tv NBC Nightly News NBC August 10, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
wow. somebody does that, yes. the helmet, he did have on. you need it. >> that's your broadcast. "nightly news" is next. >> hope to you see tonight at 11:00. t on the broadcast tonight -- second opinion. the heated debate over health care reform gets even hotter. where is it all headed? air traffic control and the crowded skies over new york city. what's to prevent another collision? pressure drop. something new in treating high blood pressure and it's being called a breakthrough. and after the fight. keeping faith with marines home for war. helping find work for those who served. also tonight, it happened again. a plane full of passengers stuck on the tarmac, but why? "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. today found president obama in mexico. a one-day, three-nation summit during a week with a lot going on. the president himself said today he had a lot on his plate. when asked about immigration reform, for example, he said, that should come later this year. but on health care, knowing that's the issue that awaits him back in washington, he said today he thinks reasoned arguments will actually emerge, and he thinks all of this noise going on at all of those town hall meetings across the country is a part of that process. we begin tonight with white house correspondent savannah guthrie. she's in guadalajara, mexico. savannah, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. this was a short summit. and the three leaders covered everything from the economy to energy to the swine flu. but it's the health care debate at home that followed him here to mexico. meeting with the leaders of canada and mexico, the president used a post-summit news conference after brief technical difficulties --
>> testing. good morning and buenos dias. >> reporter: -- to urge calm in the health care debate raging at home. >> i suspect that once we get into the fall and people look at the actual legislation that's being proposed, that more sensible and reasonable arguments will emerge, and we're going to get this passed. >> reporter: but the president's call for calm -- >> not wanting you folks in charge of my health care is my number one priority! >> reporter: -- is in contrast to an increasingly raucous scene at town halls like this one today in new jersey. hundreds packed the room to give congressman steve rothman an earful. >> you're not going to exclude illegal aliens and the spending has to stop. you have to stop passing us the buck. >> reporter: in response, the white house is getting more aggressive and borrowing a page from the old campaign playbook. today unveiling a website
featuring key white house aides dispelling what they call misinformation in the debates. >> we have been really surprised about some of the wild rumors that we've heard flying around. >> reporter: and obama's campaign arm organizing for america has mobilized, tapping an e-mail list in the millions to encourage supporters to drop by lal congressional offices. >> hi. this is my first year in t doughnut hole and it's quite a frightening think to go through. >> reporter: with numerous recent support showing support for health care reform eroding and the president's approval numbers with it, today in mexico, mr. obama dismissed admissions it is taking a political toll. >> understand, though, i'm not acting based on short-term political calculations. i'm looking at what's best for the country long term. if i had been making short-term political calculations, i wouldn't be standing here as president because nobody calculated that i could win the presidency. >> reporter: well, the president tomorrow could experience this new town hall dynamic firsthand. he'll travel to new hampshire to
talk health care. brian? >> savannah guthrie in guadalajara, mexico, to start us off tonight. savannah, thanks. this was a deadly day in iraq. the kind of day iraqis had hoped was behind them. a series of bombings left as many as 50 people dead, including two early morning blasts in baghdad and an awful explosion outside mosul in the north. two flatbed trucks packed with explosives leveled a village, leaving 28 dead, almost 155 wounded and nearly 100 iraqis have been killed now just since friday alone. here in new york, on the hudson river, search teams have now found the remains of that small private plane involved in the deadly midair collision with the helicopter giving a tour over the wkend. all nine people in both aircraft were killed. also tonight, we're hearing the first emergency calls now from onlookers who saw it all happen. nbc's tom costello is on the new jersey side of the hudson river in hoboken tonight. tom, good evening. >> reporter: hi, brian. good evening to you. the nypd said its divers have
found a body inside that plane, but they haven't been able to extricate it. they also tell us that the plane is in such difficult shiftin water that they decided to secure it for tonight and go back to it tomorrow. but the real question today is whether the airspace over my head is too complicated, unregulated and in effect maybe too dangerous. with the heat index pushing a sweltering 100 degrees, dive teams spent their day back on the hudson river. by midafternoon, investigators ghid they cot ue iin bnttorys vende ookin >> it continues to be very challenging conditions. the water in this area that they're looking is very deep, some 50 to 60 feet deep. >> reporter: also tonight, the first 911 calls from saturday's midair collision. >> i just saw an airplane hit a helicopter in the hudson river here. >> reporter: investigators are looking into whether the sightseeing helicopter was in the small plane's blind spot beneath its wings as it made a right turn over the hudson river, crashing into the rear of the chopper.
