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    Hillary Clinton directly responded to Donald Trump's recent use of a vulgar term to describe her, telling the Des Moines Register Tuesday night that she is no longer surprised by the GOP frontrunner's insults, NBC News reported.

    "I really deplore the tone of his campaign, the inflammatory rhetoric that he is using to divide people, and his going after groups of people with hateful, incendiary rhetoric," she said in an interview. "Nothing really surprises me anymore. I don't know that he has any boundaries at all. His bigotry, his bluster, his bullying have become his campaign. And he has to keep sort of upping the stakes and going even further."

    The Des Moines Register interview was Clinton's first direct response to Trump's comments.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    In this file photo, Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the debate at Saint Anselm College December 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire.In this file photo, Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the debate at Saint Anselm College December 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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    A Southwest flight headed to Chicago experienced some maintenance issues Wednesday morning, the airlines stated, and landed safely back in Oakland where it had originated from four hours later.

    The Southwest Flight 2547 landed back at Oakland International Airport shortly after 10 a.m. local time, according to FlightAware and NBC Bay Area's chopper overhead. Shortly beforehand, the plane descended to about 375 feet and flew by the tower in Oakland so air traffic controllers could visually inspect the landing gear.

    NBC Bay Area caught up with the plane after it touched down, and spoke with passengers, many of whom seemed both shaken up and elated at the same time.

    "We were all clapping and crying," said Ashley Stasio of San Francisco, who was on her way to visit her parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    She explained that passengers didn't realize what was going on for some time. "But three hours in," she said, "I knew something wasn't right."

    Once the flight attendants and pilots told the people on board what was happening, and that they had to stay in the air to burn fuel, Stasio said that "people started to panic at the end. You never know if they are telling you the truth."

    She said the woman next to her was crying, others were holding hands and scores of passengers were on their phones. "I'm sure they were sending messages to loved ones," Stasio said.

    "I don't mean to sound dramatic," she added. "But it was scary."

    FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the flight had to return to Oakland due to a "landing gear issue" and was burning off fuel over the Central Valley for several hours in the morning. The Southwest media team said in an email that the flight departed Oakland about 6 a.m. for Chicago Midway with 139 passengers onboard.

    After takeoff, the captain in command made the decision to return to Oakland to check a maintenance item on the aircraft, Southwest said.

    "Safety is of paramount importance," Southwest added in a statement. "We appreciate our customers’ patience while we work to get them to their final destinations for the holiday."

    Firefighters responded with one truck and four engines to the airport in case the plane caught on fire when it landed, a fire dispatcher said.

    Stasio said she's going to travel on Thursday to see her parents, as she's not ready to get on a plane so soon after what happened.



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

    A Southwest flight that left from Oakland headed to Chicago experienced some maintenance issues, the airlines stated, before attempting an emergency landing, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.A Southwest flight that left from Oakland headed to Chicago experienced some maintenance issues, the airlines stated, before attempting an emergency landing, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.

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    Two children hid upstairs as two burglars broke into their home and searched the basement for marijuana, according to police documents.

    Clinton Mitchell, 29, and Michael Walters, 27, appeared in court today for the home invasion of a Manchester home on 26 Walnut St. 

    The suspects searched the home's basement while two children hid upstairs.

    Upon arriving, police heard someone say they had their hands up and arrested the suspects. Police also found seven pounds of marijuana and a .22 caliber gun, according to Captain Christopher Davis of Manchester Police Department.

    The marijuana found is currently under investigation, Davis said. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Connecticut man is awaiting extradition in North Carolina after being accused of stealing $5,000  from an elderly woman with a fraudulent land scam. 

    Willie Wilson of West Haven had been identified has a suspect in a scam investigation in Greenville, North Carolina. An elderly woman had been tricked into sending thousands of dollars to Connecticut as part of a fraudulent land sale scheme. 

    Another man, William Powell of West Haven, was also charged but police did not say how he was involved in the crime. 

    Both Wilson and Powell were charged with felony larceny. The two men are waiting to be extradited from North Carolina. 

    It is not clear if the men have attorneys. 



    Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

    Willie WilsonWillie Wilson

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    Bradley International experienced some fuel problems on Wednesday the day before Christmas Eve.

    According to NBC Connecticut's AJ Walker, six flights were affected but the problem is resolved.

    Passengers traveling to Bradley experienced delays up to 45 minutes because of the issue.

    John Fairbarin told NBC Connecticut that his flight at Reagan International Airport in Washington D.C., to Bradley was delayed over 45 minutes.

    "Pilot informed us the airport is out of jet fuel and thus we are waiting fo some to be trucked in from a tank farm," Fairbarin told NBC in an email.

    Fuel that was supposed to be delivered at 1:30 pm did not arrive because of a pump problem in New Haven, according to Kevin Dillion, the executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority.

    The fuel is delivered to Bradley from New Haven periodically through the Buckeye pipeline. At around 4:30 pm the pipeline shut down because "supplies were low," Dillion said. The Aviation Services International Group (ASIG) operate the fuel farm in New Haven and were able to supplement some fuel deliveries with trucks, according to Dillion.

    The CAA doesn't expect further delays.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    North Haven Police are investigating a brazen home break-in and theft from the middle of the day that left a father scrambling to replace Christmas gifts for his sons.

    “I was gone for literally 45 minutes,” Thomas Crisanti told NBC Connecticut, “the door was locked.”

    When Cristanti returned around 2:15 in the afternoon to his home on Bassett Road, he said found broken glass and carpets pushed aside by the back door.

    “Just being in a state of shock I ran upstairs to check on the Christmas gifts, that as my first thought, and they were gone,” he said.

    Crisanti is still reviewing receipts to figure out everything that’s missing from his bedroom.

    “Ninety-five percent of the stuff was brand new, never even used,” Crisanti said. He estimates the value of the stolen items is between ten and 12 thousand dollars.

    A new laptop and two hoverboards he bought for his boys are just some of the stolen goods.

    “I open the drawer and saw that the gun was missing,” Crisanti said.

    North Haven Police say the thieves took a Smith and Wesson handgun. They left behind two magazines in the bedroom drawer.

    Before the rain Wednesday night, police took photographs of tire tracks by the back door and they retrieved footprints from inside the home, Crisanti said.

    “They think somebody had to have been watching the house, saw me leave,” he said.

    Crisanti and his uncle are trying to keep their spirits up and not let these thieves spoil their holiday.

    “We’ll do whatever it takes, if it means going out shopping tonight, we’re going shopping,” Cristanti’s uncle Wayne Malicki said, “whatever it takes to make those kids happy.”

    North Haven Police are asking anyone with information to call (203) 239-5321. Crisanti said he is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who can help lead to an arrest.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Thomas Crisanti boards up the window where thieves broke into his home this afternoon.Thomas Crisanti boards up the window where thieves broke into his home this afternoon.

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    A 2-month-old baby was found unresponsive with blood coming from his nose and mouth at an East Windsor home, police said. 

    At 11:21 am on Wednesday, East Windsor police responded to a call on Broad Brook. Upon arriving, police performed CPR on the infant who was not breathing. The baby was pronounced dead at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

    The baby's death is currently under investigation.

    The mother and three other residents were at the residence at the time of the report, Detective Matt Carl with the East Windsor police said. According to Carl, the baby was found bleeding from his nose and mouth.

    The mother, from Tanzania, is cooperating with police. An autopsy for the baby will be tomorrow at 9:30 am. It is unclear there will be any charges before the autopsy. 


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    Hartford submitted an application to land the third casino in the state of Connecticut.

    The Mashantuckett Pequot and Mohegan Sun have been accepting Requests for Proposals (RFP) for months with the intention of selecting a location.

    State lawmakers started the process earlier this year that they think will allow the tribes to jointly operate a casino off of tribal land.

    The Hartford Courant initially reported that the City of Hartford had submitted an application without a site in mind but that an updated application submitted earlier this month named North Meadows as a location. NBC Connecticut confirmed the Courant's report and spoke with Mayor Pedro Segarra about the idea.

