<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.pngNBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSat, 19 Aug 2017 00:40:16 -0700Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:40:16 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Calif. Man Among 14 Dead in Spanish Terror Attacks: Family]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:33:05 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/0817-2017-BarcelonaCouplePic.jpg

What began as a vacation to celebrate a Bay Area couple's first wedding anniversary ended in tragedy, Jared Tucker’s family said, when the 42-year-old was killed in Thursday’s terror attack in Barcelona.

Tucker's father, Dan Tucker, who lives in Walnut Creek, told NBC Bay Area on Friday that his daughter-in-law, Heidi Nunes-Tucker, had identified her husband's remains at a Spanish morgue. 

The Lafayette couple visited Paris and Venice before arriving in Barcelona, Nunes-Tucker said Thursday. They were walking in the Catalan city's Las Ramblas shopping district when Nunes-Tucker decided to look at some jewelry while Tucker ducked into a restroom. 

Moments later, a van veered onto the promenade and barreled down the busy walkway in the city center Thursday, swerving back and forth as it mowed down pedestrians and turned a picturesque tourist destination into a bloody killing zone. Thirteen people were killed, along with another person in a separate attack hours later in Catalonia.

"Next thing I know there’s screaming, yelling," Nunes-Tucker told NBC News. "I got pushed inside the souvenir kiosk and stayed there hiding while everybody kept running by screaming, and then the police eventually made us evacuate."

Nunes-Tucker had said she hadn't seen or heard from Tucker since the deadly attack. She told NBC News Thursday that she was aware of a picture circulating online appearing to show her husband looking injured and being helped by a stranger.

In the photograph, Dan Tucker said Jared Tucker was wearing a blue shirt and tan pants. He had a head wound and there was "quite a lot of blood," he said. But Dan Tucker took solace in the fact that someone was kneeling in front of him.

"That's a good sign," he recalled thinking. "He's hurt, but it's not fatal." 

The family learned otherwise, Dan Tucker said, when officials at a consulate — it's unclear whether the officials were Spanish or American — showed Nunes-Tucker pictures of her husband and asked her to identify Jared Tucker.

Dan Tucker said he and his son, one of five children, owned a swimming pool construction business together.

"Jared was a neat, neat guy. Everybody loved him. He and I have worked together … ever since he’s been 16 years old," Dan Tucker said, adding that he had a "really nice relationship" with his child.

"I’ve just got so much respect for his organizational ability and all he's done. Everybody loves him and so it's going to be a really bitter pill to swallow," he said, choking up.

Jared Tucker, who has three teenage daughters from previous relationships, was visiting Europe for the first time and was booked on a flight back to the United States on Friday, his father said. The victim's sister is now traveling to Spain to support Heidi Nunes-Tucker and help bring Jared Tucker home. 

When asked how he was feeling, Dan Tucker paused, struggling to answer.

"I'm not angry necessarily ... It's just hard to understand how anything like that could happen," he said.

Tucker deemed it "really bizarre" that his son was the one American among the 13 people who were fatally struck by the terrorist. "What are the chances?" he wondered.

Friends, family and other supporters gathered Friday at El Sobrante Christian School, where Nunes-Tucker is a teacher, for a vigil prayer for the family.

"Heidi is a beloved teacher here and we hurt when she's hurting," El Sobrante Christian School principal Jeannine Manguit said.

GoFundMe account has been set up to help Jared Tucker's family. 

A State Department official told NBC News Friday morning that one American was killed and another was missing. The State Department have not confirmed Tucker is the American who died.

Spanish police intensified their manhunt for an unknown number of suspects still on the loose Friday. They shot and killed five people early Friday who were wearing fake bomb belts as they attacked the seaside resort of Cambrils with a speeding car. Police also arrested four others believed linked to the Cambrils attack and the carnage Thursday on the famous Barcelona promenade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Heidi Nunes]]>
<![CDATA[Celebs, Lawmakers React to WH Ouster of Steve Bannon]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:10:11 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/trump-nacionalismo-1A.jpg

News of Steve Bannon's ouster from the White House was met with a variety of reactions across social media Friday, as celebrities, political commentators and politicians expressed both support and disdain for the move.

