tv Today NBC March 26, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
good morning. "today" exclusive. the wife of the american soldier accused of killing 17 afghan civilians, including nine children, speaks out for the first time. in your mind that this is just the stress of war? how could her husband, and the father of their children, be accused of committing such a horrific act? the other side. after weeks of silence, supporters of the man who killed trayvon martin share his side of the story. we'll talk with george zimmerman's attorney and his longtime friend. and, as low as you can go and loving it. director james cameron completes a dangerous journey nearly seven miles down to the deepest part of the ocean. what he's saying about hitting rock bottom "today," monday, what he's saying about hitting rock bottom "today," monday, march 26th, 2012.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television and good morning. welcome to "today" on a monday morning i'm matt lauer. >> and i'm ann curry. good morning, everybody. matt, your exclusive interview with the wife of army staff sergeant bales come as there are new details emerging about what happened. >> and they're chilling details. military prosecutors now believe that sergeant bales returned to the base during the attack and then headed back out to kill more civilians. did mrs. bales see any signs that her husband may not have been fit to be deployed? even with all the information you've heard about this story over the last couple of weeks i think you'll be surprised to see what mrs. bales has to say. our exclusive interview coming straight up. >> also coming up this morning, dick cheney's weekend heart
transplant. the former vice president, of course, is 71 years old, and even though he has waited longer than most to receive his donor heart, some are questioning whether someone that old should be getting one. ahead of younger patients who are also waiting. dr. nancy synderman will be weighing in on that story. and also coming up this morning, madonna's new video has sparked some controversy, including the fact that she is seen smoking a cigarette. youtube has already put restrictions on just who can see it. so now the controversy is growing, with new photos this morning showing the pop star's 15-year-old daughter lighting up. some are saying like mother, like daughter. anyway we'll be talking about that this morning. >> we begin on a monday morning with new details on the mirders of 17 afghan civilians, allegedly by an american soldier. we'll hear exclusively from his wife in a moment. but first, nbc's john yang is at fort leavenworth in kansas with the latest. john, good morning to you. >> good morning, matt. this morning we have learned new details of what military
prosecutors believe happened that night. that night that ended with 17 afghan civilians dead, 13 of them women and children. military prosecutors allege the deadly rampage came in two waves. with staff sergeant robert bales returning to base after the first attack, and then slipping out again. if the prosecution can prove that, it could be a problem for the defense. >> i think it's going to be extremely difficult for his defense to allege that this was all the result of post-traumatic stress. >> reporter: in afghanistan, u.s. military officials said they paid about $50,000 each to families of the dead, and $11,000 to the wounded. substantial sums in a country where the average household makes only $300 a year. one official told nbc news the amount reflects the extraordinarily devastating nature of the incident. >> i think more than anything,
it's to assuage our own guilt that this has happened. >> reporter: bales now faces formal charges that he did, with premeditation, murder 17 afghan civilians. including four women, and nine children. he's also charged with six counts of attempted murder. the charge sheet includes grisly details, saying that bales tried to murder one afghan girl with a gunshot wound to the head. bales was read the charges inside the facility at fort leavenworth where he's being held in solitary confinement. >> he's in shock about the whole thing. he's emotional. very emotional. you know, he's kind of like a deer in the headlights. >> reporter: he's told his attorney he has a spotty memory of the night of the shootings, remembering only things before and after the incident. analysts say bales' road to trial will not be speedy. >> this is a long process. and it will be many, many months, if not more, before we see a case like this go to trial. >> reporter: court proceedings in this case are scheduled for joint base lewis mcchord in
washington state near seattle. that's closer to where bales' wife and two small children are. military officials say there are no plans to move him there any time soon. matt? >> all right, john yang, thank you very much. staff sergeant bales' wife carrie is speaking out for the very first time. we sat down with her exclusively over the weekend and i asked her about the situation her husband is in. >> i was actually at the grocery store that morning, and a phone call from my parents, and they said well it looks like a u.s. soldier, some afghan civilians were killed by a soldier. >> and when you got home, did you hear the story expanded upon first before you heard bob's name mentioned? >> i saw 38-year-old staff sergeant, and i don't think there are very many of those, and i probably prayed and prayed that my husband wasn't involved. and then, i received a phone call from the army saying that
they would like to come out and talk to me. and i was relieved, because when you get a phone call, you know that your soldier is not deceased. >> can you remember what they said? >> they held my hand and they just said that perhaps, you know, they thought that he had left the base, and gone out and perhaps killed the afghan civilians, and that was really the only sentence, and i just started crying. >> tell me what you believed. >> i just -- it seemed to me like, i -- i just don't think he was involved. >> you think this is all mistaken identity? do you think this is -- is he being made a fall guy for someone else? >> i don't know. >> 17 people were killed. >> right. i don't know enough information. i -- this is not him. it's not him. >> have you -- how do you get your head around that kind of
news? >> it's devastating to hear, and it's -- it hurts my heart. you know. very, very saddened >> this is the guy you described as your best friend. >> right. >> and he's being charged with first degree murder. in other words, premeditated. that he planned this. >> it's very unbelievable. it just -- all i can think of is what happened. what led up to it? i don't -- we don't have all the -- i feel like i don't have all the information. >> i ask what kind of dad he was. you said he was so involved with his children. he loves children. >> he loves children. he's like a big kid himself. >> he is accused of killing nine children. >> right. >> innocent children. >> i have no idea what happened. but he would not -- he loves children. and he would not do that. it's heartbreaking.
i can't imagine losing my children. so my heart definitely goes out to them for losing all of their children. >> is it possible in your mind that this is just the stress of war? >> that's what i thought of. yeah. it seems like this mission was different than the iraq tours. so, more intense. >> how did you get word that he would be deployed a fourth time? >> it was a big shock. because we weren't on the schedule to be deployed again, to be honest with you. he didn't want to miss out on any more of his kids' life. when he had joined he had wanted to go to afghanistan. going to afghanistan didn't worry him. it was more about being just away from the family, more time. >> how did you two deal with it? >> i was -- i was upset, you know. because i was hoping, i was planning my next phases with my family. and being able to share with him.
>> prior to being deployed to afghanistan, his fourth deployment overall, he would have been screened at the base here. right? >> right. >> he would have gone through a physical screening and mental screening. >> right. >> are you completely confident that he was absolutely okay to be deployed that fourth time? >> yes. yep. >> there were no issues? >> no. >> there have been some reports, kari, that during his deployment in iraq, there were two injuries. all right, he suffered what was called a brain injury. a traumatic brain injury. what can you tell me about that. >> the only time i ever heard about any of those things was after he got back. he kept a lot of it from me. >> he suffered a traumatic brain injury, you're his wife by that point, he's communicating with you on a regular basis, and you never heard about it? >> no. nope, not until he came back and said that he, you know, had been blown up. he shielded me from a lot of what he went through.
