<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:12:41 -0700 Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:12:41 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Pope to Allow Priests to Forgive Abortion During Holy Year]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:42:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-485905526-pope-francis-austria.jpg

Pope Francis will allow priests to absolve women who have had abortions if they seek forgiveness during the Roman Catholic Church's upcoming Holy Year, the Vatican announced Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

The pontiff said he will allow priests "discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it" during the holy year beginning December 8.

"I am well aware of the pressure that has led [women] to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal," Francis added. 

Abortion is considered a grave sin by the Catholic church, and those who seek it are usually excommunicated. In normal circumstances, forgiveness can only be granted by senior church figures.

Photo Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wall Street Set to Open Lower Tuesday]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:06:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_456651566735.jpg

U.S. stock are set to open lower Tuesday after more data in China pointed to a sharp slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy, NBC News reported. 

Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 300 points.

Data out overnight in China showed manufacturing there shrinking at the fastest pace in three years. China is an engine of the world economy and a major market for American goods.

Investors are also nervous about the prospect that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates soon.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Yahoo Chief Mayer Says She's Pregnant With Twins]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:44:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_770174843123.jpg

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says she's pregnant with identical twins.

Mayer says on a posting on her blog that she and her husband are expecting the twin girls in December.

"I have some exciting news to share - I'm pregnant!" she says on her Tumblr posting Monday night.

She says that she will take some limited time away but work during the pregnancy as she did with her son's birth three years ago.

Mayer says that she's informed Yahoo executives of her pregnancy.

Three years ago, Mayer announced she was pregnant with her son on her social networking accounts just a few hours after Yahoo hired her as its third full-time CEO in less than a year.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[6 Detained After Plane Diverted]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:41:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Southwest-Airlines-generic1.jpg

A Southwest Airlines flight headed for Chicago was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, late Monday night after an altercation on the flight, officials said.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement that “several passengers traveling together became disorderly” and “refused to obey instructions from the crew.”

Amarillo police received a call around 10:20 p.m. reporting an altercation on Southwest Airlines Flight 1522. The flight landed at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport and six men were detained by police, according to authorities. Southwest Airlines said six other members of the group deplaned and stayed in Amarillo.

The men were in custody as of Monday morning and no charges had been filed.

Tiffany Darge, who said she was sitting next to the group on the plane, told NBC Chicago the men were being rowdy and asked a flight attendant for alcohol during the flight. When the flight attendant denied them, Darge said the group called the woman "racist" and "a pig." Darge also said the group started making offensive comments to her when she got up to go to the bathroom and the crew later moved her seat away from the group. 

The flight, which came from San Diego, continued to Midway Airport after the altercation and landed without further incident, according to the airline.

The incident prompted concerns from some passengers following the unscheduled landing.

“Safety is the top priority at Southwest Airlines, and we will always take appropriate actions to ensure the safety and security of our crews and customers,” the airline said.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Day Care Workers Force-Fed Tots]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:25:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/side+by+side+day+care+workers.jpg

Two day care teachers on Long Island were arrested after investigators say they force-fed, pushed and slammed children onto the floor, according to authorities. 

Kathleen Culver, 33, of Southampton, and Sarah M. Dawber, 23, of Mastic Beach, were arrested Friday after an investigation into allegations of abuse at Side by Side Day Care in Southampton, police said. 

The women, who worked in the infant room at the day care, are accused of roughly handling children ranging in age from 4 months old to 18 months old. 

One 18-month-old child vomited from the alleged force-feeding, police said. No other injuries have been reported. 

A complaint filed with police led to an investigation by Southampton police, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and Suffolk County Child Protective Services after a complaint was filed with the police department.  

Culver and Dawber were arrested by detectives during a visit to the day care Friday. 

The workers were processed and released on desk appearance tickets for misdemeanor child endangerment, police said. They're expected to appear in court at a later date. 

Messages were left with the day care. Attorney information for Culver and Dawber wasn't immediately available. 

Two mothers went to the day care Monday night to pack up their children's belongings. They said they do not plan to bring their children back to the center. 

"I'm not comfortable leaving my child in a place where something like this goes on," said Sharon Sweeney. "This says to me they're not caring about the quality of people they're hiring to take care of these children, whether or not they're special needs children. I'm not comfortable with what I'm hearing so I decided to come tonight to take my son's wheelchair in case they decide to close up and not tell the parents what's going on."

Sarah Chapman, whose son has been going to the day care for the past two years, said she's recently seen too many red flags, including stories from a former roommate and parent whose autistic son came home and said teachers there would hit him on the buttocks with a stuffed animal.