    Segarra described the application as a, "placeholder" to allow a future city government to have the final say.

    "I am transitioning out" Mayor Segarra said. "I will not be mayor in a week. I think it would be unfair for me to decide for the city or for this council when you have a group of people that have been elected.”

    He said he personally doesn't think a casino fits into the vision he and city councilors have crafted and pursued. He described a casino as a, "least preferred" development option. He says he's not sure how it would jive with things like the new UConn Hartford campus, Dunkin' Donuts Stadium, Hardrock Hotel, and new retail and housing developments.

    Segarra said the administration wouldn't have been doing its job if it brushed off the idea of a casino before a new administration and city council had a chance to consider it.

    “What we’re doing is we’re keeping options open for them and trying to do the due diligence work so that they have options. Whether they decide to go through with it or not, their actions will be required."


    The list is growing for those wanting to be Connecticut's next Governor.The list is growing for those wanting to be Connecticut's next Governor.

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    Time is running out to collect on money that’s owed to you. Sprint and Verizon customers are looking at more than $150 million in refunds, from a settlement over mobile cramming. The deadline to do it is before the new year.

    It’s the cost of two tall lattes at Starbucks, or a matinee movie ticket to see the latest Star Wars movie. You can even buy a pack of 44 diapers for less than $10, so why would you let you cell phone provider charge you $10 extra a month?

    “I didn’t even know this was going on,” said Dominique Dunmeyer, a Sprint customer.

    That’s why consumers are getting a refund. Of the $150 million, $90 million from Verizon and $68 million from Sprint will be divvied out to customers after they reached a federal settlement for mobile cramming.

    “The unauthorized, unconsented charging of consumers for services they never wanted or asked to receive,” explained Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT.

    Services like astrology, celebrity gossip and sports tips have been disguised in fine print on phone bills in the amount of $9.99.

    A 2014 Senate committee report found that the practice, which dates back to landlines in the 1980s, has been a billion-dollar industry for wireless carriers. The practice was ceased in 2013 by all four major mobile carriers.

    When NBC Connecticut asked customers if they noticed any added fees in their bill, they all said yes.

    “I noticed the fees. They go up. The bill is pretty high but I never really questioned it,” said Sprint customer Trang Pham.

    “I’m supposed to be paying $60 a month but I’m paying like $120 and when I call they’re like, 'Oh it’s just because extra taxes,' but maybe it’s because I was getting charged hidden fees. I’m going to have to look into that. I could definitely use some extra money, this is holiday time,” Dunmeyer said.

    That money comes once you file a claim on the refund websites for Sprint and Verizon customers.

    The deadline to do so is December 31st.

    Every carrier is now required to offer, free to consumers, the opportunity to block these third party charges in the first place.



    Photo Credit: File -- Getty Images

    A sign hangs on the Verizon headquarters on May 12, 2015 in New York City.A sign hangs on the Verizon headquarters on May 12, 2015 in New York City.

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    The developers of the Dunkin Donuts Park said the Hartford Stadium Authority (HSA) is the reason for mismangement of the project's $56 million budget and $10 million in cost overruns.

    DoNo Hartford LLC and Centerplan, the developer of Dunkin' Donuts Park, responded to a letter critical of the company that was sent earlier this week by the Chairperson of the Hartford Stadium Authority (HSA).

    Centerplan's CEO told NBC Connecticut exclusively the city hasn't lived up to its end of the deal that was signed back in February.

    Charles Mathews with the HSA sent a letter this week accusing the company of mismanaging the $56 million budget, arguing there are now $10 million in cost overruns.

    Centerplan's Jason Rudnick, the manager of the project, said he sent a letter back to the HSA today detailing progress on the project and what has led to cost overruns.

    "At the end of the day we always thought we would have some sort of control over design to bring this back on budget and it never turned out to be that way," said Robert Landino with Centerplan.

    Landino said the company was under the impression that the initial design build was the one to work off of but later received an entirely new design from the HSA that  was more expensive.

    In using the analogy of building a house, Landino said, "A lot was added to the home that wasn’t on the original plans and we simply had to estimate those and come up with a plan that reflected those changes."

