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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  January 14, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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disaster at sea. chaos and panic on the italian coast. passengers swim for their lives. the cruise ship captain arrested. what happened? tonight, harrowing stories of survival and a search for the missing. deep freeze. finally winter arrives with vengeance. fair play. new rules for the airlines and big changes coming to the way you buy your tickets. give me a break. employees send a message about blackberry burnout and some companies start to listen. and baby love. seal pups separated at birth getting a helping hand and a second chance at life.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. we start tonight with a deadly cruise ship disaster near a small island along italy's tuscan coast. it happened in the dark of night when the huge vessel carrying thousands of vacationers including over 100 americans ran aground, took on water and tipped on its side. tonight, at least three bodies have been recovered. 40 people remain unaccounted for and the ship's captain is under arrest. survivors some who have who swam for their lives are telling harrowing stories of panic, fear and confusion as they desperately looked for a way off the stricken ship. eventually, they were evacuated to porto santo stefano where our correspondent is standing by to bring us the very latest. claudio, good evening.
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>> reporter: good evening, lester. well, from here in porto santo stefano, the passengers are being taken to the city of rome from which they will go back to their home country. much earlier of course than they expected. the u.s. embassy has got back to us, saying that none of the 126 passengers -- american passengers that were on board of that ship were injured, but for all of the passengers, this was the longest day. a shocking scene today off the italian coast. as rescuers frantically searched for any survivors across the board. the luxury cruise ship dubbed the floating temple of fun was caring are 4,234 people including 126 americans when it ran aground last night. survivors would go to land in lifeboats. day break revealed the gash 150
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feet long on the right side of the ship. the survivors recall the first terrifying moments. >> all of a sudden, everything shifted on the ship. fell off out our table at dinner. and they said everything was fine. obviously, it's not fine. >> reporter: at first, the crew tried to reassure passengers saying it was simply a technical problem. but there was panic. >> we had a blackout, and everybody was screaming and yelling. all the passengers were running up and down. and then we went to our cabin to find out what was going on. >> at the very end, before we jumped off, the crew members were telling us to stay on. >> reporter: the ship had left a few hours before it hit a reef or a rock off a tiny island of gigio. passengers said it reminded them of the movie "titanic." >> i could easily understand the comparison to the film. there were people scrambling all over each other.
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>> reporter: the costa concordia is one of the largest ships in the fleet and makes its trip around the mediterranean weekly. and after the concordia began the faithful voyage. well, in the last few hours the captain of this ship was arrested on allegations of manslaughter and abandoning the ship before his passengers were accountable. the company -- the parent company also issued a statement saying that it is deeply saddened by this tragedy and it is working to fully understand what happened. lester? >> claudio, thank you. and a short time ago, we spoke with a college student from bowling green, kentucky, who was on vacation with friends aboard the ship when it ran aground. here is lauren moore described to us what happened. >> it started during dinner.
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we were all seated. suddenly, there was a loud noise and the boat started tilting and you could hear glasses and plates hit the ground and shatter. the lights started flickering and people just started running in all directions. some people were telling passengers there was no need to go to the boat. some people were telling others to put their life vests on, but there was no directions and that went on for about -- at least an hour before the siren finally went off, that signalled go to the boats. but it was completely tilted at that point. we ran really toward a lifeboat and that's really where the chaos set in. everyone was trying to fight their way on to a boat. and the crew members were having to knock people back. the crew members were definitely having a hard time controlling the situation at this point. >> american passenger aboard that ship in her own words.
