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tv   First Look  MSNBC  December 24, 2010 5:30am-6:00am EST

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planes, trains, and automobiles. travelers plan to hit the roads. the mess in southern california and what's in store for the rest of the country. and coin toss, the newly unveiled royal engagement
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commemoration that is raising eyebrows. good morning, everyone. i'm lynn berry. those stories and more are straight ahead. this is "first look" on msnbc. we begin this morning with heading home for the holidays. if you're hitting the roads or skies this christmas eve, you're not going to be alone. aaa says more people are traveling this year than last year. it may not be good for your wallet or patience. stephanie stanton has more from chicago's o'hare airport. >> reporter: good morning. 2.7 million holiday travelers expected to take to the skies this holiday season. 1.8 million of them will pass
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through here, chicago's o'hare airport. one of the nation's busiest. while the weather is cooperating here, in other parts of the country, it seems old man winter is arriving just in time for christmas. home for the holidays. that's the destination for 92 million americans traveling over christmas. up 3% from a year ago. of those traveling, 93% plan to drive. an estimated 85 million people traveling by car despite a spike in gas prices. >> gasoline prices are 40 cents more than they were this time a year ago. but, yet, folks are still going to be hitting the roads. >> reporter: the higher prices, it seems, aren't dampening the
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holiday spirit. >> i have to travel and see my family. i look forward to that. it ends up hitting me in the pockets a little bit. >> reporter: others will take to the skies with an estimated 2.7 million americans booking flights. >> i figure i'm going to take the extra i'm spending on gas and putting it on a plane ticket and just get on the plane. >> reporter: let it snow will be the song of the day across much of the country where a white christmas is forecast for as much as 50% of the country, including the southeast. further south it is unusual to see snow on christmas eve and christmas day. christmas day, we could have a white christmas here. a white christmas greeting millions of americans as they take to the roads and skies this holiday season. well officials are advising travelers here in chicago and other major cities to arrive two hours early to deal with any possible security issues. also, the tsa is telling people not to bring wrapped gifts. they say those gifts could be opened and inspected. reporting from chicago, stephanie stanton, lynn, back to you. the increase in travelers is not going to help matters in the west where the recent onslaught of rain reeked havoc there. the downpours have forced disaster declarations in at least ten california counties due to flooding and mudslide damage n highland, 70 homes have been inundated with mud. the focus shifts to an expensive cleanup and expansive cleanup and the prospect of being forced to spend the holiday away from
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home. meanwhile, ground crews at qualcomm stadium worked around the clock to clear the field for last night's bowl. and a nation's capital saw a white christmas in 2002. residents are preparing for a heavy snowstorm expected there this weekend. we'll have much more on what is in store for your holiday commute in a few moments in weather. did you make your list? check it twice? realize you still have plenty to do? well, you're in luck. stores and shop owners across the country, stores extended hours today. it's expected to be a huge day for long suffering retailers.
