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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  March 6, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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nbc's tom costello is at dulles international airport outside d.c., which got about 5 inches of snow. tom, good evening. >> reporter: yeah, brian, good evening. not so much. they call this heart attack snow. it is wet and it is heavy. the expectation that washington was going to get hammered caused the airlines to cancel flights, schools, government offices all closed. and while washington was largely spared, out west it is a different story. what a difference 70 miles and a little elevation can make. front royal, virginia, covered in 17 inches of a wet, heavy march snow. enough to turn roads dangerous, sidewalks impassable. >> our car is actually stuck so we're trying to move it. >> western maryland and virginia both got buried. power outages up and down the mid atlantic. nearly 200,000 without power in virginia alone, where the governor declared a state of emergency. in chicago today, a roof collapse under the weight of yesterday's snow.
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ohio and pennsylvania also hit hard. more than 2,000 flights cancelled from the east coast to the midwest. d.c.'s national airport, a ghost town. delays systemwide, averaging one to three hours. >> i'm supposed to fly home tonight so i'm hoping i can get home tonight. >> reporter: the same storm was supposed to bury the nation's capital in the biggest storm in two years. to prepare, government offices and schools closed down, but the capital got more slush than snow. what happened? >> we just didn't have the cold air that we needed to produce a snow event here at the capital. it was not produced by the storm, and it did not come in from the storm. >> reporter: but along the new jersey and new york shorelines, torn apart by hurricane sandy, voluntary evacuations today. mike mirtha is on long island. >> everybody on the shore is anxious right now. the water comes up, we're going to take another pounding. >> reporter: wcau reporter jesse gray is near atlantic city. >> reporter: here along the jersey coast, this is more of a wind event than a rain event. as a matter of fact, it's not
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raining right now, but the wind is blowing. 40 miles per hour sustained. gusting to above 50 miles per hour. >> reporter: back in virginia, clean-up from what may be the last and only snowstorm of the year. meteorologists are saying that this is an example of why the u.s. needs a better super computer for forecasting. brian, the european model essentially said that for d.c. this was going to be more of a rain event, but the u.s. model said no, more of a snow event. again, the european model got it right. as for tomorrow, so far about 124 flight cancellations. back to you. >> tom costello starting us off in dulles. we mentioned front royal, virginia. let's go there next with weather channel meteorologist reynolds wolf. reynolds, good evening. >> good evening, brian. the amount of snowfall we have seen in this area has been from 12 to 17 inches of this incredibly thick, very, very heavy snow. the thing is, brian, as this storm system makes its way
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northeast, many other places will be seeing this same type of snow. in fact, as we go to the graphic, you'll notice one place that will see a bull's eye of this possibility will be just due west of boston. in fact, boston could see anywhere from 9, perhaps even 12 inches of snowfall over the next several hours and days. so certainly something to watch out. but keep in mind, brian, that's only one component we're going to see with winter storm saturn. as this system makes its way farther off the coast, we're going to see the residual effects of strong winds, coastal flooding, all but a certainty from the delmarva peninsula all the way up to parts of the new england coastline. but by the weekend, the system will be deeper into the atlantic and the storm as well as the snow will be part of history. >> reynolds wolf in front royal, virginia tonight. thanks. now to air travel and the tsa's plan to change the rules back to before 911 and allow people to bring small knives on board aircraft. flight attendants came out against this rule change yesterday. then today the air marshals slammed the decision. nbc's pete williams in our d.c.
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newsroom with more on this tonight. pete? >> reporter: brian, some family members of people killed on 911 are saying they don't like the idea in addition to the federal air marshals. the tsa announced yesterday that starting april 25th, airline passengers can carry on knives that have folding blades up to about 2 1/3 inches long. slightly more than the height of a dollar bill. knives with longer or locking blades will still be banned. so will box cutters and razor blades. a representative for the nation's federal air marshals who are responsible for in-flight security describes them as being, quote, very upset and says the decision puts them at greater risk. relatives of some of the 9/11 victims say a pocketknife can be just as dangerous as a box cutter and a group representing flight attendants say they plan to stage demonstrations when the plan kicks in next month, hoping to get it rolled back. but some security consultants call this a welcome change. they say it frees up screeners from having to search for pocket knives and allows them to
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concentrate on finding explosives instead. brian? >> pete williams in our washington bureau tonight. pete, thanks. something is going on in washington tonight that you don't see that often. something jimmy stuart made famous. a real-live filibuster on the floor of the senate. while not quite as cinematic or dramatic, this one all day has been led by republican senator rand paul of connecticut. he has been talking on and off since 11:47 a.m. in order to delay a confirmation vote for the president's cia nominee, john brennan. he has been getting some help with his effort, other senators helping out. nbc's kelly o'donnell covering it all on the hill tonight. kelly, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. this is a senate talk-a-thon about drones. it's about pressuring the president to answer a question. does the administration believe it has the legal authority to use deadly drone strikes inside the u.s. against an american. the attorney general responded that the white house has no
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intention of using drones that way. but that was not definitive enough for senator paul. >> i will speak as long as it takes until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our constitution is important. that your rights to trial by jury are precious. that no american should be killed by a drone on american soil without first being charged with a crime. >> reporter: a number of republicans joined in, along with one democrat. they say this is about protecting constitutional rights. now, a couple of those protesting could ask the president directly tonight. mr. obama is dining out with a dozen senate republicans. they're going to talk budgets and other big issues. and they've never done that before. brian? >> kelly o'donnell on capitol hill tonight. kelly, thanks. we now turn to health news tonight. new and extremely dangerous super germs that are showing up in hospitals across this country. other health care facilities.
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prompting some strong and alarming language from the cdc. we get our report tonight from our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman. >> it's a silent threat lurking inside our nation's hospitals. a deadly class of superbugs that's nearly impossible to treat. >> it's resistant to virtually all antibiotics. so when an individual gets this microbe and it invades the blood or invades tissue, curing them becomes very difficult. >> and these bacteria are deadly. with a fatality rate approaching 50%. 42 states, 4% of hospitals, and 18% of long-term acute care facilities have reported problems. these outbreaks are called cre infections, because they're resistant to carbapenem, one of the most potent antibiotics available. so far these outbreaks have been contained to hospitals and nursing homes, primarily infecting people with already compromised immune systems.
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the challenge is to keep these bacteria from reaching the general population. this medical center in new york city has been able to cut its cre cases in half, by testing all patients admitted to the critical care unit and isolating them from other patients. they have discovered many hospitals have been regularly and unknowingly transferring infected patients into their institution. >> 40% of the cre i detected in the hospital could be accounted for by patients who were positive at the time they were admitted through my emergency room. >> perhaps most troubling is the potential for cre-resistant bacteria to spread to patients with common ailments like diarrhea, urinary tract infections and pneumonia. making those conditions untreatable with standard antibiotics. >> it's an extremely potentially dangerous problem, but we have a window of opportunity to contain it.
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>> and containing it is priority number one right now. because there are no new antibiotics in the pipeline, and the drug companies right now really don't have any treatments to offer us, brian, for these lethal infections. >> the next thing to worry about. dr. nancy, thank you, as always. tonight the u.n. security council is demanding the release of 20 of its peacekeepers taken hostage at gun point, a group claiming to be syrian rebels posted a video online. they say they will detain the u.n. peacekeepers until president assad's forces withdraw from their town. another sign of the chaos, the danger there. in venezuela, a day after the death of president hugo chavez, a massive procession from one end of caracas to the other, took much of the day as his casket was moved from the hospital where he died to the military academy where his body will now lie in state until the funeral on friday. elections will likely be held now in the next 30 days. this is a big decision time for a nation sitting on top of so much oil. it's the fourth largest u.s.
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supplier. still ahead for us tonight, the race factor in our nation's schools. for a lot of parents, this will be a surprise. students being held to lower standards based solely on the color of their skin. and later, the sad news today about one of the most beloved tv actresses of our era.
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in the world of education, it's called the achievement the gap, the disparity in the academic performance of kids and groups defined by income and race or ethnicity. there have been a lot of efforts to make things right. and even things up. including schools that are chasing a federal standard for all students. in ways that might even surprise some parents. our report tonight from our chief education correspondent, rehema ellis. >> reporter: dialo hopes to be
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an explorer. >> jungles. >> reporter: kari, perhaps a scientist. >> biologist. >> reporter: two 9-year-olds with big dreams in fourth grade classrooms feet apart, seen differently in the eyes of the state because of the color of their skin. that's because black and hispanic students have been trailing white students on standardized tests for years. to close that achievement gap, congress passed the sweeping no child left behind act in 2001. mandating every student test at grade level by 2014, or schools risk being shut down. >> 100% of our students in 100% of our schools had to be proficient in mathematics and reading. under that criteria, by the end of the school year, all of our schools would have been labeled as failing. >> reporter: so many applied for waivers. >> we worked on it for six months. >> reporter: allowing states to keep federal funding if they meet certain benchmarks. of the 35 granted, the majority include different academic targets for different races. in washington, d.c., for
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example, 71% of black, and 77% of hispanic students need to be proficient in math by 2017, compared to 94% of white students. >> the intention in closing the achievement gap is the right one. we want to see that gap close. but lowering expectations for students of color is not the answer. and sends the wrong message. >> reporter: some parents who find the targets troublesome say they understand the reasoning behind them. >> i can say different standards but hopefully what it is is looking at people what they are, bringing them up to the same standard. >> reporter: dialo woods and his sisters attend d.c. public schools. while their parents support efforts to close the achievement gap, nicole, also a teacher, find the targets unsettling. >> i'm not saying to myself, listen, this is what the white kids can do and this is what you can do. i would never do that to my children. so to hold them to a bar that says you're only going to make it this far, that's discriminatory.
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>> reporter: the superintendent of d.c. schools says that's not the case. >> the target for everyone is the same. which is a 50% increase in proficiency. >> reporter: some educators believe race-based targets focus attention on the uncomfortable reality that for generations, education hasn't always been equal for kids of different races. they say these targets help get resources to those who need them most. >> regardless of race, income, or socioeconomic status. >> reporter: don't leave those children out. >> exactly. >> reporter: educators, though, warn against mistaking short-term goals for long-term expectations. >> we expect 100% from all of our kids so that is a goal we hold and ask our staff to hold, too. >> reporter: to reach that goal, schools are providing extra support, including after-school tutoring. >> the more i practice it, the better i get. >> reporter: and it's one step toward helping all children achieve their full potential.
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educators we spoke with say these race-based targets are necessary for now, and they are, perhaps, an imperfect approach to fixing a problem that has been decades in the making, brian. >> what an interesting and important story. rehema, thank you, as always. we're back in a moment with a very famous american name looking for a new home. there's this island -- and it's got super-cute kangaroos.
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barrow island has got rare kangaroos. ♪ chevron has been developing energy here for decades. we need to protect their environment. we have a strict quarantine system to protect the integrity of the environment. forty years on, it's still a class-a nature reserve. it's our job to look after them. ...it's my job to look after it. ♪ mitt romney is going back to work. he's taken a job for his son tag romney's private equity firm in boston, helping out about a week every month mostly as a rain maker, bringing in business and generating funds for the firm. former arizona congresswoman gabby giffords today went back to the safeway supermarket where she was shot. she appeared with her husband, spoke just 15 words to the crowd, but delivered a powerful message just by being there in support of expanded background
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checks for gun buyers. that shooting in tucson by jared loughner was just over two years ago now. gifford's husband repeated he and his wife are both gun owners and strong supporters of the second amendment. six people were killed in front of that supermarket, 13 wounded, including the congresswoman. time warner appears to be getting rid of "time" magazine, the cornerstone of the henry luce media empire. the company, now mostly electronic media, is, according to the "new york times," spinning off all of its magazines, including "time," "fortune," "sports illustrated." it's unclear what will happen to the company name once "time" is gone from time warner. very sad news about the actress valerie harper. so well-known to a generation of tv viewers as rhoda morgenstern on the old "mary tyler moore" show and her own spin-off show, she told "people" magazine she is dealing with a rare and aggressive terminal brain cancer. her doctors say she has months
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to live. she made the discovery when her jaw went numb during rehearsals for her one-woman show back in january. she already battled lung cancer in '09. she hopes her case will at least focus more attention on cancer research. valerie harper is 73 years old. lots of hubbub in the u.k. over a supposed slip of the tongue by the expectant kate middleton. she was on a walk-about in the northern english town of grimsby when she was given a teddy bear. she said thanks, and it sounded to those present like she started to say she would give it to her daughter. in truth, she maybe started to form the letter d. that was enough for the media to go crazy. she later said, oh, no, no, i'm sure we don't know, meaning the sex of the baby. the day was also notable for this, because it left us with this fantastic photo of a little kid doing what little kids do when they talk to a duchess. when we come back, the
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spectacular light show over the bay. the largest of its kind on earth.
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finally tonight, san francisco is beautiful pretty much any day from any angle.
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and the golden gate bridge is really the symbol that has come to define the place. but then there's that other, much larger bridge, the bay bridge, that's been kind of an industrial-looking little brother all these years. well, it just entered a new era. our report tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! >> reporter: this was no ordinary countdown. it was the end of 75 years in the shadows. >> beautiful! >> oh, wow! >> reporter: last night, san francisco's bay bridge transformed into what's being billed as the world's largest l.e.d. light sculpture. >> it's beautiful! >> yeah, it's really well-done. >> they're gorgeous, amazing, kind of breathtaking. >> reporter: the bay bridge opened to much fanfare in 1936. >> it was recognized as an engineering marvel and an amazing american feat as we were coming through the great depression. >> reporter: but six months
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later, the flashier golden gate bridge came along with its red-painted steel, and it swiped all the attention. ever since, though, it carries more than twice as much annual traffic. the bay bridge has wallowed in drab obscurity. known as little more than a bad place to be in an earthquake. >> the upper deck collapsing. >> reporter: to finally change that enter artist lio villareal. for his latest project called the bay lights, he is using 25,000 white bulbs, controlled on his laptop. >> the inspiration comes from all the kinetic activity found around the bridge, the movement of water, traffic. >> reporter: the cost to install and operate the display over the next two years is an estimated $8 million, paid for by private donors here in the bay area. at chia brasserie, it was a full house. the manager hopes the added exposure lights up his business. >> bringing some tourists into the area.
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it's just -- the potential is endless, really. >> reporter: in a city that prides itself on bright ideas, this one stands out. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, san francisco. >> so from the east coast to the west, that is our broadcast for this wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. and we hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. good night. good evening, everyone. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. more information on the breaking story in san jose. police are investigating the city's seventh homicide of the year. this is all happening in the almaden valley. about two hours ago a man was found with stab wounds in the area of guadeloupe oak grove park. our chopper is providing live pictures of the investigation. you see a lot of police cars down below. the man is identified -- has not
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been identified yet but is believed to be in his late teens or early 20s. the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. there are no suspects at this time. keep it here on nbc bay area. we'll continue to update this story and provide you updates throughout this newscast. new at 6:00 tonight, a cold and heartless attack on a richmond police officer and his dog including his k-9 partner. someone not only burglarized his home but poisoned his dog. jodi hernandez is live in richmond where the search is on for a k-9 killer. >> reporter: jessica, it doesn't get more disturbing than this. tonight a police dog is recovering. another dog is dead after someone fed the dogs poison as they were locked in their kennels. officers here at the richmond police department are shaken as they're down one valuable member of their family.
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>> put their lives on the line every day not only for the other officers but the citizens of richmond. >> reporter: this officer and his police dog are missing one of their k-9 co-workers. this 13-year-old dutch shepherd the most experienced dog on the richmond police force nearly died on friday when police say suspected burglars fed it poisoned hamburger meat. another dog named track was also poisoned and didn't survive. >> this is a dog, can't defend himself. can't do anything. he's just in his kennel and was attacked, and that's the hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around. >> reporter: investigators say the police officer was at work. when the police officer took track to the vet, they found he was poisoned in the kennel. the burglar stole five guns and other valuables. >> obviously this was a very intentional, very calculated attack o

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