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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 21, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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on this saturday night, no end in sight. this brutal and deadly winter weather, the dangerous cold and ice and now fears of flooding as yet another big storm and deep freeze on the way. off track, on the eve of the daytona 500, the driver nicknamed "the outlaw" remains suspended tonight. kurt busch the latest high profile sports figure accused of domestic violence. exit plan. will the u.s. slow down its withdrawal of american troops from afghanistan? today's surprise comments from the new secretary of defense. and good question a place where they still search for answers the old fashioned way. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt substituting tonight peter alexander. good evening.
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after a crippling stretch of pipe bursting cold there's no end in sight for americans hoping to catch a break from dangerous temperatures ice and snow. more than 100 million people in 30 states are in the grips of it again. under a winter storm warning, watch or advisory tonight, more than 1,400 flights canceled. this relentless weather has already barrelled its way into the record books. and tonight a pair of storms threatening to paralyze parts of the east coast. and the planes. we have the historic cold covered again tonight. we begin with gabe gutierrez in nashville. gabe. >> reporter: peter, good evening. today, nashville went above freezing for the first time in six days. but that created yet another problem. right now we're being hit with heavy rain and a flood watch is now in effect. around the country the death toll from this wicked weather is rising. from the midwest to the mid-atlantic from the rockies to the deep south, the latest pounding from the siberian express is leaving snowy, soggy, slippery misery in its wake.
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>> after a while it gets old. and just want summer and spring. >>. cold just makes it unbearable. >> reporter: the arctic blast now responsible for at least 37 deaths. icy roads to blame for a fatal crash in mississippi. treacherous travel from arkansas -- >> as soon as i got outside and stepped on my carport and nearly hit my bottom. >> reporter: -- to georgia where i-75 was shut down. in alabama overnight drivers were trapped for hours. >> somebody jackknifed. we saw probably two or three on the side of the road had gone off. >> reporter: amber and her family had been driving from illinois to florida. >> i don't know if you can see that sheet of ice. >> reporter: when suddenly they were stranded. >> when we were stuck and we were realizing that we were not going to be moving and that we were actually going to be spending the night on the highway, um in the dark i was really nervous. >> reporter: today, even more snow blanketed washington, d.c. as colorado braces for up to 18 inches by tomorrow night. there's so much snow in massachusetts, the city of
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somerville is using drones to help spot roof problems. in west virginia heavy sleet, while in pennsylvania lacrosse players donned capes and kept running in place to keep warm. here in tennessee the heavy rain and ice brought down the roof of a printing plant. chemicals inside sparked a fire. to prevent flooding crews in nashville scrambled to clear storm drains. >> been a pretty difficult week. day before yesterday we had 15 water main breaks. >> reporter: this morning's heavy rain was a rude awakening for brad cope land. >> it's ridiculous. >> reporter: he had to dig a trench outside his home. >> everywhere this water would have had to go was covered in a solid sheet of ice three, four inches thick. >> reporter: tonight, the governor here is just upgraded tennessee state of emergency and the national weather service says some of the ice that melted today could re-freeze overnight causing even more problems. peter, it's just one thing after another. >> all right, gabe thank you very much. with windchills diving into the double digits below zero yesterday, we join the crew of a u.s. coast guard cutter cleat along mt.'s upper chesapeake
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bay. >> reporter: that noise you hear is the sound of ice breaking. the mission here is urgent. clearing that ice in one of the most important waterways in this region for commercial barges. that ice you see in places nearly two feet deep. it's 98% covered with ice right now. the officer in charge says she's never seen anything like it. >> for 14 years it's been don't hit anything. >> reporter: and now? >> all of a sudden try to hit the ice. >> reporter: this barge can cut through 18 inches at a time if there's a problem, they back up and ram it again. it's packed and stacked as they describe it. the temperature roughly two degrees, the windchill 18 degrees below zero. they'll be out here throughout the winter. there is yet more severe weather on the way. we want to get to our weather channel meteorologist chris warren in quincy massachusetts tonight. chris, what's the latest? >> reporter: it's snowing right now, peter. but we have more icy conditions to worry about from texas all
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the way to maine. let's start right now with the look at the forecast tonight in the northeast. it's going to start off as snow. that's what we're seeing right now. but then as temperatures warm up and they're going to warm up overnight, look for more freezing rain and straight rain. we're going to see temperatures warm above freezing from boston all the way down to washington, d.c. so look for a lot of snow to melt. you add in the rain that means water on the roads. and then tomorrow night it will freeze a deep hard freeze in the northeast. expect dangerous conditions by monday morning in the northeast on the roads. also in the south ice a major concern. during the day tomorrow into tomorrow night for dallas texas look for freezing rain. this is a significant ice event that's going to last through the day monday and into monday night. so if you're traveling by road or through the air be ready for big delays in the south. and, peter, winter is far from over. another major arctic outbreak coming to most of the u.s. by
