<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usFri, 29 Jul 2016 01:50:52 -0400Fri, 29 Jul 2016 01:50:52 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[DNC Hack Exposes Vulnerabilities in Voting Systems]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 23:28:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/Hacker+Stock.jpg

Although they say it’s unlikely foreign groups could hack into U.S. voting machines, officials are alarmed that the Democratic Party email hack has exposed vulnerabilities in the electoral voting system’s security, NBC News reported. 

The voting systems aren’t part of the safety net set up by the Department of Homeland Security and are not protected by the federal government because each state runs its own electoral system. 

According to an expert, 25 states still allow voting by email or the internet, and all states have some kind of on-line registration, which could make them wide open to hacking. Experts tell NBC News the computers running the state electoral systems are almost entirely unencrypted, and often don't have backups. 

Officials in Colorado, New York and California all stressed they're making sure no voting machines are ever connected to the internet. This "air gap" makes it impossible to manipulate individual machines remotely.

On Thursday, a bipartisan consortium of homeland security and counterterrorism experts plans to issue a statement raising concerns about the possibility that Russia is seeking to manipulate the U.S. election. The group wants Congress to investigate the hack into the DNC email system. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Protests, Marches and More From the DNC in Philly]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 22:11:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-584445438.jpg The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28 made history by officially nominating Hillary Clinton for president, the first woman ever chosen to head a major political party. Outside the Wells Fargo Center, protestors and supporters battled the sweltering heat while marching in demonstrations there and at other venues in the city.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Inside the DNC Protest Lifestyle]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:46:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DNC+Day+4+BXM+home+with+dog+lead+image.jpg

Taralei Griffin began to cry shortly after 9 a.m. and, moments later, became the nucleus of a 20-person hug.

It was during the wake up meeting for protest group Democracy Spring, inside the tiny front room of a row house in Mantua, on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

"I’ve been diagnosed with MS," Griffin told the activist assemblage. She brought it up during the "I feel like” portion of the program. Griffin’s began: "I’m not feeling very well today."

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease of the body’s nervous system. Griffin isn’t sure yet how serious or far along her illness is. She’ll find out more the week after the DNC.

The 25-year-old comes from all over. She grew up in Minnesota, but in recent years her family has lived in Tennessee. Not that she’s been there much the past year. She learned of Democracy Spring while watching a video by online liberal news outlet, The Young Turks. After a couple days thinking about the protest lifestyle, Griffin reached out to Democracy Spring in December last year.

The group is part of a diverse and varied protest faction that came to Philadelphia for the DNC. Democracy Spring specifically advocates for the elimination of corporate donors and the wealthy’s influence on government. Members believe that all other issues — climate change, education, poverty —can be addressed more efficiently if Big Money is taken out of the political process. The group’s motto is: "Money ain’t speech. Corporations aren’t people.”

Griffin’s been part of the inner circle of Democracy Spring since April when she met Kai Newkirk in Washington D.C. Newkirk is in charge of the protest group, which sprung from a larger organization called 99Rise.

She was one of 1,400 arrested on the steps of the Capitol in the spring, what activists like Newkirk describe as the largest action of civil disobedience in American history. Members of Democracy Spring are prideful of their arrest records. Brendan Orsinger, who quit his job at the Pentagon to join the movement, has been arrested eight times. Mary Zeiser, a California nomad and student of the art of non-violent resistance, has been arrested three times.

In Philly, Democracy Spring wanted to bring their non-violent “risk arrest” approach to the protests of the Democratic National Convention. After a march Monday afternoon down South Broad Street from Marconi Plaza, Newkirk and 10 others from his group succeeded in getting arrested -- after much effort. They jumped a police barricade, were taken into custody temporarily, then given $50 citations.

Griffin was not one of those arrested. So soon after being diagnosed with MS, she served the group in an auxiliary and communications role. 

"It’s been stressful," Griffin said Monday morning, prior to the first actions of the DNC week. “I want to stay with Democracy Spring. I’m heading back to D.C. after this week to find out more. There’s a lot up in the air.”

Griffin said she was very quiet, an introvert even, before joining the activist ranks.

"It all changed when I joined. Now, I’m very talkative," she said, petting her nine-year-old dog, Layla.

The first sign that Griffin had a deep-seated interest in politics and activism was one Halloween early on in her life.

"First, I was a witch. Then, the next year, I was Princess Leia. Then I wanted to be an American flag."

When she goes back to Washington, D.C., this weekend, she’ll return to Democracy Spring’s base of operations, a rented house in Cheverly, Maryland. About six others have lived there when Griffin stayed in the house the past several months.

TaraLei grew up in a conservative family in a conservative part of Minnesota. And she thought she was conservative, until a high school teacher in her hometown of Arden Hills gave her class a test with questions to rate where one falls on the political spectrum 

"I took one of those tests that puts you in a liberal category or conservative," she said. "I said, 'Is this right?' after looking at the result. He said, 'Yeah, you’re very liberal.'"

Anywhere from 10 to 20 people lived in the two-story house on Brandywine Street since the beginning of July. People go five or six to a room, sleeping bags covering every inch of the bedroom floors. One room has a set of bunk beds.

No one seems to mind the clutter: a pile of shoes in the corner near the front door, a bushel of apples under a table crowded with laptops and printed signs.

Tofu is on the menu most days. On Monday, Nicole Hazzard, a North Carolina woman who in Her 40s is one of the oldest members of the group, cooked tofu over potatoes. Some ate cereal while everyone prepped for the first day’s actions.

Griffin made a run to Target in one of the collective’s vehicles. An hour later, she returned with supplies for the house and the March.

She worried about her legs in the heat. Extreme conditions, she said, brought about her MS symptoms -- loss of feeling in her extremities after initial "pins and needles all over."

Hours later, after Newkirk and several others had been hauled off by police, Griffin sat on the outskirts of the protests near the AT&T Station of SEPTA’s Broad Street Line. By 6:30, she and a couple other protesters packed some things and were heading back to Mantua to regroup. 

"It’s been an awesome day," Griffin said in the grassy median of South Broad Street, over the still-strong chants of "Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!" And "Lock Her Up!"

There would be more protesting tomorrow for Griffin and Democracy Spring. Two days later, on Wednesday, another contingent of Democracy Spring members would be arrested -- or, according to Philadelphia police, taken into custody and given citations for disorderly conduct.

On Thursday, Griffin said she believed the week went well. Soon, she’d be hopping a ride back to D.C. To find out more about her future. She saw herself staying in the Democracy Spring house, and perhaps she’d help the group find a new home for when their lease runs out at the end of August.

Asked about her future, she pondered life in D.C. And in the activist community, and in the workplace. She enjoys writing.

"After my (doctor’s) appointment on Monday, I’ll be figuring things out," she said.

She paused for a moment, then she let out a single laugh.

