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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  July 17, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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city hall. >> yes. the largest crowd since the giants victory parade for women's soccer. >> on wednesday we didn't have that crowd. 9:00 a.m. on a wednesday. the scandal grows. the head of scotland yard resigns on the same day london police arrest a star of rupert murdoch's media empire. the new mystery surrounding casey anthony. where is she after walking out of jail now a free woman? and sudden death. an exhilarating women's world cup decided on the final kick. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. the growing fallout from great britain's newspaper phone hacking scandal gained new momentum today, claiming two
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major figures. including scotland yard's top cop. tonight the woman who until recently ran rupert murdoch's newspaper holdings in the uk is under arrest. and the head of the london police department has abruptly resigned amid questions over his department's pursuit of the case. all this being followed very closely in this country, which is home to some of the crown jewels of murdoch's now damaged media empire. nbc's stephanie gosk is in london tonight with late developments for us in the case. stephanie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. well, the casualties in this story continue to pile up. rebekah brooks, one of rupert murdoch's most trusted executives, is under arrest tonight. her spokesman says that she turned herself in and she's cooperating. then late tonight a surprise announcement from scotland yard that sir paul stephenson, the chief of police for the organization now investigating this scandal, he has stepped down.
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london's police chief resigned under intense pressure after it emerged that scotland yard hired a former "news of the world" editor as a media consultant in 2009. the same year investigators decided not to further pursue the phone hacking case. the former editor, neil wallis, was arrested last week in connection with the scandal. >> i have heard suggestions that we must have suspected the alleged involvement of mr. wallis in phone hacking. let me say unequivocally that i did not and have no reason to do so. >> reporter: even with the head of police preparing to step down, scotland yard continues to make arrests. today it was rebekah brooks, former head of rupert murdoch's newspaper arm here in the uk, who resigned herself on friday. it was just a week ago that murdoch flew to london and stood by her side, all smiles. brooks had a meteoric rise at the company, becoming editor of "news of the world" when she was only 32. neil sean worked for another
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murdoch paper, "the sun." he is now an nbc news analyst. >> she rose to the top through sheer ambition, fantastic networking and, of course, an ability to do the job. >> reporter: it was in 2002 with brooks at the paper's helm that "news of the world" reporters allegedly hacked the phone of murdered teenager milly dowler. a case that shocked and infuriated this country. brooks denies any knowledge of phone hacking and has apologized. for the last decade the charismatic editor has rubbed elbows with the rich and famous and the powerful. she has had close personal relationships with the three most recent prime ministers. as recently as last december, david cameron met twice with brooks in visits that his office describes as social. cameron has come under fire for his connections to murdoch's news international. his former spokesman andy colson, also a former editor of "news of the world," was also arrested last week. cameron himself admits the relationship between politicians and the media has become, in his
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words, cozy and comfortable. the head of the opposition says it's time for change. >> unless politics is willing to come clean about these relationships, unless it's willing to shine light on these relationships, then the public is not going to have confidence in the future. >> reporter: restoring confidence in news corps may be equally as difficult. something the company admitted in a second full-page ad in british papers this weekend. apologizing for our mistakes and fixing them are only first steps, the statement says. it may take some time for us to rebuild trust. they will try to start and rebuild that trust on tuesday. rupert murdoch and his son james will be here in parliament for some tough questions. rebekah brooks is supposed to be there as well. but her spokesperson says that because of her arrest, her attendance right now is up in the air. lester? >> stephanie gosk in london. the question tonight then is just how far the ripples of this scandal will reach across rupert murdoch's vast media empire. which includes some big brand
