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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  January 5, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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download the app. >> we have to support the girl scouts. >> thanks for joining us. on our broadcast tonight, high drama in the city of boston. under intense security including coast guard gunners just offshore, as that accused marathon bomber goes on trial facing the death penalty. dramatic drop. while it is winter, temperatures are about to plunge well below normal. bracingly cold, right as the flu outbreak also explodes. already twice as bad as last year. path to survival. from the site of the plane crash that killed her family members, tonight, retracing the steps that brave 7-year-old took through the woods on her sad journey for help. and "making a difference." why so many people all across the country are sharing pictures of their dogs to fulfill an important wish. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world
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headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. >> good evening. the city of boston which has worked to hard to overcome the scars of the marathon bombing, the worst act of domestic terrorism since 9/11, is tonight preparing for a tough time all over again. the accused marathon bomber, the surviving brother of the two original suspects, is about to go on trial with the death penalty hanging in the balance and with security as tight as anyone there can remember as it got underway today. it's where we begin tonight with our justice correspondent, pete williams in boston. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, it's been nearly two years since the devastating attack on the boston marathon. and the trial now getting underway will be a long one. but some people here say they just want it to be over. with extra security including coast guard gunners patrolling boston harbor, dzhokhar tsarnaev arrived at the federal
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courthouse where he'll stand trial just two miles from the area where two bombs exploded, killing three, injuring 260 and devastating an entire community. one of those seriously hurt was rebecca demartino of texas just last week took her first steps after repeated surgeries, then amputation and now a prosthetic. >> i am standing! >> reporter: but she says she will not be following the trial. >> it's not my judgment to make. and it also doesn't change anything that's happened to me. >> reporter: the city pulled together after the bombing, a spirit called boston strong. last year's marathon, the first since the bombing, drew 1 million people, twice the usual crowd. >> i think it's the best day this city has. >> reporter: former boston globe columnist mike barnacle, who's now on msnbc, was here when the bombs went off. he says people have moved on and want to put the whole thing behind them. >> they want it to be over and
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done with. they know who did it. they know what happened. they know the impact it had. they know the effect it had. they know about the victims. they want it done. >> reporter: today, the first of 3,000 potential jurors summoned by the judge came to the courthouse filling out questionnaires to start an unusually long selection process, because the government will seek the death penalty if tsarnaev is convicted, the jury must be specially qualified. >> meaning a jury that is not fundamentally opposed to the death penalty or is not so in favor of the death penalty that they would go outside the bounds of the law and impose it when the law doesn't require it. >> reporter: there's no sign of any plea deal, so the trial is on. jury selection itself may take three weeks. and the entire trial may last four months or more, brian. >> pete williams starting us off from boston on this monday night. pete, thanks. now to where the weather is making news. and as we said, while it is winter, temperatures across much of the country are about to drop far below normal and bracingly so. already there have been temperature swings up to 40
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degrees in less than a day. winter watches and warnings are up with snow on the way. nbc's kevin tibbles has our report tonight from chicago. >> reporter: winter has swept in, packing biting arctic windchills, temperatures 25 degrees below normal in places. >> no matter what anybody say, you don't get used to it. >> reporter: treacherous driving conditions and bone-chilling commutes. >> there's icicles frozen off their faces. it's brutally cold out here. >> reporter: so cold construction stopped on the new vikings stadium in minneapolis. the lowest of the low in the lower 48, the tiny grand marais, minnesota airport. minus 50 with windchill. chicago firefighters forced to call in steamers to thaw out frozen hydrants. near aspen, colorado, a group of elk had to be rescued after falling through the ice. just 60 miles separates scotts bluff, nebraska from guernsey, wyoming. yet guernsey was a whopping 40 degrees warmer.
