tv NBC Nightly News NBC April 20, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, the apology. a courtroom surprise. george jimmerman takes the stand, addressing trayvon martin's parents directly about the night he shot their son. >> bird strikes. three planes have been hit by birds in 24 hours. one carrying the secretary of state. the other was air force two carrying vice president joe b e biden. held captive for years. an american father gets one phone call a week to speak with the family back home. today, he used the call to make a desperate plea to our own andrea mitchell. >> and pinning it, the new obsession that helps millions of women share their favorite things. "nightly news" begins now.
good evening. since the wright brothers' first flight, we have competed with birds for space in the sky. they were there first, and from time to time, they remind us of that. occasionally with dire consequences. over just the past 24 hours, three jet aircraft have been hit. in the first instance, tragedy was avoided at new york's jfk when the jet was able to circle around back. but now we have learned air force two carrying the vice president and another jet carrying secretary of state clinton have also been hit. all of them in the past 24 hours. nbc's pete williams is with us tonight with this still developing story. pete, good evening. >> brian, it happened to secretary clinton's plane while she was flying from brusseling to parririparis, the air force it safety, but sometimes birds can cripple a 90,000 pounds
aircraft. riveting video captures how it sounds and looks when it's bird versus machine. >> an engine failure, the right engine. declaring an emergency due to a bird strike. >> shortly after this delta airlines flight took off yesterday from new york's jfk airport on a flight to los angeles, it lost its right engine after flying into a flock of birds. the pilot was able to turn it around and land the boeing 737 safely to the relief of the 172 passengers on board. last night, the same problem for one of the most carefully maintained and heavily protected american planes in the sky, air force two, flying vice president biden. it's been grounded after it had a bird strike on a flight to santa barbara. he continues his schedule using an air force plane. the most dramatic example came three year ago with the most famous save in aviation history. in what will be known as the miracle on the hudson, sully
sullen brg brought his flight down after flying into a huge flock of birds. airlines have long strugglied t keep birbds away. the builders of jet engines, including g erb, a part owner of nbc, test their ability to withstand this problem that is as old as the jet age by throwing frozen birds into the turbines. sometimes they come too fast and in too large a number for even the most modern jet engine to handle. compounding the problem is this fact, many of the nation's busy airports are located next to rivers, lakes, or the ocea ocean,plices birds consider their homes, too. >> pete williams starting us off in washington. thanks. in a florida courtroom, a surprise move today from a man who has been at the center of news of late. george zimmerman took the stand in the killing of trayvon martin and took a chance, speaking
directly to martin's parents at this hearing today. about the night he shot their st son. the judge agreed to let zimmerman out on bail while he awaits trial on a charge of second degree murder. and he could be free in several days. we get the latest tonight from nbc's kerry sanders. >> george zimmerman, hands shackled, entered the court room, and for the first time, he and trayvon martin's parents saw each other face-to-face. the 28-year-old who fired a single shot that killed 17-year-old trayvon martin took the stand to apologize. >> i wanted to say i am sorry. for the loss of your son. i did not know how old he was. i thought he was a little younger than i am. i did not know if he was armed or not. >> by putting him on the stand, zimmerman's lawyers opened him up to unlimited questions by the
attorneys. >> why dud you wait so long to tell them? >> i was told not to communicate with them. >> even through your attorney, you didn't ask to do it right away? your former attorneys or anything? >> i did ask them to express that to them. >> the defense challenged the state's lead investigator, who co-authored the probable cause affidavit. it reads in part, zimmerman confronted martin and a struggle ensued. >> do you have any evidence that supports who may have tastarted the fight? >> no. >> what did you tell the officers? >> that he was the victim in this and that it was martin that confronted him. and assaulted him. >> the affidavit also says zimmerman profiled the black teenager. >> why did you use the word profile other than notice, observe, saw, or anything besides a very precise word, profile? and by the way, was that your word?
