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    A new legal victory for ride-sharing service Uber is being viewed as a major setback for some of Connecticut's cab companies. Those companies are already preparing for their next legal battle.

    When Manuela Nascimento picked her family up from New Haven's Union Station, she chose to call a cab.

    “Today I took the cab because I have a lot of people with a lot of suitcases to carry," she said.

    Typically, though, she uses another method to get around.

    “Usually I use Uber because it’s easier," said Nascimento. "I can go to my cell phone and I don’t need cash and I think it’s a little bit cheaper.”

    An increasing number of people in Connecticut are using the Uber smartphone app to summon a driver instead of calling for a traditional taxi. Fifteen cab companies recently filed a lawsuit to stop the ride-sharing company from doing business in the state. This week, a judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs failed to show that Uber competed unfairly.

    Cab companies say their fight is not over. Among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit was Buddy Boskello, owners of Greenwich Taxi, Inc.

    “The plan now is that we are going to re-file the case," said Boskello, who wants Uber to have to follow all the same state laws and regulations that taxi companies do. “I want the regulations to apply to them where it limits the number of cars per town."

    In a statement, Uber officials saed the lawsuit dismissal is a good thing for riders and drivers across the state.

    “In the long run, it’s going to hurt the people and the business," said Boskello.



    Photo Credit: NBC6.com

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    A pastor was assaulted Tuesday inside his church in Windsor Locks, police said.

    "This young gentleman came in and introduced himself. I hadn’t seen him for 20 years or so or more and he looked like he was in great stress," said Earl Imswiler, pastor of Living Waters Fellowship Church.

    Imswiler said he sat down to counsel that man when he decided they should pray together.

    "So I bowed my head and closed my eyes and he jumped across the aisle here and landed a right hook. And I went down the aisle here on my knees," said Imswiler.

    The 75-year-old pastor said he tried to run out the door.

    "And I said, 'I’m getting out of here' and he said, 'no you're not.' And I said, 'yeah I am,'" said Imswiler.

    That’s when he said he got away from the man and hopped in his car to ask police for help. He was then taken to the hospital to get stitches on his mouth. Now, police say they have a search warrant out for that man, who’s name has not being released.

    Imswiler has a message for that man:

    "It’s okay. It was scary and I forgive you so please get help," said Imswiler.

    If you have any information call Windsor Locks Police at 860-627-1461.

    Police have a search warrant for the person who hurt him.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A pastor was assaulted Tuesday inside his church in Windsor Locks, police said.A pastor was assaulted Tuesday inside his church in Windsor Locks, police said.

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    A suspect is still in the hospital Saturday the day after a police-involved shooting and tasing incident in the Bolton Notch area stemming from a South Windsor bank robbery that led to a police chase, according to Tolland County Dispatch and Manchester police.

    Route 44 is closed near Quarry Road, according to dispatchers. Traffic on I-384 east is also being diverted onto Route 6.

    It started when a man handed tellers a note demanding money at First Niagara Bank at 481 Buckland Road in South Windsor on Friday.

    A South Windsor police officer saw him fleeing the bank and get into a Toyota Matrix. The officer chased after him into Manchester and a group of Manchester police officers joined in on the pursuit at about 3:30 p.m. The suspect refused to stop for South Windsor and Manchester police.

    State police from the Troop K barracks in Colchester responded to the area of routes 384 and 6 in Manchester to help South Windsor and Manchester police with the pursuit at about 3:30 p.m.

    The chase ended on Route 44 in Bolton, where the suspect crashed on the right side of the roadway, according to state police. The suspect started driving again and made it 200 yards before his vehicle broke down near the intersection of Routes 44 and 6, east of Bolton Notch.

    As, a state trooper and police officers approached the vehicle, state police said the man got out of the car and was brandishing a weapon in his hand when he got out of the car and disobeyed authorities' commands to stop. He advanced toward the trooper and officers, state police said.

