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    Germany's so-called "Nazi Bride" broke her silence more than two years into a trial in which she has been charged with taking part in a racist killing spree that left 10 dead, NBC News reported. 

    Beate Zschaepe, 40, is allegedly the sole surviving member of the National Social Underground (NSU), a neo-Nazi terror cell behind a series of murders, bombings and bank robberies between 2000 and 2007,prosecutors say.

    Zschaepe denied participating in the murders committed by two of her close friends in a written statement read by her lawyers in a Munich court Wednesday. She insisted she was only told about the deaths after the fact and rejected charges that she had ever been a part of NSU.

    "I was involved neither in the preparations, nor in the carrying out," Zchaepe said in the statement, acknowledging that she felt "morally guilty" that she could not prevent the crimes. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    Terror suspect Beate Zschaepe enters the court room in Munich, southern Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Zschaepe is accused of being involved in 10 neo-Nazi murders of the National Socialist Underground group, which allegedly killed eight Turkish men, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.Terror suspect Beate Zschaepe enters the court room in Munich, southern Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Zschaepe is accused of being involved in 10 neo-Nazi murders of the National Socialist Underground group, which allegedly killed eight Turkish men, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007.

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    Dozens of college students in Orange County, California, have been showing symptoms from an outbreak of what's suspected to be the highly contagious norovirus, officials said.

    The first cases of the gastrointestinal illness at Chapman University were reported last Wednesday, and the school says as many as 50 students have fallen ill since.

    Eight students were confirmed to have the virus, the school said. 

    "My stomach started being in knots, and I just felt terrible," student Logan Beerman said. "I was throwing up all night long."

    The source of the outbreak was unknown, but officials believe it did not originate at the school because several ill students live off campus and do not use the university's dining facilities.

    Students, however, told NBC4 they had eaten at the school cafeteria before feeling sick. 

    The illness can be spread by touching an infected person, and through contaminated surfaces and food. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.

    Kameron Backstrom was also one of the dozens of students with symptoms.

    "I started feeling sick last week," Backstrom said.

    Sophomore Coby Becker fears he may have it.

    "General stomach uneasiness, I guess you can say. I didn't throw up, but I definitely was feeling a bit off," he said.

    The university said it has disinfected high-traffic areas and residence hall dining commons on campus, and was working with the Orange County Health Department to monitor and investigate the outbreak.

    "We meticulously went through the entire university and disinfected every restroom so it's all very clean now - not that it wasn't before," said university spokeswoman Mary Platt.

    The university posted an FAQ online that includes advice on how students and staff can minimize their chances of contracting the virus and what they can do if they feel symptoms.

    At least 65 students at Boston College also contracted norovirus this week, according to the city's health commission. Officials have said they believe the Boston outbreak is linked to a Chipotle restaurant near campus.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    File photo of the Chapman University campus.File photo of the Chapman University campus.

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    A series of crashes was causing major traffic troubles on both sides of I-84 in Waterbury on Wednesday morning.

    State police responded to three accidents on the eastbound side of I-84 near Exit 25 just before 7 a.m. There was no word on injuries.

    A broken down vehicle near Exit 23 eastbound was also causing backups, police said.

    A disabled cement truck was blocking the left-hand lane on the westbound side of I-84 near Exit 21. Police said that was leading to delays through the morning rush hour as well.

    Drivers are urged to find other routes.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT

    Traffic was slow-going along I-84 in Waterbury on Wednesday morning.Traffic was slow-going along I-84 in Waterbury on Wednesday morning.

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    Police are searching for the man who they say robbed a liquor store in Newington.

    The man robbed the Liquor Locker at 135 Kelsey Street around 8 p.m. on Saturday night, according to police.

    The clerk told officers that the robber walked with a limp and got away with $382 from the register.

    At the time of the robbery, the man was wearing jeans and a dark-colored winter hat with a white Nike logo on it. He was also wearing a light-colored sweatshirt that may have had the word "Cowboys" on it. He wore white sneakers with blue soles, police said.

