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tv   Today  NBC  October 26, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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good morning. frankenstorm. strong winds and rain from hurricane sandy picking up in florida this morning as emergency crews up and down the east coast prepare for what could be a devastating pre-halloween hit. al is live in florida. the battleground. with 11 days unt the election president obama and governor romney step up their messages to voters in ohio while the fbi investigates a case of alleged voter fraud and intimidation in another key swing state. and where in the world is matt lauer? for the first time ever, he is late for work, but there's a good reason why today, friday, october 26th, 2012.
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from nbc news, this is "today" with matt lauer and savannah guthrie live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. and good morning. welcome to "today" on a freaky friday morning. i'm savannah guthrie, and i have to say this is a very unusual way to start the show. there's no matt, but apparently he is on his way, and i think we do have a camera with him outside. ♪
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>> okay. there he is. is that a motorized surf board he's riding in? we'll be asking why does he do this? part of a segment we're doing a little bit later, and a couple of guys are responsible for videos that have more than 24 million hits online. >> so sorry. >> i am so sorry. >> you are late. >> this storm is coming. the waves on madison were huge. that was fun. >> i hope you don't have helmet head. your hair is going to be a mess. >> how can i have helmet head? >> that was a blast. you've probably seen the videos of these guys we'll introduce you to in a little while. they are responsible for the commute, and they are responsible for some images you'll be seeing later in the show, like those right there. creative geniuses.
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their work has been seen by millions online. >> and how was the ride? >> it was a little rough trying to get across central park. that a little difficult. >> a little slow, too. >> thank you. >> couldn't go any faster. >> thank you, great, appreciate it. >> also ahead, other things you can find on the internet. nbc's chris hansen will be here with a revealing investigation into the world of online classified ads. you will not believe what he found for sale and the people who are behind those posts, too. >> then a big launch party was held in london last night for the release of pippa middleton's first book. coming up, what she had to say about the attention she's now getting and also what she said about the royal wedding. >> all right. but we want to start with hurricane sandy. al's in florida just south of west palm beach this morning. al, good morning to you. >> well, good morning to you, guys. so far sandy has been a deadly storm, first hitting cuba. at least 21 people dead there. we've also had reports of at least one person killed in
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jamaica as that system moved through, roaring through there as a category two storm. now it is hitting the bahamas, central bahamas, where there are hurricane warnings up. this is the latest on sandy. let's give you the statistics. right now sandy is still a category 1 storm. it's currently 210 miles east of miami, florida, 80-mile-per-hour winds. it's moving northwest at 13. right now hurricane warnings are up for all of the bahamas, a good portion of the bahamas, the central bahamas at least. we're looking at tropical storm warnings from ocean reach, florida, all the way up to flagler beach. tropical storm watch is north of there, and as we make our way into the southeast from the savannah river to the oregon inlet, along the carolinas, we now have tropical storm watches. here's what we look for as far as sandy's path. we're expecting, this is from the national hurricane center. it makes its way across the bahamas today and kind of
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parallels the florida coast. by friday afternoon. then it makes a bit of a right turn saturday. we have two models we look at, the gfs which is the american model and the european model. that's put out by the european hurricane organization, and by monday morning the european model is much closer to the shore and comes in on land somewhere just south of the delmarva peninsula, while the american model comes in closer up to new york. and that's going to make a big difference. if it comes in closer to new york, that means the new york and the metropolitan area is going to be in the worst quadrant of the storm, massive flooding, storm surge, he have rain and strong winds. if we say with the european model, it's more about the mid-atlantic states and heavy snow back through the
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appalachians. we'll know better later today when both models have the latest run and in the meantime everybody from the carolinas to new england have to watch for this very dangerous storm. it could be an unprecedented one. matt? >> we want people to stay tuned today and all throughout the weekend. al, thank you very much. we'll check in with you in a little while. president obama is back in washington this morning after a whirlwind campaign tour as governor romney heads to iowa and the biggest battleground state of ohio. nbc's political director and chief white house correspondent chuck todd is in cincinnati this morning. chuck, good morning to you. >> reporter: well, good morning, matt. you could be forgiven if you thought barack obama and mitt romney were running for the presidency of ohio. they have been here a lot. they were here a lot yesterday because both campaigns believe this state is that critical to their prospects in 11 days. president obama wrapped up a 48-hour eight-state battleground blitz in cleveland, ohio late thursday, and with a hoarse
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voice questioned his opponent's trustworthiness. >> no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust. trust matters. you know what, ohio? after all these years you now know me. you know that i mean what i say. >> reporter: at almost exactly the same moment 150 miles west, mitt romney took the stage in defiance, ohio. >> now that's an ohio welcome. thank you. >> reporter: and borrowing a page from president obama's 2008 playbook calling himself the candidate of change. >> this is a time when america faces big challenges. we have a big election, and we want a president who will actually bring big changes. i will and he won't. >> reporter: ohio is the ultimate bellwether in presidential elections, most recently picking george w. bush in 2004 and barack obama in 2008. mitt romney's first stop thursday was in cincinnati, part
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of hamilton county. it's the largest county in ohio that switched from republican bush in 2004 to democrat obama in 2008. the president has been putting big emphasis in ohio and other states on early voting which is why he decided to become the first president to cast his ballot before election day. meanwhile, both sides are dealing with some unexpected political speed bumps on the trail. for mitt romney, it's indiana's republican senate candidate richard mourdock who made controversial comments about abortion and rape on tuesday. romney ignored questions about mourdock three times on thursday. >> governor, do you disavoy mourdock's comments on rape? >> reporter: and what may be another unforced error for team romney john sununu made these eyebrow-raising comments in response to colin powell's endorsement of president obama. >> well, i think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the united states, i applaud colin for standing with him. >> reporter: still, mr. obama has his own speed bump to deal
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with. in an interview published in "rolling stone" magazine the president commented on the wisdom of children. his remarks, which some have interpreted as a dig at romney, included this quotation. you know, kids have good instincts. they look at the other guy and say, well, that's a bsier, i can tell. he said the comment occurred but during a casual interview during the interview. the campaign did not deny the campaign was referring to mr. romney and as competitive as ohio may be other states may be closer. a nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll show a close race in colorado with the two men tied at 48% and while nevada remains close the president is at the magic 50% mark. now, overnight the romney campaign had john sununu release a statement on what he said about colin powell. let me read it to you, matt. colin powell is a friend and i respect the endorsement decision
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he made, and i do not doubt it was based on anything of the support of the president's policies. piers morgan's question was whether colin powell should leave the party and i don't believe he should. i don't think that's the way the question was and not an apology for how he made the analysis. chuck, stand by. let's bring in david gregory, moderator of "meet the press." >> good morning, matt. >> it's closing argument time and mitt romney seems to be choosing the closing argument from the 2008 campaign i'm the candidate of change. how is it going to resonate with the undecided voters? >> well, i think there's a question we can't answer this morning which is what's holding undecided voters back from actually making a decision. they know president obama, he's right about that, and now they have gotten a much better sense of governor romney, but there is something holding them back, and so you've got these two arguments. one being change, and i think we have moved into a zone of a change election, and romney has