    A Manchester police officer deployed a Taser, but it didn't stop the suspect, who ripped the probes out. He continued advancing on the officers with the weapon, prompting state police and another Manchester police officer to open fire on him simultaneously and shoot him. It's unknown how many times the suspect was shot.

    “I did see the guy laying on the ground and I said, 'Oh my god, I think they shot him.' Yeah, it was scary," eyewitness Katrina Jones said.

    There is no word on how many shots were fired, but witnesses said they heard as many as five gun shots.

    Many had heard the final moments of a dangerous police pursuit.

    “Then it got kind of quiet even though the sirens were still going and I heard five loud pops and I got up to close my office door because I thought somebody was shooting right outside my office," Jones said.

    Edward Dobranski said he saw 20 police cruisers and said to himself, "..Wow, I didn't even know we had that many cruisers in the area."

    The suspect was taken to Hartford Hospital in an ambulance after the trooper and officers administered first aid. His condition is unknown. The two officers who fired shots at the suspect were also taken to the hospital to be evaluated. The trooper was not injured.

    The identities of the suspect and police officer and trooper involved have not been released at this time. Police said he acted alone.

    Staff of a hardware store on Bolton Turnpike reported seeing five police cruisers. Dozens of officers were on scene as of 4:52 p.m.

    Video submitted by a witness in a nearby business captures what sounds like gunshots fired.

    Detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime squad and the state's attorney's office in New London responded to the scene. They are looking into how many shots were fired and whether the suspect was indeed armed, state police said.

    The Eastern District Major Crime squad continues to investigate the incident. State police were still on scene as of 3 a.m.



    Photo Credit: Storm Parker

    A chaotic scene after an officer-involved shooting in Bolton on Friday afternoon.A chaotic scene after an officer-involved shooting in Bolton on Friday afternoon.

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    Authorities ordered the evacuation of a 1.8-mile zone around the Chinese port city of Tianjin on Saturday as fresh explosions were heard and fires continued to rage — and the death toll rose to 104.

    The new toll from Wednesday's huge blasts, at a warehouse storing hazardous materials, includes at least 21 firefighters, state media said.

    Rescuers also found an additional survivor Saturday as authorities evacuated much of the area to clean up dangerous chemical contamination. Several additional small explosions rocked the disaster zone as the clean-up continued.

    Police have, for the first time, confirmed the presence of deadly sodium cyanide — fatal when ingested or inhaled, the state-run Beijing News said.



    Photo Credit: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

    Fire workers work at accident site after massive explosion on August 14, 2015 in Tianjin, China. Over 700 injured and evacuated people stay at the emergency shelter set at a primary school in Binhai New Area after Wednesday explosion of a warehouse in Tianjin. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)Fire workers work at accident site after massive explosion on August 14, 2015 in Tianjin, China. Over 700 injured and evacuated people stay at the emergency shelter set at a primary school in Binhai New Area after Wednesday explosion of a warehouse in Tianjin. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

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    At least 40 migrants died in the hold of an overcrowded boat while trying to cross the Mediterranean, Italy's navy said Saturday.

    A rescue operation was underway to try and save hundreds of others on board the vessel, it said.

    The victims are thought to have suffocated after inhaling fumes from fuel after the boat took on water in the hold, the captain of the navy ship leading the rescue said on Italian state television.

    The Mediterranean has become the world's most deadly crossing point for migrants.



    Photo Credit: AP

    File - Migrants on a dinghy arrives at the southeastern island of Kos, Greece, after crossing from Turkey, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Migrants by the tens of thousands are braving the perilous journey across the Mediterranean this year, hoping to reach Europe and be granted asylum.File - Migrants on a dinghy arrives at the southeastern island of Kos, Greece, after crossing from Turkey, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. Migrants by the tens of thousands are braving the perilous journey across the Mediterranean this year, hoping to reach Europe and be granted asylum.

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    Crews are responding to a fire in Manchester.

    A fire broke out at a 19 Winter Street home.

