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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  April 9, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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tomorrow. no rain to wrap up the weekend and a few north bay showers and let's hope for more baseball and then the seven-day forecast. >> "nbc nightly news" is next and we'll see you back here at 6:00 f milcaws open for open for business. president obama's surprise visit with tourists after a last-minute deal to avoid a government shutdown. but there's a much bigger battle ahead. flash point. as the fight for libya intensifies, gadhafi appears in public for the first time in weeks. cinema giant. from "12 angry men" to "network" and "dog day afternoon." >> i'm as mad as hell and i'm not going to take this anymore. >> remembering a legendary filmmaker. and puppy patrol. moved to serve as front line and puppy patrol. moved to serve as front line defenders.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. after a night of high political drama and skirting right up to the edge of a midnight shutdown, the american government was open for business today. and while that has members of congress patting themselves on the back for working out a budget compromise, it was president obama who was out running a victory lap today, literally jaunting up the steps of the lincoln memorial this afternoon. the president greeted surprised tourists at one of the places that stood to close if that budget deal hadn't been done. but for all the congratulations, the $38 billion lawmakers trimmed out of the budget amounts to just a drop in the bucket in the face of a $14 trillion debt. and more money battles are just around the corner. nbc's mike viqueira begins our coverage. he's at the white house tonight. mike? >> reporter: good evening,
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lester. they are calling it the biggest cut to annual government spending in american history. today, both sides are taking credit, even as they prepare for a bigger budget battle to come. >> this is what america is all about. >> reporter: president obama surprised tourists today at the lincoln memorial, highlighting the end, for now, of the budget crisis. and that the government is open for business. >> because congress was able to settle its differences, that's why this place is open today and everybody is able to enjoy their visit. and that's the kind of future cooperation i hope we have going forward. >> reporter: the agreement was reached just 90 minutes before the government would have partially shut down. even as he hailed the deal, mr. obama warned the cuts would be painful. >> beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help america compete for new jobs. investments in our kids' education and student loans. in clean energy and life-saving medical research. >> reporter: it was a dizzying day of trading offers and racing the clock. >> this has been a lot of discussion and a long fight.
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but we fought to keep government spending down because it really will, in fact, help create a better environment for job creators in our country. >> reporter: the agreement trims $38.5 billion from this year's budget. that's $5.5 billion higher than the president wanted early in the week. in the end, both sides claimed victory. >> we've agreed to an historic amount of cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year. >> reporter: but there was a final sticking point. republican demands to cut federal funding for family planning clinics, including planned parenthood, which, among its medical services, performs some abortions with nontaxpayer funds. in the end, democrats won out and the measure was dropped. but the budget battles may have just gotten started. all told, the new agreement cuts just $1 in $100 of federal spending. next week house republicans will vote on a much bigger, even more controversial plan to slash the national debt, beginning with next year's budget.
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>> if we stay on the current path, we are heading toward a debt-fueled economic crisis. meaning massive tax increases, sudden cuts to vital programs, runaway inflation or all three. >> reporter: lester, paul ryan and republicans in the house would get there in their debt reduction plan by making what are already controversial changes to medicare. democrats are calling it a privatization scheme. one thing everyone can agree on, unless fundamental changes are made to those entitlement programs, medicare and medicaid, that reduction will not happen. lester? >> mike, thanks. for more we're joined by david gregory, moderator of "meet the press." david, good evening to you. seeing the president celebrating the deal by greeting tourists today makes you wonder if you weren't watching the first campaign stop of his re-election campaign. does the white house see the president as the ultimate winner in this showdown? >> well, they may, but i think it's a little early to start crowning any winners out of a situation that leaves a lot of americans disgusted with washington. and that's on all sides of this. the president was at the lincoln memorial talking about cooperation between republicans
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and democrats in congress. i don't think this is really a great model of cooperation. coming precariously close to shutting down the government, endangering pay for our soldiers who are fighting in afghanistan and iraq. over tens of billions of dollars and big ideological policy differences when, as mike talks about, next year's budget, dealing with huge issues like entitlement spending, the differences are much wider, both ideologically and the numbers are so much bigger. so the country faces real problems. this went to the 11th hour. this is hardly a bright moment for any side in washington. >> and continuing on that point, as we look to this debt ceiling battle to come, has either side been weakened by what we just went through this week? >> well, again, i think the well has been poisoned. i think the two sides are more entrenched. there seems to be not a great deal of desire to legislate in washington, which is why lawmakers are elected and why they come here is to legislate and compromise. republicans only control one-third of the government.
