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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 25, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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on a chevy cruze eco for around $159 a month. or qualified buyers can get no monthly payments for 3 months. fuel economy based on epa estimates. deferred payments offer ends may 31st. on our broadcast tonight, the mean season just got meaner, if that's possible. another tornado outbreak tonight. in joplin, they're still under threat even while they deal with the loss. like the woman we'll meet tonight. her husband lost his life while protecting her. world stage. president obama's speech to the british parliament and what exactly happened there with the queen. and an outburst in court from the young man accused of shooting gabrielle giffords. the question is, what happens to him now. and making a difference. the men who have already done so much for the country showing up in joplin to do some more.
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"nightly news" begins now. good evening. tonight, the same weather system that slammed into joplin, missouri, on sunday is not only still churning and active, it has intensified in some places. it's widened, and that means 14 more people have died since we last spoke in tornadoes outside of joplin. this one storm system today meant 45 million americans were at some time today under the threat of severe weather. because we all know by now what the colors mean, the deep red, the purple at the core, here is the radar tonight. the huge cross section of the country from shreveport down in the south all the way north to cincinnati. some forecasters put the threat of severe weather going into tonight greater than it's been all week. weather channel meteorology jim cantore has been out all night.
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he's in poplar bluff, missouri. jim, good evening. >> reporter: brian, folks in the midwest are once again reeling tonight. three states effected last night, 13 losing their lives, scores wounded and once again, hundreds left woundless. it's a killer tornado. absolutely killer tornado. >> look at the debris. it's a roof. >> reporter: as a series of tornadoes swept through oklahoma last night, they ripped through everything in their path, killing eight people. one twister roared through shawn shawnee, passing i-40. radio station kfor wads on the air and on the ground. meteorologist david payne was in the middle of it, while jim
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gardner described what he saw. >> this is unbelievable. this keeps growing and growing, and it's pulling everything in. >> reporter: left behind, a path of destruction and homes flattened right down to their concrete slabs. >> that's their hour, it's just gone. >> reporter: in northeast piedmonte, a frantic search for survivors. they found a woman and two children. this morning, the 15-month-old child dies while the search continued for it 3-year-old. in arkansas, three were killed. and another tornado ripped through central can canc. the violent stort erupted and blew an enormous tree onto a van, kimmi killing two people inside. it's sad news every day. over fiechb00 people have lost their lives this year.
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this is the deadliest since the 1950s and we have two weeks to go. if you look add the kinds of tornado said, ef-4s, ef-5s, those are hard to survive above ground, and that's why so many people have been killed in the heels of the outbreaks. now we want to go back to joplin, mids miz. the latest numbers, more than 2,5 2,500 dead. some 700 injured. the search for survivors continues on the ground. we get our update tonight from ron allen. >> reporter: with more possible tornadoes in last night's forecast, hundreds from joplin came to this red cross shelter. suddenly, unbelievably, the tornado warning sirens wailed again, sending everyone to the
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basement. a false alarm that left carol and steven yagel shaky. >> i freaked. i wanted to freak. i wanted to just get away from it. get away from the southbound. >> your stomach just gets in knots. all i could do was sit there listening. >> reporter: tammy had ridden out the tornado in her car. today, like others here, she was picking up the pieces. this shows the tornado's path. sim six miles long, three quarters of a mile wide. >> we are going to rebuild. we are going to surviechb. rrtd meanwhile, today, it was a day of moving forward and finding treasures in the rubble. he found a gold ring. >> reporter: it's not mine. we'll ask around.
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>> reporter: evln was lucky she was away when the tornado hit her home. she found a $1 which she believes is a good sign. >> a penny means an angel is watching over you. i have 100 watching over me. >> reporter: there's been confusion over the numbers of people missing. official estimates have been as high as 1,000. but officials say most of those are safe and they have left to be with family and friends. >> ron, thanks for your reporting tonight. and we have one more story tonight from joplin, missouri, as told by someone we met before leaving there. this is the story of bethany and don, two people married six years. struggling in this economy, but well enough to have a house together. they had plans for a family. they had a lot of plans right
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before a tornado bore down on their house on sunday afternoon. >> i mean, the house was ripping apart. i honestly, i just -- it happ happened so fast. all the pillows were flying off of us. the only thing i managed to do was keep one right in front of my face. >> reporter: don lansaw, a fo former high school football star and the love of bethany's life threw his body over hers as their house and their world was being ripped apart. >> yeah. >> reporter: he covered you. >> he just has so much love. in his heart. and you know, people keep saying that he wouldn't have wanted it any other way, but if, like, i
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could have taken twice as much damage just to have him alive, i would have. and he got on top of me to take the brunt of most of it. and you know, he's my hero. >> reporter: in the strange period of calm after the tornado, bethany thought she could still save her husband, who was lying in that bathtub. the houses on her street were gone. her neighbors were either dead, trapped, or walking around stunned. don was turning blue. she didn't know it, but he had a puncture wound in his back. bethany flagged down a good samaritan in a pickup truck, asking for help in getting an ambulance, but don was already gone. >> he just -- i mean, he -- he did what he could to protect his family.
