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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 5, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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you know, rain versus snow questions. thank you for watching. the news continues with "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. have a great night. ncht on our broadcast tonight, boiling over. cities are again tonight bracing for big protests. there are new revelations about the officer involved in that chokehold death. and now a new grand jury looking into another controversial case. a bombshell turn of events raising doubts about accusations of a brutal attack on a well-kwn college campus. discrepancies in the story rocking a big university and a big name in publishing. also tonight, our nbc news investigation, can stem cell therapy really help treat diseases like m.s. and parkinsons? desperate patients being charged big money by doctors for an unproven treatment. and a new era for the american space program. a spectacular launch the start of our next journey, and it's a long one.
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"nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. as we head into the first weekend of december we may be heading into another dicey and busy night in several american cities and towns. there are protesters already on the streets of some major population centers. this movement started in new york when we learned this week there would be no charges against the police officer in the chokehold death of a civilian during an arrest. before new york of course there was ferguson. and now all of it has taken the sm shape of a sprawling effort. nbc's stephanie gosk is out in it in the streets of new york to start us off. stephanie, good efbing. >> reporter: good evening, brian. as people gather here in lower manhattan, our nbc news affiliate in new york says the district attorney in staten island did not ask the grand jury to consider a charge of
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reckless endangerment. only more serious charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. protesters are not letting up. three days after a grand jury decided not to indict officers involved in the death of eric garner. lake shore drive shut down in chicago. traffic in washington and in dallas a total mess. new york's police commissioner says he expects protests to dwindle. >> these things tend to peter out on their own. people tend to get tired of marching around endlessly. >> reporter: but on "today" governor an drew cuomo spoke. >> when you saw that video, your instinct was this is not right, they went too far. i'm sure if the justice system is working that it's going to address this. and then it didn't. >> i can't breathe. i can't breathe. >> reporter: police advocates in
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new york city maintain the officers did nothing wrong, that this takedown of garner was textbook. the focus has been on officer daniel pantaleo, the officer who placed a chokehold on garner. pantaleo has been named in three civil rights lawsuits against the city of new york resulting from two incidents. all three plaintiffs say they were unlawfully arrested and falsely charged. in all three cases criminal charges were dismissed. one suit accused pantaleo taking part in an unwilling and unlawful strip search. that was settled out of court. the other allege a pattern of false arrests and civil rights violations against persons of color. lawyers for the city deny the allegations. with emotions running high, attention today turned to another case. 28-year-old acai gurly shot and killed two weeks ago in an apartment building stairwell unarmed and not accused of any crime. >> i pray to god i get justice for my son because my son didn't deserve to die like that.
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he didn't deserve to die like that. >> reporter: the nypd says it was an accident. the daily news reports says the cop waited six and a half minutes before calling 911. but in that time he texted his union representative. today the brooklyn district attorney announced he would convene a grand jury in the case, in his words, to get to the bottom of what happened. another grand jury, brian. and another possible indictment. the problem is that the people that have been out protesting the streets already don't trust that process. back to you. >> stephanie gosk starting us off tonight from lower manhattan. stephanie, thanks. we now turn to a surprising turn of events tonight concerning high profile sexual assault accusations at a storied american college campus, an institution founded by thomas jefferson, the university of virginia. accusations that set off a torrent of outrage. tonight, doubts are being raised about the accuser's story which was first published in "rolling stone" then reported on widely
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including on this broadcast. we get the very latest tonight from nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: students at uva are reeling tonight after learning there are now serious doubts about an alleged gang rape on campus that led to a police investigation, widespread protests and suspension of all greek life. >> i think the general consensus was that even if it's not real, it's a problem even if that particular story wasn't real, it's probably still a problem. >> reporter: the bombshell claims made last month when "rolling stone" magazine reported a student named jackie said she was brutally gang raped by five men at a fraternity party in 2012. but late today "rolling stone" back pedalled writing in face of new information there now appear tor discrepancies in jackie's account. the magazine also acknowledged its reporter never talked to jackie's alleged accusers saying jackie asked the publication not to for fear of retaliation.
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representatives with the fraternity released a statement saying they never had a party during the weekend in question. none of their members were lifeguards as jackie told "rolling stone." and sexual assaults are not a part of a pledge ritual as jackie alleged. in an article today "the washington post" reported jackie's friends recently began to question her account. the post interviewed jackie last night. >> i can imagine it may be hard to come to grips with, you know, aspects of your own story that aren't, you know, lining up correctly. it's difficult to say what she really thinks right now. >> reporter: meanwhile tonight victims rights advocates say this episode shouldn't take away from what remains a critical issue nationwide. >> the worst thing that could come out of this is that even more people are afraid of speaking up about their experience being raped or sexually assaulted. >> reporter: the university of virginia said today's news must not alter its focus on preventing sexual violence. the charlottesville police department is still
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investigating. kristen welker, nbc news, washington. there was a time not so long ago when a nasa rocket launch in florida was so common it hardly received news coverage, but then in recent years we retired the space shuttle and we pay the russians to send american astronauts into space. that's why today's nasa launch was news. a test flight for the orion, the craft they are hoping will some day take us to mars. nbc's tom costello was there for the launch at the kennedy space center in florida and has our report on it tonight. >> igniters have been lit. >> reporter: it was at 7:05 eastern time this morning from launch pad 37b when nasa once again made history. >> and liftoff at dawn, the dawn of orion and a new era of american space exploration. >> reporter: speeding at 17,000 miles an hour, the unmanned orion first reached low earth orbit dropping two booster.
