Full broadcast | July 12, 2013
>>> on our broadcast tonight, to the jury. deliberations are now under way in the george zimmerman trial. now all eyes on a possible verdict.
>>> a tragic turn in the investigation into the san francisco 777 crash . confirmation that one of the dead passengers was hit by a responding vehicle after the crash .
>>> and the abortion fight playing out tonight in texas . for that matter across the country from state to state.
>>> also tonight, taking a stand for the rights of women and girls, from an inspiring young woman with a powerful story who has fought all the way back. "nightly news" begins now.
>>> good evening. the jury now has the case. now we wait for a verdict in the trial of george zimmerman , charged in the killing of trayvon martin . it's become such a closely watched, very highly charged court trial . because of the rules governing closing arguments, the defense wrapped up today, then the prosecutors had the chance to have the last word before the judge charged and sent away the jury in this case. ron mott was there. he continues to watch things for us tonight in sanford, florida. ron , good evening.
>> reporter: brian , good evening to you. after all the testimony, after all the evidence it all comes down to one of three options for this jury -- george zimmerman , guilty of second-degree murder. george zimmerman , guilty of manslaughter. or george zimmerman , not guilty. with his client accused of profiling trayvon martin , ending in a fatal encounter last year --
>> you might have an impression of george zimmerman . stand up for a second.
>> reporter: today defense attorney mark o'mara asked the jury in his closing argument not to make assumptions about george zimmerman .
>> neighborhood watch , cop wannabe, crazy --
>> reporter: about being an overzealous neighborhood watchman who hits his breaking point.
>> listen to the call. anger? frustration? hatred? ill will ? fight? get out here and get these guys. i hate these young black males . whatever. what they want you to get from that.
>> reporter: armed with a chart showing the prosecution's burden and others detailing the night martin was killed --
>> there's the shot.
>> reporter: the defense created an animation illustrating martin starting the fight with zimmerman , who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, saying he fired in self-defense.
>> try not to do much.
>> reporter: later the attorney called for a moment of silence. clock watching filling the void. first for a minute, then two. and still more.
>> that's how long trayvon martin had to run. about four minutes. from when he said he was running. that's how long.
>> reporter: and before his final argument to the jury, mark o'mara hauled out a chunk of concrete.
>> that's cement. that is sidewalk. and that is not an unarmed teenager with nothing but skittles trying to get home.
>> reporter: having the last word before the jury headed off to deliberate --
>> it's not a case about self-defense. it's a case about self-denial.
>> reporter: prosecutor john guy attacked zimmerman 's account of the shooting, labeling them lies. as for those four minutes?
>> four minutes is not the amount of time that trayvon martin had to run home. four minutes is the amount of time that trayvon martin had left on this earth.
>> reporter: the prosecutor closed with a question to the jury. what if the roles were reversed that night?
>> and if it was trayvon martin who had shot and killed george zimmerman , what would your verdict be? that's how you know it's not about race.
>> reporter: the jury began deliberating about 2:30 this afternoon, and after about 3 1/2 hours of discussions they called it a night. they'll be back here at 9:00 in the morning, brian .
>> ron mott covering it all. sanford florida now. ron , thanks.
>>> now to the other major story we've been covering this week. there is news tonight on the crash of that asiana airlines 777 wide body in san francisco . specifically confirmation today of an awful accident that happened on the ground after the crash as rescue crews were arriving at the scene in a hurry. there is also late word the death toll in this crash has grown now by one. nbc 's tom costello back east tonight is at dulles airport . tom, good evening.
