tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 20, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
nightly news. >> see you at 6:00. good night. # on the broadcast tonight, were nfl players given powerful painkillers and lied to to get them back in the game? terror attack. more than 100 killed in a pair of bombing overseas. is the group that kidnapped all those girls to blame? new recalls. now a record number for genermo. millions more cars and trucks with potentially dangerous problems. and a food fight in the heart of dairy land that could forever change cheese as you know it. "nightly news" begins now.
good evening. i'm lest er holt for brian williams who's on assignment. nfl players staid they never signed up for this. serious injured including broken boned ignored, covered up and masked by painkillers fed to them to keep them into the game. those are some of the explosive allegations being levelled against the nfl tonight in a lawsuit filed by a group of retired players who claim the league placed its profits above their health. another hard hit to a league who settled allegations that it hit what it revealed about concussions. now today stunning charges. more now from ron mott. >> reporter: the lawsuit alleges nfl teams illegally gave players judged to mask serious injuries they were never told about in some cases, all in an effort, former players argue, to keep them on the field anticipate the
money rolling in. >> basically what you have in the nfl is a bunch of anethetiz gladiators going out there each week. the recovery period for enhanced by a lot of these players by forcing them to play on sunday then thursday night, monday nights and then saturday. it's absolutely profit before players. eight player ins colluding jim mcmahon of the chicago bears are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. and the attorney says 600 explayers have signed on in support. mcmahon, said he played with a broken neck and ankle during his career without being told by team doctors and trainers. instead being given painkillers
and being sent back into games. the lawsuit said the drugs were administered to players without prescriptions. today in atlanta, where nfl owners are meeting commissioner goodell. >> do you have any comment on the lawsuit that was filed in baltimore today against your league about pain killers? >> i don't. i was only made aware of it briefly but i don't believe any of our attorneys had an opportunity to look at it. as you know i've been in meetings all day. >> reporter: the nfl remain america's most popular sport despite negative publicity in recent years about concussions. last year the league settled a lawsuit with players for $765 million but a federal judge rejected the agreement saying the amount is insufficient. some of the allegations in this lawsuit are eye-popping including the story of keith van horn, a member of the 1985 chicago bears super bowl championship team. he contends he played an entire football season on a broken leg and wasn't told about it for five years during which time the lawsuit alleges he was fed a constant diet of pills to endure the pain.
lester? to. >> all right, ron mott, thank you. more bad news tonight for general motors. yet another recall to report. this time 2.5 million cars and trucks with potentially dangerous safety problems. the latest announcement brings to nearly 30 the number of recalls this year. the most serious of which were linked to more than 30 accidents and 13 deaths. we get our report tonight from nbc's tom costello in washington. >> reporter: the hurricane of recalls and bad press surrounding gm grew even bigger today. the latest recall includes 1.4 million 2009 through '14 full size crossovers with defective seat belts. a million older sedans with chip cables that can wear out. and cadillac escalades with passenger airbag defects and a handful of pickups with a fire risk. in a statement, the company says it's part of a continuing effort to quickly address emerging safety issues. it was last month that the ceo
went before congress promising change. >> we recognize culture change doesn't happen in a year or two but we're well on that journey and we will, are dedicated to it and we want to have the safest vehicles on the road. >> reporter: so far this year gm issued 29 recalls involving nearly 14 million cars, an industry record. on gm's facebook page, dislike, disappointment and disgust from one gm customer. others wrote it's tuesday, must be gm recall day. and i am leaving american cars. this is ridiculous. phil lebeau covers the auto industry for cnbc. >> some of these would not have bean recall in the past but in this case general motors has decided this is the time because of this crisis less announce any recall, let's get it out of the way. >> reporter: experts say getting consumers to pay attention to a recall is a constant challenge. government data shows one in four car owners fail to bring in their car for recall work, both new and used cars.
>> because cars are bought and sold many times it's entirely possible that a new owner of a used vehicle may not have a clue that their car is recalled. >> reporter: meanwhile, both used car dealers and rental car agencies are under no legal requirement to do the recall work themselves, leaving customers potentially in the dark. if you have a used car and you're not sure if it's been named in a recall experts advise googling the make, model year of your car to see whether it's been named in a recall or service bulletin. for a full list of the gm recalled cars go to our website nbcnews.com. overseas today a pair of powerful bombs tore through a crowded market and bus terminal in jas, nigeria. killing at least 118 people. it's believed to be the work of boko haram, the islamic militant group that kidnapped 276 schoolgirls five weeks ago today. so far attacks have killed more than 2,000 people. bill neely reports from nigeria.
