tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 25, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
on our broadcast tonight from london, a chilling twist in the movie massacre investigation in colorado. nbc news has confirmed the suspect sent an early warning through the mail. now a tough question, could the rampage have been prevented. an nbc news exclusive. here in london today, our conversation with mitt romney about gun rights, religion, taxes and whether american voters really truly know who he is. and let the games begin. they are actually under way even before opening ceremonies. but tonight, why some athletes will be staying home. how u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s are playing a role that might just
affect the chances of the u.s. team. "nightly news" from london team. "nightly news" from london begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams, reporting tonight from >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams, reporting tonight from london. and good evening. from tower bridge here in london, our arrival here today as the games are set to begin also coincides with mitt romney's arrival here in london. the first stop of his first overseas trip of this campaign season and a chance for us to sit down with the presumptive gop nominee. more on that in just a moment. first again tonight our attention is focused on the aftermath and investigation in colorado. a huge development in the case today. something from the accused gunman himself that was sent before the shooting that if discovered earlier might have changed this story. it's where we begin, again, tonight with miguel almaguer in aurora, colorado. miguel, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening.
a judge issued a gag order in this case, so police cannot publicly comment on the evidence they have received and gathered. law enforcement sources tell nbc news the suspect did mail a package which could become a valuable piece of evidence. senior law enforcement sources say accused gunman james holmes mailed the package here to the university of colorado medical center in aurora sometime before the attack. the package is said to contain detailed writings about, quote, killing people. it was holmes himself who told police where to find it. >> it's an important factor in assessing whether or not he was acting deliberately planning this and thoughtfully, one step after the next. >> reporter: investigators, who continue to search holmes apartment for clues, recovered the package in the mail room at the university monday. the package was addressed to a professor. >> people versus james holmes. >> reporter: holmes who appeared in court monday is in solitary
confinement, where according to police officials he remains uncooperative. in washington today, the director of the counter-terrorism center told the house committee they believe holmes acted alone. >> while there's no suggestion that the shooting last week in colorado was connected to international terrorism, the attack is a tragic reminder that a lone, calculating shooter can inflict devastating damage. >> reporter: this afternoon the first funeral service for the oldest victim. 51-year-old gordon cowden took his two teenager daughters to see batman. >> the girls told us as they were leaving the theater that he was yelling after them, i love you. >> reporter: across the country flags are at half-staff. four service members are among the 12 victims soon to be laid to rest. amid the heartbreak, a rare moment of joy. first photos of hugo jackson medley, born in the same hospital where his father caleb medley is in a coma after he was shot in the head. >> a silver lining to a very
dark cloud. but we all know caleb. we know he's a fighter. we know he's not going to stay out of that child's life. >> reporter: some good news for one family of the more than 70 people who were injured, but it comes as we get news that the suspect mailed what has been described as a chilling package. brian. >> miguel almaguer starting us off again tonight from aurora, colorado. miguel, thanks. >> back in london, our conversation with mitt romney. he flew overnight from reno, nevada. from here his trip goes onto israel and poland. in conjunction with the games gearing up, it gave us an opportunity to talk with him today in one of the historic old buildings in the tower bridge complex. we started by talking about the issues raised by this mass murder in colorado, about gun violence in the u.s. >> i want to ask you about the
compelling news back home, and that's from aurora, colorado where we were on friday. this is about your own record vis-a-vis what happened here. as governor you signed an assault weapons ban in massachusetts. you said at the time, quote, these guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. they are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people. do you still believe that? >> well, i actually signed a piece of legislation, as you described, that banned assault weapons in our state. it was a continuation of prior legislation. it was backed both by the second amendment advocates like myself, and those that wanted to restrict gun rights, because it was a compromise. both sides got some things improved in the laws as they existed. i happen to think with regards to the aurora, colorado, disaster, we're wise to continue the time of memorial and think of comforting the people affected. political implications, legal
implications are something that will be sorted out down the road. i don't happen to believe america needs new gun laws. a lot of what this young man did was clearly against the law. the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening. >> on to another topic, and that is your taxes. can you say that your decision is firm, that you'll not do a walk back between now and the convention, now and the fall election, that there will be no more returns released by mitt romney. >> i'm following the same precedent that was put in place by john mccain. two years. and by the way, hundreds of pages of returns for the democrat opportunists to go through and distort and turn in different directions and try to make a big deal out of. the american people are not real concerned about tax returns. they are concerned about who can get this economy going and create good jobs again. i can. the president hasn't been able to do the job as he expected to do and i know how to get it done. >> you also know what happens in the real world.