    Centerplan and DoNo hand delivered the letter to the HSA earlier today and later in the day, Mathews responded with a statement scolding the developer.

    "DoNo Hartford LLC’s assertion that they did not have complete control over the design and construction of the ballpark is completely false. If there was a problem the time to share that important information was months ago," wrote Mathews.

    The authority has held monthly meetings for most of the year and the topic of possible cost overruns was never brought up either in person or in documents.

    The statement continued, "For nearly a year, DoNo Hartford LLC has been telling the stadium Authority and the public that the stadium is on schedule and on budget. To now tell us otherwise, at the eleventh hour, is completely unacceptable and we will take any and all necessary measures to protect the City’s interests.”

    Mayor Pedro Segarra has described the spat as a "misunderstanding" but added that he's always felt the developer has been trustworthy partner for the city.

    "That’s what they’ve been representing for the past year or so so I trust that will be the case,"  he said.

    Landino said what the city wants and what was initially agreed to are different things and that has led to cost overrun. Landino said the company has attempted to make changes to the design and has even swapped out some subcontractors in order to control costs.

    "Our original plan had two kitchens, the new plan has eight full service kitchens. That’s millions of dollars of cost and returning this to two or three or four kitchens was not an option, so having said that, that puts that on the table as a cost overrun which has to be made up in another way and then we went through an exercise to try to get the costs down and we just couldn’t get there."

    Landino said the solution is for everyone with a stake in the project to sit down and discuss the future of the stadium and what the final product will look like.

    "There’s ways to reduce it but the ways to reduce it require cooperation from both the team and the city and us and if everyone is willing to pitch in and do their share it’s a big exercise and it’s certainly going to require some funds in order to complete,"  Mayor Segarra agreed.

    He said, "If something has come up that needs to be discussed I think the parties should sit down and work it out like good business people."



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    You can raise the roof for the incoming Hartford Yard Goats, but you will not see a roof over right field in the new downtown stadium under construction.You can raise the roof for the incoming Hartford Yard Goats, but you will not see a roof over right field in the new downtown stadium under construction.

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    A man was arrested after he and made a threat at a city tax office over his vehicle bill, New London police said.

    Robert Rich, 54,  of Groton became upset over a motor vehicle tax bill he could not pay with a debit card, a city tax personnell told the police.

    "Before this is over, more buildings will be blown up," Rich allegedly said. "You've ruined Christmas."

    Rich was charged with second degree threatening and second degree breach of peace.

    He is being held in lieu of $2,500 cash surety bond.
     



    Photo Credit: New London Police

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    The threat came in an Instagram comment, and read, "Watch out, I'm coming" -- followed by three emojis: a gun, a knife and a bomb.

    And even though the sender appears to be a young student who was fed up with bullying, the threats are serious enough to have caught the eye of investigators in Fairfax, Virginia.

    After a school resource officer spotted the threats, police filed a search warrant and traced the threats back to a girl at Sidney Lanier Middle School. The warrant says the comment threatened death or bodily injury to other students.

    Among the posts posted by the made-up Instagram account was a "hate list" that named several middle-schoolers. The threats said an attack was planned for Dec. 15, when students were still in school.

    Police charged the student with a felony. They seized a cell phone from her home, including login information for social media accounts.

    Her mom said she didn't believe her daughter would have carried out any of the threats. She was just sick of bullying.

    "It was just too much, she couldn't handle it anymore," said the mom. News4 is concealing her identity to conceal the identity of the girl, who is a juvenile.

    "It wasn't just one boy, it was a group of boys bothering her," the mom said.

    "As a mom, I don't know what to tell you," she added, the worry for her daughter and frustration over what she did obvious in her voice. "She wasn't thinking like an adult, you know we all make mistakes."

    Threats are taken seriously by school authorities, who said that the number that they hear about is increasing.

    Wednesday, Fairfax County issued a statement:

    "Last week, FCPS became aware of a potential threat directed at Lanier Middle School that was posted on social media. Fairfax City Police identified and interviewed the individual who posted the threat and determined the threat was not credible. The Lanier community was also notified of the issue.

