tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 20, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on this sunday night, high stakes as dozens of world leaders converge on chicago. tonight thousands take to the streets in ro test as the war in afghanistan takes center stage. the lockerbie bomber dies a free man at home in libya, 24 years since pan am 103 exploded over scotland. what family members of his victims are saying tonight. a tropical storm churning off the carolina coast, weeks before the start of hurricane season. are we in for a wild summer. spy games, employees stealing prize secrets, costing the u.s. economy billions each year. now the fbi is stepping up the
fight. and best week ever? after a $20 billion payday, mark zuckerberg swaps the hoodie for a tie at a surprise walk down zuckerberg swaps the hoodie for a tie at a surprise walk down the aisle. captions paid for by nbc-universal television from nbc world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. finding a way forward and a way out of afghanistan is chief among the pressing items at the table in chicago this evening, where president obama is hosting the leaders of nato, along with dozens of other heads of state. as anticipated, thousands of anti-war and other protesters have marched on the nato summit. and there is late word some of those demonstrations have gotten a bit out of hand. for police trying to keep the peace, it's made for high anxiety against a back drop of high stakes diplomacy.
we have two reports from chicago tonight. we begin with nbc's john yang on the streets. john, what's happening? >> reporter: this is the end of the protest march about three blocks away from the mccormack center where the nato summit is being held. the speeches ended about a half hour ago, but there are a small group of protesters who are not leaving. the police are trying to clear the area. there was also a small group who tried to push toward the summit center. and that led to some clashes with the police, some pushing, shoving, some stick swinging. there have been no arrests so far. so far this weekend, there have been before this, about five people arrested, allegedly for planning a violent protest in this weekend. but so far, only about more than -- a little more than two dozen arrests over the weekend. and the other impact of this is that the city of chicago's website, city officials
acknowledge, have been hacked. the city website went down. the police website went down. but so far, right fou, they're trying to clear this area. we'll see how this ends. lester? >> john yang in chicago. as those clashes continue in the streets tonight, president obama and other world leaders are attending that high stakes meeting inside. discussing the war in afghanistan and international security. our chief white house correspondent chuck todd joins us with the details. >> reporter: good evening, lester. this is the second summit in as many days that president obama is hosting. actually, it was a fear of escalated protests as to one of the unstated reasons why they moved the g-8 summit to camp david. nato, they thought, would be a little less violent. of course, the focus here with this meeting of nato nations is on one thing, how to wind down the war in afghanistan. the 60 invited heads of state gathered today to discuss funding and implementing
security arrangements in afghanistan. >> we are working with the afghans over the next several years to achieve a complete transition to afghan lead for afghan security. >> afghanistan, indeed, mr. president, as you very nicely put it, is looking forward to an end to this war. >> reporter: it was just three weeks ago that president obama went to afghanistan to sign a new post-war partnership deal with karzai, while also publicly pledging to wind down this war by the end of 2014. the president brought a similar message today. >> that we are on the right track, and what this nato summit reflects is that the world is behind the strategy that we've laid out. >> reporter: at this summit, both president obama and karzai have the same goal. convincing other nato nations that afghanistan is ready for this transition, and spending money on security and other
resources post-2014 is worth it even in these tough economic times. nato secretary-general rasmussen. >> at the end of the day, it is less expensive to finance the afghan security forces to do the combat than to deploy our own troops. >> reporter: republican criticism of the president's afghanistan plan has been relatively muted. mitt romney's op-ed in today's "chicago tribune" avoided this issue, instead saving criticism for proposed defense cuts. the most hawkish of republican senators are optimistic about where afghanistan is headed. >> the afghan security forces are getting better. they're better trained, they're better equipped. >> reporter: the one piece of tension at the summit has to do with pakistan. president sa dary is here. president obama is refusing to meet with him. the administration denies that it's because sa dary has not agreed to open up the supply lines on the border of pakistan
to afghanistan. the packies feel a little bit snubbed, so to make them feel a little bit better, secretary clinton met with them a few hours ago. >> chuck todd, thanks. the only person ever convicted of the bombing of pan am flight 103 over scott land died of prostate cancer today at home in libya. abdel al megrahi was released from a scottish prison three years ago on humanitarian grounds. we have more tonight from richard engel. >> reporter: this is what he'll be remembered for, lockerbie, scotland, december, 1988. the debris of pan am flight 103 pound for new york after it exploded mid-air, killing all 270 passengers and crew onboard. 189 americans were on the flight. the man convicted of one of the worst terrorist agents before osama bin laden was abdel basset al me gra hi. he was a lib yat intelligence
