tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 19, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
we're there as they continue to launch the missiles designed to shoot down incoming fire and now, police called out for distracted driving and now, some cops admit to being distracted by thei on-board electronics. and the last-ditch rescue effort that could save a famous american brand after all, after americans had all weekend to think about the demise. and making a dirns difference and they flew across the country to help folks who really need it. nightly news begins now. good evening, while there is an urgent effort in the middle east under way tonight to forge a cease-fire, it is hard to hear anything but the back and forth explosions on either side of the border between israel and gaza. it is a lop-sided fight right now, the death toll more than a 100 in gaza. with three israelis reported
dead. it is being answered by air strikes, many from drones, many aimed inside buildings, inside densely packed neighborhoods. this conflict continues to escalate and could still go either way. fu tonight, with our team on the ground covering the story we begin with our chief foreign correspondent richard engel, good evening, richard. >> reporter: good evening, brian, israel is continuing its air strikes in gaza. in fact, it still smells of smoke here from one not far away a short time ago. a truce could be coming but it seems that the two sides will fight right up until the moment it is signed. one of gaza's tallest buildings on fire. witnesses say it was just attacked by an israeli drone. inside this building are the offices of hamas's television station, the second time in two days it has been targeted by israel, and this time there are casualties. as fire trucks put out the flames, word came from a
militant who was killed inside. israel has details about the palestinian militants and seems to be ticking off its hit list, but not always with such precision. palestinians today buried 11 people, including children from the same family, and this morning, israel fired here, killing three people. >> in two minutes they destroyed all of these houses. >> reporter: hamas is not saying how many of their militants israel has assassinated in the last couple of days, by the count, it is 40, they still fired, according to the israeli military. more than 130 today, according to the israe military but are these the lack licks before the cease-fire? diplomat efforts are under way in cairo. egypt knows without a truce the conflict could spread throughout the area. both sides have conditions
the leader said israel must stop killing its leaders and give palestinians more freedom to travel and import goods. israeli prime minister netanyahu, according to aides, also wanted a negotiated settlement. first, a cease-fire, then more talking. the palestinian negotiator visited gaza with a message from the cairo talks. >> yes, there is a possibility that there are serious negotiations. but israel will have to give up its attempt to cow us and look like it is a surrender. >> reporter: what are they asking from the palestinian side? >> they start with -- a call for surrender, i mean, you stop, you deliver your weapons and then we'll see what to do. >> reporter: a truce is in the works, but until that happens gaza remains under attack. richard engel, nbc news, gaza. this is martin fletcher in southern israel where everyone is desperate to know, ground invasion of gaza or truce? officials say it is 50/50,
leaving three and a half million israelis at the mercy of palestinian rockets, defended by israel's new hero, the iron dome, an anti-missile defense system made in israel, helped by america. of 900 rockets fired at israel in six days, only about 30 hit populated areas. >> we enjoy the iron dome which is a huge success. and luckily -- >> reporter: there is a siren now? >> right. >> reporter: there is a siren now. just to see what happens -- >> it will only fire. >> reporter: the system calculates which rockets will hit an inhabited area and knocks it out like here, and ignores all others. but it fails, too, missing about two out of ten, officials say two out of ten, officials say, making life scary. children in bomb shelters for the sixth straight day. i'm afraid of the sirens,
seven-year-old romi says. >> there is another siren and just as we left, not sure how many rockets are being fired right now. but the iron dome, one, two, three, four -- iron dome rockets are exploding. we'll see what damage it did. five rockets fired from gaza, four intercepted. one got through and fell in a garden. there is some drama right now because nobody knows exactly what happened, whether the casualties are happening right now. scaring some neighbors, others are defiant. we will survive. >> reporter: the iron dome costs almost $30 million, israel has at least 13 to protect the whole country and each rocket costs $100,000, but it is expensive. it buys time and would delay them taking revenge, and invade gaza, and it gains time
to negotiate a truce. martin fletcher, we want to go back to gaza now, nbc's ayman mohyeldin has been reporting from all over the arab world for most of the last ten years. has more tonight on how the old conflict is playing out, against the recent backdrop. ayman mohyeldin, i know we're fighting the satellite delay , but how has it changed from what we're seeing right now? >> reporter: well, brian, a few years ago it would have been unheard of for any egyptian official or any arab leader to come into gaza while the fighting happened first, egypt's foreign minister, others, the youth activists who came to deliver supplies, much-needed goods and to show political support to the palestinians in their fight. now, that has made the united
states and israel worry that perhaps a ground invasion could inflame some of the protests we've seen in the capitols perhaps they're holding off precisely because of that new reality here. and of course, the talks taking place in egypt, that is a very big test for morsi. if he succeeds in working with the truce, it could show that egypt is once again playing a role in solving the biggest problems. all right, ayman mohyeldin, part of our team inside gaza with this conflict and with the stakes so high for the united states, president obama has been watching it since winning re-election. a trip that has taken him to what has been one of the most closed and secretive places on earth. our chief white house correspondent chuck todd traveled with the president to myanmar, the place we used to call burma. he has traveled on to cambodia tonight, chuck, good evening. >> reporter: good evening,
brian, before he went to bed, it is daybreak here in cambodia the president spoke to the egyptian president and israeli prime minister, netanyahu getting a firsthand conversation on where they stand in the negotiations. but as you mentioned, the president is wrapping up this three-day trip to southeast asia. of course, the highlight has been the several hours he spent in myanmar, the first american president to be there in the country known as burma. to catch a look at the president, the president was greeted by thousands of locals that lined the streets. including uniformed school children, waving flags for miles. mr. obama made an unannounced stop at a holy site, the center of the religion. there, the president made the ceremonial water pouring.
