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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  April 12, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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on our broadcast tonight, fighting words. the comment about ann romney that has blown up into a political storm. day in court. george zimmerman now charged with second degree murder. what's next for him and what trayvon martin's family is telling nbc news tonight. going the distance. the growing number of americans with an unbelievable daily commute. and building a dream out of cardboard boxes. what happened next is beyond this little boy's wildest imagination. "nightly news" begins now. good evening. on one level, it's one of those
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distractions that have been so numerous during this campaign season, except this is more than that. a democratic operative named hillary rosen was appearing as she often does on cable news for an unofficial surrogate for the obama campaign and democrats in general. then she uttered the words that blew up upon impact. she said among other things, ann romney hasn't worked a day in her life. right there, it rekindled a debate about american women working at home and outside the home. by the end of the day, the president, vice president, and first lady had weighed in. rosen apologized, and an issue that wasn't an issue yesterday is a big one today. we begin our coverage tonight with nbc's andrea mitchell in washington. >> only 24 hours ago, mitt romney was surrounding himself by women and has always leaned heavily on his wife, ann. trying to narrow a gender gap that has become a virtual canyon
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during the contentious primaries. then romney was handed a political gift wrapped up in a bright pink bow when a prominent democratic strategist and cnn commentator not working for the white house argued that ann romney cannot relate to actual women. >> his wife has never worked a day in her life. she's never dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future? >> with lightning speed, her remarks about stay-at-home moms exploded on twitter. the romney campaign called it a kill ann strategy. obama adviser david axelrod tweeted, also disappointed in hillary rosen's comments about ann romney. they were inappropriate and offensive. the first lady who worked part time while raising her girls until the 2008 campaign tweeted every mother works hard and every woman deserves to be respected.
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and ann romney wrote her first tweet, i made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. believe me, it was hard work. mrs. romney also went on fox. >> my career choice was to be a mother. and i think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. other women make other choices, to have a career and raise a family, which i think hillary rosen has done herself. the president said there was no tougher job than to be a mom. >> i watched michelle, who for most of her career had juggled work and family, but there were times where she was on maternity leave, and i promise you, that's work. so i think this was an ill-advised statement by somebody on television. it's not something that i subscribe to. and moreover, my general rule is you don't talk about the spouses of elected officials. >> in the middle of the fire storm, late today, hillary rosen apologized for her choice of words. >> mrs. romney, i applaud your
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decision to stay home and raise what are obviously five wonderful boys. this is not about stay-at-home moms versus working moms. i think your husband needs to stand up for women's economic struggles and so far, we have not seen how he's going to to that on the campaign trail. >> rosen also called the spat a distraction to avoid mitt romney's real record, but she has clearly touched a nerve, reigniting a debate that has raged as long as there have been women and work, both in and outside the home. brian. >> andrea mitchell to start us off tonight. thanks. >> as we said, this is likely not a one-day story, and it's certainly not just a washington story. as nbc's chris jansing found out today, this one prompted talk all over. >> maria smith is a suburban atlanta stay at home mom of three with a fourth on the way. she considers herself a liberal. but was shocked when she heard hillary rosen's comments. >> i felt offended, i felt mad,
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i felt like this is someone i thought was on my side but actually really didn't understand me. >> today, she discovered she wasn't the only one with a visceral reaction. >> i have talked about this today at preschool pickup, at the playground talking to some moms about it. i was surprised at how many people picked up the story. >> a story that started as a political discussion has revived a different conversation, decades old, hitting an apparently still raw nerve about a woman's place. leslie has worked at women's magazines for 25 years and now editor of "more." >> welcome to the mommy wars version 2012. i bet you every single woman on the train, my train home tonight is going to be talking about this. somebody threw one little match in the pile there, and the whole thing ignited. >> that's clear from impassioned posts on the comment sections of news and women's websites like our own ivillage. >> women are not a monolithic interest group.
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>> kelly wallace is chief correspondent for ivillage and a working mom. >> this debate totally resonates. i think about this issue all the time because i, of course, feel conflict like i think so many other women when i hear my little ones running around at the playground and i'm not there. i think, wow, i wish i could be there. it doesn't get any more emotional, i think, that the mommy wars. >> on the huffington post, a columnist suggested for the election, the hillary rosen kerfuffle means absolutely nothing, but for women, it's giving new life to an unsettled and unsettling debate. chris jansing, nbc news, new york. >> we got the first look today at george zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer now charged with second degree murder for killing trayvon martin. zimmerman made a brief appearance in court today in sanford, florida. kerry sanders is standing by for us there tonight. good evening. >> good evening, brian. george zimmerman will spend another night in jail here.
