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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  July 29, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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israel. what his campaign said today about iran that set off controversy. also tonight a very dicey time as violence explodes in syria's largest city. richard engel reports from there. and here at the olympics, stunning upsets. the hottest look at the town right there at the buckingham palace. and mystery solved. who took the dive for the queen in london. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening.
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when he was here in london just days ago in a conversation with us, governor mitt romney said he didn't want to be critical of the president or be fashioning foreign policy as he put it while he was on foreign soil. he wrapped up a controversial visit to london and then left here for israel, and tonight the romney campaign is doing a little damage control on the subject of foreign policy, another lesson that the politics of the middle east can be fraught for any american politician. it's where we begin tonight with nbc's peter alexander who's traveling with governor romney. he's in jerusalem tonight. peter, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you from outside the old city here today. mitt romney insisted the u.s. has what he called a, quote, solemn duty and moral imperative to prevent an iranian threat to israel. >> we love you. >> thank you, thank you. >> we love you. >> reporter: surrounded by a crush of israelis and
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international press mitt romney made a pilgrimage to jerusalem's western wall, delivering a prayer in one of jerusalem's most holy sites and later a warning to iran. >> make no mistake the ayatol h ayatollahs in iran are efforting our moral defenses. they want to know who will object and who will look away. we will not look away, nor will my country ever look away to our passion and commitment to israel. >> reporter: earlier dan senor seemed to to take on a tougher policy. in order to stop iran from the capability of building a nuclear weapon. the campaign later released statement softening that stance. during his speech to jewish supporters and american donors romney said while no option should be excluded he hopes diplomacy prevails. >> we should em employ ploy all effort. and it is our fervent hope that
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diplomatic and economic measures will do so. >> reporter: they hope to employ the at time tense relationship between president obama and benjamin netanyahu. with a photo op of the old friend who met at a boston consulting firm in the 1970s. >> the sanctions so far have not set back the iranian program by one iota. >> reporter: declaring jerusalem the capital of the state. a bone of contention to the arab world, romney has enjoyed a warm reception but the obama campaign attacked romney for offering few foreign policy specifics and trying to resurrect mitt romney's missteps at the olympic games. >> and i think it's clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether mitt romney's ready for the world and think the world is not yet ready for mitt romney. >> reporter: and with this visit mitt romney is hoping to peel away some jewish voters back home, voters, brian, who
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overwhelmingly supported barack obama four years ago. after a fund-raiser tomorrow morning he end ters the final leg of his tour where he finally arrives in poland. >> and, peter, let's call it there was some imagery that the obama campaign was forced to react to. >> yeah. he was asked a question in particular about a ""newsweek" requests magazine coming out. it calls him a wimp and asks if he's too insecure to be president. he was asked about that. he said he hasn't seen a magazine, referred to a similar cover 25 years ago about george h.w. bush. he said he was a good president. he said he was never called a wimp before and doesn't lose any sleep over the criticism. brian? >> peter alexander traveling in jerusalem. thanks. former vice president dick cheney said it was a mistake for
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senator john mccain to pick then alaska sarah palin as his running mate back in '08. he said she just want ready to take over the top job, a bottom line qualification for a v.p. selection. >> i like governor palin. i've met her. i know her. she's an attractive candidate, but based on her background, she'd only been governor for about two years. i don't think she passed that test. >> of being ready. >> of being ready to take ore. i think that was a mistake. >> governor -- former vice president cheney went on to say that the mccain campaign didn't handle the vetting process well, which is a perception the romney campaign is, of course, trying hard not to repeat. now to syria where violence continued to intensify today in that country's largest city, aleppo. as we pointed out last night,
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this is a city larger than chicago, illinois. and today dozens were killed. tonight there are signs that some kind of pair know i ya might be setting in. the assad government lashed out at countries for conspiring to overthrow president assad. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel continues his reporting tonight from inside syria. >> reporter: good evening, brian. today the syrian government declared victory in its battle against the opposition in the sear yaus capital of damascus. in the last several days syrian forces have been able to reimpose control over most of damascus. the government's strategy seems quite clear now. it's to move on from damascus and attack the city of aleppo, syria's second city, the commercial capital, and, again, today, aleppo came under fierce attack mostly from helicopters and artillery. the syrian government is also offering something of a new explanation for the entire
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crisis. the foreign minister while visiting iran today said all of the rebels and this entire uprising is part of an israeli plot. from where i am in northern syria in areas that are controlled by the rebels, people here support the opposition, they support the rebels. people in this area just want to bring down the bashar al assad regime, restore their dignity, and bring freedom to this country. brian? >> richard engel, who, again, has been able to follow reports for us from northern syria during this conflict. now let's switch our attention to this global gathering here in london for the 2012 summer olympic games and where the competition was concerned today and tonight. more surprising results in two of the marquis events here, swimming and women's gymnastics, fwoekt be broadcast here on nc in prime time tonight. now, veteran viewers may remember how we do spoiler alerts here. if you don't want to see the
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results, close your eyes or look away for a moment. we won't say anything on the air to give it away, but it will be on the screen, and then we will tell you when it's safe to look back. so starting now. the first bit of news involves the two big names from our lead story here last night, lochte and phelps. late today they competed together in the men's 4 x 100 freestyle relay and the results are on the screen. and in gymnastics, one of the olympic athletes who was to go all the way failed to qualify for the all-around title. she will still be able to compete in the individual events. 23 you need to know now, it's at andite now safe to look back at the screen. it will all be on tonight's nbc coverage in prime time. there was a lot of other news at the games here in london today and chris jansing is here tonight with all of it. chris, welcome. >> good evening, brian.
