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tv   Early Today  NBC  December 19, 2017 3:30am-4:01am EST

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>> we salute all of you. >> absolutely. >> bye, everyone. amtrak 501, emergency, emergency, emergency. we are on the ground. >> at least three dead and dozens injured on the first day of new high-speed amtrak train service as cars derail and first responders are left scrambling. >> telle what democracy looks like. this is what democracy looks like. >> not everyone is thrilled with the gop-led tax cut plan, but today may be the day donald trump gets his first major legislative victory. >> speaking out for the first time on television, three women reveal intimate details of their sexual misconduct allegations against legendary actor dustin hoffman. >> and meet the 5-year-old who called 911 to warn police that the grinch might steal christmas.
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"early today" starts right now. good morning, i'm phillip mena. >> i'm frances rivera. it was a first day gone wrong for a new high-speed amtrak line in washington state. three people were killed and about two dozen injured when an inaugural train derailed off the bridge and crashing into the highway below. it happened in tacoma in the city of dupont during the morning rush. passengers on board later described the harrowing scene. >> things just started to tip over and as it was going around and then all of a sudden just ended up on side and everything went dark and stuff started flying around and that was it. then it stopped. >> the cause of the crash is under investigation, but authorities say speed may have been a factor. nbc's scott cohn is in dupont with more for us. scott, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, phillip. we do know that more now about the speed thanks to the national transportation safety board which is now on-site. they have been able to download the information from the black box on one of the locomotives and confirmed that the train was
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going 80 miles per hour on a track where the speed limit was 30. but that is -- that just opens up a number of other questions. let's take a look at the scene now as you can see, they have moved some cranes onto interstate 5 to try and get the highway back up and running again. but they still have to see whether there was any structural damage to the overpass where the train came off. and so it's anybody's guess when that's going to be open. there has also been a lot of attention paid to positive train control. that's the technology that allows these trains to be stopped even if they're going into a curve like this at too high a rate of speed. officials confirming that there was no positive train control being used, but that's just one of the many things that they're looking at. >> ptc would prevent types of accidents, such as this. whether it will prevent this accident remains to be seen. we should remember that ptc can't prevent every accident.
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>> reporter: three people killed in this accident, 72 people transported to local hospitals. ten of them injured seriously. to put it in perspective, of the 85 people aboard the train, only 10 escaped unhurt. phillip, frances? >> what a tragedy, scott. thank you. >> in the wake of a deadly derailing, questions are once again being raised about the safety of the country's rail lines and as we just heard from scott, that crucial positive train control technology is expected to be a main focus in this investigation. nbc's tom costello brings us more. >> reporter: federal law enforcement sources say there is no indication of terrorism. but multiple sources do say investigators are looking into whether train 501 was going way too fast as it approached the curve where it derailed. >> the overall track speed was 80, and the curve was restrict today 30 and it looked like he failed to slow for the curve. >> reporter: the priority for investigators, recover the train's black boxes that would have recorded the train's speed
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and whether the brakes were applied. investigators will also question the crew about whether the track condition was good and whether there was an obstruction on the tracks. that stretch of track run by sound transit had not yet been upgraded with positive train control. a congressionally ordered high-tech safety upgrade to keep trains from crashing. >> it says you're going too fast, you have 90 mile an hour -- >> it slows it down for you. >> it took over the train for me. >> reporter: we saw how it worked last year. in essence the technology is to remove human error as a factor in krshes by forcing the train to abide by speed limits and stop signals. with transponders in the tracks, compute torz monitor every speed and location and slam on the brakes to prevent a crash. railroad veterans say a string of crashes could have been prevented with positive train control. from california to the bronx, philadelphia to a derailment with injuries in washington state last july. the question was speed a factor in the crash and would a safety
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upgrade have made the difference. tom costello, nbc news, boston. >> today is the day the republican-led congress may deliver president trump his first big legislative win. with both the house and senate poised to pass the gop's $1.5 trillion tax cut package. but on capitol hill, protesters descended into the halls of congress chanting, marching and staging die-ins throughout the congressional complex, urging their representatives to vote against the plan. today "the new york times" editorial board is sounding the alarm, writing, the republican tax bill would benefit president trump and other property tycoons having done nothing to drain the washington swamp. the many now luxurious in the warm waters. that as we learn a large part of the country is against the bill altogether. for more we go to nbc's edward lawrence in washington. edward, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, phillip. right now it's a hard sell for the american people. not so much for republican senators any more. a very skeptical public is seen in two polls that have come out now.