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we have more from washington. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, lynn. there are stores where can you go shopping right now, some of the big retailers are keeping stores open 24 hours a day in the runup to christmas. they know that americans are spending and they want a piece of that action. add malls across america, a last-minute rush. >> plenty of time. >> reporter: perplexed faces, frantic purchases and, yes, frankly, a lot of men. >> when our store becomes 90% men, we really know the holidays and christmas has begun. >> reporter: but it turns out most people spend more than just a last-minutes at the mall. according to consumer reports, americans say they plan to spend an average 15 hours on gift shopping. three and a half of those hours waiting in line. as for going online, e-commerce was more popular than ever this year. sales up 15.4%. >> a part of the 2011 economic story is being written right now and, you know, story is a little bit better than seen in a couple
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years. at the waffle america -- >> we're running 7% up right now. i think that will definitely hold through the end of the year. >> reporter: more signs, not just that the american shopper is back, but that they may stick around. >> i'll shop for others then buy something for myself. we're seeing a lot of that. >> reporter: i'm doing a little research on that one. one for you, two for me. and if you haven't gotten your fill of shopping, e-commerce is expected to have a huge day on christmas day. brick-and-mortar stores open on sunday. they're expecting to see a huge day with the returns and people doing more shopping for themselves. >> that's good news for the economy. here's your first look at the other news going on around america today. in utah, power outage at a ski resort stranded about 300 people stuck on lifts for an hour. auxiliary power was restored to get the people off the lifts but a rope and pulley system were used to rescue 50 of them. authorities say heavy snow and a downed tree could be to blame. in florida, a single engine plane landed belly up near an airport runway i. the pilot who was the only one onboard the aircraft was doing touch and go exercises when the plane flipped. fortunately the pilot walked away unharmed. and a texas man fulfilled a life-long dream. 20 years after immigrating from
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mexico to the u.s., he was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer last may and immediately felt a sense of urgency to become a u.s. citizen. too weak to attend on official ceremony, the judge came to him and in his backyard surrounded by family, he took his oath. one final legacy, he says, he'll leave with family. and now for a look at your national weather, we turn to todd santos with the weather channel forecast. that busy travel forecast. >> oh, yeah. >> what do you have? >> today, lynn, many folks traveling. i'm certainly included in that. as far as the setup is concerned, we're looking at a few areas with potential delays. one of them in and around dallas with a chance for thunderstorms across the area. not necessarily great severe setup. there is a cold pocket aloft.
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part of that is on the west coast. it will continue to, again, see the showers and even some thunderstorms down towards houston, especially later on this afternoon. notice off the west coast, you still have that upper level low spinning. it's not moving into the coastline. so we'll continue to see a little impulses moving in on off that saturday night into sunday. could see more snow in the sierras. if you're planning on doing the see air why and skiing around lake tahoe, especially just after, say, opening presents on saturday morning, want to try to get to the mountains was overnight we'll see the snow flying across the area. this morning, most of the snow back in through portions of iowa just starting to transition in northwestern illinois. bloomington and peoria, a little bit of light snow at this hour. chicago, expected to pick up
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about one to three inches. it should start very soon. you can see it's right on the doorstep of minneapolis there as well with enough snow to cause isolated travel delays. notice back towards even st. louis, starting to see the transition as well. so, again, we'll see a number of spots that will wake up saturday morning with some snowfall. there's a look at the winter weather advisories that extend well into eastern kentucky and even north central tennessee. nashville and eastward could see one to three inches in a few spots to the east of there, maybe upwards of four or five inches of snow. so here's a look at the brighter white colors. that's where you'll find the heavier snowfall. there is waterloo, iowa. iowa city. talking upwards of around four to eight inches worth of snowfall. again, you can see that just starting to switch over there west of st. louis. so some cold air in place. a few areas with snowfall. as we follow that eastward again, there's a look at the temperatures this morning. certainly cold enough to produce snowfall in places like dallas are likely to cool off throughout the morning. again, just another setup that's going to help enhance the rainfall across the area. there's a look at wind chill temperatures. as far as friday is concerned, east coast is look going. again, you see the trouble spots. lynn, coming up, we'll talk more about travel and what can you expect right on into monday. still a big travel day. >> absolutely. todd, thanks so much. also coming up, economic reports shine. prices at the pump surge. and who's stealing santa's business? your first look at this morning's business headlines is straight ahead. just ahead, a preview of the nhl's winter classic, the magic
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put a spell on the spurs, and a major suspension to ohio state's terrell prior. you're watching "first look" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] earlier today, your living room was game day central. [ cheering ] a place for friends, family, and your husband's trademark victory dance.
