tv First Look MSNBC December 26, 2013 2:00am-2:31am PST
good thursday morning. right now on "first look," it was a blue christmas for folks waiting on delayed holiday shipments via u.p.s. and fedex. what one retailer is doing to try to make it right. edward snowden's new christmas message invoking george orwell and the dangers of unchecked government surveillance. tens are thousands are still in the dark and cold waiting for the power to come back on days after a big ice storm. plus, a skier's camera captures terrifying moments in colorado. mcdonald's takes decisive action against its own employee site and how texting may actually help strengthen the family bond. and a very good morning to
you. i'm kristen welker. hope you had a great holiday. for some the grinch came in two forms this christmas. first stubborn weather left hundreds of thousands in the dark and thousands more woke up without their gifts. nbc's ron mott has more on the holiday that wasn't so jolly for all. >> reporter: near grand rapids, michigan, weather made for treacherous driving. at least a dozen accidents on i-96. crews spent the day in the bitter cold trying to restore power to more than 200,000 families left in the dark for days by a weekend snow and ice storm. >> it's very rewarding to be here and to help people out. >> reporter: and while rough weather made for some tough going for delivery drivers in recent days, weather isn't solely to blame for holiday packages that didn't make it home for christmas. fedex reported some delays, and u.p.s., the world's largest package delivery company, apologized to disappointed customers, saying u.p.s. is experiencing heavy hole lay volume and making every effort to get packages to their destination. however, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded
the capacity of our network immediately preceding christmas so some shipments were delayed. in fort worth, a few people left empty-handed. >> they made me drive down here for no reason. they're telling me it's not here. >> reporter: social media became a sounding board. "it's their christmas, too. let them have their day." "i waited at my house all day for nothing." in virginia, sara's presents didn't arrive. she, too, left empty-handed after a drive to a u.p.s. facility. >> i was frustrated because i paid additional shipment to be rushed. >> reporter: the day was filled with tradition and good tidings. the uso greeted traveling service members in atlanta. reunions in indianapolis. volunteers served hot meals in d.c. >> this is a place where you can come, talk and feel like a family, yes. >> reporter: in california, let there be light. 370,000 lights on a san
francisco home. >> i think that's pretty magical. you got to see the elves and santa claus. >> reporter: nearby rather than compete with this next door, one homeowner matched the sentiment, if not the wattage. >> have a happy christmas. >> reporter: and at this connecticut starbucks, the christmas spirit lit up the cash register and probably a few hearts. >> somebody paid it forward for us. so we're, like, yeah, we'll definitely pay it forward. >> and that's nbc's ron mott reporting. u.p.s. and fedex are drawing fire following that christmas eve delivery snag. both issues are issuing a mea culpa and a majority of those packages are expected to be delivered today. it appears a combination of bad weather plus overcapacity is to blame. amazon.com even acknowledged u.p.s.'s failure in an apologetic e-mail to customers. the company is providing gift cards and shipping refunds to those affected. well, just a day after edward snowden told "the washington post" his mission was accomplished, he's now out with a christmas message.
>> a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. they'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. and that's a problem because privacy matters. >> snowden recorded that two-minute video in moscow where he has temporary asylum. great britain's channel 4 aired the video, calling it this year's alternative christmas message. in the video snowden renewed his call to end government mass surveillance. he even drew comparisons to george orwell's "1984," but he says the type of widespread portrayal is nothing compared to what's available today. the u.s. is demanded he return to face espionage charges. meanwhile in egypt tensions are mounting after the interim government labeled the muslim brotherhood a terrorist organization in the wake of a suicide bombing that killed 16 people in a city near cairo. the egyptian government formally
listed the brotherhood as terrorists. the organization has condemned the bombing, though, and another group has taken responsibility. egypt's government has insisted the muslim brotherhood is responsible for the blast and says it will now label anyone who supports them a terrorist. well, the president and first lady stepped away from their hawaii vacation to mark a christmas tradition. paying tribute to u.s. service members. the obamas visited nearly 600 service members and their families at marine corps base hawaii. the president recalled speaking by phone on christmas eve to ten military members stationed in places like afghanistan, saudi arabia and bahrain. mr. obama honored the sacrifice that has made every single day not just during the holidays. take a listen. >> michelle and i know that we would not enjoy the freedoms we do if it went for the incredible dedication and professionalism and work that you do. the least we can do is just let you all know that we're grateful to you. and we're thankful.
