tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 28, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, washout. memorial day in the southeast is swamped by beryl. now a tropical depression leaving behind as much as a foot of rain. outrage as women and children are massacred in syria. more international condemnation. but will there be action to stop the violence? study habits. research that shows college students are spending less time studying, even as the cost of that education sky rockets. and making a difference. on this memorial day. one woman's lifetime of service and the children that keep her going strong. "nightly news" starts now.
good evening. i'm savannah guthrie in tonight for brian. the tropical storm named beryl barrelled across the southeast today, bringing winds just shy of hurricane strength as it made landfall in florida, forcing many to cancel their holiday plans. the weather is the tory on this memorial day as another huge swath of the country has to contend with record heat. we have two reports starting with mike seidel in jacksonville beach, florida. mike, good evening to you. >> good evening, savannah. the wind is still winning the wind up the beach. thus the reason i have the safety glasses on again tonight. what was tropical storm beryl has indeed been downgraded but it's still a cause for concern. tropical depression beryl is drenching parts of florida and georgia today, washing away holiday plans for thousands. in advance of the storm, a few brave souls attempted kite
surfingen the beach, and the approaching storm created a moment of beauty, but most vacationers headed inland. >> we decided instead of staying and hanging out tomorrow, we're going to go back to gainesville. >> red flag warnings dotted the beaches up and down the coast. lifeguards rescued more than 160 people who were trapped in dangerous rip currents. the storm hit land with 6 to 8 foot waves and wind gusts up to 73 miles per hour. look at the wind and rain from this swath of beryl, a couple hours from landfall now. we've had gusts up to 50 miles per hour. this is horizontal stinging rain here on jacksonville beach. beryl's intense winds up rooted trees and power lines. knocking out power to 40,000 homes. jacksonville's mayor canceled memorial day activities. >> we know this is a most sacred time in our history and our country to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend us. >> sxl ordered around the clock repairs to get under way. >> we have 30 crews, electricity
crews going out, right now, trying to get people back on. >> water flooded neighborhood streets and homes. >> it's quite a mess. as i'm sure you guys have filmed it. >> river looked like the ocean this morning. it looks like you got 3 or 4 foot waves out there. tourists tried to take beryl in stride, but the storm made for a disappointing weekend. >> we knew there was going to be bad weather, but as it cranked into a full tropical storm, it was a little more than we expected for memorial day. >> the storm is weakening as it makes its way north and then northeast off the carolina coast wednesday, but not before soaking the drought stricken area which desperately needed this rain. for only the third time since the 1800s have we seen two tropical storms form before the official start of the atlantic hurricane season which officially begins, savannah, this friday, june 1st. >> it is just beginning. mike seidel, thank you. as we mentioned, parts of the midwest and east are spending the holiday baking and another
day of record heat. nbc's jim cantore is in st. simon's island, georgia, for us. it felt stifling to a lot of the country today. >> yeah, even here with the tropical storm coming through, temperatures got in the mid-80s. that heat wave reminds us more of july 4th weekend. yesterday, in indianapolis, temperatures got so hot, they had to treat 700 people for heat related symptoms yesterday. they were only one degree off the all-time high. the heat relentless once again. all these dots represent record highs. some of them all-time across 17 states. look at that. 95 degrees in chicago, the hottest memorial day ever in the history of weather records in the city. and if you remember, not too far back, we had the hottest st. patrick's day in chicago's history back in march. the heat continues tomorrow. potential records. look at this. little rock, 96 degrees. pensacola, 93. thank goodness the gulf of
mexico is not too far away. baton rouge to midland, texas, a forecast high of 104 degrees. tropical storm beryl sweeping through this area. with not too much fanfare, po pouter outages, tree limbs down, but all in all, people enjoyed a pretty beautiful memorial day weekend here on st. simon's island. >> jim cantore from the weather channel, thank you. elsewhere, the heat is coming from fierce wildfires. firefighters are battling the flames in six states, including a forest fire in upper michigan that authorities say was started by a lightning strike. the fire has burned about 17,000 acres along the lake superior coast. in new mexico, a huge fire has consumed 190 square miles of forest, brush, and grassland, and there are voluntary evacuations in at least one town. more than 500 firefighters are battling that one which is still totally out of control. an air scare today as an air
canada boeingver 07 that had just taken off from toronto, headed for tokyo had to turn around and make an emergency landing after debris started falling from the plane. the pilot reported losing an engine shortly after takeoff, and the images you're about to see show what look like engine parts that fell and damaged some parked cars below but no one was hurt. in syria, the fallout continues from friday's massacre. some of the worst violence yet in that country. tonight, former u.n. secretary general kofi annan is there, trying to salvage a peace deal in tatters as the violence continues. the latest from our chief foreign correspondent, richard engle. >> homs, syria, under attack today by government troops. overnight, syrian forces pounded homa, reportedly killing more than 40 people. the new violence came just hours after the u.n. security counsel condemned syria for friday's massacre in hula.