Rosie O'Donnell, political commentator Ann Coulter and movie director Jon Favreau were among those who took to Twitter as news broke of Bannon's ouster.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement following the news.

"Steve Bannon's firing is welcome news, but it doesn’t disguise where President Trump himself stands on white supremacists and the bigoted beliefs they advance," Pelosi wrote. "President Trump's growing record of repulsive statements is matched by his repulsive policies. Personnel changes are worthless so long as President Trump continues to advance policies that disgrace our cherished American values."

Bannon, 63, has been credited as a link between Trump and his conservative, populist base of supporters, but has been routinely criticized for his nationalist beliefs.

Trump hinted earlier this week that Bannon's future at the White House was under consideration.

Bannon is reviled by many for his role in developing Breitbart, which he stepped aside from to work for the Trump campaign. Critics call the site racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic. He has denied that he is a white nationalist, calling himself an "economic nationalist" with visions of building an "entirely new political movement." But he seemed to court revulsion from liberals and others opposed to him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Olympians Share Their Most Embarrassing School Memories]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:23:23 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT+EMBARRASSING+SCHOOL+THUMB2.jpg

From bad school pictures to awkward first day wardrobes, Team USA members can now look back on some of their most embarrassing school moments and laugh.

<![CDATA[Charlottesville Victim's Mom: 'I've Had Death Threats']]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:32:41 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17226511112426.jpg

A day after burying her daughter, the mother of a woman killed during Saturday’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville said she has received death threats. She also criticized President Donald Trump’s claim that violence on "both sides" lead to her daughter's death.

"Whether there was violence on both sides or not is irrelevant," Bro told MSNBC's Katy Tur. "The guy mowed my daughter down and, sorry, that’s not excusable."

In the interview, Bro said that the White House has reached out to her three times since her daughter’s death, but that she hasn’t had a chance to speak to President Trump.

On Friday, she went further, telling ABC's "Good Morning America" that "I have not, and now I will not" speak with Trump.

One call came during the funeral, and three more frantic calls came from press secretaries later in the day, when she was able to watch the news.

"I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters like Ms. Heyer with the KKK and the white supremacists," she said. "You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying I'm sorry. I'm not forgiving for that."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Joshua Replogle
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Police: 3 Young Girls Dead in Md. Homicide; Man Arrested]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:11:03 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Clinton+murders+home.jpg

Three girls, all younger than 10, were found slain Friday morning inside a home in Clinton, Maryland, police say.

An adult family member arrived at the home Friday morning and found the children dead in the house, located on the 6400 block of Brooke Jane Drive, Prince George's County police said. 

Police announced late Friday night they arrested 24-year-old Antonio Williams in the killings. Williams is a resident on the same block of Brook Jane Drive, police said.

Authorities released no further details about Williams' arrest, but said the department would hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Saturday.

"We are now in the midst of a major investigation into what happened to these children and who killed them," police department spokeswoman Jennifer Donelan said earlier Friday.

Police stressed at an afternoon press conference that they believed the incident was confined to that home and that there was not a danger to the larger community.

Police said they were called to the house shortly after 7:35 a.m. They were met by people who they called "members of the family."

Inside the home, they found the girls with "trauma to the body," Donelan said at the press conference.

They were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police said they couldn't confirm if the girls are related or how they knew each other. Citing the ongoing investigation, they also wouldn't say what had happened to the family members at the scene that morning.

More family members of the victims are being contacted. "We believe we have made contact with a parent," Deputy Chief Sammy Patel said.

The scene was heartbreaking to police; counseling services are being offered to those who responded to the home.

State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said Prince George's County had woken to "yet another nightmare."

"We are so very, very devastated for these young, beautiful children and their families," Alsobrooks said.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Driver Rapes Intoxicated Passenger: NYPD]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:23:03 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/uber-file.jpg

Police are looking for an Uber driver who allegedly drove an intoxicated woman from Manhattan to his home in Queens and raped her, police said. 

