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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  October 26, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> thank goodness. that would be nice. and in here too. we'll see you at 6:00. on this saturday night, spies among us. new outrage over revelations of american eavesdropping on foreign leaders while thousands take to the streets here with a strong and simple demand -- stop watching us. driving force. in another remarkable protest today, women defiantly take the wheel in a place driving by women is banned. survivor's story. a school shooting victim tells of the horrifying moments when he came face to face with a classmate with a gun. >> please, don't shoot me. then he raised the gun and shot me. taking off. will quickly rising airfares leave you grounded for the approaching holiday season? and the sanctuary. a home in the u.s. where gentle giants are protected as they
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live out their days. good evening. for years it's been an open secret that the u.s. government has a sophisticated electronic spying capability. the more we learn about who the targets the more heat is directed at obama administration. today the heat was coming from home and abroad. in washington, hundreds from both ends of the political spectrum took to the streets to demand the nsa reign in surveillance of americans. while in europe there were revelations the nsa was listening in on phone calls of close allies. it appears to be the kind of public response edward snowden was hoping for when he began spilling secrets earlier this year.
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investigative correspondent michael isikoff reports. >> reporter: hundreds marched on capitol hill today protesting nsa surveillance and cheering a fresh message from their hero in moscow, fugitive ex-nsa contractor edward snowden. tea party republican congressman justin amash said snowden opened america's eyes to what the nsa is doing. >> are you grateful for what he's done? >> we wouldn't have the reforms for the nsa if not for what he did. >> reporter: the rally comes amid more fallout overseas from snowden disclosures. the german magazine der spigel today reported angela merkel was targeted since 2002 when she was still an opposition leader. this just days after president obama was forced to apologize to merkel
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over earlier disclosures of snooping and a pledge to investigate reports the nsa hacked into his computer. one world leader did rally to the nsa's defense. british prime minister david cameron. >> what snowden is doing and to the extent what the newspapers are doing in helping him do what he's doing is frankly signalling to people who mean to do us harm how to evade and avoid intelligence. >> reporter: sources tell nbc news that u.s. intelligence officials are bracing for more snowden disclosures. >> in the aftermath of the disclosures from snowden we did a review of the potential damage. i don't think we have certainty about everything he has. >> reporter: despite months of intensive forensic work officials have yet to get a full accounting of the tens of thousands of documents snowden took with him. >> we turn now to the other big issue facing the administration this weekend.
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the challenge of fixing the government's health care website. some may still feel squeezed by the system. kristen welker has more on this for us tonight. >> reporter: good evening. the obama administration is heading into yet another week of damage control. one of the president's biggest problems -- pushback from his own party. the white house is engaged in a full court press to tamp down mounting criticism of the health care website. >> we've got people working overtime 24/7 to boost capacity and address these problems. >> reporter: in the coming weeks, cabinet officials will travel to the ten cities with the highest rates of uninsured. health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius was in texas and arizona this week trying to calm concerns. >> my job is to get this up and running the way it should have been running on day one. >> reporter: the rocky rollout has been a boost to tea party republicans like senator ted cruz, determined to derail obama care.
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in iowa cruz went pheasant hunting and later took aim at >> who are the people getting hammered by the obama economy? it's the most vulnerable among us. >> reporter: ten democratic senators, many up for re-election, now say the enrollment deadline should be delayed. on friday jeffrey zeinst who was put in charge of fixing the site for the first time gave a date for when the technical problems will be resolved. >> by the end of november will work smoothly for the vast majority of users. >> reporter: that could create a crunch for hundreds of thousands whose coverage are will end and who received letters warning, you will no longer be eligible for your current plan of coverage. that's happening because those plans don't meet the new federal standards. >> a lot of inadequate health insurance plans that don't cover maternity care or have a very low dollar limit on them are
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inadequate. >> reporter: the obama administration has been encouraging people to sign up over the phone and in person. even that's been difficult say folks at this clinic in new jersey. you haven't been able to enroll a single person yet? >> we have gotten close. we seem to get close to the end of completing an application. then you get a couple of error messages. >> reporter: in its latest blog hhs says nearly 700,000 americans have completed applications through the marketplaces. the administration has not yet released the exact enrollment figures. officials were hoping to have about 7 million people signed up by april. secretary sebelius will testify by a congressional committee this week. lester? >> all right, kristen. thank you. for more on this challenging week for the white house, we turn to david gregory, moderator of "meet the press." good to see you. two issues here, the nsa spying listening to angela merkel's
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phone calls and others. in both cases the administration doesn't have a good excuse. how much damage is being done? >> we'll see on health care. as i talked to white house officials they say, look, if by the end of november zienst is right and they can get it under control they can move on. there will be other tests along the way. opponents saying, see, they couldn't get people enrolled, if that issue is taken away where is the rest of the opposition to obama care? on the nsa spying, this is tough. the president needs our allies. it could be economic cooperation, cooperation with regard to chasing down terrorists. there is work to be done to restore trust. the dirty secret, there is a lot of spying that goes on among allies but it is normally secret. >> they are also hamstrung. we heard the admission they don't know what snowden has and what else will come out. >> i think what's particularly worrisome is it's more about the level of cooperation america has
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with its allies and even countries not exactly allies but may have cooperated in areas against a common threat. that could undermine negotiations, potential negotiations or other work that might be done. that's what snowden and those working with him have been warning about for some time. >> david gregory, thank you very much. a program note, tomorrow on "meet the press" david will take a look at how the states are doing with health care exchanges. among his guests governor john kasich and steve beshear. overseas a protest for women's right to drive in a country where they are not allowed to do so. it happened in saudi arabia as a group of women took a bold step. they got behind the wheel. our report tonight from anna bell roberts. >> reporter: aziza al yusef left home in her car as she does every day. this time it's different. she's in the driver's seat.