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midweek. >> all right, chris warren stay warm. thank you. on the eve of nascar's daytona 500, one of the biggest stars kurt busch has been suspended indefinitely. the issue allegations of domestic violence involving busch's former girlfriend. we get more tonight from nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: the driver known at "the outlaw" still on the outs tonight. this afternoon a panel of three nascar appointees rejected kurt busch's attempt to reverse his indefinite suspension. on friday for the first time ever nascar issued a suspension for domestic violence allegations. the former nascar champion hasn't been charged with a crime. but in delaware family court was accused of beating his ex-girlfriend patricia driscoll at dover international speedway last september. in court documents released friday the commissioner who issued a protective order against busch believed the driver choked driscoll and there was a likelihood of future
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violence. >> i think what pushed nascar over the edge is the amount of detail that the commissioner in delaware released. >> reporter: busch is appealing the order. he claims driscoll was a trained assassin. she's a gun enthusiast and defense contractor but says she is not an assassin. after his suspension, the name ray rice was found scrawled across busch's garage a reference to the nfl running back whose domestic violence case dominated the headlines. and for that league to change its policies. chevrolet quickly pulled its sponsorship of busch. and his nickname is now covered with duct tape on the number 41 car. in a statement, patricia driscoll applauded the suspension but race fans seem to have mixed reactions. >> pretty harsh ruling for kurt. i feel bad for him. >> i hate to see him leave the sport because of it but i think it's probably the right thing to do. >> reporter: a lawyer for busch says they will appeal to the final level tonight. and says they are confident
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busch will be vindicated and back racing soon. kristen dahlgren nbc news new york. the nations governors were distracted by more maneuvering by presidential hopefuls in a continuing war of words over what one prominent republican had to say about president obama. we get the latest tonight from nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: at the governor's meeting in washington today, wisconsin's republican governor scott walker considered a top presidential contender in 2016 punted when asked about former new york mayor rudy giuliani's recent statement which he said "i do not believe that the president loves america". >> i think the president and the mayor can speak for themselves. >> reporter: other potential gop candidates were also asked to weigh-in. marco rubio kept his distance saying i'll suffice it to say i believe the president loves america. i think his ideas are bad. a spokesperson for former florida governor jeb bush said in a statement, governor bush doesn't question president
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obama's motives. he does question president obama's disastrous policies. kentucky senator rand paul called the comments a mistake. but louisiana governor bobby jindal said the gist was true. >> i'm not questioning his patriotism. >> reporter: despite the fallout giuliani continues to double down on his statements telling "new york post," the president was influenced by communists in his youth. and on fox news last night. >> he may love america. i don't know. in his own way. when i listen to his language i hear language of a man who is never talking about the greatness of america. so he's not a cheerleader for america. he's a critic. >> reporter: on friday the white house fired back at the man once known as america's mayor. >> sad to see when somebody who's attained a certain level of public stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly. >> reporter: some republican lawmakers are privately complaining that giuliani is
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drawing the wrong kind of headlines for a party that needs to broaden its appeal if it wants to take back the white house. >> given the image problems the republican party has right now, the last thing its presidential candidates need to do is to be debating whether the first african-american president loves his country. >> reporter: now, some people have called giuliani's comments racist. giuliani told "new york times" his comments aren't about race noting the president was raised by a "white mother and attended white schools." there are bipartisan calls for giuliani to apologize. giuliani says he has no reason and no plans to back down. peter. >> kristen from a snowy white house north lawn tonight. kristen, thank you. overseas a december pras search intensified tonight for three british teenage girls thought to be traveling to syria to join isis militants. today the families of two of those girls issued public appeals for them to come home. they were on the midterm break from their school in london when they flew to turkey this week. one of the family's begged their
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daughter not to cross the border into syria saying she could still help those suffering in syria from home. in afghanistan today, a surprise visit by the new defense secretary who seemed to indicate that the u.s. might consider slowing down its troop withdrawal from afghanistan beyond next year. for more we're joined now by chuck todd the moderator of "meet the press." chuck, secretary ash carter and the afghan president seem to suggest that a lasting peace can only be achieved if american troops help keep the taliban at bay, which could delay the u.s. from leaving. is this in effect signaling a major change in strategy? >> well talking to administration officials today they would say, no it's just slightly altering the strategy a little bit. but here's the bottom line the withdrawal is going to slow down. it's already slowed down. as you know the original plan to get out of afghanistan, the president's original plan meant he would essentially cut in half the number of troops by the end of 2015. right now there's a little over 10,000 there.
