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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  June 5, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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with the attorney general, eric holder, who breaks his silence and answers questions like, "did the feds go too far"? and will he step down. the drone war. an nbc news investigation. tonight what richard engel has uncovered about how many people are dying and who they are. and what did she say? how the first lady handled a heckler last night, and how she gave as good as she got. "nightly news" begins now. good evening. it happened in an instant. it shook the ground around it. suddenly a huge area was levelled in center city, philadelphia. a building collapse that looked more like an explosion. the first of the first responders arrived within two minutes. that's when the search got under way as rescuers followed voices beneath tons of building materials. it's where we begin tonight with
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nbc's kristen dahlgren at the scene. >> reporter: witnesses describe a huge rumble and crash. [ sirens ] and then the sounds of cries and moans from beneath the bricks and concrete. one man in his truck was stopped at a red light nearby. >> all of the sudden you heard the bricks started falling at first. smoke and dust. next thing you know the pole came down over the top of my truck. >> is some people were panicking, shaking real bad. >> none of them were able to walk. they were bruised, maybe broken bones. >> reporter: firefighters and rescue workers climbed through the debris, pulling 13 from the rubble. bruised and battered, but alive. they were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. many of the victims were in the salvation army thrift store when the building next door, a sandwich shop and apartment building under demolition, came crashing through.
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this is what market street and 22nd looked like before. this is after. >> what we actually have is a four-story property that collapsed onto a two-story property which is the salvation army store. >> reporter: news helicopters were ordered away from the building so any cries for help could be heard. aided by search dogs, rescuers had no idea how many they were looking for. >> if there is anyone else in that structure, in that building, under that rubble, our folks will find them. they will not stop until they are assured by their own standards that we have completed our job and found anyone who might be there. >> reporter: so the search here continues tonight. one woman was actually found alive after being trapped under the rubble for two hours. tonight philadelphia's mayor confirms another woman, a 35-year-old, brian, was found dead. >> kristen dahlgren in philadelphia, starting us off, thanks. weather is in the news tonight. it's that time again. the first tropical storm of the season has developed in the gulf
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of mexico. south and west of tampa/st. pete. its name is andrea. already expected to hit the west coast of florida tomorrow. we'll keep an eye on it, of course, as it moves to the north and east. elsewhere, flooding a problem in illinois and missouri today, affecting homes and businesses in towns along the mississippi and other rivers there. now to an nbc news exclusive tonight. the attorney general of the united states, eric holder, under fire on several fronts and fighting off calls for his resignation. he broke his silence today and agreed to an interview with our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: after enduring weeks of criticism over the government's aggressive investigation of leaks, the attorney general says a better balance must be struck between press freedom and safeguarding national secrets. >> i'm a little concerned that things have gotten a little out of whack. i think we can do a better job
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than we have. we can reform those regulations, reform those guidelines to better reflect the balance. >> reporter: the justice department obtained logs for more than 20 phone lines used by associated press reporters to find the source for a story about al qaeda terror plotters in yemen. the government obtained e-mail and phone records from fox news james rosen about sensitive information from north korea calling him in court documents, at the very least either an aider, abettor or co-conspira r co-conspirator. holder said that phrase was required to get a search warrant. >> i don't like that. it means me as a government official who has great respect for the press is in e essence saying a reporter doing his or her job and doing that important job is somehow branded a criminal. i'm just not comfortable with that. we're going to change that. >> reporter: another possible change, giving the news media the chance to fight a request for records in court before they are turned over. >> we'll come up with ways in which notification can be given to the media and possibly involve on a more consistent
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basis judges as third-party arbiters. >> reporter: as for calls he stepped down he said not yet. >> there are things i want to do. things i want to get done that i have discussed with the president. once i have finished that, i will sit down with him and we'll determine when it is time to make a transition to a new attorney general. >> reporter: to be clear you are not stepping down now. >> i have no intention of doing so now. >> reporter: as for this administration's aggressive investigation of leaks he says that's not the result of a policy decision but is a response to demands from the intelligence community and congress to crack down. brian? >> pete williams at the justice department following his exclusive interview with the attorney general today. pete, thanks. the president announced a big personnel shift today. susan rice becomes the new national security adviser. there is a replacement for her as ambassador to the u.n. our chief white house correspondent chuck todd has the story. >> reporter: they are now among the most powerful women in the american foreign policy community.
