Monthly Archives: May 2014

Gaps in insurance coverage magnify addicts&#39 struggles in Western Pennsylvania

Published: Saturday, May possibly 31, 2014, 6:13 p.m.
Updated 1 hour in the past

A lack of funding and access to efficient remedy tends to make it challenging for individuals in Pennsylvania addicted to heroin and other opiates to get clean, individuals on the front lines of the battle say.

Portion of the funding difficulty is that much more addicts are middle-class, suburban residents who rely on private overall health insurance coverage, said Kristina DelPrincipe, chief financial officer for Tadiso Inc., a methadone clinic in Manchester with about 720 consumers.

“That’;s who is knocking on the door on a regular basis,” she said.

Medicaid or state help covers therapy for poorer sufferers, but private insurance coverage is spotty, she explained. Some insurers cover counseling but not methadone or other medicine-primarily based treatment. Wellness insurers base their coverage on proof of which remedies are established protected and efficient, mentioned Susan Pisano, spokeswoman for the business group America’;s Wellness Insurance coverage Strategies.

When 22 folks died in a couple of weeks from fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses this 12 months, Allegheny County had a rush of individuals in search of assist, said Latika Davis-Jones, administrator of the county’;s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Solutions.

“It was a really scary time for men and women who have been making use of opiates,” she said.

In response, many personal plans accepted more people for remedy, and U.S. Lawyer David Hickton convened a special doing work group in April to search for techniques to lessen opiate use and overdoses in the region. The group hopes to concern recommendations this summer season.

Opiates include heroin and prescription painkillers, this kind of as oxycodone. A lot of men and women turn out to be addicted whilst becoming taken care of for injuries or following surgery.

Regina Mollett, 63, was the standard face of the issue, drifting into addiction as a way to escape residing in the Northview Heights projects.

“I never ever realized I was not escaping. I was receiving boxed in,” mentioned Mollett, who has been clean since 2002. “I thought partying and dancing and being irresponsible was a far better existence.”

Now, she works as a coach helping other addicts uncover their way to recovery at Tadiso.

“You turn out to be desperate, near to carrying out anything which includes murder,” she stated. “It’;s terrible. An terrible feeling.”

Mairead Desmond, executive director of New Directions Treatment Services in West Reading, explained the key to repairing the dilemma is providing far more available remedy. In specific, the state needs a lot more applications utilizing methadone and other medicines that support folks with their physical signs and symptoms although finding out to cope with their addictive behavior.

“It calls for a detox because it is truly tough to quit utilizing heroin or the drugs,” she mentioned.

Figuring out how many much more treatment method slots the region wants is tough, she mentioned, because no one particular genuinely knows how a lot of men and women are addicted to heroin and other opiates.

Dr. Neil Capretto, health-related director at Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Beaver County, said he believes he could at least triple the quantity of beds devoted to opiate addiction without having worrying about obtaining sufficient individuals to fill them.

“It’;s a quite big problem,” he explained.

But private overall health insurance coverage will not cover remedy or will for only a handful of weeks, he explained.

Capretto, who is co-chairman of Hickton’;s operating group, explained the end result is frequent relapses.

“It’;s a continual illness like diabetes,” he mentioned. “Unfortunately, our wellness method treats it like it truly is the flu.”

Gary Tennis, the state’;s secretary of drug and alcohol packages, said the resistance to supplying coverage is aggravating. Scientific studies show that insurers conserve income when addicts receive adequate remedy since, he mentioned, they have a tendency to produce fewer relevant difficulties, this kind of as contracting hepatitis C.

Society also loses simply because some people commit crimes to finance their habit and in the end end up in emergency rooms or jails, where taxpayers select up the tabs.

“It’;s more affordable for all of us,” Tennis mentioned.

Brian Bowling is a workers author for Total Trib Media. Contact him at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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Gaps in insurance coverage magnify addicts&#39 struggles in Western Pennsylvania

Published: Saturday, May 31, 2014, 6:13 p.m.
Up to date 26 minutes ago

A lack of funding and access to successful treatment can make it difficult for men and women in Pennsylvania addicted to heroin and other opiates to get clean, individuals on the front lines of the battle say.

Part of the funding issue is that a lot more addicts are middle-class, suburban residents who depend on personal health insurance coverage, mentioned Kristina DelPrincipe, chief economic officer for Tadiso Inc., a methadone clinic in Manchester with about 720 customers.

“That’;s who is knocking on the door on a standard basis,” she explained.

Medicaid or state assistance covers therapy for poorer patients, but private insurance coverage coverage is spotty, she mentioned. Some insurers cover counseling but not methadone or other medicine-based mostly treatment. Health insurers base their coverage on proof of which remedies are established secure and effective, stated Susan Pisano, spokeswoman for the market group America’;s Overall health Insurance coverage Programs.

When 22 people died in a couple of weeks from fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses this 12 months, Allegheny County had a rush of people seeking support, explained Latika Davis-Jones, administrator of the county’;s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Companies.

“It was a quite scary time for individuals who have been using opiates,” she explained.

In response, a number of private programs accepted far more men and women for treatment, and U.S. Lawyer David Hickton convened a specific doing work group in April to appear for approaches to minimize opiate use and overdoses in the region. The group hopes to problem suggestions this summertime.

Opiates consist of heroin and prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone. Many men and women become addicted while getting treated for injuries or after surgery.

Regina Mollett, 63, was the traditional face of the difficulty, drifting into addiction as a way to escape residing in the Northview Heights tasks.

“I by no means realized I was not escaping. I was getting boxed in,” stated Mollett, who has been clean since 2002. “I considered partying and dancing and becoming irresponsible was a better daily life.”

Now, she operates as a coach assisting other addicts find their way to recovery at Tadiso.

“You turn out to be desperate, close to undertaking anything like murder,” she mentioned. “It’;s awful. An awful feeling.”

Mairead Desmond, executive director of New Instructions Therapy Providers in West Studying, said the essential to fixing the problem is providing much more available therapy. In distinct, the state needs a lot more programs using methadone and other drugs that aid individuals with their physical signs while understanding to cope with their addictive habits.

“It needs a detox since it really is truly hard to cease using heroin or the tablets,” she mentioned.

Figuring out how several more treatment slots the area wants is hard, she explained, simply because no one really knows how numerous individuals are addicted to heroin and other opiates.

Dr. Neil Capretto, health-related director at Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Beaver County, stated he believes he could at least triple the amount of beds focused to opiate addiction with no worrying about locating enough folks to fill them.

“It’;s a fairly huge difficulty,” he said.

But personal well being insurance will not cover therapy or will for only a handful of weeks, he stated.

Capretto, who is co-chairman of Hickton’;s working group, mentioned the end result is frequent relapses.

“It’;s a continual ailment like diabetes,” he said. “Unfortunately, our overall health system treats it like it is the flu.”

Gary Tennis, the state’;s secretary of drug and alcohol packages, mentioned the resistance to supplying coverage is irritating. Studies show that insurers conserve income when addicts receive satisfactory remedy due to the fact, he mentioned, they have a tendency to build fewer related difficulties, this kind of as contracting hepatitis C.

Society also loses since some folks commit crimes to finance their habit and in the end end up in emergency rooms or jails, in which taxpayers pick up the tabs.

“It’;s cheaper for all of us,” Tennis said.

Brian Bowling is a employees author for Total Trib Media. Contact him at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

TribLive commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your feedback and by employing TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Services.

We reasonable feedback. Our goal is to give substantive commentary for a common readership. By screening submissions, we give a space the place readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our information and information.

Whilst most feedback will be posted if they are on-subject and not abusive, moderating selections are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader feedback, we can’;t review personal moderation selections with readers.

We value thoughtful remarks representing a range of views that make their level rapidly and politely. We make an work to safeguard discussions from repeated comments — either by the same reader or diverse readers.

We stick to the same standards for taste as the every day newspaper. A handful of things we won’;t tolerate: personalized attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), business promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Will not contain URLs to Net sites.

We do not edit feedback. They are either accredited or deleted. We reserve the proper to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an write-up. In this situation, we may correct spelling and punctuation.

We welcome powerful opinions and criticism of our operate, but we will not want feedback to grow to be bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts or blog posts level out mistakes of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions must be sent by way of e-mail. To keep away from distracting other readers, we won’;t publish comments that recommend a correction. Alternatively, corrections will be made in a site submit or in an write-up.

&#39Insurance buyers don&#39t need to have to reveal life style conditions&#39

MUMBAI: Not mentioning typical lifestyle ailments while applying for insurance is not concealing facts and cannot be a explanation for rejection of insurance claims, a district forum has observed whilst citing a state commission buy.

The forum stated it can not be concealment of details unless a patient has undergone extended therapy and hospitalization days ahead of taking the policy.

On Friday, the forum directed New India Assurance to shell out the medical insurance coverage quantity of Rs 2.3 lakh and compensation of Rs one lakh to the loved ones of a guy hospitalized for cardiac-connected ailments in 2007.

The insurance coverage organization had repudiated the claim that the policy holder had concealed his pre-existing ailments just before procuring it.

“The complainant has obviously pointed out that he was a heart patient and this truth was identified to the officer of the insurance coverage business. Therefore, in our view, the rejection of the complainant’;s claim is unjust and improper,” the forum mentioned.

The policy holder, Kabiru Dhamani, died but his wife and 2 young children filed the complaint just before the South Mumbai Buyer Disputes Redressal Forum on June 13, 2008.

The Dhamanis informed the forum Kabiru had revealed he was a heart patient. He had procured the policy in June 2004 and paid a premium of Rs 6,180.

