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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  April 24, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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of the royal family to emerge from buckingham palace on to the balcony after major events to greet the public. and there is the london i there too. that wouldn't be a bad spot to view it.s nextand, htly news" i more local news on the bay area at 6:00. we'll see you then. good night. path of destruction. the massive cleanup after that sudden storm that shattered homes and lives and shut down a major u.s. airport. tonight, a new and possibly even more powerful storm system is picking up steam. gas prices are on the rise and as we're about to learn this week, so are oil company profits. sitting empty. a brand new state-of-the-art prison built with taxpayer dollars and nobody behind bars. wait until you hear why. and her royal journey. with just five days to go until the wedding the world will be watching, kate middleton's fairy tale story from girl next door watching, kate middleton's fairy tale story from girl next door to queen in waiting.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening and happy easter. it was a difficult holiday sunday for so many in and around st. louis today after a fierce tornado rolled in friday night, destroying much of the airport and hundreds of homes. fortunately, there were few injuries and no deaths. the airport is open again, but not functioning at full capacity. but the big story today was the cleanup effort. people trying to pick up the pieces. and tonight much of the country is bracing for powerful storms. we begin tonight with the weather channel's mike seidel on the ground again in st. louis. good evening, mike. >> reporter: and good evening, kate. tonight this neighborhood looks like a bomb went off. the home behind me flattened by the twister. and on this easter sunday many are saying it's a miracle that no one was seriously injured. >> so let's stand and let's sing on this resurrection morning.
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>> reporter: today, like every sunday, parishioners from the ferguson christian church gathered to pray. ♪ he walks with me and talks with me ♪ >> reporter: but not at their own church. on friday it was destroyed with 30 people inside when the powerful tornado ripped off the roof. all survived. >> huge wooden beams were -- would have hit me on the head. so you know, we barely missed it. and by the grace of god we were saved. >> reporter: services were held at a nearby college. the tornado tore through lambert airport, captured on airport surveillance cameras. fierce winds blew out windows, damaged the jetway, and ripped a huge hole in the roof of concourse c. flights resumed today as workers cleared debris and began repairs. officials said the airport could be fully operational by next week by moving flights to undamaged gates. but dozens of canceled flights left some passengers stranded in the terminal. >> best thing we could do is
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just hang out and make the best of it. >> reporter: across st. louis county today, where the tornado left a trail of destruction, damaging hundreds of homes, residents sorted through piles of debris. amidst the grim scene, humor. >> spring cleaning will be very easy this year. >> reporter: in bridgeton the tornadic winds may have reached speeds of 200 miles per hour. the damage there was so severe there was little left to salvage. >> we're just so grateful we weren't here. >> reporter: marcy baker and her family arrived home from dallas and saw their house for the first time. >> devastation. devastation. lots of emotion. we have been here three years. we brought our son home here. you know, just memories and we -- you know, it was hard to see. it was hard to see. >> reporter: despite the destruction there was a sense of gratitude here. no lives were lost. >> this is, you know -- this is devastating. but we have great people. and we'll bounce back. >> reporter: the owners were not home at this house when the twister hit on friday, but their dogs were. and the good news tonight, kate,
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is both dogs are fine. >> one bit of good news. mike seidel tonight, thank you. and as we said, we are tracking another powerful set of storms that could, believe it or not, be even stronger and affect nearly half the country. let's get the latest from the weather channel's samantha mohr tonight. samantha, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, kate. the problem is it is going to be some of the same areas that have been targeted so far will be targeted again. and look at the difference in the air temperature north and then south of this front. it's very warm, moist and unstable on the southern side of this. and very cool, in the 50s, on the northern side of this stationary front. the stage is set as a very active jet stream aloft brings in a series of disturbances this week. that's going to cause a lot of problems here for dallas. and to st. louis again, little rock, indianapolis likely to see severe storms that could spawn tornados into monday. tuesday the same area plus some into the ohio valley as that low moves into the great lakes. then it pushes further east. we're talking the tennessee
