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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  August 14, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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computer proves he made p up elements of a personal services contract. legal arguments are scheduled to be heard in court wednesday. if you remember the legal battle over the creation of facebook was the focus of the film "the social network." thanks for watching nbc bay area news at 5:00. good night. at ive dead and dozens more injured after a mighty wind brings a concert stage down in the middle of a huge crowd. out of the race. tim pawlenty quits his run for the white house. but look who finished first. where does the gop race go from here? market madness. after last week's stomach churning ride on wall street, what can we expect when the opening bell rings tomorrow? plus, one of many american towns that jobs are passing by. and making a difference. some heavy hitters pitch in to keep kids on the path to success.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. we begin tonight with that horrible tragedy at the indiana state fair that turned an outdoor concert arena into a death trap. it happened last evening in indianapolis. the cell phone video was agonizing to watch because there it's plain there is simply no time to escape when a strong and sudden gust of wind first shakes the stage and then collapses it on to the crowd of concertgoers. tonight at least five people are dead, dozens are injured, and there are questions about how officials reacted to warnings of dangerous weather headed their way. nbc's ron mott is at the fairgrounds in indianapolis for us tonight. ron? >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. this is one of the most popular state fairs in the country. this grandstand behind me was filled with people. there were even more people on the ground around that stage
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when the unthinkable happened. minutes after an announcer told the crowd severe weather was possible, it was reality. a wind gust estimated between 60 and 70 miles an hour hit the stage, sending overhead rigging crashing down on concertgoers. >> i was scared. >> reporter: chris brenneman lost sight of his son and wife in the chaos. >> i don't know. we was in the stands. a big gust of wind game. the stage blew over. i took off down there to see what i could do to help. orter: ominous looking clouds hovered in the sky as people raced to lift the twisted wreckage of metal, cables and lighting off those who were trapped underneath. some were carried from the scene. folding tables game gurneys. >> individual hoosiers ran to the trouble, not from the trouble. by the hundreds. offering their, in many cases their own professional skills.
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>> reporter: the dead included a 23-year-old recent college grad who dreamed of teaching. a 51-year-old technician who was on the rigging manning a spotlight. and a 29-year-old community worker. >> it happened so fast. it just came down and i saw people running. and people -- the next thing you know, you look back and there's people underneath the stage trying to get out. >> reporter: fair officials were closely monitoring the fast approaching storm. contacting the national weather service at least four times. a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for the area three hours before the collapse. upgraded to a warning just ten minutes before. the concert announcer relaying that warning to the crowd. some took cover right away. but many stayed behind. >> two hours out, we saw the storm pull away. the national weather service issued that warning indicating the potential for wind gusts in excess of 60 miles an hour. unfortunately it's impossible to say exactly where the strongest gust will hit. >> reporter: the band sugarland was preparing to take the stage. the band canceled a performance tonight in iowa and issued a
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statement on twitter, writing "we are praying for our fans and the people of indianapolis". officials have been on scene here all day investigating what went wrong. the fair was closed today. it is scheduled to reopen tomorrow beginning with a public prayer service, lester. >> ron mott in indianapolis, ron, thank you. the last 24 hours have brought some big changes to the field of republican presidential challengers, including the campaign season's first casualty. as ex-minnesota governor tim pawlenty exits the race following a poor showing in yesterday's iowa straw poll, fellow minnesotan, congresswoman michele bachmann has now cemented her place among the top tier of contenders, while also being forced to contend with a newcomer. nbc's kelly o'donnell reports from des moines. >> reporter: for governor tim pawlenty, it's over. after a disappointing third place at the ames straw poll. >> i wish it would have been different. but obviously the pathway forward for me doesn't really exist. so we're going to end the campaign. >> reporter: beginning his own
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white house run, texas governor rick perry phoned pawlenty. >> i told him, i said dadgum it, i was looking forward to getting out there and jousting with you. he said i would have kicked your tail, too. >> reporter: the 61-year-old former air force pilot is the longest serving governor texas has ever had. a christian conservative who often speaks of faith in public. >> i'm going to bless the meal real quick, all right? father, thank you for the day and we think you for all the blessings. bless us all and in your name and ask for wisdom and grace in this country. all right. >> reporter: perry's campaign bus arrived in iowa before he did. tonight he kicks off a three-day iowa tour, speaking in michele bachmann's childhood home, waterloo. both pawlenty's exit and perry's launch consumed oxygen that
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would have gone to the straw poll's actual winner, congresswoman michele bachmann, who appeared on "meet the press." >> we see this as a first step in a very long race. >> reporter: a close second in the straw poll, texas congressman ron paul who claims grassroots strength. paul and national front-runner mitt romney did not hold events today. bachmann and perry will both speak at the same republican dinner tonight. bachmann told david gregory, she welcomes the competition. >> he'll run his campaign. we'll run ours. but we really look forward to that and what i'm really looking forward to more than anything is taking on barack obama as a republican nominee. >> reporter: all the other campaigns are now anxious to get tim pawlenty's donors, supporters, volunteers and even staff. there'll be a must-do tradition tomorrow right here at the iowa state fair, lester, when governor rick perry gets his first stais of this place as a candidate.
