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- 08/02/17--09:02: _Former Red Cross Em...
- 08/02/17--09:59: _W. African Immigran...
- 08/02/17--09:19: _Police Investigatin...
- 08/02/17--09:37: _Minn. School Buildi...
- 08/02/17--08:55: _Lack of Budget Dela...
- 08/02/17--11:03: _Teen Detained at SF...
- 08/02/17--11:47: _Plans Off for Conne...
- 08/02/17--12:33: _Alleged Inappropria...
- 08/02/17--13:26: _Safe Stolen From We...
- 08/02/17--13:46: _Bridgeport Teacher ...
- 08/02/17--14:25: _Troopers, SWAT Resp...
- 08/02/17--14:12: _5 Things Jared Kush...
- 08/02/17--14:26: _Car Hung Up on Down...
- 08/02/17--15:17: _Trump Throws Suppor...
- 08/02/17--15:49: _Guilford Woman to H...
- 08/02/17--17:07: _Trump Stuns Adviser...
- 08/02/17--17:22: _Woman, 2 Children H...
- 08/02/17--16:50: _Crews Search for Po...
- 08/02/17--17:58: _2 Killed, 3 Injured...
- 08/02/17--20:21: _Lightning Hits Hous...
- 08/02/17--09:59: W. African Immigrants Undocumented After Ebola Program Cut
- 08/02/17--09:19: Police Investigating Package Thefts in Manchester
- 08/02/17--09:37: Minn. School Building Collapses After Possible Gas Explosion
- 08/02/17--08:55: Lack of Budget Delays Start of School in Torrington
- 08/02/17--11:03: Teen Detained at SFO After Jumping From Plane
- 08/02/17--11:47: Plans Off for Connecticut Veterans Parade in Hartford
- 08/02/17--12:33: Alleged Inappropriate Videotaping at SHU Sports Camp: School
- 08/02/17--13:26: Safe Stolen From Westport Nail Salon: Police
- 08/02/17--13:46: Bridgeport Teacher Facing New Sexual Assault Charges
- 08/02/17--14:25: Troopers, SWAT Respond to Barricaded Man in Willimantic
- 08/02/17--14:12: 5 Things Jared Kushner Told Interns in Leaked Speech
- 08/02/17--14:26: Car Hung Up on Downed Wire in Suffield
- 08/02/17--15:17: Trump Throws Support Behind Merit-Based Immigration Proposal
- 08/02/17--15:49: Guilford Woman to Honor Late Husband at Closer to Free Ride
- 08/02/17--17:07: Trump Stuns Advisers, Wants Afghan War Commander Fired
- 08/02/17--17:22: Woman, 2 Children Held Captive in Virginia Home for 2 Years
- 08/02/17--16:50: Crews Search for Possible Missing Person in Stratford Water
- 08/02/17--17:58: 2 Killed, 3 Injured in Serious Waterbury Accident
- 08/02/17--20:21: Lightning Hits House, Starts Fire in Manchester: Witness
A former American Red Cross employee who was accused of embezzling several hundred thousand dollars from the relief organization has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Diane Williams, of East Hartford, a former employee who worked from the former Middlesex Central Connecticut Chapter from 2001 until 2010, was charged with first-degree larceny.
Several web sites identified Williams as a finance executive for the Red Cross.
In June 2010, an American Red Cross records review uncovered irregularities in the financial records of the former Middlesex Central Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Red Cross said in a statement.
They reported the discrepancies to the Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Region and the National Red Cross Investigations, Compliance and Ethics Division and the CEO contacted Connecticut State Police.
State police then checked financial records and said Williams had overpaid herself over an extended period of time from Red Cross Funds.
Williams was sentenced to 13 years in prison, suspended after eight, and five years of probation.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
State police arrest a Red Cross employee.
As Ebola spread across Sierra Leone in 2014, Amadu started sending paychecks home from New York to support seven nieces and nephews — orphans who had lost their parents to Ebola, some suffering from the disease themselves.
But one day in January, on the job as a package courier, he suffered a bike accident that shattered his leg in three places, he said.
When a program called temporary protected status, or TPS, expired in May for immigrants from three countries in West Africa, he lost his job and authorization to work or stay in the country legally.