The driver picked up the 31-year-old victim on East 52nd Street at about 1:40 a.m. Thursday, according to police. She passed out at some point, and she awoke in the Uber driver's home on Sanford Avenue in Queens. 

She asked the driver where she was, and he allegedly told her they were in his home. When she remembered they'd had sex, the driver allegedly told her he'd used protection and to "please don't tell the police," the NYPD said.

The woman told the driver to take her home, then called police. 

Police are still searching for the driver.

An Uber spokeswoman said the report is "very concerning" and that the company is looking into it.

Photo Credit: File]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Injured After Car Plows Through Her Bedroom]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:13:55 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ie-car-into-house-081817.jpg

A girl was hospitalized with broken bones after a driver plowed her vehicle into a Redlands home while the 10-year-old was sleeping in her bedroom Thursday morning.

The crash happened just before 7 a.m. in the 1600 block of Occidental Street, according to the Redlands Police Department.

A 1997 Mercury Mountaineer was traveling westbound on San Bernardino Avenue when the driver lost control and crashed into the home, plowing through a bathroom and two bedrooms. 

The SUV crashed through the back wall of the home, and continued through the backyard, through a fence, and then over a 6-foot-tall retaining wall before it finally crashed into the master bedroom of another home in the 1600 block of Nathan Court, police said.

The girl was sleeping in her bedroom when the SUV plowed into her bedroom.

"Total panic," said the girl's mother, Monique Alonzo. "I didn't know where she was."

Alonzo noticed her daughter, Julissa Strickland, had been ejected into the backyard. 

"When I turned her over, brought her on top of me, I knew she was still with us," Alonzo said. "I scrambled to get her oxygen."

When Julissa was 5, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her surgeries left her without the ability to talk or breathe on her own.

She was hospitalized Thursday with a broken leg and arm. Julissa is expected to make a full recovery from the crash.

"My life is turned upside down," her mother said. "My child's life. She's in the hospital."

There were no other major injuries from the crash. Police identified the driver as a 20-year-old woman from Redlands. Her name has not been released.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time.

The family says this is the third time this year a car has crashed into their home. Their home has been red-tagged and they have been provided shelter, police said.

"Just slow down," her mother said. "You can take people's lives."

If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to help Julissa's family, you may do so here. Note that GoFundMe deducts 7.9 percent of all funds raised in the form of platform and payment processing charges.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo]]>
<![CDATA[These Pet Rescue Stories Will Warm Your Heart]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:48:27 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/julia-and-walter.jpg

Every year, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Of those, nearly 1.5 million cats and dogs are euthanized due to overcrowding in shelters and another 2.3 million are adopted into forever homes. Click on the pets below to read their heartwarming adoption success stories and rescue tales.

Photo Credit: Chrissy, Julia's Mother
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Bannon Plans to 'Crush the Opposition' Back at Breitbart]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:23:04 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17230611688308.jpg

After his exit as Chief White House Strategist, Steve Bannon returned as the executive chairman for Breitbart News Friday, a spokesman for the site confirmed to NBC News. Confirmation from the company came shortly after the site published an article titled "'Populist Hero' Stephen K. Bannon Returns Home to Breitbart."

Bannon himself expressed excitement about his return, telling the Weekly Standard in an interview published moments after the company's announcement that he felt "jacked up," and referred to the site as one of his "weapons."

"Now I'm free. I've got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, 'it’s Bannon the Barbarian.' I am definitely going to crush the opposition," Bannon said.

"And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we're about to rev that machine up," he added, referring to Breitbart. "And rev it up we will do.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File]]>
<![CDATA[Walmart Files Patent for Floating Warehouse ]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:40:40 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/walmart_722x406_2166097556.jpg

Walmart has applied for a U.S. patent for a warehouse in the sky, which could make deliveries to shoppers' homes with drones.

CNBC reported that it could be the big-box retailer's latest move to take its e-commerce business to the next level.

Bloomberg first reported the news Friday, while the patent was first submitted in February.

The machine, similar to a blimp, could fly as high as 1,000 feet, the application says, and it would be operated either autonomously or remotely by a human pilot.