"Neither of us will be back," she said, adding that her own mother once worked there and left the day care, along with many other "good people who worked there," because of the low pay. 

"This is what you get for that," said Chapman. 

Photo Credit: Southampton Police]]>
<![CDATA[Thai PM: Prime Suspect in Bangkok Shrine Bombing Arrested]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:07:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bangkok+Suspect.jpg

Thailand's prime minister said Tuesday that authorities have arrested a man they believe is the main suspect in a bombing at a shrine in central Bangkok two weeks ago that killed 20 people.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the man is a foreigner and was arrested in eastern Thailand near the Cambodian border. He described him as the main person in the bombing but did not directly say he is suspected of actually planting the bomb.

It was not immediately known if the arrested man is the person who was seen in a security video wearing a yellow T-shirt and leaving a backpack at the shrine shortly before the blast there.

Photo Credit: Reuters]]>
<![CDATA[Israeli Raid to Arrest Palestinian Militant Sparks Gunbattle]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 03:36:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Building+Demolished+in+Jenin.png

An Israeli raid to arrest a Palestinian militant sparked a gunbattle that ended with a West Bank home being bulldozed, officials said.

The Israeli Defense Forces said clashes broke out during a multiagency operation to arrest a "senior Hamas operative" in the city of Jenin.

Israeli officials did not name the target. However, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency said Israeli forces had surrounded a house belonging to the Hamas-affiliated Abu al-Hija family. 

Photo Credit: NBC, Universal]]>
<![CDATA[Turkey Arrests Vice News Journalists on Terror-Related Charges]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 02:48:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_37261746065.jpg

A Turkish court charged two Vice News journalists and their assistant on Monday with "aiding a terrorist organization" and ordered them arrested pending trial, NBC News reported.

Two British journalists, correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, and their Turkey-based assistant were detained on Thursday while reporting from Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, where renewed fighting between security forces and Kurdish rebels has killed scores of people.

It wasn't immediately clear which organization the journalists are accused of aiding. Their employer has called the charges "baseless and alarmingly false."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Georgia Cop, Homeowner Shot, Dog Killed After Police Respond to Wrong Home]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:45:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/4596346721.jpg

A metro Atlanta police officer was in critical condition after he, a homeowner and a dog were shot when police responded to a call at the wrong house, authorities said.

Officers responded to a call for a burglary in progress about 7:30 p.m. ET, but they went to the wrong address because the caller gave only a description of a "gray brick house" without a street number, Cedric Alexander, public safety director in DeKalb County, said.

The officer was wounded in the thigh and "lost a lot of blood," Alexander said. The homeowner's condition wasn't reported, but the dog was killed, he added.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[7 Hours of Sleep Helps Prevent Colds, Study Finds]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:31:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sleep-GettyImages-547017105.jpg

If you're loading up on vitamin C and zinc to stave off the sniffles, you should try an earlier bedtime instead. People who regularly sleep six hours or less each night are four times more likely to get a cold than people who sleep just an hour longer, a new study finds.

Short sleep was more important than any other factor in predicting who would get sick after exposure to the cold virus, researchers told NBC News.

"It's almost alarming how strong the effects are," says Aric Prather, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and lead author of the study, published Monday in the journal Sleep.

Sleep was more important than any other factor, including age, stress or income level, in predicting who would get sick after being exposure to the cold virus, the researchers say.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chipotle Mexican Grill Sued Over GMO-Free Menu Claims]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:09:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-471371472.jpg

A California woman has accused Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc of false advertising, alleging the chain’s GMO-free claims are misleading.

In her lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco, the plaintiff Colleen Gallagher alleges Chipotle, which declared its menu free of controversial genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, back in April, violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because its food labeling is false.

Chipotle's website carries disclaimers about the GMO content in its food. Those disclaimers say that "most animal feed in the U.S. is genetically modified, which means that the meat and dairy served at Chipotle are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed." They add that "many of the beverages sold in our restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients."

Gallagher contended that most Chipotle diners are unlikely to see these disclaimers, and will rely instead on the company's advertising.

Her lawsuit seeks class action status and unspecified damages. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UN: Satellite Images Show Syria's Temple of Bel 'Destroyed']]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:23:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_578517027570.jpg

An ancient temple in Syria's Palmyra has been destroyed, a monitoring group with the United Nations said Monday after an explosion sparked speculation that ISIS had blown up the historic site, NBC News reported.