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behind-the-scenes power players now front and center. >> i'm very proud to have had the privilege of working with tom. very proud that i will continue to have the privilege of working with samantha and susan. >> reporter: susan rice, ambassador to the u.n. for four years taking over as the president's national security adviser. >> i think everybody understands susan is a fierce champion for justice and human dignity, but she's also mindful that we have to exercise our power wisely and deliberately. >> reporter: samantha power, replacing rice at the u.n. has been an influential behind-the-scenes adviser in the west wing as part of the national security council. >> she knows the u.n.'s strengths, weaknesses. she knows american interests are advanced when we can rally the world to our side and she knows we have to stand up for the things we believe in. >> reporter: both come with a long list of impressive credentials. rice, a harvard graduate and rhoads scholar with a ph.d. from oxford. in 1990s she served as assistant
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secretary of state in the clinton administration.>2ñ power is a pulitzer prize winning author and mother of two. >> we have a critical role to play in meeting the necessities of our time. it can do so only with american leadership. >> reporter: confident and brash both have had run-ins with official washington. most recently rice was at the center of the benghazi political fire storm as republicans tried to make her the fall woman for the president. power in 2008 briefly had to leave the president's side after she was quoted calling obama's chief political rival, hillary clinton, a monster. neither incident shook the president's confidence in either woman. both ended up with key roles in the first term. now the two women have the titles to match their influence. of the two appointees, only power is subject to senate confirmation. already, republican senator john mccain this afternoon has said he's supportive of power's nomination. >> chuck todd at the white house for us tonight. chuck, thanks.
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now to an nbc investigation about the controversial use of drones by the u.s. overseas. the president recently gave an important speech on this topic. part of the appeal of using drones in place of live personnel is their accuracy but they may not be as precise as many u.s. officials claim. our report on this tonight from our chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: look at the tall man in white flanked by body guards. experts say it's osama bin laden in afghanistan one year before 9/11 in footage captured by the very first predator drone mission. but the drone isn't armed. a year later, drones are fitted with rockets and pakistan quickly turns into a hunting ground. an estimated 49 drone strikes under president bush. more than 300 under president obama. >> conventional air power or missiles are far less precise than drones and are likely to cause more civilian casualties.
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>> reporter: does the u.s. always know who drone strikes are actually killing? nbc news has examined classified documents detailing 114 drone strikes in pakistan in 2010 and '11. locations, death tolls, alleged terrorist affiliations. they also reveal what u.s. officials don't know like how many killed. between seven and ten in one strike, 20 to 22 in another. u.s. officials do seem certain they almost never kill civilians. in those 114 strikes, only one acknowledged civilian casualty. >> they want to maintain the myth that civilians are not harmed with drone strikes which is implausible. >> reporter: what's more, a quarter of those killed are described generically as, quote, other militants. it suggests u.s. officials don't always know exactly how many or who they are killing. sometimes targeting suspects based on what's called a
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signature terrorist profile -- where they live, who they meet, who they talk to. several former senior officials have told nbc news that they had concerns about signature strikes. one told us the u.s. sometimes executes people based on circumstantial evidence. but many counterterrorism officials insist drones are far more precise than conventional attacks, and they work. with a proven track record against al qaeda. >> it's been a tremendous step forward in military technology. it's combined the capabilities of surveillance strike and long endurance in one platform. >> reporter: drones are part of war now. but determining from afar who is a terrorist remains less precise than the weapons used to kill them. responding to our story a senior white house official told nbc news a major justification for many of the drone strikes is protecting u.s. troops in and
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around afghanistan. president obama has said as u.s. troop numbers in afghanistan goes down, so will the strikes. >> richard engel with tonight's investigation. thanks for your work. u.s. army staff sergeant robert bales pleaded guilty today to murdering 16 afghan civilians last year. he described the killings in detail. when the judge asked him why he said, quote, there is not a good reason in the world why i did the horrible things i did. he will avoid the death penalty as part of the plea. the massacre prompted such angry protests that the u.s. temporarily halted combat operations in afghanistan. now to the bombshell report that broke last night hitting at the heart of the steroid scandal in sports and involving some of the biggest names in baseball including the highest paid player in the game, a-rod, alex rodriguez of the yankees. tonight, news of the investigation is sending shock waves through the sports world. our report from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: espn reports as nh÷ many as 20 baseball players face
