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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 10, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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battle lines. in iowa. it's getting personal. and the gloves are off hours from newt gingrich's first debate as frontrunner rallying cry. russians march on moscow, rising up against their own government. mass protests not seen in decades desperate act. why would this woman agree to marry the man who raped her? fighting breast cancer. promising news for women battling one of the most aggressive forms of the disease. and tall order. >> a nice tree. >> discount retailers turning an annual family outing into a simple click of a mouse. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. fo for so many months the word "frontrunne "frontrunner" stea almoalmost permanently attache mitt romney's name as challengechallenger challenger out. bup but tbut the caucus stas taken a dramatic shift. mitt romney find himself running behind newt gingrich. onone contest does not make or brep breakbreak a campaign at least the perception of momentum. so as the republican candidates prepare to debate each other tonight p tonight in deton newt gingrich to be in the middle of a crossfire. >>. >> reporter: now a distant second in iowa polls, mitt romney is mounting a late push, campaigning today in des moines with wife ann, highlighting their marriage of over 40 years. >> this is my middle son. we have five boys as you know.
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and josh had an extraordinary talent. he really should be the politician in the family. not me. >> reporter: romney's goal in iowa, halt the rise of frontrunner newt gingrich, in part by contrasting his own personal life with gingrich's history of infidelity and two divorces. romney's allies have attackeded him. >> you have to have somebody that you believe in. you have to have somebody that has integrity. poor ethics has no place in the white house. >> reporter: other republicans fear gingrich is a loose cannon. >> with the palestinian authority is relatively weak. >> reporter: that fear was heightened yesterday when in an interview with the jewish channel, gingrich implied there is no such thing as a palestinian. >> i think we've had an invented palestinian people who are in fact arabs and historically part of the arab community. >> reporter: gingrich went on to call the peace process delusional. critics including many middle east experts have pounced, noting that even the israeli government supports an even
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value palestinian state. today that statement the gingsz campaign clarified his stance "newt gingrich supports a negotiated peace agreement between israel and the palestinians will win necessary include agreement between israel and the palestinians over the borders of a palestinian state". gingrich campaigned in iowa today with his wife and pledged to stay positive in the face of attacks. >> i'll also tell you, none of my surrogates are going to be encouraged to go out and attack anyone. we have lots of good, positive things to talk about. >> reporter: gingrich has a 13-point lead in iowa just three weeks before the caucus. but rivals hope that with two debates remaining there's time to win over the majority of voters who still haven't made up their mind. and lester, one of those rivals who bears watching is ron paul. he's got very strong backing in iowa. he's essentially tied with mitt romney for second. you can expect paul and other conservatives, you said it, lester, we're going to go after newt gingrich hard tonight at that debate. >> viqueira for the white house. david gregory joins us now from
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our washington news room. david, did the romney camp see this gingrich train coming and would you expect them to go on the attack and wait and hope for him time plode? >> i think the early part of the strategy was to let the other candidates flame out on us. that's the experience they've seen so far. gingrich was different. he immediately became a more lasting frontrunner. tonight, yes, i do think you'll see romney rather in a targeted way going after gingrich. i don't think he'll make it personal. but look for two distinct areas. ideology and then temperament and leadership. i think there's no question that romney wants to say to voters, look, this is a political philosopher. this is somebody that you can't really trust who's going to zigzag all over the place. at a time when washington needs to change the way it does business, you need somebody who can bring kind of a steadier hand, a more even keel. that's the contrast he's going to try to paint. >> of course it's not going to be just gingrich taking body blows at this debate.
