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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  September 8, 2013 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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it will send a very clear signal. >> and send a bold message to iran and hezbollah. administration officials insist no lawmakers are disputing their intelligence. including these 13 graphic videos, that u.s. government officials say they've authenticated. shot in the suburbs of damascus, immediately after the august attacks. videos shown to select senators last week. nbc news cannot independently verify their authenticity. still, many in congress question u.s. intervention. >> make no mistake. the minute that one of those cruise missiles lands in there, we're in the syrian war. >> i think lobbing a few
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tomahawk missiles will not restore our credibility overseas. >> a new ad opposing intervention that supported the president in the past. >> what should america expect if we rush into syria alone with no real plan for the consequences? we already know -- it gets worse. >> ahead of the president's national address tuesday night, the white house has deployed nearly all forces. a vice presidential dinner for senate republicans tonight. a meeting between top adviser susan rice and the congressional black caucus. even turning to an architect of the iraq war, president george w. bush's national security adviser, steven hadley, who briefed republican staffers. an nbc news count of congress members shows if the authorization vote br held today the senate could support the president, but the house would likely vote no. >> peter alexander at the white house, thanks. as a reminder you can see our interview with president obama tomorrow night here on "nightly news." we've seen the disturbing
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images from the chemical attack. tonight we're learning more about what it was like on that y in the suburbs of damascus, one of the towns was to the east of damascus where eye witnesses are now speaking out about the attack. bill neily filed this report from inside syria. >> reporter: the air has cleared now, but the memories have not. of the poison gas that filled this house, and an attack america is proposing to avenge. right here, this is the center, he said. everyone within 50 yards was killed, no one got away. this is zamalca's ground zero. america blames syria's army and tomorrow its debate begins. here, there's no debate. i lost 30, 31 people close to me, my older brother, my cousin, his wife, their kids, one rocket hit us. at 2:00 a.m. their air was poisoned, now their water is scarce, they get it from a pipe.
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people are fewer, too. the chemical attack terrified them. this area had around 3,000 people, he says, now it's about 20 families. 200. everyone just scattered. food is scarce, too. rice, smuggled in, is shared out. zamalka is still under siege by a syrian army, that many say just lost patience with rebels who have held it for a year. the children still play. after an attack america says killed more than 400 children alone. an attack syria blames on rebels. the chemical bomb dropped just behind me here, he says, my dad and my grandparents died. there's just me, my sister and my mom now. some survivors gave evidence to u.n. inspectors. they are still analyzing chemical samples. no one disputes hundreds died
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here. but the crime remains unanswered. the killers, whoever they were, unpunished. bill nealy, damascus. one of the key players making america's case on syria's use of chemical weapons is u.s. secretary of state, john kerry. today he remained in europe and picked up support from arab countries, nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell is in paris tonight, andrea, good evening. >> good evening, carl. secretary kerry here in paris did win support unanimously from arab countries that assad, no matter what he said, did kill hundreds and hundreds of innocent civilians, in a massive chemical attack. in syria, the war continues. with an horrific toll on both sides this video, not confirmed by nbc news, is graphic. it claims to show chaos, people running, screaming after government forces allegedly shelled a suburb of homs.
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other online video shows rebel forces blowing up government tanks. light years from paris and the elegant guard of the u.s. ambassador's residence, where secretary kerry persuaded arab ministers to condemn assad for using chemical weapons. kerry has been pointing to those devastating images, not verified by nbc news and very hard to watch. a girl barely able to move. a boy paralyzed. men foaming at the mouth. row after row of bodies. >> those videos make it clear to people that these are real human beings. real children, parents, being affected in ways that are unacceptable to anybody, anywhere, by any standards. >> kerry also said the saudis, who met with kerry here today, support air strikes, although the saudis have not said that publicly. in a weekend of intense diplomacy, the only country to openly support u.s. air strikes is france. ready to fight last week, now
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dismayed by the resistance in congress. >> if the same president and his congress decide that well, i didn't really mean it, that is a signal which will be heard by your allies, your partners and your enemies. as a sign of great weakness. >> but now, france, where public opinion is also against using force, wants the u.s. to try again for u.n. approval despite russia's certain veto. and in rome today, after a prayer vigil for peace last night, pope francis prayed for an end to the devastation in syria. and called for a renewed effort for a just solution to the civil war. on his way home, kerry is stopping in london where the parliament has already rejected britain's request for approval to join a u.s.-led strike force. then russia is home to rejoin the lobbying effort with congress. carl? >> andrea, thanks. now on to other news, including the latest on the huge
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wildfire still burning in california. near yosemite national park. an army of firefighters remains on the front lines and the costs of battling it and the damage are soaring. a report tonight from nbc's michelle franzen. >> thousands of firefighters are still battling california's third largest wildfire in history. while the rim fire near yosemite national park is 80% contained tonight, the cost of battling the blaze remains out of control. so far, more than $89 million. a tab experts say that could be tens of millions more beyond extinguishing the fire. today, a first look by the federal team in charge of assessing and repairing the damage. >> we're concerned about the infrastructure. on the national forests, the campgrounds, our roads, this stacks up as one of the worst. >> the blaze has already charred nearly 400 square miles. an area larger than new york city. the fire was sparked by a
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hunter's illegal fire, investigators say, in the stanislaus national fire on august 17th. the towering flames fuelled by hot weather and overgrown brush, threatened more than 2,000 structures and came within two miles of a nearby reservoir. triggering a state of emergency for the san francisco bay area's water supply. there are 21 active fires in eight states. with more expected as we enter the peak wildfire season. >> the weather pattern across western united states is likely to remain warmer and drier than average for the next several months, well into fall. and that's not going to help the firefighting efforts. >> along with the threat of more fires, environmental crews will be racing to shore up the burned slopes before the start of the rainy season. michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. some unusually heavy rains led to flash flooding this weekend in utah. the hardest hit area was south of salt lake city. the storm led to road closures, power outages, mudslides and evacuations.