horrific, even by the standards of a year of fighting. more than 100 people killed, most of them women and children. new video shows the attack as it started. syrian forces appear to shell hula. people run in panic as more artillery rains down. then witnesses say, pro government thugs went on a house-to-house killing spree, binding the hands of victims, stabbing them, and shooting them point blank. today, with syrian tanks now in hula, u.n. peace broker kofi annan arrived in damascus. >> i am personally shocked and horrified by the tragic incident in hula two days ago. >> but annan is losing credibility. syrian activists say his cease-fire is a sham, just a cover for the assad regime's relentless crack down. the deadlock goes all the way to
moscow where british and russian foreign ministers met today to discuss syria. the uk was clear. >> it's part of the behavior of the assad regime, i believe, to commit atrocities and then to try to blame the atrocities on other people. >> russia, far less so. their foreign minister blamed both sides for the massacre and opposed regime change. he called for an end of violence but after friday's bloodbath and months of killing, those words rang hollow. for now, decisive action against the assad regime seems blocked by russia. analysts say moscow doesn't want to lose its last ally in the middle east. its only firm foothold in a region cast into chaos by the ongoing upheavals of the arab spring. savannah. >> nbc's richard engle, thank you. back at home, this memorial day saw the president and the man who wants to replace him
honoring americans who gave everything for their country. with the election just five months away now, politics was pretty close to the surface, too. here's nbc's kristen welker. >> mitt romney marking memorial day with president obama's former rival and one of the nation's most well known veterans, senator john mccain. the political symbolism lost on no one. >> senator mccain, a national treasure, thank you for being here. and honoring all of our veterans. >> romney didn't miss the chance to take a swipe at president obama's foreign policy. >> i wish i could tell you that the world is a safe place today. it's not. >> today, the president hailed what he sees as his achievements, drawing down the wars in iraq and afghanistan. and at the vietnam veteran's war memorial, acknowledged the war failed the veterans of that divisive war. >> you came home and sometimes were denigrated when you should have been celebrated.
it was a national shame. a disgrace that should have never happened. that's why here today we resolve that it will not happen again. >> in recent weeks, the president has crisscrossed the country, pressing congress for pass tax breaks for companies that hire veterans, whose unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national average. >> nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job. >> and today, he echoed those remarks. >> you shouldn't have to fight for a roof over your heads and you fought on behalf of the country you love. >> veterans who make up 13% of the electorate and traditionally vote republican could have an impact this year. the president lost veterans to john mccain in 2008 by 10 points, and the latest polls show he is trailing mitt romney in that group. several key swing states have
large swaths of veteran voters including florida, north carolina, and virginia, where every vote will matter. >> you have seen a tightening in national polling which is important and in key swing state polls, florida, ohio, virginia, the 9 to 12 states we think ultimately decide who the president of the united states is going to be. >> and savannah, a little bit of history. veterans picked bill clinton over george w.h. bush who is a world war ii veteran, and george bush over john kerry, who served in vietnam. this will be the first election since world war ii is which neither candidate is a veteran. savannah. >> nbc's kristen welker at the white house, thank you. around the rest of the country, parades and tributes to the country's fallen service men and women this memorial day. that was the case in downers grove, illinois, and nbc's kevin tibbles was there. >> on main streets in small towns and big cities, they marched.
in honor of those who have served, in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. >> god bless them. they're our children. those are our children. >> and lining the sidewalks, those old enough to remember and those who are not. for them, today is a day of learning. >> i think it's very important to impress upon them the sacrifices that other people make for the freedoms and the privileges that we enjoy here in the united states. >> it's important to know your history. >> in the nation's capital, the president paid tribute at the tomb of the unknown soldier. in mt. vernon, new york, an honor guard salute and candles. in philadelphia, a ceremony for the nation's african-american veterans. >> let us always love and respect the warrior doing his or her job on behalf of the united states of america. >> in downers grove, illinois, the names of local war dead read aloud. >> tom gilbert. jeremy besser.
>> including four who lost their lives in iraq and afghanistan. even on a hot, balmy monday in each and every community across this nation, young and old stood together as the buglers played. ♪ >> it's the hardest 24 notes in music that i have ever had to play. >> because of the emotion? >> yes, sir. >> taking time to reflect, remember, and say thank you. kevin tibbles, nbc news, downers grove, illinois. and when we come back, word that college students are spending much less time studying. are they slacking off or is there something else going on? and later, a member of the greatest generation still making a difference, and showing us all how it's done. measure commitment
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what if we told you that college kids are studying less than ever before? that's what some new research shows. and while you might be tempted to say it's a lack of discipline or perhaps too much fun during those four years, as our chief education correspondent rehema ellis found out, it is a sign of the times. >> many college students spent the last few weeks hard at work studying for final exams. dan calls it crunch time.
