tv PBS News Hour PBS February 6, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
officer, revealing he was a victim of bullying and was acting oddly, asking about school security and touting his military past. police say he was not armed and made out -- made no threats. police had a strange feeling about this guy and the next day officers got a search warrant and found several military-style assault weapons and handguns under his bed and in his mattress, including an ak-47, and the the assault weapon, two 8 millimeter bolt action rifles, and three handguns, one with a laser sight. they also found ammunition. the ak-47 was loaded with a 30- round magazine and one of the handguns was loaded and founded 9 millimeter barrel and silencer. all this was seized by police and beaumont was taken into custody. >> we live in an age that probably will never be the same again after connecticut. we thought 9/11 was a harbinger of a different era. and it was.
post-connecticut, we have got to recognize as an agency, as a nation, as a state, that our school children, we have to take these kind of precautionary thorough investigative steps to make sure. >> police tell us beaumont is the legally registered owner of those weapons. he is officially charged with trespassing but at this time he is undergoing mental evaluations at sheppard hospital. school officials said there needs to be improvements in security. >> a loud and emotionally charged crowd converged on annapolis. 1000 gun rights activists rallied at the mall. several of them lined up to testify against the governor's gun-control legislation. david collins was in the thick of things and he joins us live from annapolis with the latest. >> the crowd was one of the
largest in recent memory. so many people signed up to testify the senate committee reserve eight hours to hear from all sides. >> the right of the people to keep and bear arms. shall not be deprived. >> the police estimated the crowd of 1000 strong was allowed -- was loud and mostly charged with in your face gun rights messages. the nra organized it taking aim at governor mallees gun-control legislation being heard in committee. >> we will be the only ones to [indiscernible] because criminals do not follow laws. >> the nra offer scholarships for shooting. if this bill passes i will not be eligible for any of them. this is infringing on my
educational opportunities. >> getting a license that must be renewed five years, submitting to background checks, limits on camel and clips. >> coverage is not there to determine our needs. is there to serve our needs. >> there was a shopping frenzy for firearms. >> i am senator nancy jacobs. i just bought a new gun. i did not do too bad, did i? >> a bald eagle circling the event galvanized our cause. >> that is a sign that we're on the right track. >> several people -- hundred people wanted to testify. the overflow room filled to capacity. >> one thing that will can appreciate is the fact that in our country, we're able to express these differences of opinion.
>> the state attorney general considers the gun package constitutional. >> this is about public safety, about doing reasonable things that work to save lives. >> the gun rights rally lasted all day. lawmakers are divided over some alamance some form of gun control of deflation will land on the governor's desk. -- gun-control legislation will land on the governor's desk. >> if the city does not make major cuts and reforms in 10 years, bankruptcy may be the only option, a report said. moallemthe mayor talked about tt report. >> the report put out by public financial management, and corporate takes a closer look at what the city's books will look like in 10 years. according to this report, the news is not good.
>> if we act now, if we act decisively and boldly, we can change the trajectory for the city. >> the mayor on the defensive after a privately commissioned report indicated that if nothing is done to the city's budget, baltimore will be in financial ruin by fiscal year 2022. take a closer look at the numbers assuming a continuation of closer -- programs and policies conducted by the city on the carry forward basis. in 10 years the city will be $745 million in the whole. add to that an additional $1.30 billion for failing infrastructure as well as health-care and pension benefits for retirees and you are talking more than $2 billion in the hole. >> i believe this report is a week of call to the city saying we need to get the finances in order. our expenses are somewhat less than our revenue.
>> a towson university economist said the numbers are concerning especially because the city cannot tax its way out without losing more residents and businesses. the report points out baltimore's property tax and income tax rates are the highest in the state. unfortunately, pension reform is the big elephant in the room, the economist said and the mayor has a terribly hard job ahead of her. >> the mayor will have to make cuts in decisions that will prove to be unpopular in the short run. >> while the mayor did not offer specific details, she did highlight four key themes for cuts including identifying strategies to a line recurring revenues, reducing property and income taxes, addressing infrastructure, and addressing the city's long-term liabilities. >> as far as specifically what cuts will be made, the mayor
said she will discuss that in her state of the city address next week. if you'd like to take a closer look at the report, we provided a link to it on our website, wbaltv.com. we're live outside city hall tonight. wbal tv 11 news. >> we have several updates. the stabbing that happened a few blocks away from yesterday's ravens victory celebration. city police say dionte smith was killed. it is reported to other teams were hurt -- teens were hurt. it is not clear if there were in the area because of the parade. police are releasing a flood of the suspect sometime soon. the rest of the baltimore county wife and mother. the door was locked so they called a tactical team to get inside. they found katie heidel stabbed to death.
