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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  July 25, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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nbc nightly news is next and then more local news on the bay area at 6:00. we'll see you then. job loss. bp reportedly makes a change at the top as the cleanup resumes. while charges that the company is slow to pay up. missing, the hunt is on for two navy sailors who disappeared in afghanistan. what happened? are they still alive? sizzling -- much of the country wilts under unrelenting heat and humidity. when will it let up? and upstream swim -- two brothers still setting records in the pool after starting the hard way. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening, everyone, as work resumed today to permanently plug the gulf oil leak, we learned that things may have finally come full circle for the bp boss that once famously uttered the words "i want my life back." containment crews who were briefly evacuated after the brush with a tropical storm picked up where they left off at the spill site today, as word circulated that bp was on the verge of replacing its embattled chief executive, tony hayward. nbc's michelle kosinski has more this evening from new orleans, michelle, good evening. >> good evening, lester. it looks like one more job will be lost to the oil spill and u.s. government officials say it is the position of ceo of bp. a post held by tony hayward since 2007 until apparently very soon. since the oil started gushing back in april, bp has tried to weather its own storm
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surrounding it. and ceo tony hayward as the public face of the company has only made waves. >> i'm not stonewalling. he stated that the size of the spill is tiny compared to the size of the gulf of mexico. while the crisis roiled, he attended a yacht race and then these memorable words. >> i'd like my life back. >> well, now it looks like he has it. reportedly, bp's board has been negotiating his departure and he may resign as early as tomorrow. one day before the board is set to announce a huge second quarter loss. bp is saying mr. hayward remains the chief executive officer and has the full confidence of our board and senior management. calling the reports just rumors and speculation. on the front lines today, boats that had to leave ahead of the storm are back. to continue preparing to kill the well and skim the oil. the view from above to the coast guard and local leaders, the best they've seen since all this started. it really is hard to see oil out
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there right now. >> there is none at the well head as far as we've been able to see. we have seen some light sheen. >> admiral paul zukom in charge of operations above water soot down with us today. >> we've seen a dramatic change, reflected even in our recovery rates. nine days ago, we skimmed 25,000 barrels a day. seven days ago, it was 50, 56, actually. >> he doesn't mean 56,000 barrels. he means only 56. the cap is holding. the static kill attempt delayed several days by the storm threat, is expected to happen the first week of august. as for the oil that remains, each day looks a little more like an approach to the end. just last sunday, there was high anxiety over oil seen seeping from the area of the well raising tensions between the government and bp. well today the coast guard tells us they just received results of tests that showed there are no seeps, no leaks and no gas
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leaking from that well. lester? >> that's certainly good to hear, michelle, thank you. now to a still-developing story overseas, american troops in afghanistan are tonight engaged in a desperate search for two of their own who have gone missing. u.s. officials say the american navy sailors have not been heard from since they left their compound on a routine trip two days ago. but officials are refusing to confirm a taliban claim that one of the servicemen is being held captive. nbc's pentagon correspondent, jim miklaszewski joins us from our newsroom. >> u.s. military officials are baffled, asking how did their two sailors get so far from their post and attacked by the taliban? at the same time, they're determined to track down and return the two americans. u.s. forces launched a massive search for the missing sailors, setting up checkpoints, searching for the slightest clue. in kabul today, joint chiefs chairman, admiral mike mullen. >> there's a tremendous effort
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going on to find them, to search. >> reporter: what happened to them is still a mystery. friday, the two americans left a compound in kabul, where they train afghan soldiers for a scheduled visit to a u.s. base nearby. driving an armored suv, they were due back some two hours later. but never returned. inexplicably, the pair reportedly showed up 80 miles away in logar province, afghan officials say the americans were ambushed by taliban fighters. in a fierce fight, one sailor was killed and the other taken hostage. their bullet-riddled suv was found stripped clean, but no sign of the sailors. u.s. forces are distributing leaflets with their photos, translated, they read, this american troop is missing. and they offer a $20,000 reward for information leading to their location. military experts warn as the u.s. ramps up counterinsurgency operations, more american forces will be at risk. >> they're going to be in
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smaller units, they're going to be in villages where they're trying to convince local leaders to support the government. it's possible we might see this again. >> reporter: in fact, more americans have already been killed in combat in the past two months than at any other time in nearly nine years of the war. nbc's jim maceda embedded with the american forces in kandahar. soldiers of the storied 101st airborne are having to deal with heat at 120 degrees, dust that gets into everywhere, and fierce resistance from the taliban. casualties are high. this unit has already suffered some 50 and they've only been here since the end of may. >> reporter: u.s. officials are concerned tonight that the taliban may try to take the two sailors across the border into pakistan out of reach of the u.s. military. and along that score, "the new york times" reports tonight, on thousands of classified documents, which appear to reveal that officials in the pakistani government and
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military are still supporters of the taliban in the violent campaign against americans fighting there. national security adviser james jones condemned the release of the classified material and praised pakistan for what he calls increased cooperation on security issues. >> thank you. if it seems like we've been reporting for weeks now about how hot it is, that's because this summer of 2010 is the heat wave that won't stop. we're joined now by nbc's ron allen, who was in new york's sweltering times square with more on this, ron? >> reporter: good evening, lester, it feels great out here right now. we've had some rain, the temperature was in the 90s all day. it's now down in the 70s. but still, july is on pace here in new york to become the hottest july ever. that's what happened back in june. and there's similar stories of unrelenting heat up and down the east coast. the boy scouts of america just happened to pick a day with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees to celebrate their 100th
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anniversary in washington, d.c. today their motto, be prepared, meant bring a lot of water. the nation's capital had 18 days of 90-degree heat last month in june. scorching the old record and there's been no relief through july. >> i say on the thermometer, maybe 98 degrees, but it feels like 108. >> reporter: washington, d.c. and eight states sweated out heat advisories or warnings today. in the south the heat and humidity made it feel like 110 in atlanta. many cities like charlotte plan to keep their cooling centers open. >> we're definitely sweating out here. you add the heat and humidity, it feels pretty rough. but we have some rain in sight, hopefully in the next couple of days we'll cool off a little bit. >> while the east hopes that rain brings relief, parts of the midwest have more than they can handle. iowa's rain-swollen maquoketa river is still rising after bursting through a dam. this is video of the aftermath on saturday, some 200 structures
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destroyed, over 1,000 damaged. the weather channel's janelle klein is there. >> dozens watched in disbelief as the massive force of this river water broke through this 90-year-old dam, taking power poles, trees, even entire homes. many who saw it say it was surreal, straight out of an action movie. >> reporter: late today along the east coast, a line of thunderstorms rolled in. darkening the skies. at some point, at least eight major airports from boston to washington shut down all departures. which could cause back-ups for business travelers and other passengers come monday morning. however, the storms did bring a bit of relief. which in many areas should last into the week. those storms also brought down trees and power lines in some areas. and there are some 400,000 customers without power between baltimore and washington. lester? >> ron allen in new york tonight, ron, thank you. what we all want to know is if we have indeed reached the end of this.
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we're joined by the weather channel's maria larosa. what's the story? we have the cold front in the northeast that brought all those thundershowers. that brought the relief. right now here's what we're looking at. the players are in place, the high pressure is the key, that's going to help push the cold front further south. we'll be able to tap into the less-humid air. and it's going to feel a lot more refreshing starting tomorrow morning. now new york, you see temperatures close to 90. washington, close to 91 tomorrow. it's going to be hot, but lester, taking the extreme humidity out of the factor, will help it a lot tomorrow afternoon. >> we'll take what we can get. maria, thank you. with all the hot air over the east coast this weekend, it's hard to imagine that the temperature in washington could go much higher, but it's about to. another bitter partisan fight is brewing, this one over taxes and the national debt. nbc's mike viqueira reports from the white house. >> you are seeing recovery, you're seeing private investment expand again. >> reporter: today on "meet the
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press," timothy geithner said the obama administration will work to extend the bush tax cuts for all but the wealthiest americans. >> i think it is fair and good policy to allow the tax cuts that only go to 2% to 3% of the highest earners in the country to expire as scheduled. >> reporter: but republicans say anything less than a full extension of the tax cuts will stall the recovery. >> mr. speaker, the american people are asking where are the jobs. >> reporter: if the two sides cannot agree and the cuts do expire, it would mean an across-the-board income tax hike for virtually all americans. lowering the per-child tax credit from $1,000 to $500, an increase in capital gains and dividend taxes and a return of the so-called marriage penalty. geithner also asserted for the economy, the worst was over. >> you do not believe in the double-dip recession, that it will get worse before it gets better? >> no, i don't. i think the most likely thing is you've seen an economy that gradually strengthens over the next year or two.