    The man got away in a late 1990's model Saturn 4-door light-colored sedan.

    Anyone with information on the suspect's identity is asked to call Newington police.



    Photo Credit: Newington Police

    Police say this man robbed the Liquor Locker on Kelsey Street in Newington on Saturday night.Police say this man robbed the Liquor Locker on Kelsey Street in Newington on Saturday night.

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    Temperatures are on the increase as the weekend approaches and records will be in jeopardy come this weekend.

    Clouds will dominate today, though some sunshine has been observed in eastern Connecticut. Temperatures will be similar to, if not a few notches above, yesterday. That means upper 40s.

    Mostly cloudy skies stick around tomorrow, but there can also be some sprinkles. All in all, it will be a dry but gloomy day.  Highs will be in the lower and middle 50s.

    Finally, by Friday, there should be more of a balance of sunshine and clouds. As a result, temperatures will be in the middle to upper 50s.

    Saturday looks splendid. High pressure takes comment and that yields a mostly sunny sky. Temperatures will rise into the upper 50s.

    Early October-like weather arrives Sunday. Clouds will mix with sunshine, and temperatures could skyrocket. Middle 60s are possible! The amount of sunshine is really key to how high temperatures go on Sunday.

    Also, there are indications of a backdoor cold front sneaking in from the north. First Alert forecasters aren't certain how far south it will make it, but it's something to keep a close eye on. Should it move through Connecticut, temperatures may not even hit 60 degrees.

    Even though wet weather arrives on Monday, temperatures could still break records. Lower 60s are in the forecast, so while it won't be pleasant, it will still be warm.

    Clearing should occur by some point on Tuesday, though it will be windy and temperatures will "only" be in the middle and upper 40s.

    Connecticut ski areas have largely not been making snow in the small windows of opportunity this month, though Woodbury has made snow on several occasions.

    [[361250731,C]]


    Sunday conundrum: how far south will a backdoor cold front make it?Sunday conundrum: how far south will a backdoor cold front make it?

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    A pharmaceutical company exec, who has been pilloried in the past for buying the rights to an HIV drug then hiking up the price, is now the sole owner of the new Wu-Tang Clan album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin."

    And the Bay Area's Hip-Hop Chess Federation will benefit. 

    The Wu-Tang Clan long ago announced that its newest release would only be distributed to one person, like a work of high art. That one copy would then be sold off to the highest bidder.

    Well, it sold. For a bundle. Reportedly $2 million. And the buyer? Bay Area Biotech CEO Martin Shkreli, who cops to buying it in a series of tweets, including one reading,"If there is a curious gap in your favorite artist's discography, well, now you know why."

    Bloomberg Business cited a source "familiar with the deal" as saying Shkreli spent $2 million for the Wu-Tang Clan record.

    Shkreli became notorious when his company Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to an HIV drug then raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill, according to NBC News. He eventually agreed to cut the cost to about $375 per pill amid widespread criticism.

    He later bought up the majority of shares in another company, South San Francisco's KaloBios, whose stock price shot up more than 4,000 percent.

    When NBC Bay Area spoke to Shkreli about all the attention, he said "I'm not here to please the media, I'm here to please investors, and ultimately help patients."

    Wu-Tang leader RZA said he'd give some of the proceeds to charity. He came through. Among those getting money from the sale is the Bay Area's Hip-Hop Chess Federation. HHCF blends rap and chess to help kids make better decisions in life through the study of chess (a theme of many a Wu-Tang song) and martial arts.

    HHCF co-founder Adisa Banjoko tells NBC Bay Area, "RZA told me the sale of the album occurred. He wanted to make a donation, as a karmic ripple effect. I'm thankful for the donation, at a time when it's hard for kids out there. RZA believes in what we're doing ... I hope other artists follow his lead."

    Shkreli told Bloomberg he hadn't listened to the exclusive album yet but planned to "for a rainy day" or if "Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that."

