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tv   Today  NBC  September 29, 2012 8:00am-9:00am EDT

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good morning. the toll of war. how have 11 years of combat changed things in afghanistan? we're live in kabul with a look at some of the sacrifices made and where things stand now. deepening mistery. an amber alert has been issued for two children in tennessee. they were originally presumed dead after their home was destroyed by a fire, but after a five-day search of this scene, there's no sign of the 7 and 9-year-old. and overexposure. even more embarrassing and revealing pictures emerge of the duchess of cambridge. can the royals stop this scandal from growing? we'll have reaction from the palace. today is saturday, september 29th, 2012.
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from nbc news, this is a special edition of "today," with lester holt live from kabul, and tamron hall, live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. welcome to "today" on a saturday morning, or afternoon where i am. i'm lester holt reporting from afghanistan. >> i'm tamron hall. it's almost 11 years since the war there began. it's a time of transition that we're witnessing, lester. >> tamron, indeed it is. the surge troops are gone. 68,000 u.s. soldiers remain. trying to get the afghan troops ready to take control of their country and the fight. how is that effort going? i'll have much more in just a moment. and new details are emerging about actor johnny lewis. police say the "sons of anarchy" star killed his landlord before falling to his death. we'll look at his downward spiral and hear from people who
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tried to help him as his life was spinning out of control. also, we'll talk with alana stewart. the former model is coming to terms with her past in her new memoir. she talks openly about her famous ex-husbands george hamilton and rod stewart and losing her best friend farrah fawcett. we'll talk with her in our next hour. but first, lester, you've been on the ground now for a week. what is your sense that the troops -- or what are they telling you? what have you seen? >> i've had a pretty exciting several days, managed to get on the battlefield several days in a row. talked to the troops who still remain confident in their mission of training the afghan troops to take over and looking forward to a 2014 withdrawal. we're at the joint command for the international security assistance force, better known as isaf. this is in effect the international headquarters for the war. the choppers behind me are part of a turkish aviation contingent. i can tell you the folks standing over here, they're 100%
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american. some of the troops who have been proud to join us here this morning. we're proud to have them here. we're going to let them say hi to the folks at home. we'll say hi to a few of them coming up a little later on. 11 years of war, about to start the 12th year. in terms of what's that mean -- the ipod wasn't released when this war broke out. there was no facebook. there was no youtube. president obama was a state legislator in illinois. and a lot of the troops on the battlefield, they were in middle school. so we decided to come back, see where things stand. how solid is the u.s. exit strategy? we started by going to the heart of the taliban, the place where 9/11 was inspired. southern afghanistan, famous for its poppies, the taliban, and some of this war's toughest battles. lieutenant general james terry is the operational commander of the war.
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he agreed to take us into the notorious horn of pangway to see where we stand 11 years into this war. where we are right now, essentially this is the taliban homeland. >> we're headed right into it. >> we head over rich farm lands in kandahar province, making our way atop a strategically important hill top. >> this is looking back down over the district. >> it's a place where taliban fighters largely controlled until the u.s. troop surge of 2010. >> actually got in here and got into a pretty significant fight, a couple thousand taliban. the task force orion along task force 31. >> coalition officials say it is no longer a taliban safe haven. attacks are way down and roads are again passable. but as we witnessed firsthand,
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insurgents are still active. an explosion followed by a firefight erupted just below us. what's the biggest risk right now? how is the taliban attacking? >> frankly, they don't hold this. you got small groups out there trying to stop movement like this from coming through. that's the primary concern right now. >> the price of gaining the upper hand here and across afghanistan has been high. 2,100 american live since the start of the war. most killed in the last three years. the dollar price tag, $420 billion. the majority of americans are ready for the war to end now, but what soldiers sense is not opposition, but indifference. in voter surveys, the war barely ranks among top national concerns and it is rarely mentioned on the campaign trail as the number of americans
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killed this year approaches 270. on patrol outside kandahar, corporal jesse flores is aware of waning interest in the war but remains focused. >> i'm not surprised with how much they forgot about it. it's been a long time. but we still see a lot of support out there and we appreciate it. >> with a planned end of most coalition operations here now just two years away, there is great urgency to train afghan security forces. the numbers are on track. over 300,000 so far. despite concerns about the quality of recruits and short falls in some see capabilities, u.s. commanders say the handoff is real and it is happening. >> they are in the lead. they're the ones that are taking the majority of any casualties when we come in contact with the enemy. >> general terry says the afghan forces and the u.s. exit plan are on track. but from this vantage point above the taliban heartland, it's not the exit, but how we
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got here that's on his mind. >> i just spent my third 9/11 anniversary here. and i often ask myself, this area, especially back across that terrain feature there, where al qaeda used to train and eventually launch attacks into the u.s. what you can't count are how many have been prevented. >> this is the depp city chief of staff for communications here in afghanistan. welcome. great to have you on. we should note, some of our viewers may think you look familiar. we'll explain why in just a moment because you have a history, certainly with nbc. i want to start out by asking you about the green on blue attacks. there's been a lot of focus on that recently. we know there were some changes, some adjustments made in terms of the partnership with afghan troops. where does it stand right now? are you at full tempo right now?
