tv NBC Nightly News NBC January 18, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
on our broadcast tonight, the hostage crisis unfolding this evening. some have been freed, but at least one american has been killed. tonight, what we know about the rescue mission. a new warning during this already deadly flu season, an alert from doctors about how things can go from bad to worse quickly. paying the price. lance armstrong admits he did it and now they tally up the cost. and the hidden danger exposed by that terrible hoax at notre dame and how many find themselves caught up in something like it. also, our friday night "making a difference" report. "nightly news" begins now.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening, there's some sad news heading into this weekend for at least one american family. an american has been killed overseas. his death believed to be the result of a mission launched to free a large group of hostages who were taken at a bp natural gas complex. islamic militants took hostages at the facility in the sahara desert in algeria. in retaliation for the fact that france has launched a war against islamic insurgents over these past few days in the nearby nation of mali. the u.s. found itself caught in the middle of this with u.s. citizens working overseas, held hostage, and a rescue mission to free them carried out by a foreign nation. there's still a lot we don't know about survivors, casualties, the living and the dead. we begin tonight with nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: the attack on the gas field in western algeria has left one american dead. fred buttaccio.
u.s. officials say five americans were working at the complex. two escaped and two more are being held. a statement from the kidnappers posted by an african news agency said they would exchange the u.s. hostages for two high-profile convicted terrorists currently u.s. custody, triggering this response from the state department. >> the united states does not negotiate with terrorists. >> reporter: in texas, friends of a 57-year-old engineer kidnapped in algeria hope he's still alive. >> we were asked every night, he's in our prayers. >> reporter: algerian state news reported 100 out of 132 hostages have been freed with multiple kidnappers and hostages killed. it's not clear how many are still held hostage. those who did escape have shared frightening details of their ordeal. stephen mcfaul told his family in ireland the militants forced him to wear an explosive belt. his young son was overwhelmed by the news that his dad was okay.
>> i never want him to go back there. >> reporter: with the fate of dozens of hostages still unknown, there is frustration among some foreign leaders that the algerian government gave them no warning before launching the rescue operation. they weren't told until it was already under way. >> i think the u.s. and other governments would have liked to have coordinated this much better with the algerians to protect the hostages in a way that, frankly, i'm not sure the algerian military either fully cared about or was able to do. >> good afternoon, everyone. >> reporter: the secretary of state clinton made it very clear who the u.s. government holds ultimately responsible. >> let's not forget, this is an act of terror. the perpetrators are the terrorists. >> reporter: tonight, that same terror group had a message for the government in algeria. they will strike again. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. >> leading news in this country, the awful flu season hit a new
milestone today. it's now reported as widespread in 48 of our 50 states. with reported cases increasing now on the west coast. the nationwide death toll now includes 29 children. sadly, that number is up by nine since just last week. we're joined here again tonight by our chief medical officer here at nbc, dr. tanya benenson. doc, i noticed today the numbers showing pneumonia also up. why is that? >> well, pneumonia is the most common complication from the flu. but we are seeing higher numbers of pneumonia than we would expect. and that's in the high risk people. so you have people with chronic illnesses, weak immune systems. the very young, under 2. over 65 and pregnant women. and it's not surprising, this is a group we target to really get the flu shot to help prevent these complications. >> i know you're busy with inoculations but you also track this so closely because you have so many employees to worry about. where do you think we are in terms of the 50 yard line, the halfway mark in illness? >> i don't think there's any way
to predict the flu. you could get a peak now and then in march we could get another one. it's completely unpredictable, and you have to stay vigilant. >> i was fearing you were going to tell us that as we head into the weekend of germs and exposures. dr. tanya benenson, thank you as always for being here with us. lance armstrong finally came clean about his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career. in a prime time interview with oprah last night. but the confession still left a lot of folks who saw it unmoved. especially those armstrong has attacked over the years for trying to tell the truth about him. our report tonight from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: in rapid-fire succession, lance armstrong admitted to oprah winfrey the devastating truth. >> yes or no, did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance? >> yes. >> in all seven of your tour de france victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope? >> yes. >> reporter: he showed little
remorse during the 90-minute interview on own, even add he admitted lying again and again >> i view this situation as one big lie. that i repeated a lot of times. >> reporter: armstrong owned up to his cheating, but dodged questions about who helped, and what the u.s. anti-doping agency called the most sophisticated doping program sports has ever seen. >> it did not even feel wrong? >> no. scary. >> reporter: the answers did not impress these ride-to-recovery cyclists. >> apologies once you get caught don't mean a lot. >> reporter: wounded veterans who love the sport. >> i think he's given a black eye but black eyes go away. >> reporter: jonathan vaughters rode with armstrong. on his first tour win. he says he too copied. today he runs team garmin sharp, a team he says rides clean. >> at that time, winning was valued more than fairness. and that is the key element that i have changed in our team. >> reporter: even more
disturbing than the cheating was the ruthless way armstrong pursued his critics. >> you are suing people, and you know they are telling the truth. what is that? >> it's a major flaw. and it's a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted and to control every outcome. and it's inexcusable. >> reporter: now he's the potential target of lawsuits that could drain his estimated $125 million net worth. london "sunday times" wants the $1.6 million it paid armstrong to settle a libel suit. sca promotions wants the $12 million it paid him for winning the tour. but the whopper is federal whistle blower lawsuit filed by former teammate floyd landis that could have armstrong on the hook for $93 million, triple what the postal service paid his team. "sunday times" journalist david walsh was in armstrong's cross-hairs.