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[ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: my choice is to drive my car. why should i be deprived of that? the college lecturer got her permit two years ago abroad. in saudi arabia driving permits here are only handed out to men. women are forced to employ drivers or rely on close male relatives. the campaign women to drive was trending on twitter. >> we ask every woman who has a driving license and is able to drive to go out. >> reporter: a few uploaded clips of their actions. activists say their message is being heard. >> it is a basic human right. there is absolutely no reason in the world that we cannot drive. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: this man disagrees. last month sali al luhaden said driving could damage women's ovaries. the most common reason in this ultra conservative society is
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it's just not safe. >> there is an excuse that the road is a risk and a lady can't handle the road. >> reporter: some think humor is the best vehicle for change. this comedian with this take on the bob marley classic has had 300,000 views in a day. saudi arabia is the only country in the world where women can't drive. today's protest drew worldwide attention but changed nothing for now at home. anna bell roberts, nbc news, london. back in this country, the family of a teenager accused of killing a teacher at his high school in massachusetts spoke out for the first time today. in a statement the mother of 14-year-old philip chism said her heart is broken for the family of colleen ritzer, the 24-year-old teacher whose body was found in the woods behind danvers high school. she asked for prayers for the teacher's family and for her son.
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five days after a 12-year-old with a gun allegedly killed a teacher and wounded two students at a middle school in nevada, one of the students is speaking out about the experience and the man who helped him. joe fryer has the story. >> reporter: for shooting survivor mason -- >> i heard a gunshot. then another one. >> reporter: what makes monday's tragedy at sparks middle school harder to deal with is he considered the gunman a friend. >> i knew i wasn't being targeted. i never did anything to him. >> reporter: mason, a 7th grader whose family asked us not to use his last name, was standing outside the building when he heard gunshots. >> and that's when i saw michael lansbury on the ground. >> reporter: mason ran to help the heroic math teacher and came face to face with the shooter identified as 12-year-old jose reyes. >> i'm like, please don't shoot me. you need to get in the building. please don't shoot me. he raised the gun and shot me. >> reporter: though he was hit in the stomach, mason ran away from the shooter and met
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security guard lou bergarelo. >> he was the first one to me. i was like i'm shot. >> he was good. he kept talking to me. god bless him. good kid. polite kid. >> reporter: he made sure mason was quickly treated. mason is now mourning the loss of teacher michael lansbury, someone he considered a friend. >> he was a really nice guy. i wish he could be here today. >> reporter: as for the shooter, some classmates said reyes was bullied at school but mason saw it differently. >> if he was bullied i would have stuck up for him. >> reporter: after a traumatic week on mason's first full day out of the hospital, he knew exactly who he wanted to see. lou burgarelo. a surprise thank you for the security guard who helped protect mason's life. >> god bless you. take care of yourself. >> reporter: joe friar, nbc news, sparks, nevada.
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when we continue, a chill in the air as prices for holiday travel may force some to change their plans. and one woman is making a difference in the lives of young people by making it possible for them to see great art.
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if you are making holiday travel plans time for a reality check. airfares are way up over last year as airlines continue to
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trim schedules and reduce capacity in an effort to fill every seat. we get more from nbc's kristin dahlgren. >> reporter: on your holiday flight there will likely be two groups -- those happy they bought tickets early and everyone else. >> this is probably going to be the highest priced holiday fares we have seen in the last decade. >> reporter: this year high demand for seats has prices soaring. >> the best time to purchase holiday tickets was two weeks ago or earlier than that. if you're waiting for a last-minute deal you're in big trouble. >> reporter: the average ticket cost for the u.s. and caribbean is already up more than 9% over last thanksgiving. >> i hate to be a grinch but it is getting worse. you need to book your christmas travel now. >> reporter: prices for christmas week, up more than 7%. to an average $337. how much do you think you saved by making your holiday travel plans.