chopper pilots ben lane, who flies for the same sightseeing company, saw the plane coming and tried to warn fellow pilot jeremy clarke. >> i say to him, i said, hey, jeremy, you have an airplane. he's off to your back right side. i said, i don't know if he's going to pass off to your back side behind you to your left or what. >> reporter: seconds later, impact. the question now, is the hudson's airspace too congested? all of this airspace over the hudson river and below 1,100 feet is unregulated and full of helicopters and planes. 25,000 sightseeing helicopter flights last year, 23,000 wall street helicopter flights, and very few accidents or incidents. >> if you don't listen carefully and speak very quickly, this is not the place for you to fly, but if you have a lot of training and you can handle it, there's no reason to think that you're not safe. >> reporter: still, some new york lawmakers say the hudson corridor is inherently unsafe, and are again calling for tougher air regulations. >> saturday's tragedy
underscores the urgency of this issue. the hudson river flight corridor must not continue to be the wild west. the faa must act immediately before further lives are lost. if it does not, ngress will act. >> reporter: in the eight days before this accident, there were on average 225 flight operations in just this three-mile airspace, 225 each day. back in 2006 over manhattan when a plane crashed, the faa imposed new restrictions on the east river but the hudson river, brian, remains largely unregulated. ck to you. >> all right. tom costello, we will see how this changes things, if at all. tom costello on the hudson river. another aviation story in the news tonight but this one has to do with members of congress, how they travel and the money they spend on themselves. our report tonight from our senior investigative correspondent lisa myers. >> reporter: remember when members of congress pummeled auto industry ceos for coming to washington on private jets?
>> it's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. >> i'm going to ask you to raise your hand if you're planning to sell your jet and fly back commercial. let the record show, no hands went up. >> reporter: well, now the house has voted to spend more money on private jets for top government officials, jets to ferry the military, administration officials and, of course, members of congress. the house added $230 million to the pentagon's budget for two gulf stream 550s, a luxury business jet, and for two boeing 737s, and it stipulated that the gulf streams be based as at andrews air force base, right outside washington. >> this is not the right time to be buying fancy jets to fly members of congress around on. >> reporter: a spokesman for the house appropriations committee argues that congress uses this fleet only 14% of the time, and he says the new jets would replace outmoded planes which
needo be retired, are most cost efficient, and have greater range. promotional materials say the gulf stream easily links washington, d.c. with dubai, which means members of congress would no longer have to stop and refuel on the way to the middle east and asia. the pentagon says the jets take money from more important priorities and are not needed. >> we asked for what we need and only what we need. >> reporter: at leasfive senators have vowed to kill the money. >> right now america is watching washington, and they want some reassurance that we're in touch. >> reporter: the white house also has threatened to veto the bill for different reasons, which means congress and other top officials will have to scrape by with the private jets they already have. lisa myers, nbc news, washington. you may know one of the great euphemisms in life is the term regional jet. while they are jets, they are designed for short hauls, the seats are small and they are no roomier than some prop planes. now imagine a 13-hour odyssey
involving a regional jet including sleeping on one because of an airline meltdown like the one that happened a few days back in minnesota. it's the latest nightmare in the flying business, and nbc's anne thompson has our report. >> reporter: the plane says continental, but the operator was express jet. tonight both are trying to explain how flight 2816 became the latest entry in the catalog of passenger horror stories. rtthey made no efforts toet us off the plane. >> reporter: link christin was one of 47 passengers on the 145 aircraft. continent flight 2816 ft houston at 9:23 friday night from minneapolis. it was supposed to arrive at 11:54, but thunderstorms forced the flight into a holding pattern. running low on fuel, it diverted to rochester, minnesota, at 12:28 a.m., 80 miles short of its goal. and that's when the real trouble began.