he's a very tough guy. >> do you believe that your husband ever showed signs of ptsd prior to this deployment or during this deployment? >> i don't know a lot about the symptoms of ptsd, so i wouldn't know -- he doesn't have nightmares, you know, things like that. no dreams. >> trouble concentrating. erratic behavior shifts, anything like that? >> no. >> is there a question we should be asking ourselves about the stresses and strains that we put our military personnel under through this multiple deployments. what do you think about that? >> i think what's missing is the human aspects. they are first and foremost human. they are trained to be warriors to protect our freedoms. and people don't see the human side. >> your husband was trained to be a warrior. >> proudly. and defend his country. >> he may have seen some things during that time as a warrior that adversely affected him. >> i would say that a lot of people that have been deployed to iraq and afghanistan have seen a lot of things that
affected them. it can't not affect you. >> you've spoken to him twice on the phone. did you say sweetheart, did you do this? >> no. no. >> i mean, as a spouse wouldn't you want to ask that question, quickly, honey, why are they saying these things about you? >> not on the monitored phone call. so we couldn't discuss those details. he was -- seemed a bit confused. as to where he was and why he was there. >> will there come a time when you get to see bob where you will look him straight in the eye and ask him? >> probably. >> probably. >> probably. >> not definitely -- >> i don't think i'll have to ask him is what i mean. i think he'll tell me what happened. from his point of view. >> he is -- it seems, headed for trial. i mean, if this all progresses the way it seems to be progressing. that's going to be a very costly situation. >> it is. and so, we actually have set up a fund, a defense fund on bob's
behalf. >> do you feel you're going to have any trouble convincing people to contribute to a defense fund, given the horrific nature of the crimes he's accused of? >> you know, i think that all soldiers, all people deserve the best defense that they can get. and i believe he deserves the best defense. to know what happened. >> the u.s. military believes its evidence is as strong as kari's faith in her husband. i think some people watching, kari, are going to look and say that you're in denial. when you read some of the reports coming out that there's surveillance video that he walked back to the base and turned himself in, how do you square that and still say i don't think he was involved? >> i used to believe that everything i read was true, or you know, most things were true, and now, as i'm reading a little bit of these, some things are true, and some things aren't true. so i'm waiting to hear what actually is true. >> so if it turns out that he is on surveillance video, or that somebody in a position of power says, yes, he did turn himself
in, and hand over his weapon after this, will that change your mind? or will nothing change your mind? >> i don't think anything will really change my mind in believing that he did not do this. this is not what it appears to be. >> as we mentioned, mrs. bales has set up a defense fund for her husband. to learn more about that you can visit our website at today.com. it's 13 minutes after the hour. here's ann. >> matt, thank you. now to the trayvon martin case. it has been one month since the florida teenager was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer. new witnesses are now coming forward, as supporters of the shooter defend his actions. nbc's ron allen is in sanford with the latest on this story. ron, good morning. >> good morning to you, ann. there is a huge rally planned for this park later today. but the organizers hope will draw a crowd bigger than the 25,000 or so people who were here just a few days ago, to demand justice for trayvon martin and his family. they'll also be here to send a very loud message to the police, to george zimmerman and his
supporters, who claim that he's an innocent man. >> the incident that occurred, i believe mr. zimmerman was acting in self-defense. >> he cried for days after that shooting. >> and i don't believe that george zimmerman is a racist. >> reporter: george zimmerman supporters have launched a public campaign to defend him in the court of public opinion. >> no justice! >> reporter: against an unrelenting demand for zimmerman's arrest. thousands even donned hoodies in solidarity with trayvon martin's family, in churches across the country. zimmerman's defenders insist it was the teenager who attacked first, knocking zimmerman to the ground in a scuffle that left the crime watch volunteer with a broken nose, gash in his head and grass-stained clothes. and ended with a fatal bullet in martin's chest. >> if what george claims is true, none of this would have happened if trayvon had just said, i'm staying with my parents. >> trayvon martin had no such duty.
we believe he never knew who this strange man was who confronted him. >> reporter: there are now witnesses coming forward like mary kutcher who says she heard cries of distress out her open back window that night. >> it sounded young. it didn't sound like a grown man. is my point. >> reporter: she said she's speaking out now because she does not believe zimmerman's claim of self-defense. she heard the fatal gunshot. >> the crying stopped. and if it was zimmerman that was crying, because -- or whining or whatever because he was hurt, or i think it would have continued. >> reporter: martin's family maintains if zimmerman did what crime watch volunteers are supposed to do, their son would be alive today. >> neighborhood watch is to watch, and call the police. he had a license to carry that weapon but he did not have a license to carry that weapon as a patrolman and that's what he was doing that day. he played police. >> reporter: later today, martin's parents will have their first meeting with a special prosecutor just appointed by the
governor to investigate this case. they're also going to make a very public plea for justice before the sanford city commission here. another reason why so many thousands of people are coming to this town to support them. ann? >> ron allen, thank you. george zimmerman's attorney is now joining us along with zimmerman's longtime friend joe oliver. good morning to both of you gentlemen. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> craig, george zimmerman first pursued and then shot an unarmed boy. how does he justify that as self-defense? >> well, first of all, i think we need to let the investigation come forward and let all the facts in this case come out. i think it's going to tell a different story than the way it's been related and portrayed in the media. >> what we do know is that george is a 250 pound man, and that this boy, this 17-year-old boy, is of slender build. the question is how would he have seen this boy as a threat to his life? >> i think that that's -- that's all the evidence that needs to come out. i think some of the things he's
mentioned are not quite accurate. and i think when the evidence comes out it will show that george zimmerman was acting in self-defense in this case, and when the rest of the evidence comes out, the fact that -- one fact we do know, and i can disclose at this point, is that george zimmerman suffered a broken nose, injuries to the back of his head, and signs of a scuffle, being grass-stained on the back of his shirt. >> but as a member of a neighborhood watch, he's supposed to watch, not to confront. he was actually told, as we heard on the 911 call, not to confront. why did he even come face-to-face with trayvon martin? >> those are all excellent questions, and they'll be answered when the -- when all the evidence from this case is released. once it comes to light. because my point in coming forward right now in the media is not to litigate this case here this morning but is to bring to light the fact that this case has taken on a whole different meaning because it's been interpreted as being a racial issue. and it's not a racial issue. george zimmerman is absolutely
not a racist. this, whatever happened that nature, was -- >> let's ask joe who's known george zimmerman for many years. joe, can you say with absolute certainty that george is incapable of racial profiling? >> incapable of racial profiling? yes, i can. i can say that george was acting as a neighborhood watch captain in a neighborhood that had been violated by a number of crimes, and that's why he was watching, and saw someone that he didn't recognize. and that's why he called the police. because of all of the criminal activity that had been going on in his neighborhood. >> nevertheless, you have said that he has shown remorse for the shooting of this unarmed 17-year-old boy. in what ways has he expressed his remorse? >> he -- i started to try to get in touch with george not long after i realized that it was
just snowballing. but soon thereafter, through his mother-in-law, i learned that he couldn't stop crying for days after the shooting. i mean, george is a -- just a genuine human being, and he was out there performing his duties as a watch captain because he cared for his neighborhood. because he cares for his neighbors. we don't know what happened from the time george got out of his vehicle, and by the time the shot went off. >> we know that he had -- >> we do know that george -- i do know that george, first of all, does not weigh 250 pounds. i do know that george thought he was doing the right thing by keeping an eye out for his neighborhood. >> we also do know that george zimmerman has placed 46 calls to 911 since 2004. that he wanted, but failed, to get a job in law enforcement. is it fair to call him obsessed in his position? was he obsessed in his position
as a neighborhood watchman? >> maybe i think dedicated is a more better word for it. because george is say semester away from getting his criminal justice degree. i have no idea why he had been or even if he had attempted to become a law enforcement officer previously. i do know that he was working full time and going to school full time, and was close to finishing and getting his degree and pursuing that dream. i didn't even know george had a gun. >> should a jury decide this case? >> if charges are filed a jury will decide this case. >> all right. >> ann, can i point out something? >> go ahead, joe. just a few seconds left. >>sy understand. you know, historically in florida, law enforcement has been very forthcoming with the evidence. this is a case of a police department with a history of racial injustices that was trying to do the right thing, and they're trying to do the
