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First broadcast of the new year

Allow me to wish you all a Happy New Year. While tonight's broadcast was not previously in the cards for me, the press of news called me here as it often does. From here tonight I'm off to Washington to get into position for tomorrow morning's coverage of the service for President Ford at the National Cathedral. We go on the air, on the NBC television network and on MSNBC, at 9 a.m. Eastern.

To the mission at hand: tonight's broadcast will deal with the news of the past few days: President Ford's mourners in the Capitol Rotunda today, and the aftermath following the hanging of Saddam Hussein. We will look at the milestone of the U.S. death toll of 3,000+ in Iraq as well. We have an interesting story from New Orleans tonight and we'll also air something we look forward to on this very day every year: Our Justice Correspondent Pete Williams will look at the new laws that went into effect when the ball dropped over Times Square last night ushering in 2007.

The tempo of news over this holiday period has been unlike anything since the early days of the war on terror. While it's our job to cover it and stay on top of developments, I hope all of you enjoyed time with family and friends. As we begin a new year, allow me to thank you again for your support, and we hope you'll join us for tonight's broadcast.