>> reporter: this was a mass killing of the innocent, mostly women and children. islamist militants striking nigeria yet again. their message. two car bombs, the first exploding in a market packed with shoppers. then timed deliberately to target rescue workers taking casualties to a nearby hospital. a second explosion caught on camera. people fled, terrified there might be more bombs. sectarian attacks are mounting, the death toll too. more than 100 people killed when bombs hit the capital last month. there's been no word of the schoolgirls since boko haram released this video last week. in the area they were taken there were no signs of searching
soldiers only people feeling helpless. >> where are these girls? what are they doing? what are the boko haram doing with them. >> reporter: mothers crying for their daughters, a lone school girl who managed to escape. >> all of them in the same class, some of them friends. >> reporter: in the capital, protests, but real fear too of a security crisis. today's bombing is one of nigeria's deadliest in a city half christian half muslim. religious leaders are appealing for calm but the country is reeling and the government is struggling to fight the islamist insurgency. bill neely, nbc news, nigeria. >> back in this country, high stakes primary races tonight in six states in this country the most on any single day, the closest thing to a super tuesday in these 2014 mid-term elections. it's turning out to be a big test for the strength of the tea party. several candidates locked in tough primary fights against
republican establishment candidates. we get the lay of the land tonight from our political director and chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. >> reporter: if you want to understand the tea party struggles this year look no further than mitch mcconnell. tea partiers would like to knock him off as they see a washington sell out. >> the center of it is right here in kentucky. >> reporter: but tea partiers are under attack. mcconnell's aggressive campaign is reason number one why the tea party has struggled, established republicans have taken the tea party head on. georgia is another battleground where the tea party was hoping to get its hands on another senate seat.
but the two most prominent tea party candidates, are trailing badly. that illustrates reason number two why the tea party has struggled. establishment republicans have played up their credentials and blurred the line of what tea party means. >> do you consider yourself a member of the tea party? >> tell me what that is. i have many ideals we agree on. >> i support so much of the tea party values when it comes time to less government and lower taxes. >> reporter: the tea party had high hopes after successes of two and four years ago with winners like texas senator ted cruz. but cruz and others won mainly on the debt issue and that leads to reason number three. the defining tea party issue of cutting government spending has faded after last year's government shut down prompted congress including tea partiers to make deals on the budget. republican party leaders hope this campaign against the tea party means come november they won't see a replay of past elections when they gave away senate seats to democrats because of weak tea party candidates. tonight democrats are watching this tea party state with disappointment. their hold on the senate majority is precarious. they were counting on a full bad tea party nominees to bail them out and that might not happen this year. mcdonnell has defeated matt
bevin. but he'll have tough competition against allison grime who won tonight. democrat's hold on the senate majority in washington were very precarious. they were uh counting on a couple of bad nominees to bail them out of a race or two. and lester, that might not this year. >> chuck, thanks. in moore, oklahoma, officials met with moore officials since a devastating tornado levelled much of the city. they rang a bell 25 times to honor each of those killed. many of them were students at an elementary school that took a direct hit. moore medical center will replace the hospital. it's one of many structures heavily damaged or destroyed that are undergoing a dramatic transformation. major changes from just after the tornado hit. and today, the city has worked hard to rebuild. our national correspondent kate snow travelled to moore to
revisit some of the people we met last year, the teachers and families of plaza towers elementary school. >> reporter: is this the new entrance? >> yes. >> reporter: for plaza towers principal amy simpson it's a year of rebuilding. hard to believe we're in the same spot we toured last may. >> this is a computer lab. and bathroom. >> reporter: one of the only things that survived a mural of the school mascot. >> that whole wall of the panther is still there. >> they saved it. >> it meant the world to them. for them to come in and see the panther. it's the true meaning of our spirit and how we survived. >> this school is completely gone. >> reporter: rhonda crossway was trapped with students in a bathroom. >> i did the thing that we're not supposed to do, i prayed. and i prayed out loud.
>> reporter: they said this year taught her a lot. >> things i used to think were a big deal in the classroom aren't a big deal any more. if the kids know you love them it doesn't matter much more than that. >> reporter: one of the kids that survived that day was damion. a year ago his family showed us their wrecked home. they rebuilt completely. >> this is the new house. >> reporter: now they have a shelter underneath the garage. >> do you feel better having this here? >> yeah, it makes us feel a lot more safe. >> reporter: the parents of 9-year-old sydney angle, one of the seven children killed at pla s plaza towers, are coping with different feelings. anger. >> some days it's anger at nobody, some days it's anger at everybody. >> reporter: and guilt. >> my little girl spent her last few minutes scared. she wanted her daddy to come and get her. and i didn't come and get her. >> reporter: at the memorial entrance marble etchings of kids with backpacks will represent the students lost that day.