right thing. >> bottom line, though, joe -- bottom line though, joe, we've got a 17-year-old unarmed boy what's been killed. is there any question in your mind, joe, that this should be litigated? that this should be facing a jury? >> from what i know, no. from what i know, the bottom line is, there was a life and death struggle, in that instance, and someone was going to die. >> all right. well on that note we're going to have to leave it. chris sonner and joe oliver, thank you both. of course to be continued. now let's get a check of the other top stories from natalie morales at the news desk. >> good morning, everyone. president obama's health care law heads to the supreme court for review this morning. the justices are weighing the legislation that would extend health coverage to more than 30 million americans. the law has become mired in partisan debate and is being opposed by 26 states. a decision is expected in june. meanwhile the president is in seoul today where he is
calling on north korean leaders to pursue peace. he took aim at pyongyang saying, quote, there will be no more rewards for provocations. those days are over. the brutal slaying of an iraqi american woman in her california home has police investigating the possibility of a hate crime. the 32-year-old was found nearly beaten to death next to a note saying, go back to you country, you terrorist. al awadi was taken off life support this weekend. police say the family had received a similar threatening note earlier this month but did not report it. and it could be a return to golfing glory for tiger woods. who won his first pga tour in 30 months since his sex scandal rocked his personal life and rattled his reputation. woods won the arnold palmer invitational on sunday, giving him momentum ahead of the masters, two weeks away. it is now 7:22. you're up to date right now. turn it back over to ann, matt and maria in for al. >> thank you very much. maria larosa is in while al has
the day off. >> good morning, guys. spring chill back to the northeast. that's the big story here. midsection still quite warm. possible severe weather there, as well. and still, rain and snow in the northwest. >> good morning. we are waking up to sunshine. the wind will be coming in from the north. it will feel colder than the >> ann back over to you. >> all right, thank you. coming up, new photos of 15-year-old lourdes lighting up after her mother madonna smokes in her controversial new video. we're going to get to that. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
coming up we'll have the latest developments in a search for a missing california teen. >> and why kim kardashian >> this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am stan stovall. preparations are underway for a downtown rally in honor of trayvon martin. the teenager was killed by it and armed of volunteer a month ago. the rally will end at city hall, and demonstrators will hold a rally and vigil for
trayvon at 7:00. here is sarah caldwell and traffic pulse 11. >> just a few of volume-related delays, and an accident at 123. northbound ritchie highway, back to normal at hamburg avenue. looking at delays on the west side. eastbound i-70, looking at a slow go towards 29, 32 miles per hour. delays in place from the white marsh area towards the beltway northeast. note delays showing here towards howard county. that is the latest on traffic pulse. >> the week is off to a bright start. clouds are exiting of short. we are only getting near 60 this
afternoon, 65 in the southern maryland. gusty winds will be an issue appeared from the north, 20 miles per hour. tomorrow, and cold. it brings concerns, if your plans are outside because of the warm weather. bring plants indoors, if you can. we're expecting temperatures near freezing. 70 by wednesday, a chance for showers.
7:30 on this monday morning. it's the 26th of march, 2012, with madonna's controversial new video for her song "girl gone wild" has been slapped with viewing aid restrictions on youtube. so some of the attention is on madonna smoking a cigarette. take a look at these new photographs of her 15-year-old daughter lourdes lighting up herself. is this a case of like mother, like daughter? we're going to have a lot to talk about regarding that. >> madonna always stirs controversy. >> i think that's what happens. she kind of aims for it. inside studio 1a i'm ann curry alongside matt lauer. and also just ahead the latest on the recovery of former vice president dick cheney, who, as we just heard, has been given a
new heart over the weekend. >> speaking of somebody who tends to stir controversy. the 71-year-old was on the transplant list for 20 months. his case has reopened debate over whether rules should be changed to favor younger patients. coming up we'll talk about that with dr. nancy synderman. >> also we're going to talk about a change of heart for kim kardashian after initially laughing off last week's flour bombing, she's now reportedly planning to press charges. so what's behind this action? and should other stars who are victims of this kind of stunt, you've seen several of them of late, should they also do the same? >> also everyone wants their wedding to go off without a hitch but one couple didn't mind when their big day was crashed over the weekend by the queen of england. that's pretty cool stuff. we're going to have details on that. >> but we begin this half hour with new details in the search for missing california teen sierra lamar. nbc's kristen dahlgren is at the volunteer search command center in morgan hill, california, with more. kristen, good morning.
>> good morning, ann. over the weekend, the family joined in the search. this case is one that continues to baffle investigators. you'll recall that early on searchers found sierra's cell phone. they found a bag with her clothes inside. but since then, there has been no sign of the teen. on sunday, sierra lamar's father steve, hiking through canyons, over hills. >> there's got to be more. >> reporter: he spots a bone from an animal. but for a moment fears the worst. >> it's natural. i have nightmares still. you know, every night. >> reporter: now ten days after the petite 15-year-old was last seen, for her family every day brings fresh agony. >> it gets harder and harder. but we're hanging in there. you know, we're hopeful. >> reporter: there are vigils almost every night. her friends sporting red shoes, the kind sierra likes to wear. her face smiles out from flyers
that dot the town. more than a week since she was last seen getting ready for school, her only clues are a cell phone and a bag with her clothes neatly folded inside, found on the side of the road within two miles of her house. authorities think they're the same clothes sierra was wearing in this picture, she took the morning she disappeared. >> our county crime lab, our criminalists there will do some further testing. we're hoping some further information will be gathered as a result. >> reporter: the fbi searched her mom's house, where sierra was last seen, and investigators have questioned registered sex offenders in the area. though sierra's father is say registered sex offender, officials insist he is not a person of interest. perhaps no one understands the family's pain quite like michael lee, whose sister michelle was missing for four months before her body was found last year. >> no one expects this situation to happen to them. it just does. >> reporter: he's now working with the klaas kids foundation to help organize the volunteer search for sierra. >> it's so important for the families to keep being
pro-active. to keep searching. >> reporter: so that's what the lamar family does. hoping that something will lead them to sierra. >> i'm desperate right now. i'm desperate to find any -- any clue. >> reporter: now today authorities are evaluating, trying to decide how to proceed with their search. meantime, there are more volunteer public searches planned for later this week. ann? >> all right, kristen dahlgren, thank you so much. clint van zandt is an nbc news analyst and a former fbi profiler. clint, good morning. >> good morning to you. >> either sierra lamar was taken against her will or she ran away. which possibility seems most plausible, clint? >> i think at this point, ann, ten days into it, the authorities, the fbi, they would have had a chance to look at any social media that she had been on. her e-mails, her cell phones, her texts, her tweets, anything like that. i think they would have been able to either identify that she was planning on running away, or at least planning on staying
someplace overnight by now. they would have been able to identify who was going to assist her, help her, drive her. if they haven't found that in ten days, i think they have to start erring on the side that she may well have been a victim of kidnapping. >> well, on sunday, after this all-out search, they stopped and reviewed. what did that tell us? are they back on square one? >> i don't know that they're back on square one. they've covered a lot of ground. when a victim goes missing, you think of her home, in this case, like the bull's-eye of a target. and you start to move away from that ring further and further away. this is what the authorities have done in the search for her so far. realize, ann, that it was a week ago friday that she disappeared. but her mother and her mother's boyfriend left the house, supposedly, before the victim did. so we can't actually say she even left the house, other than one search dog that was able to take her scent to the end of the
driveway, close to where she would have caught the bus. she never got on that bus, so, ann, i think investigators have to consider the possibility that someone that came along, she was either the random victim, target, a victim of opportunity, or someone had seen her out there daily at that bus stop and made a decision they were going to go for her. that's why they have the stop that we're going on last friday, trying to identify at the roadblock anyone who might have seen any activity that remotely might have been related to her disappearance seven days prior to that. >> all right. clint van zandt, we really appreciate your perspective this morning. thank you so much >> thank you, ann. >> and now let's get a check of the weather from maria larosa who is in for al this morning. >> good morning, ann. and waking up to a bit of a chill here in the northeast. and it's going to get colder. take a look at where we're seeing some of these freeze warnings and advisories. they stretch from indianapolis to charleston to d.c. to philadelphia.
