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15 States Join Hawaii's Challenge to Travel Ban Enforcement


Fifteen states and the District of Columbia joined Hawaii's renewed effort to challenge the scope of exceptions to President Donald Trump’s travel ban Monday, NBC News reports.

The states have called on a federal judge in Honolulu to rule that the Trump administration wrong excludes grandparents, cousins and other relatives from obtaining visas from six Muslim countries.

The group of states, led by New York, said that people considering entering the U.S. for school or jobs, will consider who will be able to visit them.

The Supreme Court’s partial reinstatement of the travel ban last month ruled that only people with a "bona fide relationship" with a family member in the United States could be exempt from the ban.

Photo Credit: Caleb Jones/AP Photo

Comey Friend Responds to Trump Tweet About 'Illegal' Leaks


President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Monday morning to accuse former FBI director James Comey of leaking classified information to the news media.

But, as NBC News reports, a source close to Comey has pushed back against those allegations. Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman, who received some of the memos and shared part of one with reporters, says the part he shared did not contain classified information.

At issue is a report from The Hill stating that more than half of the memos Comey wrote about his conversations with Trump were determined to contain classified material.

The report appeared to prompt a tweet from Trump, saying what Comey had done was "so illegal."

Photo Credit: AP/Getty Images

Dozens Arrested During Health Care Protest at Capitol


Hundreds of protesters on Monday gathered in the halls of Congress in an effort to stop a Republican health care reform plan. Some demonstrators were able to get into Speaker Paul Ryan's office. Capitol police arrested dozens of protesters, some of whom said they had pre-existing conditions.

Insurer Profits Up Under Obamacare: Report


Insurer profits are up this year in Obamacare’s individual exchanges, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

NBC News reports the analysis found insurance companies are paying a lower share of premiums out in medical claims than in any period since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, without any significant difference in the health of the group measured.

The new information suggests the insurance market is stabilizing, despite claims from Republicans that Obamacare is collapsing.

However, some insurers have submitted significant premium increases or pulled out of the market, which experts say could be related to uncertainty over health care legislation.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Money Floods Connecticut’s Gubernatorial Race


Even with a small list of declared candidates for Connecticut’s open Governor seat, hundreds of thousands of dollars are already pouring in for candidates exploring a run.

In the latest campaign finance filings released Monday, at least three candidates have raised more than $200,000 in total and more than $100,000 since April. While many of the candidates are raising money in exploratory committees, many have told NBC Connecticut that they will run for Governor. In order to be eligible for public campaign funds, a gubernatorial candidate needs to raise $250,000 in small donations from Connecticut residents.

Monday’s fillings show that the number of announced gubernatorial candidates keeps growing. Dave Walker, Tim Herbst, Jacey Wyatt, Eric M Mastroianni and Prasad Srinivasan have all filed paperwork to run for Governor. Well known Connecticut politicians, such as Comptroller Kevin Lembo, former Federal prosecutor Chris Mattei, former DCP Commissioner Jonathan Harris and Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, are all raising money under exploratory committees.

In the most recent filings, Comptroller Lembo raised the most with $143,701 in contributions. He was followed by Chris Mattei, Jonathan Harris, Peter Lumaj and Prasad Srinivasan.

“We have full steam as we enter the third quarter and we expect to reach $250,000 by the end of the summer,” said Srinivasan in a news release about his July 10 filing. “This quarter was particularly challenging, with an incredibly busy schedule at the State Capitol. As always, fundraising took a back seat to representing my constituents in Glastonbury, dealing with the State’s budget crisis, and treating patients at my medical practice."

“The people of Connecticut are ready for real change to get our economy moving and our government fighting for working families,” Lembo said in a prepared news release.

In order to qualify for money from the Citizens’ Election Program, candidates need to raise the majority of their campaign coffers from Connecticut residents. According to an analysis by NBC Connecticut, Dave Walker’s campaign raised the most from out of state, collecting only 79 percent of the money in their latest campaign filing from Connecticut residents.

At the time of this publication, many prospective candidates have not yet filed their July 10 campaign finance paperwork with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

The Connecticut Gubernatorial election is scheduled for November 6, 2018.

Hawaiian Soldier Arrested, Accused of Trying to Support ISIS


A Hawaiian soldier was arrested and accused of trying to provide military documents and training to ISIS, the Army said in a statement Monday.

