tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 3, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
high stakes. one man in china has hillary clinton and the u.s. in a tight spot. and it's setting off a political storm back home. the cover-up. dramatic new testimony today. how the edwards presidential campaign tried to make sure nobody knew about the candidate's mistress. >> force of nature. a big change in the weather tonight, perhaps for all of us. this is about that system that helped create extreme drought and hurricanes and what could be coming next. and making a difference. moms helping other moms achieve a huge goal and get off to a good start. "nightly news" begins now.
good evening. we begin with a man who has changed his mind and by doing so, put the u.s. and secretary of state hillary clinton in a very tough spot in what is already a complicated relationship with china. and tonight, this rather incredible drama involving a blind dissident in china has ricochetted back here and is now part of the race for president. we begin with our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell in our washington newsroom. good evening. >> good evening, brian. in a dramatic reversal of what he told u.s. diplomats yesterday, he now said he wants to leave china. the diplomatic driesz is already an issue for hillary clinton in beijing, and now republicans back home are seizing on it as well. at 4:00 a.m., chen goaungcheng answered a gone call from human
right activists. he said he waublts to come to the u.s. to rest. he worries about his family and wants more help from hillary clinton. >> i want to meet with the secretary clinton. >> clinton, walking a diplomatic tightrope told china's leaders they need to address rumen rights. >> all governments have to answer to human's aspirations for dignity and the rule of law and that no nation can or should deny those rights. >> that was a softer version than her prepared remarks which included a warning to china not to punish disdnlts. it's already become an issue in the campaign. mitt romney said the campaign was too eager to keep the summit on track and shouldn't have handed chen over to the chinese. >> if these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and a shame for the obama administration. >> but they tell gary williams
chen was not pressured to leave the u.s. embassy. >> suddenly he jumped up and said let's go. before we got in the van, i said, is this what you really want to do? do you real a want to leave the embessie? >> he said, yes. >> in the week since his escape from house arrest, he made a series of emotional calls, including nbc news. he said he has clearly had a change of heart and they'll visit him again to find out what he wants. but as chilinton tries to presse china for help -- >> we need your help in a tie of richb and challenge. >> both countries must deal with chen and how china handles dissidents, issues both countries wanted to downplay. >> this is a lose-lose for the united states because the administration will be criticized for failing to stand up tall enough in defending him. >> there may no longer be a way
to avoid offering chen political asylum if he wants it, which would escalate tensions with china. >> andrea mitchell starting us off from washington, thanks. >> last night on our "rock center" broadcast, we aired for the first time anywhere, the behind the scenes record what it was like for the government officials we saw in the photo from one year ago. the night osama bin laden was killed by u.s. special forces. from the president on down, they talked with us about the risks and the tension in the broadcast which by the way we're riaring tonight on nsnbc, and we learned more about what bin laden was up to in his final months and days in the compound in abbottabad. we report on the new documents discovered after his death and just released today.
>> holed up in his compound, huddled against the cold, osama bin laden looked a far cry from america's most wanted terrorists. the documents seized in the raid revealed he was still intent on killing americans. he had ordered al qaeda to assassinate obama or petraeuss. kill obama or petraeus, not biden, gates, or mullan. but tonight, terrorism experts say al qaeda was imcapable of that plot. >> he had a vision for al qaeda. >> but relentless air strikes by u.s. predator drone s had taken out most of their leaders. in the documents, bin laden was alarmed at how al qaeda affiliates in places like iraq and yemen were killing more muslims than foreigners.