people hear he's not going to release the rest of his returns and they wonder why. they wonder, is there a year there he didn't pay taxes. they wonder about expensive horses and houses and what have you. so i'll ask another way, what is it that is preventing you from releasing the rest of our returns. >> well, one, i released all the information about my financial holdings. that's required by law. in addition beyond the law have released or will finally release when the last year is complete two full years of returns. >> i want to read this. this happened on "meet the press," david brooks, op-ed columnist "new york times." i want to get your reaction to this quote. what's relevant is who the guy is -- speaking of governor romney -- he has an amazing personal story. his family was really an exodus story going across the west, poverty, building an empire. he can't talk about it because it involves mormonism. he's personally a decent guy. for some reason he's not willing to talk about it.
he's a hidden man. are you a hidden man? >> well, no. as a matter of fact, i'm happy to talk about my heritage. i speak actually quite regularly about the fact my dad was born in mexico, with revolution in mexico. my dad then, i think, aged five or six came back to the u.s. with this family. they went broke multiple times. his dad was a contractor. my dad didn't complete college but went on to be the head of a car company and then governor. i think it's a remarkable story. i'm very proud of my heritage. without question i'm a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. i'm proud of that. some call that the mormon church. that's fine with me. i'll talk about my experiences in the church. there's no question they have helped shape my perspective. >> i know how much you love quoting unnamed romney advisers. here is a republican official familiar with your campaign selection process told the folks at politico you are looking for
a, quote, incredibly boring white guy for your vice presidential nominee. can you confirm or deny? >> you told me you were not available. >> touche, governor. >> i can't give you anything on that front whatsoever. i can tell you i'm not going to announce it this week. while i'm overseas, i'm not going to announce my vice presidential running mate. when the decision is made, i'll make that announcement. it's not made yet. i can't tell you when it will be. that's something we'll decide down the road. >> part of our conversation here today in london with governor romney. there is more on the web, including his personal stake in the games. his wife's dressage horse competing in these london summer olympics. now to the massive gathering here in london. the opening ceremony is friday, but the actual competition is quietly under way without much fanfare. so begins the news from these summer games. kevin tibbles is part of our
team here to cover it. kevin, welcome. good evening. >> reporter: so much talk of security at these games. it's known there are more than 18,000 british troops here. that's twice as many soldiers as the brits have fighting in afghanistan. they are all here to make sure these games go off without a hitch. with two days to go, some last minute fine-tuning, training in the sand and in the pool. for the u.s. women's soccer team, their games actually kicked off with a match against france. but some athletes won't be coming to london. today the olympic anti-doping agency announced more than 100 have been banned from the games, caught by a new drug testing program that screens their blood even before they leave home. >> my view, get better with detection each year that goes by. >> reporter: something else athletes my need to be wary of, what they say on social media.
twitter has taken off, 100 times more olympic tweets than the run-up to the beijing games. to ensure athletes honor the olympic spirit, the ioc has issued a code of conduct. postings, blogs and tweet should be dignified and in good taste and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images. today one greek athlete was removed from her team after sending what officials are calling a racist tweet. the olympic village will be home for the thousands of athletes when they are not competing. some even brought a piece of home with them. >> what do you think of the village? >> fantastico. >> reporter: they can relax, grab a snack, fly the flag, even wear it. >> it's fun to see the hyped atmosphere heating up. >> u.s. gymnast john horton and jay dalton enjoyed some time outside their room. >> we were in the cafeteria today. they have people in there 7' tall and people like me, 5'1".
>> reporter: the dining hall is massive with cuisine from every country in the world. >> you can imagine meals for 35, 40,000 people. >> that's a lot of ketchup. >> reporter: tonight the secret is out, brian, who is going to be carrying the stars and stripes for the ceremony. two-time olympic gold medalist in fencing, mariel zagunis. that's going to be a very proud night for her. on the red faced front this evening, when the north korean women's team took to the soccer team today, they were introduced next to pictures of the south korean flag. obviously that caused a fair amount of diplomatic flap here. the north koreans originally said they weren't going to play the game, apologies, handshakes back and forth. it eventually went off. >> the first problems. we'll see you along the way. thanks. still ahead as we continue tonight from london, some of the other big stories of this day, including the relentless heat wave causing so much suffering across our country.