police arrested a 33-year-old man described as an acquaintance. her family and friends are devastated. >> our hope, whoever did this, they need to know how good a person she was and she had a small baby, ava, and now ava does not have a mother. >> police are not identifying the spesuspect until formal chas are filed. >> a double shooting in edgewood. garfield smith iii killed michael karrens and wounded another. police are looking at a tip that they may have gone into a part to purchase drugs. the other victim is in good condition. a guilty verdict in the murder trial of michael johnson. but after three days of deliberations, a baltimore jury
convicted johnson of second- degree murder in the death of phylicia barnes. we have the latest. >> the verdict came after a 9.5 hours of deliberation. divens -- defense lawyers vow to fight it. prosecutors say it's tougthey're satisfied. from the beginning, phylicia suspected michael johnson had something to do with the death. >> the last person who seen her. never lifted a finger to help. >> a jury agreed, convicting johnson of second-degree murder, ending the case that got national attention and tore apart to families. >> an elephant took one of his feet off my chest. i can breathe a little bit better now. >> a much better place. >> it is what is and we still
feel in our hearts that michael johnson is not guilty. >> johnson, the ex-boyfriend, was indicted last year. a year after the body was recovered from the susquehanna river. >> i asked him are you ok and he said i am numb. he is in shock and in disbelief. >> the case depended heavily on the testimony of an inmate. he said that johnson called him admitted killing her after forcing her to have sex and needed help getting rid of the body. he got the date in department location wrong but prosecutors used him to argue premeditated first-degree murder. the jury rejected that count. >> anytime you bring a high- profile murder cases such as this you have to have a first- degree conviction and they did not. i think that speaks volumes for their case and when you see the jury come back with a second degree on this type of case, and that shows a compromise and a number of issues the jury was
having as well. >> we're prepared to take the tough cases to court when we feel that the evidence warrants it and at the end of the day of course, this is about phylicia barnes and her family. >> maximum penalty for second- degree murder is 30 years. michael johnson has no prior record. more about the inmate. prosecutors told jurors he was getting nothing for his testimony. today according to court records in charles county where he is serving time in jail, attendees were knocked off the one-year sentence he is serving for car theft. city prosecutors say they had nothing to do with it. i am jayne miller, wbal tv 11 news. >> president obama was in annapolis previewing his plans for this term. >> much more on the big deadline in washington, d.c. >> high-school football stars make their pick on where they will play for college. later in sports. >> a storm forming on the coast
>> president obama is hoping to get more democrats behind with his plans for this term. that is where the president addressed democrats at a closed- door democratic retreat. he delivered a preview of next week's state of the union address in hopes of getting more lawmakers on board with his push for immigration reform and a ban on assault weapons. >> the next major deadline is
march 1, when a budget deal leaves to be reached. it is not the so-called sequestration will force mandatory reductions in military spending. army training and air force flying hours and global naval operations will shrink. also cuts looming in the social services. some republicans said push the deadline back seven months but house speaker john boehner said he will not blank. not blank in effect. >> i have had enough of it. it is time to act. >> the deadline stands. sequestration spending cuts strike in 23 days. >> three years ago today, the first of two blizzards in one week rolling through the area. the winter of 2010, a record- setting winter. it dumped over 30 inches of snow
. 30 inches in essex. these are not all the numbers but close to your region. westminster, 28, here, 26 inches and at the airport, 25. other parts of anne arundel county had 30 inches. it depended on your backyards and how much those snow squalls hit you. that is about normal for this time of year. one degree is the record low going back to and the late 19th century. the clouds that were persistent across the northern tier of the state have thinned out quite a bit. and now a mainly clear sky for a good part of the evening. these temperatures to drop quickly. we're close to freezing in many areas. mild in southern maryland where they had more sun. 20 in the colder suburbs and 30 in downtown overnight tonight. late tomorrow and friday, new
storm will be forming. the front kick of the clouds and gusty winds will be gone. high-pressure will hold on tomorrow morning but by tomorrow evening, a storm on the coast and the upper midwest will combine into one powerful east coast storm. late tonight and friday and saturday will be the main impact. winter storm watches are up now for good part of upstate new york, much of new england and that will be expanded as the storm gets cranking. we will see increasing and the kinthickening cloudiness. after sunset tomorrow we might get the first precipitation. it will be chilly then so we will get a light mix of rain and sleet and freezing rain or snow especially midnight tomorrow night. the wintry mix changes over to rein in the afternoon. you can see the rain can be heavy and parts of the eastern shore. a heavy snowfall and ventnor
city and boston and maybe parts of philadelphia. as cold air comes in behind the nor'easter, our rain may change back to snow before pulls out saturday. we will get a wintery mix of precipitation for it snowfall totals could be impressive. fiddes late friday into saturday when the rain could change to snow but by friday evening, several inches around nyc and boston and look what happens as the coastal storm explodes. that bright pink area. two or 3 feet of snow could fall in the new york and boston corridor late friday night going into saturday. we could get a couple of inches. cloudy skies. lee tomorrow evening, snow or sleet or freezing rain. the wind on the bay out o[inaud] this may be changing to all snow saturday morning.
