tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 16, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
bring everyone a dog in the newsroom, they do need adoption, the one i was holding there does need a home. >> thanks for joining us. on our broadcast tonight, intercepted on the high seas. weapons system hardware on its way from cuba to north korea, and it's enough to remind you of another very dicey time. the heat emergency across a large and growing part of the country tonight. a danger for 140 million americans now. 43 states seeing sustained temperatures above 90 degrees. the scare in space. anxious moments today, high above earth captured on camera, as something suddenly went wrong during a space walk. and women's health tonight. a simple risk reducer that doctors are promoting in the fight against colon cancer. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams.
good evening. any time a shipment of weapons system components is intercepted on its way from cuba to north korea, it's going to get attention. that's the case tonight, in a story that reminds folks of another time, when jfk was in the white house and the world stood still during a stand-off over weapons in cuba. while times have changed and the stakes are different this time, it was nonetheless an intercept of what appear to be illegal weapons components on board a vessel where they were hiding their cargo, hoping to get through the panama canal, and then halfway around the world, undetected. it's where we begin tonight with nbc's mark potter in miami. >> reporter: while it lacked the drama of some of the high seas encounters of the red scare years. it does appear two old enemies of the u.s. were caught red handed. panamanian officials say they first detained the ship known as the chong chon gang because they suspected it carried illegal drugs. they found something entirely different. panama's president called it
"undeclared war like cargo, originating in cuba." he even tweeted a photo. the president said when the ship was boarded, the crew of 35 resisted and the north korean captain had what appeared to be a heart attack, then tried to commit suicide. what the panamanian's found hidden under sugar containers from cuba, were pieces of a large weapons system, apparently part of an aging soviet surface to air missile system. >> this looks like an air defense system, radar, rather than the kind of ballistic missile technology that would pose a real threat or potentially pose a threat to other parts of the world. >> reporter: the equipment was likely headed to north korea to be refurbished and sold on the global arms market for cash. that would violate international sanctions against north korea arms trafficking, of which there have been many examples in recent years. >> any shipment of arms or related material would violate
u.n. security council resolutions, 1718, 1817 and 2094. >> reporter: u.s. officials left no doubt they are working closely with panama. >> we commend their actions, we are in touch with them. i'm not going to detail how we're in touch with them. >> reporter: panama plans to search the ship thoroughly to see what else they can find. and to explain where the equipment came from, where it was going, and why it was hidden on a north korean ship. mark potter, nbc news, miami. now we turn to the weather conditions again making news tonight. specifically, this now dangerous heat consuming a huge part of the country. somewhat unbelievably, parts of now 43 states out of 50 are expected to reach highs of 90 or more by this evening. nbc's stephanie gosk following it all from outside independence hall in philly tonight, stephanie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. here's a fact a lot of people don't realize. there are more deaths in this country from heat every year than from floods, hurricanes, tornados. and lightning, combined.
this heat wave continues. it just gets more dangerous. searing, sweating summer. how are you guys holding up in this heat? >> it's really warm. >> you look like you're really warm? >> i'm melting, actually. >> reporter: today heat advisories and warnings were issued in about a dozen states, creating dangerous conditions for days to come. in philadelphia, the largest senior center is extending its hours. >> our main concern is, that a lot of our older adults are dealing with health issues. and they can be compromised as a result of the heat. >> reporter: especially when there is no chance to cool down, not even at night. low temperatures in some cities aren't dipping below 80. putting a tax on people and infrastructure. >> the cities hold on to the heat because of the asphalt, buildings and concrete. the temperatures don't drop off very much. so we start out high early in the morning, and then the heat builds on top of that. >> reporter: adding insult to injury, a water main break in prince georges county, maryland, will interrupt service for days. >> it's a big inconvenience. i'm trying to prepare me and my family for it.
