tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 16, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
folks in germany, with the rain and the umbrellas. that's what we had going on in the city. exactly. and the food was spectacular. thanks for joining nbc bay area news at 5:00. "nbc nightly news" is next. danger zone. much of the country in the grip of record breaking heat and in some places, the driest conditions in more than a century. scandal sheet. yet more apologies from rupert murdoch, and new revelations about the evidence and scotland yard. carmageddon, day one. they predicted catastrophe, so how's it going? and what a kick. the remarkable american women just one game away from taking the remarkable american women just one game away from taking it all in the world cup. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. tonight, a good chunk of the country is feeling hot under the collar as an intense and what forecasters say will be a prolonged heat wave starts to take a dangerous hold across the middle of the country. by tomorrow at this time, temperatures will soar into the triple digits as far as north at minnesota. and no, this is not par for the cou course in july. this month, we have seen more than 900 temperatures meet or exceed all time records and of course, july is only half over. from atlanta, nbc's charles hadlock begins our coverage. >> reporter: texas is already in its worst drought in decades and this weekend, it's broiling in the heat. today is the 15th day in a row of temperatures at or above 100 degrees in dallas. now, that intense heat is moving north into states not accustomed to it. in minneapolis with the humidity it felt like 98. even nighttime brings no relief.
it's not just the highs, it's going to be the overnight lows as well, which will be near 80 or in the upper 70s across the middle of the country. and that can be devastating for people who don't have air conditioning. >> reporter: there's flow air conditioning at all in parts of chicago, where storms this week knocked out electricity. >> we worked round the clock to get power back to these customers. >> reporter: at a county fair in missouri, karen carpenter keeps her prized goats cool with fans and a little something extra. >> i put gatorade in their water to keep them from dehydrating. >> reporter: in tulsa where it was 106 on friday, chocolate was melting so fast, a store manager put up black curtains to block the sun. >> when the sun hits it, there's really nothing you can do. the temperature just goes up and up. >> reporter: for farmers and ranchers, the problem is is much more serious. cattle are being sold to market because pastures are bone dry. the drought stretches from new mexico to the east coast.
14% of the continental u.s. has endured the driest six months on record since 1895. from texas to georgia, farmers hoping for yellow corn are seeing brown stalks. >> we need some rain very desperately. >> reporter: but for most of the country, rain is not in the forecast, only more blistering heat. charles hadlock, nbc news, atlanta. let's bring in the weather channel's samantha moore now to tell us how hot it's going to get. >> good evening. yes, this extended periods of heat really start to take their toll and over 100 million people will be affected by this heat wave. big ridge of high pressure dominating much of the nation is a reason why and we'll see temperatures in the mid to upper 90s across much of the ohio valley. here are some of the exact numbers we're expecting to see tomorrow. on sunday, 104 in minneapolis. so those heat indices could
range from 110 to 115 after you factor in that humidity. this is how it looks the next few days. this extended period of heat. watch out for your elderly neighbors. if you suffer from m.s. or asthma, heart conditions, take it easy when you're outside. the folks in the great lakes and northeast will see some relief on monday as a storm system moves out of canada and brings in cooler air, but that cooling relief will will come at the expense of severe weather if you have beach plans across this region. on monday, heads up because we could see trees down due to strong, gusty winds, that could many power outages. we'll be watching that for you. >> thank you. more explosive revelations today in the phone hacking scandal that is threatening rue putter -- rupert murdoch's media empire. the controversy has drawn in the british government and police as well as murdoch's news corporation. >> reporter: scotland yard admits it kept 11,000 pages of evidence containing names of
4,000 alleged victims of the phone hacking scandal and did almost nothing. tonight, hugh grant is suing scotland yard over the force's failure to tell him he was a victim. during those same years, murdoch's executives frequently denied wrongdoing. now it's apologies that are repeated. tomorrow in an ad in british newspapers, he promises tough action to prevent more phone hacking. some wonder if it's too late. the problem is not that this is the wrong thing to do, he didn't do it a week ago. >> reporter: for the owner of fox television and the "new york post," each new drama risks turning a crisis into a catastrophe. the resignation of two cheever executives including les hinton who ran the "wall street journal" has not stopped speculation that murdoch's own son james could be a casualty of the scandal. >> by getting rid of the publisher of "the wall street journal," that was to keep it from spreading to the united states. >> reporter: in the u.k., where
the scandal started with allegations of journalists listening to voicemails, the prime minister is under fire for inviting murdoch and his executives to dinners and weekends away. david cameron even hired a former editor of "the news of the world," while the police hired a former deputy editor. both have been arrested as politicians of all parties now openly attack murdoch. a man they once feared. >> is it over? perhaps for him. it's certainly over in terms of the great power and command that he has had in britain over the political class. >> reporter: a lawyer for the family of a murdered teenage girl whose phone was hacked says when murdoch met them this week, he had his head in his hands. perhaps suggesting how sorry he is and how bad it's become. and lester, tonight, the sunday "telegraph" newspaper is reporting that sir paul mccartney and soccer star david beckham believe they may have been phone hacking victims.
