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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 26, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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on the broadcast tonight, where are they? the urgent search in joplin for more than 200 people no one has seen or heard from since the tornado. as we head into another rough night of weather. close call in the air after a pilot became disoriented and his wife had to take over the controls and fly the plane. tonight we get to hear how the crisis unfolded. is sarah palin in or out for the race for president? there may be a clue in her plans for the holiday weekend. and starting over. how some of the victims of this week's storms are already rising from the ruins. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. with so many americans already on the move for the holiday weekend and so many others with outdoor plans we have wild weather on the move tonight as we near the end of the week where tornadoes have already killed over 130 people in this country and injured over 1,000. just today, we had a tornado in california, a tornado warning in mobile, alabama, and tonight into tomorrow, rough weather or the risk of it covering the entire eastern third of the united states. from the deep south all the way up through upstate new york into new england. all of this setting up the weekend most of us define as the start of the summer season. tonight, if you live in joplin, missouri, you're focused on survival, focused on the list of miz missing persons after the tornado there. that's where we want to begin tonight with nbc's ron allen in joplin. good evening. >> reporter: there's been so
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much confusion about the number of people missing here that the governor himself appointed someone to figure it out, and today, there are still some families who still have hope of finding a missing loved one alive. in this massive tangle of wood and debris, cassie owens and her two friends look for any trace of her cousin, will norton. >> i don't think he's really gone yet, so all i can do is hope and pray he's okay. i want to find him, but i don't want to time him out here. >> she said the tornado ripped norton through the hood of his family's car. a hummer. as it rolled several times. he was leaving high school graduation with his father, who is badly injured and still hospitalized. >> reporter: you'll just keep going? >> yes, yes, until he is found. until we have some closure. >> since the tornado, as many as 1,500 reported missing. poor communications leaving many cut off. today, officials say 232 are unaccounted for. >> it's extremely important in this situation that we
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positively identify these individuals. >> reporter: that number of missing dropped by one when 75-year-old sally adams turned up safe at her home. neighbors had rescued her, but her relatives didn't know. mainly, the search for survivors has only found more victims. and joplin's newspaper now has funeral plans and obituaries for people like m. dean wells who was 59. he saved many lives at home depot when the tornado struck, his family wrote, and ultimately lost his life in the process. late today, a happy moment. betty, a golden retriever, reunited with her owners. she had been rescued from the crawl space beneath the family's house, covered in ants, very thirsty, but in pretty good shape. a very nice moment for that family in particular. rescue teams are still working anywhere there's a hint that someone might be found alive, but gradually here the focus is shifting to clearing away and
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starting to rebuild, and workers back there are trying to salvage everything they possibly can. >> i guess in joplin these days, you take your victories where you can find them. ron allen on the ground for us in joplin, m.o. now to the weather threatening, as we said, a third of the country tonight, and untold millions of americans on this holiday weekend. chris warren is with us tonight. this seemingly does not stop. >> it does not seem that way at all, brian. in fact, we do have storms firing up right now, and it will continue into the overnight hours, but it will see improvement as we head into and later in the weekend. take a look at what we can expect for tonight. anywhere you see the red from the central gulf coast all the way up to the northeast including much of pennsylvania and new york, we have a great chance of seeing weather, hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes. the forecast for friday, the red, that's the greatest chance
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for seeing the damaging winds, the hail, and the chance for tornadoes. now, as we head into saturday and sunday, brian, wi will still have scattered storms around. however, the later we get into the weekend, the better chance we see for the eastern part of the country to get hotter and drier. >> you think of the metropolitan area that encompasses, it's absolutely unbelievable. chis warren, thanks as always. now we turn to a close call in the skies over colorado, when the pilot of a small plane became suddenly incapacitated and his front seat passenger, who just happened to be his wife, was forced to take over the controls. tonight, you'll hear the tapes of what it sounded like as this unfolded. our report from tom costello. >> reporter: the dramatic moments for a private pilot and his wife started with the pilot's unintelligible radio call to air traffic controllers.
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>> reporter: very quickly, controllers realized the pilot may be flying too high and suffering from a lack of oxygen. >> reporter: soon, his wife, who isn't a pilot, was on the radio. >> the couple was flying a cirrus sr-22 from san bernardino, california, to colorado springs. it was over southern colorado when trouble hit. the nearest airport, farmington, new mexico. that's when controllers asked a crew of a neighbor great lakes commercial flight to move frin a visual and help talk the pilot's wife down. >> nbc aviation consultant john cox. when you don't have enough oxygen, your speech is slurred,
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your mental ability is slurred, and finally, your physical capabilities are diminished. >> you need to get below 10,000 feet. you'll feel better. >> he has oxygen on. it's just not -- >> as the plane descended, the pilot insisted he was in control, but to the great lakes crew, the message seemed gargled. >> i can tell by how he's talking. he's conscious, but he can't think straight whatsoever. >> that's not true, i'm better. >> reporter: ten minutes later, the pilot and his wife landed safely in farmington, and today, they thank everybody involved. that plane is not pressurized, so above 10,000 feet, you need to wear an oxygen mask. the question toon, whether that mask was working. >> unbelievable story in the skies over colorado, tom, thanks. now we turn to politics and a name that keeps coming up -- sarah palin. mostly because she seems to want her name to keep coming up.