>> an estimated 100,000 people are preparing for mandatory water restrictions, set to take effect tonight. >> hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. >> reporter: in new york city, a scary moment at a political rally when a young intern collapsed from heat stroke. it took emergency responders experiencing an influx of weather related calls more than a half hour to show up. but in philadelphia, the dogged tourists endured, standing in line for the liberty bell. a family from birmingham, alabama, said it felt just like home. do you think northerners complain too easily about the heat? >> yeah, you all complain about the heat and we complain about the cold. >> reporter: a tour guide sharing a bit of interesting history with us. the 1787 constitutional convention was held here during brutal summer temperatures. they stuck it out in wool pants with no air conditioning. brian? >> a healthy reminder. stephanie gosk, independence plaza in philadelphia. stephanie, thanks. let's get more on the heat dome concept we're hearing
about. how long it's going to last specifically, from weather channel meteorologist jim cantore at weather channel headquarters. jim, good evening. >> good evening, brian. we're going to take the core of this heat dome, where the heat indexes, the moisture and the air temperature feel like 95 to 105, and show you what it's going to be doing for the rest of the week. it's going to be sitting around. what this is, essentially, think of it, it's like a dome, if you tilt it upwards, you have a cap on the atmosphere, and in a dome of this magnitude, this sinking air leads to additional warming. so 90 becomes 95 and 97 degrees, and, of course, when you factor in the humidity, it feels like 105. the heat will not last into the weekend for many areas, because a trough is going to come through, we'll pay the price with severe thunderstorms. as we get into the day four, five, six and even seven with this, that's when we'll feel the real heat from this heat wave. >> jim cantore at weather channel headquarters, thanks. three days after the verdict now. still a good deal of anger and
protest and other reaction to george zimmerman's acquittal in the killing of trayvon martin, for the first time, one of the jurors has spoken out about the case, while the u.s. attorney general is taking on the -called stand your ground laws. on a rainy night outside court in sanford, florida, tonight. nbc's ron mott joins us once again with the latest. ron, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. folks outraged by this verdict, are starting to direct their frustration a bit, they're now targeting lawmakers and those so-called controversial self-defense laws known as stand your ground. for the third straight day more demonstrations, mostly mod modest in size. downtown houston, florida's capital, tallahassee. >> we are here because trayvon cannot be. >> reporter: governor rick scott's office was overtaken in his absence. in los angeles yesterday, what started out calmly -- >> they're beating somebody up. >> reporter: -- turned violent by night. >> we deployed over 300 police officers, dozen arrests,
multiple incidents of vandalism, several incidents of assault. this will not be allowed to continue. >> reporter: with issues of race still front and center, following george zimmerman's acquittal, the first juror spoke publicly on cnn. >> i think if there was another person, spanish, white, asian, if they came in the same situation where trayvon was, i think george would have reacted the exact same way. >> reporter: today, attorney general eric holder, under pressure from the justice department to bring charges against george zimmerman, took issue with the stand your ground laws at the naacp annual convention in orlando. >> we must stand our ground to ensure our laws reduce violence and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent. >> the lesson we take from mr. martin is that we do not have the luxury to just exist in life. >> reporter: at an enrichment forum at morehouse college, trayvon martin's death and the verdict were the focus of
discussions. >> when the verdict happened, i wasn't surprised. but much like everybody else, i felt a feeling of despair, of anger. and having that feeling made me feel like there's so much more work that needs to be done. >> reporter: in their first tv interview since the verdict, george zimmerman's parents offered their apologies to trayvon martin's parents saying they are deeply sorry for this tragedy. brian? >> ron mott, sanford, florida, again tonight. ron, thanks. few americans pause to think about the international space station up there with a crew on board orbiting earth every 90 minutes, that is, until something goes wrong, which it did earlier today. during a space walk, while cameras recorded it all, as an astronaut's helmet started to fill with water. our report on it tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> hey luca, can you give us -- >> reporter: american astronaut chris cassidy and italian astronaut luca parmitano were only an hour into their space
walk when luca reported an problem. water was leaking into his helmet. >> i feel a lot of water on the back of my head. but i don't think it's from my bag. >> are you sweating, are you working hard? >> i am sweating, but it feels like a lot of water. >> reporter: fellow astronaut cassidy took a look. sure enough, water was beading down parmitano's forehead. >> i see it now. >> reporter: at first, the astronauts thought parmitano's drinking water bag was leaking. but it seemed to be too much water for that to be the source. >> i don't know where it's coming from. it's too much. >> i don't know, it's a lot. >> reporter: as parmitano struggled to see and hear, mission control called off the space walk. >> water's in his eyes now, and it seems to be increasing. we think we're going to terminate e.v.a. case for e.v.a. 2. >> reporter: within minutes, parmitano was back in the space station, with russian and american crew members working fast to remove his helmet. when they did, water floated out
and they needed towels to dry him off. so what happened? nearly a liter and a half leaked into its suit. did it come from the suit's cooling system? nasa still isn't sure. >> clearly we have a problem at this point that we don't quite understand. >> reporter: former astronaut and veteran space walker steve robinson. >> they'll have to try to understand, if it happened to this space suit, is there any danger of it happening to another space suit on board. >> reporter: nasa was clearly concerned parmitano was in danger. now, an urgent investigation to determine what happened. tom costello, nbc news, washington. he led mexico's most feared drug cartel, but tonight miguel angel trevino morales is in custody, captured yesterday by mexican marines, near a city not far from the texas border. morales was head of the zetas cartel. his capture was the biggest victory against organized crime since mexico's new president took office seven months ago. authorities say u.s. intelligence contributed in this capture.
