tv Early Today NBC December 18, 2014 4:00am-4:31am PST
good morning. coming up on "early today," score one for the sony hackers as the entertainment giant pulls a controversial move, but they're not the only ones. president obama's history changing stance on cuba, after half a century of frigid relations with a little push from pope francis. and one nation looks to the stars as another hopes to keep watch from below them on this thursday, december 18th. "early today" starts right now. good morning. good to be with you. i'm frances rivera. north korea is seen by the u.s. government as the instigator of the massive hack attack on sony as senior u.s.
officials tell nbc news saying there will be a response. late last night, the white house released an official statement saying, in part, the u.s. government is working tirelessly to bring the perpetrators of this attack to justice. and we are considering a range of options in weighing a potential response. sony decided to pull the christmas day release of "the interview" because of the threat of 9/11 type attacks from the hackers. the nation's five largest movie theater chains had already decided to hold back or drop it themselves. and reaction has been swift. actor rob lowe tweeted, wow, everyone caved. the hackers won. an utter and complete victory for them. wow. former house speaker newt gingrich, no one should kid themselves with the sony collapse america has lost its first cyberwar. this is a very, very dangerous precedent. and mitt romney had this idea, sony pictures don't cave, fight. release the interview free online globally. ask viewers to voluntarily add $5 to contribution to fight
ebola. sony is not only a movie studio to shelf a project here. nbc news confirmed that fox will not be moving forward with a film called "pyongyang" featuring steve carell, also set in north korea. nbc's kirk gregory has more. >> reporter: federal officials tell nbc news they believe they now know who is to blame for the massive data theft at sony pictures. hackers acting on orders from north korea. >> that isn't a real story. what is? >> okay. >> reporter: that comes on the heels of the motion picture giant canceling the release of "the interview" in the wake of five major movie chains announcing they would not show the film. sony pictures put out a statement saying we respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatergoers. >> i think it was made in bad taste, but as our constitution, everyone has the right to freedom of speech. so even constitutes hollywood. >> reporter: stopping the
release, a primary demand from the guardians of peace, the group that claimed responsibility for leaking reams of internal information from the film company over the past three weeks. in a posting online tuesday, the hackers threatened theaters set to show the film. the department of homeland security says there is no credible intelligence to indicate a plot. but some worry more about the response than the threat. >> what this does is set a precedent for others who wish to attack cultural items. >> reporter: for sony pictures, reeling after sensitive and sometimes embarrassing information made public. an additional loss, upwards of $50 million in theatrical revenue alone. kirk gregory, nbc news. now to that historic shift in u.s. cuban relations, decades of distance and a major course change ahead. the headlines from the new york times, u.s. to restore full relations with cuba, erasing a last trace of cold war hostility.
in the miami herald, after half a century, a thaw in u.s. cuba ties. in miami's little havana, this reaction. >> i think it is a terrible mistake. >> this will change things, especially for friends and family in cuba. >> when are they going to free cuba from this dictatorship? >> in el nuevo herald, end of dispute with the u.s., but what will be changes in cuba. but it is drawing heat from some lawmakers. >> it is a fallacy to believe that cuba will reform because an american president opens his hands and the castro brothers will suddenly unclench their fists. >> i intend to use every tool at our disposal in the majority to unravel as many of these changes as possible. >> now, part of this historic deal, a secret swap months in the making involving pope francis.
congressman chris van holland with gross told this to chris hayes. >> the president recognized if we want to help empower the cuban people as opposed to empower the cuban regime, we need to fully engage. and that's what he did. >> nbc's tracie potts is in washington. the timing of this is significant. >> reporter: well, right, frances, congress is gone and they're going to have to get involved, but step one here in washington is removing cuba from the state department's list of terrorist states and that's something we're told could happen fairly soon after a year and a half of secret meetings. both of the countries now say they're ready to work together and put the past behind. three cuban spies released by the u.s. arrived in havana, in exchange, one american spy was released in prison for 20 years, alan gross. he supports reopening relations.
