tv NBC Nightly News NBC August 15, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
natural disaster, the history making drought of 2012. now the deep impact way beyond the farm. tonight we'll detail how americans will pay the price. american dreams. tens of thousands of young undocumented immigrants lining up across the country today for a chance to live and work openly in the u.s. mean season. an ugly exchange of words. romney calls the president angry and desperate. team obama says romney has come unhinged. even rudy giuliani takes a whack at joe biden. trading places. a stunning and sobering new look at increasing challenges for millions of americans caring for aging parents. chelsea clinton was one woman's tireless mission on behalf of baby elephants that
need help. behalf of baby elephants that need help. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. it's being called a natural disaster and a national disaster now of epic proportion. we could be in it for the long haul. the drought of 2012 is shown to have far reaching effects. the numbers will get your attention. 65% of the u.s. population living in a state severely affected by the drought. one economist said the losses to farmers start at $18 billion. here is how it hits home. the usda estimate add family of four in this country can expect to pay $615 more for groceries in the next year. we have seen the pictures of the corn crop. tonight some more front in the drought across the country where members of our team have fanned out and are standing by. we begin with nbc's kristen
dahlgren in woodrow, colorado. kristen, good evening. >> good evening, brian. this ranch lost hundreds of acres to a wildfire. things could have been much worse attachment a look. you see just how dry this grass is. gives you some idea how hard it is to feed the cattle. at the ranch, scars from the fire still slice across the grassland. blazes have now destroyed more than 5 million acres out west, just one more blow to ranches already struggling to stay alive. >> short on grass anyways. then a fire comes and takes what you have. kind of a double whammy. >> reporter: like many ranches, they have had to reduce their herd. >> there's about 40% less cattle there than what we had before. >> reporter: since so many other ranchers have had to send livestock to market early, prices have plummeted. they are getting 150 less for every animal they sell. >> they have had other setbacks.
certainly it can be the last straw for farmers, yeah. >> reporter: this year the together number of cattle in the u.s. is already the smallest in 60 years. without rain to turn dusty land into new growth, ranchers can only worry about what the future might bring if it doesn't bring rain. keep in mind, brian, they can't just go out and buy more feed. because of the drought the corn is scarce. those prices are skyrocketing as well. they are in a tough spot. >> kristen dahlgren starting us off in colorado. let's go east. john yang standing by there. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. since the last time i reported from the mississippi river about three weeks ago, the water level in this area has dropped even more, another five feet, all along the lower mississippi. sand bars are being exposed, more of the sandy river banks exposed. that's making shipping more dangerous and more expensive for everything that moves on this river.
almost $180 billion of product a year is shipped on this river. 60% of u.s. grain, 22% of oil and gas. 20% of coal. it's all more expensive. already about 20 times. the traffic has come to a halt because the water level is too shallow. every day a tow boat sits idle costing shipping companies $10,000 apiece for fuel and manpower. that's what makes work on the dredges like this, the army corps of engineer's dredge, so essential. this is essentially a big underwater vacuum, scoops up salt and silt into the water channel and spews it out in the river. this crew is working day and night to keep this important shipping channel open. brian. >> john, thanks. john on the mississippi river. further east to north carolina. nbc's anne thompson is standing
by there. ann, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. two short months ago chicken farmers thought corn would be a bargain, so much was planted, then the drought hit. now it's hurting their bottom line. there are 5100 new mouths to feed. not even a day old these chicks eat feed that cost 40% more than the beginning of june. putting poultry producer in a bind. >> we have no choice but to pass it onto the consumer. we have to raise prices or not produce the birds. >> corn makes up 70% of chicken field. today corn is as good as gold. overseas feed mills in five states. >> what are you paying for corn these days? >> in excess of $9 a bushel. >> have you ever paid that much before? >> never. >> reporter: this food staple is now such a precious commodity, purdue may cut the amount of corn in feed. >> it could be as low as 55% corn, some other alternative
ingredients. >> reporter: the challenge is facing north carolina the second largest producer of poultry meat is a bellwether for the nation. >> as goes production, so goes national meat prices. >> reporter: now, it takes just six weeks to raise a commercial chicken, 11 to 12 weeks for ron joyce's chickens. so you're going to be seeing those price increases very soon. brian. >> anne thompson, north carolina tonight. thanks. as we saw at the top of the broadcast, one of the most destructive aspects has been wildfires. it has been a tough day in california. one fire grew to four square miles just within hours. some homes were lost in riverside county. some conditions better in washington state where firefighters are trying to contain a blaze that has scorched more than 40 square miles and destroyed so far 70 homes. from the new york city area