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one poll showing 47% of americans now say they disapprove of the tax plan being considered by congress here. in fact, half of all the americans say that they believe that their taxes will actually increase under this plan because deductions have been removed. now, for example, you can reduce the amount of state taxes that you can deduct from your taxes to just $10,000. it will hurt people in high cost of living areas. the democrats believe this plan will help the corporations and the rich, but not the middle class. >> my republican colleagues have accomplished an amazing trick, a tax cut usually popular is 2 to 1 unpopular in america. good work. they know what's in it. the public knows. they know they're getting crums, if anything, many are getting increases. while the highest income people do great. >> reporter: now, the bill will pass the house fairly easily in the senate. they will vote without senator
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john mccain who is back in arizona. he tweeted today, i'm feeling well and looking forward to the holidays or coming back to work after the holidays there. the senator mccain is obviously being treated for cancer. now, that leaves 51 republican senators in the senate, and some say that senator bob corker came on board only after a provision was added to help real estate land holders like himself and president trump. phillip, frances? >> if that's the case, the vice-president will be needed. edward, thank you. >> well, now to the issue of russia's interference in the 2016 election. house republicans tell nbc news they are preparing to draw their year long investigation to an end in the coming weeks. and there is exclusive new information that the fbi warned then candidate donald trump in 2016 that russians might try to infiltrate his campaign. nbc's peter alexander has more from washington. >> nbc news has learned senior fbi officials warned donald trump in the weeks after he secured the gop nomination. >> my message is that things
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have to change. >> reporter: the foreign adversaries, including russia, would likely try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign. according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter. both mr. trump and hillary clinton in separate briefings urged to alert the fbi about any suspicious overtures. candidate trump made his own unusual over ture to moscow. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> reporter: a white house spokesperson calling the contents of a classified conversation an inappropriate leak. mr. trump's warmth to russia now translating into white house policy. vladimir putin heaping praise on president trump for the cia helping break up a major terror plot in russia. also under scrutiny, mr. trump's transition team with one of its lawyers claiming special counsel robert mueller's investigators improperly obtained thousands of transition staff e-mails. now being used in the russia
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probe. in a rare public statement, a mueller spokesman says, not true. >> you really can't unring this bell. if they have already reviewed the e-mails and they know what's in them, then deleting them or giving them back doesn't really change anything. >> reporter: as for those trump/putin phone calls, former national intelligence james clapper said putin, an ex-kgb agent is manipulating trump like a skilled operative saying he knows how to handle an asset and that's what he's doing with the president. frances? >> all right, peter, thank you. >> now to nbc meteorologist bill karins and, bill, a lot of people already starting the holiday travel. >> we have a storm moving coast to coast. the storm is moving into the northwest so seattle and portland could deal with rain. snow in the northern rockies. the central plains light snow, minneapolis airport delays and also denver on the backside of that getting colder and snowy. by the time we get to friday we're going to see rain in areas
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like nashville, memphis and dallas fort worth. rain changing to snow in areas of wisconsin and by the time we get to saturday, that rain arrives on the east coast so a lot of our big city airports on i-95 could see some @w president recorded a message
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stocks surging on wall street with the dow posting its 70th record close of the year. and the nasdaq briefly touching 7,000 and the year isn't over yet. >> leading the news, the united states vetoed a resolution monday rejecting president trump's recognition of jerusalem as israel's capital. it was backed by 14 other u.s. ambassadors. nikki haley calling the resolution an insult. >> what we witnessed here today in the security council is an insult. it won't be forgotten.
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it's one more example of the united nations doing more harm than good in addressing the israeli/palestinian conflict. today for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the united states was forced to defend its sovereignty. >> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu thanked haley for the veto in a video statement. president trump's jerusalem decision earlier this month stirred widespread uproar in the arab world amid the tensions vice-president mike pence who was scheduled to travel to the middle east today has delayed his trip until next month. a white house spokesperson maintains it is solely because he wants to see the gop tax cut bill pass this week. >> well, the grinch will not be stealing anyone's christmas on this toddler's watch. 5-year-old in mississippi was worried the grinch would ruin christmas for everyone so nafrply he called 9191 1 to war them. >> i'm just trying to tell you something, watch for the grinch.
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>> watch out for that guy. not long after placing that call, a police officer showed up to catch the grinch and he let the young caller lock him up. afterwards he got a tour of the jail and he said he was sure to offer his services to the police department if they ever need him. >> that's a doorable. probably the best 911 call i've heard in a while. still to come an nbc news exclusive. three of dustin hoffman's accusers speak out on tv on sexual misconduct. that's next. ♪ so probably take it at night. and if you have any questions, the instructions are here in spanish as you requested. gracias. ♪ at walgreens, how we care will change over time, but why we care remains the same treating everyone with the care and attention they deserve. walgreens. trusted since 1901. in the water, in the water you ready for this? she doesn't like it... you gotta get in there okay, okay careful not to get it in her eyes
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coming up on the today show, that canning your holiday. jeff rossen reports on a potentially dangerous flaw in amazon's new delivery technology jay th that could leave your home vulnerable to thieves. >> a wave of accusations of sexual conduct against powerful men from hollywood to sports to media. one of the biggest names ensnared in the me too movement is oscar winner dustin hoffman accused by several women of inappropriate behavior. we haven't heard them tell their stories on television until now. three women speak out for the first time to nbc's cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: he is one of the greatest actors of his generation. >> mrs. robinson, you're trying to seduce me. >> reporter: they are three of five women who say dustin hoffman behaved in sexually inappropriate ways. >> as hard as it is, i think that i wanted to choose truth over shame. >> reporter: cory thomas was 16
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in 1980. a friend of one of hoffman's daughters when the three spent a day together in new york. >> and it was probably one of the greatest days of my life because -- >> reporter: until she says she was left alone with hoffman to wait for her parents. >> and he came out of the bathroom, you know, after a few moments, with a towel around him and literally dropped the towel. and i just froze. i had never seen a man naked in my life at this point. i was kind of an awkward young girl. i had never kissed anyone. >> reporter: she says he got on the bed and asked her to give him a foot massage. >> reporter: he w >> he was being suggestive. he kept saying, you know i'm naked. >> reporter: she was an intern on the delgt of a salesman where she says hoffman grabbed her bottom, persuaded him to give her foot rubs and humiliated her. one morning she says he gave her a sexually vulgar and defensive breakfast order. >> and he just stared at me and everyone burst out laughing.
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and i backed out. i went to the bathroom and cried. >> reporter: kathryn lossiter credited hoffman in give being her a chance to star in death of a salesman. >> people ask how is it working with hoffman. i tell the half truth. as an actor working with him, i owe him everything. i learned so much. and then i would stop. and there would always be a knot in my stomach about what the real truth was, which is he was abusive and he was a bully. >> reporter: she says he repeatedly assaulted her back stage during the live broadway show. >> i felt his, his hand go up, up my thigh. one day he actually tried to penetrate me with his fingers and i was like, ah! i was told to suck it up. he was the most famous actor in the world. he was at the top of his career. i was a nobody. nobody was going to believe me. >> reporter: so do those who feel sorry for dustin hoffman in
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the wake of your coming forward? >> i don't think they should feel sorry for him. he's fine. we have a culture of celebrity. and just because you're good at sports or music or acting doesn't mean that you're completely, you know, integrated fabulous human being. your humanity is different than your work. that might be part of his tragedy. he brings so much humanity to his work. and he hasn't quite gotten it completely in his life. >> that was nbc's cynthia mcfadden. and there's been no comment from hoffman's representatives. hoffman himself apologized after anna hunter came forward in november saying, he feels, quote, terrible, that anything i might have done put her in an n uncomfortable situation. it is not who i am. his lawyer called it dee familiar friday falsehoods. >> just ahead, firefighters gain ground on one of the largest
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welcome back. christmas only six days away. now we're getting close. we have a little more skill in the forecast at this rate. it looks frigid in the middle of the country. a high of negative 1 in minneapolis where it is going to be interesting. new england and the mid-atlantic with a chance of rain or snow. "early today" we'll be right back.
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taking a stand for safety. today bicyclists are making a plea for change after another cyclist is hit on a philadelphia road. plunging off the tracks. breaking overnight, new details emerge about a deadly derailment that sent train cars off an overpass. what investigators now say may have caused the crash. and delivery deadline. today's an important day if you plan on getting your gifts to their destinations by christmas. good morning, this is "nbc10 news today" first look at 4. i'm tracy davidson. >> i'm katy zachry. a few minutes before 4:00 a.m. let's get right to meteorologist bill henley with the first alert forecast, the most accurate neighborhood weather forecast. i think we'll like this one. >> yes, deja vu.
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clouds and light showers, just sprinkles now in chester county. you see them extend into lancaster county. this is how we'll start the day. like yesterday, we'll break out of any showers this morning. the clouds will thin out, and we'll get a lot of sunshine. and we're getting another mild start this morning, even warmer than yesterday morning. 39 degrees in new jersey. look at the 40s for the lehigh valley, the suburbs, philadelphia, 43 degrees right now. we will see sunshine as the clouds thin out later this morning. at 9:00, 44 degrees, not a lot warmer than it is right now. look at the winds. those southwesterly winds will develop. that's going to boost our temperatures. we will warm into the 50s this afternoon. 56 degrees with partly sunny skies in philadelphia. 50 degrees in the lehigh valley. most other neighborhoods right in between. i'll break it down hour by hour, show you how quickly the clouds move out and you'll get the sunshine when i'm back in ten minutes. first, jessica boyington has first alert traffic.
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thanks. there's an accident in the rose valley borough area. word that there are fatalities involved. we don't exactly know the two points of closures in between the scene here. we're going to keep our eyes on that. it might be a serious problem as it leads on into the morning commute. we're also watching the schuylkill expressway. we're closed once we get to the vine street expressway. drive time is fine, but they'll divert you. 13 minutes from the blue route to the vine street expressway. average speeds into the 60s. we're closed once you get to hear, and to the -- once you get to here, and to the vine street expressway and south street, the closure opens back up. this will be there until 5:00. updates when i come back. >> thank you. breaking news on the deadly train derailment near seattle, washington. we've learned from federal investigators that the train was going more than double the speed limit when it crashed during yesterday's horush hour. the


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