tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 19, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
change the wipers on your car. >> good reminders. >> good night folks. on our broadcast tonight, paralyzed by a year's worth of snow in one storm. people stranded, a state of emergency in effect and several feet more on the way. taking action to stop up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. the president is about to go around congress and make a big change. show's over for bill cosby. new fallout by this network and others as new allegations have deeply tarnished his reputation. and pain in the neck, the national addiction to looking down at our devices at a severe angle and what it's all doing to the human body. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. the people of buffalo, new york, don't scare easily.
president mckinley was assassinated there in 1901 and they have moved on. they've loved their buffalo bills through the good years and bad and not only given the world tim russert and wolf blitzer. and while buffalo is a tough town, they may have finally met their match. a relentless snowstorm has dropped nearly six feet of snow coming in right off the lake with upwards of two more feet on the way. daily life has simply come to a halt for many across a big area and the storm has already cost several lives. it's officially a state of emergency tonight across a whole region. it's where we begin our coverage tonight with nbc's lester holt. lester, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. it's a jaw dropping amount of snow. people can't get in and out of their neighborhoods. here in cheektowaga, 65 inches have fallen. i can touch the sign here. as you said it's been deadly. at least seven deaths attributed to this storm.
132 miles of new york throughway closed because of all this. the speed at which this has come down simply caught a lot of people off guard. this powerful storm has paralyzed parts of the buffalo area, immobilizing entire communities. people trapped in cars, trucks and their homes. the relentless arctic air dangerous for anyone who has to be outside. it started early yesterday as a giant wall of snow dumping almost six feet in some parts. looking down at the extreme conditions, a whiteout. backyards buried. homes under huge drifts. >> from the air you really get a sense of the patchwork. some areas merely got a dusting. other neighborhoods appear to be just buried. >> astonishing even by buffalo's standards. >> i've never seen anything like this. i'm 36. been through some pretty bad storms, this is by far the worst. >> reporter: a hundred people stranded on roads.
this trucker was on his way to massachusetts to ohio when his semi got stranded in the snow for more than 40 hours. >> we use a bunk heater we have inside the truck to keep warm. every now and then we have to start up the engine to keep it warm from freezing up. >> reporter: relief on snowmobiles when a fire truck got stuck. today the national guard arrived and hundreds of plows were mobilized. >> this is an extraordinarily difficult circumstance. we have had a loss of life. let's hope that we don't have anymore. >> reporter: in and around buffalo many are snow-bound at home. >> that's our backyard. >> reporter: chris and her family spent the day sweeping up this mess, all that snow broke through the back door. they've had to get creative with the cleanup. >> you can see it's almost all the way to the top. the treadmill is holding it in place. >> we've been stuck here since monday evening. >> reporter: jennifer and her family including baby evan are
snowed in and worried about their food supply. >> we're trying to ration what we have because we only planned for three to four days at best. and they're saying the plows may not get to us until it starts to melt over the weekend. >> reporter: this morning the niagra university women's basketball team was rescued after spending more than 24 hours stranded on the highway rationing food and melting snow for water. tonight, the call is out for workers to help shovel buffalo's ralph wilson football stadium before the bills play the jets on sunday. ten dollars an hour and free tickets to the game if they can get there safely. the nature of this kind of snow some places get hammered, a short place a while away nothing. give you an example, to the south of where we are 65 inches, you go seven miles away to the north just two inches of snow, brian, has fallen. >> lester, what an unbelievable
scene there, tonight. lester holt starting us off tonight. thanks. we now want to go 16 miles to the south of where lester is. our meteorologist dylan dreyer is in hamburg. more on this other big storm moving in tonight. hey, dylan, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the snow falling right now has nothing to do with lake effect. it's just a disturbance moving through. but lake effect snow is such a fascinating phenomenon to produce this much snow in just 24 hours. take a look at the radar from the height of this storm yesterday where we saw these streamers come in. and they pass over the same area for hours and hours and hours producing snowfall rates of four inches per hour. but then a shift in the wind and the whole thing lifts north. now, we are going to see tonight winds shift back to more of an onshore flow. it's going to turn on the lake effect snow machine once again. we're going to see it start around 11:00 tonight and last for about 18 hours producing heavy snow. and where the streamers set up that produce the heaviest snow we could see another three feet fall.
