tv NBC Nightly News NBC October 1, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
on the broadcast tonight, hitting home. as millions of americans struggle to keep their homes, three huge lenders suddenly stop foreclosures. why now? a shameful secret. horrific medical experiments conducted more than 60 years ago by the u.s. government. tonight, an apology. but is it enough? "education nation." cutting edge technology in america's classrooms. is the payoff worth the price? making a difference. a little boy with a very big heart. "nightly news" starts now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening, everyone, i'm
lester holt in for brian williams. tens of thousands of americans who are on the merge of losing their homes are getting an unexpected reprieve. three of the biggest lenders in the country have stopped evictions and sales involving foreclosures. bank of america joined the list today behind gmac and jpmorgan chase in announcing it was temporarily delaying foreclosure proceedings in 23 states. at issue, thousands of documents required for the legal process to go forward, which the companies now say may have been done improperly. peter alexander is covering the story for us in los angeles tonight. peter? >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. these homeowners are already desperate, but it's clear this foreclosure crisis is a much bigger mess than anyone thought, with several major banks reviewing whether they rushed through the foreclosure process for thousands of homeowners without actually reading the documents. in downtown los angeles today, new evidence the nation's
foreclosure crisis is far from finished. thousands of people, some from as far away as arkansas and florida, looking for free help in a last-ditch effort to hold on to their homes. among them, prentis hill. what's your situation? >> the situation is i'm in an interest only loan that's killing me. >> i can't rent a house for less than what i'm paying. so i don't want to end up on the streets. >> reporter: nationwide, one in seven borrowers is behind on their mortgage or in foreclosure. a record 95,000 homes were repossessed in august alone. late this afternoon, the nation's largest bank, bank of america joined jpmorgan chase and gmac in suspending foreclosure evictions across 23 states. the move is raising new questions whether banks cut corners to expedite home repossessions. an employee acknowledged she approved up to 8,000 foreclosures a month. and typically didn't read them. in a sworn deposition, one
gmac employee admitted signing off on 10,000 cases a month. critics refer to that process as robo signing, where it would be seemingly impossible for any one person to review so many documents. attorney john houtman says his client is among those who lost his home as bankers looked for short cuts. >> i feel the time is now to stop this. >> reporter: all three lenders say they're reviewing their procedures. gmac and chase insist none of the processing errors resulted in inappropriate foreclosures. still, experts say this new confusion will only make things more difficult in an already stressed real estate market. >> we have a glut of foreclosures right now that need to be processed and gotten out onto the market and resold to borrowers who can afford them. if you delay it, you put the pain further down the road. >> reporter: tonight, citigroup says it has no intention of suspending foreclosures. lester? >> peter, thanks. there was an extraordinary apology today from president obama for something that
happened more than 60 years ago. the u.s. conducted secret medical experiments that involved intentionally infecting guatemalan mental patients with sexually transmitted diseases. tonight, guatemala is calling it a crime against humanity. it says it may take the case to an international court. correspondent robert bazell broke the story this morning. he has this late update tonight. >> reporter: the secret experiments took place between 1946 and 1948. financed by the u.s. government and supervised by u.s. government doctors. susan riverby, a professor at wellesley college, found the evidence in u.s. government records. >> i thought that frankly i wouldn't get shocked but i should this one was pretty horrific, the details of how they did it were pretty graphic and i was actually surprised. >> reporter: the doctors inoculated almost 700 prostitutes, mental patients and
prisoners with the germs that cause syphilis or gonorrhea. the subjects did not give their permission and were not told what was happening. they were injected in the skin, the genitals, even the spine. infected e too mail prostitutes were also september into the prison and mental hospital to infect men. >> they knew this wasn't appropriate. the surgeon general said we couldn't do this in the united states. >> reporter: the experiments were designed to study the effects of penicillin on sexually transmitted disease. still, as many as a third of the patients were not properly treated. today, outrage. on the streets of guatemala's capital and on newspapers online, and from guatemalan americans in los angeles. >> actually, i'm very surprised. it's a combination of feelings because it's been a long time already, but it's something outrageous i would call it. >> reporter: the incident recalls the infamous alabama syphilis experiment.
