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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 7, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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on the broadcast tonight, prescription change. the obama administration blocks a plan to make the morning after pill more easily available to young girls. is this about medicine, politics or something else? the penn state scandal. jerry sandusky arrested again, handcuffed at his home, taken to jail after two more young men accuse him of sexual abuse. fighting breast cancer. should women worry about the risk from cell phones, hair color, water bottles, what's in the environment. tonight we have an update on prevention and treatment of the disease. and together again, but perhaps for the last time. 70 years after a day the world will never forget a dwindling group of survivors returns to pearl harbor. group of survivors returns to pearl harbor. "nightly news" begins now.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. we begin here tonight with a big story, but one that could not be a more personal topic, especially among parents of young teenagers. it's about plan b, sometimes called the morning after contraceptive pill, and how close this country came today to allowing it to be freely sold over-the-counter on demand without prescription. it looked like a done deal, in fact, until the obama administration today did what no administration has ever done. it overruled a decision by its own fda that would have made emergency contraception available without prescription and that would include girls 16 and under. we begin tonight with the surprise decision that takes us right to the intersection of medicine, science and politics. here is nbc's anne thompson.
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>> reporter: the secret life of teenagers caught in the crossfire of politics and science. a day after accompanying president obama to kansas, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius took the unprecedented step of overruling the food and drug administration. she maintained the status quo on plan b, the morning after pill, available to women 16 years old and younger only if they have a prescription. >> i expected it to be a better day for good news for women and access to emergency contraception. this has been a very disappointing day. >> reporter: the fda found adequate and reasonable, well supported and science-based evidence to allow plan b to be sold over the counter to females of child-bearing age. but sebelius argued the data didn't show girls as young as 11 would understand how to use the pill writing there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age. two years ago the president
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pledged scientific integrity in his administration. >> it is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed for a political agenda. >> reporter: today those who applauded him then say sebelius ignored studies showing even the youngest women can understand plan b. >> there is very good research on that. the secretary's statement, nicely as it's written, is just really a cover for what i believe was a political decision. >> reporter: an administration official denied politics played a role. those usually critical of this administration praised the decision. >> this administration has promised a commitment to science and transparency. i'm grateful. i think today they acted in that way. >> reporter: for this mother of a teenage daughter, it is a personal issue. >> i would hope she would come and tell me, you know, before, after, whatever. i don't care. but i would want her to say something. i don't think she needs a prescription. it's her body. >> reporter: as the government holds the line on this aspect of teenage life. anne thompson, nbc news, new york.
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>> now to another big story today. former penn state assistant football coach jerry sandusky has been arrested again after two new accusers have come forward with new child molestation accusations. this brings the total number of alleged victims here to ten. nbc's peter alexander has been covering this story for us, is with us from our d.c. newsroom. peter, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you. jerry sandusky appeared briefly in court this afternoon where a judge ordered him held on $250,000 cash bail. if he can meet those conditions he can get out of jail but he'll have to wear an electronic monitor. wearing handcuffs and a penn state track suit jerry sandusky was arrested on the new charges at his home today bringing the number of boys he's accused of assaulting to ten. the two latest charges say sandusky abused two boys between the ages of 10 and 12. prosecutors say one series of