>> the obamas are expected to remain in hawaii through january 5th. well, to sports now. we've got your nba christmas day roundup. the miami heat went for their sixth consecutive win against the lakers in l.a. last night. the lakers started off the first quarter strong with a 21-17 lead over the heat. but they couldn't keep it up. near the half, they were down by seven. and santa just couldn't bring them a christmas win. the lakers lost to the heat, 101-95. the heat's win could have been due to player chris bosh's shirt. he wore this light-up christmas sweater into the staples center on wednesday. that's a great gift for under the tree. well, the knicks are known for their christmas day home wins, but with the thunder's knack for road games, the knicks weren't able to come out on top. even at the half, the knicks were down six, and that cap just kept on growing. the knicks had their largest home game loss with a final score of 123-94. well, in a home state matchup, the rockets were in san
antonio to take on the spurs. even with two games out with a sprained ankle, james hardin was the big scorer of the day, earning 28 points and leading the rockets to a 111-98 victory over the spurs. merry christmas to them. j.j. watt is not known for being faint of heart. after his many football collisions over the years including a gash during week four, watt is considering plastic surgery to reconstruct his nose. well, why, you may ask? well, his mother reportedly told him that she hates the way it looks. always listen to mom. for the third time in her career, serena williams has been named associated press female athlete of the year with a 34-match winning streak and 11 titles over 2013. incredible. and to football now where jeff tarpinian who has been known for making an impact on the texans this year is speaking out about a recent medical scare. two years ago while playing for the patriots he suffered a
season-ending injury which he just announced resulted in major brain surgery. he says that after having surgery you, quote, appreciate everything you do. ravens' quarterback joe flacco showed his christmas spirit on the practice field. sporting some classy santa socks. flacco clearly making the most of working during the holiday. the best way to celebrate the holiday. and some athletes played santa claus for a day. well, they sort of did. rockets' center dwight howard bought all of his new teammates expensive watches for the holiday. and seahawks' quarterback russell wilson bought his offensive line tight ends, wide receivers and running backs all new xbox 1s. before taking home a miami heat win, lebron james celebrated christmas with his family including watching his kids create some awesome basketball tricks. check it out. clearly athleticism runs in that family. they are going to grow up to be great athletes indeed.
now for a look at your thursday weather, here's nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> you have been covering storms. the holiday approached and it's gotten quieter. >> which was nice. we are going to see the nice weather continue through the rest of this week in most areas, although where we did have that ice storm last weekend, it is still very cold. and mother nature certainly not melting the ice that is coating everything. and winds are snapping some of the branches still coated in ice. you can see from west coast to east, we're not really seeing that much activity going on. a closer look, though, shows you a minor disturbance is producing lake-effect snow through the eastern great lakes. we also have some steadier snow through central new york and down into pennsylvania. as that moves eastward, though, and the temperatures warm into the upper 30s, it should mostly mix with some rain in new york city into boston. that's why we're not looking at accumulating snow in those areas. a little further upstate new york and central northern new england, we could see a
widespread one to three inches. also snowfall across north dakota and even freezing rain through pierre, south dakota. if you are traveling early, keep that in mind because that freezing rain, it looks like rain and falls like rain, but it certainly makes things very slippery. besides those few areas, things are still mostly quiet, and that will continue through tomorrow. >> we'll enjoy this quiet weather while it lasts. >> you know it's not going to last that long. >> no, it won't. dylan, thanks. well, just ahead, tense moments on the ski slopes in colorado. plus, retailers pull out all the stops to lure post-christmas shoppers. we'll have details in just three minutes. andma? just a second, sweetie. [ female announcer ] we eased your back pain, you turned up the fun. tylenol® provides strong pain relief while being gentle on your stomach. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®. too small. too soft. too tasty. [ both laugh ] [ male announcer ] introducing progresso's
new creamy alfredo soup. inspired by perfection. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
and welcome back on this thursday morning. here are some stories making news this morning. officials continue their investigation into the deadly christmas morning fire that killed three siblings in louisiana. investigators say a space heater is likely to blame for the blaze that quickly spread through a trailer with 12 people inside. the children's parents suffered
serious burns and are recovering in the hospital. warren weinstein, u.s. government contractor kidnapped by al qaeda in 2011 released a message urging president obama to negotiate for his release. in the video, weinstein says he feels, quote, totally abandoned and forgotten. the obama administration says it will not negotiate for his release. a new study from the university of nebraska shows texting isn't all that bad. it actually helps people connect on a higher level with family. researchers have revealed people are more likely to express their feelings honestly through text than in person. and answer a relative's text within five minutes of receiving it. and stunning video from a helmet cam shows the moment when a skier is swallowed by an avalanche in colorado. the skier is buried up to his neck in snow, but luckily his brother was able to dig him out in just a few minutes. how fortunate he is. well, now for your first look at business.
