<![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-usWed, 18 Jan 2017 16:19:37 -0800Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:19:37 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[Pence's Motorcade Strikes, Injures DC Police Reserve Officer]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:18:01 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pence5.jpg

The motorcade for Vice President-elect Mike Pence struck and injured a D.C. police reserve officer Wednesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Secret Service.

The crash happened about 1:45 p.m. and the officer was taken to the hospital with a minor injury, the Secret Service said. The officer has been released from the hospital.

Secret Service said the motorcade was making its way through Northwest D.C.

It's not clear at this time if the reserve officer was working at an intersection at the time of the crash.

No further information was immediately available.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more information.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Voices From Inauguration Weekend: Who Is Going to DC and Why]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:45:47 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/congress-prep.jpg

Donald Trump will be sworn in as the country's 45th president on Friday and thousands of his supporters from across the country will attend to witness the historic event. They hope his presidency will be the start of an American revival that will bring greater prosperity to the country.

The next day thousands of women, many dismayed by the president-elect's crude references to them and his embrace of policies they believe will hurt them and their families, will march in the capital. Many will wear pink hats with cat ears, in a reference to Trump's now famous statement that he could grab women "by the pussy."

Hear from some of those planning to attend.

Voices of men and women headed to D.C. for Trump's inauguration:

David J. Pelto Jr.

Pelto Jr., 35, will attend the inauguration with his two sons to witness history and what he called the return of "common sense" to the White House. For Pelto, who owns a truck and hauls oil, taxes are an enormous issue. At one point he owned several trucks until a drop in oil prices, and his business was further hurt by employment taxes he had to pay for drivers who worked for him, he said. "It costs on average 15 percent on top of an employee's wage," he said. "Depending on the state it can go much higher." Pelto, who lives in Arkansas, said that he hoped that entrepreneurs would benefit from the $1 trillion that President-elect Donald Trump has proposed spending on infrastructure. Pelto, who describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also thinks the country should be less resistant to fracking. The increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma, which has been linked to wastewater disposal wells, do worry him, but he believes fracking is safe elsewhere. As far as green energy, "Why don't we allow what we have now to continue working for us while we grow slowly into green energy?"

John Hikel

Hikel, 58, a former New Hampshire legislator and the longtime owner of an auto-repair business in Manchester, said he had supported Donald Trump since meeting him three months before the president-elect decided to run. "He had never been elected to an elected office before and he wasn't an attorney and that was my minimum," Hikel said. He said he wanted to see fewer regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the IRS, among agencies, particularly those governing clean air, which he said he thought were too stringent. "When Mr. Trump talked to me about trimming all of these agencies, I couldn't agree more," he said. Hikel said he was looking forward to a manufacturing revival under Trump, whom he viewed as a strong-willed leader. "More and more (customers) are coming into my shop not being able to spend $100 or $200 or $300 even to fix their vehicles," he said. "People are living paycheck to paycheck. I know they have for a long time but that's a problem that our government has handed down to us."

Erin Sullivan

Sullivan, 20, a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, voted for the first time in November and she picked President-elect Donald Trump. The country needs a revival, and Trump's tax and immigration policies and his ideas for creating more jobs in America will help rebuild the country, Sullivan said. An example: his urging automobile manufacturers to build cars in the United States and not in Mexico or elsewhere, she said. "Trump is really focusing on the American dream, and looking at the people who worked really hard and sometimes don't necessarily have a voice," she said. As a young woman, she found his lewd comment about grabbing women to be disgusting, but thought everyone at some point was bound to say something stupid. In his favor, Trump hired women for spots in his campaign, among them SMU alumna Hope Hicks as his director of strategic communications, she said. Sullivan, who is from Wilton, Connecticut, will attend the inauguration with other students from SMU and will volunteer at the Texas State Society's Black Tie and Boots Ball.