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>> we continually assess our force protection poster here, and when we see things that may threaten our soldiers, we heighten our force protection posture. in this case, we saw the innocence of muslims video came out and we saw the demonstrations and riots around the muslim world and we were concerned about it spilling over here in afghanistan. and so we took the recommendation to general allen based on what we saw as a threat and he made a decision to pull back in order to ensure that we protect our forces. >> now, of course the whole aim here is to work with those afghan forces, get them to speed. is this going to cause any meaningful pause in getting to the goal? >> no, it will not. because we did not stop. we're constantly moving our force protection posture. general allen has done this several times. this time it seemed to get media attention, but we've done this several times since i've been
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here. we're partnering -- we'll continue to partner and we'll always stay with our afghan partners. >> i noted that you seem familiar to a lot of our voters. that's because you were part of that third i.d. march into baghdad, the point of the spear, back with our dear friend david bloom. now this is your fifth deployment overseas. >> that's correct. >> i've found a lot of soldiers who have been in similar situations. i ask them haven't you given enough? what's the answer? >> no, i haven't. i love soldiering and i love serving my country. and this is a commitment not only that i've given, but my family's given. so i love being here and i'll stay here as long as the job is required. >> at the beginning of the broadcast, i talk about the things that weren't around when the war broke out. one of the vehicles behind me, these mine protection vehicles, the army has transformed thoroughly from a cold war army to where we are now. reflect on the last 11 years. >> absolutely fantastic vehicles you see in front of you.
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when i conducted operations as part of the third infantry division, we did not have these vehicles. we had soft skin humvees. and we had to pay a price. so it is great to have these vehicles. they are magnificent pieces of equipment. we're glad our soldiers are using them. >> it's great to see you again. >> good to see yo as well. >> we're going to send it back to you, tamron, in new york. if you have a question for me about what i've seen or done here so far, i'd love for you to tweet it to me. we'll try to answer some at the end of broadcast. for now, back to you. >> great reporting there. now to tennessee where authorities are searching for two children presumed dead when their home was destroyed by an intense fire. late friday, officials issued an amber alert after investigators failed to find any remains of the children in the fiery debris. lori wilson has details. >> reporter: police are
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searching for 9-year-old chloe and her half brother 7-year-old gage. the children were living with their grandparents in unionville, tennessee, when their home burned to the ground. they were presumed dead in the fire, but as the week went on, investigators digging through the ruins found the remains of the grandparents, but no sign of the children. >> they feel like they don't have solid evidence right now to assume that these children were in the fire. >> reporter: last night, the tennessee bureau of investigation went a step further and issued an amber alert saying in part, after an extensive five-day search, multiple fire experts have processed the scene and are unable to locate evidence that chloie and gage are victims of the fire." police say there are no persons of interest in the case. the fire marshall has no information on the cause of the fire. reached by phone last night, gage's father told the associated press "i don't know what to think" and repeated with his voice breaking "i don't know
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what to think." for "today," lori wilson, nbc news, new york. let's get a check of the day's top stories. >> good morning, everyone. the u.s. intelligence community is under fire because officials now admit their initial assessment about what led to the september 11 attack in libya that killed a u.s. ambassador was wrong. more this morning from nbc's justice correspondent, pete williams. >> reporter: a spokesman for the u.s. director of national intelligence now says the attack in benghazi was deliberate and organized. some of those involved, he says, were linked to groups affiliated with or sympathetic to al qaeda. it's a big change from the administration's original claim. >> what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. >> reporter: now the republican chairman of the house homeland security committee says ambassador rice should step down. >> either she's intentionally misleading the american people and she should resign for that,
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or she's unqualified to be u.n. ambassador and she got the facts as wrong as she did and she should resign for that. >> reporter: but the white house's ambassador rice was simply offering the best information available at the time. pete williams, nbc washington. prosecutors say before james holmes went on that deadly shooting rampage in a colorado movie theater, he had been barred from the university of colorado for threatening a professor. court documents are raising questions about why campus police did not report that to other authorities. the university said holmes was denied access to nonpublic parts of the campus because he had withdrawn from the school. the latest effort to find jimmy hoffa's body has not turned up any human remains so far, but earth under a house in michigan will be tested for evidence of human decomposition. police say they are following up on a credible tip that might help solve the mystery behind the disappearance of the former teamsters boss in 1975.
