tv NBC Nightly News NBC April 4, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
missile to a launch facility on its eastern coast, believed to be this facility. it appears to be a musudan missile like this one, not capable of carrying a nuclear warhead but with a range of about 2,000 miles, easily within reach of south korea and japan. the move could signal an imminent test-firing. the u.s. sending an anti-ballistic missile system like this one to guam could try to shoot it down. missiles aren't north korea's only threat. it has the world's fourth largest army, one million active troops, thousands of tanks and artillery, most of it within 90 miles of the south korean border. in south korea where military exercises with the u.s. continue, there is no panic. the streets are as crowded as ever.
south koreans have been watching the north for a long time and have some advice for americans now being threatened with nuclear war. be prepared, they say. but don't be overly concerned. north korea wants the attention. it wants to be feared. >> if that's what north korea wants us to be -- to be scared and then afraid, then we won't give in to that. >> reporter: the threat to the u.s. may be limited but washington isn't ignoring it, especially now that military hardware is on the move. kim jong un apparently feels if the united states fears him he'll be immune from foreign invasion and more secure at home. brian? >> richard engel live for us once again tonight from seoul, south korea. richard, thanks. again, it is hard to believe we have to talk about what a u.s. military response against north korea would look like, especially though in the event of a missile launch they are, as you might imagine, watching this closely at the pentagon. that's where jim miklaszewski is on duty for us tonight. jim, good evening. >> good evening, brian.
u.s. officials stressed tonight there is no sign that north korea is preparing for all out war. nevertheless, the u.s. and south korean militaries are prepared for the worst. two u.s. guided missile destroyers are already in position to shoot down any ballistic missiles launched by north korea. defense secretary chuck hagel warned this week that north korea's threats of a nuclear attack cannot be ignored. >> we take those threats seriously. we have to take those threats seriously. >> reporter: in the unlikelihood of all out war, u.s. cruise missiles, american bombers, and south korean war planes would launch air strikes. north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile facilities would be prime targets. any ground war would be devastating. 700,000 north korean soldiers are dug in along the demilitarized zone manning thousands of rockets and long-range artillery aimed at the south. 20 million south koreans in and
around seoul are in the crosshairs, well within range. a former u.s. commander in korea, retired general walter sharp fears massive numbers of civilians could be massacred. >> we have great plans to take that artillery down quickly, but it's not fool-proof. there will be thousands and thousands of deaths. >> reporter: sharp is confident, however that even north korea's unpredictable leader recognizes the ultimate cost of all out war. >> we have to hope that kim jong un -- and i believe this -- understands that if he were to do an all out attack south his regime would be over. >> reporter: u.s. military officials still fear there could be a miscalculation, a deadly skirmish between north korean and south korean troops and only hope it can be contained and that it stops there, brian. >> still such a crazy idea to so many looking on that we are talking like this at all. but the planning goes on at the pentagon. jim miklaszewski, thanks. in connecticut today, nearly
z four months after 20 children and six adults were murdered by a gunman at sandy hook elementary, governor dan malloy signed one of the strictest gun control laws in the country. it will now limit the size of gun magazines to ten rounds each. it expands the state's assault weapons ban and requires universal background checks for all gun sales. in texas thousands of people attended a public memorial service this afternoon for kaufman county district attorney mike mclelland and his wife cynthia who were shot to death in their home outside dallas saturday. there have been no arrests or suspects named in this case. authorities are offering a $200,000 reward now for information that leads to an arrest. more fallout from the firing of rutgers men's basketball coach mike rice tonight after those videos of him abusing players surfaced earlier this week. rice's assistant jimmy martelli has also resigned after video of him surfaced showing him shoving a player.