Without a steady source of income, Amadu says he has no money to pay for rent, send to family back home, or afford $36,000 in medical bills. He does physical therapy himself and eats when his friends offer him food. He has no plans to return home.
“The health system there is very, very bad… If I go back home, I’m not sure if I’d be able to get medical attention,” he said, declining to provide his last name out of fear of being deported. “Staying here, I don’t open the mail some days because I can’t pay. Every day, I get scared, I cry, I don’t know what will happen to me.”
In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security implemented TPS — a temporary relief program for immigrants whose homelands are in crisis — for people from three West African countries hit hard by the Ebola epidemic: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
After the epidemic was declared to be over, Obama officials announced in the fall they would be ending the program. They warned several thousand immigrants their legal status would expire in May.
Now, Amadu and other former TPS recipients say they face a difficult choice: Abandon the lives they’ve built up in the U.S. for a country still reeling from health-related problems, or remain here without the ability to work legally, under an administration that is cracking down on those without legal status and aiming for new limits on legal immigration.
“When that status is taken away from you, it’s like your whole life is being forced in a different direction,” said Wilmot Kunney, president of the D.C.-based United Liberian Association of the Americas. “They’ve become anchored in the U.S. system, and now they can’t work. They can’t do anything.”
Sharon Scheidhauer, a spokesperson for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Services, said in a statement to NBC that “TPS as enacted in law is inherently temporary in nature.”
The program lasts for six to 18 months, depending on the initial announcement, but it can be extended by DHS as many times as officials see fit. Haiti, Honduras, and El Salvador have all had TPS for over half a decade.
It “is intended to provide immigration relief in situations that render it unsafe for foreign nationals in the United States to return to their home country or when their home country is temporarily unable to adequately handle their return,” Scheidhauer said.
In the case of the Ebola-stricken West African nations, former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson set up TPS for 18 months, renewed it for another year and a half, then announced the termination of the program last September.
NO TPS, NO WORK, NO MONEY
Experts and community leaders say that many of the West African immigrants who were protected under TPS — about 4,270, according to a DHS estimate in September — have left or will be returning home in compliance with the decision.
Many who remain have established roots in the U.S. Evelyn, who overstayed a tourist visa after coming from Liberia in 2007, lives in Philadelphia with her 9-year old son, 4-year old daughter, and fiancé, all of whom are all U.S. citizens.
“What will happen to them if they take me away, and say, ‘You have to go back home?’” she said, also declining to give her last name out of fear of deportation. “I’m afraid because I don’t really trust nobody… I may not be from here, but I need to be here to take care of them.”
Although TPS is not supposed to lead to a green card in the first place, people like Evelyn — who were covered under the program and meet the normal qualifications, like marrying a U.S. citizen — can apply to stay and work here permanently.
But even then it isn’t a sure bet. Lawyers told her that she may have to wait up to three years, pay as much as $6,000 in legal fees, and temporarily return to Liberia to get permanent status, she said.
Evelyn said she has less and less money to pay rent and support her kids, much less apply for a green card, since losing her job at a shipping company.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can’t leave, but I have no way to stay,” she said. “I have my kids at home who need my help, but without papers I can’t even help myself… I just pray that I can do something about it.”
While Evelyn’s story is unusual in that she can apply for a green card, the number of years she’s spent in the U.S. is not uncommon among former TPS recipients.
Anyone from a country with TPS can apply for temporary legal status as long as they entered the U.S. by the time the program was put in place.
As a result, many former TPS holders from West Africa lived here as undocumented immigrants for several years. For these people, the termination of the program means going back to a life as undocumented — and returning into the shadows brings new challenges.
Jessica Greenberg, a staff attorney at the Immigration Community Law Center in New York, said that one of the largest effects of TPS termination is that it prevents former beneficiaries from continuing to work and pay taxes.
“Individuals who were living under the rug, in the shadows came up, and now that’s been taken away from them,” Greenberg said. “The federal government gave these individuals not the full package, but the ability to get a work permit and a social security number.”
That’s the case with Aissatou, a Guinean immigrant who said she overstayed a tourist visa in 2001 and began working illegally for $8 an hour at a clothing company in New York, with the goal of eventually going to school.
