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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  January 16, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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on our broadcast tonight, moment of crisis. new video from inside the cruise ship disaster off the coast of italy. new details about what may have been fatality errors by the ship's captain. and answers for those wondering how safe the cruise liners are. dropping out. jon huntsman ended his race for president. amazing rescue. a mother and her two daughters crashed inside their car dangling over the edge of a bridge. a terrifying scene. an incredible stroke of luck >> and the model child. just 6 years old and very visible inspiration to a lot of
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families. visible inspiration to a lot of families. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. tonight a thorry mod everyone cruise ship outfitted with state-of-the-art navigation lies on its side just off the coast of italy after running into rock jetting out of the waters for centuries. one of the boulders in fact, is now imbedded in the side of the hull. it was an awful heroing night on the water. a scramble for the lifeboats as it tipped to one side. some knotted together bed sheets. some passengers were forced to jump. thankfully, it was close to shore. in plain english, the costa concordia shouldn't have been anywhere near the rocks. while some didn't make it, some are still missing, a lot of passengers are very lucky to be alive and on dry land. of the 4,200 souls on board, six are dead, 29 still missing. that number includes two
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americans. we have this story covered from italy tonight. before we get to nbc's harry smith, we begin tonight with michelle kaczynski. michelle, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. rescue efforts have been relentless and dangerous. now we know according to the company what caused this disaster was human error. the captain's decision to go off course, bring the ship closer to shore. now, there is desperate hope that any of the more two dozen still missing might yet be found alive. rescuers fighting their way while there's time to find people who might still be trapped deep within the costa concordia today battled weather, had to pull back as the half half sunk behemoth under water. >> to start and we are losing the trek. >> among the missing, american retirees jerry and barbara hyle
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from minnesota. their family said they cooperate wait for their dream mediterranean cruise. and trapped on board for a day and a half. the boulder still lodged in the concordia's ripped hull, the ship lying on a rocky bed more than 100 feet deep, at an angle, in danger of sliding. and a state of emergency declared over worries that half a million gallons of fuel could be leaking. still emerging video shows how a vacation three hours in evolved into a desperate push to escape. >> people are passing out. people are getting nervous. people are having chest pains. i was having chest pains. i was having anxiety because i don't know how to swim. >> infrared video shows people inching down the exposed hull in the dark. today, costa cruise has kuld this the result of human error. blaming the captain for making an unauthorized decision to steer off course closer to an
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island. he's also under suspicion of abandoning ship while passengers still scrambled for their lives. the company said this course change may have all been for show. >> he wanted to show the ship and to nearby this island and so he decided to change the course of the ship. >> the captain has defended his actions, claiming navigational charts showed a clear route. locals say it's not uncommon to make a display close to land, sounding horns, delighting tourists. this video of the concordia on a previous run shows just that. today, this time, the picture shows only disaster on an enormous scale. you know, brian, we have heard repeated scathing accounts from passengers about the evacuation procedure. but today the company defended
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the crew saying that ship rolled quickly, rendering half the lifeboats useless. and commended them for helping to get more than 4,000 people off safely in two hours's time. >> nbc's michelle kaczynski, thanks, starting off our reporting tonight. as we mentioned, nbc's harry smith is also there along the italian koeflt line and he previews an nbc news exclusive. video inside the dining room of the tape taking by miguel flores on his cell phone as the passengers heard the first announcement there had been a problem. >> the captain speaks through the speakers, he says, everything is under control. >> at this point the situation is under control and our technicians are work to go solve the situation. we'll give you further information as it becomes available. >> at that moment people they
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start to escape. and this time the captain called the waiter. tango india. >> it means injured people. >> there's injured people? >> yeah. >> at this moment we don't exactly know. >> specific children, i am sorry for them. for us it's no problem. old people, they cannot move. and the children. >> and this morning we went out to the island to take a look at this hulking ship for ourselves. costa concordia say most modern ship, as you well know, brian, state-of-the-art technology. everything you could possibly need to ply the waters of the mediterranean, caribbean or anywhere in the ocean on this planet. and to see it almost beyond the size of three football fields
