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    A place usually filled with prayer is now scarred with bullet holes and wrapped with crime scene tape. Members of the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden, discovered the scene of violence just before Sunday evening prayer.

    "The first reaction was, 'Thank God nobody was here,'" said Salaam Bhatti, spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. "One of the bullets actually came through the outer wall through the building, through the inner wall, and it actually exited ... to the other wall."

    Those at the mosque wonder if the attacks in Paris were on the mind of the shooter, but Bhatti says they condemn those attacks and all acts of terrorism.

    "What we practice here, that is true Islam, being kind to neighbors, participating in Thanksgiving turkey drives, being part of the Christmas gift giving and the Daffodil Festival. These things that make us a stronger community, that is what Islam is about, not killing innocent people," said Bhatti.

    Local police and the FBI are investigating the shooting at the Meriden Mosque, and Bhatti says they're standing up instead of bowing down to fear and that the community's reaction has made all the difference.

    "The neighbors, friends, have been so supportive in reaching out to us and making sure we're okay, and the love we're receiving from them overshadows any kind of hate received here," said Bhatti.

    Bhatti hopes by reaching out and continuing the conversation, it'll help bridge gaps and end any hatred and fear.

    "Love for all, hatred for none. That is what we will continue to do, and no terrorist can make us back down from that," said Bhatti. "What we're going to do moving forward is have more outreach efforts. We're not going to close our doors. We're going to open our doors even more."

    The public is invited to the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden to attend Friday prayer at 1.30pm and an open mosque event at 2pm Saturday to see how they pray and ask any questions.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A place usually filled with prayer is now scarred with bullet holes and wrapped with crime scene tape. Members of the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden, discovered the scene of violence just before Sunday evening prayer.A place usually filled with prayer is now scarred with bullet holes and wrapped with crime scene tape. Members of the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden, discovered the scene of violence just before Sunday evening prayer.

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    A woman blew herself up as elite French police raided an apartment early Wednesday near Paris targeting high-level terror suspects involved in last week's attacks, NBC News reported.

     

    Four men and another woman were also arrested during the operation in the northern suburb of St-Denis, near the Stade de France which was targeted by three suicide bombers on Friday. Heavy gunfire was reported for several hours, according to NBC News.

    A woman detonated her suicide vest as the apartment was stormed, according to the Paris Prosecutor's Office.

    Officials confirmed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian jihadist who is suspected of being a lynchpin in the assaults that killed 129 people in Paris on Friday, was one of several people targeted by the raid. However, it was not immediately clear whether Abaaoud was among those arrested.



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

    Police officers take up positions in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Authorities in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis are telling residents to stay inside during a large police operation near France's national stadium that two officials say is linked to last week's deadly attacks.Police officers take up positions in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. Authorities in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis are telling residents to stay inside during a large police operation near France's national stadium that two officials say is linked to last week's deadly attacks.

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    A mother-daughter trip to see a modern dance performance in Paris was filled with terror when attacks happened just a few miles away from the venue where they were watching the show.

    Liza Janssen Petra is grateful to be back home in Guilford, but she says the trip to France was sobering.

    “We were at the reception after the performance and all of the sudden my phone just started going crazy,” Janssen Petra said. “I was getting messages with everything from are you safe to where are you to what’s going on.”

    She and her mother had planned the trip to Paris to see Trisha Brown Dance Company’s last European performance at the Theatre National de Chaillot. When they were led out of the event through a basement exit, they knew something was not right, but it was not until they got back to their hotel and turned on the news Friday night that they realized what had actually happened.

    “To go from such a period of celebration with this dance this company to just seeing terror and unknowns unfolding a few miles away from us was really surreal and profoundly sad,” Janssen Petra said.

    She says the next few days in Paris were surreal and sobering, describing the parts of Paris as a ghost town except for police and tourists. She took pictures of armed guards in riot gear and signs on stores that were closed because of the attacks.

    “Step by step we were seeing that things were very intense,” Janssen Petra said. “This was all unfolding as we were there.”

    She says she feels fortunate not only because she was not hurt in the attacks, but also because she got to witness the city coming together in the aftermath. She says she will return to Paris in the future, but for now, she is happy to be home with her family.

