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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 16, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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onhe on the broadcast here tonight, moment of crisis. the security guard who confronted a gunman who just opened fire at a school board meeting. tonight, his extraordinary account of what happened in his own words. he's out of jail and the man who went public with all those state secrets has a new message for the world. nuclear reaction. it sounds like something from the cold war days. advice from the feral government about what to do in case of a nuclear attack. the question is, why now? and "making a difference." with lots of tlc for some very big babies. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. as we said when we first showed you the pictures, the videotape of what happened at that school board meeting in panama city, florida, is hard to watch and it's not for everyone. a disturbed man firing shots wildly at his fellow citizens. and again, thankfully none of them hurt, thanks in large part to a retired police officer who was on the job that afternoon, working security armed with a weapon of his own, and also years of experience on the job as a patrolman and detective. he took down the gunman who later took his own life, but the extraordinary actions of a seemingly ordinary man that day named mike jones, were matched today by his astounding modesty and humanity and we begin with his account of what happened in his own words. >> one of our finest people called me and said mike, there's a man in the board room with a gun. i was on the fourth floor. i took the stairs down and i
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done a peek-a-boo into the room the first time to see what was going on. drew the guy's attention to me. i was hoping to get him to come to me to come out of the building, and he didn't fall for that. i went to my vehicle, got my vest and some extra ammo, because i knew he had a real gun. i came back to that door, and i was peeking through the crack of the door. when i saw his back and he squared up with both hands i knew a fight was fixing to happen. i reached for the door and it was too late. he fired the first shot at the superintendent and i thought he was dead. i just opened the door and he and i went at it. man, he wouldn't go down then started shooting at the board members again. so i kept shooting, but he was moving a lot. then he fell and his arm came up. i could see his arm. he was still shooting at me. when i got to the aisle, i saw him laying there, and i thought he was already dead. then i saw him pull the gun up to his head. when the superintendent came up from behind that counter, it was like seeing your first born child.
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i was like oh, my god, he's alive. and i just started crying. when a lot of law enforcement officers strap that badge on, that's what they're supposed to do. but it hurts deeply that a human life was taken. i want to let the duke family know that my heart goes out to you. he was somebody's son, and somebody's father and maybe even a grandfather, i don't know. but my heart goes out to that family. >> a lot of people are alive tonight, thanks to that man, retired police officer and currently school security officer mike jones of panama city, florida tonight. his own account of what happened there. we'll put his full statement today on our website tonight. now we go overseas. the founder of wikileaks, julian assange, was released on bail today after more than a week in a london prison. he walked out of the royal courts of justice and pretty much picked up where he left off. our own peter alexander is in our london bureau with the story tonight. peter, good evening.
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>> reporter: brian, good evening to you. tonight, julian assange begins what even his own lawyer jokingly referred to as mansion arrest to the private estate a couple hours outside london. finally out of prison, as he fights extradition to sweden. triumphantly stepping out of a british courthouse this evening, julian assange stood before a worldwide audience, confident and upbeat. >> well, it's great to smell the fresh air of london again. >> reporter: the defiant wikileaks founder thanked his supporters and denied allegations of sexual misconduct in sweden that led to his arrest last week. >> i hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter. >> reporter: then assange left, making a brief appearance at his former safe haven in london. this prominent club for journalists, where he insisted wikileaks was unhurt by his absence. >> it does show that we are an
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organization that can withstand decapitation. >> reporter: in court today, assange was isolated behind steel bars. as the judge raised his bail requirements to $370,000, adding more restrictive conditions. including a curfew, daily visits to police and electronic monitoring so authorities can track his movement. "the new york times" reports federal prosecutors seeking to build a case against him in the u.s. for his distribution of classified government documents are looking for evidence assange may have encouraged or helped army intelligence analyst bradley manning, suspected of leaking the information, a topic assange addressed tonight. >> i don't have too many fears about being extradited to sweden. there are much bigger concerns about being extradited to the united states. >> reporter: then our interview quickly ended. >> i'm under house arrest, soy eve got to go. >> reporter: late this evening, assange arrived at this 600 acre estate outside london, his new home for the next several weeks. >> very nice to be freed from prison. >> reporter: tonight, julian
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assange told nbc news that wikileaks will increase the speed that it publishes its archive of secret documents adding so far it's released less than 1% of the 250,000 diplomatic cables in its possession. brian? >> ominous note. peter alexander in our london bureau tonight. peter, thanks. and to politics in washington now, a quick note on the president's tax cut extension. the house is debating and democratic leaders say they will vote on it tonight. some democrats, as you may know, are very unhappy with this compromised plan, saying it favors the wealthiest americans. now we go to the war in afghanistan. it was one year ago the president announced he was sending 30,000 more troops into that fight. tonight, the administration has a new assessment, a status report on the war touting progress but there are a lot of caveats. our white house correspondent savannah guthrie covered it today and is with us tonight with more on that. savannah, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian.
