tv Early Today NBC May 23, 2014 4:00am-4:31am PDT
good friday morning. coming up on "early today," wicked weather. softball sized hail and damaging winds. >> i don't think i was ever more scared in my life. i was sitting there, like, shaking with my face covered. >> mother nature, will she cooperate with millions hitting the roads this memorial day weekend. arizona burning. over 11 square miles and counting, but the so-called slide fire could face tough resistance today. plus, billionaire mark cuban's take on race and he ends up apologizing to trayvon martin's parents. also, dramatic scene of a baby being caught after falling from a balcony. and will the new x-men overshadow kimye's wedding?
it is friday, may 23rd and "early today" starts right now. good morning. i'm richard lui. this is the weekend to celebrate and hold up those who gave their lives in military service for our country. memorial day weekend, though, is also a busy time on the roads. aaa predicting a record number of people, nearly 36 million, will be traveling this weekend. many wonder how the weather could affect their travel plans. nbc meteorologist bill karins is looking at that for us and good for some, and some others not. >> 95% of the people have no issues what so over traveling. but there are 5%. let me point those out for your travel needs. big map for the forecast, in the entire country. the airport hubs will be all right. denver, kansas city, san antonio, chance of rain. seattle, chance of showers. airport delays may be possible there. as far as the worst travel goes today, once again, from the severe thunderstorms, with hail and damaging winds, we're
talking south carolina, and southern portions of north carolina. as far as the airport impact, if they're going to occur, it will be areas like charlotte, north carolina, and the afternoon and evening. denver, new york city, most likely thunderstorms afternoon and evening. from boston to kansas city, i don't expect any of the airports in the west to have any issues at all. >> that's great. good to see that it will be pretty good for at least 1.7, 5% of the folks you're talking about there. except for that one group. still no containment, but arizona officials show some optimism as fire crews work overnight in hope of getting a fast moving wildfire under control. what is being called the slide fire already burned through 11 square miles in southern arizona, simmering about three miles from two residential areas. firefighters trying to keep the flames from reaching communities near flagstaff where residents are under preevacuation notice. >> the sentimental stuff that can't be replaced, pictures, paperwork, stuff like that. >> so far no reports of structural loss or injuries. hail so big and so heavy, it
punched through a shopping mall ceiling. government ba golf ball sized hail shattering a window in a mall. shoppers went running for cover. >> it was crazy. all of a sudden the lights started going out, glass was breaking, people were running everywhere. we were trying to get people in the store so they wouldn't get injured. >> the hail also pulmmeled several cars and homes too. no injuries reported. damage control, both congress and the white house are taking some steps to deal with the growing va hospital scandal. congress has moved to sympathy va officials while president obama sent his deputy chief of staff to the phoenix va hospital at the center of the investigation into alleged long waits and preventable deaths. tracie potts is in washington, d.c. good morning, tracie, on this friday. there are new calls for the va secretary to resign. what are you seeing? >> reporter: yeah, they're hitting the campaign trail now. the president still standing by
him, on capitol hill. there are democrats standing by him as well. but, still, a lot of questions about what happened in phoenix. neighbors coming back to brief the president on all those meetings he had with vets and patients and staff out there yesterday. but now we're learning it is not just in phoenix. allegations of misconduct are popping up at va hospitals all over the country now. in new mexico, a whistle-blower claims vets were assigned to doctors who didn't even work there. >> doctors who are either in administration or gone. >> no longer working there. >> yeah. >> but still are listed as having patients. >> yes. >> reporter: in st. louis, a former head of psychiatry claims they were seeing less than half as many patients as reported. >> the focus becomes these numbers. >> reporter: veterans waiting weeks for surgery. >> that request is on paperwork sitting at somebody's desk.
