tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 4, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
good night. on this sunday night -- high drama. the shocking video captured at a circus as the rigging gives way, sending the performers plunging. remarkably, everyone survives. growing rebellion in ukraine where pro-russian militants storm a police station, freeing dozens of people detained after deadly clashes. bring our girls back! >> the outrage in the u.s. and around the world over the kidnapping of hundreds of school girls. and against the odds. the remarkable journey of california chrome from humble roots all the way to the finish line of the kentucky derby. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news with
le lester holt." good evening. circusgoers in providence, rhode island, today looked on in horror as eight performers came crashing to the ground after the equipment that suspended them above the arena failed. amazingly, all the women and a dancer who was beneath the falling performers survived, but they were injured and rushed to hospitals. it happened during a matinee performance of the ringling brothers and barnum & bailey circus during what was billed as a larger than life act. and like so many moments of the modern era, cell phone video cameras were rolling. nbc's ron mott is in providence for us tonight with more. ron, good evening. >> reporter: hey, lester, good evening to you. this all happened during the 11:00 show this morning with thousands of kids and their parents looking on. in fact, some of the folks in the audience thought this was part of the show but were later horrified to learn it was not an act but a terrible accident instead. amateur video shows a curtain being lowered just before the rigging collapsed from high above the circus floor.
eight female acrobats suspended by a hair-hanging apparatus plunging to the ground about 35 feet authorities said. a male performer in the ring was also injured by the collapse. >> we ask that you please enjoy this intermission at this time while we somewhat ourselves during this accident. thank you. >> we thought it was part of the show. and then all of the sudden you seen the cable break. and that was it. >> reporter: officials say the nine injured performers were rushed to the hospital in critical condition but say none of the injuries are life threatening. >> our hearts and prayers are with the nine individuals that some were very seriously injured. hopefully they make a full recovery. but at this point, we don't know if that's going to happen. >> reporter: feld entertainment, the company that runs the ringling brothers and barnum & bailey circus, announced two other shows scheduled for sund were canceled, and that an investigation is under way. a spokesperson described the act as a human chandelier with the performers called harialists on
the circus website hanging only by their hair. >> don't want her to walk away and start being scared of a circus, you know what i mean? >> it was scary, it was. it was really scary. >> reporter: there are two shows scheduled for tomorrow. at this point officials say those shows will go on. they are, however, suspending those aerial acts for tomorrow until they can find out exactly what went wrong here today. lester? >> all right, ron mott for us today. thank you. the los angeles clippers won game seven last night in their series against the golden state warriors. and while their play-off run continues, so does the controversy over racist comments by their owner, donald sterling, now banned for life by the nba. we get more on that story from nbc's mike taibbi. >> they advance to the second round with tears of joy. >> reporter: under normal circumstances, a do or die game seven win by an also ran now legit contender would have their fans unqualifiedly giddy. but this is also the postseason of donald sterling's shame. and the super fan called clipper darrell spoke for many.
>> it's crazy. when could you ever say clippers and championship in the same sentence? now we can, and he did this? come on. >> reporter: what sterling did was to utter racist comments recorded by alleged girlfriend v. stiviano who told abc's barbara walters she feels sorry for him and for herself. >> it hurts to see someone that you care about hurting. it hurts to see people speculate. >> reporter: but it was sterling's own words that triggered a lifetime ban from this arena and from any team or league activities and the next step announced during the game. >> the nba announced today that it would appoint a ceo to oversee the team. that may happen as soon as next week. >> reporter: sterling's wife shelly was at the game, quoted as saying she supports the appointment of a ceo. but she said nothing about speculation that her husband might sue the nba to try to beat
back or at least delay the league's demand that he sell the team. a big worry, said former nba great and now sacramento mayor kevin johnson, who said on "meet the press" sterling should just accept his punishment. >> i was him, if i was counseling mr. sterling, i would apologize unequivocally. number two, i would accept and embrace the sanctions. >> reporter: on the court, the clippers got it done. >> they've gone through hell and they have survived. >> reporter: despite the added burden their owner created. >> we had that baggage with us for the series. but, you know, it's pretty much over. >> reporter: progress on the court, but off the court the sterling saga continues. mike taibbi, nbc news, los angeles. health officials in indiana say the first patient diagnosed in this country with a deadly mers virus is in good condition and improving. the state's health commissioner says no other cases have been detected. medical workers who came in contact with the patient have been placed in home isolation during the incubation period, which can take up to two weeks.