so we are seeing temperatures tomorrow morning down into the teens and the 20s. factor in the winds, which could be 10 to 20 and windchills perhaps in single digits in some spots. overall today it's going to be warm through the midsection. a chance of severe weather in the northern plains, and it continues to be wet and rainy >> good morning.ic northwest.if the sunshine returning. temperatures are going to feel a little cooler. the wind will be out of the >> and believe it or not, happily married after 47 years? >> yes, very happily married. we're very lucky. all right. you can always check your
weather 24 hours a day, by the way. go to weather.com. >> they have a sense of humor, maria. coming up, the debate over former vice president dick cheney's heart transplant. should a patient's age factor in the equation? dr. nancy synderman will be the equation? dr. nancy synderman will be weighing in. super people eat super grains. every week they lower thousands of prices and check over 30,000 competitor prices. check out that low price. you want to grab one? grab two. [ male announcer ] that's the walmart low price guarantee! see for yourself how much it can save you. would they switch? notice a difference? it feels a bit tight. [ female announcer ] soap leaves behind soap residue that can cause a tight draggy feeling. with 1/4 moisturizing cream, dove cleansers rinse cleaner than soap. laces? really? slip-on's the way to go. more people do that, security would be like -- there's no charge for the bag. thanks. i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes.
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questioning how hospitals determine which patients receive priority. dr. nancy synderman is nbc's chief medical editor. nancy, good morning. >> good morning, matt. >> dick cheney can cause all kinds of controversy if he orders a cup of tea. but talk to me about this list and how it works. >> well, people say it's unlikely that a 71-year-old jumped the line. but nonetheless, this has raised a lot of ethical questions, moral questions, about whether the vice president, in fact, should have received his heart ahead of other people. and, raises the question, how old is too old to receive such a precious transplant. 71-year-old former vice president dick cheney was on a waiting list for 20 months before his successful heart transplant surgery this past weekend. longer than most patients. still, the news was met with controversy. >> because if mr. cheney was 55, there wouldn't be any discussion.
>> reporter: more than 3,000 americans are on the national waiting list for a heart transplant. but every year, hundreds die before they receive a new heart. when a patient cheney's age receives such a scarce, life-extending organ, some doctors request whether hospitals are depriving younger patients, who typically survive longer after the surgery. bioethicist dr. art kaplan writes on the msnbc.com blog, in a system in which donors hearts are very scarce, shouldn't the young, who are more likely to benefit both in terms of survival and years of life added, take precedence over the old? more than 70% of heart transplant recipients live at least another five years. but long-term survival is slightly lower for those over the age of 65. >> that's always a judgment call, knowing that background. is a person who's going to get the transplant who's older more likely to do well than the average? >> reporter: mr. cheney has a long history of heart problems.
he had his first heart attack at age 37 while irrunning for wyoming's sole house seat. his second came six years later followed by a quadruple bypass in 1988. he suffered two more heart attacks, including one in 2000 during the florida recount after which he and george w. bush took office. his fifth heart attack came in 2010. after that, doctors installed a special device known as a left ventricular assist device to aid his ailing heart. a device he later showed nbc's jamie zbangle. >> you just -- you deal with it. you take whatever the doctors recommend the latest step, and i've been able to live a full, normal, active life. >> cheney and family have released a statement saying that while they don't know the donor, they will be forever grateful for this life-saving gift. matt, you said he's controversial even if he's ordering a cup of tea. it does raise a question whether this were any other 71-year-old,
would we be talking about this. >> this lating list, when you're on this list is it like the tellty counter, you take a number and it's first come, first serve? or do they take into consideration things like age, other health issues and prognosis? >> they take into factor a lot of parameters. how bad your heart is sand if you don't have it, will you die. he had really run out of options. age, how good your kidneys and lungs are. then there's the whole thing about tissue typing. you just can't get anybody else's heart. and if you have the means and the access to a private jet, you can register at various transplant centers around the world -- >> you can get there quickly. >> steve jobs did that with his liver. and he may have done that. but he had this at the hospital where he had some previous surgeries. >> is there indication he was given priority? >> there is no indication. he did wait for 20 months. which is a long time. but the question is, always, this is what the ethicists will talk about, was there a younger person who didn't get the heart, and he did, and will his prognosis be just as good? the overall stats are that for
five years, there's a 70% survival rate. >> real quickly he'll be on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of his life. >> which means he's more at risk for infection and some tumors. these are not unconsequential drugs. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. it's 7:46 now. up next the wedding crasher one couple will never forget. the queen. and madonna's 15-year-old daughter lourdes caught smoking. we'll talk about that. this one's for all us lawn smiths. grass gurus. doers. here's to more saturdays in the sun. and budgets better spent. here's to turning rookies into experts, and shoppers into savers. here's to picking up. trading up. mixing it up. to well-earned muddy boots and a lot more spring per dollar. more saving. more doing. that the power of the home depot. break out the gardening gloves. miracle-gro garden soil is now 3 bags for 10 bucks. have 46 grams of whole grains... mmmm.
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so, has madonna's 15-year-old daughter lourdes picked up a bad habit? she's photographed smoking a cigarette here in new york city. well, that looks like definitely a bad habit. you know, is there a connection when a mother smokes, that a child is more likely to smoke? >> we've seen pictures of madonna smoking in the past. when one parent smokes it's more likely that the child will smoke. the real problem is, when you start to smoke as a teenager, it changes the chem city in your brain, it's really hard to kick the habit later. the earlier you start the more likely you are to be addicted. >> madonna is seen smoking in a new video. although her publicist says she has not started smoking again, even though some pictures did surface back in 2010. we don't know if she's smoking at home. but clearly in the new video she's seen with a cigarette. >> this video almost too hot for youtube. has a teen rating on it, as well. >> exactly. >> i've got to go see it. >> it really goes to the fact
that children are little ducks and emulate the behavior they see. >> on a lighter note. >> an unlikely wedding crasher. you're welcome to stay here, nancy, on this one. queen elizabeth surprised a british couple when she made an unexpected appearance at their ceremony. apparently this couple had booked a manchester town hall for their wedding and then were told at the time there was a vip holding an event in the other wing of the same facility. they didn't know it was the queen until their wedding day, and look who showed up. >> and he invited the queen jokingly. and she politely declined. >> declined. >> she knows how to curtsy. >> and the queen stayed and posed for pictures. those are pictures that will last a lifetime. >> they were shocked. they said they'll never get over the fact that she actually showed up with prince philip. my thought is every wedding, every family has a weird uncle charlie who has more than one
glass of wine at the wedding. how do you make sure he doesn't do something stupid. >> body blocks in the back room. >> well, thank you so much. >> that was funny. >> let's talk about something else. we're going to be talking about kim kardashian. >> that's a nice segue. the queen to kim kardashian. >> i have to. >> anyway, she actually flour bombed the bride. >> kim kardashian wants to press charges now. [ male announcer ] this is the story of one of nature's most perfect foods...
