tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 11, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
>> plenty of weather to talk about. on our broadcast tonight, waiting for word. in ferguson, missouri, on edge again as they await the decision from the grand jury tonight. fears of repeat violence as businesses board up like they're getting ready for a storm. extreme weather. wild temperature swings from the 70s to the 30s in a day. record snowfall, danger on the roads as a huge early season storm now moves from north to south. the sniper fighting to save her city from falling to isis. tonight richard engel completing a hazardous journey through a hidden maze of tunnels to reach the front lines. and tough sell. a huge gamble for the biggest selling vehicle of all time in this country. tonight we're there as a potential game-changer rolls off the line. "nightly news" begins now.
>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. ferguson, missouri, the scene of so much violence is back in the news tonight because the top officials there today came out to say they are worried about trouble and asked for the news media's help in appealing for calm. they're worried about public reaction if a grand jury does not indict a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black man. it could come at any time. the missouri governor said today they will not tolerate any more violence in that community that's already seen so much. the problem is whatever you think of this case, the legal standard for an indictment is difficult. that may be why so many people appear to be planning for a bad outcome there. it's where we begin tonight with nbc's ron allen in ferguson. >> reporter: along ferguson's already battered main streets, more businesses adding protection today, worried about what will happen when prosecutors announce whether
officer darren wilson will face charges for killing unarmed teenager michael brown in august. you really think there's going to be a need for this? >> we're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. >> reporter: they're worried about a repeat of last summer's violent protests in the wake of the brown killing. heavily armored police, random shootings, a terrifying time. at this gun shop and practice range sales are three times higher than usual, they say, with many first-time buyers like marla orr. >> yes, it's a big gun. .9 millimeter, 17 shot. >> reporter: you would use it? if need be? >> yes, without hesitation. >> reporter: today with top police commanders, missouri's governor tried to reassure a nervous public. >> this is america. people have a right to express their views and grievances. but they do not have the right to put their fellow citizens or their property at risk. >> reporter: he said a thousand officers have been trained to deal with any disturbance. the national guard will be on
stand-by and officers state wide on alert. county police in charge of protest security say they've spent at least $170,000 on fresh supplies of riot gear, tear gas grenades, helmets, shields, handcuffs. protest organizers who blame police for the violence want 48 hours' warning before any grand jury announcement and safe zones for protesters to gather. and moms like michelle perkins worry about keeping their kids safe when the news comes. >> if history is any indication of what's going to happen when this verdict or, you know, this announcement comes down, it's going to be pandemonium. >> reporter: unlike back in august, there are a lot of meetings going on. community groups, police meeting together discussing the protests and the best way to conduct them. another factor, it's brutally cold here now. that also may keep some people off the streets if decision day comes soon. brian? >> we'll hope for the best during a troubling time. ron allen starting us off, ferguson, missouri, tonight ron, thank you. the official start of winter is still a month away, but for
millions it feels like it's under way tonight. as predicted, temperatures are falling fast. in some places 40-degree temperature swings in just a day's time. in other places, it's record snow that's falling. our meteorologist dylan dreyer is live tonight in golden, colorado. hey, dylan, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the snow is coming down here in golden, colorado. slowing things down on i-70 behind me. the cold, we're just on the western edge of that cold arctic air mass that's moving in that's been responsible for at least four deaths. and the cold that will stick around all week will actually affect nearly every state to the east of here. fierce winds and freezing temperatures blasted much of the nation as a huge arctic air mass pushes south. roads turned to ice in rogers, minnesota. state troopers responding to a jackknifed tractor trailer when another semi skidded out of control and slammed into their squad cars. st. cloud, minnesota, broke its
daily snowfall record with just over a foot of snow, 22 inches in nogani, michigan. in boulder, colorado, it went from a cloudless day to whiteout conditions in just four hours. yesterday's record high in wichita, kansas, was 77. today the high, a chilly 35. dalhart texas, a record high of 84 yesterday, just 32 today. and a high of 80 in oklahoma city dropped to 40 today. >> it feels more like it should be january right now. >> reporter: winter here six weeks early. >> what makes this arctic air mass so amazing is its staying power. >> i'm as prepared as i'll ever be. got the coats, got the gloves, scarves, boots. >> reporter: temperatures spanning single states. in texas it was warm enough for a t-shirt in brownsville at 82. cold enough for a parka clear north in amarillo at 34 degrees. in mississippi, 80 degrees in starkville. due west, just 46 in tunica. strong gusts tore through power
lines in washington state. and a stunning aerial shows a massive dust storm rolling through colorado as more states prepare tonight for the dangerous cold. now the cold has arrived in golden, colorado. we are going to see temperatures below zero tomorrow morning. we are going to bottom out at about 1 below tomorrow morning topping out only around 7 by tomorrow afternoon. that cold will stretch down into texas tomorrow, too. then on thursday it's going to start spreading east into the midwest where temperatures will be running about 15 to 25 degrees below average and then eventually it makes its way to the east coast, from new york city down to atlanta, temperatures will be modified a bit, but still pretty chilly. that's about 15 degrees colder than what we would normally see this time of year. >> dylan dreyer, golden, colorado tonight. dylan, thanks. the president is in china for a gathering called the apec summit. but with the world's most powerful leaders all in the same place at the same time, the real action was often on the sidelines. our white house correspondent kristen welker in beijing for us tonight. kristen, good evening.
