tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 2, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on our broadcast tonight, what happened? a big name in the world of sports takes his own life, raising new questions tonight about life after the game. hazing tragedy. criminal charges against 13 people in the beating death of a young man. out of the race. newt gipg rch no longer a presidential candidate, but he could still cause trouble. and eliz tabeth edwards, a woman who knew her well and caused her daughter to leave the croom today. "nightly news" begins now.
good evening. he was a big name in the world of sports. junior seo was one of the best known players in the nfl in his two decades in the game. he was a top flight linebacker, a 12-time pro bowler with devoted fans in miami, new england, and san diego. today, he was found dead, an apparent suicide with a gun shot wound to the chest. he was just 43, and by some accounts, was a troubled man after leaving the game, and while there's a lot we don't know yet, his namegynes a growing list of players who have found their post game years with too much pain to go on. >> i'm shocked. >> junior seau's mom said she learned of her son's death while she was at church. >> pray to god, take me, take
me. leave my child, but it was too late. >> he was a ledgend in san dieg, a star linebacker know for his hard hits, but this morning, news of his death hit hard. seau's girlfriend found his body a gun shot wound to the chest. >> this case at this point is being investigated as a suicide. >> he played college ball at the university of southern california. the chargers drafted him in 1990. his career included 12 consecutive pro bowl selections. his last season was 2009. >> it's very shocking and makes you take a big step and look at your life and every in perspective. >> but life after football wasn't easy. in october 2010, he was arrested on a domestic disturbance charge. hours after the release, he drove himself off a cliff.
he said he fell asleep at the wheel. he's the second nfl player to commit suicide. ray easterly sued the league of concussion related injuries. >> there have been a number of well publicized cases of retired athlete who committed suicide. there's concern over whether those issues relate to changes in the brain. >> he did not leave a suicide. >> i don't know what i'm going to do. >> no easy answers for her family or his fans. junior seau was 43. gabe gutear ez, nbc news. now to florida and a sad case that shed light on hazing. 13 people were charged today in the death of a florida a&m mu
death, but none are charged with murder and that has people asking why. >> the famed florida a&m marching band has been temporarily silence his robert's death 13 months ago. now 13 people on his fam u band bus are accused of pummeling him to death. 11 of them are charged with third degree charges. >> i have come to believe that hazing is a term for bullying. bullying with a tradition that we cannot bear in america. >> the 26-year-old's parents said they were hoping for a harsher indictm, murder or manslaughter. >> there needs to be something more harsh, something to send a message we won't tolerate it anymore. >> why no charge of murder? legal experts say prosecutors would need to know who threw the
fatal blow, but they say it was not one but many punches that led to his death. >> robert champion died as a result of hemorrhagic shock due to soft issue injury. >> if kikted, those charged in his case could face up to six years in prison. florida has rarely used its seven-year-old hazing resulting in death statute. current and former fam u members said this has revealed a nasty secret that has been quiet lad accepted as tradition. last week, two music professors at fam u resigned amid reports they were present during hazing of other band pledges. their lawyers say they deny any involvement in hazing occasions and three others were charged with beating a freshman band
member, breaking her leg. follow the charges, they issued statement saying they would initiate proceedings against those involved. >> kerry sanders, thanks. in presidential politics this evening, it's safe to say he changed the race while he was in the race, but today, that came to an end for newt gingrich, the former house speaker finally suspended his bid for the gop nomination today after leaving behind memorable moments in the campaign that seemed for a while there like it was not going to end. our report tonight from nbc's peter alexander. >> today, i'm suspending the campaign. >> newt gingrich's campaign was improbable, unpredictable, and always optimistic. >> we're going to contest every place and we're going to win and be in tampa as the nominee in august. >> that's a promise the former house speaker won't be able to keep. >> i'm asked sometimes, is mitt
romney conservative enough? and my answer is simple, compared to barack obama? >> from the start, critics questioned the seriousness of gingrich's bid for presidency. less than a month into the race, his decision to take his wife on a cruise led to the exodus of most of his stoof, but he fought back with a series of memorable debate performances that were as effective as they were fiery, often directed as the national news media. >> i'm appalled you would begive a presidential debate on a topic like that. >> gingrich, who tried to cast himself as the true republican conservative, blamed his lauzs on what he derided as the romney machine. >> newt gingrich, too much baggage. >> still, the party's faithful were not always impressed. and his campaign of big ideas.
