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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  January 31, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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nbc nightly news is next. more local news on nbc bay area at 6:00. we'll see you then. on this saturday night, brutally murdered. the terror group isis claims to have beheaded another hostage after a deal for his freedom seemed so close. what went wrong? more than 2 million vehicles recalled again due to faulty airbags. why wasn't the problem fixed the first time? found unresponsive, whitney uston's daughter rushed to the hospital after being found unconscious in a bathtub. taking a stand. some of the country's top universities make some big changes to prevent sexual assault, but it's not without some controversy. and no-fly zone. the debate over drones and a stark warning from the faa ahead of tomorrow's big game.
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from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. we begin tonight with grim news out of the middle east. the video surfaced within the last several hours purporting to show the beheading of another japanese hostage by one of his isis captors. the victim appears to be freelance war correspondent kenji goto. he would be the second japanese citizen to be killed by isis in just a week. in recent days his fate has been tied to that of a failed suicide bomber held by authorities in jordan. jordan is where we begin tonight. our bill neely is outside the japanese embassy in amman. bill, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. yes, two nations united in horror here tonight. isis has already beheaded five american, british and japanese hostages. kenji goto appears to be the sixth. another journalist, another father, another innocence in
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syria's war murdered it appears in cold blood. dressed for a brutal death, kenji goto, behind him a man with a knife and british accent who has appeared in other isis videos. japan's government reacting with horror. we can't hold back our fury, he says, of such a despicable act. kenji goto was a journalist who believed his japanese nationality might protect him in syria. he was kidnapped just hours after entering the country four months ago. he'd gone in part to search for another japanese hostage, both it seems are now dead. goto killed in spite of desperate appeals to isis from his mother and from his wife who spoke of their two daughters, one just 3 weeks old. we will, said japan's prime minister, never forgive them for this.
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we will not give in to terrorism. japan had believed the deal could be done to free goto. isis wanted this woman held prisoner in jordan to be swapped for goto. they also held this jordanian pilot. jordan wanted proof he was alive before releasing the woman. deadlines came and went. now goto it appears is dead and the pilot's family are praying for his release. mourning in japan, agony in jordan as tonight the life of yet another hostage hangs in the balance. well, isis is also holding a young american woman and a british journalist. and within the last hour kenji goto's mother has said, he went to save his fellow countrymen. please understand his kindness and his bravery. lester. >> bill neely tonight in amman. back at home a major recall involving some of the most popular cars on the road.
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and if it sounds familiar, it's because we've been down this road before. the issue potentially faulty airbags. and it involves vehicles that have been recalled for the same problem before. nbc's kristen welker has our report tonight. >> reporter: in a major announcement today, the national highway traffic safety administration said it is recalling about 2.1 million vehicles, toyotas, chryslers and hondas. the concern, the vehicles airbags could deploy inadvertently, even when the vehicle is not in a crash potentially causing injury or death. these vehicles were previously recalled for the same problem in 2013 and 2014. but nhtsa says the fix "was not effective." today's recall was triggered by a problem in an electric component made by an american supplier trw automotive. but about a million of the recalled honda and toyota models also have defective airbags made by the company takata. those airbags have been known to deploy with too much force
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sending out metal shards. in relation to a previous recall 26-year-old cory says he lost his right eye due to a malfunctioning takata airbag last may. >> i thought i had a black eye and felt blood. warm run down my face. and blood. i thought i broke my nose. i didn't know. >> reporter: late last year both honda and takata executives apologized at a congressional hearing. >> we are deeply sorry about each of the reported instances. >> reporter: the latest recalled instances recalled acura mdx, dodge viper, jeep grand cherokee, jeep liberty, pontiac vibe toyota corolla, toyota matrix and toyota avalon. all made in the early 2000s. >> consumers the minute they get that recall notice should immediately take their vehicle to be fixed. >> reporter: nhtsa says there are no deaths related to this latest defect.