The loved ones alleged the insurance organization was mindful that Kabiru suffered from hypertension with diabetes mellitus. In 2006 and 2007, Kabiru was hospitalized and taken care of for cardiac difficulties at a Nagpur hospital.

In July 2007, the household filed the insurance coverage claim which was rejected later. The insurance coverage organization explained the declare was not admissible due the exclusion clause relating to pre-present condition.

Aggrieved, the household filed a complaint prior to the forum.

Most insurance coverage companies want FDI restrict raised from 26% to 49%

MUMBAI/ NEW DELHI: A bulk of insurance coverage sector companies have backed raising the foreign direct investment restrict in the insurance sector to 49% from the current 26%, sources explained.

At a meeting with the GS Sandhu, secretary department of monetary services on Saturday, chiefs of top private insurance coverage firms stated the nation could see $ 8bn to $ 10bn of inflows into the life and non-lifestyle insurance organization in the following 5 years if the government passed the bill to amend the insurance Act.

All businesses except for a single were in favour of making it possible for larger FDI.

One particular personal insurer is nonetheless understood to have favoured greater investment from foreign institutional investors in excess of FDI.

An boost in foreign investment limits for insurance coverage companies would translate into increased limits for pension as nicely as other insurance intermediaries as well.

The meeting was convened to get the industry feedback on the situation of raising the FDI cap. Sources mentioned the division of fiscal solutions has asked them to send across their in depth views and following that some more interaction would be held before a determination is taken by the government on the problem.

“The purpose was to examine how to make sure growth in the sector which is an import social protection. We talked about the pros and cons and a variety of choices and higher FDI flow in the sector,” explained Sandhu, including that a ultimate view was nevertheless to be taken.

The meeting also talked about ways to make insurance coverage desirable via tax breaks and the influence of service tax on the sector. Problems associated to dwindling agents and strengthening the distribution ne2rk had been also debated.

A bill to increase the FDI cap in the sector is pending in parliament and whatever determination the government will take they will have to make adjustments in the bill and get cabinet approval ahead of presenting it in parliament.

The meeting was attended by chiefs of Birla Sun Lifestyle, HDFC Common Existence, Reliance Life Insurance coverage, Metlife and representatives from public sector insurance organizations and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. Some of the insurance coverage businesses are of the view that the government can move ahead with the bill which is pending in parliament.

The Insurance Laws Amendment Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 22nd December 2008 however the UPA government was not capable to make a consensus close to the legislation.

The parliamentary standing committee on finance headed by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had concluded that there was no case for higher FDI in insurance. Sector officials nonetheless say that restricting greater stake to FIIs would not aid a lot as none of the lifestyle insurance firms had managed to list themselves.

State-owned insurance companies have not raised any objections to boost of FDI. In the previous, the main objection to greater FDI was from the left events. In the prior Lok Sabha even though the UPA government was not dependent on left parties it could not garner assistance from BJP.

Snowden’s E-mail to NSA Attorney Raises Much more Concerns

Snowden’;s E mail to NSA Attorney Raises Far more Concerns – NBC Information “},”variety”:”p”,”html”:”Obama mentioned he called Bergdahl’;s mothers and fathers to allow them know their son would be returning property safely and thank them for their sacrifice.”,”kind”:”p”,”html”:”There was swift response across the military and Washington to Bergdahl’;s protected rescue.”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:””Right now we have back in our ranks the only remaining captured soldier from our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan,” added Joint Chiefs of Personnel Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. “Welcome house SGT Bowe Bergdahl.””,”kind”:”p”,”html”:”“The expense of years of captivity to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and his loved ones is immeasurable,” added Secretary of State John Kerry.”,”type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, joined the Army in 2008 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. Significantly less than a year later on, he was deployed as a machine gunner to a fight outpost in Pakita Province, Afghanistan, a militant hotbed.”,”variety”:”p”,”html”:”U.S. officials believe Bergdahl invested the vast majority of his time in captivity in Pakistan, and they are not sure when he was moved back into Afghanistan.”,”sort”:”blockquote”,”html”:”

“Yes, we’;ve been searching for you for a prolonged time.”

“,”class”:”pullquote”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:”He is believed to have been captured by members of the Haqqani ne2rk, which claims allegiance to the Afghan Taliban, however operates with some degree of autonomy. The State Department named the Haqqani ne2rk a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:”The transfer was not negotiated with the Haqqani ne2rk, but brokered more than a week of talks by means of the regional Qatari government, the senior U.S. official stated. The possibility to resume talks became offered a number of weeks before the deal, “and we seized it,” said the official.”,”variety”:”p”,”html”:”Each Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel praised the Emir of Qatar for aiding in Bergdahl’;s release.”,”variety”:”p”,”html”:”The prisoners that will be exchanged for Bergdahl are Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mohammed Nabi, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Abdul Haq Wasiq. They were en route to Qatar on Saturday.”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:”Hagel mentioned security measures are in location to ensure the national safety of the United States would not be compromised by the prisoners’ release.”,”kind”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl is becoming transferred to Bagram for health-related care, and from there will be sent to Landstuhl, Germany to get started his reintegration method. U.S. officials are functioning to reconnect him with his dad and mom more than the telephone, but he is not likely to see them until finally he is cleared medically and back in the United States.”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:”“],”summary”:”Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier captured and held captive in Afghanistan, is back in the hands of the U.S. military, the officials advised NBC News.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_information”:false,”show_on_cover”:real,”ads_enabled”:true,”remarks_enabled”:real,”search_enabled”:correct,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_ar2rk”:”caption”:”Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in an undated image offered by the U.S. Army “,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479376/140531-boew-bergdahl-mn-1240_2b01bc70f7e227e0767e35d310ef756a.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:”U.S. Army through AP”,”alt_text”:”Image: Bowe R. Bergdahl”,”width”:2500,”height”:2256,”title”:”Picture: Bowe R. Bergdahl”,”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/information/us-information/bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”quick_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1nPDXs2″,”title_url_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released”,”authentic_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-information/army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”variety”:”spread”,”headline”:”Bowe Bergdahl, Army Sergeant Held by Taliban Considering that 2009, Is Launched”,”headline_cover”:”Freed: Only U.S. Soldier Held in Afghanistan Released Soon after 5 Years”,”headline_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-launched”,”bylines”:[“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_webpage”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:”Chief Pentagon Correspondent”,”demonstrate_or_site”:null,”twitter_deal with”:null,”e-mail”:null,”bio”:”

Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC Information. On 9/11, he was the very first at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has because led the ne2rk’;s coverage of the war in Afghanistan.

Considering that joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White House correspondent for the duration of the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton’;s transition from Little Rock, his numerous trips abroad which includes Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.

In the Bush White Residence, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.

Miklaszewski has logged substantial foreign expertise with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the “tanker wars” in the Persian Gulf.

“,”identify”:”Jim Miklaszewski”,”image”:”credit score”:null,”caption”:””,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_02/106276/140102-byline-jim-miklaszewski-sq_6585c28784d32a5571178a359913fb73.jpg”,”width”:1500,”height”:1500,”sort”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:null,”show_or_web site”:null,”twitter_take care of”:null,”electronic mail”:null,”bio”:”

Courtney Kube is the national safety producer for NBC News. She commenced in this function in 2005. Courtney covers the Pentagon, U.S. military operations all more than the globe, and intelligence and nationwide security troubles.

Kube initial came to NBC News as an intern in school, and then was employed to perform on the assignment desk. She was hired as a researcher for “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert in 2001 and worked her way to associate producer more than the next 2 many years.

Courtney graduated from the University of Michigan and lives with her husband in Chevy Chase, Md.

