tv NBC Nightly News NBC April 10, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
like serpentine. it was a lot more friendly for those trying to enter the world record and we're not sure whether they made it or not. 2 a nicr dafoity . wild weather after dozens of tornadoes. the midwest braces for more severe storms. budget showdown. tonight, an even bigger battle is about to begin with medicare and medicaid on the block. front lines. nato airstrikes in libya drive gadhafi forces away from an important rebel-held town. and we're there. the hunt for a serial killer and the intriguing new twist that has now emerged. and royal invite. guess who's coming to the wedding of prince william and kate middleton? captions paid for by nbc-universal television
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt." good evening. this threatens to be a sleepless and maybe dangerous night for a lot of folks in the upper midwest. on the heels of a massive tornado that flattened part of mapleton, iowa, last evening, tonight parts of at least four .tates from iowa to upper michigan are under severe weather watches or warnings and forecasters say conditions may be ripe for more tornadoes into monday. right to the weather channel's chris warren in the wisconsin dells who's watching it all for us this evening. chris? >> reporter: lester, where i am right now might seem okay for now. but parts of the midwest right now are seeing some very strong storms. tonight promises to be the main event. think about this. when you think about that when you think about this. the fact that yesterday we saw some extremely strong storms. and yesterday was just a teaser. >> get back! >> reporter: a quarter mile wide twister tore through western iowa this weekend.
storm chaser andy gabrielson was right in its path. >> it happened so fast. we were about 50 yards away from it. we actually blew out the back window in my xterra. we had a dust swirl. before we knew it we had a full-blown large tornado on the ground. >> reporter: with winds up to 165 miles an hour, the tornado plowed through the small town of mapleton, injuring 14 people, uprooting 100-year-old trees and virtually flattening 12 city blocks. the violent storm comes after days of summerlike heat in some parts of the country, while many others saw unusual cold. >> this time of year we often see huge temperature swings driven by a jet stream moving from the winter mode into the summer mode. and the battle between the warm and the cold is what's helping to fuel these severe storms. >> reporter: a separate system tore through the southeast bringing golf-ball-size hail to
south carolina. >> i had a movers tarp i threw over the top of my son's car. it still got damaged. >> reporter: eight people were injured after two powerful tornadoes touched down in southwestern virginia. 400 homes were damaged in the city of polasky. including a house where dana bishop grew up. >> it's incredible. you don't think things like this happen here. >> reporter: while in north dakota, at least five people were rescued from their homes after the red river crested at more than 38 feet. >> there's no hurry over it. you take your time. >> reporter: 500 members of the national guard are monitoring the levees. so far no breaches have been reported, but more rain today is sure to slow the river's decline. and we have a particularly dangerous situation on our hands in the storm prediction center. as we head into the overnight hours, this storm system, as it moves east, affect ing morethan 40 million people over more than 20 states. and it's not going to be over for a few days. we're going to see this cold front march across the u.s. on monday and then again on tuesday. we're not going to be in the clear until later in the day on tuesday. and behind that cold front, places like where i am here in
wisconsin, lester, are going to see some huge temperature changes. lower 80s today to the mid-50s tomorrow. almost a 25-degree cooldown. but, again, we have a very dangerous situation on our hands tonight. >> chris warren from the weather channel for us tonight, chris, thanks. if you think the budget battles ended with the last-minute deal that averted a government shutdown this weekend, think again. there's a much bigger battle on the way. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house tonight to tell us about that. mike? >> reporter: today the white house announced that on wednesday the president will unveil his plan to reduce the national debt. it'll be the opening of a battle that will make last week's fight over spending look like a minor skirmish. now comes the hard part. bringing down the country's soaring debt. today aides say the obama plan will include reform of popular but costly programs for seniors. >> you're going to have to look at medicare and medicaid and see what kind of savings you can get. but in the process of sitting
