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New York firefighter killed when suspected drug house explodes; 6 others injured

A New York City firefighter died and at least a half-dozen others were injured Tuesday morning when a suspected drug lab exploded while authorities were responding to a report of a gas leak.

>> Read more trending stories

Officials did not immediately identify the slain firefighter, although Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, wrote on social media that the firefighter was a battalion chief.

Medics took six uniformed police officers to local hospitals with minor injuries, according to The Associated Press. Mayor Bill de Blasio was at nearby Allen Hospital after the explosion and promised to provide updates later Tuesday.

Firefighters found a suspected drug lab after they were called around 6:30 a.m. to investigate a reported gas leak at a home in the Bronx, WNBC reported. Police were called, but the home exploded before they could investigate.

Photographs from the scene showed bricks, drywall and debris strewn across pavement and over the tops of two vehicles. The innards of the once two-story structure spilled onto the street. The second story of the home appeared to be destroyed.

Authorities went door to door to evacuate neighbors before the blast, a resident who identified himself only as Jorge told WCBS. He said he heard the explosion and "knew right away it was this."

Barbara Nardo, another resident in the neighborhood, told the news station that she was awakened by the sound of the blast.

"I thought maybe it was lightning that hit a car or something," she said.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the explosion.

2 children found slain after Amber Alert; mother charged with murder

Two Indiana children who were the subjects of an Amber Alert were found dead Monday night in the back seat of a car about 70 miles from where they were abducted.

The children’s mother, 29-year-old Amber Susan Pasztor, is charged with murder, according to WSBT in South Bend, Indiana. She is being held without bond in the Elkhart County Correctional Center.

The body of a man believed to be 66-year-old Frank Macomber, a neighbor traveling with Pasztor, was also found about a half-mile from where the children were abducted. No additional details about his death have been released.

Autopsies scheduled for Tuesday are expected to confirm the identities of Liliana Hernandez, 7, and her 6-year-old brother, Rene Pasztor. The children’s bodies were found in a car parked near the Elkhart, Indiana, police station.

WSBT reported that a police officer leaving the station Monday night was approached by Amber Pasztor, who pointed him in the direction of a tan Mercury Mystique with her dead children inside. The car was also being sought in connection with the Amber Alert.

>> Read more trending stories

The Amber Alert was issued early Monday morning in the Fort Wayne area, where the children were living with their maternal grandfather, the news station reported. Pasztor’s father told police that his daughter was a drug addict and that he had been granted custody of the children more than a year before the abduction.

Pasztor also has a 3-year-old daughter whom she left behind when she took the older children, the news station reported.

She was due in court Monday morning for a hearing on criminal trespassing and invasion of privacy charges. An order for her arrest was issued when she didn’t show up. 

Rare 'black moon' rises Friday

Stargazers and moon watchers will be watching the sky this week when a second new moon of the month appears -- sort of -- on Friday.

The phenomenon, which occurs roughly every 32 months, is referred to as a “black moon,” according to

>> Read more trending stories

A new moon is when the moon’s Earth-facing side is engulfed in darkness, so it could be slightly difficult to see.

There is typically one full moon and one new moon each month. A second full moon in a month is called a “blue moon.”

The new moon officially occurs at 8:11 p.m. Friday in the Western Hemisphere, according to

Number of violent crimes, murders in the U.S. rose in 2015

After two decades of falling crime rates, the number of violent crimes and murders in the U.S. is on the rise.

>> Read more trending stories

According to new data released Monday by the FBI, violent crime grew by almost 4 percent in 2015. The murder rate jumped nearly 11 percent.

The increase was most pronounced in a handful of big cities, like St. Louis, Chicago and Baltimore.

The report comes after a year of shooting rampages, police killings and violent protests rocked the nation. Similar incidents continued into 2016.

But crime trend experts say we shouldn't panic just yet. As the director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice told The Guardian, "You lost 50 pounds. You gained back a couple. You're not fat."

FBI Director James Comey says the numbers show we need more "transparency and accountability" in policing, and we need to be having "better, more informed conversations" about crime.

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Donald Trump claims his debate mic was 'defective'

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump told reporters he was given a "defective" mic to use while debating rival Hillary Clinton on Monday night and questioned whether that was done on purpose.

>> Read more trending stories

A majority of voters deemed the Democratic candidate the winner of the first presidential debate, held at Hofstra University. According to a CNN/ORC International poll of debate viewers favored the former secretary of state 62 percent to 27 percent.

But Trump came up with a possible explanation for his lackluster performance.

>> Related: Trump sniffing at the debate gets a lot of attention on Twitter

"Did you notice that? My mic was defective within the room," Trump said. "I wonder, was that on purpose?"

Trump made the claim while speaking to reporters after the debate, during which Trump and Clinton sparred over the GOP candidate's refusal to release his tax returns and Clinton's email scandal, among other issues.

It's not the first time Trump has had issues with technology. At a rally earlier this year in Pensacola, Florida, Trump cursed and vowed not to pay for a faulty microphone he was given.