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>> this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara time for a check on your morning commute. >> mostly just tracking a volume-related delays. owings mills boulevard and ran round boulevard, use caution there. eastbound i-1/7, approaching 40 towards 29. tracking delays on 83 towards padonia road. 15 on the north side outer loop
towards the harrisburg expressway. slow go out of the northeast from white marsh to the beltway. here is a live view of traffic on 95. no problems to report on the bill white. -- on the beltway. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11. ava, over to. >> 50 degrees downtown, 53 at thurgood marshall. 52 in college park. dry throughout the day. temperatures are going to be cooler than what we have seen. 60 degrees for the high temperature hit a couple degrees above normal. with the wins, north winds, tend to 20 miles per hour. turning colder tonight, with a cold front on a the way. sparking a freeze watch and
8:00 now on a sunday morning. the 26th day of march, 2000 twelve twelve. we've got a chance -- bright skies, and an enormous crowd out here on the plaza. i'm matt lauer along with ann curry, and coming up, more on this embarrassing moment for kim kardashian on the red carpet last week. a woman walked up to her and dumped flour all over her in an attempt to make a statement and get attention. at first kim kardashian said she wasn't going to press charges. now apparently she's reconsidering. the question we'll ask this morning is should celebrities
and politicians, who are the victims of these kinds of attacks, press charges to bring these assaults to an end. to set a deterrent. we're going to be talking about that. >> because there has been a rash of these kinds of incidents. also coming up we're going to meet four young friends who are behind the show called the buried life. they're coming out behind a book. you're seeing them there. a couple of things on their list including playing basketball with the president, and they got to also present a computer to schools that needed one. anyway they're crossing off these things off their bucket list on a young age. we want to ask them about this how they came up with the list when they're so young. >> where on your bucket list would be streaking at a soccer game? >> it would never be on my bucket list. >> maybe when i was 20. never happen now. >> also ahead, tony robbins is a guy who's helped everyone from presidents to oprah winfrey, and he's got some great ways to help
you reach your full potential. i like this guy a lot. he always has great advice and he's going to share some of that with us in just a little while. >> you always feel better after you pay a little attention listening to tony robbins. anyway, we also are better informed when we pay attention to natalie morales who has a check of the top stories. >> good morning, ann and matt. good morning, everyone. nato says a man wearing an afghan army uniform shot and killed two british soldiers this morning inside a base in southern afghanistan. meantime, the wife of an american soldier charged with killing 17 afghan civilians told matt earlier on "today" that her husband, staff sergeant robert bales, is brave and courageous. kari bales says she does not feel like she'll ever believe that her husband was involved in the killings. the connecticut woman malled by a neighbor's pet chimpanzee three years ago says the state's current governor shares some of the blame. charla nash says governor dan milloy the former mayor of stamford knew the chimp was
dangerous because it had escaped and roamed the city six years earli earlier. pope benedict makes his first official visit to cuba today. kerry sanders is in cuba with more. buenos dias, kerry? >> good morning, natalie. this is the first time in more than a decade that a pope has visited cuba. despite the tropical breeze this year it might be a frosty reception because of what pope benedict xvi said because of this country's former government, which is communism. he said it is evident that marxist ideology as it was conceived no longer responds to reality. the altar is ready, setting the stage, literally. and among cubans, especially those who remember pope john paul ii's historic visit here 14 years ago, there's a rock star excitement in anticipation of today's mass. how do you feel? >> oh, very proud. proud to participate.
>> it's exciting? >> yeah. of course. >> reporter: fidel castro once promised all 11 million cubans their communist government would take care of them, cradle to grave. but today, it's the catholic church that helps feed the elderly. political expression is still sense orred. but the government at time here tolerates some opposition groups like the so-called women in white. some americans traveling to cuba to see the people believe the pinched, government isolated economy here, is an opening for the holy father. a surprise to you to find such a beautiful church? monsignor harrington from brooklyn is already here in cuba. >> it's important to say that the church doesn't embrace one particular economic system or political system. i think that what the church does is speaks to values. >> reporter: while the dissident group the women in white have been allowed to protest in this country before, not here, not
today. state security reportedly arrested several of those women about 18 miles from here. now after the pope arrives here and meets with president raul castro, he'll eventually make his way to havana, the capital, where he'll meet with the architect of cuba's communist revolution, fidel castro. natalie? >> all right, kerry sanders in santiago, cuba. thank you, kerry. now here's brian williams with a look at what's coming up tonight on "nbc nightly news." >> good morning. coming up tonight, diabetes is one of the biggest public health epidemics in this country, but could there be a breakthrough toward a potential cure? we have to report a discovery that could be a life saver for millions of people. we'll have that for you tonight on "nightly news." natalie, for now, back to you. >> thank you, brian. now for a look at what's trending today, our quick roundup of what has you talking online. a fantastic journey has made "titanic" director james cameron a top search term on google and a trending topic on twitter. he's become the first person to dive solo in a mini sub to the earth's lowest point, the bottom
of the seven mile deep mariana trench. cameron tweeted just arived at the ocean's deepest point. hitting bottom never felt so good. he spent several hours down there collecting samples, and of course shooting 3-d footage. last night's return of "mad men" is say top google search and the toast of twitter as well. the retro hit launched its fifth season after a hiatus that kept fans waiting 18 months to find out what don draper's been up to. and the internet is buzzing about jonathan antoine who wowed his way to a standing ovation with this duet on "britain's got talent." ♪ the 17-year-old said he does not want to be compared to former contestant susan boyle, the scottish song bird who became an
unlikely global recording star. what a voice he has. 8 8:06 right now. let's go back outside to maria with a check of your weather. hey, maria. >> good morning, natalie. i've been told that these wonderful, very energetic girl scouts have been saving up money since kindergarten to come to new york. how's the trip been so far? >> fun and exciting. >> and you go back to virginia? >> yes. >> all right. enjoy the rest of your day here in new york. let's pick another wonderful city, hagerstown, maryland, where today it is sunny and breezy, 58 degrees. and wait for those windchills tomorrow morning across much of the east. looking at the national satellite radar picture, not a whole lot going on for the midsection. but you do have that big pacific storm ready to head onshore. still showers and mountain snow in the pacific northwest. watch out for strong >> good morning. we are waking up to sunshine. the wind will be coming in from the north.
it will feel colder than the >> and back inside to you. >> all right, maria, thank you so much. coming up why kim kardashian is talking about pressing charges after being flour bombed. right after this. eat good fats. avoid bad. don't go over 2000... 1200 calories a day. carbs are bad. carbs are good. the story keeps changing. so i'm not listening... to anyone but myself. i know better nutrition when i see it: great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. you can't argue with nutrition you can see. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself. for multi grain flakes that are an excellent source of fiber try great grains banana nut crunch and cranberry almond crunch.
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♪ from toyota. (belhi.ings) good morning. big news. we're spreading the word about new honey bunches of oats fruit blends and their unique taste combinations. like peach/raspberry... and banana/blueberry. we're telling everyone. with one flavor in the granola bunch and one on the flake. try some. mmm! two flavors. in harmony. yummy. four nutritious grains and two big fruit flavors to make your day bunches better. we're back now at 8:11 with the so-called flour bombing of kim kardashian. she took it in stride. but now she may be having a change of heart. "today" national correspondent amy robach is here with the latest on that. amy, good morning. >> matt, good morning. it happened on thursday night during a charity event to promote kardashian's newest fragrance. and now after some time to reflect, kardashian is considering pressing charges against her assailant.
kim kardashian is seussed to the firestorm that comes with fame. but nothing could prepare her for what happened on this red carpet. while talking to reporters, a woman comes up and tosses a big bag of white flour over her head, calling her a fur hag. kardashian wasn't wearing fur at the time. she seemed to take it in stride, going in to a private room, composing herself, and returning to the event. even telling tmz in a phone interview the next day that she tried to get over it. >> it was crazy, but i just, you know, tried to laugh it off. i went up to my room. i dusted off my jacket, used a blow dryer to get all that powder out of my hair. >> reporter: her mother kris jenner tweeted, i am so proud of my daughter for handling the situation so professionally and with such poise. the flour thrower was detained by police, but later released. at first kim decided not to press charges. even though she told tmz she thought what the person did was wrong.