>> by the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be american. >> but came late night fodder. >> the moon is our future and it has everything we need. >> but gingrich's sharpest attacks on romney could have lingering effects. the obama campaign always rolling out a collection of its favorites. >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> and tomorrow, the pro romney super pac that helped overwhelm gingrich with negative ads in the campaign will release their first ad of the campaign with a positive ad. peter alexander, thanks. president obama is back home tonight but just hours after air force one took off from afghanistan to make the long return flight home to washington, the taliban claimed
credit for an overnight suicide attack in kabul that killed seven people. this week and the president's visit marking the one year anniversary of the death of osama bin laden. tonight on nbc we'll broadcast our hour long edition of "rock center" "inside the situation room." it's a destruction of the bin laden mission. it includes our interview a year later with all those we saw in the photo taken in the white house situation room and frozen in time from that night. it also includes rarely seen white house video showing what it was like in the west wing after the president and his team learned that the mission had succeeded and bin laden was dead halfway around the world, and calls were going out to former presidents and leaders around the world. we asked the president and secretary of state clinton among others about how important it was to keep the mission a secret until the very end. >> did you seek anyone's
counsel? >> i didn't. and the reason was because this had to be such a close hold operation. there were only a handful of staff in the white house who knew about this. the majority of my senior staff didn't know about it. my secretary didn't know about it, my personal aide didn't know about it. >> the first lady? >> first lady didn't know about it. >> your husband didn't know? >> no. no. >> mrs. obama didn't know. these are big-time washington dip lopattic security secrets. >> yes, this was such an important secret to keep, no one in the state department knew. the same, i think, except for those with need to know in the pentagon or the cia and certainly the white house. so i just felt a personal responsibility to keep it close, but that meant that i was
basically having to consult with myself, to be honest. >> and keeping that secret also meant sticking to the official white house schedule, which for the president, meant a trip to survey the tornado damage in tuscaloosa and having to keep up appearances by attending the white house correspondents dinner. our broadcast marks the 1st time cameras have ever been allowed inside the white house situation room. you can see it right here, 9:00 eastern, 8:00 central time. the latest now on a story that pult a big strain on the relationship between u.s. and china. the activist that made an escape from house arrest and took refuge at the embassy has left the embassy and his departure is raising a lot of questions. ian williams has the latest. >> in a beijing hospital for treatment and a family reunion after a deal between the u.s. and china, that now appears to be unraveling.
chen gong kweng was brought there. he left the embassy voluntarily after six days preferring to stay in china after assureanced by the chinese authorities about his safety. >> from day one, his express desire was to remain in china. he sought to be reunited with his family. he was looking for a better life. >> they said he never once asked for asylum. chinese authorities assured him he wouldn't be mistreated and his allegations of abuse would be investigated and he would get a new home in a university job. but hours later, with u.s. officials gone, chen apparently had a dramatic change of heart. in an emotional telephone interview with nbc news, he said he had only left the embass y because of threats to his family. i demand the u.s. government take concrete action to guarantee my safety and human rights and not consider other
interests, he said. i want to leave china, any country is fine. hillary clinton in china today said earlier the deal reflected chen's choices and the american values. andrea mitchell explains. >> all this has been a diplomatic nightmare for hillary clinton who went to beying to press china on iran, syria, and korea, but now they're angry about what they call u.s. interference on a domestic issue and the administration on pressure to hold china to account for human rights. now they're almost responsible for insuring his safety. >> u.s. officials promised to closely monitor his treatment, for years if necessarily. u.s. diplomats returned to see him, but he's no longer under diplomatic protection. china is angry and embarrassed, even demanding an apology, and for chen, leaving the country
may no longer be an option. >> ian williams in beijing tonight, next. up next as we continue along the way, the private grief and rage of elizabeth edwards. it became very apparent today. and later, the list of america's worst airports is out. three of the top five are all in one place. you may be able to guess where. of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice. what's in your wallet? you wouldn't want your doctor doing your job. so why are you doing his?
