tv NBC Nightly News NBC January 19, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
on the eve of president obama's second inauguration. much more on that in a few moments, but we start tonight overseas where it appears a dramatic military assault has finally ended that violent hostage taking by al qaeda-connected militants in algeria, but not before two dozen or so hostages were killed. the dead include at least one american, but a number of westerners remain unaccounted for. in a statement tonight, president obama said the dead and injured are in the thoughts and prayers of the american people. algerian military special forces staged the dramatic assault at the gas complex where hundreds of local and foreign workers were seized wednesday. 32 militants are reported dead. nbc's annabel roberts is following developments. >> reporter: algerian special forces launched a final assault this morning. local media report the remaining seven hostages being held at the plant were executed and their
captors killed. defense secretary leon panetta said today the perpetrators will be hunted down. >> just as we cannot accept terrorism attacks against our cities, we cannot accept attacks against our citizens and our interests abroad. >> reporter: these weapons were left behind by the militants, according to algerian sources. their occupation of the gas plant deep in the sahara desert has cost many lives. this video broadcast on algerian television is said to have been shot on a cell phone by a hostage freed by the algerian army, walking to safety, past the bodies of those he once worked beside. nbc news has not been able to verify its authenticity. some hostages have talked of extreme brutality. >> translator: i told them that i was an algerian muslim and they said okay, okay, don't be scared. we haven't come for you. we have come to exterminate the crusaders. >> reporter: abdul rahman al najiri was their leader in some reports.
it's thought there's 40 al qaeda links to the maghreb. the plant was a joint venture between algeria's state-owned company and bp. stach says five of the workers are missing and bp says four of their members are unaccounted for. >> tragically we have grave fears that we may have fatalities from this group. >> reporter: bp confirmed one american survived, the plant manager, mark copp from texas but it's thought 23 hostages lost their lives here in the desert. annabel roberts, nbc news, london. now to the bizarre story playing out in this country involving manti te'o, the all-american notre dame linebacker who was apparently caught up in an online romantic hoax. te'o told espn he was the victim, not part of the hoax. nbc's mike taibbi has the latest tonight. >> manti te'o! [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: in his first interview since the scandal broke manti te'o told espn's
jeremy schaap, no, never ever was he part of the fake girlfriend hoax that exploded to his embarrassment this week. >> he was completely composed, self-assured. >> reporter: te'o told schaap he did tell his father and other interviewers that he'd met the girl he now says he only knew online since late in his freshman year so they wouldn't think he was some crazy dude for calling her his girlfriend. by this past fall when te'o played on amp saying that his grandmother and beloved girlfriend died on the same day, the imaginary girlfriend and tragic death had achieved the status of lure. >> when i lost my girlfriend and my grandmother that was possibly the hardest time in my life. >> reporter: te'o told schaap he suspected he'd been pranked december 6th when he got a call from one of the hoaxsters posing at his girlfriend. two days later he said this when he was runner-up for the heisman trophy in new york.
>> i'll never forget the time my girlfriend passed away. >> reporter: te'o said this man, ronaiah tuiasosopo told him only after the scandal broke on wednesday that he was responsible for the hoax. and what about the girl in the picture? the picture apparently stolen and used without her knowledge but te'o says he believed was the online image of his girlfriend. an unwitting part of the elaborate hoax te'o says tuiasosopo got out of hand. though it may not hurt him in the upcoming draft, te'o is considered a blue chip prospect by crisis manager john wilcox says te'o's humiliating part on the scandal even as a victim, has his once shining brand in big trouble. >> he has to come one a plausible descriptive narrative of why this happened, a believable story. >> reporter: te'o and the story are not there yet. mike taibbi, nbc news, los angeles.