“,”identify”:”Courtney Kube”,”picture”:null],”very first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 sixteen:41:00 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 19:43:39 Z”,”sections”:[“title”:”News”,”slug”:”information”],”topics”:[“title”:”U.S. information”,”slug”:”us-information”],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119271″,”externalId”:”119271″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:”caption”:”U.S. soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl appears in a video launched by the Taliban on Dec. 25, 2009.”,”url”:”http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479431/140531-bowe-bergdahl-mn-1400__60c2bfe4f642546c71fd3540491021cd.jpg”,”credit”:null,”supply”:”IntelCenter through AP”,”alt_text”:null,”width”:2500,”height”:1685,”title”:”Picture: A video frame grab from the Taliban propaganda video launched Friday Dec. 25, 2009 purportedly displaying U.S. soldier Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum Idaho”},”physique”:[“sort”:”p”,”html”:”By NBC South Florida“,”kind”:”p”,”html”:”The death of a man in his Hialeah home Friday left Miami-Dade County Animal Companies with a lot more than 50 small to medium sized canines in require of adoption.”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:”Hialeah Police responded to a get in touch with of a guy passing away from normal leads to Friday morning at a home on the 5900 block of East 6th Avenue. When police arrived, they identified the physique of a man along with his elderly mothers and fathers and approximately 50 canines in the residence.”,”type”:”p”,”html”:”Police stated the family loved animals and would pick up stray dogs from the street to consider to support them. Hialeah Police said the 2 mother and father appeared to be struggling from dementia and the canines have been taken by animal control to be put up for adoption.”,”variety”:”p”,”html”:”Both dad and mom were taken to Palmetto Common Hospital for more evaluation.”,”variety”:”p”,”html”:”The dogs are at Miami-Dade County Animal Companies at 7401 NW 74 Street in Miami. The shelter waived all adoption costs for the canines. The dogs are obtainable this weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and Monday by means of Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:thirty p.m.”],”summary”:”Florida police mentioned Friday they found 50 canines at the residence of a guy who had died of normal brings about. They also identified the bodies of his elderly dad and mom.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:false,”show_on_cover”:false,”ads_enabled”:accurate,”comments_enabled”:real,”search_enabled”:false,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:null,”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/information/us-information/50-canines-found-alive-property-dead-florida-hoarder-n119321″,”brief_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1nDOucm”,”title_url_slug”:”50-canines-discovered-alive-property-dead-florida-hoarder”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-information/50-canines-discovered-alive-home-dead-florida-hoarder-n119321″,”type”:”post”,”headline”:”50 Dogs Identified Alive at House of Dead Florida Hoarder”,”headline_cover”:”50 Dogs Found Alive at Home of Dead Florida Hoarder”,”headline_slug”:”50-dogs-discovered-alive-residence-dead-florida-hoarder”,”bylines”:[],”very first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 19:24:14 Z”,”final_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 19:24:14 Z”,”sections”:[“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”],”subjects”:[“title”:”U.S. news”,”slug”:”us-information”],”characteristic”:[],”present”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119321″,”externalId”:”119321″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”primary_ar2rk”:null,”entire body”:[“variety”:”p”,”html”:”PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Authorities say a 28-year-old man suspected of robbing a female at a Washington ferry terminal friended her on Facebook the subsequent day.”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:”The Kitsap Sun reported Saturday that Riley Allen Mullins was charged Friday in Kitsap District Court with 2nd-degree robbery.”,”sort”:”p”,”html”:”Authorities say a girl was sitting at the Bremerton ferry terminal on Tuesday utilizing her headphones when she was struck on the head from behind. Right after becoming struck, a man grabbed her iPod and purse and ran. She did not identify the man, but observed a tattoo of a triangle on his neck.”,”variety”:”p”,”html”:”The up coming day, the lady acquired a Facebook buddy notification and acknowledged the sender as the man who robbed her.”,”kind”:”p”,”html”:”Investigators confirmed the Facebook account belonged to Mullins, and they noted a profile picture of Mullins displaying the triangle neck tattoo.”,”kind”:”h5″,”html”:”—The Related Press”],”summary”:”Authorities say a 28-year-outdated guy suspected of robbing a female at a Washington ferry terminal friended her on Facebook the following day.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_information”:false,”show_on_cover”:real,”advertisements_enabled”:accurate,”comments_enabled”:real,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_ar2rk”:null,”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/information/us-news/suspect-friends-victim-facebook-day-right 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Dislike the health exchange, adore the insurance coverage

Frustrated with her inability to get health insurance coverage, Bonnita Spikes entered the political fray when she was featured in gubernatorial candidate Douglas F. Gansler’;s April radio ad lambasting Maryland’;s issue-fraught well being exchange.

But as irritated as she was with the implementation of the Inexpensive Care Act in Maryland, she’;s been significantly happier with the remedy she’;s obtained following she ultimately enrolled. Now Spikes has lent her voice to a publicity campaign praising the health reform work.

Shortly after she appeared in Gansler’;s ad, a navigator from the Area Company on Aging in Prince George’;s County assisted Spikes sign up for Medicaid coverage. And now the retired nurse, who suffers from a terminal sickness, calls her new overall health coverage lifesaving.

She is such a fan of Obamacare that when her outdated pal and health advocate Vincent DeMarco sent out an electronic mail in search of individuals who had efficiently enrolled in insurance, she contacted him correct away.

DeMarco, who believes the success of reform has been overshadowed by stories about the technical difficulties with Maryland’;s exchange, jumped at the possibility to publicize Spikes’; adjust of heart.

“I was thrilled that she sent me the electronic mail and needed to do this simply because her story truly exemplifies what occurred here: large problems that turned into achievement,” said DeMarco, president of advocacy group Maryland Health Care For All Coalition.

Spikes said her determination to participate in the Gansler ad was not politically motivated. She ran into his running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey, and began venting about her troubles with the exchange, which she said she experimented with to entry at least 50 times.

Ivey place her in touch with the Gansler campaign workers, who set her up to appear in an ad.

“At the time she caught me I was livid,” Spikes mentioned of her experience with Ivey. “I was telling everybody I saw.”

Her later choice to display support for reform also had absolutely nothing to do with politics, she explained.

“Whoever wins, everybody deserves overall health care,” Spikes mentioned.

DeMarco, whose group has pushed by way of an alcohol and tobacco tax to fund wellness coverage for the disadvantaged, also said he is not wading into the gubernatorial race. His group does not endorse candidates, he stated, despite the fact that it did give gubernatorial candidate Anthony G. Brown the “Maryland’;s Public Well being Hero” award final yr.

A spokesman for Gansler mentioned the campaign is happy Spikes now has insurance coverage. Gansler supports overall health care reform, but not the way Brown, the lieutenant governor, handled the exchange “debacle,” said spokeswoman Katie Hill.

Spikes nonetheless stands by what she mentioned in the radio ad.

“It was accurate at the time,” she explained. “It was a lot more than true at the time. They’;re lucky I was not acting like a rabid puppy.”

andrea.walker@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/ankwalker

Snowden Slams U.S. Surveillance Programs

Snowden Slams U.S. Surveillance Programs – NBC News “},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Obama also said he called Bergdahl’;s parents to let them know their son would be returning home safely and thank them for their sacrifice.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It is our ethos that we never leave a fallen comrade,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said. “Today we have back in our ranks the only remaining captured soldier from our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Welcome home SGT Bowe Bergdahl.” “},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, joined the Army in 2008 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. Less than a year later, he was deployed as a machine gunner to a combat outpost in Pakita Province, Afghanistan, a militant hotbed.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”U.S. officials believe Bergdahl spent the majority of his time in captivity in Pakistan, and they are not sure when he was moved back into Afghanistan.”},{“type”:”blockquote”,”html”:”

“Yes, we’;ve been looking for you for a long time.”

“,”class”:”pullquote”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”He is thought to have been captured by members of the Haqqani ne2rk, which claims allegiance to the Afghan Taliban, yet operates with some degree of autonomy. The State Department named the Haqqani ne2rk a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The transfer was not negotiated with the Haqqani ne2rk, but brokered over a week of talks through the local Qatari government, the senior official said. The opportunity to resume talks became available several weeks before the deal, “and we seized it,” said the official.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Both Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel praised the Emir of Qatar for aiding in Bergdahl’;s release.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The prisoners that will be exchanged for Bergdahl are Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mohammed Nabi, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Abdul Haq Wasiq. There are now 149 detainees remaining at Guantanamo Bay.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Hagel said security measures are in place to ensure the national security of the United States would not be compromised by the prisoners’ release.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl is being transferred to Bagram for medical care, and from there will be sent to Landstuhl, Germany to begin his reintegration process. The U.S. is working to reconnect him with his parents over the phone, but he is not likely to see them until he is back on the U.S., when he is cleared medically.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“}],”summary”:”Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier captured and held captive in Afghanistan, is back in the hands of the U.S. military, the officials told NBC News.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:true,”show_on_cover”:true,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:{“caption”:”Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in an undated image provided by the U.S. Army “,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479376/140531-boew-bergdahl-mn-1240_2b01bc70f7e227e0767e35d310ef756a.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:”U.S. Army via AP”,”alt_text”:”Image: Bowe R. Bergdahl”,”width”:2500,”height”:2256,”title”:”Image: Bowe R. Bergdahl”},”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1nPDXs2″,”title_url_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”type”:”spread”,”headline”:”Bowe Bergdahl, Army Sergeant Held by Taliban Since 2009, Is Released”,”headline_cover”:”Freed: Only U.S. Soldier Held in Afghanistan Released After 5 Years”,”headline_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released”,”bylines”:[{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:”Chief Pentagon Correspondent”,”show_or_site”:null,”twitter_handle”:null,”email”:null,”bio”:”

Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News. On 9/11, he was the first at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has since led the ne2rk’;s coverage of the war in Afghanistan.

Since joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton’;s transition from Little Rock, his many trips abroad including Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.

In the Bush White House, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.

Miklaszewski has logged considerable foreign experience with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the \”tanker wars\” in the Persian Gulf.

“,”name”:”Jim Miklaszewski”,”picture”:{“credit”:null,”caption”:””,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_02/106276/140102-byline-jim-miklaszewski-sq_6585c28784d32a5571178a359913fb73.jpg”,”width”:1500,”height”:1500}},{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:null,”show_or_site”:null,”twitter_handle”:null,”email”:null,”bio”:”

Courtney Kube is the national security producer for NBC News. She started in this role in 2005. Courtney covers the Pentagon, U.S. military operations all over the world, and intelligence and national security issues.

Kube first came to NBC News as an intern in college, and then was hired to work on the assignment desk. She was hired as a researcher for \”Meet the Press\” with Tim Russert in 2001 and worked her way to associate producer over the next 2 years.

Courtney graduated from the University of Michigan and lives with her husband in Chevy Chase, Md.

