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    See some of the images in the news around Southern California.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Firefighters help raise an American flag honor of Sgt. Ron Helus at The Calvary Community Church for memorial service in his honor on November 15, 2018 in Westlake, California. Sgt. Helus was killed in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on November 7. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)Firefighters help raise an American flag honor of Sgt. Ron Helus at The Calvary Community Church for memorial service in his honor on November 15, 2018 in Westlake, California. Sgt. Helus was killed in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on November 7. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)

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    Some members of the Saudi royal family are pushing to prevent the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, from becoming king, three sources close to the royal court told Reuters.

    The dozens of royals who want to see a change in the line of succession recognize that King Salman, 82, is unlikely to turn against his favorite son. But amid international uproar over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, they are discussing the possibility of Salman's younger brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, taking the throne after Salman's death.

    Prince Ahmed would have the support of members of the family, security forces and some Western powers, one source said.

    Prince Ahmed could not be reached for comment, and officials in Riyadh did not immediately respond to requests for comment.



    Photo Credit: Saudi Press Agency/AP

    In this photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi King Salman gives his annual policy speech in the ornate hall of the consultative Shura Council, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.In this photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi King Salman gives his annual policy speech in the ornate hall of the consultative Shura Council, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen toured the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday, speaking about the Trump administration's efforts to fortify the crossing amid what she called the migrant caravan "crisis."

    Nielsen said there are currently 6,200 individuals with the migrant caravan camped out in Tijuana, Mexico, and another 3,000 in Mexicali. She said this would ultimately result in “8,000 to 10,000 migrants amassing” at our southern border. 

    “The crisis is real and it is just on the other side of this wall,” Nielsen told reporters at Border Field State Park, the seaside park that sits at the very southwest corner of the United States, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and Mexico's Playa de Tijuana to the south.

    For nearly two weeks, thousands of migrants have made their way by foot and bus from the southern border of Mexico to Tijuana, where many are living in overcrowded shelters until they can seek asylum from the United States. 

    [[500963972,C]]

    In response to the caravan of migrants, the Department of Defense sent about 5,800 active duty, reserve and National Guard forces, including 1,100 Camp Pendleton-based Marines, to span the southern border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the reinforcing of the border.

    This has included adding concertina wiring to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to keep migrants from climbing over the fence and into the U.S.

    “This is a border wall with row upon row of concertina wire,” said Nielsen. “Make no mistake – we are very serious. You will not get into our country illegally.”

    [[500938951,C]]

    The DHS secretary said the migrant caravan is not only comprised of women and children but rather of many grown men and teenage boys, some of whom have been violent in their efforts to reach the border. She said at least 500 “criminals” including gang members, have been identified among the caravan.

    Nielsen said many of the migrants are attempting to travel into the U.S. to reunite with family members or seek jobs – neither of which warrant asylum under U.S. law.

    “The caravan does not give one a special right to enter this country,” Nielsen said, adding that migrants with the caravan will have to “get in line” when it comes to the asylum-seeking process.

    The DHS secretary said President Donald Trump’s administration was upset by a judge’s recent ruling ordering the U.S. government not to enforce a ban on asylum for people who cross the southern border illegally.

    [[500949862,C]]

    “This is a dangerous ruling and will undoubtedly be overturned,” she added.

    Nielsen said border security remains a top priority for the Trump administration and DHS will continue its efforts to stop the caravan from illegally entering the country.

    “You will be detained, prosecuted and repatriated,” she said.

    Just before Nielsen arrived a man swam around the border fence that extends a few hundred feet into the Pacific Ocean and was met by Border Patrol agents at the beach on the U.S. side.

    Nielsen said he was arrested for entering the country illegally.

    Nielsen said she spoke with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis Tuesday and the Department of Defense will continue to partner with the DHS until the caravan is stopped.

    [[500981241,C]]

    She said any asylum claims “will be treated with respect to the law.”

    On Monday, U.S. Marine Lt. Dustin Pavlick said his platoon of about 45 Marines was working on "construction and reinforcing this obstacle to support the mission of Customs and Border Protection." 

    "Our priority right now is to get a half a mile of wire on this wall," he said while giving NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 a look into their efforts near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

    Also on Monday, CBP temporarily shut down all northbound lanes into the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry so troops could position moveable barriers due to a report that a group of Central American migrants was trying to rush the border, according to CBP. 

    [[500829821,C]]

    Though no activity materialized, the agency said the closure at the nation's busiest border crossing was needed.

    Nielsen praised the efforts on Twitter saying, "@CBP and @DeptofDefense appropriately responded by blocking the lanes, deploying additional personnel and seeking assistance from other law enforcement and federal assets."

    [[500928211,R]]

    The tweet was accompanied by a photo showing a line of helmeted border patrol agents carrying shields. 

    San Ysidro is the border’s busiest crossing, with about 110,000 people entering the U.S. every day. That traffic includes some 40,000 vehicles, 34,000 pedestrians and 150 to 200 buses.

    President Donald Trump tweeted a photo Monday of the border fence at Border Field State Park covered in concertina wire with the message, "No climbers anymore under our Administration!"