Photo Credit: NBCPhiladelphia.com]]>
<![CDATA[Who's Who in the Trump-Russia Investigation]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 15:29:15 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/russiathumb2.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[2 Dead, 6 Injured in Knife Attack in Turku, Finland]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:52:18 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_FINLAND_STABBING_081817-150308539910600001.jpg

Finland police said a man stabbed several people in Turku, Finland. Two people are confirmed dead and six others are injured. Police officers shot one suspect in the leg and took him into custody. Warnings were posted throughout the city for people to stay away from the downtown area.

<![CDATA[Trump's Tweets Lead People to Worry]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:08:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_lv50fweb08182017_1500x845.jpg

President Donald Trump goes to Camp David today to talk about the war in Afghanistan, Asia, and the terrorist attack in Barcelona. The president's words and twitter posts this week have left some in his own party to start questioning his leadership.

<![CDATA[Donald Trump Through the Years]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 13:02:14 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Trumpthumb.jpgWhat Donald Trump's presidency will look like is unclear to many observers. He has not previously worked in politics, and has made contradictory statements on policy issues in several areas during his campaign. Despite the unknowns, Trump has an extensive public profile that, along with his real estate empire and the Trump brand, grew domestically and internationally over the last few decades. Here is a look at the president-elect's personal and career milestones and controversies.

Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steve Bannon Out as White House Chief Strategist]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:04:24 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_STEVE_BANNON_OUT_081817-150307942342200001.jpg

Steve Bannon has departed the White House, where he was President Donald Trump’s chief strategist. His tenure lasted seven months. White House chief of staff John Kelly and Bannon mutually agreed that Friday would be Bannon’s last day, according to a statement from the press secretary that said they were “grateful for his service.”

<![CDATA[Family Jumps Rising Drawbridge in Car, Lands on Other Side]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:58:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NJFamilyJumpsBridge.jpg

A family heading to Cape May, New Jersey, found themselves in an improbable situation earlier this month when a drawbridge lifted right underneath their car and they were forced to jump the opening.

Terence Naphys, after paying the $1.50 toll at the Middle Thorofare Bridge that connects the Wildwoods and Cape May via Ocean Drive, was heading across the bridge when a steel metal grate suddenly lifted 3 to 6 feet underneath his car, Naphys told Lower Township police.

Naphys was in the car with his wife, his daughter and his daughter's friend, and he was worried his Toyota RAV4 would fall the 65 feet down into the water. So he accelerated and jumped the gap. 

"It's scary what's going through your mind," said the New Jersey resident. "We could have all landed in the water."

The car landed on the other side of the bridge and the family was able to drive away without any injuries. But Naphys said his SUV sustained $10,000 in damage that included a bent suspension.

A commercial fishing vessel was trying to pass under the bridge, and its radio communication was down, officials said. The bridge operator could not contact the large boat.

The operator later told police he was blinded by a sun glare when he checked the bridge for cars, expecting Naphys' vehicle to clear in time. 

The bridge was built in 1940 and needs as much as $200 million in repairs and renovations, according to Cape May County officials.

Investigators said the incident was an operator error and is under investigation by the Cape May County Bridge Commission.

Naphys isn't sure when he'll have the courage to cross a bridge again.

"I will never ever drive that bridge or probably any drawbridge again," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos: Protests in Durham; Silence in Catalonia]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:14:48 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-835180482.jpgView daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty ]]>
<![CDATA[157 People Killed By Police in California in 2016]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:31:52 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/20140707+Police+Chief+Gun1.jpg

Violent police encounters in California last year led to the deaths of 157 people and six officers, the state attorney general's office said Thursday in a report that provides the first statewide tally on police use-of-force incidents.

All of the state's 800 police departments supplied detailed data from 2016, including demographic information on the civilians and officers, the type of call that led to the violence and the officers' justification for using force.

The departments reported 782 incidents resulting in serious injury or death, or where a firearm was discharged. Those cases involved 832 civilians and about 19 percent, or 157, of those people were killed.

Forty-two percent of civilians who were involved in the incidents were Hispanic, 30 percent white and 20 percent black. More than 50 percent of the officers involved were white, according to the report.