>> whatever your beliefs are, if, you know, you're acting in a violent way and doing something that's illegal, that's not okay and that's bullying. and i don't, you know, i don't promote that. >> reporter: it appears now after further reflection she has reportedly decided to press charges in the next few days. kim kardashian is not the only person who has been targeted. last month at the oscars, actor sacha baron cohen covered e! host ryan seacrest in fake ashes. even politicians have had glitter bombs flown on them by those who disagree with them on the campaign trail. none of these people decided to press charges. >> kim is definitely sending a message. don't mess with me. and if you do, you're going to hear from my lawyer. >> reporter: peta, the people for the ethical treatment of animals, says it was not behind the flour incident. but told nbc news, the activist acted from the heart. something kim doesn't seem to have. if anything, kim should get a
life, the very thing that she denies animals. peta also said it is willing to help pay the protester's defense bills. security has done battle with kardashian before. it criticized her in 2010 for repetedly wearing fur coats and named her as one of the worst people or organizations of the year when it came to animal welfare. >> star jones is a former prosecutor and legal commentator. bonnie fuller is editor in chief of hollywoodlife.com. good morning to both of you. both the same question, what's the upside, what's the downside to going ahead and pressing charges. >> the upside of making sure this person is sa rested for assault and battery is that people will know for certain that you may not put your hands on another human being, regardless of what you think. kim kardashian was assaulted. and i think the entire incident is vile, and disgusting. if it was acid, if it was a
knife, we'd be talking about marla hanson, we'd be talking about jennifer capriati. >> a degree. the upside is that she takes a stand, and she says for all celebrities, you cannot attack us. and you can't attack us as a prank, or as anything else. the downside is that it could drag this case on for months, and continually give press to the attacker. >> we are probably talking about, if charges are filed, and if they are prosecuted, a fine. don't people -- >> up to six months in jail. >> probably going to be a fine in this. we've seen people who've done a lot worse things not get jail time. so wouldn't a fine be considered the price of doing business for people who want to make a statement and get publicity? >> listen, they're going to get their publicity. but what is essential, matt, is the charity, we haven't even talked about it. so people were at work. this is kim's job. her job is to go out and promote a fray glance at a charity event.
we don't go to other people's jobs and commit assault. that's inappropriate. >> bonnie your website reported that a man named scaler stone saelgly the guy behind it, not the one who dumped the flour, that was a woman. what do you know about this person? >> yes, what we found out is that skylar stone could have set this woman up. he is a prankster. he had a show called "con" that was an comedy central, and he tweeted, gee, kim, i was baking a cake in the lobby of the london hotel, that's where it happened, and i don't know what happened but i was all thumbs. >> would he be the target, star, of the charges, or only the woman who actually dumped the flour. >> if there was some proof that there was a collaboration, if he aided and abetted, if he was the one who gave her the opportunity, he could be charged, also. >> real quickly, bonnie, what's the overall reaction been to this? >> sympathy for kim. which is a good thing, because she doesn't have a lot of sympathy since the divorce from -- the divorce filing from kris humphries. >> ladies, thank you both.
appreciate it. up next, what's on your bucket list? we'll catch up with a group of friends helping others live out their dreams. right after this. ♪ i woke up to a feeling ♪ every little thing has meaning ♪ ♪ i woke up to a light bulb on ♪ every little thing is possible now ♪ [ female announcer ] we've added a touch of philadelphia cream cheese to our kraft natural cheese to make it creamier. so whatever you make isn't just good, it's amazing. ♪ life is amazing with the love that i've found ♪ [ female announcer ] and to make a creamier sandwich, try new kraft touch of philadelphia slices. but the chemicals that can end up on your face may not be so beautiful. ♪ that's why there's new puristics totally ageless powered by a naturally derived collagen builder, puristics measurably reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in 100% of women
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what do you want to do before you die? a group of friends decided to take their bucket list one step further by fulfilling not only their own dreams but the dreams of strangers, as well. they chronicled their adventures in the mtv series "the buried life." take a look. >> we want to go out there. some of our dreams. fix it up and hit the road. the goal was simple, our list. everywhere we went we asked the question, what do you want to do before you die? >> i'd love to qualify for a supercross. >> i think to say i love you to my mom. >> to everybody who doesn't have a pair of shoes in america, i want to put a pair of shoes on them. why? because i want to be the sole of
america. >> we risk our lives to define us, to bring us together, and we share a dream, of our inner most desires. >> i want to show that i can do something that's bigger than the world. >> sometimes all we need to make them real. >> there's nothing in the world -- >> is a little help. >> johnny duncan, dave and ben. i was going to practice that. 19 off their slist called write a best-selling book. good morning, gentlemen. >> good morning. >> great to have you here. so listen at an age when many people don't even think about their mortality, what was it that caused the father of you to do so. >> i think young people experience, or everybody experiences, there's so much going on in life, that you kind
of want to figure out who you are. you know, you're exposed to so many things. we call this the buried list because we felt we were buried by all these experiences. we wanted to push it aside and find our true selves underneath the mess. >> so what you did was made a list of 100 things you want to accomplish before you died. and you have checked off 80 of them. and you're hoping to check off one more with this book. things like, playing basketball with president obama. >> yeah. >> how was that? by the way, did you ask him what he wanted to do before he died? >> we did. he actually surprised us on the courts at the white house and we asked him, and he said, be an announcer on sportscenter for a day. >> ah-ha. hopefully now that that's out that will eventually happen. i think that maybe that could happen. some of the crazy things that you guys have done have been -- we should probably talk about that really quickly. you've gone what, bull riding. >> yeah, we've ridden bulls, streaked soccer stadiums. we delivered a baby. yeah.
it was an exciting time. >> you certainly are not going to bore your grandkids. >> absolutely not. >> but what has it done for you to have made this list and to now be able to say that you've done the crazy things like this? >> well, you know, for us when we started this we're all going through different things, you know. some of us were kind of depressed and some of us -- john was really mad at our generation for not protesting. we were all going through different things and felt inspired for some reason. and we felt that we could do anything. you know? and really, this book, we wanted to recreate that feeling for other people. that you could do whatever you want if you just put your mind to it. >> thinking about other people is a real theme in this. because for every turn you can check something off your list you want to check off someone's wish for someone else. >> yeah. >> including you have this experience at this school in louisiana. you want to tell us about it? >> well, yeah, we were in -- we were actually in l.a. and we found out, we asked the teacher what he wanted to do before he died and he said he wanted to
get computers for his classroom, they didn't have any computers. so we actually raised enough money for three new computers, and gave them to the school as a surprise. that's been the coolest part. for everything we do we try to help someone else out. that's actually like in all the elements that we do, for the book, for every book that we sell, a. we talk with a lot of kids around the country. that's like a major theme kids are going through. it's very important for us to talk about that and try to support it. >> giving voice to your own wishes but also to others is a theme in this book. you have people writing you on twitter and facebook. one writes i want to do a handstand at the south pole so i can say i held up the world. you've got that on one hand. on the other hand a mother writing two years ago my son was diagnosed with severe autism. i want nothing more than to have my son be treated as an equal. before i die i want to hear him say, i love you, mom.