edward markey became the newest member of the u.s. senate today moving up a chamber, after serving 37 years in the house, representing massachusetts. that makes him the longest serving house member to ever win election to the senate. in the house, by the way, he ranked eighth out of 435 members in terms of seniority. now he's at the bottom of 100. this fills the seat vacated when john kerry became secretary of state. and in the senate today, they finally reached a deal on approving presidential nominees avoiding a big threat by democrats to limit filibusters. some politicians in the middle of the country are making waves felt in washington on both the right and left. in wyoming, a problem of sorts for the gop, liz cheney, daughter of dick cheney, has announced she's going to challenge a sitting republican senator and friend of her dad, mike enzi. and some republicans are worried this could cause a damaging split. and in montana, the popular former governor, brian schweizer
has decided not to run for the u.s. senate. now, the democrats have been counting on him. they are worried about losing their six-seat cushion and thus losing the majority in the u.s. senate. two big health stories still ahead, including what doctors now say you should be doing to prevent dementia. plus, what women should be taking several times a week to reduce the risk of colon cancer. and later, an inspiring journey back to health, back to the slopes for an extraordinary and extreme young man who beat the odds.
\s break/e we had planned to bring you a report tonight on the popularity of e cigarettes. it's completed we'll bring it to you another time. as two other health stories have intervened. two of them, as we mentioned, our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman is here to walk three them, first about the benefits of aspirin for women. >> yeah, brain, this is a very interesting study. long-term, looking at healthy women ages 45 and over, the women were followed for at least
18 years. here's what the researchers found. women who took low dose aspirin, about 100 milligrams, every other day, had a 20% decreased chance of getting cancer of the colon. and women who stayed on aspirin longer had even better results. the caveat, of course, is it can cause stomach upset in some people. so for those women, doctors need to say bleeding is a possible risk. but really amazing data. >> now more positive elements for aspirin. the second subject was dementia in the news today. >> yeah, this is really interesting. there's a big meeting going on in boston right now, an amazing study coming out. looking at french, where they keep very good medical records. over 400,000 retired people were followed for dementia. and here's what the researchers found. those who retired later in life, in fact, stayed sharper. it's a real reminder that our brain is plastic, continues to learn and, in fact, it's sort of like, you use it or lose it. a reminder that these arbitrary
deadlines for retirement in this country, 65 or 70, for ceos, brian, we're going to have to throw that notion away. our brains continue to learn and the more we challenge ourselves with community, younger people, the more we can head off dementia. and it costs a lot. over $200 billion it costs the united states every year. >> all right. nancy, thank you. because of the high interest in dementia, along these same lines, we wanted to let you know, we have a very interesting story. more of a reality check tomorrow night. how to know what kind of memory loss is cause for concern. happens to a lot of us. and what's less worrisome, when you ask yourself, why did i just walk into this room? well, we'll have some interesting reporting for you on this very topic and these very questions tomorrow night. we'll take a break now. we're back in a moment with late word tonight of what took the life of a bright young entertainer.
