tv NBC Nightly News NBC April 26, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
on this saturday night, high alert, destructive tornados tear through the south as tonight millions prepare for what could be the biggest severe weather outbreak this year. out of bounds, the owner after an nba team under fire tonight for his comments about african americans caught on tape. show of force, more american troops on the ground tonight in eastern europe as the war of words with russia grows more intense. >> and high honor for a baseball icon, why a statute of a broadcaster is way up there near the worst seats in the house. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt.
good evening. what has been an unusual quiet start to tornado season ended with six tornados doing heavy damage and sending people to hospitals in eastern north carolina. the start of what forecasters say is going to be a very violent, dangerous and potentially daily couple of days from the gulf coast to the midwest. as we come on the air tonight, the risk for severe weather is ramping up from texas to kansas and the potential for deadly tornados only increases and expands as we get into sunday and monday. tonight, with some 32 million americans in the danger zone, officials in several states are warning people to get their tornado plans out and to stay glued to the local forecast. our coverage begins with nbc's janet in houston. >> reporter: this is how it began. >> here it goes right here. all right. we got debris right here. >> reporter: a funnel cloud forming late afternoon in eastern north carolina. >> there it is there. it's behind the building and on the ground.
>> reporter: today residents surveyed the damage and started the lengthy cleanup process. at least six tornados in the area damaged more than 200 homes and businesses friday. one of the six was the first ef-3 of the season with winds up to 150 miles per hour. >> the porches are gone. the roofs gone, the siding is gone but i got somewhere to stay, so i'm blessed. >> reporter: there was heavy hail as violent storms ripped trees from the roots and snapped power lines. 18 people were hurt. it may have been just a warmup after a quiet start, forecasters say the worst outbreak of the season begins tonight. >> over the next few days between now and thursday, we could see more tornados than we've seen all year thus far. not just the number, some tornados could be strong or violent and could turn deadly, so we need you to really pay attention and heed these tornado warnings. >> reporter: 32 million people are in the path, texas, oklahoma and kansas are in the cross hairs in the next few hours.
on sunday, the threat includes arkansas and missouri and then slowly moving east putting millions more at risk. from the lower mississippi, tennessee and lower ohio valleys. in tiny chase, kansas, the weather siren is broken. they are delivering weather radios to the 300 homes and businesses, which sit right in the heart of tornado ally. >> we're a small town. we don't have a lot of money, so they are doing what they can to keep the community safe, but yet, be as proactive if something happened. >> reporter: these tornados may touchdown overnight when people are sleeping and you're heavily populated cities. that's why we're getting strong warnings right now. dr. greg forbes says tomorrow in arkansas, the tor:con level will be an unusually high seven out of eight. we're at risk here in texas and other states as well. lester? >> thanks. for more on the weather threat, we turn to nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer, dylan? >> good evening lester.
the weather situation will get more serious by sunday. we have warm air, ten to 15 above average ahead of the cold front but back behind it, temperatures are about 15 to 20 degrees below average and it's that clash that could create very strong storms in red from nebraska right down into eastern texas, even stretching into mississippi. it's in orange and encompassing pretty much all of arkansas sunday afternoon where we could see the possibility of a tornado outbreak. into monday, the situation is still the same and it's western tennessee right down into most of mississippi where we could see some of our strongest storms, something we will have to keep an eye on, especially starting sunday afternoon. lester? >> dylan, thanks, we'll see you in the morning on "today". the u.s. military increased presence as they prepare to impose more sanctions on russia this is foreign military observers remain in captivity tonight in ukraine, held by prorussian militants that accuse them of being spays.
we get more from jim mesada in ukraine. >> reporter: on the ground, firing the state of the art missile destroyers right under ukraine's nose, while overhead russian fighter jets patrol the skies. these are supposed to be drills, but never has the crisis in ukraine looked closer to war. the war planes violated ukraine's air space seven times overnight said ukraine's prime minister. >> the only reason is to provoke ukraine, to strike the soil and to accuse ukraine of waging the war to russia. >> reporter: tension at a breaking point. prorussian militants occupy the town of slavyansk with army and heavy weapons. while just outside town, concrete blocks cut off the main road, a new tactic. >> these are ukrainian forces that have set up this check point, this blockade, really,
of slavyansk, the stronghold of the prorussian militants about five miles down the road. the idea is to isolate this town and prevent any supplies reinforcements, and most of all, weapons from getting through. but on friday insurgents struck back taking a 13-man team of military observers hostage holding them in this building. the observer mission is here to negotiate the end of the conflict but prorussian militants say it's part of it. we get the impression that they are officers carrying out a certain spying mission he said. and with russia showing no signs of reigning in the militants, today, president obama on a state visit to malaysia and other g7 leaders say they will impose more sanctions on russia individuals and businesses but not yet president vladimir putin saying russia has only escalated tensions. but as more u.s. troops landed today and a show of force in the
neighboring boll -- boltics, it was unclear in ukraine. for more on the crisis in ukraine, and how the obama administration is responding, we turn to our chief white house correspondent chuck todd traveling with the president in malaysia and david gregory with "meet the press." chuck, starting with you, with regard to whether ukraine is overshadowing the president's trip in any way. >> well, it definitely is overshadowing the trip. it's a frustrated white house on many levels. number one, they are frustrated they can't get the european leaders to unite on something tougher against vladimir putin. they are frustrated this trip is getting overshadowed because they think they are accomplishing something here in asia and very frustrated with the press, as always, because they believe that somehow we're not telling that story. but clearly, the ukraine issue is dominating the president's down time. you know, he'll do a state dinner and got to go and make phone calls while he's in the middle of the night doing that and he's over here trying to