Austin Yang

Yang, 14, a student at La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla, California, will attend the inauguration with a group of schoolmates. "It's such an important event in our American government," he said. Too young to vote, Yang nonetheless had a preferred candidate, Donald Trump. "We thought that Trump would be better toward the Chinese," said Yang, whose mother was born in China. Trump instead threatened a trade war with China over the value of its currency. "The exact opposite of what we thought would happen," Yang said. "I'm not very happy with it but I guess we can only deal with it now since he's our president." Yang, who expects to study medicine, remains hopeful that Trump will moderate his views once he meets with Chinese officials.

Joseph Locke

Locke, 21, works in construction, attends Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts full time and will soon start classes at the Massachusetts state reserve police academy with the goal of joining a town police force. He believes that Trump will ensure the military is better prepared to defend the country and cut back spending to tackle the country's debt. "Seeing it from a businessman's perspective where you can see where you can make cuts and not have detriment to the country," he said. Locke ran a Trump campaign office in his hometown Easton, Massachusetts, where he organized volunteers making phone calls and as part of the Bridgewater State University's College Republicans, he reached out to college students. "He didn't seem just like a regular politician," he said of Trump. "I like that he actually says what he feels and what he thinks."

The day after Trump's inauguration, thousands of women are expected on the Mall for the Women's March on Washington. 

Voices of women headed to D.C. for the women's march:

Kica Matos

Matos, 50, plans join the Women’s March on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration to show her 11-year-old son what is possible in a democracy. A former deputy mayor in New Haven, Connecticut, she wants to impress on him that he should be an engaged citizen, that he can participate in peaceful protests and fight for what he believes in. Matos, the director of immigration at The Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C.,  said she feared that Trump's election would undermine advances made in racial justice, immigrant rights and women's rights. His campaign, with attacks on immigrants, Muslims and people of color, brought out the worst in many Americans, she said. Of her son, she said, "I want him to believe that we are better as Americans and that we should always strive for a world that respects others, regardless of difference," she said. "And to me this march, the idea of women from all walks of life coming together in solidarity and in support of a better, more just world is incredibly appealing."

Laura Noe

Noe, 50, will participate in the Women's March on Washington, the first she has ever gone to, because she believes the country must re-think its values. Americans are becoming insulated and isolated, mean and judgmental and are losing the ability to empathize with others, she said. "It becomes an us and them, black and white, win lose," she said. After her divorce, she sold her home so that she and her son could travel and see first-hand how other people lived. "We're all about our stuff, buying and buying, consuming and gobbling up," she said. "I decided I wanted to spend my time and money on experiences." Noe, who owns a marketing and communications company in Branford, Connecticut, wrote about their trips to France, the Czech Republic, Morocco and Turkey in "Travels With My Son: Journeys of the Heart." She is now writing about her brother, Ed, who became homeless, was diagnosed with mental illness and after many years is getting treatment. They celebrated Thanksgiving together for the first time in 17 years.

Chloe Wagner, Morenike Fabiyi

Wagner and Fabiyi, both 16 and juniors at Francis W. Parker High School in Chicago, worked with the Illinois chapter of the Women's March on Washington and Chicago Women Take Action to put together a group of teenagers from their school to attend the march. They call their organization the Illinois Youth Chapter. Wagner is particularly concerned with LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights; Fabiyi is focused on immigration rights and education reform. Wagner said that after Trump's win, she at first felt powerless. "There wasn't anything happening for a few days and then all of a sudden we just came back full force and that's when we really starting getting passionate about bringing Illinois Youth to Washington," she said. Fabiyi said that she also felt lost but quickly realized that she needed to do something. "I can't just be mad and sad and complain about it all the time," she said. Wagner said one of the goals of the march was to tell the Trump administration that "we will not be walked over, and we will fight for all rights we are given under the Constitution." Said Fabiyi, "Just because I can't vote yet doesn't mean that my voice shouldn't be heard."

