tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 16, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
on the broadcast tonight, shots fired at the white house, prompting an urgent manhunt for the gunman now under arrest. the star witness in the penn state scandal now claiming he did talk to police about what he saw going on. the insider, newt gingrich under scrutiny for the money he's made versus the words he's spoken in the mortgage mess. the young guys that turned into a mission to keep america beautiful. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television a homeless man from idaho is
in custody. he's accused of firing shots at the white house. at least two rounds hit the building from a shooting incident last week, while the white house is often called the people's house. most important people in it are the president and the first family going back to the early days of the republic. and while a modern city has grown up around it, and while every precaution is taken to keep the structure and its inhabitants safe, in this case it was apparently vulnerable to one man with a weapon, even though the president was not home at the time. we beginning tonight with our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: investigators were carefully checking the white house today looking for other possible rifle roundses like the one that hit a window. on the truman balcony, inside near the oval living room, the family living quarters. it damaged the historic glass, but was stopped by a bulletproof
glass, a security feature on the grounds. agents want to know if other marks they've discovered could mean other rounds hit. investigators are virtually certainty shots were fired last friday night about 9:00 p.m., from a car speeding along a nearby street. the shots came from here on constitution avenue, about a half mile south of the white house. they were fired from a car moving in that direction, apparently by the driver firing across the passenger seat and out the window. that distance equal to nearly eight football fields is the range for that kind of assault rifle thought to be used. the car was found abandoned a few blocks away. it was traced to a homeless man from idaho. he has a long record of minor crimes, in three states and may have mental problems. he was arrested shortly after noon today in indiana pennsylvania by state police.
federal agents have told staff at a local motel, he had stayed there earlier. >> and alerted them to the fact that this subject had been there in the past and may come back in the future, and that if he did appear, they were to notify local law enforcement and the secret service. >> reporter: the white house has been a target before, a colorado man against gun control fired more than two dozen rounds from the pennsylvania avenue sidewalk in 1994. no one was hurt, he got 40 years in prison. as for this latest shooting, authorities are considering serious charges, possibly attempted assassination. pete williams, nbc news, washington. >> for his part the president is in australia tonight, his third try to get there, he cancelled once during the health care debate, again after the bp oil spill. both nations have announced the u.s. marine corps will move an entire task force to australia. it's been a dangerous day of weather in this country across the southeast. a giant storm system and a
gigantic front along with it, still spooling out to the north and earlier produced several tornados, there are reports of tornados in mississippi, alabama, and georgia. at one point downtown atlanta was included in the warning zone. suburbs told to take cover. more than a dozen people were injured. thousands are without power after a lot of trees and power lines came down. now, to the latest in the awful scandal at penn state. new scrutiny on the assistant coach who was the star witness here, because of what he saw. tonight there are new questions, new e-mails emerging about whether he did or didn't go to the police to report wrongdoing. peter alexander live on campus tonight state college, pa, peter, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you, tonight penn state tells nbc news that jerry sandusky has been barred from university facilities, this is the details
in one of the shocking sexual abuse case. there are new questions tonight about whether mike mcqueary alerted authorities after witnessing jerry sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the shower in 2002. mcqueary was never questioned by university police. but in an e-mail obtained by the associated press, he told a friend last week, i did have discussions with the police and the official at the university in charge of police. tonight the university tells nbc news, we have no record of any police report filed by mike mcqueary, this is the first we have heard of it. on tuesday, mcqueary described his emotions to cbs news. >> just shaken. >> crazy? >> crazy. >> you said what, like -- >> a snow globe. >> this evening, a lawyer for
one of sandusky's alleged victims tells nbc news his client is digging in his heels. >> it's fair to say that my client was revictimized as he watched mr. sandusky make his statement. >> reporter: at least five children from the new york city based charity, the fresh air fund may have stayed in the sandusky home in the 1970s. the fund has alerted new york and pennsylvania authorities who are investigating. also revealed, the district court judge who set sandusky's bail well below what prosecutors asked for, received campaign contributions in 2007 from the second mile. late today a new judge was assigned for sandusky's preliminary hearing next month. and tonight penn state has announced the hiring of a new athletic director. it's former president, graham spanier who was removed from