    Firefighters were still on scene as of 10:55 p.m.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Crews are responding to a fire in Manchester.Crews are responding to a fire in Manchester.

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    Interstate 91 south was closed Friday night due to a motorcycle crash in East Windsor.

    The highway was shut down between exits 45 and 46.

    There is no indication when the highway will be reopened.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The Federal Aviation Administration is reporting a ground stop for many flights along the East Coast due to a problem at the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center.

    A statement from an FAA representative said they are trying to diagnose an automation problem at their facility in Leesburg, Virginia.

    The FAA website is reporting flights to and from Baltimore-Washington International, Newark International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, New York John F. Kennedy International, New York LaGuardia International and Tampa International are experiencing delays because of the problem.

    Washington National, Washington Dulles International, Philadelphia International, Miami International, and the Teterboro airports had been affected earlier in the day. 

    A map indicates flights originating from or passing through those airports are currently being held on the ground. A status report from the FAA indicates they expect the problems at the control center to end around 2 p.m.

    Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center covers airports in the Washington-Baltimore area, New York and Philadelphia.


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    Shelton police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who struck and injured a 49-year-old Milford bicyclist late Friday night in town.

    Police received multiple 911 calls at about 10 p.m. on Friday reporting injuries in a crash involving a vehicle and bicyclist at the Howe Avenue and Bridge Street intersection. Officers responded to the area, along with EMS personnel.

    A black vehicle headed south on Howe Avenue hit the biker and then fled over the Derby-Shelton Bridge, witnesses told Shelton police.

    Shelton Police Department's traffic division reconstruction team is investigating the crash.

    Police ask any witnesses or people with information to call the department at 203-924-1544.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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    The heat continues to build Saturday, with the possibility of an isolated shower or storm.

    A cold front moves closer, but it will also be in the process of washing out as high pressure takes command. Thus, an isolated storm is possible, particularly in the north and west, but many stay dry.

    Temperatures will peak in the upper-80s inland and middle-80s on the shoreline. Humidity levels will be moderate.

    Tonight will be mostly clear and slightly more humid, with patchy fog heading into the morning. Lows will be in the 60s.

    Sunday is hot and dry with abundant sunshine, moderate levels of humidity and temperatures in the lower-90s. It will likely be the start of a heat wave!

    Highs in the middle-90s are expected on Monday with mostly sunny skies. A Bermuda high-pressure system results in a southwesterly flow in Connecticut and that pumps in the heat and humidity.

    Unlike many heat waves, the air will still have a dry feel to it on Sunday and Monday. It’s not until Tuesday that it becomes very humid and that humidity sticks around though the middle part of next week. There will be a mix of sun and clouds on Tuesday, with the chance of an isolated shower or storm. Temperatures will be in the lower-90s Tuesday, before falling back into the 80s on Wednesday.

    Another cold front approaches late Tuesday, but it doesn’t come close enough to Connecticut to cause widespread storms.

    Any shower and thunderstorm activity on Tuesday and Wednesday looks to be isolated, occurring especially in the higher terrain where the lift will be enhanced.

    Three or more consecutive days of 90 degree weather makes a heat wave. So far this year, only one has occurred and that was in July. Keep in mind, the average high temperature is only in the lower-80s this time of year!

    A low-pressure system rides along the cold front near the Great Lakes and lifts the front north as a warm front by the middle part of next week.

    Thursday should turn out dry during the day before the possibility of numerous showers and thunderstorms arrives on Friday.

    Stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert weather team for the very latest forecast on-air, online and on the app.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    The heat continues to build Saturday, with the possibility of an isolated shower or storm.The heat continues to build Saturday, with the possibility of an isolated shower or storm.

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    Bradley International Airport has many flight delays and cancellations to and from Baltimore and Washington D.C. due to a power outage at Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center.

    The air traffic control center covers airports in the Washington-Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia areas. The power failure has caused a ground stop for multiple flights.