there is also more tonight on another storied athlete, lance armstrong, who called his use of performance-enhancing drugs one big lie. armstrong became emotional last night in the second part of his interview with oprah winfrey, but as nbc's anne thompson reports, it's also about what armstrong didn't say. >> reporter: control marked lance armstrong's career, punishing the competition in the tour de france, blatantly lying about his extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs. that control teetered in the second part of his exclusive interview with oprah winfrey, as the father of five described telling his children the truth. >> and i said, i want you to know that it's true. >> reporter: a confession motivated by his 13-year-old soon luke, defending him online. >> i told luke, i said --
i said, don't defend me anymore. >> reporter: in the hour-long show on own, armstrong said he raced clean when he returned to the tour in 2009 and 2010, something he says his ex-wife kristen made him promise to do. >> and i never would have betrayed that with her. >> reporter: the u.s. anti-doping agency report on armstrong disputes that saying the likelihood of armstrong's blood values from those tours occurring naturally is less than one in a million. why would armstrong deny doping in his comeback but concede it in his tour victory? analysts say it could be to avoid potential prosecution. >> statute of limitations would have passed for certain crimes he might have then admitted. so he doesn't want to admit to something that might bring him into criminal prosecution. >> reporter: in austin, texas, armstrong's hometown there's plenty of skepticism. >> i don't think there's
anything he can do to redeem himself in the public eye. >> reporter: armstrong said the lowest moment was being asked to step down from livestrong, the cancer association he started, still a source of goodwill amongst the disappointment. >> at least i can think about that. you know? and all the good. >> reporter: but tonight, even the good is obscured by all the lies he told. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. here in washington more history will be made tomorrow as president obama is officially sworn in for his second term ahead of the ceremonial swearing in on inauguration day monday. the expectations are high and nbc's kristen welker is at the white house to tell us more, kristen? >> reporter: lester, good evening. president obama has knocked out an ambitious second-term agenda, including gun reform and immigration, but if he wants to accomplish those goals he'll have to act quickly. president obama kicking off his inauguration weekend by lending a hand to the nationwide day of service. >> this inauguration we're going
to be, it's a symbol of how our democracy works and how we peacefully transfer power, but it should also be an affirmation that we're all in this together. >> reporter: but there are still deep divides, including an upcoming deadline over the debt ceiling which is the nation's borrowing limit. this week's top republicans offered a new plan that would increase the limit for three months and require congress to pass the budget within that time frame or else no pay. >> so we're saying is, we will extend the debt limit until the timeline where you have a budget, a road map. >> reporter: republicans are hoping that strategy will ultimately lead democrats to agree to deep spending cuts. officials close to the president say mr. obama is open to more cuts but insists he won't slash entitlements like medicare. >> ultimately we've got to do it in a balanced way. he's not going to do this on the backs of the poorest americans. >> reporter: the looming fiscal fight could overshadow some of the president's larger policy goals, like promoting gun safety
in the wake of the newtown tragedy. this past week president obama unveiled a package of new proposals aimed at curbing gun violence. >> congress should impose a ban on military-style assault weapons. >> reporter: but its resistance remains. today thousands rallied in cities across the country to mark gun appreciation day. >> we need to enforce the laws we have. not make it harder for me to have my own gun. >> reporter: immigration reform is also high on the president's list. analysts say in order to get his agenda through, mr. obama will have to act quickly. >> but i think most experts in washington believe that realistically, if the president wants to accomplish big things in his second term, he's got about two years to do it. >> reporter: white house officials say president obama is putting the final touches on his inauguration address, even reading the speeches of past two-term presidents. lester? >> kristen welker tonight, thank you. for more i'm joined by david gregory, moderator of "meet the press." david, four years ago we were talking about the honeymoon
period, that clearly isn't happening this time, but is there a reset here? >> the president was popular in the re-election. he wanted tax increases for the wealthy, he got those. his party is united but he faces a very difficult environment in washington and immediately after this inauguration, he is back in the brew of a fight over the debt and the fight over the gun legislation that he wants so it's a pretty toxic atmosphere here. >> you covered both terms of the second bush -- of the bush administration. what is the hard reality of a second term for a president? >> time moves quickly. you feel good. you put in the people you want. you have a different attitude of what you can accomplish. you don't have to run. you don't have to campaign anymore, and realize the window is short. the president's got big goals whether it's energy, immigration and he's in the trench warfare yet with republicans with a series of big stand 1y5u6s coming up, starting with the debt ceiling. all of this about the budget
