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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  October 31, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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the only real bay watch babe there is carmen electra. they look very good. he's very brave. >> happy halloween. electronic devices on planes. tonight a decision that impacts almost everybody who flies and on some flights it starts right away. halloween storms. severe weather from the great lakes to the gulf forcing some cities to cancel trick or treating all togethe tonight with this big storm system on the move. e-mail trail. amid the uproar over privacy concerns, a surprising look at where all those e-mails go after hitting send. and the town erupts thanks to a great team in boston. triumph follows tragedy and the crowd goes wild. "nightly news" begins now.
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good evening. it may feel down right illegal at first. after all, for years we have been told to completely turn off our electronic devices for sax see and takeoff until the aircraft reaches a cruising altitude, but no more. in something of a game changer a big decision came down from the faa today. while there are exceptions like actually talking on the phone for the most part you can go on playing your video game or using your device, reading your e book because it will not interfere with the aircraft navigation. it will likely turn out it never did. tom costello covers aviation for us. he's live at miami international tonight. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian. good evening to you. in fact, this rule goes back to the 1950s. it was all about protecting the cockpit. but the new rule is these simple electronic devices pose no risk to modern aviation.
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it is welcome news to anyone who flies. on this halloween travel day with costumes on full display at the airport there was also a treat awaiting travellers. >> at this time please turn off all cellular telephones and all other electronic devices. >> reporter: that preflight announcement will soon be a thing of the past. no need to power down your cell phones, e-readers, or music. though your cell connection needs to remain off. >> the policy i think strikes the appropriate balance between responding to what customers want but first and foremost insuring we have a safe environment. >> reporter: an faa investigative committee found the vast majority of planes can tolerate radio interference from electronic devices. it's now up to each and individual airline to come up with its own policy for faa approval. that means by the end of the year all of us should be able to use electronic devices from take off to landing but in airplane mode. delta airlines says it's ready starting tomorrow if the faa
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approves its plan. >> anything you hang on to, your e-readers, your tablets, those will be able to be on your lap and used gate to gate. >> reporter: it was welcome news at gate d-12 in miami today where stan lacey was multitasking waiting to fly home to sacramento. >> i tell them to power it down. if they say it is safe that is when it is safe. >> reporter: so this is good news for you. >> it's great news. >> reporter: you don't have to be a cop anymore. while cell connections need to stay off, you need to connect to the plane's wi-fi system which the airlines charge for. and there's another important point. they want you to keep your laptops stowed. these could become dangerous project tiles in takeoff and landings. oh, by the way, even though you can keep listening to music, they ask you to take out the ear buds when the attendants are making their preflight announcement.
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now to the weather on the ground on this halloween night when so many families with kids are trick or treating a storm system is also on the move. it's a big one stretching from the great lakes all the way down to the gulf of mexico. it is forcing some cities in this country to actually cancel or delay halloween plans until tomorrow because of torrential rain and the fear of flash floods. already there have been hundreds of evacuations and high water rescues in parts of texas. it's all sliding to the east tonight. weather channel meteorologist mike sidell with us from cincinnati this evening. hey, mike. good evening. >> reporter: hey, brian. good evening to you. we are in a break from the stormy weather here at cincinnati. most of the scary stuff today on halloween has been down south and along the gulf coast. tonight all or parts of 16 states are under a wind advisory, high wind watch or high wind warning. take a look at the red zone for the overnight area. this is the zone ahead of the cold front where we are concerned about damaging wind gusts. that's the biggest threat.