    [[500929351,R]]

    Images captured last week showed migrants, in celebration that they reached the U.S. border, scale that same fence and walk or sit atop it

    About a dozen migrants stood on the sand on the U.S. side of the fence before eventually returning to the Mexico side. No arrests were made.

    [[500729181,C]]

    Border Field State Park has a long history and involves government entities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico Border.

    The Border Infrastructure Project is a fenced corridor between an older fence once constructed along the border and a new fence built in 2008 – 2009. It is owned by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

    The DoD said the troops would not interact with migrants but would complete "border-hardening" tasks, like using pieces of barbed wire, concrete roadblocks and rebar to create movable barriers that can be used to block lanes at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry. 

    Army Military Police are there to protect the Marines who are not armed and are prohibited from enforcing the law. 

    [[500883441,C]]

    Analysts and the Pentagon estimate that the entire deployment operation could cost $200 million.

    Meanwhile, tensions on the Mexican side of the border have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days, The Associated Press reported. And with U.S. border inspectors processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana's main crossing to San Diego, they will likely be there for months while they seek asylum in the U.S.

    Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants' arrival an "avalanche" that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal government for more assistance to cope with the influx.

    [[500429292,C]]

    Some Tijuana residents supported the migrants, but others accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. On Sunday, about 400 Tijuana residents took to the streets in protest, waving Mexican flags and chanting "Out! Out!" 

    They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an "invasion." And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group.

    "We don't want them in Tijuana," protesters shouted.

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.

    [[500515462,C]]



    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego on Nov. 20, 2018.DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego on Nov. 20, 2018.

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    Editor’s note: Video contains graphic images of injuries as a result of an e-cigarette explosion. 

    A mother and her toddler suffered horrible burns after she says an e-cigarette exploded, and now the family is filing a lawsuit against the store that sold her the device.

    Paige Kadella is a Southern California mother who said she was trying to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes to improve her health, so she turned to vaping, or using an e-cigarette.

    She says the decision turned into a consumer safety nightmare that’s gone unregulated for too long.

    There are lots of studies about lithium ion batteries because of the potential dangers they pose.

    From hover boards to cellphones to vaping devices, these small powerful batters have resulted in hundreds of reported injuries, but when it comes to powering e-cigarettes there's no regulation, no laws related to the safety of these batteries.

    In September 2016, Kadella and daughter Ashlynn were backseat passengers heading out on a family camping adventure.

    "And all of a sudden I hear the crackling noise, so I look down and my purse is on fire," she said. 

    Kadella says the lithium ion battery that powered her vaping device exploded into flames.

    "I kinda ducked down like this, and just kept screaming for my father in law to pull over," she said.

    Kadella says she burned her hands but Ashlynn, only 18 months old, got the worst of it. She suffered burns from the fire and chemical burns to her left hand, arm and ear as her carseat caught fire.

    She is still enduring skin graft surgeries and will be permanently disfigured.

    "It is a huge problem in the e-cigarette industry," said attorney Greg Bentley, who is representing Kadella. She is suing the Almond Vape and Smoke shop, the retailer where she bought the battery.

    "We will eventually find out who it was that wholesaled the product and the manufacturer of the battery," Bentley said."Everybody in the supply chain is accountable for this tragedy."

    Bentley says the federal government deserves blame too. Currently there are no regulations, codes or laws that apply to safety for lithium ion batteries or electronics used in e-cigarettes.

    That’s despite the hundreds of reported injuries related to overheating, explosions and fires. Bentley said he represents 150 clients who have been injured.

    "These are significant injuries that do not need to happen," Bentley said. 

    The Food and Drug Administration regulates tobacco and nicotine in e-cigarettes but for the batteries the power them the agency is still working on a set of guidelines to address, "overheating, fire and explosion during operations, charging, storage and transportation."

    Underwriters Laboratories, which tests lithium ion batteries, certifies safety standards and suggests the batteries come with warning labels for risk of fire and explosion. Bentley says getting compliance is difficult because it’s a voluntary standard and foreign manufactures don’t always obey it.

    "Most of these products don’t have any warnings. Some retailers may say they have a sign next to the cash register or a sign posted on a wall but that’s rinky dink and it’s not sufficient," Bentley said.

    Kadella says she knew nothing about the risks of exploding batteries and if the government won’t regulate them, then retailers need to either stop selling them or warn customers of the risks to themselves and others.

    "It’s one thing when it happens to you but your child you know she was innocent," she said.

    NBC4's I-Team has repeatedly reached out to the owner of the vape shop and his legal representative for comment regarding the lawsuit.

    Neither have offered a comment nor has a legal response to the lawsuit at this time been filed.

    If you have a consumer problem you can’t resolve, just fill out our form.