The times officers used force represent a tiny fraction of the millions of police encounters in the state of nearly 40 million people.

"In California, we strive to improve public trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are sworn to protect by opening lines of communication," Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "A necessary part of the discussion is knowing the facts and having the data to inform the creation of effective plans to advance sound criminal justice policies."

Departments are now required to report any use of force that causes "serious injuries" under a proposal passed by lawmakers and implemented by former Attorney General Kamala Harris. Though some departments already tracked such data on their own, many did not.

Few other states collect such comprehensive data. Texas requires the attorney general to track statistics on officer-caused and officer-sustained injuries and death, Colorado requires every police shooting be reported and Connecticut tracks every incident of serious force, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

<![CDATA['Black Power' Spray-Painted on Statue of Polarizing Philadelphia Mayor]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:50:24 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/RizzoStatue.jpg

The bronze statue of Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia's polarizing former police commissioner and mayor, was defaced late Thursday with the words "Black Power" written in white spray paint.

The vandal also wrote "The Black community should be their own police" on the steps of the Municipal Services Building on John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Center City where the statue stands.

Vandalism of statue follows renewed calls for its removal in the wake of the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and national discussion over how to handle statues and monuments linked to racism and other emotionally charged issues. 

A Rizzo supporter covered the statue's vandalized midsection with a sheet overnight. City crews later used soap and brooms to clean up the graffiti and by daybreak the words were gone.

Philadelphia police took the suspected vandal, who investigators say drove off in a Toyota station wagon, into custody before 7 a.m. He has been identified by police as 40-year-old Wali Rahmen of Philadelphia.

Rahmen is charged with three misdemeanors: criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and desecrating objects.

Officers who had been guarding the statue earlier in the day had gone off duty, police said.

The latest act of vandalism came after protesters clashed with police Wednesday near the statue. Earlier that day, a man from Maplewood, New Jersey, was arrested after he was caught on camera throwing eggs at the statue.

On Friday morning, a mohawked man placed trash at Rizzo's feet.

The bronze likeness, unveiled in 1999, depicts a waiving Rizzo bounding down the steps of the Municipal Services Building heading for Philadelphia City Hall across the street. It was donated to the city.

Driven by Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym, there is growing support for removing the tribute to Rizzo, who died of a heart attack in 1991, from city property. Some call it a reminder of Rizzo's strained history with the African-American and gay communities during the late 1960s and 1970s.

Gym, a first-term Democrat, tweeted that "all around the country, we're fighting to remove the monuments to slavery & racism. Philly, we have work to do. Take the Rizzo statue down."

Mayor Jim Kenney hasn't rejected the idea. Kenney said he wasn't thrilled when it was first installed.

"If there's a group of people or folks in the city who want to reconsider the placement of the statue, whether it be removed or relocated, that's up to them to go through the same process as the people who erected it," Kenney said.

It's not the first time activists have demanded the statue be removed. Last year, an anti-police brutality group called Philly Coalition for Real Justice petitioned for its removal.

Rizzo, a hard-charging, big-mouthed icon of head-cracking law enforcement in Philadelphia, served as police commissioner for four years before serving two terms as the city’s mayor from 1972 to 1980. His friends, family and fans remember him as a devoted public servant unafraid to speak his mind. Thousands of people signed a recent online petition to keep the statue in place.

Rizzo's detractors saw his police force as corrupt and brutal.

Lowlights from his time as police commissioner include an incident in 1970 of officers raiding the Philadelphia headquarters of the Black Panthers and forcing the men to strip in public.

For those who knew and covered him, like former cop and retired Inquirer reporter Thomas J. Gibbons Jr. and NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, Rizzo can't be easily compared to other politicians. And Rizzo doesn't belong in the same category as long-gone Confederate leaders whose statues are coming down across the country.

Gibbons remembers Rizzo fondly for his tough policing, describing the 6 feet, 2 inch Italian American from South Philly as the guy who “when he entered a room, everything else stopped.”