did you come up with that word? >> i don't recall. >> but investigator gilbreath said was zimmerman told police the night of the shooting doesn't add up. >> wouldn't you agree a lot of the statement could be contradicted by the evidence, either witnesses or based on what he said? >> yes. >> before granting zimmerman a $150,000 bond -- >> zimmerman pleads. >> he listened as zimmerman's father testified by a speaker phone. about a photo taken by a neighbor and broadcast today on abc. he said it proves his son was beaten by trayvon martin and confirms what he saw the day after the shooting. >> he had a protective cover over his nose. his lip was swollen and cut. and there were two vertical gashes on the back of his head. >> by law, trayvon martin's parents were not allowed to speak in court today. their attorneys call zimmerman's apology self serving. >> when he made all of those statements to the police, why not show remorse there? if he was sincerely apologetic
for killing his unarmed child? >> among the conditions of the release, zimmerman has to wear an ankle monitor that can be tracked via gps, even if he leaves the state. brian. >> kerry sanders, heavy rainfall this afternoon in florida. thanks. >> our chief legal correspondent savannah guthrie is here with us tonight in the studio. savannah, i watched today as a civilian, and i was surprised. you watch as a lawyer, do you think they took a richk in doing this? >> no question. i was surprised, too. it's very unorthodox to call a defend to the stand to testify, and it could backfire. here you have george zimmerman apologizing to the parents, but remember, his story is that trayvon martin beat him so badly that he feared for his very life. so why is he apologizing? he also said, i didn't know he was young. i didn't know he was unarmed. that's almost a tacit acknowledgment that he was mistaken about the facts of the case. those statements may backfire at
a future trial. on the other hand, it appears zimmerman and his defense lawyer are speaking to a wider audience. not just trayvon martin's parents, but potentially the jurors who are watching and want to see remorse. >> thanks. >> the unfolding secret service prostitution scandal that has soiled the good name of that organization continued to unfold today. amid continued indications there will be more evidence, more embarrassment and fallout, all involving the security advance team that traveled to karlt ahana, colombia, prior to president obama's trip there. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker is with us again tonight. kristen, good evening. >> good evening to you, brian. moments ago, the secret service announced that three more employees have, quote, chosen to resign, which means now there are a total of six that are on their way out. the rest are on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation, and it's
really the result of this prostitution scandal. secret service officials dispatched to capitol hill today to contain the fallout from the widening prostitution scandal. they told senate staffers there was not a big hooker party at the hotel curearibe last week, evidence of drug use, and a dispute between an agent and a colombian woman over money occurred because he didn't know she was a prostitute. pictures have appeared showing this may be the woman in question. nbc news is blurring her face. mark potter is in cobom lea. >> the woman everybody is talking about is represented by a well known coblombian lawyer. she's left town, but she's willing to talk to investigators. nbc news has also learned, they're poring over security camera video from the hotel
caribe, where the scandal broke last week. >> we're also learning more from the agents separated from the agency earlier this week. greg stokes was recommended for removal, and david chaney, also a supervise, retired under pressure. bu berger told nbc news he's representing both men. he couldn't comment on why chaney is retaining counsel, but stokes is going to vigorously defend himself. chaney faces fresh scrutiny after this picture appears on facebook showing him with sarah palin's security detail along with the comment he posted, i was really checking her out, if you know what i mean. last night, the former governor commented. >> check this out, you're fired. >> palin also took direct aim at the president. >> it's a known out there that our president has poor management skills. >> now, white house press
secretary jay carney dismissed that as pure politics. we also want to tell you, brian, tonight, for the first time, president obama was briefed on the situation by the director of the secret service, mark sullivan. brian. >> kristen welker at the white house again on the tostory, kristen, thanks. >> there's news about an american held captive in cuba for years now. allen gross gets precisely one phone call a week, usually to hear the voices of his wife and daughters back home. today, he used the one weekly phone call to make a desperate plea to our own anld rhea mitchell who is with us tonight from washington to share the details on this tonight. andrea, good evening. >> brian, i was certainly surprised. i did not solicit this at all. i asked gross good he had any message to send, and his message, get me the hell out of here. senator pat leahy visited him who was sentenced to 15 years for bringing communications
equipment into cuba. cuba said in violation of their strict laws. today, he told me, quote, i did nothing legally or morally wrong. i have no guilty conscious. he's been pleaing for parole to visit his ailing 90-year-old mother. gross told me, quote, it's no longer about cuban/u.s. relations. it's about my family and me. he does get that one call a week, usually to his wife judy who sends him packages with the sunday "new york times," the economist, and his favorite snack, peanut m & ms. she didn't mind his call ime because she wants to get the word out about his plight. >> andrea mitchell who has asked cuban officials about this case after the surprise phone call today. andrea, thanks. two years ago tonight, 41 miles off the coast of louisiana, an oil well deep below the gulf of mexico had a blowout in the deep water horizon drilling rig attached to
it blew up in a giant ball of flames. 11 men died. we didn't know that night it was just the beginning of something else, the largest oil disaster in u.s. history. those relentlessly depressing pictures of the fluplume of oil underwater, 5 million barrels of oil into the gulf. while tourism is back and seafood has been deemed okay to eat, an adviser to the louisiana governor said last week, there's still 200 miles of oiled coastline, including what he called clear, retrievable oil in some places, which he added was completely unacceptable. still ahead here on "nightly news" on a friday night, the mystery that sent shock wachbs through a generation of parents. now the search to find missing boy capturing attention far and wide. later, for some, it's become an absolute obsession, and it's helping millions of women share their favorite stuff. [ male announcer ] if your kid can recognize your sneeze from a crowd...
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boy with an exotic name, and when 6-year-old etan patz went missing before school in 1979, he became the face of the missing children movement in this country, and his disappearance became an enduring mystery. yesterday, after 33 years, the fbi and police started digging in his old neighborhood, based on new questions about what's being called a person of interest in the case. we get more tonight from nbc's ron allen. >> in new york's fashionable soho district, investigators remove the walls and cement basement floor, added to this building some time after etan patz disappeared. >> we're hopeful we can bring some level of comfort to the parents. >> it's about halfway along etan's school bus stop that he never finished. back then, this man of brooklyn, new york, pictured in 2004, had a workshop in that basement.
he was questioned by police back then but never charged. sources say miller who is now 76, raised suspicions when police recently questioned him again about etan. >> i'm not saying anything further than he denied involvement in what happened to this beautiful young boy. >> lisa cohen has written about the case. gr. >> the day before he went missing, he came home and was excited about a dollar bill he had given him. >> he wanted to spebd the dollar in a store on his way to the bus stop. cohen spoke to etan's father stanley patz yesterday. >> it's a double edged sword for him because when this happens, there's thill -- there is this hope, but in token, there's this swarm of all this attention. >> it's an iconic case that has recaptured the nation pfsz attention. in chicago -- >> it was a story that shocked chicago and the nation. >> in los angeles -- >> oh, yeah, everybody is a little more guarded with their
children, of course. >> and it's brought that painful memory for ursela, an 8-year-old when he disappeared, who like him, walked to a bus stop in the same neighborhood to get to school. >> i hope they do find something, just an answer. the worst part is not having any shred of an answer, of anything. >> investigators say this operation could last for several more days. and they still refuse to stay if it's likely if they'll find anything significant. also, a handyman is also under investigation in the case. >> ron allen here in new york tonight. thanks. up next here this evening, something we have always been told is bad. a new study says it's good for us. ready? as i'll ever be. break a leg! i used to love hearing that phrase... but not since i learned i have... postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture.
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place. >> if you have ever seen the movie "hangover" you'll notice the main thought point of this story, three australian men went on a drunken rampage at sea world park. when they woekt up, there was a penguin in their hotel room. their escapades also included a swim in the dolphin tank at the park. they panicked in the morning when they found the penguin in their hotel room. dumped him in a nearby canal. he was rescued by passers by. he's doing fine. the boys, not so much. they have a court date for stealing a protected animal. when we come back, the little company that could with a funny name that has millions of people pinning up a storm. in the first place. why r and why you still feel the same. but your erectile dysfunction -- that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet
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so this is 365 horsepower. all while delivering really great fuel economy. so we're getting great fuel economy? cuz that's what i'm thinking about right now. in the fast-moving world of social networking, there is a new place to be, pinterest has become the third biggest site behind facebook and twitter and growing seemingly out of nowhere. our report tonight from kristen dahlgren. >> jenny jackson could be a poster child for pinterest.
>> it became an obsession. >> she used the pinboard for everything from recipes to decorating ideas. >> i think a good way to describe it is it's folders of things you collect and do and want to do, inspirations. >> she was recently inspired to form a group with other fanatics to try out their pinned projects. >> that looks great. i'm going to take a picture. pinned. >> the growth has been phenomenal. from 3.3 million users to almost 19 million in just six months. making it one of the fastest growing internet companies ever. >> with millions of visitors and all of those images, you might expect pinterest to have a huge high-tech headquarters. you would be wrong. this is it, a small, quiet room in paulo alto with about 30 employees. >> as a kid, i was really into nature and really into science. >> ben silverman was a bug collector as a child with an idea to take collecting online. it paid off.
forbes recently estimated the two-year-old company could be worth over $7 billion. >> pintrust has the women and the buyers. they have the money, right? and they have them in huge numbers. and these people are addicted. >> the perfect target for companies. 85% of pinterest page views are from women, most between the age of 21 and 34. from the midwest, and households that earn more than $74,000 a year. everyone wants a piece of the pinning. osku oscuker derulenta pinned his life show, and so does "nightly news." >> we want something we were really proud of, something that was beautiful and useful. >> it looks awesome. >> in doing that, the new internet darling with a funny name may have just hit the bull's eye. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, pallo alto, california. >> that's our broadcast on a friday night and for this week.
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