A star-studded lineup featuring Mariah Carey, the Avett Brothers, Train and more is taking the stage at Friday evening's National Christmas lighting, just south of the White House. The First Family illuminated the Christmas tree on the Ellipse at 5:15 p.m., ushering in a performance of "Joy to the World" by Aretha Franklin. But despite the holiday trimmings, that's rain falling outside -- not snow. In advance of the big event, performers said they were ready, but the weather would present some challenges.
Former President Bill Clinton praised Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at 95, as an inspirational and canny leader who knew how to project a message of unity and cooperation. "He knew his ability to...
Former President Bill Clinton praised Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at 95, as an inspirational and canny leader who knew how to project a message of unity and cooperation. "He knew his ability to inspire people around the world would only endure if he could prove that there was not only freedom and forgiveness, but that it worked better for society. That when people work together, good things happen," he told NBC's Brian Williams. Clinton, who was president of the United States when Mandela rose to power in South Africa decades after he had first been imprisoned for his anti-apartheid work, is reportedly set to join the Obamas in South Africa next week to pay their respects to Mandela and participate in memorial events. After their respective presidencies, Clinton and Mandela met regularly, and Clinton's philanthropic work often involved South Africa.
Four homeless people died in Santa Clara County overnight because of hypothermia, the medical examiner’s Office confirmed Friday afternoon. None of the names of the deceased have been released yet. Overnight temperatures in most of Santa Clara County dipped below freezing for around 10 hours starting after 9 p.m. Thursday. The San Jose Mercury News reports that three of the deaths occurred in three different homeless encampments. The fourth victim was found in a garage. There are more than 7,600 homeless people in Santa Clara County, according to a recent nationwide census. County officials scheduled a 4:30 p.m. news conference to discuss the deaths. NBC Bay Area will stream that live. Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer, County of Santa Clara, and Michelle Jorden, Assistant Medical Examiner, will speak to the media.
Thrilled as she was to be racing again, Lindsey Vonn began Friday hoping for a victory, no matter how unrealistic that might have been 10 months after major knee surgery and less than three weeks after partially...
Thrilled as she was to be racing again, Lindsey Vonn began Friday hoping for a victory, no matter how unrealistic that might have been 10 months after major knee surgery and less than three weeks after partially re-tearing a ligament. As it turned out, she felt some jitters in her first competition since a February fall and skied conservatively by her standards, finishing 40th of 60 starters in a World Cup downhill. "I was really optimistic that I could come down and just — first race, right out of the blocks — win, and it was wishful thinking. But might as well shoot for the best, you know?" Vonn said. "I was just too nervous. I was really tight, and I skied that way." Still, the reigning Olympic downhill gold medalist took an important step in preparation for the Sochi Games by racing for the first time since her high-speed crash at the world championships tore two ligaments in her right knee and broke a bone in that leg. A fall during practice Nov. 19 in Colorado delayed her comeback.
People across South Africa commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers on Friday while the government prepared a week of public mourning. South Africa's president announced Friday that Mandela's funeral would be held Dec. 15 in Qunu, where the late leader grew up. This Sunday will be a national day for prayer and reflection. Mandela's body will lie in state at government buildings in Pretoria from Wednesday until the burial, President Jacob Zuma said. Many South Africans woke up Friday to the news of Mandela's death and flocked to his home in Johannesburg. In a church service in Cape Town, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said the anti-apartheid leader — who became South Africa's first black president — would want South Africans themselves to be his "memorial" by adhering to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied. Many countries, including South Africa, lowered flags to half-staff Friday, and President Barack Obama and the first lady will travel to South Africa to pay their respects, the White House said.
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Employers added 203,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a 5-year low, The Associated Press reported. Economists were expecting the Bureau of Labor Statistics to report 180,000 new jobs created, according to CNBC. Investors have buoyed stocks each day the monthly jobs report has come out for the past seven months. But investors worry too much economic growth could spur the Federal Reserve to ease up on its $85 billion a month bond buying efforts to stimulate the economy, CNBC reported.
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The life of South African anti-apartheid crusader and democracy icon Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95, was one marked by scores of extraordinary moments. From his earliest involvement in...