      Photo Credit: Getty Images

      LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: In this photo illustration, a man smokes an E-Cigarette at the V-Revolution E-Cigarette shop in Covent Garden on August 27, 2014 in London, England. The Department of Health have ruled out the outlawing of 'e-cigs' in enclosed spaces in England, despite calls by WHO, The World Health Organisation to do so. WHO have recommended a ban on indoor smoking of e-cigs as part of tougher regulation of products dangerous to children. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: In this photo illustration, a man smokes an E-Cigarette at the V-Revolution E-Cigarette shop in Covent Garden on August 27, 2014 in London, England. The Department of Health have ruled out the outlawing of 'e-cigs' in enclosed spaces in England, despite calls by WHO, The World Health Organisation to do so. WHO have recommended a ban on indoor smoking of e-cigs as part of tougher regulation of products dangerous to children. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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      A 13-year-old Long Island boy battling a rare and deadly form of leukemia stood with his parents in family court Monday, sharing another disappointment as a New York judge rejected the family's emergency petition to halt his daily chemotherapy treatments. 

      "I don't need chemo because I don't have any more cancer in my body," Nicholas Gundersen told reporters Monday. "It's difficult because every time I get it, I always feel sick. And I don't want to feel sick if I don't have to feel sick." 

      The teen's cancer is said to be in remission, but his doctors at NYU Winthrop Hospital insist the boy needs 40 more months of chemotherapy. A spokesman for NYU Winthrop said previously, "Unless chemotherapy is continued, those [cancer] cells can once again multiply and the results are usually fatal." 

      When mom Candace Gundersen decided not to continue chemotherapy treatments for her son, instead seeking a second opinion from other doctors and planning to focus on a non-toxic alternative therapy for the teen, Suffolk County's Child Protective Services seized custody of Nicholas.

      That move has blocked Candace Gundersen from making any decisions about her son's medical care.

      "It's very disturbing to me that the government has basically kidnapped my child," said Candace Gundersen.

      Nicholas was kept at at NYU Winthrop Hospital for at least a week with a special GPS bracelet to track his movements until a judge approved him moving into the custody of a family friend, where his mother was allowed to live with him. 

      Family supporters came to court Monday wearing t-shirts reading "Justice for Nick." But the judge refused to grant the outcome they were seeking. 

      "The judge is not listening to the constitutional rights of these parents,"  the family's lawyer Elliot Schlissel says. 

      Dennis Nowak, a spokesman for the Suffolk Department of Social Services, said Monday night in response to the judge's ruling, "Child Protective Services is proceeding in accordance with the Suffolk County Family Court order, and will continue to do so to ensure the child's medical needs are met." 

      The hearing for the case is scheduled for December, and the family is hoping it will be the first step toward regaining control of their son's medical care. 

      Candace Gundersen told reporters, "I believe that in the end justice will be served, and that we will be free to take Nicholas and to take care of him properly." 



      Photo Credit: News 4 NY

      Nicholas Gundersen with his father in court MondayNicholas Gundersen with his father in court Monday

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      Prosecutors filed felony charges against nine people suspected of paying homeless people on Skid Row to forge signatures on ballot initiative petitions and voter registration forms.

      The group is accused of offering cash and cigarettes in exchange for the signatures on documents that date back to 2016 and were first reported by NBC4 in May.

      The group was expected to make an initial appearance in court in downtown LA Tuesday, according to the LA County District Attorney’s Office. 

      Three of those charged were among a group arrested by LAPD Central Division vice and patrol officers in May. The LA City Attorney’s Office said at the time those three were charged with misdemeanor violations of the California Elections Code. One of the men immediately entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to jail and probation.

      The new charges filed in an arrest warrant Nov. 1 include circulating a petition with false names; use of false names on a petition; voter fraud -- registering a fictitious person; and voter fraud -- registering a nonexistent person, according to the criminal complaint.



      Photo Credit: AP

      File photo of Los Angeles' Skid Row.File photo of Los Angeles' Skid Row.

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      The skeletal remains of a person were found along Latigo Canyon Road after the Woolsey Fire burned brush and trees that may have concealed the body for many months.

      The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office described the remains Tuesday as “bone fragments” and said an autopsy was pending and no identification had been made.

      "A property owner was surveying the damage to their property when they came across the remains," the LA County Sheriff’s Department said. "It was confirmed the remains had been there prior to the recent fires in the Malibu area."

      Last week, the Sheriff’s Department said it found a body at a home in the 32000 block of Lobo Canyon Road in Agoura Hills after family members requested deputies check the residence.

      "They hadn't heard from the resident," said Sheriff Jim McDonnell, adding that the resident appeared to live alone at the house. Details about a cause of death were not immediately available but the Department said the death appears to be related to the 97,600-acre Woolsey Fire.

      The Coroner’s Office said an autopsy was pending and no identification had been confirmed.

      Last week, the LA County Sheriff’s Department said it found a body at a home in the 32000 block of Lobo Canyon Road in Agoura Hills after family members requested deputies check the residence.

      "They hadn't heard from the resident," said Sheriff Jim McDonnell, adding that the resident appeared to live alone at the house. Details about a cause of death were not immediately available but the Department said the death appears to be related to the 97,600-acre Woolsey Fire.

      The Coroner’s Office said an autopsy was pending and no identification had been confirmed.

      The remains were located in debris on the property in the path of the fast-moving wildfire. Aerial video showed blackened hillsides, burned vehicles at at least two destroyed residences in the canyon area northwest of Los Angeles.

      Days earlier, the remains of two other people were found inside a burned vehicle along a driveway in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway. One of the two died from “the effects of thermal injuries,” the Coroner said. Identifications had not been confirmed.

