tv NBC Nightly News NBC April 7, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
on this tuesday night, knocked out. a widespread power failure in washington. the state department, metro stations, museums, even oprah and the first lady left in the dark. tonight, questions about our nation's violent storms moving across the country. heavy flooding and hail. a deadly plane crash in thick fog. now the tornado that building tonight. off and running, rand paul makes it official. the second big name to jump in the race for president. and secrets to living longer from the places where a lot of people live to be 100. now the american city trying to copy what they do. "nbc nightly news" begins right. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news." reporting tonight, lester holt.
good evening. the halls of power in washington, d.c. were without power for a time today, as the lights blinked out from the white house to the capitol. and well beyond. given the times we live in, a lot of people briefly wondering if there was some kind of attack. for some it lasted moments, others were without power for quite some time. there were parts of the government left to carry on in the dark while elsewhere, forcing evacuations at some of the city's famous museums. all of it raising a lot of questions about how prepared the government really is for a bigger emergency. chris jansing is on the story for us tonight. >> reporter: the lights went out at the state department right in the middle of t daily briefing. >> correct. >> second thing -- >> reporter: they finished using the lights from a phone. even the energy department lost power. so did the white house. though the backup generator kicked right in. >> the president did not notice.
>> reporter: oprah winfrey speaking at an event honoring maya angelou just kept talking. >> no doubt about it. >> reporter: but darkened halls at some of the world's most popular museums meant evacuations, including from the smithsonian air and space. >> there's a possibility that we might have some terrorist activity. >> it was scary. >> reporter: the university of maryland closed, offices cleared out, and traffic backed up. adding to the problem, a certain randomness from where i'm standing, i can see three sets of traffic lights. right here, they're out. what happened? the power company says all this caused by this, a transmission line fell off its foundation, a relatively small thing pointing to a big problem. even acknowledged by pentagon brass. >> it's just because we really don't know the true vulnerabilities. >> reporter: we know the u.s. electric grid loses power three times more often than it did in 1984. much more than any other industrialized nation. japan loses power an average of 4 minutes a
year. but in the northeast u.s. 214 minutes according to a university of minnesota analysis. and it just keeps getting the main reasons? aging infrastructure and increased demand from hotter summers. now experts worry about the growing cyber threat. >> we should have started work on toughening the grid yesterday. >> reporter: there's widespread agreement the power grid has to be updated and protected from cyber attacks. the problem, as it often is in washington, is money. experts put the price tag anywhere from several billion to hundreds of billions of dollars to update a system so old, some of it is based on technology dating back to thomas edison. lester? >> chris jansing, th. let's stay in washington for a moment. a cyber hacking at the white house we first told you about last october. andrea mitchell is monitoring this from our d.c. newsroom. andrea, what have you learned? >> reporter: u.s. officials tell me it was russia that hacked the white house last year gaining access
to an unclassified computer system that contained the president's private unpublished schedule. putin was in an intense showdown with the white house over ukraine. we reported it looked suspiciously like russia was the perpetrator. official tell nbc news a subsequent investigation proved it was r they say russia got into the white house computers through vulnerabilities of the state department's computer networks. they said no classified information was breached. wild weather is lighting up the radar tonight. severe storms pushing across the country, triggering flash floods dumping hail and there have been tornado warnings across several states with a dangerous multi-state outbreak in the forecast over the next 4 nbc meteorologist dylan drier has our report. >> reporter: across the st. louis area today, a fast-moving storm dumped 3 1/2 inches of rain in 40 minutes.
flooding streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. it streaming off rooftops, overflowing storm drai. hail the size of golf balls battered a large area, looking more like snow in some parts. residents in northern kentucky are bracing for more rain while scrambling to clean up from friday's ferocious storms. crews are trying to fix roads from all that water. while responding to a 911 call franklin county sheriff pat melton was hit by a mudslide. >> trees were cracking, rocks were rolling. i've never heard anything like it. >> reporter: thick fog may have been a factor in a plane crash killed all s people aboard in illinois. the group was returning from the ncaa basketball title game in indianapolis. including illinois state university associate basketball coach torey ward who tweeted before the crash, my ride to the game wasn't bad. in michigan's upper peninsula, five inches of snow had the snow blowers out again. in the west, a funnel cloud near sacramento.
>> ice everywhere. >> reporter: and in central california, lodi, an unusual spring hailstorm. here's the setup that's going to create more storms tonight, wednesday and thursday. you have warm air clashing with cold air, and just enough energy for some of these storms to be severe. add in moisture from the gulf of mexico, and flash flooding is also a possibility. essentially wednesday afternoon into wednesday evening, from tulsa, oklahoma, right up into quincy, illinois. we could also see very large hail and also damaging wind gusts along with isolated tornadoes. on thursday the threat spreads especially into eastern missouri and across most of illinois. we could see a line of storms develop that could produce widespread damage, and more tornadoes, especially thursday and thursday afternoon. lester? >> doesn't look good. dylan drier, thank you. another major entry into the presidential race tonight. republican senator rand paul of kentucky getting a raucous reception as he kicked off his campaign in louisville.
nbc's kelly o'donnell >> reporter: a louisville, kentucky, ball room teeming with supporters. today senator rand paul launched his presidential campaign. >> government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized. >> reporter: paul offers himself as a different kind of republican. >> if we nominate a candidate who is simply democrat light, what's the point? >> reporter: listed by the tea party movement, and his father, former congressman ron paul's, libertarian grass roots followers. senator paul, kelly o'donnell from nbc. can you be in washington and run against washington, sir? rand paul is shaping and revising his own political brand. from aggressive merchandising, stacks of t-shirts turned into campaign . >> we're selling a ton of them. >> reporter: to his message, paul opposes most forei but threats like isis made him adjust. >> i will do whatever it takes to defend america from these haters of mankind.
>> reporter: paul's stand against government spying appeals to a college why are young people interested in rand paul? >> i think the civil liberties. >> reporter: paul is also courting minority communities. on issues from jobs to prison sentencing reform. >> there needs to be a credible white conservative, talking about these things. >> reporter: the republican party's old guard is wary of rand paul. for now, that works for his campaign. kelly o'donnell, nbc news, louisville. a program note, savannah guthrie will interview senator paul tomorrow morning on the story that was breaking as we were coming on the air last night. unspeakable tragedy for one maryland family. a father and his seven children all killed by carbon monoxide from a generator they were using because they may have fallen on hard times. nbc national correspondent peter alexander has more. >> reporter: the news today was crushing. >> i've seen a lot of things, but not
something like this because of this. to have eight people in one place like that, you know -- >> reporter: authorities in princess ann, maryland, confirmed carbon monoxide from a generator left running in the kitchen of this small home killed single father rodney todd and his seven children five girls and two boys between the ages of 6 and 16. >> the children were all in bed appeared they were sleeping. >> reporter: the victims were discovered monday, nine days after they were last seen when overnight temperatures hovered below freezing. police say the todd family moved into the home last november, but delmarva power said it never received a request for servic adding it did not disconnect the electric service for nonpayment. they found a stolen electric meter was used at the home and disconnected that illegal meter. todd's mother said he was a hard working father. >> he had his kids for three years, by himself. and he did the best he
could with what he had. >> reporter: just days ago, three members of another family die carbon monoxide poisoning due to a generator inside t home in tenn the cdc says carbon monoxide is to bla for roughly 400 deaths and more than 20,000 injuries each year. it can also come from faulty gas furnaces, fireplaces and water heaters. a deadly, odorless gas responsible for too many terrible tragedies. peter alexander, nbc news, washington. there is breaking news tonight from south carolina where a police officer has been charged with murder in the death of a man after a traffic stop. video of the incident was posted late today on the website of "the new york times." we want to warn you, it is disturbing. the incident happened over the weekend in north charleston. in the video, you can see the man appear to run away from the officer, who then points his weapon and fires several times, killing him. the video was apparently taken by a bystander. the officer reportedly said he feared for his life before he fired. much more on this developing story tomorrow morning on "today." in boston today,
no verdict after the first day of deliberations by the jury in the marathon bombing trial of dzhokhar tsarnaev. jurors working through 30-page jury form. the jury seven women and five men, will be back in the courthouse again tomorrow in california, february was the worst month for water conservation since the state started tracking those efforts last summer. in the middle of the severe drought, water wasters could face hefty fines. as nbc national correspondent miguel almaguer reports, authorities have to catch them first, and there's a lot of dry ground to >> reporter: the oasis in the desert, palm springs, where lawns are lush, fountains cascade, and water is plentiful. >> 27 holes of championship golf. >> reporter: the region promotes deep green surrounded by desert brown. landscape that guzzles water in a devastating drought. when you drive through palm springs you see lush greenery like this.
is it a symbol of waste? >> i wouldn't say a symbol of waste. this is how the city was built years and years ago when water was plentiful. >> reporter: city manager david reddy said palm springs needs to change. the golf course uses reclaimed water, others don't. the city spending millions to replace water-thirsty grass with rocks and desert plants. >> these things can't happen overnight. for one, there's a significant infrastructure cost. >> reporter: the view from above is stunning. but in palm springs, residents consume three times more water than the state average. in the middle of the desert, this entire region draws its wat from deep underground. from aquifers. but with steady growth and more neighborhoods like this one continuing to pop up, that water supply is vanishing. stephanie is the water police. all alone covering 1,000 square miles, and 100,000 homes. are you overwhelmed with how much you must control? >> i'm very busy, yes. >> reporter: this is what she finds every day.
>> palm springs is a symbol of the waste, but also a symbol of the opportunity. historically in california, green, lush lawns were the ideal. but we need to reevaluate, reexamine that ideal. >> reporter: in this desert community, to save water, they must now draw a line in the sand. miguel almaguer, nbc news, palm springs. still ahead here tonight, how do you live to be 100? the secret from the five places on the planet where people live longer than anywhere else. and the american city racing to follow their lead. and later, the teen who just got accepted to every ivy league school there is. an amazing story. we'll tell you about what he overcame to achieve his dreams.
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if you want to live to be 100, there are places around the globe that seem to make it easier to reach that age. you can either move to one of those spots or find out what they're doing right and apply it right here at hoesm. like an entire american city is now trying to do. nbc's cynthia mcfadden takes us there. >> reporter: ft. worth mayor, betsy price, is on a roll. >> you're a biker? >> i'm a cyclists. bikers wear leather. >> reporter: she wants to revolutionize her city. >> this isn't about living longer this is about having more life in your years. >> reporter: to do it she's teaming up with national geographic
who located the five places on earth where people live longer and healthier than anyplace else. >> the longest lived man on the planet lived around here. >> reporter: he dubbed them the blue zone and revealed the common secrets in his new book. we joined him on the italian island of sardinia. a place that produces more 100-year-old men than anywhere else on people here are constantly on the . eat meat rarely but have beans almost every day. what you've learned is there is no silver bullet. >> i call it silver buck shot actually. it's 20 or 30 little things. but they're little things that you can transport from places and have them work for you. >> reporter: can they transform a city nicknamed cow town? a beef-obsessed place with high obesity rates and stressed-out commuters. you guys are on life support here. >> we're really way down there. >> reporter: the mayor thinks they can change that over the next
five years. >> about 80% of chronic disease, cancer dementia heart disease and diabetes is avoidable. what these people are doing better than us are avoiding the diseases that sho >> and they're doing that in ways that we can imitate. >> and you don't even have to think about it. >> the adjective is the healthy choice. nobody wants the healthy choice. so changing the adjective from the healthy salad to the crispy italian salad, the orders go up. >> reporter: he's already implemented these ideas and many others in 22 smaller cities. >> after two or three years, we see obesity dropping by double digits. you see smoking rates drop by as much as 30%. you see healthier eating, more physical . >> reporter: mayor price believes ft. worth can do it too. there are those who would say government should keep its nose out of this. >> i'm not in any state. we're not passing any ordinary napses. i'm very conservative.
i'm the last person would say you have to do this. this is about making better choices. if you're use the to eeding beef six days a week maybe you eat it four days a week. >> reporter: cynthia mcfadden, nbc news ft. worth. we're back in a moment with a big unveiling today by the first lady and oprah. and questions about the origin of a hey, girl. is it crazy that your soccer trophy is talking to you right now? it kinda is. it's as crazy as you not rolling over your old 401k. cue the horns... just harness the confidence it took you to win me and call td ameritrade's rollover consultants. they'll help with the hassle by guiding you through the whole process step by step. and they'll even call your old provider. it's easy. even she could do it. whatever, janet. for all the confidence you need td ameritrade. you got this. (vo) if you have type 2 diabetes you may know what it's like to deal with high... and low blood sugar. januvia (sitagliptin) is a once-daily pill that,
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it's meant to be a tribute to a poet and author and all-around inspiring woman. but the quotes that could have been chosen to honor angela mayou. kate snow explains. >> reporter: at a packed theater in washington today, first lady michelle obama and oprah joined the postmaster general. >> she would get a big kick out of this moment today. >> reporter: a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer it sings because it has a
song. just one problem, angelo may not have penned those words. a professor at emmerson college flagged the "washington post" that he thought anglund wrote it. she confirmed that's her quote, with the pronoun changed. the postal service said mayo angelou cited this sentence frequently. even president obama used the quote. >> the late great maya angelou once said a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer it sings because it has a song. >> reporter: a postal service spokesman told the "washington post," had we known about this issue beforehand we would have used one of angelou's many other works. >> history, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again. >> reporter: there are o choose from. kate snow, nbc new. when we come back
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school, or princeton or brown. there's one high school senior from el mont, new york, that can say that about any one of them because he was accepted to all the ivy league schools, and then some. as anne thompson reports, he overcame steep odds to get there. >> reporter: in this season of college acceptances, 17-year-old harold ekeh is undefe >> it's like getting hit by a brick. wow, the hard work has paid off, definitely. >> reporter: he's seen congratulations from every ivy league school all eight accepted harold to the class of 2019. you were not the valedictorian of your class? >> no. >> you're number two? >> yeah. >> reporter: even so he has a 100.5 grade point average, and a stellar list of accomplishments, including working as a science researcher to stop the progression of alzhe grandmother he adores.
he was born in nigeria. his family left when he was just 8. >> i remember when i was coming to america, i tried to memorize the name of the 50 states. especially new york. it sounded exotic to me new york. >> reporter: to give their now five sons a better opportunity, his parents left good jobs in nigeria and started as clerks at target. the family struggles formed the basis of his essay. >> sarcastic remarks. >> reporter: today ha generous financial aid will help harold pursue his dream of becoming a brain surg reaping opportunities built on that most american of values, k. anne thompson nbc news elmont new york. >> quite a young man. congratulations tt will do it on this tuesday night. i'm lester hold. for all of us here at nbc news thank you for watching, and good