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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 10, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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newscast an hour early at 4:00 p.m. you will see "ellen" at 3:00 in the afternoon and meredith in the morning. on our broadcast tonight, fighting back. the man who made millions as the architect of the cia's brutal interrogation program speaks out and takes on the torture report. is it a game changer? our interview with the nfl commissioner on the new rules in place after a big scandal, but football may have a bigger problem on its hands tonight. hollywood secrets exposed in what's now being called one of the biggest hackttacks of all-time. some major celebrities caught up in the drama. and rescue at sea. missing since thanksgiving the search to find him suspended, how he was found alive. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams.
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good evening. and the fallout continues tonight from the release of the so-called cia torture report that all the world has now been allowed to see. tonight, six different u.s. embassies overseas have issued security advisories in case of a violent response to what's detailed in that report. last night on this broadcast we heard the cia director under president bush strongly defend the program. tonight, one of the psychologists who's been called the architect of the cia interrogation program, and a man who profited financially from it, is speaking out and defending the brutal interrogation techniques used on prisoners. and detailed in the report. we begin here tonight with our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom. andrea, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. indeed tonight more fallout from that senate torture report as cia leaders try to restore morale at the agency. and one of the architects came out of the shadows. >> the american people ought to know --
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>> reporter: james mitchell, one of two psychologists who came up with the torture techniques today in florida. >> it's not always pretty. and i think it still should be an honest debate in the united states. >> reporter: do you sleep comfortably at night? >> i always sleep comfortably. >> reporter: the report says mitchell and his partner had no training in al qaeda, its language or how to interrogate. he was asked if waterboarding was torture. >> i don't think it's the right thing to do. i don't think it's the wrong thing to do. i think you can do it in a way that it constitutes torture. i think you can do it in a way that constitutes training. i think you can do it in a way that it helps a person shift their priorities so they experience less abuse later on. it's like every tool in the tool bag. you can underuse it. you can overuse it. >> reporter: they were paid $80 million to interrogate prisoners at secret prisons. black sites in poland, lithuania, romania, afghanistan and thailand. former vice president dick cheney says the interrogations paid off big time. >> we asked the agency to go
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take steps and put in place programs that were designed to catch the -- that killed 3,000 of us on 9/11. and make sure it didn't happen again. and that's exactly what they did. >> reporter: their biggest success, the takedown of osama bin laden. the agency even helped the producers of the film "zero dark thirty" dramatize how they say waterboarding helped identify bin laden's courier whom they then followed to his hideaway. the senate report says the vast majority of the intelligence was originally acquired from sources unrelated to the cia's detention and interrogation program. and the best information came from an al qaeda operative named hassan ghul who officers said sang like a tweetie bird before being tortured. he was subjected to 59 hours of sleep deprivation. the report says he began hallucinating and never provided further threat information. dana priest who won a prize for uncovering the secrets in 2005
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was surprised by the report's new details. >> there was more systemic abuse that seems more sadistic than it does any kind of technique to extract information. >> reporter: cia critics on the intelligence committee say the agency is still not coming clean. >> the cia is lying. this is not a problem of the past, madame president, but a problem that needs to be dealt with. >> reporter: at the cia morale is shattered. >> these folks having the rug pulled out from under them, people who thought they were doing what we wanted them to do, that's unprecedented. >> reporter: officials say cia director john brennan spoke to the workforce today. many of the newcomers hired since the interrogation program ended trying to "pick people up off the ground." brennan will make his first public comments tomorrow at cia headquarters. >> from our d.c. newsrooms andrea mitchell. and it goes on. thanks. the nfl in the news tonight bombarded for months with bad news, negative headlines. today we woke up to some news that might be the worst indicator of all for organized
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football. a new bloomberg poll shows a full 50% of americans would not want their sons playing the game. that's a big bad bellwether number for a sport that depends on the youth leagues of today to fill in the big leagues of tomorrow. this number came on the day that the league announced a course correction in the aftermath of its domestic violence scandal with an announcement from commissioner roger goodell. he spoke with nbc's peter alexander who has our report tonight. >> i got it wrong. >> reporter: months after commissioner roger goodell admitted he fumbled several high profile domestic violence cases, goodell says the nfl is finally back on track. >> why should critics be confident that this time you got it right? >> well, we've changed the policy. we've strengthened it. we've toughened it. being part of the nfl is a privilege, it is not a right. >> reporter: with new rules governing how the league handles the personal conduct of all nfl employees. effective immediately any player charged with a violent crime
