July 8, 2005 | 4:33 p.m. EDT

SCOTUS rumors, London's stiff upper lip

Brian Williams, Anchor & Managing Editor

In the media world, this day has been full of swirling and persistent rumors (being pushed by at least one journalist on cable news) that Chief Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist is planning to resign by close of business today. If that is the case, and we are picking up no evidence that it will be, we will begin the broadcast with that story.

Absent a development on the court, we'll begin tonight the way we began last night: With the aftermath of the bombings in London. Today was notable for the determination Londoners showed , which some of us feel is part of their DNA. Few Americans realize how tough and grim an existence it was for Londoners during the war. The brave behavior and perseverance of that generation has clearly been passed down.

On the investigative front, there have been advances already, and we should have some exclusive information tonight on the hunt for the bombers.

We're also aggressively covering the approach of Hurricane Dennis, already a formidable storm packing winds of more than 140 miles per hour . Our folks are in place, and this storm will probably make up much of the news we see on television this weekend.

For now, journalism calls. Wishing you a great July weekend, we hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast.

July 8, 2005 | 2:05 p.m. EDT

Editor's note: The attacks on London will continue to dominate the broadcast tonight, with reporting from Keith Miller and Lisa Myers on the investigation into who was responsible, and a look by Martin Fletcher at how the British response to the attacks differed from what he sees frequently in Israel. Martin did a quick Q&A with MSNBC.com on that subject this morning.  You can read it here.

July 7, 2005 | 4:16 p.m. EDT

All eyes on London (Brian Williams)

With apologies, today's posting will have to be short, given the fact that today's awful news out of London meant we were tied up with hours of live coverage on both NBC and MSNBC. Our correspondents and camera crews responded instantly and throughout the city and we have compiled for tonight's broadcast what I think is complete coverage of what happened today, its possible perpetrators and larger meaning. The pictures from that great city were indeed hard to watch, especially for those of us in New York.

One point I intend to make on tonight's broadcast is this: the very same tubes that offered such sturdy shelter to the equally-sturdy people of London during the Blitz, today were exactly the wrong place to be.

I feel compelled to add the following quotes from Winston Churchill's VE speech of May 8, 1945. On that day he not only said, "Do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny," but also, "London can take it." We could all use a little Churchill right about now.

July 7, 2005 | 2:10 p.m. EDT

Shocking scenes in London (Ron Allen)

It is so ironic that London has had two of its best and worst days back to back. The Olympics, now terrorism. It really has brought everyone here down to earth. London, unlike American cities, is a place where, sadly, people are used to terrorism. The IRA and protestant paramilitary groups caused havoc in the capital during the 1970s and 80s. Walk through the West End, the heart of the city, and there's a pub that was hit on a corner in the theatre district. There's another club on Old Compton Street in Soho, with a memorial inside to those who died.

London has always known its "tube" was vulnerable. They watch it closely with video surveillance, just like they do the rest of the city. This is probably the most closed-circuit-TV-watched city in the world. In the subway system you'll never find a garbage can; too easy to hide a bomb.

There have been amazing and horrifying scenes here today. Victims rising, covered in blood and soot from the deepest and oldest subway system in the world... commuters and tourists telling stories of thundering crashes, smoke-filled cars, gasping for air, breaking the glass with whatever they could to get oxygen and to get free...  then jumping from the cars, worried the rails might still be live. And in some cases, walking past the dead and injured to tell tales of terror now consuming the capital.

On tonight's broadcast, Ron will report on the victims of the attacks, 37 killed and hundreds injured as of this writing.

July 7, 2005 | 12:50 p.m. EDT

Editor's note: The broadcast is looking for amateur video and photographs from this morning's attacks. If you were there and have the means to send them to us via e-mail, please click here.

July 7, 2005 | 11:45 a.m. EDT

Editor's note: Nearly all our resources today are devoted to full coverage of the London bombings. We'll have reports from Jim Maceda and Ron Allen in the British capital, as well as reaction from the White House, Homeland Security Department and the G8 Summit. For the latest developments in this breaking story, please click here.

July 6, 2005 | 4:15 p.m. EDT

Journalist jailed, G-8 kicks off (Brian Williams)

"This is a chilling conclusion to an utterly confounding case."

Those were the words of New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, speaking outside federal court in Washington as I post this. Judith Miller has been taken into custody in the CIA source case , even though she never published a word on the story. In the words of her counsel, Floyd Abrams, "it would be a terrible irony" if no crime has been committed in this case and if Judith Miller ended up being the only one to serve jail time. There are many known layers to this story and many unknown. At this hour, all the cable networks are covering this event live, and we will present the work of our Justice Correspondent Pete Williams on this topic tonight. The riddle-in-chief here seems to be: We don't yet know what the crime is. Topic to be continued...

Also tonight, we'll talk about the gathering of the G-8 in Scotland, and the power these eight men represent. We'll take a companion look at the clear and present danger on the continent of Africa, which is not represented at the G-8.

Late today we learned the president was in an accident while riding a bike in Scotland... so far we know only that he required some treatment but is going to be fine. He's become a dedicated bike rider since injuring his knee forced him to give up his running regimen.

On this day when confidential sources are in the news, we will run a snippet of Tom Brokaw's special broadcast tonight (airing at 10 p.m. EDT on NBC) called THE SECRET MAN. In tonight's segment, we'll hear from Bob Woodward about his secret meetings with Deep Throat in a parking garage which we now know is located in Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.