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apple ceo tim cook is apologizing for the company's new mobile mapping service. many customers have complained that it doesn't work so well. for example, it shows the hoover dam plunging into the colorado river there. and here you're wondering what happened to the brooklyn bridge? in the apology, cook admits the company fell short of its commitment to making world class products. police in kentucky have released dramatic video of a police car crashing into a house. check this out. a louisville police officer was responding to an emergency and the video shows him swerving. swerves right there to avoid hitting another video before he loses control and runs off the road and crashes right there into that house. amazingly, no one was seriously hurt. that's the news for now. back over to tamron. >> that is unbelievable, craig. no one was hurt in that? >> the officer had a minor neck injury, but nothing all that serious. astonishing. >> it looks like one of those
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training video games. it looks so surreal what you're watching, and then slamming into that brick facade, nonetheless. that's unbelievable. all right, craig, thank you very much. dylan is here with a check of the forecast. a little allergy season, and fall. it's a mix of everything. >> everybody's talk about allergies and colds. it's that time of year. flu shots are coming in, too. i just got mine last week. we are actually going to see some rain. we are talking about a lot of rain, in fact. down through texas. you can see midland, texas, in that flood watch stretching all the way into jackson, mississippi. we ended up with four inches of rain in midland, texas, yesterday. now we'll see most of the rain down across the south, down near san antonio. the pouring rain is coming down that. is going to slowly stretch eastward into louisiana and eventually mississippi, and we could end up with isolated amounts of seven inches of additional rain, so no wonder why we do have those flood watches in effect
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>> good morning. our temperatures started out in the 50s. the sun is breaking through. the dry morning. we expect a dry day today state wide except for maybe ocean city arch brief show and that's your latest forecast. tamron? still to come, the downward spiral of former "sons of anarchy" actor johnny lewis. we'll hear from people who tried to help him, but first, this is "today" on nbc. anncr: their dishonest ads are everywhere.
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police in los angeles say a troubled young actor murdered his landlord before possibly taking his own life. the violent incident stunned
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neighbors, but some who knew johnny lewis say they are not surprised. now we're told what led up to his violent outburst. >> reporter: his character met a violent end in "sons of anarchy." yesterday police arrived at this home to find lewis's body laying in the driveway. inside, the body of his 81-year-old landlord katherine davis and the dismembered body of her cat. witnesses say he also attacked a painter next door and appeared to be under the influence of drugs. it marked the end of a downward spiral for lewis, who also appeared on "the oc" and once dated katy perry. lewis was arrested three times this year alone for charges including assault and burglary. he spent time in court-ordered rehab and was released from jail only five days before his death. and there were other factors. e news spoke to a legal coach who worked with lewis during
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rehab. >> it appears now by a look at what happened that johnny was dealing with a very serious either sigh cop thi, bipolar disorder, something that needed an actually psychiatrist, rather than just a therapist or a 12-step person to intervene and give him proper treatment. >> he was fighting for custody of his daughter. he was also unemployed. so this was a man who was really at the brink of a kind of a mental situation in the sense that he was under so much stress. >> "sons of anarchy" creator kurt sutter tweeted "i wish i could say that i was shocked by the events last night, but i was not. i am deeply sorry that an innocent life had to be thrown into his destructive path." as for rumors lewis may have been abusing drugs, the coroner is waiting for toxicology reports to come back before declaring a cause of death. still to come, more revealing pictures of kate middleton emerge online. we'll have reaction from london.