>> get into your primary care is like pulling teeth. it hurts just about as bad. >> we can't let them down. we let them die. >> reporter: on capitol hill, a new aid promises they'll fix it. >> we know there may be issues in certain areas and we'll get to the bottom of that. >> reporter: va secretary eric shinseki still has support here. >> just changing people at the top may appear to represent change, but it's the culture, it's the system. >> is anybody here from va. >> reporter: a house committee is giving three va officials one more chance next week to turn over paperwork or they'll be subpoenaed. and that's because lawmakers think the paperwork is just coming too slowly from the va. there were 24 people whose e-mails and documents they wanted as of the last few days. they only had one and now they're getting that last chance next wednesday night to turn them into the subpoenas going out thursday morning.
>> tracie, thank you so much. live from washington, d.c. on this friday. the house overwhelmingly passed a bill thursday to curb domestic spying by the national security agency. the usa freedom act restrains the nsa phone records collection program. under the bill, the nsa may seek access to metadata from phone companies and others, but only with the court order. it is first legislative response to edward snowden's nsa leaks. critics say the bill is watered down and does not go far enough. dallas mavericks owner mark cuban apologized to the family of trayvon martin for what some are calling racially insensitive comments he made in an interview with "ink" magazine. >> i know i'm prejudiced. i know i'm bigoted in a lot of different ways. i said this before, if i see a black kid in a hoodie at night on the other side of the street, you know, i'm probably -- on the same side of the street, i'm probably going to walk to the other side of the street. if i see a white guy with shaved head and lots of tattoos, i'm
going back to the other side of the street, right. if i see anybody that looks threatening, probably chances are there is part of me that takes into account race and gender and age. i'm prejudiced. but other than safety issues, i try to always catch my prejudices and recognize and be very self-aware that, you know, my stream of thought is never perfect, and i've got to be careful. >> mark cuban there in that interview with "ink" magazine. bill karins joins us now to tell us about friday. now saturday, sunday, monday. >> the holiday weekend. shaping up pretty good. the northwest not looking quite as nice as the weather pattern you are in. as we look at saturday, i think we'll sneak in a decent day on day, dry day too. we're looking really nice throughout much of the southeast. on sunday, another little frontal system will come in with showers and storms in the pacific northwest. the rest of california looks pretty good. northern california, oregon,
increasing clouds, few showers and inner mountain west. by the time we get to memorial day, still looking at chances of light rain or showers there in the northwest. nothing too heavy there memorial day. not a horrible forecast, not a washout, but not going to exactly be running around outside in the sunshine either. that's your national forecast. >> overall, the weekend forecast, not perfect in the northwest, not a washout either. >> bill karins, thank you. straight ahead, brian williams reveals a big exclusive. the driver of this car avoiding death by a split second. and this rookie may have gotten the fattest contract ever. [ jennifer garner ] why can't powerful sunscreen feel great on your skin? actually it can.
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welcome back. there were sunny skies for a somber task on thursday. members of the army's old guard placed over 260,000 u.s. flags in front of gravestones at arlington national cemetery. it is an annual memorial day weekend tradition to honor the fallen. there is new video of a woman barely escaping her car, right there, just seconds before it is smashed by a train. you can see the conductor scrambling right before the impact. the driver was hit by debris, but amazingly, not seriously injured. some tense moments in southern russia thursday, a hot water pipeline bursting under a bus. it started to fill with boiling water. amateur video captured passengers as they fled the vehicle. some were treated for severe burns. it is the catch of a lifetime. dramatic video from china, a 1-year-old plummets from a second story window.
