tv Today NBC December 20, 2010 7:00am-11:00am PST
yummy! smells delightful. awesome! i'm not smelling anything. [ female announcer ] everything for holiday baking. just add love. safeway. ingredients for life. good morning. holiday havoc. rain, snow and brutal cold causing major problems from coast to coast. one road turned into an ice rink causing car after car after car to lose control. will the weather improve in time for christmas? the deal maker. president obama looks for one final victory on capitol hill before the holiday break after scoring a key win on don't ask, don't tell. but will the holiday spirit last in washington? and colossal collapse. one of the most epic meltdowns in football history has left this town in a big funk today, monday, december 20, 2010.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television and good morning. welcome to "today" on a monday morning, i'm matt lauer. >> and i'm erin burnett filling in for meredith who i hope is a lot warmer than this. it's cold, but we started a holiday week so we wanted to come out in front of the absolutely gorgeous rockefeller tree. >> this is what the control guys have from time to time. meanwhile we almost turned the lights out on that rockefeller tree in protest over what happened yesterday. can you feel it in the air? that is depression here in new york. the giants leading by 21 points with seven minutes to go allowed four touchdown in the last seven minutes. the eagles scored on the last play of the game to win.
they were playing for first place. >> you've been unable to get over this all morning. this is the first thing, did you see the giants game yesterday? oh, it was terrible. >> it was the worst thing i have seen in years and years. they're calling it the crumble here in new york. we'll tell you a little bit more about that later on. meanwhile it's the weather that's causing misery in a lot of parts of the country. you've got incredible rains out west causing flooding and mudslides. you also have some parts of the country expecting a couple of feet of snow. >> the pictures are incredible, and if you think it's bad here, it's even worse in europe. take a look at buckingham palace. sort of an idyllic picture there. pretty, but it's a real mess at airports and road, across the entire continent of europe, not just in london. >> we'll start with the mike seidel. good morning to you. >> reporter: here this morning up in minneapolis, at the university of minnesota campus, this is where they'll play that game tonight. the bears battling it out with
the minnesota vikings. just one of many places around the world being crushed by weather. weather hit california hard, days of downpours in the hollywood hills caused flash flooding and fear of mudslides. it may be the wettest weather system the region has seen in more than a decade. and it's not over yet. heavier rain is on the way. >> they say it's going to go on for days and days. >> reporter: the weather has been kinder to california ski resorts. they're expecting as much as 12 feet of snow. and the midwest is bracing for more snow, even as the somehowdown between the chicago bears and the minnesota vikings takes place tonight. the game will now be played at the university of minnesota after last week's blizzard damaged the metrodome. across europe, freezing temperatures and snow caused travel chaos. london was blanketed by snow over the weekend forcing heathrow airport to shut down.
roads across europe have been paralyzed by blizzards. many motorists were trapped in their vehicles for hours and cars were abandoned in germany and italy. northern ireland has seen its heaviest snowfall in 25 years. and in paris, there were crushed lady gaga fans after her concert was canceled because her equipment couldn't make it through snow-covered roads. behind me is the stadium where they'll play tonight's game. they trucked, they blew, they shoveled 3,400 tons of snow out of the stadium ahead of the game tonight. and by the way, several more inches of snow on the way today before kickoff. erin, it will warm up. it's 13 now. kick-off temperature, a balmy 25 degrees. erin, back to you. >> i guess it's all relative. thanks, mike seidel. what's really next across the country with the weather situation? stephanie abrams is in for al. >> unfortunately we're going to see more of the same, record rain los angeles, san gabriel and it's not stopping. therefore we do have advisories posted here.
and some of the higher elevations, we've already seen over a foot of rain. so here's how it's looking right now on the radar picture. we do have rain and snow into the higher elevations. several more feet will be falling here into the sierras. and here's a look as we head throughout the day today. over 18 inches into the sierras and into southern california, another three to five inches of rain. matt, we have already seen what we get for the entire month in los angeles. so i am very concerned about flooding with more rain on the way. snool >> all right. thank you very much, stephanie. now to washington where president obama has put the start of his christmas vacation on hold to keep an eye on a flurry flury of activity on capitol hill. savannah guthrie has details on that. >> reporter: the president still has one big item left on his wish lift, getting that arms reduction treaty with russia ratified this week. if he can pull that off, people say he's gotten a lot more out
of this lame-duck congress than most expected. >> a one-two punch for the white house. >> the ayes are 65, the nays 31. >> the ayes are 277, the nay s are 148, the motion is adopted. >> reporter: two back to back wins for president obama. getting billions of dollars in new stimulus out of the bipartisan deal extending the bush-era tax rates, and later this week he'll be signing the bill repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military. >> this is a growth process and an evolution. >> reporter: a little more than a month after democrats took what the president called a shellacking, the white house is hoping to end the year with some partisan victories on the board. >> people look better when they're getting things done, when they're accomplishing things. >> reporter: but it's republicans poised to gain in january.
this new political reality may mean disappointing fellow democrats. >> candidly speaking, there are some elements of this legislation that i don't like. there's some elements that members of my party don't like. that's the nature of compromise. >> reporter: the president has one more major battle before him this week, getting the new s.t.a.r.t. arms control treaty with russia ratified by year's end. 67 votes are needed, meaning a handful of republicans must go along. they're trying to jam in the treaty before the end of the year. >> so once again we're all of a sudden once again trying to rush things right here before christmas eve. i think that was not the best way to get the support of people like me. >> reporter: but democrats say republicans have had months to examine the treaty and they believe they have the support to get it passed. >> we hope the votes are there, including votes of many republicans. >> reporter: if the president can wrap up one more bipartisan victory, he may have some analysts talking about a turn around.
>> getting things done, that's incredibly important for this president to do. >> reporter: the president was supposed to have started his two-week vacation to hawaii over the weekend. he is staying back, matt, as you mentioned, to deal with congress, but mrs. obama and the girls have already left. back to you. >> savannah guthrie at the white house this morning. savannah, thank you very much. it's now eight minutes after the hour. police in israel are searching for the killers of an american tourist brutally stabbed to death near jerusalem. nbc's martin fletcher has the latest this morning. hi, martin. >> reporter: good morning, erin. a close friend described the murdered woman as a wonderful, caring, and goodly person. she went for a christmas vacation hike in the jerusalem woods this weekend with a friend. it was a lovely, warm afternoon until according to the survivor two men speaking arabic asked for a drink of water. and then attacked. they tied the women's hand behind their backs. stabbed one to death.
she was an american tourist, christine logan, 46 years old. police found her body hidden under a bush. her friend also bound and established multiple times, survived only by pretending to be dead. she told rescuers -- i thought something was wrong, she said, i warned my friend, the men may attack. they did with what looked like a bread knife. survivor kay susan wilson said the mentor the star of david around her neck and stabbed her where it hung on her chest. i played dead, but i heard my friend die. christine logan was an evangel can christian. she was on vacation. police sealed off the area and launched a massive manhunt for her killers. their suspicion, it was a political attack aimed at jews, but it didn't rule out a
criminal motivation. they're working on a motive and criminal investigation is continuing. >> reporter: israeli troops surrounded a nearby arab hospital and checked the emergency room in case one of the killers was hurt. doctors showed them the patients' list. >> they asked by their id. >> reporter: but no arrests so far and police won't say a word about their progress. no organization has claimed responsibility for the murder, which suggests to security sources the attack was unplanned. they say two men may have seen an opportunity and taking it. bad stuff for the christmas holidays in israel. erin? >> that's certainly a horrible story. martin fletcher, thank you. it's 7:10, once again here's matt. to italy now where amanda knox has won a key victory in the appeal of her murder conviction. an independent review of the key evidence used at her trial. we'll talk to aman da knox's
mother in just a moment, but first keith miller has the latest. >> reporter: showing the strain of prison life as she entered the courtroom, amanda knox was soon in tears as she heard the appeals judge declare a full review of the forensic evidence used to convict her. knox's mother in the courtroom to offer comfort broke down in tears in relief. knox, a 23-year-old student from seattle, along with her former boyfriend, rafael sew sollecito, were found guilty of murder and violent sexual assault of knox's roommate, meredith ketcher, an exchange student from england. the case against them rested largely on dna evidence, the prosecution entered this knife as the murder weapon, saying it had dna from knox and the victim on the handle and the blade. not so, argued the defense. now it will be up to an independent panel of experts to draw their own conclusions. the knox family believed the findings will show their daughter is innocent.
>> that was the best that we could hope for, and they eev always been confident that if somebody independent and objective really looks at that, that they will come to the conclusion that those tests aren't what the prosecution said they were. >> reporter: the judge also ruled in favor of the defense request to call new witnesses. the strain of this appeal could be seen during the first hearing when knox silently told her former boyfriend, i'm doing okay, and then -- the dna review could take months. in the meantime, this is now a whole new trial, where the defense has an opportunity to expose the holes it says are at the heart of the prosecution's case. for "today," keith miller, nbc news. >> amanda knox's mother was in court on saturday when the ruling on dna evidence was made.
etta, good morning to you. >> good morning, matt. >> put this into perspective for me, you were in the courtroom, the judge basically saying he was going to let some new fresh eyes take a look at new dna evidence. how big of a development is this in your opinion? >> well, we've been told it's huge. this was a huge ruling, and the fact that they're allowing independent people to look at it is a big deal for us. >> now, i -- >> we asked for it in the first trial and were denied. >> if this new group takes a look at this dna evidence and decides that it is inaccurate or not as valuable as first thought, does that necessarily mean the conviction is overturned, or does it simply mean a new trial will take place minus that dna evidence? >> well, you know, that's the big question. it could go so many different ways. i think what they're planning on doing is hearing these witnesses, hearing some other
witnesses, and then deciding what to do next. do they need to hear more, or can they make a decision based on that. >> and is the biggest challenge for you and amanda to manage expectations, to have hope but not get carried away with that hope? absolutely. that's been the hardest part of this all along. we had a lot of hope in the beginning because there was not a lot of evidence connecting amanda to that crime scene, but it's not done yet, and she's still locked up. >> i want to go back to a speech that amanda made at the beginning of this appeals process, it apparently was very powerful. she talked about her friend meredith kercher, said she was honored to have her as a friend, she apologized to the kercher family and then she talked about being afraid of this court. can you talk to me a little bit about what she meant by that? >> yeah. well, you know, she was really clear. she was not afraid of the truth.
i mean she's always hoped the truth would come out. but she was afraid because, you know, she'd already been there once. she'd sat through a trial, and they found her guilty, and she's innocent. is afraid, that that will happen again. >> she delivered that speech in fluent italian. some have said, it may be the reason this current judge decided to take a second look at this the dna evidence. do you think her words had that kind of impact? >> well, you know, i don't know. we would have to ask them. but i know that it was a really, really powerful, emotional, heartfelt statement and everybody saw that. >> you have been watching the public opinion on this case and on your daughter, both here in the united states and there in italy for several years now. are you sensing a shift in that public opinion, especially where you're standing there in perugia? >> well, absolutely. i think, you know, the shift has been coming from all over the
world, really, slowly. somebody likened it to trying to turn the "titanic," but it's happening. you know, the people here, the everyday people have always been supportive here in perugia. so it's nice to see the media kind of reflect that. >> fourth year that amanda is spending christmas in jail. we know that it's been very difficult on her. how's your family feeling with it? >> well, you know, it's another christmas that i'll be here. to be honest with you, i just kind of don't think about the holidays. i'm here, i'm here with amanda. i'm going to miss my other daughter, she'll be at home with my family, but i know she's in good hands. it's hard. we've missed everything for the last 3 1/2 years. >> edda mellas, thanks for joining us this morning. my best to you for the holidays. >> thank you, matt. let's get to other stories for the morning. tamron hall is at the news desk. >> tensions ran high for south korea overnight after concluding
90 minutes of live fire military exercises. pyongyang did not retaliate as expected. the drills were staged by pyongyang island. uk officials say the men have been detained for allegedly preparing to carry out an act of terrorism. dozens are dead after thieves caused a massive oil pipeline to explode in central mexico. officials say at least 13 of the dead were children. homes, cars, and trees were incinerated and rivers of flaming oil gushed through the streets. the justice department is looking to prosecute wikileaks founder julian assange here in the u.s. vice president joe biden said this weekend on meet the press. this is the first open admission that the u.s. attempts to charge assange for leaking sensitive diplomatic cables already in progress. new york senators backing a bill to help those sickened by the 9/11 cleanup and rescue efforts say they could be on the verge of a christmas miracle.
originally blocked by republicans for its $7.4 billion price tag, a scaled back version of that legislation has supporters optimistic as it heads to debate this week. and now, we head over to wall street. cnbc's melissa lee is at the new york stock exchange. melissa, good morning. what are investors watching today? >> it's cold outside, not just in the united states, but also in europe, and that's sending oil prices close to two-year high. oil is already up 11% on expectations that the global recovery will boost demand. and rising oil prices means rising gas prices. according to the latest lundberg survey, the average price for self-serve unleaded gasoline rose seven cents as of last friday to $2.98 a gallon, just in time for the holiday driving season. tamron? >> melissa, thank. and the philadelphia eagles clawed their way to victory after trailing by 12 points to the new york giants.
phillies' wide receiver desean jackson returned that punt for a touchdown. he even played a little catch me if you can along the end zone before making the winning touchdown just in time. it is unbelievable. that's right. it's 7:18. back to matt, erin, and stephanie. 28 points in seven and a half minutes, which is why you should watch until the end and not turn it to "law and order:suv," which is what i did. >> if you're a member of the "new york times," you don't want to open a newspaper this morning. i mean they are brutal on the giants, as well as they should be. by the way, one little note. that little hotdogging thing there at tend, that was not cool. that could have turned out very badly for him. >> stephanie abrams in for al this morning. thank you for joining us out in
the cold there. that was nice. >> you're welcome. and let's have a look at our forecast here. in the northeast, our temperatures will be into the mid-30s as we head through the day today. sunshine all the way down the i-95 corrid >> matt, over to you. >> all right, steph. thanks very much. still ahead, what happened to baby gabriel who vanished nearly a year ago? police have now released a chilling phone call made by the boy's mother. we'll have the latest and we'll
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per. >> good morning. we check the commute with mike. >> this monday is light because a lot of folks are making the get away. the bay brimming toll plaza. the metering lights have been on for an hour. almost no problem areas. a tree is down on 835 at highway 84. a typical spot. not a major issue, but i wanted to point it out as well as wet roads through mountain view, milpitas and san jose. rob with also 17 as a mess. >> the rain there on the 17 commute for areas south of san
jose. the rain is flying. going down to highway 17, good rain at the summit. north bay with ice and thundershowers rotating through petaluma dun to novato. heavy rain at times and an unsettled day today with rain off and on. highs in the mid 50s and soggy and we catch a break thursday and friday. we'll be right back after the short break. [ female announcer ] safeway talks gift ideas.