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this review was not a long three-month protracted battle like we saw last year over how to proceed in afghanistan. the white house is sticking to its basic counterinsurgency strategy. the question here is, what is working and what isn't? progress in afghanistan, the president described an al qaeda organization on its heels. >> it's harder for them to recruit, it's harder for them to travel, it's harder for them to train, it's harder for them to plot and launch attacks. in short, al qaeda is hunkered down. >> reporter: the administration's two-month strategy review concludes aggressive counterterror operations have hobbled al qaeda's senior leadership in pakistan. and a surge of 30,000 additional troops to afghanistan has enabled key gains against taliban strongholds, particularly in the south. but the report warns the successes are fragile and reversible. >> the sense of progress among those closest to the fight is palpable. >> reporter: today, top officials insisted troops will begin to withdraw next summer,
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with afghans set to take over their own security by 2014. but the pace of the u.s. drawdown is still unknown. >> the president has made clear it will be conditions based. in terms of what that line looks like beyond july 2011, i think the answer is, we don't know at this point. >> reporter: the unclassified version of the white house review largely soft pedals the region's most persistent problem, corruption in hamid karzai's afghan government. >> good evening. american-led military attacks against targets throughout afghanistan continue tonight. >> reporter: begun in the aftermath of 9/11, now stretching into its 10th year, the afghanistan war today sharply divides the public. something senior officials say they're aware of but not guided by. >> i don't think leaders and certainly this president will not make decisions that are matters of life and death and
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the future security of our nation based on polling. >> reporter: the administration is, however, keenly aware of the public's growing impatience with the war effort and in fact, it's the president's own party where that disapproval is most pronounced. brian? savannah guthrie at the white house tonight, thanks. it looks like president obama will get the chance to sign a bill to make hybrid vehicles louder. if you own one of these, you know because the motors make so little noise and shut down when stopped at traffic lights, it's a safety issue for blind pedestrians, joggers, small children. the senate and house have passed separate bills on this. hybrid car makers would have 18 months to make the vehicles loud enough to be noticed. one story this week seemingly came out of nowhere, reminding all of us of another era of air raid drills under our desks in school. the news here is that the federal government has advice
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for the public on how best to survive a nuclear attack. you couldn't blame people for wondering where this story suddenly came from, and it turns out it wasn't all that sudden after all. our report tonight from nbc's pete williams. >> reporter: in the darkest days of the cold war, it was part of the national psyche. >> first, you duck. and then you cover. >> reporter: educational films warned schoolchildren about what to do if the bombs fell. >> the nation's first model homes with built-in fallout shelters. >> reporter: people built backyard fallout shelters. those fears dissolved as the soviet union fell apart. but the federal government has been quietly advising response planners to give the unthinkable a fresh look. it's a response to new research showing that many more people could survive a nuclear attack if they respond the right way. >> what we need to do is make sure the american public is sensitized to these various threats, not overly concerned,
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but sensitized and take the actions necessary to prepare themselves. >> reporter: alarmed by the lack of disaster planning revealed by hurricane katrina, congress ordered new studies on what cities could do after a nuclear attack. the result, this guide to response planners with a surprising finding. the best advice, resist the urge to flee and seek shelter to avoid exposure to radioactive dust outdoors. in fact, new research shows rates of survival climb if people stay in place, even for a few hours. though the longer and deeper underground, the better. the report even analyzes what kind of protection different structures provide, finding the best shielding in basements or the middle floors of tall buildings. some security experts say disaster planners should forget trying to evacuate large cities and instead urge people to shelter in place. it's worth emphasizing this is not based on any new threat or fears about a nuclear bomb attack and the obama administration is now considering how to better get the word out about these new
