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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 24, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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on our broadcast tonight, risk factors. two major health stories breaking this evening, the news about dramatically reducing the chances of ovarian cancer. plus, new questions about pregnant women taking pain relievers like tylenol. historic cuts at the pentagon. the new battl plan to shrink the military to numbers not seen before world war ii. the price you pay. sticker shock at the supermarket from everything from milk to meat. why everything is on the rise right now. and a comedy genius is gone. from "ghostbusters" to "groundhog day," "animal house," "caddyshack," to clark w. griswold. tonight we remember the great harold ramis. "nightly news" begins now.
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good evening. we begin tonight with two major health stories, both breaking late in the day. both of them concern women's health. in a moment, the story involving pregnant women and the active ingredient in pain relievers like tylenol. but first, the news tonight involving the prevention of ovarian cancer in women who have a genetic mutation that increases their risk for this often fatal disease. and it concludes that these women should make a tough choice about preventative treatment even earlier than many do now. we get more on all of it tonight from our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman. >> these are her trophies from the special olympics. >> reporter: nicole armstrong credits her older sister, catrina, an award-winning special olympian, with saving her life. >> because of everything my sister went through, had she not gotten sick, it could have been me. >> reporter: catrina died two years ago at the age of 32 from breast cancer.
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she had the brca1 gene mutation associated with increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. it was a wake-up call for the rest of the family to undergo genetic testing. >> we walked in the room, and just the look on the genetic counselor's face said it was going to be positive. >> reporter: their grandmother also died of breast cancer, and in their case, the gene mutation runs on dad doug's side of the family. nicole underwent a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. >> i'm looking at the website. >> reporter: but now at 28 years of age, she has another big decision to make. >> having my ovaries removed is a big fear of mine. >> reporter: today a new study in the journal oncology suggests for the first time that women with the brca1 mutation can reduce their risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 80%, and their risk of death by 77%. if they have their ovaries and
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fallopian tubes removed by the age of 35. doctors say this could dramatically change how patients are counselled. >> this is an eye-opening thing. the amaze thing that excites me about this study is that it gives us more information and more hard data to provide the patients to guide their treatment decisions and their timing decisions for these surgeries. >> reporter: while nicole is in a serious relationship and hopes to have children one day, today's study will force her and other women like her to make some tough decisions that could save their lives. and some of those decisions are whether to get genetically tested if you have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer. and if you have that brca1 gene, then have your ovaries taken out early, plan to save your eggs or embryos for future family planning. a lot of hard decisions, but there are options, brian. >> nancy, this other story we mentioned involving pregnant women, and if not tylenol by
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brand. >> right. >> the active ingredient of acetaminophen. >> yeah. women have been told to take acetaminophen for a long time because it's been considered a safe medication for women while they're pregnant. but a big study today looking at over 60,000 mothers who took tylenol ingredient during pregnancy had a 27% increased risk of having a child diagnosed with adhd. they also found that the mo trimidwetr trimesters and the more longer period of times that the moms use the medication the higher the risk of the disorder. now the researchers caution and stress this does not prove cause and effect. and there may be other factors because adhd is quite complicated. but doctors are underscoring, again, that acetaminophen is safe medication, especially during pregnancy and other times for fever and aches and pains. but for short periods of time. a reminder again that when you're pregnant, anything you put in your body can have long-lasting effect.
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but this is going to be a replicated study there is no doubt people are going to turn away from this one. >> dr. nancy snyderman, just off an airplane from russia. thank you for coming in tonight. >> you bet, brian. now to a major announcement today about the pentagon. after 13 years of warfare for this country, the u.s. now has a new defense battle plan that involves shrinking down the military to levels not seen since before world war ii. the obama administration says it is not only about re-shaping budgets, but it is about rethinking the way we fight in the future. and these proposed cuts have already set off the kind of war fare they conduct in washington, our report tonight from all of us from our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. >> reporter: at ranger joe's outside forth benning, georgia, these cadets were glued on the pentagon's speech on military budget cuts. one rethinks his plan to join the army.
