiday at all but rather an American one created by Latinos in California during the Civil War, according to UCLA professor David Hayes-Bautista.

"Recent Mexican immigrants are often surprised at what a huge thing Cinco de Mayo has become here," Professor Margarita Sánchez of Wagner College told NBC News. "They do celebrate the holiday in Mexico, but it is only a big deal in Puebla."

General Ignacio Zaragosa, the hero of the Battle of Peubla, was born near what is now Goliad, Texas. The fact that a Tejano (or "Tex-Mex") has a link to Cinco de Mayo reflects the reality that Mexican history is part of American history, says Raul Ramos of the University of Houston.

Photo Credit: Denver Post via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ariz. Teen Not Charged for Exposing Himself in Yearbook Photo]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:23:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/160503-hunter-osborn-jsw-1030a_d323e352d121399c9391e456abf99c10.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

An Arizona teenager who flashed his genitals for his high school team’s yearbook photo won’t be charged, NBC News reports.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Wednesday it would not pursue a felony charge.

Hunter Osborn was arrested Saturday and was charged as an adult with 69 counts of misdemeanor indecent exposure — one count for every “victim” who appeared in the photo with him, police said.

Mesa police said no one in the photo wanted to press charges. Osborn pulled the prank on a dare, but later said he was “disgusted” by his actions, according to police.

School officials recalled the yearbook in order to alter the offending image.

Photo Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Voters Could Pick London's First Muslim Mayor]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 09:41:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sadiq-khan.jpg

London could make history as the first major Western city to elect a Muslim mayor, with Labour Party candidate Sadiq Khan on top of opinion polls, according to NBC News.

Khan, the son of a bus driver from Pakistan, became a human rights attorney before entering politics, and supports gay marriage. His opposition, Zac Goldsmith of the Conservative Party, is the son of a Jewish billionaire and was elected to the House of Commons in 2010.

Goldsmith has criticized Khan for appearances alongside radical Muslim speakers and Khan has accused Goldsmith of running a "nasty, dog-whistling campaign."

The tense election is being likened to the 2016 presidential election, which has drawn global attention for the fighting and inflammatory remarks among candidates, namely from presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump. 

"The campaign has degenerated in a profoundly depressing way," London reporter and blogger for The Guardian, Dave Hill, told NBC News.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Homemade Bomb Blast at School]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 15:57:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/San-Pasqual-Academy.jpg

A homemade bomb exploded on the campus of a Southern California school for foster youths Thursday morning, authorities said, but no one was hurt.

Deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO), as well as CAL Fire officials, responded to San Pasqual Academy in Escondido around 9:15 a.m. after getting word of a reported threat to the school.

San Diego County Director of Communications Michael Workman told NBC 7 a student made some sort of bomb and the contraption exploded at the school. No one was injured, officials said.

He said the school was on lockdown for a period of time Thursday morning while officials swept the campus for any other potential threats.

Ultimately, the school was deemed safe. As of 10:50 a.m., students were in the auditorium being briefed on the situation, Workman said.

The incident remains under investigation. Officials said a 15-year-old male student at the school was detained on campus for allegedly making the device. He was booked into Juvenile Hall for possession of a destructive device.

Workman said that after an initial investigation, the homemade bomb appeared to be made out of bathroom products, including toilet bowl cleaner and some sort of aluminum foil. SDSO Sgt. Tom Vrable said the device was placed within a plastic soda bottle.

Deputies said this type of homemade device is more commonly known as a "pressure" or "acid bomb."

SDSO officials said a staff member at the school spotted the device and picked it up in front of the teenage student accused of making it. The teen suspect warned the staff member to get rid of it, as it would explode.

Vrable said the staff member quickly tossed the bottle into nearby bushes and a few minutes later, the bomb exploded.

Although no one was injured, SDSO bomb arson investigators said the bottle bomb was dangerous and someone could've gotten hurt if the school staffer hadn't thrown the device into the bushes.

One official told NBC 7 the detonation times on these kind of homemade devices vary "anywhere from 10 or 15 seconds all the way to five minutes."

"They are very unpredictable; very dangerous," the officials added.

San Pasqual Academy is a residential education campus for foster youths located on more than 200 acres in Escondido at 17701 San Pasqual Valley Rd.

Students are 12 to 18 years old and need stable, long-term placement and guidance, according to the school's website. The Academy opened in October 2001 and has a capacity to serve 184 youths. 

Photo Credit: Rory Devine]]>
<![CDATA[Anita Alvarez Seeks to Recuse Self]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 12:43:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Anita-Alvarez-AP_958161656519.jpg

The embattled state's attorney of Cook County, Illinois, has asked to recuse herself from the murder prosecution of Officer Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer who shot a black teen 16 times.

Anita Alvarez requested that the court appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case. Van Dyke is accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. He was charged with first-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty.

"My primary goal in bringing a charge of First Degree Murder in this case is and always has been about seeking justice for Laquan McDonald," Alvarez said in a written statement in court Thursday. "Today I believe that I am fulfilling this obligation by requesting that the court turn this case over to a special prosecutor."

Alvarez has faced mounting criticism over her handling of the case, with many questioning why it took more than a year to bring charges against the officer involved in McDonald's killing. 

Activists and civil rights attorneys previously asked Judge Vincent Gaughan to appoint a special prosecutor, alleging Alvarez was "disqualified from representing the people."

Alvarez has defended her handling of the case, but has since lost her campaign for re-election. 

"More than anything else, our role as prosecutors is to seek justice and do all that we can to promote confidence in our criminal justice system," Alvarez said Thursday. "It is my greatest hope that the citizens of Chicago who have been shocked and polarized by this crime and this tragedy will understand and welcome this decision and respectfully support the efforts of all elements of the criminal justice system as the prosecution of Jason Van Dyke moves forward.”

Gaughan said Thursday he plans to make a decision about the request for a special prosecutor June 2. 

Van Dyke is accused of shooting McDonald 16 times while the teen was walking away from police in October 2014. Dashcam footage showing the shooting was released to the public in November 2015, sparking protests and outrage nationwide.

Photo Credit: AP]]>