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    President-elect Donald Trump continued to use social media to poke at China Saturday, saying on Twitter that the U.S. should refuse to take a drone seized in international waters after the Communist country agreed to return it, NBC News reported.

    "We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back. — let them keep it!" Trump said on Twitter Saturday night.

    Trump's Tweet came after China's defense ministry said it agreed to return the drone, which was taken Thursday in the South China Sea, and after the Pentagon said it had secured the agreement "through direct engagement with Chinese authorities."

    Trump communications director Jason Miller credited the president-elect with China's decision to return the vehicle, saying on Twitter that Trump "gets it done" — but there was no evidence presented or claim made that Trump did anything besides Tweet about the seizure.


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    Golden-aged jewel thief Doris Payne was released from jail Saturday after she posted $15,000 bond, NBC News reported.

    The 86-year-old won her freedom after convincing a judge she wouldn't disappear. 

    "I've never been late for a court date," the sticky-fingered senior citizen said Friday in her first appearance since she was charged with stealing a $2,000 diamond necklace from an Atlanta-area jewel store.

    In previous interviews, Payne has said she's been arrested more than 20 times in a globe-trotting career that inspired a 2013 documentary.



    Photo Credit: Atlanta Police Dept.

    A mugshot of Doris Payne taken on Oct. 23, 2015A mugshot of Doris Payne taken on Oct. 23, 2015

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    For the second time in one night, a would-be victim turned the tables on a robber in Philadelphia, according to police. Officials say a pizza deliveryman shot a suspect who was trying to rob him in Northeast Philadelphia Saturday night.

    The deliveryman was on the 1400 block of Wellington Street at 9:24 p.m. when he was approached by a 19-year-old man who tried to rob him, police said. The deliveryman, who was armed, opened fire, striking the suspect once in the right lower leg and once in the left lower leg.

    The suspect was taken to the hospital where he is currently in stable condition, police said. They have not yet released his identity.

    The shooting was the second incident in Philadelphia Saturday night in which a robber was shot by his intended victim, according to investigators. Police say the owner of an auto repair shop shot a man who was trying to rob his business.


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    One person was killed and five others were injured after a large tree fell on top of a wedding party at a Southern California park on Saturday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. 

    Multiple people were trapped after a tree toppled over around 4:30 p.m. in Whittier's Penn Park, fire officials said. 

    "I heard the crackling and I'm looking up and it was just an odd sound," witness Mary Escarga told NBC4. 

    A wedding party was taking pictures after the ceremony when a 100-foot tall eucalyptus tree fell, trapping up to 20 people, the fire department said. Chainsaws were used to remove those who were trapped underneath the tree's branches. 

    One person was killed and five people, including a young girl, were injured. The five people who were injured suffered minor and moderate injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment. They are expected to recover. 

    "The scene was very chaotic," said Sgt. Jason Zuhlke of the Whittier Police Department.

    Rene Zaldivar, who was at the park for a quinceañera, said he saw the bride during the chaos.

    "She was limping a little bit, but she was screaming about her mom – they couldn’t wake her up."

    A search dog was brought in to search for additional victims who could still be trapped. 

    "Fortunately, there weren't more people injured by the tree collapse," John Tripp, a Los Angeles County Fire Department deputy chief, said at a news conference. "It could have been a lot worse." 

    The wedding party was taken to a nearby senior center where mental health counselors were made available to them.

    Officials could not confirm that the heavy rains reported Friday evening played a factor in the tree collapse. 

    Arborists are expected to investigate why the tree fell.

    The identity of the person who was killed has not yet been released.



    Photo Credit: Twitter user @iCbass7

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    More than half of Americans say they are significantly bothered by the news that hackers working in connection with a foreign government were involved in trying to influence November's presidential election, according to results from a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    Forty-three percent of respondents say they are bothered a "great deal" about Russian interference, while an additional 12 percent were bothered "quite a bit."