TPS allowed her to secure a minimum-wage home health aide job in 2014, but she lost the position and her legal authorization to work in May — and has been unable to find under-the-table work since.
“I look for a job to just pay me cash and I can’t find anything. It’s very hard, it’s really very, very hard... If I go back, I'm going to die,” she said. “I’m scared, I’m not sleeping, I don’t know what to do. How am I going to survive? How am I going to pay my bills?”
Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in D.C., said that DHS is required to announce that it’s terminating TPS between two and six months before the expiration date so that people who are affected can plan accordingly.
“These are all people that would have been going home anyway if they had been complying with their visas,” said Meissner, who led the nation’s top immigration agency under former President Bill Clinton. “It’s just that they’re going home at a later date than they would have anticipated.”
But for Aissatou, the cost of a plane ticket back to Guinea itself is already too high. With $500 in savings and a monthly rent almost double that, she cannot afford to go back to Guinea even if she wanted to return.
“I don’t have anything, I have no money to pay rent. Everything has been taken from my pocket,” she said. “When I pay for August rent, it will be gone, it will be zero. In September, October, November, I don’t know what I will do.”
THE RISKS OF RETURNING
Still, immigrants who do go back are likely to face difficult health and economic conditions in countries that are still reeling from the effects of the Ebola epidemic.
Amadu, the former package carrier, said that he needs to stay in New York not only to seek care for his broken leg, but also to protect the health of his orphaned young relatives in Sierra Leone.
After contracting Ebola themselves, five of his nieces and nephews suffer from after-effects like irregular menstruation and severe eyesight problems. When he was working, Amadu would send them about $300 a month, as patients in Sierra Leone must pay for many health costs out of pocket.
“I just want to support these kids because everyone knows everyone back there and they depend on me here,” he said.
Dr. Mit Philips, a health policy analyst at Doctors Without Borders, said that although known transmissions of Ebola are over, the epidemic ravaged health care systems that were already struggling to serve the local population.
“These systems were not very good before Ebola, and during Ebola many of them only got worse,” she said, adding that the average person in Sierra Leone receives medical care only once every three years. “Health services are now less effective and less easy to access.”
Guinea, for instance, suffered from a measles outbreak this year after fear spread that getting vaccinated would lead to contracting Ebola.
As for Amadu’s broken leg, things aren’t looking much better, Philips said, as unusual health problems like kinestheology are rarely treated in the public health system. People returning to West Africa may have lost their immunity to malaria, which is common in the region.
The crippling effects of Ebola — and the resulting deaths of 11,300 people — have also weakened a local economy where most people live on only 2 dollars a day.
Ousmane, who declined to give his last name out of deportation concerns, said that conditions are so bad in his home country of Sierra Leone that he would not be able to find a job, much less one that would allow him to continue supporting 10 family members.
“With Ebola, people were left with nothing, they couldn’t farm, they couldn’t make money or trade,” he said. “And they still have nothing.”
The weak state of these economies also means that many former TPS holders have become a primary source of income for their family back home, even after they’ve lost their ability to work legally in the U.S.
Before the TPS termination cost him his job as a security guard in New York, Ousmane would send as much as $200 a month home so that his children, siblings and parents could afford things like groceries, clothing and school tuition. Now, he works various under-the-table jobs in order to scrape up funds.
The Liberian government operates a program to reintegrate refugees displaced by Ebola to other parts of West Africa, but former TPS holders do not fall under this classification, so it's unclear if they could apply. Guinea has no such program.
"They [former TPS holders] absolutely have no hope," said Ben Bangoura, a spokesperson for Guinea's embassy to the U.S. "They have been disconnected from the homeland for a very long time, and there are no jobs for them there."
BECOMING UNDOCUMENTED UNDER TRUMP
When former TPS holders do choose to stay in the United States, they must face the risks of living in the shadows under an administration that has gone after undocumented immigrants.
Since losing her job, Evelyn has stopped watching the news, she said. “The minute I see Trump or I listen to all the things he said on TV, I get more worried.”
She’s also stopped going outside as often as possible, in order to avoid the risk of being caught without legal status.
“You just don’t know who you’re going to come across, who’s going to come by and say, 'Oh, Can I see your documents? Can I see this?' and then you don’t have nothing to show,” she said.
