tv NBC Nightly News NBC January 30, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
. on our broadcast tonight, the time is now. that's a quote from a dramatic appeal from gabby giffords, pleading with congress to act on guns while the head of the nra says not so fast. all of this played out at the very moment we heard of another shooting spree. a deadly outbreak of tornadoes tearing up part of the south, along a dangerous line of colliding winter and summer weather that is visible from space. direct strike. israel has now attacked syria in an air strike. what does this mean for this very dangerous civil war? and all the nations nearby? and the parent trap. if you think it's tough cheering for your kids on the sidelines, imagine your kids are the opposing coaches in the super bowl. tonight, we'll hear from their folks. "nightly news" begins now.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. >> good evening. it takes just a moment to remember back clearly to the very moment we learned about the shootings at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. to remember how shocked we all were and how sad and sorry a scene that was. well, this is still very much the post newtown era. so there was great emotion today at a hearing on guns on capitol hill. especially when a very well-known survivor of gun violence, gabby giffords, came forward to deliver her own remarks. and yet during the hearing, we learned of another shooting. this one in arizona. a workplace, one gunman, three shooting victims, one fatal. we begin tonight with this emotional issue. our report from nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the passion so deep, this hearing was packed, included
many families and survivors, victims of other shootings. and it was a group of people asking congress to do something, and that is the cause that changed the life of former congresswoman, gabby giffords, and brought her back to washington today. her gift of speech is a distant memory, said husband mark kelly. yet gabby giffords' halting words. >> too many children. >> reporter: here as a survivor of the tucson assassination attempt that left her partially blind and partially paralyzed. >> you must act. be bold, be courageous. >> reporter: giffords and kelly, both gun owners, want congress to expand background checks to gun shows and private sales to make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get weapons. >> my wife would not be sitting in this seat. she would not have been sitting here today, if we had stronger background checks. >> reporter: but this first hearing on guns since the
newtown massacre had another center of gravity. the national rifle association's ceo, wayne lapierre. >> should we have mandatory background checks at gun shows? >> if you're a dealer, that's already the law. >> reporter: of all the gun-related ideas on the table, democrats believe universal background checks has the best chance politically. >> we'll stop them from the original purchase. you missed that point completely. and i think it's basic. >> senator, i think you miss -- basketball. >> order! >> reporter: the nra says adding new laws would hit ordinary citizens, not criminals. >> my problem with background checks, you're never going to get criminals to go through universal background checks. >> reporter: many democrats want to limit magazines to ten bullets. while republicans say self defense may require more. >> one bullet in the hand of a mentally unstable person or a convicted felon is one too many. six bullets in the hands of a mother protecting her twin
9-year-olds may not be enough. >> reporter: today, in an interview with tele fine dough, president obama said new restrictions could make a difference. >> even if it doesn't save every person who is a potential victim of gun violence. we save a few. if we don't do that, shame on us. >> reporter: and the president goes on the road to minnesota monday to sell his own reforms. and many republicans and members of the nra are saying prosecutors today need to do more to enforce the laws that are already on the books. brian? >> kelly o'donnell, after a big day on the hill. kelly, thanks. there are fewer places in this country with tougher gun laws than the city of chicago. there are no gun stores in the city, and yet nowhere in this country is the problem of gun violence more dramatic than in the president's hometown. there were a staggering 506 murders in chicago last year. most of them due to gun violence. this year is off to an awful start. 42 murders already, behind every
one of those stats is a human tragedy, including the shooting death yesterday of a teenage girl. our report tonight from nbc's john yang. >> reporter: today family and friends mourned 15-year-old huh dea pentelton, kilgd yesterday in a quiet south side neighborhood less than a mile from president obama's chicago home. just last week, she was in washington for the inauguration as a member of her high school drill team. >> another good one is gone. >> reporter: she was shot once in the back as she was huddled under a canopy escaping the rain. >> she was with her crowd, the kids doing the right things, the kids with promising futures, trying to become somebody special. >> since saturday, chicago has recorded 11 homicides, nine by gunshot. the toll on parents across the country is mounting. shirley chambers hangs up the suit she just bought for her son, ronnie, the suit he'll be
buried in. 33-year-old ronnie chambers was killed on chicago's west side early saturday, shot in the head with what police say was an assault weapon. >> i thought sure ronny was going to be an old man. i really did. but god called him home. >> reporter: he was shirley chambers last surviving child. a big brother, carlos, was shot to death in 1995, at age 18. his little sister, la toya, then 15, and his older brother, jerome, 23, were killed in separate shootings in 2000. at the funeral home, she picked out a casket. >> it was one with the four little doves. like god just sent me -- like this is the one. they all four -- four of them. >> back together again. >> yes, yes. all together again. >> reporter: she wants to see tougher gun laws. >> it's too much. i don't want no mother, no father, nobody to have to go through what i went through. >> reporter: a mother who has lost all her children, now focused on protecting the