drier weather and rain monday of next week. -- drier weather on sunday. rain monday of next week. >> the tigers landed one of the top defensive players. and a four star recruit, giving maryland a badly needed infusion of talent. there were decimated by injury last year. the recruiting class ranks as high as 31st in the nation. including five players from the area. and a lineman in college park next fall. the rev. will have the shortest off-season. there will appear live in the first regular season game.
the 2013 season opens thursday, september 5. the ravens will host that game. the nfl will not name the opponent. with jonathan ogden going into the hall of fame in august, they will play the first hall of fame game. sunday august 4 after the hall of fame induction ceremony. and lanie walker, no. 46. in the hours following the super uncle alker's aunt and died in a car accident. the driver of the other car suffered only minor injuries and faces the debut in charges
and vehicular homicide. the end of the nfl season marks decision time. donald driver added his name to the alumni list. he leaves as the packers' all- time leading receiver. a huge turnout for him at lambeau field. he did not invent the lambeau leap but he officially enjoyed it more than any other packer. a lot of weeping for donald driver -- leaping coming to an end for donald driver. to walk away from the game knowing that i have given it all that i can. >> in the spirit of his leap, tom will leap onto the anger deck when he comes on to
on the broadcast tonight, going away. the post office says no more saturday delivery. it's a a drastic move to stay afloat by ending something that's always been a part of life. eyes in the sky. unmanned drones, wartime technology roaming the skies here at home. who are they watching, and why? the struggle. new jersey governor chris christie is in the middle of a fight erupting in public over his own weight. tonight what a former white house doctor said about him and how he fired back. and one year from tonight, if you can believe it, opening ceremonies at the winter olympics. tonight we'll show you the resort town packed with palm trees where they hope to have snow on the slopes a year from
now. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. >> good evening. for the folks who have moved to an all-electronic web-based life, today's news maybe wasn't all that impactful. but for the folks with mailboxes in cities and towns across this country on dirt roads or in apartment buildings, there's always been mail on saturday. six days a week, since the time of abraham lincoln. but today the u.s. postal service says delivering the mail on saturdays must stop. if they are to survive. it's one of two american institutions in the news tonight for differing reasons in changing times. we want to begin tonight with nbc's tom costello in glen echo, maryland. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian, no secret the postal service is up to its neck in red ink, handling 30 billion fewer pieces of first class mail today than just four
years ago. and guess what? delivery of packages booming because we're all buying stuff online. this action is about just trying to keep the lights on. for people all over america, like 71-year-old lois sexton in tennessee, that mailbox at the end of the driveway has been a reliable connection to the rest of the world. >> that's my communication with the people i have my retirement with, my social security. >> reporter: since 1863, six days a week, rain or shine, letters, bills, government checks, newspapers, even movies, have arrived, even on saturday. now the 21st century with its e-mail, e-cards and e-pay, has come knocking. >> we cannot put our head in the sand and say, geez, let's hope this problem goes away. hope is not a strategy. >> reporter: calling the financial situation urgent, the postmaster general today announced that starting in early august, six-day service would go to five. saturday mail delivery would end, but packages of all size
would still be delivered on saturday, including medicines. post offices would remain open, and post office boxes would still receive mail. >> we have a small business. so, you know, a lot of our packages and first class mail does come on saturdays. >> i think they should have done it a long time ago. >> they are making a difficult decision for their survivability. >> it is all about surviving. the postal service hopes the cuts will help it save some $2 billion annually after losing nearly $16 billion last year. of that, $11 billion went to fund future retiree medical benefits, something that is required of no other government agency. >> it's time to provide postal reform. the postal service is bleeding red ink. >> reporter: but for years, the service has failed to act. now a current stopgap funding measure to act on his own. >> i'm concerned that this decision has been taken out of the hands of the congress. >> facing economic realities by