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welcome back to "first look," i'm lynn berry. the u.n. is investigating complaints that bradley manning has been mistreated in custody. a manning supporter claims he spends 23 hours a day alone in his cell and that conditions he's being kept in amount to torture. the pentagon denies mistreating him. according to "new york times," the u.s. government has allowed american companies to do billions in business with iran and other countries blacklisted as state supporters with terrorism. the "times" reports that over the last decade, the treasury department granted nearly 10,000 special licenses to u.s. firms. the law behind the licenses says agriculture and humanitarian aid is exempt from sanctions. but it was written so broadly that it's allowed for the exchange of many questionable items including cigarettes, gum, and hot sauce. in china, construction workers found a cellar full of 800-year-old chinese coins,
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possibly at the site of an ancient bank. no word on their value. and while in china, there may be excitement over these coins, for a new coin in england, it's a different story. critics say one featuring prince william and fiancee kate middleton looks nothing like them. still, the coin put out by the country's royal mint was approved by both the queen and prince william. but it really doesn't look like them, does it? u.s. markets are closed for the holiday weekend. here's your first look at how they ended on thursday. the dow closed at 11,573 after adding 14 points yesterday. the s&p 500 shed two points. the nasdaq dipped five. taking a look at overseas trading this morning, in tokyo, the nikkei lost 67 points. in hong kong, the hang seng fell 69. and on wall street's last day of trade before christmas, stocks were mostly flat and volume was low. but that didn't stop markets from notching their fourth straight week of gains. the day's data was almost entirely rosie. consumer sentiment rose to the highest level since june. demand for durable goods surged.
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first time claims for jobless benefits edged down. the latest survey on investor sentiment rose to a six-year high. energy stocks led as the price of oil continued its sharp rise, up to a two-year high of more than $91 a barrel. aaa announced the average pump price of regular gas rose above $3 a gallon thursday for the first time ever in christmas season. back in stocks, bed bath & beyond was up 5% after topping profit estimates and forecasting a strong holiday season. over on the nasdaq, micron technology tumbled more than 4% after lowering its chip pricing forecast. elsewhere, joann stores surged 32% after agreeing to be bought by a private equity firm for $1.6 billion. toyota is paying $10 million to settle claims from the fatal california crash that sparked a wide-ranging recall over sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles. the sec's top official has given his approval to comcast purchase of the entity
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controlling this network, nbc universal but made it clear several conditions must ab dressed. and finally, personal appearances by santa and they report that business is bad this year. we know at least one reason why. santa has some competition. in thailand today, an elephant played santa passing out gifts to schoolchildren. no word yet on whether the santa union plans to file a grievance against the dancing santa. in sports, the carolina
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panthers are still in the nfl and they're the only winless team on the road as last night pittsburgh steelers continued their march toward the playoffs. here's mario solis. hello. good morning. the steelers are just a win away from another division title after routing the panthers. to pittsburgh, the steelers leading from start to finish. ben roethlisberger to wallace. wallace does the rest. this one was over by halftime. steelers won easily 27-3. big news in college football, five ohio state players including star quarterback terrell prior have been suspended for the first five games of next season for selling awards and accepting improper benefits. however, none will have to miss the buckeye sugar bowl game against arkansas.
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no suspensions for the poinsettia bowl. four touchdowns, not a bad way to end the season. san diego state sinks navy 35-14. to the nba, orlando has ended the spurs' ten-game winning streak. orlando running away with it. and what's a magic game without a little dwight howard? he had 29. orlando wins. lebron james had to pick up the slack for dwyane wade who sat out with a sore knee. no flash, no problem. the steal and dunk. heat wins big. they will play the lakers tomorrow. a preview of the winter classic, penguins and sidney crosby expecting his scoring streak to an astonishing 23 games. this one is sited in a shootout. they win 3-2. finally to new york, martin st. louis off the turnover. he fakes a slap shot and passes the puck between his legs to stephen stampos who scores. the fake, the pass, and one motion. that's impressive. lightning beats the rangers 3-2. and that's your first look at sports.
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i'm mario solis. the holidays are a time for reflection. but for those who live through world war ii, the holiday season of 1944 is a particularly painful memories. american troops were involved in the battle of the bulge, fighting the determined germans and brutally cold conditions. and reporter john crowman from care 11 in minneapolis has the story of one veteran who was in the thick of it. the allied lines stretched unevenly along the frontier. >> reporter: it was a massive surprise offensive by the germans in december of 1944. >> the battle quickly changed the shape of the front lines. the battle of the bulge. >> it's like daylight, all kinds of flares. and everybody was wondering what was going on. >> reporter: the guy in the top right was an ammo loader of a sherman tank. >> i called up to my tank commander. 11:00.