    “We all just snuggled last night and it felt good,” Janssen Petra said. “It was just a reminder that you never know.”
     



    Photo Credit: Liza Janssen Petra

    A mother-daughter trip to see a modern dance performance in Paris was filled with terror when attacks happened just a few miles away from the venue where they were watching the show.A mother-daughter trip to see a modern dance performance in Paris was filled with terror when attacks happened just a few miles away from the venue where they were watching the show.

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    Hamden police are investigating at an apartment building at 680 Mix Avenue after two men were found dead inside a car in the parking lot, apparently shot to death.

    Someone walking in the parking lot noticed there was at least one person in distress inside a car in the Broadmoor Apartments parking lot and called police, Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said.

    Two adult males were found unconscious in a blue sedan, he said. Fire and EMS personnel rushed to the scene and then called police.

    "Both victims appear to be deceased due to gunshot wounds," Wydra said.

    Police didn't learn until Tuesday that people in the area heard a sound like fireworks or gunshots Monday night. It's not clear if bullets went through the exterior of the vehicle or fired from inside and police have not said if the incident was targeted or random.

    "My message to the public at large is that if you hear something, if you see something, please call us and say something," Wydra said. "We might have been able to commence this investigation much earlier than this afternoon."

    Wydra said police believe the inviduals found dead in the car were there for awhile.

    Crime scene tape was up around the car Tuesday and evidence markers had been placed on the ground in front of the car, according to NBC Connecticut's Dan Corcoran.

    The car was still running and the bodies remained inside the car for awhile as police investigated. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has since removed the bodies and the medical examiner is expected to do an autopsy Wednesday morning to determine the exact cause and manner of death.

    Wydra said police don't believe the incident was a murder suicide based on the investigation right now, but thought it could be possible. Police also believe the two men were killed at the location they were found and that the bodies weren't dumped there.

    Wydra said the department is going to pour all their considerable resources into the investigation overnight and into the foreseeable future, including the FBI and New Haven police.

    No suspect has been identified at this time. Police did not have a description of who to look for, but said to report anything suspicious, even if it might only seem like a small detail.

    Wydra said the men were shot to death, but police are not referring to the deaths as a homicide at this time. However, Wydra said, "Whoever's responsible for this act is extremely dangerous."

    The news was disconcerting to Hamden resident Christine Smaltz.

    "“It’s definitely unsettling and to see something like a tragedy like this; and this big, makes you want to lock your doors at night," Smaltz said. "Why didn't anyone see it? Why didn't anyone hear it?"

    Police expect to release the identities of the two men killed on Wednesday.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Hamden police are at an apartment building at 680 Mix Avenue after bodies were found inside a car in the parking lot.Hamden police are at an apartment building at 680 Mix Avenue after bodies were found inside a car in the parking lot.

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    Defense Secretary Ash Carter agreed with French president Francois Hollande and said the United States is at war with ISIS in an interview airing Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

    Asked by host Joe Scarborough whether he agrees with French President François Hollande that "we're at war with ISIS," Carter replies, "Yeah."

    "I think Francois Hollande has said it very well," Carter says. "I'm glad the French are galvanized in joining the fight now." 

    Under Article One, Section Eight, of the U.S. Constitution, Congress, not the executive, is the branch of the federal government with authority to formally declare war.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at George Washington University in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at George Washington University in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015.

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    Students were not allowed in Plainville Middle School at the beginning of the school day because of a strange odor in the building, but the scene is now clear.

    The school is located at 150 Northwest Drive and the fire department and gas company were called in.

    No injuries are reported and the students are back in class.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Students are back in class after an odor delayed the start of the school day at Plainville Middle School.Students are back in class after an odor delayed the start of the school day at Plainville Middle School.

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    Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency late on Wednesday after a deadly storm blew down trees, triggered mudslides and left thousands of people without power, NBC News reported. 

    The decision activated the state's National Guard and cleared the way for state officials to ramp up aid for those suffering storm damage, according to NBC affiliate KING5.

    "Many roads are closed from downed trees, active power lines, flood waters," Snohomish County Fire Chief Merlin Halverson said Wednesday. "It's a hell of (a) mess here."