the post office is the first step toward delivering a 21st-century product. >> reporter: at the crossroads of tradition, history and technology. the letter carriers' union, as well as some businesses, don't like this plan, but the postal service says that's already cut 28% of its work force, 200 mail processing centers, and 21,000 routes over the last few years. it's not enough. brian? >> tom costello, starting us off in glen echo, maryland tonight. tom, thanks. now to the other american institution facing a very big change. tonight the boy scouts of america have put off a decision on changing their policy on admitting gay scouts and scout leaders. the organization's board of directors which was set to vote on the issue today instead delayed any consideration of a change for at least three months. an explanation tonight from nbc's pete williams. >> we all need to repent -- >> reporter: outside boy scout headquarters in dallas, scouting parents brought their children,
opposing any change and relieved by the delay. >> the membership is very against this. and instead you've got a little group that doesn't really represent us trying to make a decision that's going to affect all of us. >> reporter: scouting's board of directors today put off until may a scheduled vote on a plan to end the national ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders and let individual scout troops decide the issue for themselves. in a written statement, the boy scouts said becauof an outpouri feedback, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy. scouting insiders say the board did not have the votes to pass it today. with a raging debate inside the boy scout community, both sides demand a greater voice. today's postponement comes as a new quinnipiac university poll shows 55% of national respondents support a change. 33% oppose. the delay is a disappointment for eric andrayson, whose son ryan did all the work to make eagle rank, but the scouts denied it to him because he's
gay. >> society isn't going to tolerate discrimination anymore. and putting this decision off for three more months isn't going to change the conversation. it isn't going to change the need to change their policy. >> reporter: a very different view from salt lake city, where the mormon church sponsors 99% of local scout troops. parents there, scouting leaders say, overwhelmingly oppose a change. >> and we want to best reflect the feelings of the institutions here locally that sponsor scouting and we need time to put that together. >> now both sides are hoping that time is on their side. pete williams, nbc news, washington. and we turn now to weather in the news. a lot of folks on the east coast, especially in new england, are all riled up for the potential arrival of a big snow-making weather system. weather channel meteorologist jim cantore is with us tonight. jim, what's on the way? >> yeah, hey, brian. this on the 35th anniversary of the famous blizzard of '78 which
pretty much shut down boston. boston under a blizzard watch. i expect others to follow. portland, southern new hampshire, even parts of connecticut i think as confidence grows in the forecast. in play thursday, chicago and atlanta. we will have issues there, obviously, at the airports. by 5:30 friday morning, this model says, hey, it will be snowing to new york. but we expect a changeover. the big question is, how much of a changeover. that makes new york's forecast very, very tricky. by friday night, into saturday morning, blizzard conditions throughout new england. a crippling snowstorm and the impact here. confidence for at least 2 feet there. the big question is, do we see that 6 to 12-inch area come down to new york city. that is a possibility, brian. >> jim cantore, where they will be busy at weather channel headquarters over the next couple days. jim, thanks. this snowstorm, an important reminder here, is going to fall on parts of a region still torn up from hurricane sandy. tens of thousands of people up and down the shoreline are still forced out of their damaged or destroyed homes. and though new federal aid is
about to start flowing, it's been a long, hard, cold and challenging four months. nbc's anne thompson is with us tonight from staten island in new york where they have been waiting for help for a good long time. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. these neighborhoods are effectively construction sites. the rebuilding process is under way, but many residents worry they won't have the money to finish the job. the american red cross still delivers lunches in the new door beach neighborhood, 101 days after sandy ravaged staten island. >> water, sandwiches and snacks. >> reporter: 350 lunches a day to workmen and residents. it's where david goldberg gets his meals. >> thank you. >> reporter: the computer consultant is a de facto contractor. overseeing the renovations of the home he shares with his elderly parents. they now stay in new jersey, while goldberg camps here, fighting for a $10,000 grant from the state, money he says he needs to rebuild the kitchen. >> that's the difference between
doing the kitchen the way that we want to do it and just not doing it at all. >> reporter: stephanie, her two children and husband, are still crammed in a one-bedroom basement apartment. their home is nowhere near habitable. >> when will you get back in? >> once the insurance claims go through, the contractor said he could probably have me back in here by june. >> reporter: turned down for one federal loan, she needs that insurance money. >> i do get breakdowns, but i pick myself back up and i have to keep going. >> reporter: 101 days in, 41,000 people in neighboring new jersey are still displaced. and some 9,000 in new york, where more than 3,400 residents spent last night in hotels. >> the national flood insurance plan has stunk. >> reporter: while many state politicians blast the federal response, fema says it's closed more than half of 140,000 flood insurance claims. paying out $3.8 billion. along with the frustration, there is also appreciation for