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findings. brian? >> or as a friend of mine put it this way, turns out duck and cover wasn't that bad advice after all. pete, thanks. we continue to keep a close eye on this winter weather we've been having. this was a rough day mostly because of ice. in suburban atlanta, for example, an estimated 1,000 traffic accidents over the last 24 hours. big problems tonht from richmond to roanoke to washington, d.c., south to norfolk, and a bad mix of snow and ice over parts of the appalachians as the northeast prepares for what could be a brand new nor'easter churning up this weekend. and quickly, two spots of note. if you've got a shovel and live in the twin cities and need the money, they'll pay you ten bucks to come out and shovel the field at the university of minnesota for this weekend's outdoor vikings game since the metrodome roof is still kaput. and this deserves a second look. this tower of yellowish brown is actually a lighthouse
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on lake erie in cleveland, completely encased in ice. which we're assured should be gone sometime in mid june. when "nightly news" returns in just a moment, from breakfast at tiffany's to the pink panther, we remember the man who brought them to the screen. and later, helping precious babies survive and making a big difference in the process. babies survive and making a big difference in the process. r ret, but what happens when you're about to retire? woman: how do you go from saving to spending? fidelity helped us get to this point, and now we're talking about what comes next. man: we worked together to create a plan to help our money last. woman: so we can have the kind of retirement we want. now, you know how this works. just stay on the line. oh, yeah. fidelity investments. turn here. this holiday, do you really want to cut corners by using a broth with msg? swanson chicken broth has no added msg.
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risks outweighed its benefits. it was approved in '08, but since then, patients as you may know, have had serious side effects. high blood pressure, bleeding, heart failure. the drug will remain an approved treatment for some other types of cancer, including brain and lung cancer. baseball has lost a giant. one of the great names in the history of the game, bob feller. he threw very hard in an era before we could prove it by radar gun, but a lot of batters will tell you they never saw the ball going by. he was an iowa high school phenom who struck out 15 batters in his first game in the bigs and was the first major leaguer to volunteer to serve in world war ii. he played almost his entire career absent that war service with the indians. was elected to the hall of fame in '62 and remained a fixture at that park for the rest of his life. bob feller was 92 years old. and blake edwards has died. as a film director, he gave
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american moviegoers some classics. "breakfast at tiffany's" was one of them. his stylish 1961 film featured the music of long-time collaborator henry mancini. he followed that up with "the pink panther" series beginning two years later with peter sellers at the helm. >> does your dog bite? >> no. >> i thought you said your dog did not bite. >> that is not my dog. >> much later came "victor victoria" and gave the world its first glimpse of bo derek "in ten." edwards appeared in several on-screen rolls himself, including as an aviator in "30 seconds over tokyo." it was a coast guard veteran who battled depression most of his life. his other great titles, "the days of wine and roses,," "the
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party" and "s.o.b." he collaborated on more than one project with his wife of 41 years, julia andrews. blake edwards was 88 years old. up next, a look back at what happened 50 years ago today and how it changed what it meant to fly in the united states. it's just so frustrating. the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs ahead of my daughter. so today i'm finally talking to my doctor about overactive bladder. [ female announcer ] if you're suffering, today is the day to talk to your doctor and ask about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents
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all day and all night. plus, toviaz comes with a simple plan with tips on food and drink choices. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma or cannot empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. toviaz can cause blurred vision and drowsiness, so use caution when driving or doing unsafe tasks. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. [ jackie ] i asked my doctor about toviaz. and today i'm looking forward to my daughter's wedding. [ female announcer ] why wait? ask about toviaz tay. you don't love me anymore do you billy? what? i didn't buy this cereal to sweet talk your taste buds it's for my heart health. good speech dad. [ whimper ] [ male announcer ] honey nut cheerios tastes great and its whole grain oats can help lower cholesterol. bee happy. bee healthy.
