tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 27, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
captions paid for by nbc-universal television sghnchs on this sunday night, going to extremes. record heat makes for a dangerous holiday weekend. meantime tonight, there's a tropical storm bearing down on the coast. emergency meeting at the u.n. tonight, growing outrage around the world over the massacre of children in syria. london calling. they're polishing the city for a celebration fit for the queen, before the games begin this summer. and modern romance. the story behind this incredible marriage proposal. ♪ >> gone viral.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. the weather is a big story on this holiday weekend. another day of unseasonable heat enveloping the center part of the country. temperatures hit the 90s today from the great lakes to the gulf coast making for one of the hottest indianapolis 500 races in years. with a high of 96, fort wayne, indiana, was more than just a dozen cities breaking or expected to break records today. while tonight folks living in the southeast are bracing for the late night arrival of beryl, which grew today into a full-fledged tropical storm, and will bring lots of rain and wind as it comes ashore along the georgia/florida border. this, as millions of americans het outdoors to try to celebrate the beginning of the summer season. we have two reports tonight. michelle franzen is at coney island to start us off. good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, lester. plenty of folks here at the boardwalk as americans around the country mark the start of summer. but a tropical storm bearing down on several southern states along with extreme heat in the midwest has been adding a layer of stress to this care-free weekend. at the indy 500, mother nature picked up the heat. temperatures soaring in the 90s, the race was on to keep cool. >> it's just drinking nonstop. >> reporter: nearly 80 cooling stations and first aid centers were set up around the track. >> you're talking 100 to 105 degrees. the track temperature is 120 to 130. more stress on the cars and drivers inside. >> the track temperature is 130 and it is going up. >> reporter: the heat, and marco andretti reported his boot was melting to his gad pedal.
some 40 million americans are feeling the heat, where temperatures are 10 to 25 degrees above average for this time of year. the heat and dry conditions are also making it tough for firefighters battling wildfires in several states. in new mexico, firefighters continued to battle a blaze that has charred more than 122,000 acres, and forced hundreds from their homes. from the sweltering heat, to the swirl of beryl in the atlantic. the tropical storm churnd the waters off the coast and is expected to make landfall later tonight, throwing a wrench into memorial day plans for vacationers up and down the coast. >> the wind is blowing really strong and the sand really stipulation. >> reporter: the storm is also bringing dangerous rip currents with warnings stretching from florida to north carolina. in jacksonville, florida, the beaches closed early sunday afternoon as the whipping winds moved in. >> out here in jacksonville
beach, we're already feeling the impact of beryl. winds gusting up to 35 to 45 miles an hour, blowing the sand like a blizzard in the dakotas. that's why i'm wearing these goggles this afternoon. >> we want to make sure no one goes to the beach. make sure the residents prepare their storm kit and get ready. >> reporter: in st. simon island, georgia, the beaches were still open. >> looks like a beautiful day today, if you can get out here before the storm hits. >> reporter: extreme weather playing out, and a preview of the hurricane season still to come. and this heat is not expected to let up anytime soon. forecasters say the u.s. overall is already experiencing the warmest start to the summer on record. lester? >> michelle franzen, thanks. the tropical storm about to make landfall down south, we're joined by weather channel meteorologist jim cantore. jim, how is it looking out there? >> reporter: well, lester, after we talked to you this morning,
we had a nuisance tropical storm, now you've got something that's potentially a game changer and intensifying to be close to a hurricane, believe it or not. we have a whole new set of problems to expect. dark and ominous skies behind me. that means the storm is coming in. right around midnight we expect landfall. the center of this thing, about 100 miles offshore right now. so it's coming in fast and furious. the weather will, too. we're talking about power outages, very heavy rain in through here. anybody that didn't tie down their boats now have to be racing to do that, as these winds have notched up to 65. they could be 70 or even farther ahead as we go to the next advisory. we've had record highs, about 27 right now. only one degree from the all-time high at indianapolis 500. all this warm weather, everybody wants to get in the water, and that's been very difficult to do. more than 100 people pulled from the waters over the last 24 hours because of the rip currents here. looking more like july 4th weekend, lester, than memorial
day weekend. >> we can see that surf behind you. and certainly behind the wind across your mike. jim cantore, thanks. at a rare sunday meeting, the united nations security council condemned the government of syria for the slaughter of more than 90 children, many of them children, in houla. artillery and tank rounds were in fact fired into the town. richard epgel. engel. >> reporter: as protesters in syria today angrily denounced the latest massacre, the government is trying to explain away an atrocity shocking even here. friday's massacre of 32 children, and 60 adults. entire families executed when syrian activists allege government troops shelled the town of houla and militia went house to house with knives and guns. >> translator: the syrian government today presented a new twist to its usual usual deny