the normality of the task. new york city's rapid repair program has restored water, heat and tower to 10,000 homes, including david goldberg's. >> can can anybody ever imagine like the government would sponsor a program where they would come into your house, provide you a new boiler, a new water heater? it's remarkable. >> reporter: 101 days after the storm, it is clear that patience, as well as money, is needed to rebuild homes and lives. brian? >> anne thompson, along one part of our torn-up shoreline. thanks. president obama made an interesting choice for interior secretary today, nominating sally jewel to replace the outgoing ken salazar. jewel is ceo of rei, the outdoor outfitter. she hasn't worked in government but was a chemical engineer for mobile and a banker in her earlier career. she'll oversee half a million federal acres. the president said she once took a month-long hike in the mountains of antarctica. the president confessed as a
native hawaiian, given the cold, something would never occur to him. the outgoing defense secretary said to students in a speech, leon panetta warned of huge budget cuts looming for the pentagon if congress doesn't act. and he had had some choice words for both sides blaming each for to reach an agreement to avoid cuts to our military. also generally what's happened lately to washington. >> thank you very much. this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy, and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis, precisely at a time of rising inacross stability across the globe. >> panetta served for 16 years, 8 terms. today he called the defense
spending cuts legislative madness. the use of drones continues to make headlines tonight. after our nbc news report about the obama administration's use of drone strikes to target suspected terrorists overseas. that same technology is being used here at home, a lot. not to launch missile strikes of any kind, but as eyes in the sky for a local law enforcement and a lot of other uses. they've got a lot of folks concerned, and some states are moving to ban drones. our report tonight from nbc's john yang in chicago. >> reporter: while the alabama hostage crisis was under way in an underground bunker, authorities had a birds eye view, an unarmed, remote control drone. but there's a growing backlash to the use of similar devices by law enforcement agencies. this week, virginia lawmakers passed what would be the nation's first restrictions on drones. and today in the florida senate, a ban on drones advanced. >> my view is that the government works for us. the government is there to serve
us, to protect us. >> reporter: from california to maine, officials in at least 11 states are considering various restrictions. according to government data, drones are being used by more than 40 public agencies and institutions, including at least 17 federal, state and local law enforcement departments. >> it's smaller, it's more affordable, and it can be used to save lives. >> reporter: since 2005, they have patrolled the mexican border. in 2011, a drone was involved in the arrest of a north dakota man, believed the first time one was used that way. the idea that anyone walking down a street could be tracked by a drone with a camera, facial recognition technology, maybe even eaves dropping equipment alarms privacy advocates. >> the issue is whether they're using a surveillance drone to monitor a city street for an unlimited amount of time. >> reporter: drones are also being used in other ways. anywhere an overhead view could be useful. farmers checking on crops and scientists studying wildlife. even hollywood uses them for
overhead shots, as in last year's "sky fall." outside los angeles, a real estate agent uses a drone to shoot marketing videos. >> this allows a client to walk the entire property from -- really from their computer. >> reporter: a sales tool in realtors' hands, but in other hands, worries about who is watching what, and who. john yang, nbc news, chicago. coming up here, as we continue, why chris christie finds himself in a public fight over a private 30-year battle with weight gain. he fires back tonight at a former white house doctor who said she worries about him dying in office. [ boys screaming ] hi, i just switched jobs, and i want to roll over my old 401(k) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second? it's your money. roll over your old 401(k) into a fidelity ira and take control of your personal economy.
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his attention. our report tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> basically, the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life. >> reporter: chris christie has heard it all before. he's overweight. he's heard and seen all the jokes. many on david letterman. >> the only organization to -- >> reporter: so for this week's face-to-face with dave, christie came armed with not one but two jelly doughnuts. >> i have made jokes about you, not just one or two. not just ongoing here or there, intermittent. but -- >> i didn't know this was going to be this long. >> reporter: it's a constant challenge, the governor acknowledged again yesterday. >> the idea that somehow, you know, i don't care about this. of course i care about it. and i'm making the best effort i can.
