tv NBC Nightly News KNTV January 6, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
us here at 5:00. brian williams joins us next with nightly news. >> we'll see you back here at 6:00. on our broadcast tonight, triple threat. bone chilling cold, wind, and snow as serious weather now grips much of our country. that includes mudslides tearing through homes and forcing evacuations. the price you pay. while the price for gas has come way down, the freefall in oil prices isn't all good news for family finances in this country. battling alzheimer's. tonight julianne moore on the emotional role that could win her an oscar. the movie that will make a lot of people think. and cliffhanger. the story of an incredible climb, perhaps the most difficult ever attempted, as tonight people all over the world are following the vertical progress of two brave men. "nightly news" begins now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york,
this is nbc "nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. the weather has turned serious tonight. a big area moving in to stay. the air has come from the arctic. it will stretch so far west to east and so deep into the south that tonight the estimate is most of the country, 240 million people, will be affected by this. one example, chicago may not reach a high of zero tomorrow. the wind chill map alone is rather chilling. and aside from the cold, as we'll hear in a moment, there are troubles in the west as well. first tonight we begin with nbc's kevin tibbles in chicago. kevin, good evening. >> reporter: brian, much of america remains hunkered down tonight as this dangerous swath of arctic air continues to push further and further south, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere for a couple of days. already here in chicago, some 80 schools have announced they'll be closed tomorrow. for some 200 million americans, today was an arctic trudge.
blowing snow and bone chilling temperatures. pennsylvania roads became skating rinks. soon filled with sliding cars and multiple crashes. accidents, too, some fatal, from iowa to indiana. whiteouts and car crashes became synonymous. here in chicago, there are 300,000 passenger rail trips per day. frozen switches would cause travel chaos. rail crews light gas heater fires to keep them thawed out. these things freeze up, what happens to the trains? >> they stop running. so we pretty much have to monitor the switches 24 hours 7 days a week. >> reporter: washington, d.c., awoke to about six inches of snow in some areas. still, most schools remained open, and more than a dozen bus accidents were reported. the white house, a picturesque snow globe.
a big whiteout in new york, too. >> here in central new york, up to three feet of snow is possible in some areas by the end of the week, but the big story is the cold. highs wednesday will barely hit zero with wind chills at 15 and 25 below. >> reporter: and it's pushing south. temperatures dropping dramatically in little rock, amarillo and raleigh. good news for consumers, though, lower fuel prices should translate into lower home heating costs. in ohio, many schools closed for the deep freeze. still, winter storm and wind chill warnings remain in effect through thursday. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. i'm miguel almaguer in washington, where out west the problem is too much rain. hillsides have come crashing down. this massive mudslide sweeping at least six houses right off their foundations. this family was home when their living room was washed into the
middle of the avenue. >> they have a few scrapes, stuff like that, but they made it out alive. so that's a miracle. >> reporter: with up to nine inches of rain pounding the region monday, rivers burst their banks, leaving some homes flooded while streets and highways are closed, cracked and crumbled. the snoqualmie falls is cascading at three times its normal rate. too much water too fast. even the wildlife, trapped. >> all of a sudden, it's just all hell broke loose and everybody's calling, get out. we could hear everything falling down. >> reporter: the massive cleanup will take weeks, maybe months. the police chief took us along a logging road to reach this neighborhood of 200 people cut off from town. the waterlogged hills still threatening. two homes in this neighborhood are literally teetering on the edge. they've both been condemned. it's a 2,000-foot slide to the bottom of this hill. they could be the next to go.
allison flurry lives right next door. >> it's scary. it's devastating. i feel so bad for these people that are hanging on the edge. >> reporter: tonight, this devastating storm has moved on. the skies may be clear, but the danger here is far from over. while this region is used to rain, what happened here is historic. this storm is so powerful, it ripped homes apart, pushed this one 40 feet off its foundation into the middle of the street, and when you see all of this destruction, brian, it's incredible to know not a single person was seriously injured. >> covering the extremes of our weather tonight, miguel almaguer, washington state, kevin tibbles before that starting us off from chicago. we're following a developing situation out of ft. bliss, in el paso, texas. the base and the v.a. medical center there were on lockdown as the army dealt with what authorities were calling an active shooter situation. at the medical center.
