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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  June 28, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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tuesday, and wednesday and thursday, cooling you off. >> all right, thanks a lot. "nbc nightly news" is next. >> have a good night. on this saturday night, facing justice. the first suspect charged in the benghazi attacks that killed four americans arrives on u.s. soil and appears in court. extreme weather. parts of this country are reeling from a round of tornados, thunderstorms and massive flooding and it's not over yet. scathing report. a new review on the department of veterans affairs reveals systemic failures. what went wrong and how the obama administration plans to restore veteran's faith in the v.a. fever pitch. the stakes are higher than ever in what has become a nail biter of a world cup. we'll take you live to rio, where team usa is waiting for its moment on the field.
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from nbc news world headquarters in new york this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. one of those suspected at being behind the murderous september 11th, 2012, terror attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, was whisked into this country early this morning on board a helicopter to face american justice. ahmed abu khatallah was captured in libya two weeks ago, by u.s. special forces, and was formally arraigned late today in a washington courthouse. he is charged with providing support for the attack that left ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans dead and ignited a political firestorm here at home over how the obama white house responded and first characterized the attack. our justice correspondent pete williams has late developments for us. pete, good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening. it was a brief court hearing lasting about ten minutes, but a very significant one.
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the first suspect arrested in the benghazi attacks, making a highly unusual weekend appearance before a federal judge here in washington. under heightened security, he was brought early this morning to the federal courthouse at the foot of capitol hill. ending a 5,000 mile journey that lasted nearly two weeks. ahmed abu khatallah, around 43 years old, now faces a charge of providing material support to terrorists, contained in a grand jury indictment unsealed today. he appeared in court wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and said only a few words listening to a translator with headphones. a public defender assigned to represent him pleaded entered his plea of not guilty. prosecutors say he played a role in the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya nearly two years ago, when militants killed a u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. for more than a year, members of congress demanded to know why no one had been arrested, and questioned hillary clinton, then
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secretary of state, about why the attack happened and the nature of security there. khatallah was snatched from a seaside villa outside benghazi on june 15th in a daring raid by u.s. special forces and fbi agents. they took him to a waiting u.s. navy warship in the mediterranean, where a team began what became nearly two weeks of interrogation. u.s. o tishls say he has provided valuable information. the obama administration insisted on bringing him to the u.s. to stand trial in a regular federal court, rejecting calls from republicans in congress to send him instead to guantanamo bay for more questioning. the investigation got off to a slow start when an fbi team sent to libya after the attack was unable to get to benghazi for several weeks because of security concerns. a former justice department official says that complicates the job for prosecutors. >> their government inability to paint a complete and accurate picture of exactly what happened is certainly harmed by not being able to get there quickly thereafter, take pictures, walk the distances, get a sense for
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the whole area. >> reporter: the government today disclosed very little about the case against him. prosecutors apparently don't want to disclose the names of potential witnesses at this early stage. he'll be back again on wednesday for another hearing. lester? >> pete williams, tonight. pete, thank you. late word tonight that president obama will name a new v.a. secretary as early as monday to replace eric shinseki who stepped down last month, following reports of chronic delays for medical treatment and veterans dying while on the waiting lists. tonight a scathing new report on the v.a. cites significant and chronic system failures. nbc's kristen welker has more. >> reporter: the new white house report says the v.a. is plagued by a corrosive culture. deputy chief of staff rob nabors and acting v.a. secretary sloan gibson told the president on friday, the v.a. needs to be
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restructured and reformed. whistle blower dr. sam foote was the first to reveal widespread misconduct. >> i was somewhat shocked in how dead-on accurate it was. clearly mr. nabors and acting director sloan gibson did not pull any punches on this. >> reporter: the reports' key finding, the v.a.'s goal of scheduling patients for treatment within 14 days is arbitrary, ill-defined and misunderstood. and that may have incentivized inappropriate actions by va personnel to hide the treatment delays. the report also says the va has technology that's outdated and a shortage of doctors and other health care professionals. tom tarantino of the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america says the president needs to do a better job of coordinating with veterans. >> this report didn't need to be written, because we could have told the president all of this stuff going back years. and so it's a shame that he's not chosen to use this resource that he has available to him. >> reporter: the report proposes a number of reforms, including increasing transparency and overhauling the entire structure.
