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Trump Will Not Release Tax Returns: White House Adviser


Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said Sunday the president would not be releasing his tax returns, reversing months of repeated campaign-trail promises to do so after an audit is completed, NBC News reported.

The comments were a response to a Whitehouse.gov petition with more than 200,000 signatures calling on Trump to release his tax returns.

Conway also added that Trump's returns are irrelevant. "They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: Most Americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like," Conway said in an interview on ABC's "This Week."

Conway's statements are false — multiple polls showed a majority of Americans believe Trump should release his tax returns, including an ABC News/Washington Post survey out last week that found three-fourths of Americans believe he should release them.

Photo Credit: Carolyn KasterAP Photo

How Women Upstaged President Trump


For President Trump, the inauguration should have been his Super Bowl – the kind of spectacle everybody talks about at work all day Monday and beyond.

But for once Trump, the self-styled showman who upended media and politics to become chief executive, got upstaged. The Women's March on Saturday, a day after the inauguration, gave the world a far bigger and better show. 

The event packed all the elements of a yuge spectacular: epic scale (a cast of hundreds of thousands spread across the globe); family drama (emotional moments shared by multiple generations); humor (creative signs and chants, the cleverest of which can't be repeated here); colorful costumes (most prominently those pink hats); celebrities (Scarlett Johansson, among many others); songs (Alicia Keys sang “Girl on Fire”); and high stakes (the future of women's rights).

It marked a by turns defiant, raucous and joyful display of force by masses angry about Trump's taped vulgar comments declaring his carte blanche to accost women and fearful of life under his leadership.

As comedian Aziz Ansari put it on "Saturday Night Live," a program Trump went from hosting to regularly decrying: “Yesterday, Trump was inaugurated. Today, an entire gender protested against him. Wow."

The New York Times reported three times as many people participated in the main march in Washington than attended Trump's inauguration. The rookie president, though, wasn't only behind in the in-person audience category. In another sense, the marchers, all performers of a sort for the day, outnumbered him on the world stage.

That seemed to unnerve the now officially powerful Trump, who vastly exaggerated inauguration attendance Saturday and scapegoated journalists for using photographic evidence to show Obama attracted a far larger crowd to the National Mall eight years ago. Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, made the demonstrably erroneous claim that his boss commanded the "largest audience ever to witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe."

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that his inauguration ratings were bigger than President Obama’s 2013 numbers (true, though Trump’s viewership tally landed well below that of Obama’s history-making 2009 festivities). The new president said he watched march coverage and suggested something that he could not possibly know: that the protesters hadn’t cast ballots: “Why didn't these people vote?”

He later posted a tweet that most would recognize as presidential: “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

Still, the overall tone Trump set in his first weekend as star of the biggest reality show of them all echoed his attention-at-all-costs campaigning style.

The point of Trump's sore-winner act remains unclear. The inauguration, despite a lack of major performers (Toby Keith, Sam Moore and the Rockettes were among the bigger names), offered some memorable moments.

The limited dancing prowess Trump exhibited while shuffling to "My Way" with his wife, Melania, actually helped humanize him. The stylish new first lady showed signs of becoming a fashion leader (unlike his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, whose Paddington Bear-like outfit inspired mocking memes).

Some folks, on both sides of the political aisle, likely found something comforting and elegant in the pageantry and tradition surrounding the peaceful transfer of power, even amid Trump's speech, with its jarring "American carnage" declaration.

His strong words, like his attempts to steal back the show from the marchers (and just perhaps deflect attention from the major challenges facing his administration), defy presidential precedent.

But it's not unprecedented behavior for Trump.

After Arnold Schwarzenegger debuted Jan. 2 as the new ringmaster of "Celebrity Apprentice," then-President-Elect Trump taunted his successor via Twitter.

"Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got 'swamped' (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT," read tweet, written in the third-person with Trump referring to himself by his initials.

This weekend, President Donald J. Trump got swamped, if not in the ratings, then in the race for notice that appears to drive him. The throngs from around the world who marched grabbed the spotlight and beat him at his own game.

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: AP

Crews Battle Large Blaze in Washington


Multiple emergency and fire crews battled a large fire that ripped through a former school for girls in Washington Sunday night. 

Crews responded to 96 Wykeham Road, the former Wykeham Rise Girls' School around 8 p.m, officials confirm.

According to fire officials, no injuries have been reported, and firefighters are still on scene.

No other details were made immediately available.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump, Israeli PM Have ‘Very Warm’ Conversation


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a "very warm" conversation with President Donald Trump on Sunday, NBC News reported. 

Netanyahu's office said the two leaders discussed Iran and the Palestinian peace process. However, they did not discuss Trump's campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city of Jerusalem. 

"We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told NBC News.

In a statement, the White House said that peace between Israel and the Palestinians could be achieved only through direct negotiation.

Trump and Netanyahu agreed to a White House visit next month.

Photo Credit: Ronen Zvulun/Andrew Harnik/AP

Ethics Lawyers to Sue Trump Over Business Interests


Heavy-hitting lawyers plan to sue President Donald Trump in federal court Monday, NBC News reported, over business interests that they say put him in violation of the Constitution by receiving payments from foreign governments. 

The nonprofit good-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, will file the suit Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the organization said. 

The suit alleges that Trump violated the Constitution the moment he was sworn in as president on Friday because he had not divested his interests in the Trump Organization, which include leases held by foreign-government-owned entities in Trump Tower in New York, among other things. 

At issue is Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution — less tongue-twistingly known as the Emoluments Clause — which says "no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust ... shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Old Saybrook Preps for Monday Nor'easter


With potentially 60 mile-an-hour winds on the way, it was time to prepare in Old Saybrook on Sunday.

“We have some outdoor furniture we’ve not put away yet since the summertime. So I guess finally it’s time,” Maureen Lauler of Old Lyme, said.

That’s a good idea according to the Old Saybrook Fire Chief.

He says the wind can launch loose items and transform them into projectiles.

“It’s pretty common on a nor’easter down here on the shoreline we do get 60 mile-an-hour winds and we get stuff blowing across the neighborhoods and across the streets,” Chief Jay Rankin of the Old Saybrook Fire Department said.

People in this area are used to these powerful storms.

Many have launched well-worn plans including preparing a stockpile of three days-worth of food and water.

“You’ll go through your normal day and then you’ll hear the news report. And everyone runs to the store and picks up the groceries they need and they got to hunker down for a few days,” Scott Orkus of Old Saybrook said.

The fire department encourages people to stay inside if conditions turn bad.

Anyone who does venture out should be careful of fallen trees and downed power lines.

Eversource says it’s monitoring the storm and will add crews if necessary.

And drivers should also be wary of roads if there is localized flooding.

“If they see standing water don’t drive through it, take an alternative route,” Rankin said.

Now if during the strong winds you lose power, the fire chief also encourages people who use a generator to keep it outside and away from the home.

Airlines Offer Fee Waivers for Flight Changes Due to Storm


Several airlines have announced they will offer fee waivers ahead of a storm expected to bring high winds and a mix of rain sleet and snow to New England.

Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, Jet Blue, and United have all offered the waivers, which will allow flyers to change flights for free. Most airlines require travelers stay in the same cabin and fly to the same airport. Check with your airline for specific details.

Monday morning things were running smoothly at Bradley International Airport, with only two cancellations and a handful of delays. But as the storm gains steam that may change. Travelers should check their flight status with the airline before heading to the airport.

Darryl Mosher of East Haddam showed up at Bradley only to find out his flight to Atlanta had been canceled.

“We got here to the airport to find out the flight was canceled due to weather. I guess the planes didn’t make it up this morning. I guess everything is stuck on the ground down there. They rescheduled the flight for me for 4 p.m. today, but depending on the weather, I’m not sure if we’re going to get out of here today.”