>> reporter: hi, brian . we have learned late this evening that a third victim died. we only know that she was a child and she had critical injuries because of the crash . her family is requesting privacy, and we don't have any more information than that. and we've also learned from the fire department in san francisco that in fact one of its emergency vehicles did indeed hit one of those 16-year-old chinese girls who died. her name was ye mengtuan. her body was discovered in the foam that the firefighters were pouring onto the plane. when they tried to reposition one of their fire engines , they found her body in the foam, apparently underneath or near their engine and near their tires. so the coroner has yet to determine whether that contributed to her death. as for runway 28 left, they have now pretty much gotten done with clearing the wreckage, moving all of it off-site to a remote area of the air field there. they have already repaved the runway. they now still need to repaint it. they hope to be done completely tomorrow. that will be ahead of schedule. it will then be up to the faa to certify that runway for clearance to allow more traffic. could happen sunday or monday, we're told. overseas today in heathrow -- in london, rather, at heathrow airport the airport was shut down for a time today because of a 787, which apparently caught fire. an ethiopian airways 787. interesting in this case this had nothing apparently to do with the batteries which are stored in the belly because this fire appears to have been on the roof of the plane, right above where the crew has a rest area . back to you.
>> all right. tom costello, dulles airport tonight. tom, thanks.
>>> another transportation disaster to report. chaos outside paris tonight after a train carrying hundreds of passengers derailed at high speeds, sending cars slamming into a station. at least six people are dead. over 200 injured. and some of them severe. nbc 's keir simmons covering for us tonight. keir, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian . the streets around this crash site tonight are cordoned off. the train left paris at 5:00 this afternoon. the beginning of a holiday weekend. it is bastille day here in france on sunday, a public holiday . but 20 minutes later the train had derailed. wreckage is now lying across the tracks . four cars have derailed. one on its side. others are simply split apart. injured passengers were taken to medevac choppers in order to be evacuated. others were trapped inside. others including children were left sitting by the tracks, brian , just absolutely stunned. witnesses say the train was moving unusually fast, bucking from side to side. this was not a scheduled stop. but the cars crashed into each other and into the station. and tonight the head of the train company here is saying that the conductor stopped the train before the train hit yet another train. brian ?
>> keir simmons , live report for us tonight from paris . keir, thanks.
>>> a defiant edward snowden briefly emerged from hiding today in moscow . the fugitive former intelligence contractor met with human rights groups, said he hopes to remain in russia , at least for now. our report tonight from nbc 's jim maceda in moscow .
>> reporter: the world hadn't seen edward snowden for three weeks. but there he was, meeting with human rights lawyers and russian officials inside the transit zone of a moscow airport, his temporary home. "he looked perfectly well to me," he said. "he seemed a bit pale but very neat." he came out swinging, attacking the u.s. and its allies for what he called unlawful actions, preventing him from traveling to asylum in latin america .
>> i did not seek to enrich myself. i did not seek to sell u.s. secrets. i did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety.
>> reporter: he now says he wants to stay in russia temporarily until he can travel safely to venezuela, nicaragua, or bolivia.
>> i do intend to ask for political asylum in russia .
>> reporter: snowden 's problem is that he remains stuck here. he needs russia to grant him asylum just so he can leave the airport, get some space, and figure out his best move. the white house today said snowden was an accused felon, not a human rights activist , and slammed his russian hosts.
>> providing a propaganda platform for mr. snowden runs counter to the russian government 's previous declarations of russia 's neutrality.
>> reporter: tonight the airport is back to normal, with snowden somewhere deep inside . now the prized piece in an international high-stakes game of chess. jim maceda, nbc news, moscow .
>>> hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets again today in egypt following friday prayers. this time there were supporters of ousted president morsi and the muslim brotherhood . they denounced the army for forcing him out last week and said they would keep at it until he's been reinstated. and for the first time since his removal the state department here in the u.s. said today the military there should release morsi from detention.
>>> the u.s. secretary of homeland security , janet napolitano , is leaving her post after four-plus years in that high-profile and high-pressure job. she is leaving to run the university of california . a former truman scholar who was educated in california, she'll be the first woman to run that ten-campus system. a lot of the early speculation on her replacement centered today on long-time new york city police commissioner ray kelly . so far no word from the white house .