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this time, it's her plans for memorial weekend that are drawing special attention. andrea mitchell with us with more on this one. andrea, good evening. in that republican race, already wide open, the palin factor. aides tell me she's seriously considering a run for president. it's a clearer sign she just might do it. a bus tour starting this weekend with the rolling thunder rally in washington. stopping at iconic places like gettysburg and the liberty bell, all the way to new hampshire. new hampshire? >> i want to make sure that america is put back on the right track, and we only do that by defeating obama in 2012. i have that fire in my belly. >> and there's a biopic, a flattering film debuting in iowa. the first caucus state. a redesigned website for her political committee. click on it and a pop-up asks for a generous donation. a lavish new home in arizona. more convenient than wasilla. high-profile appearances at this week's "dancing with the stars"
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and the white house correspondents dinner. so is she or isn't she? >> i think that anyone who speculates they know what she's going to do doesn't know her or is deceptive. nobody knows what she's going to do. the only person who really knows is sarah palin. this lady marches very much to her own drummer. >> the downside, a new tell-all book from a former alaska aide. >> she couldn't handle criticism. the smallest criticism would send her into a tailspin, wasting entire days of state business. today's gallop poll shows her two points behind mitt romney in republicans. she's a polarizing figure, adored by republicans. solidly rejected by democrats and most independents. if she does run, it could spark michele bachmann. the minnesota congresswoman is under heavy pressure not to run to avoid stealing the limelight from more experienced candidates like former governor mitt romney and tim pawlenty.
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asked today about a possible palin challenge -- >> i can't control what other people are going to do or not do. i can only control my efforts. and i know who i am and why i'm running. >> one of palin's employers said the bus tour this weekend won't change her status with them, not unless she announces she's running. so far, that's the one thing she hasn't done. >> andrea mitchell in washington with the latest. andrea, thanks. president obama has reached the business end of his european trip. after dublin and london, he's in france for a two-day summit with a graoup of aide industrial nations. most of their time will be focused on the so-called arab spring sweeping through the middle east at varying speed. that would include yemen where the political violence has killed dozens more people just this week. today alone in the capital city, more than 40 people were killed in open street battles. and it's been a terrible day for americans in afghanistan. eight service members killed in
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kandahar province when a mine exploded on a field they were patrolling on ft. it's been the deadliest attack on american forces so far in 2011. a ninth american killed today in a chopper crash in the eastern part of the country. here at home, a big ruling on immigration today from the u.s. supreme court. some are already calling this a death penalty for some american businesses. our justice correspondent, pete williams, with us from the court tonight. pete, good evening. >> reporter: this is a big boost for states to think the federal government isn't doing enough to keep out illegal immigrants. the court upheld an arizona law that takes away a company's ability to do business if they hire illegal works. eight other states have imposed penalties for businesses that hire illegal workers. and this ruling today is a green light for more cities and states to do the same. that means stricter rules for
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businesses, and more aggressive checking of a job applicant's legal status. the court has yet to take up the more controversial law that say that police must detain anyone who might be here illegally and nothing in today's ruling indicates what the court might make of that. >> pete, thanks. when we come back here tonight, one of the world's most wanted men is in custody. and he gave up without a struggle, without even reaching for his weapon. and later, the people wasting no time getting to work rebuilding after the storm.
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we woke up today to learn they had caught one of the most wanted fugitives in the world. he orchestrated the slaughter of some 8,000 innocent people. finally under arrest tonight and facing a war crimes trial. nbc news veteran foreign correspondent martin fletcher spent years covering this story and has more tonight on the capture of ratko mladic. >> reporter: mladic called europe's biggest killer since adolf hitler. a fugitive for 16 years. today, in a black cap, looking frail, finally under arrest. it's all over for the 69-year-old former leader of the bosnian serb army. 1995, serbs are fighting muslims. don't worry, he tells the boy, we'll look after you. a lie. within hours, a massacre began. around 8,000 muslims murdered.
