tv NBC Nightly News NBC February 1, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
xclusive bedding collection. only at the sleep number store, where queen mattresses start at just $699. on the broadcast tonight, going public. the company that changed the what it world makes friends. facebook just changed its own status in a big way. we'll tell what you this means for upwards to a billion of facebook users. damage control. what should have been a victory lap today for mitt romney became something very different. what h he said about the poor. exit strategy. the first time the defense secretary issues a date for the beginning of the end of the war in afghanistan. caught in the middle. two of the biggest names in women's health, tonight in a bitter fight over money. it may be thousands of women who pay the biggest price. the pioneer who created a saturday morning tradition and
helped transform television and music all at once. tonight, remembering don cornelius. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. the brain storm that was hatched in a dorm room at harvard eight years ago. the idea that changed what it means to be a friend is tonight poised to go public in a very big way. hours ago facebook filed the necessary paperwork to sell shares on the stock market. $5 billion worth. if the $5 billion number doesn't get your attention there's more. in its filing, facebook publically posted some astounding numbers. 845 million active users every month. 2.7 billion posted likes and comments every single day. 250 million photos uploaded every day. and 100 billion friendships.
the essence of facebook's social network is not a company that makes things unless you count money. it's where we begin here tonight with nbc's kate snow here in the studio. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. eight years ago mark zuckerburg facebook creator was instant messaging with a friend and said he hates working under other people. today he is leading one of the biggest companies in the world and is about to take a step that means he will have to report to someone -- stock holders. do you know anyone who doesn't know what facebook is? exactly. 800 million people actively use facebook right now. if facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated nation in the world behind china and india. not so surprising then that wall street is about to put such a huge price tag on the company, a moment foreshadowed in the movie "the social network." >> this is no time to take your chips down. a million dollars isn't cool. you know what's cool? >> a billion dollars.
>> reporter: try $75 to $100 billion. that's what analysts think the company could be worth when it starts offering stock to the public. facebook could have an iconic status like ford motor company or sears roebuck. we asked our "nightly news" friends to weigh in. how can something that has no tangible product be worth so much? >> it may not feel real because you see it on a screen, but this is a business that earned $3.8 billion last year. >> reporter: a lot of facebook's 3,000 employees are about to get very rich. some of them for the second time. they already made a bundle at google. silicon valley realtor ed graziani. >> we are excited about the facebook ipo because it's going to be such an infusion of cash. >> reporter: facebook leaders aren't talking publically right now, but monday the chief operating officer argued the company's success will bolster the economy. >> the studies we've done in the
last year say we created more than 450,000 jobs just in europe and the u.s. >> reporter: to go public, facebook has to reveal some of its still-now confidential practices, like how many ads they are selling and how they handle users' private information. >> the first time we'll see the numbers and we'll know if they are doing something you wouldn't want them to be doing. this will be the great reveal. >> reporter: facebook is huge, but what if it's already peaked? >> over the years it became less and less of a constant until it became just more annoyance. >> reporter: remember the sony walkman? we had one until apple ipods came along. but for now, facebook is riding high. we learned tonight 27-year-old founder mark zuckerburg owns about 28% of the company. he is the largest single shareholder with the company and with this ipo his network could climb to about $28 billion. >> as they say, only in america. kate snow, thanks for starting
us off tonight with that. now we turn to the presidential campaign trail. today mitt romney's victory lap after his big win in florida last night went wrong when critics on both sides of the political aisle jumped all over him for a badly-worded remark. our report from the trail tonight from nbc's peter alexander. >> what a welcome, thank you! >> reporter: energized by his resounding florida victory, he rallied in minnesota. >> we elected president obama to lead. he chose to follow and now it's time for him to get out of the way. >> reporter: it was this comment in an interview on cnn that started a firestorm of criticism. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. i'm concerned about the very heart of america. >> reporter: the first part of that statement suggesting indifference to the plight of the poor started immediate
reaction. first from the obama campaign, then conservative skaul warts like "the national review," "the weekly standard" and blogs like red state. the comment became a distraction for romney, a wealthy former finance executive. >> no, no, no. you've got to take the whole sentence, all right? >> reporter: newt gingrich wasted no time jumping in. >> let me say something here. i am fed up with politicians in either party dividing americans against each other. >> reporter: and on the day before romney officially gets secret service protection, he was greeted by a gay rights protestor's glitter box. >> i'm happy for a celebration. this is confetti. we just won florida. we are going to win the white house next. >> reporter: all this dragging romney off message on a day he intended to enjoy as a victory
lap. >> it's not a good life to be poor. anybody who thinks though is oblivious. >> you stepped on it again. >> reporter: romney's gaffes got him into trouble before like a $10,000 bet during a debate and comment "corporations are people, too." all those remarks are why some conservatives are questioning whether he is ready to compete with barack obama. donald trump is injecting himself into the process again, making a major announcement some time tomorrow from here in vegas. >> peter alexander in las vegas, thanks. now to the pentagon. there is big news about the war in afghanistan and the time table for withdrawal of american troops. jim miklazewski covering at the pentagon for us tonight. jim, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. for the first time today, defense secretary leon panetta said the u.s. combat mission in afghanistan would officially be ended before the end of next year. that's a full year before all forces are scheduled to withdraw.