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in one area, three-quarters of an inch of rain fell in just 15 minutes. some neighborhoods reported more than three feet of water in homes. in london, the past week has been a highly eventful one at buckingham palace, but not for the kind of control and highly orchestrated attention the royal family is used to. just ask prince andrew what it was like. the story from nbc's duncan golistani. >> he's one of the most recognizable men in britain, but being a son of the queen did not stop prince andrew from being forced to identify himself to police officers last week. or having it splashed across the sunday tabloid. today he gracefully accepted an apolegy from the police. he said they have a difficult job to do and sometimes they get it wrong. on wednesday, prince andrew was taking a stroll in the buckingham palace gardens. it was a nice, summer's evening until two armed officers stopped him. what happened next is unclear. britain "sunday express" newspaper claims the prince was pounced upon by the officers who
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shouted, put your hands up, and get on the ground. what followed was described as a mexican standoff. >> the armed officer would have seen this man and said, get down on the floor. it probably only lasted a few seconds, but the truth of it is, they do have to follow procedure, even of course, prince andrew is very recognizable. >> but london's metropolitan police say no weapons were drawn and no force was used. unfortunately for the officers, it happened in the same week an actual intruder was able to enter the palace undetected. >> maybe people are a little bit twitchy at the palace, in light of what's happened over the last couple of days. i think it's paramount for the police to get everything right. the moment they get something wrong, obviously they can be criticized, it's a bit like they're damned if they do and they're damned if they don't. in his statement today, prince andrew joked he would look forward to a safe walk in the garden in the future. next time you can be sure he won't be questioned. duncan golistani, nbc news, london. when "nightly news" continues on this sunday night, it may be men on the field, but
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the nfl is marketing to women big-time. and later, lester holt on how writing just isn't what it used to be. i don't use super poligrip for hold because my dentures fit well. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. so it's not about keeping my dentures in, it's about keeping the food particles out. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip. yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! yeah? then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] driving bonus check? every six months without an accident,
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now what was mrs. davis teaching? spelling. that's not a subject, right? i mean, spell check. that's a program. algebra. okay. persons a and b are flying to the bahamas. how fast will they get there? don't you need distance, rate and... no, all it takes is double miles. [ all ] whoa. yeah. [ male announcer ] get away fast with unlimited double miles from the capital one venture card. you're the world's best teacher. this is so unexpected. what's in your wallet? back with a major reversal tonight in the world of olympic sports, after being dropped from the summer games earlier this year, wrestlinging won a reprieve today from the international olympic committee. the sport will be played at least through the 2020 games, which tokyo was awarded this weekend. some of the rules will be changed to make it a bit more exciting. it was chosen over baseball and softball, and squash. with football under way and the first sunday night game coming up here on nbc, the nfl is paying a lot of attention to a new force in the game, one not on the field.
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nbc's janet shamlian on how women are being recognized as football's new power players. >> with the start of another football season -- fans are as fired up as their tailgating grill. once the province of the boys club, football fandom has a new look. >> how much do you think you spend at nfl merchandise? >> thousands of dollars. thousands of dollars. >> you might call heather and her friends, the league's most valuable. women have flipped the switch on football, now 45% of nfl fans. one-third of ticket holders and it's her hands on the family wallet. >> a jersey. and a shirt for myself and a tervis tumbler. >> it used to be slim pinkens, either pink it and shrink it or buy a guy's jersey. today women's clothing is the fastest growing segment of sales. did you ever think women's merchandising would be this big? >> yes, we have such a great
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base of female fans and we always felt we were underserving them and not giving them what they need. >> not any more, this stadium store is boutique-like with soft lighting and plenty of choices. the merchandise in the stadium is just the first down in the nfl's game plan for fans, female fans, the league is going to them. glossy ads in women's magazine with models and actresses in the latest looks from the sidelines and the staffs of nfl team more closely resemble their fans. >> how do you think being a father has changed you? >> this woman is a reporter for the houston texans. >> the texans have a group of female fans they're trying to bring them into the fold. not participating in the games but every aspect. >> there's fantasy football, almost six million women played last season. >> i played fantasy for four years. this is my fourth season. i actually for the first three seasons came in second place all three seasons and i was the only female in the league.