"I think I may try to get a part-time job with the Young Turks," Griffin said.

Photo Credit: NBC10 | Brian X. McCrone
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<![CDATA[Photo Class Catches Fireball Pics]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:29:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/212*120/07-28-2016-creativelive-rocket-night-sky-light.jpg

A team conducting a shoot for a night-time photography class was in the right place at the right time with the right equipment Wednesday night when a mysterious bright light shot across the sky over California.

App Users: Scroll down to view video

The light, later confirmed to be a Chinese rocket, was at the center of a social media storm late Wednesday as bewildered witnesses across the state turned their cameras skyward to capture the brilliant, fast-moving object.

But not everyone had a high ISO Sony A7 camera and the training to use it.

A team with CreativeLive, which offers online photography classes and lessons on other subjects, was set up Wednesday night to capture some spectacular images of the Milky Way from the Alabama Hills, a rocky formation on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada with little light pollution — ideal for night-time photography. They had been in the remote area for about two hours when one team member noticed a stunning light streaking over the top of Mt. Whitney.

"A lot of this was a combination of the right place, right time, the perfect gear, and the right cameramen," said Kristy Ellington, director of content marketing and social media for CreativeLive. "Our guys were set up and immediately sprung into action the second they saw it."

The team trained a highly capable Sony A7 camera with a high ISO, generally used in low-light situations, on the light and captured the video above.

One of the photographers said it all: "Whoa. Whoa."

"It really was the perfect situation for us to capture it," said Ellington. "We were all awe-struck for sure. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment. It literally lit up the entire area, which before was pitch black."

The team also captured the International Space Station earlier that night, but had never caught anything quite like the Chinese CZ-7 rocket as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere. Like many people across California who saw the rocket, crew members initially thought it might be a meteor breaking up as it entered the atmosphere. The team heard a boom about three to five minutes after it raced out of sight to the east.

U.S. Strategic Command later confirmed the object was a Chinese CZ-7 rocket re-entering Earth's atmosphere.

The video was taken during a pre-shoot for the online class and will be used during CreativeLive Night Photography Week in September. The company specializes in online education covering a range of subjects, including photography, design and audio engineering with live and on-demand classes.

The Details

  • Camera: Sony A7s
  • Lens: Sony FE PZ 28-135 F/4 G OSS
  • ISO: 160,000
  • Shutter speed: 1/30
  • Aperture: F/4

Photo Credit: CreativeLive
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<![CDATA[Transcript: Hillary Clinton Accepts Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 23:19:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Hillary+clinton-584447920.jpg

Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president on the final evening of the Democratic National Convention. Here are her remarks as prepared:

Thank you! Thank you for that amazing welcome.

And Chelsea, thank you.

I'm so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you've become.

Thanks for bringing Marc into our family, and Charlotte and Aidan into the world.

And Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago is still going strong.

It's lasted through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.

And I've even gotten a few words in along the way.

On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my Explainer-in-Chief is still on the job.

I'm also grateful to the rest of my family and the friends of a lifetime.

To all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight…

And to those of you who joined our campaign this week.

And what a remarkable week it's been.

We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton.

And the man of Hope, Barack Obama.

America is stronger because of President Obama's leadership, and I'm better because of his friendship.

We heard from our terrific vice president, the one-and-only Joe Biden, who spoke from his big heart about our party's commitment to working people.

First Lady Michelle Obama reminded us that our children are watching, and the president we elect is going to be their president, too.

And for those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine – you're soon going to understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him: from city council and mayor, to Governor, and now Senator.

He'll make the whole country proud as our Vice President.

And… I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.

You've put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.

And to all of your supporters here and around the country:

I want you to know, I've heard you.

Your cause is our cause.

Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.

That's the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.

We wrote it together – now let's go out there and make it happen together.

My friends, we've come to Philadelphia – the birthplace of our nation – because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today.

We all know the story.

But we usually focus on how it turned out - and notenough on how close that story came to never being written at all.

When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the King.

Some wanted to stick it to the king, and go their own way.

The revolution hung in the balance.

Then somehow they began listening to each other … compromising … finding common purpose.

And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation.

That's what made it possible to stand up to a King.

That took courage.

They had courage.

Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.

America is once again at a moment of reckoning.

Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart.

Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.

And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees.

It truly is up to us.

We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.

Our country's motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one.

Will we stay true to that motto?

Well, we heard Donald Trump's answer last week at his convention.

He wants to divide us - from the rest of the world, and from each other.

He's betting that the perils of today's world will blind us to its unlimited promise.

He's taken the Republican Party a long way... from "Morning in America" to "Midnight in America."

He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.

Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against.

But we are not afraid.

We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have.

We will not build a wall.

Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one.

And we'll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy!

We will not ban a religion.

We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight terrorism.

There's a lot of work to do.

Too many people haven't had a pay raise since the crash.

There's too much inequality.

Too little social mobility.

Too much paralysis in Washington.

Too many threats at home and abroad.

But just look at the strengths we bring to meet these challenges.

We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world.

We have the most tolerant and generous young people we've ever had.

We have the most powerful military.

The most innovative entrepreneurs.

The most enduring values.Freedom and equality, justice and opportunity.

We should be so proud that these words are associated with us. That when people hear them – they hear… America.

So don't let anyone tell you that our country is weak.

We're not.

Don't let anyone tell you we don't have what it takes.

We do.

And most of all, don't believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”

Those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland.

And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.


I alone can fix it?

Isn't he forgetting?

Troops on the front lines.

Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger.

Doctors and nurses who care for us.

Teachers who change lives.

Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem.

Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.

He's forgetting every last one of us.

Americans don't say: “I alone can fix it.”

We say: “We'll fix it together.”

Remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.

Two hundred and forty years later, we still put our faith in each other.

Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers.

Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them.

And you know how the community responded?

Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.

That's how Americans answer when the call for help goes out.

20 years ago I wrote a book called “It Takes a Village.” A lot of people looked at the title and asked, what the heck do you mean by that?

This is what I mean.

None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone.

America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.

I believe that with all my heart.

That's why “Stronger Together” is not just a lesson from our history.

It's not just a slogan for our campaign.

It's a guiding principle for the country we've always been and the future we're going to build.

A country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what zip code you live in.

A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach.

Where families are strong… communities are safe…

And yes, love trumps hate.

That's the country we're fighting for.

That's the future we're working toward…

And so it is with humility. . . determination . . . and boundless confidence in America's promise… that I accept your nomination for President of the United States!

Now, sometimes the people at this podium are new to the national stage.

As you know, I'm not one of those people.

I've been your First Lady. Served 8 years as a Senator from the great State of New York.

I ran for President and lost.

Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.

But my job titles only tell you what I've done.

They don't tell you why.

The truth is, through all these years of public service, the “service” part has always come easier to me than the “public” part.

