Every summer millions of Americans try to leave the madness behind and travel to some warm destination for their family vacations. As this ritual continues, we have had several reminders this summer that not everyone in the world is able to enjoy some time off in peace.
We have new information tonight about the foiled plot in Great Britain to blow up airliners headed for the U.S. NBC's Lisa Myers is in London tonight with the latest on the investigation, including news of a disagreement between British and American authorities over the timing of arrests this week.
I am going through electronics withdrawal. I'm sitting among the masses at London's Heathrow Airport, waiting for a hopelessly delayed flight back to New York, clutching my shiny plastic bags with the few things not deemed "security threats." In my case that amounts to reading glasses, my passport, wallet and boarding pass. They wouldn't even allow us so much as a piece of paper, and pencil. Not even a book.
Hey everyone, Campbell Brown in tonight for Brian Williams... who is finally getting a much deserved break.
We have a lot of ground to cover... and we have correspondents around the globe following new developments in this foiled plot to bomb flights from Britain to the U.S. Senior Investigative Correspondent Lisa Myers is in London tonight where she will have today's developments. Authorities are telling us they are still searching for as many as 20 additional suspects. Five have been identified by name. Lisa looks at just how advanced this plot was, as law enforcement officers today sift through evidence at the homes of the suspects now in custody. She will have more detail on who these suspects are... mostly young men, two women; some recent converts to Islam. Plus, how an arrest in Pakistan 10 days ago may have led to this week's dramatic developments.
Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory does the honors today from New York. Click the link to the right (below the advertisement) to see what stories are under consideration for tonight's broadcast.
Renowned Lebanese winery copes with conflict
As efforts to end the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah have moved ever-so-slowly through the diplomatic process, the war has escalated, as our NBC colleagues have been reporting from Lebanon and Israel on Nightly News. Ordinary Lebanese and Israelis have been caught in the conflict, and not just those near the front lines. Business and commerce and culture have also suffered, but we have reported relatively little on this.
Beirut, for example, had made great strides in recent years toward becoming a cosmopolitan center and a travel destination city as it recovered from decades of civil war. The latest conflict has been a great setback in that regard. And yet there is resiliency, determination and even optimism to be found.
I headed to London to report on the foiled terror plot on Thursday, but since there was so much uncertainty about which flights would be running and which wouldn’t, rather than risk it, I opted to fly from New York to Paris. It was pretty tight, because I had to make it in time to be on the "Today" show first thing this morning. My flight out of New York was at 5 p.m. EDT yesterday, but I was so concerned that I got to the airport by about 1:45.
I had no problem checking in and absolutely no wait at security. They did ask if I had any liquids or gels, and I said, "No." I was traveling with only carry-on luggage because of my time crunch. I didn’t bring deodorant, shaving cream or any of those kinds of things. I just left all of that stuff at home.
Editor's note: It's almost 4 p.m. EDT now, and this story is back in the rundown.
Tonight, Ann Curry will introduce you to a truly remarkable woman in this week's Making a Difference segment.
Ten years ago Kathy Giusti was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. It's known as "orphan cancer" because there are relatively few people in the country who have it and because, many say, not a lot of money is allocated for research. Until Kathy came along. Upon diagnosis, Kathy quit her job as a pharmaceutical executive and moved back East to live closer to her twin sister Karen. Kathy had no plans to let cancer take over her life. In fact, during our interview, Karen told Ann that two weeks after Kathy's diagnosis -- while Karen was still in tears trying to come to grips with the news -- Kathy told her of her plans to not only fight the disease for herself but for all Myeloma patients.
Comments I made during a live interview with Chris Matthews last night have been aggressively misunderstood in the hours since. Here was my point: people always say that our country will be at a disadvantage as long as the "other side" is willing to take their own life for the cause. I was making the point that if that's some kind of litmus test for bravery... or belief in the cause, we have those guys, too. People who fight for us, people who protect us -- know full well that the American cause is worth dying for -- as are our freedoms. People are dying for the U.S. side every day. Laying their lives on the line. And I give thanks for them every day. I was not at all equating the "other" cause with what Americans stand for. I was criticizing the view, expressed by some, that as long as we are fighting the "suicide bomber mentality" we can never get the upper hand, because, as this belief goes, "we aren't willing to give our lives the way they are." Of course we are. The difference is: the folks willing to die for OUR country do so in the act of protecting and defending it -- NOT killing civilians by detonating an explosive and killing innocent people.
I hope that clears it up.
As of 7:30 a.m. ET, the security lines at New York's JFK airport are pretty unreal. While on the AirTrain to JFK, we passed JetBlue's Terminal 6, which had AT LEAST 1,500-2,000 passengers standing OUTSIDE to get into the terminal. To me, it was a sight reminiscent of crowds outside of the New Orleans Superdome after Katrina.
At American Airlines' Terminal 9, where I am currently standing in line for a 10 a.m. flight to Los Angeles, the security line numbers in the hundreds. Luckily, they are dividing it in two -- people scheduled to fly out within the hour and another line for the rest of us (so much for getting here early). Check-in lines are also in the hundreds.
This is certainly a traveling day I'll never forget. Hopefully, I'll make it to my destination today. Thankfully, Starbucks, the BlackBerry and a good book will help the time go by! My first stop in Los Angeles -- the local drug store -- to stock up on the essentials I had to leave behind.
It's been an eventful day -- both in the air and, it would seem, here in the blogosphere, as my morning observations have triggered some interesting responses. I can't address them all, but for those who believe I am whining or worse, helping the terrorists, a few thoughts. My experience at JFK transpired very early this morning, before much was known about the new luggage restrictions. The frustration I and many others witnessed at security grew out of the fact that by the time most people were apprised of the restriction, it was too late to put the problematic items in their checked luggage. As the morning wore on, it became far more efficient, and I'm guessing, there ceased to be battles over such things as baby formula. But that is indeed what was happening early this morning, as passengers and security officials alike got a grip on this new reality. And a note about your blogger -- I fly for work often, and understand and appreciate the work that goes into getting all of us where we need to go safely. But having had a piece of checked luggage stolen very recently, I'm also well aware of the many pitfalls of air travel. The thought of losing still more of my belongings at an airport was difficult to take, I realize perhaps not in the grand scheme of things, but nevertheless, that's why I tried to hide the sunscreen. In any case, this situation is our collective new reality.