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50 years ago today, an air disaster over this city changed part of new york forever, and changed commercial aviation along with it. it was a mid-air collision of a united airlines jet and a still new dc-8 by the way, and a slower propeller driven twa constellation. the debris fell on staten island and brooklyn, where it wiped out part of a city block and 134 souls were lost in all. it was at the time the worst air disaster in u.s. history. at the dawn of the jet age. it was the first-ever use of black box technology, and it led to improvements in air traffic control. it was reported on at the time by gabe pressman, who was still
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on the air here at channel 4 wnbc tv in new york. >> sometimes one story crams all the drama of life into a few hours. one story runs the gamete of every human emotion. this is where most of that story happened. here at the corner of 7th avenue and sterling place in brooklyn. >> our friend, gabe pressman, december 16th, 1960. today in that neighborhood, apartment buildings have been rebuilt, but the relics live on. they can still be found around the neighborhood, including what one resident said is part of a wing from the wreckage. ere was a service today at a new york cemetery for all the victims. up next, babies of the animal kingdom. all of them orphans and a family that's making a difference in their young lives. a difference in [ male announcer ] an everyday moment can turn romantic anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction
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so you can focus on the things that really matter. go to for details. that really matter. it's that time of year. time for campbell's green bean casserole. you'll find the recipe at campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ i don't always let the worry my pipes might leak compromise what i like to do. i take care with vesicare, because i have better places to visit than just the bathroom. ( announcer ) once-daily vesicare can help control your bladder muscle, and is proven to treat overactive bladder with symptoms of frequent urges and leaks, day and night. if you have certain stomach or glaucoma problems, or trouble emptying your bladder, do not take vesicare. vesicare may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. if you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, stop taking vesicare and get emergency help. tell your doctor right away if you have severe abdominal pain
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or become constipated for three or more days. vesicare may cause blurred vision, so use caution while driving or doing unsafe tasks. common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, and indigestion. ( woman ) you have better things to join than always a line for the bathroom. so, pipe up and ask your doctor today about taking care with vesicare. our "making a difference" report tonight involves some big little ones. because they're still little ones, they need all the familiar things. 3:00 a.m. feedings, warm blankets, learning right from wrong. but when it's time to let these little ones go, things get a lot
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less familiar. one woman has been through the routine more than 100 times, and as you're about to see, she's making an important difference. to tell her story, nbc's maria menounos traveled to kenya. >> reporter: it's 6:00 a.m. and 3-week-old wasim is just waking up. nearby, 18 other sleepy orphans are in need of a stretch, a push, and even a morning cuddle. their keepers guide them every step of the way. for over 30 years, this wild life trust has been rescuing baby elephants like these. and they're teaching them what their moms would have taught them had they not been victims of poaching. before he was rescued, young alari wept by his dying mother's side for hours. those kinds of traumatic memories are one of the many reasons keepers stay with them 24 hours a day, even sleep with them at night and feed them every three hours. >> they all have different characters.
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some are very playful, very naughty, very calm, very shy. >> reporter: and it was daphne who figured out their needs. she spent the last 50 years living with and learning from orphaned african elephants as the species is increasingly threatened by human conflict and ivory poaching. >> all that we know has come from her. they love the milk, how to give them the care that they need. >> reporter: daphne is the widow of david shelldrik. they raised all kinds of orphans, along with their own children. but this has become her life's work. there wasn't this big research team, it was you. >> none of the zoos could help us. they never, ever had been able to raise an infant elephant themselves. >> reporter: now a world renowned expert, she's successfully raised 130 elephants into adulthood. but it's not been without heartbreak. she says one of the first orphans she raised from infancy died from grief when daphne took a brief trip. >> you learn the hard way.
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>> reporter: ever since, the keepers rotate each night so no baby grows too attached. it's always been a family affair with the help of daughters jill and angela. >> i think for daphne, you know, when you see the elephants grown, a huge herd there, and she can stand back and say, but for i, it's a good feeling. >> you have to love them, because an elephant can read your heart. >> reporter: turns out the biggest lesson learned is that elephants are as human as the rest of us. maria menounos, nbc news, kenya. >> great story to end on for a thursday night. thank you for being here with us. as we say good night, we want to bid farewell to a veteran of the airwaves, larry king tonight leaves cnn after a 25-year run. larry, congratulations, and well done. i'll see you later tonight. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac --
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. a consistent downpour is heading our way and crews are working overtime to keep the winds and rain from creating hazardous situations around the bay area. good evening, everyone, i'm tom sinkovitz. with more rain and wind likely than we have seen in some


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