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his lawyer didn't even request a bond hearing today. instead, he requested and was granted a judicial seal on almost all of the public records, but for the probable cause affidavit. >> will be soon here, i understand. >> wearing a jail issued blue jump suit, his hands cuffed, george zimmerman walked into the courtroom in sanford florida, flanked by his new defense attorney who entered a not guilty plea. the 28-year-old listened as the charge was read into the court report. zimmerman was in the courtroom for less than three minutes. a routine hearing that would not normally be attended by the prosecutor, but today, angela corey was there. in a document outlining probable cause, state attorney investigators who examined the case concluded trayvon martin, a 17-year-old african-american, was profiled by george zimmerman and that zimmerman confronted martin and a struggle ensued, and then there's that hard to understand muttering in george zimmerman's call to police. >> this guy looks like he's up
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to no good or he's on drugs or something. >> the affidavit also referred to two statements zimmerman made in phone calls to police, quoting him as saying these -- they always get away. and these -- punks. and that scream heard on one of the 911 calls -- >> so you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> the affidavit says trayvon martin's mother listened to the call and she identified the voice crying for help as trayvon martin's voice. >> some of the evidence to establish probable cause. >> zimmerman's second degree murder case has been assigned to circuit judge jessica recksiedler, a former prosecutor and mother of two. >> this judge was assigned randomly, just luck of the draw, that brought her into what will be the biggest case of her career. >> earlier on the "today" show, trayvon martin's parents said they were relieved zimmerman had finally been arrested, but then sabrina fulton described her son's death as an accident.
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>> i believe it was an accident. i believe it just got out of control, and he couldn't turn the clock back. >> later, she told nbc's lester holt the accident was their chance encounter that night. >> do you think mr. zimmerman meant to kill trayvon? >> yes, when he got out of the vehicle, his intentions was to shoot and kill. on the tape, it says they always get away. so he wanted to make sure that this one didn't get away. >> defense attorney mark o'mara. >> not guilty plea was entered. we have an arraignment set for the 29th. we'll attend to a bond motion between now and then and tell you when it's set for. >> defense attorney mark o'mara said that while george zimmerman did shoot and kill trayvon martin, he is not guilty of a crime. brian. >> kerry sanders, sanford, florida, tonight. thanks. and once again, our chief legal correspondent savannah guthrie is here with us in the studio. when you hear a woman like trayvon martin's mother who isn't a media pro, a civilian
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thrust into this, not looking for it, use the word, it was an accident, does it have a legal bearing even though she chose to correct it later? >> not really. it doesn't have legal significance, but it was interesting because what prosecutors allege is much more, an intentional killing. obviously, she walked back the statement, but what a mom theorizes about a case one way or another, has no relevance in a court of law. >> and documents are going to come out regularly. did we learn anything new factually today? >> we learned a few things. remember last night on "rock center" we talked about how prosecutors have to establish a state of mind, a depraved mind, intent, evil intent, ill will, spite, hatred. we see facts established in the affidavit. prosecutors will argue that zimmerman assumed martin was a criminal when he saw him, he profiled martin, those are the words the prosecutor used, he used disparaging words with the 911 dispatcher, curse words, and said they always get away. these are some of the facts that the prosecutors obviously think
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are relevant to establish that state of mind. >> savannah, thank you, once again for being with us. savannah guthrie. >> word arrived here tonight after being threatened and told not to, north korea went ahead with the controversial launch of their long range rocket tonight. but that's when the story got more complicated. nbc's richard engle is with us now from the north korean capital of pyongyang. >> there are reports that this rocket launch has failed. that would be consistent with what we have seen here. more than 100 journalists were brought in by the government. we were here expecting to see the launch. instead, the government didn't tell us anything, which is somewhat suspicious. someone suggesting there may be a coverup in place. there are reports coming from abroad that the rocket was launched, that it didn't succeed, the may have been a failure, and the north korean government is trying to keep
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this from its people. we heard some marshal music playing, some rockets, we heard some fighter jets flying in the air. but not the official announcement that we were expecting. all of this suggesting that the rocket went off but didn't go off as the government was expecting. brian? >> richard engle from pyongyang, and indeed, reports are arriving in this country and to nbc news, official confirmation that that rocket launch indeed failed and broke off after takeoff. still ahead as we continue tonight, the long way home. the growing number of supercommuters who cover huge distances to hang on to a home and job. and later it could be said if this story out of los angeles doesn't make you smile, nothing will. a little boy with a big imagination and a success story that started with a cardboard box.
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at a time when so many americans are living with job and economic insecurity and as falling home values have made it difficult if not impossible to move, there's been a big uptick in people willing or forced to travel extreme distances to go to work. there's even a name for them, supercommuters, and their numbers are decidedly on the rise. janet shamlian has our report from houston. >> the day starts early in this
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houston carpenter shop. but no one in the warehouse serving the md anderson cancer center has had an earlier wake-up call than their maintenance manager rodney beseda. he leaves his house at 4:15 a.m. because his daily drive to work one way is 95 miles. >> the first five minutes can be very difficult. i'm like, oh, my gosh, how am i going to do this? >> but he does. 3:30 behind the wheel a day. 1,000 a week on his car, and monthly, $450 for gas. >> worm with a hook. >> the father of four who travels from fayetteville, texas, is a supercommuter, one of a growing number of americans who live in one city and work in another. >> the enormous increase in supercommuters is due to the willingness of americans to travel huge distances to keep a job, hold a job, and get a job but not at the price of making their families move with them.
