tv NBC Nightly News NBC April 24, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
into the home. two people in the living room were hurt, three people in the cars were hurt. no word on the cause of the crash. >> we'll see you shortly. >> good night. warning signs. were they there years before the bombings in boston? tonight, what u.s. intelligence was told about the suspects and when. also the deeply emotional sea of blue that turned out to honor a fallen hero. playing politics with the nation's air travel. growing anger now on the ground and in the air as thousands of flights have been hit with delays and the blame just escalates in washington. paying the price for the soaring cost of college. with american students now buried under a trillion dollars in debt, what if there was a cheaper solution like top tier schools, four years for the price of one? also, the long good-bye. a legendary singer in a public fight with alzheimer's and the powerful message today from his daughter. powerful message today from his daughter. "nightly news" begins now.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. while, as you're about to see, boylston street in boston is back and open for business. but it doesn't mean boston is somehow back to normal. that city is still all about the living and the dead in the aftermath of the terrorist bombings. and now that it's been over a week, the questions start coming about what the u.s. knew and when they knew it, about these two brothers -- one of whom survives and is cooperating with investigators in the hospital. pete williams starts us off from again tonight. >> reporter: boylston street, the route of the boston marathon is fully open now for traffic and business. the site of the first bomb explosion is marked off with fresh pavement. >> totally shocked. i can't believe they got everything, you know, pulled together in a week. >> reporter: at copley square, victims of the bombings were
honored with flowers and symbols of the city and the marathon. in washington, fbi and intelligence officials briefed members of congress for a second day. some wonder whether the intelligence system did enough to look into the background of tamerlan tsarnaev, the older bombing suspect two years ago. >> it's working much better than it was on 9/11, but it's not working as well as it should. >> reporter: here's how officials explain what they did. in january 2011, russia asks the fbi for information about him saying he was planning a visit to russia and he and his mother may have become radicalized. fbi agents check u.s. terror databases and find nothing, no contact with suspected terrorists. they interview him and his family in cambridge. conclusion, nothing negative found. they tell the russians, ask for more information but get no response. in september russia makes
exactly the same request sending the same information, this time to the cia. same u.s. response. nothing found. russia is again asked for more. again, no response. but his name is put into the master terrorism database so the u.s. knows he flies to moscow in 2012. there is no follow up when he returns because his case is considered closed. but now some are asking if there should have been another look at him when he began posting radical material. >> he put stuff on the internet and youtube videos. is there some way we should be monitoring those kinds of things? >> reporter: officials say dzhokhar has told the fbi he and his brother didn't test bomb designs before they staged the attack. something investigators are skeptical of but checking out. as for report that is the bombers intended to go to new york from boston, officials discount the notion that they planned to stage any attacks there. brian? >> pete williams in washington again for us tonight. pete, thanks. in cambridge today, a sea of law enforcement, what seemed like the entire m.i.t. community and a whole lot of bostonians. they all came together to attend a moving memorial ceremony for the m.i.t. police officer killed
thursday night as the alleged marathon bombers went on their last rampage. our report tonight from nbc's katy tur. >> reporter: a sea of 15,000 blue caps. family, friends, officers and strangers came to celebrate the life of fallen m.i.t. officer sean collier. >> he would love this. sirens, flashing lights, formations, people saluting. he was born to be a police officer. he lived out his dreams. >> reporter: collier was only 27 when he crossed paths with the accused marathon bombers. >> we have suffered. we are grieving. >> reporter: today vice president biden couldn't seem to contain his anger. >> whether it's al qaeda central out of the fattah or two twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadis here in boston, why do they do what they do? if the purpose of terrorism is
to instill fear, you saw none of it here in boston. >> reporter: though answers today -- ♪ shower the people you love with love ♪ >> reporter: -- but some comfort from james taylor. ♪ show them the way that you feel ♪ ♪ things are going to be much better ♪ ♪ if we only will >> reporter: and the m.i.t. symphony choir. in only 15 short months on m.i.t.'s campus, sean collier found a place in its heart. >> we know we'll see him again and he'll have that big grin and a hug for all of us. officer sean collier, we love you. [ applause ] >> reporter: katy tur, nbc news, boston. after another terrible day in boston, now we turn to washington and elsewhere. tempers are boiling across this country because of air travel delays thanks to the forced
budget cutbacks called the sequester. the latest and worst example of our completely paralyzed politics. today the man who runs the f.a.a. came under attack from republicans on capitol hill who argued that the air traffic controller furloughs are a manufactured crisis. nbc's tom costello is at reagan national airport again for us tonight. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian. the airlines are now suing to try to put air traffic controllers back in the tower. and the white house today said it is open to signing legislation that would give the f.a.a. the flexibility to cut its budget elsewhere so it doesn't have to furlough controllers. >> reporter: with 1500 fewer air traffic controllers watching the nation's skies every day, it's been four days of late arrivals and departures. according to the f.a.a., 400 delays on sunday. 1200 on monday. just over a thousand on tuesday and more today. >> a shocking lapse of management.