>> reporter: brian, president obama is in china to strengthen ties with the region. a key foreign policy goal that's been repeatedly postponed by crises at home and abroad. crises which have shadowed him here. on vivid display here, the frosty relationship between president obama and president putin, awkward pictures released by the kremlin of the two leaders meeting on the sidelines of the economic summit in beijing. three unscheduled encounters for a total of about 20 minutes. the topics as awkward as the pictures, iran, syria and ukraine, with the u.s. signaling more sanctions against russia if it doesn't stop its incursions across the border. >> president putin knows full well where we stand and we've made that clear through not just our words but our policies, our sanctions. >> reporter: the exchanges didn't produce any change and stood in stark contrast to the highly choreographed meetings between president obama and
china's president, xi jinping. a walk in a garden, a private dinner, all a part of president obama's renewed pivot to asia. the goal, enlist china to strengthen america's standing on global trade and climate change. the u.s. today announced a deal with china to lower tariffs on some high-tech goods. >> if china and the united states can work together, the world benefits. and that's something this audience is acutely interested in. >> reporter: but a broader regional deal remains elusive and deep differences remain on issues like human rights and cyber security. and sometimes it's the small moments outside of the big meetings that are the most memorable. after president putin draped a shawl over president xi's wife's shoulders, critical media lit up, prompting chinese censors to erase the video from the internet and chinese social media called president obama rude for chewing gum during the ornate welcoming ceremony. a habit he indulges in frequently back at home but clearly not welcome on the global stage.
the next stop, myanmar, also known as burma, where efforts at democracy have stalled. president obama is expected to address those setbacks with that country's president as well as the pro democracy leader aung san suu kyi. brian? >> kristen, thank you for reporting on all of that from beijing tonight. kristen welker, our white house correspondent. big day here in new york. the last known case of ebola in the u.s. has been cured. dr. craig spencer left the hospital here in new york with a clean bill of health. he contracted ebola while treating patients in guinea. the monitoring period is over for the nurse kaci hickox who is now free and clear. she was the one forced into quarantine in new jersey before moving up to maine upon her return from volunteer work in west africa. now to the fight against isis which has transformed the syrian city of kobani into one of the most dangerous places on earth. our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, managed to get
into kobani at great risk where the kurdish fighters are getting an assist from above in the form of u.s. air strikes. many of those fighters are women. richard met one of them. and he brings us her story tonight in his exclusive reporting inside this fight against isis. >> reporter: the center of kobani lies in ruins, but there is hidden life behind the rubble. the city's kurdish defenders took us to see their secret frontline positions. it's not safe to be out in the open, too many isis snipers. one way they found to avoid the snipers is by burrowing through buildings, just punching holes in walls so they can move from place to place without exposing themselves to the open air and exposing themselves to the snipers. we had to climb an exposed stairway to get to a top floor apartment, now a kurdish sniper's nest, where viyan peyman lies in wait. she fires sparingly, not wanting to reveal her position or waste
precious ammunition. "kobani is under attack by the bloody isis terrorists," viyan says. "i had to take a stand and say i'm here, i'm a human being and i will fight you." she's already been shot twice. "we stand and fight," she says. it's especially important here in the middle east where women are treated as inferiors. kobani's defenders are brave, but without u.s. air strikes, the city would have fallen long ago. a high-profile victory for isis and a blow to u.s. strategy. kobani is hanging on by a thread. medicine is in short supply. the few remaining doctors work out of makeshift clinics in abandoned homes. even bread is baked in secret here. if isis bombed this, the only bakery, the city could starve. we did see some civilians, mostly old men, who stayed to protect their homes, but some children, too.