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and on the west coast heavy rains and mudslides in washington, leaving some 200 people stranded and forcing some schools to close. schools in frost-bitten milwaukee did open. kids trudging back after the holiday. and parents take note, a dangerous double whammy's in store. >> we're going to be dealing with two shots of arctic chill this week. the second one will head all the way to the gulf coast and east coast. >> reporter: by midweek even in the south temps will be ten to 20 degrees below average. emergency shelters are ready in st. louis to bring the homeless in from the cold. thinking of escaping? you'll even find snow today at higher altitudes in hawaii. and already tonight, brian, several interstates in iowa have been closed due to dangerous blowing snow conditions. here in chicago they are at the ready with a battalion of 280 snowplows and salt trucks. drivers are being asked to stay off the roads. brian? >> kevin tibbles in cold chicago
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for us tonight. kevin, thanks. sadly all this cold weather goes hand-in-hand with flu season which has hit early and already hit hard. already as of last week 36 states were reporting widespread flu activity. this week it's up to 43 states. and this season the flu is already responsible for dozens of deaths in this country, many of them children. we get our report on that from our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman. >> reporter: today, americans get back to work and school facing a particularly aggressive flu season in part because this year's vaccine is less than effective, raising some important questions. for instance, how long is someone contagious? well, a person can begin spreading the flu to others even before they have symptoms and then remain infectious for up to five days after getting sick. that's why it's so important to be vigilant about washing your hands and to stay home if you are sick. how long will my symptoms last?
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the fever, muscle aches and sore throat can last five to seven days, but that nagging cough can persist for four to six weeks. antibiotics should only be used if your doctor is worried that the flu has progressed to pneumonia. can i get the flu again? well, it's unlikely that you would get this flu again because your body will have antibodies to the current virus this season. and even though this vaccine won't protect you completely, it can minimize symptoms if you do get the flu. antiviral medications like tamiflu work best if they're taken within 48 hours of getting sick. call your doctor immediately, and please, if you think you have the flu, avoid going to the emergency room where you can spread it a little too quickly to too many vulnerable, brian. >> already getting serious out there. nancy snyderman, as always, thanks. >> you bet. turning now to this huge outpouring of support for a 7-year-old girl at the center of
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an incredible story of survival. she walked away from a plane crash that killed her immediate family. somehow while injured and traumatized she managed to walk through the dark woods to the nearest light to find help. and now she may be the best chance of understanding the cause of it. our report tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez in kentucky. >> reporter: the journey to safety was dark and treacherous. and 7-year-old sailor gutzler made it alone. >> i get very emotional. >> reporter: larry wilkins still can hardly believe she survived the crash that killed her mother, sister, father and cousin. and somehow scrambled through nearly a mile of dense woods to his door. >> my god, i say if she had not seen that light and walked that direction, they might have never found the little girl. >> reporter: on friday the family was flying home to illinois from a vacation in florida when officials say they reported engine trouble. the plane clipped those trees and came down hard. this is the exact spot where it crash landed. >> it was upsidedown.
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so the driver's side would have been on this side. the doors would have been on this side. where she was able to escape. >> reporter: lion county executive wade white was among the first people at the scene. the twin engine plane's wing had been burning here. and sailor tried to light a branch in the dark woods. >> it was sickening to think how scared she must have been. >> reporter: in nashville, illinois, where the gutzler family has owned a furniture store for generations, travis is grieving. his son met sailor back in day care. >> they were so full of life. the whole family was so full of life. >> reporter: now their funerals are scheduled for later this week. and today at sailor's elementary school fellow students wrote notes and placed them on her empty desk. a rare plane crash survivor, the second grader may soon speak with investigators to help find out what went wrong. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, kentucky. and from overseas there are new questions tonight about
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whether airasia flight 8501 should have been allowed to take off in the first place before that final voyage. as the search continues, the indonesian government has suspended the operator of the airport and several control tower officials over questions about whether or not the plane had the proper permits to fly that air route that day. bad weather during monsoon season continues to hinder efforts to find the bulk of the wreckage including those black boxes. for the millions of us who flew over the holiday break, even if you had a miserable airline experience, imagine this. imagine spending 28 hours trapped on an airplane. it happened to the passengers onboard a flight from abu dhabi to san francisco this weekend. we get our report tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: commercials promise almost a luxurious customer experience. but it wasn't anything close to that for the passengers onboard flight 183.