mers stands for middle east respiratory syndrome, and the patient was diagnosed after returning from saudi arabia where hundreds of cases have been reported. overseas, a bold new move in ukraine today by pro-russian militants who stormed a police station to free dozens of sympathizers who were detained after a violent battle two days ago. the country appears to be growing more divided by the day. nbc's keir simmons has the latest from ukraine. keir? >> reporter: hey, lester, good evening. pro-ukraine protesters have been seen on the streets of odessa south of here tonight carrying molotov cocktails, rifles, and even longbows. on those same streets earlier today, opposing gangs of pro-russians as ukraine descends into a spiral of revenge. lawless masked men opposed to the current government smashed the door of a police station in odessa. 30 pro-russian prisoners were
freed, cheered by the crowd. heroes, they shout. and we will not forgive. more than 40 of their number died in a fire in a union building friday. today locals paid their respects, the hands of an unknown victim imprinted on the wall. the fire is the country's worst atrocity since february. the pro-russian protesters blamed government supporters. the prime minister visiting odessa blamed russia. >> this is the part of russian road map how to grab and to eliminate ukraine. >> reporter: and criticized his own police for failing to stop it. one group of officers responded throwing their shields to the floor. we haven't entirely lost control, the prime minister said. they have in the east. here pro-russians drive tanks through the streets of slaviansk. elections are planned in ukraine this month. now some are asking how can they be held amid all this.
>> the ukraine has been dismembered. the election of may 25th cannot go forward. >> reporter: in another recent town, a bank burns. this time thankfully no one is inside. while in nearby donetsk, fury on the streets, chaos in a country breaking apart. here in eastern ukraine tonight, there is a tense calm, but it's reported that russia's president putin has told germany's chancellor angela merkel that ukraine is on the brink of civil war. there will be another opportunity to avert that outcome in talks later this week that will include the u.s. lester? >> all right, keir simmons in the ukraine tonight. thank you. from this country and around the world tonight, growing pressure on the nigerian government to do more to gain the release of hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by a terrorist group almost three weeks ago. we get more on this tonight from nbc's kristen welker. >> let them go! let them go! free our sisters! bring them home! >> reporter: with protests this weekend in london, new york, and the nation's capital, global
outrage is intensifying over more than 200 missing girls in nigeria. >> a girl, whether she is going to school in paris or in chicago or in nigeria, she matters. >> reporter: the girls were kidnapped from this school in the country's rural northeast nearly three weeks ago by a terror group called boko haram, which opposes western education, especially for women. there are reports many of the missing students may have been sold into marriage. secretary of state john kerry was in africa on a previously scheduled trip and promised u.s. help. >> the kidnapping of hundreds of children by boko haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the nigerian government to return these young women to their homes. >> reporter: u.s. officials say aid would come in the form of intelligence to help fight boko haram, but at this point america is not directly involved in the search for the girls. a top nigerian lawmaker says help can't come quickly enough. >> my message to secretary kerry
would be whatever help in this regard would be most welcome. and we expect you to do whatever you can to help us to find those girls. >> reporter: many nigerians have sharply criticized their president, goodluck jonathan for his slow response, though today he vowed to, quote, get the girls out. but officials also expressed concern the government doesn't have the resources to launch an effective rescue mission. >> this is heartbreaking. this is tragic. this is a destruction of our future. >> reporter: meanwhile, a social media campaign is spreading with the hash tag bring back our girls, a crisis in nigeria that is starting to be felt around the globe. >> they're just little girls. it could be me, it could be you, it could be your niece, your daughter. just help us. help us bring these kids home. >> reporter: now, at the root of this crisis, a five-year islamic uprising in nigeria that seems to be getting worse. u.s. officials are traveling to nigeria in the coming weeks for consultations. president obama has been briefed