We'll remember two people tonight: former FBI Director L. Patrick Gray (under whom Mark Felt served as #2 at the FBI) and Admiral James Stockdale , former vice presidential candidate under H. Ross Perot and a Medal of Honor recipient.

We'll take a look at today's surprise announcement awarding the 2012 Olympic Games to London, England ... and we'll have a segment that can only be described as a major salvo in the food wars in this country.

And finally, just asking: Was the expression "Strong Performance" just too good for the editors of the New York Times Sports section to use just once? Were there no other words to describe the performance of two pitchers on separate teams on the same day? Further proof that we all make mistakes.

We hope you'll join us for tonight's endeavor.

July 6, 2005 | 3:00 p.m. EDT

The British beat the French, again (Ron Allen)

I lived in London for a long time, more than 10 years, and this was one of the most exciting days I've ever seen here. I think most people in Trafalgar Square were completely shocked by winning the 2012 Olympics. And it was such a sweet victory for them to beat Paris, the favorite. The British-French rivalry goes back 1,000 years or more... they fought one war that lasted 100 years... the French are Catholic... the British Protestant... they fight over food, politics, sports, everything.

For London, this means a tremendous shot in the arm. They'll stage tennis at Wimbledon, soccer at Wembley, and the cycling may pass by Buckingham Palace. But the heart of their plan is to redevelop a neglected area of East London, and do it in an environmentally friendly way. That's the legacy their Olympics will leave.

But what seems to have won them the bid is their passion. Paris was persistent, trying several years in a row. But London's Olympians especially spoke so eloquently about their love of sports, about what the games would mean to children. They came from behind. And just as they triumphed over Napoleon at Waterloo, they beat Paris for Olympic Gold.

Editor's note: Ron will have a full report on the IOC's decision and the mood in London on tonight's broadcast.

July 6, 2005 | 1:20 p.m. EDT

Tonight's promoted story on Nightly News

What's for dinner? With obesity on the rise, the answer seems to be getting harder in America. But is the diet industry doling out good advice or dealing in scare tactics? What to eat? What to avoid? Who to believe? NBC's Kevin Corke reports on the fight against the food police.

July 5, 2005 | 4:45 p.m. EDT

Supreme Court fight and a movie recommendation (Brian Williams)

As this reporter re-enters the Nightly News environment after a splendid July 4th holiday weekend — which included a round-trip to Chicago (the city put on a spectacular show over the last several days) — it was interesting to get back into the loop of news coverage (having followed the news and checked in with co-workers at a bare minimum during my absence) and find the most curious treatment of the Karl Rove story. I was interested to read the postings on the subject this morning on fishbowlny.com, where they may also win the award for the best merging (in headline form) of Barry Manilow and a Supreme Court justice ever attempted. Today's twist in the CIA source story (the prosecutor insisting on compelling Matt Cooper's testimony despite his company's decision to turn over the notes) will be covered on tonight's broadcast, as we gear up to do even more on the story tomorrow, when the next court hearing is scheduled. Full disclosure: I covered the Clinton White House with Matt Cooper, and spent hours with him in the press room and in various motorcades. I enjoy Matt's company enormously and I have a lot of respect for his work. But in a case like this we leave it to our correspondents to cover the story as they see it. Covering colleagues is never pleasant or easy.

Tonight we'll take a look at the pitched battle already underway over the Supreme Court, even though a senior administration official told me late last week he didn't expect the president to "really get his head into the files" of potential nominees until today's 8-hour flight to Denmark. The White House confirmed to me that they are operating from "much the same" (but not the exact) list of nominees had Rehnquist announced his retirement. A minor but still notable difference.

We'll also take a look at the efforts of U.S. special forces overseas (another area where I've been fortunate enough to be exposed to the actual players) and update the situation in Iraq today. And while we don't do movie reviews around here, I've been recommending that friends see "Girl in the Cafe" on HBO, if only for its thought-provoking quality and timeliness. To that end, we'll be covering the G-8 this week as it gets underway, including the challenges to, and disagreements among, the member nations and their leaders. We may even say a word or two about the film and its timing.

We may even mention a faux pas today (note language for embedded hint) by a world leader criticizing the cuisine (second telling language reference) of another nation. We hope you can join us.

July 5, 2005 | 11:22 a.m. EDT

Waiting for a nominee

We begin the holiday-shortened week where we left it on Friday — with Washington, and the country, wondering who will be President Bush's pick to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. That story will top the broadcast tonight in one way or another.

In the meantime, many of you asked for a transcript of Brian's closing note on Friday.  Here it is:

"Finally tonight, an American original. Today's news that Madam Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring brought back memories of an airline flight a few years back, going home after summer vacation in Montana.

A sturdy-looking woman in a fly-fishing vest and hat put her fly rod in the overhead compartment and took her seat for takeoff. The white hair billowing out from under the hat, however, gave her away. There was no need to check her boarding pass, it was Madam Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Truthfully, though, on that day, in that seat in coach, that was the essence of the woman Ronald Reagan selected for the bench. The fishing vest fit the judge's personality, just as much as the black robe she wears on the bench.

On that flight that day, I did what anyone would have done: I introduced my own daughter to an American original."

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