      As of Tuesday morning officials said the Woolsey Fire had burned nearly 97,000 acres and was 96-percent contained. At least 1500 buildings were destroyed and hundreds more were damaged, according to Cal-Fire.



      Photo Credit: Getty Images

      Wind-driven flames move across Malibu Creek State Park during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 near Malibu, California.Wind-driven flames move across Malibu Creek State Park during the Woolsey Fire on November 9, 2018 near Malibu, California.

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      What you do while standing before your open refrigerator, somewhere around 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, is, of course, between you and the keep-it-cool appliance.

      If you want to throw some leftover canned cranberry on some yogurt, cool. If you want to whip some mashed potatoes into a pint of vanilla ice cream, no one will stop you. And turkey served atop a frozen waffle? Why not?

      But sometimes, if we're fortunate, expert dessert makers will do our quirky combination-based experimenting for us, saving us the late-night trip to the fridge.

      Salt & Straw, the artisan ice cream purveyors, perfect such edible experiments all year long, but it is around the turkey-iest moment of the calendar when those combos get extremely offbeat.

      For, once again, the boutique ice cream-perfecting pros have swirled the idea of Thanksgiving dinner into a quintet of creative ice cream flavors. Those flavors include selections that seem rather more traditional, like the Roasted Cranberry Sauce Sorbet, to the way-out-there, and yay-for-that Roasted Peach & Sage Cornbread Stuffing ice cream.

      Well, "way-out-there," in the annals of modern ice cream purveying, isn't even way out there, nowadays, as flavors have gone fully fantastical.

      Still, if you've never enjoyed stuffing in ice cream form, get to a Salt & Straw before November 2018 ends, to try this savory-sweet scoop. 

      As for the other three specialty offerings?

      Look for Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecans, Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey (which, yes, includes turkey, or rather turkey brittle), and Spiced Goat Cheese & Pumpkin Pie.

      Where to find a Salt & Straw? Close that refrigerator door and venture out into your neighborhood, or a few neighborhoods over, for these born-in-Portland shops are close.

      Find one in the Arts District, Downtown Disney, Larchmont, and a few other spots, too.



      Photo Credit: Salt & Straw

      The Thanksgiving-themed scoops at Salt & Straw pay homage to the classics of the holiday table, through the end of November 2018.The Thanksgiving-themed scoops at Salt & Straw pay homage to the classics of the holiday table, through the end of November 2018.

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      The Department of Homeland Security is gathering intelligence from paid undercover informants inside the migrant caravan that is now reaching the California-Mexico border as well as monitoring the text messages of migrants, according to two DHS officials.

      The 4,000 migrants, mainly from Honduras, have used WhatsApp text message groups as a way to organize and communicate along their journey to the California border, and DHS personnel have joined those groups to gather that information, NBC News reported.

      The intelligence gathering techniques are combined with reports from DHS personnel working in Mexico with the government there in an effort to keep tabs on the caravan's size, movements and any potential security threats.



      Photo Credit: Getty Images

      Shadows are reflected on a wall as members of the Central American migrant caravan moves in the pre-dawn hours on Nov. 2, 2018, in Matias Romero, Mexico.Shadows are reflected on a wall as members of the Central American migrant caravan moves in the pre-dawn hours on Nov. 2, 2018, in Matias Romero, Mexico.

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      Inside an abandoned building on Chicago’s West Side, on a Wednesday night in October, Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier became this year’s 22nd known transgender murder victim in the United States.

      Frazier also was the second black transgender woman to be killed in Chicago within a five-week period, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a LGBTQ advocacy group.

      That night, Oct. 3, she stepped off a friend’s porch and approached a white car that had driven onto Adams Street in West Garfield Park, the Chicago Tribune reported. The driver was allegedly a regular client of the 31-year-old Frazier, who neighbors said was a sex worker.

      Neighbors would find Frazier around 9:30 p.m. in the building’s backyard, suffering from multiple stab wounds. A half an hour later, she was dead.

      Her life is among those being memorialized on Tuesday, Transgender Day of Remembrance. At least 29 transgender individuals were murdered in 2017, according to the Human Rights Campaign, and another 22 in 2018.

      Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender author, said the number of known murders each year has increased since she founded the day of remembrance, in 1999 in response to the killing of a transgender woman named Rita Hester.

      In its early years, the day of remembrance consisted of small vigils in San Francisco and Boston, and they were generally recognized only by the transgender and LGBTQ community, Smith said.

      “It’s been amazing to watch it become something that is so much bigger, that is treated worldwide, written about and considered a part of the community,” she said.

      Sarah McBride, Human Rights Campaign’s national press secretary, said that the day had evolved to recognize that “transgender women of color, particularly black trans women of color, are facing the bulk of this discrimination and violence.”

      Of this year’s murders, 82 percent of the victims were transgender women of color, according to the organization’s new report, “A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2018.”

      Mara Keisling, the founder and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that the struggles of people from traditionally marginalized communities are reflected in these cases.

      “We live in a country where you are more susceptible to violence if you are a person of color, if you’re low income, if you’re a woman, if you’re an immigrant,” Keisling said. “And if you are all or most of those things at once -- a young, black, low-income trans woman -- you have a bigger bullseye on your back.”