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as for tricker treating that hasn't been canceled already, there will be pockets of heavy rain. as the storm races across the great lakes into canada it will rapidly intensify and the pressure will drop to something comparable to a category 2 hurricane. unlike in a hurricane where the wind is concentrated around the center, these winds will spread out across the northeast. gusts 50 to 60 miles per hour can down trees and power lines and likely long flight delays on friday. tomorrow if you want to go surfing, head to buffalo. 12 to 14 foot seas. on lake erie. >> wow. mike seidel for us in cincinnati tonight. mike, we'll watch it into tomorrow. now to news from overseas specifically syria where we learned there was an air strike by israel to destroy russian-made missiles reportedly heading for hezbollah. tonight syria has met a major deadline of november 1st for destroying its chemical weapons capability, part of the rule from russia that pulled the u.s. back from the brink of military
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action this past summer. we get more from our chief foreign correspondent richard engel on the weapons and where all of this leaves syrian president bashar al assad. >> reporter: washington said assad's regime would be punished for this. more than 1,400 civilians including hundreds of children gassed to death last august. a war crime and punishment did come. not with u.s. bombings, but with a deal arranged by assad's friend vladimir putin. syria would give up chemical weapons by the middle of next year. today a milestone. international teams say syria has rendered inoperable the declared chemical weapon factories. >> the slower tasks is getting rid of the tonages of chemical weapons or the precursors of chemical weapons which we understand is about 1,000 tons. >> reporter: washington used to say assad was on borrowed time. >> i think assad must go. it's not a question of if.
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it's when. he is no longer legitimate and that he needs to go. >> reporter: but he remains and with renewed confidence, his forces still using artillery and missiles and napalm. his opposition divided and holding on. his people forced from their homes, many starving. some reduced to eating leaves and cats. many believe bashar al assad got away with mass murder with the chemical weapons deal hailed as a success for diplomacy. the inspectors awarded the nobel peace prize and assad himself coming off looking cooperative. in washington today the u.s. ambassador to syria got a grilling. >> a mother watching a child starve to death is not really comforting that that child has not been killed by a chemical weapon. >> reporter: assad has so far weathered the storm exchanging weapons for power. richard engel, nbc news, cairo.
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now to this widening and nsa spying story. all of it coming by leaks by the former u.s. defense contractor edward snowden. tonight's revelations involve very big names in the internet and e-mail world. now big companies are calling for new privacy laws to stop u.s. intelligence agencies from breaking into their data overseas. for more on all of it we turn to our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom tonight. andrea, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the tech companies worry they are losing an arm's race with the nsa which nbc news confirms has been hacking into google and yahoo data centers around the world as fast as the company has put up firewalls. vacuuming up e-mail and phone records. google and yahoo data centers in all corners of the globe reach targets by data collection by
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nsa and british intelligence. as first reported in the "washington post" they found more documents leaked by edward snowden, hundreds of thousands of e-mails, search queries and other activity collected, decoded and filtered and possible intelligence targets transmitted to the nsa in fort meade, maryland. >> you have thousands and thousands of mile of cable out there. so presumably the nsa has found somehow to gain access to this cable. >> reporter: the programs described in this cartoon-like drawing snowden leaked to the "washington post" were designed to track foreigners wsh but the data of americans working or living overseas who use foreign phones or e-mail addresses can get swept up as well. top intelligence officials rushed today to brief the senate intelligence committee. >> when you look to gather foreign intelligence which is so important to our country there is a challenge about sweeping in americans in the process. >> reporter: here is the giant loop hole. because it is happening outside the u.s., american laws requiring a court order before the spies can read the e-mails
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or listen to the calls don't apply. google issued a statement saying we are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data. from our private fiber networks. snowden who met today in moscow with an opposition green party leader in germany is said to be consider testifying in germany if given asylum. what does he hope comes out of this? >> i think he hopes we will go back to a september 10th kind of world in terms of privacy and in terms of surveillance. >> reporter: today snowden got a new job in moscow for a tech company and the spy agency told the senate that some of these reports have been mischaracterized. the senate wants that in writing. brian? >> andrea mitchell in washington tonight. andrea, thanks. all of this troubling news has left a lot of people wondering what, if any, electronic communications are private. tonight nbc's stephanie gosk takes a special look for us at
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what happens after you hit send. >> reporter: the beauty of the internet. the ability to get and send information in an instant. my mom will have this e-mail on her phone in a matter of seconds. but once i hit send, where does it go? how does it get there? and who can get access? every second of every day massive amounts of data speed through an elaborate system created and controlled by companies like yahoo and google. they call it the cloud. but don't be misled. there is nothing ethereal about it. this is a brick and mortar network. fiber cables transport, warehouse sized data centers with humming servers collect and store. >> for your e-mail account you can have years worth of data stored in your account. >> reporter: this is google's facility in north carolina, one of six in the united states. there are another seven overseas. >> a lot of people think if i am in the u.s. my data is stored here in the u.s. that is not really the case.