I get it that some people just don't know what to make of me.

So let me tell you.

The family I'm from . . . well, no one had their name on big buildings.

My family were builders of a different kind.

Builders in the way most American families are.

They used whatever tools they had – whatever God gave them – and whatever life in America provided – and built better lives and better futures for their kids.

My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years.

Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did.

And he was right.

My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.

When the war was over he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies.

I remember watching him stand for hours over silk screens.

He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had.

And he did. My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She ended up on her own at 14, working as a house maid.

She was saved by the kindness of others.

Her first grade teacher saw she had nothing to eat at lunch, and brought extra food to share.

The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me:

No one gets through life alone.

We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.

She made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith:

“Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

I went to work for the Children's Defense Fund, going door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts on behalf of children with disabilities who were denied the chance to go to school.

I remember meeting a young girl in a wheelchair on the small back porch of her house.

She told me how badly she wanted to go to school – it just didn't seem possible.

And I couldn't stop thinking of my mother and what she went through as a child.

It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough.

To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws.

You need both understanding and action.

So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities.

It's a big idea, isn't it?

Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school.

But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year… sometimes even door-by-door.

And my heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza on this stage, representing millions of young people who – because of those changes to our laws – are able to get an education.

It's true... I sweat the details of policy – whether we're talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.

Because it's not just a detail if it's your kid - if it's your family.

It's a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.

Over the last three days, you've seen some of the people who've inspired me.

People who let me into their lives, and became a part of mine.

People like Ryan Moore and Lauren Manning.

They told their stories Tuesday night.

I first met Ryan as a seven-year old.

He was wearing a full body brace that must have weighed forty pounds.

Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed…and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program that covers 8 million kids every year.

Lauren was gravely injured on 9/11.

It was the thought of her, and Debbie St. John, and John Dolan and Joe Sweeney, and all the victims and survivors, that kept me working as hard as I could in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families, and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero.

I was still thinking of Lauren, Debbie and all the others ten years later in the White House Situation Room when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

In this campaign, I've met so many people who motivate me to keep fighting for change.

And, with your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House.

I will be a President for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

For the struggling, the striving and the successful.

For those who vote for me and those who don't.

For all Americans.

Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union:

the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President.

Standing here as my mother's daughter, and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come.

Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.

Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit.

So let's keep going, until everyone of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.

Because even more important than the history we make tonight, is the history we will write together in the years ahead.

Let's begin with what we're going to do to help working people in our country get ahead and stay ahead.

Now, I don't think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.

Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever. That's real progress.

But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot.

We're still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the recovery.

I've gone around our country talking to working families. And I've heard from so many of you who feel like the economy just isn't working.

Some of you are frustrated – even furious.

And you know what??? You're right.

It's not yet working the way it should.

Americans are willing to work – and work hard.

But right now, an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do.

And less respect for them, period.

Democrats are the party of working people.

But we haven't done a good enough job showing that we get what you're going through, and that we're going to do something about it.

So I want to tell you tonight how we will empower Americans to live better lives.

My primary mission as President will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States...

From my first day in office to my last!

Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.

From our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian Country to Coal Country.

From communities ravaged by addiction to regions hollowed out by plant closures.

And here's what I believe.

I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives.

I believe that our economy isn't working the way it should because our democracy isn't working the way it should.

That's why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we'll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!

I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return.

Many of them are. But too many aren't.

It's wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.

And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.

I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.

I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out.

Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together - and it's the right thing to do.

Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign.

If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us.

If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage… and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty… join us.

If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care…join us.






If you believe that we should say “no” to unfair trade deals... that we should stand up to China... that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers…join us.

If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman's right to make her own health care decisions… join us.

And yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay… join us...

Let's make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Now, you didn't hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention.

He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.

And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn't believe these things.

No wonder he doesn't like talking about his plans.

You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.

In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.

Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.

If we invest in infrastructure now, we'll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future.

And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.

Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!

We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.

It's just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, but students and families can't refinance theirs.

And here's something we don't say often enough: College is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job.

We're going to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.

We're going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.

In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.

We're going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the “woman card,” then Deal Me In!

(Oh, you've heard that one?)

Now, here's the thing, we're not only going to make all these investments, we're going to pay for every single one of them.

And here's how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.

Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90% of the gains have gone to the top 1%, that's where the money is.

And if companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we'll make them pay us back. And we'll put that money to work where it belongs … creating jobs here at home!

Now I know some of you are sitting at home thinking, well that all sounds pretty good.

But how are you going to get it done? How are you going to break through the gridlock in Washington? Look at my record. I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.

But Trump, he's a businessman. He must know something about the economy.

Well, let's take a closer look.

In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you'll find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills.

People who did the work and needed the money, and didn't get it – not because he couldn't pay them, but because he wouldn't pay them.

That sales pitch he's making to be your president? Put your faith in him – and you'll win big? That's the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away, and left working people holding the bag.

He also talks a big game about putting America First. Please explain to me what part of America First leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado.

Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again – well, he could start by actually making things in America again.

The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security.

Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face.

From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we're dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated.

No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance. Looking for steady leadership.

You want a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home. Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do it will be my highest priority.

I'm proud that we put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel's security.

I'm proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.

I'm proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.

I've laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS.

We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen.

We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country.

It won't be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.

Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do….”

No, Donald, you don't.

He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are “a disaster.”

Well, I've had the privilege to work closely with our troops and our veterans for many years, including as a Senator on the Armed Services Committee.

I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure.

We entrust our commander-in-chief to make the hardest decisions our nation faces.

Decisions about war and peace. Life and death.

A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country – including the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines.

Ask yourself: Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?

Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.

He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally.

Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.

I can't put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.

America's strength doesn't come from lashing out.

Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power.

That's the kind of Commander-in-Chief I pledge to be.

And if we're serious about keeping our country safe, we also can't afford to have a President who's in the pocket of the gun lobby.

I'm not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

I'm not here to take away your guns.

I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place.

We should be working with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm.

For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics were too hot to touch.

But I ask you: how can we just stand by and do nothing?

You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence.

You heard, you saw, family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals.

I refuse to believe we can't find common ground here.

We have to heal the divides in our country.

Not just on guns. But on race. Immigration. And more.

That starts with listening to each other. Hearing each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other's shoes.

So let's put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job.

We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

We will defend all our rights – civil rights, human rights and voting rights… women's rights and workers' rights… LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities!

And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.

For the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump's comments – excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show.

They think he couldn't possibly mean all the horrible things he says – like when he called women “pigs.” Or said that an American judge couldn't be fair because of his Mexican heritage. Or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability.

Or insults prisoners of war like John McCain –a true hero and patriot who deserves our respect.

At first, I admit, I couldn't believe he meant it either.

It was just too hard to fathom – that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things. Could be like that.