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at the same time, mladic led the four-year siege in sarsarajevo. the longest in modern history. 10,000 died from shells and snipers. justice indicted him for genocide and crimes against humanity but couldn't find him. at first, he hid in plain sight, attending weddings, soccer matches, visiting restaurants. and then a $20 million bounty on his head. he disappeared until today. >> today, we arrested ratko mladic. extradition process is on the way. >> at dawn, s.w.a.t. teams moved in on the house. inside, mladic with two pistols, but he gave up. without a fight. . it's a good day for international justice. as spokesperson of the state department, i used to say mladic's day would come. that was a decade ago. his day has come. >> reporter: what a relief for the families of his victims. he's a monster, she says, a
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criminal. security sources in serbia tell nbc news for years, mladic was protected by elements of serbia's secret services and the army. serb officials say in about a week, mladic will be turned over to the international court of justice in the hague in holland. then, he'll finally be put on trial where he faces life in prison. >> so many times we find these guys to find they're living in non-extraordinary circumstances. almost pathetic compared to how they used to be. why was he so hard to pin down? >> the official sources i have been speaking to said he was looked after, protected by elements within the secret services, elements within the army for years. that then petered away over time, and over the last couple years, he was looked over by about a dozen friends of the family, people from before. in the end, he ended up in a small house, one story, in a
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distant village looking after himself. finally surrendered without a fight. sick man, feeble. he's suffering. >> a bad man in plain site in a small village. sounds familiar. like something we just went through. martin fletcher, thanks. good to see you, as always. nbc news learns pakistan has agreed to let the cia send a forensic team into the compound where bin laden was killed by the navy s.e.a.l.s to search for any al qaeda materials that might have been left behind. items buried in the walls, buried in the ground. pakistan's cooperation here could be a sign tensions are easing a bit over the secret mission. up next tonight, new numbers and what they're telling us about love and marriage in america.
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because there's got to be more to life than the news we
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have been covering lately, look at this, the video that got our attention today comes from the san diego zoo via youtube. in the contest on who has the most energy, it looks like a tie early on between the otter and the 2-year-old. notice the fake, the direction change by the cagey toddler. not enough to outsmart the friendly otter. another milestone, we mentioned earlier, from the census tonight. married couples now make up less than half of all american households for the first time since they started making records. married couples represent 48% of households in 2010. compare that to 1950 when the number was 78% in the post war era. over the past decade, the number of households headed by a woman without a husband jumped 20%. and some brief news from these parts about my buddy here for all our fellow ipad users. it's about the nightly news app. it's a way to take this
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broadcast with you beyond tv, dvr and the web. we have just about crammed the entire news room in there. our entire global operation. you can see the whole broadcast each night or just clips, including some material we don't air. you can share direct to facebook and twitter and i'll join you there some day. there's photos from us in the field, and it even dispenses hot and cold water for your favorite beverage. anyway, all that other stuff it does, in fact, and we wanted to let you know it's making its debut, our new app is. when we come back here tonight, after a break, taking the first steps toward a comeback amid the chaos in joplin, missouri.
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new at 6:00, more fallout tonight from the police misconduct allegations in san francisco. and a dramatic rescue after a deadly crash involves a truck full of workers. and the over one oversy over one couple's decision to is nd finally tonight, walking around joplin, missouri, earlier this week, taking a look around that town where i wauns lived for a time, we kept asking folks we would meet, where do you begin? tonight, we have evidence that some folks there have indeed answered the question for themselves. they're just digging in and starting to start over. our report from ron mott. >> reporter: today at the "cut loose" salon, they cut 2 x 4s
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instead of hair. leveled by sunday's tornado, the building is already undergoing an extreme makeover. just four days after being sheered bald to the floor. building darren collins wasted little time getting started on his honey-do list, raising new walls at his wife's old shop. >> there's got to be a starting point somewhere. we can stand around and stare at it or roll up our sleeves and jump in and start trying to take care of what's going to have to be done. we're coming back here, this town is coming back. >> reporter: he's got the time and workers, he says, because it's been a slow construction market. >> it's going to be one board at a time. i like to think we have a little jump on things. it's going to get chaotic around here in another week or two, not that we're not in the middle of chaos right now. >> reporter: and with good weather, he hopes the doors reopen in 45 days. of course, rebuilding the other 2,000 or so homes and businesses thought to be destroyed here will take a lot longer. history tells us contractors will be in short ply right now,
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requiring an abundance of patience. eager to keep her clients happy, diana collins moved in with the competition. over an diana beaver's style salon. >> she called and i said our doors are open. >> one business looking out for another. >> everyone is so great about joplin. we're all helping each other. it's not about coming and helping us. we're all just sticking together and helping another. >> starting the challenge of coming back. an uprising of hope amid the despair. ron mott, nbc news, joplin, missouri. >> that's the spirit. we want to leave you tonight with a look at a memorial day tradition. a ceremony carried out every year since 1948 by the army's third infantry regimen called flags in. an american flag placed at the grave site of every one of the 220,000 of the fallen who are buried at arlington memorial
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cemetery in preparation for the memorial day. we ask wherever that day finds you, you take a moment, pause, and remember all of them. that's our broadcast for this thursday evening. thank you, as always, for being with us. i'm brian williams and we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. i'm just shocked. i can't believe it. >> right now at 6:00, a giant injury for giants faithful. the latest on buster posey's condition and how fans are reacting. also, investigators change their tune about the beating of giants' fan, bryan stow. and a key the decision today over the controversial unveils of the jonestown memorial. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for joining


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