tv Early Today NBC July 5, 2021 3:00am-3:28am PDT
with pope francis's condition. nascar hitting the track for the holiday with a full field and crowd on a hot independence day. fireworks celebrations from coast to coast crowds returning to their prepandemic lives to enjoy a festive fourth of july as we kick off your holiday monday "early today" starts right now we do say good morning, everybody. i'm kendis gibson. >> i'm phillip mena. breaking overnight, what remained of the surfside condo has now been leveled this happened just 11 days after the structure initially collapsed. it wasn't supposed to be taken down for a few weeks, but officials accelerated the detonation because of tropical storm elsa ellison barber is at the site. >> reporter: what was left of champlain condominium south came
to the ground. they use bring this building down essentially where this on a controlled footprint. officials say this demolition was necessary because of concerns of tropical storm elsa moving in. they say that the building that was left from the collapse that took place some 11 days ago, that it was not structurally sound and that they needed to remove it in a controlled manner they also said by removing what was left of this building, it would expand the area that search and rescuers were able to look for the people that were still unaccounted for. for thos there's still 121 peoplender th rubble fam families, many of them still praying for a miracle.
this is something that they were worried about because obviously their loved ones are likely and could still be underneath that rubble but this also gives them the opportunity for rescuers to for the families, the individuals who survived this initial collapse, they watched as what remained of their homes went crashing to the ground. they were not able to get back insidee this they were not able to collect final bits of memories, family photos all of that in a moment collapsed to the ground. again, officials say what happened here was necessary in order to move forward with the search process and to expand the search area and also to make sure rescuers as they were searching staysafe because the structure, again, was very unsafe we saw efforts -- rescue efforts have to halt just a couple of days ago for close to 15 hours because there were concerns that the building could collapse on its own. that has been avoided, but at the same time this is not a
moment of joy. there are families still waiting for answers about their loved ones 121 people for and families who made homes, made back to you. >> ellison, thank you. let's turn right now to the very latest on the tropical storm. tropical storm elsa. cuba bracing for hurricane-like conditions elsa showing some signs of streetening overnight as it approaches the island. landfall expected this afternoon but they are being hit by strong winds and heavy rain the crews searching at surfside warned that area may be hit with some e opposite costa long the gulf side. let's get an update on where elsa is headed nbc meteorologist janessa webb with the latest. good morning >> reporter: hi, good morning. good morning, everyone we have a fast-moving system it is kind of lopsided right now
but it is consistently going to be a tropical storm as it makes its first landfall across central cuba later on this morning into mid afternoon right nowwe're seeing sustaine winds to 65 miles an hour which has been consistent with tropical storm elsa. the northwest movement of 15 miles per hour what we're counting on is a sharp turn and then it goes back into warm water. what we're watching closely, the national hurricane center saying tuesday late evening it could restrengthen but still dealing with per hour winds. regardless of the intensity of this storm system, we have widespread alerts impacted across tampa all the way into the naples area where tropical storm watches are in place expect that to change back into tropical storm warnings in the next 24 hours. >> talk to you in a bit.
let's talk about some truly american traditions that came roaring back this independence day as people are feeling safer about getting together president biden may have fallen short of his vaccination goal, but the white house threw a party for essential workers and military families. the presidene progress the country has made during this pandemic >> we are emerging from the darkness of years, a year of pandemic and isolation a year of pain, fear, heartbreaking loss just think back to where this nation was a year ago. think back to where you were a year ago and think about how far we've come >> the biden family ending the night watching a massive fireworks display from the truman balcony at the white house. d.c. one of many cities that brought big events back. nbc's kathy park shows how
americans celebrated. >> reporter: good monation came never before barbecues made a huge comeback but amid signs of normalcy, there is growing concern that the delta variant is tightening the grip a long-awaited sell will he bragsz more than a year in the making new york, one of the darkest cities during the pandemic lit up with fireworks launched from five barges in the river electrifying light show to honor everyday heroes. >> we've all suffered very hard. this allows some time for us to celebrate. >> reporter: more traditions were turning live and in person. crowds cheered on at coney island as devouring 76 franks in ten minutes. >> number one frank eater in the world, joey chestnut >> reporter: on south carolina's
shore a high flying salute in boston, a patriotic parade. >> it was amazing. >> god bless america this is great. >> gatherings getting back to normal after many missed memories. >> people are excited and they're happy to see other people they're like, hey, remember me i'm back. >> reporter: even with independence day free of most restrictions, tha variant is holding on as rise in los angeles county, health officials advise the masks go back on when indoors, even for the vaccinated warnings mixed with welcome signs of progress as we mark america's birthday with a bang and for many people out here, this is perhaps one of the largest crowds they have been around in more than a year and they tell me they're not really concerned about covid anymore. in fact, they are excited to be out in public and be around people without masks kendis >> certainly was a good feeling.