yas. >> reporter: syria is a victim it claimed, terrorists did the massacre and the foreign ministry says syria needs help to root them out. >> translator: we recognize we have a crisis, said a spokesman, but the solution is not to strike at the country's stability, but to help syria. the same way the super powers are doing it with other countries. washington isn't buying it. in a statement, secretary clinton said the united states will intensify pressure on, quote, assad and his cronies whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end. specifically, washington plans to lobby russia, one of syria's last remaining allies. the uk has also been sharply critical. >> we're absolutely sickened, and the british government and the entire community over what we've seen the last couple of days. >> reporter: in turkey today, activists protested in front of the syrian embassy. >> we are now facing a unified. >> reporter: while condemnations are building, immediate action
against syria still seems unlikely. the united states has consistently opposed military intervention. critics say washington is hiding behind russian and chinese opposition, because military action would be too risky in an election year. so for now, washington is trying to rally an international anti-assad movement. it's a slow process. richard engel, nbc news, tel aviv. to politics now. president obama and mitt romney are taking a holiday break from the campaign, at least publicly. behind the scenes, however, may be another matter for their strategists as they map out a long summer and a tough fight until november. nbc's mike reports. >> reporter: what did you learn? for mitt romney today, praise from a former rival. >> he's tough. he's much tougher than i would have thought. he's prepared to do what it takes to win. >> reporter: the race is already a dogfight, likely to be settled by independent voters in a
handful of swing states. a poll shows a tightening race in three of those crucial contests, florida, ohio and virginia. with president obama holding on to a slim lead in each. >> 50% is almost a safe haven, safe territory for an incumbent. president obama is almost there. but you see mitt romney has room to grow and make this a very competitive contest. >> there are a lot of good relationships with a lot of groups. >> reporter: mitt romney will appear with donald trump who last week raised questions about the president's place of birth. some republicans say the decision is a mistake. >> the cost of appearing with this ignore a muss is obvious to me. >> reporter: even after some democrats voiced misgivings, president obama kept up his early offensive. >> the profits of some -- >> reporter: against bain capital. >> he's saying, well, 25 years in private sector gives me a special understanding of how our
well, if that's true, why is he peddling the same bad ideas that brought our economy to the brink of collapse. >> reporter: and giuliani was a candidate in 2008 saying it didn't measure up to his own record in new york. giuliani offered romney a backhanded endorsement. >> they had a growth of jobs and about 40,000, we had about 500,000. i was comparing what i thought was my far superior record to his. otherwise, decent record, but the numbers weren't as great. that's all part of campaigning. >> reporter: now, lester, both president obama and mitt romney will observe memorial day tomorrow. and commemorating 50 years since the u.s. got involved in the conflict. and mitt romney appearing with a vietnam veteran, john mccain. mike, thanks very much. there is a spectacular birthday celebration going on out west tonight.
a golden anniversary for one of the wonders of the modern world. san francisco's golden gate bridge opened 75 years ago today, and nbc's kristen dahlgren looks back. >> reporter: from vertigo to x men, there are few stars who have endured so long. one of the true icons of our time, the golden gate bridge. >> very beautiful structure. you start to think how did it start, how did they build it. >> reporter: questions that are being celebrated today on its 75th birthday. it was this day in 1937, the golden gate first opened. this weekend, those ho were there, got together to remember. >> i watched that bridge go up. i was 7 when i crossed it. >> reporter: in the midst of the great depression, the bridge took just over four years to build. a feat many called impossible. >> just imagine out there with these high winds and the fog and the rain, to build this bridge
in four years and four months. no project could be built that quickly today. >> reporter: more than a mile long end to end, the roadway is 220 feet above the swirling water. its towers stretch almost two and a half football fields into the sky. since opening day, nearly 2 billion vehicles have passed over the bridge. the bridge's birthday is also being celebrated with some practical presence. for the first time, the entire length of the suspension cable is being repainted that iconic orange, a massive project overseen by rocky. you love this bridge. >> yes, i do. >> reporter: some 200 workers spend every day at keeping the golden gate at its best, sometimes going to great heights. >> it's peaceful up there on a nonwindy day. >> reporter: and quite a view. something visitors are getting to see firsthand. sort of. >> one, two -- >> reporter: a new visitor center just opened, and while they won't really let you climb,
they will give you a high-tech version of what you would look like up there. things certainly have changed since the first visitors stepped on the golden gate, but it seems the way it inspires awe hasn't dulled at all. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, san francisco. still ahead, "nightly news" continues, the royal wedding, that was just a warm-up to an even bigger royal celebration starts this week. it took six months of planning to pull it off. an incredible marriage proposal now seen by millions. my name is robin... i'm a wife, i'm a mom... and chantix worked for me. it's a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away.