    By contrast, 23 percent of Americans say they aren't bothered at all by the news, while 8 percent said "very little" and another 10 percent said "just some," NBC News reported.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, arrives to hold a meeting of a committee on preparations for upcoming Victory Day in WWII, in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia, on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, arrives to hold a meeting of a committee on preparations for upcoming Victory Day in WWII, in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia, on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

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    Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that the Obama administration, congressional leaders and Donald Trump have all demonstrated a lack of urgency surrounding the recent election-related Russian hacking revelations, NBC News reported.

    "I think that given the unprecedented nature of it and the magnitude of the effort, I think people seem to have been somewhat laid-back about it," Gates told NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press."

    "And maybe part of the problem was that it took the intelligence community a while to assemble really firm evidence of Russian involvement and Russian government involvement that delayed a response," Gates, who also headed the CIA, added. "Attribution is a challenge, but it seems pretty clear to me that they've developed really reliable information that the Russian government was involved."



    Photo Credit: AP

    File Photo -- Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting on Friday, May 23, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn., after being selected as the organization's new president.File Photo -- Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting on Friday, May 23, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn., after being selected as the organization's new president.

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    Authorities say an Uber driver fatally shot a man who was allegedly attempting to rob him early Sunday morning.

    Aventura Police say an Uber driver in a black Toyota Corolla picked up a passenger from a condo along the William Lehman Causeway at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.

    As the Corolla headed west on the causeway, a silver Dodge Caravan occupied by two people cut off the Uber driver. The driver of the Caravan jumped out with two guns drawn and attempted to rob the Uber driver.

    Aventura police spokesman Chris Goranitis said the Uber driver pulled his own handgun and fired shots that killed the robber.

    "The Uber driver was able to fire off some rounds at the suspect who was pronounced deceased on scene," Goranitis said.

    The passenger of the caravan got in the driver’s seat and fled.

    Goranitis said the Uber driver had a concealed weapons permit. Neither the driver nor his passenger was injured.

    Police recovered the suspected getaway car hours after the homicide and have also interviewed a person of interest.

    Uber said in a statement that they are aware of the reported incident. According to company's firearms policy, riders and drivers are prohibited from carrying firearms of any kind while in a vehicle and using the app. Violators may lose access to Uber.

    Aventura residents who live near the causeway are reacting to the news of the scary encounter.

    "You have to be very careful no matter where you are, in any neighborhood. This is a great neighborhood, very safe," said resident Margot Stashower. "The Aventura Police Department is right up the block."

    Police have not released any further details on the incident. Check back with NBC 6 for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC6.com

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    Sunday, dozens of coats piled up on tables inside Waterbury’s Masonic Lodge, waiting to be handed out to the city’s most vulnerable residents.

    “We’ll pass them out to the shelters, we’ll go down to the river in Naugatuck, and we’ll go down to Tent City here in Waterbury,” said Dan Telesco, co-founder of the Make a Home Foundation.

    He started the organization to serve veterans and people in crisis, but has expanded its mission to help all homeless in Connecticut.

    “Last year, we had every table full. We had enough to clothe every homeless resident (in Waterbury),” said Chris Martinelli, a member of the Waterbury Masons Liberty Continental Lodge #76.

    At their third annual cold weather clothing drive, the Waterbury Masons hoped to collect double the donations for the Make a Home Foundation.

    “Hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds,” said Martinelli.

    This weekend’s cold weather was a reminder that not everyone has a place to call home or even a coat to keep them warm.

    “You know how cold it’s been and how cold it’s going to get and we get panicky for those people,” Telesco said. “It’s scary. This is not the time of year to be without coats.”

    Frank Durante didn’t just bring coats, he brought his kids, hoping to teach them a valuable lesson.

    “We’re able to get the essentials in life and there’s folks out there who can’t so it’s important to give back to those who don’t have enough,” Durante said.

    “It makes me feel happy and excited that people will finally be able to get a coat,” said his 10-year-old daughter Maggie.