agent working for moammar gadhafi. three scottish judges found megrahi guilty of planting a bomb on the ban am flight. a fragment of its timer was found among the wreckage. megrahi's son said his father was innocent and that he died of cancer at home in tripoli surrounded by friends and family. many libyans claim megrahi was a scapegoat. but u.s. security officials say he was no patsy, he was a terrorist. >> this was a man who was an operative, who worked on behalf of moammar gadhafi, and was absolutely instrumental in the death of 280 people in bombing pan am 103. >> reporter: families of the victims today found some solace in me gra hi's passing, but not much. >> there's no closure when your loved one is blown out of the air. there's some step of justice. the family for 24 years now have
been trying to seek the truth. >> reporter: that truth for many remains unclear. did megrahi act alone? and why was he released at all? a scottish court let megrahi return to libya in 2009 on humanitarian grounds saying he would be dead from cancer in three months. that was three years ago. there were claims megrahi was released to protect british business deals with oil-rich libya. today british prime minister david cameron reacted to megrahi's death. >> well, of course, i've always been clear that he should never have been released from prison. >> reporter: both the scottish government and the libyan inter imcouncil said today megrahi's death does not end the investigation into the bombing of pan am flight 103. richard engel, nbc news, cairo. to italy now, where a deadly earthquake struck early this morning, knocking down a clock tower and crumbling sen turs-old buildings in a matter of
seconds. the 6.0 quake struck in the northern part of the country. stephanie gosk is in italy for us tonight. >> reporter: the ground in northern italy started shaking very early in the morning. waking most out of a deep sleep. a 6.0 magnitude quake with an epicenter only three miles below the surface caused a violent tremor. we couldn't stand inside our house, he said. it was brutal. hours later a strong 5.1 magnitude aftershock shook them again. the only safe place was outside. a loud speaker ordered people not to go indoors. 3,000 were evacuated from homes and hospitals. at least seven people were killed, including three workers on the overnight shift. two in the same ceramics factory. i was looking out the window, this grieving mother says, telling myself, he will show up now.
it is the first earthquake to strike this region in hundreds of years. many of the buildings it destroyed were at least that old. in the medieval village, this building crumbled. three of the four towers were severely damaged. firefighters fought to save the rest. the roof of a cathedral caved in just hours before children were expected to receive first communion. across this rich historical region, irreplaceable churches, kasles and bell towers are destroyed. but people are still thankful. a strong earthquake at that time, that close to the surface, could have been far deadlier. the italian prime minister has cut his trip short to the nato summit in chicago. he's returning here to rome tomorrow. lester? >> stephanie gosk in italy for us tonight. thanks. now to the weather here at home. tropical storm alberto churning off the south carolina coast.
still a couple of weeks now until the official start of hurricane season, things are already beginning to pick up. weather channel meteorologist jim cantore is in charleston tonight with the forecast. jim, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. we're here on the east battery where the wind from alberto has whipped up quite a chop out here in the bay. again, the good news is, the storm will continue to weaken and pull offshore, we think, tonight as it heads on off to the northeast. last night this time we had a strong tropical storm with winds 60 miles per hour. 130 miles south of charleston, a few rain bands drifting in. notice the track keeping it offshore for the memorial day weekend. there aren't going to be any problems with this storm. lester, never before in any year have we seen both the pacific and atlantic have a storm pre-season like this one. either way, though, it doesn't make a match for what is to come this summer. we'll just have to wait and see. >> jim cantore, thank you. an update on the wildfires
burning across seven states. in arizona, more than 1,000 firefighters are working around the clock to contain the stubborn gladiator fire. high temperatures and low humidity are making things quite difficult. better news in northern colorado, where crews say a fire that forced evacuations has now been nearly contained. scientists are warning dry, dangerous conditions will get worse as the summer wears on. and take a look at this incredible scene as a tornado crossed a road last night near wichita, kansas. there were 17 reported tornadoes across that state in a matter of hours. no one was hurt, though the twisters did damage several homes and take out trees in their paths. still ahead as "nightly news" continues on this sunday, corporate spies on the payroll. the fbi's new mission to target employees stealing secrets from their own companies. costing the u.s. economy billions. and later, a 28th birthday, $19 billion, and wedded bliss.