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>> kelly, thank you. president barack obama will also roll through iowa. he's about to begin a three-day tour by bus of three midwestern states, iowa, illinois and minnesota. this trip comes as his approval rating dropped below 40% today in a gallup tracking poll. >> reporter: the president gearing up for a three-day campaignlike bus tour through key swing states in the midwest. the focus, jobs and the economy. >> i want everybody to understand here, the problem is not that we don't have answers. the problem is, is that folks are playing political games. >> reporter: this after a summer that cast a dark shadow over his presidency. including a bruising fight over the debt ceiling, the recent downgrade of the u.s. credit rating, and an unemployment rate stuck above 9%. the president tried to tap into america's frustration in his weekly address. >> you've got a right to be frustrated. i know i am. because you deserve better.
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>> reporter: he'll likely strike a similar tone when he hits the road through the rural midwest. the trip kicks off monday with stops many in minnesota, then on to iowa and finally his home state, illinois. in 2008 mr. obama handily won the three states. now his approval rating has dropped in each. >> he still has widespread support. if anyone is in trouble, it's the republican party. >> reporter: the trip will also be a counteroffensive to a weekend in which the gop had the spotlight and the president was the target. >> you have just sent a message to barack obama, who'll be a one-term president. >> the fact is for nearly three years president obama has been downgrading american jobs, he's been downgrading our standing in the world. >> reporter: even members of the president's own party criticizing him for, as they say, not showing enough leadership. >> i think the american people want to see the president fight. >> reporter: now, another sign
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that 2012 is heating up, the president and new gop candidate rick perry will both be in iowa on tuesday. then later in the week, president obama heads to martha's vineyard for a family vacation, despite calls for him to cancel that trip to deal with the economy. lester? >> all right, kristen welker, thank you. john harwood is chief correspondent for cnbc. he joins us tonight from president obama's first stop, cannon falls, minnesota. let's first talk about the vacation that comes up after the bus trip. john, republican candidates are united in the belief that the economy and debt issues make this president especially vulnerable. is this a good time for him to be vacationing in a place at least perceived as a playground for the elite? could this blow back on him? >> reporter: republicans will try very hard to make it blow back just like democrats will hit the republican congress for taking the entire month of august off. but i think, lester, average voters here in cannon falls and places like it see that as political games. what they want is washington to do something about the weak economy. the white house and congress will get a chance to do that
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when they come back in september. >> let's talk about the republicans. is tim pawlenty's exit from this race further strengthen michele bachmann or does it perhaps give newcomer rick perry some more maneuvering room? >> reporter: it's an opening for rick perry. what makes governor perry so dangerous to other republicans in this primary race is that he can attract the red hot support from the base that michele bachmann can, but he can also get the establishment support that michele bachmann can't. there's a little bit more of that establishment support that's up for grabs right now, lester, then there was before tim pawlenty got out. >> john harwood, good to talk to you. thank you. overseas tonight, there are far more questions than answers tonight about yesterday's kidnapping of a u.s. citizen living in pakistan. there's been no ransom demand, no claim of responsibility. nothing. nbc's ian williams reports from lahore, pakistan, on what we do know tonight. >> reporter: police have been interrogating the guards at the house from which warren weinstein was grabbed by gunmen
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in the early hours of saturday morning. but so far, appear to have few leads. weinstein, a development expert, was due to leave pakistan monday after seven years as country director for j.e. austin, a development contractor. and reportedly planned to return to the united states where he has a home in rockville, maryland. yet weinstein was hardly known to neighborhoods in the upscale model town area of lahore. >> translator: he never used to see his neighborhoods. even when our ball would go into his lawn while playing cricket, his guards used to return the ballment we never saw him outside his house. >> reporter: police refused to discuss a motive in a country where anti-american tensions are at an all-time high after the killing of osama bin laden. past abductions have involved both al qaeda-linked militants and criminal gangs looking for payoffs. >> his chances of survival really depend on who kidnapped him. if it is a criminal intent, it's a high likelihood he will be able to survive and it's just a ransom demand.