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will be sidelined placed on paid leave. the league will also hire a new disciplinary officer to oversee punishments and to supervise new independent investigations of players accused of domestic violence or sexual assault. >> they have to be dealt with firmly, consistently, quickly. and we also need to make sure that we're doing the right things for the victims and survivors. that's the key thing for us. >> reporter: still, goodell will remain the ultimate arbitrator ruling on appeals. >> this in a way is roger goodell's saying i don't care about player criticism, i don't care about union criticism, i don't care about the outcomes of these disciplinary hearings of the last couple weeks. i am retaining a lot of power. this is goodell's attempt to not be completely declawed as commissioner. >> reporter: critics have been slamming the nfl for what they call an anemic response to domestic violence issues and for being unresponsive to women's concerns. i asked the commissioner how he
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explains this controversy to his two teenage daughters. did you say i screwed up? >> of course. the most important thing in leadership is to be able to say when you make a mistake. and the most important thing is to be able to say this is what i did to correct it. and this is what we did to try to take this situation and move forward. >> reporter: america's most lucrative sports brand still trying to tackle a major off field crisis. peter alexander, nbc news, irving, texas. again tonight we have dangerous weather in the news and it's battering both coasts in the east, a nasty nor'easter dropping snow and temperatures. to the west this is the view from space, put it that way. a monster storm that has millions of americans bracing for the kind of rain and wind that can break records. san francisco for one could be hit with its worst storm in years. tonight, nbc's miguel almaguer is there. >> reporter: the western wallop is delivering its first punch in washington state. rivers and roads are flooding, 13 inches of rain could fall before week's end. near seattle tens of thousands
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have lost power. along the coast, beach erosion has swallowed two homes and threatens even more. dangerous pounding surf has also arrived as this weathermaker is now headed to california. in the sierra mountains blizzard conditions could close critical highways. the whiteout won't match the power of what's already falling in the northeast. in upstate new york more than a foot of snow today. interstate 81 near syracuse shut down. 10,000 homes without power and heat. nbc's dylan dreyer is there. >> snow will continue on the backside of this nor'easter tomorrow with heavier rain expected along the new england coast. in the northwest a plume of moisture coming in off the pacific nicknamed the pineapple express will create a massive storm that will produce record rain, heavy snow and wind gusts as high as 60 to 70 miles per hour tonight and tomorrow for much of the west coast. >> reporter: it could be a
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record storm in san francisco. they're already running low on sandbags. how's it looking for you? >> looking like we're going to be here a while. >> reporter: up to eight inches of rain could fall in 48 hours. >> they're saying it's going to be bad, so i think it's going to be pretty bad. >> reporter: for a city known for its beauty, it's about to get ugly. with clouds rolling in and the winds picking up, we could see 75-mile-an-hour or hurricane strength wind. local school districts have already canceled classes tomorrow. this could be the biggest storm we've seen here in the last five years. brian? >> miguel almaguer in the bay area for us tonight. miguel, thanks. in the nation's capital congress has to pass a spending bill by tomorrow or risk another government shutdown. a deal was announced on this, but apparently that was before all the people who will vote on it actually looked at what was
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in it. and now the public is learning what was jammed into the bill when a lot of us weren't looking. it may all fall apart just below the deadline. our report tonight from nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: your congress was gearing up to claim a big victory. >> i'm proud of the work they've done. >> reporter: keeping the government open. not with another crisis-driven short-term fix, but a real year-long budget for nearly all federal departments. >> what we're talking about here is a monumental achievement. >> reporter: a $1.1 trillion deal that includes new money to fight ebola and isis militants, beefing up food safety inspections and giving a small raise to most of the military. a huge package hammered out by a select group of democrats and republicans. sounds promising, right? not so fast. when the 1600 pages went public, surprise and anger, mostly from democrats, who threatened to pull their support when they