we turn to cnbc's hampton pears pearson, hampton, good morning to you. what's the late sneft >> hello, kristen. how are you? we had stocks hitting new highs again in that shortened holiday session on tuesday thanks to upbeat economic data, on consumer sprending and durable goods. investors will be looking for numbers today on new filings for unemployment benefits. a wireless merger may be in the works. reports say japan's softbank is in talks to buy t-mobile from its german parent, deutsche telecom. that deal could be worth $20 billion. retailers are rolling out huge after-christmas today. walmart has items 25% to 50% while toys "r" us has buy one 40% off. some red-hot toys and all those video games. a quick look at early business headlines. back to you. >> great deals indeed. thanks. mcdonald's not lovin' it. the company has taken down its employee resources website after
anti-fast-food posts created by a third-party vendor went viral. the posts warned against the negative effects of fast food, even going so far as labeling a cheeseburger and fries as a, quote, unhealthy choice. and just before christmas, a las vegas cab driver thought a passenger had left a bag of chocolates in his car. it turns out the bag contained $300,000 in cold, hard cash. that's right. well, he turned that bag over to police who along with casino officials tracked down the rightful owner. the cabbie received a $1,000 reward and a spot on santa's nice list. right at the top. well, now here's your first look at this morning's dish of "scrambled politics." the $60 million u.s. capitol restoration project is beginning. the world famous symbol of democracy will look a bit different come spring. the capitol will be encircled by scaffolding as workers repair more than 1,000 cracks. it's the capitol's first major renovation in more than 50 years.
"usa today" analysis highlights sticker shock many in the middle class are feeling under obamacare. the paper says more than half the counties in the 34 states using the federal exchange lack affordable plans. specifically for many middle-class couples just past the threshold for major assistance. bergen county and philadelphia and milwaukee counties are included. others are in rural areas that already had limited choices and pricey plans. jesse jackson sr. is invoking rosa parks in his response to a "duck dynasty" star's controversial comments on african-americans and gays. in a statement jackson said, quote, at least the bus driver who ordered rosa parks to surrender her seat to a white person was following state law. phil robertson's statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law within a context of what he seemed to believe was, quote, white privilege. end quote. a&e has suspended robertson
for those remarks, but jackson wants him on indefinite hiatus. looks like one reindeer might not have made it back to the north pole. iowa republican congressman steve king tweeted this photo from oslo, norway, saying he enjoyed a meal of lutefisk and reindeer, but apparently eating reindeer is considered pretty normal in norway. and that's your morning dish of "scrambled politics." and joining me now from washington for our first look at politics is syndicated columnist bob franken. good morning to you. >> good morning, kristen. how are you? i hope you had a nice christmas. >> i'm doing great. i hope you had a great holiday as well. we appreciate your being here. i want to start off talking about health care, the botched rollout, the obama administration touting the fact that they seem to be making improvements. enrollments are swelling. the a.p. has a fascinating look at this type of a program, really putting it into context, saying take a look back at some of the past major programs like this, and we have a graphic.
they include franklin roosevelt's social security, the rollout of medicare and medicaid under president johnson, richard nixon, supplemental security income. all of those had botched rollouts in the beginning. does this suggest, bob, that we could see this debacle really turn around for the obama administration? >> well, that is, of course, the fondest hope of the democrats who face an election in 2014. but yes, there have been botched rollouts throughout the history at least recent history starting, as you pointed out, with the social security. but the difference was they did not involve computers to the extent that they do now. the simple fact of the matter is i think you will agree every time that i.t. makes an improvement, the i.t. people make an improvement, or have a start-up, there are going to be problems. and this one, of course, had huge consequences. it remains to be seen whether this will extend throughout the year which, of course, could have implications for the election, as we just mentioned. if so, then i think you could
start calling the obama presidency the obama lame-duck dynasty. >> i think you're right. we'll have to wait well into 2014 to make that determination. and bob, speaking of which, let's talk about another big issue for this administration, immigration reform. the president laid it out as one of his big second-term agenda items. it didn't happen during this first year. he wants to see it happen during the second year. an interesting development, house speaker john boehner brought on rebecca talent who's obviously someone who's worked quite a bit on immigration reform. does this suggest that immigration reform actually stands a chance of happening in 2014? >> well, it suggests that the republicans are weighing the political implications of letting it happen. on the one hand, of course, we're all well aware that the party has a real image problem when it comes to immigration and immigrants who make up a growing segment of the voting public. beyond that, however, it has its base, many of whom are virulently anti-immigrant.