“,”name”:”Courtney Kube”,”picture”:null}],”first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 16:41:00 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 18:34:40 Z”,”sections”:[{“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”}],”topics”:[{“title”:”U.S. news”,”slug”:”us-news”}],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119271″,”externalId”:”119271″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:{“caption”:”U.S. soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl appears in a video released by the Taliban on Dec. 25, 2009.”,”url”:”http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479431/140531-bowe-bergdahl-mn-1400_0_60c2bfe4f642546c71fd3540491021cd.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:”IntelCenter via AP”,”alt_text”:null,”width”:2500,”height”:1685,”title”:”Image: A video frame grab from the Taliban propaganda video released Friday Dec. 25, 2009 purportedly showing U.S. soldier Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum Idaho”}},{“body”:[{“type”:”p”,”html”:”By NBCWashington.com“},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”2 missing Sandy Hook memorial signs have been recovered in Herndon, Virginia — far from the states from which they were stolen — and a Virginia man has been charged in the case.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Andrew David Truelove, 28, is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center after Herndon police found the signs in a home where Truelove is renting a room from a family member.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”One memorial sign was stolen from a playground in Mantoloking, New Jersey, and the other from Mystic, Connecticut. They were stolen about a month ago.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”widget”,”widget_type”:”nbc_affiliates_video”,”video-source”:”http://www.nbcwashington.com/portableplayer/?cmsID=261363551&videoID=jdiilwVcH26H&origin=nbcwashington.com&sec=news&subsec=local”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The signs were dedications to Sandy Hook Elementary School students: 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 7-year-old Grace McDonnell, who were fatally shot in December 2012.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Police say blogger and reporter Chez Pazienza of The Daily Banter helped to track down the suspect. Pazienza wrote an open letter asking the thief to come forward, and he received a response, including photographs of the signs in a living room.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””I was really angry and I wanted to see this person go down for this,” Pazienza told NBC Connecticut in a Skype interview Friday. “I wasn’;t just going to let it go.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Truelove may have allied himself with people who believe the Sandy Hook massacre was staged or faked to encourage stricter gun laws, police said at a press conference Friday.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”News4’;s Shomari Stone spoke with Truelove’;s father who maintained his son’;s innocence, though he was not interested in sharing any details about the incident.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””[Police] aren’;t making it up, they’;re chasing the wrong fella,” Alan Truelove said. He showed Stone a photo of a man he claims is the real suspect in the case.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When asked if he or his son believed if the massacre happened, Alan Truelove replied, “Not interested … not interested in anything you say …. I’;m not interested in those events.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It is my understanding the suspect himself had claimed to be part of this group called the truthers,” Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said during a news conference Friday.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It’;s hard to explain the why, because from our perspective it doesn’;t appear rational, that type of thought process,” DeBoard said. “We know Sandy Hook occurred, obviously there are a lot of victims in that case. So I can’;t explain the why, but we do know that this suspect has a troubled past, he has an extensive criminal history, he has criminal history tied to kids.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”DeBoard did not detail Truelove’;s criminal history, but she said he had been banned from school property in Herndon.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Truelove has been charged with receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor. DeBoard said investigators were considering upgrading the charges to felonies, and that Truelove faces charges of grand larceny in Connecticut and New Jersey.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”They found Truelove already in jail on a probation violation, she said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Truelove was charged after he contacted a reporter, saying that he had the signs, DeBoard said. The reporter contacted authorities in Stonington, Connecticut, who reached out to Herndon Police. After an investigation, authorities obtained a search warrant for Truelove’;s house in the 400 block of Fillmore Street, and recovered the stolen signs Friday.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””Our main goal here was to get those signs back so they could be placed back on the playgrounds where they belong,” DeBoard said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”NBC Connecticut reported earlier this month that, after a 50-pound vinyl peace sign was stolen from a Mystic playground honoring the memory of Grace McDonnell, a man called her mother to tell her that he believed the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and that her daughter “never existed.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It’;s my understanding that … one of the victim’;s families of one of these signs was contacted from the suspect at one point letting him know he had the signs,” DeBoard said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It’;s very horrifying. I can’;t imagine the families having to relive this over and over again,” she said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”She grew emotional as she discussed the impact of these memorials on the families of victims and on their communities.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””We think about Sandy Hook, we are all affected by Sandy Hook all the time,” DeBoard said. “And when you think about that and all the kids who were affected by that it’;s hard not to get emotional. And one of the things that our investigators talked about was having the honor of being able to take these signs back and hand them over to the families and put them back where they belong. That’;s most important to us.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Investigators are likely to hand-carry the signs up to the playgrounds next week, she said.”}],”summary”:”2 missing Sandy Hook memorial signs have been recovered in Virginia, and a Virginia man has been charged in the case.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:false,”show_on_cover”:false,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:null,”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake-n119296″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1hK5ENi”,”title_url_slug”:”man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake-n119296″,”type”:”post”,”headline”:”Man Accused of Stealing Sandy Hook Signs Says Massacre Was Fake”,”headline_cover”:”Man Accused of Stealing Sandy Hook Signs Says Massacre Was Fake”,”headline_slug”:”man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake”,”bylines”:[],”first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 18:27:23 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 18:27:23 Z”,”sections”:[{“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”}],”topics”:[{“title”:”U.S. news”,”slug”:”us-news”}],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119296″,”externalId”:”119296″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:null},{“body”:[{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”image”,”url”:”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/478121/ap393720873673_5bc2a9fa71b86a1846df592be3492c12.jpg”,”caption”:””,”credit”:””,”source”:”ASSOCIATED PRESS”,”title”:”Chuck Hagel”,”alt_text”:”Chuck Hagel”,”width”:4412,”height”:2918},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”EXCLUSIVE: U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”After President Obama outlined his “might doing right” vision of U.S. foreign policy this week, David Gregory will get Hagel’s perspective on what it all means for the future of the military abroad. Is Hagel aligned with the president’s pragmatic approach? Does he believe America’s leadership role in the world has diminished?”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”* * *”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”image”,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/478211/kinzinger_reikhoff_0b4a51751fa843763bdf4b01d9ad1fb1.jpg”,”caption”:””,”credit”:””,”source”:””,”title”:””,”alt_text”:””,”width”:1024,”height”:768},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”RESIGNATION REACTION: 2 LEADING VETERANS ADVOCATES SOUND OFF ABOUT WHETHER SHINSEKI’S RESIGNATION WAS THE RIGHT MOVE, AND WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE SHOULD DO NEXT”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Rep. 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Snowden Slams U.S. Surveillance Programs

Snowden Slams U.S. Surveillance Programs – NBC News “},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Obama also said he called Bergdahl’;s parents to let them know their son would be returning home safely and thank them for their sacrifice.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It is our ethos that we never leave a fallen comrade,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said. “Today we have back in our ranks the only remaining captured soldier from our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Welcome home SGT Bowe Bergdahl.” “},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, joined the Army in 2008 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. Less than a year later, he was deployed as a machine gunner to a combat outpost in Pakita Province, Afghanistan, a militant hotbed.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”U.S. officials believe Bergdahl spent the majority of his time in captivity in Pakistan, and they are not sure when he was moved back into Afghanistan.”},{“type”:”blockquote”,”html”:”

“Yes, we’;ve been looking for you for a long time.”

“,”class”:”pullquote”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”He is thought to have been captured by members of the Haqqani ne2rk, which claims allegiance to the Afghan Taliban, yet operates with some degree of autonomy. The State Department named the Haqqani ne2rk a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The transfer was not negotiated with the Haqqani ne2rk, but brokered over a week of talks through the local Qatari government, the senior official said. The opportunity to resume talks became available several weeks before the deal, “and we seized it,” said the official.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Both Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel praised the Emir of Qatar for aiding in Bergdahl’;s release.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The prisoners that will be exchanged for Bergdahl are Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mohammed Nabi, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Abdul Haq Wasiq. There are now 149 detainees remaining at Guantanamo Bay.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Hagel said security measures are in place to ensure the national security of the United States would not be compromised by the prisoners’ release.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl is being transferred to Bagram for medical care, and from there will be sent to Landstuhl, Germany to begin his reintegration process. The U.S. is working to reconnect him with his parents over the phone, but he is not likely to see them until he is back on the U.S., when he is cleared medically.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“}],”summary”:”Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier captured and held captive in Afghanistan, is back in the hands of the U.S. military, the officials told NBC News.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:true,”show_on_cover”:true,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:{“caption”:”Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in an undated image provided by the U.S. Army “,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479376/140531-boew-bergdahl-mn-1240_2b01bc70f7e227e0767e35d310ef756a.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:”U.S. Army via AP”,”alt_text”:”Image: Bowe R. Bergdahl”,”width”:2500,”height”:2256,”title”:”Image: Bowe R. Bergdahl”},”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1nPDXs2″,”title_url_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”type”:”spread”,”headline”:”Bowe Bergdahl, Army Sergeant Held by Taliban Since 2009, Is Released”,”headline_cover”:”Freed: Only U.S. Soldier Held in Afghanistan Released After 5 Years”,”headline_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released”,”bylines”:[{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:”Chief Pentagon Correspondent”,”show_or_site”:null,”twitter_handle”:null,”email”:null,”bio”:”

Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News. On 9/11, he was the first at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has since led the ne2rk’;s coverage of the war in Afghanistan.

Since joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton’;s transition from Little Rock, his many trips abroad including Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.

In the Bush White House, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.

Miklaszewski has logged considerable foreign experience with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the \”tanker wars\” in the Persian Gulf.

“,”name”:”Jim Miklaszewski”,”picture”:{“credit”:null,”caption”:””,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_02/106276/140102-byline-jim-miklaszewski-sq_6585c28784d32a5571178a359913fb73.jpg”,”width”:1500,”height”:1500}},{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:null,”show_or_site”:null,”twitter_handle”:null,”email”:null,”bio”:”

Courtney Kube is the national security producer for NBC News. She started in this role in 2005. Courtney covers the Pentagon, U.S. military operations all over the world, and intelligence and national security issues.

Kube first came to NBC News as an intern in college, and then was hired to work on the assignment desk. She was hired as a researcher for \”Meet the Press\” with Tim Russert in 2001 and worked her way to associate producer over the next 2 years.

Courtney graduated from the University of Michigan and lives with her husband in Chevy Chase, Md.