down and talking about our spending and our programs, if there can be a discussion about how to strengthen social security in the future. >> reporter: republicans already have their own plan set for a house vote this week that would dramatically reform medicare and medicaid. >> we've got to get our spending under control because that's the root cause of our problem. yes, if you get deficit reduction and deficit and the debt under control, that's going to help the economy today. >> reporter: why the urgency? simply put, the threat of a government default that could wreak havoc on the economy. today the national debt is $14.28 trillion and rising. in about a month it will inch above $14.29 trillion. that's the limit set by congress. in the past when that limit is reached, congress simply votes to raise it. not this time. fresh off friday's deal, house speaker john boehner says republicans won't agree to raise the limits. they have a concrete plan to bring down the debt. >> i can just tell you this. there will not be an increase in the debt limit without something really, really big attached to it. >> reporter: democrats call that
playing politics with the economy and warn of a catastrophe if the limit isn't raised. >> a disaster. a formula of playing with fire that could actually have the credit markets stop taking u.s. debt and create a recession. >> reporter: meanwhile, a day after his surprise trip to the lincoln memorial for friday's accord, aides say that deal could be a model to head off coming fights. >> we're going to have tough disagreements. it's going to be hard to bridge divides. we have to find common ground. or else we're not going to move forward on education, on growing the economy, on reducing our deficit. >> reporter: lester, congress has yet to vote on the deal that was struck friday night. today, though there's been some sniping from both the left and the right, congress expected to pass that and send it to the president by wednesday. lester? >> mike viqueira at the white house, thanks. overseas, there's a new diplomatic effort to report today to end the fighting in libya. moammar gadhafi met with several other african leaders as nato airstrikes stopped a heavy
assault by gadhafi's forces on a key city held by the rebels. nbc's stephanie gosk is following that for us. she's back safely in benghazi tonight. stephanie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. south african president jacob zuma, who's part of that delegation you just mentioned in tripoli, has come out and said moammar gadhafi has agreed to the african union's road map to peace. that would begin with a cease-fire. he didn't go on and add any details to the negotiations. today what we saw, as we've seen many days before it, a perfect example of why a cease-fire is urgent. taking cover behind buildings and using every weapon they have. rebel fighters did what they could to defend the streets of ajdabiya from moammar gadhafi's militia. the battle lasted for hours. more than a dozen rebels were killed and many more wounded. government forces pounded the city with artillery, while ground troops entered on pickup trucks.
on the outskirts of town, the rebels fire back with makeshift rockets. they claimed gadhafi was once again relying on foreign fighters. this man is algerian. he says, we killed him. gadhafi's better trained and more experienced military seemed to have the upper hand in the last several days. but today nato decisively stepped in. an airstrike on six of gadhafi's trucks killed nine fighters, preventing the deadly convoy from pushing into town. for the last week the rebels have been complaining that nato hasn't been doing enough to help them. this is evidence of an air strike today that did. criticism turned into praise. by late afternoon the fighting had stopped. the 150,000 residents who live here fled days ago. their city is in ruins. evidence of a fierce battle litters this city. gadhafi's forces are no longer here.
the rebels say they've pushed them out. but they also could have just pulled back. ajdabiya has been attacked twice in the last month and changed hands several times. the hospital and everyone that works here is shellshocked. including mohammed ab del min, a radiologist who now guards the front door with an ak .47. i have been here since the fighting began, he told us. i have seen death, injuries and all kinds of casualties. but still the rebels are calling today a victory. one they couldn't help celebrating with gunfire. even if their success is only short-lived. president zuma and his delegation will be here in benghazi tomorrow to meet with rebel leaders. but keep in mind, gadhafi has never said he would step down, and the rebels here in benghazi say they won't negotiate until he does. finding middle ground between them is going to be very difficult, lester. >> stephanie gosk tonight, thank you, stephanie. tomorrow it will be one month since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that
struck japan, a country still in ruins and still trying to contain a nuclear disaster. today brought signs of growing anger and frustration, but also of a desire to move on. nbc's lee cowen is in tokyo again for us tonight. >> reporter: if there's a measure of the unease over japan's nuclear crisis, this was it. at least 5,000 turned out to demonstrate in front of tepco today. the utility now responsible for bringing their stricken nuclear plant under control. it's not the first protest against nuclear power. but it is the largest. and the longer this crisis goes on, the less patience everyone has. >> we've really had enough. that's why people are here. >> reporter: it's taken a month for that frustration to build to this level. fukushima casts a long shadow over this landscape. but not as long as the destruction along a coastline that stretches for miles. where bodies are still being found. it's that daily misery that many are wondering just how to escape.
