tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley NBC June 21, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> thanks for joining us at 5:00. hope to see you back here at 6:00. >> good night. on our broadcast tonight, dangerously close in the skies over new york city. a lot of questions tonight about the moment a pair of commercial airliners gave air-traffic controllers a big scare. state of emergency -- with two big natural disasters out of control, an apocalyptic-looking scene, a massive fire threatening an entire town in the west, while up north floodwaters force a major city to evacuate. damage done. she begged for forgiveness, but there's late word the food network is cutting ties with paula deen, enveloped in controversy. and the contest. it's no beauty pageant, but people show up from around the world to cheer on the contestants. "nightly news" begins now. good evening.
just before air time tonight, we learned that according to papers filed by the federal government, edward snowden has been charged with espionage. snowden is the former analyst, former national security agency contractor, who went public with the government data-mining tactics and the revelations the disclosure of the information he knows continued right up to today. right now he's living in hiding in asia. as of tonight, he is wanted back home in this country. we start off with what we know about this tonight. our justice correspondent pete williams is in our d.c. newsroom. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. officials familiar with the process say that federal prosecutors have filed espionage charges against snowden and at the very early stages of the process to getting back to the united states to stand trial are now under way. the officials did not describe the charges in detail because the papers have been filed under seal in federal court in alexandria, virginia, so they're
not publicly available. but they say the charges accuse him of violating federal espionage charges by sharing classified documents with people who were not cleared to receive them. he's also charged with stealing government property. it was only a matter of time before these charges were filed. and, in fact, it's taken all this time because the u.s. and the authorities in hong kong have been going back and forth to make certain that whatever charges the u.s. filed would conform to the extradition treaty with hong kong. so the next step is now for the police in hong kong to arrest snowden at the request of the u.s., though he's been in hiding there. that will then start the formal extradition process in court there, which could take several months to resolve, brian. >> pete williams with the latest. pete, in this ongoing story tonight. pete, thanks. over the past 24 hours, we have learned a lot more about an incident that took place in the skies over new york city. two aircraft, sizable aircraft full of passengers, got way too close.
one of them was a regional jet. the other was a boeing 747. faa rules call for at least 1,000 feet of separation. these two aircraft were closer than that. our report tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: it happened in the nation's most congested skies served by three busy airports -- laguardia, jfk, and newark. a third of all u.s. air traffic every day flies through, into, or out of new york air space. a week ago today, a very close call. delta flight 172, a boeing 747 with more than 300 passengers on board, was at the end of a 14-hour flight from tokyo preparing to land at new york's jfk airport. but as he approached runway 4 left in rough winds, the pilot executed a missed approach, telling the tower he was going around. the tower issued instructions to climb and make a gentle turn to the right. meanwhile, at nearby laguardia, a delta regional jet with 70 passengers aboard was taking off, climbing to its left.
as the two planes made their wide turns, they came within 2,600 feet horizontally and just 200 feet vertically. controllers then sounded the alert. >> are you turning? >> yes, sir. we're almost at 040 now. >> delta, traffic 12:00. 1,400 feet. embraer, 1,600 feet. >> okay. we've got them on the fish finder here. >> reporter: the fish finder is on-board collision avoidance radar. retired american airlines captain tom casey. >> that's very close. that's close for anybody, especially if the embraer is looking at a 747 coming at them, that's a large footprint in the air. >> reporter: earlier this year, the faa's inspector general reported the number of controller mistakes had jumped 50% in 2009 and 2010. the faa insists that's mostly because controllers are now encouraged to self-report errors without fear of penalty to identify safety concerns. >> controllers have to be on their game, making sure that traffic is separated, and it takes a lot of coordination between controllers in each of
the facilities. >> reporter: the faa says it will be dissecting this close call to try to figure out what went wrong and then to learn from it so it doesn't happen again. brian? >> elsewhere in the aviation business, there was news today on our devices and when we may be able to use them in flight that we can't right now. >> reporter: yeah. an faa advisory panel has been looking at whether ipods, iphones, ereaders, laptops, cell phones, whether they interfere with the plane's electronics and avionics during takeoff and landing. they're expected to report back in september that these devices are mostly safe until the faa says it may then loosen up the rules, allow some devices, not all, to be used during takeoff and landing, but cell phones probably would still not be allowed. >> tom costello, washington national forest tonight, thanks. let's go out west. another big and still developing story we're following tonight, those exploding wildfires, including one that officials say threatens to burn down an entire
town. it's all happening at a time when the federal government is cutting back on funds to prevent these types of fires, leaving a lot of cities now scrambling to do it on their own. our report tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: with fire crews stretched to the limit and lives hanging in the balance -- >> i didn't think it would be this bad. >> it's a total loss. my chimney is the only thing left standing. >> reporter: -- lawmakers are facing a burning policy question as another surging wildfire today is forcing 400 residents of south fork, colorado, to evacuate. >> give me some water! >> reporter: the dilemma -- u.s. taxpayers are spending more to fight forest fires, but washington is spending less to prevent them. the obama administration is proposing a 30% cut to a federal program that removes dead trees and flammable underbrush. you can find it all over western states.
