July 14, 2014

A group attempting to "rehabilitate" the swastika angered people across New York and New Jersey on Saturday after it paid for an airplane to fly a banner featuring the symbol over several beaches.

International Raelian Movement spokesperson Thomas Kaenzig told NBC 4 New York the swastika had been "hijacked by the Nazis," and if it was still upsetting to people, the group's mission wasn't complete. "As long as there are people still offended by it, it means we need to continue our work," he said.

Viewers called NBC 4 New York to voice their unhappiness over the banner, which featured a swastika inside of a Star of David, the message "swastika equals peace and love," and the website address Councilman Mark Treyger of Brooklyn was among the outraged. "I am deeply offended and hurt," he said. "Try explaining to someone who witnessed their loved ones who were butchered by people under that Nazi symbol that it's anything but a hateful one." Catherine Garcia

10:17 p.m. ET
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Chief Constable Ian Hopkins with the Greater Manchester Police gave an update early Tuesday morning about the explosion at the Manchester Arena Monday night at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert, confirming that 19 people died and 50 were injured.

The victims have been taken to six hospitals in the Manchester area, Hopkins said, and police are "treating this as a terrorist incident until we have more information." It's a "very concerning time for everyone," he added. "We are doing all that we can, working with local and national agencies, to support those affected as we gather information on what happened last night." He called on anyone with information to notify police, and urged the residents of Manchester to "remain vigilant." Catherine Garcia

9:37 p.m. ET
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British Prime Minister Theresa May has responded to the explosion at the Manchester Arena late Monday night, saying the government is "working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack."

May added that "all our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected." Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called the incident "terrible," and said his thoughts are with "all those affected and our brilliant emergency services," while Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron sent his "deepest condolences to the victims and families in Manchester. As always, our emergency services have shown great bravery and strength." The Guardian reports that in the wake of the explosion, which left at least 19 people dead and 50 injured, campaigning for June's general election has been suspended. Catherine Garcia

9:14 p.m. ET
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Residents of Manchester are opening their homes to people stranded in the city following the explosion Monday night at the Manchester Arena.

Using the hashtag #RoomForManchester, Twitter users are offering their spare bedrooms and couches for people who attended the Ariana Grande concert and are now unable to get home due to the closure of the Manchester Victoria train station and several streets being blocked off. Others are tweeting that anyone affected by the explosion can use their phones to get in contact with loved ones or stop by their homes for free food and drinks. Word is also spreading that taxi drivers in Manchester are giving free rides to people who were at the concert. Catherine Garcia

8:44 p.m. ET
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A representative for Ariana Grande said she is safe following a suspected terror attack at her concert Monday night in Manchester, England, which left at least 19 people dead and 50 injured.

"Ariana is okay," the singer's rep told NBC News. "We are further investigating what happened." Hip hop artist Bia, who also performed at the concert, tweeted, "Guys, we are okay. Thank you, we love you." The explosion at the Manchester Arena took place right after Grande finished her show, witnesses said. Catherine Garcia

7:34 p.m. ET
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At least 19 people were killed and 50 injured Monday night in a suspected terror attack at an arena in Manchester, England, police said.

Singer Ariana Grande had just finished performing at the Manchester Arena when there was "a loud bang," concertgoer Erin McDougle told The Guardian. "The lights were already on, so we knew it wasn't part of the show." British Transport Police said it appears that an explosion hit the building's foyer at around 10:30 p.m., while the Manchester Arena said it happened "outside the venue in a public space."

This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout. Catherine Garcia

7:11 p.m. ET
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In March, President Trump approached Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, and Daniel Coats, director of national intelligence, and asked them to publicly deny that there was evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election, current and former officials told The Washington Post.

Both men refused to go along with Trump's request, which they found inappropriate, the officials said; one person close to Coats told the Post, "The problem wasn't so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation." Trump contacted Rogers and Coats separately, the officials said, after former FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 about an investigation into links between Trump associates and the Russian government. Senior White House officials also reportedly went to top intelligence officials to see if they would contact Comey and urge him to drop the FBI's probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, with one person with knowledge of the request saying they asked, "Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?"

A White House spokesperson told the Post it "does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals. The president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people." Read the entire report at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

6:41 p.m. ET
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) isn't a fan of Michael Flynn, President Trump's scandal-plagued former national security adviser, and told reporters Monday that he would never have let him have such a prominent role in the administration.

"I think it's safe to say that Gen. Flynn and I didn't see eye-to-eye," he said during a press conference in Trenton, New Jersey. "I didn't think that he was someone who would bring benefit to the president or to the administration, and I made that very clear to candidate Trump, and I made it very clear to President-elect Trump." Flynn was fired just a few weeks after the election and 18 days after then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail due to his communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Flynn was not Christie's "cup of tea," he added, and he never would have let "Gen. Flynn into the White House, let alone give him a job." After dropping out of the Republican race, Christie became a supporter of Trump's, and led the transition team until he was replaced by Vice President Mike Pence following the election. While he was not friendly with Flynn, Christie said the rumors that they battled during intelligence briefings are false. Catherine Garcia

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