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long lying on its side it looks like almost other worldly. we went out there with american boat captain, yacht captain who has been on the water more than 30 years. what he has to say about the captain and the captain's actions in regard to sailing so close to this tiny island in waters that have been charted for hundreds of years all the way back to beyond the birth of christ, is something you're going to want to hear. we'll have that on a report tonight on rock center. >> okay. harry smith along the italian coast. harry, thanks. again, we'll see more from harry from italy tonight on rock center at 10:00, 9:00 central time. again, as harry said, this behemoth vessel has ever modern convenience, every luxury and all the right electronics like most modern cruise ships. but now this. so you can't blame people for asking today if this is a safe
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way to go. tom costello has been looking into the safety aspect for us tonight. >> reporter: under international law, cruise ships must be able to evacuate their passengers within 30 minutes of an abandoned ship order. but getting 4,200 people off europe's biggest cruise ship took far longer. >> five hours. five hours of struggling while this ship is sinking and trying to go against gravity and trying to pull ourselves up. trying to get away from breaking glass, bodies flying. >> reporter: a potentially deadly mistake, the crew hadn't provided passengers with evacuation training. they have 24 hours to provide evacuation training on lasting seven days or less. most do so before ever leaving port. drills like this one that include learning how to put on a life vest and finding the nearest of life boat. industry analysts are concerned by reports the crew seemed
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disoriented. >> the crew forgot their training. they didn't seem to provide the direction, the support. >> reporter: the cruise line injury says accidents such as this one are an extremely rare occurrence in the cruise industry and it insists cruising is safe. roughly 16 million people took cruise vacations in 2011 on the most established lines. up from 15 million in 2010. and the industry is growing. building 26 new ships in the last two years. while cruise ships fly many flags, international standards dictate everything from cruise competence and safety training to rescue procedures. >> i think it's very safe. >>reporter: kort guard lieutenant is liaison to the cruise injury. >> we evaluate how the ships and the crews respond to emergencies, where they have to go for safety. >> reporter: 100 years since "titanic", cruise ships are still vulnerable. in this case, to rocky reefs and
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bad decisions. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we turn our attention now to presidential politics where the gop field got smaller by one today after a disappointing finish in new hampshire and five days before the south carolina primary, jon huntsman is tonight out of the race. our report from nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: in suspending his presidential bid, he derided the toxic tone of the campaign. >> this race has degenerated into an yon slaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the american people. today i call on each campaign to cease attacking each other and instead talk directly to the american people. >> reporter: but huntsman himself delivered some of the sharpest jabs against mitt romney. >> he's out of touch with reality that is playing out on
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the ground in this country. >> reporter: the nasty campaigning began in iowa, led by supporters of romney and ron paul. >> newt has a ton of baggage. he was fined $300,000 for ethics violations. >> reporter: the barrage derailed gingrich's campaign prompting former house speaker to counterattack. >> a group of corporate raiders led by mitt romney. >> reporter: escalate to go this on saturday when he broke the even's rules by taking aim at romney once again. >> he said he created 100,000 jobs in the private seb tore. >> we said we will not allow any comment. >> reporter: now in myrtle beach where they gathered for their 16th debate, the other campaigns targeted rick santorum who insists he's the most viable conservative alternative to romney. >> and he even voted to let convicted felons vote. >> reporter: he will fire off his stroepbgt ad yet in south carolina beginning tomorrow.
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>> why would we ever vote for someone who is just like obama when we can elect rick santorum and beat obama. >> reporter: still romney remains in the driver's seat. because conservative and anti-romney support is still split among paul, perry and santorum. >> governor perry lied about his record. >> he became emotional today speaking about his wife anita. >> if i just had to walk away from all of this, if she was walking with me, it would all be okay. >> reporter: also today rick perry joined rick santorum and newt gingrich calling on mitt romney to release his income tax records, hoping that would portray romney as rich and out of touch with ordinary americans. brian? >> peter alexander in south carolina for us today. ceremonies, parades, projects honoring reverend dr. martin luther king jr. today.
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making king day a day of community service volunteering on a library building project at brown education center in washington. crowds gathered at the new memorial in washington which will be changed now after controversy. the etching reads i was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness. but what he actually said was far more modest. it was an answer to a question. he said if you want to say that i was a drum major srbg say that i was a drum major for justice. say that i was a drum major for peace, that i was a drum major for righteous tphous. as the broadcast continues on a monday evening, a rescue that has to be seen to be believed. a car dangling from a bridge with a mother and two daughters trapped inside. that's when the specialist happened to dry by. a new star of the modelling world and why he means so much to so many.
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but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home. my son and i never missed opening day.