But here's the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump...This is it.

And in the end, it comes down to what Donald Trump doesn't get: that America is great – because America is good.

So enough with the bigotry and bombast. Donald Trump's not offering real change.

He's offering empty promises. What are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country - to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve.

The choice is clear.

Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger.

None of us can do it alone.

I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we'll ever pull together again.

But I'm here to tell you tonight – progress is possible.

I know because I've seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.

And I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I've had to pick myself up and get back in the game.

Like so much else, I got this from my mother. She never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. “Go back out there,” she said.

And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies.

You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.

We lost my mother a few years ago. I miss her every day. And I still hear her voice urging me to keep working, keep fighting for right, no matter what.

That's what we need to do together as a nation.

Though "we may not live to see the glory," as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, "let us gladly join the fight."

Let our legacy be about "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see."

That's why we're here...not just in this hall, but on this Earth.

The Founders showed us that.

And so have many others since.

They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow.

That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.

Yes, the world is watching what we do.

Yes, America's destiny is ours to choose.

So let's be stronger together.

Looking to the future with courage and confidence.

Building a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country.

When we do, America will be greater than ever.

Thank you and may God bless the United States of America!

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Meet Team USA: Athletes to Watch in Rio]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:36:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/3-split-athletes.jpg

Michael Phelps is a household name. In the next month, Simone Biles may become one.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, has dominated four Olympics and come out of retirement in hopes of sweeping a fifth. It's likely to be his final Games.

Biles is on the other end of her career, but with similar expectations. The 19-year-old gymnast heads into her first Olympics with 14 world championship medals under her belt, 10 of them gold. The budding superstar is undefeated in the all-around and has been called "unbeatable" by gymnastics legend Mary Lou Retton.

Phelps and Biles are among more than 550 athletes who will represent Team USA in Rio, including 292 women, the most in Olympic history to ever compete for a single country. Of Team USA's 68 returning champions, 53 are looking to defend titles won during the 2012 London Games.

Here's a look at the American athletes to watch during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

At 31 years old, Phelps has 18 gold medals among the 22 medals he's earned in four Olympics. He set an Olympic record by taking home eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and is the first American swimmer to qualify for five Olympic Games.

He holds multiple world records and became the youngest male swimmer to break one at the age of 15. In August, Phelps clocked three of the year's fastest times. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Phelps will compete in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley.

Ryan Lochte, 31, has won 11 medals in three Olympics: five gold, three silver and three bronze. He has also taken home an impressive 62 world championship medals, including 36 gold. Lochte, who has set both individual and team world records, will compete in the 200-meter individual medley and the 4x200-meter freestyle.

Rio will mark the third Olympics for swimmer Nathan Adrian, who took home two gold medals and a silver in Beijing and London. With a time of 21.37 seconds, he holds the American record for fastest 50-meter freestyle.

Missy Franklin, the 21-year-old darling of the women's team, won four gold medals and a bronze in London. She has also taken home 17 world championship medals, including 11 gold, three silver and three bronze. Franklin, who grew up in Colorado and attended the University of California at Berkeley, will compete in the 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter freestyle and 4x200-meter freestyle.

Teammate Dana Vollmer, who has won four Olympic gold medals, will be competing in her third Games. She was back in the pool two months after giving birth to her first child last March.

Katie Ledecky, 19, will compete in her second Olympics. The Bethesda, Maryland, native won gold in London and has taken home nine world championship gold medals.

Biles may be only 19, but her 10 golds at the World Championships are the most of any female gymnast. She's one of just three women in history to win four straight all-around titles at the P&G Gymnastics Championships, according to NBC Olympics. A native of Spring, Texas, Biles has also won the most world medals in U.S. history.

The most decorated U.S. gymnast in London, teammate Aly Raisman returns to defend her titles. The Needham, Massachusetts, native took home two gold medals and one bronze and was fourth all-around. She has also won four world championship medals: two gold, one silver and one bronze.

Also competing in her second Olympics is Gabby Douglas, who won all-around gold in London at the age of 16. Douglas, a Virginia native who lives in Los Angeles, won team gold at the 2011 and 2015 world championships and took home all-around silver last year.

Olympic newcomers Madison Kocian, a 19-year-old three-time world championship gold medalist, and Laurie Hernandez, 16, round out the women's team.

Leading the men's team is 23-year-old Sam Mikulak, who will compete in his second Olympics. From Newport Beach, California, Mikulak placed fifth in team vault in London and won bronze at the 2014 world championship. He took home two two gold medals and two bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Also returning for his second Olympics is Jake Dalton, a 24-year-old native of Reno, Nevada, who attended the University of Oklahoma. Dalton has won four medals in four world championships. He did not medal in London.

London alternates Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks will also compete for Team USA, along with 2012 team member Danell Leyva. Leyva replaces John Orozco, who qualified for Rio after tearing his Achilles tendon, only to injure his ACL in June and withdraw from the team.

Rio will mark the fourth Olympics for New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, the only U.S. men's basketball player in history to qualify for four Games. Anthony, 32, has won two Olympic gold medals and one bronze. He set a Team USA single-game scoring record in London with 37 points against Nigeria and took home bronze in the 2006 world championship.

Kevin Durant, 27, of the Golden State Warriors, will compete in his second Olympics. A member of the 2012 gold medal team, Durant was named MVP of the 2010 world championship game and was selected to play on that year's All-World Championship Team.

Indiana Pacers guard Paul George, 25, will compete in his first Olympics after overcoming a horrific leg injury, which caused him to miss most of the 2015 season. George's right tibia and fibula snapped on the court during the 2014 USA Basketball Showcase, stunning teammates and spectators alike. The NBA All-Star has made a full recovery and is expected to serve as a key member of the team in Rio.

The powerhouse U.S. women's basketball team includes half a dozen players from the University of Connecticut, a force to be reckoned with in the world of college basketball. Former UConn stars Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Tina Charles will help lead the team. Joining them is recent UConn graduate and Olympic newcomer Breanna Stewart, who went to the Seattle Storm as the No. 1 WNBA draft pick in 2016.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, 37, will also compete. The Indiana Fever forward and Duncanville, Texas, native has played in three world championships, earning two gold medals and a bronze. She's one of only nine players in history to have won an Olympic gold medal, world championship gold medal, NCAA title and WNBA championship, according to USA Basketball.

Track and Field
Champion sprinter Allyson Felix, 30, returns to compete in her fourth Olympics. The Los Angeles native has won four gold medals — three in London and one in Beijing — and two silver medals. She has also medaled 13 times in seven world championships and was named 2012 IAFF World Athlete of the Year.

Felix, who fought through an ankle injury during the Rio trials, fell a hundredth of a second shy of qualifying for the 200-meter dash — her first failure to qualify since she was 15 years old, according to NBC Sports. She will compete in the 400-meter and 4x400-meter dash.