>> Related: 5 must-see moments from the first presidential debate

"This mic is terrible," he said to the crowd as they struggled to hear over the pops and echoes of the mic. "Stupid mic keeps popping. … You know, I believe in paying, but when someone does a bad job – like this stupid mic – you shouldn't pay the (expletive)."

Trump and Clinton are scheduled to face off again Oct. 9 in a town hall-style debate in St. Louis.

Who won the first debate? Here's what they are saying

Who won the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Well, that’s a good question.

If you look at online polls, Trump seems to have had the edge. If you look at media sites, Clinton gets the edge.

>>READ MORE: 5 must-see moments from the first debate 

Ask undecided voters and they are all over the map.

Here’s a look at what some media outlets are saying about who came out on top during the first  of three debates.

Clinton had a better night

The New York Times

“In the first showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump, the presidential candidates exchanged blows on trade and foreign policy, called each other racist and inept, and could not resist letting out stray smirks or occasional sniffles.

Commentators across the web on Monday night tended to conclude that their favored candidate had come out on top. But on balance, Mrs. Clinton was seen as having had the better night, based on the contrast between her steady grasp of policy and Mr. Trump’s tendency to ramble and occasionally raise his voice.”

>>Trump sniffing at the debate gets a lot of attention on Twitter

The lawyer vs. the salesman


“It was a battle between the lawyer and the salesman, and for the most part the lawyer came out on top.

It may be hard to remember, but before Mrs Clinton was a secretary of state, or a senator or a first lady, she was a lawyer - and, by all regards, a talented one.

And after all these years, she still campaigns like one. Meticulous, cautious, controlled. What works in the courtroom, with its rules and customs, often doesn't fly in free-wheeling political debates, however.

Mr Trump, on the other hand, is the consummate salesman. Rules, tradition, even the truth are only relevant in so much as they help seal the deal.”

Online poll results


“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton met for their first presidential debate Monday, and we want to know who you think won.

 A disclaimer: Online reader polls like this one are not statistically representative of likely voters, and are not predictive of the debate outcome will effect the election. They are a measure, however imprecise, of which candidates have the most energized online supporters, or most social media savvy fan base. After all, what they are counting is the number of Internet-devices controlled by people who want to vote.”

(Note: At 9 a.m.  (ET) Donald Trump led 54 to 46 percent)

The winner: Twitter and Facebook

USA Today

"So who won the debate? Social media, in a landslide.

While presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump slugged it out for 90 minutes, touching briefly on cybersecurity, Facebook and Twitter racked up huge numbers of posts and tweets, to borrow a favorite word from one of the debate participants.

Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio called it the "most tweeted debate ever," though final numbers were not available yet. There were 10 million tweets during the first presidential debate in 2012, according to Twitter.

Who won: Ask Congress

The Washington Post

“Immediately after the first presidential debate, congressional Democrats were elated.

House and Senate Democrats said unequivocally that their candidate had won the first face-off: Hillary Clinton, they said, came across as strong, presidential and well prepared.

Yes, that's the usual post-debate routine: Your party's candidate is always the winner. Unless you're a Republican, and your candidate is Donald Trump. A scan of GOP Twitter feeds from Capitol Hill after the debate ended revealed scant words of praise for Trump.”

A win for Clinton


“We ranked the candidates’ performances in Monday’s contest.

Hillary Clinton won. In the first and potentially most consequential presidential debate of 2016, the Democratic nominee presented as composed and commanding, ticking through her policy prescriptions while landing a series of devastating blows on Donald Trump’s record and readiness. A fidgety Trump meanwhile tried repeatedly to ruffle her with interruptions while riffing his way through his own answers, but struggled on both counts.

Trump arguably had his best moments in the opening section of the debate, which tends to be its most-watched portion. Drawing from his stump speech, he conjured an image of a blighted U.S., outsmarted by its trading partnersand abused by its own companies. He promised, with his trademark bluster and imprecision, to get tough on those responsible at home and abroad. “We have to stop our jobs from leaving,” he said, dismissing Clinton as a member of the entrenched political class that’s presided over an economic hollowing-out.”

Trump wins on Twitter


“Now that the first presidential debate is one for the books, here’s how the it unfolded on social media.  According to data released by Twitter, Donald Trump dominated Twittersphere. Sixty-two percent of Twitter conversation went to @realDonaldTrump compared to @HillaryClinton who claimed 38 percent.

The GOP nominee also outshined his Democratic rival in the top three most-Tweeted debate moments. The most discussed moment involved Trump’s description of his temperament.

“I think my strongest asset may be by far is my temperament,” he said at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. “I have a winning temperament.”

Video: Horse pulls wakeboarder across ditch in Florida

A man from Palatka posted an Instagram video of himself being pulled by a horse on a wakeboard.

In the video that has over 14 million views to date, Jett Counts is seen shredding some water in a ditch while being pulled by a galloping horse. 

>> Read more trending stories  

After the horse, ridden by Counts' brother, reaches full speed, Counts said "How fast we going?" to the person riding in the car recording the film.

The man replied, "20!"