Witnesses told The Associated Press Monday that ISIS militants, who captured Palmyra in May, significantly damaged the 2,000 year old Temple of Bel by bombing it. And an ISIS operative, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the AP over Skype on Monday that militants had detonated explosives near the temple.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research said that satellite analysis confirmed that the main building at the temple has been demolished.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[CT Bear Has History of Aggression]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:53:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/stephanie+rivkin+bear+encounter+crop.jpg

The black bear that prompted state officials to block off hiking trails in Connecticut last week after it was caught on camera circling a hiker has a history of aggression, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The bear, which is tagged, caused problems in the past while living near Bradley International Airport in Hartford, according to DEEP wildlife biologist Jason Hawley.

At one point, the animal chased a woman into her workplace and put its paws up against the glass, Hawley said. The bear also forced its way into a home in the area, pounding on the door until he got inside.

DEEP relocated the animal to Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington, the site of last week’s encounter.

Hiker Stephanie Rivkin captured footage of the animal approaching and circling her on a walking trail Friday. Video shows the bear opening its mouth as if to bite her leg.

"You never expect a bear to have a rap sheet, but he does," said Rivkin.

The incident prompted state officials to close down the hiking trails while they searched for the animal. DEEP announced plans to euthanize the bear, prompting public backlash, but officials said the animal is dangerous and the move is warranted.

"The incident here at Sessions Woods was far more disturbing than any of the other behaviors he has displayed up to this point," said Hawley. "To someone who’s not familiar with bear behavior, it may look like the bear is curious. Maybe it’s just trying to get a good sniff of the person."

Hawley went on to say, however, that the animal was displaying clear signs of aggression.

"If you look at the actual body language of the bear, the bear is actually circling her. Whenever she turns her back on the bear, it actually rushes her. You can hear it several times popping its teeth, popping its jaw; that’s a sign of aggression," he explained. "Its hackles are up; the hair on its back is actually sticking up. It actually pins its ears back a couple of times."

Hawley said the animal’s track record is concerning.

"In our minds, with our training, we know that this bear is a potential threat to public safety, so there’s no question that we need to remove this bear from the population," Hawley said.

He added that some 600 to 700 bears live in Connecticut, and "removing one from the population doesn't change anything." In fact, he said, euthanizing the animal could help protect bears' reputation by preventing an attack.

Rivkin, who first said she hoped the bear could be saved as thousands signed petitions to halt euthanization plans, explained Monday she understands the state’s rationale.

"They’re making the decision for a reason, and after having heard the reason, I kind of want to be neutral," she said. "I’m kind of 'spare the bear' at the moment and I’m also 'spare the other people and hikers that may be in danger also.'"

Rivkin said she and her family have received threats on social media in the days since her story went public. She's asking people not to blame her for the bear's fate.

"Anyone who knows me, anyone on social media who has my back knows me, and I’m an animal lover. I’m a nature lover and no, I don’t want the bear killed," she said. "I want him to be relocated but apparently that’s already been done, so they’re taking the steps to do what’s right for everybody, the bear population, the people population."

Photo Credit: Stephanie Rivkin]]>
<![CDATA[Virginia Tech Football Helmets to Honor Gunned-Down Journalist]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:28:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/parkerward-WDBJ-slain.jpg

The Virginia Tech Hokies will honor slain journalist Adam Ward and his colleague Alison Parker by placing stickers on their helmets during the season opening football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Labor Day, NBC News reports
The team will wear stickers that feature the number 7 between a teal and a maroon ribbon, according to a statement from the team. 
Ward, a cameraman. and Parker, a reporter, who worked for WDBJ7, were shot and killed last week during a live television broadcast. The gunman, Vester Lee Flanagan, died of self inflicted gunshot would hours after the attack, authorities said. 
According to the release, teal was Parker's favorite color. Ward, a 2011 graduate of Virginia Tech, will be represented by the school's maroon color. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Woman Saved From Burning Car]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:47:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Burning+Car+083015.jpg

A North Texas police officer is credited with helping save a woman from a burning car, and the rescue was caught on video.

Garland police officer Michael Mallison was headed to court in Dallas on the morning of Aug. 21 when he came upon a serious crash along U.S. Highway 80.

A handful of people were already gathered around a smoking vehicle near Big Town Boulevard in Mesquite, with some using fire extinguishers to stop the entire car from catching fire. Mallison grabbed yet another extinguisher and ran to help.

Bystanders told the officer that the driver, a woman in her 40s, was still trapped inside the vehicle.

"She was screaming. I didn't understand what she was saying, she was screaming something in Spanish," Mallison said. "There was a young lady that stopped and translated and said her feet were burning. That's when I noticed, I thought the fire was out, but the fire was coming through the fire wall down at the bottom of her feet, and her pants caught on fire."

Mallison was able to get into the vehicle through the back door, pull the woman into the back seat and out to a group of bystanders who helped carry her across the highway barrier to safety.