later a wedding surprise. an entire country learned they have a first lady they didn't know about until now. we are back from london tonight right after this. ntil now. we are back from london tonight right after this. last season was the gulf's best tourism season in years. in florida we had more suntans... in alabama we had more beautiful blooms... in mississippi we had more good times... in louisiana we had more fun on the water. last season we broke all kinds of records on the gulf. this year we are out to do even better... and now is a great time to start. our beatches are even more relaxing... the fishing's great. so pick your favorite spot on the gulf... and come on down. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
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we get our report tonight from nbc's john yang. >> reporter: st. louis has been like an oven set on broil. today the 16th day of triple digit heat. >> oh, it's hot. it's real hot. >> reporter: in chicago high temperatures were compounded by power outages from strong storms. >> living without my air conditioning, my refrigerator, everything. you know, it's just rough right now. >> reporter: the heat is blamed for at least 24 deaths in st. louis. officials say most victims didn't have air conditioning or turned it off to save money. >> we're coming to take care of your mother. >> reporter: the charity called cool down st. louis provides free units for people like 85-year-old helen smith, easing her son's worries. >> if we didn't have the air, it would cause her to be rushed to the hospital. it brings on her asthma. >> reporter: the weather is also hard on crops. today the agriculture department named 76 more counties natural disaster areas, bringing the total to more than 1300 counties
in 31 states. a new report from the union of concerned scientists said midwest heat waves are more frequent than they were 60 years ago. here in chicago an average of four more days of dangerous heat, and seven fewer days of cool, dry air. forecasters say the midwest heat is about to dip, but it's hard to call it relief. >> temperatures come down from the triple digits to the mid-90s. that only lasts a couple of days, then it warms back up. >> reporter: as the long hot summer broils on. john yang, nbc news, chicago. up next here tonight. how it is an 11-year-old managed to fly from england to rome with no boarding pass. more than that, without anyone realizing he had boarded the plane to begin with. re than tha realizing he had boarded the plane to begin with. [ female announcer ] women have made it the number one selling
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first lady. put it another way, kim jong-un is off the market. he went and got married and korean state-run tv today announced the happy union, and it came out of nowhere. our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell has the story. >> reporter: imagine a combination of kate middleton and princess grace. the young heir to a political dynasty married the glamorous pop star. but this is the kingdom, instead of a pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding, here is how north korean television shouted the news today of the happy couple. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: the new first lady of north korea, ri sol ju, seen at the side of great leader kim jong-un visiting school children today and saluting the military, even though he recently fired his top general. until today's announcement she was a well dressed mystery woman
accompany's kim to a performance by mickey mouse and other pirated characters, enjoying the island pleasure ground, pyongyang's version of an amusement park. north korean leaders rarely reveal details of their personal life. while today's announcement wasn't a missile launch, it took the u.s. by surprise. >> to my knowledge, i don't think we were invited to the wedding nor did we have any advance information. >> reporter: what does it mean north korea's version of "access hollywood" is featuring glamorous images of the newlyweds. >> on the surface it's kind of fun, and it's amusing. the young leader has a wife. they are going to make little kims. that's all wonderful. in the end, the bigger problems still remain. >> reporter: for now the regime is trying to show a modern face and create a new personality with the young leader and his new wife. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. >> another story getting a lot
of attention in london tonight, that's how it is an 11-year-old boy flew from manchester, england, to rome without a boarding pass. reportedly he tailed with another family. he got by check in, through security and got on the plane without a boarding pass. it wasn't until the plane was in midair that someone noticed the kid was without a seat assignment. seat assignment. he's back home tonight with a lot of explaining to do. the airline has fired a few employees. the transportation secretary here calls the entire incident, quote, incredibly disconcerting. up next, the u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s are just wrapping up another mission. this one might result in terrific benefits for some of their fellow americans competing here in london. some of their fellow americans competing here in london. at all those toys. insuring that stuff must be a pain. nah, he's probably got... [ dennis' voice ] allstate. they can bundle all your policies together. lot of paperwork. [ doug's voice ] actually... [ dennis' voice ] an allstate agent can help do the switching and paperwork for you. well, it probably costs a lot. [ dennis' voice ] allstate can save you up to 30% more when you bundle.
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>> reporter: anna has been called the fittest sailor in the world. just after winning a gold medal in beijing, she trained for a half ironman and completed it. on the bone chilling morning in the colorado foothills -- >> this is going to be pure hell. >> reporter: anna is about to go meet her match. >> you guys look hot. why don't you cool off in the lake. >> reporter: navy s.e.a.l.s, the new coaches for the day, are training them as if the nation's security, not a medal, is depending on it. >> ultimate goal is going to be better teamwork, kind of reset the baseline of what they think their capable of doing. >> reporter: that means hundreds of push-ups after diving into ice cold water. covered in sand, shivering, hoisting a 230 pound log again and again. only 18 of the 42 sailors will make it through the four hours of agony. anna lasted only an hour. >> definitely took you to a new
limit. pretty freaking cold. >> reporter: it's a modified version of the s.e.a.l.s legendary training. six weeks of physical and mental torment so rigorous 90% drop out. the u.s. olympic committee has asked the s.e.a.l.s to train athletes from a dozen teams including michael phelps and other swimmers practicing here in london, and it seems to be paying off. after three sessions with the s.e.a.l.s, the women's field hockey team upset the world champion argentina. back in colorado, sailing siblings, zach and page, did finish that day but didn't exactly like it. >> how cold was it? >> being from florida, that was like being in the arctic ocean. >> reporter: but they are glad they did it, and so is anna, now using lessons learned training with the s.e.a.l.s out in the frigid waters of the english channel.
>> i pushed myself so much farther than what i thought i could do. i learned so much from it. >> reporter: lessons that could help all of them sail to the top of the podium. chris jansing, nbc news, london. if it was easy, anybody could do it. and so with the world gathering here for the summer olympic games in london, that is our broadcast on a 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.