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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  July 2, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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about the big burg ever. >> 2500 quarter pounder's worth. that's a big burger. it's going to weigh-in at over 700 pounds. they had to make a special contraption to flip it. >> how do theyno k ifwey it's done? >> he could go on all day. parts of the country sizzle as the battle rages to contain a monster wildfire. blown away. a terrifying moment caught on tape, and tonight, the remarkable outcome. and the princess bride. on her big day in monaco, following in the footsteps of the legendary grace kelly. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. we've learned more today about why the legal case against the former head of the international monetary fund, dominique strauss-kahn, may be falling apart. strauss-kahn was released from house arrest yesterday after prosecutors raised serious questions about the hotel maid who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a new york city hotel suite. nbc's ron allen is in lower manhattan tonight. >> reporter: good evening, kate. strauss-kahn still faces some serious charges of sexual assault, but it's almost as if his accuser is the one standing trial now in the court of public opinion, in the headlines every day, as more new negative allegations arise about her, her past and her story. many legal experts are now saying that it will be very difficult for prosecutors to convict the former imf chief of any kind of crime. no longer under house arrest, dominique strauss-kahn and his wife left the luxury townhouse where he had been confined with
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no word about their destination. friday after leaving court free on a promise to return and with a $6 million bail and bond back in his pocket, strauss-kahn dined at this exclusive manhattan restaurant, reportedly running up a $700 tab. while today, new details about what led prosecutors to question the accuser's story. sources close to the investigation had already revealed she telephoned an alleged drug dealer after the incident to talk about how to profit. now, "the new york times" reports that person was her boyfriend in an anthony a jail and she says words to the effect of "don't worry, this guy has a lot of money. i know what i'm doing," a conversation prosecutors reportedly just translated days ago from the woman's native african dialect. >> if these allegations are true, it seems that this case is so compromised, the only thing that the d.a.'s office should do is dismiss the indictment and get rid of the case.
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>> it is a fact that the victim here made some mistakes, but that doesn't mean she's not a rape victim. >> reporter: however, observers say the prosecutor's very public admissions that she's untruthful makes her a very difficult alleged victim to put on a witness stand. >> rape cases, people will say unconsciously and consciously in their head whether or not they believe the person and they do take into consideration people's reputations, their backgrounds. >> reporter: a letter prosecutors sent to the court also reveals the woman now says she did not report the incident to a supervisor immediately but instead proceeded to clean a nearby room and then strauss-kahn's room as well. they say she admits filing false tax returns and misrepresenting her income to continue living in public housing. and there's this. prosecutors say the woman told them an emotional story about being a victim of gang rape in her home country. and later admitted that never occurred.
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legal experts say it is still possible for rape victims with dubious pasts to find justice in the criminal courts, but in this case it's very unlikely she is willing to accept any plea deal. and it seems he seems to have the resources, the money and the determination to fight hard to clear his name. >> ron allen, thank you. in the southwest, this is no holiday weekend for firefighters in new mexico, who are battling the largest wildfire in that state's history. officials say the town of los alamos and its nuclear weapons lab are safe now, but thousands of people remain evacuated. we get the latest tonight from nbc's charles hadlock. >> reporter: as firefighters try to keep the flames at bay with controlled burns, the runaway fire continues to consume trees and brush in the rugged mountains above the town of los alamos. the fire has blackened more than 113,000 acres, but it's moving away from town and the nearby
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los alamos nuclear laboratory. good news, according to fire chief doug tucker, but not good enough. >> we're kind of between a rock and a hard place, because we're trying to repopulate, but we don't want to put people in danger. >> reporter: los alamos looks like a ghost town. most of the 12,000 residents have evacuated and officials want to keep them away for now, for fear the winds could suddenly shift and push the fire closer. the los alamos nuclear lab will remain closed until workers can return home. the lab director, though, says the emergency has subsided. >> we've now assessed the risk of the laboratory to be lower and so we're able to change the status down based on that assessment. >> reporter: new mexico is a hot, dry tinderbox where dozens of fires have burned nearly 1 million acres. the governor says fourth of july fireworks are out of the question. >> do not use your fireworks in in your neighborhoods. can you imagine a neighborhood, a home catching fire because a