The active-duty soldier, identified as Ikaika Kang, 34, of Waipahu, also apparently swore allegiance to ISIS, the statement said. He was taken into custody Saturday by an FBI SWAT team, NBC News reported.

The Army and the FBI had been investigating Kang for more than a year, Paul D. Delacourt, the FBI's special agent in charge in Honolulu, said in the statement.

Kang is currently in federal custody and is expected to appear in federal court Monday evening.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File

State Swimming Area Closure Concerns Montville Campground


People who headed out to Gardner Lake State Park in Salem this past weekend might have realized the swimming area was closed because of bacteria in the water.

But that didn’t mean the entire Gardner Lake was shut down.

It’s that kind of detail that has Valerie Hornat, who runs Laurel Lock Campground in the Oakdale section of Montville, concerned she might have lost some business.

“We did have empty sites and there may have been somebody that called us on Friday, head the report, and didn’t call us,” Hornat said.

Laurel Lock borders a different part of Gardner Lake. Uncas Health District samples her part of the water every two weeks.

Director of Health Patrick McCormack said his team tested the water Thursday, July 6 and okayed it for swimming. He said if there was a concerning detection of bacteria, the health district would resample as needed.

The health district is in contact with D.E.E.P. and typically knows when it closes a state swimming area, McCormack added.

The Department of Energy and Environmental protection said there could be many reasons why different parts of the same body of water test differently.

“It could have to do with terrain, it could have to do with where geese are located. Lot of factors could make (Laurel Lock) samples come out fine while ours are not,” said Susan Whalen, D.E.E.P deputy commissioner for environmental conservation.

Whalen said D.E.E.P will re-test the water at Gardner Lake State Park on Wednesday and Thursday. They’ll know by Friday whether they can reopen the swim area.

For now, Hornat posted signs letting campers know it’s OK to swim at her campgrounds, to avoid any confusion.

“Actually my daughter and the grandkids were down here and they weren’t feeling food the next day. They were wondering if it had anything to do with the water. And I had friends call and they said, ‘Oh, I heard your lake’s closed up.’ And you’re going, ‘What the heck? What’s going on down there,’” said Ronald Spurr of Meriden. He camps at Laurel Lock.

“We’re here. We know it’s clean. We know what happens on the state beach side of things where it gets overcrowded. So we were out on the boat and we had a great weekend,” said Robert Riendeau from Austin, Texas. He’s another camper at Laurel Lock.

Riendeau said some of his family heard the reports about Gardner Lake State Park and mistakenly believed the lake was shut down. So they didn’t show up for the weekend.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Haven Neighbors Want Overgrown Lot Cleaned Up


For years the site of a former factory in New Haven has been vacant, and residents on Munson Street say it’s time the eyesore get cleaned up.

Jesse Hameen II described the mess growing next to his Munson Street home in New Haven.

"Poison ivy the whole perimeter going up to the side here to my house and the back behind my garage," he said.

Every couple of weeks he puts his machete to use, chopping away the branches that stick through the fence and onto his property.

Elaine Jackson has lived across the street since the early 1980s and said the property looked like a forest. She’s concerned about animals that may be lurking within.

"It's all kinds of wild animals but it’s like I gotta clean my back porch because the skunks were on it last night," Jackson said.

The property used to hold the parking lot for the Winchester Firearms factory. The Olin Corporation later purchased the property, but now it belongs to a developer that's planning to build 200 new housing units.

After conversations with a partner from Double A Development, Hameen is encouraged a landscaper will soon take care of the problem.

"The owner called me and he said he wants to have good rapport and relationship with the neighbors and he sees that our house we're more affected," Hameen said.

There is no word on when the construction and cleanup for the new housing complex is expected to begin.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Pedestrian Injured in Hit-and-Run Crash in Norwich


Norwich police have identified a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that sent a pedestrian to the hospital on Sunday.

Police said around 9:15 p.m. Sunday they responded to the area of 275 Washington Street after a vehicle struck a pedestrian. When officers arrived on scene they found the pedestrian injured. The victim was taken to Backus hospital for treatment.

The driver fled the scene, police said.

Through investigation police determined the suspect vehicle to be a newer style silver Jeep Grand Cherokee. On Monday, through an anonymous tip, police found the vehicle and a suspect. Police have not publicly identified the suspect at this time.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Norwich police at 860-886-5561 or the anonymous tip line at 860-886-5561 ext. 500.