    Washington National, Washington Dulles International, New York LaGuardia International, New York John F. Kennedy International, Philadelphia International, Newark International, Miami International and the Terboro airports are all experiencing delays.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Hey, NBC Connecticut viewers and pet lovers! Clear the Shelters day is here.

    It's a nationwide initiative we're participating in today, Aug. 15, to help animal shelters across Connecticut place all of their dogs, cats and even bunnies with forever homes.

    Many participating shelters may offer reduced adoption fees on August 15.

    NBC Connecticut has teamed up with the Connecticut Humane Society and numerous shelters in hopes to find your perfect pet match. The Connecticut Humane Society is the leading resource in the state for companion animal welfare, enriching the lives of families and communities through adoption services, medical care, education and prevention of cruelty.

    Click here for a list of participating shelters.

    See how many pets are being adopted out of shelters in our nationwide Clear the Shelters event:



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Stephanie of Newington found her daughter a forever friend in Stella at Clear the Shelters!Stephanie of Newington found her daughter a forever friend in Stella at Clear the Shelters!

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    I-95 is closed in both directions from Old Saybrook to Old Lyme after a truck fire on the southbound side and then a fatal crash on the northbound side of the highway.

    Interstate 95 is closed on the northbound side after a fatal multi-vehicle crash at exit 70 near the Baldwin Bridge. Two tractor-trailers and five cars collided at around 6 a.m., killing at least one person and left several others with life-threatening injuries.

    Life Star was called to the scene along with paramedics from several neighboring communities.

    One first responder described the scene as "cars on top of cars."

    Traffic has been crawling over the Baldwin Bridge this morning, taking cars more than half an hour to cross in the northbound lanes. Cars are being diverted due to the highway closure.

    An hour before the fatal crash on the northbound side, there was a crash on I-95 southbound around 4:34 a.m., so that side of the highway is also closed. A Cottrell Tuck Lines, Inc. truck was traveling southbound on I-95 just a mile north of exit 70 in Old Lyme when it veered into the right shoulder and crashed into the guardrail and concrete bridge support, state police said.

    The tractor-trailer caught fire. Debris from the truck was scattered all over the road, shutting down that side of the highway. The driver, Arturo Paez, 62, of Stratford, was transported to Yale Hospital by LifeStar to be treated for serious injuries.

    DEEP was called for a diesel spill near Four Mile River Road. The Department of Transportation and DCP also responded to help with the cleanup.

    Mal's Auto & Truck Repair was towed from the scene.

    State police are still investigating both crashes.



    Photo Credit: Joe Cox

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    Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday called the slaying of four Marines and a sailor at a Chattanooga reserve center the act of a "perverted jihadist."

    Biden's comments came at a memorial to the five servicemen killed in a shooting rampage by Kuwait-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

    "These perverse ideologues, warped theocrats, they may be able to inspire a single lone wolf to commit a savage act, but they can never, never threaten who wwe are," Biden said. "When this perverted jihadist struck, everyone responded."

    The vice president's strong words contrast with the official comments of investigators who have not yet been able to determine a motive behind the attack. The FBI has said it has not been able to determine whether the 24-year-old Abdulazeez was "radicalized" before the July 16 attacks and has been treating him as a homegrown violent extremist.

    Speaking before Biden, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said officials may never know "what combination of disturbed mind, violent extremism and hateful ideology" was behind the shooting, but vowed that the United States would present a strong response.

    "The few who threaten or incite harm to Americans — violent extremists or terrorists, wherever they are — will surely, very surely, no matter how long it takes, come to feel the long arm and the hard fist of justice," Carter said.

    Those killed were Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith and four Marines: Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan and Lance Cpt. Squire "Skip" Wells, who just moments before had texted his girlfriend in Savannah, Georgia, the words "ACTIVE SHOOTER."

    Abdulazeez began the July 16 rampage by opening fire on a military recruiting center before driving his rented Mustang about 7 miles across town to a reserve center, crashing through the gates and killing the five servicemen. Abdulazeez died in a shootout with police.

