Looking out my window, there are no cars on 49th Street at this very moment. That is something you don't often see. Most of the city is off -- we, however, are here and on the job and will bring you some mixture of the following stories tonight.
How did the airline billed as quirky, friendly, agile and understanding... become Aeroflot? The JetBlue CEO will announce his new business plan tomorrow morning on TODAY -- and tonight he will again appear on our broadcast to repeat how ashamed he is of his company's performance. Today they canceled fully 25% of their flights... now comes word that whatever approaches "normal" in the flying business may not happen until Wednesday at JetBlue.
There's news on the war front: a new style of attack just might signal, as our visiting veteran correspondent Richard Engel just put it in our afternoon editorial meeting: "the new war." We'll also look at this new notion of a resurgent al-Qaida. Jane Arraf will participate as well from Baghdad.
The Mt. Hood rescue is underway -- they have found the climbers. There's important news regarding women and heart disease, and there is stunning new (at least newly-released) film of the JFK motorcade just 90 seconds before what happened in Dallas became part of the American DNA. It's almost painful to see the First Lady's pink pillbox hat and the President's sandy hair in the breeze of the moving car on an otherwise perfect day. Pete Williams will show us every frame of the film tonight.
And because our TRADING PLACES series on caring for the elderly was so popular, it continues this week with viewers' stories and financial assistance ideas -- starting tonight with a solution from Kevin Tibbles. Today's e-mail brought a heartbreaking message from an Army Reservist: notified of his third Iraq deployment, he's writing US about a plan to care for his 81-year-old mother. I'd volunteer to care for her myself if I could.
Richard Engel just left my office. Talking with Richard, who I worry about when he's on post like he's my younger brother, is a unique experience. Don't talk about Iraq with Richard unless you have paper and a pen handy -- because Richard is incapable of conversation if he can't draw a map. Several of us have several of them on file. I call them Engels. They are miniature Picasso's by Sharpie -- and I must say this one he left me with today is a new gem. He depicted the turn in the Tigris River (and the dot marking the location of our bureau) in the form of a serpent -- there are blast marks, airport buildings, good guys and bad. He is in town with us for a few days working on a spectacular "reporter's notebook" documentary. More on that as we get closer to the air date. If you watched over the weekend, we're making full use of his visit -- Meet the Press, followed by what will tonight become three straight live appearances on Nightly News. We're so happy to have him, and to see him in the flesh.
We hope you will join us on this President's Day Monday night.