<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usFri, 27 May 2016 19:32:24 -0700Fri, 27 May 2016 19:32:24 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Vintage Plane Crash in Hudson]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 19:15:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/small+plane+crash+hudson.jpg

The NYPD says the pilot of the small World War II vintage plane that crashed into Hudson River off Manhattan is still missing and that an earlier New Jersey State Police report of the pilot being rescued was incorrect. 

New Jersey State Police said at around 9 p.m. the pilot had been rescued and was being taken to the hospital with minor injuries. 

But NYPD Deputy Chief Rodney Harrison said in a news briefing a short time later that the pilot remains unaccounted for and that New Jersey State Police's report that he was rescued was "inaccurate." 

Divers will go back into the water and try to lift the plane at dawn Saturday, a Coast Guard spokesman said, also saying that pilot has not been found.

New Jersey State Police later retracted its statement, saying there had been "conflicting reports from scene of plane crash" and that it could "no longer confirm swimmer in water was pilot."

The FAA said a World War II vintage P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft went down in the Hudson River at about 7:30 p.m., about two miles south of the George Washington Bridge. 

The aircraft, from the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport on Long Island, was scheduled to perform at the Jones Beach Air Show this weekend, museum spokesman Gary Lewi told NBC 4 New York.

The plane was on a photo flight with at least two other planes along the river when there was some kind of mechanical issue, and the pilot decided to ditch in the Hudson, Lewi said. It's not clear what the source of the problem was.  

Diners at Waterside Restaurant in North Bergen, New Jersey, tell NBC 4 New York they saw the small vintage plane appear to start landing, then go into the water nose first. 

They say they saw the pilot try to get out but he appeared to flail in the water and then sink with the plane. 

Chopper 4, first on scene, shows NYPD and FDNY Harbor units on the water, along with Coast Guard and New Jersey state police crews as they searched for the pilot. 

Other witnesses say they saw the smoke hit the water and at first thought it was an air show for Fleet Week, which draws thousands of people to the nearby Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum for events including live demonstrations.

The P-47 was the largest single fighter jet of World War II, and renowned for its toughness. 

Jonathan Dienst and Michael Gargiulo contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY
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<![CDATA[6 BBQ Tips for a Safe Memorial Day Weekend]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 04:25:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/BBQ-Template-6.jpg BBQ and picnic season is just beginning. Here are a few tips to make sure you kick off the season with a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Glee' Actor Indicted ]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 16:46:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/108084136.jpg

Former “Glee” actor Mark Salling was indicted on child pornography charges by a federal grand jury Friday.

Salling was charged with receiving and possessing child porn on his laptop computer and a flash drive, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Central District of California.

The images, depicting young girls, were allegedly seized from Salling’s Shadow Hills home in December.

“The traditional stereotype about the kinds of people who commit child sexual exploitation crimes simply doesn’t dovetail with reality. As our investigators can attest, the defendants in child pornography cases come in all ages and from all walks of life,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles, in a written statement.

“While people are often surprised when high-profile individuals come under scrutiny in such investigations, we hope cases like this will raise awareness about law enforcement’s vigilance to combat the online sexual exploitation of children and hold those involved, regardless of their position, accountable for their actions.”

If convicted, Salling faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the two charges.

Salling, through his attorney, has agreed to surrender to federal authorities next week to face the charges in the indictment. He is expected to be arraigned at that time, according to The Associated Press.

Salling is best known for playing Noah "Puck" Puckerman on "Glee."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Caged Cats in 'House of Horrors']]> Fri, 27 May 2016 15:28:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/west+ny+animal+cruelty.jpg

More than 80 cats and several dogs were found stacked inside cages inside a New Jersey home in what officials called one of the worst animal cruelty cases they've seen. 

A neighbor contacted town officials in West New York to report a foul odor coming from a nearby apartment, and responding animal control officers found "horrific, deplorable" conditions inside, according to West New York Commissioner Susan Colacurcio. 

Eighty-one cats were in cages from floor to ceiling covering an entire 12-foot wall, according to Director of Health Dr. Gina Miranda-Diaz. Ten dogs were found hiding in closets, "emaciated and filthy." 