    Scott tracks tech on Twitter: @scottbudman



    Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits for a photograph behind a chess board in this file photo.Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits for a photograph behind a chess board in this file photo.

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    An online petition to bar Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump from the United Kingdom garnered over 250,000 signatures on Wednesday, well past the 100,000-signature threshold needed for lawmakers to debate the issue, NBC News reported. 

    By 6:10 p.m. (1:10 p.m. ET), the U.K. petition created on Tuesday had earned 258,934 signatures.

    Trump has received backlash both in the United States and from abroad after saying Muslims should not be allowed to enter the U.S. The British government has the power to bar people considered a threat to public safety or national security, or those with criminal convictions. In the past, the U.K. has denied entry to figures as diverse as boxer Mike Tyson, rapper Tyler the Creator, radical Muslim preachers and the late Christian fundamentalist Fred Phelps Sr.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during a rally coinciding with Pearl Harbor Day at Patriots Point aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. Trump defended his plan, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, for a Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during a rally coinciding with Pearl Harbor Day at Patriots Point aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. Trump defended his plan, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" by comparing it with President Franklin Roosevelt's decision to inter Japanese Americans during World War II. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

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    FBI Director James Comey told senators on Wednesday that one of the attackers who opened fire outside an exhibit of cartoon images featuring the prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas, exchanged more than 100 electronic messages with "an overseas terrorist" beforehand, NBC News reported.

    "[But], we have no idea what he said, because those messages were encrypted," Comey said during testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

    Comey pleaded for tech companies to change the design of smartphones and other electronic devices to allow for de-encryption of data under a court order.

    Recent terror attacks, such as last month's coordinated bombings and mass-shooting in and around Paris, have renewed the debate around encryption. Apple and other tech giants have resisted calls from politicians and others to either provide a "backdoor" or loosen encryption standards.

    "To protect people who use any products, you have to encrypt," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview last month with The Telegraph.



    Photo Credit: AP

    FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Committee.FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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    San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook received a $28,500 loan through online lender Prosper Marketplace Inc. just two weeks before he and his wife opened fire at a holiday party, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others, NBC News has confirmed.

    Though the transaction has raised eyebrows, sources close to the investigation said there are no known indications the money trail in this case links the couple with any foreign terrorist organization such as ISIS.

    While individual investors can contribute through these peer-to-peer lending sites, the borrower's identity is protected and investors can't search for a particular loan applicant by name.

    That would make it harder for a terrorist group to channel cash to a specific individual, but not impossible, said one expert.



    Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File

    In this July 27, 2014 file photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook, as they passed through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. The husband and wife died on Dec. 2, 2015, in a gun battle with authorities several hours after their assault on a gathering of Farook's colleagues in San Bernardino, Calif.In this July 27, 2014 file photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook, as they passed through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. The husband and wife died on Dec. 2, 2015, in a gun battle with authorities several hours after their assault on a gathering of Farook's colleagues in San Bernardino, Calif.

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    A week after a married couple allegedly bent on jihad opened fire on a San Bernardino health center, killing 14 people and injuring 21 others, family members of the victims returned to the site of the bloodbath.

    Mourners paid their respects Wednesday with a moment of silence at 11 a.m., the time the Dec. 2 shooting occurred.

    Shortly after, family members left a convention center with a six-motorcycle escort, headed to the scene of the crime to collect the victims' belongings. Victims' families were expected to meet with the FBI at the National Orange Show Events Center before heading to the Inland Regional Center.

    The 14 men and women killed came from all walks of life. They hailed from the Middle East, Africa, the U.S. and Mexico. One loved the Renaissance Faire, another was an avid gamer. They were husbands, wives, parents and friends, bound by one common thread: All were San Bernardino County employees and had gathered the day they died to celebrate the holidays.

    Among the victims is 40-year-old Robert Adams, who married his high school sweetheart. He and his wife, Summer, had plans to take their daughter to Disneyland for the first time.

    "He was a loving son, brother, husband and daddy to daughter Savannah," his family said.