office last week, can still teach here at penn state. >> peter alexander on campus for us tonight. thanks. now, to presidential politics, and in the demolition derby that's been the republican primary campaign so far, newt gingrich is the latest candidate to be enjoying a surge in the polls. at the same time, he's facing head winds now over what he did for the bailed out mortgage giant freddie mac. our report tonight from andrea mitchell. >> reporter: in iowa today, newt gingrich rising in the polls was using his debating skills to pari charges he's part of the washington money game. >> we just tried four years of ignorance and it didn't work very well. >> reporter: at each stop he was trying to explain his status. his firm made between 1.6 and $1.8 million from freddie mac. widely blamed along with fannie mae for contributing to the
housing debacle. payments that started only months after gingrich's own party forced him out of office. when pressed in last week's cnbc debate, he said he offered advice as a hiss tore yang. >> were you not trying to help freddie mac fend off the effort by the bush administration to curb freddie mac. >> no, no -- >> reporter: gingrich did a lot more. >> it's a way for a former member of congress to back door lobby, they call themselves a consultant. they're not doing -- they don't meet any of the definitions of a lobbyists, but they're still influencing policy. >> reporter: while gingrich was privately taking freddie mac's checks he was publicly railing against other politicians including barack obama for accepting campaign contributio s s for the mortgage giants. >> what you have is the rich on wall street and the powerful at fannie mae and freddie mac, had so many politicians bee holden
to them that nobody was going to check them. >> reporter: gingrich's campaign has already overcome criticism of his lifestyle, tiffany purchases and a vacation cruise. now the charge that he's just another washington politician. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. now, at the same time, congress is looking into huge bonuses that fannie mae and freddie mac are paying their executives. and kelly o'donnell is in our studios tonight with more on this. >> here's what set off the latest round of outrage. $13 million for the two mortgage giants that had to be bailed out by taxpayers. this is after fannie mae and freddie mac lost $4 billion last quarter. what stood out is how these ceo's answered questions about their own income. >> what year did you first have compensation, including a bonus that put you over $1 million? >> congressman, i'm not sure
what year that was. >> money's not that important to you? >> no, money is important to all of us who are here today, sir. >> you did come out of the private sector, hopefully you remember -- what did you make the last year you were at putnam? >> i don't recall. >> did you make more than a million dollars? >> yes, i did. >> i must tell you, you all come from a different world than the one i come from. if i had made a million dollars, i sure would know when i made it, that's for sure. >> the executives say the high salaries are needed to compete for the best talent. one more note, freddie mac has now asked the federal government for another $6 billion. >> it got hot in that room on capitol hill today, kelly o'donnell, thanks. the protesters of the occupy wall street movement are regrouping after being removed from their campsite in several cities yesterday. today pepper spray came out, dozens of people were sprayed,
including several clergy members, one person seen here on seattlepi.com ended up with a face full. she's 84 years old. and a protest overseas making news tonight in the philippines, a crowd attacked secretary of state hillary clinton's motorcade. they threw eggs, rocks and balloons full of red paint. the car she was traveling in was not hit, the lead vehicle was. protesters are against a treaty between the two nations. now we turn to syria. a country on the brink, and president's assad's neighbors including turkey turning against him. is yet another authoritarian ruler in that region about to go? our chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in istanbul for us tonight. richard, good evening. >> reporter: this has been going on in syria for eight months
now, 3,500 people killed. but this week, something changed. the uprising in syria became a revolution. since monday, government forces have killed dozens of activists. but now, syrian troops are being killed by the dozens as well. >> the uprising in syria has changed because of men like these, among the hundreds if not thousands of defect evers among the syrian military. they call themselves the free syrian army, and now they've mobilized. on monday they attacked government troops and destroyed tanks with rocket propelled grenades. overnight, they struck a government air force intelligence headquarters on the outskirts of damascus itself. one of their commanders hiding in syria said attacks will continue as long as the regime targets civilians. the attacks will escalate, he stead. syria is also under pressure
diplomatically as never before. including from its own neighbors. jordan's king abdullah on monday. >> if it was me, i would step down and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo that we're seeing. >> reporter: turkey has threatened to cut electricity to part of syria. the future cannot be built on the blood of the oppressed. even a leading saudi royal is now predicting president bash bashara's downfall. >> i think it's inevitable he will have to step down. >> reporter: an emergency meeting of the arab league to condemn syria. syria's seat was empty. its membership suspended. the arab league has given syria three days to stop the violence, allow in international monitors or face new sanctions. brian? >> richard engel from the region