"That bedroom was a house of horrors," said town humane officer Geoffrey Santini, who called the case the worst he's seen in his over 20 years on the job. 

Officials said two people have been arrested and a third suspect in being sought. They're facing 86 counts of animal cruelty. 

Authorities say the three appeared to be taking money to supposedly adopt and care for unwanted cats and dogs. 

Miranda-Diaz said it's not clear how many of the animals can be saved. Many were sick and malnourished.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 03:36:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WREATH_HIROSHIMA_GettyImages-534642402-%281%29.jpg View weekly updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[ISIS Commander in Fallujah Killed in US Strike: Military]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 14:55:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fallujah1.jpg

A U.S. airstrike has killed a local leader of the terror group ISIS in Iraq, a spokesman for an American-led coalition fighting the group said, NBC News reported.

The Wednesday strike on ISIS headquarters in Fallujah killed local commander Maer al-Bilawi, according to U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren.

Warren said the attack was one of more than 20 airstrikes that killed 57 ISIS fighters over the past few days.

Thousands of Iraqi military, police and Sunni tribal fighters are poised to launch an assault on Fallujah to retake the largely Sunni city from ISIS control. Fallujah was the first Iraqi city to fall to ISIS. Retaking it promises to be a major challenge for the country's beleaguered security forces.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[$1M Fake Handbag Scheme]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 17:22:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gavel15.jpg

A Chinese national living in Virginia made more than $1 million returning fake designer handbags to high-end department stores for refunds, according to charging documents.

Praepitcha Smatsorabudh, who lives in Arlington on a student visa, is charged with wire fraud.

Smatsorabudh bought pricey, designer handbags from department stores, then bilked those stores out of money by returning fake, less expensive handbags to the same stores for refunds, according to prosecutors with the Department of Homeland Security. She resold the legitimate designer handbags for a profit. In charging documents, federal investigators said the designer handbags she purchased cost an average of $2,000.

Homeland Security, which is leading the investigation, said it traced suspicious purchases to Smatsorabudh’s apartment along South Greenbrier Street in Arlington and to her workplace in Fort Washington, Maryland.

In at least one case detailed in court records, investigators said Smatsorabudh purchased an authentic ruby red Celine Ring handbag from a department store in October. Within weeks, she returned an inauthentic bag, they said. She then posted a Celine Ring handbag on eBay in December.

Smatsorabudh’s attorney declined to comment to News4 after her court appearance Friday. A federal judge in Alexandria ordered her held until the next scheduled court appearance Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Statue of Liberty at Risk From Climate Change: UN]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 11:16:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/LibertyStatue-AP_281452258317.jpg

Just as tourists are expected to flock to the Statue of Liberty over the Memorial Day weekend, a new report warns of the threat from climate change to the symbol of freedom and other landmarks across the world.

The report focuses on the risks to 31 World Heritage sites, such as rising seas, drought, wildfires, coastal erosion and other results of a changing climate. Among the sites at risk: Yellowstone National Park and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, which are both facing more frequent and more severe wildfires.

"From Venice and its lagoon to the Galápagos Islands, some of the world’s most iconic World Heritage sites are vulnerable to climate change," cautions the report "World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate."

It was written by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO, the United Nations Environmental Program and the Union of Concerned Scientists, and covers 29 countries.

More than 1,000 properties have been designated World Heritage sites, many of them important tourism destinations, according to the report. Earlier studies evaluated the danger to other World Heritage sites.

The Statue of Liberty was closed to visitors after Hurricane Sandy flooded 75 percent of Liberty Island in October 2012, the report noted. It did not reopen until July 4, 2013. Nearby Ellis Island was also damaged — for a total of $77 million in costs at both sites — and Ellis Island remained shut until October of last year.

A later analysis by the U.S. Park Service found that the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were at high risk because of their vulnerability to storms. The report warned that "the intangible cost of future damage to this international symbol of freedom and democracy is incalculable."

