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Clinton Would Trounce Trump, Lose to Rubio & Carson: Poll


A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that Hillary Clinton would defeat Ted Cruz and Donald Trump but would lose to Marco Rubio or Ben Carson, NBC News reported.

The poll, conducted Dec. 6-9, shows Clinton getting support of 56 percent of Democrats and would win 50 percent to 40 percent against Donald Trump. Against Cruz, she would win 48 percent to his 45 percent.

Carson still performs competitively, despite dropping in popularity. He would get 47 percent in a matchup, compared to Clinton’s 46 percent. Rubio would fare best against Clinton, winning 48 percent to her 45 percent.

Photo Credit: AP

2 Calif. Mosques Vandalized


An investigation was underway after two mosques were vandalized in Los Angeles County, officials said.

"Really? We just had a peaceful march yesterday and somebody comes and tags up on the wall," Muhamad Awadallah can be heard saying in a video he took when he found the graffiti.

Officers in Hawthorne, California, received a call around 6:30 a.m. Sunday regarding vandalism and a possible explosive device in front of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque in the 13200 block of Prairie Avenue, according to the Hawthorne Police Department.

"Jesus is the way" was spray-painted on the front wall of the Islamic Center of Hawthorne.

"That's like if a Muslim went to a church and wrote, 'Prophet Muhammad is the way,'" Awadallah said. "If he wanted to say 'Jesus is the way,' he could have just told us that."

The day before, Awadallah said they held a peaceful Christian and Muslim march.

"And today at five in the morning, we come to pray and we see that on the wall," Awadallah said.

The FBI released a statement regarding the incidents, saying Hawthorne police were leading the investigation, but federal authorities would review evidence in the case.

"FBI Agents responded this morning to separate incidents at a mosque and an Islamic Center located in Hawthorne, California, that were either vandalized or threatened," the FBI said. "Investigators will work to identify the person or group responsible, the motivation and whether religious bias was a factor."

When officers arrived, they discovered what appeared to be a hand a grenade-type device in the driveway, along with graffiti sprayed on the fence of the property.

The area was evacuated and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Bomb Squad determined the device was a plastic replica of a hand grenade, officials said.

An image, which police said appeared to be a "Jesus," was sprayed in white paint on the mosque's fence.

The graffiti appeared to have occurred overnight.

Both incidents are being classified as hate crimes. No arrests have been made.

The cases of vandalism come only two days after a mosque was set on fire in Coachella.

Anyone that may have information regarding the incidents is asked to contact Crime Stoppers 'at 800-222-8477.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Human Rights Lawyer on Trial in China for Social Media Posts


One of China’s top human rights lawyers went on trial Monday for allegedly “inciting ethnic hatred” and “provoking trouble” in seven social media posts between 2011 and 2014, NBC News reported.

In one of the allegedly illegal messages on Weibo, China's Twitter-like messaging platform, Pu Zhiqiang attacked a government official following the deadly high-speed rail crash in Wenzhou in 2011 that killed 40 people. In another message, Pu mocks Mao Xinyu, Mao Zedong's grandson.

The start of his trial sparked outrage from free speech activists and a call from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to release him. Pu, who’s been in custody for 19 months, faces up to eight years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Photo Credit: AP

States Expanded Gun Rights After Sandy Hook


There’s been a rallying cry for more gun control in the wake of mass shootings like the one that took place in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, NBC News reported.

But many states have embraced the National Rifle Association’s axiom that more “good guys with guns” are needed to deter mass shootings.

New laws are making it easier to obtain guns and carry them in public places, making it harder for local governments to enact restrictions, according to a review of state legislation by The Associated Press.

Recent mass shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic and a community college in Oregon have reignited the gun debate. Gun purchases and permit applications were on the rise even before the Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino.

From 2007 to 2014, concealed-carry handgun permits in states nearly tripled, from 4.7 million to 12.8million, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center.

Photo Credit: AP

New Britain Police Investigating Fatal Shooting


New Britain police are investigating a fatal shooting early Sunday morning.

According to police, officers were dispatched to the area of 450 South Main street after an anonymous caller reported that a man had been shot.

Officers located a 37-year-old man in rear of the parking lot with several gunshot wounds to his body. The victim was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:45 a.m.

The identity of the victim is not being disclosed at this time.

The New Britain Police Department Criminal Investigation and Patrol Divisions are investigating along with the state attorney’s office.

