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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 3, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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facebook and twitter. >> please join us at 6:00. three big storms lining up to hit one after the other, a wild week ahead from the rockies to the eastern seaboard. also tonight, the cost of this cold and precip to the american economy. the final hours in the life of philip seymour hoffman, who was today called perhaps the greatest actor of his generation. tonight the new evidence found at the scene and how his tragic loss shines a light on an exploding epidemic. car talk. what if your car could spot danger before you do and warn you before a crash? tonight, the technology they say could dramatically reduce accidents. and the countdown. three days until the games begin but will there be enough snow? "nightly news" begins now.
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>> good evening. while the west coast goes begging for water of any kind, an incredible chain of storms is setting up from the rockies all the way out east, and it starts tonight. 27 different states that are under a watch or a warning or a winter weather advisory. it stretches through this coming weekend, because this weather pattern affecting 84 million americans offers no break really. it is also now apparent this rough winter is having an equal and opposite impact on aspects of the american economy. we begin here tonight with nbc's ron mott. >> reporter: it's a scene mirrored in every major airport in the northeast tonight. travelers navigating long airport lines and a flurry of flight delays and cancellations on this monday. as yet another winter storm system targets the northeast and beyond. in philadelphia, a heavy, wet
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snow turned driving treacherous. traffic woes spreading as far south as kentucky. and frustrations are growing. in new york city, even snowplows got stuck. >> just yesterday, 50 degrees. i walk outside in shorts yesterday to go to the store. and today look at it, freezing. >> reporter: and it's piling up. already this winter, chicago has seen nearly 53 inches of snow. philadelphia, 37 plus. boston has recorded 33.5. more than 28 inches in new york. such weather not only makes travel a nightmare but it is hitting our pocketbooks too. just one storm system, the three-day polar vortex in january, put a $5 billion chill on the economy and that's not all. an estimated 60 million american households will see their heating bills jump 50%, a $4.5 billion hit. while flight disruptions cost another $2.5 billion in flights for passengers and hotels and meals. >> well over 100 million people frozen in place, unable to get
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out and spend money. that is then trickling down to the overall economy. we are going to be feeling that for another month or two months. >> reporter: at airports in the northeast, hopeful passengers are settling in for extended delays, grabbing naps and playing cards. >> my brother won a trip to go to the super bowl. so it was all free. so i can't complain about delays on my flight too much. >> reporter: there were at least 1600 flight delays or cancellations here in the northeast alone today. one of those delays involved a plane carrying the seattle seahawks. they won the super bowl last night. they sat so long for de-icing in newark, they had to fly to minneapolis, change crews to get refueled. they are back in seattle tonight. >> ron mott where you don't want to be tonight, and that's new york's la guardia. as we said, there are two more storms behind the storm that shutting the east tonight. for more on all of it, our friend, al roker, is out on the plaza tonight. hey, al, good evening. >> reporter: good evening. this one storm is moving out. that's the good news. here is our second one. it starts tomorrow morning around 7:00 a.m.
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oklahoma into kansas. it starts to push its way to the east. chicago and also st. louis by 6:00 this afternoon. it continues on into the northeast. by the time we wake up on wednesday morning, more snow, ice, and rain. look at the accumulations. we're looking at. as far as ice, up to half an inch in cincinnati. pittsburgh washington, d.c. and allentown and just to the west of new york city snowfall amounts. we're talking generally 1-3. from kansas city to omaha, 3-6. some areas, 6-9. as we move to the east from cleveland, buffalo, syracuse, another foot of snow. new york city, just barely on the edge of that. and, brian, here is the third storm coming. this one over the weekend. we can't tell you how much but we're talking about a measurement in possibly feet as this will be, brian, a classic nor'easter. we will have more tomorrow morning on "wake up with al" and on "the "today" show." back to you.
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>> for the relentless winter we're having. al roker out on the plaza. al, thanks. this was the worst day of our still new year on wall street in what has so far been a bad year already. weak reports on manufacturing and car sales among the factors here. dow lost 326 points. it is off 7% so far for 2014. nasdaq, dropped almost 107. s&p lost almost 41. all of this will be on the mind of janet yellen, sworn in today as the new head of the federal reserve. she is the first woman to hold the job in the 100-year history of the fed. now to the sundaying word yesterday of the death of the actor philip seymour hoffman at the age of 46. he struggled with addiction all his adult life, and in the end he was found with a needle in his arm and more than 70 bags of heroin in his apartment. some of the bags were empty. most were not. he had talked about addiction. dealt with it, sought treatment, but it won in the end, and he lost his life to it.