    Friends and neighbors recalled Abdulazeez as a happy, polite young man. But a picture has also emerged showing a darker side, with Abdulazeez's family saying he struggled with depression from his early teens, abused drugs, couldn't keep a job and was considering bankruptcy.

    Abdulazeez spent several months with an uncle in Jordan last year as part of an agreement to get him away from drugs, alcohol and a group of friends his parents considered a bad influence, a person close to the family has said. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid business repercussions.

    Biden, whose son Beau died of brain cancer in May, said he could relate to the grief of the victims' families.

    "I didn't have the privilege of knowing any one of them personally," Biden said. "But oh, I knew them. Confident, determined, trustworthy, compassionate and always, always loyal.

    "I knew them," he said. "They were my son. And so many other sons I know."

    Beau Biden was a major in an Army National Guard unit that deployed to Iraq in 2008.

    The vice president drew applause for concluding his remarks with a defiant message for anyone who would target the United States.

    "We have a message for those perverted cowards around the world: America never yields, never bends, never cowers, never stands down — (but) endures, responds, and always overcomes," he said. "For we are Americans, and never, never underestimate us.

    "It's always been a bad, bad bet to do that."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks at a memorial service to honor those killed In Chattanooga shooting at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena on August 15, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.U.S. Vice President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks at a memorial service to honor those killed In Chattanooga shooting at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena on August 15, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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    A firefighter wounded by a gang member at the start of a six-hour standoff with police in Staten Island was released Saturday from a hospital, authorities said.

    FDNY Lt. Jim Hayes was shot at about 6 a.m. Friday, when firefighters responded to a report of smoke in a building where U.S. Marshals were attempting to execute a parole violation warrant against Garland Tyree, 38, a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.

    Hayes went into a basement apartment in the building to look for people inside and found Tyree hiding in the shower. That's when Tyree allegedly opened fire, hitting Hayes in the buttocks and ankle. 

    A neighbor of Hayes, Fran Kezner of Livingston, New Jersey, said the firefighter was "hardworking man who raised two great kids with his wife," SILive.com reported. Kezner also said Hayes helped out during Hurricane Sandy when her home was flooded. Hayes comes from a family of civil servants with three brothers who are all firefighters, SILive.com noted.

    This was the first time a firefighter has been shot on-duty in 21 years, according to SILive.com. 

    During his 31 years as a firefighter, Hayes was a part of the rescue and recovery efforts for the 9/11 attacks, a FDNY spokesman told SILive.com.

    Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that Hayes ran from the apartment and didn't realize that he had been shot until he was outside. Police then moved to set up a perimeter, and Tyree fired two more shots.

    Heavily armed tactical teams and uniformed officers alike then swarmed the house, which was relatively quiet for more than 6 hours. They set up a line of communication with Tyree at about 7:40 a.m. and negotiators worked with the man.

    Tyree told negotiators that he would only surrender if his mother were there, Lieutenant Jack Cambria, the chief hostage negotiator of the NYPD, said at a news conference Friday. Although she was in Delaware, police managed to race her up to Staten Island on an NYPD helicopter and bring her to the scene in Mariners Harbor.

    Tyree's mother was coached by police on what to say and joined his girlfriend and negotiators at the scene. The mother and son spoke and said they loved one another. Tyree then agreed to surrender, police said.

    "I'm coming out, Mama," he said.

    As he was coming out of the apartment, Tyree fired numerous rounds at police, hitting police cars and a neighbor's house, according to Assistant Chief Harry Wedin. Police fired back, and Tyree was found dead behind the apartment. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, according to police.

    A 6 a.m. post on Tyree's Facebook page included the message "Today I die." Police said writings about gang activity were also on the Facebook page.

    A smoke bomb was recovered at the scene, as well as a number of magazines and the AK-47 that Tyree used to fire at officers.

    Tyree had been arrested 18 times and was out of federal prison on parole after previously violating another parole order, according to federal records. He had a violent history with weapon charges connected to a murder case and subsequently was convicted of two slashing assualts while in custody—one with a razor while aboard a correctional bus and another so vicious the other inmate received 60 stitches, the Associated Press reported. 
     