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established himself as a safer alternative. where's the threshold? what president obama is saying you can't trust this guy because his positions are changed. are you voting for mitt the moderator, to coin a phrase, or somebody with with true principles. as long as he keeps raising that doubt the obama campaign is counting on the idea that people will hold back from changing away from an incumbent which is always difficult. >> reporter: >> chuck, let's go back to the battleground states and the new nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist polls. colorado a dead heat. nevada very close, just a couple of points or three points separating obama from romney there. how do those states impact the paths to victory for each of these candidates. >> well, colorado is an unbelievable one potentially, you know, we talk all about ohio, but there is a very viable path, if you will, for both -- for the states to sort of split where mitt romney wins florida, ohio and virginia and is still four electoral shorts. you throw in wisconsin, iowa,
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new hampshire, and nevada over into the obama category and suddenly we're staring at colorado as the pivot point. one would be at 263, one would be stuck at 266, and we could be sitting here waiting for colorado to decide things. very quickly, matt. there's two types of swing voters left. people that actually swing back and forth, and then the ones that swing between voting and not voting, and i can tell you in the obama campaign, they are focused on the casual swing voters, the ones that swing between voting and not voting, but when they vote they always vote democrat. >> david real quickly to end here. what about this hurricane sandy? could this be the october surprise? i mean, could it force, for example, president obama off the campaign trail to react to this storm? >> well, that's the most likely scenario because he is the president of the united states, and if there are emergency response measures that have to be taken or if he wants, to you know, be on scene some place where there's been a lot of damage, he may do that. obviously it's just the issue of how much attention is taken away
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from the campaign trail with an issue, a storm that could be this unique and this big, so here we go. we'll see what happens. we've got a lot of uncertainty in weather and in politics right now. >> david gregory, chuck todd, thank you both. here's savannah. >> thanks, matt. the election is not for another 11 days but investigations are already under way into cases of alleged voter intimidation and fraud. nbc's national investigative correspondent michael isikoff has more on this. michael, good morning to you. >> savannah, good morning. as election day grows closer, watchdog groups are worried about a surge in dirty tricks. apparently aimed at keeping voters from the polls, and the fbi is now on the case. the official looking letters are showing up across florida, challenging voters' citizenship and their right to vote. those getting them are outraged. >> i was ballistic when i read it. >> basically they were saying they were questioning my citizenship and were implying that they were going to eliminate from being able to
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vote. >> reporter: fake letters, which threaten non-registered florida voters with arrest and imprisonment, were all post marked in seattle. up to 100 have been reported in 28 florida counties. the fbi is trying to track down the perpetrators. florida officials are alarmed. >> this is an attempt to intimidate voters in one of the most important states in the united states in a national election. >> reporter: members of both parties and independents have received the phony letters, although a majority seem to have gone to republicans, even one to the state gop chairman. watchdog groups say it's one of many dirty tricks popping up aimed at voter suppression. >> we've seen earlier in the election cycle than previous years these nefarious underhanded tactics by shadowy groups to restrict the ability of responsible americans to vote. >> reporter: these include billboards in minority neighborhoods in pennsylvania
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warning vote fraud is a felony. they are now coming down after a public outcry. in arizona some hispanic voters received official notice listing the election as november 8th, two days after election day. just this week, a conservative activist group cut the son of democratic congressman jim moran in an undercover video sting seeming to go along with a plan to cast fraudulent battlllots. >> he said he was trying to humor the person who was asking him but did resign from the campaign. meanwhile another investigation of a republican operative accused of throwing voter registration forms in a dumpster. the operative, colin small, who couldn't be reached for comment, had previously worked for strategic allied consulting, a consulting firm fired by the republican national committee
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last month after employees turned in hundreds of suspicious registration forms in florida, including some with fake addresses, like a shell gas station. at the time the head of the firm, nathan sprewall, told nbc news he was the victim of a few bad apples that worked for him. in the case of the phony letters in florida, the state gop chairman that got one received it at his business address from which he writes campaign contributions. that's a sign, the source says, that the perpetrators may have been targeting voters they found on a public database of political donors. savannah? >> michael isikoff in our washington newsroom, thank you. let's get the top stories of the morning now from natalie over at the news desk, natalie, good morning. good morning, matt and savannah. good morning, everyone. we begin with a tragic story here in new york city. a nanny is in critical condition this morning after police say she killed two young children in her care and then attempted to take her own life. nbc's mara schiavocampo is on
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manhattan's upper west side with more. good morning to you, mara. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. this is a heartbreaking story, and every parent's worst nightmare. a mother of three returned home to her apartment here yesterday around 5:30 p.m. to discover two of her young children dead, and police say their nanny killed them. this apartment building on manhattan's upper west side was the scene of a horrific crime thursday when police say a nanny killed two young children in her care. the children's mother had taken her 3-year-old daughter to a swim lesson leaving her other children with the nanny. when she came home to a gruesome discovery. >> she enters her apartment. the apartment is dark. she's assuming that the nanny may have gone out with the children. she goes down to the lobby to ask the doorman if in fact they had gone out. he goes no and goes back up in the apartment that's dark and she goes into the bathroom.
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that's when she discovered the bodies. >> reporter: police say the nanny identified as 50-year-old joslin ortega seen leaving the building on the stretcher stabbed herself after she killed the children with a kitchen knife. >> i can't imagine how the mother is feeling. >> reporter: the victims are identified as 6-year-old lose i'll krimm and 2-year-old leah krimm. the father is an executive at cnbc and was out of town. he was greeted by new york city city who took him to the hospital who took her to the hospital to be with his wife and surviving 3-year-old child. >> a grieving family searching for answers in the face of unspeakable tragedy. you can see that some flowers and candles have been left here. that nanny is in critical but stable condition and has not yet been charged. this morning cnbc released a statement saying in part there are simply no words to convey
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the magnitude of this tragedy. what we can do is come together and express our unwavering support for a friend in need. all of us at cnbc and nbc universal will be there for the family. natalie. >> our hearts go out to the krimm family. thanks so much, mara schiavocampo. now to northern afghanistan where a suicide bomber has killed at least 40 people at a mosque as worshippers marked a muslim holiday. at least 50 others were wounded. the u.s. has condemned the attack. more client names are expected to be released today in the so-called zumba prostitution ring in maine. authorities are set to reveal more than 20 other johns who allegedly hired zumba instructor alexis wright for sex. she and her business partner have pleaded not guilty in the case and they are halfway to the tight. the san francisco giants have won game two of the world series beating out the detroit tigers 2-0. now the series moves to the motor city where it plays game three tomorrow night.