Alexandra Goutnova

Goutnova, 15 and a student at La Jolla Country Day School in California, will be attending both the inauguration and the Women's March on Washington though she does not support President-elect Donald Trump. "I'm very passionate about women's rights," she said. Goutnova, who moved to the United States from Russia three years ago and who plans to attend law school, is bothered by comments Trump has made about women and by his denial of climate change. "It is a proven scientific fact that this is happening and this is happening right now," she said. "So the fact that our president is not willing to deal with it I think is absurd." Americans compared to Russians are more accepting, about LGBTQ rights, for example, she said. She said she is terrified that the United States will change. "Coming from Russia, I've seen the difference of how it can be in a bad way," she said. "And I'm just scared to see that happen to the U.S."

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Presidential Children: Post-White House Years ]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:56:45 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/HarrySTruman.jpgThe sons and daughters of United States presidents, most of whom were children and teenagers when they followed their parents into the White House, each made a life for themselves away from the shadow of their famous fathers. See how the former first children lived post-White House.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[A History of the Presidential Inaugural Procession]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:53:29 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Clinton---1993-Inauguration-USSS-0001.jpgFrom the horse and buggy to reinforced limousines, see the century-long history of Secret Service agents - and their rides - at the side of newly elected presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama. ]]><![CDATA[Girl Scouts Defend Their Involvement in Inauguration]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:30:08 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/obama_scouts.jpg

The Girl Scouts of the USA defended their participation in the inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday in the wake of some criticism.

"Trump does not mirror the Girl Scout values we try to instill in our scouts," Nancy Gannon, a Brooklyn-based Scout leader, told NBC News.

In an exclusive statement to NBC News, the Girl Scouts, which has been appearing at inaugural events throughout their history, said "Our movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself. And because every girl has a home at Girl Scouts, every girl in our movement is allowed her own ideas, opinions, beliefs and political ideology."

The Boy Scouts of America, as well as several military and veterans' organizations, will also be participating.

Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Earth Sets Record for Hottest Year Third Time in a Row]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:26:04 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/global-warning.jpg

Government scientists say the Earth sizzled to a third straight heat record last year. 

They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared. 

The figures announced Wednesday come from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which measure global temperatures in slightly different ways. They said last year passed 2015 as the hottest year on record. 

NOAA calculated that the average global temperature last year was 58.69 degrees (14.84 degrees Celsius) — beating the previous year by .07 degrees (.04 Celsius). 

NASA's figures include more of the Arctic, which was warmer than usual. The agency said last year was .22 degrees (.12 degrees Celsius) warmer than 2015. 

NASA's Gavin Schmidt said most of the record heat was from man-made climate change.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Harambe's Grandma Dies at Miami Zoo]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:30:00 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/Josephine+4.jpg

Zoo Miami has announced the death its nearly 50-year-vold matriarch gorilla, Josephine.

Zoo officials said the gorilla had been suffering terminal health issues, and was "humanely euthanized" Wednesday afternoon. Officials said the ailing gorilla could hardly move Wednesday morning as a result of her condition.

Josephine’s death comes less than a month after the zoo lost Binta, the first chimpanzee born at the zoo, to a blood clot.

Jospehine gave birth to Moja, the first gorilla born at Zoo Miami.

Moja was eventually moved to Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas and fathered several offspring, most notably Harambe.

Harambe, a 17-year-old silverback gorilla, was killed by zoo workers at Cincinnati Zoo last year after a child fell into an enclosure, a move that drew a public outcry.

According to reports, the 3-year-old boy climbed a fence and fell more than 10 feet into a moat surrounding the enclosure. Zoo officials made the decision to shoot Harambe after he grabbed the child, saying he was large enough to hurt the boy without intending to. 