In May, The Associated Press reported reported that top DHS immigration officials requested evidence of criminal activity from Haitian immigrants who were allowed to stay in the U.S. under TPS.
A spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement to NBC that it does not track whether people detained by the agency have TPS status.
Amadu said that a friend of his, a former TPS holder from Sierra Leone, was arrested in a Maryland suburb when ICE agents came to his door.
“You get scared every day that the same thing will happen to you, and they’ll knock on your door and send you back home,” he said.
Because he has no money for transportation, Amadu said he rarely leaves his house anymore in fear that the police will catch him jumping the subway turnstiles, an act that can get you arrested in New York.
“You’re just scared to go to the subway and ask someone for a [MetroCard] swipe. If they call the cops and they arrest you, you’re done,” he said. “If I see a cop or I see an ICE guy, I get nervous. It’s very stressful.”
As a response to these conditions, a group of congressmembers including Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., have proposed a bill that would reinstate TPS status for any West African immigrant who lost it in May.
But Meissner said that given the current political climate around immigration, it’s unlikely that Ellison’s bill will make it through Congress — much less, be signed into law by President Trump.
Of the few immigration laws enacted this year, “there’s been nothing passed that gives anyone permission to stay in the country longer,” she said.
And as other immigration programs expire, community leaders worry that the issue could only get worse.
Meissner said that these consequences are a “carbon copy” of what might happen if the Trump administration fails to renew another program, Deferred Enforced Departure, that also gives Liberian immigrants the ability to stay and work here legally.
Known as DED for short, the policy is set to expire in March and covers somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 people — none of them permanent residents — who fled civil war in Liberia as early as 1991.
“The big difference is that the DED people have stayed here longer, for decades,” said Kunney, of the national Liberian-American association. “It would devastate a lot of people. It would cause the separation of families, the breakup of children with their parents.”
The biggest test for the TPS program overall, Meissner said, could come early next year, when TPS is scheduled to expire for over 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador and Honduras.
According to federal regulations, DHS must announce a decision on whether or not to renew this policy sometime between now and November.
“These are quite different circumstances than those under which TPS [for Ebola-stricken countries] we’re talking about was established,” she said. “It’s expected that there will be a lot of advocacy and debate around that decision because of the violence in El Salvador and the interests that the U.S. has there.”
The Trump administration has been unpredictable so far in its approach to TPS. Before becoming President Trump's new chief of staff, John Kelly extended legal status for 60,000 Haitians until January. But as homeland security secretary, he also told the Miami Herald after the announcement that immigrants protected by the program “need to start thinking about returning.”
As these TPS holders await news from the government, West African immigrants like Aissatou are contending with the realities of living as undocumented.
“I’m really scared, I’m not sleeping, I don’t know what to do,” she said. “I have no one. I have nothing. I have just God and myself.”
Photo Credit: John Moore/Getty Images
This February 10, 2016, file photo shows a water tank for washing hands in the West Point slum of Monrovia, Liberia. Impoverished conditions in places like West Point are one of the reasons that Liberians who were in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status are choosing to stay in the country as undocumented immigrants rather than go back home.
Police are investigating the theft of packages in Manchester.
Police said they received reports on July 13 about package thefts from Marion Drive, but no additional information was available.
Anyone with information is asked to call police.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
An explosion at a Minnesota school Wednesday morning caused part of the building to collapse, with people possibly trapped inside as fire crews worked to extinguish the flames, fire officials said.
The collapse took place at Minnehaha Academy in the 3100 block of West River Parkway, near the Mississippi River. Minnesota fire officials said in a tweet that a natural gas explosion was possibly the cause of the collapse, which left people trapped and possibly killed one person.
Fire officials initially said one person was dead but later said the fatality was not confirmed.
Police reported five people were transported to an area hospital and three others remained unaccounted for. The conditions of those transported were not immediately known. One person was also evaluated at the scene and released, authorities said.
NBC affiliate KARE 11 reported that school officials said all students have been accounted for.
Minnehaha officials informed their Facebook followers that a gas leak and explosion took place at the Upper School, but did not share more details on what took place or how many people were affected.
Crews were working to extinguish flames and rescue or search for anyone inside.