    Aurora Godoy, 26, who worked as an office assistant, was a wife and the mother of a toddler boy.

    "We will keep her flame alive so that her young son does not forget her special mother," wrote her aunt, Rebecca Godoy.

    Daniel Kaufman's boyfriend, Ryan Reyes, was initially told Kaufman was only shot in the arm and was led to believe that he was alive 22 hours after the mass shooting, but was later confirmed to have been killed.

    Kaufman, 42, ran the coffee shop at the social services center where the shootings occurred and was a larger-than-life character, his friends said.

    The gunmen have been identified as Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, both of whom police

    The couple opened fire on Farook's co-workers the Inland Regional Center before dying in a shootout with police about four hours later.

    Federal authorities are investigating the attack as an act of terror, and ISIS has said the couple were followers of the group.



    Photo Credit: LA Times via Getty Images

    One week after the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, the families and loved ones of the victims were allowed to stand outside the building for a quiet look December 9, 2015. Escorted by police motorcycles, two charter buses arrived, unloaded and left shortly the people snapped photos and exchanged hugs.One week after the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, the families and loved ones of the victims were allowed to stand outside the building for a quiet look December 9, 2015. Escorted by police motorcycles, two charter buses arrived, unloaded and left shortly the people snapped photos and exchanged hugs.

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    President Barack Obama hosted Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Wednesday evening for a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony, one of two official parties for the festival being held this year at the White House.

    The first of two menorahs used in the candle lighting ceremonies, lit by President Rivlin, came from the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Judaic Art Gallery.

    "The menorah was made in Israel during the 1920s by a pioneer designer, Ze’ev Raban, who trained in Europe and blended European, Jewish and Palestinian Arab design elements to create a new aesthetic for Jewish art in what would become the State of Israel," according to the White House blog.

    The second menorah will be lit at an evening reception by holocaust survivor Manfred Lindenbaum. Lindenbaum escaped to England with his brother via the Kindertransport after being deported to Poland from Germany during World War II, the White House said.    

    The menorah chosen for the second ceremony was made by Holocaust survivor Erwin Theiberger, who fashioned the sacred candelabrum's from cement nails and solder while imprisoned in one of the sub-camps of Auschwitz. 

    After WWII, Theiberger settled in the Washington, D.C., area as a refugee to the U.S. and continued to make menorah's from materials similar to those made during the war. 

    "Thieberger was dedicated to creating a living reminder to the spirit of Hanukkah and the Jews’ continual fight for freedom and survival," the White House said.

    The second Hanakkah candle-lighting ceremony is expected to begin at 7:35 p.m. ET.



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this file photo the White House is in the background after the national menorah was lit during a ceremony marking the start of the celebration of Hanukkah, on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.In this file photo the White House is in the background after the national menorah was lit during a ceremony marking the start of the celebration of Hanukkah, on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.

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    When evidence emerged linking the San Bernardino shooting to ISIS, President Barack Obama called on Muslim leaders in the U.S. and around the world to speak out against the group’s violent ideology.

    He urged Muslim leaders to not only speak out against acts of violence, "but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity."

    It’s a call that world leaders have repeated in the wake of increasingly frequent ISIS attacks — and one that Muslim leaders have already been heeding.

    Ever since ISIS stormed onto the world stage last year, prompting a U.S.-led bombing campaign against the group in Iraq and Syria, Muslim scholars and community leaders have been on the front lines in the war against the group’s ideas, ​which are far from mainstream.

    Shortly after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself leader of the so-called "Islamic State," Muslim scholars published a 17-page open letter to Baghdadi, challenging everything from his claim to be "caliph," or leader of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, to the way his group "cherry-picks" verses from the Koran to justify its actions.

    The September 2014 letter was translated into 10 languages and signed by more than 120 supporters, from the grand mufti of Egypt to a professor of Islamic studies at Massachusetts’ College of the Holy Cross.

    In it, the authors argue that Islam forbids forced conversions, slavery, torture, the killing of innocents and the disfiguring of the dead — all of which ISIS has notoriously done and sought to justify in its own extensive, multi-lingual arguments.