the three-person crew hit its time limit and could not fly, so .be bught in. but the passengers were not allowed to get off the plane. >> i mean, there was no explanation at all. the terminal was 50 yards from where we were. >> reporter: express jet refused to let them deplane because the tsa screeners had gone home and there were not enough airport personnel to let the passengers sleep in the terminal. instead, the passengers and the crew slept on the plane. >> they deposit have food, and they didn't have water. and there was one bathroom, and there were two babies crying all night. >> reporter: after tsa screeners arrived the next morning, passengers were finally let off the plane, about 6:30. two hours later, they got back on and took off, landing at last in minneapolis at 9:15 a.m. in a statement, express jet apologized saying, its priorities were ensuring customer safety during extreme weather and following all federal regulations at the airport facility. continental apologized, too, promising a full ticket refund
an international loan, and it was the translator who had misspoken. still ahead, as our broadcast continues along the way on a monday night, what may be a revolutionary new way to manage one of the most common and most dangerous health conditions in this country, and do it without medication. and later -- lifafe r the fight for some of america's best warriors. twin-turbocharging, 365-horsepower-generating, ecoboost™ engine in the all-new ford taurus sho that has the thirst of a v6 with the thrust of a v8. we speak car. we speak innovation. introducing the all-new taurus sho from ford. drive one.
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pressure. as our chief science correspondent robert bell reports, an experimental device more commonly associated with heart conditions may turn out to be a new option for patients who can't control their condition with medicine. >> your blood pressure's okay? >> yeah. >> okay. >> reporter: the experimental pacemaker has so far proven highly effective in controlling blood pressure without drugs. the earliest implants have been in people who have had a lot of trouble. >> so they're on three, four, some are up to six or seven medications, failing medical therapy. so it's their last option left for management of their blood pressure. >> it's healed up very nicely. >> reporter: 61-year-old craig ross, one of the very first to get the implant -- >> nancy's going to adjust your device. >> reporter: -- has a strong family history and has had very high blood pressure for decades. >> i really expected to die almost about this time. >> this is actually the generator box. >> reporter: with the pacemaker, his blood pressure is now normal.
the pacemaker easily implanted just under the skin and the neck, sends electrical impulses to what are called barrel receptors in the carotid artery. these signal the brain to control blood pressure. the device works to tricking the brain into think the blood pressure is even higher than it is so the brain reduces it to normal. >> it works well. it's a game changer. >> reporter: researchers say the pacemaker could someday help people whose blood pressure is not severe but still dangerous. about one-third of adult americans, some 74 million people, have high blood pressure, and half don't have it under control. that puts them at an increased risk for stroke, heart and kidney disease, and many other health problems. sometimes people don't take medications because they are expensive or have side effects, but that is not the only reason. >> in a certain segment of the population, it's because those blood pressure medications simply do not bring the blood pressure down. >> reporter: so for many others like craig ross, the pacemaker could be an option. >> once in a while you'll notice
it's there, but that's it. there's no other downside to it that i know of. >> reporter: robert bazell, nbc news, los angeles. up next here tonight -- why great britain is turning its back on a royal tradition that's been around for centuries. nnouncer) when lynn goes to an exhibit she wants to see more than just the ladies room, so today, she's talking to her doctor about overactive bladder. erin wants to get up and go without always worrying about where to "go." if you have overactive bladder symptoms, today is the day to talk to your doctor and ask about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents over 24 hours, all day and all night. plus, toviaz comes with a simple plan with tips on food and drink choices and training your bladder. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or cannot empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. toviaz can cause blurred vision and drowsiness
