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tv   Early Today  NBC  December 6, 2013 4:00am-4:31am EST

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. welcome to a special edition of "early today". the world reacts to the loss of a global icon as news spreads of nelson mandela's death. >> we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with o this earth. he no longer belongs to us. he belongs to the ages. >> this morning we'll take you to south africa and look at the man who spent so much of his life behind bars, yet his words and actions continue to have a profound impact around the world. and in other news, much of the u.s. braces for a major
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winter storm with snow, ice and plunging temperatures cutting across the country. "early today" starts right now. good morning. i'm mara schiavocampo. he's being remembered as a man who changed the world. nelson mandela being mourned around the globe today. from a small prison cell, he rallied a nation. his long walk to freedom inspired hope in millions and his humility helped to revolutionize south africa. >> his tire rsless struggle for freedom and the respect of the world. >> his journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better. >> we should have the same type of spirit and caring as a people
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and as a nation. >> we begin our coverage from johannesburg. this was not unexpecteded news given his health, but how are south africans reacting? >> reporter: the news wasn't announced up just before midnight. so inevitably only today are many learning the news. so this will be another unforgettable day in the short life of this modern nation. it will be somber, there will be many tears, but i expect there will be a great deal of celebration if last night was anything on go by when hundreds gathered at the suburban home of nelson mandela and cheered and sang songs, celebrating his life, celebrate also the life that he helped to enable them to live, as well. and today we're also expecting to get more details about what happens next, lying in state the next few days. and we're also expecting details
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about what one senior diplomat described as being the biggest funeral anywhere in the world since of that winston churchill. >> thanks so much for that. in so many ways, nelson mandela is known as man who taught a country and the world to believe in a better future. brian williams with an in-depth look at his incredible life and unwavering spirit. >> to deny anybody the ultimate right is to challenge their very humanity. >> reporter: nelson mandela called his life a long walk to freedom, a struggle to end south africa's racist system of apartheid. as a young lawyer and activist, he initially advocated peaceful resistance until the 1960 sharpville massacre. >> police fired point blank into the crowd. >> reporter: south african
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police kelled scores of anti-apartheid demonstrators. for nelson mandela, it was a turning point. >> americans will feel that it was useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and nonviolence against a government with savage attempts on unarmed defenseless people. >> reporter: mandela's national congress, the amc, was banned, he became an outlaw. but he refused to back down. arrested in 1962, mandela was charged with sabotage and with attempting to violently overthrow the government. he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. for years, for decades, the struggle for justice in south africa with the imprisoned nelson mandela at its symbol. the at times he was forced to break rocks in the hot sun for hours at a time. the government offered mandela freedom if he would renounce
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violence. he refused. >> today marks the 25th year behind bars for nelson mandela. >> reporter: south africa became an international outcast facing sanctions, boycotts and growing political pressure. >> nelson mandela should be released to participate in the country's political process. >> reporter: rock concerts for the cause were broadcast around the world. ♪ hey mandela >> reporter: in 1989, south africa's hard lined president resigned, replaced by f.w. dick clark who slowly began to dismantle apartheid. the ban was lifted and on february 11th, 1990, nelson mandela walked to freedom. >> nelson mandela, free at last, and back among his people.
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>> reporter: 27 years in prison had not weakened mandela's resolve. >> the government has not responded. >> reporter: but he also urged restraint, even forgiveness, telling blacks to, quote, throw their guns into the sea and reassuring anxious whites. >> whites are fellow south africans and we want them to feel safe. >> reporter: mandela's courage and sacrifice were recognized around the world. in america, he was welcomed as a hero. mandela was awarded the peace prize in 1993. the following year, nelson mandela was elected president. >> today is a day like no other before it. >> reporter: we were the first to interview him on that first
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morning as president elect. mandela tempered south africa's joy when he said healing his country would it take time. >> it cannot be done overnight. it will take a year, two years, even as much as five years. >> reporter: from enemy of the state to head of state, nelson mandela's walk to freedom became a journey shared by his entire nation. >> i have never been so excited and hopeful in my life in south africa as i am now. >> reporter: years later, nelson mandela paid a return visit to his former prison cell, this time accompanied by president bill clen ton w bill clip top who later presented him with the congressional gold medal. mandela stepped down as president in 1999, but he lived long enough to see the united states elect its own black
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president. and in 2011, he was paid a visit in south africa by first lady michelle obama who brought along first daughters malia and sash tha a. nelson mandela re-entered the family of nations. he leaves a legacy of freedom and proof in a one life can make a difference. >> we are one country, we are one people. >> reporter: brian williams, nbc news, new york. we'll have much more on mandela's death in just a moment, but first, a massive winter storm is blasting its way across much of the country. in oklahoma, a number of accidents have been reported due to the recent snow accumulation. temperatures in missouri hit so low that roads became sheets of ice leaving drivers sliding all over the place. and for more on this storm, bill karins is here with the forecast. good morning. >> good morning. and as advertised, this has been just as bad as we expected.