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valley, louisville, cleveland and then over into the d.c. area. by the end of the week, we could be talking the entire eastern seaboard. even on up into the megalopolis city. we're talking 40% of the nation, kate, would be affected by this outbreak. >> samantha mohr, thank you. now to libya, where rebels have been claiming that moammar gadhafi's army was holding its fire in the key city of misrata. today gadhafi's forces literally blew that theory apart. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel begins there tonight. richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, kate. it appears the rebels were celebrating about what was going on in misrata prematurely. today saw some of the heaviest fighting yet in misrata as unrest is continuing to spread across the region. gadhafi is proving to be a wily survivor who understands the limits of nato's commitment. after pulling back from misrata gadhafi's forces rocketed the
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city today, hitting hard. gadhafi's government has also said that plainclothes tribesmen will move in to clear out the rebels from misrata in the next 48 hours. nato wouldn't be able to stop that from the air. fresh from his visit to benghazi last week, senator john mccain called the situation a stalemate on nbc's "meet the press." >> it's pretty obvious to me that the united states has got to play a greater role in the air power side. our nato allies neither have the assets nor frankly the will. >> reporter: but libya isn't the only regime that has made the age-old calculation better to be feared than loved. syria's bashar al assad is cracking down too. human rights groups say more than 120 protesters have been killed in syria since friday. and this amateur video shows a potentially ominous new phase, syrian troops taking up positions outside daraa, a city
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that has seen many protests. al jazeera's rula amin is in syria. >> the protesters are getting more determined. and the government as well. it seems there is a battle of will between both sides. >> there is an argument that says the following -- assad has taken a look at our involvement in libya, knows that it is extremely limited, and knows therefore that the united states is not going to get involved in syria in any way that really threatens him. >> reporter: but a third country is trying a different approach. yemen's president, ali abdullah saleh, has proposed a negotiated settlement, to step down in 30 days in exchange for immunity, handing power to a new government, including his allies. protesters today rejected the offer. they think they have the yemeni president on the ropes. they want him gone now. yemen's president is also under pressure from other gulf states for a negotiated transition of power. the gulf states would much
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prefer to see a smooth transition rather than another unpredictable popular uprising. kate? >> richard engel in libya tonight. thank you. and back here at home, the cost of filling the tank continues to climb. for many americans it's already over $4 a gallon. president obama knows that americans may take their anger out on him, especially when oil companies opened their books this week. here's nbc's mike viqueira. >> reporter: the first family left the white house on a bright morning in washington, attending easter church services across town. for the president it was a brief break before a tough week. as gas prices rise higher, so does consumer outrage. >> they have been going up very steadily and nobody seems quite to know why. >> it angers me to no end. angers me to no end. >> reporter: that anger is likely to grow this week. major oil companies will report latest earnings, with profits expected to be near record levels. led by exxonmobil, where
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analysts predict a 59% rise in net income, and chevron, expected to see a 29% rise. >> they probably will be reporting very high profits, not yet as high as 2007-2008, but they will be up substantially from the prior year because the crude oil price is higher and the crude oil price really does drive their profitability. >> reporter: mr. obama has talked about rising prices at a series of recent public events. >> $4-a-gallon gas really hurts a lot of people around this country. >> reporter: but with his approval rate dropping as the price of gas rises, experts say eye-popping oil profits could give the president an opening. >> oil company profits will be the super bowl of political footballs. and in the short term it might actually help the president and politicians to blame somebody else. >> reporter: today republicans renewed their demand for more domestic production. >> we can't talk about energy independence and then say but you can't drill here and you can't drill there. >> reporter: but most agree there is little policymakers can
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do in the short term to bring down the price at the pump. and kate, after the president told the justice department to look into possible fraud and price manipulation in oil markets today, a democratic senator went further, calling for a grand jury investigation, even though past probes turned up no illegal activity. meanwhile, the price of gas expected to continue to rise to memorial day. kate? >> mike viqueira at the white house. thank you. we just saw the president marking this holy easter day. christians around the world were doing the same. here's nbc's ron allen. >> reporter: this easter, a day filled with the promise of new beginnings, thousands of christians celebrated in jerusalem, where they believe christ rose from the dead. at the vatican, with perhaps 100,000 gathered in a festively adornd st. peter's square, pope benedict was also mindful of recent events. in japan and libya. he prayed for diplomacy to end the conflict.