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emotions were running high at the criminal trial of john edwards today. as a friend of john edwards' late wife elizabeth testified about the anguish she suffered following her husband's affair. our report tonight from nbc's lisa myers. >> again today, kate edwards was at her father's side as they arrived for court. she's been her dad's most stalwart supporter, always seated behind him in the court room. today for the first time, the emotional stress of this very
personal family drama burst into public view. as christina reynolds, a former campaign staffer and close friend of elizabeth edwards began to testify about knowledge about john edwards' affair, he turned to his daughter. i don't know what coming. do you want to leave? he was heard asking kate. kate broke down in tears and hurriy eied out of the courtroo. >> it was very emotional, very touching, very real, very human when kate edwards left the courtroom tcrying. >> christina reynolds testified in the summer of 2007, elizabeth told me mr. edwards had an affair and she believed it still might be going on. she also accounted a dramatic encounter a day after the national enquirer's first story about his affair. mrs. edwards was very upset and she was fairly vocal. she stormed off and collapsed
into a ball on the ground. she testified that a few minutes later, elizabeth confronted her husband again, yelling to him, you don't see me anymore, and angrily tearing off her blouse and bra. >> there's no question that the jury has to be moved hearing about the pain to elizabeth edwards caused by her husband, john edwards. >> kate edwards returned to the courtroom only a few minutes later and shed a few more tears when the witness, under questioning by the defense, testified that she saw john edwards attending to elizabeth in the final moments before she died. lisa myers, nbc news, greensboro, north carolina. >> when we come back, the first pictures have emerged of a big city disaster on the water. every day potentially harmful germs pictures have emerged of a big city disaster on the water. leading regular toothpastes are not designed to kill the bacteria that polident is designed to kill. polident's unique microclean formula has been proven to eliminate
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boat in philadelphia back in july of 2010. two people died in the accident. the video was released on the eve of the trial in a wrongful death suit brought by the families of the deceased. the tug boat pilot guiding the barge was sentenced to a year in prison last november. >> earl rose has died. his role in history was as the local medical examiner in dallas the day of the jfk assassination. he tried to block the door when the secret service entered. he lost that argument, though, when the first lady wanted to take her husband's body back home. dr. rose always worried that vital evidence may have been lost there. he was 85 years old. flying into or out of new york is not for the faint of heart, and the folk s at travel and leisure magazine say it's in fact officially awful.
they're out with their list of best and worst apts in the country, and the title of the worst airport goes to new york lukward yeah. they got this right, it's crowded and dated. the ranges from dilapidated hangers to horribleal terminals, and jfk and new york, all three of new york's airports on the top five worst. in minneapolis, st. paul, you have the nicest in the country. >> the critics were howling at blackberry today when they came out with the blackberry with a tich screen and no keyboard. the keyboard is the reason that millions of users cling to their blackberries when they know the iphone has cooler features and no keyboard. one marketing exec called it a bone headed decision. and one said it was like a toyota prius with terrible gas
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we want to leave you tonight with a story about a dream come true, even though it doesn't happen the way you might expect. nbc's kate snow reports on a young man who realized his life's ambition today with one major alteration. thanks to his own courage and rezil ynls in the face of extreme adversity. >> eric legrand always tremes of one day making the nfl, just not quite like this. >> may not be the circumstances i want, but you know, i'm there. >> today, the tampa bay buccaneers signed the 22-year-old defensive tackle, though he can't walk. he's paralyzed from the neck down. it's a symbolic signing, but legrand will wear the bucs jersey. >> i'm definite lly planning to get down there and wear the jersey and talk to the team about how i live my life. >> greg schiano call td a small gesture to recognize his character, spirit, and presser veerance. he was his coach when he made
the life changing tackle in the fall of 2010 which september him off the field in a stretcher. >> they're walking my legs since i can't move them myself. >> hae has some sensations. >> so that's the big improvement. >> just last week, the christopher reeve foundation posted this video of him sitting up on his own. last week, he was out on the field, calling lines. he hopes to be an nfl broadcaster by next fall and said his supporters give him strength. >> i have to prove to all these people and show them if you believe in yourself, anything is possible. >> strangers call him an inspiration. >> i love being positive. i don't like having a negative attitude. i smile every time. that's just the way i am. >> tonight, he has good reason to. kate snow, nbc news, new york. >> that's our broadcast on a