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WATCH: Glowing Turtle Found In South Pacific


Recently released footage shows a neon glow bouncing off a turtle's shell in the Solomon Islands.

A Hawksbill sea turtle glowing green with streaks of red in a coral reef is said to be the first biofluorescent reptile discovered. While searching for small species of biofluorescent sharks, David Gruber, a City University of New York assistant professor and marine biologist, spotted the turtle during a dive.

According to Gruber, scientists have hypothesized that biofluorescence has a potential "covert" means of communication.

The phenomenon is a result of the absorption, transformation and emiting of a different light. Gruber and his team used a blue light and yellow filter to pick up the fluorescing organisms, National Geographic reported.

Biofluorescence is not to be confused with bioillumination where white light is produced by a chemical reaction.

"We now hope to study the vision of this turtle to see what colors they see and how they perceive biofluorescence," Gruber said in an email. "We also plan to investigate what molecule is causing the fluorescence."

Gruber and his team were in the Solomon Islands participating in a Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary 21 (TBA 21) expedition, National Geographic reported. TBA 21 is a fellowship organization bringing artists, scientists and thinkers together and commissions projects around the study of geographical issues on land and in the sea.

"It was a totally unexpected finding. We were blown away," he said. "It highlights how many mysteries there are left to be discovered in the ocean."

Biofluorescence was first intensively studied in corals. Last year, scientists were surprised to find it widespread in fish and sharks, Gruber said.

Gruber said Hawksbill turtles like the one discovered are critically endangered and remain under threat because of climate change, illegal trade, by-catch and legal fishing.

"This observation of fluorescence in Hawksbill turtles highlights the urgency to understand and better protect and manage this species while they still exist," he said.

Photo Credit: David Gruber

Joaquin Facebook Video Question and Answer Session


Major hurricane Joaquin is expected to miss the United States.

First Alert meteorologist Tyler Jankoski answered questions in a live video on Facebook this afternoon.

Watch for details on the storm, including a discussion on the European model.

If you're viewing from the app, click here to see the video.

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Suspect in Girl's Kidnapping, Sex Assault Identified


New Britain police have obtained an arrest warrant for the man they say took a young girl from her window on the morning of August 16 and sexually assaulted her before returning her to her bed.

Officers secured the warrant for Alexy Martinez-Mercado, 27, of New Britain, on Thursday.

According to police, girl was sleeping in her bed in the Broad Street neighborhood when a Martinez-Mercado entered her bedroom through an unlocked window.

Police said he took her outside, touched her inappropriately and then brought her back home.

Through their investigation, police identified Martinez-Mercado as a suspect.  He was already in custody on unrelated charges, police said.

Martinez-Mercado is now facing charges of first-degree kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, home invasion and risk of injury to a minor by sexual contact.

He will be formally charged at his next court appearance on October 8.

Obama Calls For Gun Reform After Ore. Shooting


President Barack Obama spoke passionately and registered frustration Thursday night after a gunman opened fire on a community college campus in Oregon.

The shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, 26, who is now dead, killed at least 10 people at the community college in Roseburg and wounded about seven others.

"Somehow this has become routine," Obama said. "My response here, at this podium, is routine. We’ve become numb to this. It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict pain on someone else to get their hands on guns.”

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The president called upon Congress to implement what he called common sense gun control laws. He noted that critics will say that he "politicized" this issue.

"This is something we should politicize— it is relevant to our common life together," he said.

Obama compared the United States to other advanced countries, saying that it only took them "one mass shooting" before gun policies were changed. He said that it is a known fact that states with more gun control laws have less gun violence. 

The president also said that America is not the only country that has people with mental illness but that the U.S. is the only developed country that sees shootings like this "every month."

Obama added that "our thoughts and prayers are not enough." 

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee slammed Obama in a statement on Facebook, saying his "passion is grossly misplaced into destroying the Second Amendment" and gun violence is "the fault of evil people doing evil things."

"With few facts, Obama is quick to admittedly politicize this tragedy to advance his liberal, anti-gun agenda," Huckabee wrote. "For this president to make a political pronouncement is at best premature and at worst ignorantly inflammatory."

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Earlier Thursday, other presidential candidates and politicians tweeted their thoughts and prayers for victims of the shooting.

Republicans Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and John Kasich and Democrats Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were among those sending condolences.

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Many of the messages streered away from the politics of gun control but not all, including Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Democrat from California and chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who challenged Republicans over gun safety.

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Photo Credit: AP
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Northeast Wind Could Cause Coastal Flooding


A strong northeast wind on Friday could result in minor coastal flooding in southwest Connecticut.

With a strong high pressure center over Canada and Joaquin missing out to sea, a tight pressure gradient will exist over the region.

This means sustained winds of 10-20 miles per hour with gusts as high as 35 miles per hour near and along the Connecticut coastline.