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bottle rocket flew up onto someone's rooftop? >> reporter: in residents of los alamos can return home soon to a fire-free town, that would be celebration enough. charles hadlock, nbc news, los alamos, new mexico. and there's plenty of brutal heat beyond the fire zone this weekend. the weather channel's samantha moore is tracking today's dangerous temperatures. it is hot out there, samantha. >> it sure is, kate, and you know, millions of people are going to be affected by above-average temperatures this holiday weekend, and we have to remember heat is the number one weather related killer. we have to take it seriously, and high pressure is the reason why it is building in strong all across the west here. temperatures running up around the one-teens in the deserts. 106 in phoenix, it's going to cool down on the fourth, can you believe that at 106? this ridge extends all the way to the eastern seaboard, where temperatures on sunday will be in the triple digits in dallas
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and oklahoma city, shreveport and this is after weeks of this. they got a little break for a couple of days but now, the heat is back and will continue to hang on as we head into our fourth of july, so we have to stay well hydrated. remember the kids and our older neighbors, they're really affected by the heat and high pressure is the reason for the heat. we have jet stream running across the top of that ridge. it's going to steer a cold front in over the course of this weekend. it's going to bring in the threat of some severe weather, so we have to remember, too, most lightning fatalities happen, kate, as people are heading to safety, so get there sooner than you want to. >> samantha mohr, thank you. in georgia today, a big protest against a new law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants. officials estimated that between 8,000 and 14,000 people gathered in downtown atlanta to voice their opposition to that law. among other things, it makes it a felony to use false information on documents when applying far job. in minnesota, this was day
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two of a government shutdown and for many people looking for an escape this weekend, the reality was inescapable. everything from a state zoo, to parks and campgrounds,s restops, all closed. the shutdown came after the democratic governor mark dayton and republican leaders failed to come to an agreement. in washington, the threat of a much larger federal shutdown and what the white house describes as a potential financial catastrophe looms tonight. the issue, raising the country's debt ceiling and if the two sides can't agree, the government will run out of money one month from now. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house house tonight, mike? >> reporter: the stakes could not be higher and tonight, there is no sign of an agreement on cutting this nation's debt and deficit. this morning in the president's weekly address he lashed out once again at republicans for their refusal to raise taxes or end tax breaks, and today republicans responding, hitting
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the president on his record on the economy and saying that any deal to avert that government default cannot raise taxes of any kind on anyone. and kate, there is one glimmer of hope tonight, an indication of just how urgent and serious this situation is becoming here in washington, the senate foregoing their week long july 4th recess. they were supposed to be on a break here all next week. they're going to be back here working, working next week, as that government default looms just one month from today. kate? >> mike viqueira at the white house to the. a strong response from the administration today on libya after gadhafi threatened to attack civilians in europe unless nato end its air strikes. secretary of state hillary clinton traveling in spain said instead of threats, gadhafi should put the well-being of his observe people first and give up power. to the duke and dutch us of cambridge in canada, where william and kate are in quebec tonight.
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the latest stop on an 11-day tour of north america that will bring them to this country next week. n nbc's peter alexander is in montreal tonight. peter? >> reporter: kate, good evening to you. get this. before it's all said and done today, william and kate will have spent barely six hours here in montreal, canada's second largest city, before they head up the st. lawrence river, to their next stop, and you might say today the urkts k's future king and queen officially put down roots here in canada. even in a glamorous gray dress and heels, kate wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty as the newlyweds planted a ceremonial tree in ottawa, a symbol of their love. joining the royals more than a dozen couples celebrating 50 and 60 years together, all married on april 29th, the same day as william and kate. and in an exchange reminiscent of william's mother, princess diana, the young couple comforted a cancer patient, who would later say their kindness had given them a tremendous lift.
