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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  October 4, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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acres have burned this afternoon. the fire is 70% contained. one structure is burned. we'll have an update at 6:00. hope to see you then. e government shutdown is really hitting home now for a lot of american families who are just trying to put food on the table. what really happened that set off that big scare and fatal shooting on capitol hill, and what we have learned so far about the woman behind the wheel. state of emergency along the gulf coast as a bistorm closes in. evacuations tonight in parts of louisiana. nbc news exclusive. elizabeth smart talks with meredith vieira. a decade after her kidnapping ordeal, she finally talks about why she didn't run when it looked like she had the chance. and master class. how the great tony bennett is putting his money where his heart is. "nightly news" begins now.
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good evening. both sides in washington can end the standoff and stop this government shutdown any time they please. but instead, as one veteran former member of congress put it today, this country is hurting as we head into this weekend. while this has been caused by washington, the impact from it has spread across america throughout this country. in a moment the prospects for a solution to this any time soon. but first tonight, how this government closed for business is hitting hard for so many. we begin with nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: in talladega, alabama, wendy robinson has been furloughed. a single mom with three mouths to feed, today she got her last paycheck. robinson blames congress. >> i do think that it is nonsense. they need to get their acts together. >> reporter: a teacher in the
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government-funded head start program, robinson also lost her child care and has no savings. >> i'm at a loss for words really about it. i'm not used to not giving my kids a christmas. >> reporter: in oaklawn, i will noise, families in need turn to this center, offering discounts on formula and will soon run out of money. >> i do not think that congress is even thinking about the little people like us. >> reporter: single mother of three, rebecca warpowski is worried and unemployed. >> i need these programs to help me survive. >> reporter: at the feeding south florida distribution center, shelves aren't empty yet. but the usda sent out its last shipment of supplies yesterday. for more than 200 food banks across the country, when shelves go bare, people will go hungry. >> reporter: experts say if the government shutdown lasts a few more days or a few weeks longer it is going to affect us all,
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hitting us right here in the grocery store. the fda which checks fruits and vegetables for quality and safety has furloughed nearly half its workforce and cancelled routine inspections. >> the consumer may see prices rise if things cannot be imported because inspections aren't being done. there may be less of a choice in the grocery store. >> reporter: fewer inspectors means higher prices. >> puts me and my family at risk the the fruits and vegetables aren't being inspected. if the price increases as well it's a strain on our budget. >> reporter: the impact in the grocery store could be next. but many families are feeling the pain now. miguel almaguer, nbc news, pomona, california. so this is day four of the shutdown. it seems, really, no closer to being solved than it was at this time last night. kelly o'donnell has an update tonight on where the showdown stands. >> reporter: this lunchtime stroll became the president's
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message event of shutdown day four. >> how's it going, everybody? >> reporter: forced to cancel his four-country trip to asia. president obama and vice president biden visited a local sandwich shop. >> i'm happy to have negotiations with the republicans and speaker boehner on a whole range of issues. but we can't do it with a gun held to the head of the american people. >> reporter: a flash of anger today from house speaker john boehner who claims the white house is keeping score. >> we get the wall street journal out, it says we don't care how long this lasts because we're winning. this isn't some damn game. the american people don't want their government shut down, and neither do i. >> reporter: boehner referred to this quote from an unnamed white house official on the length of this standoff. we are winning. it doesn't really matter to us. winning became today's loaded word as the president reacted.