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suspensions for alleged use of performance enhancing drugs u÷ including two of major league's biggest stars, new york yankees' alex rodriguez and the milwaukee brewers ryan brawn. it is claimed anthony bausch has agreed to testify against players who relied on him for performance enhancers. in a statement, major league baseball said it won't comment because the investigation is still ongoing. >> suspensions are absolutely on the table depending on the information. i think it will be worse if any of the players have told mlb that they were not involved with this guy, they didn't get drugs from the guy. >> reporter: earlier this year ryan brawn said he used bausch as a consultant when he successfully appealed the results of a positive drug test in 2011, but that he never bought enhancers. >> the truth has not changed. i don't know the specifics of the story that came out today. i have already addressed it. i have already commented on it. >> reporter: alex rodriguez admitted to using steroids for a
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short period of time while playing for the texas rangers is on the disabled list and so far has not commented publically. for over a decade baseball has been battling the scandal of performance enhancing drugs. fans keep coming to the games, but damage has been done. at a sunny afternoon game in the bronx there was plenty of frustration. >> it puts a dark cloud over the game. >> yeah. hopefully baseball will clean itself up. >> reporter: until then the investigation continues. the national pasttime braces itself for another hit. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. still ahead for us tonight, the first lady takes on a heckler and gives it right back. later, the invention that could lead to cell phone charging in seconds. wait until you meet the inventor. ventors. their capitald to fly home for the big family reunion. you must be garth's father? hello. mother. mother! traveling is easy with the venture card because you can fly any airline anytime. two words.
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they don't throw out as much pollution to the earth. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment. i work for 47 different companies. well, technically i work for one. that company, the united states postal service® works for thousands of home businesses. because at® you can pay, print and have your packages picked up for free. i can even drop off free boxes. i wear a lot of hats. well, technically i wear one. the u.s. postal service®, no business too small. it happens to the president a lot. it's part o it happens to the president a lot. it's part of the job. first lady, not so much. but last night she had to deal with a heckler.
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a woman at an event took on mrs. obama and ended up getting it right back. our report tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: her husband the president has honed his method for dealing with hecklers. most recently, two weeks ago in his speech about drones in guantanamo. >> let me finish, ma'am. >> this is very important. >> so today -- so today -- >> there are 102 people on a hunger strike. these desperate people -- >> i'm about to address it, ma'am. you have to let me speak. i'm about to address it. >> you are commander in chief. >> why don't you sit down and i will tell you -- >> by your government today that includes 57 yemenis. >> i'm going off script as you may expect here. the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to. >> reporter: but the rules are different for first ladies who are rarely confronted. at a democratic party fundraiser last night at the home of a prominent lesbian couple in
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washington, michelle obama was talking about children. >> we have an obligation to stand up for those kids and i don't care what you believe in. >> reporter: when a gay rights heckler stopped her cold. >> wait, wait, wait. one of the things i -- one of the things that i don't do well is this. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: mrs. obama left the lectern and told the protester, listen to me. you can take the mic, but i'm leaving. you all decide. the crowd quickly sided with mrs. obama who returned to the podium. >> let me make the point that i was making before. we are here for our kids. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: the heckler identified as ellen sturtz, said she was demanding the president sign an order demanding gay rights for federal contractors. jay carney said today he hadn't talked to the president but in his opinion the first lady handled it brilliantly. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. we are back in a moment with
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today's twist in the policy about knives on airplanes. poli about knives on airplanes. ♪ [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel. the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy increases testosterone when used daily.
