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tv   News 4 Midday  NBC  July 23, 2009 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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right now at midday, metro is developing plan for a backup system for its trainings in hopes of preventing any more crashes. metro trying to make that plan a reality. in another effort to jumpstart the ailing car business, one car company is taking the government's cash-for-clunkers program one step farther. chrysler will give an offer they can't refuse. a developing story in new jersey. federal agents have arrested several people, including some cityayors and some rabbis in what's being called one of the biggest corruption investigations in state history. "news4 midday" begins right now.
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good morning. welcome to "news4 midday." >> we begin with that developing story out of new jersey where dozens of people were arrested this morning, many of those were public officials. among those arrested are the mayors of hoboken and a state legislat legislator, as well as rabbis from new jersey and new york. investigators say it is part of a major corruption probe focusing on money laundering and political bid rigging. we've also just learned from our new york city affiliate some of the suspects were connected to an illegal human organ selling ring. a news conference is scheduled for noon today at the u.s. attorney's office in newark. there are new developments in the investigation into last month's deadly metro crash. ntsb investigators have just released their latest findings in the investigation. meanwhile metro says it has a plan for a backup system that it hopes will prevent any future crashes on its train lines.
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megan mcgrath is live with more on this story. >> reporter: good morning. the ntsb has just released an update on their investigation, and there's no official cause for the crash but they're continuing to focus their attention on track circuits that detect the presence of trains on the tracks. we've known for a while that a circuit in the area of the crash site five days before the accident that it began to -- it was replaced, rather, and that it had bee malfunctioning since being replaced five days before the crash and that it did not see the train that was stopped on the tracks. the ntsb is saying the bond on the other end of the circuit was also fluctuating since it was replaced in 2007. the problem in that e of the bond since 2007, a year and a half apparently that it was not working correctly. the ntsb update says they've identified problems at other
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circuits, that those problems crop up more frequently during rush hour. they are analyzing the data to see if it is the same type of situation they've seen in the circumstance at the crash site. with the spotlight still on those track circuits, metro has announced that they found a vendor to create a new backup system that would detect problems in these track circuits. when the national transportation safety board called on metro to install a backup to its train monitoring system, metro said such a thing did not exist. it would have to be invented. getting the job is airing, a transportation firm. they already have a $15 million contract with metro to work on the system's operations control center. >> they're laying out the groundwork and some preliminary sketches of what this new system will look like. they're not completely -- they've not completely developed it, they're just trying to understand what type of
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connections would be required, what type of software needs to be developed. >> reporter: the cause of last month's collision is still unknown, but investigators have focused on a track circuit that failed to detect the presence of a train stopped on the rails. the new backup would provide continuous realtime data on the operation of all track circuits. the new alert system would automatically throw up a red flag if the circuit problem was detected. that's not the way it works now. >> now you have to basically push a button and say, check all the circuits. we have 3,000 circuits, and they check them for a period of time. then you come out with a stacked box of papers. >> reporter: it is unclear how long it will take to get the backup system in place but folks riding the rails hope it is soon. >> metro is a multi-million dollar organization so it needs to have a backup plan in place because a few weeks ago, just what happened.
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a lot of lives was taken by a mistake that could have been taken care of a long time ago. >> i feel better but i really wasn't overly concerned from the get. this is one accident in how many years? >> a backup would be more comforting for all of the riders, of course. but either way, i'm going to keep ring. >> reporter: metro has not yet responded to the information providing in the ntsb update. we are expecting to hear from metro later on this afternoon. as thinvestigators continue to look at the track circuits, they have to do more testing. that means delays since the crash are likely to continue. they'll try to keep it down to non-peak times, non-rush hour times but they'll continue to have to do those tests and that will impact the system. back to you. >> megan, thank you. for the first time since the deadly metro accident, the tacoma station will remain open past 10:00 p.m. it's bn closing regularly to
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accommodate investigators working on the tracks. metro announced the tacoma station will now remain open all day today and tomorrow. that means it will be open until midnight tonight and 3:00 a.m. tomorrow. passengers should still, however, expect continuing delays. president obama is taking his case for a massive health care overhaul to the american public, amid growing concerns about the plan. today he'll continue his efforts with a visit to the cleveland clinic which he holds up as a model facility. last night he used a prime time news conference to rally support for the plan, focusing on what americans have to gain and lose from reform. >> they're going to have to give up paying for things that don't make them healthier. and i, speaking as an american, i think that's the kind of change you want. >> president obama says he thinks two-thirds of the plan redirecting federal fus. some will come from higher
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e-xes, xeone-third. ilouma ysr thoughts on the prs id y,enanplt' "news4 midday"@nbcwashington.com. we'll try to read some of those responses at end of the newscast. today family and friends will say good-bye to the most trusted man in america. walter cronkite will be remembered during a private funeral in new york. he died at the age of 92 last week at his home in manhattan. cronkite's final resting place will be in missouri next to his late wife. next month there will be a memorial for the legendary news man at the lincoln center for the performing arts. cash for clunkers. sounds like a good deal and the federal government is hoping the new incentive program will jump-start the ailing car market. it starts today. now chrysler is sweetening the deal for its customers. not everyone thinks it is a good idea. news4's tracee wilkins joins us with more from alexandria. >> reporter: the program has some critics but the federal government is hoping that in addition to jump-starting car companies, it will also help to clean up the environment.
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chrysler, fresh off a bankruptcy, is seeing an opportunity to sell some cars. and why not? since you may be able to make some money if you decide to get riof your old car and buy a new, more fuel-efficient one. >> people are really excited about it because it seems like a good idea. >> reporter: under the new government program beginning today, if your old car gets 18 miles to the gallon or less, provided you owned it for one year, can you qualify for a new car but it must be more fuel efficient which at least four miles per gallons for cars, 2 miles per gallon for suvs. you can get up to $4,500 depending on the gas you during the trade-in. some say this is a failed attempt that's costing taxpayers $1 billion too much. >> what began as a reasonable idea to get clunkers off the road and try to move some more efficient vehicles in their stead has been hijacked by the
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auto industry and some of its friends in congress. >> reporter: chrysler's taking the program one step further by offering up to an additional $4,500 cash back for all trade-ins. how much cash you get back depends on the new vehicle you purchase. this person's been driving a chrysler for years. that's what his company leases for business. >> hearing the possibility of $9,000 cash back, would you go and buy a chrysler? >> probably not. >> reporter: he says he's had so many problems with his chryslers, money back isn't worth it. >> i retire in four years. the day i retire i turn this van in, i will be in the honda dealership purchasing a brand-new honda accord. it's already been determined. >> reporter: chrysler's program will be running throughout august and the government program is going to be going on until november 1st, or until the money runs out. for more information, logon to
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car cars.gov. some students from bonel rd quarantine in china. ether w hospitalized when neveral in their group came derw he swine flu. the students come from several different schools as part after cultural exchange program at the university of maryland. according to published reports, a trip organizer says the students could be released from quarantine tomorrow as long as they show no symptoms. they'll then be free to extend their stay and finish their trip in china. right here in the washington, d.c. area, take a look outside. lot of clouds above us right now. 79 degrees but a muggy 79 degrees. feels like summer. >> let's check in with tom kifoa check of the forecast. >> it is going to stay that way today and into tonight. we've had heavy downpours this morning to the south of washington, the east of washington. southern maryland, st. mary's county, the had over two inches of rain this morning. that line of showers and those clusters of of tropical downpours passed right along the westn shores of the bay, just east of baltimore, headed up
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into pennsylvania now. elsewhere, just a few scattered sprinkles here in montgomery, prince george's, fairfax counties, just to the west of fredericksburg and panhandle of west virginia as well. as we get into the rest of the day, it will climb a little bit more. right now it is near 80 degrees. mid 70s on the eastern shore where they have some rain now moving through. out of the mountains, they're in the 70s. dew points are right near 70. we'll continue to have some other showers developing as the afternoon gets going with some more perhaps heavy downpours. we need the rain. so far, it's the driest july on record at reagan national. highs mid 80s. a look at the rest of the week and weekend in a couple of minutes. jerry edwards is keeping an eye on the roads at mid dai. >> a couple of accidents, unfortunately, jamming things up. this is i-66. about a mile before you get to the capital beltway. there was an accident, just moved to the shoulder. from a point just after route
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123 to the beltway, 66 running slowly eastbound. top side of the beltway, outer loop at university boulevard, broken down truck in the roadway. backup begins close to the i-95 interchange. right now the inner loop looks good. 11:12. 79 degrees. after the break, the safer cigarette may not really be all that safe at all. the fda has a warning about eve cigarettes. plus ticketed for driving too slowly? one area driver says he got pulled over for going below the speed limit. it's being called dog's best friend. the man who risked life and limb literally and wrestled an alligator to save his dog. og
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fios guy! where ya headed? uh, just installed fios in the whole building. now everyone has the fastest upload speeds,
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and we're giving them a mini netbook. well, i'm sticking with cable. so is ted. (ted) no i'm not! he's just goofing. (ted) no i'm not. ted has betrayed me... okay... (announcer) unlike cable, fios brings 100% fiber optics straight to your home. switch now, and get a free compaq mini netbook computer. just pay shipping, handling and taxes. with fios, you'll get razor-sharp tv, america's top rated internet now even faster, and crystal-clear phone service, all for just... call the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 800-974-6006 tty/v today and for a limited time, get an incredible compaq mini, to get the most out of your fios internet. get this great offer on fios tv, internet and phone plus a free compaq mini netbook computer. just pay shipping, handling and taxes. call the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 800-974-6006 tty/v today before time runs out on this astonishing offer.