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on the ground in florida crowds gathered to cheer. >> i'll be able to tell my grand kids. i mean, this is just one of those moments that i'll always remember. >> reporter: meanwhile, orion was traveling further than any spacecraft built for humans in 42 years. 3600 miles out in space, 15 times higher than the space station all the while sending back spectacular live images of earth. >> all of orion's systems are operating to perfection so far. >> reporter: then the return trip. an unmanned drone captured the fiery re-entry as orion hit the atmosphere. the heat shield withstanding 4,000 degree temperatures. and just like apollo, a spectacular view as the parachutes deployed, slowing orion to a gentle splashdown right on target 600 miles off san diego. >> orion is back on earth. america has driven a golden spike as it crosses a bridge into the future. >> reporter: today's mission critical to prepare for eventually carrying astronauts
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to an asteroid or even mars. >> before we put humans on board we want to look at the test data and have an opportunity to actually change the spacecraft, its design, it's construction. >> reporter: for nasa today was about proving it still has the right stuff. >> -- we started with all the apollo guys still there, so we've kind of now finally done something for the first time for our generation. >> reporter: the first manned test flight could be six to eight years away. and consider this, if the first mission to mars is 20 years away, that means those astronauts today are in preschool. there are many more years ahead of tests and hurdles, brian. >> tom costello down at the kennedy space flight center in florida. tom, thanks. president obama today announced his new pick for our boss of men and women in uniform, ashton carter, former undersecretary, a philly native, a physicist by trade, a weapons and logistics expert with a
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doctorate from -- a rogue scholar. nominated to replace the departing chuck hagel. big jolt of economic news, we learned employers added 321,000 jobs in november. unemployment rate holds steady at a six-year low now of 5.8%. taking the year as a whole so far 2014 is on track to be the strongest we've seen for hiring since 1999. on the other side of the world tonight a monster storm is taking aim at the philippines, which could be in for a very rough weekend. this is a category 5 and in that part of the world that large a hurricane is called a supertyphoon with winds over 150 miles an hour. it's roaring in from the pacific threatening some of the same areas devastated by the last big one just last year. nbc's in manila with our report. >> reporter: it looks like a
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monster even from outerspace, 450 miles wide and bearing down on the philippines. with landfall now just hours away, hundreds of thousands in the storm's path have evacuated coastal areas, stocking up on food, water and other supplies. dozens of flights have been canceled, sea lanes shut down and ports closed. this time people are heeding the warnings. with memories still fresh of last year's devastating supertyphoon haiyan, it's record 150-mile-an-hour winds and 20-foot storm surge took the nation by surprise destroying a million homes, displacing 4 million people and leaving more than 7,000 dead. one year later thousands of haiyan survivors still live in shelters or tents. like everyone here they're now fearful of reliving a nightmare. >> they see probability of storm surges. and we just advise them to be prepared. >> reporter: with little more than faith they say to brace for what's heading their way.
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nbc news, manila. new fallout tonight from that massive hacking attack on sony pictures in hollywood. employees have received an e-mail from the hackers, a group calling itself the guardians of peace. the e-mail makes threats against the families of employees saying they are in danger unless the employees "make your company behave wisely or else." this hack has already released several motion pictures online, some not yet in theaters. it has also gotten personal releasing salary information. sony says law enforcement continues to investigate. still ahead this evening, our nbc news investigation trying desperate patients willing to try anything to help treat diseases like m.s. and parkinson. but some doctors are charging thousands for an unproven treatment. later, sweater weather. it's getting awfully christmasy out there setting new records in over-the-top seasonal wear. your fidelity green line
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>> reporter: after 20 years of multiple sclerosis, symptoms are getting worse. >> just wanted to confirm -- >> reporter: when he heard about a stem cell therapy in nearby fephoenix phoenix, he was hopeful and surprised. >> shocked maybe because it was not approved, i didn't think. >> reporter: the treatment was being offered by a plastic surgeon who performs stem cell therapy out of the same clinic where he does cosmetic procedures. he is one of more than 100 doctors nationwide who say they have treated thousands of patients. they use liposuction to extract patient's fat, separate out the stem cells and then inject those same stem cells back into the patient hoping that those stem cells will regenerate healthy new cells. dr. git tells his patients the procedure can help but is not necessarily a cure. >> it's a recipe for exploitation. >> reporter: but leading stem cell researchers like harvard's
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dr. george daly, say these doctors are preying on vulnerable people. >> it's dramatically premature to actually be charging patients for therapy that we don't yet know is safe or effective. >> reporter: and how much would this cost? >> it was a thousand dollars. >> reporter: per treatment? >> per treatment. >> reporter: when robert called his former neurologist for advice, he was told not to do it. he says he has had at least a dozen patients call him about the treatments they find online. some costing $15,000 or more. >> legitimate scientific breakthroughs are not marketed through youtube or slick websites. >> it's the wild west out there. not one person has been harmed, injured, killed, died -- >> reporter: we sat down with dr. gitt. >> majority probably in the 60% to 80% range have a very positive outcome in terms of improvement. >> reporter: and how do you measure improvement? >> well, there's a quality of
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life scale that is followed and tracked for each patient. >> reporter: dr. gitt says patients who are paying for stem cell therapy are also participating in a study, a practice considered unorthodox. give me one clinical trial where patients pay to get in. >> well, the fact of the matter is ultimately we all pay when research is done. >> reporter: he says patients have to pay because neither pharmaceutical companies nor universities will fund his work. he says he is not doing it for the money. most of his income comes from his plastic surgery practice. the fda told nbc news that it is wary of this treatment but that it does not regulate it. people should consult with a trusted physician before trying anything experimental like this, brian. >> dr. nancy snyderman back here with us with an important story. thank you as always. we are back in a moment with the reigning queen tonight cementing her place in history. (announcer) are you dealing with hot flashes during menopause?
