tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 8, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, liftoff. >> the final liftoff of "atlantis." >> the final flight, this was it, that's the end of the u.s. manned space program as we know it. a successful launch while on the ground, hundreds of thousands of people thrilled to witness history. help wanted. bad news on jobs today and signs of a backsliding economic. the question is, is there any good economic news buried in the figures? making history, one woman shatters the barriers tonight. and in california, here they
come, the royals are the stars of hollywood tonight. also tonight, if you live near it, you know it's coming, it's called carmageddon and it's just days away. it's called carmageddon and it's just days away. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. it was visible in the sky for about a minute and then it was gone. they're in earth orbit now and while the crew is at work, while looking down on all of us from that window, what they can't say perhaps is the 50 years of hit riding along with them. the early test pilots with the right stuff. president kennedy's outlandi ii challenge to get to the moon, all the disasters along the way and so much of the technology we enjoy today. but times have changed, money is tight we're told and for now we just don't see space as the next
frontier as we once did. tonight an old vehicle is on its last few laps and a big part of american life is about to end. we begin our coverage tonight with nbc's tom costello who was lucky enough to watch it blast off at the cape today. tom, good evening. >> reporter: mission managers admit they got lucky with the weather, no rain, no lightning, even a last-minute technical glitch didn't keep "atlantis" on the ground. a farewell from the ground teams who have spent 30 years launching shuttle missions. >> on behalf of the greatest team in the world, good luck to you and your crew on the final flight of this true american icon. >> one more time mike, i witness this great nation at its best. the crew of "atlantis" is ready for launch. >> reporter: the 135th shuttle mission thundered off the florida coast on a resupply
mission to the space station. while on the ground, three-quarters of a million people gathered to witness history. >> i wish them god speed and i'm so proud, i'm glad to have seen them go out. >> reporter: but controversy continues to reign over nasa and it's alumni race. >> i tell you that i think we're looking at a lost decade. >> reporter: a lost decade in space? >> that's what i think. >> it couldn't be farther from the truth. america has a bright future in space. president obama has committed this nation to moving forward to an asteroid and beyond to mars. >> reporter: still some 9,000 people at the kennedy space center are losing their jobs. among them dean petit who has worked on every mission, dating back to 1979. >> i'm not going to be able to say that anymore. but i can always say i did. now that, they can't take from
me. >> reporter: to make up for the 60,000 income he's losing, he's starting an ecotourism business, spacecoastoutdoors.net. the crew offered a poetic, albeit silent goodbye. meanwhile the launch folks got their own special treat this afternoon. jimmy buffet performed for them once the shuttle was off the pad. >> now we want to turn to our exclusive interview tonight with the man who was in command of the second to last shuttle mission. captain mark kelly has been kind enough to join us from houston. captain, as you hear, people are trying to put a good face on this new era of so-called
commercial space travel. i interviewed john glen, a man you may have seen around the how was a few days back, he says america's making a very big mistake, do you agree? >> well, you know, i think what's important, brian is that, you know, what happened was about a year and a half ago, we made a decision to go with this commercial route and it was very controversial, we had the augustine commission that made a lot of recommendations and the decision was to proceed with smaller companies to provide commercial first cargo and then crew access to space. and i think what's important at this point is that we embrace that and make this work. because, you know, that's what we have now, it's going to take a while before we're flying people in space again, but we could really make this successful. >> a little tough to get used to the idea that the russians are, for you, our ride for american astronauts into space? >> yeah, that is tough to get used to. but it's not the first time we
have been in a similar situation without a spacecraft. at the end of the apollo program, we didn't have access to space for about six years until we first flew the space shuttle in 1981. so it's something we have seen before, obviously buying seats on the russian soyuz is not an ideal situation for us, but at least it's a good option to get our crews into space. >> you're a patriot and a team member to the very end. i have to ask you about your family, coming up here on a big six-month anniversary of that tragic shooting in tucson and today they hoisted the traveling 9/11 flag from ground zero, it was a lovely tribute out there in the parking lot of that safeway supermarket. how is your wife, the congresswoman and how does the prognosis look as we near six months? >> she's doing well. the prognosis is really, really good for her. she improves every day, every
week. she's excited about what we're doing in space. today she watched the launch, not from home where i was, but at her rehab facility and she was really excited to see space shuttle fly one more time. >> our very best to her, captain mark kelly, pleasure to have you, thank you very much for joining us tonight from houston. >> on another front, we have got the numbers today on the jobs picture for the month of june and they were in a word, awful. employers added just 18,000 jobs to their payrolls this mon s la fraction of what economists were expecting. the unm employment rate is up to 9.2, higher than its ever been. the bleak numbers reflect what americans already know that this economic recovery still has a long way to go. maria bartaromo is with us