    Citing religious texts, the letter also says that Islam forbids the mistreatment "in any way" of Christians or "people of the book," and that it is "obligatory" to consider Yazidis — members of a religious minority that ISIS fighters have attacked and enslaved — as part of that group.

    It ends by demanding al-Baghdadi desist from all of his actions, "cease harming others and return to the religion of mercy."

    The letter racked up more than 120,000 likes on Facebook and signatures from notable scholars around the world, including the vice president and deans of Shariah law and theology from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, one of the most renowned centers for Islamic scholarship in the world. 

    Since then, the chorus of condemnation has grown, yet ISIS has been notably successful at recruitment and savvy at steering its sympathizers away from mainstream and moderate messages.

    ISIS propaganda demonizes and dismisses critics as "infidels," claims to be the one true voice of Islam and orders Muslims across the world to leave the "lands of disbelief" and move to its territory in Iraq and Syria.

    Some efforts to disseminate challenges to ISIS’ religious authority come via social media, where they might wind up on the radar of potential recruits

    In Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, a 50 million-strong Islamic organization recently launched a global anti-extremism initiative that will disseminate counter-messages online.

    A. Mustofa Bisri, the spiritual leader of the Nahdlatul Ulama or NU, recently told The New York Times that "the spread of a shallow understanding of Islam renders this situation critical, as … extremist groups justify their harsh and often savage behavior by claiming to act in accord with God’s commands, although they are grievously mistaken."

    The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a 57-member inter-governmental organization that bills itself as "the collective voice of the Muslim world," is using a similar strategy to counter ISIS ideology.

    The group recently launched a "messaging center" that will connect senior Islamic scholars with the sort of cutting edge social media strategies that has made ISIS such a powerful force online.

    Amanul Haq, the head of the OIC’s Peace, Security and Mediation Unit, pointed out that the scholarly work against ISIS that already exists "simply hasn’t been communicated in ways likely to resonate with those who need to hear this message the most" and that the project aims to correct that.

    Muslim community leaders in the UK are contributing to counter messaging as well, via an online magazine dedicated to "exposing the reality of ISIS."

    On the ground, Muslim community leaders have taken to the streets repeatedly, from Berlin to New Jersey, to denounce violence in the name of Islam.

    "We denounce [terrorist attacks] continuously," Abdul Mubarak-Rowe, the communications director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told NBC Owned Television Stations in the wake of the Paris attacks. "It is not something that is found in Islam at all and we speak out vociferously against it.

    Mubarak-Rowe also said that sweeping anti-Muslim rhetoric has become a problem in the wake of ISIS attacks.

    "We are very disturbed by what we are hearing and what are seeing," he said

    In his San Bernardino speech, President Obama urged Americans to steer clear of discrimination and bigotry and not let the fight against ISIS be "defined as a war between America and Islam."

    "That, too, is what groups like ISIL want. ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world — including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology," he said.

    Though overwhelmingly dismissed, thousands have heeded ISIS' call.

    According to the Soufan Group, a security consulting firm, about 30,000 people from 86 countries have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS. The firm points out that recruitment has more than doubled over the last 18 months.

    Most recruits come from neighboring countries, with just 280 joining ISIS from North America and even fewer from the United States, where recruitment has been mostly reliant on social media.

    Haq from the OIC acknowledged the challenge of trying to compete with ISIS’ notorious social media machine. But he added that that is why support for counter-messages is critical in the "battle for hearts and minds that's taking place across social media and in the wider world."



    Photo Credit: AP

    Indian Muslims shout slogans during a protest against ISIS, an Islamic State group, and the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.Indian Muslims shout slogans during a protest against ISIS, an Islamic State group, and the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.

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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is rejecting Donald Trump's remarks about banning Muslims from entering the United States, saying that Israel "respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens," NBC News reported.