>> reporter: the anger boiled over on capitol hill this morning where republicans accused the f.a.a. chief and the white house of playing politics with the furloughs. >> you didn't forewarn us that this was coming. you didn't ask advice about how we should handle it. >> reporter: in fact, two months ago the transportation secretary did warn of the sequester's looming impact. >> flights to major cities like new york, chicago and san francisco and others could experience delays up to 90 minutes. >> reporter: still, it wasn't until last tuesday that the f.a.a. told the airlines specifically which airports and radar facilities would face delays. the airlines complained every day is different. >> our customers are showing up at the airport, going through security, getting on the plane. that's when we find out we have a delay or when we have a problem. that's not a good way for us to run our business and certainly isn't good for the customers. >> reporter: today the f.a.a. chief insisted the airlines were given plenty of notice.
>> we told them they should expect significant impacts at major hub facilities. >> well, la-di-da. everyone knew that. >> reporter: republicans protest the f.a.a. could have cut its budget elsewhere. >> runway three on right, cleared to land. >> reporter: but the white house insists the law doesn't give the f.a.a. that flexibility. >> they should read the law. they wrote it, they should know what's in it. they passed it, they should know what's in it. >> reporter: the f.a.a. is still planning to close 149 control towers that serve smaller communities. that should happen in june. but, brian, there is also a bill working through congress that would prohibit that as well. back to you. >> what a mess. tom costello at national airport in washington again tonight. tom, thanks. in the midwest tonight the struggle to contain flooded rivers is into its seventh consecutive day now. the map tells the tale. so many areas right up the middle of the country are coping with high water right now. nbc's john yang with us from peoria, illinois. john, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the wait has begun tonight. the wait for the illinois river
to start dropping from record levels, the highest in 70 years. this wall of 30,000 sandbags kept the water from encroaching any farther on downtown including the corporate headquarters of caterpillar just up the block here. roads have become rivers, levees overtopped, houses swamped and farmland is under water. now the illinois river here flows very slowly. so it's going to take some time for all this floodwater to clear out of here. one place it will go once it clears is the mississippi river where the illinois river joins north of st. louis. that's going to add to the flooding concerns along that waterway. brian? >> very tough time in peoria and elsewhere. john yang reporting for us tonight. john, thanks. there is an awful story developing overseas tonight. a building collapse in bangladesh that killed at least 87 people, injured more than a thousand.
the search for victims, as you see, is still ongoing. the building housed several different garment factories that supply clothing to retailers, mostly in europe. this is the third major deadly incident since late last year at garment factories specifically in bangladesh where billions of dollars worth of clothing is exported to the u.s. among other countries every year. back in this country the george w. bush presidential library set to open tomorrow. this is a live picture of the scene on the campus of smu in dallas tonight. tomorrow's dedication ceremony will be attended by the five people alive who know what it's like to sit in the oval office. president barack obama, both bushes -- 41 and 43 -- bill clinton and jimmy carter. we get our report tonight from nbc's david gregory who was our white house correspondent during the bush 43 years. >> reporter: it's difficult to
remember just how popular president bush was in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. >> i can hear you. the rest of the world hears you. and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: the fact that america was not attacked again during the bush years is a lasting legacy. but so, too, is the bitter debate over whether the war on terror eroded civil liberties. mr. bush will always be viewed as a wartime leader. but it was the decision to invade iraq that would prove the most divisive. >> it's a war of necessity. in my judgment we had no choice when we look at the intelligence i looked at that says the man was a threat. >> reporter: the faulty intelligence, the failure to find weapons of mass destruction formed the backdrop to criticism that the president underestimated the challenges he faced. >> the battle of iraq, the united states and our allies have prevailed. >> reporter: and grew stubborn in the face of mounting setbacks.