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still to come on "today," we'll take a look at some of the changes here in afghanistan, both big and small. and the way young people here feel about them. plus, she's a former model who has been married to superstars george hamilton and rod stewart. alana stewart is here to talk about her new memoir. but first these messages. we won, viejo! we won? the cash? the car? the trip? ¿quien se cayó? i won a fiat 500 with my filet-o-fish! 500 filet-o-fish? a fleet of fish? it's a fish fiesta? a fish fiesta! ♪ what? [ female announcer ] the thrill of sharing is back with monopoly at mcdonald's. with one in four chances to win and over $300 million in prizes, what are you waiting for? the simple joy of sharing the excitement. ♪
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tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. there's a pop. wahlalalalallala! pepper, but not pepper, i'm getting like, pep-pepper. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, zip zip zip zip zip! i'm literally getting zinged by the flavor. smooth, but crisp. velvety. kind of makes me feel like a dah zing yah woooooh! [ male announcer ] taste it and describe the indescribable. could've had a v8. woooo! >> good morning. i'm jennifer franciotti. time 8:26. here's a look at some of the morning's top stories. the orioles just three wins away from clinching their first playoff berth in 15 years.
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they started their final home stand off in style last night. after chris davis hit a two-run home run, ryan flaherty hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first putting the o's up 6-1. that was all chris tillman would need in this one. he pitched a great game. the orioles go on to win 9-1. they're 90th game. you can definitely feel the magic in camden yards. a task force will review the city's automated traffic enforcement system. the board will skon cyst of traffic safety experts, community activists, aaa, also school representatives. board members will study the effectiveness of the cameras, the form eight of the task force comes in concerns that cameras largely center on generating revenue. two weeks ago the city reported cameras brought in $19.2 million. that was four more than projected. we're back
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>> good morning. temperatures this morning start out in the 50s. we tap out in the upper 60s to around 70 for the high today. cooler weather is definitely in the picture. the cool front that's been stalled over the area has finally moved out of the picture and has moved on to the east. so our forecast is a good one for the next day or so. today's high, only around 70 or 72. partly cloudy skies. cooler and less humid. north, northwest breeze at 6 to 12 miles an hour. seven day forecast. tomorrow, low 70s. at the end of the day maybe a sprinkle or shower. >> thank you, john. and thanks for joining us.
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we'll have another update at 8:55. see you then. we are back on this saturday morning, september 29th, 2012. we've got a great crowd out on the plaza. we want to thank them for spending part of their wonderful weekend with us. i'm tamron hall here in studio 1a and lester is in afghanistan. >> you didn't think a couple of continents would keep me away from having my own crowd. i've got a nice group here. joint command headquarters here in kabul. who is this? this is your group. >> yes, sir this is my family. hello to my wife in georgia. >> nice sign. how long have you been over
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here? >> three months, sir. >> thank you for your service. to my family in germany, madison, south dakota. >> richard. katie, i love you, baby. and happy birthday, isabella. >> you want to say happy birthday to? >> i want to say happy birthday to my son. he turn 2s tomorrs 2 tomorrow. i love y'all. >> thanks for your service. what are you doing -- >> engineer's flag, sir. >> i may call on you this morning. that's a whole other issue. who are we saying hello to? >> that's my family, my wife and my three girls. daddy loves you and miss you. >> and cj and emily? >> my son and daughter. i love you guys and i miss you. >> how long have you been over here? >> has it seemed like four months or 12 months? you're going important work. >> naomi, my wife. sydney and zachary, they're back in germany and i miss them and
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love them and wish them the best. >> as we look at some of the other signs here, do you guys ever get days off? i always wonder how that worked. >> there's no saturday and sunday. on friday we get like a half day, kind of sort of, sir. >> can i just point out everyone here wants to call me sir. i don't have anything on my shoulder. you can call me lester. >> we're out here for y'all, sir. >> i can't get everybody to stop saying sir. >> saying hi to my family in germany. and down to my hometown and my high school in new jersey. >> i'm so thrilled you guys came. just pan the signs here as i tell you what's coming up in this half-hour. afghanistan 11 years later. we'll look at how things have changed coming up. >> no offense to the people who come out to the plaza here in new york, but that has to be the coolest group of folks on any plaza in the world. it is a growing scandal for royal family as more nude photos of kate middleton are popping up on the internet. these revealing images are of the duchess of cambridge
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sunbathing at that frenchville la -- french villa. our report from london is coming up. and we'll also talk to alana stewart. she's been an international model, actress and talk show host. her life may sound like a hollywood fairytale, but in reality, it was far from it. she's had two high profile marriages that ended in divorce, and three years ago, she lost her best friend farrah fawcett to cancer. she'll talk to us about all of that in a moment. first, another check of the weather from dylan dreyer. good morning. >> good morning, tamron. i have one beautiful woman here from the cayman islands. you prepared for this, how are you holding up to weather? >> i'm doing fine because i am triple layered. >> we are looking at a pretty nice day here in new york. it's not going to be too cold or too hot either. we do have some showers across nor northern new england. the heaviest rain in texas.