    "The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and we take all threats seriously. FCPS encourages all our students 'when they see something - to say something' and we work closely with law enforcement when such threats occur.

    "Unfortunately, these kinds of anonymous threats can be concerning and disruptive even when they are not credible. We ask parents to speak with their children regarding the serious consequences that can result from the inappropriate use of social media."



    Photo Credit: Fairfax County Police Department/Illustration

    The search warrant said one Instagram comment read The search warrant said one Instagram comment read "Watch out, I'm coming" followed by a gun, knife and bomb emoji, Fairfax County Police said.

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    Connecticut is among 13 states that will raise the minimum wage in 2016, according to a report. 

    In all, 14 cities, counties and state governments have approved to phase in the $15 hourly pay hike, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) reported. 

    The hike calls to be phased in because the new minimum is over a 100 percent increase over the $7.25 federal minimum wage. 

    Connecticut's minimum wage will increase by $0.45 to $9.60 per hour. By 2017, Connecticut will have a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour. 

    In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the the statewide minimum wage would be raised to $15 by 2018 after fast food workers historically demanded an increase in pay. 

    Legislators in Los Angeles said they would be fully phased in to the new minimum between 2018 and 2021. 

    “We’ve seen incredible momentum this past year in the fight to raise wages to a level that will make a meaningful difference to America’s workers and their families,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.

    There are still 16 states pending legislative or ballot proposals, according to NELP. 

    Here is the full lists of states that will increase its minimum wage in 2016:

    Alaska: $8.75 to $9.75

    Arkansas: $7.50 to $8

    California: $9 to $10

    Connecticut: $9.15 to $9.60

    Hawaii: $7.75 to $8.50

    Maryland: $8.00 to $8.75

    Massachusetts: $9 to $10

    Michigan: $8.15 to  $8.50

    Nebraska: $8 to $9

    New York: $8.25 to $9

    Rhode Island: $9.00 to $9.60

    Vermont: $9.15 to $9.60

    West Virginia: $8.00 to $8.75



    Photo Credit: Getty

    Low wage workers and supporters protest for a $15 an hour minimum wage on November 10, 2015 at Foley Square in New York, United States. The protesters are demanding action from state legislators and presidential candidates to raise the minimum wage to $15 USD an hour.Low wage workers and supporters protest for a $15 an hour minimum wage on November 10, 2015 at Foley Square in New York, United States. The protesters are demanding action from state legislators and presidential candidates to raise the minimum wage to $15 USD an hour.

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    Two migrant workers from Myanmar were sentenced to death on Thursday after a Thai court found them guilty for the 2014 murders of two British tourists, NBC News reported.

    Backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found dead on a beach on Koh Tao in September 2014.

    Police arrested Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, saying they had confessed to the crimes, according to Reuters. Both later retracted, saying their confession was made under duress.

    The court’s verdict comes after allegations of police incompetence, mishandling of evidence and torture of the suspects, according to Reuters.  



    Photo Credit: AP

    Myanmar migrants Win Zaw Tun, right, and Zaw Lin, left, both 22, are escorted by officials after their guilty verdict at court in Koh Samui, Thailand, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015. A Thai court on Thursday sentenced the two Myanmar migrants to death for killing British backpackers David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, on the resort island of Koh Tao last year, a crime that focused global attention on tourist safety and police conduct in the country.Myanmar migrants Win Zaw Tun, right, and Zaw Lin, left, both 22, are escorted by officials after their guilty verdict at court in Koh Samui, Thailand, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015. A Thai court on Thursday sentenced the two Myanmar migrants to death for killing British backpackers David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, on the resort island of Koh Tao last year, a crime that focused global attention on tourist safety and police conduct in the country.

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    Nearly 100 neglected animals rescued from a Central Texas property are being cared for at Fort Worth-area rehabilitation facilities, according to the Humane Society of North Texas, or HSNT.

    In a written statement, the organization said a team of five investigators traveled to the property in Falls County, southeast of Waco, to rescue 53 chickens, nine horses, eight donkeys, eight piglets, six hogs, four cats, a goose and a dog from the property.

