tv NBC Nightly News NBC September 24, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
shopping mall in nairobi, kenya, has finally been put down. it attracted the attention and of course the sadness of people around the world. the kenyan government puts the death toll at 61 civilians and six members of their own security force. they have cautioned the death toll may rise because there was a possible collapse inside the structure, there is a possibility more bodies could be discovered. well, tonight we have a new view of what it looked like at the height of it inside the shopping mall. and we hear from an american woman who just arrived back in this country today having survived the attack. we begin tonight with our correspondent, ron allen, in nairobi, ron, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, br n brian, kenyan's president said that he couldn't confirm reports that three americans and a british citizen were among the people killed. nbc has new video of the first
terrifying view after the attack. inside, the security forces respond to the attack. helping the shoppers escape, hands in the air to show they are unarmed. it is eerily quiet in the mall, american music, with the singer bruno mars. a family, playing dead to avoid harm, afraid to move. the plain clothes officer reaches them and reassures them. carrying the child, he helps them to safety. this morning, three days after the attack, government forces searched for any remaining militants. a mop-up operation, they called it, after days of terror, late today, kenyan's president addressed the nations. >> we have been badly hurt and feel great pain and loss. but we have been brave, united and strong. kenya has stared down evil and triumphed. >> reporter: triumphed, but at a terrible cost. more than 60 dead, most of them
civilians, with unaccounted bodies still inside the mall where three floors collapsed during the government operation to re-take the four-story complex. the west gate mall in west nairobi, in part, israeli-owned with a high end show case of restaurants, movie theaters and brand-name shops, snanike, bose samsung. it was a heavily armed attack, where the militants used at least two entrances, opening fire and barricading themselves in a supermarket. amateur video captures terrified shoppers there running for cover. wange hid in a store for four hours, texting her brother, and telling them where to find him. >> at one point, i am praying the entire time.
>> reporter: images of fear and desperation they did not want the world to see. nairobi depends on tourism, and investment, global investments are here. so they are very eager to convince the outside world the situation is well in hand. >> reporter: this dutch nurse killed with her boyfriend was remembered by the president. >> they went to nairobi because they thought it was the safest place for her to give birth. and they were just walking in the mall. that day. and they were both killed along with the child. >> reporter: in nairobi, the funerals have begun. including this one, for a 16-year-old girl. >> there is no word to express what we are going through. we are deeply saddened by what has happened to every kenyan, to every person, every family who has gone through this. >> reporter: and as this nation
begins three days of official mourning, many questions remain. what happened to the hostages? were they all rescued or did some perish during the effort to free them? the president did not say. >> ron, those pictures so tough to take inside, especially the children. ron allen starting off our coverage from nairobi. and as we said earlier, we heard from an american who was inside the mall with a friend, meeting her for lunch. she is now back home safely where she described to nbc's tom costello her harrowing ordeal, and how she made it out of there and lived to tell about it. >> nice to see you, you survived. >> reporter: at dulles airport this afternoon, american bendita mallakia was finally home. a harvard-trained lawyer with the world bank, bendita was in kenya having lunch in the mall
on saturday when terrorists suddenly barged in. >> and then all of a sudden there is this explosion, and everybody like hits the floor. and we hear machine guns. and then maybe it was ten seconds later, we were still trying to crawl out. it was the firexplosion, and wh they first came in they were just shooting, they were not asking questions, just shooting. >> reporter: crawling away, she and her friend made it to a break room in the store with 15 other people. their only defense, a fire extinguisher? >> you could hear the feet and some talking, some in other languages. sometimes you would just hear random things like muslim and christian. and then you would hear just like random things, and people would respond or scream, don't shoot. and then you would hear some people walk and some people get shot. >> reporter: for five hours they hid, listening to the gunfire.
bendita texted her father, please pray, i love you all very much. >> you just feel so helpless, you know? >> reporter: and then out of nowhere, she says, an american security team showed up. >> and this american security forces guy came back and said look, it's like we have been under a lot of pressure to get you out. if you guys want to get out we understand it is dangerous. but this is probably your best shot. >> reporter: everybody in the store room ran from the mall. >> and then within like 30 feet of us, two grenades are thrown. and that was our first breakdown. >> reporter: she says she doesn't know yet if she will return to kenya, but for now, she is home. tom costello, nbc news at dulles airport. >> incredible story. and now to another big story we are following tonight. mindful of the ronald reagan era phrase "trust by verify."