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names in this country. cnbc's david faber joins us in new york for some insight. david, this has now reached to one of murdoch's top deputies. what does this do to his damage control efforts. >> he's been trying to do damage control since the middle of last week in some ways when he finally started to distance himself from rebekah brooks who resigned, of course, a couple days later. the scandal does not appear to have crested yet. despite giving up the purchase of b sky b for what would have been a $12 billion deal for news corp., a huge important deal they wanted to complete in the uk and, of course, letting go of rebekah brooks and his long time lieutenant les hinton. >> on a personal level for murdoch and especially his son, are they in some sort of legal jeopardy? >> james murdoch has got to be the focus right now. because of course rebecca brooks
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and les hinton both having been gone, james murder okay runs news international. he has the number three position at the company, essentially, after chase carey, an executive who's not part of the family. that is the key question at this point. it's got to be, lester, whether or not he can hang on to that position. >> now to the question of whether this moves across this side of the pond. as we noted, news corp. controls "wall street journal," fox, a number of brand names. they have a lot of viewers and readers in this country. are any of them in jeopardy at least to be tarnished by this? >> there may be perhaps some tarnish that -- that goes on at this point. but the key question is, when you have the fbi at least being asked by certain members of congress to investigate, at this point, of course, they haven't issued any subpoenas. it's not clear that they will. nonetheless, lester, when you get to a point where the fbi might in fact do that and investigate, you simply never know what you're going to end up with. as opposed to have been flat footed perhaps in their response in the uk, the news corp. management, rupert murdoch, are ready, it would appear here in the u.s., to respond. >> david faber from cnbc joining us here in new york tonight. david, thank you. casey anthony whose murder
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trial captivated the country is a free woman tonight. she was released from a florida jail just after midnight. less than two weeks after being found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter. and the angry scene that greeted her outside the jail this morning has many wondering just what kind of life she now faces. nbc's kristen dahlgren is in orlando with the latest. kristen? >> reporter: good evening, lester. casey anthony is out of jail, but maybe in a new kind of prison now. tonight she is in hiding with no job, little money and plenty of public hatred directed her way. casey anthony in her first moments of freedom. her mouth set. her eyes focused. with a quick thank you to an officer and her attorney, jose baez, at her side, she made a beeline for the door. >> i'm assuming that jose might have said we're going to walk out. you're going to see the three imbedded camera people there and the writer. there's going to be a mike stand. we're not going to stop. we're just going to head for the door. >> reporter: seconds later outside, the woman acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old
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daughter got a firsthand look at the court of public opinion. >> baby killer! >> more than 100 had gathered, many outraged as they watched the 25-year-old walk free. >> i'm here to protest her getting out. she should spend the rest of her life in jail. >> reporter: followed by two heavily armed officers, anthony climbed into a waiting suv. a camera catching perhaps a moment of relief. then through heavy barricades the suv drove out of the jail. from the sky, news choppers tried to trace her next move. but in the dark of night, anthony slipped away. her parents george and cindy say attorney jose baez has asked them to help divert the media. they refused. and haven't had contact with the 25-year-old since her release. left to wonder if casey was on a plane as some were speculating. >> when cindy saw that, she texted jose and said, is casey on that plane? the only response we got was, "she's safe." >> reporter: anthony's safety has been a big concern to those around her. her attorneys say she's gotten death threats.
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she's been vilified online. even at the sight where little caylee's remains were found, there was anger mixed in with the mourning today. >> to remember the crime that someone is yet to pay for. >> reporter: that anger may leave anthony paying in other ways. for high security. though she left the jail with just $537.68 from her commissary account, some say a paid interview, movie or book deal may not be far behind. for now, out of sight, but perhaps unlikely to stay out of the spotlight for long. >> i'm just ready for it all to end. i would like to see something else on my television. >> reporter: of course, there are others who can't wait to get their first glimpse of casey anthony in her new life. but to want, lester, no one is saying where she's spending her first full day of freedom. >> kristen, thank you. you didn't have to be a soccer fan or even fully understand the game to be caught up in the drama that took place a short time ago on a field in frankfurt, germany.