then it was off to the home of aung san kyi, where the nobel prize peace winner lived under house arrest. >> i would like to see president obama in my country, and in my heart. >> reporter: later, the president formally addressed the president in a speech where he justified his trip to the still not-yet free country. >> i said, in my address, we will extend a hand if you're willing to unclench your fist. under the president, the desire for change has been met by an agenda for reform. so today, i have come to extend my hand of friendship. >> reporter: the president tried to draw the american history to push myanmar even further. >> i stand before you today from the most powerful nation on earth, but recognizing once the color of my skin would have denied me the right to vote.
if our country can change its differences, then yours can, too. >> reporter: not even on the ground 12 hours, the president headed for his last stop, two asian economic summits in cambodia. the president wearing the traditional clothing for the eastern summit. the reason the president is at both of these summits, brian, this is all part of the obama administration push to have more say in the economic growth of asia in china's back yard, to show that they are going to be an economic rival here in asia, brian. >> chuck todd traveling with the president in cambodia tonight, thank you, chuck. there is developing news on the benghazi investigation after a weekend of sharp criticism and pressure from republicans, a lot of it took place on yesterday's "meet the press." our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. in our d.c. news room with that, good evening >> reporter: good evening,
brian, white house and intelligence officials are denying charges that there was an attempt to whitewash the origins of the benghazi attack to protect the president politically. today, white house officials say they knew it was a terrorist attack from the beginning. there was never a question in their mind, but to them that didn't rule out that it could have been spontaneous or planned long in advance. and they still get conflicting information on who the suspects were. so they say the intelligence committee, not the white house, wrote unclassified talking points for susan rice that were deliberately vague to avoid the compromising legal issues. that led to charges that politics were involved, something the spy agencies tonight say is just not true. >> andrea mitchell, who will remain on this story for us, thank you. there is also news tonight on a story that got a whole lot of national attention on friday and had people spending the weekend passing around recipes for homemade twinkies and hoarding what they could find across the country. at its heart, though, this is a
business story with a lot of jobs at stake. tonight, there may be a reprieve for hostess and their 18 thousand workers. more outside of chicago, kevin, good evening. >> reporter: hey, brian, well it would appear that all the screaming headlines and dire predictions about the demise of hostess food and of course all the snack foods we're all so familiar with. well, that may have been a tad premature, and hostess may have a longer shelf life than predicted. of course, they announced they were going bankrupt and liquidating, that would have been the end of ho-ho, and wonder bread, all caused by lower revenues, high debt and a fight with the unions over wages and pensions. well, instead of being in bankruptcy court tomorrow the company and unions will be in mediation, trying to come up with a plan to save the company,
despite the fact they have been negotiating now for almost a year. if the mediation fails tomorrow, brian, they will then go back to bankruptcy court on wednesday. and there will be a talk of liquidating this company. others have stepped in to say they may be interested in buying the hostess brand. but tonight, rumors of the hostess's death may be a little exaggerated. >> kevin tibbles, on the food and jobs. in this country, kevin, thank you and still ahead, dangers on the road. distracted drivers who happen to be police officers dealing with a lot of electronics on the job. are they ignoring the same warnings they have given the rest of us? and later it was images like these that inspired a group of high school students to get out of their comfort zone and come east to make a difference. we have talked a lot about
distracted driving, much of it because public officials and law enforcement have identified it as such a danger on our roads. now, however, police officers are under watch for distracted driving. if you have looked at the issue of distracted driving then you know what is competing for their attention on the road. it has grave dangers, fair warning, some of them you're about to see in graphic fashion. our report tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: near ft. worth, dash cam video of a police officer running the red light and the crash that injured the other driver. the officer admitted he had been looking at his computer. in austin, another officer slammed into a motorcyclist.