look at how quickly it can fuel a fire. with less focus on prevention, the forest service is forced to spend more once the fires are already burning. >> we've got to forecast better about where we're going to hit these fires. it's a complex equation that we've got to deal with now with less firefighting assets. >> reporter: for some perspective, in 1991, fighting fires took up just 13% of the forest service budget. last year, it was more than 40%. so in arizona, local firefighters are taking matters into their own hands. >> tree falling! >> reporter: using local tax dollars that voters approved, these crews from flagstaff are clearing brush and thinning the forest, reducing fuel for potential fires. >> it's not a matter of if a fire will occur but when and where. and we know it will occur and the consequences will be dire if we don't take action today to reduce that risk. >> reporter: still, not all western communities have those resources, and with tight
budgets all around, it is a burning question with no simple answer. on this first day of summer, officials are warning people across the west to brace for the worst fire season in memory. right now, brian, there are at least 21 major uncontained fires nationwide. >> gabe gutierrez, calabasas, california, for us tonight. gabe, thanks. now we go to the north to canada. they're dealing with the worst flooding in decades there, so severe they've evacuated downtown calgary in western canada, many neighborhoods surrounding the city as well. in all, 75,000 residents are on the move tonight, uprooted. 1,300 canadian soldiers have been called in to help. this flooding was caused by a big weather system dumping torrential amounts of rain along the u.s./canada border. in the world of food, especially now that food is such a big part of television, she is a household name. paula deen, the celebrity chef, a fixture on the tv cooking circuit.
but tonight she has lost her job at the food network after she admitted in a lawsuit that she had used racial slurs in the past. today she tried to limit the damage, but it was apparently too late. our report tonight from nbc's katy tur. >> today is all about spices. >> reporter: the self-proclaimed queen of southern cooking, paula deen is best known for her over-the-top concoctions. >> so delicious. >> reporter: but today the celebrity chef put away her recipes and went to work defending her reputation. more contrite than charming southern host. >> inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. >> reporter: in a 45-second edited video posted on youtube, the food network star responded to fierce criticism after she admitted to using racial slurs in the past. >> i beg for your forgiveness. >> reporter: she was apologizing for comments she made in a legal deposition. deen and her brother are being sued for discrimination by a former employee who is white.
they deny the claims. in the deposition, the 66-year-old is asked if she's ever used the "n" word. she answers, "yes, of course," adding it was to describe a "black man who put a gun to my head" while she was working as a bank employee. when asked if she's used it since then, deen said, "i'm sure i have, but it's been a very long time." this morning she was supposed to be here at the "today" show so explain her comments, but she never showed up. >> early this morning we are hearing she is too exhausted to show up, and so she is not with us. >> reporter: this afternoon, deen replaced the first video with a second unedited version. >> offer my sincere apologies to those that i have hurt. and i hope that you forgive me. >> reporter: late today the food network announced it will not renew paula deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month. >> she can come back. in fact, anyone can come back, but it is very difficult. you must have a repentant heart,
you must change your behavior, you must be consistent, and you must be believable. >> reporter: paula deen's business empire is worth an estimated $17 million and includes 14 cookbooks, six restaurants, a bimonthly magazine with a million readers, merchandise, and endorsement deals. katy tur, nbc news, new york. now to washington. president obama introduced his choice to be the new director of the fbi today. james comey is a former federal prosecutor, former justice department official who helped oversee national surveillance programs under president george w. bush. he will replace director robert mueller, who's stepping down after almost a dozen years in the job. in brazil tonight, just about everyone from the president on down is trying to figure out what to do next and how to manage a wave of people. this follows another unprecedented night of protests there, the largest mass outpouring in the history of the nation unfolding across the country, and it carried over into early today.