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takes a dedicated dog owner to pry his pet from the jaws of a seven-foot alligator. but that's exactly what one florida man did. he ended up in worse shape than his dog. michelle kosinski has the story. >> yeah, we're okay. good girl! >> reporter: re-united with her best friend who just got home from the hospital, you have to wonder if mandy, the wheaton terrier, knows just how loyal her owner is. >> i saw the wake in the water from the alligator coming. >> reporter: david saw it slice through the sparkling water saturday morning. and a second later, his best pal, mandy, sniffing around in the brush was trapped between the two hungry jaws of this
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seven-footser. >> i just ran straight through those bushes to her. >> reporter: ran at the gator to save his trustee friend. >> he had her in his mouth. i just grabbed the lower jaw with this hand and the upper jaw with this hand. as i'm poking his eye i'm pulling. she got out pretty easy. i remember just thinking, that was pretty easy. >> reporter: but then there he is, holding a gator's open mout he tried to throw the reptile and it snapped off the top of two fingers on his right hand. he considers himself lucky that's all it got away it. mandy was bitten around the middle. but okay. >> she's really a special dog. she's just like one of our children. >> reporter: they've had 7-year-old mandy since she was just a puppy. he says his family would kill him if he let anything happen to her. now he can't imagine not rescuing her from the jaws of death. >> i would have never got over it. you know?
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if i'd have not tried to get her free, i could have never lived with myself. >> reporter: you have a best friend for life here. >> yeah, for sure. >> reporter: you may be the most loyal owner. dog's best friend. fish and wildlife officers eventually trapped the alligator and had its euthanized. tom is here with a look at the forecast. alligator wasn't really doing anything but seeing an alligator. right? >> if you live right next to a swamp, you can expect an ael gator to come out of swamp in florida. that's what they do. it's feel kind of swampy here now. we've had the tropical humidity moving in overnight. it's been in place and this morning tropi had tropical downpours south and east of weighing. our sky this morning, back in time over the last couple of hours, looking off to the west,
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that's a view from our sky watcher camera. we can see those clouds that have been sort of billowing and roaring through here with just a few sprinkles. but they did unload a lot of rain just to our east. as the morning has progressed, we've seen tse low clouds continuing to roll on through but they break up a little bit and see some cloud shadows, little bit of sunshine in and out. there's a live picture. it shows increasing sunshine but that's just going to destabilize the atmosphere even more. as a result, we'll have a pretty good chance for some passing showers and thundershowers this afternoon. there is a live picture ove the potomac river. now there's capitol hill in the distance. right now at reagan national, 81. so far this july we've only had three days of 90 degrees or higher. in an average july, we get 14 days 90 degrees or higher. we've certainly had a break from the high heat this mmsuer. now let's look at radar. no precipitation here now, although there are a few sprinkles in northern montgomery county. but this morning we had those
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heavy rains passing just to the east of us. st. mary's, up through baltimore. off to the west, just a few sprinkles. that's what's happening right now. it is near 80 in prince george's, montgomery and fairfax counties, as well as from the blue ridge, down towards central virginia. eastern shore has had some rain passing through as there is a tropical system just off the coast. it is now in the mid-70s. dew point in salisbury, 72. right now in washington, dew point is 70. the yellow zone is the high humidity, stretching from the shenandoah valley to the beaches. it will stay steamy this afternoon. this plume of tropical moisture is just off the coast. this is delaware bay. is heading up into long island, new england, looks like there could be flight delays there later on today as all of that moisture moves on up toward the north. in addition we have an area of low pressure sitting up over lake erie. this will continue to track off to the northeast and drag this
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front through here this afternoon, increasing our chances for some passing showers and thundershowers as well. this will be the lineerhaps around 8:00 this evening. we'll give it some heavy downpours, maybe a little bit of thunder and lightning. after that, things should settle down a bit, turn a little bit less humid for the rest of the afternoon though, thundershowers ikely, highs reaching the msua noternow afternoon downpours could accumulate to maybe an inch or more. game time tonight,ou c dld be rn delays, nashltionals and cardinl during the day tomorrow, little in mihu partly cloudy, h d- mimi80 s. d-mism80s. small chance of an afternoon shower mainly to our north. saturday should be mostly sunny, 90. nea a little more humid. steamy again on sunday, another front coming through sunday afternoon and evening may give wersomthhounrs.de ter that goes by, looks like il witl still be quite humid and hot in typical late july weather, highs near 90 by wednesday. that's the way it looks.
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space shuttle "endeavour" getting ready for ausiness day this morning. they woke up to elton john's "tiny dancer." the song was dedicated to a commander. today the crew will use a robotic arm to transfer experiments to the international space station. and this was what it looks like from the space station from here on earth. it looked like a star in the skies above oregon. apparely the space station's solar panels reflected the sun's light making it visible from the ground. the space station is about the size of a football field. it's orbiting at more than 17,000 miles per hour, about 240 miles above the earth. how cool is that? it is now 11:21. coming up, a warning to joggers in rock creek park. police are searching for a man who pulled a woman into the woods and attacked her. developments in the michael jackson death investigation. whom police want to interview now. plus, unwelcome guest. why some washingtonians are
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the reeled world is filming
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in dupont circle. the reality show is taping in a mansion bringing in lights, cameras and television magic. adam rosenberg lives across the street. he's so frustrated that he's taken his complaints to twitter. >> people hanging out outside, they're drinking and watching the "real world," somebody shoves somebody, people get into a fight. >> not everyone has a problem with all the extra attention. chris wiggins run pages on twitter and facebook that follow every move of "the real world" cast. he has sources that tell him exactly where cast members will be at when. a local man is upset when police pulled him over for driving too slowly. eric says it happened tuesday evening at rte 50 in prince george's county. >> coming back on route 50, speed limit is 55. i was pulled over by a maryland state trooper and wn i asked him why i was pulled over, he said that i was going too slow. he issued me an $80 ticket for going 58 in a 65. >> what's more, he says he was
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pulled over just yards before a 65-mile-an-hour sign. he thinks he w stopped in an area where the speed limit is actually 55 miles per hour. he says he will fight the ticket in court. police say they're looking into the matter. 11:26 now, 81 degrees out there. up next, his arrest caused quite a stir. now president obama weighs in on the controversy surrounding henry louis gates jr., and allegations of racism within a police department. newly released video sheds new light on this weekend's crash on san francisco's train system. grandmother in chief. michelle obama's mother speaks candidly about living in the white house and why sometimes she's lonely in her new position. it is a steamy day out there. tom has the forecast when we come back. stay with us
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fios guy! where ya headed? uh, just installed fios in the whole building. noeveryone has the fastest upload speeds, and we're giving them a mini netbook. well, i'm sticking with cable. so is ted. (ted) no i'm not! he's just goofing. (ted) no i'm not. ted has betrayed me... okay... (announcer) unlike cable, fios brings 100% fiber optics straight to your home. switch now, and get a free compaq mini netbook computer. just pay shipping, handling and taxes. with fios, you'll get razor-sharp tv, america's top rated internet - now even faster, and crystal-clear phone service, all for just... call the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 800-974-6006 tty/v today and for a limited time, get an incredible compaq mini, to get the most out of your fios internet. get this great offer on fios tv, internet and phone plus a free compaq mini netbook computer. just pay shipping, handling and taxes. call the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 800-974-6006 tty/v today before time runs out on this astonishing offer.
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(female narrator) from jennifer: a microfiber sofa bed for just $299, only at jennifer. $299. jennifer: the only place to buy a sofa bed. let's take a look at what's happening right now at 11:30. the mayors of two new jersey cities and a state legislator are under arrest as part of a major corruption probe. federal prosecutors say about 30 people have been arrested, including the hoboken mayor and the secaucus mayor. metro says it is working with an annapolis based firm on a backup system for a train control system supposed to prevent collisions. investigators have not said what caused last month's deadly crash but the ntsb says the current train protection system is inadequate. starting today car owners can get cash for clunkers, the government incentive to get older cars off the road starts
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today. drivers will get up to $4,500 if they trade in an old car to get a new one with better gas mileage. president obama during his prime time pitch, a prescription for change last night. during his prime time speech is an effort to reach out to the public and garner support to push congress on the issue of universal health care. kimberly has the latest on this story. >> let's go live right now out to andrews air force base. the president's just disembarking from marine one, getting on to air force one as he is heading out to ohio. regarding health care, the president said last night this is not about him. he admits to having great health insurae, as does every member of congress. he says it is about the 47 million americans who are not as fortunate and his commitment to universal health care, as well as a promise not to mess up your medical coverage if you like it. now, the reason the president is on air force one today, he takes his push for health care reform
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to ohio. he continues to argue the reform is essential to the nation's economic recovery. he also calls it a role model for the type of change americans want. now this morning on the "today" show, the debatingack in washington was left to the democrats and republicans, delivering their own pitches to the public. >> republicans do not accept the status quo. but what we want do is make sure that we get it right and the president said that as well. and we've got questions of what actually a government health care plan means. >> this is a plan where you get to keep your doctor, you make the choices. if you like the plan you have, we're not going to take it away. most people like the plans they have in this country. we need to leave alone that which is working and try to fix that which is broken. >> democrats charge that republicans want to delay in order to destroy. congressman cantor says the republicans don't want the status quo either but they an the american people want questions answered before signing off on a $1 trillion
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health care reformck agpae. >> ag >> kimberly, thank you. news4 wantso k now what you hink of the president's health ca plan. e-mail u youou thoughts,ne "ws4" midday"@nbcwashington.com. we hope to read some of your responses at the end of the newscast. from the wooded suburbs to downtown d.c., new cases of lyme disease are popping up a across the area.acro he.ea by small e is carri ticks which can then fas ono humans. facofa nxty iee sts i nber of cases double in the past .yeye that's whynt ic blumpuort fasht lea nig t public forum last night tortle a people about this debilitating disease. >> our daughter's gone from being a singer, actress and dancer to being wheelchair bound, paralyzed from the waist down, no use of her hands and lower extremities. all related to lyme disease. >> to avoid ticks, experts say stay out of tall grasses where they often lien wait, or cover up your skin. you shall also watch out for any rashes that look suspicious.
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a warning to joggers in the district. police are asking people to be on alert after a woman was sexually assaulted by running in rock creek park. it happened around 7:00 yesterday morning near bingham and beach drive. police say the woman was out for a morning job when she saw a man in the area when she noticed him for the second time, he puld her into the woods and then sexually assaulted her. >> he's unshaven and he's parentally smelled a bit of alcohol and prior to this assault, either the victim or a witness observed the same subject that we're looking for talking to himself in spanish. >> people who use the park are being urged to do so in groups and not alone. u.s. forces have killed the son of osama bin laden. according to media reports, saab bin laden died earlier this year during a u.s. missile strike in pakistan. it is believed he was not the target of the attack. the 37-year-old fled afghanistan when the war began in 2001. he's been under house arrest in
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iran until the end of the last year. he made his way to western pakistan after he was released. we're getting a sort of fly-on-the-wall look at a light rail crash that injured more than 60 people last week in san francisco. this is new video that shows the first train sitting on the platform when the second train slams right into it. here it comes. two people remain in the hospital, including the operator of that striking train. investigators are focusing on human error as the cause of the crash after finding no indication of any sort of mechanical or systems failure. president obama says the police acted stupidly for arresting a prominent black scholar who was forcing his way into his own home. a disorderly conduct charge was later dropped against henry louis gates jr., a world-famous professor at harvard. his front door was stuck so he tried to pull it open. a bystander then called police thinking he might have been a burglar. police say gates refused to show his i.d. at first and accused the officer of racism. gates says he did show his i.d.
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but was arrested anyway. >> i don't know -- not having been there and not seeing all the facts -- what role race played in that, but i think it is fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. >> the cambridge police officer who arrested gates says he was following procedure and that he will not apologize. today we've learned new details in the investigation into michael jackson's death. the l.a. county coroner's office subpoenaed records related to the pop star's treatment by a nurse practitioner who said she refused to help jackson obtain diprivan when she was treating him. yesterday dr. conrad murray's clinic was searched in houston.
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>> searching for drugs or just records? >> in drugs, sir. this is just records. >> investigators have also said they want to interview murray for a third time. the coroner is waiting on toxicology reports to determine how jackson died. a powerful anesthetic was found inside the singer's home. murray's attorney says investigators were seeking evidence for possible manslaughter charges. we've also learned six workers at the corones office looked at michael jackson's death certificate when they weren't supposed to. officials say some staff members appeared to have printed copies before the certificate became a public record and that's a violation of internal rules. turning now to the weather, we've got sunshine out there, some clouds above us right . typr 81. pretty steamy degrees right now. >> tom has an update on the forecast. good morning. >> yeah, it's turned quite humid overnight. humidity in place here this morning. as we look around the neighborhood network, silver spring, temperature 82.
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but the dew point, 74. that's the highest it's been so far this summer. whenever the dew point is over 70, that's sweltering humidity. there is a light southeasterly breezethere. on radar we have a few sprinkles out here in loudoun county. maybe northern montgomery county getting a few sprinkles, as well as around baltimore and southern maryland where earlier this morning here in southern st. mary's county, over two inches of rain fell from some tropical downpours. oth sprinkles in the shenandoah valley, temperatures in the 70s. from the blue ridge to the bay, upper 70s to near 80. we have a little sunshine breaking out as we have an area of very heavy rain just off the coast. this is a plume of tropical moisture that's heading off to the north and crossing into the new york city, long island area and southern new england. there could be flight delays in the afternoon as heavy rain moves in there. farther to our west, we have increasing sunshine. as a result, it will stabilize the atmosphere and perhaps kick
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up some thundershowers passing by with some brief heavy downpours, highs reaching the mid-80s before that happens. otherwise, just partly sunny, and humid. could have a rain delay tonight for the nationals and cardinals at nationals park, first pitch 7:05. should be around 80 by then. there is a 40% chance of other passing showers this evening. mostly cloudy after that. for friday and into saturday though, little less humid, highs reaching the mid-80s tomorrow. slight chance afterassing thundershower. on sunday, maybe afternoon showers. next week, partly cloudy, small chance of afternoon showers. 80s, into low 90s. jerry edwards has a check of the roadways at this hour. good morning. >> it's a little rocky in a couple of spots we had the accident, 66 eastbound at beltway which is cleared but still a little bit of slow traffic. lots of slow traffic on the beltway in virginia. this is the inner loop from
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annendale. elsewhere, top side of the beltway, might still find is t a bit slow between new hampshire avenue and university boulevard. had an earlier issue with the truck that's been cleared. right now no worries reported either direction for those of you headed out to the wilson bridge. i-270 northbound and southbound appears to be moving pretty well. 11:39, 81 degrees. still ahead this morning, it is a growing trend and it is supposed to be a safer alternative than cigarettes. but the fda says eve cigarettes have their own risk. plus, she says she has a really cool job. michelle obama's mother talks about living in the white house and her job as grandmother to the first kids 81çññ
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british singer amy winehouse arrived in a london courtroom this morning to face assault charges. the 25-year-old grammy winner is accused of punching a fan last september after the woman asked to take her picture. in court today, a prosecutor said winehouse appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or some other substance at the time. winehouse has denied the charges. they're touted as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes and that has many smokers turning to e cigarettes instead of lighting up real cigarettes. the fda says the e cigarettes are still pretty dangerous.
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>> reporter: for years now phyllis brown, like millions of americans, has been sneaking outside for a smoke. she has cut back recently though from two packs a day to one every three or four days, switching instead to an electronic or e cigarette whose manufacturers claim it is a healthier alternative. >> my doctor is thrilled. i'm thrilled. >> reporter: the fda is not. their preliminary tests show e cigarettes contain several carcinogens and other toxic chemicals, including a key ingredient found in antifreeze. >> we're concerned about how they're being marketed, what's in them. we certainly don't think people should be using them. >> reporter: but thousands are. in just three years, e cigarettes have become a $100 million business. >> i tell people to reload with 10 to 15 drops. >> reporter: now several shipments from chinese manufacturers have been seized by authorities. >> it's just hell.
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>> reporter: along with those who had hoped the battery operated cigarettes were a safer way to smoke. jay gray, nbc news. >> the fda's also concerned that e cigarettes may be an alternative for those who are too young to buy tobacco product. e cigarette industry says the fda study was too narrow to reach any valid conclusions. time to take a look at some of the business stories making headlines this morning. >> cnbc's courtney reagan joins us. >> stocks are enjoying a nice rally today. the dow is up almost 200 points. looks like 179 pounds at this second. nasdaq attempting to extend its winning streak to 12 days in a row. if it happens, it will be the longest stretch in more than 12 years for that index. asian markets advanced overnight. europe is a bit lower. another big day for earnings reports. dow components at&t and 3m both beat estimates with their latest reports. mcdonald's matched consensus. ford did report a loss but it was considerably better than
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what the street had expected they would report. first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 30,000 last week to 554,000. but the data is partially distorted by an unusual pattern of auto industry layoffs. don't buy too much into those numbers this week at least. june existing home sales did come in up 3.6%. that was a bigger increase than wall street had anticipated. porsche's top two executives have resigned today. paving the way for the german shorts carmakers to possibly merge with volkswagen. earlier this year the family-controlled porsche failed in its bid to buy vw leaving volkswagen to turn the table and launch its own takeover offer. walmart is ready for the back-to-school shopping season. the retailer's expanding its inventory of laptop computers by 40%. starting on sunday, walmart will begin selling an exclusive xat presario notebook for only $298. it is already offering dell net
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books for $398. walmart is employing the same strategy it used to become the leading seller of flat-screen tvs, increase inventory of name brands and beat the competition's prices. sounds like a good plan to me. back to you. >> that's the bottom line. >> thanks, courtney. have a great day. see you tomorrow. 11:46. after the break, new york's famous naked cowboy is making a new career move. plus tom will be back with another check on the forecast. we're lookingeo f ppleor who pe salthcin iple speal thn e early morning hours. if yno knewweoomike, thateo heir close-up picture or video tvi . we may tell thñq
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i think they can only watch one hour of tv a day. but they're at the age now where they'd rather read books or play games with themselves. so grandma is beginning to feel left out. >> oh, i'm sorry to hear that. we're getting a better idea of what life is like inside the white house for the first grandmother. michelle obama's mother took questions yesterday while reading to students in southwest washington. mrs. robinson says it is an overwhelming feeling to have a daughter married to the president but she did also admit that she has a pretty cool fe maybe they should find a way to
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make her an envoy to someplace. this week's "wednesday's child" loves the game of tennis. turns out he's pretty good at it. we found out after he spend some time with washington council's coach murphy jenson. barbara harrison has devin's story. >> reporter: hi, devin. how are you? >> good. >> i'm so glad to see you. i see you are a tennis player. is that right? >> yeah. >> we should have fun today. devin is a 15-year-old who loves the game of tennis. so we thought we'd check out the beautiful new digs for the washington capitals professional tennis team in downtown washington. >> play ten snis. >> a little bit. >> you enjoy the game? >> yeah. >> all right, here we go. >> reporter: devin proved to be good at a game he actually has taught himself to play. >> i just picked up a racket one day and just hit it. >> reporter: and turned out to be pretty good. huh?