    Several rivers overflowed after Tuesday's storm dumped more rain over already-saturated western Washington. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    A building sits just above flood waters and at a closed road from flooding, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Carnation, Washington.A building sits just above flood waters and at a closed road from flooding, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Carnation, Washington.

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  • 11/19/15--12:21: LA Officer Fatally Shot

  • A California officer was fatally shot Wednesday night in what investigators described as a botched robbery attempt in the Downey Police Department parking lot, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators.

    Two adults and a juvenile were in custody in connection with the slaying after a pursuit and manhunt in the nearby community of Montebello. Details regarding their identities were not immediately available.

    The officer gunned down at about 11 p.m. Wednesday was identified as 29-year-old Ricky Galvez, a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and joined the police department in 2006 as a police aide. He was hired as an officer in the community southeast of downtown Los Angeles in March 2010.

    "One of Downey's finest was shot and killed," said Chief Carl Charles. "He was a tremendous young man. His smile and professionalism were always on display. ... Words cannot express the love we have for Ricky."

    Galvez was near the end of his shift and in his personal car in the parking lot when two individuals approached, said Lt. John Corina, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He was not in his police uniform, according to Charles.

    "They ran up on his car," Corina said.

    It was not immediately clear how many rounds were fired. Galvez, who had just participated in some work-related training at the police station, died at the scene.

    The attackers likely did not realize Galvez was a police officer, Corina said. A handgun was recovered at the site of the shooting, he said.

    Another officer in a patrol vehicle heard the gunfire and saw a driver speeding away, leading to a pursuit that ended in the Montebello area and a search for the attackers, Corina said.

    At least five people were detained early Thursday during the manhunt in the Montebello, about five miles north of Downey, authorities said. SWAT members were part of a search in the 1000 block of Carob Way, where residents were ordered out of at least one house with their hands up.

    It was not immediately clear whether the three individuals in custody were apprehended during the early morning SWAT operation. Corina said the shooting was the result of a "botched robbery attempt."

    "It looks like these guys were looking for someone to rob," Corina said of the suspects.

    SWAT members left the search area in Montebello at about 7 a.m. Resident William Macareno arrived home during the overnight manhunt to find streets were blocked in what he described as a tense situation.

    "I called my cousin who was already here, and when he came outside they drew guns on him," Macareno said. "They told him to hang up the phone, and they told him to go back inside."

    Macareno told NBC4 that an girlfriend of one of the attackers lives in the neighborhood. The woman was transported from the location in a police patrol car, Macareno said. Police did not immediately confirm that information.

    The coroner removed the body, draped under a U.S. flag, from the parking lot at about 10 a.m. Thursday. Officers and other colleagues lined the path to the coroner's van. A Downey Fire Department truck with a large U.S. flag hanging from the end of the extended ladder was parked near the crime scene.

    The Downey Police Department has not reported a death involving an officer in the line of duty since a fatal 1981 traffic collision.

    Refresh this developing story for updates.

    NBC4's Nyree Arabian and Corey Arvin contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Downey PD
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    Officer Ricky Galvez, 29, a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and joined the Downey Police Department in 2006 as a police aide, was shot and killed Thursday Nov. 19, 2015.Officer Ricky Galvez, 29, a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and joined the Downey Police Department in 2006 as a police aide, was shot and killed Thursday Nov. 19, 2015.

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    The Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Quinnipiac University has been cleared of hazing allegations and the cease and desist order the school issued has been lifted, according to a university spokesperson.

    "The cease and desist order issued to Beta Theta Pi was lifted Wednesday after it was determined that the fraternity was found not responsible for hazing violations," Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell said in a statement.

    The school issued the cease and desist order in October, but it was not clear when the hazing allegations were raised.
     


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    The soft lockdown at Two Rivers Magnet High School at the Learning Corridor on Vernon Street in Hartford has been lifted after the school received an anonymous email threat, according to police.

    Police said there there was no identifiable threat,  the lockdown has been lifted and school has resumed as normal. 

    Check back for updates.
     


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    Upper Fifth Avenue is the most expensive retail corridor in the world by a long shot.