we did hear it with our own ears today. there was the new president of iran addressing the u.n. in new york, calling for talks, transparency, mutual good will with respect for the u.s., saying there is no place for nuclear weapons in iran's arsenal or in their religion. we're about to hear that "trust but verify" phrase a whole lot more. turns out there was no meeting between the two presidents. our chief correspondent, andrea mitchell covering it. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, it was just supposed to be a chance encounter, carefullicarefully put together, but today, both presidents were at the u.n. and never caught sight of each other. mid-town manhattan today, in total grid lock, more than 100 heads of state, motorcades, protesters and a security crackdown. at the u.n., president obama tried for a diplomatic
breakthrough, testing the recent overtures from iran. >> we are encouraged that president rouhani received from the mandate to pursue a more moderate court. >> reporter: the white house signalled they would welcome a face to face meeting between the president since the president met the shah back in 1977. today, best encounter, a casual meeting at lunch, but rouhani did not show, some said because wine was served. but others say it is politically risky for president obama to be seen with rouhani, because of the hard liners at home. the president never met rouhani, in fact, the closest he ever came was when his motorcade passed his hotel. >> reporter: late in the day, he was at the u.n., a far cry from mahmoud ahmadinejad who denied
the holocaust and denounced the u.s. but rouhani still criticized the u.s. policy, the wars, calling sanctions against iran violent. still, he pledges they are open to talks about the nuclear dispute and says that iran does not want weapons. >> i hope they will refrain from following the short-sighted interests of war-mongering pressure groups. we can arrive at a framework to manage our differences. >> reporter: the israeli delegation walked out before rouhani even started to speak, saying he could not be trusted. rouhani's speech was tougher in part than some may have expected. and tonight, u.s. officials say to overcome decades of mistrust will take time, but they say they are open to trying. thank you, and now we turn
to the big fight over health care. one week from tonight marks a major move by the president for the new health care law. open enrollment begins for the new health exchanges, coming as republicans are pushing to take away the funding for it. lot of republicans say they don't know what is in the law still. that is why the president chose to sit down with a former president, the last democratic president, bill clinton. our chief correspondent, chuck todd has more. >> reporter: good evening, they always get the president to show up. but this time, the white house thought hey, this is a great opportunity to tap bill clinton to help them do what bill clinton do in 2012, demystify the theatrics, take a listen to bill clinton explaining exchanges. >> what i was terrified of, you know, we would open these things and there would only be one
company. this whole thing, we would be having an academic conversation, instead, it actually led to the establishment of more companies doing more bidding, and i think partly it is they have more confidence they can deliver health care at a more modest cost. so so far it is good. but i think it is important for you to tell the people why we're doing all of this outreach. because this only works, for example, if young people show up. >> well, brian, they spoke for more than an hour on this. but of course, the policy is complicated, and the politics are even more so. it has not stopped. and you know what is going on in washington, rough business on that. >> well, i'm glad you mentioned that. we're about to get to that. so that is one side of obama care from president obama and clinton. and here is one side, this is senator ted cruz, republican, of
texas. he has taken to the senate floor. and if he keeps his vow, tomorrow morning when you turn on "the today show," he will still be right there doing this same thing. he says he is going to talk until he can't stand up anymore. watching and listening to all of this is our capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell, kelly what is going on here? >> reporter: well, brian, the intense political fight over the health care law is now pitting republican versus republican. as you point out, the tea party conservatives, ted cruz is in a talk-athon, some of his colleagues say he should not do this. cruz dug in, even though republicans said don't do it. and many of them are concerned if he doesn't back off their party could get the blame if this does result in a government shutdown. >> kelly o'donnell on the hill, where at least for one of the 100 senators it is going to be a long night indeed. still ahead for us tonight, a big power play in the
country's love affair with fast food, low fat fries, same ingredients, they say, but fewer calor calories. how they did it. and is an entire industry about to re-think the menu. and later a confrontation on what any parent could tell you, there really is something about newborns. unavoidable about newborns. this is for you. ♪ [ male announcer ] bob's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today his doctor has him on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