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now back in this country, we knew old man winter would eventually wake up and tonight he's put much of the country in the grip of the deep freeze. an arctic blast punching quite a punch after an unseasonably warm winter. mike sidel reports. >> reporter: for the past four to six weeks, people were wondering where's the cold and the ice and snow and people are saying it is about time we got winter weather. these are all below average. notice the highs in chicago, only in the teens. here in chicago, more lake-effect snow and windchills only in the single numbers. how about 31 inches of it south of buffalo. by the way, the u.s. snow cover as this doubled to 33% in the past three days. sunday morning temps below zero across new england and a numbering 27 in new york. tonight, lester, no signs that
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the wholesale weather pattern is undergoing a major change. we are not going to see the persistent snow and cold from the past two winters. it will start to warm up on monday and tuesday once again. >> thank you. good news for the people up in remote nome, alaska, where they're iced in and waiting a fuel delivery. much of the ice has been cut through and preparing to pump more than 1 million gallons of gas through a pipeline. without that delivery, nome would have run out of fuel soon. big news tonight from state college, pennsylvania. former penn state coach joe paterno is telling his side of the story. speaking out for first time since the jerry sandusky sexual abu abuse accusations first broke. here is michael isikoff. >> reporter: legendary penn
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state coach joe paterno was abruptly fired last november in the wake of the jerry sandusky sex abuse scandal, setting off a near riot by the penn state students. now the 85-year-old paterno speaks for the first time about the scandal in an interview with "the washington post." >> and then i called in my superiors and i said, hey, we've got a problem, i think. old you guys look into it. i had never had to deal with something like that. i didn't feel adequate. >> reporter: paterno said he was confused in 2002 when mike mcqueary first told him he had seen sandusky fondling a young boy in the penn state locker room the night before. he reported this to tim curley, but acknowledges he never followed up. i didn't know exactly how to handle it he tells the post. in hindsight i wish i had done more. he said he had no inkling about any allegations about sandusky prior to that time. and was never told about a 1998
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police investigation of him. his relationship with sandusky was professional, not social, he says. sources close to paterno say he was at first furious when he was fired in the phone call. but in the interview, paterno tried to stay positive. >> i have had a wonderful experience here at penn state. i don't want to walk away from this thing bitter. >> reporter: penn state's new president rodney erickson said that the school will pay the legal fees in the probe and continue to pay out his contract even though he has been fired. penn state also wants to find a way to honor paterno for his past service. but not a spokesman says for his conduct in this matter. to presidential politics now and a major push by social conservatives against mitt romney. 150 evangelical leaders are uniting behind one of his rivals in an effort to stop him from running away with the nomination. nbc's peter alexander is in charleston, south carolina, with
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the details. >> reporter: as most of the republican field gathered in charleston today, hoping to sway the large socially conservative block, rick santorum got a big boost from 150 evangelical leaders in texas who decided to endorse the pennsylvania senator. >> we're of course going to be in touch with all the people who were there and encourage them to be as supportive as possible with -- within their group -- their area of influence. >> reporter: santorum's strong second-place finish in iowa was largely fuelled by his focus on social issues. important to evangelical voters. >> we always need a jesus candidate. >> reporter: the influential leaders called in the support. john mccain won south carolina's primary, representing six out of ten voters split between
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huckabee and fred thompson. but with barely a week until the state's primary the endorsement impact is unclear because the group made no effort to push newt gingrich or rick perry out of the race. >> i'm not ashamed to admit i'm a christian. >> reporter: several are directly courting the vote, including perry who is hoping that southern christian conservatives can keep him in the race. as for gingrich, attack romney on abortion. >> he governed pro-abortion. >> reporter: romney's recent mailings to south carolina voters have touted that he "shares our values." and after days of bitter attacks on mitt romney's business background during his time as a former ahead of bain capital, newt gingrich today was booed by a large crowd of his undecided voters at the forum here today, lester, when he began to criticize romney once again. >> peter alexander, thank you. much more on decision 2012
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tomorrow morning on "meet the press." after months of controversy there's word that a quote on the new martin luther king memorial will be changed after it was said that it didn't reflect his words and made him sound arrogant. it open with i was a drum major for justice and it was shortened from a phrase by him saying, yes, if you want to be a drum major say i was a drum major for justice. overseas tonight, the united states war of words with iran is becoming even more heated. the iranians making new allegations against the u.s. we get the latest now from our tehran bureau chief. >> reporter: good evening, lester. tensions remain high in this long-running feud between iran and the west. this morning state tv reported that iran has strong evidence that this week's attack on one of the nuclear scientists was planned and coordinated by the
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cia. it's the fifth attack of its kind in two years. angry mourners marched through the streets yesterday, chanting death to america and death to israel. the supreme leader said that the ci cia and israeli intelligence was to blame. the bitter exchange of rhetoric could turn into an exchange of blows on the strait of hormuz where 20% of the world's oil papad passes through. iran has threatened to shut it down and washington says it will not let that happen. earlier this month, the u.s. navy and coast guard ships have two close encounters in the persian gulf with high-speed iranian navy boats that showed provocative behavior. no shots were fired and the iranian boats backed off. the danger is that one miscalculation in this narrow choke point could set off a chain of catastrophic events.