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we have reached out to the car manufactures who have said they will comply. >> thank you. we're getting late word of the daughter of the late singer whitney houston, bobbi kristina brown was found unresponsive in her georgia home this morning in a scene eerily similar to the way her mother died three years ago. nbc's gabe gutierrez is outside the hospital in roswell, georgia. >> reporter: good evening. police say bobbi kristina brown is alive and breathing at the hospital. at this point detectives are treating this as a medical call and do not believe there was any foul play. this morning she was found unresponsive in a bathtub. police were called to her home outside atlanta. when they arrived brown's husband, nick gordon, was performing cpr. the 21-year-old is the only child of whitney houston and r&b singer bobby brown. so far no comment from family members. almost exactly three years ago houston widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of all-time was found dead in a bathtub at a beverly hills hotel. authorities concluded she had accidentally drowned. but heart disease and cocaine
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use were listed as contributing factors. tonight, her daughter remains here at the hospital. and a police investigation is underway to find out exactly what happened. lester. >> all right. gabe gutierrez tonight, thank you. tonight, there are heightened concerns about the recent measles outbreak. on the east coast potentially exposes thousands of travelers. and in the west the impact is being felt at the super bowl. nbc's hallie jackson. >> reporter: the day before the super bowl phoenix is full of fans from all over the country, like the nelsons. but 2-month-old juliet stayed back home in new mexico. >> she hasn't even had her measles shot. so we decided this is too crowded a venue for her to come to. >> reporter: they're worried about the measles outbreak that's now in 14 states including arizona. >> measles is one of the most infectious agents on the planet. and if you aren't protected and come into contact with someone who's sick, your chances of getting ill are about 90%.
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>> reporter: but health officials say the chances of being exposed to measles virus at the super bowl are tiny, though there has been a new exposure in new york where a barred college student boarded a train at penn station, one of the nation's busiest transportation centers. >> i'm vaccinated, so it doesn't really bother me. and the 8 trillion people coming through here, one person's not changing anything for me. >> reporter: the measles virus can survive a couple hours in the air or on surfaces, incredibly contagious, but incredibly preventable if people get immunized. but in the epicenter of this latest outbreak, california, about 3% of parents choose not to vaccinate their kindergartners for personal or religious reasons. rates are higher in other states like in oregon where it's 7%. and in idaho, vermont, michigan and maine. doctors say the measles shot doesn't just protect you or your child, it protects everyone else's too. >> don't get vaccinated just for yourself. do it so that you're not a vector of disease to somebody who might get into even more
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serious trouble than you may if they get it. >> reporter: because there are so many people here in town for the super bowl, public health officials have a lot of ways to monitor the spread of any illnesses. even some hotels are on alert to let the county know if say hotel gift shops sell out of a certain kind of medicine. lester. >> hallie jackson tonight, thank you. tomorrow's super bowl is not only the granddaddy of sporting events, it's also the big one for security teams. with the packed stadium and eyes of the world glued on the action, it's the one challenge of the day where losing is not an option. ron mott has our report from the site of the game. >> reporter: with less than 24 hours to kickoff, super bowl security is about to kick into high alert. >> we're looking for the super bowl anything like a weapon of mass destruction, any explosive, anything out of the ordinary. >> reporter: and they're scanning high and low for trouble. f-16 fighter jets will join blackhawk helicopters patrolling
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the no-fly zone above the stadium. on the ground, s.w.a.t. teams, canines, thousands of officers and security personnel in uniform and under cover safeguarding the game and the crowd of more than 71,000 fans. you have eyes pretty much on this entire facility. >> we do, both inside and out. >> reporter: it's the third super bowl in arizona. and the man in charge of coordinating 40-plus agencies on the security detail says familiarity hasn't brought complacency. >> a lot of us are waking up at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning running things through our heads what could go wrong. >> are you on the phone with her? >> reporter: from this undisclosed location, officials keep close watch on the festivities with more than 500 high-tech surveillance cameras in place. techs even scanning social media for threats. nothing is left to chance. the recent terrorist attacks in france adding to the heightened sense of urgency and vigilance. >> you can never relax your guard and we know that especially in light of what happened in paris. >> reporter: today, visible security remain largely in the
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background. come tomorrow it's front and center. >> a very visible presence and that's to make sure that everybody has the confidence that they can do what they came here to do, enjoy the fan experience that super bowl has to offer. >> reporter: hosting the super bowl is a coveted prize, but it's expensive. security alone here is expected to top out between $2 million and $3 million, perhaps a bit more. and now comes the challenging part for the cities involved, try to figure out how to pay for it all, lester. >> thank you. tomorrow's game comes after what's no doubt been a controversial season for the nfl. among the issues casting a shadow over the sport, concussions and the growing number of cognitive problems suffered by former players. nbc's chuck todd spoke with two-time super bowl champ leonard marshall about the impact it's had on him. >> i would forget things. i would forget places. i would have these shouting
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matches with my wife for no reason. i would have erratic behavior towards my child for no reason. i would do things that didn't make a lot of sense. >> scare you? >> scared the daylights out of me. and i started talking to people. and i started to figure out i'm not in this by myself. >> you can catch more of this interview and the larger discussion of sports and politics tomorrow on "meet the press" here on nbc. this week some of the country's top colleges announced they're drawing a hard line on drinking and partying. it's all aimed at preventing sexual assaults on campus. but the measures aren't without criticism. here's nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: is the wild alcohol-fueled college party a right of passage or the root of a larger problem? this week dartmouth banned hard alcohol on campus, part of a broad plan hoping to bring an end to binge drinking and sexual assaults. >> we are not alone in facing
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them, but we will lead in saying no more. >> reporter: some students at the ivy league school seemed to embrace the goal, if not the message. >> it's probably not a popular decision, but it's probably in the best interest of student health. >> reporter: an estimated 40% of college kids binge drink. for women that's four beers. and for men it's five, in under two hours. the dartmouth decision came just days after 16 national sorority leaders banned their university of virginia chapters from going to fraternity parties this weekend. in a letter the sorority presidents wrote, we believe the activities present significant safety concerns for all of our members. the mandate sparked criticism. >> i think it sends a message that women are weak. and i think i'm better than that. i think i'm smarter and more powerful than just hiding in my home whenever i feel danger. >> reporter: the university
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already put in place new rules and sexual assault policies after a now discredited report in rolling stone alleged a gang rape at a fraternity. other universities are facing scrutiny as well. this week two former vanderbilt football players were convicted of raping a fellow student in 2013. >> i'm just sorry. i never intended on hurting anyone. i was extremely intoxicated. >> reporter: just some of the cases that have triggered schools around the country to take action. >> a lot of people are trying to do the right thing. and now is really time for us to identify the best practices and figure out how to scale them up. >> reporter: cracking down on partying is important, activists say, but real cultural change will take more than just new rules. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. for a second weekend in a row we're watching a sizable winter storm on the march, this one delivering snow and frigid temperatures from the plains on
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into the northeast eventually. meteorologist dylan dreyer joins us with more on that. dylan. >> good evening, lester. about 70 million people are under some sort of winter weather advisory right now. from iowa, nebraska, all the way into new england. the storm producing rain right now through texas. snow filling in through omaha. we'll see heavier snow move into the chicago area and stay as snow throughout the entire day on sunday. now, we do have to watch this rain/snow line. you can see as we go into early monday morning in new york city we should see a transition from snow over to a wintry mix. we might even see that transition in boston as well. so that will determine just how much snow we see. chicago will stay as all snow. we're looking at easily a foot. same goes for southern parts of michigan and into northwestern ohio. most of new england will see a foot of snow, new york closer to about three to six inches. boston, we have to watch it. there could be another foot of snow headed that way, lester. >> dylan, thanks. we'll see you in the morning on "today." when "nightly news" continues on this saturday, the battle over drones and the new way they're being kept out of
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places they don't belong. and later, cheerleaders will be the smartest person at the super bowl turns out she might just be cheering from the sidelines.
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that security blanket we told you about surrounding tomorrow's super bowl will also be on look out for the prying eyes of drones. lately they're ending up in places they shouldn't be, like around manned aircraft and over secure areas. now one of the biggest makers of drones says it's found a way to
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prevent them from flying into the danger zone. our ian williams traveled to shenzhen, china, to get the story. >> reporter: a super bowl warning from the faa, just days after a drone crash landed on the white house lawn sparking a security alert. and another near the mexican border smuggling six pounds of drugs. both were made by a chinese company based here in shenzhen of which has been an urgent discussion with the faa. >> we are working with them on a daily basis. >> reporter: the company's product manager told us they've now come up with a software fix that will prevent their drones from flying in downtown d.c. or any other restricted air space. >> a no-fly zone a five-mile radius around airports so this basically prevents one of our multirotors to take off. >> reporter: it's being called a geofence and will work through the drone's gps system keeping
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certain locations off limits. >> now i'm recording. >> reporter: eji is the world's biggest consumer drone producer. as u.s. sales have boomed, the faa has been receiving about 25 reports a month of drones flying near manned aircraft forcing them to draw up new rules. consumer drones are opening up a dizzying new world of possibilities and challenges. and not for the first time with the new technology the regulators are struggling to keep up. balancing privacy and security concerns against the promise of a revolutionary new technology. >> every day we're seeing lots and lots of new ideas. >> reporter: one idea from the ucla football team which recently brought in a drone to help them train and analyze their game. but that won't make them any more welcome in phoenix tomorrow. >> don't spoil the game, leave your drone at home. >> reporter: ian williams, nbc news, shenzhen, china. when we come back, the dramatic rescue that earned one lucky dog a new name.