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assaults started 14 years ago. in court documents a grand jury accuses him of assaulting one of the boys in the basement of sandusky's home. it says the victim claimed, quote, he screamed for help knowing that sandusky's wife was upstairs, but no one ever came to help him. prosecutors say the other boy claims he was assaulted during wrestling sessions at sandusky's house and at an outdoor swimming pool on the penn state campus. sandusky has insisted he never sexually assaulted anyone, and his lawyer said he's disappointed the police made a show of arresting him because he offered to turn himself in if any new charges arose. sandusky is due to appear at a court hearing next tuesday where some of the victims are expected to testify. tonight jerry sandusky's lawyer tells nbc news he expects his client will make bail and will be released from jail tomorrow. also late tonight the second mile, the charity where sandusky met his alleged victims, says it is losing financial support and
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will lay off some of its staff. brian? >> peter alexander in our washington bureau tonight. peter, thanks for that. in upstate new york tonight, law enforcement officials said former syracuse university assistant men's basketball coach bernie fine cannot be prosecuted on child abuse accusations because the statute of limitations to bring those charges out ran out long ago. fine was accused by two former ball boys of molestation that allegedly took place back in the 1990s. this was sentencing day today for former illinois governor rod blagojevich. he will be joining a long line of former illinois governors who have gone behind bars. his sentence, 14 years. his demeanor, much different from the time of his initial arrest on corruption charges almost three years ago now. our report tonight from nbc's ron allen in chicago. >> reporter: rod blagojevich left federal court a disgraced man, headed for 14 years in federal prison, convicted of 17
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counts of bribery and attempted extortion, including most notoriously trying to cash in as governor by attempting to sell an appointment to president obama's old senate seat. >> i've got this thing and it's [ bleep ] golden. i'm just not giving it up for [ bleep ] nothing. >> reporter: when federal agents arrested blagojevich in 2008 he defiantly asked, is this a joke? in all the time since he has not apologized until today. i was the governor and i should have known better and i am just so incredibly sorry, he told judge james zagel, adding, i would hope you could find some mercy. but the judge scolded blagojevich for abusing the public trust. the fabric of illinois is torn, disfigured. you did that damage, he said. >> if there is a public official out there thinking of committing a crime, boy, they ought to be thinking twice. >> reporter: for the past three years the man who became known as blago at times seemed to
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revel in the spotlight. appearing in a commercial. >> rod blagojevich, how are you? >> reporter: even on reality tv. today as he left court the former governor tried to summon some of that bravado. >> we're going to keep fighting on through this adversity and see you soon. >> reporter: he has until february to report to prison. he will become the fourth illinois governor in the last four decades to do time. ron allen, nbc news, chicago. the weather is in the news tonight. specifically a big change heading right for a lot of folks in the eastern half of the nation. tonight nbc's janice huff joins us in studio with a look at what's in store. i've got to say, 61 degrees in new york last night. winter has to arrive at some point. >> it's december already. most of the snow has been out west, but this time the eastern seaboard will see a bit especially across interior areas of the northeast. this is the same storm system that brought anywhere from two
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to three feet of snow over parts of new mexico. they had snow, wind and even snow in tennessee, alabama and mississippi this morning. plume of moisture from the southern states up the appalachians into new england. it's mainly rain for the coastal cities, d.c., new york city, philadelphia, boston. back to the west it has changed a erovo sner for parts of west virginia, pittsburgh and into o terior sections of new york. that's where you will see the heaviest snow amounts coming up. we have a future cast preview to show you what we expect with the computer forecast models. by 11:00 tonight the rain/snow ill be moving toward parts of new jersey, the catskills and poconos and the adirondacks. the higher elevations will see the highest amounts. maybe up to a foot of snow. the ski resorts will be happy. rain continuing on the eastern seaboard. boston with rain in the morning. by 6:00 a.m. it dries out for just about everybody except for the great lakes.