which could quickly overtake the second term. >> david gregory, thanks very much. i want to let folks know, tomorrow morning on "meet the press," david will be joined by senator chuck schumer of new york, head of the joint congressional committee on the inaugural and ted cruz, the new republican senator from texas. and for washington, the second time around is never quite the same as the first time a president is inaugurated, but still there is an air of anticipation and excitement as this city prepares. nbc's ron allen has that story for us tonight. >> reporter: it's estimated half a million people may attend president obama's second inauguration. what maybe the largest crowd ever for a second swearing in. >> i'll take it to my grave that i was actually here during this event. >> i'm really excited for his second term, and i have high hopes. >> i, barack hussein obama -- >> reporter: four years ago,
people gathered for one of the greatest historical moments. historians say the second time around, inevitably does not match the first. >> first inauguration is always hope. second inauguration is almost always reality. >> reporter: this time the expectation is it may feel more business-like and political because the next day, it will be right back to pitch battles over issues like taxes, spending and guns. and a smaller crowd at the second inaugural may prevent nightmare security glitches like the so-called tunnel of doom, where thousands of ticketholders got trapped in an underpass and missed the event. this year, planners have a new special app with maps. city officials only expect 1,100 buses to arrive this year, about a third of the number four years ago, and some hotels are offering deals to fill rooms. >> the package includes this entire suite. >> reporter: but no one booked the ritz carlton $100,000 inauguration special, luxury suite, first class air fare, private tours, even presidential candy. why do you suppose the package
didn't go? >> you know, number one, i think it's $100,000. >> reporter: yes. >> it's a big expense. >> reporter: this time around it's different. >> it's a little different, it's a second term. >> reporter: still at the mlk monument there's a feeling that re-election and inauguration of an african-american president are just as historic as four years ago. >> this is a time of celebration. >> reporter: for many, there's still tremendous anticipation of another majestic day. ron allen, nbc news, washington. weather wise it's been pretty pleasant around here, temperatures in d.c. could reach the low 40s on monday, but arctic air is on the way. the midwest is feeling it tonight with some of the lowest temperatures of the season. chicago and detroit will remain in the teens for days. that system will make its way east by midweek with highs in the 20s for many cities. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this saturday, new research about autism and how a small number of children have overcome the disorder. and later a national day of
some new research that sheds more light on autism, the neurological disorder that affects about 1 in 100 young children in this country. how and why a small number of children are able to overcome it. we get the story tonight from nbc's chief science correspondent robert bazell. >> reporter: jake is a perfectly normal 16 years old but when he
was 2 years old, shown on in these videotapes, he was diagnosed with severe autism, the widespread disorder that affects a child's ability to have social interactions. >> he stopped relating. he wasn't interested in other kids, and by his second birthday he stopped speaking entirely. >> reporter: after two years of intensive therapy 40 hours a week, he was declared free of autism, and he remains so to this day. >> when i look at the videos when i'm 2 years old, i cannot believe that at one point in my life that was me. >> reporter: new research from the university of connecticut closely studying 34 such cases including jake includes the outcome is real. therapy does bring a cure in some cases, and it is often with kids who were severely autistic. >> they had very little language when they were 2 and 3 years old, and they were really, most of them classically autistic. >> reporter: but the good news comes with caveats. researchers caution such cases represent only a portion of
children aautism. perhaps as few as one in ten and there's no way to predict in advance which kids can be cured. it is possible kids like jake have a certain genetic makeup that makes them responsive to therapy, but doctors have no idea what that is. >> to frame the results, not to give parents false hope, but to be really honest about what we hope expect, given the better rates of early diagnosis and intervention. >> reporter: but the experts believe that early diagnosis and intervention remains key. >> i feel proud that i'm able to help in any way, whether it's doing the study or just representing the possibility of recovery. >> reporter: possible for sure, but achievable only rarely, and for reasons not yet understood. robert bazell, nbc news, new york. when we come back, a close encounter at one of mother nature's largest and turns out most social creatures.