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today members of the dallas fire department and other surrounding communities covered all shifts of the houston fire department so the houston fire department could get together and pray and pay proper respects to four of their own. it was the restaurant/motel fire last week that became the largest single loss of life in the department's history. 15,000 people turned out today for the service at reliant stadium. family members, friends including the famous and powerful gathered in new york to remember new jersey democratic senator frank lautenberg. he died this week at the age of 89. he's been remembered as a lot of things. last world war ii veteran in the senate and a champion of amtrak, among other things. today one of his eulogists,
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long-time amtrak champion vice president joe biden said he was slightly irked that his friend frank sometimes received better treatment like the time biden said he was racing through union station in d.c. to catch the train north. >> i swear to god, true story, i get up, conductor says, joe, joe, hold up, don't worry. you're okay. we're holding it for lautenberg. [ laughter ] >> reporter: from the lautenberg train station tonight an amtrak train carried his casket to washington where he will lie in repose at the u.s. capitol. the susan g. komen foundation has cancelled the annual three-day walk for breast cancer in d.c. and six other cities for 2014. participation and donations have dropped ever since the komen brand was damaged when their founder tried to deny funds to planned parenthood. the back and forth over knives on planes is back to this
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-- don't bring a knife on a plane. the idea to allow small nonlocking knives on an airplane along with sports equipment was just too unpopular with those who work on airplanes. today the head of the tsa relented. the policy is now back where it was to begin with. when we come back, charging your cell phone in seconds. if and when it happens, we'll have a bright teenager to thank. have a bright teenager to thank. help the gulf recover, and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i've been with bp for 24 years. i was part of the team that helped deliver on our commitments to the gulf - and i can tell you, safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge safety equipment and technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all our drilling activity, twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. safety is a vital part of bp's commitment to america - and to the nearly 250,000 people who work with us here.
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finally tonight it might be years before we see it -- a device that charges your cell phone in 20 seconds, but the invention of its kind is the work of a california teenager who has shown an uncanny ability at a young age to think big. her story tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: at lynnbrook high school in san jose, california, 18-year-old esha khare will tell you she's a typical teen. >> i think i'm normal. i love talking to people. i love having fun. >> reporter: ordinary is a word few would use to describe this extraordinary student. >> i think i really try to go after what i'm complaining about and find a solution to that. >> reporter: when her cell phone battery constantly died she turned her frustration into innovation. >> yeah. >> reporter: in a lab at u.c.
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santa cruz she developed a super capacitor. >> oh, it worked. >> reporter: an energy storage device that, in theory, could charge a cell phone in as little as 20 seconds. >> this has all the charge to hold. when you put it in a cell phone the charge will be transferred. >> people do ph.d. dissertations on topics like she did in high school. she is exceptional. >> reporter: exceptional is one way to put it. >> from saratoga, california, esha khare. >> reporter: in may she won intel's young scientist award and $50,000 for her breakthrough research. >> it was great for me that my hard work and the work of so many people that helped me has been recognized. >> reporter: esha has always been at the top of her class academically. her success goes further than just the classroom. an accomplished dancer, she also plays varsity field hockey. >> she's the last one to leave the field, the first one to be here.
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>> reporter: already recruited by high tech companies this young inventor says college is next. >> i hope to pursue science, but i will be attending harvard this fall.án( i hope to explore and see where i fit best and continue on from there. >> reporter: a budding scientist with a future as promising as her discoveries. miguel almaguer, nbc news, san jose, california. >> that is our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope you will be back with us tomorrow evening. we hope you will be back with us tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac --
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my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science. ♪ isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool. ♪


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