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7:19. let's turn it back over to matt and savannah. >> natalie, nation. let's go back to al in florida for the rest of his forecast. al? >> that's right. let's show you. there are a couple of other big features on the map today besides sandy. we've got a cold front that's bringing rain from the great lakes all theay down into the gulf coast. behind it really cold air, and then on the west coast we've got santa ana winds setting up. they are going to be looking at winds in the canyons and passes at 55 miles per hour, as much as 65 miles per hour in the upper elevations. high fire dangers are in effect and back to that system pushing into the east, that may combine with the remnants of sandy with a lot of cold air. may have an effect on some of the swing states, pennsylvania and ohio with up to a foot of snow before this thing is all over early next week. that's what's going on arounha
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>> and that's your latest weather. >> the president has given the host of late night comedy a lot of for the record including donald trump's $5 million offer to president obama. >> donald trump called -- called president obama and said i'll give you $5 million, $5 million if you can release your college records and your passport, and i said, hey, don, i'll give you $5 million if you release that thing on your head. >> what's this thing with trump and you? it's like me and letterman, what
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has he got against you here? i don't get it. >> this all dates back to when we were growing up together in kenya. >> yeah. >> trump, he came back. he said he has a very big announcement about president obama that could cost him the election. yeah. he's going to endorse him. >> you know who is endorsing mitt romney. lindsay lohan. lindsay lohan. and -- and it may seem silly to you, but not to the romney campaign. they are very excited. they think, okay, here's our chance now to get that shoplifter vote. >> what if i forget to vote. >> if you forget? >> yeah. >> well, i have a plan for that, jimmy. >> you do? >> election day, election day, up and at 'em. up and at 'em. it's election day. get your shoes on. move it. >> up, up, up. >> time to vote. you can do it. go and vote. go and vote.
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out the door. out the door. and eat some carrots. >> president obama was nice enough to come to our show yesterday, but, yeah, but before -- we weren't the only show he did. before he left los angeles he made another appearance on another show. ♪ >> flying off to do a fund-raiser in nevada. >> get that image out of your head. >> very clever. just ahead the story behind my naturally ride to work this morning, but first this is "today" on nbc. stephanie rawlings-blake: voting for question seven is an...
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incredible opportunity for baltimore. jim smith: question seven will bring table games like... blackjack and poker to baltimore.
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stephanie rawlings-blake: you're talking about 500 new jobs. ken ulman: and increased tourism will mean more business... for maryland's small businesses. jim smith: and instead of marylanders spending... five hundred and fifty million in other states... ken ulman: question seven will keep that money right here. stephanie rawlings-blake: more jobs, millions for schools. jim smith: i'm voting for question seven. ken ulman: i'm voting for question seven. stephanie rawlings-blake: and i'm voting for question seven. . coming up, "today" investigates medicare fraud, hundreds of millions of dollars being ripped off at your expense. >> and we'll crown the winner of our show us your moves competition with a live dance-off on our plaza. get out the disco ball after your local news. what do pumpkins look like? like this.
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i made a bat. i made a sword. [ female announcer ] carve out some time with your little pumpkins. happy halloween... from rice krispies. >> good morning, everybody. i'm stan stovall. here is a look at one of our top stories. harford county sheriff's office asking for the public's help in locating a missing man. 70-year-old fred woods is believed to of wandered away from his home at a fox hunt scored in bel air. he suffers from dementia and of limited visibility. anyone with the burmese and on
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this whereabouts is asked to contact harford county sheriff's office. wase've got the ax and it down on 50 on a ramp to 97, it has moved off to the shoulders -- accident westbound on the 50 on the ramp to 97. pulaski highway at moravia crash, glen falls and garrison, woodlawn and windsor mill a crash. west side beltway southwest corner of frederick road, the inner loop and outer loop moving ok. you may see delays coming down the west side. switching to 50 at 97, flashing lights off to the shoulder but big delays westbound on 50 right at 97. looks like traffic is getting by but it is heavy. over to you. >> we do have some clout like yesterday. fog here and they're especially on the eastern shore.
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also a little mist, drizzle. 61 at bwi marshall. moisture of the atlantic ocean. the barometer is high right now take a look at the satellite radar, high pressure over new england steering these wins right into the area and dragging the moisture in. a cold front to the west and sandi is to the south. today is a quiet day but not lot of clouds. 66-71 is bohai and morning fog and drizzle. seven-day forecast,
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>> what? okay. there he is, and in case you missed it a little bit earlier, that was the grand entrance at the top of our show. matt hanging ten to get to work today, and he got some help with that from some very creative and talented guys we hyped some very eye-catching and popular online videos, videos like a woman walking around with ipads on her head. in fact, we've got natalie trying out that contraption right now. how does this work? we are going to talk to the guys and they will explain matt's little stunt, too. >> i hope they don't erase her.
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>> cow buabunga, dude. and we'll have the dancing finalists, show us your moves dance competition. the finalists are in the green room getting ready for their live dance-off before a panel of celebrity judges. >> all right. we look forward to that. just ahead, a major ripoffs of taxpayers. hundreds of millions of dollars drained from the health care system. the crooks often flaunting their ill-gotten gains. "today" investigates coming up. but first online shopping is easy and convenient, and as nbc's chris hansen found out, you can also think of just about anything being available for a certain price. chris, good morning. >> good morning, matt. you know, i've done a lot of stories over 30 years and seen a lot of things. this ranks in the top five. at any given time there are 60 billion posts on craigslist with only 40 employees to monitor them. our investigations found posts offering everything from drugs to human organs, even a hitman. it's a crisp autumn day, and i'm
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sitting across the table from someone who is suggesting he's a hitman. >> you want to walk around and talk? >> no, i think we're good. >> and i'm playing along as a potential client of his services. >> i've got a problem with a guy. >> okay. >> and i've got to take care of it. >> okay. >> it feels like a scene from had a movie. >> what are the options? >> what do you want to happen to him? >> well, what can you do? >> i can do anything. >> but he's no actor, and here he is on hidden camera describing what he's willing to do to a potential victim for a fee. >> he can get hurt, hospitalized, a lot of things can happen. >> but this isn't a story about a hitman. it's really a story about where we found him, of all places in the online classifieds. a place where billions of people worldwide come to sell, share and offer services on sites like craigslist and backpage. you can find anything,
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apartments, cars, furniture, jobs or even a spouse, but with just a few clicks you can also find some very strange things. a young man offering his kidney for $50,000. >> it wouldn't matter to have two kidneys or one kidney. >> people who sell things online. >> a woman selling a poe temp narcotic. how do you justify this? >> you ask for it. >> it's still illegal. >> this man says he's selling his marijuana delivery business. >> i can do about $800 to $1,000 a day. >> reporter: but it was the hitman that surprised us the most. >> left leg and right elbow. >> right. >> stuff can happen. >> what are we talking about money-wise? >> it depends what if you want done. >> what if i wanted him to disappear in jail, set up. that's no problem. >> how much? >> $5,000. >> 5,000? >> yeah. >> what about disappear disappear. >> that's like 25,000, yeah. >> 25,000. >> yeah, yeah.