Photo Credit: Zoo MIami]]>
<![CDATA[Who's Who in Trump's Brain Trust]]>Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:48:52 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/223*120/trump-cab-adv-th.jpgHere'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.
View Full Story]]>
<![CDATA[$500-Per-Call Settlement for 'Free Cruise' Robocall Messages]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:23:07 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/199*120/Generic+Phone+Generic+Call.JPG

Anyone who can prove they got a telemarketing robocall five or six years ago that offered a "free cruise" in return for taking a short survey is eligible for $500 per call, NBC News reported.

Florida-based Caribbean Cruise Line and two co-defendants have agreed to pay between $56 and $76 million to settle a class action lawsuit over millions of allegedly unwanted and illegal robocalls made between August 2011 and August 2012 in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

More than a million people may be eligible for that money, but you have to file a claim to be included in the settlement at FreeCruiseCallClassAction.net. The deadline is February 1.

"It is the largest TCPA settlement ever," said Chris Dore with Edelson PC, the Chicago law firm that brought the case.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Cabinet Picks In Their Own Words]]>Mon, 09 Jan 2017 15:41:48 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_16345069714951-Trump-Wisc-win.jpg

President-elect Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, defeat ISIS, withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, create 25 million jobs over the next decade and "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. How well do his Cabinet nominees reflect his governing philosophy? Here they are in their own words. 

The retired neurosurgeon and unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination grew up in Detroit and has no experience in elected office or in running a large bureaucracy.

"These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse. There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous."The Washington Times, 2015

Former secretary of labor under President George W. Bush, deputy transportation secretary under President George H.W. Bush, Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"If vehicles already meet an acceptable level of safety on a particular aspect of vehicle performance without being required to do so by regulation, I believe the Department should devote its resources to other issues rather than engage in rulemaking simply to affirm the existing level of safety."Statement before DOT deputy secretary confirmation hearing, 1989

A keen advocate for school vouchers and charter schools, influential in Detroit, where charter schools have a poor record and state legislators rejected calls for more oversight, she engages in political battles to help advance God's kingdom, she told a religious gathering in 2001.

"We are stuck in a partisan rut. The political parties are dead-enders when it comes to education revolution. As long as we think political parties might solve the problem it will never be solved. Oddly enough education choice is very unique in that some conservative Republicans and some liberal Democrats are actually on the same wavelength….But those are exceptions. The vast majority of the political class is committed to defending and protecting the status quo." — SXSW in Austin, 2015

The governor of South Carolina and the daughter of immigrants from India, Haley led the drive to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse and during the Republican primary accused Donald Trump of "irresponsible talk."

"During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation." -- Speaking of Donald Trump and others in the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, 2016

A retired four-star Marine general, he oversaw the Guantanamo Bay military prison and efforts to stop drug trafficking and other smuggling into the United States.

"In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers move tens of thousands of people to our nation’s doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland. As I stated last year, terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States."Testimony to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, 2015

Nicknamed "Mad Dog," the retired Marine Corps general and former commander of U.S. Central Command blames President Barack Obama's policy in the Middle East for adding to the rise of extremism.

"Is political Islam in the best interest of the United States? I suggest the answer is no but then we need to have the discussion. If we won't even ask the question, then how to we ever get to the point of recognizing which is our side in the fight. And if we don't take our own side in this fight we're leaving others adrift."— The Heritage Foundation, 2015

Donald Trump's campaign finance chairman, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, and Hollywood financier, he and partners took over failed mortgage lender IndyMac Bank and operated it under the name, OneWest Bank. He pledged to tackle mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"It makes no sense that these are owned by the government and have been controlled by the government for as long as they have. In many cases this displaces private lending in the mortgage markets, and we need these entities that will be safe. So let me just be clear— we'll make sure that when they're restructured, they're absolutely safe and they don't get taken over again. But we've got to get them out of government control." — Fox Business, November

Perry, the former governor of Texas, has promoted the state's oil industry and has questioned climate change. He has advocated eliminating the department he would head though famously could not name it during a presidential debate in 2012.