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moments after boarding their plane for a 16-hour flight to san francisco, thick fog closed the abu dhabi airport. for the next 12 hours they sat, waiting. >> every half an hour to 45 minutes we were told that same announcement, that we would be leaving soon. >> reporter: it dragged on hour after hour. >> we hadn't eaten in a while. you know, no one anticipated being on a flight this long. parents were really concerned about running out of things like diapers and baby food. >> reporter: with hours ticking by, some passengers took to twitter. 183 on runway for nine hours. terrible service and crew won't serve food. >> we hit a point where the entire cabin crew was switched out, but not a single passenger was allowed to get off the plane. >> reporter: if it had happened in the u.s., the airline would have been required to return to the gate after three to four hours. but no such laws in abu dhabi. in a statement the airline says it's reviewing policies on the length of time aircraft can remain on the ground with passengers aboard.
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28 hours later the plane finally landed in san francisco. frustrated passenger navin varma tweeted, imagine your first international flight without water on board, one proper meal on a 16-hour flight five bags lost or delayed. pathetic. tonight etihad airlines apologize to guests for any inconvenience the airport's closure might have caused. tom costello, nbc news, washington. two promising young american athletes have lost their lives in an avalanche at an austrian resort. 20-year-old ronnie berlack and 19 year old bryce astle top prospects for the u.s. ski team. they were part of a group of six who ventured off the groomed portion of the course and into fresh powder. the other four in the group managed to escape alive. rough day here in new york on wall street as the falling price of oil now below $50 a barrel sent energy stocks tumbling as a result. the dow finished down 331, nasdaq, s&p down as well. still ahead for us on this
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monday evening, the controversy surrounding a potential oscar contender and the question, did a big new movie re-write american history? tonight, we'll hear from someone who was there during a landmark moment in u.s. history. also, the wish that took off on the web. why so many families are now sharing pictures of their best friends.
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>> as we said here earlier,
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there's a drama brewing tonight around a big new movie, a potential oscar contender. and it happens to be the first major hollywood picture centered around the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. and even before its wide release, it's already the center of controversy. specifically there are questions being raised about how the film depicts a certain former president. we get our report tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: bloody sunday, the confrontation that shocked a nation in march of 1965. only 2% of african-americans in selma could register to vote thanks to local laws, as shown in the new movie "selma." >> how many county judges in alabama? >> 67. >> name them. >> hundreds and thousands of negro citizens in alabama but particularly here in the area do not have the right to vote. >> reporter: john lewis took such a beating that day he almost died. >> i think it would educate people that was too young to know what was going on. >> reporter: critics say this
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first hollywood film about martin luther king jr., while getting raved for its raw portrayal of the civil rights leader, unfairly depicts president lyndon johnson as a reluctant civil rights warrior. >> we need your help. >> dr. king, this thing's just going to have to wait. >> it cannot wait. >> reporter: in fact, lbj had already ordered his attorney general to draft a voting rights law. >> it showed them to be at odds with one another. in fact, the opposite was true. they were very much supportive of each other. >> reporter: working together on voting rights. >> we take the position that every person born in this country and when they reach a certain age that he have a right to vote. >> reporter: also disputed the film suggestion that lbj ordered fbi director j. edgar hoover to spy on king, exposing his infidelities. do you think the film is unfair to lyndon johnson? >> i don't think the film is. it's art. it's drama. i love the film. the film is so real.
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it is powerful. it made me cry. >> the film does not purport to be a documentary. it's actually quite largely accurate, but not every single thing in it is accurate. >> reporter: in the end the film acknowledges lbj's dramatic voting rights speech only eight days after bloody sunday. >> we shall overcome. >> reporter: as martin luther king praises johnson in shared triumph. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. and we are back in a moment after a break with a disaster at sea. why investigators now say it was done deliberately and for good reason.