nbc's miguel almaguer has our report tonight from rio. >> reporter: police and protesters clashed into the morning. more than a million demonstrators in the street in some 80 cities across brazil. in sao paulo, the country's economic hub, at least one demonstrator was killed, hit by a car. most of the protests were peaceful, but in some cities authorities lost control of surging crowds, the tear gas at times overwhelming. the protests here in rio have turned violent. tear gas is being lobbed into the air. protesters are running from corner to corner. more than 60 were injured just miles from rio's famed copacabana beach. brazil's president, criticized for keeping a low profile during days of unrest, today called an emergency cabinet meeting. this all comes as brazil gets ready to take the world stage, spending billions preparing for
the world cup next year, the olympics in 2016, and a visit from the pope in just four weeks. the economy here is booming. it's the sixth largest in the world. but many have been left behind, millions still living in extreme poverty. >> even if brazil is one of the largest economies in the world, we have one of the biggest inequalities. >> reporter: the government has made concessions, rolling back a 20-cent fare hike in public transportation. but the demonstrations have only grown. >> we pay so much taxes and we don't have education, health, human rights. >> reporter: the protesters have surprised even themselves with their numbers, but there is no clear leader, no clear agenda, and so far tonight, no end in sight. miguel almaguer, nbc news, rio de janeiro. and still ahead for us this evening, out of the classroom and in the field. real-life lessons part of an innovative new way of teaching and something remarkable
we are back with our "education nation" report and what might be the definition of a teachable moment for those trying to raise math and science performance among our students. in chicago, they're making some big gains by making these subjects more real, more relevant. our report tonight from our chief education correspondent rehema ellis. >> reporter: school's out, but learning continues for these students, all part of project exploration, a program offering hands-on lessons in science, technology, engineering, and math, known as s.t.e.m. subjects, to some of chicago's most vulnerable public school students. the majority are black and hispanic from tough, low-income communities. >> students need the opportunity to connect science, math to real
careers and jobs. >> reporter: they learn from field work and from the pros about medicine, geology, wildlife, even paleontology, and forensics, like this lesson in fingerprinting with lisa gilbert, a specialist with the illinois state police. this is your fingerprint? >> yep. >> reporter: about 1,500 students have participated in after-school and summer programs, and more than half of those who graduate from college get degrees in s.t.e.m.-related fields. at aerl community academy, they study infrastructure, natural disasters. >> we built levees. >> like if there's a tornado, how to build a safe place for people to go. >> reporter: even the science of sweets. >> and the ice cream wasn't really as good as i thought it would be. >> reporter: but you ate it anyway? >> yeah. >> reporter: gabrielle lyon co-founded the program 14 years ago with the goal of giving every student access to s.t.e.m. learning. >> i found my whole hand. >> if you only focus on students
in the top 10%, if you only focus on students who have the economic means to pay for programs, you're leaving 85% of the population behind. and that's just not going to work. >> reporter: would you think about having a career in science? >> i would like to be a forensic scientist. >> reporter: really. >> just like lisa. >> it warms my heart. it makes me think that somehow in some small way maybe i've made a difference. >> reporter: helping kids put a face on their dreams. >> i'm starting to feel like the detectives on "law and order." >> reporter: and backing it up with science. rehema ellis, nbc news, chicago. coming up for us here tonight, the oscar-winning actor who showed up in an unlikely place today and has people wondering what he's up to. for our families...