Tianna Bartoletta, 30, will compete in the 100-meter dash and long jump. She won gold in the 4x100-meters during the 2012 London Games and has competed in six world championships, earning five gold medals and two bronze. Bartoletta also competed in 2012 for the U.S. national bobsled team alongside fellow track and field Olympian Lolo Jones. She took bronze in the 2012 bobsledding World Cup.

Devon Allen, 21, is a new face in the Olympic crowd. A wide receiver and runner at the University of Oregon, Allen has competed in three NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and one outdoor championship. He'll run the 110-meter hurdles in Rio.

Distance runner Galen Rupp, 30, qualified for Rio by winning the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in his first ever 26.2-mile race. He competed in both Beijing and London, where he took home silver in the 10,000-meter, becoming the first American to medal in that event since 1964. The five-time USA Outdoor champion has competed in six world championships, with a top finish of fourth in 2013. 

At age 41, Meb Keflezighi is the oldest American man to run the Olympic marathon the only one to make three Olympic teams. He won the 2014 Boston Marathon and 2009 New York City Marathon and the American record for the 20-kilometer. Keflezighi has competed in two world championships.

Co-captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd, 34, hopes to clinch a third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Lloyd scored the game-winning goal in the 2008 gold-medal match against Brazil and netted both goals in Team USA's 2-1 victory over Japan in 2012. The New Jersey native has also won two world championship medals and in 2015 became the first player in team history to score in four consecutive FIFA World Cup games.

Despite concerns about the Zika virus, record-setting goalkeeper Hope Solo will join her team in Rio to compete in her third Olympic games. She won gold in both Beijing and London and served as an alternate in Athens in 2004. Solo is a FIFA World Cup Golden Glove Award winner and a member of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team.

Rio will be the second Olympics for 27-year-old forward Alex Morgan, who scored three goals in London, one of which sent Team USA to the gold-medal match. Morgan graduated early from the University of California at Berkeley and plays for the Orlando Pride.

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe was a toss up for Team USA after tearing her ACL last December, but recovered to qualify for her second Olympic Games. Rapinoe, 31, was a member of the U.S. women's national team when it won the World Cup in 2015 and was selected to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team.

The U.S. men's soccer team did not qualify to compete in Rio.

Other Sports
Beach volleyball champ Kerri Walsh-Jennings, 37, heads to Rio for her fifth Olympics without her partner of 11 years, Misty Mae-Treanor, who retired to start a family after the 2012 games. Together, the two won 21 consecutive Olympic matches and lost only one set — to Austria in 2012. Walsh-Jennings won gold in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games and will have the No. 3 seed in Rio with partner April Ross, whom she defeated in London.

Water polo captain Tony Azevedo will also compete in his fifth Olympics. The 34-year-old native of Brazil in 2012 became the first American men's water polo player to compete in four Olympics, along with teammate Ryan Bailey. Azevedo won a silver medal in Beijing and took gold in five Pan American Games. He has competed in eight world championships.

Dominant forces on the tennis court, sisters Serena and Venus Williams will take their talents to Rio to compete in their fourth and fifth Olympics, respectively. Together they are unstoppable, making the winningest doubles team in Olympic history. They go into the games with a perfect 15-0 doubles record and seek to tie the record for overall tennis medals — five.

Equestrian Phillip Dutton is one of only a handful of athletes in Team USA history to compete in the Olympics for a sixth time. At age 52, he is also the oldest athlete on Team USA. Dutton has won two Olympic gold medals and competed in six world championships. He moved from his native Australia to the U.S. in 1991 and became a citizen in 2006. 

The youngest member of Team USA, 16-year-old Kanak Jha, will compete in table tennis. The first-time Olympian has won multiple national titles and became the youngest ever World Cup participant in 2014.

First-time Olympic golfer Bubba Watson, has nine tournament victories under his belt, most recently the 2016 Northern Trust Open and the 2015 Travelers Championship. Watson, 37, has represented the U.S. three times in the Ryder Cup and twice in the Presidents Cup.

The women's rowing team heads to Rio with 10 consecutive world titles under its belt and a reputation for being one of the best sports teams in history, according to NBC Olympics. Leading the women's eight are third-time Olympian Eleanor Logan and second-time Olympian Meghan Musnicki, both members of the 2012 gold medal team. They're joined by coxswain Katelin Snyder, Amanda Elmore, Tessa Gobbo, Emily Regan, Lauren Schmetterling, Amanda Polk and Kerry Simmonds.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Inside the 2016 Democratic National Convention]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 23:40:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16211130893385-dnc.jpg An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rio Olympic Torch Travels Around the World]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 18:38:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-579466538-rio.jpg The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch relay began its three-month journey on May 2, 2016, in Brazil. The torch will travel around the world before arriving in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 5, to light the cauldron.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Check: Looking at Trump's Comments on Torture]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:30:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16209592514214.jpg

FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Donald Trump said that “enhanced interrogation … works.” But scientists have shown that the stress and pain induced by techniques like waterboarding can impair memory, and, therefore, inhibit a person from recalling information.

Enhanced interrogation can entail techniques such as slapping a person in the face, sleep deprivation, cramped confinement and waterboarding — the last of which involves reducing airflow with water to trigger the feeling of drowning.

This isn’t the first time Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has claimed enhanced interrogation works. Back in February, he said:

Trump, Feb. 17: Torture works. OK, folks? You know, I have these guys—”Torture doesn’t work!”—believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question: What do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.

More recently in a July 27 press conference, Trump doubled down on his claim and said, “I am a person that believes in enhanced interrogation, yes. And by the way, it works.”

But research in neuroscience and psychology suggests otherwise. In a 2009 Trends in Cognitive Sciences review paper, Shane O’Mara, a brain researcher at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, wrote, “The use of [enhanced interrogation] techniques appears motivated by a folk psychology that is demonstrably incorrect.”

What is that folk psychology? O’Mara describes it as “the idea that repeatedly inducing shock, stress, anxiety, disorientation and lack of control is more effective than are standard interrogatory techniques in making suspects reveal information.”

It is also assumed that this information is “reliable and veridical, as suspects will be motivated to end the interrogation by revealing this information from long-term memory,” O’Mara says. But this idea is “unsupported by scientific evidence,” he adds.

O’Mara goes on to say that “[s]olid scientific evidence of how repeated and extreme stress and pain affect memory and executive functions (such as planning or forming intentions) suggests that these techniques are unlikely to do anything other than the opposite of that intended by coercive or ‘enhanced’ interrogation.”

So what does the scientific literature say on the matter? In his review, O’Mara looked at research on how increased stress affects brain regions and mechanisms involved in memory function.

To start, while many brain functions remain elusive to neuroscientists and psychologists, memory formation and recall relies, in part, on a relatively well-understood mechanism — long-term synaptic potentiation, or LTP.