how has being so open, opening up your arms, to the true wishes of yourselves, and the wishes of others, in this kind of raw way, changed who you are? >> well, i think it's made us feel whole. you know, when we started this we felt so directionless, kind of purposeless. we were just drifting. to be able to delve into other people's lives and experience what they struggle with, or what keeps them down, it's kind of given us a camaraderie. >> it's really ultimately all about that question, what do you want to do before you die? and it really cuts through, you know, the -- it cuts through all the bad -- >> you can say crap. you can say it. >> cuts through all the crap and really gets to what's important. what are the things? everyone's got these lists. everyone has these things they want to do before they die. it's about answering that question honestly. >> it's about living purposefully and not being at the end of your life and saying oh, i wish i had. >> yeah. i think it's about being
curious, too. you know, like we -- you can never know everything. why not ask someone else about their life? see what they want to do before they die. see if you can learn from them. >> the book is called what you want to do before you die. >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara route. let's check on the morning commute with traffic pulse 11 and sarah caldwell. >> a.q. problems in the owings mills area. restaurant boulevard. other than that, looking at normal delays. slow go on eastbound i-70. 26 miles per hour towards 29. north side, looking at delays all the way through from belair
road to the harrisburg expressway j.f.x. filling up from no. 28 st.. -- no. 228 straight arbutus, not bad there. greenspring, delays from the inner loop towards the j.f.x. >> plenty of sunshine right now. temperatures many in the 50's through the metro area. 51 in ocean city. getting it neared 60 in baltimore. that may feel colder, but when you factor in the winds, winds north, at 10 to 20 miles per hour. it will shave off a couple of degrees of what it will feel like. cold front passing by, and that means that temperatures get near the freezing mark. if you have planted a garden,
8:30 now on this monday morning. it's the 26th of march, 2012. the start of a new work week. but these people have managed to stretch out their weekend by another day. and we're happy to be among them outside i'm ann curry alongside matt lauer and natalie morales. and al, by the way, is off. something we're very excited about, that is a networkwide
project called honoring our heroes. >> i want to say that you are probably the inspiration behind this. we're very proud of that. nbc news in cooperation with the u.s. chamber of commerce giving unemployed veterans a fighting chance to find jobs. it can be difficult because off. times the skill sets of these veterans can be difficult to define. we're going to talk about that with nbc's tom brokaw and retired general stanley mcchrystal, and we'll also tell you how you can take part in a jobs fair in the coming days. >> that's right. >> great we're excited about that. also you all know that learning a new language is say difficult thing. but we're going to meet an amazing young man, just 16 years old, get this he already speaks 23, yes that's right, 23 languages. we're going to meet him and also put him to the test. we're going to grill him. >> like -- [ speaking foreign long ] what language is that? >> dutch? >> a totally made up language. >> meantime, a guy who never
makes it up is john robbins. he has a series on the oprah network talking about how to take adversity and turning it into something positive. how to shift the way you think and having something good come out of it. it's always a pleasure having him in our studio. >> all right. lots to get to. first let's get a check of the weather from maria larosa. >> good morning, guys. we have a lot of birthdays on the plaza. your name and where are you from? >> freda. indiana. >> happy 18th birthday. all right, if your birthday is today here's what you can expect. for this afternoon, sunshine in the northeast. winds are going to be picking up. that's going to lead to windchills by tomorrow morning. keep that in mind. still really warm, record hypotension along with the slight risk in the northern plains. still warm to the south of that system. bitterly cold tomorrow morning in the northeast.
we're talking single digit or perhaps teen windchills from new york to boston. >> good morning. the sunshine returning. temperatures are going to feel a little cooler. the wind will be out of the >> and you can get a look at your weather 24/7 at the weather channel for weather.com. matt, back to you. >> all right, maria, thank you very much. up next, helping our heroes, our special initiative to help find jobs for our returning veterans.
back now at 8:35 with a special initiative across the platforms of nbc news called "hiring our heroes." we've partnered with the u.s. chamber of commerce to help unemployed veterans get back into the workforce. on wednesday, jobs fairs will be held at fort hood, in chicago, new york city, and online. and nbc's tom brokaw is here with more on this story. hey, tom, good morning. >> ann, it's a big problem in this country. last year the veterans of the wars in iraq and afghanistan had a jobless rate that was almost 30% higher than the national average. and over the next five years, another 1 million men and women will leave the active duty ranks, come home to a civil society. how they fit in to our struggling economy depends a great deal on how their skill set is understood by american business.
>> good morning, again, everybody. >> reporter: when mike came out of the nuclear submarine navy in '92, he joined the national guard. and then got called up to iraq and afghanistan. >> got quarterly 27 bravo. >> reporter: he's back on the job now as a maintenance coordinator at the indian point nuclear power plant. you probably were thought of as the old man by the young troops that were under you. >> i was. i was. the national guard tends to be a little older. but i was still one of the older guys. >> reporter: are you a better man for having served? >> i believe i am. i think i'm a better employee and a better leader. >> reporter: there is say tradition of american business drawing their leadership from the military ranks. in the aftermath of world war ii the tidal wave of returning veterans threatened to swamp a recovering american economy. but their military experience created a wealth of team players. innovative thinkers, bold leaders. one studied at length by harvard
business school historian nancy cain. >> it's pretty clear that those 16 million, again, mostly men coming back, turned out to be a huge boom for the american economy and american society. >> reporter: over time, they proved to be the driving force behind an unprecedented march to prosperity. >> we've got a high pressure turbine and this is our generator. >> reporter: when you were in iraq and afghanistan, slightly different environment. >> absolutely. >> reporter: when you were overseas, because of the company that you worked for, did you have concerns about your job security when you came home? >> not at all. >> reporter: entergj supported his deployment. veteran hiring is for the company, not out of sympathy, but for investment in the bottom line. >> there's a real need to bring this talent in, bring skills. the military really invests in its servicemen and servicewomen that's a competitive advantage to tap into. >> it's not like we can download the software for commitment and a sense of one's own role and
importance in service to a larger end. you can't just buy that. and you can't get it in a week-long training session. >> reporter: although the military emphasizes teamwork and goal achievement, both critical skills in the business world, veterans face anion hill battle in the job market. 1 million are unemployed. 30% under the age of 24 are jobless. generally, what did you think of the young people who were serving under you? >> they're amazing. they're amazing. they are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission. they're mission focused. they believe in what they're doing. they're just very willing to learn. >> reporter: what is it that they have to do that's different when they come back to a civilian society and want to get a job? >> we need to better communicate to corporate america how that translates. because, it's not a college degree. it's not a bachelor of science. you wrote a book called "the
greatest generation" and i think what we have right now is the next greatest generation. i think the leaders of tomorrows are being forged and have been forged, you know, in that crucible of iraq and afghanistan. >> and, mike wright and energy, that's how it's supposed to work. but we have an all-volunteer service and it is critical that our veterans have the same kind of positive experience in the military as in the working world that mike wright has been able to have. i think it's also worth noting that mr. wright had two children of age and based partly on their father's experience they've both decided to join the military and make that part of their lives. >> thank you, tom. we now want to bring in four-star general stanley mcchrystal, a former commander of u.s. and international forces in afghanistan and joint special operations command. welcome, as well. i know you've told me i can call you stan although it feels uncomfortable. let me start with you. >> call me general, call him stan. >> you know, where is the
disconnect? we have the most highly trained, the most experienced fighting force in history of this country, and the world. why do we have a 30% unemployment rate for veterans under the age of 24? >> i think we need to understand where soldiers come from. because i think it's difficult sometimes to appreciate what they bring. the average young person will have been in high school and they're thinking about joining the military. particularly during war time. sometimes out of college. that's their focus. they're not focused on what other job, they're not focused on preparing a resume. in the military we stress team. we stress learning your individual skill. but putting that together is part of a larger team. and what that does is, it subordinates the idea that i am special as an individual. and so, when a person moves on to back into society they sometimes lack the connections, networks that they might have developed over that time. but also, they haven't thought about writing resumes.
