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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 10, 2013 7:00pm-7:31pm EST

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test test test on our broadcast tonight, the farewell for nelson mandela, as presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens, friends, both famous and not, all gather here in south africa as the world says good-bye. also the hand shake seen around the world today. the moment that has a lot of people talking. found alive after a massive search in themountains, a family missing for days in freezing temperatures has now been rescued, and tonight, their harrowing story is out.
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and shutdown, a big storm closes schools and businesses, even the federal government, tonight, major flight delays. still a mess on the roads and there is another one on the way. nightly news from south africa begins now. good evening, after what has been a memorial like no other for a man like no other, a heavy dose of celebration, a full-on boisterous back drop against which south africa hosted the world. big name leaders from all over, led by four u.s. presidents, a king, dictatodictators, and sta with heavy rain which kept the crowd size down here, many instead had to watch on
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television inside. while the mix of people who came to honor nelson mandela was extraordinary, the type of crowd he once dreamed of, the mix of politicians proved to be fraught. and one of the moments came today when president obama found himself shaking his hands with castro, brother of fidel, and here, mandela's body will lie shortly in state. we go back to soweto with lester holt to start us off this evening, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening, it was a colorful tribute in life, and nelson mandela brought together in death an interesting mix of global allies and adversaries. it was president obama who drew the largest welcome. >> to the people of south africa, people of every race and every walk of life. the world thanks you for sharing
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nelson mandela with us. >> reporter: and the world came. some by motorcade with entourages, many more by foot. all became a part of the broad global canvas that nelson mandela stitched together on his journey from activist, to president. so much emotion, to wanting to be a part of history. do you have your program? >> yes, i do, i'm going to keep it for my great-grandchildren, that is was here on this day that nelson mandela was celebrated. >> reporter: this was mandela's south africa, black and white. >> i wouldn't even have that job, i wouldn't have a degree, two degrees if it was not for dr. mandela. >> reporter: the crowd sometimes broke into song. there were touching moments, mandela's second wife, winnie,
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embracing his widow, michelle. no one but mandela could have inspired this type of gathering, celebrities such as bono, and former south african president, f.w. de klerk. one of the remarkable moments, president obama offering a hand shake to cuban dictator, raoul castro. the global leaders heard a cautionary note from obama. >> there are too many who claim peace from mandela, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. it took a man like mandela to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer, as well. he changed laws. but he also changed hearts. >> reporter: with three former presidents, jimmy carter, along with george bush and bill clinton and their wives looking on. the president recalled learning of mandela's struggle when he
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was a college student. that is him seated on the right. >> stirred something in me. it woke me up to my responsibilities. to others and to myself. and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. >> reporter: as the period of mourning continues here, tomorrow his body will lie in state for three days. the family and vips, brian, will begin to view his body first thing tomorrow morning. >> lester holt, who was inside the stadium for all of it. as we said, it was that kind of a day. and the other moment from today's memorial that is getting some attention tonight. a self y featuring president obama, british prime minister cameron, and danish prime minister helle schmidt. i guess it was designed to be seen in just moments. our special correspondent helene
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gault is here, a veteran journalist that has been there for two decades, you had the distinguished job of covering it live. you kept saying it was an african celebration, what was it do you think we witnessed here today? well, that is in the culture of south africans, they mourn by celebrating because they believe that the body has departed, but it has become ancestor, and so they go to the grave to talk to them, many of them are still in tune to that culturally, so they hope to get wisdom from that. so it is a celebration of life and transition. and that is in the nature of how south africans approach the transition. >> and after all the talk and all the worry, it should be said this country pulled this off today. and that is important. it has been great having you here. >> thank you. now to breaking news back home. there has been a deal announced
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on capitol hill in washington that will avoid another government shutdown in early january. kelly o'donnell on the hill tonight for us with details. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, the usual washington dysfunction is on hold tonight. a bipartisan compromise was just announced that would keep the government open for two years, also rolling back some of the harshest automatic spending cuts, the sequester for the pentagon, the domestic programs. there are no new taxes but you will pay new fees for airline travel. and federal workers are being asked to contribute more for their pensions. it is expected to pass before congress goes home for the holidays, brian? >> kelly o'donnell, on the hill in washington, thank you. also the story in nevada that got a lot of attention, the desperate search for a missing family, including four children, has come to an end. and the news here is good.