>> the tornado will definitely be part of my memory of them, their faces are engrained in my memory, their joy and their love of school. >> reporter: jennifer, the pregnant teacher who was with all those kids that horrible day had her baby this past year. she named him jack nicolas rogers, the initials of all the children that didn't survive. >> there's a little bit of each one of them in me. >> reporter: new life in a town stilrecovering from so much loss. kate snow, nbc news, moore, oklahoma. we're going to take a break now. still ahead as we continue, a new warning about some iconic american treasures, including the threat to lady liberty herself. later news for everyone who flies. what you can't see on your airplane seat that could make you sick.
there's a new report out tonight about the long term effects of climate change and some great american treasures. dozens of them across the country that might one day be something we read about in history books rather than places we visit. we get our report tonight from our chief environmental affairs correspondent ann thompson. >> reporter: it's that time of year when families pile into the car to discover america. yet some of the sites that tell the story of our past, face a present and future threat. wildfires. floods. and sea level rise that the union of concerned scientists say are driven by climate change. >> there's going be places we learn about in school that we'll no longer be able to visit or see in the future unless we do something about this problem. >> reporter: today's report list 30 sites including jamestown, virginia, barely above sea level the report says the first english colony could be under water by the turn of the
century. at the kennedy space center storm surges threaten launch pads that sent americans to the moon. yosemite faces warmer, drier summers, increasing the wildfire risk. >> because we've identified some of the places at most risk, we can take steps now to try to preserve our national heritage. and that's encouraging. >> reporter: this is how hollywood envisioned the future of the statue of liberty. today's report says the real threat is rising water. here's what five feet of sea level rise would look like. two years ago superstorm sandy gave a preview of coming attractions. forcing liberty island to temporarily close. >> this room was completely flooded all the way up to here. >> reporter: and ending a 200 year tradition of people living on the island. the report praises that decision and the relocation of the cape hatteras lighthouse. moved more than a half mile to protect it from an eroding coast in 1999. planning for nature's increasing unpredictability to preserve our nation's past. ann thompson, nbc news, new
a bacteria like mers lives on armrests, window shades and trey tables for several days, and some places for up to a week. they reached this conclusion by applying the germs to various surfaces inside a plan to see how long it would last. the researchers did not test whether the airline standard cleaning practices would eliminate them. a welcome sight in the skies today in annapolis, maryland. the navy's blue angels were in action during naval academy commissioning week. a high-flying practice run today before a full air show tomorrow. and history has been made in the world of sports. an 11-year-old caliifornian lucy
lee became the youngest player ever to qualify for the lpga open. she won her division in the drive, chip and putt contest at augusta national before the masters. the u.s. women's open will be held next month and our congratulations to her. when we come back, mr. smith goes to america's dairy land for the growing food fight over cheese.
finally tonight for anyone who loves cheese, and who doesn't, there's a battle brewing that could change what you look for at the supermarket. parmesan, gorgonzola, feta, just a few of the big names that could be gone, at least if they're made in the usa. harry smith goes to america's dairyland to find out what this food fight is all about. >> reporter: this is a cheese head, the universal symbol that says i'm from wisconsin. yet this unmistakable wedge of wholesome goodness has raised the ire of the european union. dairy farmers like mike fischer know why. >> cheese is wisconsin. we do it well.
we can compete on the world market. that bothers the eu. >> reporter: it bothers brussels enough to want to start a cheese war with the u.s. we visited the front lines. jim's family has been making cheese in wisconsin for 75 years. >> how many pounds of milk in one of these vats? >> 40,000 pounds. >> reporter: cheese so good, his parmesan won an international competition europeans protested because sartori parmesan didn't come from parma, italy. >> they said take down any reference on your website to sartori cheese winning first place. >> reporter: europe wants america to stop using parmesan, feta, gorgonzola, because those names imply a place in europe. and there's an important precedent. thank you. with a few rare exceptions american made champagne can't be called champagne because the french insist the only real champagne comes from the champagne region of france. what kind of an impact it would
have on the state of wisconsin. >> a tremendous impact. we're america's dairyland. it's our number one product. >> reporter: imagine, instead of sartori parmesan they would have to call it something else like hard cheese. try putting that on your pasta. doesn't trip off the tongue. >> no. this is all cheese. >> reporter: while all this seems funny the cheese war is no joke. canada is already bowing to some of europe's demands. but our congress, so often divided, has unified in support of american cheese. make no mistake, we would rather fight than switch. harry smith, nbc news, wisconsin. that's our broadcast for this tuesday night. thank you for being with us. i'm lester holt in for brian who will be back tomorrow. for all of us at nbc news, good night.
nbc bay area news starts now. my vision was just a white circle like this, and i could barely it stay awake. >> it's a bite that would change his life forever. right now at 6:00, a south bay man in a south bay county warning the return of a potentially devastating virus. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm rauj mathai. spraying to prevent west nile
virus will begin later their week. >> reporter: good evening, raj. a three-mile area along the san jose/campbell border will be sprayed starting thursday night at about 11:00 as the west nile virus makes its earliest appearance the south bay has ever seen. >> adult mosquitoes right here. >> reporter: inside the vector control offices, they've tested the mosquitoes, along with the birds, and they say west nile virus is back. >> very intense virus activity, the kind we never thought we'd see again. >> reporter: but the spraying starts thursday night in this three-mile area within san jose and campbell, the earliest spraying our area has ever seen, and you can blame the drought. >> we've also had an unusually warm early spring and early summer now. and so the virus is pretty much everyt