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♪ the sports world, along with all those of us viewers around the country, still reacting with grief to the news yesterday of the death of stuart scott. in millions of american homes, all the way to the white house, he's being remembered as a great broadcaster with the cadence, the parlance and the sensibility of a great musician. in the business of game
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highlights he was a game-changer. stuart scott battled cancer bravely and publicly for years. he was 49 years old. and bess myerson has died. she was widely known especially in her hometown of new york as the first and only jewish miss america. that was back in 1945 just after the end of the war. she went on to serve as new york city consumer affairs commissioner, later as a tv personality for years. her personal life was tumultuous including a scandal over alimony that ended her public life long after she was acquitted. bess myerson was 90 years old. dramatic pictures from the uk tonight of a massive cargo ship carrying 1400 cars onboard. most new land rovers bound for the middle east. the ship began to list violently and the captain chose to intentionally ground the vessel off the isle of white rather than losing it all at sea. including full tanks of fuel. all 25 crew members were safely rescued.
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and two storied california names in the news tonight. first, if you're old enough to remember the l.a. rams, you may live to see them again. the st. louis team owner is building a stadium outside l.a. since they've been without a football team for 20 years, there's talk of moving the rams back, or for that matter any other franchise. it's ultimately up to the nfl. then there's jerry brown, today at age 76 he was sworn in to a record fourth term. he first came into office when jerry ford was president his first time around. no one has led the most populous state in the union longer than jerry brown, who's finally been able to turn around california's troubled finances. when we come back tonight, how you and your best friend can help keep a young man's spirits up at a time of great need.
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finally tonight, if you're lucky enough in life to know the unconditional love of a dog, then you know how instantly they can raise your spirits. take that feeling and multiply it then nearly a million times over and you'll understand why a teenager facing the fight of his young life is reaching out to fellow dog lovers via the web. we get his story tonight from
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nbc's hallie jackson. >> reporter: when you see this face, it's hard not to smile. but it's been harder lately for anthony lyons. the 16-year-old diagnosed with leukemia this summer receives intensive chemotherapy every week, but these visits are his real medicine. what makes you feel better when you're here? >> the dogs. the only thing. dogs are always happy. the dog always being happy makes me happy. >> reporter: so to keep him happy a family friend invited a few people to share a few photos on facebook. >> it got to be 300. then out of nowhere it's almost a million. and we cannot believe it. and we're so excited. we are always looking at it trying to keep up. >> reporter: almost every second a new picture and caption pops up. 100 kisses from amber in pittsburgh. and abbi in vegas. from britain to boston, alaska to afghanistan, people all over the world are sending puppy love. >> and it just felt good to have an opportunity to help somebody in a bad situation to feel
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better even if only for a moment. >> reporter: there are big dogs and little ones, police dogs and therapy dogs. my dog, maybe yours, right side up, upsidedown, in the sun and in the snow. some aren't even dogs at all. >> not a single one that doesn't make me smile. >> that's so amazing that they can love someone just like that right away. and people don't always give that feeling to each other. and they should. and this has shown people giving that to other people. >> reporter: it's something we learn from our best friend, there for us no matter what with a smile and support that's unconditional. hallie jackson, nbc news, phoenix. that is our broadcast on a monday night as we start off a new week. thank you for being here with us. happy new year to all. and my thanks to tamron and kate and lester for being here while i took a break. i'm brian williams. we, of course, hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. goodnight.
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right now at 6:00 concerns at candlestick. worries growing about what will happen to the old stadium. good evening. thanks for being with us. i'm roger mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. so the question is increasing oh what to do with candlestick park. the old iconic stadium is going to make room for development but they're worried about toxic dust clouds. those concerns sure to come up
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in what's expected to be a heated meeting getting under way right now. mark mathews at the site of the evening committee. and there's also concerns the developers aren't being totally up front. >> reporter: well that is a big concern. the meeting just started. about 20 people are inside. they are still gathering. the developers is planning to send representatives. today the folks who would go on camera were the residents who live near the stadium. julia barber lives one house from candlestick stadium. >> i could spit on it if i spit hard enough. >> reporter: what she's worried about is the stadium spitting on her and her family should developers go ahead to implode it instead of the dismantling. >> we know the particulates from a dust plume cause respiratory problems and heart

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