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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  April 28, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>>. >> on this saturday night -- a daring escape. an international drama between the u.s. and china. >> the fugitive. a dramatic end at an all-out manhunt at an elaborate bunker in the woods. spy mystery. a brillnt code cracker foundstu bag in his bathtub. a who done it baffling police. 20 years later, rodney king on the beating, the acquittal and the riots that set l.a. ablaze. and to the dogs. a new breed looking to collar a and to the dogs. a new breed looking to collar a whole new audience. captions paid for by nbc-universal television .
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good eveningeveryone. from high above the stunning campus of pepperdine university where i delivered the commencement address earlier today for the class of 2012. we'll share moments of that later in the broadcast. but we want to start with an intriguing story of one brave's man who cold, bold move could complicate relations between two world powers. it's playing out in china where in the middle of the night a leading human rights activist outsmarted china's elaborate security apparatus. escaped from house arrest and may now be at the u.s. embassy in beijing. what makes it all the more remarkable is that chen is blind. this comes just days before secretary of state hillary clinton travels to china and could complicate relations between the countries at an especially sensitive time. we get the story tonight from nbc's ian williams. >> more yefor year he's been a
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of defiance. the 40-year-old self-trained lawyer has been blind since childhood. he was jailed and put under house arrest with his family. he documented their confinement his every movement was mon tord, visitors prevented from meeting him. yet he was able to secretly plot his escape. friends say he evaded china's oppressive security apparatus by pretending for weeks to be sick, hoping his jailers would lower their guard. and they did. though blind he escaped over a wall. friends drove him from his village to beijing and to what one describes as the only safe place -- the u.s. embassy. though this has not been confirmed by either washington or beijing. >> our reliable source shared
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that he is in u.s. diplomatic protection. >> reporter: there's no sign of extra security at the u.s. embassy in beijing. if he is there, it comes at an awkward time for the u.s., with secretary of state hillary clinton due to arrive next week. >> when we see reports of lawyers, artists or others who are detained or disappeared, the united states speaks out both publicly and privately. >> reporter: there's a huge scandal involving the purging of a rising political star, amid accusations of krupg and murder. chen's dash for freedom is another blow for them. ian williams, nbc news, bangkok. back to this country now and a dramatic end tonight for an all-out man hunt for a fugitive
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hiding out in the mountains east of seattle. a man is suspected of killing his family, a trail that led them to an elaborate underground bunker in the woods. we get the report now from gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: this is the underground bunker where police say a well trained survivalist was holed up, heavily armed with rifles, bullet proof vests, gas masks and a generator. investigators say peter keller spent eight years building and stockpiling the elaborate two-story structure, preparing for the end of the world. >> you couldn't even make this up. the challenges prevented by this were extraordinary. police suspect keller shot and killed his wife and 18-year-old daughter as they slept and setting their nearby home on fire last sunday. police have not revealed a motive for their killings. >> i can't stop being angry, you know? they were amazing people. >> photographers found in el
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keller's home after the fires led authorities to the mountains outside of seattle. s.w.a.t. teams used explosives this morning to blow the lid off the bunker. inside they found the body, believed to be keller, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. >> appears to have been dead for some time. >> reporter: court documents revealed that he withdrew thousands of dollars from the bank and told co-workers he might not return. >> it turns out he had a whole other side to him. we can't make any sense out of it. >> reporter: now officers are searching the bunker for explosives and booby trap, but they're relieved that what was expected to be a much longer standoff is over. gabe gut trez, nbc news, los angeles. there's late word tonight of deadly storm damage in downtown st. louis. at least one person has been killed and 17 more hurt.