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an agenda the new v.a. secretary will be expected to implement quickly. what will the president be looking for in the new chief? >> someone who is a strong manager, someone who has experience in private industry in working on these kinds of issues, but also someone who has military experience, probably serving in the military with distinction. someone who veterans can relate to and look up to. >> reporter: and the president is looking for an incredibly strong manager to fix the problems at the v.a. remember, this is the federal government's second largest agency, treating almost a quarter of a million people every single day at some 1,700 facilities nationwide. and again, the president could name his choice within 48 hours. lester? >> kristen, thanks. parts of this nation are in the midst of extreme weather, and it's far from over. tonight more than 19 million americans are at risk across the central u.s. round one brought damaging tornados, hail and severe flooding.
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the weather channel's chris warren has what to expect from round two. >> in northwest kansas late friday. damaging winds kicked up huge amounts of dust and debris, lowering visibility on roads before covering them with hail. a tornado also touched down in colfax, wisconsin, that afternoon, cutting a path down main street, knocking down trees and crashing through this gas station. emergency workers today cleaning up and repairing power lines. >> oh, my god. >> june has been a month of weather extremes, from tornadoes in the plains to a severe drought in the west. and now, more flooding expected in the upper midwest. daniel from the national weather service has been monitoring the weather in iowa and nebraska. >> in my 13 years, this is the worst season i've seen in terms of both severe weather and heavy rains. >> reporter: flood warnings and watches have been issued in states from montana to illinois. the midwest caught a break yesterday, when rainstorms moved south to parts of louisiana.
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as much as three to five inches of rain caused serious flash floods, stalling cars and shutting down sections of highways there. but the severe weather will return to the already waterlogged midwest this weekend. in st. paul, minnesota, the mississippi river crested at over 20 feet friday. any additional rain could trigger flash flooding and add to existing river overflow. here in iowa, and across the river in nebraska, this flooding is coming unusually late in the season. even though it's a nice day right now, that is going to change, and it's going to change in a big way, in the form of severe weather for the rest of today and tonight that threat exists from texas all of the way up to canada. the area shrinks a little bit on sunday, tomorrow. however, the storms could be more intense and still millions of people at risk, and lester, that threat tomorrow once again does include tornados. >> all right. chris warren for the weather channel. thank you. overseas now, government
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forces in iraq today launched an assault against isis militants holding the city of tikrit, while clashes south of baghdad reportedly killed dozens on both sides. all this on the anniversary of another war triggered by an assassination in sarajevo 100 years ago today, world war i. that war reshaped the world, especially the middle east. richard engel is in baghdad tonight. richard? >> reporter: good evening, lester. the fighting is especially heavy in tikrit, and for the first time, the government is reportedly making progress. lester, a lot of people see what's happening right now in this region as fundamentally complicated, and it is. but to understand it, you need to understand something about world war i. many of the nations in the middle east are creations of world war i. their borders drawn by europeans during world war i, and they were drawn badly. and we're seeing the consequences of that in the conflicts right now.
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the chaos in iraq. terrorists taking over parts of the country. baghdad in lockdown. the country in danger of splitting apart as a religious war spreads like a plague. in many ways it all traces directly back to the shot heard around the world, the murder of arch duke ferdinand that triggered world war i, 100 years ago today. this is the world war i cemetery in baghdad. unfortunately, it's overgrown. few people come here these days. when the war broke out, the middle east was run from istanbul, by the sultan of the ottoman empire. they made one of the worst decisions in their history, they aligned themselves with germany, they picked the losing side. when germany lost, the ottoman empire became the victor's spoils, carved up by britain and
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france, who drew new borders with little regard for old ethnic and religious divisions. what is now iraq, was created from three ottoman provinces, one shiite, one sunni, one kurdish. the same regions that are now breaking apart. what is now syria is just a shadow of what it was under the ottoman empire, it was carved up too. the sunni militant group isis is now fighting to recombine those areas under its command. instability that has its roots in another war a century ago. the era these british soldiers fought and died to create is crumbling, like their tombstones here in baghdad. the middle east is violently reverting to what it was before. the map europeans drew for the middle east 100 years ago, is fading, and a much older system of ethnic and religious divisions is returning. lester?