The NBC Connecticut meteorologists are forecasting rain, sleet, and snow across the state, with some accumulation expected in the northwest hills. There is a high wind warning out for the shoreline and minor coastal flooding is possible.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 4 in Farmington Reopened After Accident


Route 4 in Farmington has reopened between Highwood Road and Knollwood Road after an accident, according to police.

Police said a car struck a pole around 5:30 a.m., causing wires to fall across both lanes of the road. The road was closed while power crews made repairs and has since reopened.

A marked detour was set up to get to the high school earlier in the morning, police said.

No injuries were reported.

Man Found Prowling in West Hartford Backyards: Police


A West Hartford man has been charged with criminal trespass after multiple residents reported a possible prowler to West Hartford police Monday, according to police.

Police said that they received a call from a resident of Randal Avenue who thought he saw the light from a cell phone outside his back door. About an hour alter they received a call from a resident on Knollwood Road reporting that someone slid open her back door then closed it.

A state police K9 was called in and a suspect, identified as Cody Farley, 19, was found hiding behind a tree on Vine Hill Road, police said.

According to police, Farley took off running through backyards and was captured when officers released the K9 on him. Police said Farley had three active PRAWN warrants for his arrest.

Farley was treated on scene and refused transport to the hospital. He was charged with interfering with an officer and third-degree criminal trespass. He was also charged with two violation of probation warrants and failure to appear. He was held on a $37,500 bond.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police Department

Russia Moves to Decriminalize Some Domestic Violence


In the days following international demonstrations for women's rights, Russia is looking to advance legislation that would decriminalize domestic violence, NBC News reported.

The bill would remove criminal liability for assaults against family members, assaults that are first-time offenses and assaults that caused no hospitalizations and excluded rape. Instead of jail sentences, assaults would result in fines.

Earlier this month, Russian lawmakers gave almost unanimous approval for the legislation. The second reading is set for Jan. 25.

President Vladimir Putin has also voiced support for the decriminalization of domestic violence. In December, Putin told a journalist that punishment "should not go overboard" for some assault.

An online petition against the legislation has garnered more than 180,000 signatures, but there have not been any significant protests in Russia against the bill so far.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Charged with Firing Gun into Air on I-91 in Rocky Hill


A Newington man is accused of firing a gun into the air on Interstate 91 in Rocky Hill Saturday.

Connecticut State Police charged Joseph Weeks, 34, with unlawful discharge of a firearm, breach of peace and reckless endangerment.

Police said that Weeks was arrested after troopers responded to reports of someone firing a shot into the air on the I-91 south exit 24 off ramp, near the On the Border Restaurant.

According to state police, Rocky Hill police stopped Weeks when they spotted him in his vehicle, which matched the description given by callers.

Weeks was released on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 6.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Todd Road in Wolcott Will Be Closed for Hours After Crash


Part of Todd Road in Wolcott will be closed until tonight after a crash.

Police said the crash was in the area of 52 Todd Road, at the corner of Frisbie Circle, and the road will be closed until at least 6 p.m. after a crash around 12:20 a.m. that brought down a telephone pole.

Officials said the pole has to be replaced and workers said it will take at least until 6 p.m. and detours will be Woodtick Road to County Road, to East Street to Meriden Road or Meriden Road in Waterbury to Frost Road to Woodtick Road into Wolcott.

Photo Credit: Wolcott Police

Police Cruiser Involved in Crash on Route 7 in Brookfield

Bristol Man Has Been Missing for a Month


Police are looking for a 53-year-old Bristol man who has been missing for more than a month and they are asking for help to find him.

Craig Calvert’s family reported him missing in East Granby on Jan. 12.

He was last in touch with them on Dec. 17 and police said the circumstances of Calvert’s disappearance are unknown.

He has blue eyes, scars on his cheeks, no teeth or dentures and short brown hair, but is almost bald.

He is slender, 5-feet-9 and around 160 pounds.

Police said he is known to frequent the Hartford area and might be driving his yellow 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup with Connecticut registration C051181 or his yellow 2008 Honda VTX1300C motorcycle with Connecticut plates 00DVKG.