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the favorite u.s. women going head to head with japan in the world cup championship. with millions around the world glued to their tv sets, the thrilling finish was as dramatic as it was sudden. nbc's anne thompson is in frankfurt tonight to tell us how it all ended. anne? >> reporter: good evening, lester. it was a nail biter. america scored first. then japan came back to tie the game. it went into extra time. again, the u.s. scored first. again, japan came back, forcing this game into a nerve-racking finish. it had all the makings of another dramatic american comeback. an abby wambach in extra time. penalty kicks. in the shootout, the winner was japan. a smaller team determined to lift its country racked by natural and nuclear disasters. nothing came easy for the u.s. in the final game. though they dominated possessions, the u.s. missed chance after chance after chance
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to put the ball in japan's net. when accuracy counted most, japan prevailed. >> it's a lot harder to win a world cup on the winning side now than it was in 1999. because so many other teams and other countries care about the sport. they've invested in it. they've developed young talent. and it's really hard now. >> reporter: for americans, this was a rare moment of unity. the army's 170th infantry brigade in afghanistan held its breath on every kick. while around the world, this was the cheer. >> usa! usa! >> usa! >> reporter: in new york's times square. >> they've got the guys rocking the women's jerseys. it feels really good. >> reporter: suburban los angeles. >> i look up to every single one of them. >> reporter: and this frankfurt sports bar where ex-pats and tourists stood for the national anthem. in the twitter verse, thousands of fans tweeted support including justin timberlake, lance armstrong and president obama who watched the game with his family.
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while in frankfurt, dr. jill biden and chelsea clinton represented the white house. a former soccer mom herself -- >> you must be so excited! >> reporter: -- biden thanked the parents of the team. >> it's the moms and the dads who are behind their children and who get them to where they are today. >> reporter: it was not the ending america hoped for. but for some, it was still satisfying. >> whoever wins, i'll be happy, to be honest. >> reporter: now, japan won the cup and plenty of hearts here in germany. after every game the team carried a banner around the stadium thanking the world for supporting their country. and tonight was no exception. even in their moment of greatest glory, japan said thank you. lester? >> anne thompson for us in frankfurt, thank you. back here at home, the heat wave that began yesterday is bringing even more oppressive conditions to much of the midwest. temperatures are in the 90s and higher from the gulf coast all the way up to the border with canada. we're joined now by the weather
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channel's eric fisher who's in lake harriet, minnesota, near minneapolis. eric, what's it like there this evening? >> reporter: it is swampy out here, lester, that is for sure. dewpoints near 80. that is downright tropical. everyone was dealing with it in the minneapolis/st. paul area. we just began what will be the first heat wave here in this city. heat index values topped out around 150 degrees. that's what it actually feels like for your body to be out. dangerous conditions for anyone who's spending extended amounts of time outdoors. and we certainly were not alone. take a look across the country. anywhere from the high plains down to the gulf coast, even right now as we speak, heat index values between 100 and 120 degrees. for some this is new. for some this is an ongoing problem. but is it going to change? as we head forward into the next week, big area of high pressure centered right in the middle of america is slowly going to shift off to the east. that will bring heat back to the mid-atlantic, down to the deep south and into the carolinas as well. we'll see a little relief in the twin cities, especially toward thursday and friday. but it will be a little relief, and there'll be no relief in the
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southern plains. places like oklahoma, texas, some cities like wichita falls, texas, have seen over 50 days of triple digit heat. almost double what they average for an entire year. we're only in the middle of july. we are in the middle of summertime. so you expect to see some heat. many ask the question, is this rare? in a place like minneapolis, the answer would be no. they see wild extremes. well below zero temperatures during the winter. triple digit heat in the summertime. but in the southern plains with some of those numbers stacking up, we'll be shattering records for perhaps the next couple of months to come, and there is no change there in sight. lester? >> eric fisher putting it all in perspective for us tonight, thanks. still to come as we continue this sunday evening, bags and bags of freshly minted money just sitting around. why is a billion dollars going unwanted? later, coming of age with the young wizard named harry. the story of a generation comes to an end.
