tv NBC Nightly News NBC August 14, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
on the broadcast tonight, full force. both campaigns hitting each otr hard in swing states. and tonight a closer look at the ryan record. out of control, record heat and drought fuelling massive wildfires, heating up homes and property as lightning strikes ignite trees on impact. deadly outbreak of west nile virus. one of the worst in our country's history. tonight, health officials going door to door warning of the dangers. sudden impact. a surprising number of big names do not pass the new crash test standard. anybody in the market for a new vehicle should see these results 37 making a difference, a little girl, a big dream and a dedicated mom who travelled to world to see that it came true. "nightly news" begins now.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening, as you may have heard, they're calling this a choice election we're having. two clear choices for voters. that was clear today on the campaign trail. the attacks are sharpening now that the tickets are complete. there was a little bit of everything today, some humor some anger and an attempt to open up a new front on issues and all the while the scrutiny is just now getting cranked up on paul ryan. the new man on the gop ticket. we begin tonight with peter alexander traveling with the romney campaign tonight in ohio. peter, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you. we've witnessed these two campaigns battle it out over health care, immigration, women, and today they engaged over energy, presenting two vastly different visions for the future. mitt romney today staked out the foothills of the ohio river valley, where underground mines
snake 400 feet below, to accuse the president of waging a war on coal. >> this is a time for truth. if you don't believe in coal, if you don't believe in energy independence for america, then say it. >> reporter: romney was preaching to a receptive audience. >> i feel in my heart, if we don't get him for prerksz our mines will be closed and this area will be a ghost town. >> reporter: president obama focused on the issue of energy as well. campaigning in the wide open spaces of iowa, praising wind power that's created nearly 7,000 jobs in the state and more nationwide. >> 75,000 jobs across the country. these jobs aren't a fad. >> reporter: last night the president toasted supporters at the iowa state fair. >> four more beers. >> four more beers? i'm going to buy ten beers. who wants one. >> reporter: and today he took a dig at romney who once took a vacation with his dog riding on
the roof of the car. >> you can't drive the car with a wind mill on it. i don't know if he's tried that, i know he's had other things on his car. >> reporter: with both tickets criss-crossing swing states, the frenetic pace got the best of the vice president. >> with you, we can win north carolina again. >> reporter: only problem, he was in virginia. biden also blasted romney. >> 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're going to put y'all back in chains. >> reporter: and in colorado, paul ryan started polishing his stump speech, laced with attacks on what he called the president's failed leadership. >> we had a really tough economy. and without a doubt, president obama inherited a difficult situation. here's the problem. he made it worse. >> reporter: we are now less than two weeks away from the republican national convention, and the romney campaign has signed up two high profile names
to speak in prime time, chris christie will give the keynote address, and marco rubio will introduce romney. >> peter alexander on the trail in ohio tonight starting us off. peter, thanks. from now through the gop convention and all the way to the fall election in 85 da this is really the shakedown for congressman paul ryan of witness wisconsin as number two on this ticket. americans are taking a good look at his record now, especially in his specialty area. the economy. he's running as a deficit hawk. well, tonight, nbc's kelly o'donnell takes a look at the ryan voting record. >> reporter: sworn in seven times since 1999 to serve wisconsin's first district. >> we're not just here to get a lapel pin that says we're members of congress. we're here to try to fix this country's problems. >> reporter: he's co sponsored 975 bills and cast more than 9,400 votes.
a record that is under new scrutiny now that he's romney's running mate. >> look at the driver of our debt -- >> reporter: best known as the house republican charts and graphs guy, who actually relishes number crunching. so much so, colleagues call ryan the teacher. >> i sleep soundly knowing what i'm trying to do is help fix this country's problems. reapply our founding principles to the times of the day, and get the country back on track. >> reporter: but ryan's voting record at times conflicting with his political identity as a fiscal conservative. supporting key issues during the bush years that actually ballooned the deficit. including the bank bailout known as tarp, that tea party conservatives rail against today. ryan voted for medicare prescription drug coverage, backed both wars in iraq and afghanistan, and backed the bush tax cuts. speaker john boehner defended ryan's record. >> i think that he's a practical conservative. he's got a conservative voting record, he's not a knuckle
dragger. >> reporter: conservative on social issues like abortion rights and gay marriage. but ryan had sided with democrats on workplace anti-discrimination, to protect gays and lesbians. some union rights. and he partnered publicly with key democrats on budget and health coverage opinion. still democrats say don't be swayed by ryan's midwestern nice. >> let's not confuse civility with a willingness to compromise. >> reporter: now, some nonpartisan rankings show that ryan is about average for working with democrats on legislation. in his campaign, he's working against president obama to argue his administration has made the deficit so much worse. ryan also admits when he looks back on some of his own votes, he feels miserable about policies that added to the deficit too. brian? >> kelly o'donnell covers the hill for us. kelly, thanks. let's swing our focus out west, where wildfires are
flaring again with extreme heat and unrelenting drought conditions creating the perfect environment for fast moving fires. in idaho, one fire has been killed, in washington state, dozens of homes and other buildings have been destroyed. our report tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: in washington state, more than 60 homes are gone. another 400 evacuated. >> structures just go up in black smoke. >> reporter: the taylor bridge wildfire exploding across acre after acre of bone dry brush. >> the fire's making a good push, it has a lot of wind behind it. >> reporter: overnight the fire multiplied in size tenfold. now more than 26,000 acres. still out of control and on the move. >> i know one of the firefighters here. his house burned down while he was trying to help fight the fire. there's a lot of people that are going to be affected by it. >> reporter: in idaho, a wildfire has turned deadly. anne in her second season as a firefighter was killed by a falling tree.