    A square foot of retail space on the world famous avenue was priced at $3,500 through the first half of this year -- nearly twice as much as Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, which was No. 2 on a list released Wednesday by global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

    [[351533191, C]]

    Fifth Avenue was the most expensive global retail location last year as well. Causeway Bay was the most expensive in 2013, with Fifth Avenue in second place that year.

    [[351757021, C]]

    Fifth Avenue's success is buoyed by heavy foot traffic from tourists in the area, according to the report.

    [[351415531, C]]

    During the second quarter of 2015, rents on the stretch reached $3,500 per square foot, an increase of 3.6 percent over 2014 and 46 percent higher than second-place Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, where a square foot of space costs $2,399.

    [[351397581, C]]

    The "Main Streets Across the World" report looks at the top 500 retail streets across the globe. This was the 27th edition of the report, which shows that rents have risen in 35 percent of the top 500 streets across the globe.

    [[351378541, C]]

    Los Angeles' Rodeo Drive corridor had the highest retail rents outside of New York at $800 per sq. ft. Chicago's Michigan Avenue had average retail rents of $525 per sq. ft.

    The top 10 retail corridors in the world:

    1. Fifth Avenue (New York) - $3,500/sq. ft./year

    2. Causeway Bay (Hong Kong) - $2,399/ sq. ft./year

    3. Avenue des Champs Élysées (Paris) - $1,372/sq. ft./year

    4. New Bond Street (London) - $1,321/sq. ft./year

    5. Via Montenapoleone (Milan) - $1,035/sq. ft./year

    6. Bahnhofstrasse (Zurich) - $894.6/sq. ft./year

    7. The Ginza (Tokyo) - $881.9/sq. ft./year

    8. Myeongdong (Seoul) - $881.8/sq. ft./year

    9. Kohlmarket (Vienna) - $478.2/sq. ft./year

    10. Kaufinger / Neuhauser (Munich) - $459.6/sq. ft./year

    [[238427591, C]]



    Photo Credit: Getty

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    The lone survivor of an attack that left six dead at an East Texas campsite has told authorities that the suspect had drinks with the blended family before suddenly producing a gun and firing on them.

    An arrest warrant provided Wednesday by the Anderson County Sheriff's Office reveals that 33-year-old William Hudson was drinking with the group Saturday when he accompanied four of them into surrounding woods.

    The warrant says Cynthia Johnson told sheriff's deputies that she heard gunshots before Hudson returned alone to the campsite and chased her husband and daughter into a travel camper, where he shot them.

    Johnson ran into the woods and eventually made a 911 call.

    Hudson is being held on $2.5 million bond. It wasn't clear Wednesday whether he has an attorney.



    Photo Credit: Beverly Woodruff/Family Photos

    Top Row: Thomas Kamp and Hannah Johnson, Thomas and Hannah with her son Kade, Kade. Top Row: Thomas Kamp and Hannah Johnson, Thomas and Hannah with her son Kade, Kade.

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    Surveillance footage emerged Thursday showing a gunman opening fire at one of the restaurants targeted during last week's coordinated ISIS-linked attacks in Paris, NBC News reported. 

    A man and woman can be seen chatting on one camera monitoring the bar area of the Casa Nostra cafe, when shattering glass rains down on them and they duck for cover.

    On a second camera facing out from the bar, a diner can be seen diving while their companion pulls their arms up, remaining static at the table. A third camera facing the bar captures a diner crawl under a table for cover.

    Outside, a man carrying a gun can be seen looking around before walking out of view.

    The footage was obtained by DailyMail.com.



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

    File photo: A man holds his head in his hands as he lays flowers in front of the Carillon cafe, in Paris, Saturday, Nov.14, 2015.File photo: A man holds his head in his hands as he lays flowers in front of the Carillon cafe, in Paris, Saturday, Nov.14, 2015.

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    A New London man has been arrested and charged with the murder of his common-law wife after the woman was found dead in their home on Wednesday afternoon.

    Officers found Delma Murphy, 46, dead in a bedroom on the second floor in the couple's home in the 50 block of Cole Street in New London at 12:02 p.m. on Wednesday.

