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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 3, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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weather this saturday and sunday. more rain possibly by next monday. >> thank you for the update, jeff. thanks for watching us here at 5:00. brian williams is next with "nightly news." >> we'll see you at 6:00. on our broadcast tonight, breaking news. no charges after the chokehold death of a black civilian at the hands of a white police officer. and on the heels of ferguson tonight, it's new york city bracing for protests. shrouded in mystery, the murder of an american teacher overseas after a warning from the state department. now video of her killer is being looked at closely. a mother's fight for her rights and the rights of pregnant women in the workforce all across the country making its way to the supreme court. and a good yarn. a heartwarming story right when everybody could use one. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening.
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for the second time in as many weeks a grand jury has found the evidence is just not there to charge a white police officer in connection with the death of a black civilian. this time it's in the biggest city in the nation packed with tourists for the holiday season. these cases are wildly different and half a nation apart. this one involves the video seen around the world by now showing a man named eric garner being taken down by mostly plain clothed police officers while being placed under arrest. one of the officers employed a chokehold. moments later while on the ground after complaining he couldn't breathe, he was dead. while tonight while so far peaceful there are protesters in the streets of new york city. some of them you see within about a block of rockefeller center christmas tree which gets lit up a short time from now. again, the streets already packed with visitors. our coverage begins where this story started, nbc's stephanie gosk in new york's staten island. >> reporter: good evening,
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brian. this used to be eric garner's hangout. people knew him here. a lot of these people were here the day he died. everyone i spoke with today said they were hopeful for an indictment, but almost no one told me they expected one. the staten island sidewalk where eric garner died, moments after the news broke, no indictment. >> what kind of nonsense is that? i don't understand it. it's not fair. >> reporter: are you surprised? >> no, i'm not surprised. but it should have been -- he should have been indicted. and i really feel disappointed. >> reporter: this video is seen by millions, garner being arrested for illegally selling cigarettes last july. forced to the ground, repeatedly telling police he couldn't breathe. >> i can't breathe. i can't breathe. >> reporter: moments later the 43-year-old father of six was
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dead. the medical examiner ruled it a homicide caused in part by neck compression or what the report calls a chokehold. the new york city police department banned officers from using chokeholds in 1993. the grand jury was made up of 23 community members, 14 white, 9 nonwhite. they met for eight weeks and decided today there was not enough evidence to indict the officers with a crime. in a statement the officer accused of applying the chokehold, daniel pantaleo, writes "i became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can't protect themselves. it is never my intention to harm anyone. and i feel very bad about the death of mr. garner". eric garner's wife and mother spoke with nbc news. >> the time for condolence would have been when my husband was gasping for air asking them to let him breathe. >> reporter: tonight protests against the decision have already begun. garner's daughter arranged a demonstration at grand central. now the new york police are
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braced for even more while mayor bill de blasio says this is a time for change. >> it's a very emotional day for our city. it's a very painful day for so many new yorkers. he says this is one of several recent incidents that has tested law enforcement and the communities they're supposed to protect and service. and we're hearing tonight that there are protests all over new york city, including this one. we have live pictures over the west side highway in manhattan. there are protesters that have completely blocked off that major artery from new york city. we're also hearing that there are multiple arrests around town as a result of these protests. brian? >> stephanie gosk in staten island where the started. the ncpd as you might imagine, bracing for more protests,
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including the one we mentioned outside our headquarters tonight. ron allen is outside on the plaza. good evening. >> reporter: good evening. thing are pretty festive. this is the second time in just over a week the grand jury has decided not to indict a police officer for killing an unarmed black man. here and in cities across the country, they are now adding the game eric garner to their cries and taking to the streets. >> police are bracing for protests and potential flash points like at the annual lighting of the rockefeller christmas tree in manhattan. at times square, crowds of protesters gathering. at grand central station, a so-called die-in. and at 30th street station, laying still for four minutes, repping the four hours michael brown's body lay on the ground before being taken away. >> we've hit frankly a breaking point in the african-american community where the community now says and wants the nation to hear it cannot go on any longer.