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here's an interesting question for you. do you have any of those dollar coins in your pocket? turns out that few people do. but they're costing taxpayers hundreds of millions. and tonight many are asking if those dollar coins still make sense. nbc's chief investigative correspondent lisa myers explains. >> reporter: for almost four years, the mint has been churning out one dollar coins bearing the image of presidents. more than 2 billion coins minted so far. honoring 18 presidents. george washington through ulysses grant. but the coins haven't exactly
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caught fire with the public. >> how often do you use dollar coins? >> never. >> nobody's ever heard of them. >> you can't really put them in things like vending machines. >> reporter: there's so little interest in these coins that some have ended up here. at the federal reserve's coin vault in baltimore. in all more than a billion dollars in coins are now just sitting in vaults around the country. bags and bags of coins stacked from floor to ceiling. row after row after row. the cost to taxpayers? about $300 million so far. 32 cents to make each unwanted coin. plus $650,000 for a new vault for the fed to store them. that from a program which congress had claimed would save money by replacing paper dollar bills with sturdier coins. former congressman earl polmeroy was one of the sponsors of the legislation. in retrospect was this a dumb idea? >> this is an idea that did not work. >> reporter: so far a few americans have taken to the
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coins as a scheme to rack up frequent flier miles. they order thousands and thousands of coins on their credit card. then cash in the coins and use the miles to travel the globe almost free. but as first reported by npr, taxpayers haven't faired as well. is this program a waste of taxpayer money? >> the dollar coin program is a waste of taxpayer money. i think it's time to put a halt to this experiment. >> reporter: but ending it probably requires another law from congress. until then, the mint has five years and 20 presidents to go. lisa myers, nbc news, baltimore. still ahead, the big showdown in washington over the debt limit. and the president's warned of potential catastrophe. so are lawmakers any closer to a deal? and a sunday surprise for those dire predictions of carmageddon in california.
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a little more than two weeks left until the u.s. treasury
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reaches its legal borrowing limit and the threat of the government being unable to pay its bills looms larger tonight. nbc's mike viqueira joins us from the white house. mike? >> reporter: lester, we're 16 days from a potential financial catastrophe. by all appearances it was a quite typical weekend summer day here in washington. the first family left on foot, setting out across lafayette park to attend church services. it was the first public appearance by the president since friday. this as talks over averting a financial crisis appear to be in a holding pattern as republicans in congress plan a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the constitution early in the week. and while today white house officials again said there's still time for a major deal, a top democrat said the senate will begin debate on a fallback, scaled back plan later this week in the senate. one more note this evening, lester. today the president announced he would nominate richard quardray, a former ohio state government official, to head the new consumer financial protection bureau. it's a watchdog agency. it was formed in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2008.
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the president passed over elizabeth warren. she was a favorite of many consumer groups as well as democrats. it was generally accepted wisdom here in washington, lester, that elizabeth warren could not get confirmation in the senate. lester? >> mike, thank you. they're off again in california. drivers return to the 405 freeway in los angeles this afternoon 16 hours ahead of schedule. road crews were able to quickly demolish parts of a bridge over one of the nation's busiest highways. and there was no sign of carmageddon, the epic traffic jam officials had warned about. when we come back, saying good-bye to harry potter for a generation of fans who grew up as he did.
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the movie magic of harry potter has produced more than a decade of hollywood blockbusters. the latest film breaking box office records on this debut weekend taking in more than $168 million in the u.s. and canada. the eight-part series is now complete. and for the actors and the young fans who followed them, the end marks a coming of age. >> let's finish this the way we started. together! >> this weekend millions of americans flocked to theaters to see harry potter and his friends wage their final battle against the evil lord voldemort.
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as the coming of age story about the boy wizard with a lightning bolt scar -- >> you're a wizard, harry. >> i'm a what? >> -- came to an end. for more than a decade we've watched as they grew up. their characters facing challenges and slowly letting go of their childhood. >> oh, my god. i feel like i'm going to be sick, i tell you. >> while the young stars who played them literally became adults before our eyes. >> the characters are maturing. they're reaching a point of adulthood where they can understand things about good and evil. things about death and loss. that they were not able to understand before. and i think that the audience has matured along with them. >> it has been 14 years since
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j.k.rowling's books first captivated kids all over the globe and spawned a $6 billion movie franchise that became a cultural touchstone for an entire generation who waited in line for every new book. or stayed up past their bedtimes for a midnight movie opening. >> the quidditch was my favorite part of the movie. it was awesome. >> the last part was scary a little bit to me. with voldemort. >> and for those fans, now grown up, a chapter is closing for them, too. >> it's the end of my childhood. >> basically, harry potter has been my life for the past 12 years. >> so this weekend they packed theaters one last time to say good-bye to a world of magic. >> we love harry potter! >> and i can live forever. >> and just like harry, bid farewell to a piece of their childhood. by the way, globally this final installment of the harry potter series has already racked up almost a half a billion dollars in box office receipts. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from


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