Posted by Jody Coe on Thursday, September 22, 2016

Officer drives grieving man 100 miles to be with family after sister's death

An Ohio law enforcement official is making headlines for his heartwarming act of kindness for a grieving man who had just learned about his sister's death.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//;version=v2.7";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>At 3am I got a phone call stating that my sister had been killed in a car accident due to some young dumb punk! I haven'...Posted by Mark E Ross on Sunday, September 25, 2016

>> See the viral Facebook post

According to "Inside Edition," Mark Ross found early Sunday that his teenage sister had died in a car crash. Ross, who doesn't have a car, asked an acquaintance to drive him from Indiana to Detroit to be with his family. 

"Of course we were speeding, trying to get back to Detroit," Ross wrote in a Facebook post that has been shared nearly 85,000 times. "And we got pulled over in Ohio."

Unfortunately, the driver had a suspended license and "ended up getting locked up," Ross told "Inside Edition." The car was towed.

Ross was worried that he'd go to jail, too, because of an outstanding petty warrant in Wayne County, Michigan, but officials there refused to pick him up because of the distance, Ross wrote on Facebook.

>> Read more trending stories

"I explained to the officer that my sister had died and that I needed to get to my mother ASAP," Ross wrote. "I broke down crying, and he saw the sincerity in my cry. He reaches over and began praying over me and my family."

That officer, identified as Sgt. David Robison of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, drove Ross 100 miles to Detroit, Ross said.

"Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly grateful for this guy," Ross wrote on Facebook. "He gave me hope."

Read more here.

Happy ending: Elderly couple forced to live in separate nursing homes, reunited

The story of their forced separation dominated social media. Now, there's a happy ending for an elderly couple from Canada who were forced to lived apart in separate nursing homes.

Ashley Bartyik posted a photo on Facebook last month of her grandparents, Wolfram Gottschalk, 83, and Anita Gottschalk, 81, wiping away tears.

Friends please read! This is The saddest photo I have ever taken. This is my Omi and my Opi. As you can see they are...Posted by Ashley Kaila B on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"This is the saddest photo I have ever taken," Bartyik said in the photo caption.

>>Read: Woman says grandparents married 62 years are forced to be apart

Bartyik said her grandparents are unable to live together in the same care home because of "backlogs and delays by our healthcare system," and lack of space in the care facility.

>> Read more trending stories

Bartyik said the system "(has) the power to have my grandpa moved to the same care facility as my grandmother" and the situation is made worse by Wolfram Gottschalk's developing dementia and his lymphoma diagnosis.

In a statement to CBC News, Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma said the health care service provider was "exploring options other than this particular facility that his wife is at now."

"Certainly when the scope is narrowed to one facility, it becomes difficult to place them there, because we have to wait for another bed to become available," Juma said.

Juma told CTV News the company will "continue to work to reunite this couple."

And the couple will soon be reunited, The Star reported.

Wolfram and Anita will now be living a the same care home after Wolfram moves to Anita's Morgan Heights care home on Thursday.

The story isn't ending there. Family members told The Star that they will continue to work for other couples who are going through the same thing. 

7 things to know now: Presidential debate; Musk on Mars transporter; 'big meteor' in Australia

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now

1. First debate: He said he’d release his taxes when she releases her emails. She said she’s prepared to be president and that he’s “dangerous.” There was no shortage of fireworks at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in New York on Monday. The Democratic and Republican candidates argued trade, ISIS, race issues, “stop and frisk,” and who has stamina during the 90-minute debate. Both sides claimed victory.

2. Musk to Mars: Elon Musk is expected to outline his plan to build a city on Mars within the next 10 years as he speaks at the International Astronautical Congress meeting Tuesday in Mexico. Reportedly, in the speech, “Making Humans a Multi-planetary Species,” Musk will talk about his “Mars Colonial Transporter” which he says will take 100 people at a time to Mars.

3. Iowa flooding: The Cedar River is expected to crest at 23 feet Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which would cause the second largest flood in the city’s recorded history. Residents there have placed sandbags and other barriers to hold back the rising waters which are already 4 feet above major flood stage.

4. The new SAT: The new version of the SAT college entrance exam has been taken by nearly a million and a half high school students since its debut in March, according to the company that owns the test. The new test offers more “real world” vocabulary and has a new format. No word on scores yet.

5. Rescued at sea: A Vermont man whose family says he has a form of autism was rescued off the coast of Massachusetts on Sunday after spending a week at sea in a life raft.  Nathan Carman, 22, and his mother, Linda Carman, were last seen on Sept. 18 when they left to go on a fishing trip on Nathan’s boat. A freighter found Nathan Carman adrift in the life boat, but there was no sign of his mother.  Carman told Coast Guard officials his boat ran into trouble and sank quickly. He said he tried to find his mother after the boat sank, but could not.

And one more

People are still trying to figure out what caused a bright flash and loud boom over the skies of northeastern Australia Monday. Residents reported that the earth shook as they saw a bright light streak across the sky. Scientist say it was likely a “big meteor” strike. 

In case you missed it

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