and one answer, it seems, may be baseball. japan's adopted pastime has some of the most devoted fans outside the u.s. the game between the hiroshima carp and the tokyo swallows may look like any other season opener, except this is anything but. this is all for charity. >> i think this strikes the right balance between trying to move forward but also getting money to people. >> reporter: the regular season actually starts this week. it had been delayed. partly out of respect. and partly out of necessity. most of the stadiums in the north are badly damaged, this pitcher told us. including the one in his hometown. but for one afternoon, with the score board dimmed and the stadium lights off to save electricity, the game went on. echoes of a happier time, served up, one pitch at a time.
lee cowen, nbc news, tokyo. back in this country a big afternoon at the masters tournament in augusta, georgia, as tiger woods came on strong. nbc's bruce beck joins us with more. bruce, as tiger was making his run today, we saw the whole twitter universe explode with interest. people thinking they were seeing the old tiger woods. were they, in fact, seeing the guy they used to know? >> i think, lester, they saw flashes of brilliance. because tiger shot a 31 on the front nine. no one has ever shot a 62 at a major. people were thinking that way for a while. because tiger eagled the eighth hole. he ended up with a 67 today. 31, 36. he tied for fourth. but for a while there he had a share of the lead after starting the day seven shots behind rory mcilroy, the 21-year-old who ended up shooting an 80 today. he imploded. but it was a remarkable masters overall. charl schwartzel of south africa ended up as the winner by two shots. he's a south african. remember, 50 years ago it was gary player who became the first
international player ever to win the masters. so in this, the 75th anniversary of the masters, it was a compelling tournament and tiger woods once again showed us some flashes of brilliance. >> bruce, thanks. when "nightly news" continues on this sunday evening, a serial killer and the surprising theory on who it could be. later, the royal wedding. guess who will be on the list?
>> reporter: police on long island will widen their search this week and some reportedly suggest the serial killer they're hunting knows a lot about police work and how to avoid getting caught. the latest intriguing twist in a gruesome case. four bodies discovered last december near a lonely beach. last month, another. last week, three more. all believed to be prostitutes who advertised online. >> if this person is, in fact, linked to all of these deaths, they have done a lot of research. they have done things very carefully. >> reporter: why the possible police link? the killer reportedly made taunting phone calls to the victims' relatives. brief. most with disposable phones. from heavy traffic areas. basic measures to make tracking and tracing futile. perhaps someone police savvy like dexter, tv forensic investigator by day, who's also
a serial killer by night. the case also has stunned new yorkers because of where it's unfolding. long island. about an hour's drive from the city. and where two other serial killers struck not that long ago. robert shulman, a postal worker convicted of killing five women in 1996. joel rifkin, an out of work landscaper who admitted murdering 17 women in 1993. >> you think you do have a serial killer on your hands? >> reporter: fred klein, who prosecuted rifkin, says new york is not unique. >> the fbi will tell you at any given period in time there are several serial killers active in metropolitan areas who are completely undetected. >> reporter: eventually, he says, most killers make mistakes. >> rifkin was caught only because he was driving around with a dead body in a pickup truck that had no license plate on it. >> reporter: meanwhile, the search for clues and perhaps more bodies stretches over many miles. a baffling and brutal crime spree. apparently the work of one prolific killer.