this is a scene in russia as a firefighter tried to rescue a mother and baby from a fourth story apartment fire, was struck by a large chunk of falling snow, lost his footing and fell down the ladder. the man was able to grab onto the ladder about halfway down while another firefighter rescued the family. luckily no one was injured. some sad news to report in the baseball world tonight. hall of fame manager earl weaver, legendary for his feisty temper, died today. the earl of baltimore spent his entire 17-year career with the orioles taking them to four world series titles while getting ejected from 94 games, an american record.
weave died while on a cruise. he was 82 years old. some remarkable video taken out of hawaii by a crew member on a tour boat. two humpback whales treated tourists to the show and a shock of a lifetime, swimming alongside the 24-foot boat for ten minutes. one apparently used the boat as a backscratcher. humpbacks migrate to the warm waters of hawaii every winter to mate and give birth. when we return americans celebrate the inauguration, and honor the memory of dr. martin luther king jr. by giving back.
as you heard earlier today was billed as the national day of service. something president obama started four years ago. it's a salute to volunteerism and the spirit of giving back. nbc's ron mott covered it and joins us from lafayette park from across the white house. >> reporter: good morning, lester. monday is also inauguration day and also the mlk holiday. today president obama kicked off his inaugural festivities by honoring dr. martin luther king jr. two days before the eyes of the world are focused on him, today president obama sought to fix the country's collective gaze on martin luther king jr.'s legacy on this national day of service, sprucing up a washington elementary school with the first family, while the vice president and his family helped load goodies bound for fighting service members, veterans and first responders.
>> i'm always reminded that he said, everybody wants to be first. everybody wants to about drum major, but if you're going to be a drum major, be a drum major for service, be a drum major for justice, be a drum major for looking out for other people. >> we want to help the unfortunate families. >> reporter: across the country, they did just that, lending helping hands in orlando, where volunteers built a garden. new york city at a habitat for humanity event, and chicago, writing letters and making care packages for troops overseas. >> let's remember what they've done for us. >> reporter: the president added service projects to his inaugural schedule in 2009 and the message appears well received. in 2011, 64.3 million americans, more than one in four adults a five-year high, volunteered their time, some 7.9 billion hours combined with an estimated value of $171 billion. at a service fair on the
national mall, shante brown brought her two kids and niece, filling out a family pack to give back in 2013. >> you don't have to be famous to make an impact. >> reporter: there were a few famous faces among the thousands here. chelsea clinton the day's honorary chair. >> hey! >> reporter: actresses angela bassett and eva longoria saying it's about time. >> time is probably the greatest donation you can give to any organization. volunteering your time to paint a classroom or read a book or, you know, mentor. >> reporter: across the country organizers expect a quarter million to take part in today's national day of service. lester? >> ron mott, thanks. we'll have live coverage of president obama's official swearing-in tomorrow just before noon eastern, and on monday, inauguration day, covering it all day long beginning with "today" on nbc. that's "nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from washington.
i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" and right back here tomorrow evening. good night. right now at 6:00, a deadly shooting shuts down an east bay bart station for hours. thanks for joining us. i'm kris sanchez in for diane dwyer tonight. we begin with that developing story in the east bay where right now detectives are reviewing surveillance video from the san leandro b.a.r.t. station. there was a deadly shooting this afternoon. several suspects are still on the run. kimber kimberly, does it sound like folks will be able to use that
b.a.r.t. station any time soon? >> reporter: we're being told within the hour. it looks like detectives are wrapping up their investigation now. and as soon as they finish processing the scene, we're told that the b.a.r.t. station will reopen. as you mentioned, it's been closed for hours, well over five hours as police investigate this fatal shooting that happened at about 1 :20 in -- 12:20 in the bus loading area. a black man in his 40s was pronounced dead at the scene. a woman was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. police say they do not know if the two victims were traveling together and are investigating the motive for the shooting. although they did say it does not appear to be a robbery. one possible suspect, that is, has been detained, and police are going through surveillance video to see if there are any other suspects. witnesses say the b.a.r.t. station was busy when the shooting happened this afternoon. they heard between eight and ten gunshots. >> we heard
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