>> two wrongs never make a right. >> reporter: the trade embargo will not be lifted right away. congress mandates that. but soon you'll be able to use your debit card there, travel will become easier for families and tourists, eventually cuba's famed cigars now banned could make their way legally to the u.s. >> neither the american nor cuban people are well served by a rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born. >> reporter: conservatives fear u.s. security could be at risk. >> it is disgraceful for a president who claims to treasure human rights and human freedom. >> most of my colleagues feel we are long past due. 50 years. 50 years. >> reporter: there is mixed reaction in cuban communities across america. >> i think it was way overdue. >> the time has come to allow cubans, americans, people of all places to go to havana, to go to cuba. >> very, very disappointed. i don't want more communist system in cuba. and now it is forever.
>> this repression will continue. >> reporter: the u.s. will open an embassy and press for reforms to boost cuba's economy, signaling a new era, after half a century, the door is now open. and the obama administration started selling this to latin america, south america. vice president biden on the phone yesterday with the presidents of colombia and mexico. frances? >> all right, tracie potts for us, thank you very much. back in the united states, police and canine units are searching for a gunman who shot a meteorologist outside our nbc central texas affiliate kcen. law enforcement says patrick crawford was in his car just after 9:00 a.m. he was confronted by an unidentified man who pulled out a semi-automatic weapon and fired his weapon several times. remarkably the weatherman survived and drove away and flagged down a construction worker for help. police are looking for the shooter. crawford is expected to be okay. but his co-workers naturally are shaken up. >> it was terrifying.
to be holed up in that room and not able to do anything about it i think was the toughest part. >> all of us are trying to be journalists, but it is kind of hard to be journalists when one of your colleagues is in the hospital in surgery. a south carolina judge tossed out a 14-year-old murder conviction 70 years after his execution. george stinney was convicted in 1944 for the beating deaths of two young white girls. he was the youngest person in the u.s. to be executed in the 20th century. he was so small, he had to sit on a phone book on the electric chair. the judge says stinney didn't receive a fair trial. some of the issues, he was arrested without a warrant and questioned without an attorney, his lawyer was a tax commissioner who didn't cross-examine any of the prosecution's witnesses, and it took only ten minutes for an all white jury to convict and condemn him. and there were no appeals. right now, russian president vladimir putin is addressing his country on the steep slide of their economy.
in the face of sanctions from the west, and falling oil prices, the ruble has plummeted by almost half since january. and dropped even more since putin began speaking to the press today. but the country still well liked president is still defiant. he said 25% of the crisis was caused by saunks sanctions fol the crisis in crimea. he's vilified the u.s. saying, to chop texas from mexico is fair, but when we make decisions about our territories, it is unfair. putin admitted the economic trouble could last two years but said a rise in the ruble is unavoidable. he said he would not wastefully burn the country's $419 billion reserves and also pledged that moscow was ready to mediate the crisis in ukraine. time now for a look at our national weather. here is nbc meteorologist bill karins. people looking ahead to travel. >> people want to know their plans for next week. only a week away. yesterday we did hit the mark, by the way. i thought i would update you on
that. we got the ten inches of rain in san francisco. so this is an amazing month of rain. we get a break, it looks like, for the next couple of days here and the bulk of the heavy rain this upcoming weekend will stay north of san francisco. this morning, we have showers down around the santa barbara area. not a lot of them out there. hit and miss. there is also showers not far from las vegas this morning. and even through arizona. but there is not a lot of widespread rain like we had the last couple of days. the forecast in the northwest isn't exactly pretty as you're trying to get all your errands done. not snowing, but it is going to be cool. temperatures, upper 40s to low 50s. good chance of rain every day. periods of heavy rain. we're still estimating over the next couple of days the possibility of three to four inches of rain from a line from about medford northward. mostly avoiding southern california. that's your nat
as you go throughout inner mountain west. otherwise, looking better today than yesterday. so we got the big storm this weekend in the northwest. i'll give you an update on what it looks like for christmas week coming up. >> we'll keep the gifts. thank you, bill. find out what happens when a shoplifter fakes a heart attack in the middle of the store. according to nbc and yahoo! the dallas cowboys are the most valuable u.s. sports franchise with a worth of $3.2 billion followed by the new england patriots and then the new york yankees. "early today" will be right back. ♪
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got up, but the getaway didn't last long. cops eventually caught them. it is a bird, it is a plane, it is a blimp. the u.s. military has a new air ship. the balloon-like airship is called j-lens, tested flying there over maryland. the j-lens won't carry weapons or cameras, it will do surveillance using radar to continuously scan in a 340 mile radius. in india, the launch is a success. the country's largest rocket and unmanned capsule went into space. the rocket is 630 tons. the mission will take india's space program a step closer to sending astronauts into orbit. time to get down to bs b bus with cnbc's landon dowdy. amazon is offering same day delivery on christmas eve and cities such as new york, l.a. and seattle. if you get your order in by 10:00 a.m. target is keeping most stores open until midnight from now until new year's and customers
can get same day instore pick up as late as 5:00 p.m. on christmas eve. starbucks hopes to cash in on the holiday gift card action. the coffee chain expects to sell more than 2 million starbucks cards just on christmas eve. that's roughly 1300 per minute. $4 billion has been loaded on to starbucks cards. avon is settling charges. the cosmetics company pleaded guilty to giving cash and gifts to chinese government officials in order to win business in that country. frances, back to you. >> thank you very much. just ahead, the dick cheney holiday gift even a democrat might want. plus, it has the nfl buzzing, a big lose by the chicago bears and a marquis player. sports is up next. this is "early today." it's a sale so big, kohl's is open 24 hours!