kathy park, thank you. pope francis is recovering this morning after undergoing surgery. the vatican said the pontiff reacted well to a planned procedure involving his large intestine. joining us now, claudio lavanga from rome. claudio, good morning. what more do we know about this operation? >> reporter: good morning, phillip. well, all we know is what the vatican has been telling us so far, which is arguably not much. yesterday out of the blue they told us the pope was going to be taken to the hospital for surgery. what was surprising about that is only a couple of hours earlier he was delivering his traditional sunday prayer right behind me looking perfectly well they said it was a scheduled surgery. didn't get much more information apart from that it was for a diverticular stenosis which is a problem with the intestines. later on yesterday at about midnight after the operation they simply said, as you mentioned, that he reacted well. we are used to the vatican and
the policy here being particularically cryptic when it comes to the health of popes, but this very short statement, of course, raises more questions than answers we don't know, of course, how long the pope is going to recover, stay in the hospital, how long it will take him to recover and when he will return to the vatican phillip, kendis? >> all we can do is wait. the white house says president biden has directed the full resources of the government to investigate one of the largest ransomware attacks evere thousands of victims have been identified in at least 17 countries with ransom demands up to $5 million. the attack was reportedly carried out by the same russian-based gang that extorted an $11 million ransomware last month from jbs, the world's largest meat packer. nbc meteorologist janessa
webb is back with us good morning again >> good morning. you know, tropical storm elsa, regardless of the intensity, it will be a widespread flood threat it has already been raining across florida for the last seven to eight days so we're going to continue to deal with this moisture with elsa. an additional two to three inches expected but that's not including the storm surge. these are low lying areas acros, one to two inches, two to four inches as the system continues to rev up. this will not be a high wind speed event but we'll watch potential for power outage is across gainesville all theay w .
dallas in the lower 90s. guys, we'll take a look at your week ahead coming up. >> sounds good talk to you then. nascar celebrated the holiday weekend at what's called the road america in wisconsin. kyle larson couldn't keep his hot streak going with the points leader spinning out late you see him there. that left chase elliott cruising to victory elliott's second win of the nascar season and gave hendrick motorsports team the tenth win of the year. >> "early today" is back in two with the 82-year-old aspiring astronaut set to fulfill here dream. beach goers in maryland, panic after the fireworks display ignited early. so i got a swiffer wetjet to get a cleaner, clean!
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4th of july display after the fireworks detonated while employees were actually just setting up for the show. >> whoops. >> yeah. the blast sent beachgoers running. one person suffered minor injuries well, they're trying to figure out what happened. right now. the firefighters are at least. >> they've got to wait till next year now i guess to enjoy that in the evening very cool story here a female aerospace pioneer from texas who was trained as an astronaut back in the 1960s but did not make it to space because of her gender is getting another chance 82-year-old wally funk has been picked by jeff bezos for his july 20th blue origih her. >> i'm ready i've been trained -- >> reporter: there's no doubt wally funk i an honored guest on the new shepherd rocket to fly into outer space. >> i feel fantastic! i'm so, so surprised but i won't know more until
everything comes around. >> reporter: they did give her an idea of what to expect from the ten-minute flight. >> zero gravity for four minutes. you come back down we land gently on the desert surface. >> reporter: it will be a quick trip she's waited a lifetime for. funk often lectures about her journey and shares with young kids she was among the so-calle through astronaut training in the '60s being a woman, she was never allowed into space at that time all nasa astronauts were men >> i'm just so glad that they're finally going to be realized i'm so happy for her >> reporter: bruce bleakley knows funk well. he was director of emery aviation college and hired funk as a senior pilot in 1987. he says her life's work and this opportunity will just serve as more inspiration to others >> she is absolutely rabid about careers in aviation and technical careers and that sort of thing >> reporter: as she prepares for