confirmation tonight, what a lot of people had feared, autopsy results are in, cory monteith, the popular co-star of the tv series "glee" died of an overdose. a toxic mixture of drugs in his system, including heroin and alcohol. he had struggled with substance abuse for years and had undergone rehab successfully. the canadian actor died this weekend in vancouver at the age of 31. the u.s. army is dealing with a possible case of radiation exposure at ft. bliss outside el paso, texas. it involves a bunker that once housed nuclear weapons during the cold war era. it then housed armaments during the modern era before being shut down after this discovery. base officials are optimistic that levels are low, and they've identified those who have worked inside the facility. it was during the watergate hearings, and it happened 40 years ago today. nixon white house aide alexander butterfield had made up his mind
previous to that if he was asked a specific question, he was going to answer it honestly. then he was asked, and he answered, and it changed everything. >> mr. butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the oval office of the president? >> i was aware of listening devices, yes, sir. >> took him a moment, but it was an honest answer. his admission changed the course of the watergate scandal and accelerated nixon's departure. butterfield was uninvolved and went on to run the faa and stayed on during the ford presidency. butterfield, now 87 years of age, was a decorated air force pilot prior to serving in the white house. we now know what happens when two presidents get together. they give each other socks, apparently. statement socks, including the where's waldo variety have become something of a form of fashion expression for 41 these days, former president george h.w. bush.
when president obama hosted his oldest living predecessor yesterday he was given a pair of similar loudness. and now the press corps will keep a sharp eye out for them. when we come back, a one-time olympic hopeful who survived and is thriving when some thought he wouldn't make it at all. we'll chronicle his remarkable journey back.
finally tonight, the remarkable journey of a young man who beat the odds and got his life back, kevin pierce, a name you may know from our winter olympics coverage. the snowboarder who seemed headed for great things until a very bad day at the end of '09. nbc's kevin tibbles has been following pierce since back then, and caught up with him since just before the release of a new documentary that chronicles his recovery. >> reporter: in the air, a magician destined for the olympic podium in vancouver. and then it all came crashing down. a miscue during a difficult snowboard maneuver called the double cork left kevin pierce near death with critical brain injuries. his close family remained at his side. >> often we would just sit with him and hold his hand for hours. we don't talk to him.
>> reporter: an arduous rehab more than three years of small steps with one goal in mind. recovery. >> things are going so well. i'm well aware now, it's taken me a long time to come to grips with it. but i still have a lot of healing to do. >> reporter: when we first met pierce at his family's vermont home, he proudly showed off his first board and spent the afternoon skateboarding with his brothers, including david who has downs syndrome. ♪ >> reporter: kevin's compelling journey back to health is now the subject of an hbo documentary. >> neurologically, you cannot afford to hit your head. >> reporter: and the frustration of an athlete whose only dream is to get back on his board. >> don't get me wrong, i really appreciate all the help i've gotten from doctors, but it comes a point where i'm just ready to release from it all. get me out of here, enough's enough. >> reporter: but it is brother david who questions kevin's hope of competing again. >> i don't want you to be in a wheelchair.
is that what you want? >> reporter: the decision was made. >> it's not worth it to put myself in that kind of risk and put my family in that situation where i could get hurt again. >> reporter: pierce now offers encouragement to others coping with brain injuries. >> you're really open to supporting other people and helping families going through challenges, not unlike our own. i feel like you've come such a long way. >> reporter: kevin pierce still hits the slopes, not to compete but to celebrate the incredible bond with a family he still holds so dear. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. and that is our broadcast on a tuesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we look forward to having you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
nbc bay area news starts now. good evening. and thanks for joining us. >> a new development tonight in the deadly asiana air disaster. first it was the cleanup on the runway. now the lawsuits. more than 80 passengers have taken the first step toward filing a legal claim. but the target isn't asiana airlines, but instead boeing. the manufacturer of the triple 7 that crashed. in this case, this involves questions about the auto throttle and also those evacuation chutes that inflated
inside the plane. >> reporter: right, but this is not a lawsuit. it's something that's called a petition for discovery, which under illinois law allows people to force companies t release information so they can find out if they have grounds for a lawsuit in the first place. this is the petition filed in cook county court in illinois on behalf of 83 passengers of asiana air flight of 214. it is a request to force boeing and all other manufacturers involved to release information. robert clifford is a chicago based attorney specializing in aviation litigation. >> it is not a lawsuit. there is no claim. there's no charges being alleged, there's no money being sought. illinois allows people to go into court and say to the court, i might have a case here. permit me to get some information from