tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 20, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
we have cameras for best vufz tvufz -- views of the solar eclipse. don't go out and watch it and risk your eyesight. we leave you with a look at the eclipse there. we'll see you at 6:00. stakes as dozens of world leaders converge on chicago. tonight, thousands take to the streets in protest as the war in afghanistan takes center stage. the lockerbie bomber dies a free man at home in libya, 24 years since pan am 103 exploded over scotland. what family members of his victims arying tonight. a tropical storm churning off the carolina coast, weeks before the start of hurricane season. are we in for a wild summer? spy games. employees stealing prize secrets, costing the u.s. economy billions each year. now the fbi is stepping up the fight. and best week ever?
after a $20 billion payday, mark zuckerberg swaps the hoodie for a tie and a surprise walk down zuckerberg swaps the hoodie for a tie and a surprise walk down the aisle. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. finding a way forward and a way out of afghanistan is chief among the pressing items at the table in chicago this evening, where president obama is hosting the leaders of nato, along with dozens of other heads of state. but there are competing agendas vying to be heard on the streets of chicago tonight whereas anticipated thousands of anti-war and other protesters have marched on the nato summit. and there is late word some of those demonstrations have gotten a bit out of hand. for police trying to keep the peace, it's made for some high anxiety against a backdrop of high stakes diplomacy. we have two reports from chicago
tonight. we begin with nbc's john yang on the streets. john, what's happening? >> reporter: lester, chicago police are slowly and method methodically clearing the last protesters out of here. about 3,000 people marched here. most left peacefully and quietly. a hard core group of a couple hundred remained, some tried to push their way toward the summit site. there's stick swinging on both sides. protesters threw barricades at the police. >> you are engaging in unlawful conduct. >> reporter: now they're sort of calmly and meticulously clearing them out without much more incident. before this, five people were arrested, allegedly planning violent protests this week. one area where the protesters did appear to have an affect is that they hacked the city's website, the city acknowledged
that their website is hacked. the main city website went down. the police department website went down. both are back up and running. lester? >> john yang in chicago. as those clashes continue in the streets tonight, president obama and other world leaders are attending that high stakes meeting inside. discussing the war in afghanistan and international security. our chief white house correspondent chuck todd joins us with the details. chuck, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. as you know, this is actually the second summit in as many days that president obama is hosting. actually, it was a fear of escalated protests as to one of the unstated reasons why they moved the g-8 summit to camp david. nato, they thought, would be a little less violent. of course, the focus here with this meeting of nato nations is on one thing, how to wind down the war in afghanistan. the 60 invited heads of state gathered today to discuss funding and implementing long-term security arrangements
for afghanistan but even before formally opening the summit, the president huddled with hamid karzai. >> we are working with the afghans over the next several years to achieve a complete transition to afghan lead for afghan security. >> afghanistan, indeed, mr. president, as you very accurately put it, is looking forward to an end to this war. >> reporter: it was just three weeks ago that president obama went to afghanistan to sign a new post-war partnership deal with karzai, while also publicly pledging to wind down this war by the end of 2014. the president brought a similar message today. >> that we are on the right track, and what this nato summit reflects is that the world is behind the strategy that we've laid out. >> reporter: at this summit, both president obama and karzai have the same goal. convincing other nato nations afghanistan is ready for this transition and spending money on security and other resources post-2014 is worth it even in
these tough economic times. nato secretary-general rasmussen. >> at the end of the day, it is less expensive to finance the afghan security forces to do the combat than to deploy our own troops. >> reporter: republican criticism of the president's afghanistan plan has been relatively muted. mitt romney's op-ed in today's "chicago tribune" avoided this issue, instead saving criticism for proposed defense cuts. and even the most hawkish of republican senators are optimistic about where afghanistan is headed. >> the afghan security forces are getting better. they're better trained, they're better equipped. >> reporter: well, the one piece of tension at the summit itself, lester, appears to do with pakistan. president zardari is here. president obama is refusing to meet with him. the administration denies that it's because zardari has not agreed to open up the supply lines on the border of pakistan to afghanistan. still, the pakistanis feel a
little bit snubbed, so to make them feel a little bit better, secretary clinton met with them a few hours ago. >> chuck todd, thanks. overseas now. the only person ever convicted of the bombing of pan am flight 103 over scotland died of prostate cancer today at home in libya. abdel al megrahi provoked more outrage when he was released from a scottish prison three years ago on humanitarian grounds. we have more tonight from richard engel. >> reporter: this is what he'll be remembered for, lockerbie, scotland, december, 1988. the debris of pan am flight 103 bound for new york after it exploded mid-air, killing all 270 passengers and crew onboard. 189 americans were on the flight. the man convicted of one of the worst terrorist acts before osama bin laden was abdel basset al megrahi. he was a libyan intelligence agent working for moammar gadhafi.
three scottish judges found megrahi guilty of planting a bomb on the pan am flight. a fragment of its timer was found among the wreckage. allegedly wrapped in megrahi's shirt. megrahi's son said his father was innocent and that he died of cancer at home in tripoli surrounded by friends and family. many libyans claim megrahi was a scapegoat. but u.s. security officials say he was no patsy. he was a terrorist. >> this was a man who was an operative, who worked on behalf of moammar gadhafi, and was absolutely instrumental in the death of 280 people in bombing pan am 103. >> reporter: families of the victims today found some solace in megrahi's passing but not much. >> there'll never be closure for any of us when your loved one is blown out of the air at 31,000 feet. there's some step of justice. the families for 24 years now have been trying to seek the truth.