    “It’s not something you get used to,” said Whitney Hanson with the Humane Society of North Texas. “You don’t get used to seeing animals treated like this. When I saw the photographs of the scene my heart just broke.”

    The HSNT said the owner responsible for the animals was arrested last week on unrelated charges, leaving the emaciated animals to suffer.

    The team was dispatched Dec. 21 after receiving a number of concerned messages from people who lived near the property. The owner agreed to hand over the animals Monday, which allowed the HSNT investigators to rescue the animals, the organization said.

    HSNT arrived to find two dead horses in the pasture, which was barren of edible grass for grazing. The 15 remaining horses were either severely malnourished or borderline, the society said.

    "It took months of starvation for these horses and donkeys to become as thin as they are and it will take months on a special feeding program to get them back to a healthy weight," said Dr. Cynthia Jones, HSNT veterinarian.

    In addition to being unfed, the horses were all carrying heavy loads of intestinal parasites, which greatly increased weight loss, the statement said.

    Several cats and dehydrated chickens were found inside the home, the floor of which was covered in animal feces, according to investigators.

    The animals were taken to livestock properties run by the HSNT around Fort Worth. The organization asked for the public's help in funding rehabilitation costs, which were estimated to be about $15,000.

    "There are people who are unable to care for their animals, but just don't reach out to organizations or don't know who to reach out to," said Hanson.

    "This is always a good time for us to remind people if they're having trouble feeding their live stock, that they can call us and we will do what we can assist them or take in the animal so that we can find them a home so that they can be cared for properly," Hanson said.

    The rehabilitation process included specialized feeding programs, deworming, vaccinations, and medications.

    Donations can be submitted on the HSNT website, or by mail at 1840 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76103.

    Anyone interested in adopting the animals saved from the Falls County property can email livestock@hsnt.org for more information.

    NBC 5's Johnny Archer contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: HSNT
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    The Human Society of North Texas says a team of five investigators  rescued 53 chickens, nine horses, eight donkeys, eight piglets, six hogs, four cats, a goose and a dog from the property in Falls County, Texas. (Published Dec. 23, 2015)The Human Society of North Texas says a team of five investigators rescued 53 chickens, nine horses, eight donkeys, eight piglets, six hogs, four cats, a goose and a dog from the property in Falls County, Texas. (Published Dec. 23, 2015)

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    A Japanese freelance journalist who went missing in Syria is facing execution by his captors if ransom demands are not met, NBC News reported.

    The group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a non-profit organization based in France, posted the news of Jumpei Yasuda on its website Wednesday evening. Yasuda was allegedly detained by an armed group in an area controlled by al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front a few hours after crossing into Syria in July.

    Yasuda intended to report details of the Islamic State's execution of his colleague Kenji Goto, who was killed in January, according to RSF.

    In his last tweet, dated July 20, Yasuda explained that he had been avoiding disclosing his whereabouts because of the increased interference from an unspecified source, which he complained was preventing his work.



    Photo Credit: Photo by Muhammed Muheisen

    In this April 17, 2004 file photo, Japanese freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda, right, is escorted after being released at Umm Al-Qura mosque in Baghdad, Iraq.In this April 17, 2004 file photo, Japanese freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda, right, is escorted after being released at Umm Al-Qura mosque in Baghdad, Iraq.

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    A school cafeteria worker in Idaho who was allegedly fired for giving a hungry student a free lunch has been offered her job back, NBC News reported.

    Dalene Bowden, a server at Irving Middle School in Pocatello, Idaho, told NBC affiliate KPVI she gave a 12-year-old girl with no money a free lunch. She said she offered to pay for the cost of the $1.70 meal, but said she was put on leave by her supervisor.

    Her firing sparked outrage on social media, with a petition garnering almost 74,000 signatures calling for her reinstatement.

    The Pocatello/Chubbuck School District declined to address specifics, but said in a statement that it allowed her a chance to return to work “in the spirit of the holidays.” 