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>> richard engle in baghdad tonight, richard, thanks. >> back in this country, while the eyes of much of the political world are locked on hillary clinton these days, waiting for her to decide whether to make a run for president in 2016, others are focused on the man who will likely help frame her decision, that would, of course, be her husband, or as some might call him adviser in chief, former president bill clinton. nbc's david gregory spoke with him exclusively about his role and what it means going forward. >> you're just a bit player as to whether secretary clinton runs? >> that's exactly what i am. i'm a foot soldier in an army. i will do what i'm instructed to do. no, look. you know, it's funny. you reach our age, you look at it differently. we've had wonderful lives. we've been incredibly blessed, and we're looking forward to being grandparents. and i'm for it. but it's -- it has to be her
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decision. and i agree with what she said. the most important thing is not do you want the job or can you win? the most important thing is, why do you want the job and what do you propose to do if you get it. and how are you going to communicate that to the american people? that's the only thing that really matters. >> david joins us now from washington. david, president clinton was being quite humble there. did you get the sense he is more involved in this decision making than he wants to let on? >> absolutely. he is just a political animal, it's the life blood for him still. politics and policy, he combines this thing. and this week about the clinton's wealth and her response to it has seemed very much like a campaign week and it's not really. of course, she's not even a candidate. she seemed rustier on the stump than he was this week. >> we will see you tomorrow. we want to let folks know you can watch more of david
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gregory's exclusive interview with bill clinton tomorrow morning on "meet the press." when "nbc nightly news" continues on it saturday, how tips are helping authorities identify and stop people on the verge of violence before it's too late.
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we're back now with a warning signs of violent behavior often seen, sometimes reported, but not often taken seriously enough like the case of elliott rodgers, the troubled young man who went
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on a deadly rampage last month, near the university of california, santa barbara. or three years ago, a violent attack in tucson. nbc's mike taibbi has more on how authorities there are relying on a new combination of tools to identify people who may be near the breaking point. >> reporter: a troubled woman whose identity we've obscured is gently escorted from her home, no handcuffs. a neighbor said the woman had stopped taking her meds and she's been getting worse. tossing away all her belongings, sitting outside naked and issuing threats, which the snash neighbor said he didn't take all that seriously. but in tucson, the pima county sheriff's mhst department, mental health support team take every threat seriously and when detectives like maria stengall hears that someone is on the verge of violence. >> it's truly a job right now for her not to commit suicide. >> they move. and now armed with everything known about a subject -- >> paranoid and delusional when not on her meds. >> reporter: a new arizona law
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says the individual can be brought in voluntarily to a mental health crisis response center without a warrant or court order or visible evidence of danger. >> are we preventing crime? i think we are. >> reporter: if they are, it's also because they roll with more information than many of their counterparts elsewhere. like the deputies in santa barbara who didn't know about elliott roger's legal gun purchases and had not seen his alarming gun postings weeks before his rampage. they missed his true murderous intentions. here they respond to hundreds of mental health calls every month. the goal, not arrest, but involuntary mental health first aid. to get a troubled individual past the potential explosion point and into treatment. >> we do know that we've intervened where potentially there could be violent acts perpetrated. >> violent acts like the guns and explosives ambush a man threatened against the police. this time the father had gotten a court order, the guns never went off, the son remains in
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outpatient treatment. >> we thought it would be good if we could do this collaboratively >> reporter: the new law, plus unprecedented data sharing by every law enforcement and mental health stakeholder in pima county, aims to make the next jared loughner far less likely to slip through the cracks. >> right now, today, yes, absolutely, there would have been intervention. >> reporter: no guarantee against a later rampage by different means. but preventing any explosion -- >> we just want to save lives. >> -- is a win. mike taibbi, nbc news, tucson. coming up here tonight, if if you thought the world cup was already a nail biter, welcome to the knockout phase.
