tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 29, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, a tipping point. is it possible what's happening right now in the worst place in the world is finally going to get the world's attention and action? a deadly quake in italy. and we're on the scene there tonight as the toll could rise. is it safe to eat? radiation from japan is showing up in tuna caught in california. tonight, should american consumers be concerned? over the top. donald trump doubles down as an obama birther raising problems for romney as trump raises money for the candidate. and measuring up. a major concern for women getting shorter as they get older. tonight staying strong and standing tall. nbc "nightly news" begins now.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. as one middle east expert put it, there's two ways the u.s. and the rest of the world can look at this situation in syria. boots on the ground or head in the sand. what's happening in syria right now is making it harder for anyone to look away. it's been going on for 14 months now. it's close to dissolving into all out civil war, a dictator finds himself under attack from an uprising, and he shows every willingness to try to crush it. the latest massacre has led a former diplomat to say we are right now at a tipping point. and he means the rest of the world. it's where we begin tonight with our chief foreign correspondent richard engel. richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. even people here in the middle east were growing numb to the violence in syria. but the horror of last friday's
massacre has shocked people around the world into action. action that many syrians say is long overdue. a rare demonstration in bashar al assad's strong hold, damascus. protesters emboldened by syria's growing isolation. nearby the syrian president now an international pariah met with the u.s. peace envoy kofi annan. >> we are at the tipping point. the syrian people do not want their future to be one of bloodshed and division. yet the killings continue. >> but syria is threat thing its same old lines. it wants to see fire and blames terrorists for the violence. including the massacre in houla that the u.n. says was even worse than imagined. at least 108 were killed,
including 34 women and 49 children. >> the majority are a result of house-to-house armed executions, killing men, women and children inside. >> reporter: the u.n. says a shadowy government-backed militia committed the murder. an lifts say assad could stop them if he wanted. after months of threats, the united states today ordered syria's top diplomat expelled. >> he is no longer welcome in the united states. >> reporter: and germany, britain, france, spain, the netherlands, italy, canada, bulgaria and australia, all told syrian diplomats to get out. >> this is the most effective way we've got of sending a message of revulsion of what has happened in syria. >> reporter: as the new video shows assad isn't getting the message. and syrian forces still vastly outgun the opposition. today brian the state department
accused iran of aiding and abetting the pro-assad militia. activists say the militia is trained by iran and uses the same tactics that iran employed to crush its own rebellion. brian? >> richard engel starting us off tonight. richard, thanks. now to the crisis in northern italy, where a deadly 5.8 earthquake shook the region this morning. the epicenter was just northwest of bologna. an area where another quake struck just over a week ago. and once again, our own jim maceda is there. >> reporter: brian, i'm a few miles from the epicenter of the 5.8 tremor which hit this area earlier this morning, damaging or destroying a number of buildings, like this old apartment complex behind me. at least 15 were killed along the path of destruction. more than 200 wounded and still
seven people are missing, while rescuers continue to sift through the rubble. people here were just getting over a previous quake which struck nine days ago at the same intensity and epicenter. thousands were with displaced then. some are still in tents. they were shrieking with fear running for their lives this morning when a second quake struck. in an area known more for it's parmesan cheese than its seismic activity. the tents are out again, thousands are facing sleepless nights while few believe the italian government which pledged to do everything it could to bring their lives back to normal. brian? >> jim maceda in northern italy for us tonight. thanks. now to presidential politics. it's a big day for the romney campaign. it looks like the candidate will pick up enough delegates tonight in the texas primary to win the republican nomination officially. but his big money supporter, donald trump, is grabbing a lot of headlines, raising questions
all over again about an issue that was long ago settled, regarding president obama's birth place. and that could raise some problems for romney appearing with trump tonight. our report from nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: after a bruising primary campaign, tonight mitt romney makes it official. gathering enough delegates to ensure he'll win his party's nomination. and today hammering president obama for his handling of the economy. >> median incomes in america have dropped by 10% in the last 4 years. this president is looking for someone to blame. >> reporter: but the romney campaign's message was trumped by the outspoken tv personality, donald trump himself, who fanned the flames of the so-called birther movement on cnbc, questioning whether the president is a u.s. citizen. a claim that's been repeatedly discredited. >> i don't consider myself birther or not birther, but there are some major questions here and the press doesn't want to cover it. >> reporter: trump also tweeted, barack obama is practically
begging mitt romney to disavow the place of birth movement. he's afraid of it, and for good reason. for romney, who arrived in las vegas this afternoon, the timing is awkward at the least. the two men are scheduled to appear together at a private fund-raiser tonight. >> thank you, donald. >> reporter: romney courted trump before getting his endorsement is soliciting supporters for an opportunity to dine with the donald. on monday night he said he didn't agree with everything his supporters say. >> but i need to get 51% or more, and i'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people. >> reporter: the obama campaign lashed out with this new web video, attacking romney for failing to condemn extreme voices in his party, like john mccain did four years ago. >> i have read about him. he's an arab? >> no, ma'am, he's a decent family man, citizen, that i just happen to have disagreements with. >> reporter: and brian, don't forget, it was more than a year ago -- last april, to be
exact -- that president obama released his long form birth certificate from hawaii, in part due to pressure from trump himself. who at the time said he was honored for his role in the release. romney's campaign released a statement insisting romney said he believes the president was born in the united states. >> peter alexander in our d.c. newsroom. thanks. this was day 26 of the john edwards campaign corruption trial. again today no verdict. nbc's lisa myers who's in greensboro, north carolina covering the trial for us reports tonight that the jurors have signalled they may not be close to a verdict, informing the judge of upcoming scheduling conflicts in the next two weeks. today the judge urged the jurors to refocus their attention on their deliberations, warned them not to talk in small groups outside the jury room. it's become a kind of grim marker of the arrival of the summer season in the city of chicago.