>>> the federal government says the top firefighting priority in the western u.s. right now is the stubborn fire sparked by lightning and burning along the mountains adjacent to las vegas . just 25 miles outside of town. the fight has been going on for days. much of the city has been blanketed in smoke. now over 1,000 firefighters are on this job.
>>> and some incredible pictures out of phoenix, arizona tonight, where they're dealing with sudden low visibility in the midst of a massive dust storm moving right through, blanketing a huge part of that city.
>>> now to the u.n., where there was a powerful display of perseverance and courage today by a young woman who's become a role model for children around the world. her name is malala. she's become known to the world after the taliban tried to assassinate her and after her heroic recovery she's devoted her efforts to ensure a safe education for girls . her story tonight from nbc 's amna nawaz, who has covered her story from the start. happy birthday to you
>> reporter: a birthday on a world stage.
>> so here i stand, one girl among many.
>> reporter: at a special u.n. assembly of teens for malala yousafzai. but today was a day that almost didn't come.
>> let me repeat the words, the words the taliban never wanted her to hear. happy 16th birthday, malala.
>> reporter: it was just nine months ago the taliban tried to kill her for promoting education for girls . shooting her in the head as she left school in pakistan. her story and survival ignited a global movement.
>> weakness, fear, and hopelessness died. strength, fervor, and courage was born. they thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed. and out of that silence came thousands of voices.
>> reporter: in fact, millions have signed her petition to provide education for every child around the world.
>> she has experienced the discrimination. she has suffered because of her beliefs. and she has fought back.
>> reporter: hard to remember, she's just a teenager.
>> she was more worried about her geography homework than her speech.
>> is that right?
>> yeah. and i was happy for that. this is good.
>> reporter: still a schoolgirl but a powerful voice for countless others.
>> one child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world .
>> reporter: amna nawaz, nbc news, new york.
>>> still ahead for us here tonight, a growing new front in a fight over abortion across this country. high drama again tonight after one woman's epic filibuster in texas .
>>> it is going to be a late night in the texas senate , but in the end opponents of abortion are expected to get the bill they want. a new bill governor perry has vowed to sign. this comes after that filibuster by one texas state senator made national headlines. and this movement is hardly limited to texas , as it plays out in a lot of other states. we get our report tonight from our national correspondent kate snow .
>> our choice!
>> reporter: at the state capitol in austin, blue shirts in support of the bill, orange against.
>> for their voices to be heard.
>> reporter: it was just over two weeks ago that democratic state senator wendy davis blocked a vote by standing and talking for nearly 13 hours in her pink sneakers. that filibuster delayed things. but in the end the republican-dominated texas legislature has the upper hand.
>> this bill raises the standard of care in texas .
>> reporter: today davis said she's outraged.
>> it's a huge step backward in terms of health care for women in the state of texas .
>> reporter: the centerpiece of the texas bill is titled "the preborn pain act." it bans most abortions after 20 weeks. nine other states already have similar measures.
>> what we're seeing around texas is really emblematic of what we're seeing across the country in general.
>> reporter: elizabeth nash with the gutmacher institute, a research group that supports abortion rights , says after big republican gains at the state level in the 2010 elections opponents of abortion rights turned their focus to state houses.
>> so in a sense, the idea here is to pile on so many restrictions that abortion access is completely eliminated. without going through the courts and without overturning roe v. wade .
>> reporter: this year 17 states passed new measures that impact abortion. just last week ohio's governor signed a bill that requires doctors to determine if there's a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion and inform the woman about the probability the pregnancy would go to term. many states have regulated clinics providing abortions.
>> you see americans saying regardless of whether they describe themselves as pro life or pro choice , that they want to see common sense kinds of regulations that simply hold the abortion industry accountable.
>> reporter: the texas bill would require many abortion clinics to be upgraded with surgical facilities like you'd find in a hospital. texas 's measure mandates that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby. abortion rights advocates say those rules in this texas bill will force many clinics to close their doors. planned parenthood says all but six of the state's 42 abortion facilities may have to close. those who favor the legislation, though, say that is an exaggeration, brian .
>> kate snow , thank you, as always. we're back in a moment after another break with a new look for an icon of the american forest.
>>> generation of -- generations of us have grown up able to quote smokey bear . "only you can prevent forest fires ." since his creation during world war ii as a public service from the ad industry, it's been one of the great public awareness campaigns in u.s. history . smokey has just received a freshening, however. they last updated him to change " forest fires " to "wildfires." and now, to reflect our era of positive reinforcement, the new commercials show him hugging people who exhibit good fire prevention habits.
>>> members of congress worried about lunar tourism becoming a reality someday are acting in advance to protect the lunar landing sites, which have managed to go undisturbed all these years. critics are howling at this part of an actual bill introduced in congress. the lunar landing legacy act would create in effect a national park , a world heritage site to protect the footprints and flags and equipment there forever.
>>> this baseball season on average 70 million americans are going to attend a major league ball game . and the " wall street journal " has studied the numbers and calculated what a lot of us already know. most of the game is spent standing around. the average fan watching the average game will see 17 minutes 58 seconds' worth of actual baseball action. as the "journal" points out, a similar study of nfl games found even less action. just 11 minutes of actual running around playing time in each pro football game.
>>> and now we know how much people will pay for a car if it's the right-car. a mercedes single-seater has been purchased at auction for a record $30 million. it's the only one of its kind not in a museum or private hands. and it's valuable because it's still dinged up from its racing career. it hasn't been restored. its luster comes from having been driven by the argentinean motor racing legend juan manuel fangio , an astoundingly courageous, talented driver who dominated the early years of formula 1 racing and had a great ride.
>>> when we come back, it was so bad it was good. it happened on tv just last night.
>>> look out because soon, very soon, the most horrifying monster menace ever conceived will be oozing into this theater.
>> the 1958 low-budget horror movie classic starring steve mcqueen . a genre leader in a long line of movies that know they are low budget and they embrace their own cheesiness in hopes that we viewers will too. well, it happened last night on the syfy channel. a movie with little build-up and a premise and execution so over the top word of mouth spread and people started tuning in and kept talking about it into today. for starters, there's the title, "sharknado," as in what happens when you combine sharks with a tornado. nbc 's mike taibbi takes the story from there.
>> reporter: for once, the trailer truly does say it all.
>> sharknado. enough said.
>> reporter: a few words about the premise, and a few are all you need. giant tornadoes dump untold tons of shark-laden water on los angeles .
>> it's flooding here. not the plumbing. the ocean.
>> reporter: and the lead human characters, led by tara reid , john heard , and former " beverly hills 90210 " stalwart ian ziering , try not to get eaten. here's how campy it all is. someone actually wrote the following line. please listen closely . "instead of letting live sharks rain down on people, we're going to get in that chopper and throw bombs into the tornadoes!" i kid you not. anyway, you guessed it, it was a hit for nbc 's syfy channel. at least on social media . facebook was wild with it. 5,000 tweets a minute. some big names and even the weather channel 's jim cantore who lamented "why wasn't i asked to be the forecaster for sharknado?"
>> we've never been hit by a storm quite like this.
>> reporter: but is social media gold really fool's gold? especially since other pop culture rockets like the feature film " snakes on a plane " were actually box office duds.
>> what's more important to advertisers and to networks is that social engagement that goes beyond the number of eyeballs on it and it goes to the volume of the voices of the people who are watching it.
>> reporter: "sharknado's" creators are considering a sequel. and last night's premiere will get a rerun next week.
>> these things are once in a lifetime where something comes along on this scale that just gets attention and everybody wants to talk about it.
>> reporter: in the meantime, it's fun to even say or write or just think the name "sharknado." an awful lot of people are. mike taibbi , nbc news.
>>> that's our broadcast on a friday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams . lester holt is here with you this weekend. we hope to see you back here on monday. in the meantime, have a good weekend.