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quite a drama today in
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brazil. the entire country breathed a collective sigh of relief after the home team won on its home turf. this knockout round is far from over, and the stakes are about to get even higher. nbc's bill neeley spoke to team usa today and has our report tonight from sao paolo. >> reporter: brazil is celebrating tonight. the host nation winning the first knockout game in a penalty shootout. sheer joy and utter relief. watching the game, u.s. coach jurgen klinsmann who has preparing his team for their sudden death game. few believe they'd be here. 23 men who defied the odds, matched some of the best in the world and reached the knockout stage in the biggest sports event on the planet. now the coach is bringing them back down to earth. >> all of the teams so far, nobody can claim they've reached 100% yet. so this is a very important
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message to the players, is that now -- now prove it, our next step is beat belgium. is it doable? absolutely. >> we want this badly. >> the players say they got the message. >> we have all the confidence in the world that we can go out there on tuesday ask beat them. >> and they know it is do or die. >> you win, you move on, you lose, you go home. we want more. there's a feeling of -- there's no feeling of satisfaction at the moment. >> the team now has two broken noses from two of the games, jermaine jones following clint dempsey. both will play tuesday, neither will wear a mask. the u.s. will play a belgian team who many see as one of the dark horses of this world cup. they're a gifted team. they won their group, but they haven't been at their best. these players have every chance of keeping their dream alive. >> can we do it? yes, we can. >> reporter: and klinsmann should know. he won a world cup with germany. now he's just trying to keep his players' feet firmly on the ground.
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bill neeley, nbc news, sao paolo. up next, the shared memories from combat and the bond they forged, still unbroken after so many years.
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finally tonight, the unbreakable bond between soldiers, their vivid memories of shared experience in combat unite them for life as a band of brothers. soldiers like d-day ed gorman whose emotional story we first
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brought you last month. jack jacobs caught up with gorman and his friends at their annual reunion. >> this is our -- >> there are some bonds that run deep. >> this is my team. >> friendships forged at one of the most pivotal moments in history that have withstood the test of time. >> there's an invisible line that goes through the body of each man who's ever served in the military that only we can understand. >> we first introduced you to ed gorman last month, an army radio operator who took part in the normandy invasion and still bears the emotional scars today. >> when they talk about a pool of red, you see a whole hundred yards of shore line -- >> it's okay, you're talking to an old soldier too, you know. >> you know, in red. >> the horrors of war are still etched in the hearts and minds of all the remaining members of gorman's world war ii unit.
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>> they were all out there together. >> the 294th jasko who landed on omaha beach on d-day. >> there is nothing more bonding than for those that have been in combat together. you must realize we were facing death. >> veterans have been getting together annually since 1986. >> we got shot at. >> arthur tower, bob rhode and maurice sol mediaone and ed gorman have shared both laughter and tears. >> we have a lot of good memories and a lot of good friendships.>> we have a lot of memories and a lot of good friendshiptears. >> we have a lot of good memories and a lot of good friendships. it's too bad that there aren't more of us to be here at this time. >> we feel that we are a band of brothers, and we do our best to support each other. we have from the very beginning. >> a band of brothers still by each other's side, 70 years
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later. colonel jack jacobs, nbc news, whippany, new jersey. >> that's nbc nightly news for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" and then right back here tomorrow evening. good night. good evening to you. >> a desperate search in the south bay. today a door-to-door search by family members after a woman goes missing. she hasn't been seen since last sunday leaving her sister's house in gilroy.
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we'll go live to gilroy right now for the latest on the search. >> reporter: i'm here at gilroy pd. tonight they are asking for your help in finding mimi and also her family posted this flyer all over town. they have been out searching for her throughout the day. they're extremely worried because she left her sister's house here in gilroy last sunday morning with only the clothes on her back. which is why today friends and family combed gilroy downtown, christmas hill park, and knocking on doors. her brother says she was visiting her sister in gilroy when she took off walking last weekend. >> on sunday morning she did walk out of the house approximately 7:30 to 8:00, left all i.d., no wallet, no cash, left her keys. >> he says his sister was battling severe depression and ha