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the grammy nominations are out. and while too numerous to itemize, the list is on our website. suffice to say it's a big year for women for five record of the year nominees. sam smith is the only male artist among the five. and one woman in particular makes history this year. beyonce has now become the most nominated female artist of all-time passing dolly parton with a record 47 nominations, which have so far by the way yielded 17 trophies. weather and climate making news this season. amidst all the flooding rain in california, a new study there says the drought is the worst in 1,200 years. the state faces quite an uphill fight. san francisco to name one city, remains two feet below rainfall averages for the year. in 46 years of recordkeeping, more snow covered
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our hemisphere this fall than at any other time breaking the previous record set in 1976. and sea levels have been creeping up on land at the kennedy space center in florida. manmade dunes have been built to protect historic sites including launch pad 39a. and there's a plan to move other facilities back from the water if need be. and after last night's airing of "peter pan live" on this network, this may be the best review of all. 6-year-old ian armatage who lives in west virginia reminded us today about what was important for peter pan, he clapped for tinker bell and so many kids like him. we're told tinker bell is doing well and is tired. ian played an important role in the show's success. when we come back, letting your colors fly this time of year when the look has never been more in fashion. [ woman ] i've had it with my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis...
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just recently the cool kids decided some christmas sweaters were so ugly they should be worn loudly and proudly and celebrate it. and now that's become an industry all its own. and we get an update on this growing movement tonight from nbc's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: folks, this is going to get ugly, real ugly christmas sweater ugly. from a trendy club in atlanta. >> my sweater is fabulous. >> reporter: to ugly sweater runs nationwide. they're big sellers. advertised online as ugly. >> isn't that something? that people would want to buy an ugly sweater. >> reporter: andy williams recognized early on the chic mystique of the holiday pullover. who would have thunk beyonce would be wearing and selling them. and sports team ugly sweaters are expected to bring in more than $10 million this holiday
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season. 220,000 plus #uglysweater posts. christmas depot business has doubled, even hip sters are committing crimes against fashion. >> it is super cool to be ugly. >> let's get ugly. >> let's get ugly. what do you think? >> well, i think that's really ugly. >> yeah. >> i mean, look at that. >> reporter: high end wardrobe consultant annie barlow thought she'd seen it all until we went shopping. >> doesn't that make you more confident? i think so, yeah, check me out. i look good. i also think it's a conversation starter. >> reporter: i have an ugly sweater. would you talk to me? oh, and look who we found shopping for ugly. >> the likeness is uncanny, don't you think? >> reporter: will one of these end up under your tree? kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. >> that's our broadcast on a friday night. thank you for being here with
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us. i'm brian williams. lester holt will be here with you this weekend. we of course hope to see you right back here on monday night. in the meantime, have a great weekend. good night. angelina jolie's rescue mission for a fan crushed in a mob. >> the wild new video now on "extra." ♪ angelina's whirlwind big apple night. her super mom save for a freaked
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out fan caught in this insane crowd crush. >> you're the best! hollywood's sexiest couple sofia vergara and joe manganiello ready to i do? >> you'd be open to getting married again? >> sofia dishing on engagement rings and joe's magic mike mishap. >> being a stripper is very hard. miley cyrus and patrick schwarzenegger sparking something up in miami. and miley going head to with katy perry and ariana grande in a grammys pop diva battle. >> now drending, malcolm jamal warner grilled about his tv dad bill cosby's sex scandal. >> what do you think about the allegations? plus, "gq" man of the year chris pratt's modeling 101. >> show me your "gq" pose. now on "extra" from universal studios hollywood, the entertainment capital of l.a.

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