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if it's a militant group certainly it could be far more serious. >> reporter: police said eight kidnappers forced their way into the house as the guards ate a traditional predawn meal at 3:30 a.m. one official said kidnappers wore western-style shirts and trousers and hit weinstein on the head with a pistol to subdue him before taking him away. the large house has two gates and walls around six feet high. only last monday washington revised the travel warning for americans in pakistan. a warning underlined by the apparent ease with which the kidnappers overcame weinstein's security guards. the u.s. state department says it is working with the pakistani authorities in the investigation. ian williams, nbc news, lahore, pakistan. there's more ahead on "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. fasten your seat belt. it could be another bumpy week for your 401(k). later, making a difference for kids this summer with reading, writing and -- batting.
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some more stormy weather to tell you about here in new york city. it's been a miserable rainy day and a record-setting one as well. we set a new all-time record, daily record for rain. more than 7 inches by 2:00 this afternoon at kennedy airport. and it is still falling out there. in ohio, a 94-year-old woman woke up to find a huge blimp draped over the picnic table in her backyard. the blip landed there after high winds tore it from its moorings at a nearby airport. stargazers around the world have been staying up late this week to catch a spectacular light show. the annual perseid meteor shower. in case you missed it, here are
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some of the best images from a clark in california to central europe, even some shots taken from the famous stonehenge. despite some competition from a full moon the perseid did not disappoint. back here on the ground we could be in for another rough ride on the financial markets this week as investors keep an eye on what's going on overseas and here at home. last week, of course, was a wild week of swings. for the first time ever, the dow moved more than 400 points up or down four days in a row. so what should we know about the week ahead? cnbc's michelle caruso-cabrera joins us from cnbc global headquarters. michelle, what are the monday overseas market openings telling us so far. >> well, lester, 45 minutes ago new zealand opened slightly higher. looks like australia is going to open higher in about 15 minutes. gold is lower. u.s. futures are higher. right now it suggests that at least for now the markets are calmer than they were last week. still, there are a lot of key events coming up next week which could roil the markets. >> and so many concerns about europe.
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i understand european union officials are going to get together earlier in the week. how might that affect the markets? >> angela merkel, the leader of germany is meeting with the leader of france, nicolas sarkozy in paris. the state of the european union right now, the situation is very grave. there's discussions about whether or not they should kick out greece, the weakest member of the euro. that would be akin to us talking about kicking out one of the states in the u.s. and telling them they couldn't use the dollar anymore. what we expect to hear on tuesday is something from germany, the strongest country in europe, about whether or not they're willing to do anything to help out their weaker members and strengthen the entire union. the markets really want to see something along those lines, lester. >> michelle caruso-cabrera at cnbc, thank you. a reminder to our viewers that cnbc's special coverage of the turmoil in the markets begins tonight at aircraft:00 eastern time. when we come back, the financial turmoil hitting home. my look at one of the many
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american towns where the people want jobs, but the jobs keep passing them by.
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while the wild stock market gyrations of the last few weeks have many asking whether there might be a double-dip recession, others in places like millen, georgia, are in many ways still living through the first one. when the town's factories one by one started closing town, it created a ripple effect of lost jobs and shattered dreams. but as we'll show you later tonight in a special "dateline" hour, it also tested millen's resolve to fight back. >> we've worked hard. i kind of felt like we deserved everything that we had. >> reporter: before the economic crisis, crystal chance's life had everything. a great family. a popular restaurant. and a beautiful home. >> you build your dream home. that's part of the american dream. you know, you work hard to do right. you save your money. you have good credit. you build your house. that's what you're supposed to
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do. >> reporter: then the great recession hit her hometown of millen, georgia, like a ferocious southern tornado. in the span of two years, all the factories that had kept millen running closed shop or moved overseas. 1,300 people lost their jobs. including crystal's husband. with no money to spend, crystal's loyal customers stopped coming to eat. and she had to close her restaurant. >> that was probably one of the worst times in my life. i would come out to the back steps and just sit and think. what is the next thing that we need to do? and we really didn't know. >> reporter: like so many others, crystal and her husband found themselves stuck with a house they couldn't sell and a mortgage they couldn't afford. suddenly, there was no money left for basic essentials like health insurance. when both of crystal's daughters had medical emergencies, she had no choice but to apply for medicaid.
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>> we've never had to ask for help. we've never had to ask for help. and we had to ask for help. and that was hard. >> reporter: when crystal tells me her story, i almost get this sense of shame and this sense of it only happened to me. >> it's happening to families like crystal's all across america. and this job crisis has become a health care crisis. because as people lose their jobs, they're also losing their health insurance. 17 million middle-class families are on medicaid. >> reporter: to make ends meet, crystal started a t-shirt business. things started to look up when her husband found another job. and when a corrections company started to build a prison in town and promised hundreds of new jobs to millen, crystal thought there may be hope ahead for her town and for her restaurant. >> i just wanted everything to be like it was. i wanted to come back to the restaurant and -- and have -- have life. >> reporter: when you opened this door again, was there a sense of failure is not an option?
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>> it's not. i realize that this is -- this is it. this is my last chance, right here. >> more on what happened for crystal and other families in millen, georgia, in our "dateline" special, "america now: the town that jobs forgot." it airs tonight right after this broadcast here on nbc. up next for us tonight, making a difference. giving kids a chance to see what they can really do on the field and off.
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summer is nearly over and this past friday was a last day for a special summer camp right here in new york city. in a neighborhood where many kids might otherwise spend their summer on the streets. nbc's alex witt has our making a difference report about the camp that turned summer into a whole new ball game. >> reporter: every day these boys and girls of summer make their way to through the rough streets of east harlem to their own field of dreams. they're part of harlem rbi. a free six-week camp for hundreds of elementary through high school-age kids in new york city. before taking the field each day -- >> we're going to have some people share their stories with
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us. >> reporter: -- these teams warm up with a few hours of reading and writing. 9-year-old micah lambert isn't just a star catcher. she's determined to go to college. and the extra time in the classroom keeps her from getting rusty during her summer vacation. >> they make it really, really really fun. >> rich started as a volunteer. now he's the director. >> our biggest challenge is making sure they understand this is a safe, supportive environment. >> reporter: here in east harlem there's a 50% high school dropout rate. for the kids who join harlem rbi middle school, 90% of them will graduate and go on to college. like 20-year-old coach terrance reyes who credits harlem rbi with helping him cope with the murder of his best friend and teammate. do you think you'd be in college if you hadn't been at harlem rbi? >> very truthfully, no, i don't. >> reporter: new york yankees first baseman mark teixeira donated $1 million.
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but the golden glover does more than write checks. >> who's the short stop here? >> reporter: he's involved in fundraising, strategy. even throwing out the first pitch at this year's playoffs. >> we get these kids young. at 5 or 6 years old they can come into the program and we can actually see them grow. >> reporter: as for micah, she can hardly wait until next season. >> the year after that and the year after that and the year after that and the year after that. and after that. >> reporter: a field of dreams. providing an oasis from the streets, where every kid can be safe at home. alex witt, nbc news, new york. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be back here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you back in just a few moments with tonight's special "dateline" hour. in the meantime, for all of us here at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com

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