the officer told his supervisor he had been typing. while 39 states have banned the texting while driving, police are an exception. from fender benders, to fatal accidents, cops have gotten the blame. investigator scott freedman spent months digging through accident files. >> and we found that these crashes with the police officers are happening at a rate of about two or three a month in texas. >> reporter: a recent study in minnesota found 17% of accidents there involved distracted police officers. there is a radio, a cell phone, with email. the computer that constantly updates calls, sending and receiving messages, and a camera watching everything. in fort wayne, indiana, where the police fender benders are on the rise? >> it is dangerous, so have i
had close calls? i have, and i've been lucky. >> reporter: the chief decided it was all too much. >> i felt we were setting officers up by putting all of this technology in the car and expecting them not to use that while they're moving. >> reporter: he has ordered all 360 cars to be fitted with a computer system that freezes the keys once the car exceeds 15 miles an hour. >> i can't change the screen, it doesn't function. other departments are ordering officers to pull over before using computers. >> every police department who says they don't have a problem with distracted driving or crashes has their head in the sand. >> reporter: the challenge? avoiding the very distractions that come with modern policing. tom costello, nbc news, washington. when we come back tonight, the news today about early risers and late sleepers.
these pictures were captured by nasa, scientists say from the look of things, the planet earth got very lucky this weekend. they say this amounted to a tsunami on the surface of the sun a few days back. waves of radiation larger than our earth was wide. but luckily it was aimed away from us and thus, wouldn't disrupt communications. scientists fear a large enough solar storm in the next year or two could cripple the power grid on earth. and now, this happened off australia, a water spout, a big one for 15 minutes, never damaged anything on land. a water spout, going on for 15 minutes it was part of a storm system large enough to cause 24,000 recorded lightning strikes on the ground. and there is some intriguing research out there tonight, having to do with whether you're a morning person or night owl. this study says it could be a predictor of the time of day you die, due to the power of your
internal rhythms, they say people who wake up on the early side tend to die before 11:00 a.m., and later, 6 p.m., you may want to adjust your own planning and we have a new internet star to report. a baby red panda doing what they do all day in japan. when suddenly out of nowhere, along comes a human handler, just about scares him to death, knocks him right over, and right onto the internet feed with at least a million youtube viewers, thus far. up next, a group who came a long way to make a difference.
our making a difference report tonight involves some high school kids who gave up a pretty important event in their lives to come east from the rocky mountains to help with the mountain of work around here, three weeks after the big storm. nbc's anne thompson reports on young folks from far away, reaching out to total strangers and making a difference. >> reporter: on the big week of their playoff football game, 27 students from denver's valor christian high school chose to lift spirits in storm-hit new jersey. under the direction of the
relief organization, the girls gutted flooded homes. the boys cleared a forest of downed trees. 18-year-old colton corey earned the nickname dominator. >> this is kind of a once in a lifetime chance. >> reporter: for these teens, it is a chance to live their faith. why would you want to come to a hurricane-ravaged area across the country? >> you know you go home to like a perfect house and nothing ever happens, kind of makes you want to come out here and see what they're going through and help them. >> reporter: has anybody ever knocked down a wall before today? >> that is -- >> reporter: and intimidating. >> it matters to the people. it is their home. like it is what they have lived in for so long. that it is hard to watch it come down. >> reporter: they earn community service credits, what the school calls heart and soul hours. >> this is not what i expected. >> reporter: 14-year-old ally
chambers worked here in ocean gate. >> when the water was pouring out of the kitchen. >> reporter: now teenagers are restoring the house she raised her kids in. >> they're my daughter's age, and i'm looking at them and i'm like i love you guys. like how -- you know, this is wonderful. like it gives me back some hope. >> reporter: in tom's river, the boys make this back yard usable again. >> thank you doesn't seem big enough for this. >> reporter: they learn communication, cooperation, and one more thing, that service, like football, is a team sport. because victory comes in many forms. anne thompson, nbc news, tom's river, new jersey. >> and we have it on good authority that valor christian won the football game back home while they were here. that is our broadcast on a monday night, thank you for joining us, i'm brian williams, we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
right now, new information about the alleged gunman in the deadly shooting at an east bay college. >> the police chief whose style is luring veteran officers away from san jose. that's coming up. and san jose police officers continue their manhunt. we learn new details into a deadly crime spree. good evening. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. new tonight at 6:00, pouching the police. disgruntled san jose police officers are leaving by the dozen and they're not going far. from the east bay to the peninsula, san jose officers are getting the red carpet treatment. a former san jose captain, now the chief of another city, is actively hiring from his former force. nbc bay area's damian trujillo joins us at san jose police headquarters. is this just par