"I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number or scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we're seeing, almost weekly or daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climate has changed. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed." -- Town Hall in Bedford, N.H., 2011

Republican congressman from Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon and persistent critic of Obamacare, he has repeatedly introduced his own legislation for replacing it.

"It's a fundamental philosophical difference that we have with the other side …. They believe that government ought to be in control of health care. We believe that patients and families ought to be in control of health care. And sadly what we're seeing right now is that government control that we've seen ramped up over the past six or seven years has resulted in a decrease in quality that's being seen by patients. People have coverage, but they don't have care. They're priced out of the market." American Enterprise Institute, June

Attorney general of Oklahoma, one of the Republicans leading the legal fight against President Barack Obama's attempts to curb carbon emissions, Pruitt questions how much human actions are contributing to climate change, a point disputed by the vast majority of the world's climate scientists.

"Healthy debate is the lifeblood of American democracy, and global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime." — with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, Tulsa World, May

The CEO of CKE Restaurants, the fast-food company that owns burger chains Carl's Jr and Hardee's, Puzder is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act, which he said created a "government-mandated restaurant recession" and of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which he argues would lead to fewer jobs.

"I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality." Entrepreneur, 2015

Turnaround specialist who became rich buying struggling steel, textile, coal and other companies and restructuring them, Ross came under criticism for a deadly explosion at a mine his company had bought.

"Clinton will raise taxes. Trump will cut taxes. Clinton will increase regulation. Trump will decrease regulation. Clinton has vowed to kill the coal industry. Trump will leverage America's energy resources to create new jobs and growth." — with Trump adviser Peter Navarro, CNBC, August

U.S. senator and former U.S. attorney from Alabama who failed to win confirmation to a federal judgeship because of concerns about racially charged comments he was accused of making, he has opposed immigration reform and the legalization of marijuana.

"You have to have leadership from Washington. You can't have the president of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink, saying I used marijuana when I was in high school and it is no different than smoking. It is different. And you are sending a message to young people that there is no danger in this process. It is false that marijuana use doesn't lead people to more drug use. It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal. I think we need to be careful about this."Senate floor speech, April 2016

Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, has what he has called "a very close relationship" with Russia's Vladimir Putin, which could be problematic during his confirmation hearing. Although he does not have a political or diplomatic background, he has broad experience negotiating deals for ExxonMobil in troubled spots around the world.

"We do not support sanctions, generally, because we don't find them to be effective unless they are very well implemented comprehensively and that's a very hard thing to do," he said, adding, "We always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad collateral damage of who are they really harming with sanctions."ExxonMobil shareholders' meeting, 2014.

Montana's sole representative in the House, Zinke would end a moratorium on federal coal leases on public lands. He is also a hunter and fisherman who opposes transferring public lands to the states.

"It's not a hoax, but it's not proven science either. But you don't dismantle America's power and energy on a maybe. We need to be energy independent first. We need to do it better, which we can, but it is not a settled science."Campaign debate, 2014

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Would Beat de Blasio for NYC Mayor: Poll]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:29:53 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/de+blasio+clinton.jpg

Hillary Clinton would crush New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a head-to-head matchup if she ran as an independent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

Clinton would beat De Blasio 49 percent to 30 percent, with overwhelming support among Democrats and independents, the poll said. The mayor would beat the former Democratic candidate for president by 10 points among Republicans.

Earlier this month, speculation popped up that Clinton could consider challenging de Blasio this fall. While widespread media reports say she almost certainly will not run, the poll makes clear she would win virtually every age, gender, geographic and ethnic group by significant margins if she did.

"New Yorkers aren't in love with Mayor Bill de Blasio, but they seem to like him better than other possible choices - except Hillary Clinton, who probably is an impossible choice," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a release. 

De Blasio was Clinton's campaign manager during her successful 2000 Senate bid. But he initially delayed endorsing her, finally doing so six months after she announced her campaign.