assert american influence and american leadership and it's a region that really wants american influence and leadership, but as they watch what is going on in ukraine and the united states' inability to get things done in europe, are they wondering does american leadership really going to help in asia? >> at that point, let me turn to david. sanctions, it takes awhile for the bite to be felt. things are moving quickly in ukraine. is that all the president really has in his arsenal here? >> at the moment. it doesn't appear to be a military consequence that the united states or the west want to make vladimir putin pay. you talk about the troops going into the boltics, that's a show of force saying there is a line here. the economic sanctions are tough. europe does a lot of trade with russia, wants to do business there, needs the oil but the russian economy is hurting, and can hurt more. you have to ask whether russia really wants to invite ukraine or simply continue to be stable as ukraine to prevent it from really turning westward. it's the management of that that's so trickery right now for the white house. >> david gregory, chuck todd
tonight, thanks. david will have more tomorrow on "meet the press". ten days after that ferry sank off the coast of south korea, the search for more than 100 people still missing was suspended today because of bad weather. as new images emerge of the final moments before the ship went down. we get the latest tonight from nbc's bill neely. >> reporter: just minutes before it sank, a teenager on the ferry took these photographs. the ship listing badly, students clinging on more than two dozen huddling together, most without life jackets. the ship is sinking he wrote. he is still missing. the search for him and more than 100 others is suspended. police boats tied up, rescuers withdrawn due to strong currents. the families fear their children will never be found. the weather here is set to deteriorate, and that will hamper the recovery of the bodies. much to the furry of the
families, they say that operation is already far too slow. divers report seeing children clutching each other, 48 crammed together in one room. they just can't get them out. prosecutors say they were victims of negligence. life rafts on the ferry couldn't be freed as it sank. the steering was faulty, the cargo over weight and investigators found cargo restraints on the ferry's sister ship didn't work. bill has sailed and inspected ships for 50 years. >> maintenance, particularly of safety operations was not a high priority with this vessel operator. >> reporter: four more crew members have now been arrested, meaning all 15 crew responsible for navigating the ship are now in custody. the long wait goes on for so many families. they have cried their way to exhaustion, doctors say they are
traumatized, and trapped, too. waiting for a search that for now is going nowhere. bill neely, nbc news, jindo, south korea. back in this country, the nba said they launched an investigation into racially charge the comments allegedly made by the owner of a los angeles clippers. the comments are drawing harsh criticism as we hear from nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: with the l.a. clippers in the middle of the nba play-offs, controversy surrounds the owner, donald, tmz posted an audio recording of a conversation between sterling and a girlfriend. the recording has not been verified by nbc news. >> yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to promo broadcast that you're associating with black people. do you have to? >> reporter: according to tmz's report, sterling was upset his girlfriend posted an instagram photo of her with magic johnson. that photo has been removed. >> you can sleep with him, you can bring them in, you can do
whatever you want. the little i ask you is not to promote it and not to bring them to my games. >> reporter: the clippers coach said the team had a meeting this morning. >> it upsets all of us. there is not one guy that's happy with this situation. >> we're here to play basketball. what dock says goes, we're playing basketball. in a statement the clippers say they don't know if the tape is legitimate or altered. they say she's a defendant in an embezzlement lawsuit brought by the sterling family and it's not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, believes or feelings. the nba is conducting an investigation saying the remarks are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have in further information. >> if these allegations are true, there is president of
people being disciplined for this. >> magic johnson said i'll never go to a clippers game again as long as donald sterling is the owner. >> i think that there is no way that one can own an nbc team, given the nba guidelines and make these kind of statements and not be removed. >> reporter: in 2009 the real estate mogul agreed to pay $2.7 million to settle government allegations that he refused to rent to african americans, hispanics and families with children. he admitted no wrongdoing. tomorrow the clippers will return to play-off action with a 2-1 series lead and their owner in the spotlight. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this saturday, a possible turning point in college sports, as players in one university bode on forming a union. and later, why some hope this video game never sees the light of day again.
we're back with the latest step in a move that could fund mentally alter the college sports at football players at northwestern university voted this week on whether to form a union. while the results won't be known right away, the stakes are enormous, a potential game changer. we get more tonight from ron mott. >> reporter: defined as workers under federal law last month, 76 northwestern football players were eligible to vote on unionizing to collect on
long-term medical care, practice conditions and most controversially, compensation. >> i do see pay and the athletes getting a so-called cut of the revenue from television contracts, and the like as ultimately being the issue. >> reporter: results of the vote will be sealed while the national labor relations board hears the appeal of a district ruling granting them employment status. >> we don't think they are employe employees, we think they are students. these are things that northwestern university already does. >> reporter: for years, a bigger debate about fairness went through college sports. the question with billion-dollar tv deals, millionaire coaches, packed stadiums, do athletes deserve a bigger share? in a statement an ncaa official said turning student athletes into employees and changing the relationship between students and universities is certainly not the answer. regardless of the northwestern vote, some are declaring victory for athletes.
the ncaa is prepared to overhaul rules, rules more favorable to players, including lifting restrictions on how much food they can eat. they approved further studying giving colleges more leeway involving player benefits. >> they are realizing the change and want to control it as much as possible. they don't want to let the issue get away from them. >> reporter: outside northwestern's campus, students weighed in. >> it's where you come for education and to exercise foxes and that should be kept separate from business. >> i think they should be paid for promoting hard work and promoting the image. >> reporter: a potential game-changer that has become serious business. ron mott, nbc news, boston. up next, hillary clinton on the subject on faith.
hillary clinton spoke about her faith today for the first time at a highly personal speech by the woman considered the front runner for the democratic presidential nomination in 2016. in lexington, kentucky, mrs. clinton a methodist addressed a crowd of 7,000 at the unite the methodist women's assembly. she recalled going to her church as a young girl in parkridge, illinois. >> i loved that church. i loved how it made me feel about myself. i loved the doors that it opened in my understanding of the world. i loved the way it helped to deepen my faith and ground it. >> hillary clinton today on her church and her faith. millions of people will be watching around the world tomorrow as two popes become saint at a vatican ceremony conducted by pope francis.
ann thompson is there for the preview for us tonight, hi, ann. >> reporter: good evening, lester. it's already crazy here. the streets around st. peters square are closed off and people are sleeping on the sidewalks as the vatican braces for one million people that will try to fit in the small square behind me to watch the catholic church make saints. you can earlier today it felt like an international festival out here. people from around the world coming to celebrate these two men who have profound impacts on the church and the world. john embraced by the progressive wing of the catholic church for convening the second vatican counsel and ushering the church into the modern age. john paul ii a hero for bringing down communism in his native poland and across eastern
europe. it was pope francis' decision to do it together and to help heel the wounds within the catholic church. when pope francis leads tomorrow, he'll be joined by his predecessor pope benedict, two popes proclaiming two other popes saints. lester? >> an thompson tonight. thanks. we'll have full coverage tomorrow beginning at 4:00 a.m. eastern on msn brks krrks and online at nbcnews.com. at a landfill in new mexico today, backhoes and bulldozers struck was considered gold to video game historians. hundreds of copies of et the extraterrestrial. it's considered by some to be the worst video game ever made, so bad atari wanted to destroy any evidence of the existence. it has been a source of fascination since. today's excavation will be part of a documentary.
>> reporter: at 80, he's proud to be one of the guys hanging out with the milwaukee brewers whose games he's called on the radios since 1971. as a player, he broke into the majors in milwaukee and bounced around the big leagues for six years compiling a less than stellar career batting average of .200. then he found his power swing as an entertainer. >> welcome mr. baseball bob uecker. >> reporter: he made some 100 appearances on johnny carson's tonight show, starred in a 1980s sitcom and had a role in the hit movie "major league." >> i love him. >> reporter: most fans may know him from a beer commercial. >> good seats, huh? >> you're in the wrong seat, buddy, come on. >> reporter: it's the phrase that made this milwaukee native famous. >> he missed the tag. >> reporter: so for this unique personality, a unique honor, a second statute, this one inside
the stadium, well, barely inside the stadium, we're behind the last row of seats here at miller uecker seats and to top it off, we're behind a pillar, good seats, huh. >> i would love to do a game from up there, and here is a swing and fly ball and hit to somewhere. >> reporter: he says it could have been a lot worse. >> when they said they wanted it to be a little further away in the seats, they were talking about the lake front, and that was a little upsetting. >> reporter: a couple miles at least. >> he wanted it out in the water. >> reporter: in the last five years he had two heart operations, a new hip and three knee replacements. he jokes his next option will be an autopsy but shows no signs of slowing down. he talks of his new statute as a bit of a legacy, a fundraiser for the make a wish foundation. >> who are we without people?
who are we without fans? >> reporter: and putting smiles on as many of their faces as we can. john yang, nbc news, milwaukee. >> that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. well see you tomorrow on "today" and right back here tomorrow evening. good night. nbc bay area news starts now. good evening. i'm terry mcsweeney. diane dwyer is off tonight. we start with developing news, explosive allegations on the eve of the warriors playoff game. all about a controversial recording of racist remarks that
may involve donald sterling. kimberly tere joins us live outside oracle arena. >> reporter: tomorrow those two teams will be facing off but today the talk is about anything but the playoffs. in fact, it is about the big news you were talking about, the investigation into the tape and alleged recording of clippers owner donald sterling. this evening we got a statement from the team questioning the legitimacy of it all. the clippers released a statement questioning the authenticity of the video recording released by tmz. we heard the tape on tmz. we do not know if it is legitimate or if it has been alterred. the statement says the audio recording does gnnot reflect sterling's vier