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>> so who is this alleged hitman. >> i need to know who i'm dealing with, you know, this is our first meeting. >> yeah. >> so -- this is who i am. >> i'll show you who i am. >> i don't need to know who you are. i don't care. >> you may want to know who i am? >> why? >> is it advantageous for me to know who you are? >> i am chris hansen with "dateline" nbc. >> i watch that show all the time. you don't look like him at all? >> no, not at all. not at all. >> well, i am that guy. >> as calm as he seems the conversation then took an interesting turn, and you'll see that tonight, matt. >> that's bizarre, chris. thank you very much. appreciate it. >> and you can see a special "dateline" the wild, wild web at 9:00 p.m., 10:00 central time
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here on nbc. >> and good morning from manalapan, florida, at palm beach county at the beach at ritz carlton hotel. big changes coming temperature-wise throughout a good portion of the country, and that may interact with sandy causing some problems. you see today we've got minneapolis at 41. that's 14 degrees below norm a. denver at 38. austin 57. ahead of the system though, burlington, vermont, 70, charleston 78. tomorrow, look at that cold air really streaming n.cincinnati 52. 70 in memphis and 46 minneapolis. the warm air just barely banked along the east coast and there's more reinforcing cold air coming in behind that, so that as the low pressure system that was sandy makes its way inland, it could impact ohio and the appalachians with up to a foot of snow. that's what's going on around
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>> with sandy bearing down on us you might need a little bit of a distraction and that's where sunday night "football night in america" comes in. we've got a good one the new orleans saints and drew brees takes on the denver broncos and peyton manning in colorado. clear, cool, temperatures upper 50s to the low -- upper 40s to the 50s as you wait for sandy on sunday night "football night in america." matt? >> all right. al, thank you very much. coming up next, "today" investigates the alarming ways
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that some criminals are ripping off the nation's health care system to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. and pippa middleton steps out at a launch party for her new book. we'll hear from her on its release and her sister's royal wedding, but first, these messages. tully's. how do you always have my favorite coffee? well, inside the brewer, there's a giant staircase. and the room is filled with all these different kinds of coffee and even hot cocoa. and you'll always find your favorite. woman #2: with so many choices, keurig has everyone's favorite. i just press this button. brew what you love, simply. keurig. and there's juicy chicken hellmann's is the secret to making parmesan crusted chicken so juicy so delicious it's your secret to making dinner disappear hellmann's. bring out the best
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back at 7:40. this morning on "today investigates," health care fraud. money stolen out of all of our pockets and the suspects who flaunt it. nbc's tom costello has been looking into this story. tom, good morning to you. >> reporter: hi, savannah. not talking about small time storefront operations that can steal hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. we're talking about suspects who steal tens of millions of dollars, even hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, money that's meant to help the poor, retirees, even children with autism. in queens, new york, a pre-dawn raid. federal agents targeting six people accused of ripping off the government's health care system for nearly $12 million. >> good job. >> reporter: more agents from the hhs inspector general's office descend on a medical clinic owned by the suspects, searching room by room for fraudulent billing documents,
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hidden computer files and stolen medicare numbers. >> this looks to be like adult day care. >> reporter: investigators say the scheme involved luring senior citizens to the clinic by giving them free meals as well as music, computer and dance lessons all in exchange for their medicare numbers, numbers then allegedly billed for medical services that were never provided, charges the suspect deny. the victims too often are the elderly and disadvantaged. >> they are often victims of identity theft. they are used as pawns in this -- in these schemes to perpetuate medicare fraud for profits. >> reporter: virtually every day in this country federal agents arrest suspects for health care fraud. last year alone agents charged nearly 1,500 people, and the amount of stolen taxpayer dollars is staggering, as much as $60 billion a year. the investigative work can be dangerous, and agents are also relying heavily on data analysis to find suspects before they get away with the money.
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the health care fraud can take many different forms. take paul thorson, a danish scientist accused of stealing grant money awarded by the cdc for autism research and now wanted as a fugitive. investigators say thorson submitted these phony invoices for expenses, complete with forged cdc official signatures and then had more than $1 million wired into his own bank account. he allegedly used the cash to buy two cars, a $34,000 harley davidson, and this $450,000 home in atlanta. >> it is a travesty. >> reporter: this mother of an autistic child and director of an autism support group. >> when you think of these luxury cars and harley-davidson, are you serious? there's parents out here that probably wish they could afford that stuff but they can't because they are paying for extra therapy for our kids. >> this is one of our missions to prevent diseases and find out more about diseases, and for
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someone to take crucial dollars to fund his personal piggy bank to buy his toys with taxpayer dollars, it really upsets me. >> reporter: thorson isn't the only fugitive want ed for taxpayer brothers to live a lavish lifestyle. meet the benitez brothers, accused of stealing $110 million from a medicare fund. they allegedly used this cash to buy this hotel, this helicopter, even their own water park. >> we've certainly seen criminals who have billed the medicare program for millions of dollars, sometimes in illions o over several years, and that money often goes straight into their pocket. >> reporter: just flaunting ill-gotten gains, flaunting their wealth. >> that's right. >> reporter: feds are asking anyone who suspects health care fraud to call their tip line, 1-800-hhs-tips. last year alone, federal law enforcement alone managed to recover $4.5 billion in fines,
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penalties and restitutions so this is not pocket change. savannah? >> what a story. tom costello in our washington newsroom, thank you. coming up next, we'll explain matt's rather unusual commute to work with two guys who can make anything go viral right after this. what's truly amazing about mercedes new mbrace2 system... is i can follow all my sports... catch the latest breaking news... keep in touch with friends... follow the financial headlines... find a great restaurant... and with siriusxm i can get weather forecasts... all from here. in my mercedes-benz. [ male announcer ] introducing mbrace2. the most comprehensive cloud-based telematics system on the road. it's your world, from your car. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans.
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boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi® card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts. more events. more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with a citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ] i was a little bit late for work this morning but i was trying out a new commute, surfing the streets of new york city. the stunt was the brainchild of two viral video artists, the cow founders of a company called think moto. they are here to explain how they got me to risk life andlism
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and how they discovered the recipe for making viral videos. good morning. >> good morning. >> i didn't actually steal that guy's newspaper. he was in on it. talk to me about this company you've created. you make these videos. you hope they go viral, and you do it for clients. how does it work? >> well, what we do is we take a particular concept out of a whole movie or tv show or even a product, narrow it down and make a whole story out of one particular thing that we find very appealing. >> so, are they commercials? they are a hybrid. entertaining marketing videos at the end of which a product or a film is promoted. >> now, a lot of your videos have gone viral, gotten millions of views. are you basically making that guarantee to clients? can you do that? >> i don't think we can. we don't guarantee a view, but what we try to do is there's enough video out there, a baby doing something, dog or cat funny, but we try to be really
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innovative and want to put it together in a really entertaining way. that's why it goes viral and people love it. >> we were seeing the one there with people underwater. that was for a watch, right? people come to you and say we want to sell this watch. what can you do with it underwater, is that what it is? >> exactly. we just come up with a really entertaining concept. for instance, the movie "chasing maverick," we came up with the idea which aired, comes out today in theaters did, these surfing videos. >> these gadgets like the one natalie had on her head with the ipad and my surf board and you've got a helmet that actually shaves your head and a popcorn machine that shoots popcorn this your mouth, you've got like a cue from james bond movies that comes up with him. >> we come to him and tell him the craziest ideas so he says i know exactly how to do it. >> it's not camera tricks. that will shoot a piece of popcorn at me if i say pop.
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>> no special effects. we make it. have a guy who does all our gizmos, and every time we walk into a door he shakes his head. >> this is a new frontier of advertising is what you're telling us? >> go back, we go back and make -- we're going to build a nightclub on the water and can you go in and go in with breathing helmets. >> i had a blast shooting this. about it at 3:30 in the morning, most of it, here on the streets of new york and you guys couldn't have been more fun to work with. >> the crew started calling you mad matt, pretty outrageous. >> can you imagine surfing the streets later on when it gets more busy. >> don't try, that by the way, it's not legal. >> james and michael, thank you so much. while we're talking about viral video, we're launching a new series, examining the most memorable videos of the week. vote for your favorite. first, the elevator prank that left riders terrified.
