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    While showers will continue for several more days, there is some positive news for Mother's Day Weekend.

    The best chance for showers today will be in the afternoon and evening, especially in eastern Connecticut. It will still be cool, in the lower 50s.

    Showers and possibly even a storm are possible tomorrow. Highs will be in the lower 60s.

    Saturday looks primarily dry, just in time to start the weekend. An isolated shower is possible.

    Mother's Day starts with a few morning showers, then clearing is expected. The afternoon hours will be best. Highs will be in the lower 60s.

    Early next week, dry weather returns and 70 is possible by Tuesday, but it won't last long.

    Indications show wave after wave of low pressure next week, possibly as soon as Wednesday.


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

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    This Fourth of July, the skies over Wallingford will once again light up with fireworks after some new donors came forward.

    The town’s annual Independence Day display had been in jeopardy because there was no one to pay for the show.

    Funding for the event hadn’t been in the town’s budget since 2009, amid the national recession, so the Wallingford Fireworks Fund stepped in each year to raise the money to keep the annual tradition going.

    However, the people who run the fund said the town recovered from the economic downturn, so they would no longer raise money because they believe the fireworks should be back into the town’s budget.

    With no funding, that left the fate of the show hanging in the balance, but the chair of the town council, Vincent Cervoni, and a new group of donors quietly raised the money to cover the costs.

    The donations to the show: 

    • Toyota Oakdale Theatre / Live Nation, pledged $12,000.
    • Ulbrich Specialty Metals pledged $5,000
    • Choate Rosemary Hall pledged $5,000
    • KBE Building Corporation pledged $5,000.
    • Component Engineers pledged $1,000
    • The Latimer Group pledged $1,000
    • Bob Parisi pledged $1,000

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    London could make history as the first major Western city to elect a Muslim mayor, with Labour Party candidate Sadiq Khan on top of opinion polls, according to NBC News.

    Khan, the son of a bus driver from Pakistan, became a human rights attorney before entering politics, and supports gay marriage. His opposition, Zac Goldsmith of the Conservative Party, is the son of a Jewish billionaire and was elected to the House of Commons in 2010.

    Goldsmith has criticized Khan for appearances alongside radical Muslim speakers and Khan has accused Goldsmith of running a "nasty, dog-whistling campaign."

    The tense election is being likened to the 2016 presidential election, which has drawn global attention for the fighting and inflammatory remarks among candidates, namely from presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump. 

    "The campaign has degenerated in a profoundly depressing way," London reporter and blogger for The Guardian, Dave Hill, told NBC News.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Labour party candidate for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gives a television interview during a campaign event to highlight the choices Londoners face at the London mayoral elections, in the Canary Wharf business district at London, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The London mayoral elections take place on Thursday.Labour party candidate for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gives a television interview during a campaign event to highlight the choices Londoners face at the London mayoral elections, in the Canary Wharf business district at London, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The London mayoral elections take place on Thursday.

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    The search for an inmate who busted out of a minimum security prison in New Jersey earlier this week continued Thursday, and schools that were placed on lockdown after a sighting of the escapee Wednesday were operating with additional security. 

    Police continued to comb through Ocean County for 38-year-old Arthur Buckel, an inmate at Bayside State Prison who was missing when guards performed a prisoner count at a satellite unit at Ancora Hospital in Hammonton Tuesday morning. 

    Buckel previously served time for the 1996 death of a 10-month-old girl before his latest stint behind bars, according to reports. 

    Schools in Barnegat and Surf City, which were placed on lockdown Wednesday after the 38-year-old was spotted walking into a CVS in Barnegat, are open and running on normal schedules, authorities said. Additional police were posted at the schools, authorities said.

    Buckel, whose last known address was in Clifton and had been serving a sentence for aggravated assault, was caught on surveillance cameras at the CVS Wednesday morning wearing construction boots, khakis, a T-shirt and yellow safety jacket.

    Barnegat police said that when they responded to the pharmacy they found a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado stolen from Hammonton, about 40 miles from Barnegat. Authorities said that they think Buckel was getting around in the pickup truck.

    Authorities said that they weren't sure if Buckel was still in the town Thursday, but they were going to continue operating as though he was in the area until they can confirm he left. 

    "We're tracking down every lead," said Police Chief Arthur Drexler. "We're not sure he's in Barnegat's boundaries, but we're going on the assumption that he is until we hear otherwise."