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democrats control the rest. and i thought what was striking about what the president said if you listen to his comments made friday night, he sounded very much like a republican. talking about the need to cut spending. that's the re-election play here. he wants the american people to know, particularly those independent voters, that he is in line with what a lot of americans want, which is less government, trimming down the size and the scope of government. he wants to be able to say, look, i brought the sides together. i averted the shutdown. and i'm on board with cutting government spending. that's the message he wants to drive next year. >> david gregory in our washington newsroom. thanks. much more on all of this on "meet the press." david's guests include the president's senior adviser david plouffe and republican budget committee chairman congressman paul ryan. that's tomorrow morning on "meet the press." with the shutdown averted, federal workers will continue to get paid. and for families heading to national parks and museums, the plan is drawing mixed reviews. nbc's michelle franzen reports.
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>> reporter: in lower manhattan, a picture perfect day for a trip to see the statue of liberty. >> it's a nice day. you're going to the top, are you? >> reporter: an estimated 10,000 visitors, including the riggs family from baltimore, waited in two-hour long lines to board a boat and get a close-up view. >> are you really happy you're going to see the statue of liberty? >> yes, because it's going to be so exciting. >> reporter: fun for the kids and a relief for mom jesse who worried the park would be shut down. >> we were very concerned yesterday. we didn't pre-buy our tickets. >> reporter: liberty and ellis islands are part of the 1,000 national parks, monuments and museums spared from closing. in washington, d.c., the national cherry blossom festival parade marched on. and so did visitors. >> that's the original smithsonian museum. >> reporter: while the budget crisis was averted, some tourists are still outraged. >> i think that if anyone else did their job the way our congress is doing their job, that they'd get fired.
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and i think that they're not worried about it because they are getting their paycheck no matter what happens. >> reporter: for military families who were faced with paycheck delays, a sigh of relief. >> it was a relief of knowing that i don't have to make a ton of phone calls to financing companies and where our bills go and stuff. >> reporter: a return to the tasks at hand and a renewed appreciation for our nation's parks. and there are also a lot of independent businesses that cater to visitors, and they, too, lester, were relieved the public access was not disrupted. >> michelle franzen here in new york tonight. thanks. overseas to the fight for libya. nato air strikes against government targets have stepped up over the last 24 hours. there were also new reports that at least 30 rebel fighters were killed on a day gadhafi made a rare public appearance. nbc's stephanie gosk is in benghazi with the latest for us. stephanie? >> reporter: good evening, lester. this is the closest gadhafi's
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forces have come to benghazi since the air strikes began nearly three weeks ago. an estimated 10 to 15 pickup trucks packed with government troops rolled straight into ajdabiya today. shelling on the road from ajdabiya to benghazi sends the rebels on the run. caught by surprise again. they respond, but it's not an exact science. fighters struggled to get a rocket into position, moving the truck, even dropping a launcher, until finally firing off. the fighting began today on the western edge of ajdabiya. state tv broadcast a news reporter interviewing victorious government troops at the city's gates. but in the center of town, outside the hospital, it was a different scene. we're hearing gunfire on the other side of the hospital. the rebel forces say that gadhafi loyalists have actually taken a position there and they continue to gain ground. most of the patients were evacuated in the morning.