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"may those who suffer be given aid," he added. and the vatican is preparing for what may be an even bigger event next sunday, when the pope will bestow the church's highest honor on his predecessor, john paul ii. beatification, a key step toward john paul becoming a saint. at his funeral in 2005, the crowd chanted for sainthood immediately, a process often decades long. john paul was an enormously popular figure, a global icon, after becoming the youngest pope in more than a century. >> he reinvented the papacy in many ways. >> reporter: but critics also say he didn't act swiftly enough to address the still unfolding sexual abuse scandal rocking the church. thousands of alleged victims and priests involved. the church has said overall john paul led a saintly life. >> i think that grown-ups recognize that even saints have blind spots, and i think that
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john paul ii did not realize the extent of the sex abuse. >> reporter: an unresolved issue still lingering as the church celebrates this joyous day of the year. ron allen, nbc news, new york. this friday astronaut mark kelly will command a shuttle mission, and his wife plans to be at the launch. we got a fuller picture today of what life is like for gabrielle giffords, the congresswoman shot in the head back in january. the "arizona republic" reports giffords is standing on her own and walking a little. she's left-handed now, speaking mostly in short words. her husband describes how she learned that six people were killed in the tucson shooting. he was reading an article to her out loud when she realized that he'd skipped a paragraph. she grabbed the newspaper out of his hand and read about the six victims, though she does not know exactly who they were. as "nightly news" continues on this sunday, news about the seating chart for the big wedding.
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and why a new state-of-the-art prison is ready for business, but totally empty.
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just five days and counting until the big day, the royal wedding between prince william and kate middleton, and tonight new details about the all-important seating chart and a nod to princess diana. nbc's keir simmons has the latest from london. >> reporter: on the day prince william looks to the future, he will, it is said, speak emotionally about the past.
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30 years after charles married diana, her son will reportedly say, "my dear mother is here in spirit and would be so proud of catherine today." perhaps determined to learn from diana's life, it's said william hopes for some privacy during the couple's first two years together. it won't be easy. >> well, prince william and catherine's wedding will be watched by over a billion people. it's going to be very difficult, isn't it, to put the genie back in the bottle. so his call for privacy just may be falling on deaf ears. >> reporter: there are crowds around westminster abbey. but next week, thousands are expected here to see the event for themselves. we now know where those inside will be seated. and some surprising news about who's not invited. today, while the royal family was at an easter service, it emerged that kate's parents will sit directly opposite the queen at friday's ceremony.
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perhaps controversially, william's grandparents on the other side, the spencers, will sit with the middletons. and tony blair does not have a ticket, unlike another former prime minister, margaret thatcher. still, one controversy was ended this weekend when the crown prince of bahrain declined his invitation after the brutal treatment of protesters in his country. and, of course, those without an invite, thousands of members of the public, will have to arrive early just for a glimpse of the couple. >> we are looking for the best place to look. >> i think it's going to be so exciting. >> reporter: afterwards there is speculation that william and kate will honeymoon at the great barrier reef or perhaps jordan. their every choice scrutinized from here on. while the new princess's wedding dress designer, still a secret, will affect the fashion world, there is now fevered speculation over who will style her hair. truly, kate's life is set to change forever in five days' time. keir simmons, nbc news, london.
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and a quick program note. brian williams will anchor "nightly news" from london starting on wednesday. i'll be there as well. leading up to nbc news coverage of the royal wedding which begins on friday at 4:00 a.m. eastern time. set your alarm clocks. up next, what if they built a state-of-the-art prison and nobody came? wait until you hear why it's just sitting there, empty.