“He is not by any means Robert E. Lee, or Chief Justice Roger Taney, who wrote the Dred Scott decision," said Mitchell, who began her career as a radio and television reporter for KYW during much of the Rizzo years. "He was a twice-elected mayor of Philadelphia, who was clearly controversial in his years as police commissioner. But from a distance, I would say he is not analogous to those Confederate leaders who tried to overthrow the government.”

When Rizzo said in 1978 that he wouldn't seek a third term in office he vowed to "defend the rights" of whites who had been "kicked around too long," The Washington Post reported

But Mitchell said that, "For all of this flaws, Rizzo never publicly defended white separatists."

Photo Credit: NBC10 Brandon Hudson]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Spraying Manure on Border Patrol Car]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:30:10 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/VT+border+patrol+manure-1502830697.jpg

A Vermont man who contracts with farmers to provide agricultural services firmly maintains he is innocent of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer with cow manure. 

On Thursday, the defense attorney for Mark Johnson, 53, of Alburgh, entered not guilty pleas on two misdemeanor counts: one of simple assault on a law enforcement officer with bodily fluids and one of disorderly conduct. 

The Grand Isle County State’s Attorney says Johnson, who provides various services to area farmers, including manure spreading, directed liquid cow manure from his spreader toward a cruiser with a U.S. Border Patrol agent inside. 

“He was definitely targeting that vehicle,” State’s Attorney Doug DiSabito said at Johnson’s arraignment in North Hero Thursday. 

In court paperwork, Sheriff Ray Allen of Grand Isle County said Johnson has long been frustrated with federal authorities, and that was a reason for the alleged manure assault. 

Johnson has often complained, Allen noted, that border patrol and immigration officers aren’t doing enough, in his eyes, about undocumented laborers on Vermont dairy farms. 

Those migrant workers, often from Mexico, are generally considered critical to the state's agriculture sector and to getting food on the tables of people across the Northeast and beyond. 

However, in Johnson’s view, he and his family have lost work and jobs to the migrants, court records show. 

“I'm not guilty,” Johnson told necn shortly after the court hearing, describing the accusation that he targeted the cruiser with liquid manure. “What was said in court today was not the truth. People need to know the truth.” 

Johnson insisted that dirtying the car was unintentional; that some of his load merely sloshed out as he drove past the cruiser. 

The Border Patrol agent acknowledged in a report filed with the court that his parked cruiser had been at least partially blocking an access road to a field where Johnson was working to spread manure. 

Johnson’s rig can hold 5,250 gallons of liquid manure, according to markings on the side of it. 

Because of that capacity, Johnson told necn that if he had truly planned a crime, the cruiser would've been basically black.

Photographs obtained by the Islander newspaper showed that one could still clearly see the markings on the cruiser, despite the splotches of manure. 

In another photo included in paperwork from the sheriff’s department, the front of the Border Patrol vehicle appeared mostly clean. 

In his report filed with the court, Border Patrol Agent Robert Rocheleau described Johnson using swear words while accusing him of not doing enough to address violations of immigration policy. 

Rocheleau said Johnson told the agent that he was being “squeezed” due to work lost to migrants. 

The agent noted in his report that he told Johnson if he is unhappy with the authorities’ handling of immigration issues, he should “write to his congressman.” 

Rocheleau said in the report he filed with the court that he heard Johnson revving the tractor’s engine aggressively and described Johnson operating the tractor “violently” to get a wave of manure to slosh out in his direction. 

Johnson suggested in brief remarks to necn following his arraignment that the agent’s version of events was exaggerated. He firmly maintained he is innocent. 

As the court case proceeds, Judge Michael Harris ordered Johnson to stay away from the Border Patrol agent. 

Stephanie Malin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the northeast, told the Associated Press that prosecutors are handling the case. 

If found guilty of both of the charges, Johnson could face a maximum punishment of six months and 60 days in prison, and a $1,000 fine. 

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Woman Searching for Husband After Barcelona Attack]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:50:47 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/0817-2017-BarcelonaCouplePic.jpg

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 2017): Jared Tucker was one of the 14 people killed in Thursday's terror attacks in Spain, his family said.