children of others. john yang, nbc news, chicago. on another front, our weather remains in the news tonight. what we're witnessing is florida-style warm air banging up against winter in the north and it is a violent collision all along that line. the line is so distinct, it's visible from space. and the map shows the damage done. the blue icons here, reports of high winds. the red funnels confirm tornadoes. just today. this is rare. violent weather for january. weather channel meteorologist julie martin is in hard-hit adaresville, georgia. good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. this 18-wheeler, one of dozens flipped in this fast-moving storm that's left destruction across several states and killed two, ending the nation's longest break in tornado fatalities since records began back in 1950. the picture says it all. a massive funnel cloud tearing through downtown adaresville,
georgia. >> right across the line. >> reporter: destroying dozens of homes and businesses, killing at least one person. as the fast-moving storm swept across georgia, authorities were forced to shut down nearly ten miles of interstate 75, after vehicles were tossed and overturned by strong winds. 100 people were at work when the twister took aim at this manufacturing plant. >> seeing it come down. and it got to the last point, and you had to run. >> reporter: thankfully, everyone made it out alive. the baker family rode out the storm in their backyard shelter. >> we shut the door, you know, to keep us all safe. and then when we walked out, we saw this. and our home is gone. but we're okay. >> reporter: children were forced to take cover inside schools. outside, streets flooded. and thousands were left without power. this after a night of wild weather, a line of storms stretches 1,000 miles from the gulf coast to the great lakes
wreak havoc on the nation's mid section with high winds, heavy rain and even snow. in tennessee, the national weather service confirmed three tornadoes touched down overnight. one man was killed by a falling tree. and in kentucky, two people were injured when another confirmed tornado blew a trailer off its foundation. what we're seeing right now is springtime weather coming up from the gulf of mexico. warm and humid. wintertime weather coming down from canada, cold and dry. the clash coming together, creating some severe weather. >> reporter: it's also led to a week of weather whiplash. a day after reaching a record 65 degrees in cleveland, tonight, it's expected to snow. and in green bay, where yesterday it was in the 50s, people are bracing for their second biggest snowfall of the season. and they're even sandbagging tonight outside the white house to protect from possible flooding. and tonight that severe weather threat exists all the way from
our nation's capital in through northern florida. brian? >> julie martin, adaresville, georgia. julie, thanks. let's go to weather channel meteorologist jim cantore tonight. jim, today at one point, 32 chicago, 67, philly. that's got to spell trouble. >> yeah. you can't have april in january, brian, and not pay a price here. tonight, a true want testament to how wild this is. we have a tornado watch out for the nation's capital. this may happen once every 20 years. a tornado watch out for the nation's capital. not to mention, julie mentioned the potential flooding there, we have flooding in atlanta, western north carolina has already had 6 inches of rain. they're doing water rescues there. while it is snowing in chicago. so a sign of change, certainly, to make its way to the east. here comes this cold front, a long night for washington. again, this watch going out until 2:00 a.m. we'll still see storms there. here comes the cold front, finally clearing the east coast by about noontime tomorrow. so we're going to see temperatures drop off by about 30 degrees. so a snap back to reality,
brian, with cold winds and temperature wind chills in the teens. >> all right, jim cantore, thank you for being with us. think for a moment about the candle power and the political fire power the state of massachusetts used to have in the u.s. senate. for almost 25 years after all their two senators were ted kennedy and john kerry. ted kennedy died two-and-a-half years ago. today john kerry said farewell to his senate home of a quarter century as he now becomes secretary of state. and for a time today during his farewell, he found it too tough to go on. >> standing here at this desk, that once belonged -- at this desk that once belonged to president kennedy and to ted kennedy. i can't help but be reminded that even our nation's greatest leaders and all the rest of us
are merely temporary workers. i'm reminded that this chamber is a living museum. a lasting memorial to the miracle of the american experiment. >> john kerry's emotional farewell to the senate today. his departure now means a new interim senator, the massachusetts governor today named long-time boston lawyer, missouri callan to the seat which will be filled by a special election in june. there are now two black u.s. senators. that's a first. the other, tim scott of south carolina, was also appointed to his seat. and senator kerry departure means elizabeth warren, who was just sworn in, is now the senior senator from massachusetts. one of the biggest challenges that will immediately confront secretary of state kerry at the state department is the crisis in syria, where there's been a major development today. an israeli air strike inside syria near damascus. richard engel, our chief foreign correspondent, here with us in the studio tonight.
what's the significance of israel reaching in and popping a target like that. >> it's quite circusignature. what we've been able to can remember, an israeli air strike took place and attacked a convoy, probably stationary, just north of damascus. it was packed with fairly sophisticated russian anti aircraft missiles. and that those missiles were on their way to lebanon. they were going to be handed over to hezbollah. hezbollah is very powerful in lebanon, israel's sworn enemy. israel did not want hezbollah to have these weapons. what does it mean? hezbollah and israel could be heading up for another round. it also means israel is willing to reach inside syria and stop weapons from leaking out, maybe even chemical weapons. >> an escalation in a dangerous neighborhood. richard engel, thank you, as always. still ahead for us tonight, a dramatic turn of events for a man who was once a heartbeat from a presidency. and what about those reports
he's suddenly $100 million rich richer. and later, perhaps the only two folks in america who wish the super bowl could end up in a tie. to the best vacation spot on earth. (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert.