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>> reporter: but that growth will not likely be strong or fast enough to bring unemployment down to pre-recession levels. that means with a still-fragile economy allowing taxes to go up, even for just the wealthy, could run an economic risk. >> in the long run, everybody agrees taxes need to go up as part of a comprehensive solution to very high budget deficits. but in the short-term an economy that's weak needs all the stimulus it can get. >> reporter: complicating matters for the president, there are some key democratic senators, many from republican-leaning areas, who favor a full extension of the tax cuts of the bush era, at least temporarily. and meanwhile, it's all about the economy for the president this week, traveling to new jersey and detroit to tout some good news from the auto industry on friday. >> mike, thanks. prosecutors in germany opened a criminal investigation today into the tragic stampede at a rock concert. the death toll now stands at 19. the victims were caught yesterday in this huge crowd trying to get into the concert. 342 people were injured in the
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crush. concert organizers say the festival known as the love parade will never be held again. when "nbc nightly news" continues this sunday evening, gulf coast business owners hurt by the oil spill, they want bp to dig deep. and -- the inspirational story of two brothers who swam against the tide.
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we have more from the gulf. even though the blown-out well has been capped, many businesses in the region continue to suffer from the oil that did spill over the past three months. the company has paid some claims, but many say it's not nearly enough. today, nbc's mark potter took those concerns to bp directly.
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>> reporter: mayor tony kenyan of orange beach, alabama is fed up with bp and its claims process. >> they're morally bankrupt as far as i'm concerned. at this point it's gone on long enough. >> reporter: kennan, who met with president obama last month, said the city of orange beach has submitted claims of $2 million for expenses during the oil spill clean-up. but has only gotten back 10% from bp. >> they've done nothing but tell us the check's in the mail. we're working on it. we have to talk with our attorneys. it's in legal. it's been nothing but a delay and deflect strategy. >> reporter: and what does bp say? after an inquiry today by nbc news, a company spokesman says bp will pay orange beach $183,000 tomorrow. and is still processing other claims. across the region, many businesses are awaiting compensation. at duck's wine and dine in orange beach, the owner is frustrated over her bp claims. drummond said her tourist business is down 95% and that bp
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has only given her $15,500, not enough to stay open. >> if bp does not help us, i can assure you we won't be in business another two months. >> reporter: bp said it's reviewing her profit losses and will decide on the rest of her claims this week. there are also complaints here in pensacola, florida, where since the oil spill, business has been down 40% to 50%. this seafood restaurant is a landmark in pensacola. the owner said he submitted claims of $363,000, but only got back $20,000 from bp, barely enough to pay half his light bill. >> joe paddy is suffering from the effects of that spill and i do need help. and they are dragging their feet. >> reporter: in tv and newspaper ads, bp promises to pay claims quickly. independent claims manager ken feinberg said he can't write settlement checks yet, because bp hasn't put money into its
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promised $20 billion relief fund. bp says the money is not there, because it has not yet transferred the claims process to feinberg. mark potter, nbc news, pensacola, florida. when "nightly news" continues in a moment, both sides getting ready for arizona's tough new approach to immigration.