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>> oh. >> that shows you how realistic the picture is on an lg video monitor. >> very good. >> that's the first video. the second one is called the one that got away. the tv reporter who fell on to a man's lap when a fish freaked her out. >> what happened next? >> thank goodness for blurring. that will get a lot of votes. >> how to pick up a girl at a gym. a weight lifter taking a very literal approach. the dismount is important. >> what he does to her at the end. watch how he released. the release here. >> i don't think he got a date out of that. >> and finally the father who went "gangnam style," a light show using 8,500 bubbles,
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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! i will obey your orders, reach into your unguarded basket and take just one, caramel-filled milky way. i will then go to the end of the block turn around and take just one again. get into the caramel, chocolate and nougat. alright, alright. now this is a party. what is that? go, go, go. mmm. give me some of that sauce. i don't know, i think i might bail. yeah, it's pretty dead.
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>> good morning. the time for a check on the morning commute. here is kim dacey and traffic pulse 11. >> good morning. the situation westbound on the ramp to northbound 97 -- all right -- lanes are open and we will check to see how it is doing. interlude at york road, a disabled vehicle. in the city, pulaski highway at moravia road a crash. 17 minutes down the west side of the loop of the beltway, 16 minutes north and east corner to
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83 -- and between the harbor tunnel and the belt was outside delays. delays from the harford road camera -- outer loop is going away and it is a bit sluggish. 50 at 97, on the left side is the northbound 97 ramp and you can see it is a slow go. that is the latest. john, over to you. >> good morning. lots of clouds. and little drizzle and missed from time to time and fog as well. 61 at the airport right now. humidity up to 93%. i pressure from new england channelling east winds -- high- pressure. and we have sandy to the south of us adding to the drum. quiet weather today. 66-71 for the high. we may get a sun break here or there but generally it will be a cloudy day.
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morning fog and drizzle will give away to the sun break or two. here is a look at the seven-day forecast. as sandy and a cold front come closer, saturday rain chances closer, saturday rain chances increase and sunday some
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it's heavy lifting. you start with a democratic senator named ben. by getting bwi-marshall funding for new runways, he's helping us serve 21 million passengers a year, which helps keep 100,000 jobs that depend on the airport, and that means more cargo for more businesses and more skycaps unloading more taxis... welcome to bwi. ...carrying families with more luggage. thanks.
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it's like he's out here with us. he's my friend, ben. i hope he's your friend, too. i'm ben cardin, and i approve this message. it's 8:00 now on a friday morning. it's the 26th day of october, 2012. move the chairs, pull the carpet back and get your moves ready. we're throwing a dance party on rockefeller plaza. we're got our finalists from our show us your moves competition, and they are about to compete for the grand prize. what is the grand prize, by the way? >> you know what? i think it's a trophy. >> okay. >> and a trip to new york. that's not too bad. >> celebrity judgments. we're going to be taking a look at hair work in just a little while, and we'll get to them in a couple of minutes. i'm matt lauer along with savannah guthrie. a busy morning here. >> we do. just ahead, we'll talk about
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pippa middleton, a new book out. out at a book party to celebrate it last night, and she does admit she's a little bit nervous about all of this attention. she should get used to it. we'll talk to her just ahead. >> remember obie the dog that's way, way too heavy. this dog weighed twice the normal weight. now there is a lawsuit involving the dog, a custody dispute. one owner suing another ownerch we'll fill you in on that. >> all right. by the way, next week, halloween. we have a huge party planned hoping nobody rains on our parade, hurricane sandy. we'll have a costume party on the plaza. we're getting dressed up. we'll have celebrity surprises, and speaking of halloween, there was a prank that caught our eye. we want to take a look. >> a-choo! >> agh, agh! that's good. that's so good.
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>> how did he do that? >> i have no idea. >> that is rich ferguson from san luis obispo. he calls it an illusion. >> he's double jointed. >> bless you, gesundheit. >> anyways, don't forget to dress up. get down here next wednesday. we'll have a good time. let's go inside. natalie standing by with a check of the headlines. >> good morning, everyone. tropical storm watches and warnings are posted from florida to the carolinas as the east coast braces for a monster storm. the approach of hurricane sandy is already churning up the florida surf and causing a run on emergency supplies as residents prepare for powerful winds and heavy rain. sandy's already blamed for more than 20 deaths throughout the caribbean. an emotional reunion between the pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the taliban and her family. the father, mother and two brothers of malala yousafzai arrived at the british hospital where she was flown for special treatment and have been at her bedside since last night.
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the 15-year-old was targeted earlier this month for advocating girls education in pakistan. doctors say it does not appear she suffered significant brain damage, and ma lav lala's father says she is responding well. to earnings news likely to affect wall street. courtney reagan is at the cnbc stock exchange. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, natalie, wall street preparing for another difficult tech wreck including a rare miss from apple. ipad sales and the holiday forecast following short of wall street expectations and amazon reporting its first quarterly loss in nearly a decade. now elsewhere, investors will be looking to economic data to guide their decisions today, including the first read on u.s. economic growth in the third quarter. natalie? >> courtney reagan at the new york stock exchange, thank you. and now for a look at what is trending today. our quick roundup of what has you talking online. a custody fight over obie, the obese daschund is a top yahoo!
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search. the dog's appearances have included right here at the "today" show but the oregon group that rescued him from the elderly owners says the pudgy pooch is a dog, not a celebrity. they filed a lawsuit demanding the foster caretaker return him to the view. barbara walters scolding of trump getting lots of attention online. take a listen. >> you and i have known each other for many years, and you know that i am your friend, and i think you are a brilliant businessman and you are great on television and you have a fascinating personality. donald, you're making a fool of yourself. you're not hurting obama. you're hurting donald and that hurts me because you're a decent man. >> well, donald trump later tweet that had barbara missed the entire point of his announcement. and is where you can see this all over again.
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how matt got to work this morning, a little late, mind you, on a motorized surf board dodging waves and potholes along the way. it was inspired by viral video artists also jen rate a lot of buzz online. surf's up, hang ten, very sweet ride. good way to commute to work. 8:05 right now. back outside to matt. he had some moves there. >> i'm not sure i would recommend it as a great way to commute to work. thank you, natalie. let's go to al down in florida in advance of that storm sandy that we're keeping our eye on. >> matt, you might want to bring that surf board down here. you'd get some real use out of it. but we're warning people not to go into the surf. dangerous rip tides, reports of buoys and 20-foot seas. here's the latest on sandy, 210 miles east northeast of miami, florida. 85-mile-per-hour winds and it's moving northwest at 10 miles per hour. as you look at the hurricane
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watches and warnings on this thing, it again is starting to really develop and show quite a bit of potential. as we look you can see hurricane watches making their way all the way up into the carolinas. tropical storm watches, i should say, all the way up to the carolinas. the problem is what we're seeing now is the path of the storm. the path, according to the national hurricane center, brings it along the coast, parallel to the coast and eventually makes landfall somewhere up around the northeast, right around new york sometime wednesday, but the european model, the one that's been much more accurate brings it around the delmarva peninsula about 24 hours earlier. so this is the tale of two paths. which one it takes will really determine how much destruction we see. that's w
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>> and that's your latest weather. matt? >> all right, al. thank you very much. when we come backs, pippa middleton celebrates the release of her new book. we'll find out more about that and our live dance-off on the plaza. but first these messages. ♪ this is the car that loves to have fun ♪ ♪ it's got something for everyone ♪ ♪ the car of the future many have said ♪ ♪ 'cause at the pump it's miles ahead ♪ ♪ let's hum, hum, hum, hum ♪ let's hum ♪ a prius for everyone ♪ the perfect match, electric and gas ♪ ♪ mile after mile its tank could last ♪ ♪ we made three more for all to use ♪ ♪ big, small, and plug in, it's yours to choose ♪ ♪ and let's hum, hum, hum, hum, let's hum ♪
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back now at 89. 11. kate may be the future queen, but her sister pippa middleton was queen for a day on thursday. her first book on entertaining was released in britain, and fittingly she hosted two parties last night. nbc's michelle kosinksi is in london with more. michelle, good morning. >> reporter: hi, savannah, right, finally got her own day in the spotlight and reportedly wrote this book entirely herself. it weighs three and a half pound, 400 pages, and you know everyone was going to scrutinize, it so everything surrounding it has been extremely carefully done. you've rarely heard her utter a word. >> what can i do with this. >> i reckon that could be a hat maybe. >> reporter: here the party was all pippa.
