tv Early Today NBC July 22, 2010 3:00am-3:30am PST
[ cheers and applause ] this morning on "early today," executives backpedal. the white house apologizes to a government worker fired over comments taken out of context. backed into a corner, an ohio zoo worker has a near fatal run-in with an elephant. and monster find. astronomers say they've discovered the most massive and brightest star ever. captions paid for by nbc-universal television hello, and good morning. welcome to our viewers across the nation, including the pacific time zone. i'm lynn berry.
today we begin with too little, too late. the white house has apologized for the way former agriculture department official shirley sherrod was forced to resign, but denied the president himself was involved. that responsibility fell on the shoulders of agriculture secretary tom vilsack, who also apologized, admitting his decision was "made in haste." nbc's tracie potts joins us live now from washington with more. tracie, good morning to you. >> reporter: lynn, good morning. this story has taken some twists and turns even in the last 24 hours. first fired, now possibly rehired, she's considering a new job with the government. all of this after the government makes an embarrassing admission. >> this is a good woman. she's been put through hell. >> reporter: shirley sherrod's now had apologies from her boss and the white house. >> a disservice was done for which we apologize. >> reporter: she was fired monday after a conservative blog posted an edited version of what
she said about helping a white farmer 24 years ago. the clip made her look like a racist when, in fact, she was denouncing racism. >> i'm not angry today. >> reporter: today, sherrod has a new job offer from her old boss, something unique, the government says, to help them fight discrimination. >> let me just say i'm reconsidering at this point. >> give shirley sherrod her job back. >> reporter: sherrod's firing ignited anger and shined a light on how the obama administration dealt with race. secretary vilsack insists the president's not to blame. >> this was something i decided, and i have to accept full responsibility for this. >> reporter: black leaders say it's a teachable moment. >> in many ways, race has been swept under the rug. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> reporter: now, forced out in the open in a very public way. secretary vilsack finally caught up with sherrod by phone. there is no indication from the white house that she will speak with president obama. lynn? >> tracie potts live for us in washington. tracie, thank you. and don't miss meredith vieira's
live interview with shirley sherrod this morning on "today" right here on this nbc station. well, a tropical storm threat in the caribbean is disrupting efforts to permanently plug bp's busted well in the gulf. work on two relief wells had to be suspended yesterday as officials wait to see if the system currently over haiti moves closer to the well site. if crews have to be evacuated, it could be two weeks before they can resume operations. meanwhile, this morning's "new york times" reports many of the workers on the deepwater horizon rig were concerned about safety practices in the weeks leading up to the april 20th explosion. according to a confidential survey commissioned by the rig's owner, employees also feared backlash if they reported problems. and in an effort to restore confidence in the oil industry, four major oil companies are expected to announce today they're setting up an organization to deal with future deepwater well blowouts. exxonmobil, royal dutch shell, conocophillips and chevron will
commit $1 billion to launch the emergency response system. and now here's a look at some other stories making news early today in america. an ohio man is facing felony assault charges after attacking a female bartender. now, police say the woman had asked the suspect to leave when he threw a bar stool at her, jumped over the bar and then started stomping on her. police had initially charged the man with misdemeanor assault, but upgraded the charges after seeing surveillance video of the incident. the san francisco police department is investigating one of their own for the level of force used during a recent arrest. home video shows an officer apparently forcing a woman face first into the pavement after she refused to get into a patrol car. police say they arrested the woman for allegedly assaulting someone while intoxicated. back to ohio now, where newly released video shows a young elephant charging at his trainer after apparently being surprised by the man. that trainer is in serious
condition with two punctured lungs and multiple rib fractures. zoo officials suspect the animal was startled and started play-fighting as elephants often do in the wild. and in texas, family, friends, even a representative from the "guinness book of world records" gathered to celebrate one very special birthday. that woman right there, eunice sanborn, the oldest person in the united states, turned 114 years old this week. and just in case you're wondering, the oldest person in the world was born just a few months before her. and now for a look at your national and regional weather, here's nbc's meteorologist bill karins with the weather channel forecast. 114, bill. a lot of stuff you could get done in 114 years. >> you should. >> i know. >> everything's bigger in texas, even the birthdays, right? >> that's true. >> amazing. >> well, we wish her luck. and as far as yesterday went, it was hot. it was hot for her in texas and everyone else. 97 in dallas, 95 in san antonio.
everyone in texas was in the 90s or 100s. we also had 100-degree heat once again from phoenix right up through vegas. it wasn't quite as widespread. we have a little bit of a break in certain areas here. we're only 80 in sacramento, where the day before that, we were up around 90. but that's going to change today. the heat is building back up into the valley of central and northern california, and even the coastline of oregon is going to be a little bit more mild today. notice these clouds dipping down from the south and another little storm system coming in through british columbia. that's going to drag some clouds and maybe a sprinkle or two up into the northwest. so, here's how the forecast is going to go for today. notice the clouds and maybe a sprinkle, 70 to 75 from seattle to portland. when you get south of that, though, out in the sunshine, look at medford today, 95. we've got 104 or so in vegas and phoenix. l.a. should have a wonderful day today right around 80 degrees and sunny. that's a look at your thursday .