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president obama will take share. there's a new network news poll out tonight that shows 41% of americans think obama has done a good enough job it to be re-elected. now it's early in the game but can the white house easily dismiss that kind of sentiment? >> no, they can't. i think anytime an approval rating for a president goes below 45% it's a big red light for any incumbent president. it's about the economy. and it's also about emotion. you notify the for the middle class that president talked about this week. emotion is fuelling the conservative race for the presidency as well. that's why so many conservatives want to see gingrich debate romney. and debate the president, of course. >> david gregory, david, thanks. we want to remind folks that fresh off tonight's debate congressman ron paul will be among david's guests on "meet the press" tomorrow morning on nbc to russia where we saw something today we haven't seen in decades. a government-sanctioned mass protest through the streets of moscow. tens of thousands of ordinary citizens rising up against
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corruption and their prime minister, vladimir putin. nbc's stephanie gosk is there. >> reporter: the cold and the snow didn't stop them. the massive show of force on moscow's streets didn't, either. police estimated a crowd of 25,000, the largest political demonstration since the early 90ss. russia without putin, they defiantly chanted. >> we hold that our lives will be better. >> reporter: some carried flowers while others wore white silk ribbons. now the symbol of a political movement that started just this week after allegations of widespread fraud during sunday's parliamentary elections. >> translator: this is a protest against dishonest elections, and the authorities who have lost society's trust. >> reporter: putin's party united russia suffered surprising losses. but the opposition says it should have been worse. videos of alleged widespread fraud and ballot stuffing popped up all over the internet, sparking protests and clashes
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with police. over 1,000 arrests. but today it was different. the government approved the massive rally. putin said he supports the opposition's right to protest. >> this is a sign that government is recognizing that steam need to be let off, that there is an enormous amount of discontent. >> reporter: today security forces and demonstrators both showed restraint. protesters especially the young people, this is their first ever political demonstration. they are very clear on one point specifically. they are not calling this a revolution. they say they want their voices heard and they want a new election. the government now has to decide how it will respond. but the rally did have an immediate impact. the cracks in vladimir putin's once unquestionable popularity are now visible for the world to see. stephanie gosk, nbc news, moscow. back here at home one of the country's largest youth sports groups confirms to nbc news that it has asked police to look into
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allegations of child sex abuse against its now former president. the news comes on the heels of investigations of coaches at penn state and syracuse. prompting an uptick in abuse reports in a number of states. nbc's jane gray reports. >> reporter: the prestigious amateur athletic union, one of the largest sports organizations in the nation, home to more than 500,000 young athletes has been shocked tonight by shocking allegations that bobbie dodd who has led the organization for nearly two decades sexually abused aau athletes. >> that was his m.o. was coming in in the middle of night when you were asleep and trying to assault you. >> reporter: at least two men who as teenagers played on teams coached by dodd say he attacked them during team road trips in the 80s. one of dodd's accusers spoke with espn. >> i was dead asleep. i don't remember anything but waking up and he has his -- he's trying to put his hand in my boxer shorts. and i jumped up, straight out of the bed, and he's not there but
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he's laying on the floor next to me down by the bed. >> reporter: nbc news has been unable to reach dodd for comment on the accusations but can confirm tonight he's been replaced as the president and ceo of the organization. the aau is taking the allegations seriously and cooperating with memphis police who are also investigating. experts say the string of high-profile public accusations over the last couple of months have empowered other potential victims to come forward. in fact, in the week after the penn state scandal broke, calls to a state child abuse hotline doubled while reports to a national hotline have now grown by 54%. >> i believe this is truly the tip of the iceberg in reporting. victims who have not reported anything primarily because of shame now feel that they are no longer alone. >> reporter: comfort in numbers for the alleged victims. numbers that also drive the concern for so many in the communities affected. jay gray, nbc news, state
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college, pennsylvania. now to an act of desperation by a woman faced with an impossible choice, spend the next dozen years in prison or agree to marry the man who raped her next change for her freedom. it happened in afghanistan. and we hear her story now from nbc's atia abawe. >> reporter: 19-year-old gonaz is a prisoner, behind bars entrapped in a society that still treats women as second-class citizens. she says she was raped by her cousin's husband. she went to the police to seek justice. instead, she was charged with adultery and locked up. "i don't know why they put me in jail" she says. her daughter a product of the rape was born on her prison cell floor. initially sentenced to two years, she appealed and lost. her sentence increased to 12 years unless she agreed to marry the man she says raped her. american lawyer kimberly mottley took the case and just last week
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helped gomaz gain a presidential pardon. >> it definitely it putting the attorney general's office, the supreme court, and also others that are working within this justice system sort of on notice. >> reporter: gomaz is now counting the days until her release. she's been sharing a cell with female prisoners and -- >> reporter: many afghan women suffer abuse. a woman's awareness program is running ads like this one on afghan television, urging women to stand up and seek help. the gomaz's case is a reminder of where afghan women really send. >> these cases send a message to all after began women there isn't any help available to them and the consequences of seeking help are likely to be further victimization. >> reporter: as for gomaz herself there is no happy ending. she has decided she has no choice but to marry her rapist.