    Buckel was serving a sentence for crimes including aggravated assault, burglary and receiving stolen property. He was set to be eligible for parole on May 21.

    A Corrections Department spokesman said Buckel could face an addition 3 to 5 years in prison for escaping once he's recaptured.

    Buckel was also convicted of aggravated manslaughter in the death of a 10-month-old girl in 1996, according to NJ.com. Buckel, who was 18 at the time, admitted to slapping the girl, who died from skull fractures.

    Corrections Department records show that he was in prison from 1996 to 2010 for the killing, NJ.com reports.

    It's the second such escape from Bayside State Prison's Ancora unit in six months. In October, NBC10 in Philadelphia reported that Panagioti Souris busted out of the prison and traveled to Philadelphia.

    He surrendered to authorities without a struggle in the Old City district and was returned to the prison. 

    Anyone who sees Buckel is asked to call 911 and to avoid making direct contact with him.



    Photo Credit: Barnegat Township Police/New Jersey Department of Corrections
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Arthur Buckel was serving a sentence for crimes including aggravated assault, burglary and receiving stolen property. He previously served time for the 1996 death of a 10-month-old girl.Arthur Buckel was serving a sentence for crimes including aggravated assault, burglary and receiving stolen property. He previously served time for the 1996 death of a 10-month-old girl.

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    U.S. Border Patrol agents are seeing a spike in non-Mexican immigrants crossing the U.S.- Mexico border, particularly among Chinese immigrants, they told NBC 7 San Diego.

    "Anytime we see an increase it's a concern to us. We want to make sure we apprehend people as they're coming across the border," Jose Hernandez with U.S. Border Patrol San Diego sector said Wednesday.

    In 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees apprehended more than 2,000 immigrants not from Mexico crossing the border illegally. In just the first four months of 2016 there were more than 2,500 such immigrants apprehended. Hernandez says they've seen a 225 percent jump compared to this time last year.

    "It takes a little longer to process someone who is other than Mexican simply because of the paper work that's involved in it, but that's part of the job," Hernandez said.

    In April, a passerby spotted a group of young men walking along State Route 94 near Potrero. Agents responded and detained seven Chinese nationals.

    Those seven are just a handful of more than 660 apprehended Chinese immigrants to cross the Tijuana-California border this year. It's a jump from fewer than 50 Chinese immigrants apprehended in 2015 and just five apprehended the year before.

    "All the people we are apprehending are circumventing the port of entry," Hernandez said. "So they're coming across in the mountains or through the deserts."

    Hernandez said agents have had to shift personnel and adjust the way they operate a bit in order to cover those areas where more non-Mexican immigrants are crossing the border.

    "Pretty much everybody who comes across the border is assisted in some way, shape or form with the transnational criminal organizations along the border," Hernandez said.



    Photo Credit: File--AP

    In this June 13, 2013 file photo, US Border Patrol agent Jerry Conlin looks out over Tijuana, Mexico, along the old border wall along the US - Mexico border, where it ends at the base of a hill in San Diego. In 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees apprehended more than 2,000 immigrants not from Mexico crossing the border illegally. In just the first four months of 2016 there were more than 2,500 such immigrants apprehended.In this June 13, 2013 file photo, US Border Patrol agent Jerry Conlin looks out over Tijuana, Mexico, along the old border wall along the US - Mexico border, where it ends at the base of a hill in San Diego. In 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees apprehended more than 2,000 immigrants not from Mexico crossing the border illegally. In just the first four months of 2016 there were more than 2,500 such immigrants apprehended.

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    There are delays on Metro-North’s New Haven line after a wheel of a maintenance vehicle went off the track near the Old Greenwich station. 

    Metro-North sent out an alert warning of 15- to 20-minute delays on the New Haven line between Rye and Old Greenwich and said the reason is limited track availability due to disabled track equipment. 

    No injuries are reported.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    An Arizona teenager who flashed his genitals for his high school team’s yearbook photo won’t be charged, NBC News reports.

    The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Wednesday it would not pursue a felony charge.

    Hunter Osborn was arrested Saturday and was charged as an adult with 69 counts of misdemeanor indecent exposure — one count for every “victim” who appeared in the photo with him, police said.