Check back for details on this developing story.
Photo Credit: KARE 11
Torrington is delaying the opening of public schools by three days because of the lack of a state budget and students will now start on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Torrington Supt. Denise Clemons notified parents, guardians and other members of the Torrington public school community Tuesday that she met with the mayor and the Torrington Board of Education Chair about the start of school and they decided the school year will begin later than planned.
The 2018 fiscal year started on July 1, but lawmakers have not yet passed a budget so Torrington, like other cities and towns, does not know hot much state funding it will get.
Clemons said the school department will delay spending $570,000 by moving the date back and they hope that the budget will be clearer by doing so.
All staff will report on Monday, Aug. 28 and Tuesday, Aug. 29 and return for full duties on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
School was supposed to start on Aug. 30. The delay will push the last day of school for students from June 18 to June 21 and retain five days in the school calendar for school cancellations.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your support with a difficult decision. We are trying to make the best out of a situation that we have to manage,” Clemons wrote.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A teenager detained Tuesday after opening an emergency exit and jumping from a plane after it landed at San Francisco International Airport was released by Customs and Border Protection later that day and turned over to San Francisco police.
The incident took place at 2:30 p.m. after COPA Flight 208 from Panama City landed at SFO, and was waiting to taxi to its arrival gate, airport officials said.
The 17-year-old boy opened up the overwing emergency exit door, exited the aircraft and started running on the tarmac.
The teen, a U.S. citizen, was accosted by a construction crew working nearby on the airfield.
"Right as the plane landed, a kid opened the emergency exit, jumped out onto the wing and then slipped off," said Matt Crowder of Atherton, who was on the plane.
"It was as if he was like flying out, like it was really fast," said Sophia Gibson, another passenger.
People sitting near the exit row stood up when the boy jumped out and started to shout, others said.
"They were yelling, 'Tell the flight attendants. Relay the message back. The door's open. Someone jumped off,'" Crowder said. "It was pretty crazy."
No runways were affected, and there was no operational impact as a result, SFO spokeperson Doug Yakel said. The teen was not injured, but was transported to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Johnny Escobar saw the airline as it taxied on the tarmac. He posted a video on Facebook which showed the plane with the emergency exit door open with the following caption: "You see it all at SFO. Copa Airlines lands at SFO and a passenger could not wait until they got to the gate. So said passenger opens the over wing emergency exit and jumps out on to runway 28L."
Escobar said the passenger reportedly jumped out near Terminal 2 and the airplane came to a stop at Gate 82, which is at Terminal 3.
"I noticed that the plane was taxiing with one of the emergency exit windows in the open position ... I found that to be odd since airplanes are not supposed to move with any doors open and, much less on an active taxiway," he said. "Moments later I found out that a passenger had opened the emergency exit window and slid down the wing and on to the tarmac."
Gonzo Rojas contributed to this report.
Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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A teenager was detained Tuesday after opening an emergency exit and jumping from a plane after it landed at San Francisco International Airport.
Plans are off for the Connecticut Veterans Parade in Hartford in November.
Organizers of the parade announced that they are not planning a November 2017 procession and said the Connecticut Veterans Fund, a nonprofit organization that coordinated the annual parade in Hartford cites the high cost of running this type of event and the increasing difficulty in raising funds to produce it as contributing factors.
“This was a difficult decision for our committee to make because the parade has been a labor of love for all of us,” Ray Lilley, president of the Connecticut Veterans Fund, said. “But the rising costs of producing an event of this magnitude, combined with funding challenges, and the dwindling number of spectators who come out to cheer on a cold November day has brought us to this conclusion.”
Organizers are instead urging veterans service organizations, military and veterans support groups and individual veterans to participate in local annual Veterans Day observances and for residents to attend the local events.
“We are grateful to the planning committee, comprised of many veteran service organizations, the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, and thousands of individual veterans for their participation and support since 2000, the very first year of the parade,” Lilley said in a statement. “And we thank the many companies, organizations and individuals for their donations of dollars and services over the years.”
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Veterans marching in the Connecticut Veterans Parade in downtown Hartford during a previous event.
Sacred Heart University said it is working with local and state authorities to investigate allegations of possible inappropriate videotaping of minors on campus.
