tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 5, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on the praud cast tonight welcome a stunning verdict in the murder case that has pushed into a summer of session. tonight, some are asking -- did casey anthony just get away with murder? search at sea. they're still looking for the americans missing after their fishing boat capsized and from the survivors, there are harrowing stories. >> eating disorders for a growing number of women. a crisis arrives during an unusual time in life. northern exposure. the royal couple stealing the show to our north and they're on route here. and a star at the white house. you may never have noticed. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. as trials go, the casey anthony case blew up before our very eyes, becoming an ongoing obsession of the summer of 2011. for whatever reason, millions of people followed the case of this young woman, who waited over a month to report her 2-year-old daughter was missing. later found dead. and who was caught in a number of lies along the way. after a trial that lasted just over a month, when the jury came back with a verdict after just 11 hours of deliberations, a guilty verdict was assumed by the experts. but that is not what happened in the courtroom today because, of course, guilt must be proven. we begin here tonight with nbc kerry sanders in orlando, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. it took the 12-member jury just under 11 hours to reach their verdict -- not guilty on all three felony counts.
>> will the defendant rise, along with council? >> reporter: 25 yooerd casey anthony stood in the courtroom, no color in her face as the clerk read the verdict. >> as to the charge of first-degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury, find the defendant not guilty. >> reporter: on the charge of aggravated child abuse. >> we the jury find the defendant not guilty. >> reporter: and on the charge of aggravated manslaughter of a child. >> we the jury find the defendant not guilty, so say we all. >> reporter: casey anthony took a deep breath and then began to cry as the clerk announced the jury's decision on four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty. >> reporter: she could face four years in prison on those charges but today, casey was celebrating, embracing her legal team. >> oh, my god! oh, my god! >> reporter: the "not guilty" verdict stunned those watching this case. >> this system has failed miserably. >> reporter: angry because those who tuned in to all or part of this 36-day trial expected a
different outcome. >> it's not right. this is wrong. this is bad. >> reporter: the trial verdict was watched around the world, and even at 24,000 feet, a verdict won by lead defense attorney, jose baez. >> there are no winners in this case. >> reporter: who said 2-year-old caylee anthony's death should not be lost in her mother's acquittal. >> caylee has passed on, far, far too soon. casey did not murder kay. >> reporter: she could face -- >> i know i can go home and my daughter will ask me -- what did you do today? and i can say -- i saved a life. >> reporter: prosecutors jeff ashton and linda drane berdick. >> and their boss -- >> i never, ever criticize a jury. theirs is the task of decide what can to believe. >> reporter: the lead prosecutor
in this case, jeff ashton, announced this will be his last case. he is now retiring. the jurors were given an opportunity to comment. they chose not to. they are, tonight, on their way back home to st. petersburg, florida. about 100 miles from here. they've been sequestered in orlando. cindy and george anthony released a statement from their attorney that reads in part -- while the family may never know what happened to caylee marie anthony they now have closure for this chapter of their life. brian? >> kerry sanders starting us off in orlando, thanks. we're joined here in the studio by our friend from "today on nbc" savannah guthrie, former white house correspondent for us and long-time lawyer as someone that's covered a lot of these trials and you made a point with me earlier today about the law that i found so interesting. it applies directly 20 what we witnessed. >> so many people are disappointed and think -- how could the jury come back with "not guilty" verdict. i made the point that a not
guilty verdict is not the same as saying that casey anthony is innocent. we haven't heard from the your ors but they may have been deeply suspicious of her. they may not like casey anthony. but at the end of the day they know the law requires them to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. they go back to the jury room with thick instructions on the law from the judge. they have too find every element of the krienls charged beyond a reasonable doubt and at the end of the day it's clear they didn't think they had sufficient proof. >> and in court we never heard the means of this murder proven. >> at the end of the day there were huge gps in evidence. when did this child die? how did this child die? it's one thing to talk about a case around the kitchen table. it is quite another to be a juror deliberating a life-or-death decision in a court of law. say what you will. they gave up six weeks of their lives. moved away from their home and came back with what they thought the evidence dictated this verdict. >> such an awful tragedy among this media mayhem. thanks for coming by. now to the drama uj folding
off the coast of mexico where searchers are looking for seven americans who were on board a fishing charter when it capsized on sunday before dawn. meanwhile, some of the survivors are telling their own stories about living through the ordeal. nbc's miguel almaguer is in san felipe, mexico. >> reporter: the mexican navy circles above the sea of cortez, the frantic search entered its third day. joined today by the u.s. coast guard, searching for seven americans. 35 men escaped from the fishing boat erik at sea. charles gib sonl swam for 16 hours to shore. others were plucked to safety as they bobbed in the ocean for nearly a day. one man died. >> the waves were hung and
monsterous. this 70-year-old, miller, was tossed from the deck and he said a 40 foot waves i don't have took the ship. >> when you see it in a movie you can't believe it happening to you. >> reporter: the erik left for a fishing trip on saturday and was 60 miles south when it sank two miles offshore. some survivors reached one of the many uninhabited islands in the sea of cortez. tonight, there's hope that with warm weather and water, the missing could still be alive. >> i know they're out there searching right now and we hope they continue the search. >> reporter: the crew aboard the erik tell us that when the ship shoved off on saturday the captain was warned not the leave the harbor. if weather, they say, was just too dangerous. >> i'm not leaving. >> gary wong was separated from his brother, brian, as the ship sank. today, the husband and father of two, is still missing. >> i'm not leaving until we find
my brother, brian. >> reporter: from one boat, stories of survival, death and a desperate search for the missing. miguel almaguer, nbc news, san felipe, mexico. >> and crushing news arrived over the weekend from a beautiful part of this country in montana fwhooir yellowstone national park. an oil spill that we now know may be larger than first feared, and cleanup, may, as a result, be more difficult than first thought. nbc's george lewis, just outside billings, montana for us. good evening, george. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the people have been hit with a double whammy. the yellowstone river laced with oil is flooding and waters have been rising all day in communities around here. exxonmobil expanded its cleanup effort putting more people in the field. there are 360 workers assigned to the spill as the giant oil company tries to figure out what went wrong with its pipeline.
>> i really can't speculate on what caused this. it was a very big surprise to us. >> reporter: roaring floodwaters have sent a lot of trees like this crashing into the water. one theory is the soil eroded the pipeline allowing debris to strike causing pipeline to rupture. they toured the spill today observing the cleanup and promising landowners like jim swanson he'll keep after exxonmobil to get rid of the oil. >> this cleanup is done when the state of montana says it done and i promise you this i'll be on this like smell on skunk until it's doenl. >> reporter: along another part of the river bank, bob castleberry showed us his flooded home and his land reiching of crude oil. >> when we bought it it was a dream home and we wanted to stay here forever. >> reporter: now the house will be torn down and bob and his wife will have to rebuild on higher ground.
the oil stain on the side of his garage is the high watermark from the flooding. bob said he was shocked when he first looked out at the smelly water surrounding his house. >> i shined the spotlight and the river was black with crude oil, just black with crude oil. >> reporter: in spite of promises by the governor and exxonmobil to get the spill cleaned up, no one yet knows how long that will take. and exxon says the oil extends at least 25 miles downstream, although it could go much farther and they are urging homeowners and people along the river bank to make their own observations and call in, brian? >> terrible thing in one of the most beautiful spots in the country. george, thanks. overseas now, the story of a dramatic rescue in western china involving dozens of people who got stuck on a bridge that collapsed after severe mudslides triggered by flooding and heavy
rain, all this in seshuan province. >> reporter: more than 50 people, workers trying to get home, were trapped. a section of the bridge were hit by the floodwaters swollen by heavy days of rain. we're worried that the bridge won't hold any longer, said this rescuer, so we're trying to rescue them as quickly as possible. workers rigged a cable over the river i to pull people to safety, one by one. but the prospect of dangling over the raging river left some so terrified they refused to even try it. so rescuers improvised a plan b, bringing in a large crane and using a bucket to give the rest an unforgettable ride across the river to safety. it's been raining here since thursday, triggering flooding and mudslides, leaving at least six people dead and forcing
thousands to evacuate. and there's been no letup. forecasters predict more severe rain storms across western china over the next three days leaving many here at the mercy of mother nature. adrian long, nbc news, beijing. back in this country now to the nation's capitol and the question tonight, who will blink in this showdown going on between the president and congress over america's debt crisis? in less than a month, the united states will not be able to pay its debts unless something changes here which is why the congress has been called back from vacation this week. why the president made a rare appearance this afternoon in the white house briefing room. nbc's kristen welker was there. good evening, kristen. >> reporter: good evening, brian. president obama said lawmakers need to move out of their comfort zone in terms of dealing with the debt ceiling. he announced he invited congressional leaders of both parties to the white house on thursday to discuss this issue.
and he challenged them to get out to leave their ultimatum at the door. >> now, i've heard reports that there may be some in congress who want to do just enough to make sure that america aids defaulting on our debt in the short term, but then wants to kick the can down the road when it comes to solving the larger problem of our deficit. i don't share that view. >> reporter: now, the president had said that he would agree to cuts in domestic spending with in defense spending and entitlements but said republicans need to come to the table in terms of rolling back tax breaks for wealthy americans and big corporations. to date they said they wouldn't support anything that resembles a tax increase. in fact, this evening, speaker boehner released a statement saying an increase in taxes would be bad for jobs and just won't pass the house. brian? >> kristen welker who was there for president's day. thanks. new research tonight about
autism, a complex disorder, extraordinarily difficult, of course, for the families that struggle with it. naturally, one of the big questions is -- what causes it? what makes some children autistic? for a long time, the best understanding has been it's a function somehow, of genetics. but tonight, new research suggests that what researchers call "environmental factors" may play at least as big a role. >> i think this is a really exciting first step for us, you know, to really start to defrl into the environmental risk factor for autism and i think the difference is that once identified you can actually do something about it so we can actually, potentially, start thinking about prevention down the road. >> the next step, obviously, in this, is to determine which environmental factors may be at play. the best guess right now, according to this, is that they include things that happen early on in life, such as the age of a child's parents when the child
is conceived, low birth weight. whether a child is part of a multiple birth or, perhaps, any infections a mother that's have during her pregnancy. up next as "nightly news" continued on a tuesday night, if you think you know the risk group for eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, you may be surprised who is showing up in growing numbers to get help. >> and two newlyweds wowing the crowds north of the border. tends to stay in motion.inn staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier.
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snyderman. come on in, kerry, sit down. >> reporter: kerry didn't expect to be here, in treatment for a eating disorder at the age of 41. you don't fit into these pair of pants so you're a big fat cow. >> but here she is. after a desperate intervention from family members last christmas. >> my sister said, kerry, you are spiralling out of control. >> what made you hear them? >> i wanted to. i was ready. i'm 41 years old. and it's just time. i was tired. >> reporter: a cascade of traumatic event in mid-life is a typical trigger for eating disorders in women over 30. >> i didn't realize i still had a eating disorder. >> and for kerry, a recently divorced mom and a struggling small business owner, eating or not eating was the one thing she could control. >> i was losing hair. my gums were bleeding. broken bones. i had lost maier period for three years and i didn't care. what matters was the scale. >> the body you have now, do you
like it? >> i'm learning to. >> reporter: learning while in treatment. three days a week at the renfrew center in ridgewood, new jersey. >> reporter: they have devised a program specifically for women 35-plus. after seeing an increase in some 42% in patients that age, since 2001. >> clinicians across the board are more sensitive to these issues. more likely to ask a woman older, what's going on with your eating? you look like you lost weight? i'm worried about you. >> reporter: experts say it consider a life-long journey back and for kerry, it is one day at a time. what do you want other women to know? >> that recovery is possible and that it's so much better than living in the disease. >> reporter: dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news, ridgewood, new jersey. up next here tonight, news about something you've seen on this broadcast many times but, perhaps, never really noticed.
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story of the day. breeze-winning british photographer, david slater traveled to a indonesian island to the track down and rare and endangeringed species, the crested blackmon i can. he said he was instantly befriended with him. they were fascinated by his equipment and when he handed over his camera, this is what happened. a fantastic self-portrait and it gets better. a beautiful photo that's a lovely smile. and in light of all the unsavory photos in the news of late, why not a picture of pure joy that only a mother crested black macak could love. a tree is in if news and while it's just one tree, you've seen this tree without knowing more times, perhaps, than any other tree on television. the tree is in the background. for so many of our live reports from the white house as you can see going back to the beginning of the republic, right up until
present day, the elm tree is in the news because it was heavily damaged, sadly, by a big storm over the weekend. it was tripled back today and we're afraid there are plans to cut it down later this week. up next here tonight, while it's not your average summer vacation, turning into a great summer break for two of the most photographed people in the world. hanging out with my friends. i have a great fit with my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free -- it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. super poligrip free made the kiwi an enjoyable experience. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip. [ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are switching from tylenol to advil.
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as we said a moment ago, it's not your average summer vacation but the heir to the british thrown and his newly-wed wife are thrilling the crowds in canada doing the things you do there, all of it a run-up to the visit to the u.s., just days from now. our report tonight from nbc's peter alexander. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: it's been quite the honeymoon tour for the world's most famous newlyweds. who else could enjoy hey carriage ride and lobster on the shore of prince edward island one day and be serenaded just beneath the arctic circle next. william offered a simple thank you in an indigenous dialect. >> we're so excited to be here.
>> reporter: here in the northern birth place of hockey, canada's national sport, another royal welcome for the duke and duchess of the cambridge. william went 0 for 3 with calvin lowman. >> i'm still speechless. >> yes. >> reporter: the capital, yellowknife is a remote region five times the size of the i didn't kingdom but with a small population of just 41,000, like mary lou murphy. >> it's a wonderful experience. >> reporter: the prince and his new bride have dasled crowds at every stop. kate impressing observers with her natural confidence and fashion sense, showcasing star quality that's recapturing interest in britain's monarchy. like the moment on monday when the couple returned to the dock looking less like royalty and more like newlyweds. one of the highlights for the couple will be flying aboard a
plane like this, where they he had to a secluded wilderness lodge. >> tonight, this increasingly public couple will share a private, quiet dinner. peter alexander, nbc news, yellowknife. that's our broadcast for this tuesday night. thanks for being here. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you back here