    Mesa police said no one in the photo wanted to press charges. Osborn pulled the prank on a dare, but later said he was “disgusted” by his actions, according to police.

    School officials recalled the yearbook in order to alter the offending image.



    Photo Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

    Mugshot of Hunter OsbornMugshot of Hunter Osborn

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    Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush will refrain from endorsing or commenting on Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

    The senior Bush has enthusiastically endorsed the party's nominee in the past five election cycles. But the 91-year-old's spokesman confirmed to NBC News that President Bush will not endorse Trump and "is retired from politics."

    George W. Bush is also staying out of politics this year and "does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign," his personal aide, Freddy Ford, told The Texas Tribune.

    Trump repeatedly attacked Bush 43's administration on the campaign trail, saying it failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks and lied to get the U.S. involved in the Iraq War.

    Neither Bush attended the 2012 or 2008 Republican conventions.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Spokesmen for George W. Bush (R) and his father George H.W. Bush said the former presidents do not intend on commenting or endorsing the GOP's presumptive nominee Donald Trump.Spokesmen for George W. Bush (R) and his father George H.W. Bush said the former presidents do not intend on commenting or endorsing the GOP's presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

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    The embattled state's attorney of Cook County, Illinois, has asked to recuse herself from the murder prosecution of Officer Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer who shot a black teen 16 times.

    Anita Alvarez requested that the court appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case. Van Dyke is accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. He was charged with first-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty.

    "My primary goal in bringing a charge of First Degree Murder in this case is and always has been about seeking justice for Laquan McDonald," Alvarez said in a written statement in court Thursday. "Today I believe that I am fulfilling this obligation by requesting that the court turn this case over to a special prosecutor."

    Alvarez has faced mounting criticism over her handling of the case, with many questioning why it took more than a year to bring charges against the officer involved in McDonald's killing. 

    Activists and civil rights attorneys previously asked Judge Vincent Gaughan to appoint a special prosecutor, alleging Alvarez was "disqualified from representing the people."

    Alvarez has defended her handling of the case, but has since lost her campaign for re-election. 

    "More than anything else, our role as prosecutors is to seek justice and do all that we can to promote confidence in our criminal justice system," Alvarez said Thursday. "It is my greatest hope that the citizens of Chicago who have been shocked and polarized by this crime and this tragedy will understand and welcome this decision and respectfully support the efforts of all elements of the criminal justice system as the prosecution of Jason Van Dyke moves forward.”

    Gaughan said Thursday he plans to make a decision about the request for a special prosecutor June 2. 

    Van Dyke is accused of shooting McDonald 16 times while the teen was walking away from police in October 2014. Dashcam footage showing the shooting was released to the public in November 2015, sparking protests and outrage nationwide.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has requested that the court appoint a special prosecutor to handle the murder case of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke.Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has requested that the court appoint a special prosecutor to handle the murder case of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

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    The body of a 32-year-old man was found in the Mattabesset River in Middletown on Monday and police have identified him as Daniel Loguidice, of Middletown.

    According to police, two fishermen located the body behind Johnson Street.

    Police do not suspect foul play, but they are waiting on the medical examiner's report.


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    Glastonbury police have arrested a 15-year-old boy who is accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old child.

    Police said they received reports of sexual abuse on Oct. 10, investigated and identified the teen as the suspect. 

    They arrested him on April 11 and charged him with first-degree criminal attempt at sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, first-degree unlawful restraint, risk of injury to a minor, impairing the morals of a minor and reckless endangerment.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photo.File photo.

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    The Hartford Yard Goats baseball team’s first home games will be in Norwich, rather than Hartford, through the month of May. 

    The Yard Goats’ home park, Dunkin’ Donuts Park, was supposed to be finished as of May 17, but the team’s first nine home games will now be at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, according to a news release issued on Thursday morning. 

    “This announcement by the Eastern League, which was expected due to the stadium construction delays, will give the Yard Goats Players and Coaching Staff the opportunity to get home from the 37 day road trip and get settled in Hartford as we prepare for opening day at Dunkin’ Donuts Park,” Yard Goats General Manager Tim Restall said in a statement. 

    The announcement comes days after the stadium authority raised some concern over the park being completed by May 17, like developers promised. 

    The Connecticut Tigers play at Dodd Stadium and released a statement. 

    "We’re very pleased to be able to assist our fellow Connecticut team and bring extra excitement to Dodd Stadium for baseball fans in Southeastern Connecticut this spring,” Tigers General Manager Dave Schermerhorn said in a statement. "This market is no stranger to Double-A baseball and we think it’s the perfect way for our fans to get ready for the start of the Tigers’ season in June." 

    Yard Goats season ticket holders will be allowed to attend all of the games in Norwich with complementary tickets, courtesy of the Yard Goats, a statement from the team says.

    All other ticket sales will be handed by the Dodd Stadium box office. 

    The team will host the New Hampshire Fisher Cats from May 12 through May 15, the Akron Rubber Ducks from May 16 through May 18. 

    Then they will host to the Bowie BaySox for a three-game in two day series on May 23 and a double-header on May 24. 

    The Eastern League has also made some changes to the Yard Goats schedule for the month of May. The game on Tuesday, May 24 will now be a double-header beginning at 4:05 p.m. so the May 25 game is cancelled. 

    The Thursday, May 26 game has been moved to a day/night separate admission double-header to be played at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 1:35 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.

    The Eastern League will continue to monitor the situation and will make further decisions regarding the Hartford schedule as additional information becomes available regarding the availability of Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

    Following is Yard Goats schedule at Dodd Stadium

     

    • Thursday, May 12 vs New Hampshire 6:05 p.m.
    • Friday, May 13 vs New Hampshire 6:05 p.m.
    • Saturday, May 14 vs New Hampshire 6:05 p.m.
    • Sunday, May 15 vs New Hampshire 1:35 p.m.
    • Monday, May 16 vs Akron 6:05 p.m.
    • Tuesday, May 17 vs Akron 6:05 p.m.
    • Wednesday, May 18 vs Akron 12:35 p.m.
    • Monday, May 23 vs Bowie 6:05 p.m.
    • Tuesday, May 24 vs Bowie 4:05 p.m.


    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    Police are trying to figure out who stole wheels from cars in Waterbury over the last several weeks. 

    The latest incident of tires and rims being stolen off a car and placed on milk crates happened on Fiske Street early Wednesday morning.

    “Actually we came out and my son went to the gym in the morning and he noticed the car was tilted but he thought she had a flat tire but as it happened, all four were gone,” said Mary Dooley who lives next to the owner of the car.

    Police said cars in the Overlook neighborhood are being targeted including on Thomaston Avenue, Schraffts Drive and Plank Road.

    Dana Santulli was a victim of one of the thefts.

    "I woke up the next day seen the car jacked up on milk crates and basically that’s it. Called the cops and couldn’t find anybody on officers. We got new wheels and tires for the car," said Santulli, who's wheels were stolen off his Honda in late March.

    He said the damage cost about $7,200 to replace, which includes damage to one of the windows and the bottom of the car because of the crates.

    He is now having to take extra precautions, like adding wheel locks, an alarm, and a motion sensor detector outside his home.

    Police said it appears most of the cars thieves are targeting are Hondas.

    If you have any information, you’re asked to call Waterbury Police.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Waterbury PoliceWaterbury Police

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    It’s a phone scam that has been around for years but consumer experts said thieves are upping their game when it comes to posing as the IRS. Police departments across Connecticut are sounding the warning in an effort to keep more people from falling for it.

    It is called the IRS imposter scam and it involves getting a call from someone claiming you owe back taxes. It started with emails a few years ago, but now scammers are calling over and over again and their messages are threatening.

    The scammers claim you could be arrested if you do not pay up immediately. Some threaten to take your license or deport you.

    “They leave messages multiple times a day so they are definitely aggressive,” James Jacobs of Hartford said.

    Consumer experts said calls have peaked, not just in Connecticut, but across the country.

    “It’s reached the point now where it has all the hallmarks of an epidemic,” Howard Schwartz of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau said. “The reason this criminal activity is growing and growing is for one reason and that is because it works. Fear works on people.”

    It is prompting local police departments like East Hampton to put out a warning to the public about the scam they know is growing.

    “Hopefully if they warn enough people, they’ll stop what they’re doing because they won’t be able to get through to anybody,” Nicole Viets of Hartford said.

    The Connecticut Better Business Bureau said the best thing you can do is ignore the call and if it continues, contact the IRS and the FTC to report the scam.

    “The only way we’re really going to stop this is when people understand that nobody will call them and threaten them and want payment by untraceable method,” Schwartz said.