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and i did everything i could to get him help. >> reporter: oddly, in the house where the storm took don's life, it didn't take their high school varsity jackets. it didn't take all the books off the shelves or all the stuff out of the cabinet under the sink. friends found their wedding photos and brought them to the house where bethany is now staying. >> just a great, great man, and loved by so many people. and there's the little guy that stayed with him until the end. >> reporter: bethany and don were dog sitting for domino, the spaniel. he ended up staying with don's body in the bathtub after the storm had passed. don's dog whisper knows something is wrong, so they're trying to keep him occupied
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while bethany tries to just put one foot in front of the other and goon. >> to the people who did try to help, yp want to say thank you because you tried. >> bethany is just a nice person from joplin, missouri, just like everyone we met there. and like a lot of folks there, she remains pretty banged up. friends have set up a fund, and swee have information on >> later, the people making a difference by showing up and doing the hard work. now we go overseas to london where the british have been rolling out the red carpet for president barack obama. tonight, the president hosted a dinner of his own for queen elizabeth and prince philip at the ambassador's place. chuck todd traveling with the president, with us from london
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tonight. chuck, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. this third day of the president's overseas trip is about the serious business of war, middle east peace, and libya, and what is not just essential but what is called a u.s. friendship. a ceremony for president obama at the historic hall of westminster where he became just the third president to address both houses of parliament. >> in the end of a decade that began in war and ended in recession, we have arrived at a pivotal point once again. >> reporter: he began with a little humor about the relationship. >> ours got off on the wrong foot with a small scrape about tea and taxes. there may also have been some
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hurt feelings when the white house was set on fire during the war of 1812. >> reporter: in what was touted by aides a his anchor speech of the europe tour, he's global on the stage, even with the rise of emerging powers like china and india. >> perhaps, the arguments go, the nations represent the future and the time for our leadership has passed. that argument is wrong. the time for our leadership is now. >> reporter: earlier, president obama spent the morning meeting with british prime minister david cameron, discussing libya. they repeated their called for gadhafi to step down and downplay perceive d negotiation on the strategy. >> the key things here are patience and persistence which is what the alliance is demonstrated and needs to go on demonstrating. >> the president bid farewell to
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the queen a day after the gaffe with the queen when he kept talking when the music was playing, something he talked about. >> i thought it was something like in the movie said, like the shut-down thing. >> in the meeting with cameron, he endured the vision on the middle east peace comment. even bringing up the comment about using the 1967 border. tomorrow, the president will travel to france where he's likely to get more vision for the plan. >> chuck, thanks. >> from our pentagon outpost, we learned president obama has picked the president for joint chiefs of staff. martin dempsey, he's a command veteran of iraq war and afghanistan. he would replace the departing mike mullen. >> former vice president and
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governor john edwards is facing criminal charges after the green light was given to investigation criminal charges. they stemmed from a relationship with a former worker, rielle hunter. his lawyer said tonight his client did not break the law. when we come back tonight, dramatic developments in the case of the man held for the shooting of gabrielle giffords, gerald loughner. will he ever face a jury? and they have been deployed before, but not to joplin, missouri. and tonight, they make a difference.