"I don't know if it's training that kicked in or what," Mallison said. "I just knew she needed to get out of that car. I didn't give it much thought, just wanted to get her out."

Mallison said he has not talked to the woman since and doesn't know how she is doing. Mesquite paramedics rushed the woman to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and she has since been released.

"I'm by no means a hero," Mallison said. "It's something anybody else would have done – any other officer – there is no doubt in my mind."

Photo Credit: Garland Police Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:57:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_222245677086-Ukraine.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hot Wheels: Here Are the Cars Thieves Like the Most]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:22:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/honda+accord+stock+photo.JPG

Hondas were the most stolen vehicles across the United States last year, with Accords topping the list and Civics coming in second, according to the annual Hot Wheels report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Two full-sized pickup trucks, Fords and Chevrolets, came in third and fourth.

The tally identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles across the country. Honda Accords and Civics were also the most stolen the year before.

The number of thefts has fallen dramatically since the late 1990s, from a high of about 1.7 million to 700,000 today, most of them of older models, said Carol Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the organization. Better security, better policing and better tools for finding stolen vehicles have all contributed to the drop, she said.

Thieves are typically stripping the vehicles to pieces and selling the parts, she said. The demand for parts is likely driving the popularity of particular cars, she said.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau also identified the top 2014 models that were stolen last year. The Ford full-sized pickup headed that list.

The insurance group recommends installing an alarm on your vehicle, some sort of immobilizing device such as a kill switch or fuel cut-off and a tracking device. And of course, lock your car and take your keys.

Here are the 10 most stolen vehicles:


Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Nearly 90,000 Women Joined Ashley Madison Last Week]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:51:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-484478072.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of people signed up for affair-seeking website Ashley Madison in the last week, parent company Avid Life Media said on Monday, even after a massive hack that leaked clients' information, Reuters reported. 

"Last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform," Avid Life said, adding that 87,596 women had also signed up for Ashley Madison last week.

The company also struck back at reports that the site had few genuine female users, saying internal data released by hackers had been incorrectly analyzed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Third Skydiver Who Jumped Off 1 World Trade Center Avoids Jail]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:22:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/markovich.jpg

A third extreme-skydiving enthusiast convicted of reckless endangerment, BASE jumping and other charges after parachuting off of the World Trade Center in September 2013 escaped jail time at his sentencing Monday, authorities say.

Marko Markovich, 28, was sentenced to conditional discharge with 300 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine, more than two months after he was found guilty of the misdemeanors along with 33-year-old James Brady and 34-year-old Andrew Rossig.

Brady, an iron worker who helped construct 1 World Trade Center, and Rossig, were each sentenced earlier this month to conditional discharge with a $2,000 fine and 250 and 200 hours of community service, respectively,

At 3 a.m. on September 30, 2013, the men entered 1 World Trade Center and climbed up 104 flights of stairs to the tower's communication ring, Vance said. They then picked up equipment left by Brady, who worked as an iron worker at the construction site, and parachuted off of the building one by one.

The stunt, captured in a dramatic YouTube video, raised questions about security at the then-unfinished skyscraper.

Prosecutors had asked the men be sentenced to at least 60 days in jail, saying their stunt could have killed a bystander. They said earlier this month it took a "disturbing degree of forethought and planning," and that "at every step they knew what they were doing was wrong."

The parachutists, who were arrested in March 2014 following a joint investigation between the Manhattan District Attorney's office, the NYPD and the Port Authority Police Department, said that they didn't imperil anyone and that the charges were overreaching by embarrassed authorities.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Auction for Last Titanic Lunch Menu]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:14:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/titanic-final-lunch-menu-thumb.jpg

The Titanic's last lunch menu — saved by a passenger who climbed aboard the so-called "Money Boat" before the ocean liner went down — is going to auction, where it's estimated it will bring $50,000 to $70,000.

The online New York auctioneer Lion Heart Autographs is offering the menu and two other previously unknown artifacts from Lifeboat 1 on Sept. 30. The auction marks the 30th anniversary of the wreckage's discovery at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Abraham Lincoln Salomon was one of a handful of first-class passengers who boarded the lifeboat — dubbed the "Money Boat" or "Millionaire's Boat" by the press because of unfounded rumors one of them bribed seven crew members to quickly row the boat away from the sinking ship rather than rescue others.

The menu (see below), which listed corned beef, dumplings and other savory items, is signed on the back in pencil by another first-class passenger, Isaac Gerald Frauenthal, who escaped on another lifeboat. It's believed the two men lunched together that fateful day in 1912.