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>> translator: i'm oblige today marry him even though i can't look at him, she says. gomaz and her daughter will soon leave this prison for another. still shackled by the traditions of an ancient tribal culture. atia abowe, nbc news, kabul three courageous women who have fought against violence and repression were awarded this year's nobel peace prize today in norway. tawakal karman shared with two women from lie beer yeah, leyman gbowee and ellen johnson sirleaf. >> be not afraid to demand peace. if i might thus speak to girls and women everywhere, i would issue them this simple invitation. my sisters, my daughters, my friends, find your voice. >> johnson sur leaf is america's first -- africa's i should say
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first democratically elected female president. when nbc nightly news continues, promising news for women battling breast cancer. and later, a new trend, lighting up a debate about an age-old tradition. you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice. between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe. [ timer dings ] got to go. priority mail flat rate shipping at a simpler way to ship. but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth! it's bring your happiness to work day. campbell's microwavable soups.
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fighting woumpb the most aggressive forms of the disease. we get the details tonight from our chief science correspondent robert bizell. >> reporter: not only did rebekah freedman of los angeles have breast cancer but a particular form of the disease with a protein called her 2. it appears in about one in five breast cancers and can make them very aggressive. so freedman, who is now cancer free, volunteered to take part in a clinical trial to find the best way to treat her cancer. even without knowing what drugs she would get. >> it's well worth doing it. because i have this little girl that i want to survive for. >> reporter: there was already a drug on the market to treat her two breast cancers, an anti-body called receptin but at the san antonio breast cancer symposium this week, news that when this is combined with a second drug, an anti-body infusion, the treatment works far better. dr. jose gibelda of
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massachusetts general hospital headed that research. if you bring to the tumor a second ant body, complimentary, working through another mechanism, the two together are way more powerful. that's the basis for our findings. the first human studies with the new drug were done even before patients had surgery, so doctors could determine if the initial cancers shrank or disappeared. in some cases it did. >> you can watch on a daily basis what's happening with the tumor. you can even do sometimes a biopsy and see if the cells are dying or not. >> reporter: and when the new drug combination was given to women with advanced breast cancer, it aalloweded them to survive without the tumor progressing for several months longer. much of the research presented at this conference comes from the understanding that breast cancer is not one disease but many, and new treatments need to be tailored to the individual woman. that is the goal and it is improving treatment. but everyone, scientists, activists, doctors and patients hope to seat research move much
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faster. robert bazell, nbc news, san antonio thousands of volunteers turned out today at arlington's national cemetery to honor our nation's veterans. it's the start of a massive wreath laying effort that began 20 years ago as a small way to give thanks. since then it's grown into an organization called wreaths across america just across the river in lab dover, maryland, president obama attended the army navy game tossing the coin at the start and head up to the broadcast booth praising the and forces and the sacrifices they make. they watched the game from the navy side before the army side for the second wife. navy beat army 27-21. when we come back tonight, a path of destruction coast-to-coast like we've never seen before glad it's with fide. they offer me one-on-one guidance to help me choose my investments.
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new simpler names, but the same effective relief. robitussin®. relief made simple. you'll have to forgive a lot of stargazers if they're dragging a bit today to get up early on a saturday morning to catch a rare phenomenon. around 6:00 a.m. out west earth passed directly between the sun and the moon for about an hour. the last total lunar eclipse for three years. the moon appeared a spectacular shade of deep red as some nigso sunlight reached it through the earth's atmosphere the people who keep track of the nation's weather say 2011 will go down as a record breaker for a lot of reasons. among them lives lost and dollars spent. at least a dozen extreme weather events this year have each cost $1 billion or more. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: no one who lived through the tornadoes this spring had ever seen anything like it.