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there will be light snow left around 2:00 or so. in terms of amounts, there's the 6 to 12 inches over interior new york. the green and white mountains. north of new york city, one to three. philadelphia, boston, new york city, maybe flurries here and there. the ground is still warm from the temperatures the past few days. >> so the folks in arizona and florida are chuckling, but it's got to get here sooner or later. >> eventually. >> janice, thanks. always a pleasure. it was 70 years ago today that nearly 2,400 americans died when japan bombed pearl harbor, an attack that drew the united states, of course, into world war ii. today the secretary of defense leon panetta laid a wreath at the memorial in washington, d.c. while in hawaii, the dwindling number of pearl harbor survivors gathered to remember those who were lost that day, and it was lost on no one. this will likely be their last such large gathering. nbc's george lewis is there for us tonight. george, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. it's been a day of remembrances,
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nostalgia, some tears and a lot of war stories from a band of brothers, their ranks diminished by time, who lived through a pivotal moment in american history. ♪ >> reporter: at 7:55 this morning, the exact time the japanese attack began in 1941, u.s. air force and national guard planes flew over pearl harbor in a salute to the dead. >> ladies and gentlemen, these are heroes. >> reporter: 120 of the survivors of the attack showed up to remember that day. one of them, 88-year-old mal middlesworth of upland, california. as a young marine, he was stationed aboard the u.s.s. san francisco when the bombs and torpedos started dropping. one hitting the battleship arizona killing 177 sailors and marines. >> standing there with a front row seat at one of the greatest spectacles of the 20th century. >> reporter: he survived that,
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married his childhood sweetheart, went on to fight with the marines in some of the bloodiest battles of the pacific. places like guadalcanal and peleliu. >> marine corps is an equal opportunity employer. you get to get shot at on a ship, in the air or running up beaches. >> reporter: today, he was talking about the lessons and legacies of the war. >> freedom isn't free. never has been. looks like it's never going to be. for most of the survivors of pearl harbor in their late 80s or 90s this will probably be their last get-together. two of those who died this year are being reunited on sunken battleships where so many lost their lives 70 years ago. last night at sunset, divers carried the ashes of lee sousie under water to be interred with the battleship utah.
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>> he would be so proud and honored to have all the people here. he really would. >> reporter: at the arizona memorial, a similar service for vernon olson who died in april. members of his family say being here has been a deeply moving experience. >> i can compare it to going to the world trade center memorial. kind of -- this is for their generation compared to my generation. >> reporter: it will be up to those future generations to keep the memories alive. the pearl harbor survivors association is going out of business as a nonprofit organization at the end of this year. brian? >> give anything to keep the members of the greatest generation around. george lewis, pearl harbor, hawaii. george, thanks. up next as "nightly news" continues on a wednesday night, lowering the risk of breast cancer. a new report out today tells women what they can do but may disappoint some others who want even better information. and later, making a difference. a group of young men doing something you might not expect in a place where the odds are
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often stacked long against them and against success. li
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we're back now with news from a big meeting of breast cancer experts in san antonio including a new report that set out to address fears that a lot of women have. that things in the environment, things people use every day could cause breast cancer. as our chief science correspondent robert bazell reports tonight the conclusions won't sit well with some women who are certain there is a link. >> i was a healthy woman -- >> reporter: cindy gagan diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35 grew up on long island where there have been hard to
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explain clusters of breast cancer. like many women she thinks a lot of chemicals from industrial pollutants to hair dye and plastic water bottles could be a cause. >> there are lots of things i know i was exposed to and just from, you know, just general knowledge knowing some of those things may cause breast cancer. >> reduce the risk of breast cancer -- >> reporter: a new report from the institute of medicine released at a major breast cancer conference today concludes the science so far makes no such connection. >> the evidence was not there to say, yes, this causes breast cancer in women. in the women who are being diagnosed today. >> reporter: the report financed by the susan g. komen foundation calls for more research, especially concerning exposure in the womb and childhood. it says there are things women can do today to cut their risk of breast cancer. avoid exposure to medical radiation such as c.a.t. scans when not necessary. don't take certain hormones. don't smoke. limit alcohol consumption. avoid weight gain and increase exercise. such advice hardly satisfies cindy gagan who is now an
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activist with why me. >> i don't know that we know anything today that we didn't know last week or 16 years ago. >> reporter: the other big headline from this conference today, some encouraging news about new treatments for breast cancer. rachel's breast cancer had spread to her liver and doctors said she was out of options. >> i was so young. 37 years old at the time. >> reporter: then her doctors at m.d. anderson cancer center tried afinitor, a drug already on the market to treat kidney and pancreatic cancers. though not cancer-free, her tumors shrank dramatically as did those in many patients. now she's running marathons and planning a future. >> it's amazing. >> reporter: while everyone agrees that's heartening, but prevention is a major goal and it is elusive. robert bazell, nbc news, san antonio. >> when we come back after a break, a new report out today on breakfast cereals that's getting a lot of attention tonight.