He might be wearing a black jacket, dirty blue jeans and work boots. He is known to work odd jobs sheet rocking.

Anyone who sees Calvert or his vehicles should call the Bristol Police Department at 860-584-3011.

Photo Credit: Bristol Police

Pope's Warning: Rising Populism Could Produce New Hitler


Pope Francis has expressed concern over the growing populist movement in Europe, saying it could result in the rise of leaders like Germany's Adolf Hitler, NBC News reported.

"In times of crisis, we lack judgment, and that is a constant reference for me," the pope said in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais. "Hitler didn't steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people."

Angry with traditional political elites, voters across Europe are throwing support towards nationalist, anti-immigrant leaders.

The pontiff, who sent President Donald Trump his best wishes Friday, also told El Pais that he is reserving judgment on Trump: "We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Hamden Police Investigate 2 Armed Robberies in 3 Hours


Hamden police are investigating two armed robberies in less than three hours Sunday morning. 

The first robbery was reported at 5 a.m. at 7-Eleven at 1795 Dixwell Ave. The masked robber was dressed in dark clothing, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money from the cash register, police said. 

Then he ran off with cash and the clerk’s cell phone and police have not been able to find him. 

Then, police responded to US 1 Petrol at 1290 Dixwell Ave., a mile away from the first robbery, for another armed robbery. The person who committed the second robbery was also wearing dark clothing and a ski mask, had a gun and ordered the clerk to give him the money from the cash register, police said. 

Then he ran off with the cash and the clerk’s cell phone and remains at large. 

No surveillance photos were immediately available and police said it’s not clear if the same person robbed both stores. 

Anyone with information should call the Hamden police department detective division at (203) 230-4040.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Water Main Break Leaves Gaping Sinkhole in Manhattan


A 12-inch water main break created a sinkhole in Washington Heights Monday morning, causing traffic delays in the area as crews worked on repairs. 

The water was shut off shortly after the 4 a.m. break at 167th Street and Edgecomb Avenue, and though there was no apparent flooding, crews had to close off the area because of the resulting sinkhole. 

The sinkhole didn't swallow any cars, but some nearby vehicles had to be towed away. Drivers were advised to take alternate routes.

No injuries or evacuations were reported, and both Con Edison and the Department of Environmental Protection were on scene. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Traffic Lights Out in Hartford After Ambulance, SUV, Truck Crash


Traffic lights are out near Saint Francis Medical Center in Hartford after a crash involving an ambulance, an SUV and a truck, according to police. 

Minor injuries are reported and the traffic signal box at at Asylum Avenue and Woodland Street was damaged. 

Crews from the Hartford Department of Public Works and the fire department are making repairing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Card Skimmers Found on ATMs in Moosup and Canterbury


Savings Institute Bank & Trust is warning customers who used their ATMs in Moosup and Canterbury to check their accounts after card skimmers were found on the machines, according to the bank’s website.

Skimmers are devices placed on ATMS or other machines that steal information from the magnetic strip of payment cards. They are usually smaller than a deck of cards and may not be noticeable to the average user.

The bank said the skimmers were placed on Saturday, Jan. 14. Anyone who has used either ATM on or after that date should check accounts immediately for any suspicious activity. The bank also recommended turning off debit cards.

Any fraudulent activity should be reported to the bank at 866-842-5208.

The bank said the devices only would have collected ATM card numbers and PIN numbers and that the bank’s networks and customer persona information was not accessed.

The bank is working with local authorities to find the people responsible for placing the skimmers.

Customers with questions can contact Savings Institute Bank & Trust customer service at 1-800-423-0142.

Photo Credit: NBC 7

Gun Found Near New Haven School


An unloaded gun was found near the Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy in New Haven on Monday morning. 

An officer responded to 360 Columbus Ave. at 7:14 a.m. to investigate after a staff member at the Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy found a gun, police said.

Police said the weapon was not loaded and there was no magazine. 

School was not yet in session when the staff member found the gun and students were just starting to arrive after police removed the firearm. 

The police department’s bureau of investigation will conduct forensic testing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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