Clinton's strength notwithstanding, in a series of hypothetical matchups De Blasio would easily win a Democratic primary for mayor against the most commonly discussed candidates, including former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Comptroller Scott Stringer.

He would also win, albeit with smaller margins, against any of those same candidates running as independents. 

The phone poll of 1,138 New York City voters was conducted Jan. 11-17 and has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New Trump Wax Figure Revealed at Madame Tussauds]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:49:51 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Trump+1_Courtesy+of+Madame+Tussauds.jpg

Inauguration came early for the wax version of Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Madame Tussauds locations in Washington, D.C., New York, Orlando and London have unveiled wax figures of President-elect Trump, continuing their tradition of immortalizing every new president.

The figure took six months to complete, with a team of 20 artists working around the clock to meet the deadline, Madame Tussauds said in a press release Wednesday. Trump's hairstyle alone took five weeks to construct, with each individual hair inserted by hand.

"Mr. Trump was the most-searched person globally on Google in 2016 so the pressure was on to perfect his iconic features in time for inauguration," said Therese Alvich, general manager of Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C., in the release.

The wax Trump is dressed in a dark blue suit, a red tie and a Made in America flag lapel pin.

This isn't Trump's first appearance in the wax world -- he'll actually become the first president who's already had a Madame Tussauds wax figure, having sat for a previous figure in New York in 1997. Artists took hundreds of measurements and photographs to get the proportions right, Madame Tussauds said.

Once the 2016 election results were in, these original measurements were updated to create the new presidential figure.

At the D.C. location, Trump will be housed in a re-creation of the White House Rose Garden. This will be a new addition to the Presidents' Gallery, the only Madame Tussauds location where visitors can "meet" all past presidents.

In New York, Trump's wax figure will join other presidents and notable names in the World Leaders Gallery. In Orlando and London, visitors will be able to see Trump in wax form in the "Oval Office."

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Washington DC]]>
<![CDATA[Single Mom Builds 3,500-Square-Foot Home by Watching YouTube]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:28:18 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Inkwell.jpg

Cara Brookins, single mom of Hope, Drew, Jada and Roman, left a marriage where she was a victim of domestic violence, and Brookins and her kids felt broken.

“We lost ability to laugh together,” she told TODAY Home. “We had spent so long being beaten down.”

Needing a place to live, Brookins found a home destroyed by a tornado. "I thought, 'I bet I could put this back up if I really tried,'" Brookins said. With a little help from YouTube, that's what she and her family did. 

Her advice to others coming out of a difficult situation? “Set goals impossibly big — look at the big picture.”

To read more about Brookins’ inspiring story, pick up her book "Rise: How a House Built a Family," out Jan. 24.

Photo Credit: Cara Brookins]]>
<![CDATA[Secret Service Settles 2000 Racial Discrimination Suit]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:50:09 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/170118-secret-service-1210a_b82124e69a8cd0e85b4944b0302eddd0.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

The U.S. Secret Service will pay dozens of African-American former agents $24 million in a settlement of a class-action lawsuit accusing the agency of systematic discrimination.

The suit covered nearly 100 former agents who alleged that the Secret Service promoted white agents over more qualified black agents.

The suit also alleged that white agents and supervisors regularly used the "N" word to refer to suspects and black leaders of other countries. The suit also alleged that white agents and supervisors regularly used the "N" word to refer to suspects and black leaders of other countries. 

Eight of the 10 original plaintiffs could receive as much as $300,000 under terms of the settlement.

As part of the agreement, the Secret Service admitted no wrongdoing.

Photo Credit: Susan Walsh / AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jewish Community Centers Again Targeted With Bomb Threats]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:05:40 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jccbomb.jpg

Jewish community centers around the country were again targeted with bomb threats Wednesday morning, a week after a spate of similar threats against many centers. 

Centers in Miami, Newton, Massachusetts, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, California's Bay Area, and Portland, Maine, were targeted. Two centers in Connecticut, one at the JCC of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge and another at The Mandell JCC West Hartford, also reported receiving bomb threats.