this flight into space, bleakley gives her this advice in aviation terms >> wally, good luck. check 6. keep a couple extra knots on final. and watch the rest of the crew make sure they know everything they're supposed to do >> whoo! >> reporter: as for funk, she's just grateful her time has come to live her dream of going into outer space. >> i'm very happy. i want to go >> how about that? at 82 years old funk will become the oldest person ever to launch into space just two weeks from tomorrow >> yeah. john glenn was the previous one at 77 years old. but man, her energy level is that of a 22-year-old. >> who wouldn't be excited you get that chance, you're up for time for a rocketu first. >> she will be riding with jeff bezos, though. that would make me feel a lot better >> yeah, i agree still to come, making all the right moves. his historic achievement rocking the chess world. and spending the hidolay weekend
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movies this holiday weekend raking in $24 million. "boss baby: family business" stood tallfollowed by "the fore and "the quiet place part 2" whispered into fourth. a 12-year-old from new jersey is now the youngest chess grandmaster ever abmanni mishra is three months younger than the previous record holder he achieved the status after beating another grandmaster in a weekend tournament mishra has played chess since he was 7 years old and was also the world's youngest international master >> he looks like a boss. >> he looks like -- >> like you want to bring this come still to come, an update on the tropical storm threat inplug as americans return to the road. what you won't find the next time you check in. cool. so what are you waiting for? mckayla maroney to get your frisbee off the roof? i'll get it. ♪ ♪
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ever notice how stiff clothes that will never mess can feel rough on your skin? for softer clothes that are gentle on your skin, without dyes or perfumes. try downy frlloften your cls the towel washed with downy is softer, and gentler on your skin. try downy free & gentle. hi good morning, everyone we continue to watch tropical storm elsa and you know, the next few hours are going to be very vital as it makes landfall in cuba this will be a double landfall that we will see but as it potentially could shred apart across the mountainous areas of cuba then makes its way back into a very warm gulf. we'll continue to watch this through tuesday into early wednesday. that's when we could see landfall across florida. then this system will continue its trek across georgia into the carolinas. guys >> that's the big weather story this week. janessa, thank you hotelst,
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well, your next hotel stay may never feel the same in the wake of the pandemic from breakfast buffets, daily housekeeping, even the overpriced minibar could be gone for good aaron gilchrist tells us why >> reporter: as millions of americans set out for an overdue vacation, they're noticing big changes at hotels across the country. >> i did not know that they weren't cleaning the rooms every day. >> i think we're paying more and getting less services from it. >> a lot of the perks that we used to have, they've taken those away or limited them >> reporter: from the breakfast buffet to minibars to daily housekeeping, hotels have cut
classic perks to stay safe and stay afloat. buffet service used to be it was definitely a lot of adjustments we had to make >> reporter: at the arlo i lower manhattan general manager cordle nelson says cuts were the only way not to close. >> that meant reducing staff at the front office, housekeeping and engineering departments. >> reporter: but even as covid restrictions ease and americans return to leisure travel, it still may not be enough to bring workers back in a new report hospitality union unite here states nearly 40% of hotel housekeeping jobs, more than 180,000, may never return detailar is the union's president. >> i think travelers are getting shortchanged and who's getting the benefit of that this is just about wall street trying to squeeze moreout of thd the american worker. >> reporter: workers like mary tobonar who was furloughed from her housekeeping job in waikiki next march due to covid.
how hard is it to just to work >> well, it's really hard because i always go weekly for food bank. i'm going there weekly just to put food for my family i don't want my kids to -- >> i'm asking for help for you guys >> reporter: the single mother of two now hands out flyers near her hotel asking guests to demand daily housekeeping. >> we are ready to do our job. >> reporter: in manhattan the arlo is back at 85% staffing now. they're hoping a return to normal will mean more guests too. >> i think once we get back to seeing that corporate and group travel we'll get back to that 100% staffing. >> reporter: aaron gilchrist, nbc news >> can only hope so. some hotels are still charging a covid fee for extra cleaning but still cutting back on cleaning
saving the world is our family business. surrounded by interns.ike m just hours ago as the nation celebrated the fourth officials remaining part of the champlain complex. another reason for the demolition, the looming storm. elsa tracking toward florida with the cone of uncertainty fannin. east coast this year the 4th of july is