Anyone with information is asked to call the New Britain police department at 860-826-3131. Anonymous tips can be left at 860-826-3199

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Two Children, Ages 4 and 7, Die After Bristol Crash


Two children have died after a crash early Sunday morning in Bristol.

According to police, a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old were both killed after the car they were traveling in crossed over the double yellow line and struck another car head on.

Police responded to Middle St. in the area of Pinebrook Terrace at 12:35 a.m.. When they arrived, they found a two car, head-on collision with six injured people.

Police say a 2014 Nissan Sentra was heading north on Middle St. and crossed over the double yellow line, striking a 2002 Ford Windstar.

Firefighters on scene extricated all four victims from the Nissan, including two children from the back seat. 

The children were pronounced dead shortly after. The children's mother, who was driving the vehicle, was transported to Hartford Hospital with serious injuries.

The front seat passenger was transported to the Hospital via Lifestar.

The driver and front seat passenger in the Ford Windstar were also seriously injured and transported to the hospital. A third passenger may also have been in this vehicle but fled the scene on foot.

All of the surviving victims received various injuries to the head, chest and legs.

The Bristol Police Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team is investigating the crash. Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 860-584-3033.

At this time, the identities of the victims are not being released.

Killed by a Gun: Faces of the Child Victims


Ja'Quail Mansaw was just 7 months old when a spray of bullets came crashing into his family's Kansas City, Kansas, home. Seven-month-old Nathaniel Hitt was sitting in his walker in Rome, New York, when his mother's boyfriend accidentally shot him while cleaning a shotgun. 

The two kids are among hundreds of children under 12 who are shot and killed each year, either by accident or on purpose, NBC News reported. The massacre of 20 first-graders at a Newtown, Connecticut, school three years ago outraged the nation and spurred calls for new legislation, but it did nothing to slow the firearm deaths of young Americans.

NBC News looked at cases in which children under 12 have been killed by guns since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and counted 554 deaths. The victims are black and white, Asian and Latino. They live in cities, suburbs and rural areas. They die in hunting mishaps, get caught in street crossfire, are targeted by murderers and intentionally or unintentionally shoot themselves. The only thing that ties them together is the cause of death: gunshot wound. Click through for some of their stories.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Period of Rain Tonight


Unseasonable warmth continues in this third week of December, with no blasts of Arctic cold in sight.

Daytime drizzle and fog will turn into a steady period of rain this evening. Temperatures will rise though the 50s as the hours go by.

Not much rain is expected. A half inch will do in most areas; that's a run of the mill rainfall event. Given the nearly 10 inch rainfall deficit and drought, it won't do a whole lot except to temporarily pause the deficit from growing.

Skies clear tomorrow with a gusty wind. It will be warm with temperatures in the lower 60s. Wind gusts will likely top 35 mph.

Wednesday is the pick of the work week. Abundant sunshine will pair with temperatures near 50 degrees to make for a great day.

A cold front moves through Thursday and it is the leading edge of the coldest air mass so far this season.

But that's not saying much.

More clouds then sunshine are in the forecast for Friday as the cold front gets hung up offshore. Some indications have a wave of low pressure forming along the front, but the most likely outcome would be a dry day.

Even though this weekend will feel chilly, with high temperatures in the lower 40s, it will still be above average.

The first prolific lake effect snow event of the season could happen this weekend to our west, which would yield a good mix of sun and clouds in Connecticut.

Car Seat Alert: Coat Could Endanger Your Kid


Putting your child in a car seat bundled up in their winter coat is a mistake any parent can make in the winter. 

When a child is wearing a winter coat, it may feel like they are strapped snugly into a car seat when the straps are actually dangerously loose, Sue Auriemma from Kids and Cars told NBC's "Today" show.

At an official crash test lab in Michigan, a child dummy that appeared to be securely strapped into a car seat came hurtling out of it in a simulated 30-mph crash.

Experts say to strap your child securely in their car seat without their coat on. Put the coat or a blanket over the child to keep them warm, Auriemma said. 

The advice applies to adults, too: Experts say they shouldn't wear their winter coats when they're behind the wheel or riding in a car.

Photo Credit: Today
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Recreational Drones Must Be Registered Under New Rule


Owners of recreational drones must start registering them later this month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Monday.

"We expect hundreds of thousands of model unmanned aircraft will be purchased this holiday season," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said.