    They had gone to the home to check on Murphy after her friend called the department earlier in the day and said she hadn't heard from the victim since Monday.

    Police said they also found a weapon near Murphy's body and "there were evident signs of trauma." Her death has been deemed a homicide and police haven't divulged any details on the murder weapon.

    New London police have arrested David J. McKeever, 47, who was at the home when officers arrived, and charged him with murder, according to police.

    Police originally took McKeever into custody on the charge of interfering with the police investigation and were holding him on a $250,000 bond and were also considering him a prime suspect in the woman's death, New London Deputy Chief Peter Reichard said.

    Later in the evening, police arrested him on a murder charge. McKeever was also charged with disorderly conduct.

    A neighbor told NBC Connecticut that Murphy kept to herself.

    Police ask anyone with information to call New London police at 860-447-5269 or send a tip through the police department's anonymous Tip411 system.

    The state's attorney's office and Connecticut State Police Major Crime Unit are assisting with the investigation and helping collect evidence.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut and New London Police

    David McKeever is accused of killing his common-law wife.David McKeever is accused of killing his common-law wife.

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    Very few eyes were dry Wednesday night as the father of a 19-year-old college student who vanished days ago, possibly with a gun, spoke publicly for the first time since his son's disappearance.

    "You have no reason not to come home," Dr. Jon Marberger said, addressing his missing son at a vigil Wednesday in Abington, Pennsylvania. "Please come home and show yourself. Jacob, wherever you are and whatever discretions you have done they are all recoverable."

    Jacob Marberger has been missing since early Monday, when he made the two-hour drive from Washington College in Maryland, where he studies, to his parents' home in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. He arrived after 3 a.m. Monday but was gone by 4 a.m., taking a rifle case with him. His parents said they were unsure whether a gun was inside.

    His disappearance has prompted alerts at both Washington College, which will be closed through the week of Thanksgiving, and his former school, Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, which went into lockout mode Tuesday and remains on alert.

    His father was one of about 75 people who gathered at the Beth Am Temple on Old York Road in Abington Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil. The attendees sang songs, prayed and pleaded for Jacob Marberger to come home.

    Jon Marberger told NBC10 the trouble began on Oct. 7 when his son was the victim of a prank that left him hurt and humiliated by his fellow students at Washington College.

    "Someone had placed a trash can full of water against his dorm room door, so when he opened the door, the water came into his room,” said Washington College public safety director Jerry Roderick. "He felt very hurt by that and he saw this as (people) reaching out to ridicule him in some way. In speaking to Jacob, he did feel persecuted by several students on campus."

    Two days later, Jacob Marberger, who began collecting unique guns about a year ago, brandished an unloaded, antique rifle in front of some other students while intoxicated, according to officials.

    "He’s not a kid who got high or drank regularly and then you do foolish things when you’re drunk, especially the first time," Jon Marberger said.

    About two weeks later, Jacob Marberger was suspended after police found the antique weapon at a house off campus. He returned to school only recently, after a forensic psychologist cleared him and determined he wasn’t a threat.

    Jon Marberger said his son then spent a difficult week back on campus. He was kicked out of his fraternity, faced an Honor Board hearing and was confronted Sunday night by members of his student government group, according to his father. Jacob Marberger then resigned his elected position as speaker of the senate.

    "Just because he’s made so few mistakes in his life, I don’t think he knows how to deal with that, the shame he feels when one lets themselves down," Jon Marberger said.

    After his cellphone was pinged, Jacob Marberger was spotted on surveillance video around 7 a.m. Monday buying five rounds of ammunition at a Wal-Mart in Hamburg, Berks County. His cellphone has registered no activity since 7:30 a.m. Monday, investigators said.

    During his interview with NBC10 Wednesday night, Jacob Marberger insisted his son was not a threat even as his college remains on alert.

    "He made no threats to anyone," Jon Marberger said. "I think he just wanted to climb into a hole. But he’s never made any threats to anyone, never hit anyone. He would never strike out to anyone."

    Fighting back tears, Jon Marberger begged for his son to return. 

    "We want him back. We want to see him again. We love him. Everyone loves him," he pleaded.