Photo Credit: Metro

Viral Facebook 'Warning' is a Hoax: Expert


A "warning" circulating on Facebook may be the actual problem.

Experts say a message advising users not to accept a request from a “hacker” named “Jayden K. Smith,” is a hoax.

“It’s really a viral message that is being propagated over messenger and other mechanisms,” said Brian Kelly , Quinnipiac University’s Chief Information Security Officer.

According to Kelly, the message, says the “Jayden K. Smith” account is trying to connect to the user and the accounts of all its contacts.

“The language is sort of suspect,” says Kelly. “It says something along the lines he is a hacker and he is connected to your system, so the linguistics should tell you this is sort of a hoax or a chain letter.”

Kelly says while the message itself does not pose a risk, spreading false information from people you don't know can be dangerous.

“The risk is inherently connecting to people you don’t know on Facebook,” he said.

If you receive such a message, Kelly recommends deleting it. Facebook also allows users to report content and requests right on the site. Anyone with a Facebook account is also advised to be mindful of the information you share and your privacy settings.

“The more information you put out there, the more attractive it is to bad guys.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

How and Why Amazon Ships So Many Packages So Quickly


Amazon’s Prime Day, a carefully fabricated “retail holiday” meant to take advantage of the company's vast shipping network, is set for a time of year when the busy holiday shopping season is still a ways off.

“If you had to build a machine that could handle peak operations, and it was idle for 10 months of the year, Prime Day now lets you leverage that machine for profit,” said Marc Wulfraat, the president of supply chain consulting company MWPVL.

Indeed, an Amazon spokesperson told NBC in a statement that the day is “nothing out of the ordinary for a summer sale.”

The company has not released information about last year's sales, but analysts estimated $500 million to $600 million in total, according to CNBC.

For the past five years, Amazon has been busy creating a network of warehouses, trucks — and now, planes — that can handle the surge in orders expected on Prime Day. Wulfraat said the company has made big strides in increasing the "level of control they have over the outbound transportation operations."

"They've made tremendous gains to...get close to the customers,” Wulfraat said.

In addition to its massive distribution hubs, which are known as “fulfillment centers,” Amazon has built at least 58 warehouses specifically for Prime deliveries in dense urban areas.

One of these hubs — each of which is around 50,000 square feet — is inside a corporate tower in midtown Manhattan. Inside, employees called "pickers" weave through mazes of the company’s 10,000 top-selling products, TIME reported.

“We have high-tech algorithms that we have taken from our normal fulfillment centers, and we use them in this smaller building,” Stephenie Landry, Amazon's worldwide director of Prime Now, told TIME. "It takes the picker on the fastest path possible to grab all of the items.”

The much larger fulfillment centers are usually a few hundred miles from cities, but these smaller Prime-only facilities like the one in New York mean that Amazon can deliver products to many of its Prime customers within an hour or two.

Amazon used to rely mostly on FedEx and UPS to transport goods from its warehouses to customers’ doorsteps, but this process was sometimes unreliable and often expensive, Wulfraat said.

Shareholder data shows that between 2010 and 2014, the company spent more on shipping than what it made in shipping revenue, according to Quartz. Taken as a share of product sales, these expenses rose from about 8 percent in 2009 to 17 percent two years ago.

To cut down on shipping costs, Amazon also has been trying to take over more of the actual shipping process — with planes that can fly Prime products from one coast to another — and more warehouses that can pass on packages to postal workers, who are cheaper and more efficient than FedEx might be, Wulfraat said.

This complex system is only filled to capacity during the holidays — when Amazon gets up to 8 times more orders than during the rest of the year — so Prime Day is a chance to operate these systems at full capacity and make some profit.

“Amazon is trying to shift some of the shopping towards the average part of the year in order to leverage all of the investment they’ve made for peak operations during the holidays,” Wulfraat said.

Photo Credit: Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

CT Mom on American Ninja Warrior In Remembrance of Young Son


Sarah Poulin, of Ellington, was on the national stage on Monday evening, appearing as a competitor on the NBC show American Ninja Warrior. Poulin said she took on the challenge to honor her son, Jacob, who died after a battle with a rare form of brain cancer.

Jacob was five years old when he passed away in October of 2016.