Drones bought after Dec. 21 must be registered before the first flight outdoors, according to the new rule from the FAA. Those bought earlier must be registered no later than Feb. 19, 2016.

The regulation applies to small, unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds including cameras and other items onboard. Any drone operator who fails to register could face a potential fine of up to $250,000.

"Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely."

The new rule incorporates many of the recommendations made by the Registration Task Force made on Nov. 21.

Owners can register on paper or if they are at least 13 years old, online at www.faa.gov/usas/registration/. The same identification number can be used for all of an owner’s drones.

Registrations are valid for three years. The normal fee is $5 but it is being waived for the first 30 days to encourage as many people to register quickly.

Is all this too invasive? Christopher Kitts, director of Santa Clara University’s Robotic Systems Laboratory, doesn’t think so. "Quite frankly, for something that can do damage, it's mostly in line with what we do on a daily basis."

The new rule applies only to recreational drones. The FAA expects to begin registering commercial drones by the spring.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Moment RF

2 Swedes Who Cheered Beheading Video Jailed


Two Swedish men — aged 32 and 30 — were sentenced to life in prison on Monday for taking part in executions in Syria in 2013, Reuters reported. 

A search of one of their homes turned up a USB stick containing films showing the killings, Swedish district court was told. 

A video presented in court showed masked men standing around three men on their knees with their hands tied behind their backs. Two of the victims have their throats slit. The head of one is cut off and held up for display. Their captors — including the men identified by the prosecutor as the two Swedes — are seen cheering.

The court did not name the organization the men fought for but said it was proven that the men sympathized with a regime based on Shariah law and the creation of a caliphate. The two men pleaded not guilty, claiming they had not been among the masked men.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Officer Acquitted of Brutality


A high-ranking Chicago police officer accused of shoving his gun down a suspect’s throat while on duty in 2013 was found not guilty Monday of official misconduct and aggravated battery by a Cook County judge who said her decision hinged on conflicting testimony by the officer's accuser.

"It's been said this is not a good time to try police misconduct," Judge Diane Cannon said. "I say there is never a good time."

The incident in question unfolded in January 2013. Cmdr. Glenn Evans, a 30-year veteran of the force, was also accused of holding a Taser to Ricky Williams' groin and threatening to kill him.

According to details previously revealed in the prosecutor proffer, Evans claimed he saw Williams with a gun on the 500 block of East 71st Street. The officer then chased Williams into a home, tackled him, shoved his pistol into Williams' mouth and made threats.

During a three-day bench trial last week, Williams, a then-22-year-old shooting suspect, testified that Evans forced the gun as far down his throat as his Adam's apple.

But Cannon said Williams' testimony was inconsistent. According to Cannon, Williams first testified Evans was in uniform during the alleged incident and then said he was in plain clothes.

"He's eager to change his testimony at anyone's request," Cannon said of Williams.

The DNA puts Evans at the scene, Cannon said, and nothing more. That can move and spread, she said.

"The fact that Ricky Williams' DNA was on the swab was of fleeting significance because it was touch DNA," said Cannon, who noted her ruling does not pertain to other victims of police brutality.

The final hours of trial saw testimony from Independent Police Review Authority investigator Vincent Jones, who admitted he did not follow through on instructions from his supervisors or the Illinois state crime lab when he was assigned the case for Evans.

The defense's version of events contradicted Williams' testimony. The defense said Williams resisted arrest and added that they never saw Evans threat him with a gun or a Taser.

The gun that Evans allegedly shoved down Williams' throat is a central piece of evidence in the trial.

In court Thursday, Jones took the stand for almost three hours. He said he never thought it was necessary to gather a DNA sample from Evans, as was requested by state police biologist Jennifer Patterson.

Jones also said he never personally looked into whether Evans was right- or left-handed. The distinction is important because Williams claimed Evans used his left hand to jam the gun into his mouth while he held a Taser to his groin with his right hand. Williams later changed his story when the state's attorney's office informed him of photos showing Evans wearing his gun holster on his right side.

A DNA expert who testified in court Wednesday said she found Williams' DNA on Evans' gun after the alleged incident. Under cross examination, however, she admitted it was possible that simple contact between Williams and Evans' gun could have been enough to deposit his DNA, meaning the evidence did not confirm the gun was shoved in Williams' throat.

