We are covering the fallout from the storm system that ripped across the country this week. President Bush traveled south today to visit those hit by devastating tornadoes. NBC's Kerry Sanders is following the story and will have the latest.
Also... NBC's Mark Potter hears from some of those who were on the bus carrying members of Bluffton University's baseball team... that ran off an overpass in Atlanta... killing 6 people.
The Washington Post story on Walter Reed... that we first reported on this broadcast two weeks ago... is still unfolding. NBC's John Yang tonight on President Bush's first public comments on the scandal.
In depth tonight... a rare look inside Iran. NBC's Ian Williams reports from Tehran on the diplomatic dance between Iran and the U.S.
ENTERPRISE, Ala. - Mother Nature never ceases to amaze. Often in horrific ways. The tornado that ripped through here was a monster. Today, a team of forensic experts combed through the debris, took calculations and have an early determination: this was an enhanced F3 with winds in excess of 150 miles per hour.
But there's no need to hear that when you're standing in the midst of the rubble. Cars upended and tossed into homes, huge pine trees snapped like toothpicks, and the look on the faces of those who survived the disaster: shock, and now despair. Eight students died in the tornado. It lasted about 15 seconds, but stole futures. Children who had plans, or maybe were too young to even have plans. But each held promise.
Hello all. I will be sitting in for Brian tonight. Big news from the Pentagon this afternoon. The Secretary of the Army has resigned in response to the outcry over the conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This story is still developing and we will have the latest tonight.
Unfortunately, much of the news we have been following today is heart-breaking for people in many parts of the country. First to the Southeast... where at least 20 people were killed by powerful tornadoes. Eight of the victims were students at Enterprise High School in Alabama, who had taken shelter in a part of the school that took a direct hit. The community is trying to pull together and Kerry Sanders has been there for us throughout this tragic day. In Georgia, the storms killed at least six people and Martin Savidge is there. He is reporting from a hospital that was badly damaged, but still treating victims thanks to a dedicated staff. President Bush is traveling to the areas that were hit tomorrow to see the damage.
The buzz at the Libby courthouse today, where 11 jurors have held dozens of journalists hostage for an eighth day of their deliberations on the fate of the former top aide to Vice President Cheney, was not entirely focused on when the verdict might come in, but who would play the principals in the movie version.
Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a feature on the lives of former CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband former diplomat Joseph Wilson, the Washington couple at the center of the CIA leak scandal.
It was 10 years and more than 500 babies ago. Debbe Magnusen was sitting in her home in southern California, watching the evening news. A story that garnered only 15 seconds of airtime would change her life forever.
A baby boy, a few hours old, was left to die in a dumpster, just a few minutes from Debbe's home. She couldn't get it off her mind. Not that night, not a week, not even a month later. Her grief over an infant she didn't know gave birth to Project Cuddle, a nationwide crisis hotline (1-888-628-3353) for girls and women who are pregnant and frightened. She offers them maternity clothes, prenatal care and a hand to hold in the delivery room. She also helps find families for the babies -- 564 of them over the past 10 years.
Campbell Brown anchors the broadcast tonight from New York, where she also filed today's vlog.
She previews the tragic news that will top the broadcast, and this Friday's "Making a Difference" subject.
Click here or on the image to watch.
It is downright scary watching the live, local weather coverage on various network affiliates that is, in turn, being aired live at this hour on the cable nets. There is some bad, nasty and deadly weather rolling through the South -- aviators know storms by height, and the tops of some of these storms are astronomical, not to mention the intensity of the rotation at the center. We have roving teams watching it all and we will package it all together out of our Atlanta bureau tonight.
We will also look at the words of Sen. John McCain last night -- what someone said was the placement of his foot in his mouth while his hat was thrown into the ring. While those who question the senator's military chops are on shaky ground indeed, it's his choice of words that drove an apology today. Also, we have the president touring the storm zone in the Gulf and we have the resignation of the man in charge at Walter Reed. Robert Bazell continues his "Wounds of War" series with what producer M.L. Flynn predicts might be the most emotional of all the pieces tonight. We also have a look at making teenaged drivers safer... and a worthy lesson in history for all of us from Martin Savidge tonight.
Brian anchors the broadcast tonight from New York, where he delivered today's vlog a short while ago.
Click here or on the image to find out what stories we're tracking for tonight's broadcast.
I always feel apologetic when the day's post is on the truncated side, as it is today. I envision disappointing our loyal readers (Olivia and Amanda come to mind), but I know I more than make up for it on other days, when I veer off into music reviews and contemporary non-fiction. The truth is, I have been going since I walked in the door this morning. It's 4:22 p.m. and I may not have attended my last meeting of the day. Somewhere in my remaining hours in this building, I will find time to help put together tonight's broadcast. Luckily, we have a room full of smart producers and bureaus all over the world to help do just that.
We've been watching the market today and we'll talk about that tonight. Yesterday's downward arrow was briefly harrowing -- any drop that outruns the mechanism to track it is harrowing -- but today the market behaved, despite downward overnight trends from Asia. My favorite story of the day? No question about it. Terry Hunt of the Associated Press on the unnamed source aboard the vice president's plane. Tonight we'll get an update on the Iran angle and we will have another of Robert Bazell's reports from the hospitals at the front in Iraq. Peter Alexander has a good story on equipment firefighters depend on -- and we have two additional features that come from today's news. From the "Breaking News" banner on cable just now, it looks like Anna Nicole Smith may indeed be buried after all. Just when you think you're having a bad day...
Tonight, as we continue our series the "Wounds of War" about U.S. medical care in Iraq, we'll tell the amazing story of a 5-year-old Iraqi girl who came close to death and got a second chance at life due to the efforts of some very dedicated Americans. Two organizations played a big role in helping her -- the National Iraqi Assistance Center and the Shriners Hospitals. The Iraqi Assistance Center was set up and is run by the U.S. military to provide charity care to a few of the many in that nation who need it. For more than 85 years the Shriners have been providing care for needy children from around the world with orthopedic, burn or spinal cord problems. I urge anyone who wants to help to contact those organizations via their Web sites above.
Many will watch tonight's story and ask why the girl could not be transferred to an Iraqi hospital. Simply put, the Iraqi medical system is in shambles. In most places there is no such thing as rehabilitation, so in the overcrowded and understaffed hospitals it is, as one American doctor put it to me, "survival of the fittest." Many Iraqi doctors, because of sectarian killings and kidnappings or threats of them, have fled the country. U.S. efforts to help set up a functioning health care system have been plagued by corruption and mismanagement. In fact, earlier this month Deputy Health Minister Hakim al- Zamili was arrested and charged with funneling millions of dollars given for health care to insurgents. So as we share this one girl’s story tonight, I hope we remember the thousands of children injured in this war who get no second chance.