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you have to understand that, again, these are people's children that are being killed. and you cannot have that happen and have no response. so it's really a cry to be heard. there's a cry to be recognized and understood that their lives, that black lives matter. >> reporter: after the violence and confrontations that erupted in ferguson, president obama urged calm. and today he said the frustration and concern all americans. >> this is an issue we've been dealing with for too long and it's time for us to make more progress than we've made. >> reporter: the president said the issue is deep mistrust and the feeling that justice is not fair and equal. in recent days in ferguson overall the situation had calmed down considerably. we await the reaction here now and whether it spreads. brian. >> ron allen who we need to note is just back from leading our coverage for days and days in ferguson, missouri tonight out on the plaza here at 30 rock. ron, thank you. another big story we are following tonight is a murder mystery playing out overseas. an american teacher killed in an upscale shopping mall in abu
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dhabi in the united arab emirates, her shrouded killer was seen on security cameras. and tonight we are learning more about this teacher. we get our report on all of it from nbc's kate snow. >> reporter: ibolya ryan, ibi to her family, was 47, a kindergarten teacher, a divorced mom who once lived in denver and moved with her twin boys to abu dhabi last year through a group called footprints recruiting which places teachers abroad. >> prior to moving she worked in special education. she worked one-on-one with a down syndrome child in colorado i believe. she was a very compassionate, warm and loving person. >> reporter: on the footprints website she wrote, i wanted to experience the arab world and experience their culture and daily life. but on monday afternoon at abu dhabi's upscale boutik mall, ryan's life ended in a women's restroom. police released this surveillance tape. a person dressed as an emerati woman enters the mall around
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1:00 p.m., takes an elevator, the suspect talks to a security guard, picks up a newspaper and heads towards the ladies room. 90 minutes later people running in panic. workers at two nearby restrooms said they heard shouting. a bystander seems to try and stop the suspect who rushes out of the mall. the scene left behind is gruesome. just weeks earlier the state department had issued a warning to embassies in the middle east citing recent anonymous posting on jihadist website that encouraged attacks on teachers at american and other international schools in the middle east. but the state department today said it's unclear if ryan was targeted because she was an american teacher. >> shouldn't jump to any conclusions. we just don't have all the facts yet. >> reporter: ryan's ex-husband flew to abu dhabi to care for their twin boys while her friends and family mourn. the footprints recruiting firm
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has more than 200 americans teaching in abu dhabi right now. many are understandably on edge tonight. but as their ceo told us, there's also a feeling that no one should rush to judgment about what inspired this awful crime with the suspect, brian, still at large. >> kate snow with the story from overseas tonight. kate, thank you. weather continues to make news in our country. the rain just keeps coming down. on the west coast a massive system continues out over california. right now, so much rain has fallen but it's come so fast it will do little to relieve the months of damage brought on by the drought in that state. we get our late report from nbc. >> reporter: it hit even harder than predicted in some areas. san francisco airport got more rain in a week than all last year. first a drainage pipe and filling underpasses faster than some could drive away. in southern california, more than eight inches fell in one community. large trees snapped like twigs, and in the middle of all the chaos, this picture from southern california water
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officials with a message more than 1 billion gallons of water from the storm saved. but even that is but a drop in the drought bucket. >> all these rainfalls do are momentary suppression of the fire season. it does our drought no good. >> reporter: that's because 85% of rain water that falls in southern california is wasted. >> all of our water, we sit here and watch it run down l.a. river and we go, see you. >> reporter: what california so desperately needs but cannot handle, all it wants. >> reporter: it would take more than ten time the amount of rain in this storm to. if he the historic drought and it would have to fall central or northern california where it stays preferably as snow. because almost everything that falls here is gone as quickly as it came. brian? >> thank you. on capitol hill in washington today an executive for takata testified his company doesn't know the root cause of
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those airbag ruptures. takata's refusing to comply with the fed's demand to expand this recall on the airbags beyond the belief humidity is a factor. honda is now issuing a recall nationwide on the affected models of its cars. its floating airbags have been linked to at least four deaths in the u.s. a case went before the supreme court today that could have an enormous impact on millions of women in the american workplace. at the heart of this, questions about what accommodations, if any, companies should make for their employees who are expecting a child. our report tonight from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: peggy young has been fighting in court since before her 7-year-old daughter trinity was born. she became pregnant while working for u.p.s., responsible for picking up and delivering small packages from the airport. her doctor recommended that she not be required to lift more than 20 pounds, but a u.p.s. manager told her she'd have to take unpaid leave with no pay or