The final witness for the defense was Scott Ando, who was recently ousted as IPRA's chief. Ando was questioned about his firing of Matrice Campbell, another former IPRA investigator who went on public radio to talk about what were then confidential DNA reports on Evans' gun.

Evans also faces a $5 million civil suit in connection with Williams' arrest.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago

Thieves Steal Salvation Army Gifts


Donated gifts meant for children in need were stolen when thieves broke into the Salvation Army's Angel Tree headquarters in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, ripping into 300 bags of toys and gifts, according to the Salvation Army National Capital Area.

The culprits took thousands of dollars in toys, clothes, bicycles and portable electronics, such as MP3 players and tablets, the Salvation Army said. While they were leaving, they dropped a bag, damaging several Kindles inside, News4's Mark Segraves reported.

All the items were intended for D.C.-area recipients of the Angel Tree program, which collects gifts, toys and clothes for children in need. A laptop belonging to the organization was also stolen.

The Salvation Army said there were slightly more than 5,000 bags in the warehouse at the time of the break-in, and they've identified 300 individual bags from which items were taken. They're now conducting an inventory of the entire warehouse.

D.C. police arrested at least two suspects Saturday, the Salvation Army said. Police said they are searching for others and attempting to recover the stolen items.

The organization has been left scrambling but vows to replace the gifts in time for distribution to more than 2,500 local families -- about 6,000 children -- scheduled for Thursday.

At Winterfest Sunday, the Washington Nationals collected items to replace some of the stolen gifts.

Wal-Mart donated $20,000 to the organization to help make up for the losses, the Salvation Army announced Monday. The Salvation Army plans to use the donation, and any others, to replace the stolen gifts and pay for extra security at its storage facility.

"We are less than six days from the start of The Salvation Army's Angel Tree distribution to families in need,"  Maj. Lewis R. Reckline, commander for Salvation Army National Capital Area, said over the weekend. "We will now need to replace all stolen and unrecovered gifts in time for our Christmas gift distribution on Dec. 17."

Reckline said the Salvation Army will make sure the holidays are bright for D.C. children in need. Donors can help offset the loss by donating to the Red Kettles or online at www.SalvationArmyNCA.org.

The Salvation Army has now hired 24-hour security for the warehouse and added an additional alarm system.

NBC4 is a proud sponsor of the Angel Tree program in Washington.

Photo Credit: WireImage/File

New Britain Bees Announce Baseball Team's GM


New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart will help introduce the first ever general manager of the newly forming New Britain Bees baseball team at a press conference on Tuesday.

In November, New Britain announced it would be getting a new baseball team, the New Britain Bees, to play in the stadium  the former Rock Cats vacated after this season after announced a move to Hartford, where they are now the Yard Goats. The Yard Goats will play in a new stadium under construction in downtown Hartford that is set to be ready for the 2016 season.

The New Britain Bees won't be a minor league AA team like the former Rock Cats, but they are an independent team new to the Atlantic League.

The Bees now have a team manager, Patrick Day, according to team officials. Stewart, Michael Pfaff, a partner in the New Britain Bees, Frank Bouilton, principal owner of the Bees and the founder/CEO of the Atlantic League, and Bill Dowling, special adviser for the Bees, will be in attendance alongside Day.

Dowling owned the Rock Cats and served as president and managing partner for the team, previously calling the new team "a victory, not just for New Britain, but for central Connecticut."

The Bees are not affiliated with a major league baseball team and the new season begins on April 21.

To ensure that baseball would stay in New Britain. Mayor Erin Stewart negotiated a plan to bring an Atlantic League team to the city. 

When choosing the name of the team, the three runners up were New Britain Hard Hitters, New Britain Hammer and New Britain Hornets. New Britain Stingers was another suggestion.

In September, the New Britain city council decided to lease the stadium to the league for 15 years, with is expected to bring $750,000 a year in rent for the city.

Dowling will have the role of special adviser as the plan comes to fruition.

“We had such a terrific run in New Britain,” said in a statement. “The players, the staff, my partners and I - were all blessed to have been on the receiving end of great support and affection for over a decade. I am thus delighted to now be assisting Frank and in a position to give back to a community and regional fan base that was so generous to us”.

The New Britain City Council has put aside money to make improvements to the stadium , including replacing bleachers and adding a fresh coat of paint.