americans instead would advise and train the afghan security forces. while this is a significant milestone in that ten-year war, it does not necessarily mean an end to all combat for u.s. forces. for example, they could still team up with afghan forces in fighting the taliban when needed. now, pentagon officials are also insisting this is not a new strategy. in fact, this is exactly the same strategy the americans used in getting out of iraq. in that case, there were some 370 u.s. military killed after that combat mission was officially declared over, brian. >> jim miklazewski at the pentagon with the news from there tonight, jim, thanks. and overseas in egypt where a year ago tonight we were just arriving to witness what turned onto a revolution, things got way out of control at a soccer stadium today. a riot left at least 70 people dead and hundreds injured.
now the question, how did this happen? nbc's ayman mohyeldin is on the ground in cairo. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. it's being described as one of the deadliest sporting tragedies in egypt's history. these games, the tension can run very high because here in egypt, soccer is more than just a sport. it was a moment of celebration and victory for the home team that turned violent. fans of the losing team allegedly began taunting the home crowd, accusing them of not supporting last year's populist revolution. fans from both teams stormed the field attacking each other with make-shift weapons. players from the visiting team were swarmed and attacked by those on the field and had to be evacuated by the military. no players were killed. emergency medical services struggled to cope with scores of injured and dead fans. riot police and security at the stadium stood by doing almost nothing to stop the rampaging crowds.
sports officials suspended all games across the country. in cairo, angry fans set fire to egypt's national stadium. the political fallout from today's riot was immediate. the attorney general ordered an investigation and egypt's political insecurity leadership will hold emergency meetings tomorrow. brian, the issue highlights also the lack of confidence people have in the security forces here. people are really questioning whether the police, which was present at that game, can actually maintain law and order and security across the country. back to you. >> ayman mohyeldin in cairo tonight. thanks. back in this country, we got word today from los angeles that don cornelius had died of an apparent suicide. he was the creator and long-time host of "soul train," one of the longest-running shows in television, period. it was also a period piece. decade by decade, a ground breaker and history maker, all of it thanks to its creator. >> let's all get together and
style a while. >> don cornelius invented an american institution to look back over the long track of "soul train" you can trace the progression of music, hair, clothes and how people moved. it was a place of celebration, a kind of saturday worship service that was all about the music. >> he struck a chord that no one could compete with, so even though other people got on the tracks, there was only one "soul train." >> reporter: looking back now, especially the shows in the early 70s, it's a vintage time capsule, the 'fros and clothes were over the top and they were supposed to be. >> that's how i learned how to dance. >> reporter: dick clark's "american band stand" was great, but millions felt left out until don cornelius arrived along with that voice. >> let us get it together. >> reporter: he was a deejay in chicago and went on tv with $400 of his own money and with the basic belief that music and dancing should be fun. >> shows like "band stand" and
"soul train" that are based on a genre of music will stay popular as long as the music stays popular. >> reporter: cornelius was a mover in the music business, as host and producer and mentor. he made a lot of musicians famous and he made a lot of music more popular. >> all of america was able to see these artists, artists we think of as mainstream today like areceipta franklin, michael jackson. these artists had a platform with "soul train" that they didn't have anywhere else. >> his private life was not without its troubles. he was arrested in '08 for domestic violence. there was probation, restraining orders, a nasty divorce and recently reported health problems. while don cornelius was the engine of "soul train," the featured spot was the "soul train" line. couples who made it to the line had a few seconds of air time and the rest of us watched amazed. it was performance art before we
knew the term. and that was don cornelius. don cornelius gone tonight at the age of 75. we'll take a break. still ahead as the broadcast continues this evening, a decision that's making a lot of women furious at the world's largest breast cancer organization. later, a surprise visitor in these parts. it's an invasion of snowy white creatures. an investment opportunity you didn't see before. fidelity's next generation ipad app lets you see what's trending around the world, as well as what over a million fidelity customers are trading throughout the day. and advanced charting lets you customize your views and set up your own comparisons. our ipad app can help refine your strategy or even find a new one. i'm velia carboni, and i helped create fidelity's next generation ipad app. it's one more innovative reason serious investors are choosing fidelity. get 200 free trades and explore your next investing idea.