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benefits. >> he basically reinforced it that they do not provide light duty for pregnancy and i was too big of a liability and could not come back to the building until i was no longer pregnant. >> reporter: so she sued, accusing the company of violating a federal law that bans discriminating against pregnant workers. u.p.s., which has since changed its policy, says the law does not require giving pregnant workers the same light duty as someone hurt on the job. potentially viewing pregnancy the same as breaking your ankle at home. but peggy young's lawyers say u.p.s. did accommodate some workers who got sick, even some convicted of drunk driving. justice elena kagan clearly sympathic said the federal law was supposed to be about removing stereotypes as pregnant women as marginal workers. but some wonder how far companies have to go. justice briar asked, as long as there's one job with accommodations, do all women who hold different jobs have to get them too? the stakes are huge. women make up nearly half the
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u.s. work force. and 60% of them stay on the job during their first pregnancy. pete williams, nbc news at the supreme court. still ahead on this busy wednesday evening. dramatic turn of events, "bold and beautiful" meets rich and powerful as something of a soap opera has erupted in washington over exactly who's being appointed as american ambassadors overseas these days. and don't adjust your sets. that's a real sign in a real place at a real low price for gas.
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historically two kinds of people become ambassadors for our country overseas, either career diplomats or other people who the sitting president wants to reward. this is a big issue right now because our new ambassador to hungary, her past area of expertise has less to do with diplomacy and more to do with evil twins, amnesia and love triangles, that's because she used to be a soap opera producer and a big fundraiser. our report tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: so what does "the bold and the beautiful" have to do with becoming an ambassador for president obama? if you collect more than $2 million for the president's re-election campaign like the soap opera's glamorous producer colleen bell did, it's apparently a ticket to represent the u.s. in hungary. >> no experience in foreign policy or national security. no familiarity with the language, country or the region, but the fact is that this nominee is totally unqualified. >> reporter: how does he know that? here's what happened at her
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confirmation hearing last january. >> what would you be doing differently from your predecessor? >> if confirmed i look forward to working with the broad range of society -- >> my question was what would you do differently? >> reporter: as for the other two nominees that day proposed for norway and iceland. >> i take it you've been to iceland? >> sir, i've not had the privilege yet. >> have you been to norway? >> reporter: prompting this classic jon stewart. >> is there a rule ambassadors can't have set foot in the country they're going to ambassador? would it ruin the surprise? >> reporter: president obama is hardly the first to send big donors to embassies. president ford sent shirley temple black to ghana. president clinton sent sidney williams to the bahamas. but critics say in president obama's second term a record 41% of his ambassadors are political. and now the soap opera producer,
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colleen bell. >> let me put it this way, ambassador bell has the president's confidence she will do an excellent job of representing the united states. >> reporter: defenders argue many countries would rather have a high profile friend of the president than an anonymous diplomat. they say there should be some qualifications because diplomacy is not a soap opera. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with the alarming news tonight about some of the most majestic creatures on our planet.
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herman badillo has died. the first puerto rico-born congressman in u.s. history. that made him the nation's highest puerto rico office. he was a four-term congressman from new york, a democrat who ran for mayor of new york city six times. he defied lasting labels, often liberal but always about self-reliance. herman badillo was 85. our friend and co-worker dr. nancy snyderman is back here at work. she found herself in the news after she returned from covering
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the news of the ebola outbreak in west africa when she ventured out and violated a voluntary quarantine, something which again she apologized for once again this morning on "today". >> i'm very sorry for not only scaring my community and the country, but adding to the confusion of terms i think came as fast and furious as the news about ebola did. good people can make mistakes. and i stepped outside the boundaries of what i promised to do and what the public expected of me. and for that i'm sorry. >> nancy will rejoin this broadcast friday night when she reports on the result of an nbc news medical investigation. our correspondent janet shamlian flagged us to this photo today. it was enough to hop in the suv and drive halfway across the country to save on gas. the on cue drive-thru first on the board with gas under $2 a gallon, at least it's believed to be the first in the state of oklahoma.