    To learn more about the Make a Home Foundation or to learn how to donate a coat or other cold weather clothing, click here.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Sunday, dozens of coats piled up on tables inside Waterbury’s Masonic Lodge, waiting to be handed out to the city’s most vulnerable residents.Sunday, dozens of coats piled up on tables inside Waterbury’s Masonic Lodge, waiting to be handed out to the city’s most vulnerable residents.

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    Monday classes are cancelled at Middlesex Community College in Middletown while crews will work to fix a water main break. 

    An alert was posted on the College's website Sunday evening. 

    The alert also stated the school textbook rental return deadline will be extended to Tuesday at 6 p.m.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Dense fog and heavy rain will make for an unpleasant day across Connecticut.

    A cold front will move through early this afternoon, then temperatures will plunge.

    Until the front passes, rain will continue. It will be heaviest late morning and early afternoon.

    Wind gusts to 40 mph are possible along the shoreline and in the higher terrain. Elsewhere, wind gusts to 30 mph are in the cards.

    Given the saturated snow pack across much of the state, a flash freeze is expected.

    The water will continue to drain from the snow pack for several hours after the temperature drops below freezing.

    It will be a cold night, with temperatures falling into the teens.

    The entire state will likely remain below freezing tomorrow!


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    Fire broke out inside an abandoned mill in East Hampton on Sunday.

    Firefighters responded to the building at 13 Summit Street around 11:45 a.m. and found heavy smoke coming from the windows on the second and third floors.

    The building, which operated as a turn-of-the-century mill, is a known hazard and is often used by vagrants, according to East Hampton fire chief Greg Voelker.

    The fire was located in a room on the second floor.

    There is no electricity to the building and there was no natural source of ignition, so the fire was most likely intentionally set, Voelker said.

    No one was inside when firefighters arrived.

    Fire crews from Colchester, Haddam Neck, East Haddam, Marlborough and Northland were called to assist and the fire was put out in about 30 minutes.

    The local and state fire marshals will handle the investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Fire broke out inside an abandoned mill in East Hampton on Sunday.Fire broke out inside an abandoned mill in East Hampton on Sunday.

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    One person was injured in a crash involving a freight train and a car in Plainville on Sunday night. 

    Police said the driver of the car suffered minor injuries in the crash, which happened around 10 p.m. No one else was hurt. 

    No additional information was available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    A 7-year-old Syrian girl whose Twitter updates chronicled the horrors of life in Aleppo for months was safely evacuated from the besieged city Monday, according to an aid organization, NBC News reported. 

    According to Ahmad Tarakji, president of the Syrian American Medical Society, Bana al-Abed was among "many children" safely evacuated into the surrounding countryside Monday.

    The evacuation comes two days after she and her mother, Fatemah Bana al-Abed, appealed to first lady Michelle Obama for help. 

    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said their Twitter account, which has 320,000 followers, is propaganda promoted by "terrorists" and their supporters.



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

    Bana Bana al-Abed and her mother send a video message to NBC News.Bana Bana al-Abed and her mother send a video message to NBC News.

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    Two horses are dead after fire broke out at a barn in Goshen on Sunday night, according to the fire marshal. 

    Dispatchers said firefighters were called to Pie Hill Farm, at 71 Pie Hill Road, at 10:36 p.m.

    The barn was engulfed when firefighters arrived and mutual aid was called in from Bantam, Litchfield, Cornwall and Drakeville. 

    Officials said the fire rekindled through the night because of the wind.

    The cause of the fire is not known.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The southbound side of the Wilbur Cross Parkway has reopened after a multivehicle crash closed the parkway on the New Haven–Woodbridge line at the West Rock Tunnel. 

    State police said the crash was in the tunnel at exit 59 and injuries are reported. 

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

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    Although the winter solstice is Wednesday at 5:44 a.m., high temperatures will be in the 40s for several days leading up to Christmas.