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>> i would say a good hundred or $200. >> reporter: this year the trend seems to be warm weather destination. flights to tampa are up 16%. atlanta, almost 14%. south florida, 11%. how can you beat the high prices? experts say travel early in the morning and on less popular days. >> you will get a cheaper fare if you fly early on thanksgiving day, early on christmas morning than you will on the wednesday before thanksgiving or the days leading up to christmas. >> reporter: if you have to travel on peak days, expect to pay peak prices. just hope you're not sitting next to someone who can't wait to tell you about the great fare they booked a few months ago. to all the people out there still waiting for a deal? >> i'm sorry. >> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc news, new york. when we come back tonight we'll take you inside a remarkable place where a giant of the earth faces no threat.
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the scene in italy today as europe's tallest, most active volcano came to life once again. this latest eruption of mount etna on sicily forced the closure of some air space for a brief time today. no evacuations were necessary. although the volcano was highly active, the last major eruption was in 1992. marcia wallace has died. she was known to tv viewers most recently as the voice of teacher edna krabapple on "the simpsons." she won an emmy award for the role for most outstanding voice
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over performance. before that she played the role of the receptionist in the psychologist office in "the bob newhart show." offering a good deal of advice of her own. >> when you talk to the airline don't mention it's a psychology group. to get the commercial discount i had to tell them you were something else. >> what? >> a marching band. >> reporter: marcia wallace was 70 years old. we have a rare look inside a place that could easily pass for the plains of africa. a place where elephants roamed freely. unlike in africa, the elephants face no threats here from some who may harm them for commercial grain. we get the story tonight from mark potter. >> reporter: at sunrise in florida a herd of african elephants is on the move. among them a four and a half-ton female named tandi. years ago in zimbabwe she was found alive after her family was killed.
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later rescued, she's now is the mate rearch of her own family at the new national elephant center. >> we want there to be a future for elephants. we think having a self-sustaining population in north america is an important aspect of that. >> reporter: the nonprofit center opened this year on 225 acres and runs on donations. it's a home for elephants moved out of other zoos because of old age or to allow herds to breed and develop more naturally. protecting the species at a time when poachers are slaughtering thousands a year for their ivory tusks. >> 10% of the elephants were killed in africa last year. 15 years, they're gone if something isn't done to stop it. >> reporter: calling the center home are tandi, moyo and her sons. they came from disney's animal kingdom to have more space as the oldest son tufani prepares to go out on his own.
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>> they begin to move out of the herd, find other males to spar with. like a teenage boy in our society. >> reporter: most of the day they wander and graze outdoors in the morning they come inside. >> they were getting apples, carrots, melon. >> reporter: every day the elephants are given a bath. not just to keep them clean but to check their health and give any treatments that might be needed. while the center is closed to the public there are plans to make it a learning facility and to eventually house up to 45 elephants to help sustain a majestic animal facing immense threat. mark potter, nbc news, felsmere, florida. up next here tonight, making a big difference in the lives of kids through art.
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finally tonight our making a difference report is about a woman giving back and giving a lot of children a rich new experience that may help them in ways they may not realize. a story about the value of art measured in the lives of those who get to see it. harry smith tonight in bentonville, arkansas. >> reporter: art and arkansas are not two words that necessarily roll off the tongue together. don't tell that to the alice walton. she built a museum that's drawn more than a million visitors in less than two years. this building, this museum is on old walton family land, a place
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where you used to run around. >> catch crawdads. >> reporter: okay. the little girl who used to catch crawdads in a bentonville creek is the youngest daughter of sam walton, founder of walmart. >> i remember what my mom told me. she'd say, you know, alice, if you give the thing that you love the most you will be giving the right gift. >> reporter: what alice love it >> reporter: what alice loves most is american art. she and her siblings built a place for it called crystal bridges. when you see people walk through here now, especially children, what does it do for you? >> it hits me right here. >> reporter: she's moved not just because the children seem to be enjoying it so much but because she knows it is making a difference in their lives. university of arkansas researchers completed a massive study of children who visit
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crystal bridges and the results are significant. children who visit the museum have significantly improved critical thinking, better recall and greater empathy. the poorer the student, the bigger the visit's impact. art makes a difference. >> that's why -- so much. i see everything in pictures. >> reporter: that's why in an age when american schools teach to the test and a field trip to a museum might be seen as an extravagance crystal bridges pays for the bus and feeds the students lunch. admission is free. some days alice leads a tour or two. still following her mother's advice -- giving what she loves the most. harry smith, nbc news, bentonville, arkansas. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i will see you tomorrow morning on "today." then right back here tomorrow evening. have a good night, everyone.
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good evening, i'm diane dwyer, terry mcsweeney is off tonight. a gunman suspected of injuring six law enforcement officers is under arrest tonight. the shooting led to a ten-hour
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stanoff and then this afternoon the police released more information about what happened. kim berry terry is here with more on the condition of the suspect and the condition of the officerings. >> durand surrendered to thorts. morning. police say the incident started at 3:00 p.m. yesterday. two ufsary an an i.c.e. agent was on a different assignment when his officers spotted durand. when they got out of the patrol car to arrest him, police say he took off on his bicycle. and according to the police the i.c.e. officer was injured at that time. he then barricaded himself inside a home and shot through the wind u dos injuring five other officers. >> those officers ranged in age from early 30s to 40