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some of them critically and rushed to hospitals after a tent collapsed on top of them. local fire officials say at least 100 people were treated at the scene for various injuries. it happened outside a bar near busch stadium. high winds took down the tent during a severe storm. to presidential politics now and a war of words that has erupted between the white house and republicans as we approach the anniversary of the death of osama bin laden. we're live in washington with details. >> by any measure, it was a success. >> now we can report that osama bin laden is dead. >> one year ago wednesday, the daring raid deep into pakistan when navy s.e.a.l.s.s shot and killed bin laden. but now republicans are accusing the white house of spiking the football for political gain. >> the vice president at a rally on saturday. >> if you're looking for a bumper sticker on how obama
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handled what we inherited. it's pretty simple. osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. >> the president was interviewed by nbc news in the white house situation room where the assault was monitored and where the iconic photo was taken the night of the raid. and late in the week, the obama campaign released a web ad featuring former president bill clinton. >> president is the decider in chief. >> and hit mitt romney for the 2007 comment suggesting the hunt for bin laden wasn't worth it and praises obama for ordering the raid. >> he had to decide and that's what you hire a president to do. you hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it. >> reporter: the campaign ad touched a nerve with some republicans. mr. obama's 20080 opponent, john mccain lashed out, writing president obama is shamelessly turning the one decision he got right into a pathetic political act of self-congratulations. and while mitt romney has praised the killing of bin
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laden, a spokeswoman said it's now sad to see the obama campaign to use the one thing that united us as a country to divide us and to turn focus away from his failure of an administrati administration. >> i think the way that we've handled it is -- represents exactly the balance you need to strike. >> another political controversy over credit taking when top romney aid told a washington forum that the only reason general motors and chrysler continue to exist is because president obama took mitt romney advice and led them into a structured bankruptcy. he said if not for mitt romney, they would not be vital and back in business today. lester? >> thanks. in a program note, robert gibbs and romney campaign senior strategist ed gillespie are
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among david gregory's guests tomorrow morn on "meet the press" here on nbc. now to the economy, which we learned this week grew at a sluggish rate in the first three months of the volquez. volquez volquez vol. edinson volquez volquez. edinson volquez volquez. allalal allal den den den den ort oech tech tech tech tech
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we're back in southern california where earlier this morning a small earthquake rattled homes and caused bhi building to sway in downtown los angeles. it struck just after 8:00 a.m. local time. the especially center in crestline about 60 miles east of l.a. there are no reports of injuries or damage. 20 years ago tomorrow, it was a stunning trial verdict that rocked los angeles. the acquittal of four police
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officers who were criminally charged in the infamous rodney king beating. parts of l.a. were set ablaze. and now on the anniversary of the riots, some of the key players are speaking out about then and now. >> reporter: all it took was two little words -- >> not guilty. >> that would light the fuse that would erupt a city into flames. and knocking an already embat e embattled police department back on its heels. bob green, now an lapd commander in south central l.a. remembers that afternoon. >> there was a lot of concern. things were very tense in the community. >> reporter: dr. cecil murray was a south central pastor at the time. >> when i went outside the church, an inferno. it was hell. >> reporter: the match was struck more than a year earl when this amateur video emerged of police beating rodney king
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after a dangerous high-speed car chase. >> how dangerous was it? >> i was screaming someone please come out, screaming as loud as i could so someone could hear me before i die. >> reporter: the video brought long standing complaints of lapd abuses against the black community to a head. >> they would brutalize undeserved segments of the city. >> reporter: for officers were eventually charged with assaulting king and put on trial. >> very happy. >> reporter: news of their acquittal hit south central l.a. like a lightning bolt. the epicenter -- the intersection of florence and r normandie where a shell-shocked city would witness another beating, a truck driver by an angry mob. whose idea was it to go public and say something? >> i wanted to say something, you know?
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but i didn't. can we all get along? >> these five simple words guided the last 20 years as l.a. res inned millions of dollars in south central, applying the lessons of 1992. >> you can't grow and be a great city if you're leaving entire communities behind. >> reporter: the lapd has repaired much of its image, too, adding officers, cutting crime, and creating partnerships with the community. >> the policemenalty has radically changed, positively changed. >> reporter: 20 years later, rodney king still struggles with alcohol and occasional run-ins with the law. but remains a symbol of police brutality. are you comfortable with that role and how people perceive you? >> this is the healing part for me and i accept that role fully. >> in a later trial, rodney king was awarded almost $4 million a civil suit against the city of
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los angeles. he recently wrote a book called "the riot within." coming up, a pretty good excuse for anchoring in paradise.
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what i've come to low is that in life, it's not only the questions we ask but rather our ability to hear the answers that truly enriches our understanding. never, ever stop learning.
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you'll graduate here today, but in life, class is never really dismissed. commencement season has begun and that was one of the thoughts i shared with the graduating class of pepperdine university at this morning's commencement. i was also privileged to receive an honorary doctorate degree with my son stephan handling the inve investiture duties. tonight, rescuers in southern california are trying to help a wayward dolphin find its way back to the ocean. it's stranded in orange county. earlier it swam about 200 yards into open water but turned around and swam back into the a lagoon after encountering two other dolphins. up here, must-see tv for a new captive audience.
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fair to say, it was only a matter of time before someone thought about hitting the tv pause button in a whole new way. yes, a cable channel for dogs is finally here. the first city is san diego with hopes of expansion. miguel almiguer has more tonight. >> reporter: this is the newest edition of must-see tv.
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it's called dog tv. >> ehe's obsessed with dog tv. >> reporter: mary says he was hooked at first sight. puppy love. >> his eyes almost bulge out of his head. >> created to keep your pooch entertained, dog claims their programming packages stimulate, relax and can even lull fido to sleep. for now in san diego, the test market, dog tv is free. but the company plans to charge $4.99 if the service is rolled out nationwide to an estimated 46 million households with dogs. when it comes to tv, dogs and their owners don't always see eye to eye. jake sees something different than you and i do on the tube. >> dogs would see mostly flic r flickering. now with digital tv, dogs can see tv much like we see tv.
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>> shot from a dog's perspective, for now, some of the biggest fans of dog tv may be people. at this san diego shelter and at a doggy daycare, dog tv didn't seem to have some bite. >> some dogs don't care about it. >> reporter: but for michael and renee peters, one of their dogs has sfalfallen in love. >> she'll sit there on the couch all day. >> seems abby has become a couch potato due to dog tv. a new breed of television that could become a dog's new best friend. >> got to love it. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from pepperdine university from california. have a good night, everybody.
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