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with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. former senator, vice president and presidential nominee, al gore, is out with a new book, entitled "the future." and while he's getting credit for being out ahead on the issue of climate change for years, he is also facing some criticism for selling the tv network he owned to the al jazeera media empire, owned by the oil-producing nation of qatar. nbc's andrea mitchell talked to him about all of it. >> reporter: floods. fires. historic drought. some of the dire consequences al gore warns about if we don't act on climate change. >> do we still have time? >> yes. some of the changes will continue to unfold for a long time. but the worst of it can still be avoided. but we do need to act quickly.
>> reporter: last week, a major commitment at the inaugural. >> we will respond to the threat of climate change. >> i think that is a form of commitment that has consequences. he will have to follow up on this. >> reporter: but gore has been disappointed before. 2008 campaign promises on climate change were trumped by the economic crisis and died in the senate. >> 37 inches of rain -- >> reporter: a lifelong environmental advocate, now gore is being challenged for his own energy deal. the sale of his fledgling cable network, current tv, to al jazeera, owned by the oil and gas-producing persian gulf nation of qatar for a reported $5 million. >> i completely understand the criticism. and the point of view that you're reporting. but the fact is that al jazeera stands all around the world as a highly respected international news-gathering organization. >> isn't there something
inherently hypocritical about taking money, and a lot of money, from an oil producer? >> the point you're making is one that i understand very, very clearly. i do disagree with it. >> there has been such pent-up expense. >> reporter: gore's life has taken a dramatic turn. after 40 years of marriage, he and tipper made a mutual decision to separate. >> we have a wonderful relationship. we're very close friends. we had all the children and grandchildren for christmas. >> reporter: gore was the last presidential candidate to take on the gun lobby and he paid a heavy price, even losing his home state of tennessee. now he says that the horrific tragedy at sandy hook elementary has to be the crossing of a line beyond which we finally have to act. >> interesting to see the former vice president. >> really is. >> andrea mitchell, thank you, as always. we're back in a moment with the weight of the nation and some of the biggest myths about keeping off the pounds. before copd...
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a new study by the u.s. fish and wildlife service says flat out, cats are bird murderers. they say in this country alone, cats are responsible for the deaths of as many as 3.7 billion birds every year, saying nothing of a higher number of small animals, mostly mice in the wrong place at the wrong time, quickly dispatched by cats. one smithsonian expert says he was stunned by the new numbers. a new review of the science behind weight loss is shooting down a bunch of myths about weight loss. for example, the fine folks at the "new england journal of medicine" say it's a myth that sex burns off calories by the hundreds. here's another. the concept that small changes in diet can be the solution to losing weight. no, they say, the body adapts to that. they also say the idea that it's bad to lose a lot of weight quickly or that skipping breakfast will make you heavier are also myths. when we come back, brother
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sometimes siblings end up on rival teams, playing against each other. well, this sunday, we may have what you could call the super bowl of all sibling rivalries. the story from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: imagine your son playing in the super bowl. >> this fires me up. >> reporter: now imagine both of your sons. >> our guys are excited for football. >> reporter: playing each other in the super bowl. this sunday, coaches jim and john harbaugh face off on the field. in the stands, their parents, jack and jackie harbaugh, will be sweating it out. >> that thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. and on sunday night, we're going to experience both of those -- those great emotions. and our thoughts will be with the one that comes up a little short. >> reporter: but they are also reveling in the thrill. jack harbaugh was a high school and college football coach himself. >> who has it better than us? nobody! >> reporter: they won't be wearing any team colors, and they won't say where they are
sitting. their sons have coached against each other before, just not in the super bowl. last season, on thanksgiving day. the ravens won. >> during the three hours and fifteen minutes, i want you to know, this lady was comatose. >> because of the stress. something all parents of star athletes go through. this summer in london, ally went for gold but it was her parents' anxiety routine that went viral. >> stick it! >> reporter: adding to the stress, the harbaugh parents were the victims of a prank. an unidentified caller offend into a live press conference last week. >> caller: yeah, a question from baltimore. is it true that both of you like jim better than john? >> is that january harbaugh? >> reporter: it was john. their son, teasing them. as if he and his brother hadn't already made things difficult enough. >> both of them have shared this with us. mom and dad, please promise us that you will enjoy this. >> reporter: programs perhaps the only fans in the stands monday who won't be playing