tonight, way too much water. there are rain totals of four inches plus in a very short amount of time. look at this amateur video came in tonight, flooding in parts of the new york city subway system and places like brooklyn are flooded tonight. they are not accustomed to high water. in washington today police say a man with a gun walked into the offices of the conservative lobbying group family research council and opened fire. he never made it past the lobby. he shot a security guard in the arm before the guard was able to subdue him. a big change today in this nation's immigration policy. this was the first day for young, undocumented immigrants to take advantage of that executive order signed by the president back in june allowing them to apply to avoid being deported for the next two years. the turnout at help centers and law offices all around the country was big. a report from mark potter
prosecutor. >> reporter: in chicago thousands of undocumented immigrants stood in line for application toss avoid deportation. some of them had camped overnight. >> this the first time they will be able to get a social security number, to be able to work legally in the u.s., to be able to get a driver's licenses. >> applicants around the country say they are relieved to no longer fear being deported at least for now. >> we don't have to live in the shadows anymore. we don't have to be afraid. it's like a weight has been lifted off the shoulders. >> this the right thing to do for the american people. >> reporter: president obama announced the policy in june after congress failed to pass immigration reform. >> congress was unwilling to pass the dream act. the president decided to act unilaterally, and this is clearly courting the latino vote. >> reporter: more than immigrants can apply for a two-year leave from deportation. to qualify applicants cannot be convicted of a serious crime, must be in school, have graduated or served honorably in the military. they cannot pose a security
threat. because this is only temporary relief, the applicants will not be granted citizenship. for lisa, an undocumented swedish immigrant in kentucky, who will file her application this week, there is new hope now. >> this will allow me to apply for medical school and hopefully actually become a doctor. >> reporter: opponents of the plan accuse the president of favoring immigrants over u.s. citizens and worry about potentially fraudulent applications as the fight over immigration reform is anything but over. mark potter, nbc news, miami. >> this was not the proudest day in the history of discourse in our democracy. if the tenor of the campaign stays this way, it's going to be an ugly 84 days until election day. this current round started yesterday with a joe biden comment that was immediately branded by some as race-baiting. it went downhill from there. our white house correspondent kristen welker is with us from
davenport, iowa. good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you. it has been a remarkably ugly week so far. while campaigning with his wife here in iowa, president obama at least for today stepped away from the personal attack. mrs. obama. >> because of you barrack and i will remember what this process can be at its very best. >> mr. obama used strong language to refute claims about medicare. >> they are pretty -- about my plan, throwing everything against the wall to see if it sticks. >> according to the obama's and ryan's plans, both slow medicare growth by $700 billion but do not cut program been fits. meanwhile the ever outspoken vice president tried to stay on message a day after republicans reacted angrily to this.
>> romney wants to let -- he said in the first 100 days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. unchain wall street. they are going to put y'all back in chains. >> reporter: romney said biden was out of line. >> an unfounded charge and a metaphor which is not uplifting, not uniting. >> reporter: and called the comment beneath the office of the white house. >> the president's campaign is all about division and attack and hatred. >> reporter: former new york mayor rudy giuliani chimed in. >> this guy just isn't bright. he's never been bright. he isn't bright. people think he just talks to much. actually, he just isn't smart. >> reporter: biden tried to clarify last night. >> last time they shackled the economy to use their term they put the middle class in
shackles. >> reporter: double down on the best weapon, attack dog in chief. >> i know i am sometimes criticized for saying exactly what i mean. it's not going to change. >> reporter: the ugly tone continued today by president biden while talking about american leadership referred to the 20th century when he meant to say 21th century. within minutes the romney machine was mocking the mistake in campaign e-mails. it continues. >> still ahead for us as we continue tonight, a stunning new look at the huge challenges facing more than 40 million of us taking care of aging parents. the question is who takes care of the caregivers. later, making a difference. chelsea clinton with one woman's mission to save some increasingly rare baby animals. well, i had all the classic symptoms...