tonight across the west, 62 fires are burning in eight states. here in california, where soaring temperatures have shattered records this month, it's not just the heat wave and dry conditions that worry firefighters. lightning strikes have sparked dozens of blazes. in the desert palm trees have literally exploded into balls of fire. more than 1,000 firefighters are battling two blazes near sacramento. >> this fire may take a number of runs on us again today. because of how dry it is and how hot it's been. >> firefighters are making some progress, conditions are ripe for a long, tough fight in the weeks ahead. miguel almaguer nbc news los angeles. you may have heard about this depending on where you live. federal health officials are warning about one of the worst outbreaks of west nile virus in our country's history, due in part to this unusually warm winter followed by historic drought and a hot summer. and so far, this summer, nearly
700 people have been infected. at least 20 of them have died. the situation is now so fire in parts of texas, they've declared a state of emergency. we get our report tonight from our chief science corresponden robert bazell. >> reporter: 14-year-old jordan conner is home in the hospital where doctors diagnosed west nile virus infection that had spread to her brain, what's known as encephalitis. she thinks she knows where she got infected. >> i was petting the dog, and like five mosquitos bit me on my leg. >> reporter: it's spread by infected birds. this year officials recording a near record number of cases. hardest hit is the dallas/ft. worth area where jordan conner lives. health workers are going door to door, warning about the danger, and spraying is underway in neighborhoods. the major cause, the weather. the first four months of the year in dallas, 70% above average rainfall, and then it gets hot and dry. in the last few months, they've
had less than an inch of rain. >> reporter: insect experts say hot, small pools of water allow mosquitos to breed repeatedly and quickly. most of those affected with west nile have no symptoms. some have flu-like illnesses and a small number like jordan get brain infections. >> the vast majority of people who get west nile recover completely. but it causes encephalitis, and some people, particularly in older people, it can get serious and those are where the deaths are. >> reporter: the keys to prevention are to get rid of pools of standing water. wear long sleeved clothing and put on lots of insect repellant. mosquitos will remain common and potentially dangerous in many parts of the country well into the fall. robert bazell, nbc news, new york. >> we wanted to let you know all day tomorrow, nbc news will have in depth coverage of this historic distraught of 2012, how
it's affecting everything from the environment to prices we all pay for food coverage across the many platforms of nbc news. and tomorrow night on this broadcast. overseas now, this was the deadliest day in a year for civilians in afghanistan. a wave of suicide bombings across the country. at least 14 in one city alone, leaving hundreds dead. many targeting afghan security forces. as the civil war in syria continues, the prime minister who defected and escaped to jordan just last week, said the assad regime is near collapse, in fact, and controls just a third of the country now. he urged other officials to defect and join the rebel side. still ahead as we continue along the way tonight. you'll want to see the new crash test. a new way to measure how safe your car is in the real world. and some big brand names are not
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the auto insurance industry is out tonight with the results of some new crash tests and these are meant to re-create real world accidt conditions. and many of the popular luxury cars on the market didn't pass this new test. even though they do meet government safety standards. our report on this tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: the insurance industry's newest crash test is meant to re-create an accident in which the driver hits a pole or another car.
but not a full frontal hit, where the entire car absorbs the impact. instead, only 25% of the driver's side is hit. it's called a small overlap crash. >> each year about 10,000 people die in front crashes. and we estimated that 20% to 25% of them involve small overlap. >> reporter: here's why, the engine block is where the car absorbs most of the force of the crash. but if a pole or a tree misses all of that, the crash force comes directly into the front seat. the side by side comparison shows a small overlap crash on the right compared to a crash on the left that's more centered. the damage on the small overlap can be far more devastating. it happened to holland mangioni in virginia, she suffered a concussion, fractured teeth bone and teeth. an eye laceration and deep head laceration. >> i don't think it was just hitting glass. i think it was hitting something hard that did that. because it was a pretty -- it was pretty deep.