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summer olympic games. that's just one thing that's got britain buzzing right now, and tourists calling. high honors are in store for the queen after six decades of service. we get more tonight from duncan. >> reporter: on day nine of the olympics, torch relay, the crowds came out by the thousands. nobody ever expected this much excitement. the flame is traveling 8,000 miles, on foot, train and even horseback. good practice for the queen's grand scene. >> it's unbelievable. rel ejust amazing to be honored. i'm honored to carry the torch. and the people who turned out to see it. >> reporter: there's still 60 days to go. but the flags aren't just up for the olympics. last weekend, it's the queen's diamond jubilee. 60 years on the throne marked
th four days of celebrations. in front of buckingham palace, a star-studded concert, and on the river thames, spectacular pageant, a flotilla with more than 1,000 vessels, the queen at its center. >> it's very much a people's pageant. it's not just about the military or history, there's ordinary people participating, too. with their pride and joy, which might be a kayak or wooden launch. >> reporter: from those taking part to those visiting, there's no escaping the excitement. >> there's millions of people. the excitement for the jubilee. and the olympics. it's just wonderful. >> oh, it's beautiful. all the flags. we were walking around last night, and people were still putting flags up around their windows. >> reporter: that's just one benefit to the country's economy, as everyone here hopes to make the most from britain's summer in the spotlight. nbc news, london. up next on this memorial day weekend, the amazing modern
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it was a dramatic finish in today's indianapolis 500. and at the checkered flag, dario franchitti won for the third time. his wife, actress ashley judd, there to greet him in the victory lane. dan wheldon was killed during a race last october. the field did a tribute lap in wheldon's honor before the race, and franchitti paid tribute at the end saying everybody who knew him loved him. his widow, suzy, joined in the victory celebration. they came from across the country today, 400,000 strong, rolling into the nation's capitol for the 25th anniversary of rolling thunder. the motorcycle ride to the vietnam vet advance memorial. there were several speakers and musical performances paying
tribute to those who served and lost their lives fighting for their country. and some sobering numbers out tonight about veterans in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the associated press reported they are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate. 45% seeking compensation for their injuries. which brings us to a fascinating look at how some of the wounded are getting cutting-edge help and a new lease on life. nbc's chief science correspondent robert bizel has that story. >> reporter: padilla fought with a combat team in afghanistan. the unit profiled in the award-winning war documentary. he was struck by a rocket in 2007. >> right away i knew i had lost my arm. the only thing i was hoping for, or praying for is, telling god that please let me see my wife and kid one more time.
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flashlight. even an ipod. >> the standard of care 25 years ago was a mechanical hook. now with some of the new electronic hands, we have all sorts of different brass patterns and the amount of effort that a patient uses to be able to operate that type of hand is much less. >> reporter: getting ever closer to the natural arm lost by so many wounded warriors like padilla. >> how is the speed of this compared to the other? >> reporter: robert bizel, nbc news, philadelphia. when we come back, we'll hear from the soon-to-be bride and groom about a song and dance proposal being called one of the best ever. you wouldn't want your doctor doing your job. so why are you doing hers? only your doctor can determine if your persistent heartburn is actually something more serious... like acid reflux disease. over time, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus. for many, prescription nexium not only provides 24-hour heartburn relief, but can also help heal acid related erosions in
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if all the world's a stage, the title of the production you're about to see might be called the proposal. it's about a young couple and how he decided to pose the big question in a unique way. this being 2012, it was all recorded on video, and it's already been watched by some 2 million people on youtube. nbc's carey sanders has more on tonight on what some are calling the best proposal ever. >> so -- >> reporter: in portland, oregon, amy frankel was lured into the back of her hatchback,
a second camera recording her every action, two friends, then more, and even more joined in the ever-growing elaborate production, which by now you realize has a deeply personal meaning. isaac lamb enlisted more than 60 friends and relatives in an admittedly over-the-top proposal as amy listened to the song on headphones, her friends lip-synced. those who couldn't make it, were still there via a laptop screen. the idea was six months in the making. then the moment finally arrived. >> you have already given me a lifetime of happiness. will you let me spend the rest of my life trying to give you the same? will you marry me? >> my most favorite part is when everyone separated, though. and then it was isaac. that was the most amazing feeling. >> i always felt like this was meant to be.
but it just feels like this thing was like this perfect little nugget of happiness. i'm very, very lucky. i'm very, very lucky. >> reporter: if you don't recognize that song, it's marry you by bruno mars. popular on youtube with lots of couples, but amy and isaac can claim approval from bruno mars himself, who tweeted, congrats to isaac lamb and the future mrs. i don't think i could have made a better music video for this song. thank you. so to all you guys trying to muster the guts to ask that big question, now you can add to the challenge. top this. kelly sanders, nbc news. doesn't get much sweeter than that, does it? that's "nbc nightly news" this sunday. don't forget "dateline" tonight. for all of us here at nbc news, don't forget "dateline" tonight. for all of us here at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com