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>> the new face of the football fan. now a big player in the nfl. janet shamlian, nbc news, denver. and a reminder, we're followed tonight by sunday night football, the giants against the cowboys. starting with football night in america. and up next, what would happen if this country were hit by a large tsunami? you'll want to hear these predictions. our pharmacist recommended it. and that makes me feel pretty good about it. and then i heard about a study looking at multivitamins and the long term health benefits. and what do you know? they used centrum silver in the study. makes me feel even better, that's what i take. sorry, we take. [ male announcer ] centrum. the most recommended. most preferred. most studied. centrum, always your most complete. ♪
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it was very painful situation. the rash was on my right hip, going all the way down my leg. i'm very athletic and i swim in the ocean. shingles forced me out of the water. the doctor asked me "did you have chickenpox when you were a child?" the pain level was so high, it became unbearable. people who live on the west coast got a wake-up call this past week, on what it would be like if a huge earthquake in alaska were to trigger a tsunami that rumbled down the coast to california. the study, by the u.s. geological survey is only a
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hypothetical, but it shows how dangerous it could be. we get the story from nbc's mike taibbi. >> nice to live on the water or near it. and california has 840 miles of coastline. but what if a 9.1-magnitude earthquake hit. not here, but at midday in the alaskan pennsylvania slaxt within four hours, the resulting tsunami hits crescent city in northern california and over the next two hours, ten-foot high surges roll into san francisco, ventura, the port of los angeles and long beach and san diego. >> there are three-quarters of a million people that would need to be evacuated in an event of a tsunami of this size. >> the model is based on history as well as geology. and alaskan earthquake that size in 1964 that triggered a tsunami that killed ten people in crescent city. >> this is an incredible scene of devastation. >> and the 2011 quake and tsunami in japan that killed thousands. in the california model, the ports of long beach and san diego take the biggest hits.
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though boaters all along the coast would be at risk. in fact in coastal ports in harbors like ventura, it's estimatesed that one in three boats could be damaged or sunk. pleasure boats, live-aboard, in. while some boat owners said there's no need to be anxious. >> when one comes along, deal with it. >> others say it's worth thinking about it and preparing. >> i think it's definitely not a hoax. i think it's a definite possibility. >> even though tsunamis following earthquakes sometimes miss their predicted targets as in hawaii last year. this model, swift and deadly devastation from a tsunami and damage in the billions emerged from fact-based projections. >> there's enough of a chance that it's really worth planning for. >> planning under way, along the length of this coastline. mike taibbi, nbc news, ventura, california. and we're back in a moment with perhaps a final chapter being written for the kind of writing we grew up with.
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e. >> the o. >> the hardest letter for me would be the z. >> like these third graders at south lawrence east elementary school in massachusetts. learning the loops and curves of cursive handwriting. >> insuring that our kids have a very ledgible way to communicate as they move through school, and out hopefully into the workforce, is going to be important for them. >> but in 2013, is cursive really all that important? >> clearly keyboarding and skills with a computer are much more relevant skills in the 21st century. >> cursive is not a required part of the curriculum in the vast majority of the country. >> there are many children today who can't even read cursive writing, let alone write it. >> 64-year-old michael stoll is a certified master pen man. he was inspired by his mother's writing. >> it flowed, when you read it, it felt like you were reading music. >> you could argue the writing has been on the wall for cussive since the dawn of the email era.
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and now texting and social media threat ton write its final obituary. at the offices of buzzfeed, which tracks viral content on the web, a young staff finds plenty to write about. but rarely in cursive. >> it's like collecting tropical fish or learning to play the organ. >> jan olsen teaches cursive to teachers. like music, she says, cursive has a positive developmental impact on children. >> in music they learn how to connect the notes and in cursive, they learn how to connect the letters. >> back at south lawrence east -- >> when do you think you're going to use your signature in cursive? >> the principal believes that cursive helps explain the school's high achievement scores. >> one of the waz we've differentiated ourselves within the district is the adoption of a penmanship program. >> those who hold fast to pen
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and paper say in the world of digital shorthand, the arlt of writing will have its place. >> as long as we are human beings there will always be a desire to hand-write someone, do tell them how you feel. >> and for more on lester's story and the great writing debate, you can go to our website, that is "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. lester is back next weekend and brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm carl quintanilla reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac --
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television at&t stadium in arlington, texas, the home of the dallas cowboys. after last season the cowboys gave tony romo a contract extension worth $108 million. to begin to live up to it, he has to return dallas to the playoffs for the first time in four years. eli manning and the giants also ended last season on the outside looking in. their goal this time around,