      The 22 murders highlighted in the Human Rights Commission's report include deaths that are "influenced or contributed to by the hate and prejudice against transgender people," McBride said. But transgender activists believe that there may be more murder victims who were killed for being transgender.

      How the media cover these murders and how law enforcement and medical examiners log them —including which gender a victim is identified by and whether a legal or chosen name is used — can influence the victims list.

      Chicago’s medical examiner’s office initially filed Frazier’s record under a different name, according to the Chicago Tribune. And whereas police said Frazier was female in its reports, the medical examiner wrote her gender as unknown.

      The Human Rights Campaign’s report found that 74 percent of the victims were described with the wrong gender in initial media coverage and police documents concerning their death.

      Smith also said that there’s a common misconception that all victims of anti-transgender violence identify as transgender. But Smith said a non-trans person who is attacked because someone assumed they were transgender can also be considered a victim.

      “It’s an important distinction because a person can be affected by anti-transgender violence and never have considered themselves transgender in the first place,” Smith said.

      A report released by the FBI last week found anti-LGBTQ hate crimes rose 3 percent in 2017. More than 16 percent of federally reported hate crimes target the LGBTQ community, according to NBC News.

      Although Keisling said she thinks the increase in the number of murders may be a result of better reporting, she also believes that violence against the transgender community has grown.

      “The perpetrators feel empowered,” Keisling said. “I talk to folks all the time who have been without incidents for 25, 35 years and suddenly people are harassing them, calling them names, slapping at them and telling them to get out of bathrooms.”

      Because of the increase, McBride said that she doesn’t envision a future yet where a specific day of remembrance is not needed.

      “So long as there is a need for mourning and healing, there will be a need for a Transgender Day of Remembrance,” McBride said.

      Keisling said the Transgender Day of Remembrance is important because it reminds people that the transgender individuals were more than just victims.

      “If you’ve been to vigils and funerals, if you’ve seen mothers just crying to the point of wailing that they have lost their baby, when you see best friends who now are just horrified that they’ve lost this person who is so dear to them, these aren’t just numbers, these aren’t just the 23 people who were murdered this year,” said Keisling, referring to the number of deaths in the 12 months since the last remembrance day. “These are actually 23 remarkable people with such promise and beauty and they were just cut off. And I think remembering that is just important.”


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      How wicked are your "Wicked" singing skills? 

      Do you regularly perform for your best pal, who also knows all the words to every song, but makes way for you to stand at centerstage? Do you sing for your family, your co-workers, or anyone within earshot, at any time of the day?

      How about while ice skating, at a pop-up rink, in Downtown Los Angeles? Would that be a wickedly new "Wicked"-loving space for you?

      If so, best cast a spell over all future Wednesdays on your calendar, at least through Jan. 21, 2019, for the Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square is going to deliver some musical enchantment to the experience.

      How? Well, let's start with the songs: Every third ditty played at the rink will be from the original cast recording during a trio of nightly skate sessions, at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m, and 10 o'clock.

      That means that, yes, you may defy gravity, as you triple axel, if you can triple axel, while "Defying Gravity" plays. (Best stay close to the ice if triple axels aren't something you've practiced at length, of course.)

      Green lights will also give the rink a very Oz-awesome vibe.

      Night one of Wicked Wednesdays is on Thanksgiving Eve, or Wednesday, Nov. 21. Can't make it because of family obligations? Well A) bring the fam down to Pershing Square or B) keep in mind that Wicked Wednesdays will continue throughout the ice rink's 2018-2019 run.

      And, yes, this is some kind of magic: "Wicked," as in the actual musical on stage, alights at Hollywood Pantages beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 28.



      Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Getty Images

      Every third song, on a Wednesday, at the Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square? It'll be from Every third song, on a Wednesday, at the Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square? It'll be from "Wicked," hurrah.

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      Getting to Los Angeles International Airport to pick someone up or make a drop-off is only part of what's often a frustration-filled traffic battle, especially during the holidays.

      Keep in mind that traffic apps like Waze or Google Maps will only get you to the airport entrance, where the real challenge begins -- navigating the increasingly infamous horseshoe-shaped road that takes drivers on a stop-and-go crawl to parking areas and pick-up and drop-off points at each terminal.

      The I-Team found that the number of vehicles entering LAX has skyrocketed over the last two years, due in large part to Uber and Lyft services that the city once hoped would ease congestion. There was an increase of 10 million vehicles at LAX from 2012 to 2017, much of it starting in 2015 when the city allowed ride-sharing services to operate at the airport.

      [[500966671,C]]

      Last year, LAX granted Lyft and Uber drivers permission to pick up a new passenger as soon as they dropped someone off, which means they can stay in the central terminal area without going to a lot off airport property to wait for their next ride request. 

      Rideshare use is generating serious revenue for the airport. Uber and Lyft pay $4 each time a driver enters the Central Terminal Area. Profits amounted to $9 million in the 2016 fiscal year. This year, it's multiplied near five times to $44.3 million.

      [[500966651,C]]

      LAX officials declined an on-camera interview with NBC4, but said in a statement that the money goes to the airport's general fund, which is used to support day-to-day operations. They said the airport is working with ride-share companies to find ways to reduce congestion.

      Upcoming renovations included an automated people-moved, but that won't be ready for at least five years. 

      [[500967531, C]]



      Photo Credit: Getty Images
      This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

      Traffic fills arrival and departure lanes at LAX as people travel to Thanksgiving holiday destinations on November 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.Traffic fills arrival and departure lanes at LAX as people travel to Thanksgiving holiday destinations on November 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

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      TSA is estimating some 25 million people will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

      That means a lot of checked bags, and a lot of chances of something going wrong. So what happens if your bags are lost or delayed?

      That's why some passengers carryon luggage rather than checking it.

      This past summer, nearly half a million bags were reported lost or delayed, according to the Department of Transportation.

      But if you check bags, and they're lost or delayed, you have rights.

      • For delayed bags, airlines will pay reasonable expenses -- like toiletries and clothing - until you get your bag.
      • For lost bags, airlines will reimburse the depreciated value of your belongings - up to $3,500.
      • If your bags are delayed, be sure to keep all your expense receipts.
      • For both lost and delayed bags, be sure to ask the airline about the deadline to file a claim. And request a refund for your baggage fees.

       



        Photo Credit: Getty Images

        MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 19: People wait in line to check luggage at the ABC Charters American Airlines flight to Havana, Cuba at Miami International Airport on December 19, 2014 in Miami, Florida. U.S. President Barack Obama announced a relaxation in the Cuban policy which may mean more travel between the United States and Cuba. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 19: People wait in line to check luggage at the ABC Charters American Airlines flight to Havana, Cuba at Miami International Airport on December 19, 2014 in Miami, Florida. U.S. President Barack Obama announced a relaxation in the Cuban policy which may mean more travel between the United States and Cuba. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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        There are new concerns among people living near the mostly-contained Woolsey Fire: rains predicted for Thursday night could wash tons of potentially toxic ash down from the charred Santa Susana Field Lab towards homes in bordering neighborhoods and into a popular children's camp.

        "I think the rain is of concern," Dr. Tilman Ruff, a public health physician and Nobel Prize winner told NBC4. "Areas that have burned are denuded and the rain is...distributing toxic materials in new ways," Ruff added.

        Documents and satellite images obtained by the NBC4 I-Team show about half of the 2600 acre Santa Susana Field Lab was charred by the Woolsey Fire. The images show that green vegetation that once covered the field lab is now blackened ash.

        "The ash could contain a witch's brew of radioactive and toxic chemicals including PCBs, mercury, chromium 6, and perchlorate," said Dan Hirsch, former director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz and an advocate to fully clean up Santa Susana.

        Maps obtained by NBC4 show at least 18 drainages, or streams, flow from the Field Lab to neighborhoods with thousands of homes including Bell, Dayton, and Runkle Canyons and to the popular Jewish retreat center, the Brandeis-Bardin campus, home to Camp Alonim.

        "Children are most vulnerable," said Melissa Bumstead of West Hills, whose daughter was struck with a rare cancer at age 4. "There's all kinds of very, very hazardous chemicals (at Santa Susana), and a lot of these can be inhaled or ingested, especially by children." 

        "It is certain that the rain will carry ash to neighborhoods near Santa Susana and that ash can contain contaminants from the Field Lab," Hirsch told NBC4.

        In 2015, the NBC4 I-Team exposed potential threats to 500,000 people living within five miles of the radioactive site in a series of reports beginning in 2015 called "LA's Nuclear Secret."



        Photo Credit: Esri Maps

        Documents and satellite images obtained by the NBC4 I-Team show about half of the 2600 acre Santa Susana Field Lab was charred by the Woolsey Fire. The images show that green vegetation that once covered the field lab is now blackened ashDocuments and satellite images obtained by the NBC4 I-Team show about half of the 2600 acre Santa Susana Field Lab was charred by the Woolsey Fire. The images show that green vegetation that once covered the field lab is now blackened ash

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        An alleged sex assault victim is taking legal action against the city of Santa Monica for not preventing molestations that date back to the late ‘80s. Ted Chen reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018.


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        Two women targeting a shopper in Dana Point were caught on camera distracting the woman and snatching her purse, prompting the sheriff's department to warn Thanksgiving shoppers.

        Orange County Sheriff's Department released the video Tuesday, saying the women start off with a harmless conversation.

        "I'm hosting a party and know nothing about cheese -- can you help?"

        Shoppers leave their purses in the child seat area of the cart, and the thieves take notice, authorities said. While one person asks you for your cheese expertise, another is sticking their fingers in your wallet, and grabbing a whole different kind of cheddar.

        "We have seen an increase in these types of thefts in multiple cities across the county," said undersheriff Don Barnes. "With the holidays approaching, stores are likely to be busier and shoppers are likely to be more distracted. We want to encourage residents to stay alert and aware and protect their belongings."

        The Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators had these tips:

        Keep your cart and your belongings in view at all times.

        Make sure your purse is always zipped up or securely closed. For an added measure of security, use the child restraint straps and fasten them through the handles of your purse.

        If your purse must stay in the cart, pile some grocery items on top of it to make it a less desirable target.

        Re-evaluate whether you need to carry your entire purse into the store. If possible to only carry your method of payment, lock your purse in your trunk.

        When loading groceries into your car, don't leave your purse unattended. Make your personal items the first thing you put in your vehicle.

        Always be aware of your surroundings. Don't get into drawn out conversations with someone you don't know, and if someone appears suspicious, report it.

        Anyone who recognizes the wallet snatchers in the video above is asked to call 714-647-7000, press 9 then press 1.



        Photo Credit: OCSD

        Two women targeting a shopper in Dana Point were caught on camera distracting the woman and snatching her purse, prompting the sheriff's department to warn Thanksgiving shoppers.Two women targeting a shopper in Dana Point were caught on camera distracting the woman and snatching her purse, prompting the sheriff's department to warn Thanksgiving shoppers.

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        A hung jury mistrial has been declared in the case of a 22-year-old man accused of murdering a young woman when she went out for a run in her Queens neighborhood more than two years ago. 

        A family member of Vetrano could be heard saying "Oh, my God" in the courtroom as the mistrial of Chanel Lewis was declared. 

        Jurors said they were split and that it didn't seem as though they would make progress one way or another by deliberating any further. 

        The judge agreed, saying that although it had been only a day and a half, it seemed as though the jury had exhausted all routes. 

        Jury deliberations started Monday and continued into Tuesday night. The jury, comprised of seven and five men, asked to review evidence like pictures of Vetrano's neck injuries and a photo of her necklace, photos of the autopsy, photos of the running trail, and Lewis' web searches. They also asked to rewatch Lewis' confession tape. 

        The judge read back 75-page testimony from the medical examiner regarding DNA evidence. 

        A control hearing about what happens next is scheduled for Jan. 22.

        Lewis had pleaded not guilty to murder and sexual abuse charges in the Aug. 2, 2016 death of 30-year-old Karina Vetrano. He was 20 when he allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled Vetrano, abandoning her body in the marsh. 

        Vetrano had gone out for her usual run early that evening. She never came home. Her father, Phil Vetrano, was among the group that found her body in Howard Beach's Spring Creek Park hours after she was reported missing. 

        Phil Vetrano broke down on the stand as he testified about the horror. 

        “I let out this sound that I — that I never made before or since. It was — I don’t know. It was like a wail,” he recalled. “And then I screamed, ‘My baby, my baby.’”

        Lewis, who was 20 when he allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled Vetrano, was arrested in the killing about six months after her death. Prosecutors said he was connected to the case via DNA evidence obtained from underneath Vetrano's fingernails. The medical examiner had said she fought for her life. 

        In a confession tape played during the trial last week, Lewis was heard saying he was angry about the loud music his neighbor had been playing when he encountered Vetrano jogging on the park trail. 

        “While you were in the park, did something happen?” Assistant District Attorney Peter McCormack asks Lewis on the tape, which is dated Feb. 5, 2017.

        “Yes,” Lewis replied.

        Lewis then admits that he “got angry and started hitting [Vetrano]” in the face and mouth, video shows.

        At some point during the attack, Vetrano’s tooth broke, he says, adding that Vetrano’s face ended up in a pool of water.

        Lewis also admits to putting his hands around Vetrano’s neck and hitting her for about five minutes, before dragging her “somewhere off the pathway.”

        Her clothing was “pulled off,” but Lewis denies sexually assaulting her.

        Lewis' defense lawyers claimed in closing arguments that a confession was obtained under duress and the evidence in the case was weak.

        They said the DNA found on the Vetrano's body was minuscule, and that police were eager to make an arrest six months after her body was found.

        "This is a rush to judgment," one of Lewis' lawyers said.

        The defense also claimed there was sloppy police work, starting with the crime scene when Vetrano's father lifted up and hugged her lifeless body when he found her. He broke down on the stand as he testified about the horror last week.

        The defense said because of that, "The crime scene became corrupted for the first time. You can't blame Mr. Vetrano for what he did. He did what any dad would do."

        They said the entire case was based on a rush to judgment and that prosecutors lacked the burden of proof.



        Photo Credit: News 4
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        Not every movie in Hollywood needs a sequel. But fans will certainly be glad Disney plugged into what audiences like and made a sequel to the 2012 hit, "Wreck-It Ralph." What they came up with is a pure cyberspace joy to watch in "Ralph Breaks the Internet."

        "Ralph Breaks the Internet" welcomes back to the big screen video-game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz. Rather than taking the obvious route of exploring other games in the arcade, the creators went global. They are tackling the entire World Wide Web, leaving Litwak's video game arcade behind.

        The Internet looks a lot like a metropolitan city, with large familiar apps, slogans and web references that kids, but mostly adults, will enjoy. The web is a daunting place for most people to navigate, and it's fun to watch Ralph and Vanellope discover things like eBay, and spam ads. Everything from Google headquarters to popular online video games have been carefully imagined to resonate with a wide audience, but still feel familiar to someone who isn't a gamer or regular web user.