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in southern california a terrible car accident involving a mother and her two daughters ended up having all the elements of a movie tragedy at first, suspense, a huge dose of courage and a surprise ending. >>reporter: it was the kind of action that makes you revert your eyes, how could there be any survivors? it happened on a curve stretch of california highway 101 north of santa barbara. a small car, bmw sedan, mangled beyond recognition. the other vehicle, a big rig truck in ae ravine 100 feet below. >> the bmw was forced into the center concrete wall where the three parties in the bmw became trapped in the vehicle. >> trapped and alive. but as the afternoon wore on, it hung precariously over the
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ravine 100 feet below. she said her daughters were with her. seatbelts, air bags and the car seat had all done their jobs. dozens of first responders, fire, rescue, police, hazmat teams did theirs while facing multiple danger to themselves and the car's occupants. >> each time we tried to pry her out the car kept slipping over the side a little bit more. >> then an amazing stroke of luck. they just happened on the scene. in their convoy, a heavy duty forklift with a telescoping arm, exactly what was needed. >> extremely lucky. we were really lucky they were there. and they offered to help. >> now the victims could be extracted. sage with a stuffed doll at her chest. baby milo with only minor injuries. and mom kelly. she had been calm, rescuers said, very cooperative. along with her two daughters,
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almost miraculously alive. >> an incredible story. up next here after a break, why the new silent treatment is the new talk of hollywood. you have to dig a little. fidelity's etf market tracker shows you the big picture on how different asset classes are performing, and it lets you go in for a closer look at areas within a class or sector that may be bucking a larger trend. i'm stephen hett of fidelity investments. the etf market tracker is one more innovative reason serious investors are choosing fidelity. get 200 free trades today and explore your next investing idea. if you sleep in your contact lenses. lucky for you, air optix brand has a lens approved for up to 30 days and nights of continuous wear. [ male announcer ] that's why they're recommended most for people who sleep in their lenses. visit for a free one-month trial offer. instead of blaming me, try advil congestion relief.
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a quick update on a couple of situations we were following for you last week. the fuel tanker stuck in the ice on the beriing scene was freed with&has arrived finally at its destination in port nome, alaska. and the satellite that never made it out of earth's orbit because of an electrical glitch has fallen back to earth. russian news agencyings said it fell into open ocean, far off the khaeul lay yann coast. the concern was at 14 tons it was among the largest pieces of space junk ever to reenter our atmosphere. interesting new research how infants learn to talk. while they gaze into the eye
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office those holding them until the age of 6 months, they often switch to reading lips, watching mouth movements as a way of learning how to sound out words themselves. it's written up in the national academy of science journal. this is one of our favorite videos and proves there's no substitute for close-up face time and human contact for early childhood development. well, the overnight ratings tell us about 17 million of you watched the golden globes last night. it was hosted again by ricky gervais who took few prisoners. among the big stories of the night, a step back in time. the new silent film called "the artist" that comes 80 years after they stopped making silent films. it took home a big award, has a lot of people talking. so we thought it all deserved the silent treatment. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> one way of looking at the golden globe awards from last night. up next after a break, a young boy in the public eye whose light is shining far and wide. [ male announcer ] if you think tylenol
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our report from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: in a business where perfection is the ideal, ryan langston has the look that sells. he also has down's syndrome. >> are you a star? >> oh, yeah. >> oh, yeah. >> retailers like target and nordstrom are using ryan in their ads and catalogs. his appearance with kids his age has set the internet buzzing with encouragement from parents of other special needs children. >> hi. >> but ryan's biggest cheering section is at home led by parents amanda and jim. >> his little biker jacket and his hoodie. he's going to go out driving his couple camaro, you know in he hangs out with his twin brother ian. a minute older than ryan. >> he likes to rock out. >> ryan idolizes ian. born with a hole in his heart,
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ryan survived open heart surgery at 3 months old. >> where is june? >> right here. >> good. >> today he attends a school for down's syndrome children where his mainstream modeling is a point of pride. >> we all want to see who is like us. and i think that they're no different than anybody else. they want to see themselves included in the landscape that is, you know, our life. >> that's me. >> it is you. do you like this leather jacket? >> yeah. >> ryan can see kids like him in pampers ads. >> look how pretty they are, becky. >> and the hit show "glee". >> but now it's ryan's turn in the spotlight. >> you have long hair. >> i have long hair too. >> wow. >> just like yours. >> yeah. thank you. >> after the shoot is over, he does not want to leave. and the rest of the day he's very, like he's got kind of app attitude. he kind of brushes me off. >> a face to remember. brightening america's concept of a model child.
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anne thompson, nbc news, new jersey. and that's our broadcast on a monday night. thank you for being here with us as we start off a new week. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you later this evening for rock center, 10:00, 9:00 central. of course right here here tomorrow evening for "nbc nightly news". tomorrow evening for "nbc nightly news". good night. -- captions by vitac --


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