“,”name”:”Courtney Kube”,”picture”:null}],”first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 16:41:00 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 18:34:40 Z”,”sections”:[{“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”}],”topics”:[{“title”:”U.S. news”,”slug”:”us-news”}],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119271″,”externalId”:”119271″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:{“caption”:”U.S. soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl appears in a video released by the Taliban on Dec. 25, 2009.”,”url”:”http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479431/140531-bowe-bergdahl-mn-1400_0_60c2bfe4f642546c71fd3540491021cd.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:”IntelCenter via AP”,”alt_text”:null,”width”:2500,”height”:1685,”title”:”Image: A video frame grab from the Taliban propaganda video released Friday Dec. 25, 2009 purportedly showing U.S. soldier Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum Idaho”}},{“body”:[{“type”:”p”,”html”:”By NBCWashington.com“},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”2 missing Sandy Hook memorial signs have been recovered in Herndon, Virginia — far from the states from which they were stolen — and a Virginia man has been charged in the case.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Andrew David Truelove, 28, is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center after Herndon police found the signs in a home where Truelove is renting a room from a family member.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”One memorial sign was stolen from a playground in Mantoloking, New Jersey, and the other from Mystic, Connecticut. They were stolen about a month ago.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”widget”,”widget_type”:”nbc_affiliates_video”,”video-source”:”http://www.nbcwashington.com/portableplayer/?cmsID=261363551&videoID=jdiilwVcH26H&origin=nbcwashington.com&sec=news&subsec=local”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The signs were dedications to Sandy Hook Elementary School students: 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 7-year-old Grace McDonnell, who were fatally shot in December 2012.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Police say blogger and reporter Chez Pazienza of The Daily Banter helped to track down the suspect. Pazienza wrote an open letter asking the thief to come forward, and he received a response, including photographs of the signs in a living room.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””I was really angry and I wanted to see this person go down for this,” Pazienza told NBC Connecticut in a Skype interview Friday. “I wasn’;t just going to let it go.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Truelove may have allied himself with people who believe the Sandy Hook massacre was staged or faked to encourage stricter gun laws, police said at a press conference Friday.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”News4’;s Shomari Stone spoke with Truelove’;s father who maintained his son’;s innocence, though he was not interested in sharing any details about the incident.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””[Police] aren’;t making it up, they’;re chasing the wrong fella,” Alan Truelove said. He showed Stone a photo of a man he claims is the real suspect in the case.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When asked if he or his son believed if the massacre happened, Alan Truelove replied, “Not interested … not interested in anything you say …. I’;m not interested in those events.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It is my understanding the suspect himself had claimed to be part of this group called the truthers,” Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said during a news conference Friday.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It’;s hard to explain the why, because from our perspective it doesn’;t appear rational, that type of thought process,” DeBoard said. “We know Sandy Hook occurred, obviously there are a lot of victims in that case. So I can’;t explain the why, but we do know that this suspect has a troubled past, he has an extensive criminal history, he has criminal history tied to kids.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”DeBoard did not detail Truelove’;s criminal history, but she said he had been banned from school property in Herndon.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Truelove has been charged with receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor. DeBoard said investigators were considering upgrading the charges to felonies, and that Truelove faces charges of grand larceny in Connecticut and New Jersey.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”They found Truelove already in jail on a probation violation, she said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Truelove was charged after he contacted a reporter, saying that he had the signs, DeBoard said. The reporter contacted authorities in Stonington, Connecticut, who reached out to Herndon Police. After an investigation, authorities obtained a search warrant for Truelove’;s house in the 400 block of Fillmore Street, and recovered the stolen signs Friday.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””Our main goal here was to get those signs back so they could be placed back on the playgrounds where they belong,” DeBoard said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”NBC Connecticut reported earlier this month that, after a 50-pound vinyl peace sign was stolen from a Mystic playground honoring the memory of Grace McDonnell, a man called her mother to tell her that he believed the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and that her daughter “never existed.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It’;s my understanding that … one of the victim’;s families of one of these signs was contacted from the suspect at one point letting him know he had the signs,” DeBoard said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It’;s very horrifying. I can’;t imagine the families having to relive this over and over again,” she said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”She grew emotional as she discussed the impact of these memorials on the families of victims and on their communities.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””We think about Sandy Hook, we are all affected by Sandy Hook all the time,” DeBoard said. “And when you think about that and all the kids who were affected by that it’;s hard not to get emotional. And one of the things that our investigators talked about was having the honor of being able to take these signs back and hand them over to the families and put them back where they belong. That’;s most important to us.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Investigators are likely to hand-carry the signs up to the playgrounds next week, she said.”}],”summary”:”2 missing Sandy Hook memorial signs have been recovered in Virginia, and a Virginia man has been charged in the case.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:false,”show_on_cover”:false,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:null,”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake-n119296″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1hK5ENi”,”title_url_slug”:”man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake-n119296″,”type”:”post”,”headline”:”Man Accused of Stealing Sandy Hook Signs Says Massacre Was Fake”,”headline_cover”:”Man Accused of Stealing Sandy Hook Signs Says Massacre Was Fake”,”headline_slug”:”man-accused-stealing-sandy-hook-signs-says-massacre-was-fake”,”bylines”:[],”first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 18:27:23 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 18:27:23 Z”,”sections”:[{“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”}],”topics”:[{“title”:”U.S. news”,”slug”:”us-news”}],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119296″,”externalId”:”119296″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:null},{“body”:[{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”image”,”url”:”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/478121/ap393720873673_5bc2a9fa71b86a1846df592be3492c12.jpg”,”caption”:””,”credit”:””,”source”:”ASSOCIATED PRESS”,”title”:”Chuck Hagel”,”alt_text”:”Chuck Hagel”,”width”:4412,”height”:2918},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”EXCLUSIVE: U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”After President Obama outlined his “might doing right” vision of U.S. foreign policy this week, David Gregory will get Hagel’s perspective on what it all means for the future of the military abroad. 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Fake insurance coverage racket busted, one particular arrested

Indore police’;s crime branch nowadays arrested a Delhi-primarily based man who, alongwith his associates, is suspected to have duped insurance policy-holders across the country.

Additional Superintendent Police Dilip Soni explained that Sunil Sirpurker, a nearby resident, had filed a complaint in this regard.

In accordance to Sirpurker, he received a contact from a individual who claimed to be an officer of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. The caller knew the particulars of Sirpurker’;s insurance coverage policy, and advised him that he was due to receive a bonus of Rs 2.5 lakh, but he would have to take out a new policy of Rs 60,000 to avail of it.

Sirpurker believed the caller and sent a cheque to the deal with of an NGO which the caller had offered. He obtained numerous this kind of calls, each and every time from a various ‘officer’; of IRDA.

In all, he sent Rs 6.84 lakh by cheques to the fake addresses presented by the callers, he told police.

When he realised that the policies which have been sent to him in return have been fake and he was currently being taken for a trip, he approached the police.

Police zeroed in on Mahendra Gupta (35), resident of Laxmi Nagar in Delhi. Probe unveiled that Gupta ran an NGO referred to as ‘Yours Family Association’; and deposited the cheques sent by gullible policy holders in its account.

Police suspect that at least 6 to 8 other persons were concerned in the racket.

Gupta earned Rs 70 lakh through this account, police said, adding that additional investigation is on.

Edward Snowden Fires Back at NSA

Edward Snowden Fires Back at NSA – NBC News “},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”A senior defense official said the rescue of Bergdahl, conducted by U.S. special operations forces, was “peaceful” and happened in eastern Afghanistan along the border.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The official said that when rescuers brought Bergdahl onto the helicopter, he held up a paper plate on which he had written “SF?” questioning whether the officers were Special Forces. The operators confirmed, yelling over the roar of the helicopter: “Yes, we’;ve been looking for you for a long time.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl broke down crying after their response.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“Sergeant Bergdahl’;s recovery is a reminder of America’;s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Obama also said he called Bergdahl’;s parents to let them know their son would be returning home safely and thank them for their sacrifice.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””It is our ethos that we never leave a fallen comrade. Today we have back in our ranks the only remaining captured soldier from our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Welcome home SGT Bowe Bergdahl,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, joined the Army in 2008 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. Less than a year later, he was deployed as a machine gunner to a combat outpost in Pakita Province, Afghanistan, a militant hotbed.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”U.S. officials believe Bergdahl spent the majority of his time in captivity in Pakistan, and they are not sure when he was moved back into Afghanistan.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”He is thought to have been captured by members of the Haqqani ne2rk, which claims allegiance to the Afghan Taliban, yet operates with some degree of autonomy. The State Department named the Haqqani ne2rk a foreign terrorist organization in 2012.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The transfer was not negotiated with the Haqqani ne2rk, but brokered over a week of talks through the local Qatari government, the senior official said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Both Obama and Hagel praised the Emir of Qatar for aiding in Bergdahl’;s release.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Bergdahl will stay at an operating base in Afghanistan until he is cleared by doctors, at which point he will be transferred to Bagram and then the United States.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“}],”summary”:”Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier captured and held captive in Afghanistan, is back in the hands of the U.S. military, the officials told NBC News.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:true,”show_on_cover”:true,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:null,”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1nPDXs2″,”title_url_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released-n119271″,”type”:”post”,”headline”:”Bowe Bergdahl, Army Sergeant Held by Taliban Since 2009, Is Released”,”headline_cover”:”Freed: Only U.S. Soldier Held in Afghanistan Released After 5 Years”,”headline_slug”:”bowe-bergdahl-army-sergeant-held-taliban-2009-released”,”bylines”:[{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:null,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:”Chief Pentagon Correspondent”,”show_or_site”:null,”twitter_handle”:null,”email”:null,”bio”:”

Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News. On 9/11, he was the first at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has since led the ne2rk’;s coverage of the war in Afghanistan.

Since joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton’;s transition from Little Rock, his many trips abroad including Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.

In the Bush White House, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.

Miklaszewski has logged considerable foreign experience with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the \”tanker wars\” in the Persian Gulf.

“,”name”:”Jim Miklaszewski”,”picture”:{“credit”:null,”caption”:””,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_02/106276/140102-byline-jim-miklaszewski-sq_6585c28784d32a5571178a359913fb73.jpg”,”width”:1500,”height”:1500}}],”first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 16:41:00 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 17:42:17 Z”,”sections”:[{“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”}],”topics”:[{“title”:”U.S. news”,”slug”:”us-news”}],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119271″,”externalId”:”119271″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:{“caption”:”Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in an undated image provided by the U.S. Army “,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479376/140531-boew-bergdahl-mn-1240_2b01bc70f7e227e0767e35d310ef756a.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:”U.S. Army via AP”,”alt_text”:”Image: Bowe R. Bergdahl”,”width”:2500,”height”:2256,”title”:”Image: Bowe R. Bergdahl”}},{“body”:null,”summary”:”The North Platte River runs straight through the town of Saratoga, Wyo., where people are filling sandbags as the floodwaters continue to rise.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:false,”show_on_cover”:true,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:null,”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/residents-brace-flooding-wyoming-n119281″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1hJV3C9″,”title_url_slug”:”residents-brace-flooding-wyoming”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/residents-brace-flooding-wyoming-n119281″,”video”:{“type”:””,”widget_type”:””,”videoType”:”WebExtra”,”mpxId”:”271135299846″,”guid”:”f_wyoming_flng_140531″,”pubDate”:”2014-05-31 16:44:00 Z”,”expirationDate”:”9999-12-31 23:59:59 Z”,”playbackIsDisabled”:false,”availabilityState”:”available”,”title”:”Residents Brace for Flooding In Wyoming”,”description”:”The North Platte River runs straight through the town of Saratoga, Wyo., where people are filling sandbags as the floodwaters continue to rise.”,”thumbnail”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Video/__NEW/f_wyoming_flng_140531.jpg”,”source”:”NBC News”,”sourceId”:”nnd_18424752″,”canonicalUrl”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-news/residents-brace-for-flooding-in-wyoming-271135299846″,”shortUrl”:”http://nbcnews.to/1hJO4cv”,”associatedPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_53296419″,”fallbackPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_18424752″,”mezzVersion”:”3″,”duration”:39},”type”:”video”,”headline”:”Residents Brace for Flooding In Wyoming”,”headline_cover”:null,”headline_slug”:”residents-brace-flooding-wyoming”,”bylines”:[],”first_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 17:25:03 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 17:25:03 Z”,”sections”:[{“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”}],”topics”:[{“title”:”Weather”,”slug”:”weather”},{“title”:”Video”,”slug”:”video”}],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/119281″,”externalId”:”119281″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:{“caption”:null,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Video/__NEW/f_wyoming_flng_140531.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:null,”alt_text”:null,”width”:0,”height”:0}},{“body”:[{“type”:”p”,”html”:”LONDON – The voting has already started. So great was the crush to get inside the first polling station to open that troops beat back the voters, fire crews sprayed them with water to prevent them collapsing in the sweltering heat and part of the city was shut down.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”It was a remarkable scene Wednesday, all the more so since it took place not in Syria itself, but in neighboring Lebanon. The city was Beirut and the voters were tens of thousands of the one million refugees who’ve fled into Lebanon from Syria. But what was really remarkable was that they had a choice at all.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”News Analysis“},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When Syrians go to the polls on June 3, it will be the first time in Syria’s history that a presidential election has been held with more than one candidate. Traditionally it has been a referendum, with only one result, the re-election of the president.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The last time President Bashar Assad faced a popular vote, 6 years ago, 97 percent of voters backed the proposition that he should continue as president for a second term.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”And he was undoubtedly popular then. Not 97 percent popular, but enough to win a majority.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”It was Assad himself who proposed the change 2 years ago, a change that might have staved off revolution had he suggested it years earlier.”},{“type”:”h2″,”html”:”All but guaranteed…”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”From the comments of the crowd of voters in Beirut on Wednesday the result of this election is hardly in doubt. Most voters couldn’t remember the names of the 2 candidates opposing Assad.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”And no wonder. Both are little known members of Syria’s parliament, one from a party that won just 2 seats in the country’s 250 seat legislature.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Twenty-one other candidates were deemed ineligible to run for office and were rejected by the country’s Supreme Court.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Election rules, requiring candidates to have lived in Syria for at least a decade, effectively bar key opposition figures living in exile among the estimated 2.5 million refugees scattered across the region from standing.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”image”,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/476981/140530-syria-elex-lebanon-anti-pmc-1000_91a61d48c02a683f03afebdf9920d633.jpg”,”caption”:”Lebanese protesters join Syrian refugees opposing Syria’;s President Bashar al-Assad as they hold flags and chant slogans during a demonstration against the participation of the Syrian refugees in the Syrian election in Lebanon, after their Friday prayers in Tripoli, northern Lebanon May 30, 2014. “,”credit”:”OMAR IBRAHIM”,”source”:”Reuters”,”title”:”Image: Lebanese protesters join Syrian refugees opposing Syria’;s President al-Assad as they hold flags and chant slogans during demonstration against participation of the Syrian refugees in the Syrian election in Lebanon, after their Friday prayers in Tri”,”alt_text”:”Image: Lebanese protesters join Syrian refugees opposing Syria’;s President al-Assad as they hold flags and chant slogans during demonstration against participation of the Syrian refugees in the Syrian election in Lebanon, after their Friday prayers in Tri”,”width”:2200,”height”:1650},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Most of those who oppose Assad – politicians, fighters and voters – will boycott the election. They say it’s a sham, almost certain to be rigged, no matter who stands.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”No one outside Syria considers this election wholly free and fair. How could it be, held in the midst of a brutal civil war, in which a third of the population is displaced?”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Polling stations are being set up in areas under government control, but not in rebel-held territory, making voting impossible for millions, even if they wanted to take part.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Tens of thousands of those whose names are on voter lists won’t be casting their ballot because they’re dead, victims of a civil war that has now claimed well over 160,000 deaths, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The United Nations reported in July that at least 100,000 people had been killed, but the U.N. stopped updating its count after that because it could no longer verify its information.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”There will be no international observers to watch ballots being cast and counted. Few will give this election their seal of approval.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”And yet it is significant all the same.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”widget”,”widget_type”:”inline-video”,”videoType”:”WebExtra”,”mpxId”:”191312963675″,”guid”:”x_lon_neelysyria_140311″,”pubDate”:”2014-03-11 16:28:00 Z”,”expirationDate”:”9999-12-31 23:59:59 Z”,”playbackIsDisabled”:false,”availabilityState”:”available”,”title”:”Bill Neely: War in Syria Will Impact a Generation”,”description”:”NBC News’ Bill Neely reports the alarming statistics of children growing up in war-torn Syria.”,”thumbnail”:”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Video/__NEW/x_neely_syria_140311.jpg”,”source”:”NBC News Web Extra”,”sourceId”:”nnd_18424746″,”canonicalUrl”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-news-web-extra/bill-neely-war-in-syria-will-impact-a-generation-191312963675″,”shortUrl”:”http://nbcnews.to/Qaa4Go”,”associatedPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_21427857″,”fallbackPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_18424746″,”mezzVersion”:”1″,”duration”:51},{“type”:”h2″,”html”:”Hanging on, despite the odds”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”3 years ago, when the Arab Spring threatened to sweep away every repressive regime in the Middle East, Assad declared that he and his country would be immune.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”His confidence appeared ill-judged, his demeanor that of a man in denial.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”As revolution blew in across Syria’s borders and city after city rose up, analysts declared that Assad’s future wasn’;t in doubt; he didn’t have one.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”U.S. President Barack Obama himself said in October 2012 during the presidential debates with Mitt Romney, “I am confident that Assad’;s days are numbered.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”So the fact that he will almost certainly be re-elected next week is extraordinary.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”To borrow a phrase or 2 from that analyst of Latin American dictators Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” has been replaced by “The Autumn of the Patriarch.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The Arab Spring is dead and Bashar is back.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”In truth of course, he never went away.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When the votes have been counted (assuming that electoral formality is adhered to) it will be the unlikeliest of comebacks, because for several months over the course of the revolution it looked like Assad was finished.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When a bomb exploded inside a top level meeting of his national security team in July 2012, killing his brother-in-law and his defense minister, the president’s grip on power seemed shaky.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When Syria’s second city Aleppo was overrun by rebels, Assad’s days appeared numbered.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”But he has weathered every storm and in the last few weeks he has seen the city that represents the heart of the revolution, Homs, retaken by his army.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The rebels who vowed to fight until he fell are retreating and his opponents are in disarray across the country.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”widget”,”widget_type”:”inline-video”,”videoType”:”WebExtra”,”mpxId”:”191708227894″,”guid”:”x_syria_webcast_140311″,”pubDate”:”2014-03-11 18:00:00 Z”,”expirationDate”:”9999-12-31 23:59:59 Z”,”playbackIsDisabled”:false,”availabilityState”:”available”,”title”:”Forgotten? Syria’;s Children of War”,”description”:”In this special series, Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman shares the stories of the innocent victims of Syria’;s civil war.”,”thumbnail”:”http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Video/__NEW/x_syria_webcast_130311.JPG”,”source”:”NBC News Web Extra”,”sourceId”:”nnd_18424746″,”canonicalUrl”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbc-news-web-extra/forgotten-syrias-children-of-war-191708227894″,”shortUrl”:”http://nbcnews.to/QaafS2″,”associatedPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_21427857″,”fallbackPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_18424746″,”mezzVersion”:”1″,”duration”:1675},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The election has been condemned by Syria’s neighbors in the Arab League and by the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon. He said it could torpedo efforts to broker a deal to end the civil war. Since making those comments, the talks have collapsed anyway and the man he appointed to seek peace, Lakhdar Brahimi, has resigned in failure.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”From the ruins of his country and amid the howls of protest from outside and the screams of his suffering people inside Syria, Assad will almost certainly emerge triumphant at the end of next week; his election victory a foregone conclusion.”},{“type”:”h2″,”html”:”What does it mean?”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The real question is what does this mean, for Syria and for the outside world?”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”If he wins, it gives him a third 6-year term, meaning he can remain president until 2021. But under the terms of the new constitution, which allow a newly elected president to serve 2 terms, he might stand again and serve until 2028.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Either way – and barring assassination or some other untimely demise – he will remain in office long after Obama has left the White House; indeed he may prove to be a thorn in the side of not one but 2 of Obama’s successors.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The West will have to live with a leader who is popular with significant sections of the Syrian people, not only his own Alawite sect, but Christians and many Sunni Muslims who now fear the rise of al-Qaeda linked militias and see Assad’s iron fist as, ironically, the only way of preserving a more tolerant Syria.”},{“type”:”h2″,”html”:””},{“type”:”widget”,”widget_type”:”inline-video”,”videoType”:”Broadcast”,”mpxId”:”136340547853″,”guid”:”nn_06bne_syria_140203″,”pubDate”:”2014-02-03 23:58:00 Z”,”expirationDate”:”9999-12-31 23:59:59 Z”,”playbackIsDisabled”:false,”availabilityState”:”available”,”title”:”Syria’s Newest Threat: Starvation”,”description”:”Thousands of trapped Syrian civilians are desperate for food, another indication of rapidly deteriorating conditions.”,”thumbnail”:”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Video/__NEW/nn_06bne_syria_140203.jpg”,”source”:”Nightly News”,”sourceId”:”nnd_18424776″,”canonicalUrl”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/syrias-newest-threat-starvation-136340547853″,”shortUrl”:”http://nbcnews.to/1jpPfBb”,”associatedPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_21426473″,”fallbackPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_18424776″,”mezzVersion”:null,”duration”:203},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When Assad took power in 2000, none foresaw such a scenario. He was the innocent looking eye surgeon, hauled back from a suburban life in London after the death of his father, to wear the mantle of a president. With his beautiful English wife, Asma, and his engaging smile, he seemed to herald a new era for Syria. Reform was in the air. Syria’s future seemed bright.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Today, Assad’s smile has dimmed, his wife is a recluse and his country is in turmoil, much of it in the hands of Islamist extremists.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”But he has the upper hand in the country’s war and next week he will claim electoral victory and a mandate to rule Syria as he sees fit.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Russia will endorse it and continue to support Assad as a useful, if weakened tool.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The West will condemn it and the U.S. may step up training and weapons supplies to the rebels who want to see Assad dead.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Millions of Syrians will shudder at the thought of what 6 more years of Assad might really mean.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Because within a week the election will be over; but the war is not.”}],”summary”:”Syrians go to the polls Tuesday in a vote that will all but guarantee Assad’;s re-election – something unthinkable just a few years ago.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:false,”show_on_cover”:true,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:{“caption”:”Syrians living in Lebanon hold the posters of President Bashar al-Assad and national flags as they arrive at the Syrian Embassy in Beirut on May 28 to cast their ballots in the Syrian presidential elections.”,”url”:”http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/477611/140529-syria-election-assad-1304_5e1e6075c3ceb1013fafe532f8685fd6.jpg”,”credit”:”Bilal Jawich”,”source”:”Getty Images”,”alt_text”:”Image: Syrian presidential elections in Lebanon”,”width”:2500,”height”:1673,”title”:”Image: Syrian presidential elections in Lebanon”},”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/syrias-election-may-be-sham-assad-survival-still-surprising-n118451″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1hJFVo9″,”title_url_slug”:”syrias-election-may-be-sham-assad-survival-still-surprising”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/syrias-election-may-be-sham-assad-survival-still-surprising-n118451″,”type”:”spread”,”headline”:”Syria’;s Election May Be a Sham, But Assad Survival Still Surprising”,”headline_cover”:”Sham? Why Syria’;s Presidential Election Still Matters”,”headline_slug”:”syrias-election-may-be-sham-assad-survival-still-surprising”,”bylines”:[{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:”London”,”facebook_page”:null,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:”Chief Global Correspondent”,”show_or_site”:”NBC News”,”twitter_handle”:null,”email”:null,”bio”:”

Bill Neely is NBC News chief global correspondent. He joined NBC News from Britain’s ITV News in January 2014. Neely was ITV News international editor for 11 years. Over the course of 30 years in journalism, he has covered more than a dozen wars and conflicts from Northern Ireland to Syria, and has been embedded regularly with U.S. and British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union and he has reported more than a dozen natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami, and the deadly earthquakes in China, Haiti, and Pakistan. During his 6 years as ITV News Washington correspondent, which spanned the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s first term, he covered key stories in the U.S. such as the Oklahoma City bombings, the Atlanta Olympics, and the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. He later closely followed the aftermath of 9/11 and, most recently, Superstorm Sandy.

His reports from across the globe have earned many prestigious awards, including numerous Royal Television Society awards, an Emmy for coverage of the 2008 earthquake in China, and an unprecedented 3 consecutive BAFTA awards, the British equivalent of the Oscars, for his work in China, Haiti, and the U.K.

“,”name”:”Bill Neely”,”picture”:{“credit”:”John Makely”,”caption”:”Image: Bill Neely”,”url”:”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_17/392686/byline-neely_679a8943c92237887f704dbbea4b9096.jpg”,”width”:1500,”height”:1500}}],”first_published_utc”:”2014-05-30 14:06:26 Z”,”last_published_utc”:”2014-05-31 16:57:40 Z”,”sections”:[{“title”:”News”,”slug”:”news”}],”topics”:[{“title”:”World”,”slug”:”world”},{“title”:”Mideast”,”slug”:”mideast”}],”feature”:[],”show”:[],”storyline”:[],”tags”:[],”id”:”NewsCms/Entry/118451″,”externalId”:”118451″,”externalSource”:”NewsCms”,”main_art”:{“caption”:”Syrians who live in Lebanon carry portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad and their national flags as they drive towards to the Syrian embassy to vote in the presidential election in Yarze, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, May 28, 2014. “,”url”:”http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/479201/140531-assad-syria-election-mn-945_c4644b77f0597da3ffe0de290a3fc315.jpg”,”credit”:”Bilal Hussein”,”source”:”AP”,”alt_text”:”Image: Syrians who live in Lebanon carry portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad and their national flags as they drive towards to the Syrian embassy to vote in the presidential election in Yarze, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, May 28, 2014. “,”width”:2500,”height”:1684,”title”:”Image: Syrians who live in Lebanon carry portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad and their national flags as they drive towards to the Syrian embassy to vote in the presidential election in Yarze, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, May 28, 2014. “}},{“body”:[{“type”:”p”,”html”:”When Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies met face to face on April 30 with Elliot Rodger, the man who would soon become notorious for a deadly rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., they found him polite, courteous and shy. He explained that he was “having trouble fitting in socially” in the college town, the department said in a statement, and told officers he had posted a series of menacing videos on YouTube “merely as a way of expressing himself.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”One thing the deputies did not do — either before visiting Rodger or after speaking to him — is view the videos themselves.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”In a statement released late Thursday, the sheriff’s department revealed new details about the encounter between Rodgers and deputies that began at 10:17 p.m. April 30 and lasted approximately 10 minutes, including the fact that deputies never viewed what it described as the “disturbing videos he had posted online.” On Friday, the department announced it was conducting an internal review of the deputies’; actions. “},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”It is unclear whether the rants that the 22-year-old Rodger had posted on the video-sharing service just over 3 weeks before he killed 6 people and himself would have tipped the scales in favor of intervention. But the disclosure rekindled debate over the extent to which social media should be considered a routine investigative tool when concerns are raised about an individual’s mental health.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”widget”,”widget_type”:”inline-video”,”videoType”:”Broadcast”,”mpxId”:”267014723957″,”guid”:”nn_01_mta_visla_140526″,”pubDate”:”2014-05-27 00:03:00 Z”,”expirationDate”:”9999-12-31 23:59:59 Z”,”playbackIsDisabled”:false,”availabilityState”:”available”,”title”:”Isla Vista Massacre: Did Red Flags Come Too Late?”,”description”:”In the months leading up to Friday night’s massacre in Isla Vista, there were warning signs that alleged killer Elliot Rodger was headed for trouble.”,”thumbnail”:”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Video/__NEW/nn_01_mta_visla_140526.jpg”,”source”:”Nightly News”,”sourceId”:”nnd_18424776″,”canonicalUrl”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/isla-vista-massacre-did-red-flags-come-too-late-267014723957″,”shortUrl”:”http://nbcnews.to/1mhGSH3″,”associatedPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_53296419″,”fallbackPlaylistUrl”:”http://feed.theplatform.com/f/2E2eJC/nnd_18424776″,”mezzVersion”:”1″,”duration”:165},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Dr. Kris Mohandie, a clinical, police and forensic psychologist and an expert on violent behavior, said social media can and should be used by investigators to try to uncover clues about potentially violent individuals before they act.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“Social media investigation not only should be standard procedure for law enforcement, but maybe even mental health providers treating individuals who they have concerns about,” Mohandie said, noting such efforts can break down silos of information and paint “a more coherent picture” of that individual.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”But many experts doubt that social media analysis would prove valuable in identifying potentially violent individuals and warn that poring over such material could prove an enormous waste of law enforcement officers’ time and resources.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The problem for authorities is that most of the material that Rodger posted online was “indistinguishable from thousands — maybe tens of thousands — of people who have similar anxieties, frustrations, inadequacies and anger,” said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University. “They don’;t go on rampages. We can’;t prosecute people for talk unless they take actual steps toward that end.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”image”,”url”:”http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/478521/140530-elliot-rodger-1843_7ba7b1e4999df6f2aa1bd3547df7667d.jpg”,”caption”:”Elliot Rodger, the suspected gunman in a deadly Southern California rampage, appears in a video posted on YouTube.”,”credit”:””,”source”:”via YouTube”,”title”:”Image: Elliot Rodger, the suspected gunman in a deadly Southern California rampage, appears in a video posted on YouTube”,”alt_text”:”Image: Elliot Rodger, the suspected gunman in a deadly Southern California rampage, appears in a video posted on YouTube”,”width”:2500,”height”:1408},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“You look backward and you see all these red flags,” agreed UCLA law Professor Adam Winkler. “But you look forward and you see there are potentially millions of people with some kind of red flags.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Fox also noted that the suggestion that a person’s social media posts could tip off police fails to recognize research showing that most individuals who commit mass violence are not mentally ill in profound ways that are readily recognizable to mental health professionals, let alone police officers or untrained civilians.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”He cited a study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns of 56 mass shootings from 2009 through 2012, which found none of the assailants were prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms because they had been legally found mentally ill or involuntarily committed for treatment. In only 4 of the cases, he noted, was there any evidence that concerns about the mental health of the assailant had been brought to the attention of a medical practitioner or legal authority before a shooting spree.”},{“type”:”blockquote”,”html”:”