only tops yuma at 107. so, there are some hotspots in the southwest. that's a look at your thursday forecast. we'll talk about friday. friday's just about here. >> when you say it, it just has a ring to it where you just get excited. >> it's a beautiful sound. >> all right, bill, thanks. well, big ben batters stocks, airlines fly high, and ice cream for dogs, seriously. your early morning business headlines are straight ahead. plus, you won't believe whose shoulder reports say mel gibson's been crying on. the cardinals are flying high, strasburg does it again, and a curtis call for the yankees. you're watching "early today."
charges against members of the former bush administration in the last of a string of investigations over the controversial firing of nine u.s. attorneys back in 2006. the dismissals were found to be inappropriately political but not criminal. then attorney general alberto gonzalez resigned amid the scandal and accusations the administration improperly dismissed the attorneys to influence criminal cases. republican national committee chairman michael steele is under fire again. this time the heat is coming from his own party with accusations from the rnc's treasurer that steele hid more than $7 million in party debt to beef up its bottom line ahead of midterm elections. rnc officials deny the charges, which could carry a hefty fine. in new hampshire, beach-goers beware. at least 100 people were stung by pieces of a dead jellyfish that scattered along the shore after lifeguards tried to remove it from the water.
nine children were reportedly treated at a hospital for their injuries. and if you think it's been a hot summer, imagine if the sun was 300 times its current size. now, this is not a doomsday report. however, scientists in england have discovered the most massive star ever, which is up to 20 million times brighter than the sun. and now here's an early look at how wall street will kick off the day. the dow opens at 10,120 after tumbling 109 points yesterday. the s&p fell 13. the nasdaq lost 35. taking a look at overseas trading this morning, in tokyo the nikkei dropped 57 points, but in hong kong, the hang seng went up 102 points. for anyone in the business world, an economy with a future that is unusually uncertain is cause for concern. but when the economy is being called unusually uncertain by the head of the federal reserve
to wall street, that's cause for alarm. speaking in an unusually downbeat tone to the senate banking committee yesterday, fed chief ben bernanke talked about continued weakness in a labor market while offering no plans to help stimulate the stagnant economy. stocks tumbled after bernanke's comments despite a number of strong quarterly earnings reports. shares in investment bank morgan stanley rose over 6% after its earnings came in better than expected. another financial, wells fargo, was up after rising loan demand helped lift its earnings higher than expected. apple was up also after posting strong quarterly results, but the company's cautious forecast limited gains. coca-cola gained on better north american soft drink sales from april to june. us airways joined delta and united in posting a big second quarter profit. overall, this quarter has been the airline industry's best in three years. american airlines was the lone loser, blaming high fuel and labor costs.
netflix was down after its second quarter brought in less revenue than expected, despite the movie subscription service adding a million customers. keep an eye on qualcomm today. strong smartphone demand helped the chipmaker's quarterly earnings and revenue beat estimates, sending the stock up after hours. and ebay was climbing after the bell, bettering quarterly profit expectations, thanks to a record performance at its paypal service. and, finally, in these dog days of summer, even our four-legged friends need to beat the heat. the world's first ice cream truck for dogs opened saturday in a london park. expected to be a big seller, canine cookie crunch, vanilla ice cream sprinkled with dog biscuits. well, the astros win in extras, the cards are on a roll, and the rookie phenom strikes again. plus, every once in a while the ball boy makes the highlight
and in sports, more evidence the washington nationals' hard-throwing rookie is the real deal. here's nbc's fred roggin with an early look at all your sports headlines. good morning. thanks to stephen strasburg, the washington nationals have gone from the outhouse to the penthouse seemingly overnight. yesterday the rookie phenom took his act to cincinnati's packed house to see him, including reds' legend pete rose. they all came to see the kid pitch. unfortunately, it was at the expense of the home team. strasburg fanned seven, gave up three runs over 5 2/3. tied at one, cristian guzman gave the nats the lead with a two-run homer. washington was up, 3-1. funny moment in the eighth. reds trying to rally. ryan hanigan hit one down the line, fouled by a couple of feet, but that didn't stop everybody from celebrating. off went the fireworks. if that's what they do for a foul ball, i'd love to see what happens when there's an actual home run. nationals won it, 8-5, and strasburg picked up his fifth win. now to st. louis. the red-hot cards have won seven in a row, taking on the phils. in the seventh, matt holliday with a frozen rope over the left field wall.
st. louis up, 2-1. they went on to win it, 5-1. in chicago, cubs and astros needed extra innings. check out the cubs' bullpen. no pitchers left. just a couple of catchers and a security guard. start warming up that arm. the cubbies might need you. 12th inning. jason michaels with a double into the gap. in came two. maybe they should have used the security guard. astros won it, 4-3. if i asked you who had the most home runs on the yankees, you'd probably say alex rodriguez, maybe derek jeter. if you did, you'd be wrong. it's robinson cano. hit his 18th of the season against the angels. the catch of the game wasn't by a player but by the ball boy. juan rivera, a line shot, and he made a leaping grab. even lost his helmet and caught that, too. sign him up. wild scene in the seventh. brett gardner was tossed for arguing a called strike, so the yanks brought in rookie collin curtis to pinch hit with an 0-2 count, and he made the most of it. gone! three-run homer. first homer of his career. and in an amazing turn of events, the yanks won it, 10-6. that's your early look at sports on "early today." i'm fred roggin. well, the governator rips into mel gibson.
the heat. sneerer california, 100 in the valley. cooler on the coast. medford will be cooler today. too. a different pattern in the west, a cool pattern for once. tomorrow it should warm up in a hurry, temperatures on the rise out there. medford around 100, sunny in seattle. gorgeous in the pacific northwest for friday, but hot in the interior sections, california, nevada and all of arizona. if you're watching us on kpnx news 12 in phoenix, july is safety month, and that dial and write 911 at the children's museum of phoenix, kids will learn how to recognize and dial for help in case of an emergency. and that's your "pacific event of the day." with the news stories, a 12-month-old kid or a -- >> 12 months is little early. maybe 5, but yes, you're absolutely right. >> i'll go look it up now. >> all right, we'll hold you to it. and now here's an early look at this morning's headlines in entertainment. if justin bieber is the current teen heartthrob girls love and guys love to hate, the guys just got one more big reason to
grumble. the 16-year-old canadian was spotted this week driving his brand new set of wheels. he's treated himself to a $200,000 lamborghini. must be nice. no lindsay elohan news today, but her father is in trouble again. tmz reports that michael lohan's fiancee filed a report with police on long island, claiming he physically attacked her during an argument. if you thought the mel gibson story had run out of twists and turns, oh, it hasn't. "in touch" reports friends of britney spears says that mel has been pouring his heart out to spears in late-night phone calls. and, finally, california governor arnold schwarzenegger just couldn't help taking a jab at mel gibson yesterday. speaking to a group of utility commissioners, schwarzenegger noted that while bp appears to have contained the gulf oil spill, "no one has figured out how to contain mel gibson." he's a funny guy. >> he is funny. okay, so, the last two minutes you were reading, i quickly went
and googled -- >> no, you didn't. >> i couldn't find an infant, but i did find a story about a dog that somehow or another was able to dial 911. >> good try, bill. good try. and this comes to us from wcau nbc 10 in philadelphia where one fifth grader took her fight against bullying all the way to the top. after being at school, the 11-year-old wrote to president obama saying society needed to make a change. what she wasn't expecting was that the president would write her back, saying she deserved a safe classroom and that he would strive to make it a reality. she was so inspired, she actually decided to start an anti-bullying organization called "no kid should be bullied." good for her. well, i'm lynn berry and this is "early today," just your first stop of the day today on your nbc station.
two new additions to a paris zoo have stolen the show. the rare baby clouded leopards drew quite a crowd at their debut. only 10,000 are known to exist in the wild. the playful cubs are about the size of a small cat, but don't be fooled. they are wild animals and they already have large teeth and a healthy appetite for meat. one lively bunch added plenty of color and a little amusement to the streets of mexico city. for the past 29 years, hundreds of clowns have made the pilgrimage to the basilica in honor of mexico's patron saint, the virgin of guadeloupe. music and merry-making subsided only a short while for a short while for a quick blessing and
to ask the saint to watch over their families. a south african yacht crew got quite a scare when an unexpected visitor dropped by. a 40-ton southern white whale shot out of the water and landed right on the 32-foot sailboat. the big guy made quite a splash, causing significant damage and even snapped the boat's steel mast in two. the collision could have badly injured the whale, but left the crew virtually unscathed. you know, bill, i've been out in the waters near cape cod, and i've seen these huge whales swimming by, and i've always asked, can they jump on to your boat? now i know. >> thank goodness for the picture. imagine trying to explain to the insurance adjuster that my boat was snapped in half by a whale? >> i swear, i swear. >> that's a tale and a half. >> there you go. time now for a look at some of the stories we'll follow throughout the day here on nbc. a judge in phoenix will hear opening arguments in a fight to keep arizona's controversial new immigration law from taking effect july 29th.
the law requires officers to check a person's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion they're in this country illegally. colton harris-moore, better known as the barefoot bandit, will face a federal judge in seattle after two years on the run carrying out an alleged cross-continental crime spree. and in san diego, pop culture takes the spotlight at the 40th annual comic-con where the latest and greatest in toys, comics, and films will make their fun-filled debut. all day long, you can stay on top of the very latest developments in those stories and others as they break on msnbc. and tonight be sure to watch brian williams with "nbc nightly news." and, finally, here's a look at what's coming up later this morning on the "today" show. an exclusive interview with the couple whose yacht had that close encounter with the giant whale. and a plus-size model speaks out after her photos were altered to make her look thin. and now keep it on this channel for continuing local news, weather, sports, and more. i'm lynn berry. thanks for watching "early
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