Here is an earlier story: 

A Bay Area woman is desperate to find her husband who went missing after a van plowed through the crowds in central Barcelona, killing at least 14 people —one from the United States — and injuring more than 100 others.

Heidi Nunes said she and her husband, Jared Tucker, were in Europe celebrating their first wedding anniversary, visiting Paris and Venice before arriving at the Catalan city. 

The couple, from Walnut Creek, California, was walking in Barcelona's Las Ramblas shopping district when Nunes decided to look at some jewelry while Tucker went to use the bathroom. 

Moments later, a van veered onto the promenade and barreled down the busy walkway in central Barcelona on Thursday, swerving back and forth as it mowed down pedestrians and turned a picturesque tourist destination into a bloody killing zone.

"Next thing I know there’s screaming, yelling," Nunes told NBC News. "I got pushed inside the souvenir kiosk and stayed there hiding while everybody kept running by screaming, and then the police eventually made us evacuate."

Nunes said she has not seen or heard from Tucker, a 34-year-old construction worker, since the deadly attack. She told NBC News that she's aware of a picture circulating online appearing to show her husband looking injured and being helped by a stranger. 

A picture taken moments shortly the attack depicts a happy couple enjoying sangrias on the promenade. Nunes said the clothes he was wearing in that photo "is what he’s wearing now," and hopes that detail provides a clue and helps someone to recognize him.  

She said she has reached out to the U.S. embassy in Spain for help and has called local hospitals searching for him.

"We’re waiting for a list at the emergency places we’re at but the lists don’t seem to be updated very rapidly," she told NBC News. "So we were going to start driving to hospitals to start looking."

One American was killed in the attack, while another sustained minor injuries, a State Department official told NBC News Friday. Neither was identified, and Spanish authorities say several casualties have yet to be identified.

A biographical page for Nunes on the El Sobrante Christian School website says the sixth-grade teacher grew up in Sacramento and "enjoys spending time with her son and attending his soccer and lacrosse games."  

San Jose resident Caroline Bet Adam, who is also in Spain on vacation, told NBC Bay Area she got off a bus moments after the attack and saw people screaming and running. Her family is shaken but safe.

Another Bay Area resident, Isaura Ochoa, is studying abroad in Europe and was just blocks away from the deadly scene.

"Everything seemed out of control," Ochoa said. "All of a sudden people started running in opposite directions of where everything was -- everyone ran into a store."

Early Friday morning, five people carrying fake bomb belts were killed in a shootout with police in Cambrils, a seaside resort town about 80 miles from Barcelona. Six people, including an officer, were injured in the attack. The government for Spain's Catalonia region said the back-to-back vehicle attacks were connected and the work of a large terrorist group.

Four people have been arrested, but the driver of the van in the Barcelona attack fled on foot and remained at large Friday morning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Heidi Nunes]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump's Presidency in Photos]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:03:32 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-8255876241.jpgTake a look at significant events from President Donald Trump's time in office, including the signing of the travel ban, Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the Supreme Court, the launch of 59 missiles at Syria's government-held Shayrat Airfiled and more.

Photo Credit: Zach Gibson - Pool/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Attack Kills 13, Police Kill 5 Suspects in Spain: Officials]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:47:13 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_BARCELONA_CAR_081717_2-150298531139200001.jpg

A white van jumped the sidewalk in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district on Aug. 17, 2017. Police say 13 people have been killed and more than 100 injured in this terrorist attack. The area is one of the city’s top tourist destinations. Later, police shot and killed five terror suspects in Cambrils, Spain, in a separate incident.

<![CDATA[Pets and Car Safety: How to Choose the Right Restraints]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:25:18 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dog+car+restraint.jpg

Clear the Shelters is Saturday, and if you're planning on adopting a shelter pet, you may want to consider a safe way to get them home.

With summer closing to a close, and fall and winter holidays right around the corner, you might be planning a trip — family pets included. But before you hit the road with your pooch in tow, you'll want to consider a few safety measures.

During a crash, or if you slam on the brakes, pets can act as projectiles if they are not properly secured. And they can also distract drivers from keeping their eyes on the road.

The market is full of pet restraining products, everything from harnesses to carriers, however many labeled "crash tested" are based only on manufacturers' claims.