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>> amazing. >> reporter: natural around the children, never fawning. it was like a page from her bourque "celebrate" featuring many of the pretty do-it-yourself celebrations and games. >> oh, no. mess everywhere. >> reporter: not always easy for adults. >> can't do it. >> reporter: the kids really did seem to eat up these ideas, though twice pippa was subjected to some unwitting naughtiness. >> i hate princesses. >> reporter: a tough crowd but pippa handled it. later she didn't quite know what to do in front of all of the cameras and to many that's refreshing. >> really, really nervous but it's a bit exciting, and i feel really excited to launch the book. >> reporter: it's been a couple of years since her sister's we had and when asked about memories of it just said -- >> crazy. >> reporter: but she did it, a
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book of very simple and sweet holiday party ideas that is also a visual feat, zero glitz and glamour, more cotton than wool. instead of the fascinator at the society wedding, sparklers in the backyard, construction paper. and in america where her book is expected to sell the best, "parade" magazine bid for a preview with a skeptical cry but were so won over she put her on this week's cover. >> charmed by it. we thought it looked wonderful. there is an opportunity for someone, whether it's pippa or somebody else, to be a martha stewart for a new generation. >> reporter: starting with the basics, bop for apples, tell a story, help guests relax. >> i think that there's something very charming about -- about the accessibility of it. pippa's been sort of known as a party girl, and when you look at the book, oh, this is a completely different type of party, and you definitely would want an invitation. >> reporter: there are critics. the "the new york post" called
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it a bum-mer saying the bowling pins filled with gravel and nothing lines up a grade school event like ten paint bombs with a surprisy schrapnel inside. >> it's not easy to throw a party. it takes something to do it well and to enjoy doing it and that's what you walk away with. she enjoys this. this is actually a passion for her. >> oh, yes. >> reporter: kate, by the way, did not attend the launch party last night. the book is available in the u.s. on october 30th. savannah. >> all right, michelle kosinksi, thank you. coming up next, get ready to dance. our five finalists show us their moves in a live dance-off on the plaza. see you after this. this happy couple used capital one venture miles
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where every cappuccino and latte is made with fresh milk. ♪ and where clothing is optional. nespresso. what else? ♪ we're back now with the culmination of "show us your moves." when we announced this competition a short time ago, we had no idea what to expect. >> but you really came through for us. we got some great entries. they made us laugh. they made us smile. they made us cheer, and in a minute we'll have our five finalists in a live dance-off here on the plaza, but first a look at some of the many videos you sent in. ♪ shaking it up just about anywhere, this is not your average dance floor. >> shake that. >> along with a range of style, from iconic moves like michael.
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>> to the current pop hot "gangnam style." ♪ >> some moves stood out for originality. >> oh, those floors look so clean. >> age was never a factor. everyone got in the act. and in the end you showed us your moves today. all right. now let's meet our panel of distinguished judges. first one you know for sure. debbie allen from the show "fame," aboard winning director and choreographer, and she's working out on a big gala out in california on november 1st. >> debbie, good to have you here. the second judge the singer ciara. it's her second single off
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"one-woman army" and christina black, she performs dances by the nation's hottest coreographers. >> without further ado. first contestant, what's your name? >> jojo. >> where are you from? >> california. >> ready to dance? >> take it away. ♪ ♪ >> okay. as he continues to dance, debbie allen, what do you think of his moves? >> he's a real beat boy. he's very amazing and incredibly gifted and so athletic. look at that. >> all right.
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that's a good review. we like that. jojo, thank you very much. we appreciate it. ladies and gentlemen, jojo. >> all right. >> our next competitor is 9-year-old alexa, and alexa has been dancing since the age of 3. she was inspired by watching her cousin dance on stage. alexa, are you ready? >> yeah. >> okay. ladies and gentlemen, here's alexa. ♪ ♪ >> ciara, what do you think? >> she's amazing. her passion and everything.
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i'm really able to feel her dancing. >> alexa, thank you very much. give her a hand. >> let's meet our third competitor from michigan, 48-year-old mom kim walters. we know her around here as pajama mom. get ready. you'll be inspired, of course, as you say by tina turner, a former cruise ship director. are you ready to dance? >> yes, i am. >> take it away. ♪ ♪ >> all right. let's ask our brooklynette, what
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do you think? >> incredible. you can tell that she loves to dance. >> you think she's got what it takes? christina? >> she's got what it takes. she's got the spirit. >> got the energy. >> all right. >> thank you so much. next up is 7 years jayce butler, his moves inspired by the one and only chris brown. are you ready to go? ladies and gentlemen, here's jayce. ♪
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♪ >> all right. jayce, thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, give a round of applause. >> all right. all right, and our last competitor is 35-year-old ephraim, dancing since the '80s, inspired by mc hammer. all right, go get 'em. ♪ ♪
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>> all right. ladies and gentlemen, give it up for ephraim. >> wow, he's kind of working the referees for a moment there. >> okay. >> all right. so why don't we do this. you guys start talking amongst yourselves, and then what we'll do is we'll introduce the winner of show us your moves in our 8:30 open, okay, but overall, the five competitors you give? >> you like what you see? >> oh, yeah, you know. 1-10, everybody's like an 8. >> okay. >> that's good. >> but you'll have to pick a winner, so we'll find out who that is in a few minutes right after this.
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>> good morning. i'm mindy basara. let's get a final check of your morning commute with traffic pulse 11 and kim dacey. >> a couple of problems thought scattered. brookland area and anne arundel county, at church and ritchie highway, laurel 4 neta road toward d.c. a crash reported as well. delays easing somewhat interlude northwest corner -- 12 minutes from 795 to 83. 14 minutes outer loop ne corner.
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95 south but with the beltway and 100 and howard county, seven minutes. top part of the beltway harford road, the outer loop, a bit of delays of to the distance. nothing to major. switching to a live view at 50 right at 97, an accident is all clear and it looks like in the delays are gone, too. >> we still have those clouds and low fog and a little bit of drizzle here and there just like yesterday. temperatures in the low 60's. humidity is up at 90%. light east to northeast wind. barometer is high. but it is the area of high pressure steering the winds off the atlantic in the area. the winds carrying the moisture from the ocean and that is why we have the clout and fog. there is a cold front to the west of us. sandy is to the south and they come together by the end of the weekend and early next week.