and it looks like this area could be the area where we see the three feet, brian. >> dylan dreyer in hamburg, new york. remains an incredible situation up there. now to washington we go. we learned today president obama's about to pick a major fight though widely predicted over what is already a hotly debated issue. tomorrow night before a primetime audience the president will reveal the executive action he will take on immigration reform. we get our report tonight from our senior white house correspondent chris jansing. >> so tune in tomorrow night at 8:00 -- >> reporter: the official confirmation came from the president on the white house website. his congress hasn't passed an immigration bill, he'll bypass them with his own plan and detail it in an address to the nation. >> so what i'm going to be laying out is the things that i can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better. >> reporter: the executive action is expected to allow as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the country including the undocumented parents of children born here. and it protects more dreamers,
young people brought here illegally as children, but not their parents. it would also extend the stay of foreign graduates of u.s. colleges who have high-tech skills. on friday, the president will go to the same las vegas high school where he addressed immigration reform almost two years ago. >> he feels he has an obligation as the president of the united states to explain to the people who elected him precisely why he's taking the actions that he is taking. >> reporter: a new nbc news/wall street journal poll shows he has an uphill battle. almost half oppose the president taking action. and republicans are vowing to fight it every step of the way. >> i believe his unilateral action, which is unconstitutional and illegal, will deeply harm our prospects for immigration reform. >> reporter: both sides are gearing up for a legal fight. the white house argues seven modern presidents starting with dwight eisenhower took executive action to deal with immigration
problems. though it's never impacted this many people. >> my question to the president is, why couldn't you wait and see what this new congress does? >> reporter: the president says he's waited long enough for republicans to pass legislation. and here at the white house tonight 18 democrats have been invited to get details of the president's plan over dinner. and a final note, none of the three major broadcast networks will carry the president's speech tomorrow. brian. >> chris jansing on the north lawn for us tonight. chris, thanks. there's new fallout tonight from the sexual assault allegations surrounding bill cosby. just this afternoon nbc's entertainment division announced they are no longer moving forward with a new sitcom that cosby was supposed to be in. that news comes as other companies move to distance themselves from him as another woman has come forward with allegations. we get our report tonight from our national correspondent kate snow. >> reporter: the new nbc sitcom was being produced by the team behind the cosby show, this time the elder comic would star as a
patriarch of a multigenerational family. but today nbc pulled the plug saying only, the cosby project is no longer in development. last night netflix said it was postponing the launch of a standup comedy special that was supposed to air the day after thanksgiving. and a canadian comedy network has also scrapped plans to air a cosby special. >> it was quite a validation that the voices of the victims are finally being heard. >> reporter: barbara bowman who was mentored by cosby as a teen is one of six women who have now publicly accused him of sexual assault. she expects more to come forward. just yesterday former model janice dickinson added her voice. >> he gave me wine and a pill and the next morning i woke up and i wasn't wearing my pajamas. >> reporter: court records of a civil suit settled show there were ten more women who made anonymous claims. cosby has never been charged with any crime. his attorneys have said their client would not dignify decade-old discredited claims with a response. they call dickinson's claims a
complete lie pointing to a book she wrote in which she made no mention of a sexual assault. but bowman says there's power in the number of women coming forward. >> it's been coming and going and sliding under the rug quite a lot. now it's time. people are listening. we are in a culture now where women have voices. and rape is a big deal. >> reporter: this week a cosby comedy routine from the late '60s has resurfaced and gone viral in which he joked about men drugging women for sex. >> this girl, crazy mary, put something in her drink, she's -- >> reporter: cosby's management team says he'll continue his current comedy tour saying, he is one of america's most beloved performers. while we are aware of the allegations, we are only in a position to judge him based on his career as an entertainer and humanitarian. in fact, tomorrow cosby will be doing a fundraising event in the bahamas. but brian, we also just learned that tvland has pulled cosby show re-runs indefinitely.