thankfully the good samaritans were ready to help and were great catches to boot. nbc's brian williams was in nashville, tennessee, on thursday, delivering the commencement address at a local high school. he offered up some words of advice to the grads of hillwood high. then went on to mention his most recent project. >> you'll need grit. you'll need character. a lot of good educators have worked really hard for four years to make sure character is part of your learning here. exactly 32 hours ago there was a knock on my hotel room door in moscow. i opened the door and in front of me stood the instantly recognizable most wanted man in the world today, edward snowden. >> you can see brian williams' exclusive interview with edward snowden wednesday night at
10:00, 9:00 central on nbc. time to get down to business on this three day weekend. sto stocks were up on thursday. facebook is changing its privacy settings. new user posts will default to being seen just by your friends. current users will be reminded more often about who they want to share their posts with. a private buyer purchased norman rockwell's the rookie for almost $23 million at christie's. the locker room scene here shows hall of famer ted williams and other veterans as a new player arrives for spring training. the irs is owed $3.3 billion in back taxes from 318,000 federal workers. and hewlett-packard plans to cut another 16,000 jobs as part of ceo meg whitman's turn around plan with this new round of cuts, hp will have chopped 50,000 jobs during whitman's restructuring. just ahead, one of our country's most accomplished athletes gets cut from his team.
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this morning on "today," grab your boots and kick off your memorial day weekend with a special concert from the country king himself, tim mcgraw is live on the plaza. that's ahead on "today." and i heard him practicing earlier, sounds pretty good. to sports, we're going to start with the nhl playoffs,
rangers and canadiens, game three. no score here. the former ranger guy brandon right there, lowers his shoulder, blind sides stepien at the blue line. down for a few minutes. that leads to this. players throwing elbows. fast-forward now to the third period. >> rebound, they score! it is briere at the net and it is 2-1 in favor of montreal. >> you heard it, rangers down one goal. under a minute left in the third period. and then this. >> played along by girouard, a minute to go. he drew it. score! >> two minutes into overtime, the canadiens get that winning goal. rangers lead the series 2-1. they next meet on sunday. 50 u.s. senators urging nfl commissioner roger goodell to force the washington redskins to
change their name. they claim the name redskins is a racial slur. they say the nfl should follow the nba's example of cracking down on racial injustice. in baseball, toronto's mark buehrle won his major league leading eighth game. he got some early help from teammates melky cabrera and jose batista, back to back jacks on consecutive pitches. the jays take the red sox 7-2. uconn men's head coach ted ollie fresh off his championship season has just inked a new contract. $15 million. ollie has a record of 52-18 in the first two years. the country's highest profile soccer player was cut from the u.s. world cup team. landon donovan was one of seven players cut to reach the final 23-man roster. the coach had questioned whether the leading scorer in u.s. soccer history lost desire after he took some time off. just ahead, a wicked feud
between charlie sheen and rihanna. this one you got to hear. and what would you pay to go to space with leonardo dicaprio? before using her new bank of america credit card, which rewards her for responsibly managing her card balance. before receiving $25 toward her balance each quarter for making more than her minimum payment on time each month. tracy got the bankamericard better balance rewards credit card, which fits nicely with everything else in life she has to balance. that's the benefit of responsibility. apply online or visit a bank of america near you.