in case you haven't noticed, gasoline prices continue to go up. the average price of a gallon of regular jumped 19% over the last three weeks, according to the lundberg survey. that puts the price at $3.76 a gallon. tucson, arizona, had the lowest average price at $3.41. san francisco had the highest at $4.13 a gallon. speaking of san francisco, a verdict there could come tomorrow in a case that has been both graphic and emotional. barry bonds, one of baseball's all-time greats, is accused of perjury when he told a grand jury he never knowingly took performance enhancing drugs. nbc's miguel almaguer has our report. >> reporter: barry bonds is baseball's home run king. >> number 756! >> reporter: a seven-time mvp.
but for the last three weeks, he's been a defendant accused of lying to a grand jury when he said he never knowingly took performance enhancing drugs. the case, again, is not about steroids. the government and even the defense respectively acknowledge barry has taken these substances. now the only question is are they going to find him guilty of lying. >> reporter: the trial has been graphic and personal. bond's former girlfriend, kimberly bell, testified bonds told her he used steroids. bell said bonds developed acne and couldn't perform sexually. side effects, the government said, of steroid use. >> i like that pitch. >> reporter: prosecutors also pointed out bonds' dramatic physical transformation. as a rookie, he was slender. but 21 years later at the height of his career, bonds bulked up 55 pounds. the giants' equipment manager testified his hat size grew, and it's been reported his feet went from a size 10 1/2 to 13.
the government's case against barry bonds has been eight years in the making, costing millions of dollars. it's also made bonds the poster boy of baseball's steroid era. bonds never took the stand. but his defense team argued the government had no proof he knowingly took steroids. a case, they say, built all on theory, not evidence. >> steroids! steroids! >> reporter: if convicted, bonds could face prison time. but despite the outcome, many believe his legacy is already tarnished. miguel almaguer, nbc news, san francisco. in vietnam, the times, they are a changing. the man who became a powerful voice against the vietnam war in the 1960s took the stage in that country tonight. bob dylan, seen on the right in an amateur video of the event, played in ho chi minh city to an audience of 8,000. a mix of vietnamese and foreigners. after a concert in china last week, the 69-year-old dylan was criticized for submitting his song list to chinese
authorities. two of his most famous songs, "blowin' in the wind" and "the times they are a changing" were not performed in china. unclear if those songs were banned. human rights watch says dylan should be ashamed of himself for letting a government tell him what to sing. up next here tonight, the latest on the royal wedding and who is on the guest list.
finally tonight, all eyes will, of course, be on the happy couple when britain's prince william and kate middleton tie the knot later this month. in the meantime, it's their guest list that's drawing much of the attention. david beckham, guy richie and elton john among those expected. as are some surprising names you might not recognize. from london tonight, here's nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: selecting the guests for a royal wedding requires a good deal of diplomacy. tonight much interest surrounds the politics of william and kate's personal lives. the prince has reportedly
invited ex-girlfriends to the jek ka sceremony, including one said to have been his first love. while two of kate's ex-boyfriends are also set to attend. >> a strange mix, really of guests. while we've got 1,100 people going to the abbie, you've got 300 for a lunchtime reception at buckingham palace. >> reporter: but it is kate and her family firmly in the spotlight. the palace has asked the paparazzi to back off. some say a return to the intense pressure princess diana was put under. others say it's inevitable. >> also, we are in the run-up to the biggest royal event in recent memory. in that case, of course there's going to be intense media speculation around this family. >> reporter: there is even debate over whether kate should wear a tiara or flowers in her hair. personal choice is not always possible when you're about to become a princess, and one day queen. tomorrow the couple will head to the north of england for one of
their last royal visits before the big day, to a school. the excitement underlying the intense expectations on kate. >> i've never met royalty before. i really want to meet kate. >> she just comes across as a really nice and positive person. >> reporter: the mix of guests -- friends, family and the famous -- perhaps reflects the way william and kate hope to live their lives. two often very private people embarking on an incredibly public marriage. in that sense, it's no surprise that both have invited old flames to the ceremony. in the years to come, they're going to need all the friends they can get. keir simmons, nbc news, westminster abbie. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news, good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com