Other plans for the park include a carousel and a rock-climbing wall.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Clerk Wards Off Would-Be Robber With Gun


A gas station clerk with a gun warded off an attempted robber armed with a knife late Sunday night in Bolton, according to police, who are searching for a suspect.

State police responded to the Gulf station convenience store at 262 Boston Turnpike in Bolton around 9:55 p.m. Sunday to investigate a reported armed robbery attempt.

A woman wielding a switchblade entered the store and demanded money from the cash register, state police said.

But when she advanced toward the clerk and climbed on the sales counter, the clerk pulled out his gun, which was legally registered, according to state police. No shots were fired, but it was enough to scare her off.

The woman's image was captured on surveillance footage, which state police have released, hoping someone will recognize her.

No one was injured. The would-be robber wasn't able to take any merchandise or cash.

Police described the suspect as 5-foot-4 and thin. She was wearing a dark coat, camouflage-style pants, a blue scarf and green Boonie or fishing-type hat, according to state police.

The weapon she was carrying was described as a switchblade with a white handle, police said.

State police Eastern District Major Crime detectives responded and are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Troop K at 860-465-5400 or text tip711 to 236748. Calls will remain confidential.

Photo Credit: State Police

Illegal Club Shut Down, 2 Arrested After Fatal Shooting


Police have shut down an illegal after-hours club and arrested two people after a man was shot and killed in New Britain early Sunday morning.

Reynaldo Caban, 44, of New Britain and Jose Bauza-Negron, 34, of New Britain, are scheduled to be arraigned in court Monday after the shooting death of Benny Jose Rosado, 37, of New Britain.

Evidence and witness statements indicate that Caban shot and killed Rosado after he pointed a gun at him and was aggressive toward others in the area, police said. Rosado also fired his weapon, but didn't shoot anyone. Because of the circumstances, Caban isn't being charged in connection to Rosado's death, but he is facing weapons charges because he is a convicted felon who doesn't have a permit to carry a gun, police said. However, the case remains under investigation.

After Rosado was shot, Bauza-Negron attacked him and took his gun from scene before police could get there, police said.

Officers were dispatched to the area of 450 South Main Street after an anonymous caller reported that a man had been shot.

Officers located Rosado behind the parking lot with several gunshot wounds to his body. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday.

An illegal after-hours club was operating out of the back of 450 South Main Street, where alcohol was sold and consumed in the club, which didn't have the proper permits or licenses, police said. Activity was going on at the club when the shooting happened.

Police have shut down the illegal club and are working with state officials to bring sanctions against the business, police said.

The New Britain Police Department Criminal Investigation and Patrol Divisions are investigating along with the state attorney’s office.

Police arrested Caban and Bauza-Negron late Sunday night. Bauza-Negron faces charges of second-degree assault, tampering with evidence, carrying a pistol without a permit and theft of a firearm. Caban was charged with criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit. Both were held on $500,000 bonds.

Both are scheduled to be arraigned in court on Monday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the New Britain police department at 860-826-3131. Anonymous tips can be left at 860-826-3199 or be submitted through the New Britain Police Department website.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department

Fiery Crash Causes Lane Closure on I-691 in Meriden


One lane remains closed after a fiery dump truck and car crash on Interstate 691 westbound in Meriden Monday.

The accident happened just east of exit 4, shutting down the highway in the area and causing major traffic backups. The right lane remains closed, but other lanes have reopened.

Photos from people driving by the crash show a fiery scene. State police said the vehicles were on fire, but that the occupants got out safely. 

There are no serious or life-threatening injuries reported.

Photo Credit: Dave Paul

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Antidepressants in Pregnancy Linked to Autism in Kids


Women who take a popular class of antidepressants in the second or third trimester of pregnancy are more likely to have a child with autism, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's JAMA Pediatrics that some other scientists say raises more questions than answers.

The study singled out serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a group of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil.

Anick Berard with the University of Montreal studied more than 145,000 children born in Quebec between 1998 and 2009.

Thirty-one babies, or 1 percent of the group, whose mothers took antidepressants in later pregnancy were later diagnosed with autism.

Experts were quick to note that the risk is very small and very few children were diagnosed in the study.

Doctors said they are worried the findings will scare many women into stopping antidepressants.

"If there is an effect that SSRIs have on autism, I think it is not a very large effect," said Dr. Eva Pressman, who chairs the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester in New York.

Other studies looking at antidepressants in pregnancy have had mixed results, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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