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Lester Holt reports from inside North Korea

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NBC News’ Lester Holt is in North Korea filing exclusive reports for NBC News and MSNBC through Monday. On Tuesday, January 23, he will anchor “NBC Nightly News” live from Seoul, South Korea.

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Click link below for video (other videos available for watching at site):

https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/lester-holt-reports-from-inside-north-korea-1141665347833

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Trump’s second year starts with the government sputtering to a stop

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Donald Trump campaigned as the master deal-maker, a guy who could come to Washington, knock a few heads and get the government working again.

But on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, America awoke to a government shutdown — a dramatic testament to dysfunction, partisan gridlock and failed leadership.

There was a lot at stake: for the public, for House Republicans who fear losing their majority, for Senate Democrats whose incumbents will now have to defend their votes and the shutdown to constituents, and for Trump, whose approval ratings have languished below 40 percent.

But as federal spending authority expired at midnight Saturday, the nation’s top elected officials sent the election-year message that they’re less concerned with performing the most basic task of governance than catering to the demands of partisans.

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Click link below for article videos:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-s-second-year-starts-government-sputtering-stop-n839311

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Facebook is a ‘living, breathing crime scene,’ says one former tech insider

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With more than 2 billion users, Facebook’s reach now rivals that of Christianity and exceeds that of Islam. However, the network’s laser focus on profits and user growth has come at the expense of its users, according to one former Facebook manager who is now speaking out against the social platform.

“One of the things that I saw consistently as part of my job was the company just continuously prioritized user growth and making money over protecting users,” the ex-manager, Sandy Parakilas, who worked at Facebook for 16 months, starting in 2011, told NBC News. During his tenure at Facebook, Parakilas led third-party advertising, privacy and policy compliance on Facebook’s app platform.

As Facebook transitioned from a Harvard dorm-room project into one of the world’s most valuable companies, its power grew in ways that founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg never could have anticipated.

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Facebook is a ‘living, breathing crime scene,’ says one former tech insider

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Click link below for article videos:

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-living-breathing-crime-scene-says-one-former-manager-n837991

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Initial talks underway about Trump interview in Mueller Russia probe

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Anticipating that special counsel Robert Mueller will ask to interview President Donald Trump, the president’s legal team is discussing a range of potential options for the format, including written responses to questions in lieu of a formal sit-down, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Lawyers for Trump have been discussing with FBI investigators a possible interview by the special counsel with the president as part of the inquiry into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

A source familiar with a late December meeting between Trump’s legal team and representatives from the special counsel’s office said the timing of a possible interview or written response has not been set but could come in a matter of weeks.

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Image: Robert Mueller Robert Mueller Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call file

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Click link below for article and videos:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/initial-talks-underway-about-trump-interview-mueller-russia-probe-n835506

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The Week in Pictures: Dec. 28 – Jan. 4

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A New Year brings colorful celebrations, a spectacular supermoon, frosty weather, and more.

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A seagull takes flight in high winds and blowing snow as a massive winter storm begins to bear down in Hull, Massachusetts on Jan. 4, 2018.

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/slideshow/week-pictures-dec-28-jan-4-n834836

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Cold will linger through the weekend as Americans dig out from storm

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You may be over the bitter cold, but the bitter cold isn’t over.

More than 120 million Americans in a large swath of the eastern United States woke up Saturday to frigid temperatures. Cities such as Boston, New York and Philadelphia were in the single digits with wind chills in some regions, including New England, expected to make temperatures feel as low as 25 to 40 degrees below, according to the National Weather Service.

In Portland, Maine, temperatures were set to reach a high of only 5 degrees below and a low of 20 degrees below, the NWS said. Highs were also expected to remain in the single digits across the lower Great Lakes stretching down to the Carolinas.

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Bomb cyclone brings freezing temps – and colder weather is still expected

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Click link below for article and videos:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/cold-will-linger-through-weekend-americans-dig-out-storm-n835151

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Celebrity deaths in 2017: Looking back at the famous figures we lost

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The world lost acclaimed actors, iconic musicians, beloved comedians and legendary athletes in 2017. Here’s a look at the famous figures who passed away. Click through to read full obituaries.

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Image: Eugene Cernan Gene Cernan

Gene Cernan, 82, the last astronaut to walk on the moon who returned to Earth with a message of “peace and hope for all mankind,” died on Jan. 16.

NASA / dapd via AP

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/celebrity/celebrity-deaths-2017-looking-back-famous-figures-we-lost-n831216

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12 dead, including 1-year-old, in New York City apartment fire

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At least 12 people were killed in a fire Thursday night at an apartment building in the Bronx, New York City, in what Mayor Bill de Blasio called the worst fire tragedy in the city in a quarter-century.

Four additional people were critically injured and fire officials are still searching the five-story building where the blaze broke out on the first floor and spread shortly before 7 p.m. ET.

De Blasio called the fire “an unspeakable tragedy.”

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Image: Bronx Fire Firefighters respond to a building fire on Dec. 28, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York. Frank Franklin II / AP

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Click link below for article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/12-dead-including-1-year-old-new-york-city-apartment-n833386

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America’s rifle: Why so many people love the AR-15

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There are a lot of reasons people love their AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, and it doesn’t much matter to them what the haters say.

For some, the gun is a tool, a finely tuned machine that can cut down an animal or intruder, or pierce a distant target, with a single precise shot.

For others, it is a toy, a sleek beast of black plastic and metal that delivers a gratifying blast of adrenaline.

And for many, it is a symbol, the embodiment of core American values — freedom, might, self-reliance.

“There are very few things that serve such a great form and function, and look cool,” said Daniel Chandler, 26, an AR-15 owner here in suburban Maryland. When he takes his AR out of its case at a shooting range, he smiles like he just unwrapped a gift. “There are few things you’ll find that are wonderfully appealing to look at, wonderful exercises in mechanical engineering, and that could save your life.”

This is the side of the AR-15 that many don’t see, or ever consider.

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Image: Megan Hill

Megan Hill, 26, is photographed with an AR-15 at the Nephi City Shooting Range in Nephi, Utah, on Dec. 1, 2017. Kim Raff / for NBC News

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Click link below for article and videos:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/america-s-rifle-why-so-many-people-love-ar-15-n831171

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How Kim Jong Un bested Donald Trump in the slugfest that was 2017

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One of 2017’s defining geopolitical slugfests was between heavyweight personalities President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

It was an international standoff that descended into personal name-calling, with Trump labeling Kim “little rocket man” and the U.S. president being described as an “old lunatic” and a “dotard” in return.

If the past year were one round in a boxing match, most analysts say there’s only one winner.

“No question, Kim Jong Un won 2017,” according to Jeffrey Lewis at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

In January, Trump used his Twitter pulpit to vow he would never let North Korea develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

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Image: How Kim Jong Un bested Donald Trump in the slugfest that was 2017

Nicolas Ortega / for NBC News

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/how-kim-jong-un-bested-donald-trump-slugfest-was-2017-n823651

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