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we could see some isolated areas getting seven inches of rain. that's a stalled front, not going anywhere any time soon. as we go into sunday, we'll see that front move slowly east ward. the rest of the country isry >> good morning. our temperatures started out in the 50s. the sun is breaking through. the dry morning. we expect a dry day today state wide except for maybe ocean city arch brief show and it is weekend, and that means tomorrow night is football night in america. we are talking the giants taking on the eagles in philadelphia.
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maybe a 20% chance of a shower. temperatures will be at 61 to 65 degrees. tamron? >> dylan, thank you. just when the duchess of cambridge may have thought the worst was over, more revealing photos of her are making the rounds on the internet. here's duncan. >> reporter: two weeks ago, pictures of kate sunbathing topless at this chateau were printed in france. but a danish magazine has gone even further, publishing photos showing kate without her bikini bottom. the magazine's editor calls it entertainment, top entertainment. the photos seem to come from the same set of pictures that overshadowed the couple's royal tour of the far east and pacific. as kate and prince william tried to focus on their public engagements, their lawyers were in a paris court asking a judge to stop the magazine which started the story. they won their case in france, but that hasn't stopped the photos being printed across
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europe. >> i'm sure it must be very painful for kate, because really she feels that she's probably becoming the center of attention. she is letting the royal family down, and becoming famous all around europe, around the world for the wrong reasons. >> reporter: asked whether they will take further legal action, st. james's palace say their position has not changed and that all proportionate responses are being kept under view. but they have decided not to make an official complaint about a british newspaper printing photos of prince harry naked in a las vegas hotel suite. instead harry is said to be focusing on his tour of duty far away in afghanistan. for kate, there's no such distraction, as she faces yet more public embarrassment. up next, a former model who's been married to george hamilton and rod stewart. alana stewart is here to talk about her new memoir. but first, these messagings. and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit.
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aflac... and major medical? major medical, boyyy, yeah! [ beatboxing ] berr, der berrp... ♪ i help pay the doctor ♪ ain't that enough for you? ♪ there's things major medical doesn't do. aflac! pays cash so we don't have to fret. [ together ] ♪ something families should get ♪ ♪ like a safety net ♪ help with food, gas and rent, so cover your back, with... ♪ a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aflac! [ male announcer ] help protect your family at [ beatboxing ] at first glance, actress and former talk show host alana stewart's life may have seemed like a hollywood fairytale. stewart was married to two iconic stars, first to actor george hamilton and then to rocker rod stewart, both ending in divorce. most recently, she documented
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the illness and subsequent death of her best friend, farrah fawcett. now in her memoir "rear-view mirror", she chronicles her journey through heartbreak and her path to finding her happily ever after. good morning, good to see you. >> nice to see you. >> i always love to hear why or when someone decided i want to put my entire life on paper. was it after farrah passed away or before? >> i had thought about it for a long time because i've kept journals all my life. i thought that one day i wanted to write a book and share my experiences up and down. my life hasn't been the easiest one and people might not think that just by looking at me. >> absolutely. and to your point, you started off like so many people in america, very poor. your family struggled to make ends meet. did that give you the drive? did you look out the window of your home and say i've got to make it, there's something bigger there? >> well, i was very poor. we had an out house and i lived with my grandmother when i was very small. no indoor plumbing. i remember i used to look at the houses up in town that were the