A northeast wind maximizes the amount of time the wind is over Long Island Sound, also known as fetch, thereby pushing water to the west.

As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood watch for southern Fairfield and southern New Haven Counties during the day Friday.

Tides will be one-to-two feet above astronomical levels.

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Ancient Virus in DNA May Cause ALS: Study


A virus that has been in our DNA for millions of years may be resurfacing in the form of ALS, scientists reported Thursday.

The discovery may lead scientists to finding a treatment for the incurable disease.


The virus is called HERV-K, and it incorporated itself — permanently — into the human genome between 2 and 5 million years ago. It's a human endogenous retrovirus — an example of nature's own genetic engineering.

Because they're part of the DNA, they are passed down from generation to generation in the same way as genes for eye color or height. Experts estimate that these viruses make up as much as 8 percent of the human genome.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cultura RF

6 U.S. Service Members Dead in Transport Plane Crash in Afghanistan


Six American service members were killed early Friday when a U.S. C-130 transport plane crashed at an airport in Afghanistan, NBC News reported.

The crash happened shortly after midnight local time (3:19 p.m. ET) at Jalalabad airport, coalition spokesperson U.S. Army Col. Brian Tribus said.

Five civilian contractors and two local Afghan civilians were also killed, the military official said.

The cause of the crash hasn’t been determined. The official said there were no reports of hostile activity in the area.

Photo Credit: Ian Spanier

Mom Arrested in Connection With Baby's Death


A 27-year-old Hartford mother has been arrested in connection with the death of her 1-year-old son, who was found unconscious in a bathtub in July and later died.

Tamara Santana has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide and reckless endangerment and bond has been set at $1 million, according to police. She is in prison on unrelated charges and is on mental health watch.

Officials said the incident happened on Elmer Street in July.

The child was identified as Antonio Armando Delgado Jr. His first birthday was just four days before the tragic incident.

Police said his parents were home when it happened and tried to drive the boy to the hospital, but stopped for help when they saw firefighters on Sigourney Street.

The fire crew began CPR on the baby and then rushed the boy to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, but the child had suffered life-threatening injuries and was removed from life support.

The office of the medical examiner's death has not been determined.

Old Lyme Residents Prepare for Hurricane Joaquin


People in Old Lyme are being urged to prepare despite an improving forecast that takes Hurricane Joaquin further from the coast.

Laurie Mattson’s home sits not far from the Connecticut River in Old Lyme.

“I panic slowly,” says Mattson.

Three years ago, Mattson watched as Sandy sent water pouring into her neighborhood. Her basement flooded.

In other areas of town, the storm battered homes and transformed streets into sand dunes.

Now as Hurricane Joaquin brews near the Bahamas, Old Lyme town leaders are already acting.

“We’re reaching out to people saying you need to look at your yards, you need to look at your resources, you need to look at your plan, and prepare for a storm,” says Bonnie Reemsnyder, Town of Old Lyme First Selectwoman.

Firefighters and other town departments are checking their buildings and fuel supplies.

People in town are urged to sign up for “Old Lyme Alerts.” A text, email, or call lets people know about an emergency, including hurricanes.

“The most important thing that we have to do in a storm is to be able to communicate with people,” says Reemsnyder.

Back by the river, Mattson is most concerned with storm water ruining her well.

For now it’s less about worrying and more about watching the forecast.

“I’m not scared,” says Mattson.

The first selectwoman says hundreds of people have signed up for those alerts. You can do that at town hall or on the town website.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Oregon College Gunman Asked Victims Their Religion


At least 10 people were killed and seven others were injured when a gunman who demanded to know his victims' religions opened fire Thursday morning on the campus of Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon, NBC News reported.

A parent of a student who was in the classroom where the shootings occurred told NBC News the gunman asked at least "a few" people what religion they were. The parent asked that they not be identified.

Multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News on Thursday night the gunman's motives weren't clear.

The gunman was killed in a firefight with Douglas County sheriff's deputies, Sheriff John Hanlin said. Multiple law enforcement sources identified him to NBC News as Chris Harper Mercer, 26, but the sheriff wouldn't confirm that identity.

"You will never hear me mention his name," Hanlin said Thursday night, because "he does not deserve it."

Officials have not confirmed if Mercer was included in the 10 killed, and could not confirm his connection to the college. 



Photo Credit: AP

Contrast in Number of Americans Killed by Gun Violence Vs. Terrorism


A frustrated President Barack Obama addressed the nation Thursday, contrasting federal efforts to combat terrorism with the lack of action on gun violence, NBC News reported.

Obama asked news organizations to “tally up the number of Americans who have been killed in terrorist attacks in the last decade” and compare those killed by gun violence.

An estimated 153,144 homicide cases in which firearms were used were registered by the Centers for Disease Control between 2001 and 2013, compared to 3,046 people killed in the U.S. by terrorist or possible terrorist attacks between 2001 to 2014, according to the Global Terrorism Database.