what is now called the tuskegee experiment began here in 1932. from 1932 until research was revealed in the press in 1972, government doctors lied to hundreds of african-american men who were infected naturally. the doctors, some also involved in the guatemala experiment, told the men they were getting treatment, but in fact they were not. despite numerous apologies, that incident left many black americans weary of the medical establishment. >> it still resonates after generations. people still talk about it. so this legacy of mistrust in the african-american community still exists. >> reporter: even though the guatemala experiment took place more than 60 years ago, officials call on the institute of medicine to launch a full investigation and identify steps to prevent further abuses. another example of the most vulnerable being victimized and of doctors who ignore their pledge to first do no harm.
robert bazell, nbc news, new york. turning to the white house now. the latest departure from the president's inner circle as expected, rahm emanuel, the chief of staff, is leaving to run for mayor of chicago. for more on the man who will replace him, peter rouse, our chief white house correspondent chuck todd joins us now. chuck? >> reporter: good evening. the departure ceremony today for rahm emanuel as outgoing chief of staff served almost as a pep rally and a trip down memory lane of the first two years of the obama presidency. both rahm emanuel and president obama going through the different achievements that took place under the stewardship of rahm emanuel. but it was also an arrival ceremony for peter rouse. pete rouse was a one-time chief of staff to then senator obama. before that, he was nicknamed the 101st senator when he was the chief of staff to senate majority leader tom daschle. by bringing in pete rouse, you see the obama west wing
preparing now for what are going to be political battles over the next two years. the first year with a new congress in some form or another, with a narrow minority or a narrow majority and the presidential scam pain in 2012. oversees tonight in pakistan, video as at least 27 tankers carrying fuel for nato troops in afghanistan were attacked and set on fire overnight. this attack came just a day after pakistan closed a major border crossing to protest a nato helicopter strike that killed three pakistani soldiers. we're joined now by andrea mitchell. andrea, just how deep is the tension tonight between the u.s. and pakistan? >> reporter: it's rising, lester. these new attacks against nato are the latest evidence of that, of rising tension between the u.s. and pakistan. cia director leon panetta was there yesterday, trying to shore up a government that some fear is on the verge of collapse. and now for the first time in
seven months, osama bin laden has issued a new audiotape. the u.s. believes that bin laden is trying to exploit anger in pakistan at that government's response to this summer's floods. u.s. officials say that they do not see bin laden's message as some kind of signal or trigger for attacks that al qaeda has been plotting against a growing number of countries in europe and this while bin laden is certainly aware of those plots, he's not directing them. officials here are working closely with european intelligence agencies to thwart a number of plots in different stages of development. aimed, officials say, now at england, france, germany, italy and other european countries. not all the threats against europe are coming from al qaeda in pakistan. officials say that france is being targeted by al qaeda offshoots in the arabian peninsula and north africa. as far as u.s. officials know, however, none of the plots they're now tracking are directed against the u.s. homeland. lester? >> thanks. nbc's andrea mitchell in our washington newsroom tonight. and now to one of the clear military successes for the u.s. against violent islamic extremists.