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>> there is no winning when families don't have certainty about whether they are going to get paid or not. >> reporter: the public is venting anger on social media. nbc asked for your thoughts on twitter, tracking this hashtag, #dearcongress. enough already. a woman from oklahoma writes, you're making americans look foolish. another says, you've all failed. grow up and figure it out. adding to the frustration, lawmakers tell me a majority would vote right now to re-open the government. that won't happen tonight or this weekend. house leadership will not call for the vote to avoid further alienating tea party conservatives who still insist on using this fight to change the health care law. >> kelly o'donnell, nbc news, the capitol. two more notes about this shutdown. first, the president cancelled his upcoming trip to indonesia. that's the third time he has done so in his presidency. we mixed -- mentioned this
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earlier. previous cancellations were because of the original health care debate and the bp oil spill. and look at what "the washington post" noticed about a weather statement from the national weather service in anchorage. there it is there. look there at the left-hand margin. all the letters down the side spell out "please pay us." the entire weather office working without pay like so many others in the federal government while in this case continuing to get their forecasts out on time every day. now to yesterday's wild scene and the fatal shooting that ended it on capitol hill in washington. a young woman with her child in the car leading police on a high speed chase and the decision by police in that high security environment to shoot to kill. our justice correspondent pete williams following all of it from our d.c. newsroom tonight. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. investigators say miriam carey
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went down hill after having her baby, suffering postpartum depression, delusions, and she was hospitalized. she believed the federal government had her under surveillance and president obama was communicating with her. after searching miriam carey's condo in connecticut and talking with relatives, investigators said she had been diagnosed with depression and psychosis but had recently stopped taking her medications. they say travel records show she drove directly from there to washington yesterday. the chaotic events began at a security checkpoint on the perimeter of the white house grounds. at 12:12 in the afternoon her car turned into this driveway, hit some temporary fencing and then started backing up, striking a secret service officer causing minor injuries. no shots were fired here. from there, she speeds up pennsylvania avenue toward the capitol going 80 at one point. police thought it was over when she got just below the u.s. capitol when they managed to get
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her stopped. that's when it escalated. as they approached the car she jammed it into reverse striking a patrol car and then took off again. this time secret service offers and police officers fired nine shots. she kept driving, looping around traffic circles and up past the capitol building with bullet holes visible in the car. it ended on the other side of the white house. she was coming up constitution avenue near the senate office building when police again opened fire. they say she saw the barriers that pop in the streets had been raised so she shifted into reverse to try to turn around and police say in the course of that, she backed into this police guard booth. 17 shots at that location. only after did they discover her 1-year-old child was in the car, unharmed. chuck wexler says police are trained not a shoot at fleeing cars, but around the capitol and white house, there's a constant worry about car bombs. >> you have improvised devices, terrorism.
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policing in washington, d.c. is a lot more complicated. they have to protect u.s. capitol and the white house. they are concerned about terrorism. >> reporter: one thing people ask is why not just shoot out the tires? >> these things happen quickly. you had a situation where one police officer was already hurt. they tried to get into the white house. now they are trying to get into the u.s. capitol. these things happened almost instantaneously. >> reporter: police will conduct an investigation to see if the use of deadly force was justified. a standard practice in an incident like this. members of miriam carey's family were here today to claim her body and take her daughter back home. brian? >> pete williams in our d.c. bureau tonight. pete, thanks. weather is making news tonight. mandatory evacuations are under way in plaquemines parish, louisiana, where there are fears of storm surge as tropical storm karen closes in. there are warnings along much of the gulf coast. weather channel meteorologist jim cantore is on the pensacola
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beach in the florida panhandle. when louisiana is in the cone we worry but given the sport ji surf behind you the cone must be wide. >> it is, brian. the storm will come north and take a right turn and scrape the florida panhandle. so many are under tropical storm warnings including us here tonight at pensacola beach. this is a tropical storm and that's three to five feet of surge. this is an area not protected by the levee system that protects new orleans. let me show you what they've been doing today. you can see the big surf behind me here. even with the storm offshore the waves come first. life guards have been keeping people out of the water as the waves continue to grow. they have been trying to se w up anything they can on the beach. we ex expect 15 to 65 miles per hour winds here. this is the track and the timing. plaquemines parish around sunday, 1:00 in the morning. so it will be an overnight landfall there. then again, there's the right turn taking it towards pensacola beach probably sunday at 1:00. a lot of the wet weather will be