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it was a classic day. chills, spills and stunning results as you mentioned. and there was also controversy over who gets tickets to the prime events. this day also marked the return of classic british weather. the brits are so in love with their team. the huddled masses braved downpours to come to olympic park today to watch the competitions on a big screen tv, but love of team did not extend to organizers. this weekend empty seats at some of the most popular events, j gymnasti gymnastics, swimming, and tennis, had sports fans fuming. >> we couldn't get anything for any of the events we originally went in for. >> reporter: officials on the defense said the tickets belonged to members of the olympic family, sports federations, families and sponsors. now they will go to military and students and teachers or be sold. >> that's why we, you know, we will make sure where we possibly can that we get people into those seats.
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>> reporter: for events that weren't required like women's road cycling, stormy weather didn't stop huge crowds six deep from lining the streets. as the brits say -- weather for wellies, but not bikini unless you play women's beach volley ball. skeet shooter kimbroughdy embraced the elements and became the first american to win an individual medal at five straight olympics. >> you still have the emotions that hit you when you're standing on the podium watching the american flag go to the top of the pole. >> reporter: and royty medal appearance. king james and the dream team. michelle obama was in the audien audience. prince wims and david beckham. a proud grandfather and mother. the duke ofarily and princess aun came out to watch zara phillips ride. and the man who would be queen,
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well, the stunt double who played the scene in the opening ceremony said it was the part of a lifetime and he only got one take. >> what's the side of the spot that you had to hit though. >> okay. the actual landing area that we had was very small. >> reporter: and have you ever jumped with a handbag and a skirt? >> no. but it might happen again. who knows. >> reporter: he wouldn't have been able to make that jump in today's windy weather. and showers are forecast and so britain, brian, for the rest of the week. >> he doesn't look remotely like the queen even with the pearls. >> he's got the accent. >> we've got all the coverage including women's gymnastics and swimming and diving beginning at 7:00, 6:00 central. what happens when you drop 5,000 tons of sand squarely in the queen's front yard and then add athletes wearing very little clothing? and later, they're
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and it's being held in one of the most historic places in london. they knew it would get attention and as you say, it's one of the hottest tickets in town. with precision and discipline, the queen's body guards, the household cavalry get ready for the changing of the guard. the same daily ceremony for the last 350 years. with one exception. this little courtyard is not where it is supposed to take place. their real stomping ground, horse guards parade has been overrun before i have fit, scantilly clad, barefoot volley ballers, a sport dreamed up on the beaches of santa monica now dropped in the center of london. one of the reasons this location was chosen was for its symbolism. the olympic games meet british tradition. this is about as traditional as it gets. this is where the queen conducts
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the annual trooping the color, where her grandson's procession passed moments after his wedding. a black dot on the clock tower above marks the same time prince andrew the first was beheaded in 1649. the parade ground is surrounded by the offices. and those lucky enough to work for army headquarters can look right out their window. >> you're going to try not to look behind you. >> i'll do my best, but i can't promise anything. after all, this is the olympic games. >> the players seem to appreciate the significance of where they're competing. >> i think beach volley ball is a sport that pushes boundaries anyways, so it's kind of perfect that we're in such a formal setting and we are going to shock people. >> reporter: the transportation of horse guards parade was daunting. builders only had five weeks to construct the 15-000 seat stadium because of the queen's schedule. 5,000 tons of sand had to be
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trucked in from a quarry in southern england. captain alex owen and his regiment have had their own experience struggling with sand. how many members of the household cavalry play beach volley ball. >> actually a surprising amount of them do play in afghanistan. that's one of the things we can do out there. there's lots of sand. >> reporter: they are not often told what to do, but this is a very different kind of mission. >> it's a bit different, yeah. it's a little bit different but we're quite happy to adapt. we are reconnaissance soldiers after all. >> reporter: centuries of tradition gracefully stepping aside so olympic athletes can kick up some sand and the world can see london like never before. to clarify a little bit of controversy, brian, when the temperature dips below 60 degrees, they don't have toware the bikinis. they can cover up. it's below 60 right now. not bikini weather.