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    Fidel Castro begrudgingly admitted that Cuba was so desperate financially in the 1980s that he turned to a banker from the one country he hated the most: the United States.

    "It was the year of the Marielitos"—the 1980 Cuban boatlift— "and he was under a lot of strain to be able to service the debt to the European banks who had lent to him, and also to some Canadian banks," Bill Rhodes, a former Citigroup executive and author of "Banker of the World," said. For decades, Rhodes was Citigroup's Latin America liaison for decades. 

    Castro requested a meeting with Rhodes for financial advise. The prime minister told Rhodes he regretted kicking the International Monetary Fund out of Cuba in his early days of the communist revolution. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this photo provided by the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI), Cuba's Fidel Castro, right, Bolivia's President Evo Morales, center, and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro sit inside a van after Maduro and Castro picked up Morales at his hotel in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Aug. 13 2015. Morales and Maduro are in Cuba to celebrate Castro's 89th birthday.In this photo provided by the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI), Cuba's Fidel Castro, right, Bolivia's President Evo Morales, center, and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro sit inside a van after Maduro and Castro picked up Morales at his hotel in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Aug. 13 2015. Morales and Maduro are in Cuba to celebrate Castro's 89th birthday.

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    Donald Trump would reverse President Obama's executive orders on immigration and deport all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. as president, he said in an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd.

    "We're going to keep the families together, but they have to go," he said in the interview, which will air in full on NBC's "Meet the Press" this Sunday.

    Trump said, to begin, "we have to" rescind Obama's executive order offering those brought to the U.S. illegally as children — known as DREAMers — protection from deportation, as well as Obama's unilateral move to delay deportation for their families as well.

    The comments are certain to further inflame already fierce opposition from Latino activists and advocacy groups. They've been critical of Trump's candidacy from the start, when he kicked off his campaign with a speech that accused Mexico of sending "criminals" and "rapists" to the U.S.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump  talks to the media after arriving by helicopter at a nearby ballpark before Trump attended the Iowa State Fair Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Des Moines.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks to the media after arriving by helicopter at a nearby ballpark before Trump attended the Iowa State Fair Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Des Moines.

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    Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Saturday declared a state of emergency following increased activity the day before at the giant Cotopaxi volcano, giving the government greater leeway to mobilize financial resources in the event an eruption.

    Two minor explosions on Friday at Cotopaxi, located about 43.5 miles south of Quito, led to a precautionary evacuation of small towns in the center of country.

    "We declare a state of emergency due to the unusual activity of Mount Cotopaxi," Correa said during his weekly Saturday address. "God willing, everything will go well and the volcano will not erupt." 



    Photo Credit: AP

    A view of Cotopaxi volcano spewing ashes as seen from Latacunga, Ecuador, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015.  The Cotopaxi volcano near Ecuador's capital has spewed ash over a wide area in pre-dawn blasts. The volcano is considered one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes due to a glacial cover that makes it prone to mud flows and its proximity to a heavily populated area, but government scientists say that the snow-capped volcano doesn't seem to be on the verge of a major eruption. Its last major eruption was in 1877.A view of Cotopaxi volcano spewing ashes as seen from Latacunga, Ecuador, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. The Cotopaxi volcano near Ecuador's capital has spewed ash over a wide area in pre-dawn blasts. The volcano is considered one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes due to a glacial cover that makes it prone to mud flows and its proximity to a heavily populated area, but government scientists say that the snow-capped volcano doesn't seem to be on the verge of a major eruption. Its last major eruption was in 1877.

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    Bernie Sanders may not leave Iowa as popular as the pork chop on a stick or fried PBJ — but the Democratic candidate rolled into the Iowa State Fair to a crowd that wrapped around to the back of the soapbox stage to hear him speak on Saturday afternoon.

    Earlier in the morning, the Vermont senator spoke at a town hall in Boone, a town about an hour outside of Des Moines.