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sglool jared loughner, the man of killing three people, wounding 13 people was in court today. mike tiebi was with us with the
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bizarre scene that erupted in court. >> law enforcement sources told nbc news that has brynn one of liz delusionings whethall leung, th had killed gabby giffords. today, he yelled thanks for the freak show. you're changing it. he was removed from the court room. a moment later, the judge ruled for the time, he's incompetent to understand the charges against him orasycyst in his own defense. >> mike outside court. that appearance today in tucson. mike, thanks. there was a stunned silence on the floor of the new york stock exchange this morning. dma not because of any market news but in reaction to the news mark haines had died. he was the founding anchor of
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"squawk box" on cnbc. he's been a fixture of our sister network for two decades. people used the words gruff and rumpled and irascible to describe him, but they were trying to say he was real. he didn't suffer fools kindsly, and covering wall street, he suffered a few of them. he was an ivy league graduate and a veteran reporter, and he was able to calmly report on the 9/11 attacks and the financial me meltdown. he was 62, and our condolences go out to his family and his cnbc family, too. back with more after this.
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i believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> that speech by john f. kennedy launching us to the moon was delivered before a joint session of congress 50 years ago today. he set a deadline of 1970, and while he did not live to see it, we made it by the summer of '69, and the kennedy library today released audiotapes on a meeting
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with the head of nasa on the subject. the president can be heard worrying that will seen lie a stunt. >> but he seems jurally convinced it was for the good of the nation. >> i think it would be an asset, this program. i think it's setting up a lot of things, but a lot of people may say, what are we making the trip for? but at the end of the day, we're glad we made it. >> the irony is, of course, we're about to end the manned space program when the last shuttle launches this july. neil armstrong was one of the three astronauts writing in today's "usa today," quote, john f. kennedy would have been sorely disappointed. and for oprah fans, of course, today is right up there with the end of the space program. today's last oprah winfrey show. it's hard to compare her influence with anyone else in the modern era. the lives she's changed, the books she's sold. her grip on the culture and the audience. but it had to end some time, and
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while she has her own network, called "own," today, the curtain came down in chicago. >> from you whose names i will never know, i learned from love is. you and this show have been the great love of my life. so with that, show number 4,561 was soon over. oprah was last seen following the yellow brick road, ending the show praising god and taking the advice really the munchkins gave dorothy, another woman known for her long and incredible journey. when we come back, nothing phases them. they're u.s. combat veterans, and they happen to be just what joplin, missouri, needs right about now. our "making a difference" report right after this.
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finally tonight, we go back to joplin, m.o., for our "making a difference" report. while thankfully donations are pouring in, people are also pouring in for help. they're volunteering for duty. and for this group, it's hardly their first time. but this time, they're happy to answer the call one more time
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where they're badly needed. their story tonight from nbc's ron mott in joplin. >> reporter: as volunteers lined up to help victims of sunday's massive tornado, this group rolled in on a two-part mission. to aid not just those in need, but to help themselves transition from a life of war to one in peace. >> it means more to me than the good lord knows. honest to god's truth. >> reporter: they're called team rubicon, the vision of a former marine sniper targeting military vets whose drive for service and community didn't disappear with their fatigues. >> they volunteered to join the military. they volunteered to go to iraq and afghanistan. just because they're home and out of uniform doesn't mean that service isn't any longer important to them. >> service has been especially important this week for homeowners in a town devastated. looking for hope amid utter destruction. >> okay, guys. i know what a bunch of angels
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look like now. >> air force veteran nicole green used her vacation time to rush here. and while they're sweating for different reasons, there's a common bond binding them here. >> this is a personal mission and you're giving back to an organization bigger than yourself, so it's a great bridge. >> while disasters like this hit home closer to rubicon members, but they often happen overseas bridging the gap between catastrophe and the arrival of large-scale relief. they came together for the first time in the earthquake in haiti nearly 15 months ago followed by acts in chile, haiti, africa, and elsewhere. 15 months ago, followed by disaster and humanitarian missions in pakistan and elsewhere. today, the focus was on lifting debris and burden. >> we drive up and there they are, like a miracle. >> reporter: so many can start moving forward. ron mott, nbc news, joplin,
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missouri. >> and for more on the team of dedicated volunteers, we hope if you would like to, you joined the live chat with ron mott on our facebook page tonight. remember, there's more on our website for those looking to contribute to the effort there. for us for now, that's our broadcast for this wednesday evening. thank you, as always, for being here with us. i'm brian williams and we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. we begin with breaking news. i'm garvin tomorrow as. >> i'm jessica aguirre. this area is just west of the oakland zoo. you can see right the now looking live a charred home at 9851 bird street about an hour ago when this fire first broke out. in fact, our chopper was over that fire even before firefighters arrived. this is what it looked


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