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>> translator: we've got quite a few casualties. the shelling started at noon. then snipers came in followed by troops in pickup trucks. >> reporter: nato launched air strikes today to slow down gadhafi's forces but the rebels want more. >> translator: ever since nato has taken over, they haven't been effective. when the americans, british and french were in control it was much better. we're starting to doubt nato's intentions here. >> reporter: with his forces on the move in the east, gadhafi appeared on state tv visiting a school, making sure to point out the date. it's the first time the libyan leader's face has been seen on tv in more than two weeks. the government also organized a trip for journalists to the embattled town of misrata to prove it had won control of the western city. but it quickly became clear that the fight there continues. an army captain and a journalist were injured. in the east, there is concern that gadhafi may be making a big
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push. late into the day, the battle continued, getting closer and closer to benghazi. there's still 100 miles and a lot of open desert between the fighting and benghazi, but we're hearing that people here are already growing nervous that some families are even packing up their stuff and getting ready to leave. >> stephanie gosk in libya tonight, thank you. this saturday saw more unrest across the middle east. in syria, government forces opened fire on protesters during a funeral. it comes a day after violent demonstrations left 37 people dead. and in egypt, where the people's uprising led to a regime change, soldiers clashed with protesters in cairo with reportedly one person killed. we're following some very dangerous weather making its way across the country. part of the same system that brought a funnel cloud to oklahoma and this. some baseball-sized hail. tracking it for us is the weather channel's samantha mohr. samantha, good evening. >> good evening, lester.
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i tell you what, we're just getting started with this three-day severe weather event. in fact, we have tornado warnings all over the carolinas right now and tornado watches into the early morning hours. severe thunderstorms as well. so large hail, gusty, damaging winds, and we can't rule out the tornado threat. here's the setup. deep trough of low pressure bringing in temperatures some 20 to 30 degrees cooler and setting up the scenario for more severe weather sunday into monday. we need to be concerned about 50 million-plus people on sunday across this area and then sunday night it's into chicago, st. louis, as well as into memphis. and then once we get into that sunday night, monday time frame, it's going to be some 90 million people-plus, so 18 states could be affected by this incredibly destructive weather. and then we can't forget about the flooding in the red river valley. it's looking like it will peak tonight, and that puts us at the fourth highest level ever along the red river in fargo. so we have these flood warnings
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in place here. flash flood warnings. and this is the fourth highest level ever on the red river. lester? >> samantha mohr of the weather channel, thanks. still ahead this saturday night, fan fears. a brutal attack at a baseball game leads to security changes and concerns. also ahead, a master of cinema. remembering one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in history. >> attica. attica. attica. this is lara. her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain.
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all he wanted to do was watch a baseball game. but a father of two ended up in a coma beaten by two men at dodger stadium in los angeles. while it's believed to be an isolated incident, the attack haáh&ed to sweeping security changes. and has many across the country wondering if they are safe in the stands. nbc's miguel almaguer reports. >> reporter: in san francisco -- >> as we keep bryan in our thoughts. >> reporter: -- a moment of silence for giants fan bryan stow, the 42-year-old father of two is fighting for his life in a los angeles hospital. while leaving opening day at dodger stadium, stow was attacked. >> i heard someone yell some cuss words and then we see bryan on the ground. >> reporter: in the parking lot, two unidentified men nearly beat him to death. likely, police say, because he was wearing a giants jersey on
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the turf of their arch rivals. >> they are being taunted from when they walked out of the stadium. >> reporter: a paramedic, tonight bryan stow remains in a coma. the attack at dodger stadium is one of the most savage incidents to ever happen here. but it's certainly not the only violent one at a pro sporting event. >> unbelievable. where is the security? >> reporter: there's the infamous basket brawl. indiana players attack detroit fans. >> you got to be kidding me. >> reporter: while in chicago, fans attack a kansas city coach. from brawls in the bleachers to fist fights in the stands, even a tennis match has resembled what you would expect in a boxing ring. >> it's not just the dodgers. it's soccer. it's hockey. it's basketball. you know, we are experiencing a degradation of behavior. >> reporter: today in boston, long time columnist dan shaughnessy is covering one of the biggest rivalries in professional sports. >> you always see stuff in the stands. red sox are playing the yankees here at fenway park. whenever you have that mix, it's
