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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  August 25, 2013 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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raging wind fire tonight battling the country's biggest wildfire. the dangerous weather patterns are complicating the firefight. prices in syria. the white house says there are now strong signs that the syrian government used cmical weapons on its own people. with u.s. war ships in striking distance, iran warns washington not to intervene. warning signs, a new program is teaching teachers how to spot trouble signs in trouble students. and higher calling, the people's pope is reaching out a in new and unexpected ways. we'll tell you about the right
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et cetera kit in the pontiff happens to call you. good evening. that raging while fire is growing in two directions now heading west and threatening homes forcing residents to vac wait and the winds tonight are not helping. gusts up to 30 mile an hour. the sow scald called rim fire is the largest in the country, less than 10% kapd. and it's producing dangerous weather patterns that can potentially trap some of the firefighters on ground. we're in california tonight. >> reporter: hi. cal fire says 4,000 firefighters are now assigned to this fire. preposition strike teams here. we have another camera to show you yet another strike team that is comparing to defend this
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community as the afternoon winds now start to kick up. in northern california, the afternoon winds have returned and the small towns on the northern edge of this massive are on watch. if the fire in the canyon returns, this city would have mere minutes to get out. how big of a threat is this fire to this community and others? >> it's a major threat. we expect a wind shift today and we've prepared for that. and that's why the firefighters are here. >> do you think they could protect you? >> reporter: two days ago air tankers kept the fire at bay and this man is confident they will do it again. >> it's always a concern. always. you live by a forest, but we love it up here. >> reporter: 2 you,000 firefighter have taken up defensive positions in and around this city. we found the crew 300 miles from
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their own home mapping out the neighborhood that they're watching over. >> we've got to know where the hydrants are so we know how to get the best protection and get these people out of here as best we can. >> reporter: in just one week a wildfire has exposed to 138,000 acres. it's now at more than 200 square miles and kicking up in the evening at at night as the winds pick up. in yosemite park today, tours have been enjoying the scenery. it's up set these vacation plans on a two-day visit with his wife. >> i wanted to go, but i couldn't go. >> reporter: while the park remains open, many tourists are concerned. the iconic trees are under close watch. but they insist they're not
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under any immediate threat. closer to the front lines, the anxiety is building. containment for this entire fire right now, only about 7%. >> the dense smoke from come from the rim fire is pouring into nevada where the air quality around reno reached the unhealthy concern this weekend. but a bigger concern, heavy rain and the threat of flooding. >> reporter: unfortunately the rain falling here in the southwest doesn't have a chance of getting that far north, so no relief for the firefighters battling that yosemite fire. back in vegas, we're watching the weather and these washes go down 20, 30 feet and they take all of the storm water out of the city and out to lake immediate. it's been a lack lover rainfall
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in many areas. look at that loop. the moisture coming in from what was tropical storm ivo off the ghost, that combined with heating and jet stream leading to potential to flash flooding. flash flood watches now in effect for parts of five states. we have flash flood warning out now for parts of vegas on the north side of town. the other big story is in the midwest, heat. in minneapolis, saint paul this afternoon, a record breaking 96. this will be the steamiest week of the summer with heat indices as high as 110. meanwhile back in vegas, clouds and rainfall keep temperatures in check below 100. >> to the continuing crisis in syria and the problems it it's creating for the president and his team. based on witness accounts, the
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number of victims and other facts gathers by u.s. intelligence. we have two reports beginning with richard engel who is on the syrian border with turkey. >> syria says it will allow u.n. inspectors to visit sites andly attacked but -- but it's important to know that these teams aren't tasked with trying to figure out who may have used chemical weapons, only if they were in fact used. there is is big distinction. the head of the syrian rebel unit has told us that he believes the syrian leader personally ordered chemical attacks against civilians. why? for two reasons. one a failed assassination attempt earlier this month and
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two, the areas are right on the edge of damascus and rebels were making progress in that area. and when you combine these two together, a failed asocial security nation attempt and weapons very close to his presidential palace, these two things led him to take this very drastic decision. >> and tonight from iran warning the u.s. from crossing a red line saying that taking military action against syria will have severe consequences. how credible are those threats? >> reporter: well, iran, of course, is backing the regime of the president. his regime denies that it ever used chemical weapons and now we're hearing these veiled military threats from iran that if the u.s. crosses a red line, that there will be serious