>> reporter: but then bill clinton's former white house doctor, a retired navy rear admiral weighed in on cnn. >> i'm a republican. so i like chris christie a lot. i want him to run. i just want him to lose weight. i'm a physician more than i'm a democrat or republican and i worry about this man dying in office. >> reporter: to the governor and his family, that was no joke. so he called the doctor today to sound off. >> that a doctor in arizona w has never met me, never examined me, never reviewed my medical history or records, knows nothing about my family history, could make a diagnosis from 2,400 miles away is completely irresponsible. my children saw that last night. and she sat there on tv and said i'm afraid he's going to die in office. my 12-year-old son comes up to me last night and says, "dad, are you going to die?" >> reporter: like christie, millions of americans, more than one-third of adults in the u.s., struggle with their weight. just look at the popularity of nbc's "biggest loser" and the first lady's "let's move"
campaign. >> keep it up! >> reporter: tonight, dr. mariano replied, it doesn't take a physician to look at him to observe he's overweight. a healthy debate the governor seems to enjoy, up to a point. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. up next here tonight, did steven spielberg get something wrong? why a u.s. congressman is asking him to make a change to "lincoln." it's a phoenix with 4 wheels. it's a hawk with night vision goggles. it's marching to the beat of a different drum. and where beauty meets brains. it's big ideas with smaller footprints. and knowing there's always more in the world to see. it's the all-new lincoln mkz. hey america, even though slisa rinna is wearing the depend silhouette briefs for charity to prove how great the fit is even under a fantastic dress.
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you are looking at what's the latest piece of debris from the japanese tsunami almost two years ago to wash up on our shores, at least. 30-foot-long boat found bottom-up on the sand at a central oregon beach. scientists say they're not all that worried about environmental damage from this one. here's a contender for vacation video of the year. an arizona woman sight-seeing off the coast of mexico gets very close to some humpback wheels. a female and her calf were playing with some seals, having a close encounter with a small
boat, just feet from the tour boat for the photo of a lifetime. a connecticut congressman is asking steven spielberg for a correction in his movie "lincoln." he points out in the movie as congress voted to ratify the 13th amendment ending slavery, two of connecticut's elected representatives vote no. he says he loved the movie, but that bothered him, and congressman joe courtney checked the record, and, in fact, all of connecticut's representatives back then voted yes. no official reaction as of yet from the legendary director. well, it was put to a national vote on the web and social media and monopoly players have voted and a big change is coming to the big board. the iron is out as a game piece. the cat is in. as dog-lovers scramble to compose a statement of reaction to the news, hasbro says the cat won out over a diamond ring, a guitar, helicopter and a robot. so there you have it. we're back in a moment with the countdown under way tonight, if you can believe it, for the
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night, the beginning of the next winter olympics, now exactly a year off. we'll be in sochi, russia, a place nobody really knows anything about. so we get a scouting report tonight from nbc's jim maceda in sochi. >> reporter: welcome to sochi, host of the 2014 winter olympics. with temperatures in the mild 50s, citizens of this black sea resort known more for its spas and palm trees wonder why it was picked at all. i think it's pure show for putin on the international stage, she says. >> sochi is going to become a new world-class resort for the new russia and the whole world. >> reporter: russian president vladimir putin has kept that pledge, surprisingly made in english, six years ago. and has turned this into an olympic park. running it like a ceo every step of the way. today, the ice rinks are completed and hosting international events.
while in the mountains, just 30 miles away, sochi's ski jump and other alpine runs are primed. putin, an avid skier himself, is pleased. so are u.s. competitors here. >> i think it's going to be an amazing olympics. >> reporter: it's already the most expensive games in olympic history. sochi had only one main road and no winter resort. the overall cost, $51 billion, split between the state and putin's rich friends. >> putin is a believer that we can do it, we can deliver the result, we can be the best place. >> reporter: but ordinary russians, like retired neighbors aren't feeling the glory. in their village near the olympic park, there's no gas or plumbing, little power or heat. we are worth nothing in our own land, he says. and then there is sochi's location. beyond these mountains just behind me is chechnya, a hot bed
of islamic militants who have threatened to strike during the games. but putin's biggest enemy could be another mild winter. with so much of his and russia's prestige on the line, he has ordered mountains of snow stockpiled, just in case. jim maceda, nbc news, sochi. what could go wrong? sochi, here we come. that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams.