tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 6, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on this sunday night, a political earthquake and its ripple effect around the world. tonight the economy brings down the once-powerful leader of france. a major shakeup for a big american ally. off and running, the president officially kicks off his campaign. but it's what the vice president said today that has lot of people talking. terror on trial. the self-described 9/11 mastermind defiant and his disruption in court. digital revolution, ipads, ebooks and nintendos. students asked to byot, bring your own technology to classrooms. the breathtaking sight
captivating millions around the world. the greatest show on earth. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. a political tremor in europe tonight is being felt on both sides of the atlantic at french voters weary from austerity measures bring nicolas sarkozy's presidency to a stunning end. he's the latest in a growing line of european leaders tossed from office. the winner of today's french election, francois hollande, a socialist who has rejected painful cuts as a way out of the crisis. the question tonight is whether that's enough to give the case of the jitters to financial markets on the eve of monday's openings. we'll get the view from this side of the pond in a moment. but let's begin in paris with jim maseda. jim, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. the french wanted fresh blood,
and tonight they got it, francois hollande, the leftist who has never held a cabinet post is the first socialist leader in france in almost a generation. hollande held off nicolas sarkozy. we're no longer doomed to face austerity, hollande told his supporters. but many french tonight would argue that sarkozy beat himself. i bear responsibility, he said. i didn't succeed in making the values we share win. and this man and his partner both upwardly mobile voted for sarkozy in 2007, before the recession. but like so many others, they grew tired of his brash style, his rich friends, his celebrity wife carla bruney at his side. but most of all they rejected the measure of his austerity
plan. >> i cannot believe he could win whenever over two-thirds of the country hate him so much. >> reporter: it was a tough decision. >> i think he's an honest guy, a good guy. but i'm not sure he will be able to run the country. >> reporter: hollande has promised to trigger growth and jobs by taxing the wealthy. but many french fear more taxes will be less growth and more debt. filled with prices and unemployment steadily on the rise, a majority of french say austerity hasn't worked. and have taken a chance on hollande, known for his tax and spend policies. >> it carries the promise of a different european economic policy, vis-a-vis the crisis. >> reporter: a very different style, more a consensus builder than sarkozy and less pro-american, too. hollande wants to pull french troops out of afghanistan this
year. and feels no instinctive ties to nato. but it's his economic policies that could rattle sarah palin markets come tomorrow, while sarkozy becomes the 11th european leader to fall during the crisis. and tonight's result was echoed today in greece, lester, where in legislative elections there, greeks fed up with austerity and cutbacks punished the two mainstream parties and turned to an extreme right-wing group. the forecast there isn't good. long and painful negotiations for a new government, and then much more instability. lester? >> jim ceda starting us off tonight in paris. john harwood, chief washington correspondent, gives perspective on this. hollande is farther to the left, he wants to push back against the austerity measures. what's the potential fallout with international markets and diplomatically with the u.s.? >> reporter: well, we've already seen today the euro fell to a three-week low.
i think most people expect european markets to open somewhat lower tomorrow, and the united states markets to follow suit. although there has been considerable expectation as we've watched the story unfold in france that it would lead to this result, and cast some cloud over the efforts to inact austerity measures. >> these measures are being driven largely by the americans. is this creating a ripple across europe? >> reporter: you are seeing a pushback against that, you're seeing it in the united states kingdom as well who is in a recession. in the united states we've seen a slight diminution of the republican zeal for public cuts. and you can expect democrats and president obama to go hard after them in the election on medicare and social security. the republican point of view, they've got to hope that the anti-incumbent message sent to sarkozy will be repeated in november. let's talk about this country, exactly six months until our election day. this weekend, president obama
officially kicked off his campaign, with rallies in a pair of swing states. though a lot of folks are quick to point out what sure has looked like campaigning from the president for months now. nbc's mike viqueira at the white house for us now. >> reporter: after headlining 130 fund-raisers in a series of official events that critics say were a little more than political recalliallies in disg. this weekend there was no mistaking the real thing. >> it is my privilege to introduce my husband, and our president, president barack obama. >> reporter: the first lady michelle obama firing up the crowd. the president launched his re-election bid with a frontal attack on mitt romney. >> the challenge we've faced for over a decade is that harder work has not led to higher incomes. bigger profits haven't led to better jobs. governor romney doesn't seem to
get that. >> reporter: two rallies in two crucial swing states. the goal was clear. >> he wants this election to be a choice, not a referendum on the economy. but just as important, it was about kick-starting what's going to be a massive turnout operation in two of the most crucial battleground states. >> reporter: romney himself was out of view, but today allies hit back. >> is there any hope with the failure of leadership of this president on the economic issues than it will be any better. i think people will come to the conclusion, no. >> reporter: with both sides focused on the economy, today a misstep by mr. obama's number two, on a social issue. while president obama opposes gay marriage, joe biden went further. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.
>> reporter: biden was not announcing a new policy, and that his views on gay marriage are also evolving. biden was asked to look beyond 2016 and whether he and hillary clinton will run for the white house. >> i think we may run as a team. i'm only joking obviously. >> reporter: as if to underscore the importance of ohio in this race, mitt romney is back out on the trail. he has a town hall meeting in cleveland. with europe causing uncertainty around the world, you can bet the economy is going to be once again the focus of this race front and center. more than a decade since 9/11 and more than a year since u.s. commandos killed osama bin laden. acting up, and angering victims' families, the u.s. resumed efforts to bring them to justice. we get our report tonight from our national investigative correspondent, mike. >> reporter: throughout the hearing, khalid shaikh mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators
were defiant, refusing to answer the judge's questions, look at him, or even wear headsets so they could hear translations. judge james pole was visibly irritated. one cannot refuse to participate and frustrate the proceedings, he snapped. accused plotter twice disrupted the proceeding. maybe they will kill us and say we have committed suicide. family members, some watching here at guantanamo, and on closed-circuit tv in seven sites around the united states. >> they have no remorse. >> they have nothing but contempt for our values, and our way of life. >> i think people like khalid shaikh mohammed, if they can come back and told him, we killed 50 children today, he would have said wonderful, place allah. i say damn you. >> reporter: in a press conference this morning, the defendants' appointed lawyers said they were engaged in peaceful resistance to their treatment. >> the government wants to kill
mr. mohammed. they want to extinguish the last eyewitness to his torture so that he can never speak again about it. >> reporter: the military's chief prosecutor said the trial will be fair and bring justice for the 9/11 victims. >> the united states is committed to accountability under law, for those who have plotted to attack our nation, and to kill innocent people. >> reporter: despite the disruptions, the judge moved the case forward. but agreed to one defendant's request to read aloud all the charges against them, when he granted the request he grinned widely. then while they were read, the accused 9/11 plotters appeared to pay little attention. in a case many lawyers say will drag on for years. nbc news, guantanamo bay. tonight police are investigating what they're calling a homicide at churchill downs. marring the celebration in louisville after yesterday's kentucky derby.
a man's body was found early this morning in a bar used by a trainer who did not have a horse in the race. the barn is about 150 from the derby winner i'll have another was kept. investigators say there's nothing to indicate the death had any connection to the derby. the london olympic stadium formally opened this weekend, now with just 82 days before the summer games begin. in this coming week, the continuation of a huge military exercise, in making sure the games are safe and secure. nbc's stephanie gosk has the story tonight. >> reporter: the largest warship in the british fleet squeezing up the thames river to london for the olympic games. the british military flexing its muscle for the world to see. fighter jets, surface-to-air missiles, high-speed boats. there are no known plots targeting the games, say commanders, but they need to be ready. >> there's a range of threats.
we're looking at the extreme threats, the highest impact, but the most unlikely. >> reporter: the military is needed to stop worst-case scenarios, like a 9/11 style air attack on the olympic park. there are eight of these attack helicopters on hms ocean. each one will have a sniper. if there's a threat from a low-flying aircraft, they could be flown in to shoot it down. but it isn't just helicopters. surface-to-air missiles will provide another layer of defense this summer. earlier this week the british military shocked some london residents with leaflets, warning that missile systems might be placed on their rooftops. >> i assume they have security in hand. and i would never expect it to come to this. i wouldn't wake up to be in a military base. >> reporter: security is a huge operation from missile to police patrols to bag inspections at the park. with a huge price tag. an estimated $1.8 billion.
that includes this week's military exercise. a rehearsal that is also about sending a message. >> the exercise is designed to reassure the public and the olympic movement that security is taken seriously. and it's also to create a deter represent to anyone who wants to have a go. >> reporter: a large scale force of show now, commanders say, so it won't be needed this summer. stephanie gosk, nbc news, london. in japan tonight, one person is dead and dozens more are hurt after a tornado ripped through a city about 40 miles outside of tokyo, damaging or destroying hundreds of homes and businesses in its path. cutting power to tens of thousands. tornadoes are relatively rare in and around tokyo. when "nbc nightly news" continues, on the cutting edge with iphones, ipads, nintendos and kindles. why schools are encouraging
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tools like pcs and macs, while scorning those that often distract kids from their work, like game systems. now one georgia school district is changing that equation by inviting kids to bring their own devices. more now from our chief education correspondent, bre hima ellis. >> reporter: lester, two years ago forsyth county school district, which is just outside of atlanta, began a new technology program in seven of its schools. now all 35 of participating in what one organizer thinks could be the next big thing in education. clickers in ohio, ipads in kentucky, ebooks in texas, tablets in new jersey, the technology trend in education has gone viral. >> your first name. >> reporter: one district in georgia is taking it to another level. not just incorporating electronics, but encouraging students to bring their own. it's called byot. >> byot stands for bring your
own technology. we're taking away the banning and blocking and instead try to help guide students in the appropriate and responsible way to use their devices. >> the kindle fire. >> nintendo. because it's fun. >> reporter: using their devi s devices, students create instructional videos and even quiz themselves. >> it's amazing. because all the teach is say, oh, wow, i can actually do this. they're also learning with us. >> reporter: unlike the students, some teachers were not ache quick to sign on. >> honestly, i was terrified. i thought my role was give them all the knowledge i've got about something. now i realize that's not my job at all. my job is to point them in the right direction, give them the tools that they need, and wow, they can do so much more than that textbook. >> reporter: the benefits go beyond the world of information at students' fingertips. >> before i was really shy. i never wanted to be called on in class. and now it's better, because i can just do things with my
device. >> you end up being the i.t. guy at home. >> yes. >> keep all this stuff working. >> yes. >> reporter: there have been concerns among parents, including the hendricksons who now support the program. >> my concern was there would be a lot of texting each other, texting friends. >> the teachers are very good about catching you when texting. >> reporter: still some wonder if programs like this could create an electronic overload. >> there's always a place for pen and paper. you take the best of both things, the old and the new. >> you've become a believer of bring your own technology? >> absolutely. >> are you glad dad's a believer? >> yeah. >> reporter: the district says it has devices for students who don't have their own. and measures in place to safeguard those brought to school. not everyone is onboard, but organizers say the program is going well. in fact, schools here have been contacted by educators in other districts, states and even countries, who want to see byot in action. >> re heem a ellis in atlanta
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75 years ago today, a german airship hindenburg prepared for a landing in new jersey, and then disaster. >> it's crashing to the ground. oh, the humanity. >> the famous words spoken by wls radio reporter herbert morrison who was there to cover the hindenburg's arrival. 36 people died in the disaster. 51 survived. we learned today that george lindsey has died. in 1962, he lost out on what was supposed to be a one-episode role playing gomer pyle on the andy griffith show. two years later he landed the role of goober pyle, going on to play the same character for
three decades, first on andy griffith and later on maberry rfd and hee-haw. he was 83 years old. a sad note to report about a popular attraction in washington. the national christmas tree has died and was cut down this weekend. federal officials say the blue spruce succumbed to transplant shock. it came from a farm in new jersey and was planted near the white house a year ago. a replacement has been identified in colorado, and will be brought to washington this fall. it was a big weekend for hollywood superheroes. they smashed a box office record on their way to saving the world. "avengers" raked in just over $2 million, by far the biggest opening weekend of all-time. that's more than $30 million ahead of the previous record holder last year's "harry potter finale. when we come back, over the moon. spring has sprung but so have my allergies.
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here's nbc's charles hadlock. >> reporter: the biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrived this weekend. and glowed around the world. >> awesome. real awesome. >> reporter: balloon-struck residents of los angeles climbed to the top of griffith park with their telescopes for an even closer look. >> oh, my god. you can't even describe it. it's unbelievable. >> reporter: but you didn't need telescopes to see the beauty. the beauty came to us. >> the event is called super moon. because it happens once a year, this makes this a somewhat special moon. that's why we call it super. >> reporter: this weekend the full moon is 30,000 miles closer to us than at any other time during its orbit around the earth. an event astronomers call par oh ji. >> it's happening at the same time as the full moon. that means that we might be able to see the moon appearing a bit brighter.
>> reporter: and larger than a normal full moon. and when it's seen near objects on the ground, like the temple in greece or cathedral in russia or a fisherman in florida, it's even more breathtaking. astronaut andre groper has tweeted these pictures from the international space station. super moon sinking behind the earth's atmosphere. unless it was cloudy, no one escaped the moon's enchanting glow. from the mountains of iceland to the coliseum in rome, to the iconic hillsides of rio de janeiro. >> you can see the silver and gray and black. you never imagined there's that much detail. it's beautiful. >> reporter: astronomers say to take a good long look at the moon the next few nights. it will be 2029 before the full moon is once again this picture perfect. charles hadlock, nbc news, atlanta. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. i hope you'll join me shortly