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still, today, most of us who just loved movies and the people that make them, most of us are still coming to grips with the loss of the man "the new york times" today called perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired american actor of his generation. while it turns out he was talented and troubled in equal measure, after the shock of his death, it is now his raw talent we're left with, in all those movies over all these years. >> we are not helpless. and we are on a journey that risks the dark. >> reporter: to watch him in the master is to see a master at work. >> you would think i took this job to spite you. >> to see him in "capote," his oscar-winning role, is to see how one man can become another before our eyes. something he did again in the movie "doubt" playing a catholic priest and receiving another oscar nomination. one critic today said hoffman's unhappiness brought us joy and
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he admitted as much when asked about his craft. >> i think everybody is troubled. i think that's part of what it is like living on this planet. >> the helsinki job was mine. >> he made 50 movies over 25 years, some of them yet to be released. and in what some would consider his lesser roles, he gave no less. films like "moneyball," "the hunger games," "the big lebowski," "the talented mr. ripley," "scent of a woman," "boogie nights" and "almost famous." >> because we are uncool. women will always be a problem for guys like us. >> he was born in a suburb of rochester, new york to a father who worked for xerox and a mother that was a family court judge. he discovered new york city and put down roots there. he was a greenwich village fixture and with his long-time partner, mimi o'donnell, a theater costume designer, hoffman had three young children's, ages 10, 7, and 5.
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for all his power on film, he could be devastating on stage. after directing him just two years ago as willy loman in "death of a salesman" on broadway, mike nickels said, simply, no words for this. he was too great and we are too shattered. and wednesday night on broadway here in new york, the lights will dim at curtain time as they do only when a big star is gone. and for nothing but terrible reasons. the death of this star philip seymour hoffman at 46 is bringing attention to a heroin problem that is exploding among people in all walks of life across our country. our national correspondent, kate snow has that story for us tonight. >> reporter: carol christianson's eric was on the fast track with the new york city police. seven years working on these streets? >> yes, he was. >> reporter: he had always wanted to be a cop like his dad. >> he was 28, had a great career, he was happy, so we thought. >> reporter: as an undercover detective, he helped bust drug
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dealers but then he started using himself. by the fall of 2011, he was addicted to prescription pain killers and then he followed a predictable pattern. the same one philip seymour hoffman told reporters he had followed from prescription drugs to heroin. >> heroin was cheaper, easy to get. much cheaper. >> reporter: easy to shoot up, snort or smoke. heroin use in the u.s. nearly doubled over five years. more than a quarter million people a year end up in the e.r. and deaths from overdoses are spiking. >> we think, for instance, we are going to find this somewhere else, in a bad neighborhood. well, it is found with rich people, poor people, middle class people. >> reporter: in vermont, where the problem has been particularly severe, on saturday, a 33-year-old mom was arrested after police found 690 bags of heroin stuffed under her 5-year-old daughter's seat in the car. >> these are $10 bags of heroin. >> reporter: in chicago, an earlier nbc news investigation found the evidence is right there for anyone to see. >> look at all these bags.
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>> reporter: the grim fact is that nearly half of addicts will end up dead according to dr. marvin sepula. >> tolerance builds up very rapidly. they can't get the same sort of high from it. they keep going back for more. >> every night before i go to bed, i give it a little sweep and then i go to sleep, i go to bed. >> reporter: eric had been out of rehab five days when he overdose. >> my heart is broken every single day. i think of his every single day. he is always going to be 28. that breaks my heart. that's where the loss comes in, when the full realization of what the loss is. it is not just you don't see them anymore. it is the loss of their future and that's what hurts. >> carol says she gets up every day hoping maybe she reaches some other family before it is too late. the hope of so many in the recovery community tonight is that philip seymour hoffman's death isn't just another celebrity story but, brian, a way to really focus attention on this devastating problem. >> absolutely. a drug that does not discriminate. kate snow with that story. kate, thank you as always.
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overseas tonight, almost three years into the war in syria, there are growing indications the situation is deteriorating rapidly. so-called peace talks ended after going nowhere. the white house and congress can't really agree on what to do. even the head of al qaeda has now split with its own faction inside syria. and the death toll now estimated at well past 100,000, keeps climbing. the u.n., in fact, has stopped counting. for many syrians, life has become a nightmare, a desperate struggle to survive. our report tonight from nbc's bill neely. >> reporter: beneath the deadly, daily bombing, amidst the smoke and debris of rebel-held suburbs, thousands of trapped civilians now face a new threat. a different kind of fight for survival. they are picking weeds to eat, to stay alive. there is no more wheat. there is no more food this man
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says. i'm picking greens so i can eat. this video was shot by nbc news. other video filmed by residents shows similar scenes we can't independently verify. the u.n. is warning of starvation. another man with four children shows greens he has found to feed his family. some children fend for themselves. short lives blighted by a long war. "i haven't eaten meat or fish in two years," this little girl says. "i've eaten only olives for the last two days." "i want milk and cookies," she says. they all do. everything is scarce here except suffering. they live in syria's third largest city, homs, the heart of the initial revolution, some of it now a ghost town. one besieged suburb, of the capital, damascus, did get some u.n. aid this past weekend.
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1,000 food parcels and a long forgotten taste for its children. but the food will last just ten days. it's a war that's deadlocked, a war i've seen firsthand in homs. the bombardment of homs, the war here is as intense as ever. it is not just food that is hard to find. it is having the wood to cook it with. peace talks have failed to relieve the suffering here. two warring sides digging their heels in. civilians digging to survive. the innocent, the most vulnerable are paying the price for a war that no one seems willing or able to end. >> what a terrible situation and worsening. and now the fears are among a lot of american intelligence officials it could blow back on to our shores and our friends overseas. >> there are worries. every time you think the war in syria can't get any worse, it usually does. every time the outside world
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pushes for help and hope for those people, it's extinguished. the peace talks have been suspended. no guarantee they will resume next week. no relief in sight for those besieged people. >> i should say to our viewers bill neely has been contributing to us as part of our british partner network for years and years and years, but now we have him. he is going to be covering the globe as part of our team. great to have you. >> thank you. we have late word from minnesota that joan mondale has died. americans came to know her during the years her husband, walter mondale, served as vice president under jimmy carter. she proudly earned the nickname, joan of art for her support of the arts over the years. her husband and family members were by her side when she passed away while on hospice care. joan mondale was 83 years old. still ahead for us tonight, the new technology that they say allows your car to interact with the ones around you on the road. they say that would be a good thing.
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we're back now with something the feds say could be a game-changer in reducing the number of fatalities on our roads. if it works and if everyone pulls together. the government announced today it is working toward requiring all cars to talk to each other to warn of road dangers ahead or crashes about to happen. our report tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: after decades of focusing on surviving a car crash, the government today announced a dramatic shift in focus. beginning the process to one day require new cars to come with technology to avoid a crash before it happens. much like collision avoidance systems used in planes. on the ground, it is called vehicle to vehicle or "v" to "v" communication. each car, truck, or bus on the road constantly transmitting a 360-degree status report through a wi-fi system to every other nearby vehicle on the road. constantly updating its position, it's speed, whether it is turning or breaking. if a car ahead suddenly brakes,
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everyone behind it gets an alert. >> i had an led screen across the front to warn me. my seat is rumbling. >> we were in ann arbor, michigan, with ford engineers 18 months ago for a one-year d.o.t. test involving 3,000 cars. a flashing light warns of a car in your blind spot. if you signal you are going to change lanes anyway, an alarm goes off and the seat vibrates. >> i feel this rumble really catches your attention, the rumble in the seat. >> reporter: all the warnings went off when i pulled to the green light. a car on my left was moving too quickly to stop at his red. >> if i hadn't hit the brakes, he would have t-boned me. >> exactly. this is one of the most fatal crashes out there. >> reporter: while air bags have helped cut the fatal accident by 22% over the past ten years, 30,000 people still die on the roads each year. today, the government said "v" to "v" technology could cut by up to 80% the number of unimpaired accidents. >> it is the game-changing
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potential to avoid a crash in the first place. >> reporter: already many cars come with sensors and radars that warn drivers, even slam on the brakes as technology helps reduce the chance for human error. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we are back in a moment with the new record that surprised even the experts.
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huh, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yeah. everybody knows that. did you know there is an oldest trick in the book? what?
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trick number one. look-est over there. ha ha. made-est thou look. so end-eth the trick. hey.... yes.... geico. fifteen minutes could save you... well, you know. sadly, for a lot of denver fans looking back on last night, it was over with the first snap of the game. stunned by the seattle-like crowd noise, peyton manning, future hall of fame quarterback, was still yelling and audible to his line when the ball was hiked and went flying. first-ever super bowl to begin with a two-point score. it didn't get much better for the broncos. the seahawks were so fast and so good, they dominated and embarrassed their opponents, 43-8. the seahawks are likely to be good for a good long time. while you would think a blowout isn't good for tv ratings, according to the early projections, the super bowl
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broke a record averaging 111.5 million viewers. two story lines that didn't materialize last night. first, the winter weather. it was a balmy 49 at kickoff. it was colder in both teams' home cities last night, seattle and denver. security was stifling and several passengers passed out in the stifling heat and choking crowds at one commuter rail station while they awaited security screening. and the host of the games became something of a ghost on tv. after chris christie got booed at a super bowl event on saturday across the river in new york, he was hardly mentioned and never shown during the game despite the fact that his state was hosting the big game for the first time ever. another break and up next for us. the athletes are in place. now what about the snow
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. finally here tonight, while there has been no shortage of snow in these parts this year, in sochi, where the olympics are about to begin, it's a different story. it is unlikely nature will provide enough snow for all the events of the games, so organizers at great costs have been storing it up just in case.
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our report from nbc's ann thompson. >> reporter: to find snow at the warmest site ever to host the winter olympics, you must go up into the caucasus mountains, the peaks that separate europe and asia will unite the world in sports if there is enough snow. can you control mother nature? >> no. >> reporter: he is the finnish snow expert hired by the russians to help mother nature. he has stored 60 million cubic feet of last winter's snow under insulated blankets just in case. >> if we face the warmest winter in 100 year, we are ready, or the coldest. the weather is very changeable here. >> reporter: the men's downhill will start where the snow can be heavy and end nearly 5,000 feet lower, where the rain can fall. the ski jump site is at the lowest altitude ever. but so far so good. that stored snow is now the base layer. at the only storage site left has been turned into an amateur ski jump. >> it is still there. if we need it, we can transport it to a lower spot.
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>> reporter: marty connon said 75% of the snow here is man-made, from snow-making guns. 403 of them operated from this mission control. >> we control every part of the snow-making process from here. >> reporter: ian honey, a native australian, is project manager for fmi snow making, a michigan company. >> we have been told we are producing too much, which is great for us. >> reporter: the snow comes from two man-made ponds on the mountains. this one holds 18.5 million gallons of water, enough to cover 101 acres in a foot of snow. different events demand different types of snow. >> down hill, they typically want a very hard, unforgiving snow. the people over in freestyle, they want softer, more pliable. >> reporter: three-time olympian and gold medalist, hannah harney, is pleasantly surprised. >> a little bit closer to torino, sort of firm snow there is a good base. >> reporter: is the hardest part
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over? >> yes. >> reporter: for the athletes, it has yet to begin. anne thompson, nbc news, sochi. that's our broadcast on a monday night as we start off a new week here. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we, of course, hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. right now at 6:00, the wild ride on wall street and it's not a good thing. it impacts millions of people and investors with 401 k acounts. >> i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. a month worth of losses have lots of people in the bay area wondering what is going on and why the market is so jittery and what happens now? >> scott budman joins us with answers. >> the market has been on a roll for years but after a 5% drop in
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the month of january, february started with another steep loss. is it time to get out of stocks or time to take a deep breath and think about the long term? stocks in february picked up where they left off in january with a big loss, more than 300 points down on the dow, more than 1 0 poi0 points lost on th nasdaq. but san jose financial planner hilary martin points out a month of steep losses is not a full blown crisis, especially if you consider the strength of local stocks on the nasdaq. >> i think you have to get some perspective as far as the nasdaq is concerned, the nasdaq had a 38% return last year, and so this year is a slight decline but really just a short, brief, very small sell off. >> reporter: case in point, google down nearly $50 a share y,