the murder rate skyrockets. just two weeks ago, chicago was at the center of the world stage as leaders from nato countries gathered there. this weekend the killings in the cities south and west side neighborhoods ramped up again. our report tonight from kevin tibbles. >> reporter: another hot, deadly, holiday weekend in chicago. 10 people killed, 42 wounded. 43-year-old malcolm dowdy, a coast guard veteran killed in a drive by shooting leaving a memorial day party. >> you had nato here and all that security and everything. drill, drill, ten point -- but my son couldn't go to a party. >> reporter: today chicago's police chief charged to protect a town where the number of murders is up 58% this year, says cops need to get ahead of the violence. >> what's really different here is going to be the reliance on the beat officer, putting the resources in their hand. >> reporter: the city's mayor says young people need an alternative to gangs and
violence. >> making sure the economic opportunity does not exist at a liquor store alone or a drug trade. >> so many young black men are dying, and it seems that no one cares. >> reporter: pastor corey brooks has dedicated himself to saving youth on the south side. there is more work to do. long time residents note the killing seem to come with the warm weather. and worry another hot summer of violence may be on the way. >> you have a proliferation of guns, economic disaster, educational issues. social and spiritual issues, and you put all of that in one place, and it's a powder keg ready to explode. >> and that place is right here? >> it's right here in the innercity of chicago. >> reporter: seeking ways to diffuse the violence before more lives are lost. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. this next item made a lot of u.s. consumers sit up and take notice today. bluefin tuna caught off the california coast have been found
to contain elevated levels of radioactive matter dating back to the japanese earthquake and tsunami that led to the nuclear accident at the fukushima power plant. our report tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: today in southern california, don inspects the catch of the day, and stressed his fish are safe to eat. >> the word radiation creates fear in people. >> reporter: the 15 bluefin tuna caught and tested off california's coast last summer, showed low levels of radiation, but still ten times higher than normal. scientists say it's the first time a fast moving migrating fish has been shown to carry radio activity from japanese waters. >> we almost didn't believe it, to tell you the truth. >> reporter: dr. nicholas fisher, president of marine studies, co-authored the study. >> every single fish was significantly contaminated with two radioisotopes of cesium. these are common waste products
from nuclear accidents. >> reporter: the research shows the bluefin tuna that spawn and feed near the fukushima daiichi power plant migrated 6,000 miles just months after the disaster. today the fda said they'll continue to monitor radiation levels in fish, and no public health concern has been detected. >> i don't think i'll change the way i eat, not at the moment. >> it's made me alter just a little bit, not eat quite so much. >> look at the tuna jumping right there. >> reporter: massive in size, up to ten feet and weighing more than 1,000 pounds. pacific bluefin tuna is a delicacy, often eaten as sushi around the world. scientists say the real test on how migrating fish could lead--o
how it affects fish could be known later this summer. it could lead to higher levels of pollution. >> that is a distinct possibility. >> reporter: japanese officials will conduct more testing in their waters. this as researchers here do the same many miguel almaguer nbc news, san pedro, california. still ahead on a tuesday night, you're not just getting older, chances are, you are getting shorter as well. dr. nancy snyder fan explains when it's something to worry about, when women shrink with age, and what can be done to prevent it. and later, a remarkable scene at the white house today. highest honors for some living legends. i've been crisscrossing the gulf for the past two years now. i can tell you, down here, people measure commitment by what's getting done. i'm mike utsler, and it's my job to make sure we keep making progress in the gulf. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. another fourteen billion dollars has been spent on response and cleanup.
long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to the gulf of mexico research initiative... to support ten years of independent scientific research on the environment. results will continue to be shared with the public. and we're making sure people know that the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues, but that doesn't mean our job is done. bp's still here, and we're still committed to seeing this through. mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote.