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because they're better for us with 25% less fat, and are supposedly just as satisfying. it has 270 calories, 70 less than the regular ones. the same potatoes fried in the same oil, yet healthier. how? burger king says it is the special batter. >> the batter absorbs the amount of oil in the french fries's reducing the amount of fat and calories. >> reporter: reducing the fat, ten years in the making. they do that every day in the food lab, tricking the palate while keeping the flavor. >> the bacon is healthier, you can put a small amount of the bacon flavor in the food product and the consumer will perceive it as being overall more saltier. >> reporter: today with things like chips and vegetables lining the shelves at the pricey upscale markets, some say the
health food revolution is excluding the masses, who like their food. >> what most people are saying is try to eat more fruit, vegetables, me wholesome foods. the fact of the matter many can't access those foods and afford them and just don't want them. >> reporter: one industry insider agrees. >> no potato will be perfect, but you can make them with better options. >> reporter: so how does it taste? >> they're better than the original fries. >> reporter: maybe, just maybe, you can have your cake/fries and eat them, too. katy tur, nbc news, new york. and we are back in a moment with a rare sight in the daytime sky. serving you, the american people. so we improved priority mail flat rate to give you a more reliable way to ship. now with tracking up to eleven scans, specified delivery dates,
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tradition going back to the invention of the club, really. but in interview that airs with our sports columnist, jimmy rogers, who knows the pressure of the job, says it is good for him. >> i think he ought to play golf. >> why is that? >> well, because i know what it is like to be in the bubble. and i know the pressures of the job and to be able to go outside and play golf with some of your jobs is important for the president. it gives you an outlet. >> in other 43 news, we're getting more information about the president's life. he joined instagram, put pictures of his baby, speaking of grand babies and babies in general, non-parents always found some of the behaviors of new parents a little difficult to understand, when parents find everything to be irresistible, frankly things like putting an entire foot in your mouth. well, sure enough, an actual
paper published said that the brain response is triggered by the new baby smell, causing new parents to, as one writer put it, gently chow down on the new infant. and the f-16 has been a work horse around the world and for nations, for that matter. but they have flown billions of hours in the sky and have always had pilots, until now. the air force has successfully flown a pilot-less so-called zombie f-16, it even broke the sound barrier, traveling over mach 1, it means a lot of good pilots out of work for now, but also out of harm's way, potentially. when we come back, making a difference for a lot of families at one of the kids' favorite places. one of kids' favorite places coming
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[ all ] fort benning, georgia in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve military members, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. finally here tonight, what to do when something so much finally here tonight, what to do when something so much fun and so very back, a day at the zoo with a family can be a tough experience, instead, for parents with kids with learning disabilities or special needs. that is why the good folks at
the philadelphia zoo opened a new exhibit that is making a difference with every child in mind. we get the story tonight from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: very little compares to a day at the zoo. animals make kids and their parents happy. but for a.j. higgins and his brother, peter, who are both on the autism spectrum, the philadelphia zoo's children's exhibit is even more special. >> it is very safe and comfortable here. not a lot of showy things and a lot of noise. all of these things that in other environments can really amp them up. >> reporter: the exhibit does few things that others have tried to do, making kids with special needs feel welcome. everything is wheelchair-accessible, the displays use braill lee and figures designed for kids with autism. if they get overwhelmed, they
provide a safe place for them to calm down. the verbal communication for children with autism can be daunting, but here, no awkward small talk is required. >> they can feel things and engage in that way. it is also critical. >> reporter: kim spear-headed the project, motivated in part by a personal connection. her 2-year-old daughter is blind and also has autism. >> knowing we have done something that helps those kids, too, just makes me really happy. >> reporter: to gauge the zoo's success, just look at the faces. 6-year-old avery mcguire rarely speaks, except for one word she now knows well. >> we'll drive past, and she turns around and points at the zoo and sees the balloons. >> reporter: a day at the zoo is like a rite of passage. in philadelphia, they're making sure no child misses out. stephanie gosk, nbc news,
philadelphia. >> great story to end with on this tuesday night, thank you for joining us, i'm all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers.