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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  August 16, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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on our broadcast tonight talking taxes. under intense pressure mitt romney talks about what he has paid. also tonight our revealing conversation with his wife ann romney who also talks tax returns before getting more personal and talking about the diagnosis that led to the fight of her life. health alert. what they're telling us is a new warning for every baby boomer in this country. now why the feds are saying you need to get testedor a dangerous disease. new weapons in the fight against dozens of wildfires burning out of control. for some neighborhoods it's not a matter of if sadly but when they will be consumed. making a difference. we showed you the rescue. tonight chelsea clinton has good news and a followup report. who is the lucky powerball winner? who is the lucky powerball winner? "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. it is a topic that won't go away. in the hands of the democrats, it has dogged mitt romney from the start and may follow him all the way to the finish of this campaign. after a successful life in business and a private life of great wealth, mitt romney in public life has been unwilling to go public with his tax returns beyond the past two years. it came up again today as did the broader policy discussion that now team romney is running on and we begin here tonight with nbc's ron mott on the campaign trail in the critical state of ohio tonight. ron, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you. today mitt romney broke out a dry erase board in trying to explain his plan for the future of medicare which has become a front and center topic in this campaign. but questions about his taxes and those tax returns just keep on coming. mitt romney's tax burden trailed
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him to south carolina today prompting yet another response to allegations he paid little to no taxes over the past decade. >> if you go back and look at my taxes and over the past ten years i never paid less than 13%. i think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. so i pay taxes every single year. >> reporter: in a recent interview with brian williams romney said he was not going to provide more than the 2010 tax return he's already released and an estimated return for 2011. tonight in an interview on "rock center" ann romney defended her husband. >> we have been very transparent to what's legally required of us, but the more we release the more we get attacked. >> they want to turn medicare into a voucher program. >> reporter: in the wake of criticism from the president and democrats about paul ryan's medicare plan, romney went back to the drawing board at an impromptu news weekend with reporters today to define his plan. >> my plan presents no change.
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>> reporter: the ryan plan and the president's affordable care act both trim medicare by more than $700 billion, a point of contention surely to be debated from now until november, a battle ryan welcomes. >> this election presents so many clear contrasts. one of those contrasts is this. mitt romney and i will protect and strengthen medicare, leave it intact for our current seniors, and save it for the next generation. >> reporter: ryan also delved into the china trade issue attacking the president for refusing to act against what many consider that country's currency manipulation. >> president obama promised he would stop these practices. he said he'd go to the mat with china. instead, they're treating him like a door mat. >> reporter: now, paul ryan has crisscrossed america this week visiting battleground states he and governor romney hope to win in november. tomorrow he is back in virginia and on saturday, brian, florida. ron mott starting us off in ohio tonight. ron, thanks. from the world of presidential politics, today our
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country quietly reached and passed a new threshold. as of today according to the analysis of our own nbc news political unit, spending on 2012 presidential radio and tv ads has now surpassed the $500 million mark with $37 million spent just this week so far the grand total is now $512 million. that's about as much as was spent in the entire '08 campaign and it's not even labor day yet. by and large this money goes to tv stations and networks but we thought we'd take a look at what else that much money could buy. for starters, $500 million could feed 9.2 million malnourished children for 50 days. it could immunize 29 million children for life. it could provide clean water for 500 million children for 40 days. and it could buy 166 million
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anti-malarial mosquito bed nets, two for every person in the democratic republic of the congo. instead, it's buying television commercials and the real general election campaign hasn't really even started yet. there is grim news tonight from afghanistan where 84,000 american men and women remain on the job tonight serving in a war that has gone on over a decade. a black hawk helicopter went down today during a fire fight. among the dead, seven americans. it has been an especially deadly stretch there. it averages out to the death of one american for every day so far this year. our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski on duty tonight is with us now. jim, good evening. >> reporter: brian, that black hawk went down during a special operations mission and a firefight on the ground below. the taliban has claimed responsibility and some u.s. officials believe it was shot down by the enemy. the helicopter went down in kandahar province in southern afghanistan. all seven americans aboard were
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killed, including two navy seals. four afghan forces onboard were also killed. the black hawk had landed to drop off reinforcements for american ground forces locked in a fierce battle with the taliban. u.s. officials say shortly after take off it appears the helicopter was struck by enemy fire and destroyed in a devastating crash. so far this year, 236 americans have been killed in afghanistan. 2,088 since the start of the war nearly 11 years ago. earlier this week defense secretary leon panetta asked the american people not to forget u.s. forces are still fighting and dying in afghanistan, america's longest war, brian. >> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon for us tonight. thanks, jim. now to the wildfires burning across the american west. there are at least 70 major fires now in 13 states west of the mississippi, a result of course of our record hot, dry summer. nbc's kristen dahlgren is in
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central washington, ellensburg, where some people have lost everything. >> reporter: this was terry and virginia's home. >> that was our kitchen and this is our living room. >> reporter: forced to evacuate on their wedding anniversary, by the time they got back their marriage was one of the few things they had left. >> daunting to think about starting over? >> well, we didn't have insurance, so that was not a good thing. >> reporter: down the road their neighbor mary schultz is sifting through her broken memories. >> those are mom's and those are grandma's bowls. >> reporter: her house was saved in the nick of time and somehow the horses she was forced to leave behind in the rush to evacuate survived. >> my pony was right here. you can see the fire just ate into his pen. >> reporter: there are miracles here. this house surrounded by flames tuesday still standing today. but some 70 homeowners were not
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as lucky. today as temperatures soared to near record levels, the fire moved farther in to dense, dry forest. >> i think we'll probably see temperatures in the 90s in most locations tomorrow. >> reporter: it's the story across the region in idaho the battle is just as desperate. >> right now we have 18 fires. we lost a firefighter up in northern idaho this last week. and so every one of those become very personal. >> reporter: it's close to home in california, too, in riverside county marine choppers join the fight. for now it's working and firefighters expect to have this blaze fully contained by saturday but that is just one success in a season turning into a worst case scenario across the west. take a look and you can see another one of those miracles out here but if you take a little bit of a wider view, you get another look at how devastating this fire is. one firefighter was treated for
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minor burns today and crews say this is really the time of day that they worry about when the winds and the heat pick up. this fire is only one-quarter contained. >> what an incredible sight. we can't emphasize enough for some folks this fire season is just getting started. kristen dahlgren in washington state, thanks. we mentioned at the top of the broadcast this health warning tonight for an entire american generation. it comes from the feds. it's targeted at the millions of baby boomers in this country. it's a story we've been following here regularly. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman here with us in the studio with the very latest. what is this about? >> reporter: today the government came out and very emphatically said that all baby boomers, regardless of their risk, anybody in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, anybody born between 45 to 65 needs to get the test. the government basically today recommends that everyone step up to the plate and no one be exempted. it's estimated that 2 million
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baby boomers, one in 30, is infected with hepatitis c and probably doesn't know it so the test is a one-time blood test added to the medical checklist. the cdc expects the one-time testing will identify more than 800,000 additional cases of hepatitis c. that means this is a real health concern. there are treatments on the market that can take care of hepatitis c and that's important because it causes liver cancer, liver failure, the need for transplants, and while there are medications on the market there is a new one on the way in pill form. this is a genuine wakeup call. anyone born between 1945 and 1965. >> important story. glad to get it out. thank you for being here with us. millions of people went to bed dreaming of it last night and today that giant powerball jackpot dream is a reality for one very lucky person in michigan. nbc's kevin tibbles went out today on the trail of thatig
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winner. >> reporter: on the trail of the newest powerball multi-millionaire in lapeer, michigan about an hour's drive north of detroit. >> reporter: are you the lucky winner? >> no. you have to buy a ticket to win. >> no i'm not the winner. >> you'd be the last person i'd call. >> reporter: come on. it may not be them but chances are someone in this town of 9,000 is $337 million richer making them a very lucky lapeerite. >> one of our local car dealers had this is lovely lapeer and we might have to change it to lucky lapeer. >> reporter: the ticket was bought here at the local sunoco but the buyer remains anonymous. you look like a winner to me. >> i feel like i am but that's it. >> reporter: michigan lottery law says the winner must come forward though they have a year and at the book sale outside the public library they've got their fingers crossed. >> if i win i'd give it to charity.
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>> the people who live here getting calls from all over the world. are you the winner? >> are you the winner? >> no. >> reporter: here in lucky lapeer folks are just hoping the powerball power player stays in town to give the economy a much needed shot in the arm. kevin tibbles, nbc news, lapeer, michigan. still ahead for us along the way on a thursday night more of our conversation with ann romney getting deeply personal about what gets her through the really tough moments and the day she received what was for her a life-changing diagnosis. our making a difference report tonight, an amazing turn around in a rescue we first told you about last night.
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we are back as promised with part of our exclusive conversation with the woman who hopes very much to become the next first lady, the personal side of ann romney we don't very often get to see. the full interview airs tonight on "rock center." here now a portion of what she
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told nbc's natalie morales about making it through the harder moments. >> reporter: like the cold country of southern wales shrouded in low clouds and mist i found how ann romney's well-to-do image has obscured her inner toughness, a grit that might rival her coal mining forebearers. those family traits, both toughness and ambition, were very evident when i sat down with mrs. romney and we talked about her role in the campaign. sounds like you counsel mitt a lot in many ways. >> i feel like we are partners, true partners in every sense. i don't think he could do it without me. i don't believe he could. i couldn't obviously be here without him either. >> reporter: for her, that partnership is about more than just politics. >> we have a reason why we're running and it's because i believe in my heart that mitt is going to save america. that economically we are in such difficult times and that he is
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the person that's going to pull us through this. and it's propelled me through the negative criticism and i am stalwart and steadfast and positive and confident that still to this day mitt is the person that is going to save america and he is going to get us back ontrack. >> reporter: she talked about the day she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. in 1998 at age 49 mrs. romney began to feel numbness in her right leg and eventually went to see a neurologist. >> he did the testing which is, you know, don't look, can you tell where i'm moving your toe? and, no. i don't know. can you feel this? no. can't feel that. stand up. and then close your eyes and turn. i couldn't -- i was too, you know, i would lose my balance and that's when i started to cry. it's like, wait a minute. i'm failing every test he is giving me. and mitt is sitting there and you can see his eyes cloud over and it was at that point was like this isn't good.
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you know. this isn't good. >> reporter: she was given aggressive treatments of intravenous steroids for a year and her ms went into remission. but there is no cure. today the symptoms come and go. of course one of the triggers for ms and flareups is constant stress in your life so nothing like a good old campaign to add to the stress. have you had any flareups? >> i have. just a little bitty one. but enough to give me a real scare. >> again, the interview airs tonight with ann romney on "rock center" at 10:00, 9:00 central on this nbc station. we are back in a moment with a huge home coming celebration for one member of the fierce five. the young women gymnasts on team usa.
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life imitating art just off cape cod where some tuna fishermen came across a big shark and shot video of it.