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big houses then. they're not so big now. and i used to think oh, my god, those people must have these wonderful lives and i want to be like them. but, you know, we didn't look at those people with jealousy or any sense of gee, i should have what they have. it gave me a work ethic. >> it was a motivation. >> yeah, it was a motivation. i wanted to work and do something with my life. i started working when i was 14 behind the candy counter. >> that has to be fond memories there. >> i ate more than i sold, probably. >> you end up in this glamorous world of modelling and hollywood. i mean, that is a tremendous jump in life. >> well, even modelling isn't so glamorous in the beginning. i trudged around -- i wasn't one of these models that made it overnight and suddenly is on the cover of "vogue." i got there, they told me to lose five pounds and i had always thought i was the skinniest girl in school and was teased by all the boys and suddenly i thought i was overweight. because i had no good self-image
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or sense of self. so overnight, i was suddenly -- i must be fat. i have to lose five pounds. >> but there had to be something pretty special about you because here you are, ended up married to two very famous men. you married george hamilton when he was the hottest guy in town. i mean, there was no one more famous and more good looking, and you're still friends today. but what happened with that marriage? >> you know, he's one of my best friends. >> that's incredible, by the way. >> we call each other ma and pa. we were together ten years and i met him when i was very young. i was madly in love with him and it was all a fairytale romance. eventually we just came to our differences. i wasn't grown up. i would take 75% of the responsibility for the breakup of our marriage. it was unfortunate. >> perhaps is why you were still friends because you were able to take accountability for your rool. ended up married to rod stewart. man oozes sex onstage. but it wasn't again a fairytale.
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>> i would have never have thought it, but we did fall madly in love. we had two children in the course of two years and i had my son with george, and i take credit -- my book is very brutally honest. i said to rod before it came out, i said i hope you won't be upset with anything i've written because i've written an honest story about a portrait of a marriage. >> and he said what in reply? >> i said i've been very honest about myself, too. >> what did he say? >> well, i said i didn't talk about drugs and rock 'n' roll, and he said that's okay, i did in my book. >> we reached out to him to get his comment, but you two are not as close as you and george. >> i'm not as close to him. >> what's the difference? >> we just never had that closeness afterwards. our breakup was very traumatic. it was much more traumatic. for me, it was something that i kind of crashed emotionally and physically afterwards. it took me a long time to get over it. >> well, you survived a lot. sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.
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quite a life there. thank you so much. the book is called "rear-view mirr mirror." up next, we head back to lester in afghanistan and a report on how the lives of the young people change. but first, these messages. it's strange, i'm getting gray,
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american troops have been here in afghanistan for nearly 11 years. there is a growing population of afghans who have come of age since then. they no longer want to be defined by the struggles of their parents, the soviet invasion, civil war, and the rise of the taliban. richard engel is nbc's chief foreign correspondent. richard, good to see you. >> it's good to see you here. this war has been going on a long time. the afghans remember when it started. some of the kids were just 5 and 6 years old that we spoke to. there have been some improvements for afghan people. but as we saw, it has not won the american people a lot of loyalty or many thank yous. >> reporter: there has been
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undeniable progress for afghans because of america's longest war. without it, many of the newborns at this kabul clinic delivered premature or after complicated pregnancies wouldn't be alive. the director of this clinic wouldn't be here either if it weren't for the war. the taliban banned women from top professions. >> it was the first time in afghanistan, i think, that a lady leading this unit. >> reporter: just a few blocks away, more changes. thousands of girls going to school. the taliban banned girls education and used this school as the headquarters. under the taliban, almost no girls went to school. now nearly three million do. in fact, about 35% of all school children in this country are girls. it's a dramatic social change the taliban is still fighting.