    "As for the meeting with Mr. Trump that was set some two weeks ago, the Prime Minister decided earlier this year on a uniform policy to agree to meet with all presidential candidates from either party who visit Israel and ask for a meeting," Netanyahu's office said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "This policy does not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views. Rather, it is an expression of the importance that Prime Minister Netanyahu attributes to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States."

    On Monday, Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Center for American Progress, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Washington.In this file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Center for American Progress, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Washington.

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    After more than four decades as the nation's economic majority, the middle class as a whole is losing ground and is now matched by the upper and lower economic tiers, according to a report released Wednesday by Pew Research Center, NBC News reported.

    In 2014, almost half - 49 percent - of the nation's aggregate income went to upper-income households and 43 percent went to middle-income households. By contrast, in 1970 those numbers were 29 percent and 62 percent.

    Meanwhile, Hispanics have experienced a small increase in income status since 2001, but their share in the lower-income tier was flat.

    One factor behind this short-term trend for Hispanic adults, says Pew Research Center, could be the slowdown in immigration from Mexico, especially of unauthorized immigrants, who tend to be less educated.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    FILEFILE

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    The Boys and Girls club of Hartford partnered with local pizzeria to teach children about healthy eating habits.

    "Everyday we work to serve healthy meals, teach them what to look for in grocery stores," Shawonda Swain, the director of operations for Boys and Girls Club of Hartford.  

    "You know Hartford is considered a fresh food and produce desert you know there's not a lot of grocery stores to get healthy produce so we try to make sure we provide that and this is just another avenue to do it with a great thing that they love," Swain said.

    Over 30 kids worked with American Flatbread, a local pizzeria that uses locally farmed New England vegetables for its pizza, to make a healthy lunch for the entire Boys and Girls Club in a mobile pizza oven.

    "A lot of what we'll do today is we're going to be talking about healthy ingredients. A way that that everybody's loves pizza. And a great way that you can have a little bit of everything. A little healthy food, some pizza, and hopefully a good time around the holidays" says Brad Sterl, CEO of Rustic Crust American Flatbread.

    American Flatbread will also donate money and 100 pizzas to the group. Hartford is one of the leading U.S. cities with limited access to healthy and affordable foods. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A lawyer for the former eighth-grade science teacher at Bailey Middle School in West Haven who was charged after a chair-pulling incident at school appeared in court briefly on Wednesday.

    Hugh Keefe is representing David Pfaff, 31 of Cheshire.  Keefe said he exchanged some information with prosecutors and obtained a copy of the police report in Milford Superior Court.

    West Haven police arrested Pfaff, 31, last month and charged him with second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

    The investigation into Pfaff’s actions started after police received cellphone video that allegedly showed Pfaff yank a chair out from underneath a middle school student.

    "This is not the time to be a teacher.  Everyone second guesses everything you did and that's what's happening in this case," Keefe said outside court.

    Pfaff, who was terminated from his teaching job, apologized and said that the incident unfolded after he asked a student with behavioral problems to move several times so others could use the table where he was sitting.

    Instead of moving, the student refused to get up and used inappropriate language, according to Pfaff.

    “He used very, very, very inappropriate language toward me and toward other students," Pfaff said during an interview in early November.

    At that point, Pfaff said he asked the student one more time to "please move." When the student refused, Pfaff said he was faced with three options — to let it go, call security or intervene.

    "I felt like calling security, getting the administration involved — the school administration involved — and having him sent to in-school suspension, or whatever discipline measure they said was necessary, I felt that was overkill," Pfaff said.

    Instead, Pfaff said he decided to use a technique he’d seen other teachers use in similar situations: move the student's chair to get him to stand so the teacher could escort him to another area of the room.

    "I felt that I needed to intervene in some way that I had not previously done," Pfaff said.

    When he did, the student fell to the ground. Pfaff said that wasn't the intent and said he would never harm a student. He explained that teachers often have to make split-second decisions.

    "I looked at him and I looked at the chair. I know you are not supposed to touch a student. You don’t do that," Pfaff said. "I never meant for that to happen — never."

