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The Friday factor

The above "factor" holds that anything could change on a Friday afternoon. I'm speaking of our best-laid plans for tonight, which so far include coverage of Secretary Gates at Walter Reed, coverage of politics, and an update on the Gulf recovery. We'll also offer a true public service tonight as part of our "Trading Places" series -- we hope our piece does what the Department of Veterans Affairs has been unable to do: put out the word about a great program. We'll also preview something a lot of us will be watching on Sunday night. I just completed my Oscar vote office pool ballot this morning, so do let me know if you need to know the winners.

It's Friday night, and our regular segment tonight will deal with the following question: When we look back on our times from a distance of a decade or so, will it someday seem like we're living in a primitive age by not having common access (in our public spaces) to a crucial tool needed to save lives? I'll leave it at that in describing tonight's story, which is a tribute to the efforts of a woman who suffered an awful loss.

That brings us to the end of another broadcast week. Have a good weekend. Please join us tonight for the Friday edition of NBC Nightly News.