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google has data centers all over the world. >> reporter: google says their data centers are well protected, in some cases relying on biometrics to screen employees. the company is working to encrypt the fiber lines. even if the system is secure, make no mistake, these internet giants have become the gate keepers of our digital lives. >> we put all of our digital eggs into their baskets. and whether that's wise is in terms of privacy and security is, i think, a very open question. >> reporter: today we are getting a little digitally vulnerable, there is only one foolproof way around it. write a letter and get a stamp. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. still ahead for us tonight, a mystery involving a high school athlete, some very strange evidence, and parents demanding answers. and later a political bombshell just emerging tonight. was president obama really considering running for
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re-election without joe biden?
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we are back with a story finally getting more attention. the mysterious death of a high school football player in georgia and his parents who are convinced this was no accident. nbc's gabe gutierrez has more on the disturbing evidence and the strange case and the video tape that may be the key to all of it. >> reporter: newly released surveillance video shows small glimpses of kendrick johnson's final hours. the 17-year-old known as k.j. is seen entering his high school gym in georgia in january. >> we've got a body in the high school here. there is a dead body up here. >> reporter: the video does not show how the body ended up here inside a rolled up gym mat in a lonely space just over 14 inches wide. >> we have to fight for him because if we don't fight no one will. >> reporter: kenneth and jacqueline johnson believe their son was murdered and someone is trying to cover it up.
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>> we want justice and we're not stopping until we get justice. >> reporter: today a federal prosecutor here weighed in publicly for the first time announcing a formal review of the facts with the fbi prepared to help. >> i do this with an open mind neither accepting nor rejecting the opinions of anyone who has previously investigated the circumstances of his death. >> reporter: after an initial autopsy, the sheriffs departments and bureau of investigation including that johnson died of a tragic accident, that he fell head first into an upright mat, reaching for a shoe, got trapped, and couldn't b breathe. >> we believe we conducted a complete and thorough investigation and we stand by that. >> reporter: johnson's family hired a private pathologist to investigate. >> we found the trauma in an area that had not been previously detected or looked at in the first autopsy.
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>> reporter: now the case is being reopened by federal authorities. >> we know this was not an accident. we know my son was murdered and we are waiting for the truth to come out. >> reporter: and kendrick johnson's family is waiting for local officials to release 1,900 hours of security video from different cameras in the next few days, images they hope will show whether their son truly died alone. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, macon, georgia. we'll take a break. we'll be back here in a moment with news in just today about a relic of american music history believed to be lost forever until now.
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big story in politics being reported on the website of the "new york times" late today. details on the new book from the authors of "game change." it's called "double down." in it authors write that president obama's inner circle secretly considered switching out vice president joe biden with hillary clinton on the ticket. they went so far as to get the
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opinion of focus groups, but in the end the research showed there wasn't a big enough bounce in support to justify such a bold move. the vice president was not made aware of these investigations. the authors say mitt romney scratched new jersey governor chris christie off his short list for v.p. because of several unanswered questions including some about his medical history. the authors will debut their new book monday morning on "today". the house of representatives is out with its legislative calendar for 2014. let's put it this way, a lot of americans would love this calendar. they are scheduled to work for 113 days. that'll be a much more leisurely pace from this year. they're on track to work a blistering 134 days. and next year is do or die for a lot of them with a record number of americans telling our nbc pollsters they want them out and want to start over. do you recall anybody driving past you really fast in the past few days?