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and he said frankie, h-2 which is high explosive. >> reporter: a 20-year-old at the time, he was hit in the shoulder three days into the battle. >> i had to call for my tank commander and say i'm hit. i can't function anymore. my arm has gone dead. i don't know if it's broke or what. he told me to get out of the tank. >> reporter: frank spent christmas in a hospital in paris. by the time he rejoined the battle, his seasoned commander was dead, one of 19,000 americans lost in the battle of the bulge. >> my tank commander that was in the tank at the time that i was injured, he was killed. a shell hit our tank few days after i left. >> reporter: frank's twin brother fred was also fighting in europe but was killed in action. frank signed up for three extra months of duty so he could get to his brother's grave site in holland. >> i read my mother's letter. she said, frank, you have to be brave now i have bad news. i remember that. and i couldn't handle it. >> reporter: frank spend 30 years teaching economics and
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philosophy after the war. he is now losing the final battle of his life against prostate cancer. >> and i'm 86 years old. my wife and i have had a tremendous 60 years of life together. i have no complaints. >> a good reminder of all the men and women serving oversea this is christmas away from home. one actor gets to enjoy a rare moment at the movies this christmas weekend. plus, ben stiller and robert de niro are back for another stab at box office gold. your first look at entertainment is straight ahead. you're watching "first look" on msnbc. i would have liked to know? i like tacos.
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you invited eric? i thought eric gave you the creeps. [ phone buzzes ] oh. [ chuckles ] yeah. hey. [ male announcer ] don't be left behind. get it first with at&t. the nation's fastest mobile broadband network. period. rethink possible.
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welcome back to "first look." last night jimmy was naughty and not very nice to president bush last night. >> the value of the stamp has fallen because of facebook, e-mail and twitter and because george bush was busy writing decision points. did you hear about this? a man in texas lost control of his car last night and ran it on to george w. bush's front lawn. it could have been worse. he could have lost control of the whole economy and run it into the ground.
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you guys, this is my last monologue of this year. so before i forget, thank you to all the people that helped me put it together every day snooki, sarah palin, tiger woods, charlie sheen. finally, i heard that teen pregnancy in the u.s. hit an all time low last year. well, sure. but only because bristol was doing "dances with the stars." be sure to catch "late night with jimmy fallon" on your local nbc station. it's time for your first look at entertainment news. plenty of films this weekend. only one has the expert's nod as the favorite. the latest chapter in robert de niro and ben stiller's ten-year comedy franchise. both "meet the parents" and "meet the faukers" were on top. and "little faukers" should as well with $25 million. it's main competition will be last weekend's number one, "tron legacy." experts say it should finish
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close second with more than $20 million. that leaves bridges in the unusual position of having two films in the top five at the same time. he also stars in "true grit," a remake of the 1969 john wayne classic expected to finish third in the mid teen millions. another debut, jack black's "gulliver's travels" should lose punch. so there you go. let's get one more quick check of the weather with todd santos. he has your weather channel forecast. >> i kind of tried to put the next four days altogether. friday, saturday, sunday, monday, or should i say and the next three days. there's a look at most of the activity. the low tracks across the gulf coast. we'll continue to see showers. on the backside of it, as you get into saturday night and sunday, we'll see cold air switching in. that will switch this over to a light mix initially and then
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light snow through north georgia and alabama and carolinas as farther north as this system goes sunday into monday, travelwise, sunday shouldn't be too bad. but into monday, we're looking at really gusty winds and also potential for some decent snowfall. so good for all the folks that ski between christmas and new year's. but getting up there might be a little difficult on monday. traveling through chicago and st. louis and even dallas, some of the bigger travel issues. the east looking good, at least into saturday. lynn? >> todd, thanks so much. i'm lynn berry. this is "first look" on msnbc. coming up at 6:00 eastern, an msnbc special, the most influential americans of the 21st century.
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