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flo, can you get janice a job? [ laughs ] you should've stuck to softball! i was so much better at softball than janice, dad. where's your wife, todd? vacation. discounts like homeowners', multi-policy -- i got a discount on this ham. i've got the meat sweats. this is good ham, diane. paperless discounts -- give it a rest, flo. all: yeah, flo, give it a rest.
this morning on "today," jeff rossen's special series, we're back. today, jeff visits some retailers busted a few years ago for reselling used underwear. find out if they have cleaned up their act. sports now this morning. spurs and grizzlies, a showdown of multiple buzzer beaters. take a look. >> trailing by 23. manu for three. fouled! everybody outside the circle. gasol.
for three. we got overtime. >> are you serious? >> tim duncan. yes! oh, my goodness! i don't believe it! >> three buzzer beater shots in one game. grizzlies edge the defending champs, 117-116. the bears are benching jay cutler in favor of jimmy clausen. is that the benching there a single of cutler's end with the struggling 5-9 bears. cutler just signed a contract worth $120 million after last season. the san francisco 49ers released ray mcdonald as san jose police investigate him on suspicion of sexual assault. the gm said the decision was prompted by a pattern of poor decision-making. and could 49ers head coach jim harbaugh return to his alma mater michigan? there is reportedly a six-year offer worth around $48 million, that's $1.2 million more a year than alabama's nick saban.
nice coin. just ahead, parents have no say where kids are being forced to play soccer. madonna's take on terrorism? sort of. and for many, it's a struggle to keep your a1c down. so imagine, what if there was a new class of medicine that works differently to lower blood sugar? imagine, loving your numbers. introducing once-daily invokana®. it's the first of a new kind of prescription medicine that's used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. invokana® is a once-daily pill that works around the clock to help lower a1c. here's how: the kidneys allow sugar to be absorbed back into the body. invokana® reduces the amount of sugar allowed back in, and sends some sugar out through the process of urination. and while it's not for weight loss, it may help you lose some weight. invokana® can cause important side effects,
including dehydration, which may cause some people to have loss of body water and salt. this may also cause you to feel dizzy, faint, lightheaded, or weak especially when you stand up. other side effects may include kidney problems, genital yeast infections, urinary tract infections, changes in urination, high potassium in the blood, or increases in cholesterol. do not take invokana® if you have severe kidney problems or are on dialysis or if allergic to invokana® or its ingredients. symptoms of allergic reaction may include rash, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing. if you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking invokana® and call your doctor right away or go to the nearest hospital. tell your doctor about any medical conditions, medications you are taking, and if you have kidney or liver problems. using invokana® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may increase risk of low blood sugar. it's time.
