tv Early Today NBC December 26, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PST
good thursday morning. coming up on "early today" it was a blue christmas for folks waiting on delayed shipments. by u.p.s. and fedex. what one retailer is doing to try to make it right. edward snowden's new christmas message invoking george orwell and the danger of unchecked government surveillance. thousands are still in the dark and cold waiting foe power to come back on days after a big ice storm. plus, a skier's camera captures terrifying moments in colorado. mcdonald's takes decisive action against its own employee site. and how texting might actually help strengthen the family bond. it's thursday, december 26. "early today" starts right now.
and a very good morning to you. i'm kristen welker. hope you had a great holiday. for some the grinch came in two forms. first stubborn weather left hundreds of thousands in the dark and thousands more woke up without their gifts. nbc's ron mott has more on the holiday that wasn't so jolly for all. >> reporter: near grand rapids, michigan, weather made for treacherous driving. at least a dozen accidents on i-96. crews there and in maine spent christmas day in the cold trying to restore power to more than 200,000 families left in the dark for days now by a weekend snow and ice storm. >> it's very rewarding to be here and help people out. >> reporter: while rough weather made for tough going for delivery drivers in recent days, weather isn't solely to blame for holiday packages that didn't make it home for christmas. fedex reported some delays, and u.p.s., the world's largest package delivery company, apologized to customers saying u.p.s. is experiencing heavy holiday
volume and making every effort to get packages to the destination however the volume of air packages exceeded the network. some shipments were delayed. at fort worth, texas, a few people tried to pick up packages but left empty-handed. >> they made me drive down here for no reason. they told my husband it was here and it is not here. >> reporter: social media became a sounding board. one woman writes it's their christmas, too. let them have today, and if things are late, things are late. another i waited at my house all day for nothing. now i don't have gifts for my loved ones. in virginia, sara's presents didn't arrive. she, too, left empty-handed after an hour-long to a u.p.s. facility. >> i was frustrated because i had paid additional for the shipment to be rushed. ♪ rudolph the red-nosed reindeer ♪ >> reporter: the uso greeted traveling service members in atlanta, reunions in indianapolis, and volunteers served hot meals in d.c. >> this is a place where you can
come, talk and feel like a family. >> reporter: in california, let there be light. 370,000 lights on a san francisco home. >> i think it's pretty magical. you got to see the elves and santa claus. >> reporter: one homeowner matched the sentiment if not the wattage. >> have a happy christmas. >> reporter: and at this connecticut starbucks, the christmas spirit lit up the cash register and probably a few hearts. >> someone paid it forward for us so we will pay it forward. >> that was nbc's ron mott reporting. this morning both u.p.s. and fedex are drawing fire following the christmas eve delivery snag. both companies are issuing a mea culpa. and a majority of those missing packages are expected to be delivered today. it appears a combination of bad weather and overcapacity is to blame. amazon.com acknowledged u.p.s.'s failure in an apologetic e-mail to customers. the company is providing gift cards and shipping refunds to those effected. a day after edward snowden told "washington post" his
mission was accomplished, he's now out with a christmas message. >> a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy. they will never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought, and that's a problem because privacy matters. >> snowden recorded the two minute video in moscow where he has temporary asylum. great britain's channel 4 aired the video, calling it this year's alternative christmas message. in it snowden renewed his call to end government mass surveillance. he even drew comparisons to george orwell's "nineteen eighty-four." he says the type of wide spread violence portrayed is nothing like today. the u.s. revoked his passport and is demanding he return to face espionage charges. in egypt, meanwhile, tensions are mounting after the interim government labeled the muslim brotherhood a terrorist