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many airports will have problems including many people's morning commutes. a lot of school delays, school cancellations out there. the freeze line is the important line. that's the white line. 28 in dallas, 20 in oklahoma city, plenty cold in dallas area. portsmouth, arkansas, one of the worst spots for ice and freezing rain. you're under ice storm warnings in those areas, that's in purple. that's where the power outages are most likely to occur. the pink shades are winter storm warnings that now extend all the y nto columbus, ohio. we've had pretty heavy snow overnight. southern illinois a, and southe indiana, probably more than you were expected. winter weather all the way into western new york state. besides the ice, there is a narrow band of pretty heavy snow, as much as 6 to 8 inches. so be very careful driving in
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the northeast this morning, locally dense fog especially around new york city. that is a look at the national forecast. now here is a look at the weather outside your window. so today with just this wild weather, still extremely cold in the areas dealing with this storm. look at oklahoma city, 22 degrees. very warm in the east, look at florida, 83 degrees. cold air makes its way to the east coast this weekend. this storm is with us and you would day today and then there is another storm behind it that will hit the same areas on sunday. >> so when do they get a little bit of re >> not until probably middle of next week. >> oh, gosh. thanks so much, bill. well, coming up, much more on the words and life of nelson man legal today as he fought tirelessly for the rights and liberty of all south africans, saying our march to freedom is irreversible, we must not allow fear to stand in our way.
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joining us now for more is the president and ceo of the national urban league and nbc news correspondent ron allen who is leaving for south africa just later this morning. mark is on the phone. you spent a lot of time in south africa this year in particular. certainly mandela is a global icon. but how will he be remembered at home by his own countrymen some. >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation.s >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation.?. >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation.o >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation.m >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation.e >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation.. >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation. >> he's everything. he's the father of the nation. hard to describe the symbolic importance that he has. every leader there is measured by him. his presence is everywhere. the moral standard that he set is what everyone tries to match and live up to in many ways. children in schools learn all about him. he's george washington. the mandela family is royalty. there is probably no figure in the world who occupies such a significant place in their country. south africa as we know it today
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would not be what it is today without him. >> and the fight againsts against apartheid was the confining civil movement with freeman dell la becoming a rallying cry all over the world. you have said that, quote, his life sparked an indistinguishable fire in the souls of everyone everywhere. what did you mean? >> the 1980s, of course plan dell mandela went to jail in the '60s. but his imprisonment and the effort for the ending of apartheidwent to jail in the '6. but his imprisonment and the effort for the ending of apartheid mandela's jailing sparked not only the efforts in africa, but the efforts all across the world to call for the freedom of mandela in the context of ending apartheid. so it became an international symbol. and his imprisonment and his subsequent release in 1990 in
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and of itself was an incredible event. i remember the television in the united states carried his release live all over the world when he was released from prison at robin island. of course it was part of discussions and if you will a deal between mandela and f.w. declark, but it's important for people to recognize that there was an international movement, students protesting on campuses here, efforts at the united nations within both the african and european latin american and asian communities. and for a good bit of time, the struggle in the united states was a struggle against the administration and ronald reagan who in fact had resisted the imposition of sanctions, had vetoed the original sanctions bill. and it was imposed by the congress through an override of
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reagan's veto. so mandela represented a figure in and of south africa, but really a global and international icon. >> and, ron, throughout his life but especially now, many speak of his spirit of forgiveness, how he emerged from almost three deck asd of imprisonment with seemingly no birthness, but he also had a very strong fighting spirit in him. >> when mantle la was released from jail, he was 70 years old or so. as marc was saying, the bulk of his life were spent behind bars in horrific conditions. and that is part of what perhaps made him -- gave him some of the steel. but even before that as a youthful young man, he lived most of his life underground. he was a banned person. he was a terrorist, viewed as a terrorist. if you read through his autobiography, the kind of life he led moving from place to place, sneaking around, leaving
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the country, t at one point of course getting military training, his was a life of rebellion, it was a life of trying to survive day to day. the things we went through as an individual, we position g think as an iconic person, but he was an ordinary man in many ways. to have experienced all those things makes you strong obviously. and the act of the forgiveness that he emerged with is just remarkable. he forgave his jailers. his jailers came to revere him. the transformation and experience on that is just remarkable. >> defeat an example of superb humanity. thank you both so much for your perspective this morning. and just ahead, we'll have some of the day's other top stories. stay with us.
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new pictures from johannes burgs, south africa, of crowds remembering nelson mandela. now to other stories making news. vice president biden wrapped up his visit to china on thursday by raising the issue of the treatment of american journalists in that country. nearly two dozen journalists from different american
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publications are in danger of not having their visas renewed by year's end. biden argued newspapers should be able to, quote, report the truth without fear of consequences. during an msnbc exclusive interview, chris matthews interest asked president obama who would make a better president, joe biden and hillary clinton. not surprisingly the president played the middle. >> both hillary and joe would make outstanding presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents. >> and the navy announced the accessful launch of a troen from a submerged submarine. it was fired from a torpedo tube and flew for several hours while transmitting live video. we'll be back with more on the latest in the death of nelson mandela.
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reaction to the death of nelson mandela is pouring in from away the sports world including from legend taker figures. portug portugal's soccer starstar sayie was one of the most influential people in his life. just some of those paying tribute. this is early d"early today". we hop it is just your first stop of the day on nbc.
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they march to a lift of f e freedfree freedom and justice. >> the tributes the pouring in overnight plus what we're learning about formal plans for a memorial. and right now a sample of the major weather changes heading our way. early morning showers moving in, but this is only the beginning of what's to come. good morning. i'm eun yang. and good morning. i'm aaron gilchrist. welcome to "news 4 today" on
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this friday, december 6, 2013. right now people around the world are mourning the death of former south african president nelson mandela. crowds are gathered outside his home in johannesburg. >> mandela died there yesterday at 95. he had a number of issues with his health in recent years including repeated hospitalizations with a chronic lung infection. >> mandela had been listed in serious but stable condition after entering the hospital in june before returning home to receive continued medical care. >> this morning we're working to learn more about the plans to lay him to rest. we're also learning more about the public memorials happening worldwide. >> and to honor mandela's memory here in the u.s. president obama has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the white house and on all public buildings through monday night, also at all u.s. embassies. much more on nelson mandela in just a moment. we'll be watching the view outside go through quite a few changes today with the rain moving in. your first forecast you now. storm team 4 meteorologist amelia segal is in for tom this morning. rain moved through the area
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overnight. for the most part right now most of the area is dry. you can see some showers back around the i-81 corridor including winchester. the d.c. metro area is dry right now. i think for a good portion of the early morning hours it will remain that way. so the commute in to work this morning shouldn't be too bad. you are dealing with wet roads but, again, i think the chance you are actually dealing with with rain will be slim. as we get into the midday and afternoon hours, expect a better chance of rain. keep the umbrella handy all day. also expect a change in temperatures. right now we're in the 60s. 66 in college park. 61 in washington. but those temperatures will be falling. just how cool will it get? i'll have that information coming up. for now a check of traffic with maynard. thank you and good morning. we begin the morning with an outer loop crash involving a tractor-trailer at eisenhower avenue. the right shoulder lane is blocked. and coming up, here is a live
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look at the crash scene the coming up we'll see how your montgomery county construction will affect your commute this morning as some of those wet roadways might slow you down just a little bit. back to you in the studio. >> maynard, thank you. hazmat teams trying to figure out what caused this fire. take a look. chopper 4 over the laurel asphalt business. we brought this to you as breaking news at 11 clo:00. craws had to use foam to put out the fire because of diesel fuel. investigators say they are still working to see just how badly that plant was damaged. nobody was hurt. we'll get a better sense today of where prince george's county's new ka casino may go. all three bidding for a gaming license will face tough questions. tra tracee wilkins has a preview. >> reporter: who is going to get that license? today we're going to get closer to finding out who has the best chance. it's all happening down in a
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annapolis. we are talking about the three casino operators vying for a new license in prince george's county. we have mgm. they want to build at national harbor. $925 million casino and resort. just a few miles away in ft. washington there's penn national gaming. their bid is for a $700 million casino with restaurants and a hotel. and then there's greenwood racing. they're proposing an $800 million parx casino just off indian head heyway. consultants have been reviewing all three proposals for the state board that will decide who gets the license. today in a hearing their findings will be made public. but greenwood racing confirmed for us that ft. washington site has gotten a lot of criticism from the consultants. mgm and penn gaming are not commenting on how their proposals did. again, we are expecting this to be a long day. we're going to hear from the consultants. we're going to hear from all of the casino operators defending their site locations and then there will be


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