    The IRS said if you do owe back taxes, you will receive a letter in the mail first. Government officials do not ask for PIN numbers, passwords or other personal financial information over the phone.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

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    Bristol Hospital is on “high alert” with beefed up security and increased police patrols.

    That’s after a hospital spokesman said someone sent them threatening messages online. This makes two medical facilities in the state to receive threats this week.

    “If there are threats, they all need to be taken seriously,” said Kirby Deegan of Bristol.

    Bristol Hospital staff said someone sent a concerning email through the hospital’s Contact Us section on its website around 1:45pm Wednesday.

    That same message was posted twice on the hospital’s Facebook page and since was taken down.

    “There were some threats made to the hospital. And this is something no matter how vague a threat is, we take very seriously and we contacted the Bristol police department right away,” said Chris Boyle, a spokesman for Bristol Hospital.

    The hospital believes it knows who’s behind the messages.

    It said the suspect has previously made similar threats which ended without any problems.

    Pictures of the man have been passed out to staff, who have been told to be on the lookout for him.

    “All hospital employees go through emergency preparedness training for numerous types of incidents including threats like this,” said Boyle.

    At Bristol they plan to have beefed up security on Friday and possibly through the weekend.

    We reached out to Bristol police for comment and have not yet heard back.

    On Tuesday, there were frightening moments at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London.

    A man phoned-in a bomb threat which forced the hospital to briefly shut down its Emergency Room and send incoming patients elsewhere.

    The threat turned out to be bogus and the man now faces charges.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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  • 05/06/16--04:31: Inmate Dupes Guards, Escapes

  • Police are asking for the public's help in locating a city jail inmate who duped guards and walked out of the Brooklyn courthouse by capitalizing on a case of mistaken identity.

    Police on Thursday released a photo of Layquan Johnson, who was brought to the Brooklyn Supreme Court on Tuesday in connection with his arrest for a shooting that occurred in December 2015.

    Johnson was sitting in a holding cell with other defendants, including a friend who was scheduled to be released. When guards called the name of the man to be released, Johnson answered the call, law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York.

    He brazenly strolled out of the courthouse at about 10:15 p.m. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt, dark-colored pants and light-colored sneakers at the time.

    The Department of Correction captain involved in the inmate's release has been suspended, a spokesperson for the agency said.

    "Any erroneous release is unacceptable and this incident is under investigation," the spokesperson said.

    City police and U.S. Marshals have teamed up to search for Johnson, who has had numerous run-ins with the law.

    He is currently charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a 27-year-old man in the leg in Brooklyn.

    Anyone with information about Johnson's whereabouts is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.



    Photo Credit: NYPD

    Police released this photo of Layquan Johnson, who was mistakenly released from custody.Police released this photo of Layquan Johnson, who was mistakenly released from custody.

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    Protesters gathered Thursday in the streets and on the campus of East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    Supporters of Clinton's Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, confronted Clinton's backers outside the college as a cordon of police kept watch.

    "She would do absolutely nothing to help the middle class," said Cilena Aziz, a Sanders supporter.

    Among the protesters gathered were members of Union del Barrio, a political group with a presence in South Los Angeles. They said Clinton did not support a national $15 minimum wage and has been a part of anti-immigration policies, including deporting undocumented children.

    "I believe that being a Democrat is for the people," said Regina Cruz, a Sanders supporter. "I have a really difficult time believing that she is really for the people."

    Clinton said Donald Trump wants to create a "deportation force to round up millions of people," warning a largely Hispanic audience about the presumptive Republican nominee's plans.

    Clinton said the "best way to prevent that from happening is to make sure he never gets near the White House."

    The Democratic front-runner said she will push for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws and end "raids and roundups" of immigrants.

    She is pushing for a show of force in California's June 7 primary against Sanders. She said "winning big in California will put us on the path to winning big in November."

    Clinton was attending fundraisers and courting black and Latino voters in Los Angeles on Thursday, before her afternoon speech at the college.

    She met with local black leaders during a stop at the California African American Museum in Exposition Park, where she touted her lead over Sanders.

    "I am 3 million-plus votes ahead of Senator Sanders, right?" Clinton told the crowd. "I am nearly 300 pledged delegates ahead of Senator Sanders."