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>> it means i wouldn't get paid as much. and it means they may not even want me as a pilot. >> reporter: the pentagon could slash up to 90,000 soldiers from the army, down to 440,000, the lowest level since preworld war ii. an entire wing of attack aircraft and a cold war spy plane would also be taken out of service. defense secretary chuck hagel said the cuts are necessary to deal with the tight budgets and a changing battlefield. >> this plan goes along with the need to protect our national security with the need to be realistic about future budget levels. >> reporter: for now, there appears to be no need for big army warfare. by the end of this year, both the wars in iraq and afghanistan will be over. instead of large scale ground wars, military planners predict special operations forces will engage in smaller, precisely argued the missions. but former defense secretary bill cohen warns a reduction in force could ultimately come at a much higher cost. >> and that has to be under calculation. if you have fewer forces, no
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matter what the circumstance, you're going have higher risk. >> reporter: some congressional lawmakers are already threatening to do battle over this budget. >> what we're trying to do is solve the financial problems on the backs of our military and that can't be done. >> reporter: but joint chiefs chairman martin dempsey insists he would not put america's defense at risk. >> this budget helps us to remain the world's finest military, modern, capable and ready, even while transitioning to a smaller, more affordable force over time. >> reporter: even though some military programs would take a heavy hit, under this budget overall pentagon spending would somehow increase by $115 billion over the next five years. jim miklaszewski, nbc news, the pentagon. we are learning more tonight about the dramatic takedown of the most wanted drug kingpin in all the world, and how u.s. and mexican authorities finally got their man after over a decade of escape and evasion.
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authorities say joaquin "shorty" guzman and much of his cartel are responsible for much of the flow of drugs into this country every day. nbc's mark potter has our report. >> reporter: these are the first public images of mexico's top crime kingpin in 13 years since his dramatic escape from this maximum security prison by hiding in a laundry cart. since then joaquin "chapo" guzman has become known as the world's most powerful trafficker, supplying most of the u.s.'s illicit drug supply. reportedly a billionaire and a violent player in mexico's drug war. >> 80,000 murdered and he was responsible for a good bit of it. >> reporter: a year ago, authorities say, guzman became restless in his sinaloa mountain hideout and sought a more comfortable life in the cities. >> once you become more complacent, you become more vulnerable. >> reporter: early last week, authorities raided several of guzman's safe houses in mexico where they just missed him where he escaped by climbing through a
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secret door beneath his bathtub into a tunnel that poured into the drainage city. agents had been tracking his movements by tapping phones. >> they had six wiretaps going. >> reporter: but after the safe house raids, only one wiretap cell phone still worked, the one monitored by i.c.e. but it was enough to find guzman again. early saturday morning a team of mexican marines converged on the resort town of mazatlan, and on the fourth floor burst into this apartment where they found guzman asleep with his wife, former beauty queen emma coronel. >> he was still groggy, asleep when they arrested him. >> reporter: guzman is also indicted in six american cities, public enemy number one in chicago, and the u.s. wants to extradite him. but in mexico where he is imprisoned, officials say he'll be tried there first, their biggest catch in the bloody drug war. mark potter, nbc news, miami. turning now to the situation in ukraine where a manhunt is
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under way tonight for a man was until last week the president of that nation. among other things, viktor yanukovych is wanted for murder in the deaths of scores of anti-government protesters last week. we get our report from our chief foreign correspondent richard engel, who remains in kiev for us again tonight. >> reporter: the president of ukraine caught on security video leaving friday night, destination unknown. the interim government today issued a warrant for his arrest for mass murder. nearly 80 protesters were killed last thursday, and nbc news has now learned new details about that crucial tipping point that changed history here. it began when protesters took a huge risk. with riot police in retreat, protesters left the safety of their barricades and charged. suddenly a hail of bullets.
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new footage appears to show at least some of the shooting was organized and disciplined. police were heavily armed. one asks if they have permission to fire. no answer could be heard. the video shows security forces paused briefly by this wall. they received instructions, loaded their weapons and then calmly, deliberately deployed toward the protesters. the crew with the television reporter took the footage. he says he witnessed police shooting heavily for 30 minutes under orders from a general on location. ukrainians told us they were horrified by last week's massacre, but not surprised. the candle still burns in the independence square, honoring those whose deaths sparked a revolution. and the sound of gunfire in this square has been replaced by music. they're holding concerts here tonight as this place becomes a memorial. brian?