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learned the details in this must-pass bill. >> our members are just very, very concerned about it. >> reporter: many democrats don't like a last-minute change from the top republican leaders to alter campaign finance rules so big donors can give ten times more money, up to $324,000. watering down requirements for school lunch nutrition backed by mrs. obama. cutting staff at the environmental protection agency. stopping the district of columbia from legalizing marijuana. and most controversial, rolling back a current ban on taxpayer bailouts for big banks that engage in high risk investments. liberal lawmakers like elizabeth warren say that can't happen even though it was part of a compromised deal. the public says it wants compromise. has this compromise gone wrong? >> this isn't about compromise. this is about reckless behavior. >> warren wants lawmakers to drop that bailout provision
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tonight, but that seems unlikely up against the deadline. senior democrats who negotiated this deal tell me they think they got the best package possible, especially when you consider republicans will have more members and more power next month. brian. >> kelly o'donnell covering another day in congress. kelly, thanks as always. there is health news tonight for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. a new study has found two-thirds of patients are getting radiation treatment for twice as long as they actually need. and it's causing patients to be unnecessarily inconvenienced. and it's a lot more expensive. >> for years the conventional treatment for early stage breast cancer has been lumpectomy and then five to seven weeks of daily radiation. but now there's strong evidence that a higher dose of radiation for only three to five weeks is just as good at preventing cancer occurrence. it's easier for women to tolerate, has the same cosmetic outcome and it saves money. >> our dr. nancy snyderman on
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this new study that will provoke a lot of questions among patients and their doctors. the experts say the reason so many women are getting longer treatment that they don't need is that it can take years for doctors especially to change established medical practices. history was made in oslo, norway today when malala yousufzai accepted the nobel peace prize. at 17 she's the youngest recipient ever. she survived an assassination attempt by the taliban in pakistan. since then she's become a tireless advocate for educating women and girls in her native country and elsewhere. she accepted today alongside her fellow recipient kailash satyarthi who fights to free children from slavery in india. still ahead for us tonight, the hollywood hack attack, far bigger, far more devastating than first known about. big secrets have been revealed. and now some big celebrities have been thrust right into the middle of it. also, above and beyond the call of duty.
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we will very quietly share with you the story behind an unforgettable visit with santa.
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the whole world is being given a glimpse inside a major hollywood studio as a relentless electronic hacking attack continues against sony pictures. and a whole lot of correspondence and personal
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information that was assumed to be private has gone public. and because it's a movie studio it involves some big movies, big stars and household names. and beyond the gossip of it there's no joy in this for any of the other companies watching it play out. our report tonight from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: in a town where privacy is at a premium, the hack on sony pictures is rocking hollywood's very foundation. the industry, warts and all, exposed. >> it's a massive leak of information. the curtain has been ripped back. and we are seeing all kinds of things that we would never have access to. >> reporter: e-mails purportedly exchanged between the studio, producers and agents about actors like tom cruise, leo dicaprio and angelina jolie. employees claim adam sandler movies are boring and predictable. tom hanks uses a pseudonym when he checks into a hotel, or at least he used to. this story is much more than a tantalizing snapshot of behind the scenes tinseltown. the document dump which was leaked to several media outlets
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includes employees' personal information, passwords, e-mails and 47,000 social security numbers. a spreadsheet detailing salaries and bonuses, mountains of business details. the hackers who call themselves guardians of peace say they want to block the release of an upcoming movie believed to be "the interview," a comedy about the assassination of north korea's president. >> the cia would love it if you could take him out. >> for drinks? >> for dinner? >> reporter: someone claiming to be the group's leader sent a threatening e-mail to sony employees. it reads in part "what we have done so far is only a small part of our further plan." the damage from the attacks could affect sony for years. including the possibility of lawsuits based on contract and salary leaks. >> you also have to think about all the relationships and the impact and damage that might have been done. they're going to have to be making a lot of apologies, a lot of difficult phone calls to a lot of top talent in the coming
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days. >> reporter: and perhaps even more daunting, the message some cyber security experts have for everyone. >> today sony, tomorrow, a hospital, gas utility, electrical utility, a government agency that nobody should look at this and take refuge in the fact it was sony rather than a hospital. >> reporter: in other words, cyber security isn't just sony's problem. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we are back in just a moment with the new royal babies born today. they are twins, so how do they decide which one is heir to the throne?
