tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 2, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
we on the broadcast tonight, under pressure. herman cain fights to stay on his game as reporters swarm and questions swirl about accusations of sexual harassment. tonight, one of his accusers wants to talk, but can she go public? he said, she said. 20 years now after anita hill, has anything really changed for women and men in the u.s. workplace? top of the class. we go to the best schools in the world and ask what are they doing that we are not? and at long last, a high honor for american heroes who risked everything for this country, even when this country made it very tough for their families. made it very tough for their families. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
>> i'm here with these doctors and that's what i'm going to talk about. so don't even bother asking me all of these other questions that you all are curious about. okay? don't even bother. >> reporter: when reporters persisted -- >> excuse me. excuse me. what part of "no" don't people understand? >> reporter: throughout the day, he declined to answer any more questions about the storm eng f engulfing his candidacy. >> mr. cain, would you like to comment on the allegations -- >> nope. >> reporter: nbc news has confirmed two women officially accused cain of improper sexual conduct while he was ceo of the national restaurant association in the 1990s and that both women received financial settlements. one woman received a full year's salary -- $35,000 to $40,000. >> did you pay a woman to be quiet, sir? >> reporter: cain also still won't say whether he will ask
the national restaurant association to release one of his accusers from a confidentiality agreement which prevents her from speaking freely. the woman's lawyer, joel bennett, said she wants to tell her side of the story and that cain may have broken the agreement when he disparaged her work performance. >> i believe his remarks are a violation of the confidentiality provision of the settlement agreement. >> reporter: today a prominent republican, mississippi governor haley barbour, urged cain to waive any confidentiality agreement. >> i think the best interest of herman cain's campaign, of everybody is to get the facts out. >> reporter: cain said at one point today that despite all this he felt invigorated and that it's all a smear campaign. >> there are factions that are trying to destroy me personally as well as this campaign. >> reporter: and tonight, cain accused an adviser for one of his opponents, texas governor rick perry, of leaking the
initial story that triggered this frenzy. the perry adviser denies it. brian? >> lisa myers starting us off from our d.c. newsroom tonight. thanks. this is the latest entry in a long list of similar situations, stories that have made headlines and come and gone over the years and a lot of people are wondering not only what really happened here but where the line is where the rules of the workplace are concerned. that angle of this story tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: a lot has changed since the mad men of the 1960s when men were men and women did their bidding. harassment in the workplace, when it happens, goes well beyond "9 to 5" and often is not reported. >> the number of complaints the is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much harassment there really is out there. >> reporter: one trend -- more men are now filing complaints. in fact, since 1997 the percentage of men filing complaints has gone from 11% of all claims to more than 16.4%
last year. the biggest catalyst for change, the high stakes drama 20 years ago between clarence thomas and anita hill. >> on several occasions thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess. >> it is a high tech lynching for uppity blacks who think for themselves. >> i have heard from a number of women who say after the testimony things changed in my workplace overnight. but i also know that the problem still exists. >> reporter: since the clarence thomas hearings, legal rulings have gotten employers' attention. workers are often required to learn how to recognize when they are crossing the line. >> it is important for you to understand sexual harassment. >> reporter: a more recent high profile case, new york knicks coach and general manager isaiah thomas, cited for making unwanted advances to team
executive anucha browne-sanders. she was paid $11.5 million. thomas didn't have to pay, but he was fired a year later for bad coaching, after another losing season. >> more people are aware of what at not to do in the office. of >> reporter: still, change comes slowly as officials say most people are still afraid to file suit for fears they will be fired. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. president obama tonight is off to a meeting of world leaders in france. one topic that will definitely be up for discussion and urgently, the meltdown of the economy in greece. nbc's stephanie gosk tonight explains why americans need to be paying close attention over here to this time bomb ticking over there. >> reporter: the world economic heavy hitters, the g20 are converging on cannes for their annual meeting. topping the agenda, greece which