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7:30 on a monday morning, it's december 20, 2010. it's frosty here in new york, 26 degrees. the windchill is probably in the mid teens. but take a look. we've got a huge crowd gathered on rockefeller plaza. a lot of holiday shoppers out there. we're trying to show you all angles today. inside studio 1a i'm matt lauer. alongside erin burnett.
where is baby gabriel? the baby disappeared last year on the day after christmas. now a new disturbing phone call made by his mother has been released. we'll have details on this story. on a much lighter note, prince william and kate middleton have attended their first event together in snowy london. we'll have more on that. and a first look at their royal china to commemorate the wedding, which is one of those neat traditional things they do there? >> have very traditional. where are you on your holiday shopping? >> almost finished. just in case you have some last-minute items to get, we're going to show you some affordable last-minute gift ideas for every age group. let's start with the serious news, the recording of a phone call from the mother of an arizona infant. he has not been seen in almost a year. we're going to talk to the grandfather in a moment, but first npc kristen welker has more.
>> reporter: good morning to you, erin. for the first time ever, arizona authorities are releasing a telephone conversation that was taped about a year ago. they say on that call you can hear baby gabriel's mother admit to killing her own son. they also claim she recanted the claim just a few days later. it's been nearly a year and substituteer still no sign of this blue-eyed baby, gabriel, 8 months old in this picture. now police are releasing a chilling phone conversation recorded about the same time he disappeared. >> i suffocated him and he turned blue. i threw him in a trashcan. >> reporter: police say that's the voice of gabriel's mother, elizabeth johnson, her disturbing words, police believe were recorded during a phone call johnson had with the boy's father, logan mcquery. according to police on the call, johnson says she killed her son out of revenge from mcquery's relationships with other women. the two in a bitter custody battle. but he seems doubtful.
>> i killed him this morning. >> no, you didn't. >> reporter: police say johnson and her son were last seen together in a san antonio motel december 26th. she then traveled to florida and was arrested. baby gabriel nowhere to be found. police say once in custody, johnson changed her story, saying at this texas park she gave the baby to an unidentified couple. johnson's attorney says his client may suffer from emotional problems, but she is not a killer. >> she was very upset about their relationship, and she made some statements that certainly she didn't mean. my client has maintained all along that the baby is alive. >> reporter: investigators say it would not be the first time johnson tried to give gabriel away. according to detectives, she met jack and tammy smith at an airport weeks earlier when the couple says they agreed to adopt him. the couple only took care of gabriel for a short time, but continued to have contact with his mother.
tammy smith has since been charged with intervening in the case. she has pleaded not guilty and is out on bail. meantime, an attorney for the boy's father says he just wants to see his son again. >> we are and will always be committed to the belief that gabe is still out there. no one has shown us otherwise. >> reporter: as a father holds on, detectives search for answers, hoping a disturbing phone call can provide some clues. >> you pushed me and made me kill my baby. >> reporter: now johnson is being held here at the county jail for women. she faces a number of charges including abuse and kidnapping. she has pleaded not guilty. her next court date is set for the end of january. erin? >> all right, kristen, thank you very much. and now let's go to bob johnson, elizabeth johnson's grandfather. good morning to you, sir. when you heard her confession, which, of course, was on a phone conversation nearly a year ago, just released now, what did you
think? >> well, i was aware of that conversation a year ago. and i was aware of elizabeth's recan recan'ting the incident. i have talked to my granddaughter two days ago and she still proclaims her innocence. i believe she's innocent. she did not harm that child. >> her attorney as you may have heard in the piece that we all just watched, says that she could be bipolar which could be why she confessed and then ended up taking that confession back. you've known her her whole life. do you think she's bipolar? are there other sorts of examples that could show this behavior? >> she is definitely bipolar, however she did not harm the child, i firmly believe that. it's not within her nature. she was a good mother.
she loved that child. she just felt that her and logan could not give it a life better than what she had. so she wanted to adopt it. logan agreed to the adoption one day, and the next day he was off of the adoption idea. but elizabeth proceeded on the basis that he was going to sign the adoption papers and gave the baby to tammy smith. and then logan found out about it, took her to court, got a custody visitation, and that's how that went together. >> well, if elizabeth didn't kill gabriel, as you believe that's the case, where do you think he is it's so hard to imagine that the baby just disappeared and there being no word of him. >> erin, that's a great question. i'm glad you asked it. i talked to my -- i talked to elizabeth two days ago saturday and she told me something she
had never told me before, and that was that tammy smith orchestrated that entire trip from phoenix to san antonio. when they got to san antonio, she talked to tammy. tammy arranged this meeting in the park. this is a neighborhood park. this was a 20-minute ride from the hotel. elizabeth arrives with the baby. gives the baby to these two people. and leaves. i asked her very specifically if she could describe the people and she said no. she was, i'm sure, very overwrought. this was the end of the journey. >> yes. >> and she left, and that was that. i think the best person to be asking where the baby is, based on what i just heard from out of her own lips two days ago, is tammy smith. why they have not been able to
focus on that, i just wonder why there hasn't been some more effort in that direction. >> hopefully, they will, sir. i do want to ask you this. as her grandfather, if it does turn out that she was involved, that elizabeth did kill this baby in a moment where she lost control, will you still support her? >> well, of course. of course. i love elizabeth, and she was a good person. she was a good student, she was a 4.0 grade average student in high school. she got a four-year full ticket scholarship to northeastern university in boston. she's a very capable person. half the people in the world or the united states is bipolar and there's a way to manage against that. >> all right. >> she'll be okay when we get this behind us. i very strongly feel -- >> thank you so much, sir. we appreciate it.
and she's certainly very lucky to have a grandfather like you behind her. >> thank you. >> bob johnson, grandfather of elizabeth johnson. and now let's get a check of f the weather from stephanie abrams who's in for al. >> annie from oh wa huahoahu. 26 degrees. what's the coldest? >> this. >> let's give annie a group hug. she's not used to this cold weather. it's even colder in the northwest. here it is, it's going to start for you in minneapolis as we head into the afternoon hours. how much are we going to see? well, we could see a good three to five inches and even more than that in that deeper blue area. how about the rest of the country? well, at least the sun will be out to warm us up a little bit later here along t
>> and for your forecast 24 hours a day, all you have to do is go to weather.com. erin, back to you. >> thanks so much, stephanie. coming up a boy near death on numerous occasions, his doctors totally baffled. but he's getting a second chance at life. but up next, a first look at prince william and kate's official royal china. baffled. but he's getting a second chance at life. but up next, a first look at prince william and kate's official royal china. - just fell asleep. why are you up? it's 2:00 a.m.
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stepping out together for their first appearance as an engaged couple. nbc stephanie goskst is at buckingham palace with more details on that. hi, steph. good morning. >> good morning. william and kate are very busy with wedding preparations. those weren't their only responsibilities. as you know, prince william is a helicopter pilot with the royal air force and there's lots of events before christmas. william and kate made their first public appearance together since the engagement at a fund-raiser for cancer patients. the bride-to-be, expertly navigating an icy walkway in towering heels. while preparations for the wedding continue at a fevered pitch. today the official royal china commemorating the event goes on sale. >> this has been commissioned by the royal household and it has been approved by the royal
couple themselves. >> reporter: three pieces of handmade english fine bone china trimmed with 22-karat gold and embossed with tinnishles "w" for william and "c" for cathryn. every piece is -- they have been using the same methods to make pottery or 250 years. >> the china itself has been hand poured, it's been guilded using 22-karat gold, again by hand. and all the design has been done with a view to the royal couple. >> reporter: the china is on sale on the royal collection website as well as tourist locations, and it isn't cheap. a pill box for $38, something the designers call a tankard for $55, and a plate for $62. the proceeds go to maintaining the queen's vast art collection. at more than $50 each, most people probably won't drink out of these cups. excuse me, i mean tankards.
they really should because right after the first sip, right on the edge, two little doves sitting on a wedding ring. ahhh. >> oh, it's nice. >> you like it. >> i do like it. i love the doves. >> the doves, it's clear, are a real crowd pleaser. earlier this month the palace announced new guidelines on the officials memorabilia, banning images of the couple being used on tea towels, biscuit tins and t-shirts. the palace spokeswoman says for enthusiasts willing to spend the money, that's exactly what they'll get. prince harry made some news about the wedding over the weekend. he was in germany being honored for his own charity work. he told the german paper that he
was absolutely delighted about the engagement news. he said, i always wanted a sister, and now i have one. pretty sweet news from the future brother-in-law. >> all right, stephanie gosk. thank you very much. >> christopher, welcome back. i have to know what you think of the royal china. cy need your opinion. >> i can hardly wait to see the doves. >> this is not an official book. i don't want people to think when they were engaged you sat down and spent four weeks slaving away at a book, since this has been in the works for a while, so has the book. >> i have been working on this story for about 30 years, covering the royals, three books. my sources told me a year ago that they would be married in the spring of 2011, and count on it, even though the palace was saying it won't happen any time soon. all of the people in the british media thought it wouldn't happen until 2012 or later, so i got to cracking on the book, and i've
been working on it now for about a year. >> i'm going to get right to the book. 64% in a recent poll, 64% of people in the uk said they would like prince william and kate to be next in line to the throne. and what you basically suggest in the book is that there is a possibility that the queen is considers abdicating in order to get william and kate to the throne sooner. >> for the first time, the queen is considering stepping aside. >> what would the reason be? >> because of the situation she's in. she's already the oldest monarch. victoria was three years younger when she died. if the queen lives as long as her mother, she'll be 101. charles will be almost 80 years old when he takes over. after that, william will be 60 years old. >> the veracity of this information, you're getting
where, on a scale of one to ten? >> in my opinion, it's a ten and they have to deal with it. the men in gray, as diana calls it, the people who really run buckingham palace, everyone assumed that she thought she would stay there until she died but she can't because the monarchy wouldn't benefit. >> logically speaking, when would she make some kind of decision like this? when would it come? >> the money would be on her 90th birthday, certainly after her diamond jubilee in 2012. not any time really soon. >> you write a lot about william and kate at st. andrews where they met in college in scotland. as someone who has covered this for 0 years, this type of situation, do you think that kayte is going to be subjected or has already been subjected to the same level of scrutiny that princess diana had? >> you got to remember that this recurring nightmare that william has had that frankly kate would meet the same fate as his mother. he's had to deal with that kind of media attention. what's interesting, what the
british say, you know, kate middleton has never put a foot wrong, she has done everything right. there's been no embarrassing intercepted telephone calls there,'s been no hint of her cheating on william. she's never even frowned at the paparazzi, when they have been hounding her. she really is a pro at this already. so i think she's going to do very, very well. >> this is a modern couple, they announced their engagement using twitter. where do you think they'll take the royal family? >> oh, into the 21st century. everyone talks about this being the wedding of the century. i think it's really the first epic love story of the 21st century, so all skies are going to be on them. they're the first couple who's really human. they experienced what normal people do. diana made sure that her kids went to mcdonald's and to the movies and to the parks. kate is descended from coal miners, her mother was a stewardess so she knows what it's like to deal with the real world in a way that no other queen of england as known.
>> it's called "william and kate:the real love story." >> it's 49 after the hour, still ahead, affordable last-minute holiday gift ideas for a lot of u but first, these messages. eassa. . ♪ i loved you, sweetness ♪ but you're not sweet you made my butt fat ♪ ♪ you drove me insane self-control down the drain ♪ ♪ we're over i'm so done with that ♪ ♪ i fou irew ♪ we're over a lovl done with that ♪ ♪ that comes from a little green leaf ♪ ♪ zero-calorie, guilt-free no artificiality ♪
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good morning, everyone, mike joins us and bay area rapid transit, not so much. >> the slow transit just for a delay. 15 machines out of the west oakland station. earlier problems cleared up and slow getting to pittsburgh and the dublin pleasanton. over the bay we have a disabled vehicle on the upper deck causing a little slowing. it is in the middle lane approaching treasure island, but we see there is no major issues. it's not snowing, but just a little rain around. likely for this weekend. what does it electric like weather-wise? >> in the north bay, shower
thundershower are coming through. it's unusual to see thunder this early in the day. the line of showers towards to noma and napa. if you are going to southern california, super soaker trns for the central keft. rain off and on and a mix of sunny breaks. the first half looks soggy wednesday morning and drying out for a couple of days. time is 7:57. more news after the break. dry, cracked hands? gold bond ultimate concentrated cream heals and protects like lotion can't. gold bond concentrated therapy. real medicine, ultimate healing.
a man held in prison for 20 years for a crime he did not commit will be in court today. maurice caldwell will find out if he is allowed to walk free for a 1990 murder. a judge overturned the sentence after the new evidence reveals the real killer. the killer is a man who ended up leaving after caldwell was arrested. that man was arrested two years later in the killing of a cabdriver. more local news in a half hour. the "today" show returns in less than a minute.
>> we're back now> at 8:00 on monday morni we're back at 8:00 on monday morning, the 20th day of december 2010, 26 degrees in midtown manhattan. what a beautiful morning on the top of the rock. about 60 or so, 70 or stories ahead of us. at ground level, a great crowd of people. also, a full house here. getting a chance to say hi to the people back home. we appreciate them stopping by. out on the plaza, matt lauer along with erin burnett. nice to have you here.
>> nice to be here. it's a great time to be here. people are so happy. people with christmas trees on their head. >> yeah, people with christmas trees over here. you never know. coming up in this half hour, a remarkable story. we're going to meet a 6-year-old boy who was losing a life-threatening medical ballots until doctors tried something radical. at 4 years old he only weighed 17 pounds. doctors tried something out of the ordinary. they turned his life around. we're going to meet the little boy and talk to his mother just ahead. it's a wonderful holiday story. if you haven't finished shopping yet. say you tried and websites weren't working like matt. >> one of them crashed. >> it's not too late to get the gift for loved one or child. budget friendly ideas for everyone on your list. >> know who is back? nate berkus. he was with us and basically had
appendicites on the air. >> good morning, matt, everyone. north korea says it will not retaliate for what it called provocative artillery drills conducted on a border island by south korea. the maneuvers came a month after the north responded to similar drills by shelling the same island and killing four people. tensions are so high, they evacuated hundreds of residents during today's drill and send others into underground bunkers. flooding and drought, deadliest year for national disasters since ethiopian famine in 1963. an estimated 200,000 perished in a january earthquake in haiti. officials say they may never know how many refugees from iraq and iran died last week when their rickety boats slammed into rocks off christmas island.
the confirmed death toll rose to 48 people today. 42 people were rescued. the senate last night passed the most sweeping overhaul of food saft rules since the 1930s. it places stricter standards on imported foods and gives the government more power to force inspections and recalls. the house is expected to pass the bill and president obama has said he will sign it. a new study in a journal of pediatrics says 1 million children in the u.s. live in rural areas with no pediatricians. mississippi has the highest percentage of children without doctors. the greatest concentration of children and family doctors are in washington, d.c. and delaware. gasoline prices are up $0.08 a gallon over the last two weeks. the average price for regular, now $2.99 according to the lundberg survey. that's $0.40 higher than one year ago. the fbi says a suspicious bag that triggered a partial shutdown of newark national airport this morning held a computer monitor that gave off a
small but harmless amount of radiation. flood watches and warnings are in effect this morning in southern california. record rainfall is expected to continue today. water cascaded down the hollywood hills this weekend. some homes were reachable only by row boat. snow and ice coated mountain roads in the pacific northwest wiping out traction and leaving drivers at the mercy of drafity. unbelievable pictures there. it is now 8:04. back to matt and erin on the plaza. hey, guys. >> have you ever been in one of those situations, skidding in slow motion and you know it's not going to end well. >> terrifying. >> stephanie abrams in while al has taken some time off as well. >> we have actually three generations visiting from texas, mom, grandma and also the kids here, the grandkids. are these hats keeping y'all warm? >> not enough. >> not enough. can you give us a southern merry christmas. >> merry christmas, y'all. >> take you to the northwest and
show y'all what it's looking like. unfortunately it's going to be showery and cold. 46 degrees. all the weather is in the west. we are seeing beautiful conditions here up and down i-95 a look at san francisco from san bruno mountain, some cloud, breezy conditions and santa crew mountains now and you see rain over highway 17 summit. north bay, good thunder shower, heading off to the northeast at 25 miles per hour and moving toward nevada in the next half hour or so. unsettled day. heavy rain south of us today, along central coast. rain off and on at times. slight risk of a thunder shower. dry out thursday and friday. visiting from winter haven, florida. there's nothing winter about winter haven, florida. >> oh, my gosh. with all those oranges freezing. next, one boy's life or deat disease. and the miraculous way he was
cured. a wonderful christmas story. you'll meet him and his mother right after this. ♪ i hate suburbia and the bourgeoi-sie ♪ ♪ but i really love my bank ♪ i hate-- didn't quite catch that last bit. i said i really love my bank. right... is there a problem ? it's not really raging, man. uh, we were hoping for more raging ? well, you said write from the heart. yeah... don't do that. at ally, you'll love our online savings account. named the best of 2010 by money magazine. ally. do you love your bank ? wabout readingl and put it here. introducing nookcolor. experience books, magazines, newspapers
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science correspondent, robert bazell. >> to look at 6-year-old richard volcker, you would never guess he's been close to death hundreds of times and the struggle to save him will be a milestone in medical history. his mother, amy lynn santiago said he's always upbeat. >> he loves his mom and his dad. and with all his heart. he's such a loving little boy. >> nick was 17 months old when the first sign of trouble struck. a wound that would not heal. over time, mom realized he faced a life-threatening condition. >> six to eight months after his first hospitalization, at that point he was down to 17 pounds. and he was always having pain. >> at first, doctors thought nick suffered crohn's disease, an auto-immune disorder of the intestine. surgeons removed his colon, but
nick continued to deteriorate. last march, dr. allen meyer, a pediatric specialist at children's hospital of wisconsin took charge of his care. but they failed to achieve success. >> we were never able to get his inflammation under control. >> dr. meyer consulted with experts around the world. everyone was stumped and thought nick would die without a diagnosis. the doctors were so perplexed by the case that they made an unusual and desperate request -- could the scientists here at the medical college of wisconsin, sequence the some 30,000 genes in the boy's body to find out if one was mutated. >> i was shocked, it's a big leap from what we were currently doing. >> howard jacobsen, the medical genetics team had only done basic research. mom was certainly on board. >> i thought, let's do it. we need to find a diagnosis. >> it came from being a shocking
request to we need to do this. >> they found that nick has a defect in a gene called xiap, a condition known to affect only a handful of others around the world. the treatment was cord blood transplant to give him a new immune system. there were many frightening complications, but nick pulled through. >> over 100 times we've been told that nick wouldn't make it to the next hour, the next day, the next month, the next year. >> because gene sequencing is becoming ever cheaper and easier, the doctors think nick's case is a crucial beginning of a new era of medicine. for "today," robert bazell, nbc news, milwaukee. >> 6-year-old nicholas is with us now, along with his parents, amy lynn santiago volcker and sean volcker, happy holidays. amy lynn, let me make sure
people understand the scope of this. we've got a 6-year-old boy who has spent more than 700 days of his life in a hospital, 526 of those just since january of 2009. it's hard to imagine an adult being able to endure this. how did the little boy endure it? >> well, amazingly, matt, nick is so resilient. and always faced every day with a smile on his face. >> you have had to brace yourself on a number of occasions, amy lynn, for the worst. and i know you've had relatives come to you at some point during this ordeal and say, you've got to plan a funeral. you have to sign a do not resuscitate order, you always refused to take those steps. why? >> well, matt, i relied on my faith and i had to hold on to hope. always. trying to just persevere and get
through the next step. and just hope that there was another miracle. >> there were times where things looked up even for a brief amount of time. i know after, after they removed nicholas's colon, that he did improve for a little while. isn't that correct? >> that is true. after they removed his colon, nick was able to walk and run around and actually climb for the very first time in his life. >> and then, it took a turn for the worse again. when doctors talked to you about requesting dna sequencing. amy lynn, did you even know what dna sequencing was? >> i was a little familiar with it. i had read, i had done some research looking for the diagnosis for nick over the years. so i had done some research and looked at the websites at the nih, so i knew a little bit
about it, but not all the technical stuff. a little more than five months ago, nicholas underwent a cord-blood transplant. how difficult a process was it. and how quickly after that procedure did you begin to see real improvement? >> i'm sorry, could you say that again? >> i'm asking after the cord-blood transplant, how quickly did you begin to see real improvement? >> actually, after directly after the cord transplant, we saw improvement in the first two weeks. actually he was extremely active. played like a normal little boy would. had lots of sword fights and lots of floor time with his sisters and his dad. and myself. but he did suffer a lot of complications thereafter. >> what's the prognosis now, amy lynn? what are doctors telling you? >> his prognosis is extremely
good. his bone marrow transplant physician, dr. margolis thinks he will be a long-term survivor. and that he's possibly cured. >> that's just unbelievable news, we hope for that to be true. and amy lynn, thank you, sean, for joining us, thank you, and nicholas, happy holiday to all of you. >> thank you very much, matt, merry christmas. >> and to you, thftht aer thiou. we're back right after this. we've taken all we know and love about reading and put it here.
introducing nookcolor. experience books, magazines, newspapers and children's books like never before. nookcolor by barnes & noble. we pretend high-heels don't hurt and that we can handle anything life throws at us. but there are times that we need a moment to remember. we're only human. that's more than enough. your moment. your dove™. that lets you eat six times a day? yeah, baby! try the slim-fast 3-2-1 plan. 3 snacks, 2 shakes or meal bars, and 1 balanced meal. slim fast. who has time to slim slowly?
♪ hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, ♪ ♪ throw care away, christmas is here, bringing good cheer, ♪ ♪ to young and old, meek and the bold, ding dong ding, dong, ♪ ♪ that is their song, with joyful ring, all caroling, ♪ ♪ one seems to hear, words of good cheer, from everywhere, ♪ ♪ filling the air, oh how they pound, raising the sound, ♪ ♪ o'er hill and dale, telling their tale, gaily they ring, ♪ ♪ while people sing, songs of good cheer, christmas is here, ♪ ♪ merry, merry, merry, merry christmas, ♪ "today's" holiday gift guide is brought to you by target, expect more, pay less. >> this morning on "today's" this morning on "today's holiday gift guide" there's
still time to find great presents for everyone left on the list. "us" weekly contributor jill is here. what's the better way to do it, run into the store or try to get a last-minute online deal and hope it's going to get here on time? >> well both. all the gifts i'm showing are online and in stores. just because you're getting it last-minute doesn't mean it has to look like you're getting it last-minute. we're all going to look very planned for the holidays. >> we want that trick. let's start with the little wee ones on the list. we've got something here and we have it being a demonstrated right now by 11-week-old lila. >> look at little lila here. some space cadets, she is all dressed for the holidays. this a little onesie and the little christmas tree hat. i think the babies could pull this off. look at how cute she looks. >> she has an amazing tranquil personality. 11 weeks, a christmas tree hat and not a peep. settle she's very happy.
her mother is very tranquil, too. >> where can you get your little one to look like this? >> this is space cadet's $24 and up and the shoes are stuart weitzman. >> they are the tiniest stuart weitzmans i've ever seen in my life. >> symbols have big. this is a macy's gift store and the fingerless gloves and watches. everyone texting on the street, it allows you to do that. >> open fingers. >> for all ages. >> okay. and jewelry, also here. this is also a theme thing, right? >> this is a theme all the symbols. this is jewelry by three sisters, sterling silver and gold-plated, $40 and up. the earrings and all the different symbols, the moon, the stars, the peace signs, evil eyes, great gifts, guys, if you're watching for girls, we
all love these. >> how much? >> $40 and up. >> so very affordable. >> now sequins, we saw them back with the skulls. sequins are very big. >> remember rubik's cube? >> all the bedazzled items for the teen 'tween in your life. >> $38 and up, the keyboard that plugs into the kurt. the retro rubik's cube and the wireless mat. which i love. >> what does it cost to get yourself the juicy couture rubik's cube? $38. >> this is for the teen? >> or if you're traveling and looking for a taxi and you forget your right and your left hand, these are great mittens by kate spade. and it's very easy -- >> that's the way to hail a taxi. >> very easy. >> just a great gift, $65. >> and "glee" -- >> do you have a gleek -- >> i'm not, but apparently
everybody else is. this is their first holiday cd, $10. this is the "glee" album, only $10. >> now everyone is going somewhere for the holiday. what's the best gift to bring a housewarming if you don't know their taste or style? >> this is lauren, by ralph lauren, these are just great to keep in the house. you can't go wrong with ralph lauren. they start at $15 and up, a great gift, you can never go wrong with candles. >> ipad is a very hot gift. >> this i love. this is $99.95. the brookstone ipad computer case. this is the keyboard case with the actual keyboard because i have problems typing on my ipad. it turns it into a laptop. >> that would change my world. >> i use my ipad all the time, and it's hard to type. so this a great alternative. >> how much?
$99.95. >> these fluorescent hoodies are popular with the celebrities. >> it's a hoodie with a belt-in earphones and you plug your iphone in and the earphones are already in the hoodie. so you don't lose your earphones and they're built in. >> it's very inexpensive. >> $15. >> from old navy. >> so jam away. >> and the last thing for the couch potato in your life. >> a universal remote built into a pillow. you can never lose your remote. take a nap in the meantime, hopefully you don't change the channel this is for the man in your life who is always looking for the remote. i love that. >> and the last thing -- >> 12 games, retro games, pac-man, atari, $40 it plugs right into your computer or tv and the games are built in. >> as we were talking about, i adore pac-man.
>> during commercial breaks, right? >> i wasn't going to say that. >> thanks so much to jill martin. appreciate it. and now let's send it over to matt. >> all right, erin, thank you and jill, thank you. just ahead, nate berkus on the new design drends for the new year. but before your local news, a look back at the year 2010, the year in pictures.
good morning to you, it's 8 o8:26. >> no more delay on bart, maybe five minutes at the most for the system. that's good. another set of rails has a delay. 10 to 15 minute through menlow park, redwood station affected as well. southbound 210 train has been taken out of service. that's the issue for cal train. but 101 minor delay, no major problems for san mateo interchange. it's light but wet out there. >> we're seeing mainly light rain from san jose toward the santa cruz mountains, not a lot
of activity, where it's been busy, north bay, thunder showers racing a cross there south of petaluma and cells across the coast weakened, and meantime, pacific ocean supersoaker aimed on central california. so, factor that into your travel mans south today, mixed bag of rain at times, slight chance of thunder, wet at times until wednesday and thursday and friday, finally catch a break. time is 8:27. more news after this break. ♪
♪ you can find your feet and you can find your way ♪ ♪ you can find yourself in bed at the end of the day ♪ ♪ you can find some fun on a tropical isthmus ♪ ♪but you'll never find my... ♪ you can find it in your heart to be patient with me ♪ ♪ you can find a new star for the top of the tree ♪ ♪ i don't mean to be coy and i don't mean to be vicious ♪ ♪ but you'll never find my christmas ♪
the the victims of pipeline explosion may soon tell their stories to congress. likely a hearing early next year on that disaster. the possibility of a hearings with revealed over the weekend during a packed town hall meeting. homeowners are still looking for answers as they rebuild following the deadly september 9 explosion. they were told the investigation is still months from being complete and pg & e said they are still monitoring the line that ruptured.
underprivileged kids. meanwhile, out on the chilly plaza, i'm matt lauer along with erin burnett, tamron hall joins us while ann is off today. >> it's a chilly, nice day. we have got the design trends for 2011 as we look ahead. >> metallics are in. take note. what does it mean to be crowned ms. junior america? everyone wants to look good, but we perhaps have found what could be the easiest diet program ever. that is a large claim. >> i fail at all diets. and a little bit later, a very special performance right across from here from the rockefeller
center rink. all right, but first let's bring in jason siegel, the talented actor who's starring in "gulliver's travels." big transformation, you were the villain in "despicable me." it had to be fun to shoot this. >> we were in london for four months. so this was a dream come true. >> you had to learn the british accent. how do you do that as an actor? >> i went with the liliputian accent. >> you said you have known jack for 20 years? because you only look 19. >> he gave me my first writing job when i was 19 years old and i was just a kid. i have been dying to work with him forever. it really was a dream come true. >> you tried to woo princess
mary? >> the lovely emily blount. >> you said it was a challenge to play a car that would even be considered by emily blount. >> it was easy. i could never get her. >> you make it all sound so simple. >> you are awfully nice to take part in our toy drive. you look a little chilly, actually. >> i'm from l.a., so we don't get the cold like this, it's nice, you get to wear coats. i do much better in several layers than i do in t-shirts. so this is perfect for me. >> jason, thank you so much. nice to have you. >> can't wait to see it. >> thank you very much. now we'll go to stephanie abrams who's in for al. >> why did you decide to come to the plaza today? >> we had to come today to see the "today" show.
>> girls gone wild. >> it's too early for that, don't you think? never too early. let's get to the weather before anythingls hensappe her we are going to see that snow going into places like minneapolis and more of it throughout the sierras. we're talking feet of snow, a look at san francisco, a pretty quiet there where it hasn't been quiet is farther north, the last hour, you see the thupder showers roll through marin county, south of petaluma, showers moving to the north and east at close to 20 miles per ur and we'll watch some of those showers there, meantime, san jose has a few showers around the santa cruz mountains and focus of the heavy rain today is southern california, if you're heading to l.a., plan on heavy rain.
stephanie, thanks very much. and now a very special donation to our holiday toy drive. we're joined by the boston red sox jason varitek. they're making a contribution on behalf of major league baseball. happy holidays to all of you. jason, good to have you here. talk to me about what baseball's doing. >> we're donating 4,000 gifts and each one of these, i've got the mcfarland toys and the mr. potato head. >> as the team the red sox are very much interested in fi philanthro philanthropy, i know you have a scholarship program. tell us about that. >> it gives children an
opportunity to advance. they do a lot from the time that they after fifth grade all the way through 12th grade. >> congratulations. >> i have to ask a baseball question. i have a nephew who i think is your biggest fan. he has a lot of competition for that. he wants to know what's the most memorable no-hitter you have ever caught. he told me to ask it just that what i. >> i think it was the first one, it was really surreal. all you can hear is different players who have gone through it in your ear. >> we have got a rangers fan, a yankees fan. >> a yankees fan who doesn't want to get hit. >> that's all right, we have got something for meredith since he wasn't here. >> there you go, meredith, that's coming home to you. >> thank you so much for having
us. >> happy holidays, we appreciate it. >> good luck this season. we have much more ahead on a monday morning, but first this is "today" on nbc. [ female announcer ] safeway talks the main course. mmm. you smell that? yeah, wait. what is that? love. smells like ham. [ male announcer ] serve a main course brimming with comfort and joy. safeway. ingredients for life.
i love everything but those blinking lights. oh yeah, right in my eye. [ female announcer ] if it tastes like the holidays, we've got it. safeway. ingredients for life. back at 8:39. if you're looking to change things up a little bit, nate berkus has ideas. nate, great to see you. >> nice to see you too. >> i read about you. and how you were here last time and fought through appendicitis and almost feinted on the air. >> i did. i'm fine, i'm not on morphine today. >> i'm glad and i know a lot of people wanted to make sure that you were all right. okay, well, you're back to work. >> yes. >> and you've got a few new trends. everyone wants to spruce things up a little bit. >> absolutely. >> let's start with frames.
>> here's the thing, erin, once the holiday decorations leave the house, our homes start to look a little bit bare and we start to look around -- so what i want to do is take the edge off putting those decorations away and talk about five new things in the new year that are very important. the first thing is you. we have become a society that we let our photos live on our lap tops, we don't exhibit and celebrate every day in our lives. so the best way to do that is to print out on odd number of photos and start a gallery wall. so this is five. i have black frames from pottery barn and a couple of vintage gold frames. print out your favorite photos, go through each event in your life and pick one. pick an image that makes you think of that. that needs to be on our walls and not on our computers. >> a good point, i still do old picture books when i go on vacation. i'm with you on that one.
what about metallics? i know they're popular but actually hard to get? >> you have to look. i have always believed that metallics, this is trend number two, metallics are neutral to me and i think every space needs a bit of shine. whether it's gold, silver or mercury glass, even little accents like the ones on these pillows. isn't that cool? this is the one that i think it kind of ups the ante in our rooms. if you add a touch of metallic, it makes things rise up a little bit more and makes things for sophisticated. >> all right, this is -- these are recycled? >> yes, here's the thing. i think trend three recycle, repurpose, reimagine really is what i'm looking at doing. so instead of water bottles, when i have guests come over, i do a little caraffe. everyone knows that pillows are really expensive.
that sweater that you're just not loving anymore. the best thing to do is actually buy an insert and turn it into throw pillows on the sofa. we have some examples here, but this is a great way to add texture and tradition to your home. you can find a part of it that would work. >> that is such a neat idea. >> and everyone at the table. >> this could be cashmere, they could be wool, they could be cotton, it doesn't matter. look to your closet first before you go out and spend some more money. >> last but not least, this is your own art? >> here's the thing. for some reason, there's like everyone has like a snob attack when they hear the word art, they think i can't afford it. even my clients who spend tons of money on furniture, it's such a strange thing. art is what you make of it. it can be children's art work, it can be pages from a book. especially if you go to a flea market and you find a book that's not in great condition.
use one of theism imagi ismagesn a frame. do you have silk scarves at home that you never wear? >> i have a little pile of them but i don't want to give them away because they're pretty. >> if there's a pattern that you love, it can be stretched and framed beautifully. this is literally these scarves that are in everybody's drawer these days. >> i keep the christmas decorations up through january. >> it's hard to take down. you need some more information. the most important thing is to really love what you have. elizabeth edwards before she passed away, she had a quote in her kitchen. and one of the things that she said was, you know, the cracks are what let the light come in, essentially. so our homes aren't meant to be perfect. the bottom line is they're not. kids, dogs, husbands, doesn't matter who ruins something, let yourself enjoy what you have and live well with what you have.
>> beautifully said. you're doing something on your show in honor of a boy who committed suicide because he was bullied for,gay. >> i talk about how important it is that we all take a stand and on the 29th is a special nate berkus show, the mother of seth walsh. it's a beautiful story. >> thank you very much. >> nice to see you. >> and to find the nate berkus show in your area.
boardwalk in atlantic city and found a great group of women participating in a unique competition. amy, good morning to you. >> we have all heard of miss america and miss universe. there's another pageant for women who have reached the age of elegance. atlantic city was home to the miss america pageant for more than 80 years. the coveted crown, a symbol of youth, beauty and talent. but what you may not know is that just down the boardwalk, for the past 30 years, another pageant has been quietly emerging. ms. senior america, where the age requirement is 60 plus and the contestants are ready to be heard. >> i feel like a queen when i'm walking around doing the poses and i just feel very proud. i'm loving every minute of it. >> that's right, instead of bingo and bridge, those golden girls are singing, dancing,
miming, and jamming on the tamborine. they represent 33 states and the u.s. virgin islands. their goal? the founder says to showcase senior confident and inner beauty. >> you know who you are and you feel fulfilled so you can share it with others. >> reporter: even at the age of 86. >> this is the second time i've been on the stage, i have enjoyed it, it's thrilling, exciting, my life has changed. >> reporter: miss senior america is very much like its younger counterpart. so you say there's always one question everyone asks you? >> i know that i am going to answer that question that 99% of you out there have. and that is, no, there is not a swimsuit competition. >> reporter: replaced with philosophy of life competition.
>> i proclaim senior ladies rock. >> reporter: after an evening gown competition -- >> ladies and gentlemen our top ten. >> reporter: the finalists are announced. and following a heated talent competition with everything from a tena turner impression, to a sailor tap dance routine. the winner is finally announced. ms. senior america doesn't walk away with a scholarship or any cash prize, instead she represents what an older woman is achieve and still offer her community. >> i am so excited. i just want to get the word out to other senior women that they can do anything. >> and the amazing part, some of these women are doing things they never would have attempted in their younger days.
>> this morning on "today" at the rink, an institution in american figure skates. he captured gold at the winter olympics in calgary. it was a feet that would not be matched by another american male skater until this year. great to see you. >> it's great to be here. >> at least you get to skate and warm up. i remember watching you then. what does it say about male figure skating in this country. it took 22 years for another american male to match that goal. >> he put it all together, talent, hard work, focus. it takes just so many different elements. >> and obviously you have in spades, what's new? >> well, the thing that separates us from all the other shows for me was the musical
guests heart. i just love it when they sound like their albums and they sound better than ever. ann and nancy, they're just really amazing. and it was great to skate to them. >> meantime, you're going to skate for us now to silent night. ♪ silent night holy night ♪ all is calm all is bright ♪ round yon virgin mother and child ♪ ♪ holy infant so tender and
we're back after your local news and weather. good morning. it's 8:56. most people skating through the commute but not everybody. >> not everyone. there is an issue for highway 84 and 35, still have officially a sig alert, major impact to the drive but not a lot of commuters go through the area, a tree down for the last hour and a half. and that will cause an issue for local traffic there.
101, 280, peninsula, to the south bay moving nice live south bay with minor spots slowing for 87 and 101 and light look at the bay bridge. toll plaza, meetering lights turned off just a few minutes ago, before 9:00 and no metering lights, easy drive down east shore freeway, slick road i was. use caution. [ female announcer ] safeway talks gift ideas. music makes a great gift. i like rock, hip-hop, country... and you are telling me this, why? i...uh...thought you might be my secret santa? no. i'm giving for skunk. uh, i can hear you. no. not you. the other skunk. [ female announcer ] safeway is the place to stock up on itunes gift cards. right now, save $6 on a $40 4-pack. keep 'em on hand.
only at safeway. ingredients for life. a great story of a bay area company sharing some of its wealth with those in need this holiday season. a few minute ago old navy's flagship store on market street opened its doors to a private shopping spree for more than 200 kis from glides family service program. each child will receive gift cards valued at $100, thanks to
gap. volunteer shoppers will help the kids make their selections. another update in 30 minutes, the today show returns in about a minute. california's latest dropout rate proves we're in the midst of an epidemic. 22 pr of teenagers leave high school before they graduate. the really troubled cities see dropout rates of 40%. with almost a quarter of our kids turning their back on school we're failing a generation. as a nation, we're falling behind world leaders. chinese students score first in reading, math and science. far outpacing us. compared to 30 countries, u.s. ranks mediocre. global demand for highly educateducate ed workers but u.s. post grad dee is stagnant. we're ninth in our percentage of students with college degrees. this can't continue.
we believe our education system needs radical change. let's put students first. check out studentsfirst.org and share your thoughts with us at nbcdi to we're back now with more of "today" on a monday morning, the 20th day of december, 2010. beautiful sunny skies here in new york. it's 26 degrees and windy, windchill probably 17 degrees. out on the plaza, i'm matt lauer along with erin burnett. on a day like today, you want to wear open towed shoes because that's what's going to keep you warm. >> i made a wardrobe, i had a wardrobe fall lungs. -- malfunction.
coming up in this half hour, amanda knox, she's been convicted of murder in italy. she's in the appeals process right now. now an italian judge has agreed to allow an independent review of dna evidence in that case. it's a major victory for amanda. also holiday time is a joyous time. did you also know it's one of the more dangerous times of the year? a lot of reasons for that. we're going to show you how to get your family through the holidays as safe as possible. what we did was put two families up to the challenge of doing a full holiday event, dinner party for eight with all the trimmings, great food, all of it for $150 or less. >> we're going the see if they did it. we'll have the results of the challenge and if they did, what you can learn from them that's coming up. a lot to get to. anne's off today, and we have tamron hall over at the news desk. a security alert this
morning at newark international airport in new jersey. one terminal shut down after a bag tested positive for explosives. the terminal was reopened after the bag was found to contain a computer -- tensions ran high in north korea overnight. pyongyang did not retaliate as expected. flood watches and warnings are in effect this morning for southern california. record rainfall is expected to continue today. snow and ice coated mountain roads in the pacific northwest, leaving drivers at the mercy of gravity. the justice department is now actively seeking to prosecute wikileaks founder julian assange here in the u.s. vice president joe biden revealed for the first time this weekend on "meet the press." a new development in the murder trial of amanda knox. nbc's keith miller has the story. >> reporter: showing the strain
of prison life as she entered the courtroom, amanda knox was soon in tears as she heard the appeals judge declare a full review of the forensic evidence used to convict her. knox's mother in the courtroom to offer comfort broke down in tears in relief. knox, a 23-year-old student from seattle along with her former boyfriend rafael sollecito, were found guilty of murder and violent sexual assault of knox's roommate, meredith kercher, an exchange student from england. the case against them rested largely on dna evidence. the prosecution entered this knife as the murder weapon. saying it had dna from knox and the victim on the handle and the blade. not so, argued the defense. now it will be up to an independent panel of experts to draw their own conclusions. the knox family believe the findings will show their daughter is innocent. >> that was the best that we could hope for and they have always been confident if
somebody independent and objective really looks at that, that they will come to the conclusion that those tests aren't what the prosecution said they were. >> reporter: the dna review could take months. in the meantime, this is now a whole new trial. where the defense has an opportunity to expose the holes it says are at the heart of the prosecution's case. keith miller, nbc news. tron legacy took the top spot at an otherwise sluggish weekend box office. yogi bear came in second and the chronicles of narnia came in third. a full lunar eclipse will land on the darkest night of the year. the first time the two events have co-sided since 1554. it is four past the hour, back out to matt on the plaza.
>> all right, tamron, thank you very much. our director joe michaels is listening, joe, remember the potatoes go in the front here. let us get a check of the weather now from stephanie abrams. >> your name is actually snow. how did your parents come up with that name? >> i guess they're just creative. >> and what are your sister's names? >> summer and spring. let's see where we are going to see snow around portions of the upper midwest and that's what we will see in minneapolis. three to six inches of it. also into the sierras the snow will really be piling up. we're talking about feet of snow continuing. otherwise no sunshine in your family. we do have that sunshine anywhere from the san francisco, occasionally we've seen a few sunny breaks. the radar, don't let your guard
down, north of the golden gate, thunder showers near highway 17 south steeling with rain and fly from highway 101 morgan hill to gilroy, cold air aloft will trigger thunder showers off and on into the afternoon, highs in mid 50s, rain at least until wednesday morning, a brief break thursday into friday. >> and we have penguin hats and polar bear hats on twins that keep tm warm. erin? >> "today's" health is brought to you by kellogg's special k products. this morning on "today's" health, avoiding the hazards of the holidays. it's a time to enjoy family and friends, but decorating and entertaining. here to review the most common holiday health hazards and how to avoid them.
at least anecdotally it seems that there's a lot more injuries and health issues of all sorts during the holidays. >> we have so many demands placed on us, we're shopping, we're cooking, we're entertaining and as a result we get distracted and that's when accidents can happen. >> let's start with cuts and wounds, way more of them this time of year. >> there are 6,000 visits a year of cuts and wounds. and when you're cooking, slicing and dicing, it's a very common gathering for the family. it's easy to get distracted. so be care full not to slice your finger while you're talking to a family member. of course you want to just pay attention, watch your fingers and one of the other places you should be careful is when you open gifts, those plastic encased electronic toys. >> that are impossible to get out. >> that clam shell is so
difficult. it's so thick. the tendency is to hold the package and jam it right into your palm. and that's what happens, you go right through to your palm. try buying one of those specifically designed clam shell openers where the blade is safely tucked away. >> let's start with the decorating issues. >> decorating related injuries, there's 45,000 e.r. visited a year just for that, particularly from decorating the top of the tree and hanging the lights outside. and the biggest culprit is a ladder. people tend to fall off the ladd ladders, you can sustain neck and back injuries. and my advice would be, first, if you're hanging lights, make sure your ladder is on level ground. i know it's very tempting to get every spot on the top of the tree, but don't overreach on that ladder and don't step on the top two wrungs. >> the other thing about a tree, i was thinking about it the other day, is fire, a lot of
people get their tree early, and it dies even though you're putting water in it. >> there are 400 fires per year results in 40 deaths and 100 injuries, most common from christmas trees due to shorts in the electric lighting or to candles that were too close to the branches. make sure you turn the lights off at night and make sure your tree is really well watered. a watered tree is a much safer tree. run your hands through the branch, if you end up with a fistful of needless. that tells you your tree is too dry. and candles are another source of fire, with candles never leave a candle unattended, and keep candles away from windows. that draft can come in and blow the flames. >> what about heart attacks, there are more of them this time of year than any time else? why is that? >> basically stress of holidays is a big culprit as well as
having heavy meals and people just get busy and they forget to take their medications. >> this is a question i think everyone has any time someone has a heart attack, when are the symptoms that say i need to go to the hospital. >> one na's well known is chest pain. people may be afraid to bring to it the attention of their family because they don't want to disrupt the festivities. but please do so. heart attacks can mimic indigestion. if you're having this unrelenting heartburn, please seek medical attention. as well as shortness of breath and shoulder pain. >> and car accidents? >> yes. >> snow, we just thaw that pile up, right, it could be that, but also alcohol. >> alcohol is related in almost 50% of car accident fatalities. so just some commonly known advice. please designate a driver, don't drive late at night when people are drinking and drowsy. know your route ahead of time and program it in your gps.
don't wait until you're on the road to program it into your gps and no cell phones or texting on the road. >> let's hope everyone pays attention to that all throughout the year. common sense stuff that we all just need to remember. two families just one budget. can they throw together a holiday meal for eight for less than $150 each? that's tough to do. and also ahead, don't forget fluffy, great gifts for your best four foo ds this holiday season. that's after these messages. msn autos called it "the class of its class right now." but that's not the only story. it's got turn-by-turn navigation, onstar, an available six-speed automatic transmission, remote keyless entry, and 10 air bags. it's a big story for a compact car. the all-new chevrolet cruze. get used to more. very well-qualified lessees can get a low-mileage lease on a 2011 chevrolet cruze ls for around $159 a month. call for details.
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♪ [ female announcer ] there's a place called hidden valley where kids not only eat their vegetables, they can't get enough. ♪ hidden valley ranch. makes vegetables delectable. and now make lettuce a real salad with hidden valley salad kits. everything you need all in one bag, like garlic croutons, lemon pita bites, parmesan cheese, and caesar dressing. turn plain lettuce into a hidden valley salad. parmesan cheese, and caesar dressing. ♪ i'll stop the world and melt with you ♪ ♪ i'll stop the world ♪ ♪ i will stop the world ♪ ♪ you've seen the difference ♪ ♪ and it's getting better all the time ♪ ♪ i will stop the world ♪ ♪ i'll stop the world and melt with you ♪ ♪ i'll stop the world ♪ ♪ i'll stop the world, i'll melt with you ♪ progresso. hi. we love your weight watchers endorsed soups but my husband looks the way he did 20 years ago. well that's great. you haven't seen him... my other can is ringing. progresso. hey can you tell my wife to relax and enjoy the view? (announcer) progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
"today" celebrates 2010 is brought to you by three muskateers. a lighter way to enjoy chocolate. >> this morning on today's countdown to christmas, entertaining on a budget. it's not easy for any family. so we asked janet lieberman to set up a little challenge. she found two families who are friends and gave them each a
budget of $150 to spend on dinner and decor for a party of eight. to help the families, we called celebrity party planners david vaughn and kathy reeve have. >> you have $150 for food, decor, drink. >> per person? >> can you do it? >> yes, we can do it. >> on ward. >> as we started shopping, a competition heated up quickly. >> and so do their dollars. >> a little bit of glitter, five-pack for $5.99. >> the reason we think so, it's 29 cents and also they have it in all these colors. we're going to go with a red and white theme. >> some christmas lights. >> we have the wrapping paper, we have the poster pape. >> i'll take change, please.
>> next came the grocery shopping. >> so we're making chicken meatballs and it's a little healthier and we're saving money because we're not doing a heavy meat meal. >> when you wand to save money, it's a crowd pleaser and it's tasty and affordable. >> we're makie inine incroutonse could do. >> let's cook. >> shopping at home is the best. >> cooking was a cinch and decorating was easy too. even the kids got involved. >> we're here to make cookies. so they're going to make a napkin ring and a place card.
>> reporter: finally showdown time. >> that is beautiful. >> then our surprise judge came in. >> you all know the pub cakeses, everything you do. >> i have a good time, but i love entertaining. >> their total cost came in at $75. >> i'm very impressed already. >> reporter: for the meal they had cauliflower and potato soup. >> the margolis had a different approach.
a winter wonderland. and for their meal, chestnut soup, double baked potato. and for dessert, mint chocolate chip ice cream crushed like snow. >> lots of flavor in it, very nice. >> their total $108. it was time for a decision. >> it was hard to judge. christmas, hanukkah, you know, time of the year. it's really about the kids. and i think that our first dinner was more kid friendly. so i'm going to go with the first one. >> at the end of the day, they felt they were all winners. >> wow, a celebrity party planner. they're here with their beautiful table creations and more money saving tips for all of us. >> next time you're invited.
>> i want to talk about some of the things you had, you used paper and color. >> holiday planning is so stressful as it is. so keep it fun, keep it simple and affordable. we used some really affordable fabric, felt and paper, really easy. and to add to the fun, we did sugar cookies with place cards and napkin holders. and the best part is the kids can get involved. the first thing you want to bake some sugar cookies and you can use your favorite cookie cutter. you want to go ahead, once they're baked in the oven, when you take them out, you want to take a knife and make a slit for your ribbon. so you can thread the ribbon through, once it's decorated, i prefer the decorated version. and then you put in some letters that you can find at any craft store.
my favorite part of the entire meal is when the kids actually got to show off what they designed. >> and all you need are gum my bears, styrofoam balls and a toothpick. >> i always start with two simple rules, one use one color and two stick with the season. really what i did was choosing white, when you have no money and you need a big bang for the buck, use white because it's cheap. white sheet, white christmas lights, this polyester batting is used for making quilts. throw it over the table for snow. i know this may look complicated, but it's so, so 1i6r78. on a trip, you cut the strips and glue the vertical members first and then you just simply -- good old-fashioned.
>> this is great with the kids, again, one color. green grapes, green apples. edible version is using egg whites with a little simple syrup. >> i'm out of time unfortunately. >> sprinkle, sprinkle. spray glue if you have no time. coming up, the excitement continues. we have some festive holiday recipes that are easy to put together. but first these messages. [ woman ] we try to be perfect.
enjoy cinnabon cinnamon... now in all pillsbury cinnamon rolls. we're in the final days of our 17th annual toy drive. and we're grateful to so many different companies that get toys to children who need them. mary kay cosmetics, represe. >> this year on behalf of mary kay and our 2 million independent sales force numbers who sell our product around the world, we have $7 million in skin care and color cosmetics for men and women and color for the ladies as well. >> through the years you've obviously been generous to so many people and mary kay is a big part of the "today" show. what's your favorite in terms of gifts? >> i think our skin care and cosmetics can't be beat. but in terms of our long standing tradition, mary kay has always been committed to enriching the lives of women and
children. we're so grateful to the "today" show for helping us give back. >> we'reoi break break and come back with an amazing diet. ike..a matchstick. and she's obviously never dieted, or ever eaten anything. [ laughs ] and she says to me, "where would you like to be in six months?" six months? i need to be in a pink bridesmaid's dress in one month. i just want to be able to zip it up! [ female announcer ] sound familiar? then try the slim-fast 3-2-1 plan. 3 snacks, 2 shakes or meal bars, and 1 balanced meal. clinically proven. ridiculously simple. slim-fast. who has time to slim slowly? you don't decide when vegetables reach the peak of perfection. the vegetables do.
at green giant, we pick vegetables only when they're perfect. then freeze them fast so they're are as nutritious as fresh. [ green giant ] ho ho ho. ♪ green giant good morning. it's 9:26. no major problems on the roads? >> no, but a change, correct could to my report, we said bay bridge lights were off, i get back to my desk, back on, i don't know why, volume is very light. no major problems but it's keeping things smoothly across the upper deck. i want to give you that note so you wouldn't say i was wrong. san mateo bridge, traffic smooth. camera shaking as it does on the bay bridge. gusts of wind might be a factor. but the roads are drier, things are looking nice as far as conditions for driving. zwlu see a chop to the water around the san mateo bridge.
breezy but active weather in the north bay, thunder showers rotating through in marin county up to sonoma and napa and north of san jose, widespread rain as we travel down highway 101 towards gilroy, a slight risk of thunder showers, highs in the 50s, rain off and on, soggy through wednesday. more news after the break. [ female announcer ] safeway talks gift ideas. music makes a great gift. i like rock, hip-hop, country... and you are telling me this, why?
i...uh...thought you might be my secret santa? no. i'm giving for skunk. uh, i can hear you. no. not you. the other skunk. [ female announcer ] safeway is the place to stock up on itunes gift cards. right now, save $6 on a $40 4-pack. keep 'em on hand. only at safeway. ingredients for life. a search is under way for a tourist who may have crashed her car into the russian river. the woman disapoord while driving to santa rosa saturday night. left the rivers inn restaurant, following a group of friends, in another car. friends arrived at the int intersection of highway 1 and 116 but didn't see her following anymore. sheriff investigators are afraid she and her car went down a
20-foot bank. the state is going to give us a new look at smoking rates later today. state department of health tobacco control program released rates this morning and for the first time, it is breaking them down county by county. more local news coming up in about 30 minutes. see you again at 9:56. "the today show" returns in less than a minute.
i'm gulliver. >> i want to advantavanquish and you don't won't to be vanquished. >> that -- oh, it's jack black as the big man on campus in the new version of the classic "gulliver's travels." we're going to get a chance to catch up with jack tomorrow on "today." i'm erin burnett, great to be here with tamron hall. a new diet plan that lets you
eat what you like and still lose weight. >> it's suspicious. >> eat four meals a day and keep your metabolism fired up all day. and if you're almost done with your shopping and apparently you've got a family of 70, or just two people. except for your favorite pet, they're not taken care of, you're barking up the right tree. we have got a great selection of gifts that can make them happy as well. and your life a whole lot easier through the holidays. talk about making your life easier. some of her favorite and she promises easy holiday recipes, including sweet basil cheese cake. >> my favorite dessert is cheese cake. >> all right, in the meantime, stephanie, what's the weather. >> good news here for the northeast. not good news in the west. unless you're doing any skiing over the holidays because we're
going to see several more feet of snow into the sierras. otherwise sunshine up and down 95. it is going to stay cold around the great lakes. that's where we'll see a lot of snow. a view from the south bay to the hills, we have a bit of rain well south of san jose into gilroy and tracking scattered thunder showers around the north bay this morning, that ma rin county northward and rain from morgan hill toward hollister and satisfactorilinas salinas. sunshine with rain, risk of thunder shower until about tuesday, and wednesday when the next heavy rain comes in and clear out for a couple days late in the week. >> not that bad long the east coast, at least. stephanie, thank you very much. and next, a new diet plan that calls for you to eat four 400 calorie meals a day after these messages. ♪ this one thing i'll eat, any time of day ♪
[ lucy gasps ] [ female announcer ] this year, hallmark has all new ways to say it. ♪ daisy, do-do a dollop our family-owned company makes daisy... with 100% natural farm-fresh cream. no artificial ingredients. no preservatives. and no added hormones. ♪ better with a dollop here ♪ fresher with a dollop there ♪ ♪ wholesome in every way ♪ daisy, do a dollop ♪ daisy, do-do a dollop it's got this start screen that lets me do stuff faster and easier. see? it even has bing right here so... the second my flight gets cancelled, i can quickly find the nearest... airport hotel. i'm in, i'm out, and i'm done. so now i can actually look up and make sure i get off this thing.
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but you can do this. it's the simple things. scientifically formulated bengay pain relief + massage with penetrating nubs gives you the targeted relief of a massage plus the powerful, long-lasting pain relief of bengay. bengay pain relief + massage. visit bengay.com/relief for a $3.00 coupon. love the nubs! if you're looking to slim down with an eating plan that lets you eat pretty much all your favorite foods, one of the ways is to control the portions that we put into our body. she's got the secret to what is the easiest weight loss program ever, liz, good morning, i'm all ears. >> so 400 is the key number here? >> yes, this is back to basics weight loss. this is not about lists of foods you can and can't eat. the idea is to follow one simple
rule. eat four 400 calorie meals a day and you will lose weight. we all know that controlling calories is the secret to losing weight. >> and portion control. >> and portion control, but we don't have any idea how many calories we're consuming. the 400 calorie fix does two things, it shows you ways to have 400 calorie meals. >> let's get to some of the tricks for breakfast for example. what would you recommend? >> the whole plan is to have fun with your food so. do you want to have a glass of wine? or do you want to have cookies? this is the plan for you. if you're going to be cooking, here's a western fratat omelet. this is two halves of whole wheat toast. >> we have the recipe in the book and we give you tricks, little visual tricks in the kitchen to show you exactly what kind of portions. this is another breakfast for people who are on the go. the whole idea here is you learn how to feed the world through a
400 calorie lunch. you get two halves of an english muffin, with some peanut butter. >> and this option? >> well, for lunch, we wanted to have plenty of fast food options in the book, because that's how people eat on the go. so we take you to mcdonald's and burger king and tell you what the 400 calorie options are there. this is from taco bell. their fresco menu, this is their chicken burrito supreme, but you can have a side of this wonderful avocado. >> that's impressive that you went on fast food menus, because we're conditioned to believe that it is a bad option, but when it is a convenient option, it's hard to resist. >> this is another one ofplaces lunch. there's enough calories left over to have two small oatmeal cookies. >> and you don't have too much cheese, too much dressing. >> this is no-brainer weight
loss. you're not counting calories, we're just giving you can whole menu of options. this is a crowd pleasing family meal. >> visually again, we're thinking of -- >> we came one the leanest cut of meat, this is a 400 calorie dinner. we have frozen foods, we have prepare foods. we take you to a pizza parlor. and we have a whole wheel that can show you what to have with wine or beer. >> if you're having four 400 calorie meals, one of them is going to be a smanack. if you're a 3:00 p.m. latte person, you can -- you can have five oreos and a glass of milk. >> don't get me wrong, i love to polish this off. but i would be surprised that that could be part of my diet. >> we know that this works, we put 16 men and women on the diet. in two weeks, they lost 11
pounds and three inches of belly fat. but the best news wasn't the 11 pounds they lost, it was the fact that they continued to eat the 400 calorie fixed way, and the weight continued to come off. >> it's a way of retraining the way you eat. the book by the way is 400 calorie fix. liz, thank you so much. and up next, gifts for your f furry friends this holiday season. so i went back to my doctor again. we chose symbicort to help control my asthma symptoms all day and night. [ man ] symbicort improves my lung function, starting within 15 minutes. symbicort will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. it is a combination of two medicines and should not be taken more often than prescribed. symbicort contains formoterol. medicines like formoterol increase the risk of death from asthma problems, and children and adolescents may have an increased risk of being hospitalized for asthma problems. symbicort is not for people whose asthma is well controlled
with a long-term asthma control medicine like inhaled corticosteroids. once your asthma is well controlled, your doctor will decide if you can stop symbicort without loss of control, and prescribe a long-term asthma control medicine. be sure to see your doctor if your asthma does not improve or gets worse. symbicort is a good choice to help control my asthma all day and night. [ inhales ] [ exhales ] ask your doctor if symbicort is a good choice for you. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. cozy up, spread joy. there's no story without a cast of characters, and just like we mix and mingle, so do the delicious tastes and textures in every handful of chex mix. we're made to mix. pride. pizzazz. sass! [ laughter ] [ woman ] i'm feeling that! [ female announcer ] the special k challenge begins january 1st. free personalized plans at specialk.com. what will you gain when youose?yo ♪
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>> all right, this morning on "today's" pets, holiday gifts for your four legged friends. stop chasing your tail wondering what's the best present to buy. wendy diamond has some holiday pet gifts and tips that are going to keep you out of the doghouse. if you got to have a gift for the pet in your life. >> 82% of pet parents actually buy gifts for their pets. they're their children. they get their own stocking. >> we have got some ideas that people can still get. one thing during the holidays that you noticed about a pet? they're always taking naps. pets nap all the time. >> it's always so hectic, through the holidays, it's real important to have a dog bed or a cat if you have a cat. this one is so adorable. it's under $20. these two beds, they're under $20 at petco. and this bed is great for senior pets to relax, it's really
comfortable for them. what's also important during the holidays to make sure the pet is in a safe place. and they can rest. >> keeps them from knocking the christmas tree over. >> right. >> another thing, pets are always given toys. >> they love to chew. what's really important is on the dinner table, don't give them people food. it's really important to give them treats and a dog toy so they can play with that. especially all natural treats so that when you're eating they're all the way off to the side. >> and it's not surprising them when you give them people food. it can really make them sick? >> it's really important to just give them dog food that was made for dogs. >> the winter time, it is freezing out. if you're cold, your dogs are cold. land's end. everyone has a land's end
jacket. they have land's end jackets for dogs and you can get them monogrammed with your dog's first name on them and they're under $20. they're all fleece. not all dogs are huskies. these are lap dogs, so it's important to get them sweaters or jackets like this land's end one. >> now for the pet and the child. >> first of all, for the whole family, this is -- the pet nursery. it is an amazing game for the whole family to learn how to take care of an animal. there's 20 different breeds of animals. your children can play on it while you're doing all the christmas shopping. but it's really great for the whole family to make some great pet parents. >> that's great too. kids don't always realize. >> it's their responsibility. >> they're biting off more than they can chew.
>> how they have to care for them, feed them, everything. an amazing photographer designed a whole arrays of dog pillows and throver. it goes over your couch, it actually repels pet hair. this is a great christmas gift and when people are coming over, it's easy to clean and it will save on a new couch. this actually fits right over, you can throw it in the wash, it's easy to clean. >> it looks like an expensive couch thing. and you can also use it in a car i would imagine? >> in the car, on the car seat, it's easy, it's affordable and light weight. >> what about the gifts that a lot of people like to give? the pet itself. >> it's very important to understand that people, when you give a dog or a cat or any animal, it's a responsibility. they need to care for it. it costs money and they need to have time for the animal.
but there's any breed of any animal you want out at the shelter. you can get a pure bred pomeranian, a pu. >> all of these as you said are up for adoption. lucky for a price, maybe. >> all right, as you said, the humane society of new york is where you can find the pets here and many others available for adoption. r,fasovoie, favorite, save $523! 16 minutes could save you 16%!
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just the mere word sends tingles up my spine. santa knows if you're naughty or nice but he can also help you plan a party. how is that possible? >> here's how santa can help you, you spell out his name, and here's a few things to remember, s is for sweet and savory. a is for appetizers. n is no fuss. keep it as simple as you can. t is for treats. and a for arrangements. make it pretty but simple. >> so we're tackling the sweet and savory. >> savory and sweet all in one. we're going to use a little bit of goat cheese. a half a cup of goat cheese and we have got three different cheeses in this cheese cake. and you have got a little bit of cream cheese as well. >> and the thing about this i
like, you can make this a couple of days in advance. >> three days in advance and put it in the fridge. cheese cake -- i mean do you eat cheese cake? >> that's a silly question. >> for a lot of people, they -- tons of fresh basil. and then you puree it all together. until it's all creamy. >> this always happens. >> there we go. you just puree it until it's all creamy. you put it in a little spring form pan. i buttered it to make it easy to come out. what you want to do is a cheese cake, this is the secret. there's two secrets to keep the cheese cake nice and moist. first of all bake it in the oven with a little bit of warm water. the steam keeps it from cracking and keeps it moist. once it's done cooking at 350 for 50 minutes. turn off the oven and let it cool in there for a while.
>> good tip. and this is -- >> this is what it looks like. and i just brush the top with a little bit of olive oil and you can decorate it with a little bit of fresh basil. >> you don't have to ask me twice. >> it's pretty never than just a regular cheese cake. and it's so easy to transport. >> and what do you have here? >> these are two really, really simple gifts. >> thanks a lot. >> we have got some dip and then you add a little bit of sour cream. >> got to love that. >> and some chives. and you mix it all together. and that's it. it's got the red and the green in it. so it looks very festive. people usually just adore it. >> you're keeping this really easy. it's fantastic. i love it. >> simple and pretty. and then you just put it in the
bowl. and then you can do, the last one i think is fantastic. it's garbanzo beans. so it's chickpea pie. >> garbanzo beans and some olives, black olives, really simple. lemon zest, lemon juice. parsley, and of course you know everything's prepped for you it makes it even easier. >> you got to try some of that cheese cake. >> it's delicious. i'm going to let you finish this, thank you so much. >> i'll let you finish up here. >> there you go. so this is gre-- >> i'm sorry i rushed you through your last peacery. coming up --
mmm. you smell that? yeah, wait. what is that? love. smells like ham. [ female announcer ] serve a main course brimming with comfort and joy. safeway. ingredients for life. good morning. it's 9:56. you would think mike that all of the commute issues would be over but not. >> you would think but no. one more thing to put into my incident report, westbound 80 on
barrett avenue through rich montrichmo ns nd, glass scattered. 19 minute drive to the bay bridge toll plaza, metering lights on but no backup. offshore freeway, and golden gate bridge, very smoothly. sun starting to show it face right here. great news. no major problem and the roadways starting to dry out there. >> tough driving around the bay area. sunshine across the gold i can get bridge but thunder showers off the north of the gold i can get bridge, a cell over san rafael and san jose south ward we're dry but to morgan hill, rain there and follow down the central coast today. we'll see some rain and timele. highs in mid 50s today and slight chance of thunder shower, unsettled today, heavier rain
today, and a break thursday into friday. with help the 49ers are still in the playoff hunt this morning. the two teams ahef san francisco, st. louis and seattle bought lost yesterday, giving the niners a slifr of hope. san francisco must win their fwo two games and seattle has to lose one fo san francisco to advance to the playoffs. niners play in st. louis on sunday and close things out on january 2 against arizona. the raiders are hanging in the playoff hunt this morning, they let the broncos hang around until the second half of yesterday's game. final 39-23. raiders still trail kansas city and san diego in the afc west. they need to win their final two games to get a little help to get into the playoffs. s statistically they're still in it. back in a bit. lots of lotions promised healing.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television this puts me in a good mod more than my own singing. hi, everybody, it's fun-day, monday, 20th of december, just five days left until santa slides down your chimney. but he'll come see you regularly even though you don't have a chimney. >> i've had a huge plan about buying christmas presents this weekend? >> you did nothing.
>> none -- a couple. >> you told me you hadn't started last week. >> so today's monday. i have nothing except for our show today and i'm going to do some tomorrow. i'm already feeling the adrenalin. >> that's not adrenalin, that's panic. >> it was ugly yesterday for giants fans. i don't know if a lot of people around the country maybe didn't see this game but the giants were eight minutes away from their biggest, biggest game -- >> first of all, it was a blow-out. it was boring. the giants were killing the eagles. it was like this, yawn, who even wants to bother watching. >> i know, in seven minutes there was four touchdowns. right, you guys? yeah. then at the last second -- >> the only one watching -- no, you didn't want to watch. it was disgusting. if you look at the front page of the new york papers -- >> "giants dog it" meaning vick. they can't help themselves with that stuff. they just can't help it. >> the other was just "brutal."
it was so painful to lost that huge lead in seven minutes, it just made you sick. >> frank and cody were at the game and they said you don't want to be there when that happens. i mean for philadelphia fans, they're thrilled. so that's the way it works out in this life. >> did you see when he ran in for that last it touchdown, he didn't even run into the end zone, he ran around. >> that wasn't to taunt, that was to run the time. maybe a little taunting, just a tad. so if you read the sunday section of the "new york times," the "sunday style" which is the wedding section which is one of the first sections i enjoy reading. >> really. must be something fraudian about that. >> it is the sports page for women. there was an article here. there is like a central story that usually pops up in the paper and this is about a local woman from new york. >> it is called vows. >> yeah. this was kind of a sad story.
she was already married and so was her husband at the time and she describes in detail how essentially she was falling in love with another man while she was married with her kids. >> they met at their children's preschools and ended up becoming very close friends, the two couples, the two families. went on vacations together and at one point he he says -- >> but she goes on to say, first i tried to deny it, then i tried to ignore it. she says at one point -- this is in the article in the paper -- she says she's in the shower and asking herself, why am i being punished? why did someone throw him in my path when i can't have him. at the end of day these two end of leaving their spouses and marrying one another. that's hence the article. and this happens i'm sure a lot. it's just weird when it's all written out on paper. >> they obviously spoke with this reporter. >> he went into great detail saying just how painful it was
for both families. this almost seems -- i don't want to say glorified -- >> with pictures of the wedding and the kids -- we've both had marriages that were unhappy so but -- you know, i think everybody goes through times in their marriage when they are attracted to other people that aren't their spouse. and it's what you do with it. everybody's tempted. it is what do you do about temptation. you flee. flee. go the other way. >> you're supposed to. >> other way. >> it sounded like she was tortured. he said to her one day at a bar, he called her, he said can you come meet me. he said i've fallen in love with you. she pushed his drink away, fell in his lap, she ran out. she scampers back five minutes later, says i'm in love with you, too, now what do we do. >> i get the falling in love part. i have a problem when people
choose the selfish way as opposed to taking care of their families and their children and protecting them. listen, maybe i sound too cold about that. i just think there's the right thing to do and then there's -- >> i think there are probably a lot of women who have spent their whole life in bad marriages doing everything for everyone else. >> i feel for them, too. if you're going to do it, do it. i guess the big question is why advertise it be, why celebrate it, say look at us, how hard it was for us. other people are going through much harder things in life. >> and your ex-spouses have to read this. >> that's the worst part. they look like they can read, these kids. >> they do. >> we just want everybody to be happy. >> a lot of people -- this busted on the internet and everything, blogs, people were very upset. >> did anyone take their sides, say congratulations? i'm sure there are those who feel that way. >> i didn't see anybody who says that. i think what hits you in the
face, you can't believe they're telling the tale. >> they also say we didn't have an affair, we waited until they were separated. >> yeah, everybody says that. don't you think that? >> can i tell them what you said when you read that part? >> i don't know. what did i say. >> liars! >> oh! oh, i was thinking most people -- i'm sure they're telling the truth about what happened and that but most people say we waited until we were separated, everything was fine, then we got together. but that's a gray area. i think they probably -- >> i think they probably did but hoda doesn't. >> i messed up the app, joe. we want to show you the -- >> it's a little creepy. it reminds me of watching "harry potter." >> this is jo ann's ipad -- oh. don't show off now. >> but you have to -- touch it.
so "marie claire" is a magazine. i want to show. >> tell them what they're going to see. >> this is the cover of the magazine on an app. now what happens is -- you have to show it on here. look. well, they can see it. it's emma watson and she starts moving and have you ever been on that ride at disney world that the haunted house and all of a sudden the portraits start to move and look at you and stuff? it is a little like that. hoda, you're boring america! >> no, i'm not! >> yes, you are! you're boring me. let's move on. this is why i hate this stuff. we're supposed to be talking to each other. >> i know but it was working a minute ago. >> hoda woman -- >> okay. anyway, it looks really cool when it works which isn't now. okay.
usually she's moving. what is wrong with this? >> let's go see the christmas concert. the north point community church in georgia -- >> who use ipads, by the way. no insurance, just ipads. i think it was broken. >> they picked up their ipads and their iphones started playing music with nothing more than the apps. >> you can play the piano on the ipad. see? ♪ >> that's pretty cool. it is high-tech. people like techie. >> some of us. >> we don't know how to work it. >> this is something that you may not know. what type of underwear you wear determines your attitude. >> why do you think i'm cranky all the time? >> so it reflects your mood. if you air ugly or ill-fitting underwear, that reflects your
mood. they say that almost half of the women feel sexier when they're wearing obviously sexy underwear. they say the average woman owns -- how many pairs of underwear do you think the average woman owns. >> this surprised me. >> 21. 21 pairs of under wear. >> sara has 50 pairs? >> that's all something you can get. >> i haven't counted lately but i probably have in the 20s. >> who counts their underwear? >> they say most of us have one of those pair that you don't want -- is it pairs or pair -- pairs of underwear -- pair of shoes, pairs of shoes -- >> what's really going on in your mind today. what's going on with you. somebody had a good weekend and doesn't want to tell us about it. right? >> i had a fun weekend. you're right, i did. i had a fun weekend. >> so fun you couldn't bring yourself to go out shopping for other people. why not, hoda woman? what were you doing? selfish. what were you doing, hoda? >> i was busy.
>> yeah! busy doing what, hoda? >> i was just busy. i was busy. the guy -- okay. i'm not going to say much but the guy who i met on that book signing that time whose daughters came up and said -- gave me a piece of paper that said ten reasons you should date my dad and i'm dating their dad and it's fun. it's about those things in life. it's fun. >> you realize if you're happy and this ends up like being in the vows section and all of that, that is going to ruin our show. just going to ruin it. because unless you're miserable and i'm cranky, we won't have a show. >> i'll stay miserable. >> favorite things time. it's fun-day. you want to do your favorite thing? >> i went to this very, very, very cool restaurant in new york. it's called "la casa femme." it is an egyptian-themed restaurant and it has little tables with little tents over them. >> we going to see pictures?
>> yes, supposedly. the food is crazy. there should be some pictures but there's nothing. >> nothing's workinging on fun-day. maybe because tammy, our executive producer is home sick. tam, we know you're watching. see? things fall apart when you're not with us. everybody's been asking about the nail polish way wearing, the chanel called khaki rose. but they've discontinued it. makes me crazy when they do that! so bobbie thomas gave me this new one. it is called butter. out of bond. it is a little lighter. it's called yummy rummy -- yummy mummy. $14 on amazon.com. we're giving away some things. christmastime! what are we giving away? >> we are giving away through this thursday, december 23rd, we're giving away five each day. go to klgandhoda.com. you get the premier box and a one-year subscription. it is at random though so logon
to klgandhoda.com and you may be selected for tivo. >> thank you, sweetheart. coming up next, "today's buzz." who is hooking up and who's not. >> yeah, who is, hoda? >> stop it. the "30 rock" star has something for your kids. s not t. it's got turn-by-turn navigation, onstar, an available six-speed automatic transmission, remote keyless entry, and 10 air bags. it's a big story for a compact car. the all-new chevrolet cruze. get used to more. very well-qualified lessees can get a low-mileage lease on a 2011 chevrolet cruze ls for around $159 a month. call for details. ["stir it up" playing] stir up a smile with hershey's syrup.
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>> announcer: "today's buzz" is brought to you by keurig. choose. brew. enjoy. time for "today's buzz" where we dish all the scoop you can handle in one sitting. >> from new celebrity couples to celebrity break-ups, bonnie is the editor in chief of hollywoodlife.com and rose ann is the host of nbc's "gossip gram." >> so the royals are still in the news. >> that's right. there's been an obama snub. yes. apparently they're not going to be invited to prince william and cate middleton's wedding.
>> with all the things they have to go to, they're probably like good. >> this is the second time they haven't been invited to a royal wedding. we were not invited to chelsea clinton's wedding either. >> that's not a royal. >> it is american royalty. >> yeah, but they wanted it to be private and just -- i don't blame people at all. and it is about them and not you and their special day. >> in this case, the word from the royals is that he is not the heir to the throne. he is technically not a state wedding. they want the guests to be volunteers and members of the charities that prince william sponsors. >> i think that's lovely. >> i'm sort of wondering, if you remember when michelle obama met the queen she kind of gave her a hug and that caused a lot of commotion. so perhaps was it the hug that's in the way? >> that was curious. you're always briefed on that sort of etiquette involved.
right? whether it's appropriate. >> maybe it was one of those moments -- maybe the queen wanted it. >> i think the queen liked it. >> maybe she made a guess tur. >> she's got to say i need the obamas on my list! >> it is very clear with this couple they are the royals going rogue. they are going to have this wedding their own way and they're not going to go in the footsteps of -- >> justin bieber and selena gomez. that's an interesting pairing. >> they're two nice kids. >> they're two nice kids. they spend a ton of time together. they're always at the same events. he's constantly tweeting her happy birthday, he's saying i want to sing a duet with her. he was wearing her fur coat in his dressing room the other day. >> that young lady is spectacular. she is first of all in person, she's so drop-dead gorgeous -- she's like a porcelain doll. one time i was doing jimmy kim mechanical and i went in to say hello to her because cassidy, my daughter was with me.
she was in the family with her dressing room, she was sitting on her mom's lap. not in a weird way, just so happy. still a little girl. >> the tweets that have come out after this, there are broken hearts. he's breaking hearts all across america. >> oh, they'll get over it. >> so we've got sandra bullock and george clooney together. what's the story that they're -- what movie? >> the idea is that they are astronauts and that they're on some interplanetary mission, something goes all wrong, they're the only two left alive and they have to fight all kinds of obstacles to get back to earth. >> and it is in 3-d. >> they fall in love in the meantime. >> yes. what's that mean? >> wouldn't it be nice if they actually really did? >> exactly! they're both available. >> they're royalty in terms of hollywood but people would love to see those two people sort of get together. >> this would be her first big venture since the whole bust-up and adoption of little louis. >> who is the director?
>> i forgot the game. >> me, too. but she was an action heroin, "speed." she started her own -- it is about time i think she got back into action. >> taylor swift and jake gyllenhaal -- >> they're definitely together. gwyneth paltrow put them together? >> wait. she knew jake and knew he was a great guy. chris martin knew taylor so they brought them together. they went on this incredible date. we actually reported it. they rented out the whole movie theater in nashville to see "tangled." >> that's cute. that sounds like something your guy would do for you. >> but that means it's got to be real. no guy is going to go see "tangle" with a girl he doesn't really love. >> they took all the kids that are in their lives as well. nieces and nephews? >> no, think just the two of them being lovie dovie. >> interesting.
>> hmm. >> i likie. >> our fan of the week. i bet you can't wait. he may be just a page, but that doesn't mean "30 rock" star jack mcbrayer doesn't keurig is the way to brew fresh, delicious coffee in under a minute. way to brew. [ female announcer ] so with keurig, every cup tastes like it's brewed just for you. ♪ because it is. choose. brew. enjoy. keurig. ...you can spread the joy for less! assorted food and beauty gifts sets are under $10! all cold weather accessories, 50% off. and get a free tool bag with any tool purchase over $10! there's smart, and there's kmart smart.
[ laughter ] [ woman ] i'm feeling that! [ female announcer ] the special k challenge begins january 1st. free personalized plans at specialk.com. yout llnwiai gen los whou y come on... isn't it time an auto insurer gave it to you straight? that's why you should talk to state farm. but not yet. first, talk to any one of the 40 million drivers who already have state farm. 40 million. yeah, that's more than geico and progressive combined. by a lot. 40 million drivers. more savings. and discounts up to 40%. where else you gonna get discounts like that? call an agent at 1-800-state-farm or go online.
now it's time to give a shout out to one of our biggest fans in our monday series "fan of the week." >> the lovely sara is here to announce the lucky winner. >> after searching far and wide -- drum roll, please -- the winner is laci mmeixner from sa diego, california, now living in trinidad. she watches on wtvj in miami. she's a stay-at-home mom of three. she also enjoys sculpting and bird watching. she loves hoda's little dance and kathie lee's facial expressions. she's flying home for the holidays and making her family stop in new york first so she can come to the show. isn't that cute? finally, she -- she'll fit right in. she watches klg and hoda because no matter how bad her morning is, you guys always put a big
old goofy smile on her face. >> show that picture again. i think she's chugging a bot of champagne. >> she's your kind of girl, hoda. >> logon to klgandhoda.com for your chance to be our fan of the week. still to come, jack mcbrayer turns a new page. we're going to talk to the "30 turns a new page. wi have to be in a bathing suit in a month, and i figured i would take these... "dietary supplement weight-loss pills." ooh, "consult a physician if you experience rapid heartbeat, "dizziness, shortness of breath... "side effects may include chest pain, nausea..." yeah. couple days of that, and i will be in a bathing suit in no time! [ female announcer ] need a clinically proven way to lose weight now? then try the slim-fast 3-2-1 plan. 3 snacks, 2 shakes or meal bars, and 1 balanced meal. slim-fast. who has time to slim slowly?
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it is 10:26, good morning. one final check of the roads with mike. >> got an incident report sboungtd 680 into fremont, a accident around mission, major cut over point. lane was blocked there into south bay. maps, south coming out, smooth driving, 101 approaching that area, slowing around tully and 101/85. that's it for the south bay. lighter volume of traffic and rain starting to dry off on these road i wases but my maps aren't moving. i wanted to show you santa cruz summit, accident at southbound 17 around glenwood cutoff.
>> short term things have eased up but let's show you north bay. thunder showers rolling in from time to time all morning, around marin into sonoma. we'll see interesting day here with a chance of sunny breaks, scattered showers and maybe even an isolated thunder shower. mix bag of weather today, rain fills in again for tomorrow evening and thursday and friday we finally catch a break from the weather. it's 10:27. moewre ns after the break. re
if we get a break in the clouds you might see a total eclipse of the moon tonight. it hasn't happened in almost three years. the moon should turn red, until an eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the earth's shadow. shadow will began to fall about 9:30 with the full eclipse happening just before midnight. bay area astronomy lovers can catch the show at the space and
science center in oakland and it will be streamed online. assuming the a clear sky tonight. thank you forni jngoi us isrnthg.in "the today show" continues, coming up next. we're back with more of "today" on this fun-day, monday. actor jack mcbrayer is here, kenneth, the lovable page on "30 rock." >> but jack can also be heard lending his voice in the animated feature "despicable me." listen to figure out which character he plays. >> she hit that. i saw that with my own eyes. >> let me explain something to you. you see how it's not knocked over? >> okay.
"knocked over! ". >> gee, i wonder who he was. since the other one was steve carell. how are you, jack? welcome. >> thank you very much. >> this movie's now in dvd. it must be amazing to think -- i don't know how much work you have to put into something like this but that you've gotten so much feedback because of this. >> absolutely. it is strange because you don't do a whole lot considering other jobs that you might be doing. also it takes so long before the final result comes that -- >> when did you actually record it? three years ago? four years ago? >> maybe about two years ago. >> that was pretty quick for animation. you don't get to see the end result for so long so it is really nice when it is well received.
you go, oh, i made it in. >> you didn't see steve carell or julie andrews or any of those guys? >> no, ma'am. i did get to see a lot of those people at the premier. >> you just had great news about "30 rock" picked up for its sixth season. >> yes, we just found that out. we're about half-way done shooting our fifth season. >> isn't he such a nice man? it reminds me of being in new orleans. i likie. i like that. now you did some stuff in the theater. right? did i understand that you were on "fiddler in the roof" is that right? back in the day? >> way back in the day, in the late 1900s. we did plays in high school and one of them was "fiddler on the roof." i was the rabbi's son, of course. >> did you keep that southern accent? i guess so. >> yeah, we had very limited references on how to
>> is your accent ever something they say, can you lose that? >> absolutely. but then i got into improvisation in chicago at second city and rules were anything goes. it didn't matter having a southern accent. >> how do you do a northern accent. >> not well. >> how old? 38? >> i think that's one of the jokes that the writers include is that i think a page goes for only eight or nine months on assignment. still here, chugging away. >> they're actually doing the actual story line of nbc, the comcast take over is all part of the dialogue. >> the real life of nbc and just in general. >> we did one episode one side. who was the guy that was with
us? jason -- >> who plays liz lemon's ex-boyfriend. >> he practically threw up on us. >> it was in the script. >> great show, congratulations. "despicable me" is going to be out on dvd. >> i think it is out already. get it for christmas. >> i loved that film. it is adorable. merry christmas, jack! you're adorable. >> appreciate it. >> so sweet. up next, how to wrap everything from jack's new dvd to your child's brand-new bicycle right after this. you can he
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we're counting down to the holidays with ways to wrap those crazy shaped gifts. >> if you've bought some odd-shaped presents that you put into the get-to pile, we have some creative suggestions. some things are a little tougher than others. >> that's true, yeah. nice to see you. >> nice to see you. why don't we just get started? you don't want to give away the gift. it is easy when you have something like this tiny little bike. >> normally people put that together and are so overwhelmed, no instructions to try to figure it out, they don't even want to wrap it. one of my favorite containers is this fiber container. they're easy to buy online, like $40. >> how heavy are they. >> it is really not. i think it is cool to take the bottom part off. put the bike in it and this can
turn into a really fun like tunnel or something they can play with. >> or toy barrel. >> exactly. i think it makes a cool thing to kind of use in your house as a pedestal. you can repurpose it that way. >> not sure of that but okay. >> well in my house -- i'm a little arty. >> you are artsy fartsy. >> this look almost improp ossi. >> i was thinking about this drum set and how i'd wrap it creatively. i love to take it and wrap it in individual boxes. it comes in six different pieces so why not go ahead and put it in six boxes and make it fun like a scavenger hunt under the christmas tree. i love doing that with most gifts, breaking it apart. here we've embellished the cute little gift tags. take these pompons or rick rag . glitter. they are a numbered one to six.
your kids can look for their gift. it will say johnny number five, johnny number three -- exactly. these cute little plain gift cards are available at the container store. all the wrap is from the container store. it is my church, i love it there. quickly, easily embellish these gift cards for your gifts and it is a fun little way to -- now time-out fun. >> this one i love. >> this is either genius or crazy. >> what would you think that that is -- i would think it was like a minilittle table. but it isn't. >> what is it? >> it's behind you. >> stop it! >> it's a painting. it is a cute little piece of fine art from art.com that we got. i always like to have fine art in my kid's rooms because it teaches them the appreciation of fine art. i think that's important. this is either genius or crazy. what i've done is taken the cardboard that it actually shipped in and i've made a cute little table just by scoring the
actual cardboard. you're going to steal cardboard? >> if it's not taped down, the woman takes it. >> this is actually the cardboard, pieces we just score. you fold, you wrap. it is kind of a project but it is worth it. it is fun, it camouflages it. >> speaking of camouflaging, i love using felt. felt was big trend this year for the holidays. we used felt and i had my little elves wrap up up this cute easle. this is wrapped under the tree. it is nice and poofy and fun. actually it is from the container store. they have this wonderful under-the-bed like zipper patch.
we've got our child's racket in there, we also put some balls in there because it is christmas. >> don't say a word. >> we wrapped it with bubble wrap. the cool thing is you can store this under the bed. >> i like that one a lot. >> of course, all girls want to get a really nice hat for christmas. >> what? >> actually, a ball is wrapped in here. >> get an old hat box. exactly. >> this won i love, too. >> every girl loves getting some chog l chocolate. we've camouflaged our gift. it says "open me first." you can open that first. >> i'll do it because i have a freshman cure and hoda needs one. oh, my goodness. annette, what have you done? >> a bracelet. >> very clever! >> that's very sweet. there you go, hoda. i'll just take a chocolate. >> thank you, honey.
happy holidays. coming up next, rans itipi just in time for the holidays. best-selling author and all-around nice guy, mitch albon is here with us. to stay fit, you might also want to try lifting one of these. a unique sea salt added to over 40 campbell's condensed soups. it helps us reduce sodium, but not flavor. so do a few lifts. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ ♪ wake up, it's christmas! ♪ come see the tree ♪ there's presents underneath it ♪ ♪ and i know there's some for me ♪ ♪ get moving mom and dad
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safeway. ingredients for life. mitch albom is a famous author who brought us best-sellers "tuesdays with maury" and "the five people you meet in heaven." >> his latest, "have a little faith" represents journeys of pastor henry covington of detroit's "i am my brother's keeper" ministry. both gentlemen join us today. >> so good to have you on. hoda and i read this book independently of one another. friend gave it to me and a friend gave it to her. i started talking about it, or you did. the next time we were together and we went, oh, my gosh! i just read that, too. it touches the deepest part of you. >> it doesn't matter your faith. right? >> tell us about that. >> that's sort of the idea. it began when a rabbi asked knee
do his eulogy. i'm like who am i to do a eulogy for a guy that does eulogieeulo. that drew me into his world to get to know him as man and it opened my eyes to fate to begin with. at the same time in my home touchb detroit pastor covington had a church where homeless people were sleeping on the floor and i came to try to help it just because i have a clarity that helps the homeless. i met pastor covington and discovered a whole other world of faith because he's not your typical pastor. >> an interesting story. you've been up and down the road. were you in prison, out. there is a dramatic scene in the book where you're actually kind of crouched behind some trash cans, you have a gun in your hand and you actually speak out to jesus. what did you say? >>skied the lord -- at that time i thought they were coming to take revenge and i asked god if you get me through this night i'll serve you, i'll give it up, i'll serve you, just get me through the night. >> you gave up the drugs,
everything. >> hallelujah. >> your church was struggling at the time. wasn't it? >> yes. we had a hole in the roof. >> giant hole. >> you could get a school bus through it. >> you get some bad weather there in detroit. >> snow, believe me. but when the book came out, during those times of trouble, the book "have a little faith," we held on to some faith -- >> and the lord provided. >> so did a lot of readers because they began to send in checks like $5, $10, they always had a note that would say pretty much the same thing, "fix your roof." "i don't have a lot of money, but fix your roof." a year ago today, we not only fixed the roof, a bunch of homeless people gathered together, members of the congregation and climbed up on the roof of and began to fix it. today if you go to the church and look right up where that hole used to be, there's a plaque in the ceiling with the names of every single person who
gave even 50 cents. >> when people say what can i do, there's so many troubles in the world, i'm just one person -- one person can put together with a bunch of other one people you got a roof over your -- and the people are warm. >> a lot of people is looking to do things, they just need to know where to do. >> mitch, i loved a lot of things about your book. you talked about how you were sort of apathetic about your religion. you said it wasn't a revolt. you weren't shunning it, you just were apathetic, which is what a lot of people end up doing. >> the truth is if we're lucky enough to have a good job, be successful, we kind of think we're doing fine. it is only in times of trouble do we come to. the biggest lesson i had is when this rabbi who was dying towards the end he said i hope to see you one day. i said come on, i'm not going where you're going. he said what do you mean? i said you're a man of god. he said you're a man of god, too. that's what faith is supposed to
be about, the righteous can look at the less righteous and we're the same. henry and i are not from the same background or of the same faith but we are the same. we believe in the idea of faith and it is something bigger than ourself and we've become friends. >> this thing came from your faith. >> but what's important is that we believe that we're connected. so fixing that roof was just the beginning of our friendship. now we go everywhere together. we're like mutt and jeff! >> it is a great story. >> it is a perfect christmas present. not to push it that way, but it is. if you're going to have a gift to give someone. >> or kwanzaa, that's coming up. >> thanks to everybody out there who sent in a little bit and put a roof on that church. god bless you both. >> if you'd like to read a little bit of the book, go to klg and klg and hoda.com. >> you're going to cry. we're bacod n" onbc wth mor "today" on nbc
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there are just a few more days left for our toy drive and all of santa's helpers are working overtime to get gifts to children in very difficult circumstances. >> we thank every single one of you who have made a donation and all the generous companies that have come forward this year, more than in any other year, hoda woman. now we'd like to welcome ruby from jcpenney. look how fetching you are! >> i'm so excited to be here. >> tell us what you're doing. >> we are giving the razr scooter. they are adjustable. we're giving 8,000 of these. it is a donation of $320,000 to one of our favorite charities, one that supports the jcpenney after school fund, boys and girls of america.
we hope the scooter will make christmas brighter for all the needy kids out there. we had ones out there playing with it. >> kids go crazy with those things. >> the boys and girls club is a really important organization. tell us why it means a lot to you guys. >> it means a lot to us because for the past decade we've been supporting our signature charity which is the jcpenney after-school foundation and we've given over $100 million to four of its charities, the boys and girls club is our most important charity because they support the after-school programs for kids between that 3:00 to 6:00 time period. >> can you imagine how much trouble kids can get in during that time just because there's nobody home with them. >> these programs have created such a point of difference in these children's lives. >> some of those that volunteer are such great mentors for these kids. >> you can make a donation to the toy drive. all the details on klg a klgandhoda.c