he wants the whole truth. >> this guy told so many lies. he's going to have to almost tell as many truths now as he told lies in the past. and that's going to keep him talking for a long time. >> reporter: walsh says lance armstrong has to become the greatest whistle blower cycling has ever seen. armstrong said he would be willing to appear before an anti-doping agency's truth and reconciliation commission, brian. >> i heard it contended today the sport is cleaner today. and why would that be? >> reporter: they say if you look at the science, it proves it. look at the times. they have gone down since armstrong's era and if you look at blood levels, you're not seeing the high levels where you saw more red blood cells, more oxygen. because they have the bio passport and instead of testing for specific drugs, tests for changes. so when they see those changes, they know a rider is doping. it's more effective. >> anne thompson has covered this issue and this man for years. thanks. ray nagin, who as mayor of new orleans gained notoriety for his erratic behavior during
hurricane katrina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 21 counts of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, tax fraud and filing false tax returns. it's alleged nagin took flat-out cash kickbacks from city contractors. he ran as a reformer, even in the long history of corrupt government officials in new orleans, this federal indictment is a first. some time ago, ray nagin left new orleans and moved to dallas, texas. more bad news for boeing after the faa grounded all their 787 dreamliners while they investigate some onboard problems. boeing has now suspended deliveries of the aircraft to customers. this has been a huge blow to the big seattle manufacturer, because of what the 787 means in their fight for market share with airbus of europe. boeing has nearly 800 orders for new dreamliners in these coming few years. in washington tonight, with
our latest polling showing the gop at its lowest approval rating in years, there are indications the party is trying to avoid being seen as obstructionist in this coming fight over the debt ceiling. in a big shift today, house republicans said they will vote to lift the limit for three months, but on the condition that the senate passes a budget. wall street liked this idea. the dow finished up almost 54 points to hit its highest closing level since december 10th of '07. nasdaq finished with a small loss. s&p 500 was up 5 points. also at five-year highs. in washington tonight, it's starting to feel like a city that's about to host an inauguration. for the 57th time in the history of our republic, and host hundreds of thousands of people on a cold monday in january. our white house correspondent, peter alexander, is in lafayette park across from the white house, in front of the reviewing stand tonight. peter, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening
to you. those are the best seats in the house, for a variety of reasons, including the fact they have heat. that's where the president and the first family will be watching monday's parade. the second obama inaugural is expected to draw roughly a third of the nearly 2 million people who came here four years ago. ♪ it's not a city known for doing much of anything in a hurry, but washington is in overdrive ahead of monday's inaugural festivities. ♪ the capitol gearing up to help celebrate the start of president obama's second term. today, while crews cover the mall, the nation's newly planted front lawn to protect it from trampling feet, workers decorated in advance of the two official inaugural balls, down from ten four years ago. >> this isn't just a celebration of a president or a party. or any political belief. this is a celebration of the american people. >> reporter: as for security, officials say so far there are no known threats.
helicopters and jets will enforce a 30-mile no-fly zone and employ national guardsmen from more than ten states were sworn in to add another layer. in suburban washington, 42 different agencies will staff the joint inaugural command center with monitors displaying feeds from across the capitol. >> now, you're going to be right up in the area and very close proximity to the president, i think it's very reasonable and makes sense. >> reporter: this week's dress rehearsals began before dawn. ♪ including stand-ins for the president and first lady. culver academy's black horse troop from indiana will parade down pennsylvania avenue, as will band mates from the drum corps. there are plenty of souvenirs, and for those willing to pay, the ritz carlton's guests will sleep on monogrammed pillow cases. the hotel chefs are already whipping up chocolate chip cookies, using the first lady's favorite recipe. >> it's america's greatest party.
so we're here setting up for it. >> the kind of presidential pomp and pageantry only found once every four years. and the president's private swearing-in will take place this sunday. cameras will be watching. the public's swearing-in in front of all of us will take place here on monday. >> peter alexander in lafayette park for us tonight. peter, thanks. we'll see you then. and come monday, inauguration day, we'll have it all. all day long, beginning with "today" on nbc. then our coverage starts off and we'll be with you for the swearing in ceremony the rest of the way, including a special edition of "nbc nightly news" monday evening. still ahead on friday evening, the bizarre hoax that has everybody talking about it. happens to a lot more people than you might think. it's exposed some very real, hidden dangers of the internet age. and later a woman who is making a difference with a fresh idea and army of volunteers. idea and army of volunteers. before copd... i took my son fishing every year.