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from virginia to alabama, 748 tornadoes in april alone. and then missouri. >> there's st. john's hospital. you can see how damaged it is from up here. >> reporter: and the e 5 that tore through joplin. 160 people died in joplin on may 22nd. the seventh deadliest tornado in history. >> oh, they just pulled out their dog. that is great. >> reporter: the first five months of 2011 had already proven to be record breakers. it only got worse. >> when you go back and look at the groundhog day blizzard and pretty much go right through the spring weather, severe weather season and then into the hurricane season, we've had a horrible year. >> reporter: in all, nearly 3,000 monthly weather records have been broken so far this year. with noaa estimating the country sustained 12 weather disasters that cost at least $1 billion or more each. that breaks a record set in 2008 with nine such disasters. >> all that should be
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underwater. >> reporter: first drought, then wildfires ravaged texas, new mexico and arizona. from the dakotas to the gulf coast, massive flooding caused catastrophic damage. then in august, irene raked the east coast. >> the sand is like a sand blaster. >> reporter: north carolina was hit first, then new jersey, new york, and vermont. climatologists blame climate change and shifting global weather patterns for the extremes. and more could be on the way. >> everything we know about the climate system and its physicses say that we will see more frequent extreme events and greater severity and intensity. >> reporter: roughly 1,000 people have died so far in this year's weather disasters. they've cost an estimated $52 billion. but communities are still counting. with the impact zones so often at the intersection of mother nature and a growing population, a warning that it could get even
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costlier and more deadly. tom costello, nbc news, washington. up next here tonight, a sign of the times for christmas trees. [ female announcer ] you spend weeks planning it.
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and two espressos, make one a double. she's full and focused! [ barista ] i have two cappuccinos, one coffee with room, one large mocha latte, a medium macchiato, a light hot chocolate, hold the whip and two espressos, one with a double shot. hehe, that's not the coffee talking. [ female announcer ] start your day with kellogg's frosted mini-wheats cereal. the 8 layers of whole grain fiber help keep you full so you can avoid the distraction of mid-morning hunger. no thanks, i'm good. finally tonight, a tall order for some big name american retailers hit hard in this tough economy, they're their online sales have been a major bright spot this holiday season. now some stores are taking it one step further by turning a traditional family out together christmas tree lot or tree farm
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into a simple click of the mouse. nbc's ron mott now with a sign of the times. >> reporter: near san francisco, the ford pull the plug on their dying christmas tree after one week and then did something they've never done before. they bought another one, hoping it would be a lot fresher on the internet. >> the tree's here. >> reporter: oh, christmas tree. >> it smells so good. >> reporter: the real thing in a box. >> when it comes to christmas, i'm a very traditional person. and i enjoy all of those things. so this was a difficult choice for me. >> reporter: this year, major retailers like sears, home depot and target, are selling freshly-cut trees on their web sites, turning the christmas tree into another easy online purchase. rest easy, traditionalists. the national christmas tree association says the vast majority of the 27 million trees egg pecked to sell this season will get home the old-fashioned way on the roof of the car. and for many families, the holidays just aren't unless
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they've cut it down themselves. a ritual some find hard to shake. >> this here tree is built to last. no needles coming off this here tree. >> reporter: as portrayed in the classic film "a christmas story". >> i give you the griswold family tris mass tree. >> reporter: and national lampoon's "christmas vacation". >> a lot of sap in here. >> reporter: so with saws in hand, family after family trekked out north of boston in search of the right one. 8-year-old shawn buckner and his parents janie and john are convinced they found theirs. >> that's a pretty tree. >> reporter: they wouldn't trade the outing for the convenience of buying on the web. >> timber. >> who could say what that magic element is? i wanted my son to grab the other end of the saw when we were cutting this tree. you can't do that online. >> the online experience is never going to hold a candle to the real-live activity of coming out and cutting your own tree. >> this one can go here. >> reporter: weather found
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online or spotted down a line of green, holiday tree huggers can agree on one thing. at least it's not fake. ron mott, nbc news, beverly, massachusetts. >> that's nbc nightly news for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" then right back here tomorrow evening. and there's our christmas tree. tomorrow evening. and there's our christmas tree. have a good night, everyone. -- captions by vitac --


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