In 2015, the Center for Pet Safety — along with Subaru — rigorously tested carriers and crates to find which devices keep four-legged travel companions safest in the event of a crash. They tested harnesses, crates for bigger dogs, and carriers for small dogs and cats and concluded among the top performing pet restraints are the Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate crate ($500), the Sleepypod Mobile Pet bed carrier (starting at $170), and the Pet Ego Jet Set Forma Frame with Latch Connection (about $150).

The CPS said the Gunner Kennels crate withstood the most significant force generated in the crash study and the two leading carriers fully contained test dogs.

Subaru recommends pet owners choose a crate or carrier appropriately sized for their dog - usually about six inches longer than the dog’s body. Owners should secure crates using strength-rated cargo area anchor straps, not elastic or rubber bungee cords.

"We at Subaru recognize the importance of keeping the entire family safe on the road, including our beloved pets,” said Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications, in a press release.

There are currently no performance standards or test protocols to verify manufacturers’ claims that their crates and carriers are safe. CPS hopes to establish such standards with data found through their studies.

Traveling safely with pets takes some extra planning, but in the end Consumer Reports says, it's worth it.

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Cites 'Pants on Fire' Claim in Barcelona Response]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:05:05 -0700http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/trump-genpershing-split.jpg

After a van plowed through a crowd of pedestrians in Barcelona on Thursday, killing at least 13 people and wounding scores more, President Donald Trump tweeted a reference to a discredited story about Gen. John Pershing halting Muslim attacks in the Philippines by shooting rebels with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.

“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” Trump wrote on his personal account. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years.”

It was at least Trump's second reference to a story already labeled false last year, this time coming days after the president justified his equivocal response in assigning blame for violence in Charlottesville by saying that before he makes a statement, "I need the facts." 

The Pershing story, which Trump also recounted at the end of a rally in South Carolina in February 2016, has been debunked by several fact-checking organizations, including Politifact and Snopes. Politfact labeled it Pants on Fire! false on its Truth-O-Meter and Snopes called it “false.”

The story — which according to Trump’s telling had Pershing shooting 50 Muslim terrorists with 50 bullets dipped in pigs blood — grew out of the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902. The United States had obtained the islands from Spain but faced armed opposition that continued after the war, when Pershing served as governor of the heavily Muslim Moro Province. Politifact found references to Muslim insurgents being buried with dead pigs but not being killed with bloodied bullets and not by Pershing.

Muslims are prohibited from eating pork. 

“This story is a fabrication and has long been discredited,” Brian McAllister Linn, a Texas A&M University historian and author of Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940, told Politifact. “I am amazed it is still making the rounds.”

Even if the tale were true, Politifact wrote, it had no pacifying effect. The region remains in unrest today.

Snopes noted that Pershing thought the best approach was not to encourage religious fanaticism.

“Nonetheless, the ‘discouraging Muslim terrorists by burying them with pigs’ concept is still invoked in the modern era, even if the evidence of its use (or success) remains nebulous,” Snopes wrote.

Trump’s tweet Thursday came after Catalan officials had confirmed a terrorist attack but were still trying to identify the suspect they arrested.

That was in stark contrast to Trump's actions in the hours and days after an alleged white nationalist, James Allen Fields Jr., was accused of driving a car through a crowd in Charlottesville, North Carolina, over the weekend, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer.

Trump defended his delayed response in calling out white supremacists by name until two days after the attack by saying he didn’t “know all the facts.” 

“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump went on to say this week, doubling down on his initial take that “many sides" were to blame for violence in Charlottesville.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized Trump for tweeting false information soon after the Barcelona attack, while claiming he needed “facts” before responding to the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville.

“We condemn the terror attack in Barcelona, and we condemn President Trump's irresponsible and Islamophobic response to that attack,” said the group's executive director, Nihad Awad.

Trump's Pershing tweet Thursday followed an earlier, more restrained one, expressing sympathy for the people of Barcelona.

“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help,” Trump wrote. “Be tough & strong, we love you!”

Photo Credit: AP/Getty]]>