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the family has been found alive and well after surviving since sunday in sub zero temperatures. the discovery unfolded this afternoon about 90 miles outside reno. nbc's miguel almaguer has more. >> reporter: in the desolate mountains near love lock nevada, desperate searchers feared they were running out of time. >> the temperatures were quite cold, it was 14 below zero last night. >> reporter: the search for a family of six growing more desperate by the hour. james glanton, his girlfriend, christina mcintee, and four children last seen two days ago, the terrain there is rugged and remote. this time of year? >> it is sub zero temperatures. temperatures can kill, rescue teams held onto hope.
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the family had a cell phone but the area they were in was so remote there was no service. still, their last known signal helped to lead search teams to a specific area. >> reporter: the nevada national guard launched helicopters. and this morning, what some call a miracle, chris montez spotted the family's overturned jeep. >> they had a fire going. and jay was heating up rocks in the fire. and at night he was putting them in the jeep with them. >> reporter: air lifted to a local hospital, an entire community and family members heard the good news. >> i'm relieved, god answered our prayers. they just told me that they found them. that is all i wanted to hear. their lives, that is all i pretty much wanted to hear. >> reporter: a family of six in good condition after a sunday drive to play in the snow. a trip they will never forget. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. of course, as we have been covering so far this week, the east coast has been dealing with
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its own blast of wintry weather. today, the good news was the storm they expected when they woke up this morning was not quite as harsh as first forecast. although it managed to stop a lot of people in their tracks, especially in the nation's capital, which is where tom costello is. >> reporter: hi, brian, schools are closed, and several thousand people in neighboring states without power on a very cold night, major flight drunk-- disruptions. >> there will be another scheduling and cancellation. >> reporter: big delays in the northeast. >> i'm just looking at the board, and it is all yellow. >> reporter: same story in washington, a 12-hour delay for three australian students. >> look out and see the planes leave and you kind of wish we were on one of them. >> reporter: while out on the ice and roads, fender benders,
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accidents and rollovers. but overall, today was more about the snow. >> we have not had good snow here, certainly not enough to build a snowman. >> reporter: perfect for sledding on a no-school day in d.c., 5-year-old thomas insisted i try his sled. wow! my graceful sledding days are long over. oh! i'm done. the sleds were out in kentucky, t too, by mid-afternoon, much of the snow had cleared out. and under blue skies, the weather channel's mike seidel warned of storm number 3. >> we have another storm coming, generally west of 95, so d.c., getting early rain, maybe ice, boston will have a little bit of everything. the ski resorts they get a lot of snow. >> reporter: like they say, it is the season. >> tis the season to be cold. >> tis the season for patience. >> tis the season for waiting
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for no reason. >> reporter: it is all in the attitude. tom costello, washington. and big news from one of the detroit big three automakers, a history-making announcement from general motors naming the first woman ceo ever to run a global automaker. mary barra is a 33-year gm veteran, a daughter of an assembly part maker, starting there as an intern, she rose all the way up as an engineer to become the company's product development chief. still ahead for us tonight, taking action, a year after newtown. parents who lost their children that day talked about a big move to attatackle the mental health crisis in our country. and later, a simple question before boarding, and a huge surprise upon landing for a planeload full of passengerin. . planeload full of passengeris. .