Scientists have investigated this mechanism through anatomical dissection and brain imaging, among other techniques, in both lab animals and humans since the 1970s. In particular, researchers have found that this mechanism is disrupted by extreme and prolonged stress and pain, explains O’Mara. Studies on rats and mice dating back to 1987 support this conclusion.

O’Mara also explains that the hippocampus and prefrontal cortices, regions of the brain, are both “essential for normal memory function.” These regions of the brain are involved in LTP. When an individual is stressed, especially for long periods, these brain regions become compromised.

How? Stress causes the release of hormones like cortisol, which impair the function in these brain regions, sometimes even resulting in tissue loss, explains O’Mara. And when these regions are compromised, people have trouble recalling both short- and long-term memories. “[P]rolonged and sustained sleep deprivation, in part because it results in a substantial increase in cortisol levels, has a deleterious effect on memory,” he says.

For example, in a 2009 paper published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, which O’Mara cites, Amy F. T. Arnsten, an expert at Yale in both neuroscience and psychology, reviewed both human and animal studies that looked at the effect of stress on the prefrontal cortex.

Arnsten writes that studies have found, “Even quite mild acute uncontrollable stress can cause a rapid and dramatic loss of prefrontal cognitive abilities, and more prolonged stress exposure” can permanently change the structure of the region for the worse.

It may also be difficult to “determine during interrogation whether the information that a suspect reveals is true,” argues O’Mara. Why? Information “presented by the captor to elicit responses during interrogation might inadvertently become part of the suspect’s memory, especially because suspects are under extreme stress and are required to tell and retell the same events that might have happened over a period of years.”

His argument relies on the science behind confabulation, or the production of false memories, as it’s “a common consequence of frontal lobe disorders,” explains O’Mara. And as already noted, prolonged and extreme stress has a negative effect on this brain region’s function and structure. Thus, he says, “distinguishing between confabulations and what is true in the verbal statements of tortured suspects will be difficult.”

O’Mara also cites studies that looked at the function of the frontal lobes in individuals with post traumatic stress disorder. “Brain imaging in people previously subjected to severe torture suggests that abnormal patterns of activation are present in the frontal and temporal lobes … leading to deficits in verbal memory for the recall of traumatic events,” O’Mara writes.

O’Mara concludes his paper stating that “coercive interrogations involving extreme stress are unlikely to facilitate the release of veridical information from long-term memory, given our current cognitive neurobiological knowledge.” On the contrary, he adds, “these techniques cause severe, repeated and prolonged stress, which compromises brain tissue supporting memory and executive function.”

To top it off, a 2012 Central Intelligence Agency report on the matter concluded: “The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” The report adds, “The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.”

In sum, while Trump says that enhanced interrogation “works,” scientific evidence from neuroscience and psychology — and the CIA — says that it doesn’t.

Editor’s Note: SciCheck is made possible by a grant from the Stanton Foundation.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Wildest Moments in Convention History]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:47:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Abe+Lincoln+1860-96943976.jpg Republicans and Democrats will crown their presumptive nominees at back-to-back conventions this month, hoping to unify their parties behind the candidates. These now made-for-television publicity events were once critical to choosing candidates. The Constitution’s framers did not envision a system of parties and did not include provisions for how primaries or conventions should be run. For much of the nation’s history, most of the American electorate was excluded from the nominating process and presidential candidates were picked by party elites at sometimes rowdy gatherings. As candidates sought the nomination amid intra-party disputes, heated political disagreements could turn violent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Trans Activist Makes DNC History]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 00:54:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-584262470.jpg

Before Hillary Clinton could take the stage Thursday night in Philadelphia to give a historic speech, a Wilmington, Delaware, native made some history of her own when she stood at the podium and said, "My name is Sarah McBride, and I am a proud transgender American."

McBride became the first openly transgender person to address a major political party convention. The American University graduate came out as transgender four years ago while serving as student body president. Today she is the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, and says that a lot of work remains on behalf of the transgender community.

"Will we be a nation where there's only one way to love, only one way to look, and only one way to live?" McBride said on stage Thursday night. "Or, will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally; a nation that's 'Stronger Together?' That's the question in this election."

McBride said the struggle for equality became more urgent for her when she learned that her future husband, a transgender man named Andy, was battling cancer.

"Even in the face of his terminal illness — this 28-year-old — he never wavered in his commitment to our cause and his belief that this country can change," McBride said.

The couple married in 2014, and Andy passed away just five days later.

"Knowing Andy left me profoundly changed," she said. "But more than anything else, his passing taught me that every day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest."

McBride has been a champion for transgender rights. After coming out in her college’s student-run newspaper, The Eagle, she later became the first out trans woman to work at the White House when she interned in the Office of Public Engagement. Several months ago she took a viral selfie inside a women’s restroom in North Carolina, where a controversial law enacted in the state bans transgender people from using government building bathrooms in line with their gender identities. 

The spotlight continued to shine on McBride Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used the attention to continue to work for her cause.

"Today in America, LGBTQ people are still targeted by hate that lives in both laws and in hearts,” she said. "Many still struggle just to get by. But I believe tomorrow can be different. Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected -- especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that's why I'm proud to stand here and say that I'm with her."

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Visualizing the Olympics: Medal Counts & More]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 08:53:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-149332217-edited.jpg Which countries have the most gold medals? And how much does it cost to host an Olympic Games? Get ready for the Rio Olympics – and the answers to those and many other Olympic-related questions – with this series of graphics. Click here for the visualization.
View Full Story

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wikileaks Posts Alleged Dem Voicemails During DNC]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:27:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-115218062.jpg

WikiLeaks posted 14 minutes of audio of what it claimed were hacked voicemail messages from top Democratic officials Wednesday, NBC News reported.

The audio was released just before Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama addressed the Democratic National Convention.

The leaded audio appears to mirror some of the more than 19,000 hacked Democratic National Committee email messages that have been published in the last week. Information in some of those messages led to the ouster of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said last week that more leaks are in the works to damage Clinton.

The FBI said it had no comment on the alleged voicemails, telling NBC News on Wednesday that it continues to investigate the hacking. 

The FBI said it had no comment on the alleged voicemails, telling NBC News Wednesday that it continues to investigate the hacking. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Standout Style at the Democratic National Convention]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:44:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-584262330.jpg Many delegates, protesters and attendees donned special garb to show support for a candidate, advocate for a cause, or just show off at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Below are some of the best outfits so far.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Runner Follows in Father's Footsteps]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:28:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-142736981-runner.jpg Matt Centrowitz Jr. shares his name, his talent and his passion for running with his father, who has won two long distance Olympic races. Matt Centrowitz has had high standards for his son as he trains and competes.

Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Phelps' Love-Hate Relationship With the Pool]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:25:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Phelps10.jpg Like many swimmers, Olympic great Michael Phelps has a love/hate relationship with the water.

“You can smell the chlorine from a mile away. You could take, like, two or three showers a day and still have this chlorine on you. I could never get it off,” he said. “I think that's something that I'm stuck with the rest of my life."]]>
<![CDATA[Tori Bowie, Olympic Runner, Gets Her Strength From Grandma]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:46:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2016-07-28+at+5.43.58+PM.png Tori Bowie is one of the fastest people in the United States, but it is the slow pace of her hometown in Sand Hill, Mississippi, coupled with the wisdom of her grandmother, that turned her into the Olympian she is today. ]]> <![CDATA[Protesters Halt Olympic Torch Relay in Brazil]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:26:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-579466538-rio.jpg

The passage of the Olympic torch through a southeastern Brazilian city was cut short Wednesday as police clashed with protesters who oppose the spending of federal funds on the Rio Games.

Residents in the coastal town of Angra dos Reis, outraged over cuts to public services and delayed salary payments to federal workers, took to the streets in the Japuiba borough and blocked the torch relay route, according to Brasil's TV OGlobo.

Protesters carried signs and shouted slogans as they confronted law enforcement officials escorting the torch, Rio's local news agency EXTRA reported. Some of demonstrators began throwing rocks at police, who responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray, according to EXTRA. At least one child was hospitalized, but her condition was unknown, OGlobo reported.

Videos posted on social media purport to show the torch extinguished as the runner carrying the Olympic symbol is escorted to safety by riot police.

In recent months, Angra dos Reis has endured funding cuts that forced a local hospital to close in March and suspended the municipality's public transportation system, leaving residents without cars stranded.

One of the demonstrators wrote on social media that residents were not "revolting against the torch, but with the government that has done nothing in four years, yet made over the city in three days," Sidney Pinheiro wrote on Facebook, EXTRA reported.

On Thursday, the torch will travel through the northwest municipalities of Ilha Grande and Volta Redonda in Rio de Janeiro.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Melania Trump's Website Taken Down]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:35:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/melania+speech1.jpg

Melania Trump's website, which gave her biography and linked to products she designed, has been taken down from the web, after reports began to question her educational history.

The URL, melaniatrump.com, redirects to the Trump Organization's website, trump.com, as of Thursday afternoon. That page advertises the company's many golf and resort properties and doesn't mention Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

It was taken down Wednesday, the Huffington Post first reported. The removal of her website comes after several news sources poked holes in Melania Trump's educational biography.

Her website, which is preserved by the Internet Archive, stated she had earned a design and architecture degree at "University in Slovenia" before continuing her modeling career.

According to The New York Times, she only spent a year at the University in Ljubljana, Slovenia, before dropping out to pursue modeling opportunities in Milan. 

Trump released a statement about the website on Twitter Thursday: "The website in question was created in 2012 and has been removed because it does not accurately reflect my current business and professional interests."

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Besides her marriage to the Republican nominee, Trump is known for modeling, and her jewelry and watch company.

Though she stayed out of the spotlight for much of her husband's campaign for president, her speech to the Republican National Convention last week garnered controversy for including several phrases apparently borrowed from Michelle Obama's Democratic convention speech in 2008.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Russian Intelligence Hacked DNC Emails: Top U.S. Officials]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:12:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/97868689-hillary-clinton-vladimir-putin-2010.jpg

Senior U.S. national security officials tell NBC News they are confident that Russian intelligence agencies hacked the Democratic National Committee.

The open question, they say, is whether those same intelligence agencies directly leaked material to WikiLeaks, in what would seem to be an unprecedented effort to influence the U.S. election.

The Russian government had the "motive, means and opportunity," one official said, and many officials believe it is likely the Russians gave the emails to WikiLeaks, but there is not yet definitive evidence.

A total of nearly 20,000 emails were stolen, among other data, officials say. The FBI and the NSA are now investigating who leaked the documents.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Millennials Cause Home Ownership to Drop ]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:59:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/house_home_+for_sale_owner_generic.jpg

The nation’s home ownership rate fell to its all-time low, and could drop further in the months to come, NBC News reported. 

The rate fell to 62.9 percent, the same as it was in 1965, when the U.S. Census started tracking the metric.

The drop is largely due to a delay in home ownership by millennials, who are burdened by student loan debt and are delaying life choices like marriage and parenthood. They have the lowest ownership rate of their age group in history. 

"While the millennial home ownership rate continues to decline, it's important to note that the decrease could be just as likely due to new renter household formation as it is their ability to buy homes," wrote Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. "Certainly low inventory and affordability isn't helping their efforts to own, but moving out of their parents' basement and into a rental unit is also a good sign for the housing market." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Image Source]]>
<![CDATA[Historic Philae Comet Lander Is Turned Off Forever]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:34:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Philae+AP_386431002120.jpg

After a decade-long mission, Philae, the trailblazing, space-exploring robot that made history when it landed on a speeding comet, bid a final farewell to Earthlings on Wednesday, NBC News reported.

The European Space Agency said earlier this week in a blog post that it would turn off a communications system on Rosetta, Philae's companion spacecraft, severing Earth's line of communication to the lander.

Philae landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014, marking the culmination of a four-billion-mile journey atop the Rosetta spacecraft.

Philae, which gave humanity its closest look yet at a comet, was launched to look for new insights into how the solar system formed and life began on Earth.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Trans Activist Sarah McBride to Make History at DNC]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:01:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*123/GettyImages-466368220.jpg

Sarah McBride will make history Thursday night when she takes center stage in Philadelphia as the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention, NBC News reported. 

In a phone interview with NBC News, the 25-year-old said she plans to address legislation needed to secure the rights of the LGBTQ community and the transgender rights debate during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. 

"I really want to use this moment to reinforce and underscore that behind this debate on trans equality, there are real people who are seeking dignity and fairness throughout their lives, people who hurt when we are ridiculed and mocked and discriminated against, people who are facing violence," McBride said. "I want to make sure that people realize the humanity behind the conversation."

McBride currently works as the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and also interned at the White House Office of Public Engagement in 2012 as the first out trans woman. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Human Rights Campaign]]>
<![CDATA[2 Fired for Refusing to Serve Cop]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:27:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Noodles+and+Company+072616.jpg

A Virginia restaurant has fired two employees who refused to serve a uniformed police officer, the restaurant said in a statement.

When one of the cooks at Noodles and Company on Duke Street in Alexandria saw an Alexandria officer waiting in line for dinner, he left the kitchen and approached the cashier, according to Alexandria Committee of Police Vice President Peter Feltham.

The cook pointed to the officer and allegedly told the cashier, "I ain't serving that."

"Discrimination of any kind is never tolerated at Noodles & Company," the company said in a statement Thursday, adding that the restaurant fired the employees involved after an investigation. "The views and actions of these individuals are in no way reflective of the company or team at our Alexandria location."

Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook said he was angry when he first learned of the interaction, but such incidents are rare for officers in his department.

"I must say we have tremendous support from the Alexandria business community, so this is an anomaly for one of my officers to walk into a business and run into this type of attitude," Cook told News4 Wednesday.

Noodles & Company representatives apologized to the officer involved and issued an apology to the department in its statement.

"We want to extend our apologies to the entire Alexandria Police Department for the comments made by our team members," the company said. "We have the utmost respect for law enforcement officials and value the relationship we have built with the local Alexandria Police Department over the years."

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Jr. Says Obama Lifted Line From His RNC Speech]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:37:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-577716054.jpg

Donald Trump Jr. suggested Thursday that President Obama lifted a phrase from his Republican National Convention speech. Donald Trump's son pointed out that his RNC speech and Obama's remarks at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, included the line "That's not the America I know."

It's a line Obama, along with other past presidents, has used frequently in the past, NBC News reported. Other than the brief sentiment about the version of America known to both men, the context of their statements are very different.

Turmp Jr.'s charge comes after Melania Trump was criticized for lifting portions of her address to the RNC from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Says He Doesn't Eat Exactly 7 Almonds Every Night]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 12:00:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Screen-Shot-2016-07-28-at-11.55.39-AM.jpg

President Barack Obama steers clear of soda and potato chips and prefers almonds as a snack, but contrary to a recent media report, he say she does not count out exactly seven almonds every night. 

"This has been really weighing on me,'' Obama joked as part of an interview with "Today's" Savannah Guthrie.

A story in The New York Times on July 2 quoted the Obamas' personal chef saying that he and first lady Michelle Obama joke that the president is so disciplined he eats exactly seven almonds at night, "not six, not eight."

Obama told "Today," that the first lady and Sam Kass teased that him that he won't even have a piece of cake. 

"And this is when Michelle said, 'And he just has seven almonds, that's it.'''

Kass relayed that joke to The New York Times, making it seem like Obama is obsessively counting out almonds.

"All my friends were calling me up and saying this seems a little anal, this is a little weird, and I had to explain to them, no, this was a joke,'' Obama said. 

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<![CDATA[Suspect in UK Woman's 'Honor Killing' Surrenders]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:39:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HonorKillings-AP_16200542218184.jpg

The ex-husband of a British woman whose death is being investigated as a suspected "honor killing" turned himself in to Pakistani police for questioning on Thursday, NBC News has learned.

Samia Shahid, 28, had been visiting her estranged parents in northeastern Pakistan when she died. Her former husband had been on the run since the afternoon of her death but gave himself up to police in eastern Pakistan, according to the officer leading the investigation.

Shahid 's second husband had claimed she was murdered because of their marriage, which he told police was against her family's wishes.

The death has become a high-profile investigation in Pakistan.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[North Korea Warns US Over Kim Jong Un Sanctions]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:02:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/KimJongUn-AP_16189285702419.jpg

North Korea said Washington has declared war by putting leader Kim Jong Un on its list of sanctioned individuals, according to a diplomat who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday, NBC News reported. 

Although the country has been sanctioned internationally for its nuclear weapons and long-range missile development programs, Washington announced for the first time that Kim was personally sanctioned on July 6. 

Pyongyang cut off its official means of communication with Washington, saying it was the final straw. Director-general of the U.S. affairs department at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Han Song Ryol, said everything between the two must now be death with under “war law.” 

Han also warned about a possible showdown if the U.S. and South Korea conduct joint military exercises next month. The two countries regularly conduct exercises, and Pyongyang usually responds with tough talk and threats of retaliation.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Dies After Seeing 2 Others Killed in Chicago Block Party Shooting]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:16:54 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Back+of+the+YArds.png

A 16-year-old girl died of an asthma attack after witnessing a shooting at a block party in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood that also left two others dead and two wounded, police said.

Police say a group of people were gathered near West 50th Place and South Halsted Street just after midnight Thursday when an argument broke out and someone started shooting. 

A 33-year-old woman and 25-year-old man were both killed by gunfire, according to authorities. Police say both are documented gang members.

Jacarra Reeves, 21, of Harvey, was among the other two wounded. She was hit by two bullets in the hand and transported to Saint Bernard Hospital, police said. A 25-year-old woman was also injured after being shot twice in the back. 

The 16-year-old girl who witnessed the shooting managed to escape the gunfire but suffered an asthama attack shortly after, police said. She was pronounced dead after being rushed to Saint Bernard Hospital.

Photo Credit: Captured News
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<![CDATA[Peru Swears in Kuczynski as New President]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:38:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/KuzynskiPeru-AP_16210598165121.jpg

After winning just over 50 percent of the vote, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will be sworn in on Thursday as Peru’s new president, NBC News reported. 

Peru's economy has been on the rise and candidates like Kuczynski were pushing the country in a different direction, according to a recent Forbes article. PPK, as he's also known, promised that he would restore fiscal health and the country’s security. 

He has a long career in politics, having served as the Minister of Energy and Mines, Minister of Economy and Finance and most recently as Prime Minister. An Ivy-league graduate, PPK has a bachelors degree from the University of Oxford and a masters from Princeton, where he studied economics. 

Kuczynski was born in Peru — his Polish-German father was an accomplished doctor noted for his research on health issues in South America.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Parkémon' Initiative in Texas Piggybacks on 'Pokémon Go']]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:44:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/arlington-parkemon.jpg The Arlington Parks and Recreation Department is taking advantage the hype around "Pokémon Go" in a unique way.

Photo Credit: Arlington Parks and Recreation]]>
<![CDATA[Drivers Shot at on Texas Highway]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:17:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/window+shot+anna.jpg

At least four people have reported being shot at while driving on a North Texas highway, according to police in Anna.

Investigators believe the shooter is using a high-powered pellet gun, but they are not ruling out the possibility a low-caliber rifle was used.

The shootings occurred along Texas Highway 5 between Anna and Melissa.

The first report came in Monday morning, and three more victims have since come forward, Anna police said.

None of the victims were injured.

"Someone is playing with people's lives," Anna Police Lt. Jeff Caponera said. "I've seen pellets kill people, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility it could've done some serious damage. We're not ruling out that it could've been a small-caliber .22."

Doug Page was driving to lunch on Monday when his SUV was shot.

"It sounded like somebody hit it with a hammer," Page said. "Any number of things could've happened. It could've been way worse than a ding on the side of the vehicle."

Although the shootings occurred in a rural area, police don't believe the shootings were accidental.

"This isn't shooting at birds and accidentally hitting a car. This was four vehicles and they were hit intentionally," Caponera said.

Anna is about an hour's drive northeast of Dallas.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>