Threats were made to at least seven JCCs in Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, Tennessee and North Carolina last week. 

Marla Cohen, communications manager for the New-York based, JCC Association of North America said that 28 centers in 17 states have been threatened in total on Wednesday. Last week, there were 16 JCCs threatened in nine states. She said some of the threats came in as robo dialers and some were actual people. Last week, the FBI was called in, she said.

A JCC building in Marin County, California, was also evacuated as a precaution after a threat. 

"We don’t know what’s going on. There are a lot of unknowns,"  Jeremy Russell, of the Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco told NBC Bay Area. "We are very concerned about the existence of these calls and the literal threat they are imposing on the community. We will be responding appropriately."

There were no injuries or actual explosives reported found following the earlier bomb threats.

"I think this is the world we now live in," said Molly Jo Rosen, who works at Kol Shofar synagogue in Tiburon, California. "There will be threats to religious organizations and we'll see it skewed toward certain religions more than others."

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Meet Veteran Who's Never Missed Inauguration Since Nixon]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:19:06 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/170112-davis2.jpg

Decorated Vietnam veteran Sammy Lee Davis will have a front row seat on Donald Trump's Inauguration Day.

Davis, who lives outside a tiny Indiana community called Freedom, has been an honored witness to every president taking oath of office since Richard Nixon's first inauguration in 1969.

It doesn't matter whether he voted for the President-elect or not, David said, he goes to each ceremony out of a "sense of duty — an obligation I feel in my soul."

After Nixon's inauguration, the president sent Davis a personal note, thanking him for attending, and for his service.

Davis and other recipients are invited to each presidential inauguration through the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which helps cover expenses for the trip.

Photo Credit: Brock Stoneham / NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tries to Set Self on Fire Outside Trump's DC Hotel in Protest]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:59:03 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2017-01-17_2300.png

A man was injured outside Trump International Hotel in Washington Tuesday night after he said he tried to set himself on fire to protest the election of Donald Trump. 

Police said they were called to the Pennsylvania Avenue hotel for a report of a person "in distress." 

The man told News4's Shomari Stone he was trying to set himself ablaze as an act of protest over the election of Donald Trump.

"I was trying to light myself on fire as an act of protest," the man said. " Protesting the fact that we've elected someone who is completely incapable of respecting the Constitution of the United States."

The man did not identify himself, and police did not give his name.

He was taken to a hospital with burns. No information on his condition was available.

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Beware of Fake Inaugural Ball Tickets, Invitations]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 04:52:28 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017439800_1200x675_856882755716.jpgAs the inauguration approaches, beware of fake tickets and invitations to inaugural balls. Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan explains.]]><![CDATA[Mom, Toddler Daughter Fight Cancer at the Same Time]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 06:39:13 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cancerstrikesmomandtot.jpg

Heather Wilson received some bad news just five days before Christmas.

The 31-year-old mother of three, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor six months earlier, learned that her 14-month-old daughter, London, also had cancer, the Today Show reported.

Doctors found a yolk sac tumor in the area of London's ovaries.

The two have been an inspiration as they bravely face the disease together, rallying friends and family to help ease the financial and emotional burden on the young mom from Covington, Georgia.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pam Hunt]]>
<![CDATA[Troops Have 'Full Control' of Eastern Mosul: Iraq Military]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:02:29 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17018455589224.jpg

U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops announced on Wednesday they were in "full control" of eastern Mosul, after routing Islamic State militants from that part of the northern city almost exactly three months since the major operation started.

The achievement was a "big victory," said Iraqi Army Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati, who commands the counter-terrorism forces, describing the success of the Iraqi forces as "unprecedented."

Shaghatai, who spoke to reporters in the town of Bartella, just east of Mosul, said plans were now being drawn up to retake the western part of the city. He did not elaborate on when that part of the operation would begin.

