tv NBC Nightly News NBC January 24, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
on this saturday night, after further review the patriots coach holds a surprise news conference about the footballs and how he thinks they ended up underinflated in that big game. winter blast. snow slick roads and canceled flights as a storm barrels up the east coast and another is on the way. hostage killed. isis militants behead another hostage. and tonight the terror group is out with new demands. they're off, the stars of the gop begin their race to the white house. and another familiar face could be in the running. and one for the road as a new generation takes a shine to an american classic.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. after further review there is a scientific explanation for those underinflated footballs the new england patriots used in last week's playoff victory over indianapolis. coach bill belichick who after claiming to know nothing about the controversy during a thursday news conference unexpectedly went before the cameras again this afternoon, this time with a lot to say about what the team discovered in its own tests and how those footballs likely ended up the way they did. nbc's kristen welker is following today's surprising new developments in the saga. >> reporter: a defiant patriots coach bill belichick known for his distaste for facing the press said he had to speak out today to set the record straight. >> i believe now 100% that i
have personally and we have as an organization have absolutely followed every rule to the letter. >> reporter: the team has under fire for the controversy known as deflategate, allegations the patriots knowingly used underinflated footballs which some find easier to handle in last sunday's victory against the indianapolis colts. today bill belichick said the culprit was the weather, not his team. >> we all know that air pressure is function of the atmospheric conditions. >> reporter: at issue, reports 11 of the 12 game balls were underinflated below the 12.5 pounds per square inch or psi allowed. today bill belichick's team simulated the exact conditions in which temperatures at times hovered around the 40s. the result. >> we found once the footballs were on the field over an extended period of time in other words they were adjusted to the climatic conditions that they were down approximately 1.5
pounds per square inch. >> reporter: in a telephone interview, tim gay, a physics professor at the university of nebraska said it's plausible. a drop in temperature can result in a drop in temperature. >> if we use the basic laws of physics, that's completely consistent with a deflation of as much as three pounds. >> reporter: the patriots have consistently insisted they haven't done anything wrong. on thursday quarterback tom brady faced tough questions. >> is tom brady a cheater? >> i don't believe so. >> reporter: as the nfl conducts its own investigation, belichick made it clear he's done talking for now. >> i'm embarrassed the talk about the amount of time that i've put into this relative to the other important challenge in front of us. >> reporter: that challenge, the super bowl now just one week away. kristen welker nbc news washington. millions of people in the northeast part of the country
woke up this morning to the biggest snowstorm of the season. and all that comes with it. car accidents, power outages and big air travel delays. and it's looking like there's more to come for the start of the workweek. we have two reports beginning with kristen dahlgren who has been driving to the storm all day and joins us now from new hampshire. kristen, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. after a sometimes harrowing day on the road we were able to make it all the way from new jersey to here in new hampshire where you can see some of these backroads still covered in snow. the snow here has slowed but that just means the cleanup is under way. the fast moving storm pushed across the northeast today blanketing towns from pennsylvania to massachusetts. >> i'm ready, you know. i've lived in new england all my life. it's not any different. >> reporter: in secaucus new jersey a snowplow driver was injured when the top deck of a parking garage he was clearing collapsed. officials are trying to determine if the weight of the snow and plow may have been a factor.
in massachusetts nearly 3,000 salt trucks and plows were out on the roads. icy conditions caused this box truck to overturn near southboro, slowing traffic to a crawl. slick roads caused some drivers to spin out. early this morning we set out on our journey in stanhope new jersey where four inches of snow had already fallen. it really is a mess out here. you can see our point of view what i'm seeing is i'm driving here. when we met plow driver richard george he'd already been at it for hours. >> the truck's been sitting and ready all winter. >> reporter: by afternoon more than 160 accidents were reported across new jersey. along our route we passed through six states hitting slippery sleet along the way. about 1:30 we crossed over into massachusetts. they're not moving snow anymore, but they still are dropping salt and sand on the roads trying to keep things from freezing and getting really dangerous. this is the same system that swept across parts of the southeast earlier this week dumping snow in texas and new
mexico. and leaving a trail of ice in places like boone, north carolina. the storm impacting travelers across the country. at airports more than 1,600 delays and 300 canceled flights, mostly in the northeast. frustrating for some but for others like joe candella, the snow is a welcome sight. >> it's been pretty mundane. this is hopefully the start of future snowstorms. >> reporter: be careful what you wish for, joe. even as people here lester are digging out, everybody's already watching to see what's next. back to you. >> all right, kristen, safe travels to you and your team. for more on where this storm is headed and what's coming next let's bring in weather channel meteorologist mike seidel in andover, massachusetts for us. mike. >> reporter: good evening, lester. this storm is heading out and winding down this evening, then our attention turns to the next one which could impact millions by monday night and tuesday. take a look. it starts off as what we call an alberta clipper. it's a clipper because it moves
fast. there it goes across the midwest sunday into the mid-atlantic and off the coast where it transitions into a nor'easter later monday and tuesday fired up by the jet stream wind energy. the clipper itself won't have much moisture to work with so we're not looking at big totals. mostly one to three inches from chicago into d.c. but the timing for washington is not good. monday morning's rush hour. then the storm blows up along the coast monday night and tuesday. heavy snow. and many of you could be digging out of a foot or more of snow from philly to new york city to boston. and this will have colder temperatures and more wind increasing impact as we head through the first of the week. lester. >> mike seidel thank you. f-16 fighter jets scrambled to two passenger planes at atlanta's airport. following what was a credible bomb threat. both planes landed safely and were evacuated. bomb squads and canine units were sent in to search the planes. the fbi is investigating the
matter. tonight, isis has taken another one of its captives this time a japanese hostage. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel joins us from istanbul tonight. richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. the japanese government hasn't authenticated the latest video from isis but its demand shows the legacy of the iraq war is far from over. isis seems to be changing the style of its hostage videos. this time the group posted a picture of japanese freelance journalist holding what appears to be a photograph of his fellow japanese hostage beheaded. in an audio message that accompanied the photograph, goto says he'll be next. his mother recognized his voice. his face looked extremely nervous, she says. i think he feels gravely about what is to come. this is no time to be optimistic. but isis isn't asking for money anymore. it's dropping a $200 million ransom that japan wasn't paying
anyway. instead, isis now wants her. she's a failed suicide bomber who's been held in jordan for years. demanding her release makes it abundantly clear that isis although it may seem new goes right back to the american war in iraq. back in 2005 her husband stormed into a wedding party at a hotel in aman jordan blew up a bomb and killed nearly 40 people. the assassin was send by al zarkawi, america's number one enemy in iraq at the time. her vest didn't go off and she was arrested. isis leadership hasn't forgotten about her because they are also disciples of zarkawi eventually killed by american air strike. in fact u.s. military officials tell nbc news that nearly all of leaders are iraqis and that 70% of them
including al baghdadi were once held. for isis the iraq war never ended. they simply moved to the chaos of syria, metastisized and are still fighting still making demands. isis has been open to prisoner swaps in the past. it exchanged some of its prisoners for turkish hostages. but it's unclear if a prison swap will happen in this case. the number of measles cases linked to the disneyland theme park continues to grow. with it the outbreak is reigniting the debate over vaccinations. now one of the nation's top medical organizations is weighing in and issuing a new call to parents. nbc's hallie jackson has our report tonight. >> reporter: the measles outbreak that started at the happiest place on earth is spreading to more places with four new cases reported in
arizona, in addition to those in six other states and mexico. more than 60 confirmed cases believed to be linked to two disney theme parks in southern california. the disease can cause complications or even death. >> one out of 20 will develop pneumonia, which can be life threatening and certainly it's a cause for concern. >> reporter: the highly contagious virus can spread fast among people who have not been vaccinated. when fiona stone's son had a medical situation and could not get the measles shot she relied on others having the immunity. >> my personal feeling is for everyone to have their child vaccinated. >> reporter: but the latest outbreak has once again put a spotlight on those who don't vaccinate. >> some get measles vaccine and have no problem. other people have complications and severe health problems from use of measles vaccines. >> reporter: still, most doctors point to studies showing the measles shot is safe and serious complications rare. the american academy of pediatrics is urging parents to vaccinate their children saying a vacation to an amusement park
or trip to grocery store, football game or school should not result in children becoming sickened by an almost 100% preventable disease. >> use common sense. if you're concerned about going to a particular place and your child's not protected, get protected. >> reporter: the best way to stop measles in its tracks before it spreads even more. hallie jackson nbc news, los angeles. less than a month into 2015 but for the gop all eyes are on the 2016 presidential race. today, some of the biggest names in republican politics descended on iowa in hopes of winning support among the party's conservative base. nbc's kelly o'donnell has our report tonight from des moines iowa. >> reporter: hundreds of iowa conservatives lined up early to kick off a republican search party. >> today's summit begins the 2016 iowa caucus season. >> reporter: billed as thehowcase of potential candidates brought together by iowa's outspoken congressman steve king. >> do you believe that the next president of the united states
is going to be speaking from this stage to you today? >> reporter: an all-day rally of conservative personalities like tea party favorite ted cruz. >> if you say you oppose the president's unconstitutional executive amnesty, show me where you stood up and fought. >> reporter: to a newer voice, neurosurgeon ben carson. >> we cannot allow the progressives to shut us up through political correctness. >> reporter: with sleeves rolled up wisconsin governor scott walker sounded like he's already in. >> i'm hopeful to work together with you to help us provide that kind of leadership that is new and fresh and bold and aggressive that's been proven. >> reporter: showman more than candidate donald trump used a news conference and the stage to try to preemptively fire mitt romney and jeb bush from the race. >> so you can't have romney he choked. you can't have bush --
>> reporter: neither romney nor bush was here today, but bush hinted at his plans in california friday night. >> i'm seriously considering the possibility of running. >> reporter: chris christie came to claim that he and his record are conservative enough for iowa republicans. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: and texas governor rick perry told this iowa crowd he is looking at 2016. perry was briefly interrupted by protesters who shouted him down upset about conservatives use that disagree with the president's reforms for immigration. lester. >> kelly thanks. tomorrow on "meet the press" chuck todd will speak with yet another potential 2016 candidate former governor mike huckabee. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this saturday a piece of meet the world's newer. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one in oil. because hydraulic fracturing technology is safely recovering lots more oil and natural gas.
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>> reporter: nowhere will you find a prouder owner of a harley
davidson. before the revolution there were thousands of hogs on the island. now just a few hundred. so how does a distinctly american brand survive for more than half a century here in castro's cuba? ingenuity. they called themselves harleyistas motorcycle lovers gathering for years showing off their rides from the '40s and '50s in a country long ago shunned them as symbols of american imperialism. >> owning harley is like an art. >> reporter: an art almost lost. the trade embargo solved the import of harleys and their replacement parts. this is a german spe dom ter and this part is russian? >> yeah. >> reporter: he saved up ten years to buy his dream ride. so you're basically jerry rigging this thing. >> yeah. these kind of bike are classic.
okay after 70 years this bike running well. that's amazing. >> reporter: now on the streets of havana as cuba and the u.s. struggle to overcome decades of mistrust there is new hope. and for louis gonzalez. it's your dream to open a shop here in havana? >> yes. >> reporter: it's a dream that means much more than spare parts. >> when you have a harley your harley is part of the family too. >> reporter: an addiction he says that allows him to feel free. and in cuba that may be the most sought after ride of all. gabe gutierrez, nbc news havana. when we come back remembering a legend. a man you get sick you can't breathe through your nose suddenly, you're a mouth breather. a mouth breather! well, put on a breathe right strip and shut your mouth. cold medicines open your nose over time, but add a breathe right strip and pow, it opens your nose up to 38% more. so you can breathe and do the one thing you want to do sleep.
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baseball has lost one of its gems. hall of famer ernie banks whose passion for america's pastime and his beloved cubs was nothing short of. mr. cub symbolized the hopes and perseverance of long suffering chicago fans. we get more tonight from nbc's janet shamlian. >> reporter: the name synonymous with the team he played for, ernie banks and the chicago cubs. a windy city institution, a power slugger who belted in 529 homers over a 19-year run. >> he did it! ernie banks got number 500! >> sunshine. fresh air. we got the team behind us. so let's play too. >> reporter: that line let's play too, became his signature. an expression of the eternal optimism one must have to cheer for the cubs. despite the awards hall of
famer, 11-time all-star and the national league's mvp two years running, ernie banks never played one game in the post season. the cubs infamous championship drought is the longest in major league baseball. after starting in the negro league number 14 came to chicago in 1953 as a shortstop in the team's first african-american player. he never suited up for anyone but the cubs. two years ago banks received the nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. and today president obama famously a chicago white sox fan said this about ernie banks. somewhere the sun is shining, the air is fresh, his team's behind him and mr. class, mr. cub, is ready to play too. even as a team ernie banks never left home. forever endearing him to his fans. janet shamlian nbc news houston. up here ...and the wolf was huffing and puffing... kind of like you sometimes, grandpa.
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to. >> reporter: for more than 80 years the airstream has been synonymous with adventure and style. devotees even hold rallies in the far regions of the world. but the real heart of an airstream beats here in middle america, tiny jackson center ohio where these days they can't make enough of them. here they say a sure sign the economy is taking a turn for the good is when these sleek, silver american icons start rolling off the line and people are lined up to own one. from the molding of the aircraft grade aluminum to the construction outfitting the interior each trailer is an immediately recognizable work of industrial art. making phyllis richardson and her teammates proud. >> there's none other that has the quality of it so we consider that a legend.
i do. i do. >> like it started yesterday. >> reporter: this trio of craftsmen have worked here a combined 148 years. and they know their customer. >> when they reach that retirement age, they want to get out and experience life and travel and see the world. >> but you get up in the morning and you want to go down the road you go down the road. you want to stay another day where you're at stay there. but it's just living life. >> reporter: low gas prices, recovering economy and baby boomers retiring has helped production jump to 50 trailers a week. the plant is expanding to get that number to 75. >> when people feel confident enough to go to rv shows and plunk down $20, 30 50 $70,000 on an rv they have to be feeling pretty good about their economic future. >> reporter: rolling off the line a gleaming symbol of the open road. just bring your map and a dream. kevin tibbles, nbc news jackson center ohio. that's "nbc nightly news"