tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 9, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
have hug 10d,0,000 people by th end of the week. >> get in line, wow. pretty cool. that will do it for us. have a great weekend. nightly news is coming up next. >> we hope we'll see you at 11:00. have a good evening. on the broadcast tonight, bye-bye spies. new details about the biggest exchange of spies between the u.s. and russia since the cold war. end game, bp's latest plan to contain the gusher and why there will be more oil before there is less. plus the ripple effect on hard-working gulf families. making a difference by bringing new hope high in the sky. and lebron james feeling the heat after ending the guessing game. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. i'm lester holt in for brian. the members of that russian spy ring exposed by the fbi with such fanfare just two weeks ago are back in moscow tonight. tonight in a scene straight out of the pages of a novel, the ten who had been living here posing as americans were swamped on an airfield for four russian citizen whose had been accused of spying for the u.s. and britain. two of them arrived in washington just a short time ago. now apparently free men, but nonetheless pawns in an east-west game most of us thought was of a bygone era. nbc's martin fletcher is in london tonight with more of this story. martin, good evening. >> lester, good evening. it was the quickest spy swap experts could remember. quickly ending an embarrassing spy scandal between the united states and russia. a scene straight from the cold war today, two planes nose to tail in a remote corner of a european airfield.
a spy swap. ten russian spies for four men who worked for american and british intelligence. last night the russians deported from america after pleading guilty to acting as unregistered foreign agents. didn't have the drama of berlin's bridge, once known as the bridge of spies seen in so many dramatic swaps. but it was in another old time spy capital. vienna, 11:15 this morning. a bus shuttles between two planes. quickly the ten enter the russian plane. among them, wladimir and did ya living the american dream as richard and cynthia, their daught daughters, ages 7 and 11 are expected to join them in russia. and anna became the face of the spy ring. within 90 minutes they return east. in return the four russians head
west. there's no clear winner in the swap. >> the americans and russians wanted this story to go away. they get their assets back. they're giving away the spies that they already have acquired information from. at the same time the americans want more cooperation from the russians for iran for nuclear proliferation. both sides win. both sides lose. >> three of the four men freed from the russian jails were senior russian intelligence. among them soviet ex-colonel believed to have named robert hanson, an american the spies the russia whose secrets led to the deaths of top american agents. also free igor sutyagin. giving information on american sub ma ians. after dropping off two of the men in london, they landed late this afternoon at dallas airport outside washington. it's believed they'll be debriefed an then helped to set up new lives.
it's too early for details and officials told nbc news it's all happened quickly. >> martin fletcher in london, thank you. the government's men in charge of the oil disaster in gulf today said bp is-inching closer to completely containing the leak with some 519 miles of gulf coast coastline now stained by the oil. retired admiral thad allen is counting on a new tighter cap to be fitted on well this weekend to capture significantly more, 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil gushing from the well each day. nbc's anne thompson is following the story from metairie, louisiana. anne, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. it's going to be a busy weekend as bp tries to improve the oil collection system. while here in the new orleans area, people are trying to learn to live without the very thing that defines their cuisine and their way of life. the containment cap, an imperfect solution for five weeks, is being replaced. remotely operated vehicles will start removing it tomorrow to
make room for a better fitting cap that officials hope will collect as much as 80,000 barrels of oil a day, far more than what officials think is coming out now. >> i think that entire process is, once we start unbolting, until we're in a position to put the new cap on, will be three or four days. >> reporter: for those three or four days the oil will flow into the gulf unimpeded, further tainting the waters. >> this is what's helping me right now. psychologically and pocketbook. >> this is your lifeline. >> right. that's how i feel, yeah. >> reporter: when the spill ended crabbing in st. bernard parish, schaefer bought 600 new traps and worked lake ponchartrain. >> reporter: when you heard there was oil in lake ponchartrain, did you think -- >> my heart fell. what can i say. >> reporter: prices are up, almost $2 a pound of jumble shrimp and business is down 40%.
across the street, deanie's seafood store is now just a shrimp store. oysters are too expensive. >> usually they would run in the low 30s. and from what i hear the last time i checked it was over 50. it's just out of the ballpark for us. >> reporter: 70% of the oysters and shrimp caught in the u.s. are caught in the gulf waters. $2.4 billion seafood industry. fishing bans have had a huge impact on restaurant menus and fish sellers around the nation. despite government testing and a state tracking system that identifies where the seafood is caught, some customers are altering their diet. >> usually i have oysters once a week. that's not going to happen. >> reporter: a fear merlin schaefer is working to calm. >> i'm not going to sell something i would not eat. plain and simple. if i'm not going to eat it, i won't sell it. i'll throw it away. >> reporter: now, as the government and the oil industry battle over a ban on deepwater
drilling, one company today, diamond offshore drilling, announced that it is moving one of those deepwater rigs out of the gulf all the way to egypt because of the uncertainty in the wake of the spill. lester? >> anne thompson, thanks. and ever since the oil started gushing out of the well in april, people have been talking about how america's insatiable thirst for oil is partly to blame for the disaster. from our happy motoring car culture to all the plastics, it's everywhere you look. petroleum products are a way of american life. nbc's tom costello reports. >> everything is shut down. >> a broken down van in the roadway. >> reporter: from sun-up to sundown and all through the night the life blood of our 24-hour economy is oil. 250 million cars, tens of millions of cars, hundreds of thousands of planes and ships, 7 million mercuotor sikers, and
million homes in the northeast alone rely on oil nearly every day. the u.s. now consumes 19 million to 20 million barrels of it every 24 hours. that translated to nearly 10,000 gallons a second. 52% of that comes from foreign sources, much of it from canada and mexico. only a quarter of our imporlted oil comes from opec companies like saudi arabia and venezuela. roughly 8% of the oil consumed from america comes from the gulf of mexico. 1.6 million barrels a day. >> it's fundamental to our modern lifestyle from the time we get up in the morning till the time we go to bed at night. the products, the things that we use around us, have their base, their origin, nine times out of ten in oil. >> reporter: actually americans are consuming 2 billion barrels of oil less than some years ago. the bad economy and more fuel-efficient cars are the factors.
but to truly cut back on oil consumption will require some major behavioral changes. >> if every american were to drive 30 miles less per week, at would drop u.s. oil consumption by 20%. >> reporter: americans have demonstrated they're willing to telecom mute when it's feasible, but giving up their wheels for even one day a week? >> i think actually now they i i think about it, i'd be willing to do it. >> i don't think so. i don't think so. >> my job requires i drive a pretty far distance every day. >> reporter: will the disaster in the gulf force all of us to festyles. r own needs and tom costello, nbc news, washington. in philadelphia tonight police divers removed a second body believed to be that of a young tourist from hungary from the delaware river, the second victim of a collision between a tourist duck boat and a barge. the duck boat was hoisted out of the water as officials are investigating why no distress call because made before the boat was rammed by the barge. both of those students were
exchange students from hungary. in california a white transit officer who shot and kill an unarmed black man in 2009 on a train platform has apologized in a letter saying he'll always live with the memory of what happened. more than 80 protesters were arrested overnight after a jury convicted the former officer of involuntary manslaughter. prosecutors had wanted a murder conviction. as the pentagon repeals the appeal of the don't ask don't tell policy, a survey sent to hundreds of thousands of active duty troops is getting attention tonight by some who say it's biased and insulting. nbc's jim miklaszewski is with us. mick, good evening. >> good evening, lester. it's got guy rights advocates up in arms, claiming that some of the questions are discriminatory if not downright homophobic.
the surveys e-mails of more than 400,000 service members of how the don't ask don't tell questions would affect the military but it's ten questions about the privacy issues which have ignited a firestorm. questions like if in war time you have to share a room with a guy or lesbian service member, would you take no action, discuss how you expect each other to behave, talk to a chaplain, see if i have other options. in a separate question service members are asked about sharing bathrooms or open base showers with a gay or lesbian. amoing the multiple choice answers, take no action or use a shower at a different time. some claim these kinds of questions border on homophobia. >> no one should be surprised if we see biases and prejudice surfacing here. >> yesterday even before this latest controversy robert gates
seemed to defend such questions& in an effort to head off any problems once gays and less peians are permitted to openly serve in the military. >> i think it's very important for us to understand from our men and women in uniform the challenges that they see. >> reporter: gates also encouraged gays and lesbians themselves to take part in the survey and assured that their confidentiality would be protected against any prosecution under the current don't ask don't tell. most pentagon and military aofficials believe the repeal of don't ask don't tell is inevitable, but after this early blow-up, one senior pentagon official predicts tonight it's going to be a messy process. lester. >> there's a lot more to tell you about on this friday night when "nightly news" continues. americans look for help from the gft in paying their mortgage and not getting far. later, flying high and making a difference on the hard-hit gulf coast.
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news on the economy tonight. we learn this week that the number of people who have fallen behind on paying their mortgages jumped again in may. nearly 12.5% of mortgages in the country are now either late or in foreclosure. many of these borrowers have been looking for help from the government's modification program, but as senior correspondent lisa myers tells us, the program has reached only a small fraction of those who would like to use it. >> reporter: after robert cooper was laid off last year, he and his wife shelly got some much needed help through the making homes affordable program, a temporary loan modification which cut their monthly mortgage payment in half. >> which i was like wow. that was great. >> reporter: after a year, a blizzard of paperwork and conversations with 70 different people, the coopers recently were denied a permanent modification, told that even though they made all their payments, they didn't have enough income. >> frustrating is not even the
word. i was -- i've done every emotion. i've cried. i've gotten mad. i just can't do anything anymore. >> reporter: the latest statistics are grim. 429,000 families who received trial modifications have dropped out or been denied. considerably more than the 340,000 families who have received permanent help. >> it's a program that simply has not worked. >> reporter: elizabeth warren chairs the panel that oversees the fund that works on the $50 billion program. she says some borrowers can't afford their homes. banks aren't doing enough to help. >> often mortgage servicers make more money for themselves if a family goes on into foreclosure. >> reporter: the biggest banks have given permanent modifications to only a small percent of troubled homeowners. they say that's largely because
borrowers fail to provide proper documentation or even fail to make their lower payments. warren says because the program is voluntary, mortgage servicers have the final say. >> there's no real muscle in this program, and there's no real requirement that either you follow the guidelines of the program or there's going to be a penalty to pay for that. >> reporter: the obama administration insists the program is working and is on target of saving 4 million families from foreclosure. officials say half of those who drop out receive other kinds of loan modifications from other banks which is what happened to the coopers. after telling chase they talked to nbc news, they were notified chase would give them a permanent modification after all. lisa myers, nbc news, washington. on wall street today stocks finished off an up week on an up note. the dow gained 59 points,
capping its best week of the year. when we come back the guessing game is over, but the losers aren't being very good sports. make any sport exciting? ha sido una partida intensa hoy. jadrovski está pensando. está pensando. veamos que va a hacer. moverá la reina o moverá el caballo? que tensión. viene... viene, viene, viene... gooooooooooooooool! geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. ...into a free year's supply? be one of thousands to win free honey nut cheerios for an entire year... its great taste helps make lowering cholesterol a non-challenge. just see specially marked boxes for details.
lebron james revealed his big decision last night. he's leaving cleveland and is going to play for miami. but it's what happened after he made the big announcement that has people talking today. nbc's kevin tibbles now with the tale of two cities. >> reporter: it was the best of times, jackpot, says the ""miami herald." it was the worst of times. gone! said the cleveland. and for basketball superstar lebron james it was the age of revealing the big decision in front of millions. >> i'm going to take my talents to south beach and join the miami heat. >> reporter: the 25-year-old's all-star decision to leave cleveland had fans in a frenzy early this morning when he arrived in miami. t-shirt presses are already
working overtime to keep up with demand. >> miami is going to be unstoppable for at least three years in a row. >> reporter: but it's cut to the heart in his native ohio where he earned the moniker "king james" while playing for his high school. bad news is all too common. >> every fan here in cleveland feels like they were slapped in the face. >> reporter: and perhaps most stunning cleveland owner dan gilbert's online rant calling the decision a shameful display of selfishness, adding our former hero who grew up in the very region that he deserted is no longer a cleveland cavalier. you the fans don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal. and gilbert vowed i personally guarantee that the cleveland cavaliers will win an nba championship before the self-titled former "king" wins one. several other cities were in the running for king james including chicago which already has a
statue of its airborne royalty. perhaps lebron didn't want to have to fill michael jordan's shoes. instead it's miami where king james will now hold court. in cleveland, the king is the new benedict around. kevin, nbc news, chicago. we have to note that lebron wasn't the only one who's had sports fans on the edge of their seats. world cup fans had their eye on paul the psychic okctopus this morning. you heard it right he plunks a snag out of a flagged marked box. they went live this morning as paul predicted the outcome of sunday's finally, spain over the netherlands. spain is thrilled but some disappointed detractors are suggesting that paul be turned into calamari. up next, america's elite blue angels making a difference in a difficult sumner a place they call home.
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tradition that this year is making a real difference for a hard-hit place. here's nbc's ron mott. >> reporter: for a region hurt deeply by oil, today it seems like just about everything and everyone was looking up. anger and frustration overcome by the joyful noise of a mighty roar. the famed blue angels, the pride of pensacola, put a little beat back into a beach town in dire need of adrenaline. booster shot of tourism that the summer season isn't lost completely. >> there will make or break their july. it always does. i would think it's going to be great. >> reporter: and great is what many of the locals and out of towners say of the air shores, and it's important, especially this year. >> i think it's a good uplifting feeling for all the people here in pensacola. >> today is the first day crowds
are back. i'm happy to see that for the beach. >> reporter: stained by oil but still brilliantly beautiful says brian rockwell. >> yeah, you can see tar balls on the stand but nothing like you'd expect. i mean i was expecting an oil slick. >> this is the first time i've seen the blue angels, and i think it's really awesome. really loud too. >> reporter: while the size of the crowd may not have been as large as those in the past, the hope, of course, is that people keep coming back so this isn't seen as sort of the last h horrah. for a few hours at least there was something to cheer since that even though the goings have been tough, things will get going back to normal soon. for the angels' commander, a very special mission. >> to get a chance to come back and perform is very special. we're very proud of this community. while we're gone this city takes care of our families. this is where our kids go to school. i can't imagine being stationed any other place than the blue angels.
>> reporter: on this summer afternoon a struggling community uplifted, touched by some angels. ron mott, nbc news, pensacola beach. and that's our broadcast for this friday night. thank you, everyone, for being with us. i'm lester holt for brian williams. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" and right back here tomorrow evening. good night. www.vitac.com c --