mahmoud ali says he and his family are staying. "my brothers and neighbors died to protect this place," he says, "how could i leave?" these are the reasons kobani's defenders are holding the line. they have to. ♪ it's never far from viyan's mind as she sings of the friends she's lost. for the u.s., kobani is just one part of the fight against isis. for the people left inside this city, there is no other battle. richard engel, nbc news, kobani, syria. a lot more still to come on this tuesday evening. we're on the assembly line. and you are now looking live at the biggest change on four wheels in a long time. you just can't tell from the outside. also on this veterans day, an incredible story of heroism. a woman who risked her life to save so many others being honored tonight in a very big way.
there is but one big story out there tonight. what if they took the best selling vehicle by far in this country for years running, and then changed it from the inside out? ford motor company is about to find out as the new high strength, aluminum body, f-150 rolls off the line and into showrooms. nbc's tom costello is in dearborn tonight with the debut. hey, tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian. this may look like a typical pickup truck, but you're right. every one of these brand new f-150s coming off the line tonight is made from aluminum. a much thicker grade than what is in a soda can. this is the best-selling vehicle in america coming off the line every 49 seconds. so why mess with success? it's one of the biggest gambles ford has ever made. since august, ripping out the old and installing billions of dollars in new precision robots, laser welding and training 5,000 employees. all of it hinging on ford's
crown jewel, the f-150 pickup. which accounts for 90% of ford's profits. mark fields is ford's ceo. >> this is the best-selling vehicle in america. why mess with it? >> well, because that's what leaders do. we're always looking at innovation to set a standard. and that's how you maintain leadership. >> reporter: the new f-150 still sits on a steel frame, but the sides, the roof and the bed are now all aluminum. because it's 700 pounds lighter, it can carry heavier cargo. with the new v-6 engine ford is promising up to 20% better fuel efficiency. just five years ago ford was among the carmakers in deep trouble. but while ford's been retooling, rival gm has jumped into high gear. >> the new chevy silverado heavy duty. >> reporter: offering buyers great deals on its trucks. cnbc's phil lebeau says for ford the stakes are very high. >> if the aluminum f series doesn't work, if buyers stay away from it, that's a huge loss for ford. >> reporter: the new f-150
starts at $26,600, $400 more than last year's model. >> i'd have to see how it comes out. how it tests, how it performs, how it holds up to the chicago winters. with the salt. >> reporter: the company has already put 10 million test miles on the truck. now it's teaching its dealers new aluminum body repair techniques, but ford president joe hendrix says the aluminum shell is actually more dent-resistant. >> the combination of the thicker gauge and the bonding adhesive makes it even stronger than steel. >> reporter: the question -- will it set a new industry standard or cost ford its top spot? this is coming off the line just as gas is selling below $3 a gallon. so the question is, will gas as cheap as $3 or below, will it make it more attractive to buy a vehicle like this, especially for people who are looking for fuel economy? >> tom costello with the story in dearborn and areas beyond. tom, thanks. we're back in a moment with a daring mission to accomplish something that's never been done before and just one chance to stick the landing.
george w. bush, 43, has written about george h.w. bush, 41. both were in attendance today at college station, texas. while we haven't seen much of the senior president bush who is now 90, both men sat down with jenna bush for an interview shot personally for the family, and it aired on "today." >> so when you were raising your kids, what type of things did you want for them? >> i wanted all the best. i wanted them to feel that there was no horizons, they could reach for the stars, and accomplish stuff. and sure enough, they have. >> three members of the bush family all together. now to last week's wave election for the gop. and while midterm turnout is usually bad, last week's was very bad. there's a new estimate that the final numbers will show voter
turnout was 36.3%, lowest in the modern era. the lowest since 1942, when a unified and preoccupied nation was fighting a world war. by comparison turnout was about 62% in the obama election of '08. john doar has died. he was a giant of the civil rights movement who, at great risk to his own life, was the enforcer, the lawyer on the ground for the justice department under presidents kennedy and johnson. he later was a key member of the watergate investigation team. john doar, a self-described lincoln republican, was 92. space is hard, and it requires daring. it was daring when jfk challenged us to get to the moon in just ten years' time. and it's daring bordering on outlandish that at some point tomorrow they're going to land a robot on a comet hurtling through space at 40,000 miles an hour. the pictures are stunning as they get closer. there will be a seven-hour delay in getting the data back to earth before ground control in
finally tonight, "making a difference" on this veterans day evening. on the national mall in d.c. tonight, on a mild november evening, upwards of 800,000 people are expected. they will see stars like bruce springsteen and carrie underwood at the concert for valor. the real stars of this show, however, will be the assembled veterans. we get our report tonight from nbc's cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: kelly mccoy is plenty nervous about being honored here tonight in front of hundreds of thousands of people. but that doesn't mean she lacks courage. lieutenant colonel kelly mccoy has conquered fear before. >> september 2003, it was my third day in the country in iraq. we were ambushed. there were multiple roadside bombs that went off one after the other. >> reporter: your vehicle was okay. you could have left. you didn't have to put your life at risk. >> but those were my soldiers out there. it would never occur to me to leave soldiers behind.
>> reporter: what she did next is a story most americans might never know if not for this man. >> gives me chills to be here today. >> reporter: howard schultz, the ceo and founder of starbucks, on a mission himself. a journey that began three years ago here at west point when schultz was invited to speak about leadership. he said he ended up learning more than he taught. >> i wish the rest of the entire american population could see them in action, see their level of integrity. that started me thinking about what could i do. >> reporter: one thing he could do -- give returning vets jobs. schultz has vowed to hire 10,000 veterans at starbucks. they've already hired more than a thousand. his other mission, that the 1% who defend this country get their stories told. schultz co-wrote "for love of country." the toughest part about writing the book, convincing the heroes like kelly mccoy to talk. >> it would not be my inclination to tell my own story. i didn't come from a military
family. >> reporter: and athletic? >> i always joked that my sport was math, that i was much more of a mathlete than an athlete. i didn't really know a lot about the army at all. i never held a weapon of any kind. >> reporter: but she wanted a college education and ended up at west point. on her third day in iraq insurgents attacked her convoy. mccoy's quick action saved all 11 of her men and earned her the bronze star. you are a recognized hero, yet i take it that is not how you would describe yourself. >> not at all. i know hundreds of people who have served in very similar manner that i have, who have done greater things than i have done. >> i think people like kelly mccoy make us all better people when you're around them. she has made me a better person just knowing her. you know, veterans day to me has turned into a mattress sale. let's turn it back to what it's supposed to be. >> reporter: cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, west point. >> so we're thinking of all our
veterans and active duty military on this tuesday, veterans day. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we, of course, hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. goodnight. [ playing "taps" ] i'm not ray rice, you know. i'm not any of these other guys. >> right now at 6:00, ready to move forward. cleared of domestic abuse charges, 49ers star ray mcdonald says it is time now to focus on repairing relationships on and off the field. good evening, and thanks for joining us. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. a very personal day at 49ers headquarters. not just football. controversial legal and social issues took center stage. ray mcdonald and aldon smith with rare interviews about their
off-field issues that jeopardized their careers. nannette miranda joins us from levi's stadium with the story. >> reporter: the two troubled players are in good standing now and both want all that drama behind them. >> you know, i just had to keep my mouth shut and let the whole process play out. >> reporter: 49er player ray mcdonald finally breaks his silence after his august 31st arrest for domestic violence. the santa clara district attorney's office just cleared him yesterday of the charges because of lack of evidence. >> i'm not the kind of guy that would, you know, put my hands on a woman like that. you know, they know that so my teammates know it, my friends know it, everybody knows what kind of guy i am. i'm just looking to get past this. >> reporter: the team received a lot of criticism for playing him during the process while the baltimore ravens cut ray rice for similar charges. but mcdonald wants i