it's a fight many americans are unaware of, even though it's lasted almost as long as the one in afghanistan. as we hear now from the philippines, this fight involves u.s. special forces who are succeeding by not fighting. >> reporter: a forgotten front of america's so-called global war on terror. this is the southern philippines. >> that was your very first shot. >> reporter: soon after 9/11, the u.s. was invited to help the armed forces of the philippines or afp, fight a homegrown islamic separatist insurgency with suspected ties to international terrorist groups. >> you can't forget that the philippines is where khalid sheikh muhammad and his nephew trained for 9/11. >> reporter: forbidden by law to engage in direct combat, the u.s. military has deployed 550 troops, almost all special
forces, to share intelligence and provide training to the afp. nbc news was given rare access to this joint operation. >> we have a clear mission. it's to neutralize and defeat terrorist networks here. >> reporter: that effort has paid off. since 2002, 28 terrorists have been captured or killed. and the nation's largest islamic rebel group, the moral islamic liberation front, has disavowed terrorism and started talking peace with the philippine government. it's been eight years and now parts of the southern philippines are much more stable. so the question needs to be asked, does the philippines still need the americans to be here? major cho thinks so. he oversees a small outpost of 130 troops, all working to prevent future safe havens from taking hold. by jump-starting the local economy with humanitarian aid and development on one of the most dangerous islands, also among the poorest, lacking infrastructure, police, education, and health care. 44,000 people with one doctor?
>> and we have five nurses. >> reporter: so the fight has shifted from mostly combat to mostly nation building, bit by bit. a new medical clinic, an airport runway. >> instead of defeating the enemy, we need peace. >> reporter: a fragile peace as the u.s. and philippines try to maintain the momentum against terrorism. adrian momg, nbc news, southern philippines. when "nightly news" continues in just a moment, using the latest technology to help kids learn, are the benefits really worth the cost? part of our series "education nation." and later, proof positive that you don't have to be a big shot or even big to be making a difference. ot or even big to be making a difference. i love my grandma. i love you grandma. grandma just makes me happy. ♪ to know, know, know you grandma is the bestest. the total package. grandpa's cooooooooool. way cool. ♪
grandpa spoils me rotten. ♪ to know, know, know you ♪ is to love... some people call us frick and frack. we do finger painting. this is how grandpa and i roll. ♪ and i do [ pins fall ] grandma's my best friend. my best friend ever. my best friend ever. ♪ [ laughing ] [ boy laughs ] ♪ to know, know, know you after this we're gonna get ice cream. can we go get some ice cream? yeah. ♪ and i do ♪ and i do ♪ and i do
if you're like many parents in this country, your children probably know a lot more about computers and digital devices than you do. . . . . . . . on" series, we want to take a closer look at how some schools are breaking out, using technology to fundamentally change the way children learn. these first graders don't shout out their answers, they click them. for their teacher, an instant snapshot of their progress. virtually every aspect of learning at forest lake
technology magnet school in columbia, south carolina involves technology. a commitment underscored by its partnership with nasa. laptops and interactive smart boards are as ubiquitous as chalk and erasers were a generation ago. >> we didn't just go out and buy smart boards for every classroom or buy something for everything. we have learned what is it that we need for instruction for the students? >> reporter: students report, share, research, and innovate in ways that clearly engage them. all 50 states now include computer technology as part of their curriculum standards. but more and more schools are seeing technology is not just a subject to be taught, but also a tool to help students become better learners. tech savvy schools like this one in louisville, kentucky, are forging new learning methods. jose's algebra students use
tab lets and ipods to develop and share math concepts. what they call 180 degrees. >> i want the students to be able to analyze and look for the strategies how to teach themselves and teach others how to get the concept. >> reporter: but is technology helping kids perform better? >> you're never really going to show how buying computers and using them in a consistent way over a period of time is going to raise test scores or academic achievement because the teachers are doing many things not just using laptops. >> reporter: teachers at fern creek say kids in this program perform better than those in traditional classes. >> based on the anecdotal data, we are expanding the project to two other classrooms. >> reporter: while some question the cost versus payoff, teachers at forest lake see technology as part of a necessary evolution. >> the people that think that technology is not necessary,