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at this washington, d.c., hotel, he met with someone he thought was an agent of israel, who turned out to be an undercover fbi agent and said he was willing to sell u.s. satellite secrets. >> i made a career choice. >> reporter: those hotel meetings were caught on tape. >> so i gave you, even in this first run, some of the most classified information that there is. >> reporter: the fbi's lou supervised the investigation for more than two years. >> simply, it was financial. at the end of the day his greed caught up to him, and he was looking for the big payday. it was simply, i'll sell out for money. >> reporter: he pled guilty and sentenced in march to 13 years in prison. the fbi says all across the nation, in big corporations, and small companies, employees are stealing secrets to sell them, often to buyers overseas, a $13 billion loss in the past few years. >> we see the global economic downturn, causing nations to realize more than ever that it's
cheaper to steal american technology than it is to research and develop it themselves. >> reporter: mike, a ford motor engineer for a decade, was sentenced for almost six years in prison for stealing thousands of design documents and taking them with him to a carmaker in china. that's the kind of theft the fbi said is exploding, prompting these billboards intended to raise awareness of economic espionage. among warning signs, the fbi says, the employees that work odd hours without permission, download company materials to take home, and take overseas trips without explanation. >> if you have a job at an american company, there's something at that company that you can't afford to have walk out the door, it's the crown jewel of your company. >> reporter: prized secrets the fbi is trying to help american businesses do a better job of keeping safe. pete williams, nbc news, washington. and we're back in a moment with late word of a death of a ocks out there, how do you know which ones to follow?
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there's late word in from london that former bee gee robin gibb has died. he had been in and out of the hospital in recent years and underwent a number of surgeries. he and his brothers formed one of the best-selling groups of all-time, topping the charts with the number of hits in the 1970s, including their contributions to the film "saturday night fever." his brother, maurice, passed away in 2003, and with robin gibb's death barry remains the only surviving member. robin gibb was 62 years old. folks out west are waiting for a spectacular show in the sky. a ring of fire eclipse happens when the moon slides across the sun, blocking all but a halo of light. they're seeing it in east asia
now. this is how it looked a short time ago in japan. as the moon moved across the sun. on the u.s. west coast they'll be seeing it shortly, around 6:30 tonight pacific time. right of passage this weekend for many college students in this country. the class of 2012 at george washington university, some 5,000 graduating students and their families gathered on the mall in washington. our own brian williams received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement address drawing on this country's achievements in space. j you don't actually have to build a rocket, or go into space. but please take us somewhere, please keep us moving, push us, lift us up, make us better. remember this, as i leave you, again, as of today, you've achieved what i could not. congratulations. god bless. go achieve some more.
[ applause ] >> brian williams today in washington. eight decades after his last major league at-bat, babe ruth is still the king, smacking another home run in the sports memorabilia department. the babe's earliest known yankees jersey still around, sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for $4.4 million. that's a new record, surpassing the $4.3 million paid for jay naismith's founding rules of basketball. in case you missed it, it was a dramatic finish at this week's preakness stakes in maryland. >> and i'll have another in a dramatic preakness! here he comes! down to the wire! i'll have another! >> right at the wire, kentucky derby winner i'll have another won the second leg of horse racing's triple crown, keeping hopes alive for the first triple crown winner since affirm 34 years ago. seven other horses have won the
derby and preakness in the last 15 years then fell short at belmont. we'll see if i'll have another can race his way into the history books saturday, june 9th. that will be carried here on nbc. when we come back, taking stock of mark zuckerberg's big week.he of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. people don't like to miss out on money that should have been theirs. that's why at ally we have the raise your rate 2-year cd. you can get a one-time rate increase if our two-year rate goes up. if your bank makes you miss out, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
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a day after his social networking empire went public, zuckerberg surprised even his closest friends marrying his longtime girlfriend at their northern california home. but the biggest surprise of all might be what he wore to the wedding. here's nbc's mike ti eveny. >> reporter: mark zuckerberg didn't war a hoodie, just a nice dark suit. the understated event was still an unconventional surprise. the 100 or so invited guests thought they were going to a party celebrating chan's graduation from medical school. >> it was definitely outside the box. which seems actually pretty characteristic. that's good. that's silicon valley. >> reporter: in silicon valley and beyond, the reaction was monumental. word spread that zuckerberg's relationship status had changed just after 6:00 p.m. saturday. within three hours of posting this photo on his own facebook page, over 400,000 friends liked
the news. congrats, zuck. another simple comment, wow. just the day before he opened facebook's public trading. when the markets closed, the company was worth some $100 billion. with the media watching zuckerberg's every move, not one word of the wedding had leaked out. as for priscilla chan, the two met nine years ago when both were harvard undergrads. it was then that zuckerberg -- >> the nfacebook -- >> reporter: in the days before taking his company public, he was saying the same thing. >> i think it ends up being a very clear pick of the important things that happens in a person's life. >> reporter: what a story in the lives of these two people. the 27-year-old bride, whose 28-year-old groom is now the 29th richest person on the face of the earth. one fan wrote, prenup? i'm just saying. but this is a guy on a roll like no other.
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