The shooting rampage on the community college campus in Roseburg left at least 10 people dead, including the shooter.

Photo Credit: NBC

The Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History


The massacre at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, is the latest in a tragic list of mass shootings that have taken place across the country, at schools and elsewhere.

Here is a list of some of the other shootings across America that claimed the most lives, according to NBC News.

Thirty-two people were killed on April 16, 2007, when 23-year-old Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people on campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, before killing himself.

On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza killed 28 people, including himself and his mother, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

George Hennard crashed his pickup through a cafeteria on Oct. 16, 1991, in Killeen, Texas, where he shot and killed 23 people before shooting and killing himself.

Photo Credit: AP
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Kevin McCarthy Attempts to Clarify Benghazi Comments


Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he never meant to link a congressional investigation into Benghazi to Hillary Clinton's faltering poll numbers, and that the outrage over his remarks has been a setback to his hopes of becoming the next House speaker, NBC News reported.

In an appearance on Fox earlier this week, McCarthy said, "We put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are [Clinton's] numbers today? Her numbers are dropping."

The comment drew criticism from both sides of the aisle, including some of his fellow members of the House GOP.

McCarthy, the favorite to become speaker once John Boehner retires later this year, said the comments have "been a setback," but he is still confident he will have the votes to become the next leader of the House Republicans.

Photo Credit: AP

Veteran Shot 7 Times in Oregon Shooting


An Army veteran was shot seven times while trying to save other students during the deadly Oregon college shooting, his aunt told NBC News. 

Chris Mintz, "tried to protect some people," his aunt Sheila Brown said. "We were told he did heroic things to protect some people."

She said Mintz had been in surgery since the shooting at Umpqua Community College Thursday in Roseburg that left 10 dead, including the gunman.

Originally from Randleman, North Carolina, Mintz served about 10 years in the Army. He had just started college, Brown said. He was shot in the back, abdomen and hands, and had two broken legs, she added.

Photo Credit: Sheila Brown

SUV Crashes Into Building in North Haven


A driver crashed an SUV into a building in North Haven on Friday morning and has been taken to the hospital.

Police said the driver was stricken by some sort of medical condition, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the side of a building on State Street that houses ProFlow Inc. modular processing systems.

No information was available on the driver’s condition and police said they do not expect to charge the person.

The structure was not damaged.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hospital Gives Update After Ore. College Shooting


Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Oregon, is set to give an update after Thursday’s deadly school shooting that killed 10 people, including the shooter. Seven others were injured. Check here for a live stream at 9 a.m. ET. 

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Hiring Slows in September


The U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs in September, well below economists' expectations of 203,000, CNBC reported.

In August, employers added 173,000 jobs.

The new number could cool expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates soon. 

U.S. stock index futures turned lower after the news with Dow futures falling more than 200 points, CNBC reported. 

Unemployment remained 5.1 percent for September, the Labor Department said.

Photo Credit: AP

Hurricane Joaquin Prompts Shoreline Communities to Prepare


Hurricane Joaquin is expected to veer out to sea, away from Connecticut, but some shoreline communities that have been hit hard by previous storms are taking the steps to prepare in the event of a weather emergency.

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo held a storm preparation meeting with emergency leaders from town to talk about storm preparations and they are pruning as many trees as possible, cleaning catch basins and ordering sand for sandbags, among other things.

In Stonington, town officials are opening an emergency command center so that all emergency personnel could respond to problems from one place. They’re also preparing to open the town’s high school as a place of shelter if needed.

“If it's going to be a large storm, we're going to have more officers than usual on a given shift, because if the storm starts, it's going to be more difficult to get officers from home,” Lt. Michael Peckham, of the Stonington Police Department, said.

State emergency management officials are planning to update the media this morning on what they’re doing to prepare.

Oregon Shooting: Sheriff an Opponent of Gun Control


The Oregon sheriff overseeing the investigation of Thursday's deadly college shooting has voiced opposition to state and federal gun-control legislation.

In an interview on TODAY Friday morning, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin declined to comment on a letter he allegedly penned to Vice President Joe Biden after the Sandy Hook Massacre of 2012.

The letter, dated 2013, stated that Hanlin and his deputies would not enforce new-gun control restrictions "offending the constitutional rights of my citizens."

Hanlin also opposed legislation proposed by Oregon state lawmakers to require background checks on private, person-to-person gun sales.

Instead he told a legislative committee that background checks wouldn't prevent criminals from getting firearms. He suggested harsher treatment of criminals found with guns and more help for people with unmanaged mental health issues.

Photo Credit: AP

Bus and Vehicle Crash Closes Route 188 in Oxford


Route 188 in Oxford is closed because of a crash involving a bus and another vehicle.

An alert from the state Department of Transportation says the road is closed at Nod Hill Road.

To get around the closure, take Punkup Road, Silano Drive and Route 67.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: necn
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