Salomon also took away a printed ticket from the Titanic's opulent Turkish baths, which recorded a person's weight when seated in a specially designed upholstered lounge chair. It bears the names of three of the five other first-class passengers with him on Lifeboat 1. One of four weighing-chair tickets known to exist, it's estimated it will bring $7,500 to $10,000.

The third artifact is a letter written by Mabel Francatelli to Salomon on New York's Plaza Hotel stationery six months after the disaster. She had climbed into the No. 1 lifeboat with her employer, aristocratic fashion designer Lucy Duff-Gordon and her Scottish husband Lord Cosmo Duff-Gordon, who it was alleged bribed the crew to row them to safety in the boat that had a capacity of 40.

The Duff-Gordons, who were the only passengers to testify about the disaster, were cleared by the British Wreck Commissioner's inquiry, which determined that they did not deter the crew from attempting to rescue other people but that others might have been saved if the boat had turned around.

A letter by Lady Duff-Gordon grumbling about the "disgraceful" treatment they received from the press and public upon their return to England sold at an auction in Boston earlier this year for nearly $12,000.

"We do hope you have now quite recovered from the terrible experience," Francatelli wrote to Salomon. "I am afraid our nerves are still bad, as we had such trouble & anxiety added to our already awful experience by the very unjust inquiry when we arrived in London." It's estimated it will sell for $4,000 to $6,000.

Lion Heart Autographs says the seller is the son of a man who was given the items by a direct descendent of one of the survivors of Lifeboat 1.

Photo Credit: Lion Heart Autographs via AP
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<![CDATA[Pint-Sized Darth Vader Scheduled For Heart Surgery]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 20:42:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/227*120/8-31-15+Children%27s+Hospital+Los+Angeles.JPG

The world fell in love with him when he played a pint-sized Darth Vader in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial.

He was a force to reckon with. Donning a black cape, black mask and bigger-than-life personality, Max Page tries to use "The Force" to start the family car, turn on a washing machine and wake the family dog in a 60-second Volkswagen ad that went viral overnight. It garnered more than 8 million views by the time a 30-second version of it aired during the the big game.

What millions of people didn't know when they watched Max use "The Force" is that the now 10-year-old has been fighting for his life since birth.

Max was born with a congenital heart disease and underwent his first surgery at 3 months old. Recently he was diagnosed with conduit stenosis, "a condition that was restricting blood flow from the right ventricle of his heart into his lungs due to a narrowing of the pulmonary valve, which had been surgically implanted in 2012," according to doctors from Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

On July 30, he underwent his tenth surgery, according to the hospital. Max had a heart valve replaced.

He apparently kept a Bible in a bag near his gurney during the procedure for comfort while his family waited nearby.

"We had a great result. Max has a new heart valve, and we hope it will last a long time," said Frank Ing, who lead the cardiology team that worked on Max for three hours at CHLP, in a statement.

The new valve allows Max to avoid open heart surgery, according to surgeons.

He was discharged from the hospital the next day and managed to stay in good spirits: "I'm feeling good," Max said in the statement. "The staff here is really great and the doctors are very happy."

His parents were relieved the procedure was less invasive than surgeries in the past, they said in the statement.

"It's just amazing to think Max can receive a new heart valve and be out of the hospital in 24 hours," said Buck Page, Max's father. "The last time we were here for open-heart surgery, he had a 10-inch chest scar and he was on morphine for three days. Now he's going home with a couple of Band-Aids and some Tylenol."

Despite last month's success, it's not over for the little fighter who stole the public's heart years ago.

"Max will be dealing with this his entire life." Buck said. "It's something he's aware of, but he wants to experience life to the fullest and we want to make sure that he has that."

On Tuesday, Max will have another life-saving procedure to replace a pacemaker pulse generator.

"Since the pulse generator runs on batteries, it needs to be replaced at periodic intervals, usually every five to seven years," cardiothoracic surgeon Winfield Wells said in the statement.

Max is expected to make a full recovery and resume acting like a normal 10-year-old after a few months of restricted activities following Tuesday's surgery.

Since being launched into the public eye, young Max and his family have continued to support hospitals by holding fundraisers and giving back some of his earnings.

Photo Credit: Children's Hospital Los Angeles ]]>
<![CDATA[Taliban's New Leader Dresses 'Neat', Is Good Listener: Bio]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:57:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mullah_Akhtar+Mohammad+Mansoor.jpg

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor became Taliban's new chief last month after the announcement that longtime leader Mullah Omar had been dead for two years. 

The announcement sparked a leadership battle. While the Taliban hashes out the dispute over Mansoor's appointment, those loyal to Mansoor on Monday released an in-depth biography of the man. NBC News cannot confirm the veracity of the document's contents as the Taliban's media arm is notoriously unreliable.

According to the bio, Mansoor "speaks less and tries to listen more to other people," he wears "neat and clean clothes" and "is fully conscious of the delicacy and complexity of all contemporary regional and international politics."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest in Case of Man Lit on Fire]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:25:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/man+on+fire+astoria.jpg

A 46-year-old woman angry over alleged infidelity has been charged with murder for allegedly shooting her boyfriend twice and then lighting him on fire, leaving his body to burn in the street over the weekend, police said.

Firefighters were called to 12th Street in Astoria shortly before 7 a.m. Saturday after getting a call about a fire and found the Shawn McWhorter, 43, ablaze. They put out the fire and McWhorter was pronounced dead at the scene.

A fingernail was found on his body.

McWhorter lived in the area, so detectives began to interview people he knew as part of their routine investigation, including his girlfriend, Dawn Mcintosh. Mcintosh told police she hadn't seen him that day, they had been supposed to meet but he stood her up, authorities say she told detectives.

While detectives were talking to Mcintosh, they noticed she was missing a fingernail, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Monday. Mcintosh was taken into custody for additional questioning, and admitted to killing her boyfriend, Boyce said. Boyce said Mcintosh told police she shot McWhorter twice in the torso, then got her son to try to help her move the body into a friend's car.

McWhorter was too heavy for McIntosh and her son, according to investigators, so they allegedly moved the body a bit and then lit it on fire. McIntosh told police she doused her boyfriend in lighter fluid and lit him aflame using a cigarette lighter. Boyce said Mcintosh accused her boyfriend of infidelity and treating her poorly; she also said he owed her money.

Boyce said authorities are looking for the gun Mcintosh allegedly used in the shooting.

Mcintosh's son , 21-year-old Donte Watkins, was arrested for allegedly helping his mother move the body. He was charged with tampering with physical evidence.

Mcintosh's daughter was also present when the body was moved, but she will not face charges because she did not assist in the crime, according to investigators. The friend who owns the car the mother and son allegedly tried to move the body into did not know it was happening, police said.

Information on attorneys for the suspects wasn't immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[SCOTUS to Act on Kentucky Gay Marriage Fight]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:33:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/gaymarriageflag.jpg

The U.S. Supreme Court this week faces the first religious objection to reach the justices since the decision declaring a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, NBC News reported.

A county clerk in Kentucky is asking for relief from a lower court order directing her to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Her lawyers filed an emergency application directed to Justice Elena Kagan, who handles such requests from that part of the country.

Kim Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, "holds an undisputed sincerely held religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, only," her lawyers say in their application.

The requirement to issue same-sex marriage licenses "demands that she either fall in line or leave office."

Photo Credit: CQ-Roll Call,Inc.]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders, Trump Surge in New Iowa Poll]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 17:27:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trumpsanders.jpg

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Donald Trump — the two biggest anti-establishment candidates in the Democratic and Republican presidential primary fields, respectively — have seen their support surge, according to NBC News, citing a new survey of voters likely to participate in the Iowa caucuses.

In the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll, Sanders is now polling just seven points behind Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton, nearly doubling his share of the vote since the last survey was conducted in May.

Sanders takes 30 percent support, while Clinton draws 37 percent, marking the first time she's dropped below 50 percent in the poll.

Trump, meanwhile, has seen a remarkable reversal in both his support and popularity in the state since May. Back then, he was polling at just 4 percent support and his favorability was at -36 points; now, he leads the pack with 23 percent support and his favorability is at +26 points.

Photo Credit: File - Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Family Hopes for 'Miracle' to Save $16K Tree House]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 13:36:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150829-rossmoor-tree-house.jpg

An elaborate, three-story tree house in Orange County has gotten a temporary reprieve from building inspectors, but the high rise hide-out may not be out of the woods just yet.

Rossmoor resident Dr. Joni Doherty spared no expense to build the $16,000 tree house that features solar panels, redwood floors, handmade chairs and a top-floor club house.

The tree house was a dream she and her husband Jack Chen — a renowned surgeon — shared before he died in a surfing accident in 2013.

Her two sons wanted their father's memory to live on in the tree house.

Doherty didn't need a permit to build it. But six months ago, she received a letter from the Orange County Department of Public Works for code violations after a neighbor complained.

"They didn't actually have any specific safety issues in that code violation," Doherty said.

She is now applying for a permit and has support from hundreds of her neighbors, who have signed a petition.

"It's a labor of love," said her neighbor, Reina Evans. "Everyone loves this tree house."

Doherty is hopeful and believes her husband is helping her keep their dream alive.

"I feel like he's actually in some way helped this sort of get to the point where it might actually work out, like a miracle," she said.

The next step will be a public hearing, which could take place in several months, she said. But until then, she's been reassured from a county supervisor the tree house will remain in place.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: National Zoo's Panda Cub Begins to Get Black and White Markings]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:22:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/panda-cub-markings.jpg

It's a panda! The National Zoo's nine-day-old panda cub is beginning to get his black and white markings.

A pair of newborn cubs were born Aug. 22 to the zoo's female giant panda, Mei Xiang, but the smaller of the two died Wednesday. The zoo has said that the larger, surviving cub is doing well.

Panda cubs are born tiny, nearly hairless and blind. What little fur the newborns have is white. But on Sunday, the zoo released three images captured on its panda cams, showing the cub's new markings are beginning to show up. The cub's ears and patches around his still-closed eyes appear darker, as do his arms. Ultimately, his legs and torso will also darken, but it's unclear in the zoo's photos whether those markings are showing up yet.

Two of the images feature the cub on his own; the other shows him cradled in his mama's arms.

"Mei Xiang put her cub down twice in the last 24 hrs. He's starting to get black markings & is doing well," the zoo wrote Sunday.

Keepers said Friday the surviving cub "looks great" and is healthy, active and nursing. The cub had gained 27.9 grams in the previous 72 hours, zoo officials said Friday.

The zoo announced Friday that the surviving cub and its deceased twin were both male and were fathered by the zoo's male giant panda, Tian Tian. Mei Xiang had been artificially inseminated in late April with semen from Tian Tian and with semen from Hui Hui, a panda living in China.

The little guy is still without a name, though -- panda cubs are traditionally named at 100 days of age. His older sister, 2-year-old Bao Bao, received a naming ceremony in her honor on Dec. 1, 2013.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo
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<![CDATA[Mother Drowns Twin Sons in Bathtub: Police]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 03:54:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mireya_Lopez.jpg

A 22-year-old mother intentionally drowned her twin toddlers in a bathtub Sunday, according to police in Arizona, NBC News reported. 

Mireya Alejandra Lopez also allegedly told investigators that she attempted to drown another child but was stopped by family members.

Police and firefighters responded to a call at a home in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale and found the twin 2-year-old boys lying unresponsive on a bed, the Avondale Police Department said in a statement.

Officers tried to save their lives but both were pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.

Lopez would be charged with two counts of homicide and one count of attempted homicide, the statement said. 

Photo Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Hip Hop Crew Stays Fit in New Zealand]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:02:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/HipHop-thumbnail.jpg Age is no barrier for the members of this elderly hip hop dance crew in New Zealand. The members range in age from 68 to 96. "There's all sorts of medical conditions in the group...Six are deaf, five have got dementia, one is blind," said the group's founder and choreographer Billie Jordan. "I mean, you name it, they've got it." ]]> <![CDATA[Over 1K D.C. Officers Vote 'No Confidence' in Police Chief ]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:34:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/062515+D.C.+Police+Chief+Cathy+Lanier.jpg

More than 1,000 police officers in D.C. say they have "no confidence" in Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The D.C. Police Union released the result of the weekend vote Monday morning.

Of the 1,150 officers responding to the online survey, 97.5 percent said they have "no confidence" in Lanier's ability to manage the Metropolitan Police Department and keep the public safe. The union represents more than 3,600 officers. 

"We‘ve been told that the status quo is working and we‘ve been forced into a corner of lackluster, feckless, inefficient enforcement," the union said in a press release issued Monday morning. 

The union says the "no-confidence" vote is a symbolic gesture. 

"I am not interested in responding to or commenting on the anonymous online survey conducted by the Fraternal Order of Police, but I will defend the work of the members of this agency," Lanier said in a statement Monday.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement Monday, expressing her confidence in Lanier.

"After 25 years of policing DC streets, deploying officers and strategies, and building a force of highly qualified officers and leaders, in the good times and the tough times, too, I have every confidence in Chief Lanier,” Bowser said. 

Both dismissed the survey, noting fewer than a third of the of the officers participated.

The union vote follows a recent spike in crime, particularly homicides. The D.C. homicide rate is up 43 percent in 2015 thus far, compared with the same period in 2014. To date, 105 people have been killed. D.C. police made 61 murder arrests so far this year while closing 44 of this year's 105 murder cases, police said.

The vote also follows the latest "All Hands On Deck" initiative, which aimed to limit a recent spike in crime by flooding the streets of D.C. with officers. Extra officers were deployed in cruisers, on bikes and on foot in all seven police districts from 3 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Sunday.

Despite 16 violent assaults and two homicides, D.C. officials called the initiative a success.

"According to our morning report today, MPD took 34 illegal guns off the streets of Washington, D.C., this weekend alone and reduced violent crime by 39 percent compared to the same weekend last year," Lanier said.

Property crime was down 52 percent and overall crime was down 49 percent compared to the same weekend last year, police said.

Lanier said the initiative may have influenced the vote with so many officers called in.

"I realize that officers don’t like their schedules disrupted and I try to minimize it, but when we have violent crime we have to make the sacrifices that we all swore we would make when we took this job," Lanier said in a statement released Sunday.

All Metropolitan Police Department officers were pulled from vacation, desk duty and other details Friday through Sunday for an "All Hands on Deck" response to crime.

Mayor Bowser's strategy to prevent crime also includes putting more services like job training and daycare in neighborhoods hit hardest.

"Starting next week, the city will be reopening part of Malcolm X Elementary School in Ward 8 to bring government services to the community," said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Kevin Donahue, who promised more of these pop-up resource centers in neighborhoods most affected by the increase in violence.

Lanier started the All Hands on Deck initiative in 2007 in response to a summertime spike in crime, the department's website says. MPD has declared more than 30 All Hands on Deck periods of about 48 hours each since then, with an average decline in violent crime of about 10 percent during each period, Lanier said.

Lanier and the union have become increasingly at odds over a solution for the recent spike in crime. Rank-and-file officers are questioning the dismantling of vice units and taking issue with fixed posts that prevent officers from leaving designated areas.

"Over the past eight years we've had some very high-profile incidents where the chief's integrity has been called into question," union head Delroy Burton told WAMU. "The most frustrating thing right now for our members, though, is that we have an uptick in crime and they're being deployed in such a way that makes it extremely difficult for them to provide good police service."

<![CDATA[P.F. Chang Murder Suspect 'Snapped']]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 05:52:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Jaquan+Huston.jpg

The mother of a man accused of fatally stabbing a co-worker in the kitchen of a P.F. Chang's in Peabody, Massachusetts, says her son "snapped" and had been just one week away from taking anger management classes.

On Saturday evening, 38-year-old Elivelton Dias was working in the restaurant at the Northshore Mall when he was attacked. Police say 23-year-old Jaquan Huston is responsible for the homicide and is charged with murder.

"Just like the show called 'Snapped,' my son snapped," said Shawn Maron-Huston. "That is not him. He's not a murderer."

Fighting back tears, the suspect's mother told necn her son didn't deny stabbing Dias. She knew something was wrong when he came home from work earlier than usual. She gave Jaquan money for bus fare and went to watch him leave her Salem home from her window. Instead of seeing him get on the bus, a police cruiser came to pick up her youngest child.

"When I went downstairs, I said, 'What happened, what happened? I thought you were going to Lynn?' Police said, 'Your son was involved in a stabbing,'" said Maron-Huston. "And I said, 'Really?' I said, 'What happened, Jaquan?' He said, 'He threatened me, Mom. He threatened to stab me and I did what I had to do.'"

Maron-Huston says for years, she has tried to work with her son and his anger issues. Raising four kids on her own, she worked hard to give her children the best, even encouraging her son to enroll in anger management classes.

His first one was scheduled in a week. But it didn't come in time stop Saturday's tragedy.

"The sad thing is that the individual is gone, and I feel sad for him, I really do. If I could change anything, I would change that," said Maron-Huston.

Even knowing her son could face jail time, she wants the public to learn, from the pain this incident has caused, a lesson she says she's tried to teach her own child.

"Whatever you're going through, even if you can't come to your parents, confide in somebody," she said. "Get it out. Because when you keep it bottled in, it causes nothing but stress and for you to snap and make a decision that is going to cost you a lot of years of your life."

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Seeks to Cement Climate Change Legacy]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 04:42:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_23068029639.jpg

During his trip to Alaska this week, President Barack Obama will tread gingerly on a receding glacier, talk to coastal villagers whose homes are threatened by eroding shorelines and salmon fishermen whose livelihoods are endangered — all in an aggressive and high profile effort to highlight the impact of global climate change, NBC News reported. 

The visit to the Alaskan Arctic — the first by a sitting president — is the culmination of an increasingly forceful climate change policy push over the past two years by the Obama administration. 

This week alone Obama invoked climate change during visits to the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas and New Orleans to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

With these trips, Obama is attempting to set the stage for a major international climate change agreement he hopes will come from a summit in Paris in December.

That agreement could help secure his legacy as the first sitting president to address global climate change in a substantive way, environmental policy experts said.

Photo Credit: AP
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