our neighbors... and our communities... america's beverage companies have created... a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more.. low and no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know... exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks... with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories... america's beverage companies are delivering. we've got official confirmation from rome today. it was indeed a heart attack
that took the life of james gandolfini, stricken two nights ago in his hotel. new jersey governor chris christie says state flags will fly at half-staff next week for the famous jersey native. and bruce springsteen, whose longtime friend and lead guitarist, steve van zandt, who played silvio the consigliere in "the sopranos," performed his entire "born to run" album live during last night's concert in the uk dedicated to james gandolfini. could it be that robert duvall is thinking about playing the reputed boston bob moss whitey bulger? that is the obvious speculation as duvall has been spotted sitting in the courtroom and hanging around the courthouse during bulger's trial so far in boston. we are witnessing a rare occurrence in the united states senate. right now, for the first time in 32 years, there are currently no senators in their 80s. it happened with the recent death of senator frank lautenberg, and it will no longer be true after this weekend because the senior senator from california, dianne feinstein, is turning 80 years old.
and a big event in the skies this weekend. get out there and enjoy it if you can. what they are calling the super moon, largest full moon of 2013. over these next few days it will be at its closest point to the earth. it's officially a full moon on sunday night. may you have clear skies where you live for the free show in the night sky. when we come back, they'll never make it to westminster, that much we know, but there is a lot of excitement about another big contest going on tonight.
finally tonight, they have faces only a mother could love, as the old saying goes. we are talking about the contestants in the world's ugliest dog contest, the 25th annual in california. and while no one would confuse it with the big fancy show here in new york every year for those fancy, pampered dogs, people come from across the country and around the world to see it, including our own mike taibbi. >> reporter: it's not a pretty picture. none of them are. these are dogs with less -- toothless and sometimes jawless, many of them hairless.
ia bit like a hot water bottle? >> yeah. >> reporter: and while it's true they're not loveless -- >> she's a wonderful dog, and she's perfect the way she is. >> with a dog named monkey -- >> reporter: -- it's at least puzzling that a contest replacing breed standard perfection with an invitation to say "yuck" is the unquestioned hotspot in the annual county fair. >> it's our premier event. it draws media and people from around the country, around the world. >> reporter: i've been a dog guy all my life although the ones on my shirt are the only dogs i have at the moment. but i wonder, what is the point exactly at a competition aimed at celebrating a complete negative, the ugliest? even the word is, well, ugly. ugly. >> come on, grumpy! >> reporter: it turns out everyone has a good time with this. there's none of that westminster self-seriousness with big money on the line. >> it kind of goes over like this, like a donald trump comb-over. >> reporter: and judges brian
sobel and jon provost, add this. >> and the dogs know that they're loved, so i think that's the bottom line. >> i always remind people, the dog doesn't know it's ugly. >> reporter: so smile if you will, and you will, as they all do. here is a demonstration that, like the humans whose best friends they clearly are, a dog's beauty, any dog's beauty, is on the inside. >> pam is i think a terrier and a poodle gone wrong. >> reporter: not on the outside that anyone would want to look at for too long in light too bright. mike taibbi, nbc news, petaluma, california. and that's our broadcast on a friday night and for this week. thank you for being here with us. final reminder -- we're back on the air tonight with an all-new "rock center" at 10:00, 9:00 central. i'm brian williams. lester holt will be here with you this weekend. we, of course, will look for you right back here on monday night. in the meantime, have a good weekend. good night.
good evening. and thanks for joining us on this friday. new at 6:00. there's a government agency on the brink of bankruptcy. the post office is losing $25 million a day. a surprising turn -- it's hiring in the bay area. we're live in concord to explain. >> reporter: 500 letter carrier positions are available from the south bay through the east bay,
with workers retiring at a pretty steady rate. we're told most bay area post offices are short staffed. the spokesperson for the region says until somebody figures out how to e-mail a sweater, they need people to deliver. they're known as the public face of the u.s. postal service. letter carriers who deliver mail to your doorstep each day. >> it's a nice job. it's a good job. it keeps you healthy. you're out in the fresh air. and the hourly rage is decent. >> reporter: and the post office is doing a mass recruitment. they need 500 letter carrier assistants. temporary positions that could lead to a full time job. >> we're looking for somebody who can, who is fit, is healthy, who can carey a work load of 70 pounds. some of the physical require. s