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william and kate attended another ceremony at the canadian war museum, visiting veterans and their families, but in many ways, this weekend's stop in quebec with its small separatist movement, may prove the ultimate test of the couple's charm. just two years ago, demonstrators greeted prince charles with violent protests. so far this trip, no problems. many observers say canada is in enjoying the royal renaissance. >> the monarchy is able to reconnect in canada because of william and kate. there's the interest in this beautiful young girl almost like the jackie o. of this generation and with prince william, you have the diana factor. >> reporter: that was clear outside this children's hospital in montreal. why do you want to be here? >> because it's so exciting. i love kate middleton because of her fashion. >> we grew up with the monarchy. they still mean a lot to us. >> reporter: this 11-day north american visit, a honeymoon tour, it's been dubbed, has been carefully choreographed to ease kate into her new royal duties, with plenty of quiet time set aside.
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>> on one occasion, they were lent a log cabin by the prime minister of canada and prince william rode his new bride across a stunning lake and they spent four hours alone together. >> reporter: by late afternoon william and kate finally arrived at the hospital, meeting inside with young patients and out front, giving those devoted admirers an unforgettable royal memory. and now, the countdown is officially on until william and kate arrive in california. that's scheduled to happen next friday. it's just three days that they will be there on tap, a brief visit with the governor, jerry brown, who will welcome them, as well as a black tie gala and hollywood of course and kate, we will see you there when they have a charity polo match. as well. >> yes, we'll see you out there, thanks, peter alexander. when we come back, the jury prepares to get the case in the closely watched murder trial of casey anthony. also ahead, being watched. how and why the government is following unsuspecting drivers. is it an invasion of privacy? and later, royal wedding.
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the son of the late princess grace marries in monaco.
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one of the most closely followed murder cases in years goes into its final phase in florida tomorrow. closing arguments in the trial of casey anthony, who is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter. nbc's kerry sanders reports from orlando. >> reporter: for 33 days in an orlando courtroom, casey anthony has cried, remained stoic, at
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moments, even smiled and laughed, as 61 witnesses for the prosecution and 49 for the defense detailed what they believe happened to 2-year-old caylee anthony. prosecutors believe she murdered her 2-year-old daughter caylee so she could live the life of a party girl, and she didn't reveal caylee was missing for more than a month. >> asking you to return a verdict that reflects the truth >> reporter: but the defense says caylee's death was a horrible accident. >> she never was missing. caylee anthony died june 16th 2008 when she drowned in her family's swimming pool. >> reporter: during the trial, that when caylee's skeletal remains were found, duct tape covered her nose and mouth. >> there is no child that should have duct tape on its face when it dies. there is no reason to put duct tape on the face after they die.
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>> reporter: the case put casey's mother, cindy, and father, george in an awkward position, emotionally testifying for both the state and the defense. at one point, cindy appeared to provide a cover story for her daughter, only to have the state friday produce work records showing that story just could not be true. friday, the defense offered a glimpse of its closing argument. >> there has yet to be any evidence in this case as to how this child died, which is the state's burden, not ours, where she died, which is the state's burden, not ours, when she died, same burden, and who may have been in attendance with her or not. >> reporter: but the judge says he'll leave it up to the jury to determine what has or has not been proven. former u.s. attorney kendall coffey. >> i don't think this is going to be an immediate verdict because there's still some puzzling features about the case. maybe the biggest puzzle of all is casey anthony. she doesn't look like a killer, but she lies like a criminal,
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and to figure out this case, the jury may still be trying to figure out who is casey anthony. >> reporter: closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow after which the jury will begin its deliberations. kerry sanders, nbc news, orlando. when we come back, for one man, the remarkable outcome after a potentially devastating explosion.
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there was quite a scene in thailand earlier this tweak. a member of the bomb squad all geared up was inspecting a suspicious car in a no parking zone and then tried to open the car's door, and then -- a bomb in the car exploded, blowing the
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officer almost 30 feet away. here it is again from another camera angle. amazingly, the officer was able to get up within moments and walk away, with only minor injuries, saved by his protective clothing. no one claimed responsibility for the bombing. back in this country, the supreme court agreed this week to take up a controversial issue involving privacy. it's a challenge to the growing police practice of secretly installing gps tracking devices in the cars of unsuspecting drivers. nbc's justice correspondent pete williams has more tonight. >> reporter: this california college student remembers exactly where it was found, hidden under his car. >> right over here. >> reporter: at first, yass yasser afifi, a u.s. citizen born here, didn't know what it was. two parts, maybe an antenna, stuck to his car with magnets found by a mechanic. when a friend blogged about the discovery, it became an internet sensation.
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two days later afifi says he was stopped by an fbi agent. >> then he goes "did you find anything under your car?" and i said him "did you put anything under there?" and he answered "yeah, we put it there." >> reporter: so afifi gave it back but he's suing the government. his lawyer calls it a frightening invasion of privacy and says the fbi should have to get a search warrant first. which it didn't do. >> it's really important because it ensures there are no civil right abuses and they're not just searching individuals with very little suspicion or none at all. >> reporter: the fbi won't say why it was tracking afifi but current and former agents say using a tracking device does not amount to a search because a car is driven on a public street where there's no expectation of privacy and where it can easily be followed. >> i believe this gps tracker device is no more intrusive than a physical surveillance on foot or a vehicle. >> reporter: most federal courts agree with the fbi, but some
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judges say when the devices are used for a long time around the clock, they reveal so much detail it amounts to an invasion of privacy, an illegal search. now, the justices have agreed to decide whether secretly installing and using a gps tracking device amounts to the same thing as putting agents in a car and tailing someone the old-fashioned way. pete williams nbc news at the supreme court. at wimbledon, an upset in the women's finals. spoiler alert. 21-year-old we tre kvitor sa won her first grand slam title, beating maria sharapova in straight sets. you can watch the men's final, nadal versus djokovic tomorrow morning. and when we come back, here comes the bride walking in the footsteps of none other than grace kelly.
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he was one of the world's most eligible bachelors for a while, but no longer. tonight, prince albert of monaco is a married man. his bride, a south african olympic swimmer at one time. it was a multi-million dollar affair in true riviera style, but was there something missing? nbc's michelle kosinski is there. >> reporter: it could be described as supremely beautiful. in the heart of the palace, 3,500 guests, crowned heads of europe, fashion king carl lagerfeld, fashion kings,
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supermodels, even james bond, roger moore, and charlene wittstock wowed them all, walking slowly in her sleek armain gown that took 2,500 hours to make. she was simply, simply radiant beside her groom, prince albert. with one word. >> wi. >> reporter: it was complete. but a strange thing for the world to wonder on a royal wedding day, is this joyful for them? is it real happiness, real love? for the couple that seems to barely look at each other or touch in public? amid all the press reports that after an argument last week, charlene made a run for the airport, and that allegedly another woman is claiming to have a child out of wedlock with the prince, something the palace vehemently denies. it was like a sigh of relief to see this happen in spectacular fashion.
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the first time in 30 years, they have a reigning princess. there remains a love affair here with one american, princess grace, who married in 1956 and died tragically in 1982. in this magical square mile, packed with billionaires yachts and glamour, she charmed them. but her three children have all had turbulent lives. prince albert is known for his lively bachelorhood, and the two children he eventually acknowledged. inevitably, charlene reminds monaco of grace and they compare her. her french isn't perfect. she told a magazine last year she only had two friends here. no, charlene did not run away and is officially her severe highness. and is her serene highness. monaco has its princess, albert has his bride. the fairy tale is now theirs alone to make come true. michelle kosinski, nbc news, monaco.
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>> and that is "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm kate snow reporting from new york. for lester holt and everyone here at nbc news, thanks for watching it. have a great holiday weekend. good night. -- captions by vitac -- good evening, everyone. thank you very much for joining us.


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