we learned rice is entitled to a $100,000 bonus that he would not have been eligible for if he had been removed back in december when the tapes were first reviewed by the school. in fargo, north dakota tonight they have asked all folks with free time to help out in a big effort to fill millions of sandbags to head off what they fear is coming. that's a devastating flood. nbc's kevin tibbles is with us from fargo tonight. kevin, good evening. >> reporter: brian, it's become a rite of spring, albeit an unwelcome one, as folks in fargo are once again bracing for the red river to overflow its banks. they simply call it sandbag central. >> this is a part of life in fargo. >> reporter: here every spring hundreds of school kids and volunteers spend countless back-breaking hours. >> you have fun making the sandbags because you can talk to
your friends. >> to help out the community is good. >> reporter: this contraption is the spider. it doubles and redoubles the number of sandbags that can be filled. this year's goal, one million. they've got to work fast. while winter has stuck around, a lot of snow and ice has to melt. fargo fully expects to endure another year of high water on the red river. many worry it could rival 2009's record of almost 41 feet that cost the city some $50 million in damages. >> the water is coming faster, higher and obviously more frequent now we have had including this year four and five years and that's a lot. >> reporter: debate is heated over whether a water diversion should be built to take the red river's overflow around and away from the city. further north in canada, a diversion built in the '60s prevents the red from flooding the city of winnipeg. for fargo, this $2 billion project is still years away. for the foreseeable future they will continue to come together
each spring, something that makes fargo mayor dennis walaker proud. >> it almost brings tears to your eyes to see the kids out there laughing. they've got a great feeling of being involved in the community. >> reporter: stephen grassall from deer river, minnesota, is visiting fargo, but he, too, decided to roll up his sleeves. >> i think it is an american thing. volunteerism is not dead, they say. here is a good example. >> reporter: most estimates suggest the red will reach flood stage in about ten days. while people here will come together and will try to hold it back, a lot of folks tonight are saying, brian, they are getting tired of it all. >> kevin tibbles updating us on the situation in fargo, north dakota, tonight. kevin, thanks. roger ebert once said, "i believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization." hear, hear, roger ebert. he also told us when watching movies our emotions will never lie to us. there was genuine emotion today
upon word that roger ebert had died. last night right here we were talking about him taking time off of film reviewing because of a recurrence of the cancer that he fought so bravely and so publically for so long. tonight from chicago nbc's john yang has a look back. >> i'm roger ebert of "the chicago sun times." >> reporter: he was a movie critic as famous as the movie stars he reviewed. a sought out voice on award show red carpets. >> i think it's going to win. i think it is the best movie of the year. >> reporter: roger ebert has a star on hollywood's walk of fame and was the first film critic to win a pulitzer. >> thumbs up for me. >> reporter: but it's his thumb that made him a household name. the trademark review system developed with long time co-host gene siskel. they worked for rival newspapers.
siskel for "the chicago tribune" and ebert for "the chicago sun times." their on-air sparks came naturally. >> do you believe that a movie needs to be fair in order to be good or does it need to be accurate in order to be good? >> reporter: their relationship was the source of endless fascination. >> the question was do you like or hate each other and i said, both. roger said -- >> neither. >> reporter: when siskel died of a brain tumor in 1999, ebert called him the brother he never had. >> for 24 years we were on television together. for more than 40 years we fought it out on our newspaper jobs. there was a lot of competition, a lot of rivalry but also respect and friendship. >> reporter: for ebert, movies weren't just his career. they were his passion. >> an asian-american character has the right to be whoever the hell they want to be. >> reporter: in 1985 he told jane pauley on "today" his tastes were not highbrow. >> i like a western if it's bad enough. i like it if it's good enough. i don't like the in-between movies. >> reporter: he wrote the screen play for the 1970 movie "beyond the valley of the dolls" initially dismissed as schlock
it has since gained cult status. >> this is my happening and it freaks me out. >> reporter: a prolonged battle with cancer drastically changed his appearance and robbed him of the ability to talk. he relied on a computer to be his voice. >> i was always extroverted. now i am forced to live more within my mind. >> reporter: but the words never stopped. largely through social media. >> it breaks through the silence i have been condemned to. it gives me a voice. not this computer speaking voice so much as a voice in print. >> reporter: a voice he used to spread his love of film to fans everywhere. john yang, nbc news, chicago. >> roger ebert gone tonight at the age of 70. when we continue here this evening, the disconcerting story we have discovered about the invasion under way of u.s. banks and how they are being hit from overseas including just today. and later, today's solemn anniversary. millions of americans remember
back now as promised with our nbc news investigation tonight into a sustained series of attacks into this nation's online banking system. it started last fall. it has escalated month after month. the most recent attack came today against wells fargo. the questions, of course, who's responsible, what does it mean for the safety of americans' bank accounts? we get some answers tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: the attacks have been relentless. week after week the nation's biggest banks' online sites -- among them citibank, chase, wells fargo, bank of america -- paralyzed by hackers. customers who tried to log in are often unable to connect. nbc news computer technology correspondent bob sullivan.
>> this is a major assault on the u.s. financial industry. it's on going. it's been going on for seven months. no one has seen anything like it before. >> reporter: in the last six weeks the 15 largest u.s. banks have been off line for a total of 249 hours. >> as recently as monday we saw a big attack. >> reporter: outside of san francisco, keynote monitoring added up the waves of cyber attacks for nbc news. >> the attacks not only appear to be increasing in frequency but also in the complexity of how -- or the sophistication of how the attacks are occurring. >> reporter: who is behind it? for months a group calling itself al-qassam cyber fighters has named banks it says it's targeting, claiming it's in retaliation for the now famous youtube video that mocks islam. security experts believe the attacks are too sophisticated and evolving for a single group to pull off. >> the speculation is that it's the iranians. there is definitely evidence that it would take a nation state to launch this kind of attack. >> reporter: intelligence sources believe iran could be responsible, noting the attacks began soon after it was hit with tighter international banking sanctions for its nuclear program.
iran though denies it's responsible. so far, america's banks say no account holder has lost money. they insist customers don't need to take extra precautions to protect their accounts. >> the attackers are very determined. we're determined, too. we're determined to stop these attacks and work in unison to stop these attacks. >> reporter: america's banks appear to be caught in the crosshairs of a new cold war fought in cyberspace. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we'll take another a break tonight. when we come back, what most americans now say should be legalized.