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now experts say it sure looks like it was a great white they found there looking for food. about three miles off the coast of bonstable which means you can cue the theme music from "jaws." elsewhere in the bay state aly raisman of team usa one of the fierce five, our women's gymnastics team, returned home to a huge hero's welcome, a big crowd turned out at her home gym. a lot of kids sporting t-shirts with her face on them for her to sign when she got there. she won a gold medal in the floor exercise, bronze on the balance beam. now embarks on a 40-city tour with her teammates. the primary partners in ikea have announced plans to open 100 budget hotels across europe. we should note they won't bear the ikea brand name. they'll likely be run by an established hotel operator. no plans as of yet for an american branch. most of these will be in places like the uk, netherlands, and poland, and contrary to myth guests will not have to assemble
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the bed before sleeping in it. well, the news broke 35 years ago tonight and millions of americans didn't believe it then and some still don't. the bulletin read "elvis presley has died." thousands of fans gathered outside graceland in memphis last night to mark the anniversary. they got quite a surprise for their wait. a joint appearance by presley's ex-wife priscilla and his daughter lisa marie. at his funeral, 35 years ago, elvis got a send-off fit for a king, truly. last year the presley estate earned $55 million. that's more than john lennon, george harrison, jimmy hendricks, and marilyn monroe combined. we're back in a moment with tonight's "making a difference" report. last night we showed you the rescue. tonight the remarkable conclusion of the story.
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time now for tonight's "making a difference" report continuing last night's story on the efforts to save african elephants illegally hunted to feed a growing ivory trade in asia. nbc's chelsea clinton continues her reporting on those making a difference rescuing some young and innocent orphans.
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>> reporter: these toddlers are just like kids everywhere. they're curious about the world around them, they love fooling around in the bath, rough housing with a buddy, and fall asleep before the lights go out. but above all else, these elephant babies crave a mother's nurturing. like 900-pound belmani left motherless by ivory poachers. he and 21 other young elephants have been given a temporary home by conservationist daphne sheldrick. >> raising an elephant you have to replace the family with a human family. >> reporter: 30 years ago she set up the world's only elephant orphanage in nairobi, kenya. that human family, the keepers, watch over their wards around the clock. >> they learn to love the keepers and recognize them for life. >> reporter: these orphans have lost their natural herds so the keeper teaches them to socialize, helps them teeth, and sleeps alongside them all night long.
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just like with human babies the day revolves around meal time. when super sized meals are served every three hours, about 25 quarts of milk per day per baby. and sometimes even that is not enough. daphne discovered that hanging blankets comfort the lonely babies. >> the trunk has to feel comfortable like it's against the body of a mother. and it has to be a special blanket too. not any blanket. they'll get fussy about the blanket, fussy about the bottle, fussy about the keeper. when they get big like this they learn to hold the bottle themselves and then they down it any which way. >> reporter: just as important is forging bonds. teaching the animals to trust again takes time. >> they've seen the most terrible things. they've probably seen their mother slaughtered, maybe their whole herd slaughtered. we just have to talk to them gently, nurture them, get them to love you, and then all of that disappears.
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>> reporter: no matter how young, elephants never forget all they've been through. daphne sheldrick has spent a lifetime giving her orphans something better to remember. >> i often think the elephants have been put on earth to try and teach us humans a bit about caring, a bit about empathy, a bit about gentleness. >> chelsea clinton is here with us in the studio. you were saying off camera earlier other folks in this same line of work trying to save them are using her model. >> absolutely. she developed the first formula that we saw the elephants drinking so much of enthusiastically. she developed the understanding that putting orphan elephants next to a blanket reminded them of their mother's warmth. and that's now being used from sri lanka to next door in uganda, around the world. >> i envy you the trip and being able to report the story. thank you as always for being here with us. that is our broadcast on a thursday night. thank you for being with us. we'll be back on the air of course tonight for "rock center" at 10:00, 9:00 central. i'm brian williams. of course we hope you'll join us
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back here tomorrow evening. of course we hope you'll join us back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- good evening. everyone. >> a stapdoff is under way in unincorporated redwood city between sheriff's deputies and a man suspected in a series of armed robberies. it's at third and williams avenue. it's on the border of redwood city. cheryl is there. how has this unfolded? what is happening right now? >> reporter: jessica, about 45 minutes ago, county sheriffs moved us back about a block so they can bring in the bomb squad and the sheriff's department. why? as you said, police believed arm


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