Wednesday's advance came after Iraqi troops over the past days intensified their push into the last IS-held neighborhoods in Mosul's eastern sector, closing in on the Tigris River, which roughly divides the city. Stiff resistance by the militants, thousands of civilians being trapped in their houses by the fighting and bad weather had in the past slowed the advances of the troops.

However, skirmishes and clashes continued in some pockets along the Tigris in eastern Mosul, according to Iraqi special forces Maj. Ali Hussein who said his unit was still pushing into the Ghabat area along the river bank. Small arms fire could be heard and at least one civilian was wounded by mortar fire.

Also, some commanders on the ground disputed Shaghati's claim of "full control" of eastern Mosul, with Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Raheed Yar Allah saying the eastern side "has not been fully liberated ... and the advance is still continuing."

Yar Allah, who commands army operations in Ninevah, where Mosul is the provincial capital, said the special forces "have done their duty" in eastern Mosul. 

The prospect of retaking western Mosul looms heavy on Iraqi forces, despite all the support they have by the U.S.-led coalition, and Sunni and Shiite volunteer militias. The western half of the city is home to some of Mosul's oldest neighborhoods, with narrow streets packed with buildings that will further complicate the urban fight.

So far in the Mosul offensive, Iraq's counterterrorism forces, which are by far the military's most battle seasoned unit, have done most of the fighting, advancing from east of the city.

Regular Iraqi army troops are pushing from the city's southeast and northern edges, and the federal security forces from farther to the west.

Mosul — Iraq's second-largest city and the Islamic State group's last urban stronghold in the country — fell to IS in the summer of 2014, when the militant group captures large swaths of northern and western Iraq.

The operation has also left more than 148,000 people homeless, according to the United Nations. Nearly 12,500 people have been forced to flee their homes just over the past week, the U.N. said.

More than 1 million people were estimated to still be living in Mosul in October, when Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake the city.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Caffeine May Help Fight Cardiovascular Disease: Study]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:50:23 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-472209108.jpg

The cup of coffee you have each morning could be doing more than you think in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

According to a study from scientists at Stanford University, caffeine has been found to help people – especially elderly people – who have a "chronic inflammatory process" that may heighten the risk of having the disease.

Scientists used blood samples and studied medical and family history for 100 people in their multi-year study. The research found a connection between the inflammatory process and caffeine consumption – the metabolites in caffeine were seen to counteract inflammatory proteins.

Past studies have shown that those who drink caffeinated coffee are less likely to develop issues such as cardiovascular problems and multiple sclerosis — as well as live longer — than those who don’t have the beverage.

The study was published online in Nature Medicine in January.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DeVos: Schools Might Need Guns Due to ‘Potential Grizzlies’]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 04:46:46 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DeVosfeuerherd.jpg

President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary told lawmakers at her confirmation hearing that guns might have a place in schools due to the threat from grizzly bears, NBC News reported.

Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut asked DeVos if she thought firearms had any place in or around schools.

"I think that's best left to locales and states to decide," Betsy DeVos replied.

Pressed on whether she could say "definitively" if guns shouldn't be in schools, she referred to an earlier remark by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) who mentioned an elementary school in Wyoming that had erected a fence to protect children from wildlife.

"I think probably there, I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies," DeVos said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Poll: Majority of Americans Dislike Trump's Twitter Usage]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 04:14:22 -0800http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17013713721598-Trump-head.jpg

In these divisive political times, the American public actually has a pretty unambiguous message for Donald Trump: "Cool it with the tweets."

Nearly seven-in-ten Americans say that Trump's use of Twitter is a bad idea, and only nine percent say they strongly support his use of the 140-character medium to announce policy positions and express his personal point of view, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released late Tuesday.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents in the survey said that Trump's tweeting is bad, agreeing with the statement that "in an instant, messages can have unintended major implications without careful review."

Just 26 percent said that his use of Twitter is good, agreeing with the statement that "it allows a president to directly communicate to people immediately."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci]]>