>> i hear the voices and i read the front page and i know the speculation, but i'm the decider. >> reporter: what grew into a reputation for incompetence stained the administration and the gop brand after hurricane katrina. >> this is a president who, in his own time, he would be the first to say is very unpopular. you look at the republican convention last year. george w. bush's name was barely mentioned. >> reporter: as the economy even now struggles to climb back from the year collapse of 2008, many americans still blame president bush, holding him even more accountable for the state of the economy than president obama according to last fall's election exit poll. these issues overshadow other accomplishments -- the president's place in launching the school reform movement, his work to combat aids in africa, even his willingness to tackle entitlement spending. >> i think these are issues that over time will wear very well. they will show that the president was forward-looking and knew where the country was headed. >> reporter: as i talk to
advisers of president bush they think that idea is being borne out with current events. look, the republican party is moving back toward president bush on immigration. when it comes to the war on terrorism they point out president obama has continued many of president bush's counterterror policies. brian? >> our former white house correspondent david gregory. these days moderator of "meet the press." we'll check in with you tomorrow night. we want to let you know tomorrow morning on "today" matt lauer will have an exclusive live interview with former president bush. we'll get the first tour through the new bush presidential library. still ahead for us tonight, four years for the price of one. facing a mountain of debt, a growing number of american families are turning to the neighbors for a top tier education. later, the emotional reunion for the woman in one of the most iconic images from boston and the strangers who saved her life.
the numbers are staggering. the total amount of student loans owed went over a trillion dollar mark late last year, surpassing total credit card debt in this country for the first time. more and more american families are finding a solution to the high cost of higher ed but looking to our north. our chief education correspondent rehema ellis has our report. >> reporter: eric andriesen applied to several american colleges but ended up at a school just north of the u.s. border. >> the deciding factor for coming to mcgill was the tuition. >> reporter: 6% of mcgill's student body is american. and the ranks are growing. the number of american students at canadian universities overall has gone up 50% in a decade. many are trying to avoid mounting debt facing american students.
at schools like the university of chicago and new york university, annual tuition tops $40,000, far above their canadian counterparts like the university of winnipeg and mcgill. raise your hand if the cost of tuition was a deciding factor when making a decision about coming to mcgill in canada? >> i get four years at mcgill for a year at a u.s. college. it makes this decision easy. >> there are three girls in our family. we are all attending university now. money is definitely a factor. >> i'm paying less than i would pay to go to my state school. >> reporter: two-thirds of american students graduate from american universities, carrying more than $25,000 in debt. 9% default on student loan payments within two years. >> the biggest price of going to school in the united states is tuition. it's astronomical compared to canada. >> reporter: not only are base costs lower, but american students can use 529 college savings, u.s. student loans, even apply for scholarships at
some schools in canada. the application process is simpler here than in the united states. with canadian universities, there is typically less emphasis on essays, recommendations and interviews. >> admission for most undergraduate programs is based on grades and s.a.t.s. >> reporter: that and the price worked for eric. >> i'm coming out with minimal debt. it brightens the prospects of the future for me. >> reporter: americans studying in canada, using a passport to a more affordable college degree. rehema ellis, nbc news, montreal. we're back with a voice from the past unheard until tonight.