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since the awful school shooting in newtown, connecticut. since then, there has been interest growing between the link between violence and men. today, joe biden met with others pleading for help along those lines, and some of those spoke with our international correspondent, kate snow. >> reporter: the government shut down for a snow day, but for presidents of children who died in newtown last year, a meeting with vice president joe biden was too important to miss. >> the dialogue on health care has been lacking for a long time. and we really need to change the focus to understanding how we can prevent violence and aggression, as opposed to reacting to it. >> reporter: when jeremy richmond and his wife lost their daughter, they looked into the huge gap between the number of
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american whose need mental health care and access to that health care. during the budget cuts, mental illness health care has been cut, but 37 states increased the funding for it. today, the federal government stepped up, too, with vice president joe biden announcing $100 million across the country to expand behavioral health services and to improve it in rural areas. >> this is a very important first step. we still have a long way to go. it is a drop in the ocean but it is progress. >> reporter: a report released two weeks ago concluded the newtown shooter adam lanza had had significant health issues and refused treatment. what contribution this made is unknown, if any. scarlet lewis, whose son, jesse, was killed at sandy hook elementary school, said she believes the tragedy could have been stopped with better mental health care. >> the whole tragedy started with adam lanza, he didn't know
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how to handle it. >> reporter: they came to honor the children. >> it starts within our homes and communities. >> so many newtown families told me they hope it is just the beginning, politically, mental health care may be easier to change than gun laws, but also would like change there, as well. and since the newtown shooting, it is noteworthy to point out there have been 16 school shootings since then. kate snow, thank you for your reporting. we'll be right back with a message and a photo we received from high above today. o we rece above today. afghanistan in 2009. on the u.s.s. saratoga in 1982. [ male announcer ] once it's earned, usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families is without equal.
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has the most impact on the world in the news this year. case in point, tonight they have told us of the five finalist names the editors are considering. they are in no particular order, nsa leaker, edward snowden, syrian president, bashar assad, edith windsor, who challenged the defense of marriage act, texas senator, ted cruz, and the new pope, francis, the name will be announced tomorrow. the other way you can make news with something promotional is if it is a really good heartwarming idea. well, the canadian-based airline set up 19 hidden cameras and one of santa's helpers dressed in non-traditional blue so he wouldn't be confused with the real santa. they were on hand to ask travellers who they wanted this year, running the gamut to dolls and flat screen tvs to
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smartphones. while the plane was on its destination, the airline arranged for the 250 gifts to be bought, wrapped and sent around the baggage carousel where they were greeted and opened by the stunned passengers, none more stunned than the passenger who didn't take the santa's helper seriously and asked for underwear, which is what he got. all in all, it is now a television commercial, but they do get points for the christmas spirit. when we come back from south africa, a place where nelson mandela became a symbol of hope and change. and that relief could be in your hand. for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms from acid reflux disease. find out how you can save at there is risk of bone fracture and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. if you have persistent diarrhea, contact your doctor right away. other serious stomach conditions may exist. avoid if you take clopidogrel. for many, relief is at hand.
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oh, what a relief it is! finally from south africa tonight, we took a moment this afternoon while the memorial gathering was still going on but winding down to walk through soweto just as a way of gauging life in a specific part of this country right now. how it has changed, where it might be headed. especially in light of the loss the man they considered a hero. this is the south africa that the man named nelson mandela identified with, and they proudly claimed him as one of their own. >> mr. mandela is seen as an icon, so we will follow him.
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i'm going to leave it up to him. what he taught me i will teach my children forever. >> reporter: on a rainy afternoon walking around soweto, you can witness the gamut of experience, thank you very much. after 20 years of coming here there were visible changes on this trip. in this neighborhood, a slight uptick in the standard of living, and happiness and empowerment, but it is hard to see anything else in the midst of that old familiar grinding poverty. >> i want to thank him for giving us a better south africa than the other one. >> reporter: because death is viewed as a transition. because even today's rain is seen as a blessing for mandela's passage, it is perfectly consistent that people in mourning are also happy and celebrating. >> he is a hero to me, and i love him and i'll miss him. >> are you proud that the world has come here today to say good-bye to him?
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>> i'm very proud. >> for us, spending 27 years in prison just fighting for us. i think we owe him to carry on the freedom. >> reporter: the man i first met 20 years ago as the newly elected president back when we were both much younger is being called their george washington, their gandhi, their lincoln, their mother teresa, their dr. king and their fdr, all rolled into one. nelson mandela wanted a country where babies were born into freedom and equality. of the two, it is equality that for so many remains a long walk. which brings us to tonight, after a day of heavy rain tonight's fog has blotted out the union buildings behind us. but beginning in a few hours this is where nelson mandela will come to lie in state as the long farewell continues right up to burial next sunday. that is for us our broadcast on
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a tuesday night, thank you for joining us. i'm brian williams reporting to the from pretoria, south africa. of course we hope to see you from our new york studios tomorrow evening. good night. this country was built by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff.


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