We begin tonight with a story that has been unfolding throughout the day. An American from California appeared today in a video from Al Qaeda second in command Ayman al-Zawahri. The American on the tape is Adam Gadah who is wanted by the FBI. This tape is called an "Invitation to Islam" and it runs 48 minutes. We'll find out more about the tape… another story today ... the arrest of 16 people in London in connection with a terror plot investigation. NBC's Chief Investigative Correspondent will have the latest on the tape... NBC's Ned Colt the story of the arrests from London.
Coming up tonight on the broadcast: Tracking two storms. Ernesto came ashore as a tropical storm and has now been downgraded to a tropical depression. It is dumping a ton of rain on the East Coast. States of emergency have been declared for North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The storm has caused massive power outages and flooding with more rain expected as Ernesto heads north. In Mexico on the Baja Peninsula, they are waiting for Hurricane John, which is due to make landfall as early as 8 p.m. with winds over 100 miles-per-hour. Villages are being evacuated while tourists are hunkered down in hotel shelters. We will have the very latest on both storms tonight.
Also tonight, a new report assessing the situation in Iraq. It's the Pentagon's quarterly report to Congress and the news is pretty bleak. The headline is that sectarian violence is spreading beyond Baghdad and that Iran and Syria are fostering much of the violence. Death squads, the report says, are increasingly targeting civilians. The report covers the time that new Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki has been in power. We will have a full breakdown.
Finally a report tonight on lower gas prices -- a worthy story as so many of us are hitting the road this weekend. We'll also look at Katrina victims who have decided not to go home and are building new lives in new places. And since it is Friday, a segment from our good-news series, Making a Difference. See you tonight.
Campbell Brown is filling in today for Brian as he takes his daughter to college. Click the link to the right (below the advertisement) to watch what's in store for tonight's broadcast.
And from all of us here at Nightly News, have a very happy and safe Labor Day weekend.
The basketball boards around the Internet are buzzing today with anger and confusion. American fans are in a deep funk about the U.S. loss to Greece in the semifinals. "Greece!" they say. "Greece? They don’t play basketball in GREECE!"
Oh yes, they do.
Greece is the reigning European champion and their teams in the Euroleague -- world’s second-best professional league after the NBA -- are always among the top five.
But the posters and bloggers analyzing and criticizing are all in denial, if you ask me.
After a day of everything BUT the broadcast -- meetings, planning, talking -- we're now settling down to write and stack things. The weather makes for a fascinating story tonight: The number of states in cloud cover due to a tropical storm in the east, the sudden force of the western hurricane, and the projected path of all the wind, rain and precipitation during a weekend when so many Americans will be on the move. We'll cover it all tonight.
Also: domestic politics, the situation in Iraq, the fracas over nicotine levels -- and everything you've ever wanted to know about annuities.
Also -- and notably tonight -- we'll read some of your emails. Here's a hint: there's no shortage of them!
We've all joked that it will be impossible to escape from 30 Rock after the newscast. The MTV VMA's are going on here tonight. The pre-show screams are audible with each early arrival outside my window right now -- we're in for quite a ride tonight.
Please be kind enough to join Campbell Brown on the broadcast tomorrow night, as we drive our daughter to college. Have a good weekend. See you next week.
Brian is back in New York and bringing us the early rundown for tonight's broadcast from the Nightly News conference room. Weather likely will be a big part of the broadcast as Ernesto bears down on the Carolina coast and John wallops Mexico. Click the link to the right (below the advertisement) to watch.
We're back home tonight, and after two days of heavy Katrina coverage, the news today is mostly dominated by a particularly violent spike in Iraq. We will also look at the politics of the war -- and what appears to be the emergence of a new message from the Administration. Also tonight, we know more about the final moments before takeoff for the ComAir flight that crashed killing 49 souls on board in Lexington, Kentucky. The investigation is quickly pointing out the cracks in our aviation system -- while those of us who follow the industry closely were quite familiar with them. There is other news today as well, and additionally tonight we'll have another installment in our continuing series on Baby Boomers in America.
We'll run another new (to our audience) portion of our conversation with the President on tonight's broadcast. I returned from New Orleans to find thousands of emails (I often ask that they be printed out so that I can take them home, travel with them and go through them quickly, while sticking to my vow to read them all) neatly divided into two main categories: our Katrina coverage (overwhelmingly positive) and our interview with President Bush.
On the latter topic, I was taken aback somewhat by what seems to be the prevailing (70/30) opinion -- apparently echoed today by Rush Limbaugh -- that I was somehow "disrespectful" in the interview.
A small representation of the snowglobes adorning Nightly News Executive Producer John Reiss's office. Photo by Nightly News Web Producer Constance Parten
On Sunday, Brian blogged about the predicament travelers face with bottled water these days. You can’t take it on board in a bottle due to new security regulations. Brian discovered you couldn’t even have it in a plastic bottle if you’re in Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.
As my family waited for our flight to leave Logan Airport in Boston last Thursday, I remembered one last minute trinket I had forgotten to get while we were in Red Sox Nation. I needed a Red Sox snowglobe for a certain executive producer who is both a snowglobe collector and a rabid Yankees fan.
Easy, right? I went from gift shop to newsstand to tchotchke store to find that Red Sox snowglobe. Finally, I found a Red Sox souvenir stand near Jet Blue. STILL No luck. I asked the saleswoman if there had been a run on snowglobes. (Seriously: considering last week’s games, there should have been a surplus.)
"No," she said, "we can’t sell them in the airport anymore because of security regulations. You’re not allowed to take them on board the plane. It’s because of the water in the snowglobe."
Yes, America, it’s true. Those two ounces of liquid inside the snowglobe violate the new security regulations.
Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory does the Early Nightly honors today. Click the link to the right (below the advertisement) to watch.
Now that our two-day trip to New Orleans is coming to an end, I have time to share some photos shot by NBC News folks in the field.
First, the backdrop for Tuesday's broadcast... what used to be 2120 Tennessee Street, washed or blown into the 2200 block, in the Lower Ninth Ward:
Photo by Roxanne Garcia, NBC News