“I decided shortly after he passed, to honor him, I was going to compete," said Poulin.

Poulin said that Jacob was a huge fan of American Ninja Warrior. For months, she trained consistently and finally heard back from staffers at the show.

"When I actually got the phone call that I was going to compete, I just broke down and cried," she said.

It all came down to one moment. Poulin was recently in Cleveland, Ohio for the taping of the show. She was in the starting blocks, ready to complete. She said she reached for her necklace. On it was a photo of Jacob.

“And I just gave it a little kiss and I just thought of Jacob and said ‘I hope I make you proud’," Poulin said. "And then I went out and competed.”

Jacob's father, Steve, was watching as his wife navigated the difficult course.

“Regardless, Jacob was going to be proud of her because they were best buddies and he loved his mama," said Mr. Poulin.

On Monday night at Buffalo Wild Wings in Manchester, there was an American Ninja Warrior watch party as well as a fundraiser to help pay for the building of a park and playground in Ellington in Jacob's honor. The restaurant donated 20 percent of all of the night's food and drink sales to the cause.

The competition did not go as well as Poulin hoped it would. She made it past just a few of the obstacles on the course. She said she is determined to take on the challenge again in the future.

“No, I didn't hit a buzzer. Yes, I will hit one next year.”

To learn more about plans for the park in Ellington and about the Jacob Roger Poulin Foundation, visit www.JRPF.org.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Kent Falls Brewing Company Led Way for Farm Breweries in CT


The state is looking to make it easier for people to open a brewery on a farm. That could be a boost for a lot more than the beer business.

At the Camps Road Farm in Kent, a former dairy operation was transformed.

While barnyard animals still roam the land, a new crop stretches to the sky. About an acre of hops grows there.

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount about farming and doing all this together,” Barry Labendz, founder of Kent Falls Brewing Co., said.

Labendz is a part of group of five which had a big dream about five years ago.

If a successful hop harvest was hard, even more challenging was the idea to build a brewery here.

“We went to the town and we said we want to do this. And they said there’s nothing on the books,” Labendz said.

After difficult year of navigating town and state rules, Connecticut’s likely first farm brewery – Kent Falls Brewing Company - finally opened in 2015.

Now years later, Governor Dan Malloy has signed a bill to make that process easier for future businesses.

The new farm brewery permit lays out more straightforward steps than what Kent Falls had to go through.

It also sets clear rules about sales, ingredient sources, and the use of the title “Connecticut Craft Beer.”

“More people are probably likely to apply and try to open a farm brewery in Connecticut with this permit that without it. I mean I think that’s it. That’s the really exciting part,” Labendz said.

Experts estimate the state’s craft breweries already create a more than a half-billion dollar economic impact each year. And some hope this new law only increases that.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

At Least 16 Die in Military Plane Crash in Mississippi Field


A U.S. military plane used for refueling crashed into a soybean field in rural Mississippi, killing at least 16 people aboard in a fiery wreck and spreading debris for miles, officials said.

Leflore County Emergency Management Agency Director Frank Randle told reporters at a briefing late Monday that 16 bodies had been recovered after the KC-130 spiraled into the ground about 85 miles (135 kilometers) north of Jackson in the Mississippi Delta. A witness said some bodies were found more than a mile from the crash site.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns said in a statement that a KC-130 "experienced a mishap" Monday evening but provided no details. The KC-130 is used as a refueling tanker.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, who represents North Carolina, said the plane was from the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. Tillis, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, said in a statement Tuesday morning that he and his wife were extending their deepest condolences to the families of the Marines killed, as well as to the Cherry Point station.

All 16 people aboard the craft were believed to be dead, and "most but not all" of the bodies had been recovered, Leflore County Director of Emergency Management Fred Randle told NBC News, adding that the search would continue Tuesday.

A defense official told NBC News that the 16 people were military service members.

In a Tuesday morning tweet, President Donald Trump offered condolences.

"Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!" Trump wrote.

Andy Jones said he was working on his family's catfish farm just before 4 p.m. when he heard a boom and looked up to see the plane corkscrewing downward with one engine smoking.

"You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around," he said. "It was spinning down."

Jones said the plane hit the ground behind trees in the soybean field, and by the time he and other reached the crash site, fires were burning too intensely to approach the wreckage. The force of the crash nearly flattened the plane, Jones said.