The life of South African anti-apartheid crusader and democracy icon Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95, was one marked by scores of extraordinary moments. From his earliest involvement in the black liberation movement via the African National Congress, through his decades in prison and to his successes toppling apartheid in South Africa and leading it as president, here are six such moments. In August 1952, he co-founded the country's first black law practice and organized a campaign of peaceful resistance to apartheid laws — but a March 21, 1960, massacre of protesters would later move him to abandon nonviolence in favor of armed struggle. Four years later, while on trial for treason, he would famously declare that democracy was "an ideal for which I am prepared to die." Almost three decades later, his release from prison would set in place an end to apartheid. Click through for more key moments in Mandela's life. Read »
"He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages. Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries...
Fifteen people were hurt after a woman plowed her car into a Trader Joe's on Long Island in New York, authorities said. The car slammed into the Trader Joe's on Long Beach Road in Nassau County Friday,...
Fifteen people were hurt after a woman plowed her car into a Trader Joe's on Long Island in New York, authorities said. The car slammed into the Trader Joe's on Long Beach Road in Nassau County Friday, pinning one man. Two people were seriously hurt; the rest of the injuries were minor. A total of 12 people were taken to the hospital. Check back for more on this breaking news story. Read »
The federal government has issued an emergency order requiring Metro-North to install two crew members at the controls of trains in areas with significant speed restrictions, following a deadly crash on a curve...
The federal government has issued an emergency order requiring Metro-North to install two crew members at the controls of trains in areas with significant speed restrictions, following a deadly crash on a curve where the limit was 30 mph.
The order from the Department of Transportation comes five days after a train broke apart on a sharp curve in the Bronx, sending cars sliding toward the Harlem River. Four people were killed, dozens were injured and the train was later found to have been going 82 mph.
The DOT said its emergency order "will help ensure that other Metro-North trains travel at appropriate, safe speeds."
It requires the agency to immediately place two crew members at the controls of trains traveling through areas where the speed limit changes by 20 mph or more.
Meanwhile, Metro-North must provide the DOT's Federal Railroad Administration with a list of those areas, and must make improvements to its signal systems to better warn engineers of approaching speed limit changes.
Metro-North must have a plan for making those improvements by Dec. 31, the DOT said.
The U.S. will face Germany, Ghana and Portugal in group play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The draw divided the 32 teams into eight groups — labeled A to H — of four teams each. The principle of pulling names from hats has been used by the governing body FIFA for decades and was first televised in 1966. The field is tougher than at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Of the top 25 teams in FIFA's rankings, all but two (Ukraine and Denmark) qualified for Brazil. All eight previous world champions will take part, with five-time winner Brazil desperate to lift the trophy at home for the first time.
A deep freeze gripped almost the entire United States on Friday — pushing temperatures to 20 below in Wyoming, and threatening to knock out power across an ice-covered swath of the South and Midwest. Hundreds of flights were delayed and more than 100,000 people were left without power as sleet weighed down power lines and snapped tree branches. Winter storm warnings covered parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. It was 23 degrees below zero in Laramie, Wyo., and felt like 41 below. In Helena, Mont., the mercury fell to 10 below, with a wind child of minus 29.The manager of a Home Depot store in Dallas concluded: “It’s almost like a Black Friday. But I guess we’ll call it an ice Friday.” Only a slice of the East Coast was spared the winter blast. More than 500 flights at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport , one of the country’s busiest, were canceled Thursday and Friday, according to FlightAware.com, and 70,000 people in the surrounding area were without power. That figure was expected to climb to 100,000 by Saturday.
A California city has selected a medical marijuana dispensary owner to be mayor over its 7,500 residents, and officials believe he's the first dispensary owner in the nation to hold that post.
The Sebastopol City Council selected 36-year-old Robert Jacob as mayor on Tuesday in a unanimous vote. Jacob is the founder and executive director of Peace in Medicine, which operates two dispensaries in Sonoma County.
Jacob has been on the city council for two years, and most recently was vice mayor. He's worked to create statewide dispensary regulations. He was out of town on Friday and couldn't immediately be reached for in-person comment. But he did issue a statement after being selected for the new post.
Sebastopol is a small city about 50 miles north of San Francisco, known for liberal politics and small-town charm. It may be best known for its lush plum and apple growing capabilities.
The White House announced Friday that President Obama and the First Lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to Mandela and to participate in memorial events, NBC News reported. Obama said he was one of the countless millions of people who drew inspiration from Mandela's life and his "fierce dignity." "He achieved more than could be expected of any man," Obama said, visibly emotional. "Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us," he added, referring to Mandela by his affectionately used clan name.
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