tonight. the grandmother paying the price for the big money fight growing on in the nba. and the question, how did it come to this? two guys on a road trip across our country. and they're cleaning the place up as they go. ck pain. imagine living your life with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a non-narcotic treatment that's fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing of the skin or eyes. talk with your doctor about your medicines, including those for migraine,
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california. she's been forced to find a smaller apartment and file for unemployment because her paychecks from oracle arena have stopped. >> if there's no game, we don't work. >> reporter: she was making $17.70 an hour caring for the uniforms of the players at the arena. >> i cried. and then i just decided that i would just keep doing what i've been doing and hang in there like everybody else. >> reporter: the projected economic loss to nba city as cross the country is huge. oklahoma city estimates the thunder pumps $60 million a year into the economy. in san antonio, the number is $95 million a year for the spurs and in memphis, the grizzlies add an estimated $223 million a year. in los angeles it's a double whammy, staples center is home
to two nba teams, the lakers and the clippers. with both of them out of action, businesses around here are filing the pinch. at this sports bar, receipts are way down and tips for the serving staff have all but disappeared. >> i'm worried what the numbers are going to look like come january. >> you're going to hear these human interest stories about these people and what they're going to. and they'll juxta pose that against the players and owners who will come across less si sympathet sympathetic. >> reporter: back in heyward, we asked laura plumber what she would say to those owners and players. >> i wish they would think about the other people. >> reporter: people like laura who now face the grim prospect of a lean holiday season without paychecks. george lewis, nbc news, los angeles. up here next tonight, a new honor for some bold americans who bravely went where no man had gone before 37.
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let the word go forth across this land, congress has done something right. they presented the congressional gold medal today to the crew of apollo 11. three of the bravest men of all time. at great risk and with no guarantee of coming home, really. michael collins up there in the orbiter, buzz aldrin, neil armstrong on the moon. he's remained a quiet hero, a private man who never once capitalized on his role in history. for good measure, john glenn received a medal today as the first american to orbit the earth. it's a good thing nobody asked him about this. dan burbank, thanks to a ride from the russians, because the u.s. has no way to get them up there. he has arrived at the international space station as part of a crew of three scheduled to be up there until
march. carl sloever has died. he was among the last surviving munchkins from the movie made in 1939 that's always amazed us, scared us a little bit and stayed with us all those years "the wizard of oz." karl played the first trumpeter, he was also a soldier. he sang one of the yellow brick root versus. he only reached 4'5". he later joined a traveling show, moved to the u.s., became an actor. karl slover was 93 years old. the story of two pickup artists in a good way. on november 26th you can make a huge impact by shopping small on small business saturday. one purchase. one purchase is all it takes. so, pick your favorite local business... and join the movement. i pledge to shop small at big top candy shop.
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road trip and stunning american vistas come to mind. but on their trip, they're finding an ugly side of the scenery. they call themselves pickup artists and started pickup america. a trek from coast to coast targeting trash. >> i had never picks up trash for eight hours in my life. now we've multiplied that by a year and a half. >> they've travelled more than halfway across the country. walking more than 2,000 miles picking up almost everything imaginable. >> the way i like to sum it up, you find people's dirty habits on the side of the road. >> reporter: more than 140,000 pounds of litter. >> you guys ready to pick up some trash today? >> reporter: they also pick up local volunteers. haley joined in kansas. >> i didn't even realize it was this dirty. i drive on this road every day.
i was kind of -- never noticed. >> reporter: they plan to end their journey about a year from now in the san francisco bay area. home to spectacular scenery and disgusting litter. pickup america plans to clean this up, their ultimate goal is to make sure the trash doesn't come back. >> we can pick up, and literally a week later it will be back on the road. >> when are we going to transition away from putting piesens in our environment every single day. >> they run on an old bus that runs on recycled vegetable oil. >> we are young people, and we have to take ahold of our future. >> reporter: not your typical road trip. but for them, doing anything else right now would be a waste. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, san francisco. that is our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with