they need to look a little bit deeper. for example, this building was built in 1957, but we certainly don't teach the same way we did in 1957. >> reporter: and children, they say, don't learn the same way either. >> not all the changes are happening inside the classroom. more and more schools are starting to offer online learning opportunities for their students as well. on wall street today, stocks started october on an up note. the dow gained just under 42 points on the day. when we come back, a good man having a big birthday tomorrow. having a big birthday tomorrow. it helps to eat calcium-rich foods like yogurt, spinach, and cheese. but calcium, vitamin d and exercise may not be enough to keep your bones strong. so ask your doctor about once-monthly boniva. boniva works with your body to help stop and reverse bone loss. studies show, after one year on boniva that's exactly what it did for nine out of ten women. and that's what it did for me. (announcer) don't take boniva if you problems with your esophagus, low blood calcium, severe kidney disease,
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the the massive rainstorm that assaulted the east coast yesterday is making its way north and into canada tonight, and what a mess it left behind. the morning commute was a disaster in places like philadelphia and here in new york, roads closed, flash flooding. some places broke all-time rainfall records, including parts of north carolina, which have gotten 22 inches of rain since sunday. in hollywood, steven j. cannell has died. if that name, middle initial sound vaguely familiar, it's because you probably seen it on the closing credits of many hit tv shows. ♪ that, of course, is the "rockford files." he produced that show along with the "a-team" and "21 jump street." he also wrote for the series, including "adam 12" "mission
impossible" and "it takes a thief." and he did his writing on an old ibm typewriter. he died of complications from melanoma. he was 69. a milestone birthday tomorrow. charlie brown turns 60. that's right, october 2nd, 1950, the first peanuts comic strip appeared in a total of seven newspapers. charlie brown had a bit of a different look than what we're used to. the creator charles schultz, who died in 2000, is being honored all weekend at the smithsonian, which added his picture to the national portrait gallery today. when we come back, a little boy with a big passion for helping others. > when we come back, a little boy with a big passion for helping others.
being a leader means moving fast. across the country when the economy tumbled, jpmorgan chase set up new offices to work one-on-one with homeowners. since 2009, we've helped over 200,000 americans keep their homes. and we're reaching out to small businesses too, increasing our lending commitment this year to $10 billion... and giving businesses the opportunity to ask for a second review if they feel their loan should have been approved. this is how recoveries happen. everyone doing their part.
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if cialis for daily use is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to cialis.com. don't let his age or his size fool you. the young man you're about to meet may be one of the smallest philanthropists around, but he's doing big things to make a difference. nbc's mark potter has his story. >> sir, can you please sign in? >> reporter: at a food giveaway program for 200 underprivileged residents in miami, the boss is on hand, helping out. >> right now they're coming in and if they signed in, they just come and then they get the food and we give them the food. >> reporter: weighing only 53 pounds and barely four feet
tall, 9-year-old joshua williams really is the president of joshua's heart foundation, which feeds the poor and visits the elderly. >> sometimes they're lonely and sad, so we go there to cheer them up and make them happier. >> reporter: at joshua's insistence, his mother, claudia, helped set up the foundation three years ago and says with the help of grants and donations, it has fed 7,000 people. >> this is a young man who has literally brought a piece of heaven to this city and to this community. >> reporter: joshua's charity began when he was just 4 1/2, giving away a $20 gift from his grandmother to a homeless man. >> i felt sad for the man. he was poor, he had no place to stay. >> reporter: soon he wanted to do more. after seeing a feed the children tv commercial. >> 1.5 million children are home less in the united states. >> he started crying and asked
me if i could adopt the children. i was like, no, i don't think so. that's a lot, but we can send some money to help them. he said mom, that's not good enough. that won't help. there are too many children. >> reporter: and so joshua's charity began and grew, attracting sponsors, classmates and adult volunteers. he's now trying to raise money to provide meals for needily children on weekends when they're aware from school. a 9-year-old with a big to-do list, a good heart and a vision. mark potter, nbc news, miami. >> what a great kid. that's our broadcast for this friday night. thank you for being with us. before we go, a reminder from our friends at nbc sports, live coverage of golf's greatest, competing for the ryder cup begins at 8:00 a.m. eastern and 5:00 a.m. pacific tomorrow here on nbc. i'm lester holt in tonight for brian williams. i'll see you right back here tomorrow evening. have a good night, everyone. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com