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a daring rescue in a los angeles river yesterday after a small dog was swept up in its raging waters during a sudden rainstorm. a firefighter was lowered by helicopter and managed to get ahold of the pooch. the two were then pulled to safety. no word yet on who the dog belongs to, but for the time being he's going to be known by the name lucky. it was a lot more than luck that sent a pair of balloonists flying into the history books today. their helium-filled balloon landed safely off mexico's baja coast this morning after nearly 7,000-mile journey across the pacific ocean from japan. the week-long trip shattered balloon endurance and distance records that had stood for decades. serena williams proved unstoppable once again today
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clenching her sixth australian open final and 19th career grand slam. despite battling a cough that forced her to leave the court, williams beat maria sharapova in straight sets. with today's win she moves ahead on the all-time wins list. up next, cheerleading meets rocket science at the super bowl.
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finally tonight, the cheerleaders at tomorrow's super
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bowl will be among the most talented and beautiful people at the game no doubt. turns out that same group of women may be among the smartest people on the field. here's nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: new england patriots melanie sanchez has everything you'd expect for a super bowl cheerleader, beautiful, bubbly and brainy. >> my dream is always to become a dentist. >> reporter: the woman spends any given sunday on the nfl sidelines, spends the rest of the week at tough dental school. >> i think what i'm doing is totally doable. you can have a career in the science field, or in any field, and dance and do cheerleading. >> reporter: she's not alone. teammate kelly bennion is an aspiring neuroscientist dubbed by one article, the smartest person at the super bowl. you got your masters at harvard, now you're getting your ph.d. you're not what a lot of people think of when they think of cheerleader. >> that's my message to young girls, is that you really can have it all. >> reporter: to spread that message they teamed up with a group called science cheerleaders with a rather impressive roster.
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>> britney, new england patriots, licensed clinical social worker. >> samantha sanders, arizona cardinals alumni, botanical engineering. >> houston texans alumni nasa engineer. >> reporter: turns out cheering can be rocket science. the cheerleaders now have an experiment flying on the international space station. >> microbial research on the international space station. >> reporter: no idea what she just said. but they are getting through to young girls. inspiring them to follow all their dreams. >> a cheerleader and doctor. >> a professional nfl cheerleader and a vet. >> reporter: a cheerleader and a dentist? do you think you can do both? and at a time when women make up less than a quarter of the science and technology workforce, that might be the biggest win of all. >> i want to be a microbiologist. >> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc news, phoenix, arizona. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. reminder coverage of the super
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bowl, super bowl xlix begins at noon eastern time tomorrow right here on nbc. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today." good night. >> announcer: nbc bay area news starts now. >> right now, at 6:00. people running from the flames. fire fighters battling a quick-moving fire that could be seen for miles. good evening i'm peggy bunker. terry mcsweeney is on assignment at the super bowl to night. joining us soon.
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well it burned so fast and spread very quickly. now several people are out of their homes. the fire nearly destroys a san francisco apartment building. the blaze broke out on mcallister in the city's alamo square neighborhood. nbc bay area's christie smith is live at the scene. firefighters have been so busy laty. >> they have been. and, that is that some residents are being allowed back in at least to gather some items. and then they're leaving again. red cross of course on scene helping those who might need it. after a stubborn four alarm fire that broke out early this afternoon. took firefighters an hour to contain the fire. firefighters are telling us it started in the first floor, rear of a corner building and extended into the light well where three buildings come together. it spread from there. three buildings, with minor damage to a fourth. firefighters saying they had to do an aggressive attack. and assist the chief as the that