Other places highlighted are among the world's most iconic places, such as Venice and its lagoon, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, Komodo National Park in Indonesia, the only place where the Komodo dragon is found, and Rapa Nui or Easter Island, Chile, famous for its enormous moai statues. Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economic areas, providing one in 11 jobs, the report noted.

Missing from the report was a section on damage to the Great Barrier Reef after the Australian government asked that it be removed so as not to drive away tourists, Australian and other media reported. Terry Hughes, the director of the Center for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the Australian Research Council, told The New York Times that it was astonishing that the reef had been excluded.

“There is an unprecedented bleaching event underway,” Hughes said. “Climate change and coral bleaching is the single biggest threat to the tourism industry, and the reef itself.”

An historic accord reached in Paris in December by 195 countries commits them to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

"The need to act is both urgent and clear," the report said. "We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement while providing the financial resources, support and expertise necessary to ensure the resilience of World Heritage properties over the long term."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[World's 1st Surviving Septuplets Heading to College]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 09:10:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/208*120/AP_100447007355.jpg

The world's first surviving septuplets are now high school graduates.

The McCaughey septuplets — Alexis, Brandon, Joel, Kelsey, Kenny, Natalie and Nathan — graduated from Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Iowa, on Sunday.

Kelsey, Nathan, Natalie and Joel will be attending Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri, which offered full scholarships to all the McCaugheys in 1997, the year they were born.

Kenny and Alexis will live at home and attend Des Moines Area Community College, where Alexis will major in early childhood education and Kenny will work toward a degree in building trades/construction.

"We have been around each other the past 18 years," Kenny told NBC News. "I am ready to be on my way, and I think everyone else is, too."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Family Asks for Public's Help in Finding Missing Teen]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 18:14:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0527-2016-PearlPinson.jpg

Family and friends of 15-year-old Pearl Pinson are asking their community to keep looking for a teen missing from Northern California, a day after the man thought to have kidnapped her at gunpoint was killed.

Investigators believe the teenager was kidnapped Wednesday morning as she walked to a school bus stop in Vallejo. Her suspected abductor, a 19-year-old whom she knew, was killed in a shootout 300 miles away in Santa Barbara County Thursday, authorities said.

"Pearl if you're out there fight your way home, find a way. Do whatever you can to get out of wherever you are," sister Rose Pinson said in an interview with NBC Bay Area on Friday. "I love you so much Pearl, we're here praying for you."

Officials on Friday afternoon said the search for Pinson was concentrated in the small coastal town of Jenner in Sonoma County, about 1½ hours north of San Francisco.

Solano County and Sonoma County sheriff's deputies are searching the Willow Creek Road area of Jenner. The search was prompted by new information the Solano County Sheriff's Office received during its investigation.

Family and friends also plan to search for Pinson in Vallejo Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The Solano County Sheriff's Office is working with Pinson's family to determine the areas where the searches will be held.

Pinson has green hair and was last seen wearing a gray sweater, black leggings and had a black and turquoise backpack. Her family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with their search.

The sheriff's office set up a tip line at 707-784-1963 but anyone with urgent information is asked to call 707-421-7090.

Investigators have also spent time searching the area of Sir Frances Drake Boulevard near the San Rafael Bridge in Marin County after officials said Castro was seen on surveillance cameras in the area at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Coroner's Office identified the man killed in the police shootout as 19-year-old Fernando Castro, and authorities identified the Vallejo resident as a suspect in Pinson's disappearance. Officials also said there is no indication Pinson is in Santa Barbara County.

The Solano County Sheriff's Office, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office and FBI are working together to examine crime scenes in the city of Solvang, where the shootout occurred following a pursuit on Thursday.

The search for Pinson started Wednesday morning when the Solano County Sheriff's Office said they received reports of shots fired near the Interstate Highway 780 pedestrian over-crossing in the area of Home Acres and Taylor avenues in Vallejo.

A witness reported seeing a man with a gun pulling a female, who was bleeding and yelling for help, on the over-crossing. The witness heard a gunshot while running for help, and responding deputies found blood on the ground, sheriff's officials said.