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on the east side of the storm mostly in the florida panhandle, but there will be that surge component. the most dangerous part of any tropical system. >> jim, we'll keep an eye on it with you. thanks. now to the west, there are blizzard warnings in parts of six separate states tonight. an unseasonably early storm. already shut down highways in parts of wyoming, south dakota. folks in the black hills are bracing for up to three feet of snow. to top it off, 70 mile-an-hour winds across the plains. overseas, a history-making visit as pope francis visited the birthplace of st. francis in assissi, italy. when the pope took the name francis, the first to do so, he was sending a message about refocusing the search and serving the poor. he delivered that unmistakable message again today and nbc's anne thompson is traveling with him. >> reporter: pope francis is a man on a mission. today walking in the footsteps
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of his namesake st. francis of assissi who gave up wealth to serve the poor. the same mission this pope wants for the catholic church he now leads. today francis lingered taking time to reach back to many reaching out to him. his first stop, a center for the physically and mentally challenged, engaging each person he met. the pope chose to have lunch at a soup kitchen. led to the table by a child for a meal of lasagna and roast beef. 60 people a day are served here. where did the pope sit? >> he was sitting there. >> reporter: he says the pope ate little, but his presence made those who society often ignores feel important. >> he don't speak a lot. he listened. >> reporter: in the same room where eight centuries ago st. francis renounced his wealth, pope francis remembered the hundreds of people feared dead
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in yesterday's ship wreck off the coast of sicily. this, he said, was a day to cry and a day to call the church to be more simple like st. francis. in assissi, there are signs of worldliness, many bearing the pope's efface. here, tourism is a well oiled machine. assissi is one of italy's most popular destinations profiting from pilgrims and nonbelievers alike. caught up in the enthusiasm of the day this couple from philadelphia. >> the love coming from the people for this pope is amazing. >> reporter: a poll shows american catholics back the pope's determination to change the focus of the church. something he pressed ahead with this week helped by eight hand-picked cardinals. at the end of a long day, this pope revived by the people as he works to revive the church. anne thompson, nbc news, assissi. still ahead for us on this friday night, elizabeth smart, a young teenager when she was
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kidnapped, now a 25-year-old woman. talking to meredith vieira about the tale she hasn't revealed until now. later tonight, tony bennett paying it forward and bringing it to a new generation.
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it's been more than a decade since elizabeth smart, then 14 years old, was kidnapped and held captive for nine months by a man named brian david mitchell. the case made national news. now in an exclusive interview with nbc for air later tonight, she's opening up for the first time about the details of her ordeal and how she survived it. here with that is meredith vieira. >> reporter: imprisoned for weeks in a remote camp where no one could see or find her, 14-year-old elizabeth smart realized there was only one thing she could do -- stay alive. >> didn't matter what it was or how many things i had always
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told myself i would never do, i would do them if it it meant i would survive. >> reporter: then one day her kidnapper suddenly unchained her from the steel shackles. why do you think he decided that? >> i think he must have felt like because i was going along with him, because i wasn't fighting as much as i used to -- >> reporter: days later brian david mitchell took elizabeth to the city in a house party. they snapped this photo. it's like your hiding -- >> in plain is sight? it was shocking to have so many people stare at me and not recognize me or not do anything about it. it was hard. it was really, really hard. >> reporter: why didn't she scream out and beg for help? it's a question many have asked. one that never ceases to infuriate elizabeth. >> it's wrong for any person to
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have judge someone in any situation saying, well, why didn't you run? why didn't you scream? why didn't you try to do something? that is so wrong. frankly, offensive to even ask that question. >> reporter: why do you say that? >> because you don't know. you weren't there. you don't know what i was going through. >> reporter: tell me what it's like. people will wonder. >> you don't understand. i was under threat of my life. i was under threat of my family's life. those two threats right there are stronger than chains for me. >> you can see meredith vieira's special report "elizabeth's story" tonight at 10:00 eastern, 9:00 central on this nbc station. when we come back tonight after a break, why a big name is baseball is taking a swing at baseball.