    NBC4 Wire Services contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Protesters gather outside a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park on Thursday, May 5, 2016.Protesters gather outside a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park on Thursday, May 5, 2016.

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    Russia and the Syrian government marked the liberation of the Syrian city of Palmyra from ISIS with a musical concert, NBC News reported.

    An associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin implicated in the "Panama Papers" performed a classical piece on the ruins of the historic city on Thursday.

    "The event is ... a sign of memory, hope and a sense of gratitude," Putin said, speaking from his office.

    Palmyra was captured by ISIS in 2015.

    The jihadists committed one of their most outrageous crimes on the record when they attacked Palmyra's historical heritage, destroying antique temples and statues depicting "false gods."



    Photo Credit: AP

    This Thursday, May 5, 2016 photo provided by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, shows the concert at the UNESCO world heritage site of Palmyra, the central city of Homs, where renowned conductor Valery Gergiev leads a performance by the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra from St. Petersburg, Syria.This Thursday, May 5, 2016 photo provided by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, shows the concert at the UNESCO world heritage site of Palmyra, the central city of Homs, where renowned conductor Valery Gergiev leads a performance by the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra from St. Petersburg, Syria.

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    Bristol race car driver and other victims killed after a plane broke apart in the air last night and crashed in Long Island have been identified, according to police.

    David C. Berube, 66, Dana E. Parenteau, 49 and Benjamin Bridges, 32 were traveling from South Carolina to Connecticut were killed when the small plane crashed on Tuesday night. 

    Berube is also the registered owner of the plane. 

    The Hartford Courant reports Berube, 66, raced at numerous tracks in New England between 1990 and 2013. He was also a small business owner in Bristol.

    Berube drove in the Valenti Modified Racing Series from 2004 to 2013, the Courant reported. The organization mourned his death in a Facebook posting, calling him a "true gentleman."

    NTSB officials said that the pilot had reported to air traffic that he was having "difficulties" and instrumentation continued to malfunction. 

    The two men and a woman were on board the single-engine Beech BE35 aircraft when broke up mid-flight on Cold Spring Road in Syosset just after 2:30 p.m., the FAA said. 

    The plane took off from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at 12:45 p.m., and was headed to Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut, according to the FAA.

    During the flight, the pilot made a distress call over Farmingdale, New York, reporting some type of instrumentation problem -- something to the effect of, "'I have a partial panel loss,'" according to NTSB senior investigator Robert Gretz. 

    The plane then disappeared off the radar and broke up in flight, leaving behind a debris field of about two miles. 

    "Sometimes the higher up it breaks up, the larger the debris field," Gretz said. 

    Recordings between responding police officers and dispatch revealed the sheer amount of wreckage that was scattered on the ground. 

    Gretz said it's not clear why the plane broke apart in the sky. 

    "It's not a common investigation for us," Gretz said of the plane breaking apart in the sky. "It does happen. In 18 years, I've probably worked five or 10 of them." 

    Officials are looking at several factors in the crash, including whether the pilot was caught in bad weather. If the pilot didn't have functioning instrumentation in bad weather, it would be like driving through fog without lights or a dashboard, Gretz said.

    A preliminary report is expected to be issued within five to 10 business days, and a final report, including a probable cause, will be issued in about nine to 12 months. 

    The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.


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    SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean platform early Friday, following the launch of a Japanese communications satellite, NBC News reported.

    Company representatives weren't optimistic of a successful touchdown before liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, because of the high altitude needed to send SKY Perfect JSAT Corp.'s JCSAT-14 satellite into orbit.

    "Given this mission's GTO destination, the first stage will be subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, making a successful landing unlikely," SpaceX wrote in a mission description.

    This is the first successful landing at sea for SpaceX, which hopes to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets that the company's billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, contends would cut spaceflight cost by a factor of 100.

    "Woohoo!!" Musk exclaimed in a tweet after Falcon 9 touched down vertically atop a barge in the Atlantic Ocean. 



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

    SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches the JCSAT-14 communications satellite at Cape Canaveral, Fla, early Friday, May 6, 2016. The Falcon 9 first stage also landed on a droneship while the second stage continued on, delivering the spacecraft to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches the JCSAT-14 communications satellite at Cape Canaveral, Fla, early Friday, May 6, 2016. The Falcon 9 first stage also landed on a droneship while the second stage continued on, delivering the spacecraft to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.

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