"I heard screaming, panicking screaming, and then after that, I heard two gunshots and the car went off really fast," said witness Leslie Caro.

The sheriff's office has not confirmed Pinson was shot or the extent of her injuries.

Castro was spotted in San Luis Obispo County on Thursday after the California Highway Patrol had issued an Amber Alert for Pinson. CHP officers pursued him into Santa Barbara County, over 300 miles south of the scene of the suspected abduction in Vallejo.

Photo Credit: Handout
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<![CDATA[Cop Hit By Falling Tree]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 15:27:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/police-tree-fall-0527.jpg

A police officer trying to clear a tree branch from a New Jersey road was caught on his own dashcam running from a tree Friday as it toppled into the road and knocked him to the ground. 

Officer Douglas Faber broke his wrist and had to get 13 stitches after he tried to move a fallen tree branch on Greenwood Lake Turnpike in Ringwood about 5:30 a.m., according to The Bergen Record.

Footage from the officer’s dash cam shows Faber, who was working the overnight shift, walking into the road and attempting to move the large fallen branch, which was blocking about half of the roadway.

As Faber pushes the branches out of the two-lane road, the tree comes toppling down. He attempts to run away, but a branch catches him on the head and knocks him to the ground.

A second officer can be seen rushing to help Faber, who grabs his head. The pair then walk out of the frame.

Police Chief Joseph Walker said that Faber should pull through just fine.

"I'm just glad he's OK and had a reaction to run as good as he did," Walker said. 

It's not clear how much the tree weighed. It was moved by the middle of the day. 

Photo Credit: Provided by the Ringwood Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Here's Why Doctors Are So Worried About the Superbug]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 13:17:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/superbugmcr%281%29.jpg

The superbug gene found for the first time in the United States has health officials very worried, NBC News reported.

The gene, called mcr-1, was found in a woman from Pennsylvania who had a bad infection last month.

In her case, it was an E. coli bacteria. But scientists say this particular gene can turn up in any bacteria, including strains that are already hard to treat.  

Public health experts have been warning about antibiotic resistance for years. More than 2 million people in the U.S. are infected by drug-resistant germs each year, and 23,000 die of their infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What the CDC fears is a return to the "pre-antibiotic era," when people died by the millions from infections such as pneumonia or strep throat, from infected cuts and scrapes and after childbirth.

Photo Credit: Walter Reed Army Institute for Research]]>
<![CDATA[Trump to Rubio on Senate Re-Election: 'Run Marco!']]> Fri, 27 May 2016 10:31:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/split2-trump-rubio.jpg

Donald Trump is encouraging "Little Marco" to run for re-election in Florida. 

After weeks of aggressive attacks and name calling during the GOP primary, Trump and Marco Rubio have called a truce, of sorts, NBC News reported. 

Rubio recently came to Trump's defense on Twitter, saying the protesters at Trump's rallies are "professional" and not violent, as he claims the media puts it. And now, Trump, who once said Rubio couldn't get elected "dogcatcher" in Florida and called him "Little Marco," is urging his former rival to keep his Senate seat.

"Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida. Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!" Trump tweeted. 

On CNN Thursday afternoon, Rubio said he wants "to be helpful" to the GOP presumptive nominee and will release his delegates to vote for Trump. Rubio also said he would be willing to speak on Trump's behalf. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders to Hold Rally in SoCal]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 13:46:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-533816796.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rallied in San Pedro Friday on the sixth day of his Southland campaign ahead of California's June 7 primary election.

"I tell you it is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics,'' Sanders told the union-dominated crowd of about 1,000 people at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. "We need a political revolution.''  

Sanders used the speech to again criticize presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and criticize corporate greed.

"A moral economy is not an economy where CEOs make tens of millions of dollars a year, ship our jobs abroad and take away health care from their workers,'' he said. He added later, "Our ideas are the future of this country. Let's stand up. Let's fight for them."

Sanders was also scheduled to be interviewed on the HBO talk show "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday.

The 74-year-old Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who would be the nation's first Jewish president, spoke at a rally Thursday at Ganesha High School in Pomona and appeared on the ABC late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live.''