our pentagon correspondent, jim miklaszewski, is telling us both military and civilian police were engaged in this standoff with what's believed to be a single gunman. the latest information coming out of texas is that the situation appears to be under control. a major shift took place in washington today. republicans have officially taken control of both houses in congress with john boehner re-elected house speaker, though not without some trouble from his right flank that had to be put down. and "the washington post" has compiled these stats about your new congress. it is 80% white, 80% male and 92% of its members are christian. we get our report on day one tonight from nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: a january chill on day one. morning flurries greeted the senate's new boss, republican mitch mcconnell, at home. while the sound of a power tool at his office made the power shift official. behind the scenes, the house
speaker's leather chair glided toward the chamber. missing today altogether, a battered harry reid visited by top senate democrats after being injured in a home accident. >> i didn't go bull riding. i wasn't riding a motorcycle. i was exercising in my new home. >> reporter: a different kind of bruising awaited john boehner today. a small but noisy conservative rebellion of two dozen republicans attempted to knock him out as speaker, but in a dramatic floor vote, boehner had more than enough support to keep the gavel. >> mr. speaker. >> reporter: that conservative opposition remains a thorny obstacle to boehner's leadership. >> as speaker, all i ask and all i, frankly, expect, is that we disagree without being disagreeable. >> reporter: today was also about ceremony and spectacle. the speaker zipped back and forth to appear in hundreds of official member photos, and vice president joe biden swore in the new class of senators. in the biden way, he hugged and
mugged for senate family selfies and even called the grandmother of colorado republican cory gardner. >> betty, how are you? my name is joe biden, vice president biden. how are you doing? >> reporter: getting down to business, republicans vowed to quickly pass the keystone oil pipeline project that environmentalists oppose, setting up a showdown with the white house, brian, which the -- which says the president will wrok that with his veto power. >> kelly o'donnell on the hill for us, thanks. across this country, while gas prices have been very easy to take of late, the bigger story of plummeting oil prices hasn't been all good news. the dow has dropped 461 points in just these last two days and plummeting energy prices are a big reason for what's happening to wall street. and while people are saving money in the short-term, it could cause some hurt in the long run. we get our report tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: from coast to coast it's the talk at the tank. 46% of the country's stations
are now selling gas for $2 or less. >> the price is so low, it's unbelievable. >> that commute was really hurting my pocket. happy i can take $2 a gallon now. >> reporter: put simply the bottom has fallen out of the oil market now sell are for under $50 a barrel, a 5 1/2-year low. it means the typical family will likely save $500 to $700 per car this year. blame it on the oil glut with saudi arabia refusing to turn off the spigot. the lower prices have pulled down oil company stocks, hurting 401(k) and retirement accounts. >> analysts and traders alike think that saudi is playing a game of chicken with the u.s. they're willing to see oil prices go down to $10, $20 a barrel, and they can sustain it more than we can. >> reporter: saudi arabia can afford to force prices even lower. it costs the saudis only $10 to $17 to produce a barrel of oil. it costs russia $15 to $25.
but it costs the u.s. $50 to $75 to produce a barrel from the new oil shale fields. now the very jobs created in the american boom are on the line. >> at this point tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk because oil producing companies cannot make money at the price at which oil is trading now. >> reporter: it's a big trade-off, a sort of international price war leading to lower pump prices but also the potential for big layoffs in the very industry that helped america wean itself from foreign oil. tom costello, alexandria, virginia. less than three weeks after two police officers were murdered here in new york city, two other officers are in the hospital following a shooting overnight. rather than uniting the department and the mayor's office in some sort of solidarity, this new incident will likely do little to end the bad blood between them even as investigators track down the suspect. our report tonight from nbc's rehema ellis. >> reporter: police say the
massive manhunt paid off with two men now in custody, one of them allegedly captured on a restaurant surveillance camera, opening fire on the two plain-clothes officers responding to a robbery call. >> they said it just missed his spine and didn't hit any organs. >> reporter: the new york city police officers are recovering, but not the growing rift between the nation's largest police force and its mayor. officers believing mayor bill de blasio sides with anti-law enforcement protests. the rift between the mayor and the police department, do you take a side in that issue? >> i'm taking the nypd's side. i'm supporting 100%. >> you really can't blame the mayor for anything. he's there to do a job. >> reporter: some turned their backs on him during the funerals of two officers gunned down two weeks ago. now new statistics show a dramatic drop in police activity for two consecutive weeks compared with last year. summonses for crimes plunged more than 90%, the number of arrests are down 56%.