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there was a movie called "catfish" a wild back about a man who developed an obsessive relationship with a woman over the internet without meeting her. and it's why you may have heard the "catfish" name in conjunction with this huge name involving a star football player for the fighting irish and notre dame. after it was revealed the girl friend whose death he mourned was never really a real girlfriend, after all. our report tonight from nbc's
john yang on the notre dame campus. >> reporter: manti te'o says he grew to care deeply about his girlfriend, developing an emotional bond. at various interviews, he told of how she endured cancer treatments. >> can we say a prayer. >> reporter: how she comforted him after his grandmother died. >> the last thing she said was i love you. >> reporter: he told reporters they had known each other about two years before making it official. all through online and phone conversations. the only face he saw was online. it now appears that face had nothing to do with the person he was communicating with. ever since the story of te'o's imaginary girlfriend broke, there is one big question. how could anyone have a close relationship with a person they never met in person and never really exited. >> it could be incredible. it could be a letdown. >> reporter: it's called catfishing, a social media phenomenon where people create false identities and lure others into a relationship, many of them serious and long-lasting.
>> how come you've been pretending to be someone else. >> reporter: mtv has a show about it. >> if you really want to believe something is true, people have a remarkable capacity for self-deception. >> reporter: they are the executive producers of the series. it began as a documentary about showman's brother who had been fooled into an online romance. >> how could she just lie to me like that? >> i think he and manti sort of share a lot of similarities. they're both kind of naive in a beautiful way and open to love and really trusting of people. >> reporter: whether or not manti te'o is the victim of a hoax, his story has brought attention to a very real and often painful and humiliating deception. john yang, nbc news, south bend, indiana. we are back in a moment with a big change coming soon to an airport near you. an airport you. see life in the b. outdoors, or in. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better.
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else, even though tsa policy strictly regulates who gets to see all them naked images of all those passengers. there were still privacy and security issues. and so the ones that reveal a little too much detail are going away in june. here's the new look for the second term. the president has released the new official portrait showing the newly re-elected president sporting a broad smile in the oval office, which we note is the same room where all the problems of the nation wind up. not that much smiling goes on in the course of an average day in that room in the life of an american president. some former presidents are in the news. starting with 43 and 41. both bushes say they will be unable to attend the inauguration. george w. bush 43 says he can't attend due to his father's health and his recent long hospitalization. and president clinton has gone public about something people have noticed about him for some time.
a tremor in his hands. it was particularly evident during our last interview with him this past summer. he says in an interview he grew quite concerned about it, but was so greatly relieved when he learned it's age-related and not parkinson's that he doesn't worry about it all that much anymore. when we come back, one woman's home-grown idea. "making a difference" for a lot of american families. she's still the one for you - you know it even after all these years. but your erectile dysfunction - you know,that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis.
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"making a difference" brought to you "making a difference" brought to you by pfizer. time for our final story of the week. and it's about one woman's really good idea sparked by a terrible stat about how much food goes to waste in this country every single day. she has enlisted an army of volunteers to help save it, and she is "making a difference" for a lot of families who need it. we get her story tonight from dr. nancy snyderman. >> it's early on a wednesday morning and this farmer's market is bustling. >> how are you doing this morning? >> brussel sprouts. >> fresh fruits and vegetables grown here in the southern valley of california. but how this food gets from the field to the dinner table might surprise you.
>> we rescue produce, giving it a second life for the plates of the for. >> she is called a vegetable contained crusader. she was shocked to learn that 40% of what we grow in this country gets thrown away. bruised, damaged, even surplus crops are left to die on the vine. so she started hidden harvest, a company that rescues unwanted produce and gets it to the needest, some 60,000 low-income people every month. people like retiree, lois, who relies on this market. her patrons can choose what they want and as much as they want for free. >> it's exciting, because you don't have to go in your purse and decide whether you can eat. >> i'm a depression baby. we don't waste things. we eat leftovers too. >> in just 11 years, this team has harvested more than 14 million pounds of produce. the concept is simple. hire skilled fieldworkers at higher than average wages and get local farms to each donate a
couple rows of crops that would otherwise go to waste. today, 75 volunteers package, load and distribute food for senior centers and low-income markets in the region. it's all part of the clinton foundation's health matters initiative, which strives to make healthy food accessible to seniors. >> if every farmer in this valley, everyone, just gave one row to this hidden harvest project, then they could feed every needy person that they serve. >> christie porter says rescuing food that would otherwise be plowed over is a win-win. seniors get free, healthy food, and we waste less. >> fresh foods are so much better for you than canned. there's no salt on these, no added sugar. why shouldn't we be rescuing this produce? >> rescuing food, feeding thousands, one field at a time. dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news, cocella, california. >> that is our broadcast for this friday night and for this week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. lester holt will be here with you this weekend.