    If you have any information on Jacob Marberger’s whereabouts, call Washington College at 410-778-7810 or Chestertown police at 410-778-1800.



    Photo Credit: NBC10/Family Photo

    Jacob Marberger and his father Dr. Jon MarbergerJacob Marberger and his father Dr. Jon Marberger

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    Multiple Syrians have been detained trying to gain entry into the United States, including eight at the Texas border, according to the Department of Homeland Security and a report from Breitbart News.

    The Department of Homeland Security released a statement to NBC confirming two Syrian families were taken into custody Tuesday, but clarified that they families weren't trying to "sneak in."

    DHS confirms that on Tuesday, members of two Syrian families, two men, two women and four children, presented themselves at a port of entry in Laredo. They were taken into custody by CBP and turned over to ICE for further processing. The two adult women and four children were transferred to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. The two men from these families are being held at the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall Texas. Due to privacy issues, no additional information will be provided at this time.

    According to the article, two Customs and Border Protection agents told Breitbart Texas eight Syrians were detained at the Texas-Mexico border in Laredo on Monday.

    Hector Garza, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455, told Breitbart that Border Patrol agents have been contacting his organization regarding reports of other Syrians crossing into Texas through Laredo, but that he could not confirm whether any had actually crossed. With no direct flights from Syria to Texas, refugees often fly to Mexico, or another Central American country, and then make their way into the states through border crossings.

    A Syrian migrant was stopped in Hidalgo in September trying to use her sister-in-law's American passport to get into the country, Breitbart reported.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shared the article on his Facebook and Twitter accounts saying it supports his decision to no longer allow Syrian refugees into Texas.

    Republican candidate for president Donald Trump also chimed in, saying this is why America needs a "big and beautiful wall."  

    One of Trump's campaign promises is that he'd build a wall along the southern border and that he'd make Mexico pay for it.

    Abbott and House Republicans have expressed concerned over the possibility Syrian refugees could pose a security threat to the country. Abbott is one of more than two dozen governors seeking to ban Syrian refugees from their states in the wake of Friday's deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

    Meanwhile, lawmakers are preparing to vote on suspending the program bringing Syrian refugees into the country; the Department of Homeland Security is expected to soon release a report on the crisis.

    NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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    Two sisters who vanished from their suburban Minneapolis home two years ago were found Wednesday at a western Minnesota horse farm.

    Gianna and Samantha Rucki disappeared from Lakeville in April 2013. They are now 16 and 17 years old. Authorities found them Wednesday "safe and in seemingly good health," according to police.

    Authorities have since suspected a network of people were taking care of the girls and helping to keep them in hiding. Their parents were in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle when the sisters disappeared.

    Police and U.S. marshals arrived with a search warrant at White Horse Ranch Wednesday afternoon in hopes of finding evidence, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but instead found the subjects of their investigation.

    The girls’ father told the Star Tribune authorities called him around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to say his daughters were found. Since then, David Rucki has been working to find a home for the girls so the family can be reunited.

    Earlier this month, bail was set at $1 million for their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was suspected of hiding the sisters from their custodial father. The 50-year-old Minnesota woman appeared in Dakota County court on three counts of deprivation of parental rights.

    Grazzini-Rucki was charged in August by warrant and arrested last month by U.S. Marshals in Florida. She waived extradition and remains in Dakota County Jail.

    Their mother’s arrest did not further the investigation, or provide any answers as to what happened to the sisters or if they were still alive. Her attorney said Grazzini-Rucki did not want her daughters to be found.

    The network authorities believe helped hide the sisters is allegedly an underground group of people who are critical of the family court system, according to the Star Tribune.

    White Horse Ranch’s website describes the compound as a nonprofit that aids abused children through work with horses, saying, "Broken children and hurting horses are able to bring each other to a place of healing through God’s unconditional love."

    The ranch is about 160 miles outside Minneapolis. According to its website, founder Gina Dahlen and her husband, Doug, live on the ranch, the latter of whom told the Star Tribune Wednesday he was not allowed to comment on the case.

    When they ran away in 2013, the teenagers accused their father of abusing them, according to the Star Tribune, but a psychologist ruled that there was no indication of abuse and instead their mother had brainwashed the children.