>> reporter: that truth for many remains unclear. did megrahi act alone? and why was he released at all? a scottish court let megrahi return to libya in 2009 on humanitarian grounds saying he would be dead from cancer in three months. that was three years ago. there were claims megrahi was released to protect british business deals with oil-rich libya. today, british prime minister david cameron reacted to megrahi's death. >> well, of course, i've always been clear that he should never have been released from prison. >> reporter: both the scottish government and the libyan interim council said today megrahi's death does not end the investigation into the bombing of pan am flight 103. richard engel, nbc news, cairo. to italy now, where a deadly earthquake struck early this morning, knocking down a clock tower and crumbling centuries-old buildings in a matter of seconds. the center of the 6.0-quake
struck in the northern part of the country. stephanie gosk is in italy for us tonight. >> reporter: the ground in northern italy started shaking very early in the morning. waking most out of a deep sleep. a 6.0 magnitude quake with an epicenter only three miles below the surface caused a violent tremor. we couldn't stand inside our house, he said. it was brutal. hours later a strong 5.1 magnitude aftershock shook them again. the only safe place was outside. a loudspeaker ordered people not to go indoors. 3,000 were evacuated from homes and hospitals. at least seven people were killed, including three workers on the overnight shift. two in the same ceramics factory. i was looking out the window, this grieving mother says, telling myself, he will show up now. it is the first earthquake to strike this region in hundreds of years.
many of the buildings it destroyed were at least that old. in the medieval village, this building crumbled. three of its four towers were severely damaged. firefighters fought to save the rest. the roof of a cathedral caved in just hours before children were expected to receive first communion. across this rich historical region, irreplaceable churches, castles and bell towers are destroyed. but people are still thankful. a strong earthquake at that time, that close to the surface, could have been far deadlier. the italian prime minister has cut his trip short to the nato summit in chicago. he's returning here to rome tomorrow. lester? >> stephanie gosk in italy for us tonight. thanks. now to the weather here at home. tropical storm alberto churning off the south carolina coast. still a couple of weeks now until the official start of
hurricane season, things are already beginning to pick up. weather channel meteorologist jim cantore is in charleston tonight with the forecast. jim, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. we're here on the east battery where the wind from alberto has whipped up quite a chop out here in the bay. again, the good news is, the storm will continue to weaken and pull offshore, we think, tonight as it heads on off to the northeast. last night ts time we had a strong tropical storm with winds 60 miles per hour. something early obviously that's begun. 130 miles south of charleston, a few rain bands drifting in. rip currents will be the biggest threat. but notice the track taking and keeping it offshore for the memorial day weekend. there aren't going to be any problems with this storm. lester, never before in any year have we seen both the pacific and atlantic have a storm pre-season like this one. either way, though, it doesn't make a match for what is to come this summer. we'll just have to wait and see. back to you. >> jim cantore, thank you. an update on the wildfires burning across seven states.
in arizona, more than 1,000 firefighters are working around the clock to contain the stubborn gladiator fire. high temperatures and low humidity are making things quite difficult. better news in northern colorado, where crews say a fire that forced evacuations has now been nearly contained. scientists are warning that dry, dangerous conditions will get worse as the summer wears on. and take a look at this incredible scene as a tornado crossed a road last night near wichita, kansas. there were 17 reported tornadoes across that state in a matter of hours. no one was hurt, though the twisters did damage several homes and take out trees in their paths. still ahead as "nightly news" continues on this sunday, corporate spies on the payroll. the fbi's new mission to target employees stealing secrets from their own companies. costing the u.s. economy billions. and later, a 28th birthday, $19 billion, and wedded bliss. what's not to like? ht
we're back now with an unusual public awareness campaign by the fbi. it's designed to draw attention to a growing threat, economic espionage. employees acting as spies, stealing trade and government secrets, and agents say it's costing u.s. businesses billions of dollars each year. we get our report tonight from justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: one of the guiding minds behind a u.s. satellite that found evidence of ice on the surface of the moon was stewart nozette, a brilliant government scientist, a man later arrested by the fbi for being a willing spy. at this washington, d.c., hotel, he met with someone he thought was an agent of israel, who
turned out to be an undercover fbi agent and said he was willing to sell u.s. satellite secrets. >> now i've made a career choice. >> reporter: those hotel meetings were caught on tape. >> so i gave you, even in this first run, some of the most classified information that there is. >> reporter: the fbi's lou bladell supervised the investigation for more than two years. >> simply, it was financial. at the end of the day his greed caught up to him, and he was looking for the big payday. it was simply, i'll sell out for money. >> reporter: he pled guilty and sentenced in march to 13 years in prison. the fbi says all across the nation, in big corporations, and small companies, employees are stealing secrets to sell them, often to buyers overseas, a $13 billion loss in the past few years. >> we see the global economic downturn causing nations to realize more than ever that it's cheaper to steal american technology than it is to
research and develop it themselves. >> reporter: mike yu, a ford motor engineer for a decade, was sentenced for almost six years in prison for stealing thousands of design documents and taking them with him to work for a carmaker in china. that's the kind of theft the fbi said is exploding, prompting these billboards now up nationwide intended to raise awareness of economic espionage. among warning signs, the fbi says, the employees who work odd hours without permission, download company materials to take home, and take overseas trips without explanation. >> if you have a job at an american company, there's something at that company that you can't afford to have walk out the door, it's the crown jewel of your company. >> reporter: prized secrets the fbi is trying to help american businesses do a better job of keeping safe. pete williams, nbc news, washington. and we're back in a moment with late word of a death of a pop music icon.