>> basically all day you're in the library, most of the time not sleeping at all. it kicks up during finals time. >> margie is a neuroscience major and racked up lots of study hours. >> between 25 and 35. >> but research shows that's more the exception than the rule. the national survey of student engagement reveals college students are actually studying less than they did 50 years ago. back then, the average study time was 24 hours a week. that's dropped to about 15 hours. >> time might be an overly simplistic measure. >> julianne has spent more than a decade studying study habits. >> what students put into their college education is a good measure or estimate of the value they get out of it. >> today, those measurements are often equated with cost. with rising tuition fees, some wonder, shouldn't studying time be up, too? while some might think college is easier today, students we talked to disagree, saying they
just study more efficiently. >> 15 hours teaching yourself material for four or five classes is perfectly adequate. >> others credit the modern age, saying technology reduces time spent in the library reading and writing. >> it's easier now, i would say, finding information. >> cynthia says like many students across the united states, students at cal state northridge must juggle more than just course work. >> the vast majority are working and many of them working far more than the 20 hours a week we suggest. >> i'm a pr major. >> junior lauren grazer juggles more than just a full course load. >> full time student, full time job. there's no down time. >> this late stz generation of students finding new ways to learn both in and out of the classroom. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. when we come back, the
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you are looking at and listening to the spectacular celebration last night as the golden gate bridge capped off its 75th anniversary celebration with a fireworks and laser light show. and san francisco's famous fog held off to make for a perfect night to view that big finale. at the movies this holiday weekend, "men in black 3" knocked off "the avengers" from its perch as the number one movie in america. the will smith/tommy lee jones reunion when came a full ten years after the last installment, took in an estimated $70 million add the box office to the "avengers" $40 million. the astronauts on the international space station are spending this holiday working,
unpacking the cgo delivered by the private, unmanned spacex capsule. it's the first time a private vessel has hooked up with the space station. the astronauts are spending today and tomorrow with the payload, unloading food, clothes, and science experiments. up next, a grandmother making a difference in her community, memorial day and every day. grandmother making a difference in her community, memorial day and every day. companies have to invest in making things. infrastructure, construction, production. we need it now more than ever. chevron's putting more than $8 billion dollars back in the u.s. economy this year. in pipes, cement, steel, jobs, energy. we need to get the wheels turning. i'm proud of that. making real things... for real. ...that make a real difference. ♪ spending the day with my niece. i don't use super poligrip for hold because my dentures fit well.
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we leave you this memorial day with a story of a woman whose life has been all about service. from pitching in to help her country during world war ii up to the present day, volunteering to help kids. irma klatt has never stopped making a difference. here is nbc's miguel almaguer. >> irma klatt hasn't lost a step. most days, you'll find her in the classroom at big sky elementary in billings, montana. at age 84, irma is a full-time volunteer, what is known as a foster grandparents tending mostly to second graders with special needs. 4 x 4. >> but to these students, she's just grandma. >> i volunteer because i care
for children and they keep me young and healthy. and i couldn't think of a better job. >> grandma irma has always loved children, maybe in part because of what she went through as a child. at age 4,irma became a foster kid. >> i went from one foster home to another because my father couldn't take care of me. >> she bounced between eight homes during the height of the depression. at 16, forced to give up school, irma answered her country's call to duty. while the men were away fighting in world war ii, she helped build and repair battleships. a teenage rosy the riveter. >> that's pretty tough work for a 16-year-old. >> i didn't think of it that way. i just did it. >> are you proud of that time? >> absolutely. >> this great grandmother knows sacrifice well, her family spans five generations of military veterans. >> this is my grandfather, a civil war veteran. >> today, her granddaughter, lieutenant colonel michelle
murray, carries on the family tradition. >> i think i pick up a lot of my independence from her. she's kind of a little fire cracker. >> and an inspiration. irma captures the hearts of students. and the admiration of staff. >> her whole life has been a life of service in one form of another. but just because you're 84 doesn't mean you have to stop. >> now in her 16th year in the classroom, the riveter who never graduated high school leads by example. do you ever think about retiring? >> no, never. >> a foster grandmother who continues to serve after decades of sacrifice. miguel almaguer, nbc news. billings, montana. >> and that's our broadcast for this monday evening. thank you for being with us. i'm savannah guthrie. brian will be right back here tomorrow evening. and as we leave you on this memorial day, images of how america remembered those who gave everything for the country they loved. have a good evening.