"Beans are about waist-high, and there wasn't much sticking out above the beans," he said.

Jones said a man borrowed his cellphone to report to authorities that there were bodies across U.S. Highway 82, more than a mile from the crash site.

Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks told the Greenwood Commonwealth that debris from the plane was scattered in a radius of about 5 miles (8 kilometers).

Jones said firefighters tried to put out the fire at the main crash site but withdrew after an explosion forced them back. The fire produced towering plumes of black smoke visible for miles across the flat region and continued to burn after dusk, more than four hours after the crash.

Aerial pictures taken by WLBT-TV showed the skeleton of the plane burning strongly.

"It was one of the worst fires you can imagine," Jones said. He said the fire was punctuated by the pops of small explosions.

No more smoke was rising Tuesday morning from the site. State patrol units blocked all farm roads on U.S. Highway 82 about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away from the wreckage to keep anyone who wasn't law enforcement or a response unit out of the area.

Officials did not release information on what caused the crash.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) southeast of Raleigh and about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean.

The station was authorized by Congress just before the start of World War II. It supports the 2nd Marine Aviation Wing, providing, among other services, KC-130 aircraft used for in-flight refueling. The station covers 45 square miles (115 square kilometers) and has nearly 14,000 Marines, sailors and civilian employees.

Photo Credit: Courtesy LaLa Moore

Air Canada Plane Nearly Lands on Congested Taxiway: FAA


An Air Canada plane narrowly averted an aviation disaster after almost landing on a crowded taxiway at San Francisco International Airport Friday, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.

The Airbus A320 aircraft had been cleared to land on Runway 28R just before midnight, but the pilot inadvertently lined up to land on Taxiway C, which runs parallel to Runway 28R, according to a statement from the FAA.

In an audio recording of conversations between air traffic control and pilots, the Air Canada pilot tells air traffic control he sees other lights on the runway before being told there are no other planes on 28R. When an air traffic controller realizes the plane was headed for the taxiway, he prompts the plane to abort its landing attempt and try again.

A United Airlines pilot is heard saying "United One, Air Canada just flew directly over us."

Another voice is heard saying, "Where's this guy going? He's on the taxiway."

Flight AC759 from Toronto circled around and landed without incident, the FAA said.

The Mercury News reported Monday that there were four planes fully loaded with passengers and fuel sitting on Taxiway C at the time of the incident, according to the FAA. An aviation expert told the newspaper the "near miss" could have been the worst aviation disaster in history. 

The incident prompted an FAA investigation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bride Surprised by Young Man Who Received Her Son's Heart


The story behind the stunning photo of a bride gasping in surprise as she walks down the aisle has captured the hearts of tens of thousands of people.

An Alaskan wedding photographer posted to Facebook a series of photos surrounding the touching moment last weekend, garnering hundreds of thousands of likes, shares and comments in days. 

The bride, Becky Turney, had a 19-year-old son, Triston, who died in October 2015 in an accidental shooting, according to Turney's Facebook page. His heart was donated to a young California man named Jacob Kilby, whom Beckey had never met.

Becky's groom, Kelly Turney, surprised her at their wedding by flying Jacob up to Alaska to stand in as a groomsman. Kelly stopped the ceremony to introduce Jacob to Becky for the first time, the photographer recounted. 

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"I knew about this surprise but nothing prepares you for the beauty of this moment," the photographer wrote on the Love Adventured Facebook page. 

The photos show Becky gasping, then hugging the 21-year-old Jacob in tears. Another photo shows her smiling as she holds a stethoscope to his chest, then holding her hand to her mouth as she listens to his heart beating. 

Becky's bridal bouquet also had tiny framed photos of Triston wrapped around it. 

The wedding photographer said she was "blown away" by Jacob's story and his "amazing outlook on life." 

"You couldn't ask for a better recipient to receive such a gift," the photographer wrote.

Becky wrote in a subsequent Facebook post of her own, "Jacob, hands down the best gift, most amazing surprise ever!! Thank you for caring for Triston's heart. Thank you for being here! Thank you thank you thank you!!"

Becky had shared the news of her teenage son's death in a public Facebook post dated Oct. 18, 2015. She wrote that the event "was a tragedy and senseless."

"Triston is an organ donor and will be able to help someone's life or allow someone the gift of sight or both," she wrote. "He's one amazing man and I'm quite proud of him."  