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♪ hey, we're going swimming ♪ swimming in the swimming pool ♪
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you're looking at the aircraft carrier, "the uss george washington" patrolling today off the coast of south korea, part of the u.s. joint war there temperatures have been rising on the korean peninsula since south korea accused north korea of sinking one of its warships in march. all eyes on arizona closer where this is a critical week for the state's new controversial immigration law. it will go into effect on thursday unless blockeded by a federal judge. in the meantime police and opponents of the law are getting
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ready for what some see as a test case of a new approach to immigration. nbc's kristen welker has our report. >> reporter: protesters turned out at this weekend's diamondbacks game, calling on major league baseball to move next year's all-star game out of arizona. this just one sign the whole state is bracing for the start of arizona's tough new immigration law. senate bill 1070, scheduled to take effect thursday. the law would require police who are making routine stops to check someone's immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion to believe the person may be undocumented. that means police from phoenix to tucson to those along the mexican border are beefing up patrols. they are also going back to class, to learn how to enforce the new law. >> i would not want them to feel pressure to find an illegal immigrant. do your job. >> people planning to demonstrate have also returned to school. taking lessons in civil disobedience and how to protest peacefully.
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>> it's an opportunity for people to learn what's the history of this tactic when and why to use it. what are the risks involved and how to dialogue with the police and de-escalate a situation. >> reporter: and members of the hispanic population have reportedly huddled quietly and privately to discuss ways they can dodge questions about immigration status and what to do with their kids if they are arrested. opponents fear the law will lead to racial profiling. but supporters say it's the only way to police undocumented people. and last week, the u.s. justice department got into the debate. asking a federal judge to block the bill based on the argument that immigration policy is the role of the federal government. >> it's a big assertion of power to take down a state statute before it's had a chance to go into effect and to say at this particular stage, it's unconstitutional. so, she won't do that casually. >> reporter: legal experts predict 1070 will eventually
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make its way to the supreme court. but right now, residents in arizona are gearing up for what could be a very contentious week as judgment day draws near. kristen welker, nbc news, los angeles. up next, new times for a record-setting swimmers who once couldn't jump in the pool.
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finally tonight in this sweltering july weekend, swimming pools across the country have been filled with children. trying to escape the heat. but the two men you're about to meet, brothers, recall a time when that just wasn't an option. if you look like them. which makes their stroke of success in the water all the more remarkable. when john and bradford tatum took to the water, public swimming pools didn't allow blacks. so they found another option. in the shadow of the 16th president of the united states. >> we never had anybody teach us the right stroke in the right kick and the right this. we just swam, we were playing. >> they loved to swim early on. but didn't really know how. >> we started wading and flopping around in the lincoln memorial pool.
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and when the park police suggested that we would leave, we had to run out of there. and we went up to the canal. >> even after the formal end of segregation, they didn't feel welcome in pools around the country. >> first time i think i was in an integrated pool was in florida when we went on vacation. early on, like in the early '50s. how did you feel when you first got into the integrated pool? >> embarrassing in some cases, all the white people got out. >> well they've come a long ways since then, i'm sure. >> now, without hesitation, 91-year-old john and 89-year-old brother brad, still swim three days a week. competing every two years in the national senior games. last year in palo alto, california, john won not one, not two, but three gold medals. brad brought home one gold, three silvers and a bronze, always modest, the brothers insist their wins aren't a big
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deal. >> since we've been doing it all our lives, jumping into the swimming pool is just one of the things we can do. >> if i am able to finish, i'm going to get some kind of medal. >> for them, swimming has many benefits. >> it adds to our health, i really believe. >> when they're swimming, their age seems to disappear. >> as long as i'm healthy enough to get out there and swim, that's my goal. >> never giving up, despite all the obstacles. >> we've been doing that for so long, that it's a natural thing. we're having fun. >> brothers who were once not welcome in the pool, now at home in the water. the brothers say they hope there's never a day they can't get in the pool. and after hearing them tell their story, we hope so, too. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday, "dateline" is coming up. ann curry reports how


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