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we have a special report for you on the millions of americans who suddenly look around and find themselves in the role of caregiver. those caring not just for their own kids but also their parents. aarp is out with some new numbers and a new campaign to raise awareness on just how hard a job it is. our report from our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman. >> reporter: five nights a week, in between helping her daughter with homework and managing her northern virginia household, 45-year-old debra and her husband b.g. bring dinner to his parents carlos and sonia who live nearby. >> i don't know how i juggle it all. >> reporter: it's one of the manyays they are helping provide them with care and company. according to today's aarp report, debra is one of 42 million americans, aged 40 to 60 caring for an older adult. those numbers are growing. 63%, most of them women, spend
about nine hours a week caring for a loved one, with one clocking 40 hours or more. many say the hardest part is the loneliness, the isolation. >> it's incredibly stressful and really overwhelming sometimes. >> reporter: amy isn't just aarp's care giving expert, she commutes from washington, d.c. to phoenix to help her parents, robert and patricia with medications, doctor's appointments and physical therapy. >> you're doing so great, mommy, i'm so proud of you. >> reporter: while she's grateful for this time with them, she says the comfort of community is essential for her own emotional well-being. >> the people who i conversation with online, my facebook, aarp.org. those are the things that keep me going. >> reporter: to help with caregivers, they have public service announcement urging them to seek support. experts say support can come in
many forms, from staying physically fit to phoning a friend. most of all, debra and others facing similar challenges say it's important to recognize the every day gift in caring for aging parents. >> you realize how precious life is. that's why it's so important to have the children spend time with their parents, for me to spend time with my parents. >> reporter: stress is a normal part of care giving but there are ways to minimize expense. there are places can you turn to but they vary community to community. some senior seniors have buses to take them to appointments, churches, community outreach. some shelters will bring animals into a person's home which is a known stress reliever both for the patient and the caregiver. >> you and i have both been there. we're going to do a lot more on this topic. nancy, thank you, as always. we're back in a moment with a post olympic games worry for the royal family. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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prince philip is back in the hospital tonight. he was taken by ambulance from balmoral castle. while it's being called a precaution it's a recurrence. prince philip is 91. he's been very active of late and attended a number of olympic events in london. milky cabrera apologized to his friends and fans. he's been suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone. he was having a monstrous season, mvp of the all-star game, which decides home field advantage. now he'll sit out this season and first five games of next. felix hernandez threw the first perfect game in seattle mariners
history. win over the rays. the hyper sonic plane we told you about, 151 wave rider. it's riding the wave somewhere in the pacific ocean tonight. it was supposed to reach a speed of mach vi for five minutes. after it was dropped under the wing of the b-52 carrying it aloft, it lost control before they could light the engine. boeing built four of the main engines initially, only one survives intact. last night's flight, united airlines to washington, d.c. was one to remember. it was the last flight for a couple who have been flight attendants together for 40 years. tom and ula met during the pan am era. after they had two friends and lost friends in the lockerbie bombing, they had separate routes. they teamed up again, after the kids went to college, had empty
nest back home. untold millions of miles flown, millions of seat belt reminders and service throughout the cabin, they have a new destination. grandparent hood. their first is due in a few weeks. well done. up next chelsea clinton has a making a difference award about a woman helping those who desperately need her help. the pitch! whoa! so why are you doing his? only your doctor can determine if your persistent heartburn is actually something more serious like acid reflux disease. over time, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus. for many, prescription nexium not only provides 24-hour heartburn relief, but can also help heal acid-related erosions in the lining of your esophagus. talk to your doctor about the risk for osteoporosis-related bone fractures and low magnesium levels with long-term use of nexium. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. otherious stomach conditions may still exist. let your doctor do his job. and you do yours.
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time now for our making a difference report and a woman who has devoted her life to protecting one of the world's most beloved and majestic creatures, the african elephant. last year was the worst for elephant poaching and ivory trading since it was officially banned back in the 1980s. nbc's chelsea clinton tonight on the fight to reverse that and the woman who is making a difference. >> reporter: a century ago, more than 3 million african elements roamed the continent. today just less than 300,000. naturalist daphne has spent 50 years living among elephants and fostering their children. >> in a perfect world elephants wouldn't have any enemies.
humans are the enemies. >> reporter: united nations banded ivory trade but now they can sell their stockpile to china and japan. >> in china it's looked upon as currency. >> reporter: daphne's group working with the kenyan national wildlife service is trying to curb the killing. they patrol the skies over the vast reserve. mobile units help a wounded elephant. here they rescue a two week old infant left behind by poachers. they took this one-year-old to safety. after he spent days refusing to leave his dying mother's side. >> raising them is tough. we've rescued over the years over 400 elephants. sadly not all -- >> reporter: daphne's daughter organizes supplies for a new rescue. experienced elephant handlers on board flying to the largest game
reserve to retrieve the orphan, the 900 pound toddler, a handful to lift but comforted during the bumpy ride to nairobi. at his new home, he's agitated. but too weak to put up much of a fight. >> he's a one-year-old baby. he's longing for someone to be gentle and kind to him but he thinks we're the enemy. >> look at them greeting one another. >> reporter: the real key to the adjustment, other orphans come to soothe the newcomer. by the next more than he appears remarkably better but daphne still worries. >> we've had elephants refuse to feed, refuse to even water. they want to die. >> reporter: orphans that didn't survive the trauma of losing their family. but daphne has saved more than she's lost. chelsea clinton, nbc news, nairobi, kenya. tt is our broadcast on wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams.
we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com [ male announcer ] everyone at southwest airlines works together for one goal: to get you where you're going. and with flights all over the country to choose from, it's a good thing we love our work. and now we're excited to take you to the beaches of northwest florida. fly nonstop from bwi airport to panama city beach, florida, for just 99 dollars one-way. book all of our destinations online
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