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their goal is to get it down to $5,000. under this new potentinothins bee si onto but under this new potential agreement with the afghan government which the united states gets along with very well these 10,000 troops peter, could be there all the way to 2016. and the question that no one could answer for me today is are you really think they're going to come out at 2016 or likely going to be there for the next president? so far i'm told no, no, no the plan is to get them out by 2016. >> chuck, secretary carter said the u.s. and afghanistan, in his words, are rethinking the details of the counterterrorism mission. does that mean we could see u.s. troops back on the front lines and again in harm's way? >> well i think what it really means is you're going to see the troops more disbursed around the country. before they were just talking about keeping a small security force sort of close to kabul and things like that. that's what i'm told this is about. the big picture here peter, you can look at this as a lesson learned. this doesn't happen in a vacuum. no troop presence in iraq after the pull out, that didn't go
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well. no troops were on the ground after libya. that didn't go well. they don't want to create a vacuum here. so in some cases this is a lesson learned for the obama administration. >> all right, chuck. thank you. chuck will have more on isis and the other threats tomorrow on "meet the press." among our guests jeh johnson, the secretary of homeland security. some good news tonight for businesses in this country that depend on west coast shipping. after nine months of negotiations a group of shipping companies and the dock workers union reached a tentative deal last night on a new contract. the dispute had disrupted the flow of cargo through 29 west coast ports. the white house called it a huge relief for the economy. when "nightly news" continues on this saturday finding the answer. we'll take you to a place where search still means asking a librarian. and later, they appear in an oscar-nominated movie playing themselves. their role on the screen and in life as role models. across america, people are taking charge of
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their type 2 diabetes... ...with non-insulin victoza. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza. he said victoza works differently than pills and comes in a pen. victoza is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once a day, any time. and the needle is thin. victoza is not for weight loss but it may help you lose some weight. victoza is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza is not insulin. do not take victoza if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include swelling of face lips, tongue or throat
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fainting or dizziness, very rapid heartbeat problems breathing or swallowing, severe rash or itching. tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck. serious side effects may happen in people who take victoza including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) which may be fatal. stop taking victoza and call your doctor right away if you have signs of pancreatitis, such as severe pain that will not go away in your abdomen or from your abdomen to your back with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, and headache. some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you the control you need... ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza. it's covered by most health plans. if you have high blood pressure like i do, many cold medicines may raise your blood pressure.
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that's why there's coricidin hbp it relieves cold symptoms without raising blood pressure. so look for powerful cold medicine with a heart. coricidin hbp. with the ability to hunt for information now as close as your phone, a lot of us may have forgotten what it was actually like to find facts the old fashioned way, like before google. the new york public library still fields questions seven days a week. and folks there recently came across a dusty reminder of the way things used to work. here's nbc's erica hill. >> reporter: they're the questions callers may not have wanted to ask in person in our pre-google world.
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>> may a funeral be held july 4th? >> reporter: but for decades librarians at the new york public library were happy to find the answer to just about anything. is it proper to go alone to reno to get a divorce? >> people turn to librarians because we're approachable. >> reporter: while moving offices recently some of those librarians found a box labeled interesting research questions, queries from the '40s through the '80s. >> where is the ecology division because i want to look up my family crest. looking for genealogy. >> yeah. >> obviously latitude. >> reporter: since discovered the library has been posting questions each monday on its instagram account, #letmelibrarianthatforyou. what does it mean when you're being chased by an elephant. in 1955 a woman wanted inspirational material on grass and lawns. some questions though aren't so different from the ones many
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have to do. whether they're asking google or the librarian. >> i think one of the more valuable services we provide is just being a place where someone can get information anonymously and ask a weird question. and admit their ignorance about the world. good afternoon, thank you for calling -- >> reporter: bernard and his department still field hundreds of questions each week on the phone and online. inquiries now archived in databases instead of index cards. >> we're still getting those questions nobody has an answer to. we don't always have an answer but we're always happy to try. >> reporter: a reminder that even in our fast moving automated world sometimes humans still offer the best results. erica hill nbc news new york. that's the way it was. up next while many suffer through this brutal winter why it's perfect weather for some. so what about that stock? sure thing, right? actually, knowing the kind of risk that you're comfortable with
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that's what i'd like to do. the scene in lake placid today as members of one of the most storied teams of all-time came back for a huge reunion. they were there on the ice for one of the most unforgettable moments in sports history. their stunning 4-3 victory over the soviet union in the 1980 winter olympics. the 35th anniversary of the so-called miracle on ice is tomorrow. today, members of the team began a weekend of festivities marking the historic game whose means transcended sports. another competition on the
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ice is underway tonight. and this one is all about creating frozen art. nbc's kerry sanders is in ohio tonight. >> reporter: in what has been a brutal weather week finally a reason to get out of the house. the international winter fest ice carving competition in frozen perrysburg ohio. on a day when it was relatively warm. >> today's perfect. i can live with it. >> 42 degrees is perfect. >> above zero yeah. >> reporter: olaf from the movie "frozen" may be the only one who is enjoyed what felt in recent days like an ice age. a dozen artists from across the country began this two-day competition with a race with a 300-pound block of ice and only three hours to create a work of art. day two, 600 pounds of ice and four hours to let the imagination go. some carve away to reveal.