they haven't thought about telling someone how being a cannoneer or infantryman translates into being a great leader. >> we were in the same boat after ard war two in that many of the millions who came home had not even graduated from high school. how was it that this country enabled them? what did we do that allowed them to become the greatest generation? >> well, in part, it was because everybody was involved in world war ii. we have a society in which 99.5% can put these wars entirely out of their mind. in world war ii, everybody participated. there was meat rationing going on. people were growing more food. everybody was working in the wartime industry. and when they came home from world war ii, everything needed to be done. we needed to build houses and build highways and build big dams and build new industries so there was a job for everyone. it was a different time. these young people are coming back during the greatest economic downturn since the great depression, obviously.
and also the skill set now is much, much different. in those days you could go to work in a factory, and you could stand there and put parts on the car, that would be fine. a lot of these factory lines are computerized. there's a different skill set that is required. and we all have to be conscious of that. we have no greater obligation, i think, as a society than to knit ourselves back together at the end of these two very difficult wars. >> one of the things that might be a travesty is if this ability, at least the can-do mission oriented, get it done, kind of attitude that people in the military have, these veterans coming back after these wars, also many of them at a very young age have command experience it just seems that it might be a travesty if that energy is not used to help fuel this economy that really needs it, stan. >> i think it would be an enormous opportunity missed because we've got not just technical skills but this wealth of very rich leadership
experience, real dealing with the stresses and strains, and making themselves stronger in that -- through that turmoil. >> and one of the bigger issues in addition is that there's a national security question. if these guys don't find jobs, what will encourage young men and women to go into the military. >> there's a great, great quote from general george washington, who said that if we don't take care of the current generation of veterans we won't have future veterans when we need them. >> all right. general stanley mcchrystal and mr. -- >> general -- >> tom brokaw, thank you both. again we've partnered for the u.s. chamber of commerce for a series of job fairs this wednesday. we'll be live from one of them aboard the "uss intrepid" here in new york city. to find out how you can attend go to today.com/veterans. and coming up next, famed life coach on how you can overcome life's major obstacles. @ @ s .
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back now at 8:46. and with one of the most listened to men in the world, tony robbins has worked with everyone from nelson mandela to bill clinton. he's even walked on fire with oprah. and now he's turning his attention to ordinary people overcoming daunting challenges in his new series called breakthrough with tony robbins on the oprah winfrey network. good morning. >> good morning. >> anyone who knows you knows that breakthrough, knew that breakthrough would be back. congratulations. >> thank you very much. >> and you've got six episodes that focus on changing life. overcoming great adversity, and finding a new way of thinking about things. give us an example. >> well, i take a couple that originally living together, mostly people that when you watch their story you see them change in 30 days, immediately you say, i have no problems.
what's the most extreme? so imagine a couple going off to be married, the most important day of their life, right as the nuptials are done in mexico there's a tradition where they jump in a swimming pool. the wife jumps in, the husband jumps in ful clothed and hits a cement step and becomes a quadriplegic instantaneously. now he's sitting in a chair, she's his caretaker, she'll never have children. he thinks he's frozen. she's afraid to leave the house. i've got to rewrite their story. if you tell somebody they're going to listen to me, i said i'm going to scree eight an experience for him that will be extraordinary. so to get him out of the house, i brought him to fiji. he went to the most beautiful place, the journey of self. i took him sky diving. this is a guy who couldn't imagine going across the room. i took him to play basically rugby, with quadriplegics who are in these chairs that look like they're out of mad max. his dream before this happened was to be able to race cars in
the desert and never finished it when he was able-bodied so he built a car in three or four days with his friends, could drive it with his arms and i got in the right seat, went 85 miles an hour with him. >> this kind of experience, the idea of proving that there's a greatness, even despite an obstacle is the timing of it is so interesting because the country is going through so much and so let me ask you about a new story that about this story about the killing of trayvon martin. based on the way you think about things, how might his family, how might our nation, overcome and rise from this, learn and grow greater from this? >> it's a great question. i think there's no easy answer to this one. it appears to be a massive injustice the way it's been handled so far. we don't have all the facts that most people would say this guy at least should be charged. so it's pretty hard for the family to get over this because
there's a time for everything. and this is a time when they'd be angry and sad. and the only thing i could say that would make a difference for them really is if we do rise up. i think we get retolerate in politics, with our legal system. i think if enough people are outraged enough there's enough communication, if something good comes out of this the good is going to be, out of some kind of tragedy and injustice some good kinds to come. if we won't settle for this type of thing in pockets of america then i think their parents can feel like there was some meaning in the passing. what gets people over pain is trying to get deeper meaning. we've all had experiences in life that were horrific. we never want to go through it. when you look back on it and say because i went through that, i have a deeper desire to help or a care more or i'm stronger. every one of us who makes it through can have either post traumatic stress, or post traumatic growth. what i'm committed to is showing people how do you grow out of the worst experiences so that out of them, some incredible
goodness or greatness can come. >> you know, i think oprah winfrey is so lucky to have you on her network. >> i love to be with her. >> does she get to pick up the phone and call you every time she wants to have advice? is that what she gets to do now? >> i think most of us call oprah for advice. she's doing quite well. i'm there to help in any way i can. but i think she's really helped me get my message out. and we're doing a program here at radio city music hall next monday night for a life class. she tried to bring what she does to people. >> well, i would not bet against either of you. tony robbins, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> that's a big handshake. breakthrough with tony robbins premieres tonight on the own network. coming up next, we're going to meet a 16-year-old who can speak not three, not four, but 23 languages. but first this is "today" on nbc.
>> tim donor is with us now. >> crazy. >> where do you even find time to do this? >> very good question. you know, like any other academic interest, you make time for it, i think. of course, i dedicate most of my summers to learning languages and most of the time on the weekends, but it's just something i can almost follow passively. >> do you -- are you, do you just have a lucky brain or did your parents or your school do something specific to elicit this aptitude? >> i don't think so. i get asked that question very often. you know, is this some sort of innate brain neurological capability. but i think it just takes a lot of dedication, interest, organizational skills. it's really something that i think anyone can do. there's nothing special about me. >> do you have a photographic memory, though? because i think that would probably help in something like
this. >> i'm actually not sure. i've also been asked that question a lot. it is very easy for me to remember things. most of the time when i'm speaking in a foreign language i'll see the script in front of me. which is very helpful. so could be. i'm not quite sure. >> you speak hebrew, arabic, russian, italian, hindu, pashto, turk, kurdish, yiddish, dutch, croatian french. so we're going to put you to the test here. if you can translate the following into farsi. a bilingual person can speak two languages fluently. a trilingual three but what if one person could teach themselves to speak 23 different languages sometimes in only one week. you can look at it. >> thank you. okay. >> it's not a real test. >> okay. a bilingual person, i don't know if there's a word in farsi for bilingual. [ speaking farsi ]
>> yeah, but who's going to check him? >> it sounds good to me. >> i'm actually, you know, because have you ever said -- mixed it up and had like four different languages come out in one sentence? >> oh, of course. >> he's amazing. >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. jury selection is expected to begin today in the retrial of twin brothers accused of setting a pit bull on fire. travers and tremayne johnson are accused of burning the dog in
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