“It’s a needle in a haystack and the response shouldn’t be let’s create more haystacks.”

“,”class”:”pullquote”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The notion of using social media posts to help inform a mental health assessment also raises privacy concerns. Rodger posted his YouTube videos under his own name, but many other users post to social media under pseudonyms or limit the ability to view posts to a select circle of friends or family members. Those scenarios would require investigators to obtain search warrants to view their comments or videos – a heavy burden at a time when the number of mental health calls that police respond to are on the rise.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Peter Eliasberg, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California, said that alone makes it an impractical solution that would put everyone’s privacy at risk.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“It’s a needle in a haystack and the response shouldn’t be let’s create more haystacks,” he said. “And we have to ask at what cost and whose lives are we going to be monitoring and intervening in with sketchy basis of achieving the goal of preventing these tragedies?””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Ann Lippincott, chair of the education committee of the Mental Wellness Center of Santa Barbara, said such investigations would also create an “informant culture” that could further stigmatize people with mental health issues.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“That will prevent them from seeking the help they need and deserve, and we know that early treatment is most effective,” she said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The Rodger case starkly illustrates the challenges officers would face in determining if online posts – even those that are menacing or somewhat threatening – would merit intervention.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Santa Barbara sheriff’s detectives have been interviewing family and acquaintances of Rodger, as well as examining his previous police contacts, financial records, Internet activities and social media postings to develop a more complete profile of him, as well as a more-precise timeline of events leading to the “day of retribution,” as he called it. They are also trying to reconcile those events with his YouTube postings, Internet writings and a 137-page “manifesto” that is equal parts autobiography, rant and murder plot.”},{“type”:”blockquote”,”html”:”

“It comes to what information was initially provided to them and were they clued in or provided with what he had posted online.”

“,”class”:”pullquote”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The videos that Rodgers had posted on YouTube at the time of the “welfare check” by sheriff’s deputies – an encounter that now seems infused with significance in the wake of his May 22 onslaught – would likely not have met the threshold for a “5150” – a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code that allows law enforcement officials to involuntarily detain someone in a psychiatric facility for 72 hours if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.They were far less explicit about his plans for revenge than the videos that he posted as he embarked on his final onslaught on May 22.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”But Mohandie, the expert on violent behavior, said an examination of the videos would have made the officers better informed when they questioned him.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“It comes to what information was initially provided to them and were they clued in or provided with what he had posted online,” Mohandie said. “That’s going to be an important question.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”In the statement released Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said the deputies April 30 visit to the Seville Road apartment that Rodger shared with 2 roommates occurred as the result of a call from a staffer with the county’;s toll-free Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health toll free access line to an emergency dispatcher with the Sheriff’s Office. It did not say who made the call to the hot line.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”According to the statement, 4 deputies were sent out to Rodger’;s residence. Asked about the videos, Rodger told them “he was having trouble fitting in socially in Isla Vista and the videos were merely a way of expressing himself,” it said.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””Based upon the information available to them at the time, sheriff’s deputies concluded that Rodger was not an immediate threat to himself or others, and that they did not have cause to place him on an involuntary mental health hold, or to enter or search his residence,” it said. “Therefore, they did not view the videos or conduct a weapons check on Rodger.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Related“},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Elliot Rodger’;s Isla Vista Rampage Sparks Push for Gun Seizures“},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”6 Guns and 1,000 Rounds Seized from UCSB Student“},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Sheriff’;s officials noted that a deputy called Rodger’s mother from the scene and briefed her on what they had found. Rodger was then handed the phone to speak directly to his mother.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””During the conversation … Rodger told her he was fine and that he would call her later,” the officials said. “Before leaving, deputies gave Rodger information on several local services he could contact if he needed help, including calling the Sheriff’s Office.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Sheriff’s officials said they are reviewing how officers handled the welfare check in light of last week’s events, which left 6 people dead, including Rodger, his roommates, a visitor to the apartment and 3 college students shot at random.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Many police departments are putting more emphasis on providing officers with additional resources to draw on when responding to mental-health related calls.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”The Los Angeles Police Department, for example, has recently beefed up its Mental Evaluation Unit. In 2013 alone, the unit, which is staffed by 61 sworn officers and 24 clinicians, received 13,052 calls for service. The hospitalization rate – resulting from both voluntary admissions and individuals taken into protective custody — from those calls was nearly 90 percent, the department reported.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”Follow NBC News Investigations on Twitter and Facebook.“},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”No one will know whether such an approach could have averted last week’s carnage in Isla Vista, but USC Professor Ron Astor, who has studied school shootings across the country, said the that having mental health experts involved and freely sharing with family members, friends and police has proven to be a successful approach in preventing many potential tragedies at schools and elsewhere.”},{“type”:”p”,”html”:”“People — parents, friends, mental health professionals and police — need to know what to look for, which is not just examining the separate pieces,” Astor said. “Is there a public record of purchasing firearms? There was (in Rodger’s case). Are their family or friends aware of an obsession with firearms? Does the person have suicidal tendencies presently or the past, or is there an attempt to notify verbally, in writing or on video, they intend to harm themselves or others? Lastly, is there an attempt to immortalize themselves in the media? If you see 2 or 3 of these you should be looking to see if there’s more. There should be some kind of process.””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””},{“type”:”p”,”html”:””}],”summary”:”Debate over use of online posts to evaluate an individual’;s potential for violence flares in wake of Elliot Rodger’;s rampage byIsla Vista, Calif.”,”mediaList”:null,”breaking_news”:false,”show_on_cover”:true,”ads_enabled”:true,”comments_enabled”:true,”search_enabled”:true,”native_ad”:false,”copyright”:null,”cover_art”:{“caption”:”Elliot Rodger, the suspected gunman in a deadly Southern California rampage, appears in a video posted on YouTube.”,”url”:”http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2014_22/478521/140530-elliot-rodger-1843_7ba7b1e4999df6f2aa1bd3547df7667d.jpg”,”credit”:null,”source”:”via YouTube”,”alt_text”:”Image: Elliot Rodger, the suspected gunman in a deadly Southern California rampage, appears in a video posted on YouTube”,”width”:2500,”height”:1408,”title”:”Image: Elliot Rodger, the suspected gunman in a deadly Southern California rampage, appears in a video posted on YouTube”},”tease_art”:null,”canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isla-vista-rampage/should-cops-rummage-through-social-media-accounts-assess-mental-stability-n119026″,”short_url”:”http://nbcnews.to/1m01H8w”,”title_url_slug”:”should-cops-rummage-through-social-media-accounts-assess-mental-stability”,”original_canonical_url”:”http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isla-vista-rampage/should-cops-rummage-through-social-media-accounts-assess-mental-stability-n119026″,”type”:”spread”,”headline”:”Should Cops Rummage Through Social Media Accounts to Assess Mental Stability?”,”headline_cover”:”Can Social Media Help Find the Next Mass Shooter?”,”headline_slug”:”should-cops-rummage-through-social-media-accounts-assess-mental-stability”,”bylines”:[{“type”:”Byline”,”is_vip”:false,”city”:”Los Angeles”,”facebook_page”:”https://www.facebook.com/NBCInvestigates?ref=hl”,”gplus”:null,”instagram”:null,”professional_title”:”Investigative Reporter”,”show_or_site”:”Investigations”,”twitter_handle”:”@anblanx”,”email”:”andrew.blankstein@nbcuni.com”,”bio”:”

Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporter for NBC News. He covers the Western United States, specializing in crime, courts and homeland security. Blankstein worked at the Los Angeles Times over 2 decades, much of that time covering breaking news, law enforcement and the justice system in Southern California both for the paper and latimes.com.

He was part of the team of journalists that earned the paper Pulitzer Prizes in 1998 for the North Hollywood shootout and in 2004 for the Southern California wildfires. In 2010, he was named a “Distinguished Journalist” by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Blankstein graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in history and a secondary emphasis on public law.

He joined NBC News in 2013 and is based in Los Angeles.

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