has once again thrown the global economy into turmoil and raised fears of another financial crisis. >> greece has the potential to -- if it defaults, to be an event like lehman was back in 2008. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> reporter: just last week, european leaders thought they had a deal to save greece from bankruptcy. a $178 billion bailout tied to strict austerity measures. but now greek prime minister george papandreou says he will put the deal up for a nationwide vote, a referendum. a recent poll shows the deal is opposed by a majority of greeks who have taken to the streets, angry about cutbacks to pension and government spending. this has world markets on a roller coaster. way up on news of a deal last week. way down on papandreou's announcement which also blind sided european leaders including germany's angela merkel. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
>> reporter: last week we agreed on a deal with greece and the e.u., she said. we want to implement that program. simply put, greece is practically broke. years of reckless spending led to massive debt and the very real threat of default. but it's not just their problem. greece is one of 17 nations sharing the same currency -- the euro. instability there creates instability here, hurting u.s. businesses, costing jobs and draining americans' retirement accounts. >> the fear is that we have a run on banks in europe that spreads to the united states. >> reporter: we aren't there yet, brian, but that is the fear. the instability -- both economic and political -- in greece is growing. prime minister papandreou only has a slim majority in parliament and faces a no-confidence vote on friday. >> stephanie gosk on this latest crisis. of course this may have days to go. stephanie, thanks. now to the people in this country who have been taking to the streets for six weeks now in what has become known as the occupy movement against economic
i inequality, corporate greed and the concentration of wealth in the top 1% of society. today, the epicenter was back in oakland, california, where people flooded the streets again in what they called a day-long strike to shut the city down. nbc's miguel almaguer has our report tonight. >> we are the 99%! >> reporter: in oakland, it may have been the largest demonstration since the days of the vietnam war. [ chanting ] >> reporter: a massive city-wide strike aimed at shutting down corporations, banks and the nation's fifth largest port. >> we are going to go shut it down for sure. >> reporter: protesters are demonstrating against what they call the unequal distribution of wealth and power. >> we stand for banks that work for the people. >> they are closing a lot of schools out here in oakland. >> reporter: oakland's shutdown grew by the hour. nearly 400 teachers marched to protest the closure of schools. nurses demanded access to better health care for all.
health care is a right, a human right. >> reporter: local labor unions encouraged their members to walk off the job. >> you see people on the streets? this is just beginning. >> reporter: today, police kept their distance. >> medic! >> reporter: the occupy movement is galvanized in part by images of marine scott olson, seriously injured by what witnesses say was a police projectile. today in new york a group of veterans marched through wall street. >> need to step up and make good. >> reporter: holding up pictures of olson. in philadelphia, police moved in to arrest nearly a dozen protesters who settled into the comcast building, the parent company of nbc universal. back in oakland, the police union says they, too, stand with protesters but they will also enforce the law. brian, the crowd has been growing all day. while for the most part it has been peaceful there have been
incidents of vandalism. later tonight, protesters say they will head to the port of oakland where they will try to shut down what they call the largest point of commerce. brian? >> miguel almaguer on the noisy streets of oakland, california. thanks. back here in the northeast, by the way, five days in now and more than 1 million homes and businesses, over a million still have no power after that strange late october, prehalloween snowstorm we had. meanwhile, out west a double whammy for denver. the second six-inch-plus snowstorm in a week. several places in colorado got a foot or more. up next as we continue tonight, schools turning out students who ace all the tests. question is can america learn from what they are doing? and this nation bestows its highest civilian honor today on a group of men who helped save the world despite the prejudice felt back here at home. despite the prejudice felt back here at home. sweet, nutty crunchy nut™.
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tonight's education nation report. last night we told you about a new report card that showed america's students continue to struggle in terms of both math and reading. well, tonight we go to the other side of the world -- shanghai, a city that stunned the world when students there took international exams for the first time ever and outscored every other school system on the planet. question is how did that happen and what can american schools learn from what shanghai is doing? our chief education correspondent rehema ellis went to shanghai to find out. she's here with us in our new york studios tonight. rehema? >> reporter: brian, they are working hard on the schools in shanghai and the thing that struck me during my visit to china is that kids there love learning. in many ways their success in school is a direct consequence of a whole culture that really values education. from the moment the teacher enters the classroom, shanghai students, rooted in tradition, are ready to learn.
the 900 kids at shanghai yukkai high school have nine-hour school days with just a few breaks for workouts, and timeouts for eye massages to relieve stress. kids study on weekends and during summer and winter breaks. why do you want to study so much? >> because i want to have a better future and do some contribution to our society. >> reporter: everything is geared toward the all-important college entrance exams. >> it's a test-oriented education system which means that students are taught from a very early age how to beat tests. >> reporter: on international exams, shanghai scored number one across the board. american students ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. >> which of you would like to be a business person one day? >> reporter: teachers in shanghai are among the highest
paid educators nationwide. shanghai is a booming city of 23 million people, but some downplay the academic success here saying it doesn't represent education in china as a whole. this is what learning is like in most of the nation. resources are scarce. the result, just 24% of rural kids go to college versus 80% in shanghai and 64% in the united states. ironically, as the world studies shanghai's success, china is focusing on its academic weaknesses. >> in terms of management, artistic, creative talent china is lacking. that will hamper china's ability of the economy to compete globally especially with the united states. >> maybe i'm going to be a musician or some kind of -- this is my dream. >> reporter: shanghai students, the world's best test-takers are now starting to dream of being
so much more. for all the hours chinese students spend in school, that nation has yet to produce a steve jobs, a mark zuckerberg or bill gates, but now china is trying to open the door to that kind of academic creativity which america has been known for. experts say it's only a matter of time, brian, until china gets there. >> those high school students speaking to you in perfect english may be all we need to know. >> absolutely. >> rehema ellis, thank you. great report. great trip. there is a health item to tell you about tonight. news tonight about the stop smoking drug chantix which already carries some strong warnings on the label about side effects. a new study concludes chantix carries such a high risk of suicide and depression that it should only be used when other treatments fail. pfizer, the maker of chantix, takes issue with the research and says it stands by the safety of its drug. up next here tonight, there
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all we can say is they better be right about the drinking water. a local politician yesterday in japan publically drank a glass of water from a puddle inside the fukushima nuclear plant. his point was to show that decontamination procedures work and the tap water in the area is safe to drink and then just today a new report that workers are rushing to control radioactive elements inside the number 2 reactor there. they fear nuclear fission is still going on inside. well, while washington may be paralyzed, unable to fix soaring deficits or partisan gridlock, at least congress can agree on a slogan. the house of representatives last night passed a resolution reaffirming "in god we trust" as
the official motto of the united states. today, president obama ripped into republican leaders for holding that vote but not voting on his jobs plan. he said, i trust in god, but god wants us to help put ourselves back to work. the boston-based retailing icon filene's basement has filed for bankruptcy. they will close their doors after the holidays. their famous around the country once a year for the video that shows the running of the brides when hundreds of brides to be rush the doors and come into the sales racks for wedding dresses. they are owned by syms, the men's clothing store that is also filing for bankruptcy. new yorkers of all ages remember the radio ads by the founder, cy syms who always said, an educated consumer is our best customer. and a new heads-up, you may want to look up next week. when an asteroid passes closer to the earth than the moon is. while scientists say it will be a clean miss, in their words, despite passing closer than
anything has in decades, a purdue scientist did say if it did hit us and landed in the ocean, say, it would cause a 7.0 earthquake and tsunami waves 70 feet high. the most e-mailed image from this broadcast last week, this photo -- humpback whales and a surprised kayaker in california. they are now so close to shore looking for food just off santa cruz the coast guard has asked vessels to stay away and they have moved shipping lanes farther out to sea. up next as we continue here tonight, proud american warriors finally getting their due. [ male announcer ] what's the beat that moves your heart?
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♪ and even better for your customers. ♪ for safe and secure ways to stay connected, visit usps.com/mail finally tonight an honor long overdue. they answered the call in world war ii. japanese-american soldiers went and fought to save the world. yet back home in the u.s., their families were often rounded up in camps. well, today this heroic fighting unit was finally rewarded by congress. nbc's tom costello was there. >> reporter: the black and white news reels make world war ii seem so distant. >> this is me here. >> reporter: george sekado
remembers it all as if it were yesterday. >> tom kasano. george funiyama. >> reporter: including the day one of his friends died in his arms. >> i was going to get the guy who shot him or die trying. >> reporter: he went on to rush the german line, killing five enemy soldiers, wounding two and capturing four. for that he was awarded the medal of honor. sekado was part of the 442nd regimental combat team, the most highly decorated unit in u.s. history, made entirely of second generation japanese-american volunteers. while back at home many of their family and friends were declared enemy aliens and thrown into internment camps despite their american citizenship. grant ichikawa was 23 when he volunteered for military intelligence, interpreting for american troops in the pacific.
>> we just wanted to join to prove that we are loyal americans. >> reporter: they were loyal. 19,000 japanese-americans served in the pacific and europe. in italy and france they saw some of the most horrific fighting losing more than 700 men in just ten months. thousands of purple hearts, bronze and silver stars. among their members, senator daniel inaway who lost an arm and was later awarded the medal of honor. >> i thank you all for this extraordinary recognition. >> reporter: today, he was among the 317 surviving members of the 442nd, the 100th infantry battalion and the military intelligence service bestowed with congress's highest honor, the congressional gold medal. their trip to washington included a stop at the world war ii memorial to remember friends who died. george sekado came from denver wearing his medal of honor. >> i wore those for those who didn't come home. >> reporter: a lifetime later, sadness for those left behind but the pride of an american soldier. tom costello, nbc news,