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>> mitchell moss, the author of the census based study which found extreme commutes on the rise in eight of the nation's ten largest metropolitan areas, even as gas prices climb. sometimes, the trip to work is measured not in gallons of gas but in airline miles. southwest runs two dozen flights like this one between houston and dallas every day. many are filled with passengers who use it almost like a city bus service, to get to and from their jobs. rackspace now provides its own wi-fi enables bus for workers who commute 80 miles between austin and san antonio. >> paying for the commute on the surface looks crazy, but we can tell you it makes absolute business sense. >> for workers, supercommuting makes more financial sense than trying to sell their home in a tough economy. for rodney, the motivation is simple. his family lives here. he has a life here. >> at the end of the day, family is what matters most. >> the long road, no longer less traveled, as workers go to
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distance for a paycheck. janet shamlian, nbc news, houston. up next, the toy that scared a lot of people today, and the big change reconfirmed just today about the american family.
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never in my lifetime did i think i could walk 60 miles in 3 days. if my mom can fight and beat breast cancer, i can walk 60 miles. (woman) the fund-raising was the easiest part.
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people were very giving. complete strangers wanting to help. i knew someday i was gonna do this walk. if i can do this, you definitely can do this. we can do this. we can all do this together. (man) register today for the... and receive $25 off your registration fee. because everyone deserves a lifetime. re and receive $25 off your registration fee. you know those cute and lighthearted novelties in places like the office mail room that have a toy grenade and a sign that says, "complaint department, take a number"? that's what led to this. just across the street from ground zero in the financial center which by the way was damaged on 9/11, somebody confused a fake grenade with a real one today, and the building was evacuated and the bomb squad was called until they traced the whole thing back to that complaint department. we learned today that unmarried couples living together are having children at a much higher rate than in the past, nearly double the number from just ten years ago, and up
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more than 300% from back in 1985. works out to this, 1 in 4 babies now being born to parents who live together aren't married. the cdc compiled the stats. they didn't offer any reasons why marriage has gone by the wayside for so many more of these new parents these days. there were lights in the skies last night over at least four states. a lot of people witnessed the same meteor. there it is, across parts of illinois, wisconsin, michigan, and iowa. most people saw a green tint with a white tail, but due to atmospherics, others saw blue, yellow, red. it appears to have taken 10 to 12 seconds to span the horizon. one astronomy website was lit up with 170 separate sightings. and a freak of nature only texas can supply. in amarillo, yesterday, a huge, violent thunderstorm produced as much as four feet of hail.
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piles of it, enough to look like a major snowfall and do this. a sudden deluge of ice from above caused flash floods as well, and later on, a kind of spooky fog that rose up from all of that melting ice on an otherwise warm day. up next here tonight, a 9-year-old boy who can teach a very important lesson to a lot of folks much older.
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finally tonight, we have a great story out of los angeles. east l.a., to be precise. it's about a 9-year-old boy, a cardboard dream, and finally, a first customer who changed everything for him. the story tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> on the tough streets of east l.a., tucked between a junk yard and an auto repair shop is a little boy's dream. >> i started with a basketball net that i glued to a box and it kept getting bigger. >> over a long summer, 9-year-old cain mun roy, an arcade enthusiast, set up shop in his dad's shop. >> i got tokens. >> to keep busy, he turned scraps of cardboard and tape into cain's arcade.
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>> he's got a big imagination. he dreams big. >> there was just one problem, for weeks and weeks and weeks, no customers, no one to play. >> his dad told me i was his first and only customer. >> filmmaker nirvan mullick was looking for a car part. instead, he found inspiration. >> when you score a point, he would crawl into the box and he pulls out these little tickets out of the side of the cardboard. >> like real arcade games, tickets come from the bottom. >> i was like, this kid is a genius. >> mullick turned cane's story into a ten-minute web video. all it needed was a happy ending. >> we hashed a plan to invite everybody in l.a. to come play cain's arcade. >> word spread on the web and cameras were there when a little boy's dream -- >> what's going on over here? >> -- came to life. >> we finally got some customers here. >> we came to play! we came to play! >> cain's arcade went viral. kids loved it. >> man, i don't know what to say.
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you're just famous. >> and grownups didn't just watch. they gave. $100,000 donated to a college fund for cain. >> what do you want to be when you grow up? >> someone who invents games. >> someone that invents games. you already did that, huh? pretty good at it? >> yeah. >> one little boy's summer project. now inspiring countless others to think outside the box. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. >> that's our broadcast for this thursday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. and we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
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good evening, everyone. thank you very much for joining us. >> well, more rain is moving into the bay area at this hour, but it's not just rain and wind, thunderstorms are also a concern tonight. let's get right to meteorologist rob mayeda tracking all the developments in the nbc bay area weather center. rob. >> right now we are actually watching three severe thunderstorm warnings just off to the east oe

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