if i may be permitted to question my own witness in my own way. >> i would like you to get to the point. >> i am -- >> i believe i have the right to ask the witness a direct question. >> the great irish actor milo o'shea once said he wanted to be remembered as more than just the irishman with the eyebrows. when word of his death arrived today we thought of the superb irish actor with those wonderful
eyebrows. his performance in "the verdict" with paul newman left an indelible mark. he appeared in a slew of tv series like "the west wing." he was twice nominated for a tony. born to two performer parents in dublin, he got off to a rough start here in the states and had to take a job as an elevator operator at the waldorf astoria hotel here in new york. he broke out with a great performance in "ulysses." the great milo o'shea died of alzheimer's complications. he was 86. if you look at the new polling data a lot of americans seem to be saying they want to cohabitate and smoke weed. two things first. the cdc says women especially -- close to half of them -- have chosen cohabitation before marriage or in lieu of marriage. now the latest pugh research poll shows a huge sea change. now 52% of those polled over half of all americans now think marijuana should be legalized. that's a first.
it's up 11 points in two years. back in 1969 for perspective, close to 90% of people were against it. the royal family members looked like action figures today starting with spirited ping-pong. while kate middleton was wearing heels -- and that's not recommended -- she made a game of it. her husband, the heir to the throne was shunned by a young girl in the crowd who ruined what might have been a tender moment for the future dad. and not to be outdone, the queen was given an honorary bafta award -- those are the british oscars -- for her role as, quote, the most memorable bond girl yet for her walk-on or her parachute jump at the opening of the london olympics. when we come back tonight ann curry with the men who fought for a dream and continued to fight after that awful day in memphis.
memphis. he was there, after all, to support striking sanitation workers. tonight ann curry has the story of two who were there. >> reporter: memphis, the spring of 1968. 1300 sanitation workers on strike against unsafe working conditions. the reverend martin luther king, jr., standing with them. >> memphis has gotten by for a long time with numerous injustices where black people are concerned. >> reporter: king's own advisers urged him to skip memphis, fearing violence. and there was. alvin turner, now 79, was there. >> he took that billy club, and he popped me right there. >> reporter: cleo smith, 70, was too. >> people getting beaten, fire extinguishers turned on them. >> reporter: turner says the job paid just 70 cents an hour,
but that wasn't the worst of it. >> i had been treated like a boy for so long. boy, get over there and do that. i was proud to wear that sign. i'm a man. >> reporter: the message was, i'm nobody's boy. >> i'm nobody's boy. >> reporter: i'm a man. >> i'm a man. >> reporter: a man, thinking about his children. >> i had to fight to try to make a better community for those little girls. >> reporter: they faced overwhelming odds. >> there was a little steel voice in me kept saying hold on, it was going to get better. >> reporter: they were both here when dr. king gave his last speech. >> because i've been to the mountaintop. >> he went on to say that i might not get there with you. >> but i want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. >> reporter: the next day, dr. king was killed. martin luther king, iii, on the balcony where his father died,
remembers coming to memphis with his mother. >> emotionally it's challenging because, you know, again i was 10 years old. >> reporter: days later the strike was settled in the sanitation workers' favor. you're still working as a sanitation worker? >> still working, yes. enjoying every minute of it. >> reporter: alvin turner, now retired, still has his scar. >> every once in a while, i'll feel it. i look at my kids. i feel that it was worth it. >> reporter: his four children now grown, all college educated. his dream fulfilled. ann curry, nbc news, memphis. that's our broadcast on this thursday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we'll look for you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
police are still looking for the shooter and have yet to come up with a motive. and they're also looking for any leads in this case. also new tonight at 6:00. stunning abuse accusations at an antioch elementary school. kindergarten-age children's families have filed lawsuitsi, s saying their children have suffered abuse from the teachers. more from antioch, where the families are seeking justice.
we'll get to the story in just a moment. we'll move on now, janelle? in other news tonight, the man who police say drove his car into the san jose walmart and then attacked customers now is charged with attempted murder. 33-year-old haamid zaid made an appearance in court today but didn't make a plea. zaid faces multiple charges, including hit-and-run and vandalism. he could spend the rest of his life in prison. >> well, the facts show he is guilty of attempted murder. his acts prior to smashing through the doors at walmart. >> this is zaid's pending case, another incident had happened in december, where police say he drove a different car into a san jose car wash. nobody was hurt in that crash. okay, we want to get back to
that story in antioch, the abuse allegations. let's bring in nbc bay's jodi hernandez with the story. >> reporter: raj, parents are devastated by what allegedly took place inside this antioch school. attorneys representing several of the parents say special needs kindergartners who were punished with unthinkable abuse. >> it is shocking, there is no other word for it. >> reporter: the attorney said what special needs kindergartners at antioch's m & o grant elementary school allegedly endured at the hands of their teacher was unimaginable. he said that the teacher used techniques that were not called for and were abusive. >> this is a teacher who pinched children hard enough to leave bruises to control them.