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - Students select food items from the lunch line of a school cafeteria.FILE - Students select food items from the lunch line of a school cafeteria.

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    A "particularly dangerous" and unusual spring-like storm system killed at least seven people and spun off more than a dozen tornadoes in the southeast, NBC News reported.

    Residents in Arkansas, northwest Mississippi, northeast Louisiana and western Tennessee were beginning to take stock after fierce storms killed four in Mississippi, two others in Tennessee and one in Arkansas before the worst passed Wednesday night.

    A very large and fast-moving tornado hit the Bellville neighborhood, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, heavily damaged 15 homes and injured three people, one of them critically, the Coahoma County Central Fire Department told NBC News. A crop dusting company was "wiped out," a fire dispatcher said.

    The unseasonable weather is yet another manifestation of the unusually strong El Niño setting up shop off the West Coast, meteorologists told NBC News. Much of the eastern half of the country will spend a Christmas Day with temperatures in the 70s.


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    A woman was found dead and her husband was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after an incident inside their Ellington home Wednesday.

    State police arrived at the 7 Birchview Drive home on Wednesday, December 23 around 10:16 a.m. after they received a 911 call at about 10 a.m. about an active residential burglary alarm.

    When they arrived, troopers found resident Richard Dabate, 39, with non-life-threatening injuries. Dabate was transported to Hartford Hospital for treatment. Troopers also encountered smoke in the home.

    As detectives continued their investigation, his wife, Connie Dabate, 39, was located in the home and pronounced dead at the scene.

    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner responded and will examine the body to determine the cause and manner of death.

    Troopers secured the scene and K9 units searched the area. The Eastern District Major Crime squad continues to investigate. The State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit was called to the scene and is assisting in the investigation.

    Detectives remained at the scene overnight and are still working to determine what activated the burglary alarm and caused the injury and death to the victims. They guarded the driveway early Thursday and took pictures of the scene. They have since cleared the scene.

    "We're executing a search warrant to go into the house and process the scene and the case is under investigation right now," Lt. Michael Thomas, of the State Police, said.

    Neighbors were concerned because they're not used to police presence in their neighborhood. Ellington Public School officials called parents to advise them of the police activity. The incident never posed any threat to the public and community, state police said.

    “There is no threat to the general public, nobody should be fearful," Thomas said.

    No arrests have been made at this time and there's no search or suspect at large, state police said. This was an isolated incident, state police said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Crime scene tape surrounded a home on Birchview Drive in Ellington on Wednesday.Crime scene tape surrounded a home on Birchview Drive in Ellington on Wednesday.

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    A 27-year-old woman faked a pregnancy, telling police she was going into labor in an effort to avoid being arrested in Southbury on Wednesday, according to Connecticut state police.

    Denajia Bishop, of New Fairfield, and her fiance, Giovanni Torcasio, of Danbury, were stopped at the KMart at 100 Main Street after state troopers arrived to investigate a shoplifting complaint.

    Troopers found more than $260 in stolen goods in Torcasio's car, state police said.

    As they were arresting Torcasio, troopers determined Bishop had an outstanding warrant on her record and tried to place her under arrest. It was at that point that Bishop told police she was pregnant and was going into labor.

    Police called for an ambulance to take Bishop to Danbury Hospital, but as EMS crews were checking on her, they found stolen items shoved into her sweatshirt, making her appear pregnant, according to police.

    Bishop was not pregnant at all and only used the pregnancy excuse to avoid arrest, police said.

    Bishop was charged with sixth-degree larceny and welfare fraud related to the original warrant for her arrest. Torcasio was charged with sixth-degree larceny.

    Both are scheduled to appear in Waterbury Superior Court on Jan. 5.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Denajia Bishop, 27, is accused of faking a pregnancy to avoid being arrested for shoplifting at at Southbury KMart, police said.  Her fiance, Giovanni Torcasio, was also charged with shoplifting.Denajia Bishop, 27, is accused of faking a pregnancy to avoid being arrested for shoplifting at at Southbury KMart, police said. Her fiance, Giovanni Torcasio, was also charged with shoplifting.

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