tonight, and they did not, nobody wanted an uptick in the unemployment number. >> reporter: the number of new jobs created at a very, very low 18,000. we were expecting 120,000 new jobs created for june. it was tough all around, businesses cut jobs, state and local governments cut jobs, even in education, it was a surprise on the downside and it indicates that we are very much in a slow recovery, housing has really not picked up at all, that has contributed to it. and it's still very much tough going for most americans today. >> and maria, last time you and i spoke we talked be it the possibility of this so-called double dip recession, you never quite recover and then you go into another one. >> if i had to make the bet, no, we're not going to see two consecutive quarters of negative growth which is what the recession would be. it doesn't really matter what you call it, you could call it
cupcakes, whatever it is it just doesn't feel good, see we may not be in a double dip recession necessarily, but it feels like one, you're worried about your job, you're worried about your neighbor's job, your family doesn't have a job. we do begin the second quarter earnings next week, perhaps that gives us some vibrance svibranc certainly doesn't feel like it. overseas tonight in great britain, the phone hacking scandal now shut down an entire newspaper, is only getting uglier, there's more damning revelations to come and today the first arrests in the case, after so many violations of personal privacy. michelle kosinski has the latest from london. >> reporter: a day after the 168-year-old news of the world
fell to a scandal of its own making, two former top employees were arrested. an editor who once served as the prime minister's communications director and a reporter who served prison time for hacking into the paper back in 2007. today the offices of his current employer, "the daily star" were questioned by police. >> if these people could have had their phones hacked into in order to generate stories for a newspaper is simply disgusting. >> reporter: now even more questions. were other papers doing this? why were police allegedly taking huge payments from journalists and why didn't politicians push to get to the murky bottom of this among the possibly thousands of phone hack victims whose names have been turned over by the police, murder
victims, and fallen soldiers. tony just found out that his son james who died in afghanistan in 2006 may not only have had his cell phone hacked into, but also his e-mail. >> they have hacked into a dead soldier, it's despicable. what else would you say? what on earth did they think they were going to find? >> reporter: in the words of the prime minister, people trust the police to protect them, politicians to represent them and the news to inform them. these people have been failed by all three. in the middle east where fridays are typically the biggest day for protests, following friday prayers, hundreds of thousands were out on the streets of syria again demanding regime change, and in egypt, protesters are back in the streets, back in tahrir square. it's been five months now since mubarak was forced out, we were
there to cover it. there was so much hope back then, but there's now growing anger over the pace of change and growing concern over who holds the power. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel finds himself back in tahrir square once again tonight. richard, good evening. >> reporter: we certainly are back here in tahrir square and so are the demonstrate fors, today we saw the biggest protests since the ones that brought down hosni mubarak and they say they're going to stay in this square until the revolution's been met. over 100,000 people in tahrir square today, back with their tents and slogans. mubarak may be gone, but he and his top officials have not been put on trial, reform is slow or nonexistent. the revolution here is clearly
not over, but now many of the young activists who started this revolution five months ago fear it's being hijacked by the military and islamic groups. we visited the cairo headquarters of the secular revolutionaries who toppled mubarak with their campaigns on facebook and twitter. they're nearly out of money. they're office, grubby, cheaply furnished, with old commuters and a photo copy machine. sheryl says young organizers like her are losing power to the egyptian brotherhood. >> reporter: just compare the real estate, in january the muslim brotherhood's office was a small apartment with a tiny sign outside. their headquarters now, a palatial six story villa, with guilded furniture, chandeliers,
and the group's logo, crossed swords and the koran. the brother hood is rich from donations from around the arab world. it's leaders like osama arian are -- egypt's most powerful political group says it wants quote, islamic democracy. >> we need to give the whole world a new version of democracy. >> reporter: the brotherhood says it is not antagonistic to the united states, but it is staunchly anti-israel. >> israel cannot do it. >> reporter: why not. >> because they want to live in war. it is the history of the jewish people. >> reporter: in tahrir square today, both groups were out, the secular revolutionaries and the muslim brotherhood, each demanding faster change. this is a struggle for egypt's future. in addition to the protests here, there were also
demonstrations in shar mel shake in front of the hospital where the egyptian government says mubarak is under medical supervision. brian? >> unbelievable turn of events since you and i stood in that spot five months ago, richard engel back in cairo for us. when we come back here there's a new boss in the world in paris island, and when she says jump t only acceptable question is how high. and what's it like for the people who had the seats for the last launch in person. in their own words tonight. drink what we want, and sleep soundly through the night. unlike antacids, one prevacid®24hr pill prevents the acid that causes frequent heartburn for 24 hours. choose prevacid®24hr and see why 9 out of 10 users say they're satisfied. so relax. enjoy. with prevacid®24hr, happiness is a day without heartburn™.
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the marine corps recruit depot at paris island, south carolina produces 20,000 marines a year. inspecting the training is the new commanding general, lori reynolds. >> i was the guy on the bottom. >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: brigadier general reynolds is the first woman to head paris island and says he is humble to command the marines who volunteer during wartime. >> those are americans and we owe it to their families to take care of them. >> reporter: she served in afghanistan as the first female marine to become a lead commander in a battle zone. of the 200,000 marines around the world, nearly 14,000 are women. and many see general reynolds as a role model. >> i believe it would empower
them to believe more in their capabilities. >> reporter: the marines is a performance-based culture, for men and women. >> for men and women out there, they should never say never, keep pushing, keep challenging yourself. >> reporter: at a graduation ceremony today, she was on hand to meet the parents. >> you're the mom? >> reporter: and to honor the new marines, all of whom she's extremely proud. mark potter, nbc news, paris island. also tonight perhaps you heard about the terrible tragedy at the texas rangers home game last night. their star outfielder and league mvp josh hamilton was just trying to do a nice thing, he tossed a foul ball to a fan in the stands, a 39-year-old firefighter who lunged to catch the ball fell to his death.
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tighter here than it was in canada. the lapd tells us that paparazzi will not be allowed anywhere near the royal couple, if they trespass, they will be arrested. of course william and kate left canada just this morning in calgary, there was a bit of a moment, seemed to be a snub yesterday when the couple did not wear those white traditional cowboy hats, some people said it was a snub. but today they had the hats on and tharpz launching the typical calgary parade there. and a very sweet moment, back in 1939, a woman named frances miller was supposed to present flowers to william's great grandmother, queen elizabeth i, and that never happened and the train blue past. she finally got her chance to deliver flowers to the royal couple. a big three-day trip with events crammed all over los angeles and
it is kate's first trip ever to the united states. >> so the anticipation running heavy tonight in southern california, kate snow, thank you for that. and speaking of southern california, we wanted to give you a heads up about a story that we'll be bringing to you on "nightly news" next week. it's being called carmageddon. they're shutting down the 405, a major road for major repair. 50-mile backups, the likes of which we have never seen before. we will preview carmageddon tonight. thing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator,
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and sleep soundly through the night. prevacid®24hr prevents the acid that causes frequent heartburn, all day, all night. finally tonight, back down to florida, it turns out more than one family had the idea to tack a little side trip on to their summer vacation to see the end of an era, the last shuttle launch. there were predictions of 1 million spectators this morning at the time of blastoff. they came, they saw, and some of them spoke with us. >> go for main engine start. two minutes ten. >> i have been live for 30
years, they have been doing it for 30 years, it's so special. >> i want to see some more manned space flight. >> five, four, all three engines up and burning. >> i hope i live long enough to see more american emanned flights. >> two, one, zero and liftoff. >> reporter: the final liftoff of "atlantis" on the shoulders of the space shuttle, america will continue. >> roger roll, "atlantis." >> i wish them god speed and i'm so proud and happy to have seen them go out. >> houston now controlling the flight of "at"atlantis." >> it's not the end, it's the end of a chapter, the book is still open for manned space flight.
>> 41,000 pounds of hardware and humans taking aim on the international space station. >> just a few of the folks that showed up to see history today in their own words. that's our broadcast for this friday night, thank you for being here with us, i'm brian williams. lester holt will be here with you this weekend. we, of course, hope to see you right back here on monday. in the meantime, have a great weekend. good night.