the patrolmen's association denies any deliberate police slowdown. >> the calls coming in reporting crimes are down fairly dramatically during this last couple week period of time. so we're not in a public safety crises by any stretch of the imagination. >> reporter: experts say the situation may get worse before it gets better. >> both groups, both the head of the unions and the mayor, they have to kind of back off this and stop fighting this fight on the front page of the newspaper. >> reporter: it's tension that's most public in new york city, but it's also present in other communities nationwide. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. one of the political icons of the latter half of the last century was laid to rest today. funeral services were held for former, three-term new york governor mario cuomo. the cuomo family including son andrew, the current governor of new york, welcomed mourners who included bill and hillary clinton and attorney general eric holder paying their respects. cuomo has been remembered as a
lion of liberalism. he died on new year's day at the age of 82. still ahead on our broadcast for a tuesday night, the major motion picture that shows us the new face of alzheimer's. an extraordinary new role for julianne moore and its powerful message on screen. also, the jaw-dropping adventure under way. a spectacular climb among the hardest ever attempted with millions of people glued to every upward move.
a movie is on its way to theaters now that will make a lot of people think and it may scare a lot of families. it's called "still alice" and it's about alzheimer's disease, the early onset variety, that strikes young people in the prime of their lives and careers. there's already talk of an oscar nomination for its star julianne moore, and the film is a passion project for one of its producers, maria shriver, who, of course, watched her own father sargent shriver slip away in the clutches of alzheimer's. tonight maria reports for us on the telling of this story. >> reporter: think alzheimer's and you probably don't picture julianne moore. >> and everything i worked for in my entire life is going. >> reporter: but in her new film "still alice," she plays a wife, mother and college professor who at just 50 years old is diagnosed with the disease. >> alzheimer's doesn't present in any particular way. that people who have alzheimer's
look just like everybody else. >> reporter: the film, based on the best-selling book, tells the story of more than 5.2 million americans living with alzheimer's. 200,000 have early onset which strikes as young as your 30s. >> we're struggling, but we're living. >> reporter: sandy was diagnosed at just 45. losing her job and savings to pay for medical bills. now 50, she fights memory loss by writing everything in a journal. >> some days i don't think there's anything wrong, and other days there's so many words going around in my head and i want one to drop that's the right one and it doesn't. it's very frustrating. >> reporter: sandy, was julianne's consultant for the film. >> i didn't want to represent anything on screen that i haven't seen in real life. >> reporter: though alzheimer's is one of the top ten deadliest diseases, funding for research is a fraction of that of cancer and heart disease. >> it's the only one in the top
ten without a cure, a way to prevent it or even a way to delay or slow it down. >> i don't know who i am. >> reporter: a lot of people are comparing this to "philadelphia," what "philadelphia" did for aids, "still alice" can potentially do for alzheimer's. >> unfortunately, it's a disease that's not able to be treated properly right now. but hopefully we can put that awareness out there. >> reporter: her performance bringing new attention to a devastating disease. maria shriver, nbc news, los angeles. and we are back in a moment with the new members who have been added to the list of the greatest of all time. also, we may have found the place where they had the most fun in today's east coast snowstorm.