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always combustible. people drinking. red sox/yankee fans going at each other. >> reporter: back in los angeles, sweeping change is under way. >> on our way home, instead of talking about the game, we're talking about what we saw in the stands, what we saw in the parking lots. it's sick. >> reporter: the sea of dodger blue will see an increased presence of lapd blue. the former l.a. police chief has been hired to overhaul stadium security, which will include license plate scanners, observation towers, increased lighting and undercover operations. more focus on security off the field so fans can enjoy what's happening on it. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. still to come here on "nightly news," much more than cute. the adorable puppies being trained to defend the country. and paying tribute to the actor's director and his extraordinary body of work. >> so i want you to >> so i want you to get up now. i want all of you to get up out
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he was a world war ii veteran who got his first break directing tv shows in the 1950s. and over the next half century, sidney lumet would leave his mark as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, bringing out the best in the actors while sending a message of morality. >> attica! attica! >> reporter: he liked to embrace the rawness of his native new york city. no fan of slick imagery, sidney lumet classics like "dog day afternoon" and "serpico" -- >> if they put it into straight police work, we'd have the city cleaned up in a week. >> reporter: -- captured the
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grit fi realist style for which he was known. starting on stage and then television, he transitioned to film in 1957, earning an oscar nomination for his directorial debut, "12 angry men." >> like they have no feelings. they can do anything. what's going on here? >> reporter: firmly staking his claim in hollywood. >> when your first film is "12 angry men," which is one of the landmarks of american filmmaking and storytelling, i'd say you're off to a good start. >> reporter: a good start that led to more than 50 films over a 50-year directing career. many instant classics. >> no one can interfere with the failsafe box, sir. >> reporter: 1964's "failsafe" raised the chilling specter of how a malfunction could lead to nuclear annihilation. and in 1976, "network" -- >> next tuesday, i'm going to shoot myself. >> reporter: a satirical look at the tv news business won him a golden globe and gave americans a new phrase.
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>> i'm as mad as hell and i'm not going to take this anymore. >> reporter: and a new event. they weren't all hits. "the wiz," his 1978 adaption of "the wizard of oz" was widely panned. in his life time, lumet received five oscar nominations, including a nod for 1982's "the verdict" with paul newman. >> i said to hell with it. to hell with it. >> reporter: he was awarded an honorary oscar in 2005. >> artistically, he never seemed to age. he always had a new idea or a new property or new project he wanted to make. that's a wonderful way to be in your 80s. >> reporter: sidney lumet was 86 years old. still to come here on "nbc nightly news," protector puppies and the boot camp that trains them. tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult.
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finally tonight, front line canines. we see them at airports and in mass transit systems. they defend the country. and as you'll see, these dogs get a very early start. nbc's tom costello explains. >> reporter: hard to imagine these four-legged balls of fur so curious, playful and into absolutely everything will one day be using those noses for the tsa.
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sniffing for explosives. scott thomas runs the breeding program. what makes a puppy, what makes a dog really good. hi, sweetie. really good at doing his job. >> the things we're looking for is a dog that is environmentally bold, which is a dog that can go to any new environment and act like he's lived there his whole life. the secondary thing we are looking for is their desire to find their favorite toy. >> reporter: it looks like a puppy at play, but at lackland air force base near san antonio, the tsa has set up a sort of boot camp for dogs. and there is something else that makes this special. >> this right here is dolan. he was number 500. >> reporter: every dog is named after 1 of the 3,000 people who died on 9/11. dolan's name is tattooed right inside his ear. >> this is just such an honor. i can't even tell you what an honor for me. >> reporter: at the pentagon's 9/11 memorial, 184 benches stand as tribute to those who died here that day. one of them is named after lisa dolan's husband, navy captain bob dolan. >> i have a very special connection with dogs.
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so it really filled my heart. i teared up. >> reporter: for the next year, little dolan will live with a foster family in san antonio. then return to the tsa for intense training in sniffing out tiny traces of explosives in airport lounges, cargo holds, train stations and passenger planes. then alert his handler. >> some dogs increase their pace. some dogs slow their pace. the increase in sniffing behavior. >> reporter: it takes more than a year for a dog and handler to learn to work as a team. and there's constant turnover. because dogs generally retire when they are 8 years old, the tsa has to train 300 dogs each year to both maintain and grow the program. and it turns out dolan represents something very special to the dolans. captain dolan started his navy career in bomb detection. on the "today" show, little dolan met lisa and becca dolan. >> oh, look. oh, you've got my nose.
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it seems like this puppy dolan has kind of completed a circle for my family. >> reporter: tom costello, nbc news, san antonio. and that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" and right back here tomorrow evening. "today" and right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac --


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