>> our national correspondent kate snow on the story. kate, thanks as always. we learned late today about a series of very close calls in the last week involving commercial aircraft and drones sharing the same air space over one of the largest and busiest airports in the country. tom costello, who covers aviation for us, is live in our d.c. newsroom tonight. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian. three pilots have reported these close calls with unmanned drones in the jfk airport area outside of new york. the most recent occurred just this afternoon as a jetblue flight from savannah was on approach into jfk and reported a drone flying two miles from the runway. drones come in all shapes and sizes from tiny models to large military-style drones. there was another incident on sunday, a virgin atlantic 747 arriving from london and preparing to land reported a drone at 3,000 feet. and a minute later a delta 737 reported a drone close to its left wing. now, police helicopters searched but couldn't find it.
this is a growing problem as more and more of these low-cost drones fill the skies. anyone who violates faa regulations can face criminal charges and a hefty fine, brian. >> tom costello in d.c. for us tonight. tom, thanks. there was a scary moment near the white house today. the secret service says a man walked up to an officer, raised alarm by making some bizarre comments. when officers then searched his car parked nearby they allegedly found an unregistered rifle, ammunition and a knife with a six-inch blade. the man is in custody tonight. this incident took place just shortly after the acting head of the secret service, joe clancy, had testified in front of congress. he revealed new details about that other incident in september when a man made it over the fence and trespassed deep into the white house, specifically officers spotted the man preparing to jump then came within perhaps an arm's length of grabbing him before he could
do it. clancy in his first television interview since taking over the secret service last month spoke with nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: do you think there's a morale problem that is making the president more vulnerable? >> there's no excuse for us having poor morale. we've got great people. we're going to let them shine. >> reporter: is the president still as vulnerable? >> no, he's not. >> clancy, a veteran agent who came back to do this after his retirement also confirmed today the initial radio call about the fence jumper in september was not heard because it was overridden by other radio traffic. overseas tonight, tensions in jerusalem remain near the breaking point after tuesday's deadly attack on worshippers at a synagogue. thousands attended the funeral of an israeli police officer, the deadliest attack in six years. the home of a palestinian responsible for a previous attack was demolished by israeli authorities. and jerusalem tonight remains tense and under heightened security. still ahead for us this evening, the new warning what doing something you might be
while you may choose to do nothing about it, it's also likely you won't soon forget seeing this next story. it's about something we all know is bad for us, but not quite bad enough to break a sudden and astounding national addiction in just the past few years to electronic devices. please note the angle of your head and neck when using your device. it's an unnatural position for the human head. it's a new problem. and it's a big problem. we get our report tonight from nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: it's a heads up tonight for millions of americans with their heads down from teenagers in junior high to traders on wall street. all hunched over texting, typing, tweeting.
that poor posture may be bad for your neck and spine according to a new study. this is good posture, head up, shoulders back. but as you tilt your head down, the stress on your spine increases dramatically. >> this study shows clearly if you keep your head in neutral, which is straight up, then it's the most efficient position and you'll feel the best. >> reporter: the average smartphone user spends one to three hours a day hunched over reading e-mails or shooting off texts. that's up to six weeks a year. that's a lot to think about. >> the human head weighs eight pounds. >> reporter: but when your head is tilted down over a smartphone, doctors say it's like carrying 60 pounds or six bowling balls around your neck. over time dr. hansrage says that added stress may lead to wear and tear, degeneration and possibly surgeries. one of the leading groups says stress to the neck can occur with reading, writing, cooking and other daily activities. the best advice, don't throw
away your smartphone, but stand up straight and try bringing the phone up to your eyes instead of tilting your head down to the phone. peter alexander, nbc news, washington. good luck with that. we're back in a moment with the "snl" cast member about to take on a big assignment. also an update on a terrible crash that badly injured bono of u2 worse than we first knew.