it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. i wouldn't be too optimistic if i was somebody who was pushing immigration rights. >> bob franken from washington, thank you so much for joining us on this day after christmas. we appreciate it. >> thank you, kristen. well, just ahead, a flight home just in time for the holidays. it's being called the largest animal rescue ever on the west coast. we'll have details next. ady gra? just a second, sweetie. [ female announcer ] we eased your back pain, you turned up the fun. tylenol® provides strong pain relief while being gentle on your stomach. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®.
homes at all over the west coast, but thanks to "operation holiday airlift," thanks to some extraordinary volunteers, the canines were flown to loving families just in time for the holidays. miguel almaguer reports from california. >> reporter: for 10-year-old brock, a dalmatian mix, this is happiness. >> good dog. >> reporter: checking out his new digs. >> come on, brock. >> reporter: a five-acre farm in washington. it's chilly here in winter, but brock finds warmth in the arms of his new best friend, betty jo nolan. this is love. a perfect holiday. >> i'll wrap him up with a red ribbon. >> reporter: for brock, a second chance at life after he was abandoned in los angeles, left to fend for himself. his journey to his new life began early one morning at a busy airport. >> i know, it's winter cold, huh. >> reporter: wings of rescue launched its third annual holiday airlift. volunteers rounded up hundreds of dogs in overcrowded shelters
who were living on borrowed time. >> say hi. you're going to go to a nice home, aren't you? >> reporter: how tough is it to see so many dogs here? >> it just makes you want to cry. this is like the best opportunity ever. >> reporter: wings of rescue has saved 6,000 dogs, flying them to safe homes. what's the most gratifying part about all of this for you? >> knowing we saved 500 dogs this week. >> reporter: to get this holiday airlift off the ground, it takes hundreds of volunteers and tens of thousands of dollars in donations. goemer here is headed to washington state. bob delong is one of 20 volunteer pilots, flying dogs to safe shelters in oregon, montana, idaho and washington. >> it's nice to do it around christmas, you know, to give back and do a little charity. >> reporter: in bellingham, bobo the mastiff meets his new family. >> he's really excited. >> reporter: and akila finds her
new best friend. >> she's absolutely everything that i could have dreamed for. >> reporter: for these dogs and their new families -- >> my christmas present to me. >> come on, brock. >> reporter: there's no place like a new home for the holidays. >> you like that? >> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news, van nuys, california. now for another look at the weather, here's nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. i know you're a pet lover like me, so what a great story. >> it was such a great story for all those dogs getting to go to new homes. it's just as rewarding for the people getting the dogs, which is great to see. pretty cold temperatures. 15 in minneapolis. 19 in chicago. 31 in new york. we do have a couple of light snow showers moving through upstate new york and even stretching down into pennsylvania. but it should change over to more of a wintry mix, especially in boston with temperatures getting up to about 39 degrees. once the snow gets there, it will be warm enough for it to change over to a rain/snow mix. 25 with light snow showers in minneapolis. even cool down through atlanta,
about 53 degrees and only 56 today in dallas. tomorrow it looks a lot quieter even compared to today which is hard to believe because today is so quiet. a spotty shower or two near orlando. the rest of the country will see a good amount of sunshine. spotty sunshine also possible in seattle. not a bad forecast. >> quiet weather. we'll take it. i'm kristen welker, and this is "first look" on msnbc. cer ] here's a question for you: the energy in one gallon of gas is also enough to keep your smartphone running for how long? 30 days? 300 days? 3,000 days? the answer is... 3,000 days. because of gasoline's high energy density, your car doesn't have to carry as much fuel compared to other energy sources. take the energy quiz. energy lives here.
he good thursday morning. right now on "first look," it was a blue christmas for folks waiting on delayed shipments. what one retailer is doing to try to make it right. edward snowden's new christmas message invoking george orwell and the dangers of unchecked government surveillance. tens of thousands across the u.s. and canada are still in the dark and cold, waiting for the power to come back on days after a big ice storm. plus, a stkier's camera captures terrifying moments in colorado. mcdonald's takes decisive action against its own employee site. and how texting may actually help strengthen the family bond. >>nd