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consequences. the real question is what kind of capability does iran have. it could attack u.s. interest or attack israel or carry out some asymmetrical attack. >> now to nbc's kristen welker at the white house where the administration is trying to find some kind of international collusion. >> the obama administration is trying to build an international coalition as it determines how to respond. second of state john kerry worked the phones today. president obama spoke with the president of france just hours ago. the urgency here at the white house is palpable. as protesters rally outside the white house urging the obama administration to help syria. >> the people of syria -- >> reporter: top officials continue to huddle inside to determine how to respond. according to one administration official based on the number of
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victims and other evidence, there is very little doubt at this point that a chemical weapon was used by the syrian regime in this incident. the administration remains skeptical about granting access to the site. one official called the move, too late to be credible. the british foreign secretary also has doubts. >> we have to be realistic now about what the u.n. team can achieve. >> reporter: defense secretary chuck hagel says he is getting ready for the next steps. >> palm has asked the defense department to prepare options for all contingencies. we have done that. >> reporter: right now four guides missiles are in the mediterranean. also at least one u.s. navy submarine is nearby. on the table, limited air strikes, most likely cruise missiles targeting key assad
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military command posts. >> i hope the president as soon as we get back to washington will ask for authorization from congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way. >> we have to move and move quickly. >> reporter: but some lawmakers continue to urge caution. >> we have to verify that it was directed by the assad regime. because that will allow us to build been international coalition to take further steps. >> reporter: cole lynn powell -- >> i am less sure of the resistance, what do they represent? and is it becoming more radicalized with more al qaeda coming? >> reporter: now despite that, the obama administration remains wary about getting involved in a
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conflict. >> still in the region, it was a very violent sunday in iraq where a wave of attacks claimed dozens of lives. many people were going about their norm affairs. the attacks are part of a month-long wave of killing. more signs that insurgents are pushing iraq back to the brink of civil war. here at home, we've been playing close attention to the relentless violence that playings the city of chicago. among the victims was an 11-year-old girl sitting on the front steps of her home. this week the president spoke to college students about his plan to make college more affordable. many parents are struggling to pay off their own loans. >> as i was saying. >> reporter: meet the rose family. two generations struggling with
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student loan debt. together they own $136,000. at 51 they hoped to put away money for retirement. instead -- >> about 50% of my paycheck goes towards my student loan debt. that's quite a bit. >> reporter: charlene is paying off her own $51,000 after getting a master's. and she and her husband, a veteran, pay much of their children's college debt too. ricky owes 25,000 on loans and paying some of his tuition to help mom. >> i'm doing temp work to have extra money coming in. >> reporter: they're part of a group of americas 50 to 59 years old. >> we used to think of student loans as temporary. but for some, they're becoming a
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lifetime or multi-generational burden. melissa is a credit counselor who helps charlene manage it all. >> 30% of my clients are in that bracket, 50 or older. a lot of them just say, i'm going to die before i pay this off. >> reporter: some say all that debt is still worth it. >> a return on investment to higher education is about the greatest return an individual can secure. it is the best way to get a job, keep a job, or get a better job. >> her tuition is going to go up. >> whatever sacrifices i have to make for them to go, i'm willing. and they're willing to help. >> reporter: after all, a mother's love knows no bounds. nbc news, washington, d.c. >> when "nbc nightly news" continues on this sunday evening, has the new school year starts, teaching teachers to watch for warning signs in
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troubled students. >> and imagine this, the voice on the other end of the line is the pope's. yes, that pope. the millionth customer. would you mind if i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. nobody likes to miss out. that's why ally treats all their customers the same. whether you're the first or the millionth. if your bank doesn't think you're special anymore, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. the blisters were oozing, and painful to touch. i woke up to a blistering on my shoulder. i spent 23 years as a deputy united states marshal and i've been pretty well banged up but the worst pain i've experienced was when i had shingles. when i went to the clinic, the nurse told me that it was a result of having had chickenpox.