♪ what becomes of the brokenhearted ♪ jimmy ruffin has died, brother of the late-temptations singer david ruffin. he gave us that classic, "what becomes of the broken heart," the mississippi native motown singer 78 years old. bono is in very bad shape. the u2 singer and his family have an apartment off central park in new york.
he and his family went out for a ride and there was a terrible crash. he has a broken orbital bone, three breaks in his shoulder blade and a six-way compound fracture in his left arm which required three metal plates and 18 screws in one of two surgeries. u2 was planning a big tour to support two albums, but bono faces a long recovery now and months of physical therapy. "snl" cast member cecily strong has been selected at the annual white house correspondents dinner next spring. she's perhaps best known for a character she plays called the girl you wish you hadn't started a conversation with at a party. the dinner parties in d.c. are hoping she doesn't become the girl you wish you hadn't invited to entertain in front of congress, the cabinet and the president of the united states. jetblue is changing. all about money. the airline initially offered an all-new customer experience is as they put it to investors
today, enhancing their revenue performance. they will now offer three tiers of ticket prices. under the cheapest they're going to charge for bags. they're also adding more seats to some of their planes, reducing that leg room which they say will still remain generous. on the upside larger seatback tv screens and more entertainment options in flight. this actually happened today, as the acting head of the secret service was testifying on the hill, tennessee democratic congressman steve cohen asked him about the possibility of digging a mote around the white house. we took the liberty of illustrating what that might look like. he speculated that a body of water six feet wide just might be kind of attractive and effective. the congressman then said the current fence wasn't working because the last intruder got further inside the white house than some of his republican colleagues have gotten. when we come back, a tip if you're begging for media attention, find a dog.
guilty. our report tonight from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: it turns out dogs are indeed news hounds. a new study reveals a deep seeded newspaper bias to the canine kind. because readers lap 'em up. it's called the dog effect. researchers found a dog story in the national section of the esteemed "new york times" is 2.6 times more likely to get picked up by regional newspapers than a non-dog story. the study itself is small, but it was enough to catch our attention. of course, as viewers of this broadcast know, we adore these bearers of unconditional love. and it's not just traditional media that love a pup tale, today on the buzz feed website, trending along with the buffalo snowstorm, puppies on their first day of work. >> always a story about dogs. if there's not, there's always a cute picture about dogs. >> reporter: are dogs essentially catnip for the people who click on buzz feed? >> yeah.
>> reporter: we've done dozens of stories on man's best friend this year. dogs in the air, under water, at work and the gym. dogs who find people and cancer. are you a good girl? personally, i've interviewed a talking dog. >> i love you. >> reporter: and i make stage mothers blush when it comes to getting my george on tv. and now this story like so many before it has gone to the dogs. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. like i said, we may be guilty on this one. that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. of course, we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
right now at 6:00, it wasn't everywhere but the misses where it did rain, as you can see, it came down pretty hard. the rain was to blame for a ten-car crash that clogged an east bay freeway for miles. thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguiraguirre. the showers are still lingering right now. the storm played favorites with the north bay getting the biggest soaking and san jose seeing almost nothing. if you didn't get rain, don't worry. new storms are brewing over the pacific and one is just hours away.
we have team coverage tonight. jodi hernandez spent the day in marin talking with people who were caught off-guard. we begin with jeff ranieri tracking what's coming our way next. >> you can see storm system we're dealing with right now, then also that second storm system well offshore. the one that we're dealing with at the moment is still holding on. it's barely there. it's enough that it is producing some scattered areas of drizzle and also some light showers tonight throughout the south bay, near mountain view, also towards fremont as well, and throughout the east bay we're finding a few areas of scattered showers. in terms of rainfall totals from our weather underground rain gauges it was the worst here. coming down the heavy nest the north bay. up against the immediate coastline it was close to 1 inch for totals. you head inland, it was decent but it wasn't the end all, be all storm of the season. .34 in petaluma. .47 in novato. mill valley .81. for the