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quiet weather dominated by clouds. morning fog and drizzle and maybe a few sunbreaks in the afternoon but i think few and far between. 66-71 for a high. rain chances increase late saturday in to sunday and monday looks like the peak
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stephanie rawlings-blake: voting for question seven is an... incredible opportunity for baltimore. jim smith: question seven will bring table games like... blackjack and poker to baltimore. stephanie rawlings-blake: you're talking about 500 new jobs. ken ulman: and increased tourism will mean more business... for maryland's small businesses. jim smith: and instead of marylanders spending... five hundred and fifty million in other states... ken ulman: question seven will keep that money right here. stephanie rawlings-blake: more jobs, millions for schools. jim smith: i'm voting for question seven. ken ulman: i'm voting for question seven. stephanie rawlings-blake: and i'm voting for question seven.
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♪ 8:30 now on a friday morning, and that was the scene on our plaza just a few minutes ago, an epic throwdown on the dance floor. five finalists flown in from around the country competing for the title of best dancer in our "show us your moves today" contest and without any further ado our panel of celebrity judges have conferred. >> before we announce the winner
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let's hear it for all our contestants. >> fantastic. >> so miss allen, why don't you be the spokesperson for our panel. there was some dissent. >> there was some dissent. this was a very difficult decision. all of you bring such a spirit of the dance that we love so much, but we did have a choose. that was our job today, and so we have come up with a winner, and the winner is ephraim. >> yeah! >> ephraim, congratulations. >> this is your son, right? >> are you proud of your dad? >> turn this way so we can see you. can you move like your dad? >> better. >> oh, better. >> that's a throwdown. how does it feel? >> we've got some music, you want to try some. go ahead. >> show us your moves. let's see what you can do, too. >> we've got some sirens, that
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helps. >> wow. >> oh, my. ♪ >> oh, my goodness, wow. >> ephraim, you're not only a good dancer, but you're a good teacher, too, man, fantastic. first of all. there you go. there's the trophy. >> good job. >> excellent. >> congratulations to you. we want to thank all of our contestants. really, really wonderful. >> we warrant to thank our judges, too. debbie, christina and ciara for their participation. thank you very much. >> great job, everybody. >> get a check of the weather. mr. roker is down in florida. al? >> hey, matt, as you can see, the skies are really angry here.
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this is all with hurricane sandy going off here and heading up towards the north. meantime, let's look at what your weekend looks like, showing you starting off with saturday. sandy is causing problems along the southeast and atlantic coast. going to be very cold through the great lakes and into the plains. snow showers there. wet weather with mountain snows in the pacific northwest and then sunday, sunday, look for more heavy rain making its way into the mid-atlantic. as sandy continues up the coast, looking at more rain and mountain snows in the pacific northwest and western plains, sunny and warm through the southwest and the sunshine continues. sunshine will return here to florida within the next 48 hours. that's what's going on around
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>> and that's your latest weather. matt? >> all right, al, thank you so much for your reporting from down there this more. when we come back, we'll have today's "take 3" and so much more ahead. but, first, this is "today" on nbc. as a pastor, my support for question 6 is rooted in my belief that the government should treat everyone equally. i would not want someone denying my rights based upon their religious views, therefore i should not deny others based upon mine. it's about fairness. this law does not force any church to perform a same sex marriage if it's against their beliefs. and that's what this is about. protecting religious freedom and protecting all marylanders equally under the law. join me in voting for question 6.
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it's heavy lifting. you start with a democratic senator named ben. by getting bwi-marshall funding for new runways, he's helping us serve 21 million passengers a year, which helps keep 100,000 jobs that depend on the airport, and that means more cargo for more businesses and more skycaps unloading more taxis... welcome to bwi. ...carrying families with more luggage. thanks. it's like he's out here with us. he's my friend, ben. i hope he's your friend, too. i'm ben cardin, and i approve this message.
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back now at 8:36. the deadly for early division at many universities is less than a week away. what do you need to impress the college of your choice? here with the inside scoop, ted spencer, executive director of undergraduate admissions at the university of michigan, ellen kim, the director of undergraduate admissions at johns hopkins and the vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions at vanderbilt
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university. good morning to all of you. bottom line, a very distinguished panel here this morning. >> good morning, savannah. >> great questions that our viewers sent in, but let's start with the basic question to you, ellen what. has changed in the last oh, i guess 20 years or so when a lot of parents were applying to college and now? >> i guess the biggest difference is the amount of information that's accessible to students. i think a lot of universities have put a lot of information online on their websites and hold a lot of events across the country so information can be very successful now without even having to make the visit to campus. >> there's so many students, and i think what most kids want to know, and i'll put this to you, doug, what to do to really make the application stand out. >> i think the best information i would give is to be authentic and describe who you are and let us understand what you want. don't write to us and tell us who you are because we're building a community, not filling a classroom. >> talking about the dreaded essay, of course. the point you is want to make it personal. can you tell when it's been overedited or adults have maybe
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even written it? >> yeah. a lot of times, particularly when the adults sign the application, you know -- >> does that really happen? >> that happens sometimes. it feels a little bit more packaged. it's not about the students so much when someone else is writing it. we don't hear their voice. we don't understand what makes them tick and that's what we're looking for. >> can you forgive something a little less than polished if you feel it's authentic? >> i think you can. i think at times, you know, it's an individual review. you look at everything, and you say, well, where does this fit in the whole package of the application? >> ellen, what are you looking for when you look at transcript, it's not just grades. >> right. so we're looking at the types of classes this person has taken over the course of high school. want to see the student challenged themselves and looking at performance as well and underlying all of that i think what we're really thinking about is what type of student that they are. >> and a lot of kids really involve themselves in a ton of extracurricular activities. is it a competition, is it a numbers game, how many you do? >> no. i would really say it's more
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important to be in two or three or four and be transformative and have made a difference, not the requisite i'm a junior, i better get in 20 clubs. can you see right through that. >> exactly. >> it's the persistence, the passion and the leadership, the reasons why they are joining that's more important to us than the laundry list. >> so many students understandably freak out over the s.a.t.s and the a.c.t.s. how much does that score matter, be honest? >> ellen. it does matter. we ask for it and we'll ask for it and take it into consideration. it doesn't matter as much as students think it does. we're overall looking at the whole of the academic profile, not just that one number. >> it complements the transcript. in other words, it's a part of the whole many factors that we look at, but it's not the one and most important thing. it's a holistic review, test scores, transcript, extracurricular activities. all of those things so the test scores have one weight.
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it means if you're applying to a competitive school, it's important. >> one of the reasons we're having this conversation now is because it is early decision, early action time, and for those who aren't familiar with the concept, doug, i'll let you explain what this is. >> early decision is the ability where a student can choose the school they are really wanting to go to and actually in early decision have a binding contract with the school, the high school counsellor and university all agree and that's where that student is going to end up and must end up if they are admitted and selected. >> so you have to really be devoted to that school because you're making a promise. >> that's right, for early decision and then there's early action. we confuse parents and students all the time. >> i'm confused. >> and it varies. that's why students should go to the website and look at every college, the information about how to get in, but the early action is not binding, that's the major difference. if you want to go to the school and want to be admitted early apply early action. >> okay. read the rules. let's get to our high-tech fishbowl. we've got viewer questions.