    Some hill towns will plunge into the single digits tonight under clear skies.

    Tuesday will be warmer, with highs in the middle 30s.

    Starting Wednesday and continuing through the start of Hanukkah and Christmas Day, high temperatures will be in the lower and middle 40s.

    A few rain and snow showers are possible Thursday, but there are no "big ticket" items until just after Christmas.

    Late Sunday or on Monday, a storm will likely bring a wintry mix or rain. So, still, not very winter-like.


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    The northbound side of the Wilbur Cross Parkway has reopened on the Hamden-North Haven line after a double rollover crash.

    Minor injuries are reported.

    No additional information was available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will be in Stonington on Monday afternoon to talk about rail safety issues after reaching out to Amtrak’s CEO and asking the company to take action to implement better safety standards at railroad crossings in town.

    Senator Blumenthal, First Selectman Rob Simmons and some residents will attend the 2:30 p.m. news conference, calling for Amtrak to install technology that is already federally mandated. 

    Blumenthal said in a news release that Amtrak’s failure to install loop detectors or quad gates at the Walkers Dock and Freeman Island crossings have not only raised safety concerns, but have also disrupted the town’s “Quiet Zone” residential policy due to the passing trains being forced to sound their horns at each crossing. 

    He went on to say that the horns don’t provide adequate notice to passengers in a disabled vehicle on the rail crossing and the rail configuration does not provide a clear line of sight for the train engineer to safely react to such an incident. 

    Blumenthal introduced the Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Act, which he said would provide new resources to the Federal Railroad Administration, states and communities to make critical engineering and safety upgrades at rail crossings, like installing new lights and signals, particularly at accident-prone crossings. 



    Photo Credit: Chris Van Horne

    File photoFile photo

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    President-elect Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, defeat ISIS, withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, create 25 million jobs over the next decade and "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. How well do his Cabinet nominees reflect his governing philosophy? Here they are in their own words. 

    The retired neurosurgeon and unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination grew up in Detroit and has no experience in elected office or in running a large bureaucracy.

    "These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse. There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous."The Washington Times, 2015

    Former secretary of labor under President George W. Bush, deputy transportation secretary under President George H.W. Bush, Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    "If vehicles already meet an acceptable level of safety on a particular aspect of vehicle performance without being required to do so by regulation, I believe the Department should devote its resources to other issues rather than engage in rulemaking simply to affirm the existing level of safety."Statement before DOT deputy secretary confirmation hearing, 1989

    A keen advocate for school vouchers and charter schools, influential in Detroit, where charter schools have a poor record and state legislators rejected calls for more oversight, she engages in political battles to help advance God's kingdom, she told a religious gathering in 2001.

    "We are stuck in a partisan rut. The political parties are dead-enders when it comes to education revolution. As long as we think political parties might solve the problem it will never be solved. Oddly enough education choice is very unique in that some conservative Republicans and some liberal Democrats are actually on the same wavelength….But those are exceptions. The vast majority of the political class is committed to defending and protecting the status quo." — SXSW in Austin, 2015

    The governor of South Carolina and the daughter of immigrants from India, Haley led the drive to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse and during the Republican primary accused Donald Trump of "irresponsible talk."

    "During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation." -- Speaking of Donald Trump and others in the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, 2016

    A retired four-star Marine general, he oversaw the Guantanamo Bay military prison and efforts to stop drug trafficking and other smuggling into the United States.

    "In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers move tens of thousands of people to our nation’s doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland. As I stated last year, terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States."Testimony to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, 2015

    Nicknamed "Mad Dog," the retired Marine Corps general and former commander of U.S. Central Command blames President Barack Obama's policy in the Middle East for adding to the rise of extremism.