lower your blood sugar with invokana®. imagine loving your numbers. ask your doctor about invokana®. choosing is half the fun.. because there's a little something delicious... for everyone. hershey's miniatures, choose your own delicious. we're celebrating the season with our chicken tortellini alfredo, made with five cheeses, and topped with smoked chicken, add a crisp, classic caesar salad for a pairing that brings comfort and joy to your dinner table. only at panera bread. welcome back. few showers this morning possible around the phoenix, tucson area, off san diego, around vegas outside the city limits. couple of showers. now in the days ahead, the storm
that is going to the northwest, a little more cold air with this one, our computers are hypotheticaling ihinting at a significant snowstorm. so for ski country, it could be some gold before the holidays. >> white christmas for them. now to entertainment news. remember when tom hanks starred in big and he went to play on the fao schwartz big piano. nick jonas wanted to channel his own inner "big" this week. ♪ i still get jealous sexy, beautiful everybody wants a taste ♪ ♪ that's why i still get jealous ♪ >> that's awesome. beats the chopsticks. speaking of blast from the past, charlie sheen is looking to re-live his youth. famous for his cameo until "ferris bueller's day off" sheen is going to do a cameo in an upcoming role of "the goldberg's." madonna is mad. she wants everyone to know. after 11 songs got leaked online
yesterday, she took to instagram to call this, quote, artistic rape and terrorism. 25 films have been added to the national film registry. saving private ryan, the big lebowski and willie wonka and the chocolate factory. what was president obama's favorite movie of the year, none other than the 12-year saga of "boyhood." i heard nothing but great things of this, great coming of age. i don't know if you've seen any of these movies at all. >> a lot of this year's movies -- i didn't get out. >> you're ahead of me. i'm frances rivera. this is "early today." we hope it is your first stop of the day on nbc. the holidays are full of surprises.
that's why, whenever the need arises... walgreens is always right around the corner, so you can get in and out in no time. most walgreens are even open 'til midnight, to help keep the magic in your holidays. at the corner of happy and healthy. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. [ m'm... ] great taste. [ tapping ] sounds good. campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good.®
leading the news in "usa today" -- sentence to come in canadiens fatal highway accident. she could face prison for causing the death of a teen. and in the daily mirror, scorned wife leaves love-rat husband and twin sister naked in car park. >> maybe they deserved it. >> it happened in eastern china. the wife used cell phone tracker to locate their whereabouts. when they jumped out of the vehicle she jumped in leaving them right there exposed. >> naked. >> she forced them out. big sister. other stories we're following. we all remember how the rnc sold
stocks signed by george h.w. bush this year? they want to give republicans something to put their heads under. for $7200 you can buy a limited edition hat with an engraved ma medallion with dick cheney's signature. due to china being humiliated when the country failed to qualify for the world cup. he's making sure it won't happen again. soccer will become part of the national curriculum at school forcing students to play in hopes of turning china into an international soccer powerhouse. >> this could work. >> it could. the supreme court will discuss an appeal to the ruling of a louisiana same-sex marriage band in a closed hearing. it doesn't mean they'll decide to hear a gay marriage case, but it will be the first time the justices have this issue in front of them since october. and eggnog chugging contest. are you in? three students are. these guys. >> can only do so much. belly won't be happy. >> the minnesota school there
took part in the goal with chugging one quart of eggnog, whoever does it the fastest. josiah has won it two years in a row and his time for chugging all of that, just 23 seconds. >> i don't know if i could. >> just give him a big old glass of water, wash it all down. ski trails thought unrideable now are. look at this. this is a possibility. the relatively new sport of speed riding is a combination of mountain skiing and human flight. riding in north america's most remote and demanding mountain environment, these athletes are proving the sky is certainly not the limit. got to hand it to them. looks impressive. stephen colbert says good-bye to comedy central after nine years in the anchor chair tonight. he'll take his final colbert report. he'll replace david letterman on cbs' late show. and christina aguilera is 34. brad pitt is 51. and steven spielberg is 68. i'm frances rivera. thank you for watching "early
today." have a great day. playing hoops, sam is number one. at st. jude i was number two. yeah, but that was a good thing. sam was the second of seven patients to receive a new cancer treatment available only at st. jude children's research hospital, and that discovery will be shared with hospitals all across america. st. jude gives kids like me a shot. a great shot. go to st. jude dot org or shop wherever you see the st. jude logo.
another lull between bay area storms as one community pitches in to help families hit hard by recent flooding. >> and on the gridiron, this move was not in the play book. the 49ers turning the page after the abrupt release of a player. >> and in the south bay people plan to take action. >> acting right now on what your outdoor scenario is on this very early thursday morning, live look at the bay bridge, all lit up, people still out there getting ready to commute. this is thursday, december