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it's been speculated we are watching the end of alex rodriguez's playing days for the yankees, perhaps from baseball
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as a whole. it looks like either way it'll end ugly. while he's in the middle of appealing his suspension, he has now sued major league baseball for in effect trying to force him from the sport. the yankees didn't make the playoffs so a-rod has been in arbitration, not on the field. he was for a time a deadly enemy of this country in a brutal war that extracted a heavy price on american lives. north vietnamese general bo nguyen giap was believed to be 102 years old. he was a fearsome military commander. his armies defeated first the french and then repelled american forces over a 30-year period. millions fought under the hard line communist and a million men died in his command. in recent years many of the american warriors he faced made the pilgrimage to vietnam to meet the aging general. an electronics company called tweeter suddenly has a
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lot of investors though it went bankrupt in 2011. it's close enough to twitter to mistake the two. the real twitter, of course, is about to sell stock through an ipo. now some investors have accidentally invested into something else entirely. by the way, we have been digging into the twitter ipo by the numbers. we have it all on the website for you tonight. when we come back, an icon, tony bennett, deciding to give back the best way he knows how.
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finally tonight, how about a positive end ing after the week we have had. as we get ready to kick off our we have had. as we get ready to kick off our annual education nation summit. at 87 years old and after the career he's had you may i be surprised to hear where the great tony bennett is putting his voice and a lot of his money these days. nbc's harry smith met up with him and his wife at a high school in east l.a. twleez days they are on a mission. ♪ >> reporter: what if every teenager in america attended a school where the arts were valued and celebrated, a place where the arts are not an extra, but an essential. that's what tony bennett dreams of. >> every state of the union deserves it. >> reporter: that's why bennett
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and his wife susan are at the esteban torres high school in east los angeles. their foundation named exploring the arts has poured millions of dollars into public school arts programs. first in new york, now in l.a. bennett puts his money where his heart is. >> i see it personally as a huge part of his legacy to help facilitate him helping children to become artists like he is. ♪ because i love you >> reporter: at 87, tony bennett has won 17 grammys and sold more than 50 million records worldwide. he's not a particularly familiar figure to most young people. the teachers here made sure the students knew they were being visited by one of the all-time greats. ♪ >> were you nervous at all? >> i was so nervous. i wanted to cry at the end. >> every good performer i know always get butterflies before they go on stage.
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>> reporter: this is an exceptional school in a challenging environment. crime and poverty surround it, yet the school sings. ♪ >> reporter: the passion in the buildings is palpable. >> yes. >> isn't it great? >> that's success. >> reporter: teachers told us impassioned students get better grades and stay in school. something tony has known since he started the foundation in 1999. >> i'm thrilled about it. what a premise. >> reporter: truth and beauty. >> yep. >> reporter: we can work with that. >> exactly. what could be better? >> reporter: what could be better? harry smith, nbc news, los angeles. >> tony bennett the among the guests this year at education nation. streaming live all the while, i'll see you for the teacher town hall noon eastern on sunday on msnbc. for us for now, that's our broadcast on a friday night and for this week. thank you for being here with
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us. i'm brian williams. lester holt will be here with you this weekend. we, of course, hope to see you right back here on monday night. in the meantime, have a good weekend. good night. >> good evening. thanks for joining us on this friday. >> a smoky, windy and treasure russ friday across the bay area tonight. in fact, fire crews battling fires from liver moore to solano county. it's still burning. it's charred more than a thousand acres. we'll show you what it looked like earlier today. despite the wind that's what it looked like earlier. with the wind and everything that fire was effective.
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that blaze is 70 percent contained. the smoke though is on the move. let's give you a live look where you can see the smoke. we have team coverage for you tonight. chief meteorologist jeff is tracking the conditions. we begin with jodi hernandez with the details on that fire. >> reporter: the good news, this fire is now 70 percent contained tonight. the bad news, it has grown quite a bit. now, more than 1,000 acres have burned. we are standing on the hillside where the flames burned over late this afternoon. in fact, while we were here to watch it. now, we're going to pan over to the right. you can see there is quite a bit of activity. even though the fire is 70 percent contained it did not take much to get this 8 alarm fire up and running. it has put every available fire fighter from this county and beyond in