several times about the missing girls, according to white house officials. lester? >> kristen welker in washington, thanks. an alarming new report on climate change is expected to be released this week by the federal government, the latest in a series of influential studies on the topic. a draft of the report includes a sobering forecast about how climate and weather conditions may change here in the united states. nbc's ann curry tonight with some of the key points. >> reporter: this scene, a street collapsing after a heavy downpour in baltimore last week, is one example of extreme weather events that may be more common in the future, according to a draft of the national climate assessment. the report by a 60-member committee, including the defense department, the american cancer society and chevron, in addition to climate scientists, says the warming is primarily driven by human activity and predicts temperatures in the u.s. could
soar by as much as 10 degrees by 2100. snow and rain in the northeast could increase by nearly a third. hurricanes in the southeast could be stronger, with some areas, quote, highly vulnerable to sea level rise. and wildfires in the southwest like the one near los angeles on thursday could increase with more intense drought. >> the drought creates dryer vegetation. >> reporter: fire chief chris donovan in monrovia, california, is already preparing. >> now we're finding with this drought condition that the fuel moistures are low year round. >> reporter: the report also outlines risk to our food supply, threatening crops in the midwest and shellfish in the pacific northwest. the findings of the draft report have been anticipated by activists like andriana quintero, a mother of two with the natural resources defense council. >> climate change threatens to
completely alter the way that we live, from the way we produce our food to where we live, how we live. >> reporter: the elderly, the sick, and the poor are the most vulnerable to the health impacts, according to the report. children too. this is personal for you? >> this is personal, yes, absolutely. >> reporter: if all the predictions come true, what do you see their future as being? >> i see their future as being very dicey and very unpredictable. >> reporter: while policymakers debate climate change, the vast majority of climate scientists say it's already begun in time for the country to prepare. ann curry, nbc news, new york. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this sunday, moment of crisis. new details about that deadly avalanche on mt. everest from an american who was there. and later, teaching girls something that may not come easily. how to brag about themselves to get ahead.
we're back now with an insider's account of what it was like on mt. everest 16 days ago when from out of nowhere a wall of ice tore down the mountain, killing 16 people. among those waiting to scale the summit was an american. we get his exclusive story with dramatic rescue footage from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: the danger of the world's tallest peak is for some what makes it so irresistible. daredevil joby ogwyn had been training for months to make the first winged suit flight off of everest's summit. he was there on april 18th when the mountain proved how unpredictably deadly it can be. >> i knew there had been some people that were killed. there was no doubt in my mind.
>> can we have a count of walking wounded? >> reporter: an avalanche hit the khumbu falls, crushing a group of sherpas, the local mountaineers who have always provided critical assistance to expeditions. ogwyn and others were still at base camp. >> blood on his right ear. it's not bleeding. his right arm is bruised. >> i could hear all of the radios in all the different camps sort of light up, and you could hear in the background that these guys were yelling. they were screaming. they were dealing with something. >> reporter: these guys don't yell and scream often i would imagine. >> no. they're very serious and kind of stoic. so to hear that in the background, it really made an impact on me. >> are these people used to working with helicopters? >> reporter: choppers were called in to rescue the wounded and to remove bodies, a difficult, dangerous task at an altitude of nearly 18,000 feet. >> it's ice. it's solid ice that basically turns into shrapnel. and then when it hits, it kind of forms like a concrete around people.
so when they're buried, they're encased in ice. >> oh my god, oh my god. >> reporter: 16 people died, all sherpas. >> it's devastating. i lost my whole sherpa team. i lost all three of my guys. >> reporter: the day before the avalanche, the sherpas and the climbers held a puja, a traditional ceremony asking the mountain gods for safe passage, even though the most experienced know it may not be granted. this year no one will climb everest. the season is canceled. ogwyn says he wants to return to the mountain eventually but believes this tragedy will have a lasting impact. >> the mountain is definitely changed. it won't be the same place, and the sherpa world will probably never be quite the same again. >> reporter: stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. >> the full story of what happened on mt. everest that deadly day is the subject of a documentary that airs tonight on the discovery channel. we're back in a moment with a story behind yesterday's remarkable race.
efrem zimbalist jr. has died. the actor was best known for his starring role on the tv series "the fbi," which ran for nine seasons in the 1960s and '70s and made him almost synonymous with the bureau. earlier he starred in another crime series, "77 sunset strip." he began his career as a page at nbc. efrem zimbalist jr. was 95. and in case you missed it, a thrilling finish at yesterday's kentucky derby with a favorite, california chrome, going all the way. but it's where he came from that makes his story so memorable. we get more tonight from nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> they're off! >> reporter: he made it look so easy. >> a good start for california chrome. >> reporter: but he was really an unlikely winner. >> california chrome shines bright in the kentucky derby! >> reporter: the 3-year-old colt pulled away from the pack and won by more than a length,
looking every bit a champion. >> derby dreams do come true. >> reporter: but knowing his back story, he seemed anything but. true to his name, he's california raised, a state that hadn't had a derby winner in 52 years. in fact, it's so uncommon that on the first saddle cloth his team received, california was misspelled. his owners, steve coburn and perry martin, scraped together just over $10,000 to breed him. a lot for them but pocket change in terms of racehorses. another contender, wicked strong, was bought for 375,000. >> our guardian angels have been watching over us. and they put this horse on the right path. >> reporter: his trainer, there's a story there too. art sherman is 77 years old and now the oldest trainer to win the kentucky derby. >> it gave me the biggest thrill i ever had in my life. >> reporter: it's victor espinoza's second derby win, but he gives the credit to california chrome.
>> you know, i let him enjoy the race around and not try to go against him. and i think he likes that. >> reporter: even that name -- >> it is california chrome. >> reporter: -- was the luck of the draw, literally. his owners put names into a hat at lunch. their waitress pulled out the winner, a name that will now go down in history. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. and up next, a place where they'll give you lessons on how to brag.
boost confidence and have a big impact on their futures. our story tonight from nbc's rehema ellis. >> own the room. you're going to take the mike. >> reporter: these high school students are learning how to do something that girls are often told not to do. >> i am one who knows what she stands for. >> reporter: bluntly put, it's called bragging. >> did you want to do this? >> no. i was not excited to do this. >> reporter: the mere thought of boasting about themselves made them squeamish. >> it started off being uncomfortable at first because you have to get out of your safety zone. >> reporter: but they came to do just that, to learn how to sell themselves for upcoming job and internship interviews, lessons they wouldn't get anywhere else. >> we hear that it's impolite, that nice girls don't do it. >> reporter: leading the group is peggy klaus, a career coach who took her message of self-confidence from the boardroom to the classroom. >> what women do is that we put our heads down, we do really good work.
we boast about people in our department. we're cheerleading them, and yet when it comes to us, we don't talk about ourselves in a positive way. >> reporter: so for the tenth year in a row, klaus is working with the young women's leadership school, a network of competitive public schools for inner city students. klaus puts the students in groups to practice selling themselves in a short pithy speech. >> they volunteer there after school every friday and sometimes during break. >> reporter: at first many avoided eye contact and were hesitant. but klaus gives them tips on body language, storytelling, and a creative way to boost enthusiasm. >> i am so excited to tell you this. sit down! >> reporter: it's called over the top bragging, and she encourages women to practice it privately to pump themselves up before their real interview. after two intense hours, a change. >> this year i finally got on the honor role with an 87 average. i was so proud of myself.
>> reporter: more eye contact, more assertive tones. >> and then i performed in the poetry slam and i made it to the next round. and i was also one of the youngest people there. >> reporter: giving young women a competitive edge at an early age. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. i'll see you in an hour for "dateline." brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. from all of us here at nbc news, good night.
nbc bay area news begins with breaking news. good evening, everyone. >> a press conference just wrapped up at travis air force base near fairfield following the crash of a plane at an air show at the base. here's what we know right now. a pilot was killed when his plane crashed during the air show. >> thousands were there and 85,000 were there yesterday. the rest of the show today was canceled. people were told to leave. the pilot is 77-year-old eddie andrini of half moon bay. he was inverted, meaning flying upside down 350 feet off the ground when the plane crashed. >> he was performing a