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this is good weather for this huh? >> it's fantastic. great for the ice. >> reporter: and you're making? >> hopefully a dragon. >> reporter: while others piece blocks of ice together to create. >> hot piece of aluminum little water and presto. >> reporter: this year's masterpieces will last longer than usual. sadly, forecasters say it will stay below freezing here until next month. the winter an intricate preying mantis by rich daly from long island. although it would seem the real winners are the kids who full-timefinally got out of the house enjoying weather more suited for the tundra. with 2-year-old candice, i'm kerry sanders, nbc news perrysburg ohio. and we're back in a moment with a little band that could marching all the way to the academy awards. i make a lot of purchases for my business. and i get a lot in return with ink plus from chase.
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for one group of young people right here in new york tomorrow night's academy awards will have special meaning because of their cameo in "bird man," one of the best picture nominees. it's an honor that punctuates and celebrates their own winning streak as they march their way to success. here's nbc's rehema ellis. >> reporter: manny spent most of his saturdays like this. practicing for hours with the marching culvers of new york a drum line and dance troupe that
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he says has redefined him. >> my mom was always getting constant phone calls. your son is doing this. your son is doing that. and then one day i just said you know what i got to start getting my act together. >> reporter: the culprit of beating bad influences and going places they never dreamed of. performing for the nfl, college basketball games. and a brief appearance in the movie "bird man" after the director saw them performing in a park. you're in it. >> i don't even know what to say. >> reporter: the band recruits at-risk kids from all around the new york city area. >> stay together in one line. >> reporter: terrell saurs who used music to change his life started the band to give back. 45 are members, dozens are on the waiting list. since it's free students have to commit to good grades community service and a positive
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lifestyle. >> we're building a future of ceos here possibly. future managers. this is just not, again -- >> use more than three words. >> reporter: manny's teachers say he's now an honor student, college-bound and a role model. >> if i didn't know him, i would never know him to be the same person. the transformation has been remarkable. >> reporter: at every opportunity the culvers found a positive message with their music. mr. stoyer says you have to keep your grades up does he tell you that? >> yeah. all the time. all the time. >> reporter: the marching cobras teaching kids life lessons by hitting the right notes. rehema ellc news new york. here's rooting for the marching cobras tomorrow night. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm peter alexander reporting from new york. from all of us here at nbc news, good night.
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-welcome to best in shelter. i'm jill rappaport, and the very proud pet parent to these wonderful five rescues. you know, animal welfare has always been my passion, rescue and adoption my oxygen. and tonight, we will shine a light on the plight of shelter animals, especially the underdogs of the shelter world with the help of some of my celebrity animal animal-loving friends. -you hear people say, i can't go near
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a shelter. it's too depressing. i just can't do that. if you go in and you see these dogs wonderful dogs, and you'll be so grateful that you did that. -(yodeling) -you pick a dog up from the shelter ve a friend for life. oh, good boy. -oh, here we go. -in fact, we have a picture of him next to the microwave that said exactly who rescued who. -oh, look. oh, yes. -someday maybe no more homeless pets. and we'll be out of a job. but that'll be ok. -but that's ok, then, right? -that's ok. -tonight we give them the platform they deserve as they vie for our best in shelter title. and we begin with the sizzling seniors starting with the hottest senior i know and love, betty white. -is everybody ready for a game of gugenspritzer? -this golden girl. who's smoking hot in cleveland-- -if a guy's a cutie, you gotta tap that booty. --has everybody thinking--

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