Sanders' opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was in Oakland Friday in what her campaign describes as "a community discussion on breaking barriers and increasing opportunity.''

Following last week's Kentucky and Oregon primaries, Sanders holds 1,539 delegates, trailing behind front-runner Hillary Clinton, who is only 78 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination.

City News Service contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Death Fell From the Sky': Obama at Hiroshima]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 04:22:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_16148362560935.jpg

Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the Hiroshima atomic bombing on Friday, using the moment to call for a world without nuclear weapons, NBC News reported.

Some 140,000 people were killed when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city on Aug. 6, 1945.

Obama spent a short time at the Hiroshima Peace Park Memorial Museum and then placed a wreath at the arched monument at the memorial park.

Obama reflected on the day "death fell from the sky and the world was changed," telling a gathering of survivors and officials that a "wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself."

Obama did not apologize for the U.S. actions and instead paid tribute to "all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war," saying that "their souls speak to us" and "mere words cannot give voice to such suffering."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Low Gas Prices Fuel Holiday Rush]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 08:49:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_travel120527_1920x1080.jpg Millions of Americans are hitting the road ahead of Memorial Day. NBC's Wendy Woolfolk reports.]]> <![CDATA[Possible Cellphone-Cancer Link Found in Rat Study]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 17:47:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-498338511.jpg

A partial report from a U.S. government study on on rats and mice has found a possible link between cellphones and cancer, giving new life to the longstanding debate over whether cellphone use might lead to cancer, NBC News reported.

The report is not finished yet, but advocates pushing for more research learned of the partial findings and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has released them early.

The partial findings suggest that male rats exposed to constant, heavy doses of certain types of cellphone radiation develop brain and heart tumors. But female rats didn't, and even the rats that developed tumors lived longer than rats not exposed to the radiation.

Dr. Michael Lauer of the NIH said there's just not enough information to say whether the experiment shows the radiation caused the tumors. 

The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, is still analyzing the findings. 

What they do not show is whether humans are at any risk from using cellphones, or whether using a headset or keeping phones away from the head and body might make a difference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mayborn USA Recalls 3.1M Sippy Cups Over Risk of Mold]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 07:01:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/sippy-cup-edited.jpg

Mayborn USA is recalling 3.1 million Tommee Tippee Sippee spill-proof cups after nearly 70 children became ill drinking from moldy valves, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) said Friday.

Mold can develop on the removable, one-piece, white valve inside the cups when it remains wet or moist and is infrequently cleaned, according to the recall alert.

Mold ingestion can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and infections in people with compromised immune systems, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The Massachusetts-based Mayborn USA has received 3,066 reports of mold in the removable valve, including 68 reports of children experiencing diarrhea, vomiting or other symptoms associated with drinking from a cup with mold in the valve.

Five types of spill-proof Tommee Tippee Sippee cups all with a removable, one-piece white valve are involved in the recall: First Sips Transition cup, Trainer Sippee cup, Sippee cup (including Cute Quips), Sportee bottle and Insulated Swiggle/Sippee tumblers.

The plastic drinking cups have spill-proof tops, easy-grip sides with detachable handles and were sold in clear with colored lids and a variety of colors and character prints. Some of the cups include short phrases on the front of the cups including: “You Pour I’ll Fling,” or “Drink Drop Repeat.” The cups have a 7 to 10 oz. capacity and were sold for children ages 4 to 12 months.

The cup were made in China and sold at BuyBuy Baby, CVS, Giant, Kohl’s, Marco Baby, Marshalls, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Ross Stores, Target, Bealls Outlet, Walgreens and Wal-Mart and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Babyhaven.com, and Diapers.com from December 2014 through May 2016.  

Consumers who bought the cups should stop using them and contact the company to receive a free replacement cup at www.tommeetippee.us or 877-248-6922. 

Photo Credit: CSPC]]>
<![CDATA[American Girl in Legal Bid to Return Death-Row Dad]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 05:41:21 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/160525-tsege-mn-1340.jpg

Menabe Andargachew, a 9-year-old American girl, is suing the British government for not pushing Ethiopia to release her father, a British citizen and an outspoken critic of Ethiopia's regime, NBC News reported.

Andargachew "Andy" Tsege disappeared while catching a connecting flight through Yemen in June 2014. The political activist was snatched and forcibly taken to Ethiopia, where he had been sentenced to death for opposition work.

So far, the U.K. government hasn't demanded his release. Now Menabe and her family are trying to force their hand. They filed a legal challenge alleging that approach is "unlawful."

Both the U.N. Human Rights Council and the European Parliament have called for Tsege's release. The British government has expressed "deep concern" over his case. But thus far, it hasn't followed suit in demanding Tsege be freed — instead focusing on getting him "due process."

Tsege's Maryland-born partner Yemi Hailemariam, family and lawyers say he was kidnapped — a victim of rendition carried out by Ethiopia, which has labeled him a terrorist and enemy of the state. Ethiopia says he was "extradited."

Photo Credit: Cassandra Vinograd / NBC News]]>
<![CDATA['Dancing Grandma' Shows Off Moves at Nats Park]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 10:01:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2016-05-27_0905.png Virginia McLaurin, the 107-year-old grandmother who charmed President Barack Obama with her dance moves earlier this year, showed off her dance moves on the mound at National Park Thursday night. It was McLaurin's first MLB game. She got a chance to meet with Nats manager Dusty Baker and even got her own jersey: No. 107, of course.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Taxi Driver Helped ISIS: Feds]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 10:03:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/AP_817556148506.jpg

A 26-year-old taxi driver from Virginia was indicted Thursday on charges he tried to help a friend join ISIS fighters, the U.S. attorney's office said.  

Prosecutors said Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan, 26, of Woodbridge, conspired with Joseph Hassan Farrokh to provide material support or resources to ISIS. Elhassan's attorney, however, has accused the FBI of creating cases against young Muslim men.

Both men were arrested earlier this year after Farrokh tried to board a flight to Chicago at Richmond International Airport, investigators said. Officials said Farrokh intended to board a flight to the Middle East once he reached Chicago.

Elhassan drove Farrokh to Richmond and later lied about where Farrokh was going, court documents said.

But Elhassan's lawyer, Ashraf Nubani, has claimed his client is a victim of prejudice against Islam or Muslims.

"The issue is the way the government goes about these cases," Nubani said. "They had three informants in this case who were looking for people that they can get in trouble. They thought that they found someone, and my client is only charged with aiding and abetting that someone."

Elhassan has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS, aiding and abetting the provision of material support to ISIS, and false statements. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 48 years in prison.

According to criminal complaints, Farrokh had been trying to leave the U.S. and join ISIS in Syria since Nov. 20, 2015. Elhassan allegedly introduced Farrokh to a person whom Elhassan believed had connections to individuals engaged in jihad overseas.

That person was an FBI informant cooperating with law enforcement as part of a plea deal for a reduced sentence in a criminal case, according to the complaint. 

Elhassan's next court appearance is scheduled for June 3. 

Farrokh pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS and admitted he had planned for months to join the terror group in Syria, The Washington Post reports.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Heir B&B: Princess Diana's Estate to Give Orphans a Boost]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 09:58:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Althorp+Estate+2+copy1.jpg

Princess Diana's brother Earl Spencer and his wife Karen Spencer are opening the Althorp family home for guests to stay a couple of nights in order to raise money for orphanages around the world, NBC News reported.

Diana grew up in the 500-year-old mansion with a priceless art collection, 88 fireplaces and bedrooms named for the royalty who slept there, and Althorp also serves as her final resting place.

Wannabe aristocrats willing to pay between $25,000 and $40,000 to stay in the 100,000-square-foot home about 75 miles north of London. For $250,000, a group of up to 18 people can take over the stately spread.

Proceeds will benefit the Whole Child organization, which worked with or advised 85 orphanages in Nicaragua and is undertaking a new project in El Salvador that will involve 365 children's centers.

Photo Credit: Jake Whitman/Getty Images
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