there's late word in from london that former bee gee robin gibb has died. after a long battle with colin and liver cancer. gibb had been in and out of the hospital in recent years and underwent a number of surgeries. he and his brothers formed one of the best-selling groups of all-time, topping the charts with a number of hits in the 1970s, including their contributions to the film "saturday night fever." his brother, maurice, passed away in 2003, and with robin gibb's death their brother barry remains the only surviving member. robin gibb was 62 years old. folks on the west coast are waiting for a spectacular show in the sky. a ring of fire eclipse happens when the moon slides across the sun, blocking all but a halo of light.
early risers in parts of china, taiwan and japan are seeing it around dawn their time. if you're lucky enough to see it, remember, don't look directly at the eclipse because you could damage your eyes. a rite of passage this week for many college students in this college. among them graduating at george washington university. some 5,000 graduating students and their families gathered on the mall in washington. our own brian williams received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement address drawing on this country's achievements in space. >> you don't actually have to build a rocket or go into space. but please take us somewhere, please keep us moving, push us, lift us up, make us better. remember this, as i leave you. again, as of today, you've achieved what i could not. congratulations. god bless. go achieve some more.
[ applause ] >> brian williams today in washington. eight decades after his last major league at-bat, babe ruth is still the king, smacking another home run in the sports memorabilia department. the babe's earliest known yankees jersey still around, sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for more than $4.4 million. that's a new record, surpassing the $4.3 million paid for jay naismith's founding rules of basketball. in case you missed it, it was a dramatic finish at this weekend's preakness stakes in maryland. >> it's bodie meister and i'll have another. i'll have another in a dramatic preakness! here he comes! down to the wire! i'll have another! >> right at the wire, kentucky derby winner i'll have another edged out bodiemeister to win the second leg of horse racing's triple crown, keeping hopes
alive for the first triple crown winner since affirm 34 years ago. seven other horses have won the derby and preakness in the last 15 years then fell short at belmont. we'll see if i'll have another can race his way into the history books saturday, june 9th. that will be carried here on nbc. when we come back, taking stock of mark zuckerberg's big week.
networking empire went public, zuckerberg surprised even his closest friends marrying his longtime girlfriend at their northern california home. but the biggest surprise of all might be what he wore to the wedding. here's nbc's mike taibbi. >> reporter: mark zuckerberg didn't wear a hoodie, just a nice dark suit. the understated event at his palo alto home was still an unconventional surprise. the 100 or so invited guests thought they were going to a party celebrating chan's graduation from medical school. >> it's definitely outside the box. which seems actually pretty characteristic. that's good. that's silicon valley. >> reporter: in silicon valley and beyond, the reaction was monumental. word spread that zuckerberg's relationship status had changed just after 6:00 p.m. pacific time saturday. within three hours of posting
this photo on his own facebook page, over 400,000 friends liked the news. congrats, zuck. big day, big week, one wrote. another simple comment, wow. just the day before he opened facebook's public trading. when the markets closed, the company was worth some $100 billion. amazingly, with the media watching zuckerberg's every move, not one word of the wedding had leaked out. as for priscilla chan, the two met nine years ago when both were harvard undergrads. it was then that zuckerberg -- as portrayed in the hit movie "the social network" >> the facebook -- >> reporter: was deciding how he believed people would interact. in the days before taking his company public, he was saying the same thing. >> i think it ends up being a very clear picture of the important things that happens in a person's life. >> reporter: what a story in the lives of these two people. the 27-year-old bride, whose 28-year-old groom is now the 29th richest person on the face of the earth. one fan wrote, prenup? i'm just saying.
but this is a guy on a roll like no other. all smiles. and why not? mike tiabbi, nbc news, los angeles. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news, new york. for all of us here at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com