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a brand new state-of-the-art prison in new hampshire sits empty tonight. and it's not because there are no criminals to lock up behind bars. nbc's kelly o'donnell explains. >> reporter: spring arrives late in new hampshire's north country. but a manmade delay is breaking hearts and wallets in the town of berlin. >> this delay is critical to us. it's going to have an impact on businesses that are struggling to hold on. >> reporter: they're waiting on this. a new federal prison, carved out of a mountaintop. a medium-security facility that
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will add more than 300 new jobs. construction wrapped up months ago. but money needed to actually open was stripped when congress made cuts to this year's federal budget. new hampshire's senator jeanne shaheen. >> we've got a $276 million prison that's brand new, that's standing empty because congress isn't willing to put in about $28 million to get it started. >> reporter: that means no money to transfer inmates here and hire prison staff. >> i'd like to have a meeting just to regroup. >> reporter: mark belanger heads the local unemployment office, where they've been desperate to see those prison jobs filled. >> with the delays, people are getting discouraged and they stop asking and they kind of wait to see when it's going to become a reality. >> reporter: after paper mills and manufacturers moved out, berlin spent the last ten years trying to get a federal prison here and claims it could bring almost $40 million to the local economy. >> we're certainly counting on some employment and generating some spending in the town and in the county.
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>> reporter: the northland dairy bar restaurant has been in the roy family for 50 years. >> i just can't believe that they spent all that money to build a prison without having the funding to operate it once it's built. >> reporter: and there's a price for not opening. it'll cost taxpayers about $4 million this year to keep this facility maintained, secure, and ready to go. and that's with no inmates here. while democrats and republicans say painful budget cuts are necessary, shaheen calls this cut shortsighted. >> it doesn't make sense for us to cut in areas that affect public safety, which is an issue here, with respect to starting up this new prison. >> reporter: but funding will stay locked up until at least next year's budget. and berlin will have to wait. kelly o'donnell, nbc news, berlin, new hampshire. when we come back, the young woman who is about to walk down the aisle into a world most of us can only imagine. how did a young woman with roots in the coal mines get all the way to buckingham palace?
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finally tonight, more on the royal romance that's been years in the making. tonight, from "dateline's" dennis murphy, the extraordinary path that took kate middleton
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and her family from the coal mines to buckingham palace. >> reporter: the beautiful ring, the dashing prince, a royal wedding. it's every little girl's fantasy, as sweet as it is impossible. unless, that is, you're kate middleton. >> it's astounding, of course, for any middle-class person to actually marry into the royal family. >> reporter: how did this kindly, a little shy, but typically upper middle-class school girl end up on the path to becoming a future queen of england? to understand just how far the middletons have come, you have to go back about 150 years and travel around 300 miles north of london to county durham, where kate's great great grandfather was a coal miner. richard evans is director of the beamish museum in county durham. richard, set the scene for us. where are we? >> well, we're underground in a coal mine, showing you what conditions would have been like for people working here. generally, you work your way up, starting as a child. you tend to have families with
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different generations all working in the same pit. >> reporter: there was one coal mining ancestor in particular who made all the difference. without him we might never have heard of kate middleton. he was her great grandfather, thomas harrison. he got himself out of the mines and picked up a trade. he became a carpenter and moved to london. that entrepreneurial spirit was handed down to kate's mother, carol middleton, who started a party supply company in the family's backyard shed. the business was a hit and helped pay for kate's private education, which led her to st. andrew's university, the same college prince william attended. >> common adjectives used to describe kate -- friendly, sporty, down to earth. >> reporter: megan tevrizian, a reporter for knsd tv in san diego, was in kate and william's graduating class. >> she immediately became friends with some of prince william's friends. >> reporter: you'd go around the corner and there he is. >> yes. >> reporter: because he's in the same dorm. >> yes, a lot of my friends would talk about how they would
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go around the corner and there prince william would be. he was just a normal guy, especially considering who he was. very friendly to everybody. didn't have an air about him. it was actually kind of refreshing to see how normal he was and how he just fit into regular student life. >> reporter: a regular guy and his girl next door who will this friday walk down the aisle and into the pages of history. dennis murphy, nbc news, county durham, england. >> and dennis murphy's report on the journey of kate middleton from commoner to her royal highness continues tonight in a special "dateline" hour here on nbc at 7:00 eastern, 6:00 central. and that is nbc "nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm kate snow reporting from new york. for lester holt and all of us here at nbc news, happy easter for lester holt and all of us here at nbc news, happy easter and good night. -- captions by vitac --


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