    Sanders called for expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income, creating a single-payer healthcare system, and pushed back against the government's use of an unemployment rate figure that does not include those who gave up on looking for work and those who are working part time but would like to work full time.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at the Iowa at the Iowa State Fair Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Des Moines.Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at the Iowa at the Iowa State Fair Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Des Moines.

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    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio remained at a Brooklyn gym to finish his workout while cops were in the midst of a standoff with a suspect who had shot a firefighter on Staten Island Friday morning, his press office acknowledged. 

    Deblasio’s press secretary, Karen Hinton, said the Mayor arrived at the Park Slope YMCA at 9 a.m. and remained there for nearly an hour and a half while dozens of police officers engaged in a six-hour standoff with a wanted high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang that began at 6 a.m.

    Garland Tyree,38, barricaded himself inside his girlfriend's Staten Island home armed with an AK-47 after shooting FDNY Lt. James S. Hayes. Tyree had earlier lit a commercial-grade smoke bomb inside the residence, prompting firefighters to respond. When Hayes went into the home to investigate, he was shot in left calf and buttocks, officials said.

    Meanwhile, de Blasio was at the gym in the Brooklyn neighborhood where his family still owns and rents out the home they lived in before moving into Gracie Mansion in Manhattan.

    When NBC 4 New York asked the mayor about his trip trip to the gym during a news conference about the standoff, de Blasio said, "We're briefing you on a very serious situation, and that's just not a serious question."  

    Hinton later said the mayor was on calls with FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton throughout the morning starting at 7 a.m., and continued receiving updates until he left for Staten Island.

    "This includes leaving the gym to make and take a series of calls from approximately 10:40 to 11:15, when he departed for Staten Island," Hinton said in an e-mailed statement. "The mayor has met with the wounded firefighter and his fellow firefighters at the hospital, and will soon update the media on both the situation on the ground in Staten Island and the wounded firefighter’s condition.”

    Rev. Michael Faulkner, senior pastor at New Horizon Church of New York in Harlem and a frequent critic of the mayor, pounced on the situation, saying in a statement it showed disrespect to the wounded firefighter and that his actions showed "a serious lack of judgment and common sense during a crisis when we are counting on him for direction and leadership." 

    "We need a mayor who is accountable and understands that his top priority is serving the people who elected him to office," Hinton said. "We need a mayor who is more concerned with running this city rather than maintaining the size of his waistline." 

    The union representing FDNY firefighters declined to comment. The president of the only police union that commented, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said "I am once again saddened for all New Yorkers as to the lack of leadership from City Hall." 

    De Blasio has received flak in the past for his tardiness to events like the St. Patrick's Day March in the Rockaways,and the ceremony last November for the victims killed in American Airlines Flight 587.

    Tyree was to be arrested early Friday morning at his girlfriend's apartment in a two-family Staten Island home by four U.S. Marshals and four New York City detectives for violating parole. But he refused to open the door, officials said, and then ignited a commercial-grade smoke bomb, prompting the officers to call the FDNY. 

    When FDNY Lt. James S. Hayes arrived at the scene, he spoke with Tyree through the door and entered the apartment before he was shot in the left calf and buttocks, officials said. Hayes, a 31-year veteran of the department, is in stable condition at a hospital and is the first city firefighter to be shot responding to a scene since 1994.

    A member of the task force fired once at the home as he dragged Hayes to safety, officials said.

    An emergency response team was then called and the house was surrounded as hostage negotiators got to work, getting his sister and girlfriend on the phone — and even flying Tyree's mother in a police helicopter from Delaware to Staten Island, authorities said. Three times before the deadly confrontation, Tyree fired his weapon and officers didn't return fire, Bratton said.

    When he did emerge, wearing a bulletproof vest, his shots struck police cars and a neighbor's house, officials said. He was shot and killed in return. 


    The standoff on Staten Island Friday morningThe standoff on Staten Island Friday morning

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