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♪ whoa ♪ give me the beat, boys ♪ and free my soul ♪ i want to get lost ♪ in your rock and roll ♪ and drift away well, the man who brought us that song has died. dobie gray recorded "drift away" back in 1973. it's still in a lot of oldies collections out there along with his other hit, "the in crowd". he was born into a sharecropper family in texas. he moved to california where sonny bono gave him his career break. he wrote songs for ray charles and tammy wynett among others. dobie gray dead in nashville at the age of 71. as we mentioned there is a new report out on the amount of sugar in cereal getting a lot of attention. we have put it on our website so you can look for your own brand. the gist is a lot of cereals have more sugar than desserts. as one observer put it, they make bacon look healthy. just two examples. kellogg's honey smacks have more sugar per serving than twinkies,
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and honey nut cheerios, they say, have more sugar than oreos. alec baldwin is in the news and not for anything good. he was thrown off an american airlines flight from l.a.x. to jfk last night because he wouldn't turn off his electronic device. he says the plane was still at the gate. he was in the middle of words with friends. the airline said he was extremely rude and used offensive language. on any flight the captain's the boss and the captain tossed him. he took a later flight without incident. his rep pointed out other passengers were live tweeting about the fracas using devices they didn't turn off either. in a blog post late today, baldwin apologized to his fellow passengers but added, quote, the lesson i have learned is to keep my phone off when the 1950s gym teacher is on duty, close quote. colonel sherman potter has died.
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that is to say the great harry morgan has died. his colonel potter character was a mainstay on "mash" from 1975 to '83. he was a plainspoken detroiter who was prelaw at the university of chicago before getting bitten by the acting bug. he had a big starring role in "dragnet," of course in addition to flims ailms and plays. harry morgan was 96 years old. up next here tonight, making a difference by going to the mat for kids they care about.
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our making a difference report tonight is about a group of guys who returned to the neighborhood where they grew up and they are helping the kids who live there find peace of mind in a way you may not expect. rehema ellis has their story from baltimore. >> reporter: they were asked to coach pee-wee football, but andy gonzales along with brothers ali and atman smith had another idea. >> chin up, exhale out. >> reporter: yoga, offering an extraordinary experience to baltimore kids who know nothing about inner peace. >> there were four shootings in a one weekend period. >> reporter: shootings in the neighborhood where the smith brothers grew up and learned yoga from their dad. >> it wasn't what we left when
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we left the neighborhood to go to college. so when we came back, we saw a need there. >> reporter: nine years ago they formed the holistic life organization offering free yoga classes. >> we got the kids with the behavioral issues, anger management issues, emotional issues. >> reporter: they started with 15 students. now they have taught more than 1,000. >> how many inches in a foot? >> reporter: away from the yoga mat they are tutors and mentors. they have even got kids who once destroyed property to help build this neighborhood park. there haven't been a lot of studies on how yoga affects kids, especially inner city kids like these in baltimore. early findings show this kind of exercise is helping kids manage their stress. >> when someone wants to fight me, i just start to do deep breathing. i start breathing so i can calm myself down. >> reporter: one volunteer, darrius douglas, said he fought every day until he started doing yoga ten years ago. >> if i didn't have ali, atman and andy i would be probably on the streets selling something i
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shouldn't be selling. >> the kids we help are getting older and seeing that they need to give back, too. i really feel like we're doing a pretty good job. >> reporter: stretching bodies and teaching kids the value of learning to exhale. rehema ellis, nbc news, baltimore. >> that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thanks for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we'll look for you again ngmorrow eveni .go ng putting people back to work at triple nationwide rate. >> of the technd


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