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this is how bad it got in east india today, where typhoon seon is making a mess of things across the season. torrential rains, flooding in taiwan caused buildings to collapse. triggered a mudslide in one mountain vilge that reportedly buried up to 600 people. a pair of powerful earthquakes to report tonight as well. a 6.6 quake centered about 100 miles southwest of tokyo shook some buildings, forced a halt to the bullet train, in fact. no casualties or serious damage reported early on. and a 7.6 quake centered 20 miles down below the indian ocean, north of the andaman islands, triggered a tsunami watch for some time. a lot of it roughly the same region you'll recall devastated by that massive tsunami 4 1/2 years ago now. general motors announced today it's boldly entering the era of ebay. the company says it hopes to
soon offer its entire line of cars and trucks on the website where potential gm customers can bid on them. gm, as you may know, is undergoing a top-to-bottom rebuild. it just got out of bankruptcy. this rollout would start in california at first, and if it's successful, it would go on ebay nationwide. and good news from the uk. people visiting the queen no longer have to walk ckwards out of a room, originally designed as a way to avoid turning one's back on the monarch, of course. it's a custom that was depicted in the film "the queen." >> and when you're in the presence, at no point must you show your back. >> the presence? >> yes, sir. that's what it's called when you're in her majesty's company. >> the presence. apparently, the practice, which has been dying out of late, has been quietly dropped by the folks who handle protocol around the queen out of concern for the, quote, health and safety of those involved, presumably tripping over rugs.
only the most senior officials will continue the practice, so the heat is off the rest of us. when we come back here tonight -- finding a way to return the favor for some marines home from the fight. rines home from the fight. ... get out and dance... even play a little hide-n-seek. i'm breathing better... with spiriva. announcer: spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatment for both forms of copd... which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. i take it every day. it keeps my airways open... to help me breathe better all day long. and it's not a steroid. announcer: spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, or have vision changes or eye pain. tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine or an enlarged prostate, as these may worsen with spiriva. also discuss the medicines you take, even eye drops. side effects may include dry mouth, constipation
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finally tonight, the men and women in uniform who are hard at work in this nation's dual war. as the military nation makes them into very good fighters, but that could often be a problem when they come home and they need other skills to make it through these tough economic times. people are stepping up now so that recently returned veterans can make a living. our report tonight from our own maria menounos in camp pendleton, california. >> reporter: skilled in combat in modern weaponry, america's most versatile warriors, the marines, are using a welding torch as the weapon of choice in a fight against a tough, new enemy -- the economy. >> i haven't even looked at welding until i went into the marine corps. all i did was shoot gu. >> reporter: lance corporal jaffery is just 23
years old but he has an impressive resume, iraq war veteran and couple heart recipient. after four years of military duty, he's ready for a change. >> i never really held a real job for the most part. sometimes you don't know what you're going to face in the real world. >> typically if you ask a marine, what are you going to do when you get out? you'll hear, i'm going to go back home, i'm going to get a job, and i'm going to go to school. which really means that they're not sure what they're going to do. >> reporter: when these marines become civilians, they leave behind a routine of training and change that can be drastic.ears, coming home to a country in a recession, gastring had to find a job to support his wife and newborn daughter. >> it does make me nervous because we don't have that guarantee anymore. >> reporter: gastring is part of a new program linking the marine corps and the united association, a union of plumbers and pipe fitters. >> hey, they're over there in iraq and afghanistan laying it on the line every day for us to
protect our freedom, and we just figured it was some way that we could give back. >> reporter: ua president william height created the 16-week warriors and welding boot camp. >> you're going to have to learn a whole new language, a whole new culture. >> reporter: a lifestyles course helps the transition and finally, there's guaranteed job placement. for citizen joe gastring and his 12 classmates, graduation means it's time for new employment. >> i'm really positive. >> i'm really excited. ready to start working. >> reporter: one of the few, one of the proud is now one of the first to trade in their rifles for a welder's torch. maria menounos, nbc news, camp pendleton, california. that is our broadcast for this monday night as we start off a new week. thank you for being with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com