        At its heart, "Ralph Breaks the Internet" is about friendship. Since we last saw them, Ralph and Vanellope have been entrenched in their routine of playing their games by day, and hanging out having fun at night. But a mishap forces them to leave their comfortable games and head out into the Internet.

        On the web, their friendship is tested and we really get a chance to see what these characters are made of.

        "Ralph and Vanellope are imperfect characters," says Academy Award-winning director Rich Moore ("Zootopia"), who directed the original film. "But we love them because of their flaws. Their friendship is so genuine--the chemistry between them so engaging--that I think we were all anxious to know more about these characters."

        One scene in particular that audiences will love is when Vanellope has girl time with the other Disney princesses. Vanellope is also a princess in her video game, and the Disney universe, but she definitely goes against the princess archetype. Kudos to Disney for the laugh-out-loud self-deprecating humor here.

        Are most sequels necessary? Not at all. But with Fandango reporting RBTI is outselling previous Thanksgiving hits like Moana and COCO, it seems like audiences are already plugged in to this next adventure with Ralph and Vanellope.

        The film was directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston and stars John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, and Gal Gadot. It opens nationwide Nov. 21.



        Photo Credit: Disney

        WORLD WIDE WOW! – Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship is challenged when they journey into the internet in search of a replacement part for her game. This vast new world is both incredibly exciting and overwhelming—depending on who you ask. Featuring John C. Reilly as the voice of Ralph, and Sarah Silverman as the voice of Vanellope, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 21, 2018. ©2018 Disney. All Rights Reserved.WORLD WIDE WOW! – Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship is challenged when they journey into the internet in search of a replacement part for her game. This vast new world is both incredibly exciting and overwhelming—depending on who you ask. Featuring John C. Reilly as the voice of Ralph, and Sarah Silverman as the voice of Vanellope, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 21, 2018. ©2018 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

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        Thanksgiving is a time for family, which for some means a lot of time getting to them. 

        There will be more Thanksgiving travelers this year than in the last 13 years, AAA reports. 

        "4.2 million southern California residents will be taking a trip of more than 50 miles from home Wednesday to Sunday of this week," said Doug Shupe, a spokesperson for AAA. 

        That's the most travelers in this area since 2005. AAA attributes it to the booming economy, which is making more people feel like they have expendable income for things like gas and vacation. 

        "The increase is going to be about 5.1 percent more travel volume this year compared to last year," added Shupe. 

        Despite higher gas prices, more people will be driving. There will also be many taking planes, trains and other means of transportation. 

        Shupe stresses it is important to inspect your car ahead of time so that you don't end up on the side of the road. 

        "Check the tire tread and inflation to prevent blow outs," said Shupe. "Check the battery, and do the oil change as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer." 

        What are your holiday travel plans? 



        Photo Credit: NBC10

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        The comedian best known for making an online video with snarky commentary about honey badgers has won an appeals court victory that could put two companies on trial for allegedly using his catchphrases on greeting cards without permission.

        Seriously.

        You may remember the video, uploaded to YouTube around 2011, which launched its narrator "Randall" on his own successful YouTube Channel after providing commentary on a nature documentary about honey badgers. It has since garnered millions of views. 

        Watch the video here. Note: Language may be offensive to some. 

        The 9th Circuit Court in California has ordered that Christopher Gordon, who sometimes goes by the name "Randall" on social media, be granted a new chance at a civil trial against companies he claims are using his honey badger success for their own good. A lower court initially dismissed his lawsuit for failing to meet a legal standard for trademark infringement.

        The 9th Circuit said Tuesday the lower court misapplied the law, and like the honey badger who goes into "fierce battles" with other animals, Gordon can now begin his legal fight anew.  

        Gordon has filed a suit against the Papyrus stationery company, which sold the snarky cards in Target and Walmart stores around the United States. He's also filed against Drape Creative, the company in Missouri that created the cards.

        An example of some of the cards, according to the complaint: 

        • The fronts of two "Election Cards" showed a picture of a honey badger wearing a patriotic hat and stated "The Election's Coming." The inside of one card said "Me and Honey Badger don't give a $#%@! Happy Birthday," and the inside of the other said "Honey Badger and me just don't care. Happy Birthday."
        • The fronts of two "Birthday Cards" featured different pictures of a honey badger and stated either "It's Your Birthday!" or "Honey Badger Heard It's Your Birthday." The inside of both cards said "Honey Badger Don't Give a S---."
        • The fronts of two "Halloween Cards" showed a picture of a honey badger next to a jack-o-lantern and stated "Halloween is Here." The inside of the cards said either "Honey Badger don't give a $#*%!" or "Honey Badger don't give a s---."
        • A "Critter Card" employed a Twitter-style format showing a series of messages from "Honey Badger@don'tgiveas---." The inside said "Your Birthday's here. . . I give a s---."

        Drape claimed in legal filings that the creator of the card had never seen or heard about the honey badger viral videos when the cards were created, and the owner, "couldn’t remember" where the idea for the honey badger catchphrases came from. 



        Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

        In this April 28, 2012, file photo, 'Randall', the voice behind the 'Honey Badger' video attends The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.In this April 28, 2012, file photo, 'Randall', the voice behind the 'Honey Badger' video attends The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

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