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>> my favorite quote, we are reconnaissance soldiers after all. i hope that lives forever. great jofb reporting. we were down there today. it's unbelievable. stephanie gosk reporting in london. up next you're looking at the moon over london. in a moment we're going to tell you what they discovered on the surface of that moon. did you know when heartburn, it's too late to take prilosec because... but it's
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william staub has died. he created the famous treadmill. for folks who ever sweated on one, he's the guy to blame. we owe him a huge debt of thanks because his product made people more fit all ore the world. he developed it in a factory shop in new jersey understanding they had to be affordable. his early models were the first to come up with adjustable speeds and inclines. william staub was 96 years old. his family reports he was on the treadmill as recently as two
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months before his death. at 4:30 p.m. eastern time today a small piece of american history shut it's doors. gray's store was believed to be the oldest operating general store in america. having opened in 1788 it was in business 224 years. owners say it wasn't sustainable anymore. the supermarket down the street took away a lot of business. it was owned by one family for seven generations. it appears we have an answer to a question we space geeks have wondered about for years. are all the american flags that our astronauts left behind on the surface of the moon still standing? well, thanks to new photography looking down on the moon from a lunar orb ter and some of the photos are sharp enough to show boot prints from our astronauts, the answers appear to be all the flags are still standing except for the first one at the "apollo 11" landing site.
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astronaut buzz aldridge thought it blew over because of the wind from the rocket. it still remains along with everything else we left up. when we come back, the few, the proud, the brave, the men who serve here, from where we serve and the americans who come here to try to stump them. now, there's gentle, dependable constipation relief for me...
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finally here tonight, a word about our beautiful location here in london. that's tower bridge behind us while we are over here broadcasting from the tower of london. while not a tower in today's terms, it was in william the conquerer's time, and this is where it all happened. the bee headings, the tore cher, the debauchery. it was a fortress, a prison. king henry viii beheaded two of his wives and our office straddles one of the moats on the grounds. the crowned jewels are housed here. so are the olympic medals. there's a lot of history and only few people are allowed to tell the official story. >> led you to traces. it was at those -- >> when you first walk by this man shouting at the top of his lungs you think to yourself as we did, he's one of those people until you find out he's a very
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important person in training. >> to escape the formidable defenses -- >> he's training to be what's called a yeoman warder at the tower of london. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. >> yeoman warders are more commonly known as beef eerts, more commonly known as the ceremonial forwards here. >> for the next hour i'll be your guide. >> his name is clive towell and he'll do this, practice his routine for upwards of a year in the evening after closing time with no crowds around to hear it. in fact, he mostly performs for an audience of one, his coach, trainer, and mentor, paul kunliff is a 12--year veteran and takes his work seriously. >> believe. you missed "believe" and you
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missed on "duty" but very good. very good. >> clive has to learn the routine cold including every history and every conceivable fact because the questions from tourists, especially americans and especially texans for some reasons can be withery. >> a gentleman from texas asked me if it hurts to get your leg chopped off. three weeks later, a woman from texas, where did sleepy beauty lie. >> there's one big qualification for this job, and that's more than two decades of prior military service and that makes this job an honor. paul served in the falklands and the first war and when princess diana died he acted as pall bearer and the new guy clive has finished 19 years with the british military. he's an iraq veteran whose unit
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is now serving in afghanistan. >> i'm a people person, and to come here to the tower and spread the word about our fantastic history, warts and all, i couldn't think of anything better. >> these are great men, and so if you visit the tower during a visit to london, remember you'll be in the capable hands of a veteran. that is nbc "nightly news" for this sunday evening. i'm brian williams reporting again tonight from london. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. for all of us here, good night. -- captions by vitac --
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