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those who know him say devin wants to succeed at everything he tries. >> devin is a wonderful child. he's very, very outgoing. loves to do new things, learn new things. he's really a good kid. a very good kid. >> reporter: she says devon has been in the foster care system for the last three years. he's had to move a number of times already. she says he's anxious to be adopted. >> i want somebody there for me that's going to be there for me. i don't want to just be in a home where they can just keep me until i'm 21. i want to be adopted, i want to be a part of their family. >> reporter: he says he wants a family that will support his ambitio ambitions. what do you think you want to be when you grow up? >> a police officer. >> reporter: how did you decide that? >> because i've always wanted to help people. >> reporter: devin says he'd like to study law enforcement in college. he'd also like to keep playing tennis and hopes for an adoptive family who would like that, too. >> i want to active father that goes out and plays sports. i want a loving mother. >> devin, you played unbelievable! >> reporter: murphy presented
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devin with tickets to see serena williams play and an official capital tennis jersey. >> as the coach of the washington capitals, you are an honorary member of this team. >> reporter: devon loves the member of being part after team but mostly he wants to be part of a family that would be his home team, forever. baarrb onhaisrr,is newaysdne's ed"waysdf >> hyo i ravu iooenmr child," pleaseall our eart,eou s e in 1-888-2adoptme. ho we have been following a developing story all morning long. 30 people have now been arrested in new jersey on corruption charges, including several public officials. among those arrested are the mayors of hoboken and secaucus and a state legislator. also several rabbis in new york and new jersey have been arrested. we're told investigators say it is all part of a major
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corruption probe focusing on money laundering and political bid rigging. some suspects may also be connected to an illegal human organ selling ring. early on the news cast we said we wanted to know what you think of the president'sealth care t'plpl.an one viewer.as h this to say. >> i like his plan, it is a vast improvement on the current system. you can always e-mail us at news4middanbcwashington.com. coming up this afternoon on news4 at 4:00, could a drink a day actually keep the doctor away? the results of a new study about who really could use a drink. then at 5:, a sweet tea taste test. tips to keep your car running. and a new way to groom your pet. viewers they will liz crenshaw what happened after her stories aired. and we want to know your thoughts what president obama said last night about the arrest of an african-american professor
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at harvard university. for all those stories and all the day's news, join us for news4 beginning at 4:00 p.m. for all the day's news, let's go to tom watching the dew point out there. >> it's certainly up there. we've had the humidity increase, feeling like the tropics around our region this morning. radar now shows still a few showers just to our west. we have a couple out here in loudoun county near leesburg producing some brief light to moderate downpours. these areas where there are little pockets of green, these are downpours as well in the shenandoah valley and high lands of west virginia, these are heading off to the northeast. another e just southwest of fredericksburg, couple here just off of the western shore of the chesapeake bay. on the eastern shore as well, another tropical downpour getting going heading off due north. we may see some more of these popping up as the afternoon progresses.
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right now 81 in washington. in the low 80s in montgomery, fairfax and prince george's county. no southern maryland, where they've had the rain this morning, it is in the mid-70s. near 80 around the blue ridge and shenandoah valley now. over the last six hours we've had this plume of moisture, tropical moisture, riding right along the coast. it's heading on up into new england now and is maybe going to cause flight delays, new york city, hartford and boston, perhaps portland, maine later on this afternoon. farther to our west, increasing shine should cook up some showers. otherwise, partly sunny, humid, and some needed rain. this is the driest july on record at national. we have a very good chance later on this afternoon and this evening. it may interrupt the nationals/cardinals game. could be a rain delay. chance of thundershowers. first pitch time, 7:05. temperature should be around 80. a chance of passing showers, maybe thunder all the way to midnight. by dawn tomorrow, partly to
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mostly cloudy and near 70. partly cloudy, highs in the mid achbts on frid 80s on friday. saturday should be mostly sunny and more humid by the end of the day, highs near 90. good beach and pool weather. sunday increasing clouds, a front coming through in the afternoon and evening may trigger passing thundershowers. looks like it is going to be rather humid, too. behind that, looks like it is going to stay quite humid as we get into monday, tuesday and wednesday. highs near 90 tuesday and wednesday. each day a chance of passing afternoon thundershowers. that's the way it looks right now. >> tom, thanks very much. see you tomorrow. if you've been to times square there's a good chance you've seen him. >> now one of the city's most popular men wants another title -- ♪ pick a cowboy for mayor of nyc ♪ ♪ because no one's ever done more with it than me ♪ >> the naked cowboy's been a
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fixture of times square for more than a decade now. yesterday he announced that he's actually running for mayor of the big apple. his real name is roberts burke. he claims the small business community approached him to run. while he does have a website detailing his plans for the city, he admits that he has no real experience except, of course, running around times square in his skivvies, which may be qualification to be mayor. >> i don't think mayor bloomberg's going to go for that, running against the naked cowboy. that does it for "news4 midday." be sure to tune in to news4 at 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00 for all the day's news. we'll all be back tomorrow morning at 4:55 with "news4 today." we hope you join us then. have a terrific day. >> see you tomorrow. ♪
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