married first couple in u.s. history. the photo of them sent out on social media today is the first glimpse we've had of 41 since his hospitalization over the holidays. we're happy to see him home and back in the game. for the first time in 60 years baseball writers have voted in a group four new members to the baseball hall of fame in cooperstown. three are pitchers with nine cy youngs between them. the big unit, randy johnson, pedro martinez and john smoltz, they will join craig biggio. they'll be inducted in july. bernard jordan has died. he came to fame this past summer when he went missing at his assisted living facility in the uk. turns out he conspired with a friend to bust out of there and travel to france because he was a british navy veteran and he felt he belonged with his mates to mark the 70th anniversary of the normandy invasion. he safely returned home, admitted to being naughty and secretive. it brought him newfound local fame and the title the great escaper. bernard jordan was 90 years old.
various black and white animals in the snow are getting heavy rotation on the web starting with bo obama as the famously delicate streets of washington just got enough snow to make some people abandon their cars today. but across town at the washington zoo, there was this. the first snow for 16-month-old baby bao bao, the panda baby roundly described by her trainers as sassy. she seemed to be having a blast in the first really decent snowfall of the winter season. when we come back, two men using only their hands and feet tonight trying to survive what has been called the toughest vertical climb in the world.
we've chosen to end the broadcast tonight with a story of perseverance. quite literally the story of man versus mountain. in this case, two men attempting to free-climb the famously steep face of el capitan, a massive chunk of rock in yosemite. the ropes you're going to see in this next story aren't being used to climb the mountain.
they are there in case the climbers fall. here, right about there, is where the climbers are right now tonight. they are climbing with their hands and feet, and it's a feat that requires tremendous courage and heart and brains. we get their story tonight from nbc's hallie jackson. >> reporter: most of us experience yosemite's wall from the bottom where we look at it. tommy caldwell and kevin jorgenson are living on it. >> piece of cake. >> right, tommy? >> no problem. we got this. >> reporter: the two friends, now on day nine of their attempt to be first to finish the hardest free-climb in the world. ropes only there in case they fall, which they do, as they inch up the wall's granite face, as high as two empire state buildings and nearly as smooth. wedging their fingertips into tiny razor-blade crevices, climbing at night so their frozen skin doesn't rip as much. dodging falling ice and numbing wind.
>> it's getting pretty rowdy. >> reporter: it's like living in a refrigerator. >> we've got hard boiled eggs. >> reporter: but at least that means fresh food. >> pretty good eating up here. >> reporter: they carry bathroom bags with them on the climb, do yoga in their tents and because this remote part of yosemite happens to have great cell reception, they tweet, facebook, and instagram nearly everything. thousands of people following the journey that is at its most critical point right now. the two tackling the hardest part of the ascent. >> tommy totally crushed it. it was the smoothest i've ever seen him climb. >> reporter: kevin is not far behind. >> we're not going to be happy unless both of them make this climb. >> reporter: tommy and his father have been climbing since he was 3. and dad says if they can make it through this, they'll be on the home stretch to the peak of el capitan. >> this has been a big part of our lives for eight years. there will be serious celebration. >> reporter: but for the climbers, it's not about being at the top, just getting there. hallie jackson, nbc news, los
angeles. that's our broadcast on a tuesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. goodnight. right now at 6:00 p.m. a new direction for san jose. the new mayor taking office but challenges are already looming. good evening and thanks for joining us. happening as we speak, a full house gathering to watch sam lacarto getting sworn in. he was raised in san jose and seen this city blossom into one of the cities most dynamic cities. but san jose is at a cross roads. we're in downtown right now. robert his first night in office and already getting some
heat. >> reporter: well that's right. there are a lot of issues and hard feelings the mayor will have to deal with especially after the enthusiasm of this new start begins to fade. but that is not the mood right now. we're going to show you a live picture inside of the cpa. it is crowded, not only for the new mayor but also friends and family of the new council members. before the event we talked to the new mayor who said right now there's a new chance to resolve old problems including pension reform and police staffing. >> well nobody can anticipate where the political winds will blow. i know we have an opportunity now with new leadership in the police union, with a new council, to have a new set of conversations. >> reporter: he took office after the close es mayoral election in the city's history. his opponent supervisor says that's a tough way to start. >> whether it be police and firefighters or you know even other groups that were