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amy from north carolina. should i hire a college coach for my child? this is all the rage in this part of the country. who wants to take that one? >> ellen. sure, we recognize that sometimes students are at schools where maybe they don't have as much access to their high school counselors, and i think sometimes a little outside help can be helpful in those circumstances, but at the end of the day we encourage students to take ownership over the process themselves because the application should be a representation of who they are >> we want to make sure they are not too pre-packaged, back to your original question. >> counselors are great, best people that can advise and assess a student's ability to get into college. >> tammy wants to know. how would you feel about a candidate submitting a home video of themselves with their application, oh, boy? that could be a pitiful. >> we had a situation like that at the university of michigan, admitted this wonderful person who submitted a home video about why he wanted to come to michigan and used the michael
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jackson theme, give me one more chance. >> did he get in? >> he got in. let me say this. we see tons of things like that every year. we don't admit people based on those kinds of things. >> okay. >> if you stand out, if it really makes a difference, it may be considered. most cases it doesn't matter. >> okay. let me try to get to one more. sarah, another one from north carolina. how much weight is given to playing a team sport in high school? >> i think the question on playing a team sport, whether it's a team sport, debate or whatever, the question is did you make a difference and did you stick with it for a long period of time? >> okay. >> we've got nancy from california, real quick on this. we've been told it's helpful to make multiple contacts with the university of your dream, campus tours, visits, et cetera, does it really help? >> demonstrated interest is important but don't stalk. >> keep within 50 feet. you guys are great. good to have you here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> sending you home with this fishbowl. coming up next, a mu
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much-needed makeover for the animals at the grand reopening of the history of natural museum. but first this is "today" on nbc.
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the american museum of natural history is a very big draw in new york city, but the wear and tear of time left some of its most famous exhibits in need of a little repair. nbc's katy tur at at the museum where they are getting ready for a grand opening this weekend. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, matt. thousands of people visit this museum every day and as you say the big draw is the north american hall of mammals where even in the 3-d imax world the displays still manage to lure you in. that being said been 70 years since the first display opened up. as anyone can attest time stops for no man or frozen animal, for that matter. it's not every day you see someone fluffing up a buffalo's
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hair or redyeing the coat of an eight-foot tall alaskan brown bear, but when faced with touching up the wild, it certainly does help if the animals are stuffed. inside these dioramas at the american museum of natural history, restorers got a chance to work in a world sealed off since the '40s, but while the animals stood still, time did not. >> how faded were the bison? they are a deep rich brown right now, a caramel brown. what color when they before? >> about like your hair. >> reporter: exhibit lighting also faded the once lustrous fur of the jack rabbit, bleached the eye of the mountain goat and left the cougar looking a little tired. the hall was conceived in the 1930s, meant to give people a chance to explore the wild of north america, right smack in the middle of the concrete wild of new york city. famous for iconic scenes in books like "catcher in the rye" an movies like "night at the museum." it's where childhood dreams come
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to life with that magical feeling of seeing something you're not supposed to see so close, so life-like. each animal started with a real skelton covered with exact molds of muscles and finished off with real fur. they are hailed as the greatest examples of taxidermy in the world, but even greatness needs some tlc. >> it was just a general look of neglect, so what the museum decided to do was to find a way to bring them back, to make them look as beautiful as they did when they were first installed. >> reporter: so they took out fish, replaced the mountain lion's whiskers and cozied up to the wolves bringing life back to the majestic creatures and magic back to the museum. grand opening saturday, coinciding with the 154th birthday of the father of conservationism and the most popular guy around the museum. >> theodore roosevelt, 26th president of these united states of america at your service. >> i'm not sure of any other
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presidents who have been a scientist in the way that theodore roosevelt was. you're seeing many of the places in north america and many of the species that he wanted to protect. >> that might be it. >> moments frozen in time and preserved for generations to come. no doubt teddy would be proud. now the hall has been partially closed off for about a year and a half. the grand opening is tomorrow with a very big celebration. matt, it's your chance to come back here and see if it's as magical as you remember it when you were a kid. >> i've been there a lot. one of the rainy day favorites in new york city. thanks very much. appreciate the report. still ahead, how hold is too old to go trick-or-treating? that's the big question. up next the olympic ice dancing team of merrill davis and charlie weis on the rink. that's
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this morning on "today at the rink," meryl davis and charlie white, the ice dancing duo burst on the scene in the world stage in 2010 winning the silver medal at the winter olympic games in vancouver. two years later they have won ten straight grand prix events, including skate america just this past weekend. meryl and charlie, great to have you guys here. >> thanks for having us. >> you guys are crushing the competition. as i mentioned, you just won skate america. anything less than first right now unacceptable to you? >> yeah. we're obviously really aiming for first, and, you know,
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heading into sochi in 15 months, definitely looking for an olympic gold medal. >> how much of the preparation now is getting ready for sochi? >> well, you know, this season is different from the olympic year, but it's still a big part of getting ready. so we're going to be looking to win worlds this year. >> when are worlds? >> it will be in the early spring in lake ontario, actually. >> fun. so pretty close to home. >> you guys meanwhile have a really interesting project coming up, classroom, skating -- >> classroom champions. >> what does that involve? >> a project started by an olympian in 2010, and it's a project that combines education with athletics, and so it's olympians and paralympians supporting classrooms around the country. >> great. >> yeah. >> all right. well, good luck, guys, as you get into your places now. i'll let everyone know that you'll be skating to the music of johan strauss. go ahead and take your positions and take it away.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> meryl davis and charlie white, thank you. go the me into the olympic spirit. >> i believe it does. >> much more ahead, but before your local news, a look back at week that was here on "today." >> is governor romney trying to portray someone? >> i wouldn't say that. >> despite what he said in the past? >> if you look at recent polls, mr. vice president, they are tightening considerably. >> one thing i've tried to always be is just steady in terms of what i believe in.
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>> live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> mr. tony bennett, the legend. ♪ the best is yet to come ♪ and baby, won't that be fine ♪ sweet caroline >> so good, so good, so good. >> the cookie monster. >> taking a walk on the wild si side. >> winning nfl coach. >> how you doing there, person? >> do it, do it. >> party girl nicole "snooki" polizzi and her fiance jionni lavalle. >> thank you, dr. oz. your wisdom knows no bounds. ♪
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>> good morning. i'm mindy basara. here's a look at one of our top stories. a taxicab driver is in critical condition this morning, shot during a robbery in east baltimore. police say the driver was transporting a fair just after 8:30 when the suspect the man
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that money and shot the driver in the chest while he was still driving. driving. the car stopped on as a pastor, my support for question 6 is rooted in my belief that the government should treat everyone equally. i would not want someone denying my rights based upon their religious views, therefore i should not deny others based upon mine. it's about fairness. this law does not force any church to perform a same sex marriage if it's against their beliefs. and that's what this is about. protecting religious freedom and protecting all marylanders equally under the law. join me in voting for question 6.
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>> a lot of clouds again this morning and generally speaking they will be with us all day. maybe a sun breaker to. morning fog and drizzle will give way to slightly warmer temperatures. maybe up to 74 a high. >> thank you.
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