    The student didn't complain of any pain but became violent when he stood up, knocking over chairs and throwing things, Pfaff said, forcing the teacher to call security.

    Security personnel removed the student from the classroom, Pfaff said, and Pfaff was escorted to his car and told he was being put on home leave during the investigation.

    Pfaff, who has about a year of teaching experience and previously served as a substitute teacher in Waterbury, had been teaching in West Haven for just three months.

    West Haven Supt. Neil Cavallaro sent Pfaff a letter on Nov. 5 stating, "I have concluded that it is in the best interest of the district to separate employment prior to the completion of your ninety day (90) probationary period."



    Photo Credit: West Haven Police and NBCConnecticut.com

    David Pfaff, a former eighth-grade science teacher at Bailey Middle School in West Haven, was arrested last month.David Pfaff, a former eighth-grade science teacher at Bailey Middle School in West Haven, was arrested last month.

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    West Hartford police are investigating after members of a synagogue became suspicious of two women at a service on Saturday.

    The women arrived 10 minutes before the end of the service at the Emanuel Synagogue on Mohegan Drive, according to Rabbi David Small.

    Small said as he asked the congregation to stand and honor the victims of the recent attacks, the two women were the only ones not to stand. They also gave people conflicting stories about where they were from, Small said.

    He contacted police, who began an investigation.

    The same two women may have been spotted at the "Fire & Ice" Hanukkah menorah lighting at Blue Back Square on Sunday, according to police.

    "Due to national and worldwide events, we are all in a heightened state of concern and awareness," West Hartford Police Lt. Ted Stoneburner said in an email Wednesday. "As such, law enforcement has encouraged citizens to call if they see something that is out of the ordinary. This is exactly what happened over this past weekend."

    Lt. Stoneburner said that although the behavior of the women was unusual, it did not rise to illegal or criminal activity.

    Police will continue to investigate any leads involved with the case, he said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    West Hartford police are investigating after members of a synagogue reported unusual behavior by two women who attended a service on Saturday.West Hartford police are investigating after members of a synagogue reported unusual behavior by two women who attended a service on Saturday.

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    Police are investigating a fatal stabbing in Hartford.

    It happened near the intersection of Albany Avenue and Baltimore Street just past noon on Wednesday.

    The victim has been identified as 45-year-old Joseph Lindsey, of Hartford, according to Hartford Dep. Police Chief Brian Foley.

    Lindsey suffered from stabbings in his neck and head, police said. He was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital.

    Albany Avenue was closed between Kent Street and Homestead Avenue.

    The Hartford Police Major Crimes Division are "scouring the area" as they investigate the incident.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Hartford police responded to a fatal stabbing near the intersection of Albany Avenue and Baltimore Street on Wednesday afternoon.Hartford police responded to a fatal stabbing near the intersection of Albany Avenue and Baltimore Street on Wednesday afternoon.

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    Tens of thousands of test-tube babies are conceived each year, but a new litter of puppies marks the first time dogs have been born via in vitro fertilization, NBC News reports.

    The first human test-tube baby was born in 1978, and it's taken decades of work to figure out how to make a puppy the same way – dogs have a different reproductive cycle from other animals bred through IVF. 

    A team from Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine used a chemical bath to find the right egg cell to use, they reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

    The idea is to be able to produce lab animals for medical tests. But the method can also be used to preserve endangered species or correct genetic diseases prevalent in some breeds, the team said. 

    "What's next for the puppies is a lot of house training," associate professor Alexander Travis told NBC News.



    Photo Credit: Jeffrey MacMillan

    The first litter of puppies born by in vitro fertilization.The first litter of puppies born by in vitro fertilization.

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    Roads are reopened after a car crashed into a tanker on Main Street and Bristol Street in Southington.

    Southington Fire Department responded with several engines that may have closed down the road temporarily, authoties said. 

    According to a witness, Jake Harton, an older gentleman was driving the car with his daughter but sustained only a bruise. 



    Photo Credit: Jake Harton

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