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>> richard engel reporting again from kiev in the ukraine for us. thank you. john dingell is leaving congress after almost 60 years. he is 87, one of the longest serving members of congress in u.s. history. first came to the house when eisenhower was president back in 55. he is leaving at the end of his 29th term. as the liberal chairman of the commerce committee he once yielded a lot of power. he presided over the passage of medicare. he says he is proudest of his vote for the '64 civil rights act. dingell has served under 11 presidents. he succeeded his dad in congress when he was 29. he hopes his wife, deborah, will run for his congressional seat. and still today, a price you pay for the spike in grocery bills, the price starts to have real-life consequences at the food store.
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tonight we begin an occasional series of reports called the price you pay. it's about the forces at work that make everyone pay more, and the price hikes that are holding back so many people from getting ahead. and our focus this evening starts with what we're paying at the food store as all those warnings about the historic drought and its effect on prices are sadly starting to become real. we get our report tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: grocery shopping for jasmine forte's family of five isn't cheap. averaging 200 a week, she cuts coupons and balances between stores. >> meat was on sale today, which is why i bought it. >> reporter: and it's likely to get more expensive for her and families across the country. the california drought is one very big reason as farmers and ranchers lose their harvest and sell off their livestock. >> it means that you're going to probably be paying more for that steak when you go to the supermarket, more for that hamburger when you go to the
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drive-in. >> reporter: it already has an effect on the price you pay. ground beef has risen from $3.38 in october to $3.46 at the end of january and could hit $4 a pound at the end of this year. milk price is also up, 13 cents a gallon since september and expected to keep rising. also to blame, the demand for cheese is exploding overseas. meanwhile, oats, the main ingredient in cereals, is up nearly 20% this. all of it forcing jasmine forte into some grocery aisle strategizing. >> i make my list, i go with an agenda, i know what i'm going to get. but once i get to the market, i see these jumps, then i have to rethink my list. >> reporter: economists say 2014 could be a year of higher prices across the board, including fruit, vegetables, poultry, and pork. >> the typical american is going to see a 5 to $10 increase in their grocery bill when they check out. everything in that basket is going to come at a higher price.
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>> reporter: adding insult to injury, a drought in brazil is sending coffee prices soaring, up 35% since november. for many that is just too much. >> there will be coffee in this house at all times. there is no way i can cut the coffee. >> reporter: balancing the family budget and personal priorities. tom costello, nbc news, washington. coming up here after the break, remembering one of the most widely quoted voices in film history.
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this was a very sad day among those who are normally the funniest people in american life. that's because harold ramis died today. if you have a favorite funny movie through the '70s right through the next couple of decades, there is a good chance you can thank harold ramis for making you laugh. and he did so as an actor, director and the writer of the dialogue we have quoted for a good chunk of our lives. for starters he gave us "animal house," the college anthem of a generation or more. that featured the great john belushi. the list goes on, including icons such as "stripes."
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"ghostbusters," in which ramis co-starred, "caddyshack," national lampoon's "vacation", "groundhog day" and "analyze this." harold ramis was a crowd chicagoan who returned there at the height of his success. chicago improv trained him for acting in films like "knocked up" where he made up almost all of the dialogue on screen. he died of an autoimmune disease. the great harold ramis, who made life so much more funny, was 69 years old. and the olympic games are over in sochi. we're back home, the olympic flame is gone in sochi. and russia, it must be said, had a good outing. the home team won the most medals. like vancouver before them the home team won the most medals. and the billion dollar bet paid off. the games were safe if not snowy. nine fewer medals since vancouver. some extraordinary individual
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and team achievements for those who will come home heroes. other programs like speed skating, women's hockey and men's hockey for that matter come home to soul-searching and rebuilding. and before you know it, the summer games will begin in 2016 in rio. it was just supposed to be an afternoon race, albeit the biggest of the year. but the daytona 500 yesterday turned into the 12 hours of daytona endurance race. the rain interruptions included a tornado warning that meant clearing and sheltering 160,000 people. there were the usual wrecks, the usual drama. but at the end of the night, late at night, it was the 88 car, dale earnhardt jr. winning his second 500 ten years apart, snapping a winless streak of 55 races. it was lost on none of us watching that it was the race that took his father's life. afterwards, fellow sports figures take ♪. dale jr. said it was the work of his team and took none of the credit for the victory. and of all things, the supreme court has taken on the issue of the foul odor that can
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develop in some kinds of front-loading washing machines, including mold that is so tough to get rid of, even bleach won't do it. if you have one of these, then you know it. the brand names include whirlpool, sears and bosh. millions of consumers are part of three class action lawsuits which the court ruled can proceed as they rejected 'appeals by the manufacturers. a couple of signs of the times. moviefone is going away, at least the phone part. that guy's recorded voice you would recognize anywhere. another victim of the web. the got milk campaign is going away. all of those white mustaches and that tag line replaced with a new one about living the milk life, and who among us does not? and tonight, seth meyers makes his debut as "late night." the veteran anchor takes jimmy fallon's old shift now that jimmy has moved on to "the tonight show." when we come back, a close knit family stitching together a comeback story in a small midwestern town.
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finally tonight, in a nation and a culture where everything has been sped up, some may be sad to learn that now applies to the time-honored tradition of quilt-making. it's now possible to create an individual blanket work of art in as little as a day. and as you'll see, what this one woman has done is a good thing for her small missouri town, putting the place on the map and becoming something of a celebrity in the do it yourself community. we get her story tonight from nbc's harry smith. >> reporter: it looks like it's been a while since hamilton, missouri, has been the hotbed of anything. but stop in at the missouri star quilt store on main street and you'll see dozens of people from
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miles around who have come to see and hear jenny doan. >> all i was hoping to hear was "here's jenny"! >> reporter: she figured out how to stream-line a process to once took months, even years. >> that is our whole goal. it has always been one of these mysterious things that is way out there like our grandmothers did. >> reporter: now just about anyone can make a quilt in a day. >> people who quilt the old way. >> the purists, yes. >> yes, the purists, right. and they look at member like you and you're kind of a heretic. >> well, here is my feeling, we're kind of something like the mcdonald's of quilting. i know this looks a little crazy. >> reporter: jenny doan's quilting revolution started with a few videos she posted on youtube. >> i know it looks really hard, but it's so easy. >> reporter: in then, her philosophy. first, don't be afraid to make mistakes. and -- >> i don't want to make something that is going to sit on a shelf that is so special nobody wants to use it. i want to make something that is loved and worn out to the last thread. >> reporter: turns out jenny is
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so good and her shortcuts work so well -- >> she has given me my therapy sessions every day. >> sunshine in a barrel. >> reporter: she now has 150,000 subscribers, and her tutorials have been viewed more than 28 million times. and the missouri star quilt company is the fastest growing business around. which is that much more gratifying because jenny and her family have been knocked flat by the recession, says her son allen. >> looking around that we have 85,000 employees who all feed their families because of what we do blows me away. >> reporter: and because people now flock to hamilton to see jenny in person, plans are afoot for restaurants and accommodations. amazing what can happen when you patch a few ideas together. harry smith, nbc news, hamilton, missouri. >> what a great story to end on for this monday night as we start a new week. back home where we belong. 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.
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these motels are already located in a high-crime area, where there is a lot of prostitution, a lot of illegal drugs. >> right now at 6:00, angry opponents are pushing back against a plan to get the homeless off south bay streets and into motels. thanks for joining us on this monday, i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. opposition to the latest idea to house the homeless. it involves moving them from the streets into motels but some city leaders are questioning whether it would work and how the city would even pay for it.
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nbc bay area's chase cane was at san jose city hall to see where the plan stands. >> reporter: an hour and a half ago this committee voted to move it forward and that will happen in the next couple weeks. there is still a lot of numbers to be worked out, but what they are talking about is to house 60 homeless people for a year, that would take $1 million. so some people are asking, is it worth it? >> absolutely astoundingly bad. >> reporter: that's how some people feel it city handled it's problem, upwards of 4700 people in san jose are homeless with thousands more in santa clara county. >> the idea is if someone can get housed and get some services, they can then move into out of homelessness and out of this temporary housing and into permanent housing and job, and that's what we're after here. >> reporter: rose chairs the commte