and all of a sudden, people start to say, excuse me, we hate the americans and we still do. but we don't see you guys as a solution either because all you do is kill us. >> bin laden wrote, focus on the desired goal, killing americans. the affiliates ignored bin laden's orders. >> so damaged is al qaeda's image, that bein laden considerd changing his name. >> they were focused on he could igni ignite. incite people who have not yet resoelted to rebel against their rulers. >> hillary clinton told them while bin laden is gone, the threat from al qaeda lives on. >> yes, there is still a lot of danger out there, but i believe we're making progress. it's not just about killing the messenger. you have to take on the message. >> the 175 pages of documents
released today were carefully selected to put the worst possible face on al qaeda. and avoid the accidental release of potentially damaging secrets, but u.s. officials tell us there are as many as 15,000 of these documents so there's a lot they're not telling us. >> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. thanks. >> in domestic news, a story we may all experience before long. when it comes to the weather, the past year or so has been one for the record books. a terrible drought across a lot of the country. devastating outbreaks of tornadoes, wildfires, and one of the mildest winters in many spots in memory. it was all blamed, so we were told, on a weather phenomenon called lunina, which scientists told us today is now over. the question now is what does it mean for the weather moving forward? does the weather now change? for starters. we get our report from janet shamlian. >> extreme weather from parched earth in the south due to too
little rain to too much of it, punishing tropical storms and hurricanes. much of it set up by conditions of la nina. >> la nina is gone and is unanticipated to be back anytime soon. >> it's a climate pattern caused by cooling of the central pacific, triggering krauts in the south and rain further north. last year, a record 14 extreme weather events, each caused more than $1 billion each in the u.s. and la nina had a hand in it. from hurricane irene charging up the eastern seaboard to the tinder box conditions that blanketed much of the south. if it's coming, the relief may be most welcome in texas. last year alo, there were $750 million just in crop losses. the heat was on all over. in march of this year, every
state in the nation experienced at least one record warm temperature. this tornado in the dallas area last month, meteorologists are still stying to figure out if la nina played a part in it, but forecasters are saying the end of lunina won't guarantee a better forecast. >> just because la nina issoever, doesn't mean we're not going to have ambassador weather. there are many bad factors that cause the kind of weather we have seen. >> as hurricane season approaches, forecasters will be watching to see if la nina's exit brings a calmer season. >> it has been a week of dramatic testimony and rev lashzs in the john edwards trial. yesterday, daughter kate edwards left the courtroom in tears. today, a campaign aide was on the stand, raising new questions for the jury about what presidential candidate john edwards knew and when he knew it, especially on the subject of
money to take care of this secret mistress. nbc's lisa myers reports from the courthouse in greensboro, north carolina. >> kate edwards was back by her father's side again today, looking composed. prosecutors produced a parade of former edwards aides who testified that edwards repeatedly lied to them about his affair with rielle hunter, even telling one she was crazy. then the defense had a surprise. asking former press aides about december 2007 when he said a tabloid editor suggested he might not run another story if edwards would sign a sworn statement denying the affair and denying paternity of hunter's child. abbey lowell asked, he wouldn't sign a affidavit? >> he said, he would not. lowell, he refused? answer, he refused. >> it's important because it shows that edwards was unwilling
to break the law to help his campaign for precedency of the united states. >> earlier in the day, potentially damaging testimony from edwards' former body man, john davis. he testified about a conversation in late 2007 when the media was actively searching for hunter while edwards was preparing for upcoming iowa caucuses. davis said he, edwards, and donor fred baron were on baron's yet when he said the press wasn't going to find ms. hunter because of the way he was moving her around. i asked him to stop talking. i didn't want to be aware of this. davis said he stopped talking and that edwards said nothing. >> as damaging to edwards because it shows he knew what was going on. >> the government alleged that money spent by mimand another donor to height hunter amounting to illegal campaign contributions, a charge edwards denies. and there was this today from the presidential campaign
trail. mitt romney picked up the endorsement of yet another former rival. congress woman michele bachmann. while she was still vying for the gop nomination herself, she called romney's massachusetts health care package, quote, a deal breaker for conservatives and said he couldn't beat president obama, but today, she threw her support behind romney as the party comes together, calling the choice in november between him and the president, quote, very easy. up next, as we continue along the way, a surprising number of parents still stuck with the bill for their grown children in this economy. and a lifeline for americans trying to sell their homes in one of the toughest markets ever. >> and later, one of the most incredible image tz of the day. and here's a safety tip, if you're planning to visit the lions at the zoo, don't dress your little ones like a zebra.