an emotional moment in washington today where ashley campbell told senators what alzheimer's is doing to her father. that's because she happens to be the daughter of the legendary singer glen campbell who is in the grip of the disease and has stopped performing. >> i think a person's life is comprised of memories and that's exactly what this disease takes away from you like a memory of my dad taking me fishing in flagstaff when i was a little girl or playing banjo with my
dad while he plays guitar. now when i play banjo with my dad, it's getting harder for him to follow along. it's getting harder for him to recall my name. it's hard to come to the realization that someday my dad might look at me and i will be absolutely nothing to him. >> glen campbell's daughter ashley testifying on capitol hill today. new stats out tonight about our air and our cars. first off the american lung association and their state of the air 2013 report says 42% of us live in counties with unhealthy levels of air pollution. the good news, our air is generally cleaner and 16 u.s. cities are at their cleanest ever. most congested u.s. city, by the
way, no surprise -- los angeles takes the crown. and the smithsonian announced an astounding discovery. they have discovered the recorded voice heard for the first time of alexander graham bell on a wax and cardboard disk dated april 15, 1885, 20 years to the day after the death of lincoln. >> hear my voice. alexander graham bell. >> what that was there, hear my voice, alexander graham bell. the disk was first discovered by an indiana university sound historian. when we come back an emotional reunion in boston.
these days in boston the wounded are being reunited with the total strangers who in many cases saved their lives. we learned more today about one of the wounded -- a woman in a now famous photograph. kerry sanders has our report from boston tonight. >> reporter: she was but five feet away when the first bomb exploded. >> i don't know how you can put a bomb there and look at the people around and know that you're going to kill them.
i don't understand it. >> reporter: victoria mcgrath's rescue was captured in this iconic image. >> thank you. >> reporter: on tuesday, victoria met the man who carried her to safety -- firefighter jimmy plourde. >> you looked at me like, i'm so scared. i'm like, we're out of here. i'm picking you up. you said is, no. i'm like, we're going. >> i thought there would be more bombing. >> reporter: also at tufts medical center bruce mendelson, a bystander who ran toward the explosion, not away. he was the first to reach victoria, used a t-shirt to tie a tourniquet to her leg. >> the doctor told me if you hadn't done that i would have died. you saved my life. otherwise i would have bled out because it hit the artery. >> wow. >> reporter: x-rays reveal a one-inch piece of shrapnel tore into victoria's leg. >> just a matter of centimeters, the difference between having a leg and losing it? >> yes. >> reporter: at first, one stranger who pitched in to help
victoria remained a mystery man. >> his name is tyler. that's all we know. victoria very, very much wants to thank tyler personally. >> reporter: after that public plea tyler dodd came forward. >> i can stand up. >> no, you stay there. >> i can stand up. >> are you sure? >> yeah. >> reporter: tyler told victoria he survived a shrapnel injury in afghanistan, but that wasn't quite true. >> he wasn't a soldier in afghanistan. he wasn't in combat. >> reporter: this is the little white lie you embrace? >> yeah. i don't regret it. i don't regret him telling me that. >> reporter: through it all, the blood loss, the chaos, a group of strangers pushed her to hold on. >> i'm so thankful. you guys are so brave. >> you're wonderful. >> reporter: this afternoon victoria left tufts medical center, thanks to a community of strangers who pulled together. kerry sanders, nbc news, boston.
>> how about that story to end our broadcast on for a wednesday night? thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. of course we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com with breaking news. >> we have been following breaking news in the south bay. one person is being treated with life threatening injuries and three other people in a san jose hospital after a car crashes into the living room of a home. >> i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. just before 4:00 on the corner of leigh way and ann way. what a lot of damage. >> reporter: really a somber
mood out here. this is one of the cars involved in this accident here. you can't see the second car because it is inside the home behind me. one of the firefighters said he had never seen a car go this far into a home. right now firefighters can't go inside the home. they are trying to make sure that it is structurally safe to go in there. they have been working on putting support beams up. at about 4:00 this afternoon firefighters say they responded to a call here on leigh avenue. the lieutenant tells me he believes from talking to witnesses out here on the scene that the people involved in the two-car accident are all minors and that it appears that they had been racing out here. quite a dramatic scene. we talked with witnesses earlier today and here is what they had to say. >> two bmws are coming, one red and one silver.