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especially if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctor's approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning. pradaxa is progress. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if you can reduce your risk of stroke with pradaxa. two huge names in women's health are having a bitter dispute tonight. the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation, one of the biggest charities devoted to breast cancer research, and planned parenthood, which has gotten significant funding from the komen foundation. that's been stopped and the fallout here is both political and personal. our report from nbc's lisa myers. >> reporter: susan g. komen's race is for the cure. they raise $271 million last
year to advance breast cancer awareness, but today many angry women on twitter and the radio vowed their komen racing days are over. >> we are really upset by this decision, and we're not going to do the komen race any more. >> i changed my mind and sent the money elsewhere. >> reporter: komen announced it's stopping all new grants to planned parenthood because of a new policy that prohibits funding of groups under investigation. planned parenthood is being investigated by a congressional committee controlled by republicans. planned parenthood ceo called the decision political and disappointing. >> the komen foundation has been the target of a right wing political campaign, bullying them and unfortunately the results seem to be they gave into it. >> reporter: not long ago, komen hired a new vice president, karen handel, a former republican gubernatorial candidate endorsed by sarah palin, who strongly opposed
abortion and vowed to defund planned parenthood. officials say komen's grants enabled 170,000 women to receiving breast exams or diagnostic services. planned parenthood said none of the money ever went for abortion. >> it's really a sad day. >> reporter: this breast cancer survivor and official with planned parenthood's denver affiliate says this will hurt the most vulnerable women. >> low-income women who really need help in navigating the complex health care system are going to lose the services because of this decision. >> reporter: tonight, komen issued a statement saying, "the most stringent eligibility standards are designed to safe guard donor dollars." it regrets that planned parenthood was impacted, but insists this was not about politics. lisa myers, nbc news, washington. the pharmaceutical giant pfizer recalled a million packages of birth control pills
because of a packaging error that could cause the contraceptive to fail by leaving the women taking it with too small a dose to work. the error was caught quickly, but anyone with a deyektive package should start using another form immediately. we put the liston our website nbcnightlynews.com. employees of bankrupt american airlines have braced for bad news for weeks. american's parent company said today it wants to eliminate 13,000 jobs. that's 15% of american's work force, part of a plan to return to profitability. it also wants to end its traditional pension plans. up next tonight what the played revealed to jay leno last night about what goes on in the white house. ♪
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celebrated at arrival network. a tip of the hat from the industry to david letterman who today is celebrating 30 years in late night television. it's run the gambit of stupid pet tricks to signature presidents. as we con grang ute dave we remind him he started here at nbc so we own the early archives. so listen to what we found. back in 1978, he was still a stand-up comedian in. a weak moment he made an admission to tom snyder about the job he really wanted. >> my ultimate desire is to anchor the news on nbc. >> i can help you there. i've got connections. >> i don't know what's going to happen, but i think that's part of the excitement of being in this business. >> six months after that aired, dave did stand-up on nbc's "tonight show" with johnny carson and went on to make a name for himself. speaking of "the tonight show with jay leno," the first lady was jay's guest last night.
jay was most interested about that clip of the president singing al green at the apollo theater in harlem a while back. that's when we learned president is evidently quite the singer around the people's house. >> he does have a beautiful voice. he sings to me all the time. >> really? like what does he sing in. >> he sings that song. i said i bet he sings al green. he does that all the time. i can't sing. >> i think would you say he has a better singing voice than you? >> absolutely does, yes. he doesn't hesitate to show off his lungs to his wife. he's good. >> mrs. obama added the first daughters are less thrilled, adding something all parents know, she said, quote, everything we do is embarrassing." up next, a mystery. some rare visitors far south and far from home. ♪ [ male announcer ] when a moment suddenly turns romantic, men with erectile dysfunction
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places you never expect to see them. the story from nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: even for the most avid bird watcher -- >> they may be looking at us right now. >> reporter: the snowy owl can be an elusive subject. >> you don't find owls, owls find you. >> reporter: their white feathers usually blend into the icy tundra, but this year the snowy owl is causing a spectacle in unexpected places. >> it's really unusual to see them down south here in the lower 48. >> reporter: for audubon guide brian bell and photographer paul bannick, it's what they wait years for. >> owls are for many people the symbol of darkness, mystery, but to see this glowing white owl and we're out in the daylight. >> reporter: in a normal winter, the town of ocean shores, washington, is lucky to see one. >> right here, i'm photographing two owls. >> reporter: this year a surge in population called an eruption
is bringing them in unprecedented numbers. >> these are both probably birds of this year. >> reporter: a snowy's head turns 270 degrees. he stands two feet tall with wings five feet wide. we've already spotted at least half a dozen of these guys out here in ocean shores today. this isn't the only place the snowy owls are showing up this year. snowies have been sighted in 31 states. scientists admit there is a lot to learn about the owls and why there are so many here. a change in the food supply, a particularly good breeding year and snowfall up north could be factors. >> these owls we are watching might be from russia, finland or might be from alaska, we don't know. and that mystery is very exciting. >> if it's the first time you've ever seen one that, first reaction is, wow, look at that! >> reporter: but look quickly. scientists say they won't stay for too long.