    "Is political Islam in the best interest of the United States? I suggest the answer is no but then we need to have the discussion. If we won't even ask the question, then how to we ever get to the point of recognizing which is our side in the fight. And if we don't take our own side in this fight we're leaving others adrift."— The Heritage Foundation, 2015

    Donald Trump's campaign finance chairman, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, and Hollywood financier, he and partners took over failed mortgage lender IndyMac Bank and operated it under the name, OneWest Bank. He pledged to tackle mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    "It makes no sense that these are owned by the government and have been controlled by the government for as long as they have. In many cases this displaces private lending in the mortgage markets, and we need these entities that will be safe. So let me just be clear— we'll make sure that when they're restructured, they're absolutely safe and they don't get taken over again. But we've got to get them out of government control." — Fox Business, November

    Perry, the former governor of Texas, has promoted the state's oil industry and has questioned climate change. He has advocated eliminating the department he would head though famously could not name it during a presidential debate in 2012.

    "I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number or scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we're seeing, almost weekly or daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climate has changed. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed." -- Town Hall in Bedford, N.H., 2011

    Republican congressman from Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon and persistent critic of Obamacare, he has repeatedly introduced his own legislation for replacing it.

    "It's a fundamental philosophical difference that we have with the other side …. They believe that government ought to be in control of health care. We believe that patients and families ought to be in control of health care. And sadly what we're seeing right now is that government control that we've seen ramped up over the past six or seven years has resulted in a decrease in quality that's being seen by patients. People have coverage, but they don't have care. They're priced out of the market." American Enterprise Institute, June

    Attorney general of Oklahoma, one of the Republicans leading the legal fight against President Barack Obama's attempts to curb carbon emissions, Pruitt questions how much human actions are contributing to climate change, a point disputed by the vast majority of the world's climate scientists.

    "Healthy debate is the lifeblood of American democracy, and global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime." — with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, Tulsa World, May

    The CEO of CKE Restaurants, the fast-food company that owns burger chains Carl's Jr and Hardee's, Puzder is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act, which he said created a "government-mandated restaurant recession" and of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which he argues would lead to fewer jobs.

    "I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality." Entrepreneur, 2015

    Turnaround specialist who became rich buying struggling steel, textile, coal and other companies and restructuring them, Ross came under criticism for a deadly explosion at a mine his company had bought.

    "Clinton will raise taxes. Trump will cut taxes. Clinton will increase regulation. Trump will decrease regulation. Clinton has vowed to kill the coal industry. Trump will leverage America's energy resources to create new jobs and growth." — with Trump adviser Peter Navarro, CNBC, August

    U.S. senator and former U.S. attorney from Alabama who failed to win confirmation to a federal judgeship because of concerns about racially charged comments he was accused of making, he has opposed immigration reform and the legalization of marijuana.

    "You have to have leadership from Washington. You can't have the president of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink, saying I used marijuana when I was in high school and it is no different than smoking. It is different. And you are sending a message to young people that there is no danger in this process. It is false that marijuana use doesn't lead people to more drug use. It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal. I think we need to be careful about this."Senate floor speech, April 2016

    Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, has what he has called "a very close relationship" with Russia's Vladimir Putin, which could be problematic during his confirmation hearing. Although he does not have a political or diplomatic background, he has broad experience negotiating deals for ExxonMobil in troubled spots around the world.

    "We do not support sanctions, generally, because we don't find them to be effective unless they are very well implemented comprehensively and that's a very hard thing to do," he said, adding, "We always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad collateral damage of who are they really harming with sanctions."ExxonMobil shareholders' meeting, 2014.

    Montana's sole representative in the House, Zinke would end a moratorium on federal coal leases on public lands. He is also a hunter and fisherman who opposes transferring public lands to the states.

    "It's not a hoax, but it's not proven science either. But you don't dismantle America's power and energy on a maybe. We need to be energy independent first. We need to do it better, which we can, but it is not a settled science."Campaign debate, 2014



    Photo Credit: AP
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    President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he listens to his pick for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speak during a rally at DeltaPlex Arena, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he listens to his pick for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speak during a rally at DeltaPlex Arena, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Department

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