add to that reports that the actor jude law thinks he was targeted in the united states. >> thank you. time is running out for president obama and congressional republicans to reach a deal on the nation's debt limit. with just 17 days until the default deadline. mike viqueira joins us now from the white house with more. mike? >> reporter: good evening, lester, there was little sign of progress today and the breakthrough seems as far away as it did earlier in the week. if there is no breakthrough and it does come to a default, the government is going to have to make some tough choices about who gets paid and who does not. for visitors outside the u.s. capitol today, frustration with the gridlock that now threatens the global economy. >> it's politics. it's always going to be politics. one side is always going to pick on the other side. >> i think it's a whole lot of uncertainty into the economic market and that's always bad. >> reporter: in salt lake city at a meeting of the nation's governors, alarm from a top
republican over the lack of progress in washington. >> hopefully, we can get an agreement because it would be bad for the country, the economy bad for each one of the states accordingly. >> reporter: as the debt standoff continues, president obama renewed his call for higher taxes on wealthier americans to be part of any deal. >> the truth is, we can't solve our deficit without cutting spending, but you also can't solve it without asking wealthy americans to pay their share. >> reporter: in response, republicans rejected any taxes. >> the solution to a spending crisis is not tax increases, yet washington has consistently demonstrated it cannot control its urge to spend. >> reporter: with no agreement in sighted and default just 17 days away, the treasury is planning for potential catastrophe. the government borrows 41 cents for every dollar it spends. tough calls will have to be made. government funding for basic programs like military active duty pay, veterans affairs,
federal salaries and benefits, even the fbi and the federal courts all could be cut off in august if no agreement is reached. leaders on both sides agree on the urgent need to act, but can't agree on what to do. many feel it's time to find a common ground. >> just work together for once and try to solve this problem instead of just blame each other. >> reporter: while those closed door negotiations drag on, gop leaders in congress will put measures on the house and senate floor towards ratifying a budget -- a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. it's not likely to pass and even if it did, even if it were ratified, it would be far too late to do anything to avert a default. >> mike, the senate leaders have been working on their own fallback plan for a deal. what's the status? >> reporter: it's still viable and really shaping up to be the last best hope to avoid a default. what it would do is allow the president to raise the debt
ceiling three times between now and election day an congress would be forced to consider a series of cuts along with it. the problem in the house of representatives, many freshman, many tea party-backed republicans are not going along with this deal and as it stands right now, there are not the votes to pass it. >> thank you. president obama met in the white house today with the dalai lama. the white house said the president emphasized the importance of protecting human rights in tibet, but restated u.s. policy that it does not support tibet's independence from china. for months now, people in los angeles have been getting ready for life without part of the i-405. one of the country's busiest freeways. so far, it appears the warnings have worked. traffic diverted appears to be flowing smoothly after the 405 was closed down for two days of road work. we have the latest on what they've been calling carmageddon. >> reporter: the good news is that there are no major problems to report, but as you can tell
from the noise behind me, there's still a day and a half left and things could change. this was the state of carmageddon. with construction crews providing the only theatrics today on the freeway infamous for being one of the country's traffic nightmares, crews came in at midnight, right after the last car scrambled to get out of the way. a ten-mile stretch of the 405 is shut down for 53 hours this weekend so the freeway can be widened, hopefully easing congestion on a road that on average carries 18,000 vehicles an hour. but on this first day at least, it wasn't the carmageddon that so many had feared. one news report even called it carmaheaven. drivers were warned about the project for months. >> alternate routes -- >> reporter: on late night
television -- >> just pull over and crawl down the embankment. >> it's carmageddon weekend -- >> reporter: and the freeways themselves. >> this would be like closing the brooklyn bridge in manhattan. >> reporter: bostonians remember the epic traffic jams from the 15-year big dig fiasco. people in san francisco were frustrated when the bay bridge was closed for almost a week two years ago. with those cautionary tales -- some in southern california took to the skies today. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, aboard our historical jet blue flight 405. a soldout special on jetblue, flight 405 costs $4 and included cake. >> let's get going. >> reporter: a group of bicyclists said they could top that. >> airplane pilot has no chance. he's not going to know what hit him. >> reporter: turns out, they did beat the plane. but for all the new attention on southern california's traffic woes, some say drivers here won't get more mileage after carmageddon.
>> you might see a decrease in travel time initially, but in the long-term, i think you'll be right back to the levels of congestion that we currently have. >> reporter: and factor in the $1 billion price tag plus lost revenues from businesses in the area this weekend. lester? >> thank you. when we come back, our conversation with jill biden, the vice president's wife teaming up with the first lady to make a difference for military families. later, the release of casey anthony and serious concerns about her safety. and catching the fever. american women inspiring a new generation to get in the game.
tonight, jill biden leading a u.s. delegation to germany to cheer on the u.s. women's soccer team in their world cup championship match tomorrow. back at home, dr. biden has spent much of this year rallying on behalf of a more personal cause. the families of u.s. military members who pay their own price in service to the country. >> come on! >> nothing can rain on jill biden's mission. outings like this to a chicago cubs game with military families help her spread the word about their sacrifices. >> some of those families have soldiers who have been deployed three, four, five times.
so, they've been through this a lot, but you can see how strong and resilient they are, and they really make america proud. >> each of us can show our appreciation for everything these families do. >> she and michelle obama are leading a white house effort called joining forces, which promotes acts of kindness to military families. by individuals, non-profit and companies. in this case, major league baseball and the uso. the needs of national guard families in particular, dr. biden says, are often not recognized. >> people don't know that you have someone deployed and here you are trying to hold the family together. take care of everything for the kids. take them to games, ballet, whatever and you're doing it all by yourself. >> mother of three, maggie's husband is on his third overseas deployment. how do you hold it together? >> busy, just don't focus on the separation. >> dr. biden's passion for military families comes in part
from her son's service as a delaware national guardsman. back in her white house office, she recalled his deployment to iraq. >> well, it was really tough and especially, you know, when he left at the ceremony. a general's wife slipped a prayer into my hand. it meant so much to me. i did say that prayer every day. >> an act she now pays forwards. >> you know what else i'd love to give you is a prayer i give to moms. i know. you have those moments -- >> she says the response to joining forces has been overwhelming. >> i think americans really want to support the military and now, they're finding ways of how to do it. >> there was recently the youtube videos of soldiers describing having to pay an enormous amount of money for extra baggage. now, the airlines changed the rules, but there was such outrage from ordinary americans about that. does that say something about
how we feel protectively about these folks? >> absolutely. i think that is one of the changes you're seeing. that was unfortunate, but the airlines turned it around and the greatest thing was that there was a public outcry. i think people are listening and saying, you know, we can do better, and we can do more for our soldier and their families. >> is this personally rewarding for you and the first lady? >> absolutely. absolutely. as americans. you know, i'm a military mom. i live this. it is very rewarding. it's one of the greatest parts of my job. >> you can find more of my interview with dr. biden as well as information on ways you can support military families on our website, nightly.msnbc.com. up next, casey anthony just hours away from release. so where does she go from here?
after nearly three years behind bars, casey anthony is about to go free. two weeks after being found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, caylee. kristen dahlgren joins us from outside the orange county jail in orlando. >> reporter: good evening. casey anthony is spending her last full day in jail, but we still don't know exactly when and how she'll be released. we know it will happen sometime after midnight. as you can see, security is very tight for the 25-year-old who's been called the most hated woman in america after being acquitted
in death of her 2-year-old daughter. her attorneys say she's gotten multiple death threats. protesters have gathered here outside the jail. it's likely she'll be released out a back door under the cover of darkness tonight. the jail has taken the rare step of allowing a pool of three journalists to witness her release. our nbc camera and reporter and still photographer will document her release, but won't be able to tell us anything until she was she is safely out of the jail complex. as for where she'll go, that is still unclear. she's not expected to stay in this area, but after a trial that captivated a nation, it's unlikely there are many places she can go where she won't be recognized. >> thank you. more movie magic for "harry potter," the eighth and final film shattered the previous record for first day ticket sales. "the deathly hallows part 2" brought in more than $92
it has been 12 years since the u.s. women's soccer team transfixed the nation on the way to winning the world cup. now, the current team is on the verge of taking the title. they'll face japan in tomorrow's championship match and just like last time, they're inspiring a new generation of young talent.
here's nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: around the world, soccer practice is a saturday morning ritual, but for these 21 american women, today's workout in frankfurt, germany, is one to treasure. the final run through before playing japan for the world cup. >> the only thing we want is to win a tournament. >> reporter: the way they won like the victory against france is all the talk of dynamo united, a high school girl's team from mississippi on tour here in germany, playing a little four on four on the banks of the river. >> abby wambach heads goals so amazing. last second. we would die to do that. we try so hard. >> whoa! >> reporter: in new york central park, soccer stars are learning the names of the players. just like she did with the squad of 1999. >> so exciting to have a player come and say they want to be just like one of them. >> reporter: the difference now, it's not just the girls. >> even though they're girls, we like to watch soccer.
>> reporter: true in new york and on this field at the u.s. army garrison. who's going to watch? these 8 and 9-year-olds all have a parent who has done multiple tours in iraq or afghanistan. so guess what they like best about the women's team? >> they don't give up. >> reporter: it's their hallmark says espn analyst judy fuady, a member of the 1999 team. >> to show courage and the will to persevere when everything is against you will be their legacy if they can win this game on sunday. >> reporter: but the americans have already achieved one big victory. they're regarded not just as world class women's players, but world class soccer players, period. >> the women are now being appreciated for their skill as athletes. >> reporter: skills they hope will bring home the cup. nbc news, frankfurt.