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in time in decater, gourge. a scenario that has become disturbingly familiar. eight months ago at sandy hook elementary, and even in columbine. works in the miami dade county schools are now being trained and to spot the warning signs of student mental illness. they include talk of suicide, high risk or behavior, withdraw, and persistent sadness. >> less metal detection and more mental detection done in a respectable way. >> reporter: it's paid for by the american psychiatric association. a miami dade county judge and mental health specialist related the program to school officials just before sandy hook. >> maybe, just maybe, these kids
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will not -- and teachers will not have died in vain if we really do something to fix this very horrible, fragmented, antti wait kuwaited system that we call mental health care. >> reporter: a new poll shows that mental health -- 59% favored more programs, and 33% wanted more security guards. students could be echl barsed or stigma tiesed. but he says catching it early helps treat the disease. >> it's not like you're going to put a scarlet letter around the kid and pull him out of class. it won't work like that at all. on. >> reporter: a newest to treat mental illness early before it leads to more violence in
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classrooms. >> as "nbc nightly news," what to say when pope francis calls you. and he might. my mantra?
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axiron. we mark the passing tonight of the first lady of american theater, julie harris. a career that spanned almost 60 years, she play joan of arc from emily dickinson and on knot's landing. winner of five tony awards and three emmys she decide yesterday. she was 87-year-old. we saw it on the streets of rio during his pill graham imagine to brazil. pope francis is very much a people person. and now he's found a new way to reach out and touch people. >> reporter: pope fan assist has proved he has the personal touch. he kissed every baby he could among these crowds. but for those who can't get that
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close, try writing him a letter and he may just call you in return. this week, this boy was the latest person to receive a call from the vatican. the 19-year-old student set he was lost for words when he herd a voice saying, this was pope francis. they chatted for eight minutes. still surprising despite all the signs since his election in march that the church has a different kind of pope. riding the bus, paying his hotel bill, and keeping his simple plastic watch. >> he's teaching by his actions. this is how he wants the church to do. >> reporter: what do you do if he calls? try talking about soccer. the pope loves it. but avoid any scandal for that matter. do ask about his predeassessor, but don't ask for any favors.
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? if he called, what would you say to him. >> i would say, are you sure this is. >> i would be absolutely surprised that he called me, to take that time out to ring me. it would be an honor. >> if the pope called, would you believe it was him on the end of the line? >> yes, why not. >> reporter: and remember, it's your land line he will call, not your cell. he's kind of old fashioned that way. >> when we come back, making music that's making a difference for a cause close to their heart. >> what color would you like? te. yep, there i am with flo. hoo-hoo! watch it! [chuckles] anyhoo, 3 million people switched to me last year, saving an average of $475. [sigh] it feels good to help people save... with great discounts like safe driver, multicar, and multipolicy. so call me today. you'll be glad you did.
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we close with a story about a rock band making the difference in the lives of needy children. and they're doing it just in time for the new school. ron motte has that for us tonight. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: just a part-time group these days, hooty and the blowfish hit the stage one time this year, full throttle. helping young students rock in the classroom. >> we were sitting in seattle on tour back i guess in '95, and u.s. came out with their school rankings for the states and we were number 49. and we were all like, that's something we should probably do something about. >> reporter: so they rounded up support, talked to teachers, and
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started a back to school drive. >> it's about bunch of people stepping up to do that. >> look how good green looks. >> reporter: book bags, dental exams, classes, socks and shoes are tickets to this concert. >> it's getting kids excited about school and feel proud to walk in school with the new backpack and hair cut. >> you get tired of playing the music at times. but it never feels tired of being able to give back. >> reporter: and they've pulled people far and wide to do the same. this teacher traveled more than 400 miles to give back. >> there's no better way to support the students. >> reporter:? seven years these concerts and other events have helped some 13,000 kids here in the charleston area. kids and parents lined up this weekend to check stuff off their list for free. >> for those families that can't
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afford everying that they need, i think it's a really good program. >> i'll get some shoes, probably some clothes. >> what the band is doing is helping to prepare our students to be ready for school. it's a big deal. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: a big deal, by a big band. turning tunes into learning. >> that's what i'm talking about. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: nbc news. >> that is "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. for all us us at "nbc nightly news," good night. at "nbc nigh news," good night. at "nbc nigh news," good night. at "nbc night news," good night.
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>> from beautiful sunny san diego, california, nfl legends and hollywood's hottest celebrities are on this field for the fifth annual "madden nfl 14 pigskin pro-am" powered by game stop. >> in the a player out here has ever played on a field quite like this. it's an awesome venue. ♪ >> hey there, everybody, welcome to the fifth annual "madden nfl 14 pigskin pro-am" powered by gamestop.

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