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The recipient of Triston's heart was Jacob, a surfer from San Diego, who was born with a rare condition where the left side of his heart didn't fully develop, according to a 2014 post written by his aunt on the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association page. He had four open heart surgeries, all of which failed, and finally, before he was 3 years old, got a heart transplant that "saved him just in the nick of time." 

He sailed through school, was liked by everyone and "adored and treasured" by his family; "his smile shines so bright," his aunt wrote. 

But by the time he was 19, he needed a new heart. And, she wrote, he was at a "stage two" on the waitlist, where "he really has no chance of getting a new heart." 

"Those who receive organs are those who are on the list the longest and those who are the sickest," she wrote. "So I guess things haven't changed in that respect in the 17 years that he'd had his donor heart... Here we are again."

Around that time, Make-A-Wish flew Jacob out to Hawaii to meet and surf with local surfing pros Jamie O'Brien and Bruce Irons, according to TheSurfChannel.com. By then, his doctors had advised him to not attend college and to quit his job.

In the end, though, Jacob got a new heart.

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Photo Credit: Love Adventured/Facebook
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More Showers & Thunderstorms This Afternoon


The first batch of heavy rain and thunderstorms moved through the state early this morning. We're keeping our eyes on a second round of showers and storms for the afternoon.

A healthy amount of rain fell statewide. Hartford received the most with just under two inches while New Haven received the least at around a half inch. 

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The afternoon thunderstorm threat is rather low. We're forecasting a few scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm to impact the state between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. 

Take a look at First Alert Future Radar at 3:00 p.m.,

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No weather issues expected for this evening. Skies will be partly cloudy with temperatures falling into the upper 60s.

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Russian Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr. Denies Having Clinton Info


The Russian lawyer who met with President Donald Trump's eldest son during the campaign exclusively told NBC News Tuesday that she does not have any connection to the Kremlin and insists she was not at the meeting to hand over information about Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

"It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such information. They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted," Natalia Veselnitskaya said, when asked how Trump Jr. had the impression she had information about the Democratic National Committee.

The interview comes after a report in The New York Times that Trump Jr. was told in an email that Veselnitskaya had information that was part of a Russian government effort to help Donald Trump's push for the presidency.

Trump Jr. confirmed the meeting occurred, giving a statement to the Times saying it was "a short introductory meeting" with the lawyer that primarily covered adoption.

Veselnitskaya told NBC News she was pressing a client's interest in ending the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations and led to Russian President Vladimir Putin ending American adoption of Russian kids.

Photo Credit: Yury Martyanov /Kommersant Photo via AP
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Suspect in Enfield Fatal Hit-and-Run Due in Court


The man accused in a hit-and-run crash that killed a skateboarder in Enfield last December is due in court today.

Police arrested Rocco Barile, 29, at his home on June 30.

Police said the victim, 20-year-old Jeremy Mercier, was hit while trying to help a friend on Route 5 around 1 a.m. on December 2, 2016.

Loved ones said Mercier had jumped on his skateboard to bring a can of a gas to a friend who had run out. As he headed out on the several-mile trip, he was hit just around the corner from his home.

Barile is accused of leaving the scene after hitting Mercier.

He is charged with evading responsibility, death resulting; tampering with physical evidence; failure to renew a registration and failure to drive in a proper lane.

He was held on a $175,000 non-surety bond, but was released after posting bond.

Photo Credit: Enfield Police

West Haven Fire Likely Intentionally Set: Police


A fire that ripped through a home on Center Street in West Haven early Tuesday morning may have been intentionally set, according to police.

Several items found in the home lead investigators to believe someone set the fire, police said.  They did not say what items were found.

The house is being considered a crime scene.

When firefighters arrived at 339 Center Street around 3 a.m., there was a woman on the second floor who couldn’t get out. The stairs going up to the second floor were on fire and had collapsed.

Firefighters used a ladder on the inside of the home to get to the victim. The firefighters brought the victim down the back staircase and she was conscious and alert.

“The next challenge would be the weather conditions. Humidity makes operations very difficult, once we overcame those it really was a piece of cake. Fire was knocked down within five minutes, “ said Mike Buonasora, Captain of the West Haven Fire Department.

Authorities said the first floor was damaged by the flames and there is smoke damage on both floors.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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