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every day is a new opportunity to help make life better right here in san francisco. whether it's helping local businesses like the fruitguys grow and prosper, supporting nonprofits like juma ventures as they fulfill their mission or helping neighborhoods like the tenderloin become vibrant communities. if there's a way to help the people of san francisco thrive and succeed, we'll find it. that's the power of local connections. that's bank of america. the "time" magazine person of the year is a plural, the honor of the cover goes to the ebola caregivers on a day when we learn new death toll numbers. 6,388 dead as of last weekend as the outbreak continues to ravage parts of western africa. and it was pointed out today women have come up way short on the annual "time" honor. since 1927 only three individual
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women have been featured compared to eleven covers for groups or concepts or objects. while it's also true the cover was called man of the year until as recently as 1999. new video from the navy shows what may be the future of modern close-in warfare. it's their new laser gun which is shown hitting targets on ships at sea and shooting a drone out of the sky. because it doesn't fire or launch anything, it's a fraction of the cost per use of other weapon systems. it comes out at under a dollar a shot compared to some missiles costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each. there are new royal babies, as we mentioned, to talk about tonight. there was a 42-gun salute today for prince albert of monaco and his wife princess charlene. new parents of twins gabriella and jacques. she was born first by two minutes but he will be heir to throne "in accordance with the historic custom." this was not only the sweetest photo we encountered
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today, but the perfect antidote to so much of the news we've been covering. happiness is warm santa. that is baby scarlet who arrived at the mall for her photo with santa sound asleep. so santa did the only thing that seemed right, he reclined with sleeping baby for a short winter's nap. when we come back, lost at sea for almost two full weeks. happily it resulted in an astounding story of survival.
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finally here tonight, an incredible story of survival on the high seas. a man missing since thanksgiving found alive today over a week after the search to find him was suspended. we get our report tonight from nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: how does it feel to be back on dry land? >> reporter: ron ingram couldn't help but kiss dry land. after nearly two weeks lost at sea. his sailboat managed off the coast of hawaii and 12 days had passed without a single distress call until the silence was broken yesterday. >> we got a mayday here, mayday. this is for real. anyone picking this up? >> reporter: ingram's
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four-second plea desperately flung into the air and caught by the coast guard. >> great job by the command center to hear it and recognize it. >> reporter: grainy video from the coast guard shows a navy destroyer rescuing ingram. >> i got really lucky. but it's all about these guys. they're real live heroes. >> reporter: he was sailing from molokai to the island of lanai on thanksgiving when bad weather knocked his 25-foot vessel onto its side flinging him into the water. >> thought i was going to die. i flung myself in and hung in there. >> reporter: with no mast and no radio communication, it didn't look good. >> i was out of water but i hydrated on fish. i'm a fisherman so i caught fish. wasn't as good as a sushi bar, but that's how i hydrated. >> reporter: in a move he fashioned a makeshift radio out of a coat hanger and some wire launching the garbled mayday message that eventually brought him home. >> i'm a little dazed right now and headed to the bar.
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>> reporter: his legs might be shaken but his faith in people is not. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. >> here's to you. that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we of course hope you can join us right back here tomorrow evening. good night. every size of battery is available. i've got them. >> right now, stocking up before the big storm. it is big, it is bad, and it is jam packed with wind and rain and it's all right making landfall in the north bay. thank you for joining us. >> it is here, and it's creeping south. live look now in san francisco, where rain drops are already falling and in fremont, the wind is also picking up. we have crews across the region, nbc bay area's mark matthews is
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in marin county, and the rest of our team is watching out emergency yous are getting ready. >> our storm system right now is unlike our usual storm systems. we usually get a storm crossing through the bay area, it's in and out within four hours. but what you're seeing in the satellite loop is a strong tap of pacific moisture, that's what all this cloud cover is offshore, eventually that's low that's where we're going to get our heavy rainfall. it's like pointing a hose right over northern california, it's called the pineapple express. we have had some light to moderate pockets of rainfall in sonoma county, i really think the biggest concern for tonight is the wichbnd.

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