usaa. we know what it means to serve. back back now with some important advice for women, who are concerned about getting shorter as they get older. a couple things here. height loss has been a constant for aging women. it can be a sign other health risks, and we now know there are things that can be done to prevent it. here is our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman. >> reporter: 60-year-old
carmella got the message early in life. and she's been a long time believer in strength training. >> the core is the heart of stability. and from there you're able to then strengthen and improve on your balance, on your flexibility, even on your muscle toning. >> reporter: most women over 40 don't know what carmella knows and they pay the price. it's common for a woman to lose two inches by the age of 70 and 3 inches by the age of 80. due to weak muscles and the flattening of disks in the vertebral columns. >> most of the height loss we see in women is preventable if we start early. >> reporter: now, carmella is teaching other women what has kept her long, lean and powerful. it's all about building muscles and keeping them strong. the women in carmella's class are clearly seeing and feeling the benefits.
>> i know i'm walking taller. >> reporter: at 74, loretta is a believer. >> i want to stay strong. my mom lived to almost 99. i want to beat her. >> reporter: that also means knowing your risk factors, including entering menopause, inactivity, smoking and drinking alcohol in excess. >> we have a crisis of fitness in this country. what we really need to do is get the 95% of women who are not exercising appropriately, exercising more. >> reporter: and that exercise is something carmella shares every day with her husband, knowing she's the one that holds the key to her strength and well being. >> if you don't use them, you're going to lose them as you age. i want to be able to enjoy my life and be able to do what i want to do as long as i can. >> reporter: it's important, because those strong bones will ward off osteoporosis. it's free, gravity is your friend.
so pick up those weightses, start walking. it's one those things, brian, everybody can do it regardless of age. >> i know it's their marketing slogan, but aspirin was in the news again today. >> this time for cancer, along with other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, naprosyn, ibuprofen. in a danish study published in cancer, over 18,000 people who took these drugs for several years had decreased cancer rates of malignant melanoma. and the other skin cancer, squamous cell cancer dropped 13 to 15%. not acetaminophen but the other drugs. it may be worth talking to your doctor about whether you should use it. not everyone can take it. pregnant women or anyone with a clotting disorder, it's not for you. >> dr. nancy snyderman, thank you, as always. up here next tonight, a perfect alignment that happens to be happening tonight. [ male announcer ] when these come together,
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had he lived he would have turned 95 today. he would be an aged and beloved former president. instead at the grave of former president john f. kennedy, the site of the eternal flame, a wreath was laid today to mark his 95th birthday. nasa is taking steps now to preserve the steps they took decades ago on the surface of the moon. they're protecting american landing sites on the moon for historic preservation. presumably because you never know who or what will go back there. and there's a number of missions vying to go back with unmanned craft. they just wanted to declare the area off limits. because there's no air, wined with or weather, neil armstrong's footprints will never fade. they want to make sure they and all the others will remain undisturbed. tennis great serena williams
has never lost at a grand slam tournament. going into today her record was 46-0. that was until today. in a stunning three-hour struggle, france's own pulled off a stunning upset. williams was the heavy favorite to win the tournament. she said she just made too many errors to win today. tonight here in manhattan, where the streets are laid out in a 200-year-old east/west, north/south grid. it's the twice yearly event known as manhattan henge. when the setting sun perfectly lines up with the cross streets to create some spectacular views. these are pictures from last year. our camera crews are busy recording pictures of tonight's beauty. we'll have that for you tomorrow night. the medal of freedom is the
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here now a sampling from the day, once a year when america chooses to honor its best. >> this is a packed house which is a testament to how cool this group is. first american to orbit the earth. john glenn became a hero in every sense of the word. >> god speed, john glenn. >> but he didn't stop there serving his country. as a senator, he found new ways to make a difference. and on his second trip into space at age 77, he defied the odds once again. toni morrison's pros bring us in a kind of moral and emotional intensity, that few writers ever attempt. she believes that language arcs toward the place where meaning might lie. the rest of us are lucky to be following along for the ride. as the first woman to serve as america's top diplomat. madeline's courage helped bring
peace to the balkans and paved the way for progress in some of the most unstable corners of the world. justice stevens applied his clear and graceful manner to the rule of law, always favoring a pragmatic solution over an ideological one. when a doctor first told pat summitt she suffered from dementia, she almost punched him. as pat says, i can fix a tractor, mow hay, plow a field, chop tobacco, run a farm, and call the cows. but what i'm really known for is win withing. i remember in college listening to bob dylan and my world opening up because he captured something about this country that was so vital. ♪ >> there is not a bigger giant in the mystery of american music.
>> it's worth watching all of it. we posted the full medal of freedom ceremony with all the honorees on our website at nbcnightlynews.com. for us for now, that's our broadcast on a tuesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams, we sure hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com meteorologist doug kammerer. most of the area under severe thunderstorm watch until 10:00. the line of storms making their way towards the