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the trend's heading that way and it's a trend drivers will like. the giraffes of africa, always beautiful, always plentiful, maybe the most striking sight to those lucky enough to go on safari. well, they're suddenly possibly in bad shape. for years they were plentiful, but suddenly due to poaching and hunting they have lost 40% of their population. there are now fewer than an estimated 80,000 of them, that is a number way down in just a decade's time. when we come back, we'll take you to where some sneaky creative people are spreading warmth in a public way. "nbc nightly news" with brian williams brought to you by pacific life. for insurance, annuities and investments, choose pacific life. the power to help you succeed.
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this holiday season given all the news out there, we thought we could use a story about spreading a little warmth. and while this is about sweaters, it's about so much more. this story comes to us from the great pacific northwest where they take pride in their work. and wait until you've seen what they've done. from portland, oregon tonight, here's nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: as the tv show
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"portlandia" sarcastically suggests, portland, oregon is where young people go to retire. >> we happen to have a granny thing going on here. >> reporter: look no further than jessica devrese and claudia martinez. >> i actually lovingly refer to myself as a grandma. >> reporter: 30-somethings with a hobby that seems to defy their demographic. >> we were both pretty crafty so we decided to craft together. >> reporter: they've been crocheting and knitting for years. now their needles are pointed in a new direction. >> the legs are kind of skinny. probably cold. >> reporter: jessica and friends are dressing a zoo's worth of statues in the heart of the city. looking at that deer, you can't help but smile, right? >> i can't. yeah. it's cute. >> reporter: otters and ducks and bears, oh my. what do you think of these? >> amazing. >> reporter: they call it yarn bombing. a gentler form of graffiti that was commissioned by the city's business alliance for the second straight year.
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>> we think it's a great celebration of everything whimsical and fun about portland. >> reporter: and they don't just want to dress the statues. this also brings awareness to their clothing drive for the homeless. >> how did he get it on? >> reporter: at the end of the holidays there were still some statues like these beavers in need of nice cozy sweaters and carves. but not for long. the yarn bombers came together despite the frigid rain to install more of their handmade creations. >> thank you for bringing holiday cheer. >> reporter: an effort that will continue throughout the holiday season. >> we did it. >> reporter: young artists using so-called ugly sweaters to make a city feel even more attractive. joe fryer, nbc news, portland. there you go. that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening.
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a microclimate weather alert. >> there was just a buzz. then it became a hose. now it's this massive giant hole. >> right now at 6:00, road remnants. this is what's left of a san francisco street, just one of hundreds of problems and crashes all across the bay area today. gad evening. i'm jessica aguirre. >> i'm raj mathai. frustrating and dangerous commute this morning and evening. this was a common sight. cars swamped by floodwaters. thousands more just moved along at a crawl as the flooding in
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several lanes of 101 in marin county. in the middle of this mess a few resourceful people who found a faster way to get around, standup paddle boarding. team coverage, mark matthews in mill valley, nannette miranda in san francisco. we begin with michelle roberts in mountain view. >> reporter: take a look at this. sand piles in mountain view, they're offering free bags and sand. all you have to do is bring the shovel. thankfully there were no major issues here in mountain view. there were problems throughout the south bay today. drive others highway 17 avoided pools of water in the road and slowed for fog in thick downpours. wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour ripped through the santa cruise mountains. pg&e crews braved the storm two stories up while trying to repair a power line damaged in the storm. >> the rain was coming down so hard that i couldn't sleep. >> reporter: in felton this afternoon, jim ashley was

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