organization in the wake of a suicide bombing in a city near cairo. the egyptian government formally listed the muslim brotherhood as terrorists. the organization has condemned the bombing, though, and another group has taken responsibility. egypt's government insisted the muslim brotherhood is responsible for the blast and says it will now label anyone who supports them a terrorist. the president and first lady stepped away from their hawaii vacation to mark a christmas tradition, paying tribute to u.s. service members. the obamas visited nearly 600. and their families at marine corps base hawaii. the president recalled speaking on the phone on this christmas eve to ten military members stationed in places like afghanistan, saudi arabia and bahrain. mr. obama honored the sacrifice made each and every day, not just during the holidays. take a listen. >> michelle and i know that we would not enjoy the freedoms we do if not for the incredible dedication and professionalism and work that you do. the least we can do is let you
know we are grateful and we're thankful. >> the obamas are expected to remain in hawaii through january 5th. and now we want get a check of your thursday weather. here is nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. dylan, how's it look out there? >> good morning. things are quiet across most of the country. that goes from the west coast as well from seattle into l.a. but in seattle, it's almost too quiet because we're seeing air stagnation alerts up that way which i'll show you in just a second. but high temperatures today look pretty seasonable. about 40 in seattle. 43 in portland, oregon, and 45 in medford, oregon. then you head a little further to the south, 82 degrees in los angeles with nothing but sunshine. the problem, though, is that we have this easterly component to the wind. and that's a very dry wind. and because of that, we do have red flag warnings in effect in and around los angeles. winds could gust up to about 35 to 45 miles per hour with those santa ana winds. humidity is down 5 to 15%.
with highs in the lower 80s, it is certainly going to make things not ideal down in that area. we also have air stagnation alerts in the pacific northwest because winds are so light, that creates some low-level solution, and there could be some burn bans in your area. so keep that in mind. as for l.a., looking forward, we should start to see the winds ease by saturday. so that should help with the red flag warnings and temperatures will drop as well. about 72 degrees. heading a little further to the north and west, in alaska, things looking nice and quiet. we should see mostly sunny skies but very cold. that's a look at the weather arizona where temperatures should be nice and warm. so this nice weather will continue through the weekend for most of the west coast. maybe a spotty shower or two in seattle tomorrow. kristen? >> all right, dylan, thanks. and just ahead, tense
welcome back. some stories making news this morning. officials continue their investigation into the deadly christmas morning fire that killed three siblings in louisiana. investigators say a space heater is likely to blame for the blaze that quickly spread through a trailer with 12 people inside. the children's parents suffered serious burps and are recover g i burns and are recovering in the hospital. warren weinstein who was kidnapped by al qaeda has released a video message urging president obama to negotiate for his release. in the video weinstein says he kwe feels, quote, totally abandoned and forgotten. the obama administration says it will not negotiate for his release. a new study from the university of nebraska shows texting isn't all that bad.
it actually helps people connect on a higher level with family. researchers have revealed people are more likely to express their feelings honestly through text than in person and actually answer a relative's text within about five minutes of receiving it. well, just some stunning video from a helmet cam shows the moment a skier is swallowed by an avalanche in colorado. take a look. the skier is buried up to his neck in snow, but luckily his brother was able to dig him out in just a few minutes. lucky indeed. well, people lined up to catch a glimpse of the royal family as they headed to church on christmas day. prince william and kate were in attendance without baby george. and prince harry also made the trip after returning from his ant arctic excursion. and while most stayed warm this christmas holiday, a brave bunch of people took the plunge into icy waters in berlin and london. i get cold just thinking about it. now for today's business headlines, we turn to cnbc's hampton pearson. good morning to you.
>> hello, kristen. we did have stocks hitting new highs again in that holiday-shortened session tuesday thanks to upbeat economic data on consumer spending and durable goods. investors will look for numbers today on new filings for unemployment benefit ps. reports say japan's softbank which owns sprint is in talks to buy t-mobile from its german parent, deutsche telecom. that deal could be worth $20 billi billion. and retailers are rolling out huge deals today. walmart has thousands of items at 25% to 50% off while toys "r" us has a buy one, get 40% off some red-hot toys and games. an early look at business headlines. kristen, back to you. >> thanks, hampton. mcdonald's is not lovin' it. the company has taken down its employee resources website after anti-fast-food posts went viral. the posts warned against the negative effects of fast food, even going so far as labeling a cheeseburger and fries, core
items on its menu, as, quote, an unhealthy choice. and just before christmas, a las vegas cab driver thought a passenger had left a bag of chocolates in his car. well, it turns out the bag contained $300,000 in cold, hard cash. so he turned it over to police who along with casino officials tracked down the rightful owner. the cabbie received a $1,000 reward and, of course, a spot on santa's nice list. well deserved. well, sports is just ahead including your nba christmas day roundup. plus athletes do it up for their teammates and for kids this holiday season. we'll explain. you're watching "early today."
welcome back to "early today." here is a fun holiday fact for you. for most countries in the british commonwealth, december 26th is boxing day. nowadays it is spent shopping for post-christmas bargains or watching sporting events. how did it all start? one theory dates back to the middle ages when church donation boxes were opened and the contents given to the poor. now you know. now to sports we have your nba christmas day roundup. the miami heat went for their sixth consecutive win against the lakers in l.a. last night. the lakers started off strong with a 21-17 lead over the heat. but they couldn't keep it up. near the half they were down by seven and santa couldn't bring
them a christmas win. lakers lost to the heat 101-95. well, the heat's win could have been due to player chris bosh's shirt. he wore this light-up christmas sweater into the staples center wednesday. certainly lit things up there. the knicks are known for their christmas day home wins. but with the thunder's knack for road games, the knicks weren't able to come out on top. even at the half, the knicks were down six. and that gap just kept growing. the knicks had their largest home game loss with a final score of 123-94. in a home state matchup, the rockets were in san antonio to take on the spurs. even with two games out with a sprained ankle, james harden was the big scorer of the day, earning 28 points and leading the rockets to a 111-98 victory over the spurs. j.j. watt is not known for being faint as heart after as many football collisions over the years. including a gash during week four. watt is considered plastic
surgery to reconstruct his nose. why? his mother reportedly told him she hates the way it looks. always listen to mom. right? well, for the third time in her career, serena williams has been named the associated press female athlete of the year with a 34-match winning streak and 11 titles over 2013. congratulations to her. and to football where jeff tar penian who has been known for speaking out on the texans this year is speaking out about a recent medical scare. two years ago while playing for the patriot he suffered a season-ending injury which resulted in a major brain surgery. he said after that you appreciate everything you do. ravens quarterback joe flacco showed his christmas spirit on the practice field sporting santa socks clearly making the most of working during the holiday. why not? some athletes played santa claus for the day. sort of.
rockets center dwight howard brought teammates expensive watches for the holiday. and seahawks quarterback russell wilson bought his offensive line, tight ends, wide receivers and running backs all new xbox 1s. not bad. before taking home a win, lebron james celebrated christmas with his family including watching his kids create some awesome basketball tricks. clearly athleticism runs in the family. that's for sure. good for them. apparently jennifer lawrence isn't everyone's sweetest. plus, "out of the furnace" may have more problems than being a box office flop. we'll explain.
good morning. welcome back. for all of you who have to travel on this day after christm christmas, the weather should cooperate except along the west coast of oregon where you see it's 32 to 35 degrees. we do have fog in that area. and because it is right around freezing, we could see some spots of freezing fog. so if you're out and about early this morning, keep that in mind. but temperatures should warm up
nicely through the day as we get back into the upper 30s and lower 40s. so it will just be regular fog. we do have a partly cloudy sky in the forecast for seattle with a temperature of about 42. 79 in los angeles. and tomorrow, especially up in seattle, a couple of lighter showers and still have the red flag warnings down through southern california where we could end up with those really dry conditions and any fire that develops could spread quickly. something to keep in mind. kristen? >> dylan, thanks. now for some entertainment news on this thursday morning. the film "out of the furnace" has put its makers into a firestorm of controversy. members of the native american tribe filed a $50 million lawsuit against the writers and producers behind the new christian bale/woody harrelson film. the plaintiffs site harrelson's character as a negative stereotype and false representation of their people. well, the markets were closed, but christmas turned into a day of high earnings for "the wolf of wall street" which
led all films at the box office, raking in $10 million. not bad. joan rivers have more verbal jabs for jennifer lawrence. in a "new york post" interview. she says she hopes the oscar winner grows up in 2014. ouch! well, the feud was sparked after lawrence accused rivers' "fashion police" of teaching young people how to judge others. "sports illustrated" model kate upton has reportedly split from bad boy ballroom dancer maksim. it's all about new beg beginnings for "divas." jennifer jwoww said she is expecting. showing off the $1.4 million engagement ring she received from los angeles dodger carl
crawford. the couple is also expecting. that's a big ring. and finally, a terminally ill girl's wish to dance with beyonce came true in las vegas. take a look. the wheelchair-bound cancer patient watched in absolute awe as the megastar descended toward her where the pair rocked the crowd with a memorable song and dance. that is just great. beyonce using her fame for a great cause. well, i'm kristen welker, and this is "early today." we hope it's just your first stop of the day on nbc.
leading the news in the "washington post" capitol's historic dome set for two-year renovation. the world famous symbol of democracy will be covered in scaffolding as workers begin a $60 million renovation to repair more than 1,000 cracks and broken pieces. and in "the miami herald," some speeding florida drivers issued lottery tickets. officers brought the tickets while ensuring public safety. love that approach. and topping our news this morning both u.p.s. and fedex are drawing fire following the christmas eve delivery snag. both are issuing mea culpas, and a majority of packages are expected to be delivered today. amazon.com acknowledged ups's
failure in an apologetic e-mail to customers. the company is providing gift cards and shipping refunds to those affected. and the president and first lady step away from their hawaii vacation to mark a christmas tradition, paying tribute to u.s. service members. the obamas visited nearly 600 military families at a marine corps base in hawaii. they honored the sacrifice made every day, not just during the holidays. the obamas are expected to remain in hawaii through january 5th. in georgia now, a christmas wish came true for a boy battling leukemia. 8-year-old dylan rozier told santa he wanted snow for christmas, and that's exactly what he received when he woke up christmas morning to find his lawn covered with the white stuff. over three dozen of santa's helpers volunteered through the night to make dylan's dream come true. he was dreaming of a white christmas, and he got it. that's a great story. >> and he got it.
and the sled and all. he was ready to go for it. >> i know. and i can't remember the last time i saw a white christmas. i'm sure it was like a really nice event for his whole family. >> yes, extra special for him. >> absolutely. time now for a look ahead and a look back. the suspect in the fatal shooting spree at l.a.x. is scheduled to be arraigned. 23-year-old paul siencia during the november 1st rampage. on this day in 1908, the first african-american boxer to win the world heavyweight championship. jack johnson beat tommy burns in a match lasting 14 rounds. it had to be held in sydney, australia, because of united states segregation laws. happy birthday to jared leto who turns 42. metallica drummer lars ulrich turns 50 and baseball hall of famer ozzie smith is 59. happy birthday to them. and now keep it right here for more news, weather and sports. i'm kristen welker. thanks so much for watching
two men trapped in a burning victorian home in san francisco where firefighters found the victims and how they are doing this morning. >> and a christmas morning ruined by thieves. hundreds of dollars of gifts stolen from under the tree. what local police are doing. >> cracking down on drunk drivers. what our cameras caught minutes into a ride-along with the chp. >> a live look outside, boy, a beautiful view at 4:30 this morning. it's thursday, december 26, this is "today in the bay." good morning to you. i'm peggy bunker. >> i'm laura garcia-cannon. let's c