>> reporter: in this new crash test, only three of 11 mid sized luxury cars earned good or acceptable ratings, the acura, tl, the volvo s-60 and the infinity g. four cars earned marginal marks while the audi, mercedes and lexus all earned poor marks. >> the front pillar pushed in toward the driver. theront wheel pushed into the occupant compartment. >> reporter: toyota, lexus and audi say they'll work to meet the newest safety standards. the insurance industry has raised the bar for all automakers. tom costello, nbc news, washington. and this next item just might sell some mitsubishi lancers. that's the car jeremy foley was driver. it was the annual pikes peak race. always a challenging high speed
13 mile drive, until something goes wrong, which it did wildly. foley and his driver suffered only minor injuries after that multiple rollover. we're back in a moment with news of another airport taxi way incident late today. if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair
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president obama's plan: a balanced approach that asks the wealthy to pay a little more, eliminates tax breaks for outsourcing and oil subsidies, cuts government spending, and reduces the deficit by four trillion. two plans. your choice. [ obama ] i'm barack obama and i approve this message. oooh, oooh, oooh! >> he was known to at least one american generation as horshack. on "welcome back cotter" starring alongside john travolta and gabe kaplan. as the l.a. times put, when we learned that ron palillo, a nugget of '70s culture died with him. a connecticut native, he spent recent years as an acting teacher. he was 63 years old. two aircraft ended up in a fender bender at nashville's airport today. a gulfstream jet was being towed when it collided with a beach
king air prop plane on the taxi way, as you see. there were no passengers on board either aircraft thankfully at the time of the collision. no injuries to report. it's one of those projects that could make you think we haven't lost our national desire to go higher, faster and further after all. today the boeing x 51 underwent a test flight, unmanned, mind you, to travel at six times the speed of sound. dropped from a b-52 bomber. it's an air force project. it was only supposed to hit top speed for five minutes. at 3600 miles an hour, that's the equivalent of l.a. to new york in 46 minutes. not counting the wait for your luggage at the baggage carousel at jfk. wherever it is tonight, we know jaeger and cross field were flying along with it today in spirit. last night on "the tonight show" the first lady explained the kisscam incident at the basketball game in washington before the olympics. when the first couple was first
shown on kisscam in the arena, you may recall they didn't take the bait. well, now we know first daughter malia couldn't believe her parents didn't engage, so to speak. so she took matters into her own hands and arranged a do over. >> she said, i've arranged for you to get another chance on the kisscam. >> wow! >> and then she came and sat with us to make sure we didn't mess it up. she was like, get ready, it's coming. that's when she was like okay, go, now, kiss, do it. >> the first lady with jay leno last night on the actions of the formidable first daughter. they went out looking for halibut on a fishing trip, off the coast of british column bee yo, instead this is what they got. humpback whales were feeding nearby. one of them suddenly came out of the water in an olympic style twisting breach, ten feet off the stern of the vessel. thankfully recorded on video as it happened.
when we come back here tonight, how your outpouring of generosity helped a mom make her little girl's birthday wish come true. mom make her little girl's wish come true 37 [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+. to support cell health. would you mind if to be i go ahead of you?omer. instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars.
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one of the most moving stories we've covered. a little girl who's unselfish wish ended up changing lives in ways she could never have imagined. there was a huge response when we first started covering this story, and now that little girl's mom is getting a firsthand look at her daughter's unexpected and extraordinary legacy. our making a difference report from the newest member of the nbc news family, diana alvear. >> reporter: samantha paul was supposed to be planning her daughter's birthday party, instead, she went to ethiopia to create wells in her daughter's memory. the dream her little girl never got the chance to see come true. >> she wouldn't believe it, she would be awestruck. >> reporter: rachel had heard there were kids in africa that did not have clean water. she made just one wish for her ninth birthday.
>> no party, no big presents, she just wanted to have people donate to her charity water campaign. >> she gave up so much, and yet she was robbed of so much. >> reporter: robbed of her life in a car accident just a few weeks later. the story of her birthday sacrifice quickly spread. her cause eventually raised nearly $1.3 million. enough to build wells in 149 communities in ethiopia. places where children used to walk for hours to collect water. water often filled with leeches, dirt and disease. a year after losing rachel, samantha visited the new well. she tasted the water and met the families touched by her daughter's dream. >> i always knew that she was special. it's amazing that now other people can feel how special she was. >> reporter: and rachel was everywhere, smiling on a marble plaque in a park, adorning an altar at a church. >> everybody in the countryside knew about this 9-year-old girl from seattle, washington, that cared about them.
>> reporter: the villagers sang of rachel, prayed for rachel. one mother told samantha she had a daughter of her own, she was telling her rachel's story to teach the true meaning of compassion. >> i really miss rachel and i wish she could be here, especially to see the kids and the people that are going to benefit from her wish. >> reporter: all the children who will grow up in ethiopia drinking clean water, thanks to a little girl with a simple wish and a really big heart. diana alvear, nbc news, seattle. >> terrific story to end on tonight, as we welcome diana alvear. a quick note about tomorrow night's broadcast, dr. nancy snyderman will have a special report on the increasing challenges for the millions of us who have been thrust into the role of caregiver at one point, especially those of us caring for aging parents.