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lester? when "nightly news" continues, full disclosure from the airlines. big changes coming to the way you buy your ticket. later, separated at birth. now they're nursed back to health and together. [ male announcer ] you never know when a moment might turn into something more. and when it does men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ [ man ] tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision,
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what ? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it ? hello ? hello ?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello ? ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense. is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain... two pills can last all day. ♪ we are back now with some big changes coming to the airlines and the way most americans buy their tickets. the government had ordered the airlines to make the advertised tickets far more transparent so
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passengers know from the beginning how much that ticket really costs. i including all the extra taxes and fees. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: if you bought an airline ticket online, chances are it's happened to you. think you have found a great deal, you click buy and then -- >> i get really upset because i don't think it's fair. you're all excited. you have a budget. you think it's the one price and then they add all this other prices. and it stinks. >> they don't show that online. they show you one price and then by the time you get the ticket it's another price. >> reporter: all of that is about to change as truth in advertising comes to the airline industry. >> total tax, title, license, any time you do an advertisement, any time you display a type of fare. >> reporter: beginning january 26, all airline ticket prices must include any government taxes and fees when the ticket price is made public. once it's added up that can raise a ticket price by 20% and they have to tell you the cost
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upfront of checking your luggage. >> all of the fees that the airline will charge you will be listed whether it's a baggage fee, the tacks you might way. >> reporter: but the airlines are pointing out when you shop in a store, tacks and fees aren't included until you go pay at the register. that what's happens when you buy a ticket online. in a statement to nbc news, the airline industry says all members, airlines, provide details on ticket prices and other charges prior to purchase today, before you click buy. southwest, spirit and alleejent airlines are suing to block the rules, although a decision isn't expected soon. meanwhile, a few more customer friendly rules take effect this month. airlines must promptly notify of diversions or delays of more than 30 minutes. customers will have 24 hours after making a reservation to change or cancel the reservation without a penalty. >> i got one yesterday that was $100 in taxes.
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>> reporter: at least now all the taxes and fees will be clearly stated before you click. tom costello, nbc news, washington. well, speaking of being nickel and dimed at the airport, the folks at the tsa say passengers are leaving a ton of money behind at security check points. in 2010, the tsa collected $409,000 in loose chain left in the gray plastic bins. it's raking in the most at jfk, will l.a.x. and hartsfield jackson in atlanta. and they get to keep the chain. the big disconnect, a growing backlash against being chained to e-mail after hours. and i quit smoking with chantix. knowing that i could smoke during the first week was really important to me. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke -- and personally that's what i knew i needed. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions
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lot of folks can relate to, being telthered to e-mail, responding to the blackberry messages long after you left the office. seems more and more employees are being fed up with not being able to disconnect from work e-mail and now companies are making changes. here's nbc's ron allen. >> reporter: it is a problem that is only getting worse in our constantly connected world. >> first thing i do when i wake up is check my black berry. >> the last thing i look at when before i go to bed at night. >> reporter: information overload. e-mail, all hours of day and night. virtually blurring the lines between work and off work. >> i walked down the aisle with my blackberry. >> reporter: this man runs a small boston p.r. firm that gets 1200 e-mails each day. >> you're putting in 12, 13 hours a day and you're communicating another four or five hours at home. it's too much. >> reporter: he is trying the
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give his team a break. he put up an out of office response to e-mail received after 5:30 until 8:30 the next morning. 22% of employees who use e-mail at work say they're expected to read and respond to messages away from the office. and that number nearly doubles to 48% if they have issued a smartphone or blackberry. there may a worldwide backlash brewing. in brazil, workers who answer e-mails after the work day ends may now qualify for overtime pay. company e-mail is the same as an order from the boss. and in germany, car giant volkswagen has agreed to stop sending e-mail to some workers after their shifts. >> i do expect that we will see more companies with policies that limit e-mail. it solves a long-standing irritant and they should see productivity improvements from limiting the e-mail.
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>> reporter: the new limited e-mail policy a few weeks ago. >> we're still getting the e-mails at night and on the weekends, but we don't have to respond to them. >> reporter: if all of this turns out to be bad for business, the boss can still reach everyone with a cell phone. ron allen, nbc news, new york. when we come back, quite possibly the most adorable orphans since annie. pd makes it, so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia.
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show you something pretty remarkable and pretty adorable happening at an orphanage in amsterdam. it has been inundated with hundreds of newborn babies separated from their mothers and their nursing them back to health and reuniting with their families. >> reporter: warm and safe, these seals are the lucky ones. they were found stranded on the dutch coast after stormy weather. so many pups have washed up they're calling this rehabilitation center an orphana orphanage. wrenched from their mothers, some pups still had umbilical cords attached. at least they're being cared for in the tents to cope with the huge numbers. the director explains high water levels means they can't find sand banks to rest on. >> normally it's around 150 and now we have 365 infants. today, they were another, so we'll go up to 400.
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>> reporter: and every helping hand is needed to make sure the seals eat theirer is -- their herring, not only for their food, but to fight the infection. marine biologist from boston is one of the volunteers working around the clock nurturing the seals back to health. >> i'm coming in here and volunteering my time and helping with the rehabilitation. >> reporter: the seals are unlikely victims of the storms that have been battering europe. almost 60 pups have been injured in britain alone. these two were washed ashore a few months ago. they were bashed against rocks and desperately underweight. now they're strong and ready for the wild. >> they have been fed and they know how to assist the feeding and then on to self-feeding. >> reporter: back in the netherlands they're hoping for similar success.
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the early signs are the washed up seals have an excellent chance of survival. duncan golistani, london. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. see you tomorrow morning on "today" and then right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac --


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