The alleged incident happened at a sports camp that has been held at the university for the past two decades, the director of communications at the school said.
The school said "steps have been taken" to remove the individuals who were allegedly involved in the videotaping.
An investigation is ongoing.
No other details were immediately available.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
File photo of Sacred Heart University
A safe was stolen from a Westport nail salong on July 21, police said.
Video surveillance captured images of two men take a safe from a nail salon on Post Road East, according to Westport police.
The safe contained an undisclosed amount of cash and items.
Police are asking for the public's help to identify the two men seen on the cameras.
The first suspect is described as a man, approximately 6-feet tall, a closely shaved or bald head with a large beard and a medium-to-large build. He was wearing a polo shirt, plaid shorts, white socks and red Jordan sneakers at the time of the burglary.
The second suspect is described as a thin man, approximately 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, with a visible tattoo running down his left forearm and possibly a smaller tattoo on his right inner forearm.
Anyone who recognizes these suspects is asked to contact Westport Police Detective Division at (203) 341-6080.
Photo Credit: Westport Police
A former Bridgeport high school teacher who was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student has turned herself in for new sexual assault charges.
Laura Ramos, of Milford, turned herself into police on Tuesday morning and was charged with second-degree sexual assault.
It is not clear if Tuesday's arrest involved a different student or if it was related to the original charges.
In June, Bridgeport police arrested the 31-year-old, a teacher at Central High School who is accused of an inappropriate sexual relationship with an 18-year-old boy who attended the high school.
Later that month, Ramos resigned from Central High School.
On July 26, Ramos pleaded not guilty to the charges linked to the 18-year-old student.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
State troopers and its SWAT team are responding to a barricaded man situation in Willimantic.
The incident on Birch Street in Willimantic originated from a burglary in Hampton, state police said.
No other details were immediately available.
Please check back for updates on this developing story.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
In a speech Monday that was later leaked to the press, Jared Kushner bragged Monday that details of his Middle East negotiations have not been leaked to the press.
An audio recording of President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser giving the off-the-record talk to congressional interns was obtained and published by Wired magazine Tuesday.
Besides addressing his role as the White House's envoy to the Middle East, Kushner also joked about collusion and discussed serving as publisher of the New York Observer.
NBC News verified the transcript, originally obtained by Wired, and reached out to Kushner's representatives for comment.
Here are some highlights from the recording:
NO LEAKS ON MIDDLE EAST TALKS
Kushner, who was tapped by Trump to broker peace in the Middle East, visited the region in June to meet separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Nothing’s leaked out, right?” Kushner said about the talks. “Nothing has leaked out, which I think gives the parties more trust and more ability to really express and share their viewpoints.”
Netanyahu is a family friend of Kushner's and someone he has known since childhood.
He added that the lack of leaks can only help him in negotiations, which he has also conducted with Jason Greenblatt, a special representative for international negotiations.
“I think you need to be able to probe people in private for them to have confidence that it’s not going to be used against them and that it’s not going to leak out in the press, which would be very, very hurtful,” he said. “But I think we were able to keep things quiet.”
UNCLEAR WHAT'S 'UNIQUE' ABOUT HIS STRATEGY
Kushner told the interns he isn't sure what's unique about his approach to the challenge of brokering a peace deal in the Middle East, and he isn't sure if the problem has a solution.
“I’m sure everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways,” Kushner said. “So, what do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know."
Later, he added: "There may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on."
He also emphasized that he would rather focus on trying to understand the decades-long relationship between the two sides.
“Everyone finds an issue, that 'You have to understand what they did then' and 'You have to understand that they did this,’” Kushner told interns. “But how does that help us get peace? Let's not focus on that. We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on, How do you come up with a conclusion to the situation?”
WHITE HOUSE 'CAN'T COLLUDE' WITH ITSELF
Kushner told interns that the Trump campaign was too disorganized to have colluded with Russia during the election.
“They thought we colluded, but we couldn’t even collude with our local offices,” he joked.
Kushner has come under fire for four meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and transition, though he maintains that he discussed nothing improper in those meetings -- and that no one in the campaign colluded.
During a question-and-answer session, one intern asked about an investigation into the campaign's potential ties to Russia and questions about Kushner's security clearance. In response, Kushner said, "We don't know where it's going."
In Kushner's SF-86 form, which is required to apply for security clearance, he initially did not report contact with some foreign nationals -- including a now-infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and an attorney tied to the Kremlin.
“There are 127 pages on the SF-86, but there are only two you guys have to worry about,” he said about the form. “Make sure you guys keep track of where you travel.”
BUYING A NEWSPAPER WAS 'DUMB'
Kushner, who worked primarily as a real-estate developer, bought the New York Observer, a newspaper focused on New York City real estate and society, for $10 million when he was 25. He became CEO of Kushner Companies two years later.
"We had a family situation where I needed to come to my companies -- my family business -- much earlier than I thought," he said. "Along the way, I did a lot of dumb things, I bought a newspaper, which was … very interesting."
He left his position as the newspaper's publisher in January for his role at the White House, selling his stake in the paper to a Kushner family trust.
'COMFORTABLE' BECAUSE OF LACK OF PRESS
“I’m a lot more comfortable talking to you guys today ’cause there isn’t any press," Kushner said.
But the speech made it to the press anyway, despite a warning from Katie Patru, deputy staff director for member services, outreach and communications.
"To record today’s session would be such a breach of trust, from my opinion," she told interns before Kushner's speech. "If someone in your office has asked you to break our protocol and give you a recording so they can leak it, as a manager, that bothers me at my core."
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Senior adviser Jared Kushner arrives to address Congressional interns Monday, July 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C. An audio recording of Kushner's off-the-record speech, in which he said he doesn't know what's "unique" about his approach to brokering peace in the Middle East, was leaked to the press.
A car is hung up on downed wire in Suffield, police said.
The car is stuck on Mountain Road, but an exact location wasn't clear.
Police said no injuries have been reported.
The car is expected to be stuck there for a while.
Mountain Road is closed.
President Donald Trump is endorsing an immigration bill that would cut in half the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States by creating a points-based system of entry.
The proposed merit-based immigration system would take into account factors like whether the immigrant speaks English, age, education and if he or she has high paying job offers.
"This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first," Trump said Wednesday.
The RAISE Act, sponsored by two GOP senators, would replace the lottery system of entry for green cards.
"This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy," Trump said.
The bill would prevent new arrivals in the country from collecting welfare.
"Look at the Statue of Liberty, it says, 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,' it doesn’t say give me your educated, your most skilled and your English speaking," said Chris George, Executive Director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven.
As the head of a refugee resettlement organization, George said he is concerned by the bill’s proposed cap on refugees at 50,000.
"That is the lowest cap this country has ever had and it comes at a time when the refugee crisis is the worst it has been since World War II,” George said.
Both of Connecticut’s democratic senators said in statements that both parties need to work together on comprehensive immigration reform.
"This offensive plan cutting legal immigration by one-half is nothing but a series of nativist talking points and regurgitated campaign rhetoric that completely fails to move our nation forward toward real reform," Senator Richard Blumenthal said. "It falls far short of comprehensive change, in providing no path toward legal status for the 11 million people here today working and living in the shadows."
The GOP senators sponsoring the bill said it is modeled after the systems in Canada and Australia.
"This is a truly idiotic bill," Senator Chris Murphy said. "The strength of our economy is based upon our history of legal immigration. Republicans and Democrats in Congress should work together to promote legal immigration in a way that secures our borders, deports criminals, keeps Connecticut families together and allows people who have worked hard and paid their taxes to work toward citizenship."
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In just five weeks, a family from Guilford will honor their late husband and father at the 2017 Closer to Free Ride.
“It matters to me because it mattered to Pat so much,” Paula Kinney said. “But it mattered to Pat so much because he had firsthand experience of what the money was doing.”
An aggressive round of cancer treatment didn’t stop Pat Kinney from riding 25 miles in last year’s Closer to Free.
“We really didn’t think he was going to be able to do it,” Paula said. “Sheer determination, Pat did it. He was committed.”
Paula’s husband first signed up for the ride with his friends from Guilford years before his diagnosis.
“The team is Team Augur’s Irish Pub,” Paula said. “It was his spot in town, they’re friends, such good friends.”