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that's not going to last all that long. up to 93 in vegas on saturday. inner mountain west, a little more stormy. a stagnant weather pattern. instead of being blistering hot, it is dry, but on the cool side. northwest on sunday, another shot of rain, monday more of the same. >> perfect, san francisco, salt lake city, boise. time for kim kardashian and kanye west to say i do. you'll be hearing those trumpets. radar online reporting over $7 million will be dropped on that extravaganza including $2 million for kim's dress alone there. guests will first attend an evening event at the palace of versailles before being flown to a castle in florence. the guest list includes jay z, john legend and serena williams. x men days of future past expected to take in more than $115 million over the three-day weekend, winning the box office crown. adam sandler and drew barrymore's third romantic comedy called blended is
expected to debut in third place after godzilla drops to number two. i got my money on x men, though. if you're curious, it costs $955,000 to go to space with leonardo dicaprio. that was a winning bid for a virgin galactic trip with leo at a celebrity auction hosted by sharon stone. proceeds benefit an aids charity. >> not that bad. >> leonardo putting his life on the line. he'll go for it. charlie sweheen and twitter war on rihanna after she refused to meet his fiancee at dinner. he ranted saying, quote, sorry we're not cool enough to warrant a blessing from the princess, or in this case the village idiot. later he said, quote, here's a tip from a real vet, if you don't want to get bothered, don't leave your house. and if this prison of fame is so unnerving and difficult, then quit, junior. end quote. rihanna seemed unfazed by this. after changing her twitter pick to sheen's head on a fan's body
asking her for an autograph, she tweeted, if that old queen don't get his diapers out of a bunch, end quote. finally, big bang theory's -- we should move on. jim parsens getting flustered when ellen asked him if it was time to marry his partner of 11 years. >> you're not married. your boyfriend -- >> not married. >> are you going to get married? >> i don't know. that's a hard -- you get so used to your life as it is. i'm not saying he's been discouraging it. i'm not. >> it sounds like he is discouraging it. >> he's not discouraging it. i feel like i haven't been enthusiastic enough about it and now i feel like i'm a loser for the cause. >> yeah. >> so he was, like, dancing a little bit there. >> a little uncomfortable. >> yeah. >> i'm richard lui, this is "early today." we hope it is your first stop of the day right here on nbc. [ female announcer ] can your kids' sunscreen pass the wet skin challenge? neutrogena wet skin with helioplex does. on wet skin, ordinary sunscreen mixes with water and drips.
leading the news in the l.a. times, sterling tape was unleashed as friendship with stiviano fraye ee frayed. sterling's racist rant was posted on tmz 16 days later. in the clus bum dispatcolum dispatch, betty white and jack hanna help cut the ribbon for a new exhibit at the columbus zoo which will house 150 animals from 20 species. that will be fun. other stories we're watching here for you, people in jordan are preparing to welcome the pope on saturday. it will be be the first stop on his tour of the holy land, one that also includes israel and palestine. tennessee is bringing back the
electric chair, the state's governor signing it into law yesterday. it will be allowed if the drugs used for lethal injection are not available. and those drugs are currently in short supply nationwide. tennessee last used the electric chair in 2007. you can never get enough of these. an american soldier surprises his kids at school after almost a year overseas. his daughters cannot contain -- >> they're never letting go. >> they leap into their father's arms there. lunch time surprise. just in time for memorial day weekend. all righty. what house pet could weigh more than 500 pounds. well, talking about a pig, of course. ester. the wonder pig. i mean wonder. look at how big she is now. she came to her owners as a little piggy. with years later, she's this. she had grown to be a very -- a very large pig, shall we say. she's completely house trained, though. she will let her owners know when she wants to go inside or
outside, has her own bed and even a bin of toys she plays with. >> cute for 500. >> maybe they thought she was a micropig. but not. cute for 500. now a look ahead and a look back. president obama will announce his nominee for housing secretary. he's chosen san antonio mayor julian castro. if confirmed, castro would be the highest ranking hispanic official serving the president. 30 years ago, surgeon general c. everett coop issued a report saying there was solid evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in nonsmokers. >> the report says that just a few years after beginning to smoke, a substantial number of smokers showed some inflammation of the lungs. by age 25, they begin to experience a reduction in lung power. by their 60s, almost all smokers had mild to moderate emphysema, many have severe cases. 62,000 a year die of lung disease. >> and i'm richard lui with bill karins. thanks for watching "early today." have a very wonderful memorial day weekend ahead for you.
well, good morning. a very good friday morning to you. 4:30, i'm scott mcgrew. >> i'm peggy bunker in for laura this morning. first up, that forecast with meteorologist christina loren. good morning to you. >> good morning to you. temperatures mostly in the 50s to start and a full blanket of clouds overhead and, nonetheless, similar to what we experienced yesterday. we're going to climb out of the 50s into the 70s and a couple 80s out there and then we've got a gorgeous and i mean gorgeous three-day weekend shaping up for you. take you through the numbers coming up. right now check your drive and see if we are getting any light activity. we should