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here's a sign of the times you may already know too well. new figures out today show nearly two thirds of young adults ages 19 to 22 are getting financial help from the parents. the study out of the university of michigan said about 42% of parents in america are helping with bills. 35% are helping pay for college. and nearly a quarter are helping with car payments and rent. it all adds to on average just over $12,000 a year. on the other end of the spectrum, older americans have
been especially hard hit, particularly by the collapse of the real estate market. that's because so many retires are relying on the sale of that house to then be able to go buy apartments and retirement communities. now those communities are coming up with creative ways to kick start the process. nbc's john yang tonight has our continuing series, the road to retirement. >> i haven't seen the hawks lately. >> al and lee rose decided to move into a retirement community. >> we couldn't sell our house. we had it for sale for two and a half years. we kept dropping the price, dropping the price, dropping the price, and we were frustrated. >> and the community where they reserved an apartment wasn't getting paid, so their let them move in and took over the sale themself, paying to fix up the
house. it was gone in two months. >> we moved out, handed them the key, and let them handle it from there. >> the exchange program is in three phoenix communities in 2010, 14 new residents have used it. >> we guarantee within 90 days of them moving in, we will either have sold the house or we'll buy the house. >> if it sells for more, the extra goes to the owners. if it sells for less, sun health takes the loss. not all retirement communities want to be in the real estate business, but they want to do whatever they can to help potential residents close the deal. >> there's too much junk in here. >> jerry and sherry are getting ready to sell their house and move into a neighbor retirement center. >> part of us wants to get rid of everything, and the other thing wants to keep everything. this chair needs to go. >> they're getting help from a professional to make it more
appealing to potential buyers. >> we can help them stage their house so it's not only going to sell quickly, but it's going to sell for the maximum price. >> things have really changed a lot. >> cindy murphy has helped clear out the cluttered basement and do a little redecorating. >> it will very definitely help move the house. >> so they can move on as well. john yang, nbc news, phoenix. and up next here tonight, an early warning about something big and bright coming our way in the night sky. what's the matter? uh, trouble with a car insurance claim. ah, claim trouble. [ dennis ] you should just switch to allstate, and get their new claim satisfaction guarantee. hey, he's right man. [ dennis ] only allstate puts their money where their mouth is. yup. [ dennis ] claim service so good, it's guaranteed. [ foreman ] so i can always count on them. unlike randy over there. that's one dumb dude. ♪
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and come on down. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. so imagine being this lions at the zooin portland, oregon, who can't understand why she can't eat this baby zebra. of course, that's nose baby zeeba. that's a baby named jack in a cute zebra suit unaware of the lioness' attempts to drive him
into the dirt. she does some good mouth measuring, determines he would fit just fine. the little boy's mom was making light of the fact the kitty wanted to play with her son. >> from our natural world, early warning of a bit, bright, and harmless object in the sky on saturday night. this weekend, the full moon will be closer to the earth than any other time this year. the astronomers have a name for. sounds like a toothpaste commercial, but they say it will be 30% brighter, as much as 14% bigger than other full moons. there is no facial hair warnings posted. they say it could only negatively affect high tides in conjunction with any other storms. >> the person in the painting may be reacting to the price this went for. this is the famous work, of course, called the scream by
edvard munch. and it sold for a record $120 million. that's a new record for any painting. history was made last night on a baseball field in anaheim. angels pitcher jered weaver through the second no-hitter in the majors in less than two weeks. this one against the twins. proof his stuff is working this year. fill humber of the white sox threw a perfect game in seattle on the 21st. in the history of major league baseball, there have been only 274 no-hitters thrown. up next, making a difference, investing in a better life for young women and their children. my cvs pharmacist. i had to switch my insurance plan. but then my prescriptions got more expensive. i felt helpless... frustrated. it was very frustrating. then john... maurice... jill stepped in... made some calls... and saved me hundreds of dollars. that's a lot. it meant a lot to me. taking the time to help you with insurance questions. another reason to transfer your prescriptions today.
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i got my first prescription free. call or click to learn more. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. finally tonight, as promised, a story about women reaching out to help younger women at a time when they need it most. this is about moms helping new moms get off to the right start to best provide for their children, making a difference for both generations. a report from nbc's chris jansing. >> jennifer ramirez also helped she would be the first person from her family to graduate from college. then she got pregnant when she was just 15. >> i ahad all these emotions going through myself. i didn't know what i was going to do.
>> unwilling to let her dream die, she had her baby, graduated from high school, and is now at the university of maryland. it was often overwhelming, classes, work, raising jordan without a dad. then just when jennifer needed it most, generation hope came to the rescue. >> positives can occur out of uncertain circumstances. >> this past fall, she was 1 of seven young malls who were given scholarships up to $2400 and matched with mentors. jennifer's mentor, suzanna simpson has a son almost the same age, and he's always there for advice. >> i see jennifer in our family's future for a long time. >> she's like a second mother to me. >> it's those relationships far more than the money that are the driving force behind generation hope. the brainchild of nicole lynn lewis. >> good job. >> a teen mom herself, she worked hr way through the college of william and mary in four years. >> now i had this college degree
that was going to allow me to provide my daughter with a life that i would never have been able to provide her with. >> she wanted to help others like her beat the odds. nearly 30% of teenage girls in the u.s. will get pregnant, and if you have a baby before you're 18, your chances of graduating college by 30 are minuscule. less than 2%. >> it's early, but all the teens in generation hope are on their way to a degree. and nicole plans to expand the program to help teen dads, too. >> it's not so much about what has happened but it's about what are you going to do now? >> jennifer will graduate later this month. she always knew she could do it, but thanks to nicole and suzanna, she didn't have to do it alone. >> everything -- you take the good and bad and make it great. >> chris jansing, nbc news. >> that's our broadcast on a thursday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams and we hope to see you right back here