In May 2014, this fundraiser supporting patient care and research at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven became that much more personal for Pat when he began his own battle.
“So head and neck was the official category,” Paula said. “But it was in his tonsil.”
That following September, when Pat was too weak, Nell Kinney hopped on a bike to ride in honor of her dad.
“It meant a lot to me because like you go out there, you see all the people with survivor jerseys,” she said.
Paul and her daughters built close relationships with the staff at Smilow, especially in the month they stayed with Pat before he passed way in March. He was 51-years-old.
“Although, it was such a sad time,” Emily Kinney said. “It was time we were all able to be together, and we became friends with the nurses.”
“What we remember a lot was how pleasant the staff was when we came in everyone had a smile on their face,” Paula added.
This year Paula is getting ready for her first ride.
“I’m really proud of her I think that it’s a great step because I know she debated it for a long time,” Nell said.
Next month, Paul plans to cross the finish line.
“Cause he can’t,” she said holding back tears. “Pretty much, we wanted to do it together and never had the chance and I want to be with his team because I just feel like I’ll feel his presence being with his team riding.”
Paul is training to take on the 62.5-mile course. That is the distance Pat used to ride before last year.
There’s still time to sign up for Closer to Free on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
President Donald Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his advisers tasked with crafting a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and recently suggested firing the war's top military commander during a tense meeting at the White House, according to senior administration officials.
During the July 19 meeting, Trump repeatedly suggested that Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war, the officials told NBC News. Trump has not met Nicholson, and the Pentagon has been considering extending his time in Afghanistan.
Over nearly two hours in the situation room, according to the officials, Trump complained about NATO allies, inquired about the United States getting a piece of Afghan’s mineral wealth and repeatedly said the top U.S. general there should be fired.
Photo Credit: AP/File
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Royal Castle, Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Warsaw.
A woman and her two children have escaped from a home in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, where a man held them captive for at least two years, police said.
Fredericksburg.com reports deputies went to a home in the 3600 block of Mine Road in Fredericksburg on Saturday to check on the welfare of a family. A caller was concerned that no one had seen any of the family members for some time.
When deputies arrived at the home, a man greeted them and appeared to be reluctant to let them in the house, according to the report.
A woman and two children ran out a side door while they were talking. They were taken to safety and told authorities it had been at least two years since they were allowed out of the house, the sheriff's office said.
Kariem Ali Muhammad Moore, 43, was arrested and charged with three felony counts of abduction and felony assault and battery, the sheriff's office said.
The woman, 32, is being treated at a medical facility. The children, ages 11 and 8, received medical attention and are staying with family members, according to Fredericksburg.com.
Investigators determined the woman and children were not held with any sort of bondage or cages, but were not permitted to leave. Deputies said it is unclear how the suspect kept them inside the home.
Police said the woman is Moore's girlfriend and the two children are their kids.
Moore is being held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail. He was arraigned on Monday.
Photo Credit: Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office
Kariem Ali Muhammad Moore
Crews are searching for a possible missing person in the water in Stratford, police said.
Police, fire and U.S. Coast Guard officials are searching for a possible missing person in the water near Seawall.
No other information was immediately available.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Two people were killed and another three injured after a serious crash in Waterbury, police said.
Two cars were involved in the accident on Chase Avenue at Homer Street around 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
Police said two people, one from each car, were killed. Another three victims are being treated at local hospitals.
The road will remain closed as police investigate.
No other details were immediately available.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Storms on Wednesday is to blame for a house that lit on fire in Manchester, according to witnesses.
According to fire officials, a neighbor witnessed a lightning strike to the house in Sanford Road and called 911 around 4:25 p.m.
Neighbor Rachel Riggott didn’t see the actual lightning strike, but she did hear it.
"There was a loud crash of thunder and then everything lit up really bright," Riggott said.
When firefighters arrived they found heavy smoke coming from the second floor. They said no one was home at the time the fire started.
The family will be able to move back into the home once the electrical utilities are checked for damage, firefighters said.
While crews were able to confine the damage to one bedroom and no injuries were reported, they said heavy rain made traveling to the residence difficult and hampered their firefighting operations.
Manchester Fire responded to 35 calls for flooded streets and basements, fire alarm activations and car crashes during worst of the weather in this area.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut