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tv   Early Today  NBC  December 31, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PST

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very good morning on this last day of 2013. here's what's coming up on "early today." ready for rescue. ice breakers unable to reach the stranded antarctic ship. a helicopter will be used to rescue the passengers. fireball. a derailed train erupts in flames and plume of thick, toxic black smoke in the air and forcing residents to hunker down. reports that johnny football will skip another year of college to cash in on the nfl. 2013 was a great year for investors for cars and trucks. it is tuesday, december 31st. "early today" starts right now.
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happy new year. i'm veronica de la cruz. it's nice to see you. 74 passengers and crew members on board that ship will remain hunkered down. at least for now. officials say white-out conditions are keeping a chinese rescue helicopter from landing at the site. weather conditions aren't expected to improve until at least tomorrow. when they do, the plan is for the chinese helicopter to take all 52 passengers to its vessel while all 22 crew members remain with the ship as ice breakers try to reach it. the ship has been stranded since christmas eve. a california state judge extends life support for a teenage girl. a restraining order will keep 13-year-old jahi mcmath on life support. her family says it's found a facility in new york state that will accept the girl and has made transportation arrangements. the federal aviation administration has made a major
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advancement in getting drones in the skies. six test sites have been chosen. from the bitter cold of fair banks, alaska, to the sweltering heat of corpus christie, texas, and back up to rome, new york, where drones will be tested. the goal is to have commercial drones sharing the skies by the end of 2014 in what's projected to become an industry worth billions of dollars. right now, any civilian free of training is allowed to fly drones as long as it's below 400 feet and away from populated areas. new this morning, french doctors say formula one racing champion michael schumacher is showing small signs of improvement. doctors say he underwent a second operation and a brain scan done after the operation revealed his condition had improved. the 44-year-old racing great was placed in a medically induced coma to relieve pressure on his brain, which suffered bruising
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and bleeding when he fell and struck a rock while skiing. huge fireball shot into the sky high above north dakota monday after a train flew off the tracks. it was early afternoon when a train carry can go crude oil collided with another train that had gone off the tracks, causing several explosions and clouds of black smoke to fill the air. local authorities have recommended residents evacuate their homes in case the dark clouds carry any toxic fumes. no injuries have been reported. countries on the other side of the world are starting to ring in the new year. just this past hour, new zealand welcomed 2014 with a dazzling display of fireworks erupting from auckland's sky tower. and here in new york city, an estimated 1 million revelers from around the globe are expected to show up. nbc's sarah dallof is live this morning with details. how big of a police presence are
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we talking? >> reporter: there's going to be a very big security presence here, veronica. they want everyone to have a fun new year's eve but a safe one that includes visible elements like rooftop patrols but also includes things like undercover officers with palm-size radiation detectors who are going to blend in with that 1 million person crowd expected to gather here tonight. one of the world east biggest and most well-known parties. >> love it. just amazing atmosphere. >> reporter: times square, counting down the last few minutes of 2013. those who will brave the crowds will also brave the cold. temperatures expected to be in the 20s. earlier, a final dress rehearsal with the times square ball. it's a sparkling center piece featuring more than 2600 crystals with updated designs for this year's celebration. >> three, two, one -- >> reporter: and a test confetti drop. >> this is an experience for me. i've never been into the new
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year's in new york city. so this is great. i'm so excited. >> reporter: a new year with new resolutions for the more than 1 million people expected to pack times square and the 1 billion expected to watch it on tv. >> getting more centered in our lives. we're getting a little older, closer to retirement. so trying to figure out what we want to do when we grow up. >> reporter: a fresh start in the first few minutes of 2014. so who gets to push the button that starts the ball drop this year? that would be u.s. supreme court justice and bronx native sonia sotomayor. back to you. >> all right, zaire ya. thank you so much. now for a look at your new year's eve weather. here's nbc meteorologist bill karins. bill, you spent a new years out there. >> i did. it was cold. it's going to be cold again. >> but it didn't snow, right? >> no, but cold is worse. snow is more fun. in many areas of the west, we're going to be ringing in the new year with nice, warm, dry conditions. that was a summary of 2013 as a whole. unbelievably dry.
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the driest calendar year ever recorded going back from the mid-1800s in san francisco, from 1877 in los angeles. we only had three to six inches in many areas of california outside the mountains all year long. a departure from normal. a foot in some cases. unbelievably, horribly dry year. hopefully we'll never do it again and have a lot of rain in the new year. high pressure is in control. there's a few rain showers in the northwest, but there's really nothing to complain about for your n areas like a astoria. i think southern california is one of the only spots you can get away with wearing those nice
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little tiny dresses for new year's eve. >> the west coast is where it's at for the new years. thanks, bill. major security concerns for our olympic athletes, plus getting high will cost you plenty in colorado as recreational marijuana sellers and the state prepare for a financial windfall. you're watching "early today."
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well, good morning and welcome back. almost three dozen people have been killed by suicide bombers in russia since sunday, raising fears of similar attacks on the upcoming sochi olympic games. police presence has been stepped up at train stations and airports across the country with even tighter security in sochi where the olympic winter games are set to begin in just 37 days. nbc's duncan golestani is live this morning for us in london. good morning. how will these bombings affect security at the games? >> good morning. in terms of the actual games
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location at sochi, it seems unlikely to change very much because security is already formidably tight. visitors will need a special pass that requires passport details to be given to the authorities. there's a 1500 square mile security zone around the black seacoast resort. so the russian olympic committee chief says everything necessary already has been done. but there are two ways we are likely to see things change. first, locations away from sochi. many experts believe whoever is behind these attacks is going off to so-called soft targets that create panic. so major transport hubs like volgograd station. that's where security is being increased. second, how athletes and officials travel to the games. we're already seeing some countries saying their people will only fly into the resort, not leave the area, and will not be vacationi ining when the gam are over. >> duncan, thank you. san antonio spurs guard tony parker has apologized after a photo of him making an anti-see
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mettic gesture surfaced on the internet. it's perceived by many to be a variation of the nazi salute. he released a statement monday saying, i will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my action. health officials in israel announced the government will begin paying for abortions for women age 20 to 33 regardless of circumstance. until now, subsidized abortions were only available in emergencies or cases of rape and abuse. three people are in the hospital avenue an suv careened off the road and into a popeye's chicken restaurant monday. the driver of the suv ran a red light, clipped another car and smashed into the restaurant. the building has been declared unsafe. and over 1600 people have been evacuated from the area surrounding an erupting volcano in eastern el salvador. smoke and ash have been shooting into the air, forcing people to
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huddle in emergency shelters. and taking stock on this last day of trading for 2013. the dow jones saw 51 record closes, including monday's new all-time high and the best returns since 1996 with a 25.9% gain. 2013 was also a great year when it comes to energy-efficient homes. americans haven't used this little power since 2001. it was also a banner year for ford, which expects to top toyota as the best-selling vehicle brand in north america. the u.s. population grew by about 2.2 million people this year. according to the census bureau, a baby will be born every eight seconds in january with one death occurring every 12 seconds. colorado braces for the opening of legal marijuana stores. those looking to get high can expect to pay hefty prices as demand is expected to be massive while supply will be limited in the first few months. plus, the state will collect 25% taxes. plus the regular 2.9% state sales tax. likely between $250 and $400 an
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ounce. well, could johnny football be going pro? and tim tebow has a new gig. it's all ahead. plus, for all you adrenaline junkies, it just doesn't get any better than that. you're watching "early today."
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in england sunday, competitors gathered for the 2013 car jumping title. some of the drivers have been on the road crashing and jumping
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cars for years. others for just a few months. the winner did not win any prize money, but they did get bragging rights and a large trophy. let's go ahead and check in with my good friend richard lui for some sports. it must be a guy thing. >> i was about to say, that's every teenage boy's wish, that they could do that. drive a car over five or ten different cars and make it. >> absolutely nuts. >> i'll have to wait. good stuff to watch though. johnny football going pro. johnny manziel is heading for the nfl, says nfl.com. if the texas a&m quarterback can get into the first round of the draft, as many expect, it's more likely that is a yes, but it's the second round for him. he might announce it after tonight's bowl. talking about qbs, how about texas tech's david webb? unranked texas tech upset number 14 arizona state. they break a five-game losing streak. two teams wanted a bigger
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finale. mack brown coached his last longhorns game after a losing season. oregon state blows out texas 30-7. at the music city bowl, mississippi makes it ten wins in the last 11 bowls. georgia tech makes it eight losses in the last nine bowls, losing 25-17. in the armed forces bowl, keenan reynolds with 31 rushing tds joins the 30 touchdown qb rushing club. congratulations. middle tennessee state loses a chippy game there 24-6. four more nfl coaches were fired on monday. washington's mike shanahan, tampa bay's greg schiano, minnesota's leslie fraser and detroit's jim schwartz. here's one guy who has a new job, tim tebow. he joins espn as a college football analyst. he debuts january 6th on pregame coverage of the bcs national
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championship game. finally got a job there. happy 29th birthday, lebron james. his gift, 26 points for his 525th time in a row scoring double digits. james came back from an injury to lead a fourth quarter comeback 97-94 over the denver nuggets. so this utah reporter keeps on getting higher in this because he's losing consciousness during a live interview. hang on a second. she recovers and nonchalantly finishes that interview. she says on her blog she calmly faints in high, cold altitudes and it's okay to giggle because she did that very same thing when she watched that video. >> i can't giggle. was she okay? >> absolutely fine. >> are you sure? >> she says she and her twin sister in these high altitudes and cold pass out. what a swell person to say that. >> that's real dedication. >> it is. get out of her way, right?
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>> thanks, richard. just ahead, what president obama is binge watching on tv these days. plus, queen b finds herself in the middle of a controversy involving the space shuttle challenger. we'll have details when "early today" returns.
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time for another look at your new year's eve forecast. we're actually shaping up for a really quiet period in the west, considering how cold and
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miserable it's going to be with the windchills in many areas of the country. we're okay in the west and can deal with this. maybe a few showers in the northwest, but we're not looking at really a wet, soaking forecast anywhere. we should be very mild. great party-type weather. all of california, including vegas and phoenix. as we ring in the new year, we're going to dry it out in the northwest. looking nice at 76 and sunny in l.a. >> for the rose parade. >> should be perfect. >> excellent. >> that's where i want to be. let's go. >> yeah, seriously, right? get on a plane. all right. entertainment news now. beyonce may have the top album in the world, but not everyone is loving it. >> obviously a major malfunction. >> the sound you just heard is from the 1986 challenger disaster. nasa is calling beyonce insensitive, but she says that the song was recorded with the goal of helping those cope with the disaster using lyrics like "i'm crashing into you." i don't know, bill. probably not really helpful.
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>> mistake. >> yeah, mistake is a good word. the baby doctor to the royal family received one of england's highest honors, knighthood. the doctor delayed his retirement so he could deliver precious prince george. speaking of the royal family, prince william is packing up his book bag to attend the university of cambridge. >> book bag, doubt it. >> before proposing to gabby union, dwyane wade became friendly with another woman who just had the nba star's third child. >> oh, congratulations. thanksgivings will be interesting. >> well, at a kentucky wildcats game over the weekend, "the hunger game's" josh hucher son got the official mocking jay salute and the odds were ever in their favor, because they won. michelle obama tweeted her support for robin roberts over the weekend saying, robin robert, i'm so happy for you and amber. you continue to make us all proud. and speaking of the first
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family, president obama loves to sit down and binge watch his favorite tv shows. >> what's on his list? >> this is it. "the new york times" list has his favorites. "house of cards," "breaking bad," "the wire," "modern family," "parks and rec." >> seems pretty mainstream. >> good taste. i'm veronicaday la kruz. this is "early today." we hope it's just the first stop of your day on nbc.
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leading the news on nbcnews.com, cholesterol levels linked to early signs of alzheimer's. a new study finds low levels of bad ldl cholesterol are linked to lower levels of protein deposits in the brain associated with alzheimer's. and in "usa today," i'm not even going to try to pronounce this, but this hawaiian woman's 36-character last name finally fits on i.d. a campaign to get her full name on her i.d. card prompted hawaii's transportation department to expand the number of characters that can appear. bill is going to take a crack at that. >> no, i'm not. >> maybe not. it's the stories you might have missed. the passengers on board the russian ship that have been stranded in that arctic ice since christmas eve are hoping weather conditions improve
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tomorrow so they can be air lifted to safety. the crew members plan on staying on board until ice breakers can reach them. authorities in a small north dakota town are encouraging residents to evacuate after a train derailment caused black smoke to shoot into the sky. no injuries reported. and an estimated 1 million people are going to pack new york city's times square tonight to ring in 2014 with the dropping of the ball. security will be tight and temperatures chilly, but that won't stop the crowds from celebrating the beginning of the new year. so one village in romania has a barely believable take on the new year's celebration. check this out. residents parade through the village and dance their hearts out to ward off evil spirits in the coming year. some opt for colorful costumes. others adorn themselves in full-body bear suits. i guess the bear suit dance symbolizes strength and courage. >> that's what you have to wear tonight. >> we should have a cool tradition like that. >> the bear suit? >> well, the bear suit dance.
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we have like twerking and that's about it. >> twerking in a bear suit. now you're on to something. >> don't go there. time for a look ahead. they're getting ready for the rose parade in pasadena, california. workers are assembling, decorating, arranging flowers for the floats for the 125th parade on new year's day. and on this day in 1991, the official end of the soviet union as reported by "nbc nightly news." >> fred, the collapse of the soviet union is cause for concern as well as celebration, isn't it? >> very much concern, katie. not from the fragmented soviet military, but from the men who made the bulletins, the bombs, who may be looking for paychecks. there's nothing to stop a nuclear physicist from hiring out. >> happy birthday to gabby douglas, who's 18. anthony hopkins is 76. i'm veronica de la cruz
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keeping the olympic athletes safe. the new steps being taken to morning after a pair of suicide bombings in russia. >> an entire city is told to evacuate after a train derails and catches on fire. >> new york city puts the final touches on tonight's new year's eve celebration. we'll tell you what will be missing from this year's event. >> a live look on this tuesday morning, taking a look here you can see over san francisco. we get things rolling on this last day of 2013, december 31st. this is "today in the bay." good morning to you. it's 4:30. i'm peggy bunker. >> i'm laura garcia-cannon. lots to get to.

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