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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 19, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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actually see the city lights after that poor air quality much improving. >> that's going to do it for us. >> good night. on our broadcast tonight, massive security breach. upwards of 40 million people have been hit, all of them after shopping at target during the height of the christmas shopping season. sudden collapse. the emergency response tonight in london's west end theater district as part of the balcony came in on an audience during a play. we'll have a live report. how safe is the chicken consumed by millions of americans each day? after a disturbing report from consumer reports, why many experts say the feds aren't doing enough. and a dream come true for two brothers who overcame so much while determined to beat the odds. "nightly news" begins now. good evening.
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it's the closest thing to a national credit card hacking this nation has ever seen. 40 million americans who shopped at target stores between thanksgiving and december 15 may have had their information stolen and now may need new security pins, passwords or cards. it appears the hackers found a way to access the checkout system. every checkout inside every target store in the u.s. and canada when the card was swiped the information was, too. it's an unprecedented security breach for a store chain of this size. it sent a chill through the retailing business and is causing massive problems for target customers across the country. we begin with tom costello. >> reporter: yet another massive data heist, this time the target was target. a banner notice on the company website warns customers of unauthorized access to payment card data in u.s. stores. a staggering 40 million credit and debit cards compromised at 1,800 stores nationwide from
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november 27 to december 15. in chicago, chrissy yurko noticed her balance suddenly dropped. >> noticed, whoa, my bank account is pretty low. i was scrolling through and saw $1273 charge to the microsoft store. >> reporter: then came the bank's overdraft alert. it is happening to customers across the country. thieves appear to have gotten away with everything on the magnetic strip -- name, account number, expiration date and the three-digit security code. making matters worse, the cyber thieves struck just as black friday and the christmas rush kicked in. >> chief suspect would be sophisticated organized criminals that studied target or insiders with privileged access that know exactly where to go. >> reporter: in a statement target said it is working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions and moved swiftly to address the issue so guests can shop with confidence. some consumer advocates say if
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you used your credit or debit card you may want to take action. >> cancel your card. get a new number. that's the shortest, easiest answer to protect yourself from the risk of fraudulent charges. >> reporter: security experts recommend closely monitoring your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized charges. to be cautious, use the debit card as a credit card and avoid entering your pin at stores. check your credit report regularly for signs someone has stolen your data or identity. how long should customers remain vigilant? >> all citizens should continually check their credit history as well as your monthly billing statement. >> reporter: a massive fraud. for millions of americans, a massive headache. tom costello, nbc news, washington. this is stephanie gosk in new york. roughly tens of millions of credit and debit cards are potentially compromised. names, numbers, dates and codes. it's what security officials call track data.
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hackers steal it and criminals known as carders are already waiting to buy it. a well established black market network. >> professionals that have been doing it for 10, 15 years already have the carders in place. they maven have put them in place. >> reporter: kevin mandy started the firm mandiant in 2004. the the chinese army launched cyber attacks against dozens of u.s. companies for years. >> there is people on a daily basis waking up and trying to break into your networks. right now it is exceptionally complicated to defend your network. >> reporter: track data can be used in multiple ways. carders will try to make purchases online. others may physically make fraudulent cards or what's called cloning. "wired" magazine showed how easy it is to print a card. >> swipe the credit card through. >> reporter: security experts point out that not all the track data is useable. cards expire, personal information changes. >> you go to the remainder and
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it is how they are used. whether they are sold to people or get in the hands of carders who are good and aggressive. >> reporter: a number of retailers have been hacked. in 2007, 90 million cards were stolen from tjx which owns tj maxx and home goods. just last summer federal prosecutors accused foreign hackers of stealing 160 million credit card numbers from retailers included 7-eleven, jetblue, and jcpenney. jetblue and jc penney. the largest case of its kind ever. security experts say it might be just the first shoe to drop. that other big retailers are having issues. one of the difficulties in tracking down hackers is many of the large rings are overseas and the u.s. has little authority to go after them. >> stephanie gosk and tom costello covering our lead story tonight. thanks. we mentioned at the top of the broadcast a huge emergency response is playing out in
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london after part of the balcony gave way, fell in on the audience during a play in the london west end theater district. there are multiple injuries. nbc's jim maceda is at the scene tonight. jim, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. we can hear sirens, ambulances going through the west end part of london. we understand at least 80 injured, some seriously. the sirens and ambulances are dealing with that. officials told us they have now cleared out, evacuated that theater. but just a few hours ago witnesses were saying it felt like the sky had fallen. it happened just after 8:00 p.m. in a packed house more than 700 people here to see an award winning play, "the curious incident of the dog in the night" when the audience in the top balcony hears cracking sounds, pieces of plaster falling, then chaos. >> a loud bang.
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i don't think it was an explosion. then the ceiling came down. dust, chandelier, wood and all that stuff landed on five or six rows. >> we thought it was sound effects of the theater. yeah. then we just looked up and the whole ceiling, it was like slow motion, it just kind of came down. >> reporter: the famous apollo theater in the heart of london's west end theater district became a bowl of dust. theater goers describe pandemonium with people running for the exits screaming the names of friends and loved ones outside while inside under the collapsed ceiling, dozens of injured, some crushed by the falling rubble. dozens of fire trucks and ambulances arrived on the scene. emergency rescue teams set up in store shops and restaurants treating the injured. while people who just minutes before were enjoying a play were in shock, wrapped in foil against the cold night. >> you couldn't see anything. or what was going on.
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>> reporter: amazingly officials say there were no fatalities and only a handful of serious injuries. mostly broken legs and head wounds from falling debris. >> jim maceda in london tonight. jim, thanks for that report. we are learning more tonight about the terrible loss of six american lives overseas in a single blackhawk helicopter crash in afghanistan. tonight we know who the young men were. nbc's rehema ellis has more on these lives lost. >> reporter: five of the six soldiers killed were based at fort riley in kansas. as seen in this video that's where they all trained together. among them, 29-year-old sergeant peter bohler, helicopter crew chief, the oldest of three children was from willow spring, north carolina, and came from a long line of soldiers. when she learned of his death, his mother deborah wrote on her facebook page. at 5:30 this morning, my heart shattered into a million pieces. dear god, give us strength to
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get through this pain. a family friend said bohler was doing all the right things. >> a young man in the prime of life, serving his country, doing all the right things. just snuffed out. >> reporter: 30-year-old staff sergeant jesse williams was in elkhart, indiana. according to the newspaper he was on his third deployment to afghanistan. his mother told reporters her son was big and strong. he didn't let things get him down. williams leaved behind a 6-year-old daughter madison who he met for the first time in 2008 while home on leave. 22-year-old specialist terry gordon was from mississippi. 35-year-old joshua silverman called scottsdale, arizona, his hometown. 34-year-old chief warrant officer randy billings was from oklahoma. and 28-year-old sergeant first class omar forde was from marietta, georgia. families still wait for answers into the cause of the crash that
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took so many cherished lives. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. overseas, russian president vladimir putin held his yearly press conference today as our own andrea mitchell put it, it was an entrance more fit for a king than president. it was a marathon. he took questions and talked for over four hours. he talked about the gay athlete controversy at the olympics in russia. he talked about edward snowden who's been given temporary asylum in russia. a former spy himself, he even tweaked president obama about the u.s. nsa. andrea's complete report is on our website tonight. back in this country, yet another winter storm getting ready to make its way from the west through the middle of the country to the great lakes and beyond. they're already getting hit hard in utah tonight. the storm is set to move across midwest tomorrow with snow and ice making for bad travel before moving into the northeast for the weekend.
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bad weather in southern california as well in two separate tour bus accidents. at least one person is dead. taez in washington, a select few cameras were able to capture an extraordinary view from atop the u.s. capitol dome. whatever you think of what happens inside the capitol, this tour was designed to show the trouble at the top and the urgent need for a fix. nbc's kelly o'donnell was there for it. >> reporter: one of the world's most recognizable landmarks is showing its age. the dome of the u.s. capitol, made of cast iron but meant to look like masonry, is leaking. >> you can see some of the damage that they'll be repairing. >> reporter: 1300 identified cracks caused by rain and weather since abraham lincoln was president. >> our goal here is to preserve as much of the original material
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as possible. >> reporter: today the architect of the capitol put some of the daniel on display. >> cast iron just continues to rust and rust and rust and continue to make conditions worse. >> reporter: for the first time in 50 years the dome is about to get a facelift. and today we got unusual access. >> watch your shoulder, please. >> reporter: a rare tour to the top. amazingly i don't feel fearful of the height. we are outside the dome. to give you perspective, down there is the national christmas tree. the repair bill? an estimated $60 million of your taxpayer dollars. they're going to put scaffolding up and at night it will be lit making this a very different landmark. this video shows how the dome will be wrapped in construction platforms for two years. high inside the famed rotunda -- >> i will lift this copper just enough so you can see the thin edge. >> reporter: the iconic art seemed close enough to touch and
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visitors looked tiny below. public offices will continue during the pardon our dust phase. officials say they expect this restoration will give the dome another 50 good years. kelly o'donnell, nbc news, from atop the capitol. and still ahead here this thursday night, the new safety warning tonight about chicken bought at supermarkets across this country and then served in millions of homes. and later, the courtroom revelation about an invasion of privacy of the royal family.
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back with news that might be tough to take during the dinner hour. but at least it's timely. it's about food safety and specifically tonight a concern about chicken. our report from our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman. >> reporter: the most popular meat in the united states -- chicken, was making hundreds of people sick this fall. rick schiiler was one of them. >> the pain was so unbearable in
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my stomach, i felt like i was going to die. >> reporter: who is to blame for the outbreak? a new report says the government agency charged with food safety is failing consumers. >> we think the government should be testing more often than it does to make sure that the food that's being produced is, in fact, safe. >> reporter: currently the usda inspects chicken plants just once a year. some only every other year. in response the usda has a new plan that will mean enhanced microbial testing, contamination prevention, and stronger food safety inspection. also today, consumer reports published alarming results from its own study. the test of 300 raw chicken breasts from around the country. >> 97% contained one of six bacteria that could be potentially harmful on them. but even more concerning than that was that half the samples we found had resistance to three
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or more antibiotic classes. >> reporter: the national chicken council says 99.9% of oh poultry is consumed safety but there are things you can do. regardless of where you buy chicken there are simple things you can do in the kitchen to keep you and your family safe. only handle chicken with a plastic bag to keep the juice away from your skin. don't rinse it under the water because that can cause splatter on kitchen counters. any knife or cutting board needs to be thoroughly washed after preparing chicken. to make sure the meat is cooked use a meat thermometer and make sure the number registers 165 degrees. good food and no reason not to be safe. dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with a return visit tonight to the most secretive place on earth.
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o dennis rodman, the freelance
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international ambassador of goodwill is back in north korea. and however much it con found the u.s. government, he is about the only american who has regular contact with the young leader there, kim jong-un.
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rodman is training the north korean basketball team. about his visit with kim, he said, quote, hopefully we'll have some conversation about some things that's going to help the world. the folks that are always crashing perfectly good cars at the insurance institute for highway safety found so many makes and models that qualified for their top safety pick they toughened the standard. it's down to 22. we have put the list on the website tonight. among makes that did well, honda, acura, subaru, mazda, volvo and the big three of detroit. it looks like the end of an era may cop in -- come in cuba where visitors marvel at the old american cars on the streets dating back to the late '50s before u.s. imports were banned. cuba is loosening restrictions now on buying imported cars. the problem for most cubans is having money to afford a new car.
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somewhat lost in the other news of this week was the death of harold camping, the preacher who used his radio show and thousands of billboards to predict the rapture would arrive and the world would end on may 21st of 2011. when that day passed without incident he moved the date back five months. still nothing. he admitted he'd been wrong and got out of the prediction business. his world ended on sunday. he was 92 years old. the cell phone hacking investigation in the uk continues. today we learned for the first time that kate middleton was, in fact, one of the victims of the hacking. something that had long been suspected. the courtroom heard transcripts of hacked voicemails from william to kate. they reveal no more than what you'd expect from a young couple. prince harry's phone was also hacked. they're part of a long list of notable ssss hacked by tabloid journalists. like any other fun-loving couple, charles and camilla are
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out with the christmas card this year. they are all dressed up for the royal ascot this year where they enjoyed the view from the royal box. when we come back, the touching story of two brothers that shows the american dream can still come true.
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finally tonight a story first told in the pages of the boston globe and a heartwarming conclusion was announced on social media. it went instantly around the world this week. it told the story of two kids from boston and the story left so many people inspired by how they beat the odds in such a big way. we get their story tonight from nbc's harry smith. >> reporter: in some parts of the dorchester section of boston, a working class veneer masks streets of poverty and crime. here, hopes and dreams have a way of being just out of reach. but george nguyen grabbed hold of a dream when he logged on to the yale university website this week. >> i saw a bulldog on the screen saying welcome class of 2018. singing in the background. >> reporter: yep, george was accepted at yale. george and his older brother johnny, on scholarship to study
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engineering at u-mass, have a back story that would give charles dickens pause. it found its way onto the pages of the boston globe two years ago. >> they did the work, kept their head down, walked through trouble on the street every night. a lot of these communities have struggled. >> reporter: billy baker's globe story. >> we have to do everything ourselves. >> reporter: with video on their website chronicled how the brothers were academic all stars at boston's elite latin school. it told of their vietnamese immigrant parents, their mother's struggle with mental illness, their father's suicide. the boys basically raised themselves. >> it's definitely helped us become more independent. and to realize that we are all that we have. >> reporter: but they were not completely alone. they came to rely on emmett fogert and the dorchester youth collaborative, a safe haven for neighborhood teens. sometimes emmett fed them. sometimes he was the only one to talk to. >> for them to keep at it and
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to trust us that much and now to have this kind of victory, it's just -- it's very deep. >> reporter: when billy tweeted and george's acceptance to yale the good news spread like crazy. >> that night it just took off. it broke the internet. >> reporter: but it turned out, george may have other plans. if you don't go to yale, where might you go? >> harvard. >> reporter: lest you think george is getting a big head about it, he realizes it is not all about him. >> there are a lot of others who are striving to do what we are and we want to be the source of hope. if they see we can do it, why can't they? >> reporter: life could have squeezed the hope out of the brothers. that it didn't is a kind of miracle. harry smith, nbc news, boston. and that's our broadcast for this thursday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we, of course, hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
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good evening, thanks for joining us. i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. our top story tonight, developing news. chained and trained to fight. new information about a suspected dogfighting operation broken up in the east bay today. the discovery came after animal control officers were called to a home in oakland where they discovered almost a dozen pit bulls. nbc bay area's cheryl hurd joins us. i understand, two of the animal control officers bitten? >> reporter: that's right. they're okay, but they were bitten.
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the dogs are being held at the animal control services in east oakland. 11 dogs in all. all of them pit bulls. now, the video you're about to see is of one of the most aggressive dogs. this dog bit two people including the executive director of animal control services. oakland police stumbled upon the alleged dogfighting operation around noon today. they were serving a search warrant on an unrelated investigation. they knew dogs would be inside the home on eldred avenue in east oakland, but they didn't know the dogs were allegedly used for fighting. >> this is, like, a 1,000 square foot or 1,100 square foot house, little house, little tiny backyard. two of the dogs were inside. nine were chained up in the backyard living in unsqualler, no water, no food. the dogs aren't physically really in horrible shape. they are all undersocialized. a couple are demonstrating signs

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