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one of the great annual events for motor heads just concluded. every year this event goes on without most law abiding civilians finding out about it. it's called the cannon ball run. founded in 1933 immortalized by film. it is a race from new york to l.a. whoever arrives first wins no questions asked. this year's winner of atlanta made the drive in 28 hours, 50 minutes. think about that. it is 2,800 miles. average speed 98 miles an hour. he did it in a tricked out 2004 mercedes with extra fuel tanks, good radar detectors and range extenders otherwise known as bed pans in the business. it's not pretty, just fan. a dark day for the purist of folk music when at the newport folk festival bob dylan went electronic. the crowd went wild. some booed and some wanted the power to get cut off and a lot
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of musicians then made the switch to electric guitars. well, the fender strat he plugged in that day went missing 50 years ago. it was considered lost forever but it has been found. it is about to be auctioned off. dylan left it on a private plane. the pilot is alleged to have taken it home. it remained with a new jersey family for the past 50 years. and this is the day every year when our friends at the "today" show do us all proud. they didn't disappoint this morning. ladies and gentlemen, matt lauer as pamela anderson. let's just take a moment and take that moment in. willie geist as the hoff. al roker showed up as mr. t. nobody pitied him. carson daly was a chip alongside eric estrada. hoda and kathie lee were betty and wilma. when we come back, jubilation for a team and a town which needed a reason to
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finally tonight, whatever our sports loyalties you have to admit this year's boston red sox were a great baseball team. they had the fullest beards and
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had emotion behind them going into last night's game. the hopes and dreams of an entire city that had endured a bad year and wanted to feel sheer joy again. nbc's ron mott has our report from the very happy city of boston. >> high fly ball to left. >> reporter: few things will pull a team together like winning. >> it hasn't happened at fenway park for 95 years. the red sox are world champions. >> reporter: an exhilarating strike three drew the world champion red sox in for a raucous group hug not seen at fenway since 1918. >> you don't have to say let's go red sox anymore. we did it. >> it was a one time opportunity. it was really great. >> reporter: beyond the park a much larger embrace, shared joy after shared pain tested the city's metal on april 15. last night they returned to the finish line of the boston marathon celebrating the unity redefined by tragedy.
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today souvenirs in high demand, pride seems the ultimate keepsake. >> just brings everyone together. that's what's great about this year and this championship. >> i don't know what heaven is like, but if it's anything walking into the world series game six, i'm going to try to be a better person. >> reporter: often a game of odd superstitions, razors were forsaken during the playoff run. a hairy situation that spread to the stands. the world series crown is a reversal of fortune. this worked out pretty nicely. >> i would say it did. >> reporter: for both team and city. april's heart break now from the triumph. from the 7-year-old who lost a brother -- ♪ oh say can you see >> reporter: -- to others who fought even harder to be here. >> to be able to do this at fenway park in front of our fans after what has built over the course of the season, there has been a stronger connection made between our players and the fans. for everyone to share in it last night was special. >> reporter: special because
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strong just got stronger. ron mott, nbc news, boston. well done. that's our broadcast on a thursday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. happy halloween. be careful out there, and we hope to see you right in our breaking news, in phoenix, arizona, our nbc chopper over the scene. a plane that left sfo late this afternoon diverted because of a bomb threat. thanks for joining us. i'm raj matthai. >> i'm janelle wang in for jessica aguirre. the united express flight left san francisco at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon headed to san antonio, when it was foshsed to make an unscheduled landing in phoenix. at sky harbor airport. as you can see, the plane landed safely. it's on the runway after reports of a bomb threat. the plane was evacuated safely. we have video from the past 15
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minutes when passengers were taken off the plane and put on buses. presumably to board another plane to san antonio. no reports of any injuries and it's still unclear if there was an actual threat or not. if there are any new developments, we'll keep you posted right here. now to a story you'll see only on nbc bay area. the city of san jose spent the last few days denouncing other cities for luring away its police recruits, but as it turns out, san jose has been doing the same thing for years. poaching from other departments. nbc bay area's damian trujillo joins us with this. >> reporter: there's been a policy in place and encourages the recruitment of veterans and rookies from other departments. it's called the lateral transfer or lateral hire if you will. that's not illegal, but critics say san jose should not throw stones from its own glass house. the police academy is where they trained to become a part of san jose's finest. but it's also where other cities