by Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor
Sporting a newly-blackened beard, there he is again: Osama Bin Laden. The rush is on to interpret (and attach a date to) this new piece of videotape purported to be him. We'll have the analysis of what's on the tape and what it means. We'll also preview Gen. Petraeus's testimony next week (which I'll be anchoring live, starting Monday, on MSNBC), and there are already rumblings tonight of a primetime address by President Bush next Thursday night. We have a great piece of foreign reporting tonight from Lester Holt. We'll also have the story that has ignited Great Britain, as well as our Making A Difference report.
"Demolition work on the former Deutsche Bank building could be stalled for several weeks, a top state official said yesterday, as government agencies bicker over how to fix the deadly firetrap conditions inside while preventing toxic dust from escaping."
The new tape of Bin Laden with a cheap dye job isn't the ONLY reminder out there -- that sometimes, 9-11 feels like it happened about ten minutes ago.
30 years ago today
After negotiations that spanned fourteen years and four presidencies, the United States and Panama signed treaties on September 7, 1977 to transfer control of the Panama Canal to Panama. The canal had been under American control since it opened in 1914. President Jimmy Carter signed for the United States, as dignitaries including former President Ford, Lady Bird Johnson, and former Secretaries of State William Rogers and Henry Kissinger looked on, along with representatives of 26 other Western Hemisphere nations. Ratified by the Senate in 1978, the treaties were hugely controversial at the time -- a reckless giveaway, according to some critics. Carter saw it differently, of course, and said the treaties "mark the commitment of the United States to the belief that fairness, and not force, should lie at the heart of our dealings with the nations of the world."
80 years ago today
Television was born - in a laboratory at 202 Green Street in San Francisco on September 7, 1927. The lab belonged to a 21-year old inventor named Philo T. Farnsworth, who on that day successfully demonstrated for the first time that images could be electronically transmitted through the air. Accounts differ as to what that first image actually was -- a picture of a young woman, a dollar sign, or a simple straight line. However it's fair to say that all three are the very foundation of just about everything that's been on television ever since.
This weekend I'll be with many of the living recipients of the Medal of Honor (Don't forget to read today's featured biography) as we hold our annual board meeting of the Medal of Honor Foundation.
I hope you can join us for tonight's broadcast. Have a good weekend, and we will see you for what I know will be a big week, starting Monday.