    While in jail, Grazzini-Rucki maintains she had nothing to do with her daughter’s disappearance.



    Photo Credit: Lakeville Police Department

    Gianna and Samantha Rucki had not been seen since they went missing from their suburban Minneapolis home in April 2013.Gianna and Samantha Rucki had not been seen since they went missing from their suburban Minneapolis home in April 2013.

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    Firefighters rescued a man from a burning home in Wethersfield on Wednesday night.

    Calls that the single-story ranch house at 362 Brimfield Road was on fire came in at 8:39 p.m. and firefighters arrived at 8:42 p.m. to find flames coming from several windows.

    A woman who was outside the house was calling for her husband, who she said was still inside the house, according to a news release from the Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department, so search and rescue teams went in and found the man unconscious, on the living room floor.

    They pulled him from the house and to an ambulance waiting to take him to Hartford Hospital. No information has been released on his condition.

    The fire was under control by 10 p.m. and the cause of the fire is not known.

    Crews from Rocky Hill, Newington and Glastonbury provided mutual aid.
    .



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    One person was hospitalized for injuries in a two-alarm Wethersfield house fire Wednesday night.One person was hospitalized for injuries in a two-alarm Wethersfield house fire Wednesday night.

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    Police have identified the two men whose bodies were found in a car in the parking lot of a Hamden apartment building in the 600 block of Mix Avenue Tuesday afternoon. 

    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington determined that Damian Connor, 23, of Hamden, and Tamar Lawrence, 19, of New Haven, died of gunshot wounds to the head and their deaths have been ruled homicides.

    Someone walking in the parking lot around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday noticed at least one person was in distress inside a car in the Broadmoor Apartments parking lot and called police, Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said Tuesday.

    Firefighters and EMS personnel rushed to the scene, where they found Connor and Lawrence unconscious in a blue sedan, then called police.

    Police then learned that people in the area heard a sound like fireworks or gunshots on Monday night, but police were not alerted until Tuesday.

    "My message to the public, at large, is that if you hear something, if you see something, please call us and say something," Wydra said. "We might have been able to commence this investigation much earlier than this afternoon."

    When police were at the scene on Tuesday, the car was still running and Wydra said police believe Connor and Lawrence were there for a while.

    Police believe Connor and Lawrence were killed in the same area they were found and that the bodies weren't dumped there.

    The department is going to pour all their considerable resources, possibly including the FBI and New Haven police, into the investigation into the foreseeable future, Wydra said.

    Police haven't identified a suspect in the double homicide, but Wydra said Tuesday that "whoever's responsible for this act is extremely dangerous." Authorities have not said if the incident was targeted or random.

    Police have not released a description of a suspect, but ask people to report anything suspicious, even if it might only seem like a small detail.

    The Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Division is overseeing the investigation and asks anyone with information to call detectives at 203-4040.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Hamden police are at an apartment building at 680 Mix Avenue after bodies were found inside a car in the parking lot.Hamden police are at an apartment building at 680 Mix Avenue after bodies were found inside a car in the parking lot.

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    Police arrested two men after finding a stolen U-Haul van in Bridgeport on Monday, police said.

    An officer who was on patrol in the area of Texas Avenue and East Main Street on Monday saw the white U-Haul moving van, which was registered in Arizona and reported stolen earlier in the day, police said, so the officer approached the vehicle and saw two men and a woman inside.

    The driver, Vito Badalamenti, 45, of Bridgeport, the male passenger, Randolph Pasnick, 37, of Ansonia, and the woman all obeyed the officer’s commands to put their hands on the dashboard.

    Once backup arrived, police officers asked the three people to get out of the van and handcuffed them, police said.

    Badalamenti told officer he took the van from a woman and man who were returning it to the U-Haul facility at East Main Street, police said, and Badalamenti and Pasnick were both arrested.

    Police charged Badalamenti with first-degree larceny and bond was set at $5,000.

    While police were booking Pasnick at the police station, they found what appeared to be drugs and drug paraphernalia and he was charged with first-degree larceny, Illegal possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $10,000.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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