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we met this 17-year-old. bright, pretty, smart, she wants to be an economist someday. but like everyone here, she worries about what will happen after the americans leave. >> maybe a past situation, like women were not able to go out. they were just allowed to stay at home and do the home chores. >> reporter: she returned from pakistan with her family after the taliban fell. her family is making contingency plans to leave again. >> who knows what happens in future. i'm real concerned. >> reporter: this 15-year-old is the top student in her class. a fan of beyonce and other american poll culture, she isn't convinced the u.s. did any good here. do you think that the americans should or should not have come to afghanistan? >> what can i say? leave us guys alone. >> reporter: the war has been too long. too many deaths. >> reporter: you think it's time to leave? >> yeah. pack up and go. >> reporter: if the united states hasn't won the heart and
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mind of this 15-year-old, what about the rest of afghans? >> richard, the fact that a generation is now coming of age post-taliban, is that in itself the best defense of the taliban coming back into power, folks who would stand firm? >> maybe not. the taliban is an armed group. these schoolgirls are not going to fight against the taliban. they are all very worried about what is going to happen in this country. and we've spoken to politicians, political analysts, and they think after these troops leave that there could be a civil war in this country, and many afghans now don't remember 9/11. they just remember ten years of war. and they're asking themselves why? why did this happen? why did we have to have all of this war for ten years? >> 300,000 afghan troops, local police, national police have been trained. the strategy to get these folks home is to turn it over to afghan troops. questions about readiness and supplies and that sort of thing. but are they fighting an enemy who has an organization -- are the taliban fragmented?
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are they the fighting force that they used to be? >> there are many groups. we all call them the taliban. there's different groups that fall under the umbrella of the taliban. right now the afghan security forces have an advantage. they have the upper hand because they have american fire power, air power behind them. once the americans leave, it will be a much more even fight with the taliban and other militant groups here. >> all right, richard. thanks again. we'll be back in a moment. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
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and before we wrap things up here at joint command headquarters in kabul, i want to answer some of your questions that came in via twitter. i was asked to ask the troop what is they need. what do the troops need now as you're counting down to 2014?
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a long list, huh? >> well, yeah. this is my fourth tour over here. >> what do you need? >> personally, i need coffee. water's getting a little old, so flavored beverages to mix in with the water would be great. >> any other thoughts about what's needed here? >> i know for operation outreach, we need blankets. other than that, that's not for us, though. >> that's going out to the civilians. >> important work you're doing. >> another question that was geared towards me. asked me what the first thing i noticed was. this is the first time i've been back in two years. i notice a lot more afghan troops out and about. and also a sense of normalcy in kabul and in places down in kandahar where people are going about their business. the notion that everything is exploding at one time is a false one there. are pockets of this country even in some of the more difficult areas where people go about their business, their farm their farms, they sell their wares, but it is a difficult time. we won't underestimate that.
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we have a happy sweet 16. when is the birthday? >> it's monday. >> this is elizabeth, your daughter? >> what's your name? >> sergeant first class straw. >> is this going to be a big blowout? >> i don't know. i hope not. >> how has twitter changed things? twitter wasn't around when this war started. >> absolutely, sir. >> it works snout. >> it works out, sir. just want to say hello to my family. roll tide. >> thanks very much. we have an nbc news special coverage called "at the brink." it starts tomorrow. we'll look at the most dangerous conflicts around the world. ann curry from syria. richard engel and i reporting from afghanistan. tamron? >> great show from there. we'll see you then, everyone. have a great day. ♪ i'd do anything for you, dear ♪
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♪ anything, yes, i'd do anything ♪ ♪ anything for you ♪ with your favorite instant coffee same great taste, now with a great new look that can be ready in a... [ pop! ]
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♪ folgers instant coffee the taste you love just got more instant. >> good morning. i'm jennifer franciotti. the time right now 8:57. here's a look at one of our top stories. commuters in baltimore city take heat. charles street will start to get tricky come monday. city transportation officials say that's when a reconstruction project begins to improve traffic flow. that project totals $28 million. the entire project will take two years. road closures and detours will come and go in phases. the scheduled completion date is 2014. well now let's look at the forecast with john collins. hey, john. >> good morning. we have a mix of sun and clouds. temperatures starting out in the 50s. cooler, less humid. highs will on be up around 70 in our area.
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definitely cooler in the mountains. upper 50s to near 60. we do have scattered clouds this morning but that cool front has finally moved off shore, taken the rain with it. we expect much dryer weather during the day today and tomorrow than we've seen for awhile. our forecast today, 69 to 74 for the high. generally partly cloudy, cooler, less humid. north northwest winds 6 to 12 miles an hour. big game tonight at come den yards. we expect that game time, temperatures will be around 67 degrees with generally dry conditions. tomorrow's forecast is similar to today. will be in the low 70s. >> thank you. thanks for joining us. see you back here tonight for 11 news at 6:00.
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